Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Working on Sunday - A Prospective Member's Faith and Action

Hello again :) What a great week it has been. We have had some pretty cold days here in Luis Guillon, but Heavenly Father has blessed me with some beautiful sunshine too! Can’t go wrong with that ;)

We just got back from transfer meetings. It was crazy, but Hermana Mills and me are still together for this transfer! WOOO! haha crazy thought but this is her last transfer. I can’t even believe it. I attached a picture. I was so blessed today to be able to see ALL my companions together (minus my trainer, hna brown, in Salta Argentina) It was so fun. AND i got to see Débora again which was quite a treat! I seriously have made some friends for life here on the mission. These relationships will always be close to my heart. 

We had another great week here in Guillion. We are getting our chapel ready for our "open house" this next week. We took an hour this week and put out invites in all the local shops. it was sooo funny and a great experience. People here are soo nice and relaxed. Everyone we asked let us put up a paper in their windows to invite them to come to the church for the activity. WOOO! Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints- REPRESENT! I love being a missionary! I will let you know how it goes next week. We are hoping a lot of people will come and we can find some new people to teach. What ever happens I am sure it will be a great experience for us all.

My favorite part of the week happened because of a small miracle! I told you last week we are working with a family. The Family Valasquez. They are a family of 4 who are just amazing and progressing very well. We had hit a wall when it came to their work and coming to church. They want to be baptized and have felt the spirit before but both the parents have to work on Sundays. My companion and I have been praying and fasting for them that they can find new jobs or that their bosses will let them change their schedules. Its been a few weeks now and they still are having problems with their jobs. But, luckily they both had work off this Sunday. SO for the first time all four of them came to church! I couldn’t believe it! We went to go pick them up and the wife was in heels and a very nice modest skirt and the little girl was also in a skirt. I was very impressed and excited for them. You could just tell by their faces how much they enjoyed church, especially together as a family. Justly, in gospel principles class the topic was working and responsibilities. I about died with joy when I found out what the topic was. It was Perfect... a miracle! After the class, we told Hermana Velasquez that we wanted to help her look for a new job so she could come with her family every week. She told us no. I was stunned! But then with a grin she said, ¨Hermanas, I have felt the spirit too strong to deny it. I know what I need to do. I just need to quit my job. I NEED this. I need to come to church every week with my family. That is more important. As you can imagine Hermana Mills and me died with happiness inside. She then said, and Yes. All four of us will be getting baptized in August! :) Keep them in your prayers! They are going to be great members. I am soooo happy I can’t even describe it right now. In about a month I will get to see this beautiful family make their first covenants for eternity! Life is good family... oh soo good! :) 

Well, that’s my week. I would love to hear about your miracles! Go out and find some... be a part of a miracle for someone else. I love you with all my heart. You are always in my prayers. Have a great week! Tear it up!
Les Quiero!

-Hermana Newman 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Elder, I am Giving My Life for the Church - An Apostle's Admonition

Luis Guillon, Argentina -   HEY THERE FAMILY!
-Playing in the makeup. Gotta love having a girly companion ;) 
Another great week here in Luis Guillon! :) Today is Hermana Mills Birthday so we are partying it up. She is now 21! Oldie moldie ;) ha just kidding. I think she is my second companion who is not 19! I always have the youngies. Anyways, I cant believe we are starting the last week of the transfer again. Crazy!  It was a slower week but we still saw lots of miracles and had great experiences. I think this week was a week to feel the spirit and strengthen my testimony even more :) I don’t know what to share so just as a warning this week’s letter is going to be the best ever.... Straight from the Apostles :) haha yep lots of quotes to share this week. I hope you enjoy. 

-I was thinking of Karma and Sylvia...
Yep my little twinner friends here in Argentina
But first I will give you a quick run down of my week. Like I said, lots of spirit this week. We talked about Jesus and the Atonement a lot this week. It helped me really focus on my Savior and all He has done for me and is willing to do to help me. I got to help out at an open house of a church near by and do tours like in a visitor’s center. It was awesome! I would love to be a visitors center sister. You get to feel the spirit sooo strong and different in every tour. haha We got to see a lot of tender mercies this week and some of our investigators are progressing well. A family now is living the word of wisdom completely and is preparing to be baptized in August! I am so excited for this lil family! They are changing everything to come closer unto Christ! That’s really what it takes sometimes... give up everything to get everything! It’s always worth it in the end. 

Service activity for the people up north in Argentina.
 (they are having lots of flooding
When Elder Viñas came to tour our mission, he really focused on the Atonement and asked a lot of us how the Atonement has helped us in our mission. I have been thinking about it for the last couple weeks. Really, the Atonement is everything! Only through the atonement could I become the missionary I am today. I was shy, timid and awkward before the mission. I didn’t feel like I knew very much but I had a strong testimony it was true. Well, using the Atonement of Jesus Christ I have been able to get through some hard times, to enjoy the best times of my life so far. I love being a missionary with all of my heart. Only through Jesus Christ was I able to become a confident, outgoing, bold and loving disciple of Christ. I am nowhere near perfect but I am trying daily to become more like Him. After all that is our goal... to become like Him.

My companion shared a talk of Elder Holland with me and I would like to share a little part with you all. It is about missionary work. But I know that we can apply it to everyone... ¨every member a missionary right?¨

This is a missionary talk he gave in the MTC in Brazil:
His thoughts in Italics
My thoughts in bold

Learning to crochet
You look like future leaders of the Church, to testify of the divinity of this Church, of this work, and of God´s love, of His reality and His appearance to the Prophet Joseph Smith. And if there is anyone in the room who’s struggling with a testimony, you have one- mine! I´m giving my life to this, You’re giving two years. I´m giving my life! Everything I own, everything I possess is on the line. I would not come to Sao Paulo to tell you a fairy tale. I wouldn’t wear myself into the ground, nor would President HInckley do the same for something we did not know beyond a shadow of a doubt was God’s almighty truth! Give me a little more credit that that! I´m not an absolutely stupid man. This is the truth! And I´m giving everything that I know to give for that declaration.
-Yeah mom... dont be too ashamed...
I wear things that dont match...
 polkadots and stripes! :) WOOO!

I hope we can all be like him. Give our LIFE to the gospel. Do people know we are members? Do we stand out? Do we help others? Are we representatives of Him? 

I had a missionary ask me once if I would give my life for the Church. I said, Elder I am giving my life for the Church.¨I know what he meant. What he meant was, ¨Would you die for it?¨Well, that’s the easy part. That’s a snap! On some days it looks really appealing. That’s the easy part, to die for it. Well, what God needs is people who will live for it, people who will go the distance, people who are in this race we´re talking about that will go all the way to the tape. And some may die along the way and that’s wonderful, what He needs people who will finish the work. He needs people who will wrap this up, and that’s the pledge I make to you, and that’s the pledge He asked. We´re in this together

I believe that with all my heart! We are in this together! We are here to help our brothers and sisters. We are here to finish this work so that we can return back to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. If you don’t know what your part is in the work, I beg you to get down on your knees and ask God. HE NEEDS YOU and will help you  be part of the work. You just have to pray, have faith and ACT on that faith. Get the work done :) 

Twinner (opposites) dresses!
¨You can’t do it your own way. Don´t even try. That’s part of the worry- you dont have to do it, you cant do it, you shouldn’t do it. Stop worrying that you have to do this. This is Gods work! He will watch you! He will answer your prayers! He has legions of angels and teams of chariots to run to your aid this very hour. He will bless you! This is His work, but you have to do it His way! That’s the contract. 

We need to remember just that. It is HIS work. Not ours. So obviously we need to ask how and what He needs done and then do just that... His work in His way and in His timing. All it comes down to is a lot of obedience and faith. :) He needs our help, and we need His. Trust me... He is more than willing to help us out. He loves us more than we can even imagine. 

This last quote is not from Elder Holland but from his Friend..... another apostle... drum rolll.... Elder Scott:

With all of my capacity I encourage you to discover who you really are. I invite you to look beyond the daily routine of life. I urge you to discern through the Spirit your divinely given capacities. I exhort you to prayerfully make worthy choices that will lead you to realize your full potential.  
Capilla Abierta with some of the missionareis in the zon
I will share one sure way you can begin to accomplish such growth. I have seen valiant missionaries brave icy wind, resist torrential rains, slosh through slippery, muddy streets, and conquer fear. Often they bear a powerful testimony, only to be rejected and soundly criticized. I have seen them struggle to communicate truth in a new language. Sometimes the listener stares in puzzled silence. Then there dawns the shattering realization that the message is not understood. But I wouldn´t change any of it, even if I could, because there are those golden moments of success that makes all of the hardships worthwhile. Such rewards come when the Spirit touches a heart for eternal good because someone like you was there. To share truth in difficult circumstances is to treasure it more. When you push against the boundaries of experience into the twilight of the unknown, the Lord will strengthen you. The beauty of your eternal soul will begin to unfold. The challenges are greater now than ever. That is why the Lord needs more capable, better-prepared missionaries. He needs those who are clean and pure so that they can be guided by the Spirit and can testify with converting power. Qualify to be one of those missionaries. It will not be easy...
No visitors center here in Argentina? ..
no problem! We will make one ;)
But when was anything really worthwhile easy?

I´ve made this a long letter this week. Sorry. But I really hope we can take a minute to stop and think about our Savior and all He has done for us. There are many things we can do to help HIm, but I promise one thing that everyone can and needs to do is help with Missionary Work! I know this gospel is true with all my heart. I may not be the smartest person in the world but I am smart enough to know how I feel and I have felt the Spirit waaay too many times to deny any of this. I know Thomas S. Monson is the living Prophet today. He lives and leads us today in this crazy world. The family is the most important thing in the world. I love my family and am sooo grateful for them. I feel so blessed to be a missionary. I know this is the Lords work. I better go but I hope you all have a great week! Look for those miracles and give it all you’ve got and of course.... Don’t forget to smile! Life is good! Love you lots!


-Hermana Newman 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cold and Soaked But Warmed by a Kind Deed.

World Cup Tribute: Vamos Argentina
How are you? Well sorry in advance, this is going to be a short and sweet letter this week. I got a little distracted looking for and sending pictures. BUT I just love you all sooo stinkin much. How was your week? I hope just splendid! ;) 

My week was great. Lots of soccer games and rain.  Rain and World Cup doesn't make for a great combination as a missionary but none the less it was great. As I am sure you all read online, Argentina made it to the semi finals and finals of the world cup and then lost. But, I heard it was a great game. I heard it got a a little crazy in the capital, but we were just fine here in Luis Guillon. All the missionaries had to go inside for the final game at 4pm. So we were in the house most of the day yesterday. basically we went to church, ate lunch, taught a lesson and were inside for the rest of the day. We had no idea what happened but heard lots of cheering, then silence and then in the night time, cheering, fireworks, gunshots, etc. Partying it up! ;) 
Adventure with our exchanges in Monte (its far so we both went and worked there with the sisters) 

Hermana Mills made me take a homless picture... ;

We had quite a bit of rain this week. I have to be honest and say I am not a huge fan of rain. (Snow is waaay better) and especially as a missionary noboday wants to talk with you.  BUT I always make it a good day anyway by smiling and being silly. When you’ve got lemons... gotta make lemonade right? ;) And it all paid off. I had a very tender experience. I want to share part my journal entry for Saturday.

Well its official... I have found my man :) They sure make them cute in Argentina ;) 

What a day. I guess you could explain my day in two ways completely different. You could say that we walked around for hours in the freezing rain, with no success, cold body, soaking clothes and now I feel sick... OR you could say it was  an amazing day and I LOVE the lessons you can learn no matter what your circumstances. And I think I like that latter of the two. :) 

Yes today was a bit crazy and cold but I am thankful for a family in our ward who taught me a lesson of love, charity , service and humility. As we walked to their house in the dark cold night, we clapped our hands, earnestly awaiting for someone to answer the door. When they did, the kids had smiles on their faces and were trying not to laugh at what I assume was a pathetic sight of cold silly missionaries. ;) The mother rushed to the door and invited us in. I felt bad especially because we were getting her house wet. But, it didnt seem to matter a bit to her. She immediately gave us towels, and then ran to her closet, grabbed two skirts and sweaters and showed us to a room to change our clothes. I was in awe with how selfless she was and how kind to let us use her clothing to warm up a bit. While I was changing in the small, dingy room, I started to look around. Only to realize I was in a small girls room. I looked around and all I saw was two bunk beds and cement walls. I quickly changed, left the small, cold room and gave the sister my wet clothes. She started drying them above the heater and we were able to teach the sweet family a lesson. This family does not have much material goods at all. But I could not help thinking of their Christlike love and charity for me, a missionary from South Jordan, Utah. They have no idea where that even is, who my family is but they know that I am a representative of Jesus Christ. They are not rich by worldly standards, but they are rich in the gospel! ¨

I hope you can understand that. Sometimes my mind goes crazy. But i just wanted to share that little experience with you. I am seeing miracles daily. The gospel changes lives! The church is true! We can make a difference !¨ Perhaps, it is true that we are weak. Perhaps we are not wise or mighty.

But, when God works through us, no one and nothing can stand against us.¨ Presidente Uchtdorf. Let your light shine! Go out and help others this week. Give them love, show them that you care! Always thinking... What would Christ do? Have a great week. I am out of time but I hope you know my prayers are with you! Love you like crazy! 
-Hermana Newman :) 
Last P-day activity. SO BEAUTIFUL. laguna :)

This is what happens when you cant go out the last game of the world cup... you stay inside... study and make crepes!!! ;) 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy 4th of July and the Influence of the Book of Mormon

LUIS GUILLÓN, Argentina - Well, What a week!  Happy Birthday United States, Gramps and Me and this weekkkkk... Argentina! :) I had a great week and I am sure you all did as well. 4th of July? wahooooo! I hoped you partied it up and enjoyed a little sun for me. It rained here and was cold but we still took some silly pictures and sang songs. Its weird being in a different country for the 4th of July. We were all patriotic in our dresses and everything. I didn’t think anyone would notice but at the train station a man looked at me smiled, laughed a little and asked me if I was going to sing my country’s anthem! bahaha I about died laughing. 

hermana mills making the chocolate cake, sooo nice

Debora and Her Sister Andrea suprised me

Hermana mills made me a cake and it was delicious :

This week started off a little bit crazy with my companion getting bit by a dog.  :( She is fine and wont need shots but it was sooo funny to be there. poor thing walked too close to a fence and he reached out and bit her good. She started freaking out and screaming about not wanting shots. I had to (with love but very sternly) say... STOP! I have to look at it first. In the end it was fine but it was a little dramatic experience :) But now we know not to walk near dogs that are cold and hungry haha ;) 
Happy 4th of July
The fourth of July was great. We got all dressed up in red white and blue and walked around in the rain trying to find people to teach. Rain plus World Cup does not make for much success but no worries we ended up finding a few people to teach and all was well. I love all the lessons the mission is teaching me. It was a hard situation but my companion and I just smiled and had a good day in the rain! No pasa nada! :)
The difference between hermana mills and I....  
hahaha the princesss and the punk 

My birthday was also great. Thanks for all the little notes and pictures. You are the best :) I didn’t tell anyone about my birthday here because I don’t like being the center of attention but little miracles happened and they ended up finding out it was my birthday.  One lady gave me the biggest hug of my life and a million and five kisses! hahah I was laughing so hard and felt like she was my cute lil mom. Debora also visited me and brought me a cake! SUPRISE! I was shocked to see her but also very excited. She is doing great and tearing it up in Banfield 1! She told me she got a calling this week... drum roll... she is Young Womens Secretary! WAHOOO :) 

Today we went on an adventure for Preparacion day. We went to a Lake thing and made hamburgers and played volleyball and soccer. It was a blast but now I stink like smoke and burgers. Oh well ;) Gotta love every adventure right? The biggest adventure was making it back to the bus and train on time. I literally had to run and tell the driver to stop because my group was running behind me hahaha good times. Reminded me of our adventure in Finland with Dad ;) 

Hermana Mills asked me what we thought our families were doing while we were walking around in the freezing cold while nobody was answering the door..... oh yeah, Lake Powell (Mills Family) and the Idaho cabin (Newman Family)  bahahaha no its just a fun picture. I thought it would make you laugh :) 

Well I don’t have much time but I will end with a miracle. We had a miracle with the Book of Mormon this week. We went to visit a family who was not particularly very warm and fuzzy... loving. But we decided they needed some Christ in their lives. We went and basically the spirit was not there and they were screaming. Hermana Mills and I sang a hymn to try and get the spirit back but left a little down hearted for them. BUT we left them a commitment to start reading the Book of Mormon again together as a couple.

We went back this week and I was blown away. Seriously. We walked in and they were totally changed. I didn’t know what to think. I smiled and looked at my companion and mumbled... what happened. They are happy. The Hermano said with a big grin, ¨Guess what hermanas?  We have been reading together this week. ¨ I was astounded by the change and the difference it made. My testimony is now even stronger and I KNOW that the Book of Mormon works miracles. It is a book from God for us today in this world. I cannot explain well how I feel but I am grateful for this experience I had and to watch this book change lives.

My invite to you is just what it says in Preach my Gospel. It doesn’t matter who you are.  Member, Non member, less active or totally active. I want you all to go read Moroni 10: 3-5 and get down on your knees and pray with all your heart to:

1-    gain a testimony of the book of mormon or
2-    2- strengthen your testimony.

I know it will change your life. DO IT!!! I am doing it this week and I am stoked to go share it with the people. 

Have a wonderful week! My prayers are with you! I better go look for some more miracles... LOVE YOU! Give it all you got and don’t forget to smile. LIFE IS GOOD and GOD LOVES YOU!

-Hermana Newman

P.s. Sorry tons of pictures this week but enjoy :)