Monday, May 30, 2011

May 30th 2011


WOOOOOOOW! I honestly can`t believe it. Sounds like the wedding was AMAZING! A truly paradisacal show of love and unity! We`re honestly so lucky in the U.S. We have so much more than we think we do.
I`m honestly at a loss of words. I just expect an EXACT replica of everything that happened when I get back. Hahaha, no, just kidding, but honestly super congratulations Than and Chi. I know I`ve been saying that in almost every mail since Christmas, but it`s true, CONGRATULATIONS! I cannot think of anything more appropriate to say than I`m so happy for you, and hope and pray the best for you. We even had a mini-party here for you guys on Thursday in the District.

Down here in Mexico, things are going fantastically. Javier`s baptism fell through because he smoked. He had been outside of the house all week long and didn`t go to church. We were super worried. We went by Sunday afternoon to check up on him, and he said that he really doesn`t have a problem dropping cigarretes, just that he felt like getting baptized again would be an offense against God. So we started to explain the Restoration again, Joseph Smith, the Priesthood, etc. He commited to praying to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet once more.
We`re kind of passing all of our investigators through lots of filters right now. Nobody has come to church almost since I`ve been here, and we are really desirous to find those that are honestly searching for the Gospel, even if they don`t know it, in their lives.

But this week has kind of brought lots of revelations to my mind. I renewed my determination to be more like my great example in the mission, Elder Peacock, and become even MORE focused on others and forget myself. I`m starting to see the work so differently. I honestly really love being here. These people are so hungry and thirsty for peace and aid in this hard time. They need support and know not where to find it. I`m beginning to realize so much more of what Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ hope of me while I am here. I start to feel bad sometimes thinking about how I should have known all this before the mission. Be prepared before leaving to Mexico. Then I remember, we are ALWAYS going to be growing and changing and bettering ourselves. Even the prophet isn`t Jesus Christ. He especialy is learning in his calling. And I remember the parable in Jacob 5 and remember how hard the Lord works to nourish his trees so that they give fruit. I realized I`m that one that was behind all the rest that didn`t grow very much, but the Lord of the vineyard just kept working, and working, and working, and eventually, hey, it started to work! It made me really reflect on what is true hope. Life is such an amazing thing.
But now I`m really off track. I`m super happy that everyone is doing amazingly! I`m honestly hoping to see that movie they showed before the wedding. I finally could send the letters last week, so they might get there mid-june. I finished my collection of Thor mini-toys they are selling here in Mexico. They`re four different plastic doohickies that revolve around the hammer principally. Anyways, I`ll send picks next week, don`t have my camera on me right now, my bad.

We`re doing excellently out here and always have smiles on our faces!
Love you all so much!


Elder Newell

May 23rd 2011

OH MY GOODNESS CONGRATULATIONS THAN AND CHI EEEEEEE!!!!!!! Sombreros and tacos are flying in the air here to congratulate you! Sounds like everyone is working super hard! Hope everything goes well and that there aren`t too many bombs that go off! If just getting a baptismal service organized and going, I cannot believe how hard a full wedding has to be.
I`m so jealous of our garden. There just isn`t much vegetation here and to see a real garden always makes me look like a deer ijn the headlights. I just have no idea what to do when I see one. I can`t imagine it when I get home!
This week was ana amazing week for us too. We had about 3-4 days to work in our area thanks to various conferences in everything, and when we got back into our area we worked as hard as we could, using all we could, and completed with almost all of our goals! We also saw a huge miracle with Javier Urbano. We found Javier several weeks ago, he had attended church several times since then, but never watned to really committ himself. He attended 2 churches at the same time. We told him that he needed to pray to know if he should be baptized. We went back on Friday, and he said, "I did what you said, and opened the book (the Book of Mormon), and God told me that I need to be baptized. So this Sunday right, just get it done with(I`m not sure that`s the right translation for the spanish phrase, but it`s all I can think of)?" I was stunned! It took me a couple of seconds to gather my senses and asked him about his experience. He said he focused really hard, then prayed and asked God if what we were teaching was true. He opened the Book and he said he recieved his answer. We told him he would have to stop smoking and drinking coffee and he said, I promise you that this is the last day in my life I will smoke or drink coffee! So he will be baptized next Friday.
Well, don`t have much time this week because of technical difficulties, but I wish everyone the best, and wish I could be there! It must be amazing to see the Newell clan draw together for such a special occasion!
Love you all,
Elder Newell

Monday, May 16, 2011

May 16th 2011



WOOOOOOH ANDREA! And Team Newell! Pretty sure that will be Marvel`s next movie. Team Newell and the Halloween party of DOOOOOOM!

Actually, nobody does anything at all here for cinco de mayo. I even checked with other missionaries this time around, and nothing. It is like it doesn`t even exist. People usually remember it, but they don`t celebrate it in any form. Anti-climactic, I know.

Well, the big news here is that, CONCEPCION GOT BAPTIZED ALONG WITH HER TWO GRANDCHILDREN! They`re so amazing, and their baptism had no opposition from their part. Concepcion is amazing. She told us the day of her baptism she wants to be forgiven of many things she`s done. We were stunned! We asked, What could you possibly have done that is so bad? I don`t know if I mentioned this before, but her daughter was killed by the husband in a murder-suicide in front of Concepcion and the children of her daughter. She said she was horribly angry with the "muchachita" (I am pretty sure it was a side-affair on part of the husband) for so much of her life. She said she couldn`t even see her. She felt bad for these feeligns she had had, and wanted to be forgiven of them now that she has learned how to control them and feel a sincere desire for the welfare of this woman. Her faith really inspires me. I don`t know if I would be able to recognize those thoughts are wrong. I would probably continue in my grudge all my life. I hope I never have to find out.

Alexis, one of the children of her daughter that was baptized, will be the ward`s only deacon in two months when he turns 12, and will serve as the deacon`s quorum president! They are all so ready to serve, and desire to truly follow Christ. I love them so much.

The work is going great here as well, and we are working forward with more excitement and love for the peple than ever! I love this place, these people, and this incredible time I have to serve as a missionary of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Well, my times getting short, but know that I love you all, I`m praying for you, and continually desire your well being.


Elder Newell

PS: Thanks for money parents, I bought some new shoes for sundays/conferences, and lots of medicine for sicknesses I am now getting over.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

May 2nd 2011

OK! First thing first! The call will be on SATURDAY at 5 PM. If there are any news flashes or anything, we`ll find a way to let you all know.

Haha, sorry about last week, honestly. We were going to write, but the next day there was a conference in Zamora, and later something else came up, and it was just one thing after another.
Wow, I cannot believe it. What happened to my brother? First he started getting a fashion sense, then started working out, then getting married, and now skydiving? Sounds (and looks) like he had lots of fun. By the way! I got your invitation in the mail the other day! Thanks SO MUCH for sending me an invitation! Expect something in the mail in about...a month or so...sorry, them`s the breaks down here...

Mango is pretty good. There`s tons of it down here. It`s the candy that they give to their kids. Sounds like things are still going great for Andrea, congratulations!

Things are amazing here as well! I feel like I just left the MTC again, it`s like Mission part 2! We have a family of such amazing people make it to church the last couple of weeks. Concepcion. She is a grandmother with two little grandchildren, 10 and 9 years old. The mother of these kids was killed in a murder-suicide done by her husband. Concepcion really wants to see her daughter again, and has such a strong faith. She is so humble and is willing to do whatever the Lord commands her to do. She made it to church last time, walking. She lives about an hour away from the church at the speed of a missionary walk. For a grandma and two little ones, I imagine at least hour and a half. She made it both times by herself. We even went by to pick her up with a member this time, but the members needed lots of time to get ready and we arrived late. The daughter said, "She`s not here, she went on an errand!" I was crushed! "OH NO! I remember now, she left for church!" YES! She has a baptismal date with her grandchildren for the 13th of this month.

Also Rosa is progressing very well. We found her in the bus and she told us to go by her house rather quickly and left. We went by an found out she feels guilty in her life because her sons are in drug problems. We talked about how the Atonement makes up for everything, and explained that the Book of Mormon helps us to learn how He can heal all wounds, and make all things right. She loves the Book of Mormon. She can feel her faith growing. She said, I need to put the example for my sons so that they can find Christ!

I also got a call from Elder Rojas today, my companion from Uruapan! We talked about old times, and I figured out that Jorge is preparing to go on a mission! I`m so excited for him, because I was told that he went inactive for a bit, but Elder Rojas said that he heard a testimony of how the Book of Mormon changed their life, and he decided it could change his, and now wants to help others as well!

I love you all bunches, time is going by so fast! Can you all believe that Alex has almost 18 months? I`m going for 16...yikes this goes by really fast. Before you know it, we`ll be in the call of December, and then I`ll be home in two weeks! Seeing our calendar in the house is a daily reminder that I don`t have that much time left, and I need to always work harder and smarter, and with more faith!

I love this work, I love this church, I love my Savior and my God for having blessed me to come into the earth with this amazing family and have the incredible opportunity to not have to wait for some punk in a shirt and tie to find me to know the gospel!

I love you all so much, and hope that all stays well and on course for the two weddings!


April 18th 2011

Excellent! Love how charitable you are Mom. How many other people would just throw the plants away, but instead you thought of others. That is something I really admire about you.
It`s kinda strange but also great seeing those engagement pictures of Than. They look so great together. I thought, wow, Than got pretty lucky, and then thought, I`m sure he would say the exact same thing. And that is why he has permission from little brother to get married, because he does feel like that.
Thyroid tests came back all normal, so nothing to worry about with that. Well, May is coming up. Which means, PHONE CALL NUMBER 3! Yep, it`s that time of the year again, and Skype has been approved once more. The call will be on Saturday, the 7th. Let me know what hour is best for you all, preferribly in the morning, but we can make any hour work.
Things have been going great for us here in La Piedad. I really do love this city and the ward. There is so much potential here it`s scary. We have a family ready to be baptized, but they had to go to Guadalajara to a hospital to take care of the diabetes of the grandfather. Diabetes is such a rampant problem here.
Not much happened in the week that I remember. It has been a long week of introspection for me. Meditating in who I am now, who I was arriving into the mission, and who I want to be. It`s quite an interesting exercise. I`ve realized there`s been a lot of change, but I want much more change! I love life. It`s full of so many opportunities, and chances to grow, and change and be better. This life truly is the time to prepare to meet God. We`ll all have to do it some day, the difference is in how prepared to do it we are.
Not much to write home about, but I`m happy all is well. I hope you all have a great week, and we will talk next Munday. I love you all,

April 11th 2011


Happy birthday Aunt Lou Ann! Sounds like life is progressing amazingly over there. I`m so happy that there`s still snow. I hope there`s plenty in January. Can you believe that? 9 more months. And Alex only has 7. What?! We just started!
I actually was just barely able to take it out today, it was about 50 bucks. The results will be here at about 5, then I`ll send that to Sis. Jesperson, and she`ll send it to the doctor to get it taken care of. I think Mexican needles hurt more than good old fashioned American needles.
Geez, Japan got hit again? Some members have described a little about what`s going on in the world. I`m so happy I have the gospel in my life. This life would be very scary and horrible indeed without the guide of a loving Father in Heaven, and the promises of an eternal rest for all those who are faithful afterwards.
I actually don`t know how they will celebrate Semana Santa (muy bien madre!) this time around. Last year I really just remember a lot of reenactments of the cross. They get pretty real. Like, criminally real. We`ll see what happens this time around. I`m in an even smaller town, in the booneys, and there are two cathedrals in the same relative area. Should be fun.

This week went really well for us. We got to know the ward on Sunday. I love them all. Every single one is full of a life and energy so unique and strong that I have not seen for quite a long time. I truly do love this town. We also have two families looking to be baptized in these next couple of weeks. Martha and Concepcion. Martha is amazing, we discovered she only hasn`t joined the church because they live on a block where every single house is a super catholic in law. That makes it kind of hard. But she knows it`s true, and knows it will help her and her children have the life that God wants for them, we just have to keep strengthening her faith in Christ until she can make the firm decision.
Concepcion is actually the wife of the cousin of Enrique who has by now crossed the border. Her and her husband, Ignacio, listened to the missionaries years ago in Wisconsen, and were almost baptized. They told us they still want to be baptized, so we are just teaching them what they have forgotten over the years, and giving them time to get to know the ward a bit, and they`ll get baptized the 22nd.

I hope Than can keep up with Chi for the wedding preperations. I still can`t believe he`s getting married, hahahaha, good times. It still feels like yesterday he was heading out to California, and talked to me the night before while I played Deus Ex. I beat it the day afterwards, and I remember being so proud when he came back to be able to tell him I beat it and he hadn`t yet. Time goes by so quickly.

I hope all stays well this week, and that your joy and peace abound upon each one of you. You`re in my prayers, and in those of Elder Cervera as well. I love you all so much, and know this church is true. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and that he truly was called to restore His great church to the world so we find solace in times of hardship, and comfort and counsel when things are their bleakest, to be able to have a perfect hope that we might erupt forth in the resurrection in all brightness and glory.

I love you all,


Elder Newell

April 5th 2011


First off, let me say that I`m sorry for missing yesterday! We
had a zone wide activity, and I stayed behind with the Zone Leaders
for transportation to get back home. We all went looking for an
internet cafe but we looked for hours and didn`t find a one. We
humbly resigned to come today in the mornnig in our own areas. The
activity? We played soccer, I scored two goals thank you very much to
help win on team America, and later went to a Chinese Buffett.

Life here is great. Elder Cervera is a champ. We almost haven`t
even worked in our area though. With a day long capacitation in
Zamora, and two days of General Conference, and arriving late into the
week, we really didn`t get much done. However, we found someone
amazing, Enrique. This poor guy has a very sick wife, and he can`t
pay for the bills. He says he is going to go to the US to find work,
because he can`t provide for his family here.
He asked who should we blame for the earthquakes, sufferings,
etc. in the world. We explained that we dont blame anyone, but that
God has placed a prophet in our days to warn us and aid us to overcome
the challenges that we DO favce in this life, and invited him to see
these men speak in conference. His response was, I want to see the
prophet speak. However, we don`t know if he made it to church or not
because we were in Zamora with the rest of the zone. So that was fun.
Our area is called Cavadas by the way, in the town of La Piedad.
It`s such an amazing place. Rolling green fields on the outskirts of
town, very nice people, and their ready. This place is soooooo ready
for the gospel. I love this town so much.

Seeing that picture of the school dance reminded me of the
schools here. Imagine one of those houses in the background, with
another story on top, and surrounded by dirt and graffiti. That is
how the schools are here. Their almost all done by the state, and are
very poorly taken care of. I`ve realized that maybe I won`t change a
nation while I`m here, but I sure can at least help the people
discover the tools that their father in Heaven has given to them to be
able to change things. v I see so much hope here in Mexico. There are
many, many people that desire to be better, to leave behind the
foolish and frail things of the world, and find true comfort and
security in their savior, but they only do not know where to find it!

Yes Mom, I did take a picture, but it is almost all on video.
I`ll try and see if I can find a way to ship out a dvd home with a
collection of movies Ive taken here.

I love youall, I hope that all can accept Elder Peacocks
vexcellent invitation to pray, and discover. It is something that I
have been putting into practice a lot this week, and it has given me
much needed aid. I know this is true. There is not one fiber in my
being that can deny it. I have seen, felt, and experienced too much
to deny that there is a God, and that he loves us so very much. I
hvope one day to be able to portray a thousandth part of that love to
you all, but until then let me say that I truly do love you. It is a
love that has grown so much over the last year, and I hope to be able
to repay you all, at least in part, for the incredible, and powerful
effect you`ve all had in my life.


Elder Newell