Thursday, January 28, 2010


Hello everyone! Thank you so much for all yuor letters! They have meant so much. We cherish every letter. And the elders in the district cherish every cookie. By the way, if the typing seems a little weird, it's because this keyboard is really rundown.

thanks for the pictuers you guys have sent! They are so awesome1 I love seeing home and having family pictures.

The most excitig thing that happened was yesterday, and i doubt it will be topped the rest of my time here. Right after gym I was changing, and over the intercom we heard, 'Is there a Joseph Newell there?""...ya...""Please call the front desk immediately." So i called and they siad go to the MTC president's office. Uh oh. I was thinking, what have I done? I didn't think I did anything against the rules, nevertheless something the MTC President would need to talk to me about. So me and Elder Tibbits get in, and President Smith says, "President Uchtdorf was just here and wants to speak with you. Can you come back in 30 minutes?""...ya...ya I think we can do that."

So we run back, get our cameras, and run back, and drill spanish until the time. We start seeing all these security guys walking around, and one walks towards us and says, "ever met an apostle?""No""Well there's one right behind me." We looked down the hall and he was walking towards us all smiles. We went into the MTC president's office and it was just President Uchtdorf and my companion and I. He just talked to us for about 15 minutes, mentioned Dad, then asked if we had any questions. I thought "Ask for a blessing.""No! He's an Apostle, I'm not gonna do that!""Ask for a blessing!""No! Stop that!" But eventually I did ask, and he just smiled and said of course.

He gave me an amazing blessing, and then asked if I would like to help give Elder Tibbits a blessing. It was an absolutely amazing experience. He even let us take pictures with him. I'll try and get those sent home later in the week, along with the other ones I've taken. Last time I tried the machine broke. Did you put him up to it Dad? We couldn't figure out whey he would just out of the blue ask to meet with us.

Life is going great, Spanish is coming along nicely. We just finished future tense, so we can speak in present, past, and future now. Tenses are weird.

How are all of you doing? How's Merls doing? I miss you all so much, keep me updated on how things are going! It sucks knowing that I could be home in 15 minutes at any one time of day, I just want to get to Mexico already! Haha, but it's great being here. Amo tu muy mucho, y quiero todos de tus saber que amo tu, y yo sé que Cristo vive. Yo sé que Jose Smith veó Dios y su hijo, Jesucristo, in este dia. Yo sé que Presidente Monson es un profeta de Dios y que seguimos Jesucristo en este Iglesia.

Mucho Amor,
Elder Newell

Friday, January 22, 2010


HOLA FAMILIA! COMO ESTAN! Oh, it is so amazingly great to get to write to you guys today! They only let us write on our P days and we didn´t get one last week since we were new, so that´s why there´s been no word.

But I have gotten all your letters and thank you so much! Keep them coming! Necesitamos!

So much happens here, that I don´t even really know where to start, som I´m just going to go along my journal.

After you guys dropped me off I went through a labyrinth of greeters to get to my Resident Hall, RH, dropped off my stuff, then went to my distríct´s classroom. We are all in the same classroom for the whole 7 weeks we´re here. There I met my companion for the MTC, Elder Tibbitts. I´ve come to realize he is truly a choice soul and I am very grateful to be his companion. I´ve never typed so fast...ok...we were whisked through meeting after meeting the rest of the day. During the man initiation meeting, the MTC Preisdent, President Smith was speaking, then stops, says, Elders and sisters, I am no longer presiding, an apostle is with us, we would like to recognize Elder Holland. I look to my left and he was standing like 3 chairs away from me. I KNOW! So, talks continue, Elder Holland gives a great talk, inspiring, about missionary work, we go to a lot more meetings where we then collapse from exhaustion at 10 at night in our RH.

I met both my teachers and I love them already. Hermano Catt y Hermana Clegg. They have adopted mom and Dad personalities just almost instinctively. Hermana Clegg is always claiming we´re so great, the best district she´s seen, while Hermano Catt says that we are going to be pushed harder than we had ever been pushed before, then again tomorrow, then again the day after that, until you get home, and you´re going to love every second of it. They´re both just barely returned from their own missions.

Missionary life is such a roller coaster. You´re constantly wondering if you´re good enough, if you will ever be good enough, how things are gong back home, and being overjoyed by the Spirit. I have never had a moment of complacency here and I miss it less and less. The other Elder´s and myself have discussed how every day feels like a month while it is happening, but at night we are amazed at how quickly the days went by. My testimony has increased by such an amazing amount already. Miracles truly happen in this place. I´m supremely sore. Gym really kicks my trash. Elder Aguilar convinced me to work out with him and my body just keeps screaming, ¨WHAT ARE YOU, STUPID!? DON´T DO IT!¨
I feel like I´m in a John Pinette bit

I was asked to be District Leader today. Uh...really? was my first reaction. My goal is to get the Elder´s to pay more attention to our purpose as missionaries and focus more in class. They are really, really easy to distract and then it just becomes pointless for the teacher to try and continue until they regain control.

Today was so awesome. Hno. Catt brought up in class what I had been trying to say for the past couple of days about treating study time as sacred. He hasn´t been around when we were studying throughout the building, but the Spirit told him our needs. He is truly unceasingly obedient, and that´s something I really want to try and build on myself.

The Elder´s were excellent today during study time. We went to our first fireside tonight where one of the 70 spoke. He was an excellent speaker, but he went for 73 minutes. In an hour long fireside. And he started 20 minutes into it. So...ya. At that point even the President of the MTC is checking his watch. Elder Tibbitts and myself are finally starting to gel together as a team I feel. Since the meeting went long there was no leadership training so...I still have no idea what I´m supposed to be doing really. I picked up all your letters from over the weekend, THANK YOU SO MUCH! Yo sé que Dios tiene amor por nosotros, sus hijos. Yo sé que JesuCristo vive, y Jose Smith es un profeta de Dios. Y you sé que el Libro de Mormon es la palabra de Deios. En el nombre de JesuCristo, amen.

We had our first TRC today. That´s where we do mock lessons and contacts. However, the teachers kept no stressing to not take it fakely, because these people have real needs, they really do need to come unto Christ, and some may not be members and want to see what the missionaries are about without having them come over. We taught this tiny asian lady. We started talking and eventually someone asked what she believed about God. She went into her life a bit and how sad her life had been, and how she didn´t feel God cared about her at all, if he was even there. She proceeded to ask really hard questions. Questions I had no idea what to say to. I just had to say, ¨God, please help me, I don´t know what to say here. She needs your help and I need your help to invite her unto you.¨ The next hour we just talked about God and God´s love. By the end we were all in tears. She still wasn´t with us by the end, but the spirit was incredibly
strong. We asked if she would commit to pray to know that God was there and loved her, she said no, we asked if we could pray to end the lesson tonight, and Elder Tibbitts gave a truly inspired prayer. At the end she took a picture with us, which we figured out later on that that means she really, really liked you. If she kinda likes you, she takes a picture of you, if she didn´t really care for you, she just says goodbye.
We were physically exhausted by the end of it in every sense of the word.

And you´re caught up!

A couple things that would be nice is if I could get Ef´s journal she gave me that´s hiding out in my room somewhere, and another, smaller laundry bag for whites. If not, no worries, I can cope or maybe find something around here that will work.

I love you all so much, and want you all to know that I know this gospel is true. That the church is lead by Jesus Christ, and that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. Yo sé que la iglesia´s lidero es JesuCristo y qué José Smith es un profeta de Dios.

Could you guys please send this to Alex? I don´t have time to email him.

Yours in love,
Elder Newell

Thursday, January 14, 2010

And so it begins!

Joseph entered the MTC on Wednesday, January 13, 2010.

I'm still trying to sort out my emotions. We miss him terribly. There is a gaping hole in our little home and in our lives. We will miss his tender spirit, his humorous impressions that left us laughing so hard we could scarcely breathe, his mouth-watering cooking, his always-present smile.

Joni Mitchell sang a song with the line, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone." We certainly understand this in a new and profound way in our home. After we dropped Joe off Mom, Emily and I all had a good cry. We miss our brother and son.

But, on the other hand, this will be such a wonderful adventure! Even though he would deny this, Joseph is extraordinary with people--as evidenced by our grief in losing him for a season. The problem was that he just preferred not to be in the middle of too many people at once.

Guess what? Joseph gets an amazing opportunity to be in the middle of a whole lot of people for the next two years. So our loss is Mexico's gain!

This will be so good for Joseph. And, though we can't quite see it now--the day after he entered the mission home--it will be good for us. At least that's what we'll keep saying to ourselves.

We love you, Joseph! And we're rooting for you!