Monday, December 13, 2010

December 13th 2010

1. First picture of the camera

2. I just like how this one came out. It shows off how good I am at pointing at things

3. Practicing yelling at somebody while waiting for the food.

4. Ya. A member gave us pig tongue to eat yesterday. Very nice and all but...we had ramen instead.


Yes, it was quite a story. It was a great thing though. Mary was a referrence because she was fighting horribly with her husband, and their home life was terrible. We were talking to them and they presented us to the sister of Mary, Blanca, and they were talking about how now they haven´t fought since discovering the gospel of Jesus Christ. They were testifying of the change of Spirit they have had in their home recently, and how much better of a place it is for their children. Because they know the Book of Mormon is true, they have the desires to change their lives for the better. To improve their Christlike attributes such as patience, hope, love, etc. It honestly has been a 180 degree change from when we found them.
Sounds like everyone is doing alright. Emily! Stop it! I swear right when I left you pulled out your back too. I´m pretty sure that´s not good for you.
It´s actually pretty cold nowadays. Tonala is a ranch, and our house has no insolation, so it is pretty dang cold in the morning.
This week President had a meeting with the zone to get them all excited to complete with the Standard of Excellence. He talked about Moroni and his ability to motivate his armies, and how they were delivered from the hands of their enemies. Afterwards, we all left energized, and worked hard. Elder Flores and myself called every companionship every day after the food to see how they are doing, and to remind them about what we had learned. In the end, 4 companionships, including us, were able to get the Standard. We are very, very happy for the progress in the zone, and know it is only because the Lord blessed us to be able to do it. We ourselves had to pull in 3 people from the street to go to church to get it. We went by the house of one of these people, and found her, her two sons, and her mom. The grandma had contact with missionaries 5 years ago, but lived really far away, and never really progressed, now we are teaching them and they are preparing for a baptism on the 26th of December. The mom was walking that day to get a bus, but decided to keep walking down the street for some reason. She crossed the street so she would be in the shade, and we found her. She explained she didn´t know why she kept walking, it made more sense to stay where she was and wait for the bus, but she did it anyways. She lost her father about a year ago, then her husband about 2 months ago, then recently her oldest went to jail, and her second to oldest is living with her parents-in-law. The family is desperate for answers, and searching for something to give them a reason to keep going. Really, I know the Lord has a very special eye with them. They were able to sample the comfort only He can give in the church and while reading the Book of Mormon. They expressed the desire to continue feeling that way, and are beginning to progress to their Heavenly Father.
I love the mission. God works so many miracles so that we can grow! It is true what it says in Doctrine and Covenants, when the Spirit is there, both parties are edified. I have been so edified this week! I know this church is true. I simply know it. I have no equation to prove it, I have no personal witness of Jesus Christ, or of Joseph Smith, but I have something much better. The testimony of the Holy Ghost burns within my chest, proclaiming this as the truth. I love to share this feeling with the world, and to see them change their lives because of it.
I love you all,
Elder Newell

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 6th 2010

A banner that the ward sent me. I call it my "Motivational Poster". All the other missionaries are jealous. Thanks Orem 5th!

Hahahahaha, don`t worry! I`ll have a LOT of recipes to bring back! Especially, caldo de pollo! Chicken in water! YUUUMMM!!!! I know Dad is already salivating to try it!

Mom, you`re so great at stuff like that! It doesn`t surprise me at all that you beat the experts to the punch.

Geez Luoise, I am going to have like, 20 different dance styles to learn by the time I get back. I`m so happy I have a family that will be able to keep me busy when I get home from the mission!

This week was really hard. It started out with Elder Sill getting sick and we had to stay home half of the day. Then we had Zone Leader Councils on Thursday, and we lost another half day because someone gave us bad food to eat for the day, and Elder Flores and Elder Sill were pretty much out. I was pretty good though, and could take care of them for a bit. So we basically lost three days, and we needed to do the same of 20 lessons and 200 contacts. We put ourselves to work like crazy when we could, and the Lord blessed us to be able to accomplish it. But the hardest thing that happened was our baptism we had yesterday! MARY AND JULIO!

This was a young married couple. She cuts hair, and takes care of their 2 kids, William, 7 years old, and Rubi, 5 years old, and he programs. He lived in Arkansas for 3 years, but recently came back to be with his family. And they caught him. He didn`t want to leave. But anyways, Mary was a reference from a recent convert that lives in the house directly under hers. One day they had a really bad fight, and Mary came running downstairs with the kids and stayed a bit with Elena, the recent convert. She asked her how she had such a better life, how she was happy in her family. Elena introduced her to us, and she explained the whole situation. We started to teach her alone, she said her husband wanted nothing to do with the Church. She said that if we tried to talk to him, he would just leave. So we were thinking the whole time, geez, how are we going to help this family? Then one day, we went by to talk to Mary, and he answered the door. We were like deer in the headlights! But he said, Do you want to come in? OK. We went in and he started programming. I asked him, do you program? His eyes instantly lit up! YES I PROGRAM! YOU KNOW WHAT THAT IS!? Ya, I actually have two brothers that do that in California. SERIOUSLY!? I`VE ALWAYS WANTED TO WORK IN A GAME COMPANY! We started talking and he discovered the genealogical work of the Church, and he loved it, he showed his own work he has done in an independent program. He started then to ask a bunch of questions about religion, and he said that he didn`t believe in any church because he felt they were all hypocritical, and he had become really enbittered to any type of organized church. But we kept coming by, answering his questions little by little, and telling him he needed to read the Book of Mormon. He read a lot, and prayed a lot. He really wanted an answer, but didn`t really feel much. As we kept coming by, his understanding of the gospel, and his testimony grew. Up until he was to be baptized with his wife yesterday. They were very happy, and all ready when we came by in nice sunday dress.

I thought, That`s weird...nothing ever goes this well...we got to the church and tried to start filling the baptismal font during church. The boiler wouldn`t light. After a lot of searching we got an hermano to come by and get it started, and he couldn`t. We started to clean it while he looked for someone who knew better, and put a little water to clean in the font. But it couldn`t leave. We tried to turn on the pump, but it wouldn`t turn on. We asked the new 2nd counselor of the ward to take a look, he was in maintenance before, and he got the pump working. So the font was all clean, then we went to get the boiler working. We saw two brothers working very intensely to get it started, but no luck. We started the water anyways while they tried to figure it out. About 10 minutes later they told us they had triumphed, and the boiler had been tamed! But then the water stopped coming we had to go get the Bishop to open up the OTHER pump to get water flowing, and he couldn`t find his key in his forest of keys he has to the water pump. He went to find his counselor that knows which one is which, and we are pulling our hair out because we have a meeting with the Stake President and all the bishoprics in the stake in an hour and we haven`t even filled the font and AAAAAAARGIUAHFIUH!ยช But we tried to remain patient, the counselor arrived, and we had water again. Eventually. All in all, the baptism happened thanks to the help of God, and we were only an hour late to the meeting . When Julio came out of the water, he told Elder Sill that he felt something very special and powerful in there. I know it was the Spirit testifying to him that what he had done was acceptable unto God. I know this truly is the Church of God. I know that all who desire to know, can know it. I love this place. It`s people are industrious and spiritual, caring and strong, passionate and charitable. Truly this was the chosen land, prepared by the Lord for his faithful anciently to stand apart from the world, and to be a witness to all that Jesus is the Christ.

I love you all, hope everything is still going great for everyone! I truly do appreciate every letter that arrives, thank you so much for all of your support, every one of you!

Have an excellent week!
Elder Newell