Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Week 14

Well transfers happened yesterday, but I stayed in Camden. But I did get a new companion. His name is Elder Melville. He is from Orem, Utah. He played basketball, and he was on the same team as one of the other Elders in our flat, so they were pretty good friends.

Me and Elder Melville can connect a lot. He loves wakeboarding, so I can talk to him about that pretty easy. And he thinks kinda the same way I do, so teaching with unity will come pretty easy. I am really looking forward to see what this transfer will do to Camden area.

Okay, so with the roach, the coin next to it is between the size of a nickel and a dime.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Week 13

Well this week has been a struggle for missionary work. Everyone is out of town or too busy to listen. But one thing that happened was we were tracting like the whole week, and we got a lot of potentials, and that’s something that never happens. We tracted Lords Street and this lady wanted to learn more about family history, and then this other guy wanted to know about what we believe, and those two were in like 2 minutes of each other. They seem like solid potentials. We already have fellowshippers lined up for them.

Then we went and tracted another street and we taught the restoration on the doorstep [of another lady]. We are going back next week to meet with her again, so a big potential week.

Monday was the Christmas party for the mission so p day was moved to Tuesday, and then during email time the website wasn’t working for our whole zone so we are emailing today.

Other than that, not a lot happened. Thanks for all your help and support. Have a Merry Christmas!

Love, Elder Newman

I got your packages Monday and I got back at like 11, so it was late; and so I took a picture and then went to bed.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 12

Hello everyone! This week was good on the teaching investigators. We got to teach both of them, and a funny thing is, is the one that wasn’t progressing has started to, and the one that was progressing a lot has almost stopped. So they basically just swapped on how they were doing, but both of them are still progressing so that’s good. The one seems like he is just wasting our time; but he still comes to church every week, and he is starting to pray. We have a plan for him though. We will see if it works. We are meeting him next Sunday, so we will see.

I’m doing good here. It was real easy to adjust. This week was the first time that I felt a little homesick, but I’m alright. It’s probably just because of Christmas. But we have a good ward, and they will take care of us. I hope you all have a great week.

Love, Elder Newman

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 11

Not a lot to report on this week again, but it’s been a busy week. We went to the [Sydney] temple to show people the lights there, and it was good. About 1000 people went through, so it’s nothing like at home; but there were still people who weren't members, and they wanted to know more. I was in charge of showing them a movie about the events leading up to Christ’s birth. It had a little bit about what he did during his earthly ministry, and then it showed him visiting the Americas after his death and resurrection, so we showed that and then talked about the Book of Mormon after. The little clip that we showed was good. I noticed some people crying when they were leaving, so the spirit touched their hearts. I was glad to be a part of the program. I think it was a success.

We also invited, this week, one of our investigators to go to the lights. She was the one investigator that dropped us, and so we just visited her and invited her to see the lights. She got really interested in the temple so we were able to talk to her about it and teach her a lesson. We invited her to be baptized, but she declined. We were able to teach her 2 lessons. We were there for 2 hours because she was really interested in what we had to say. I felt like we were supposed to go to that house at that time because she was in a situation where she was ready to learn, and she was able to sit down and listen to what we had to say. So hopefully she visits the temple grounds. That would be good for her, I think. That was a miracle that happened this week.

I love you all. Thanks for everything!
Love, Elder Newman

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Week 10

Not a whole lot to report on this week, but it was Thanksgiving. I had a good time. We have American families in the ward so they invited us over. We went with two elders that haven’t had Thanksgiving ever. The one didn’t know what turkey was. He just eats chicken and red meat, but he enjoyed it. It was a smoked turkey, and it was great! And then another dinner there was 50 people there, and it was at the Bishop’s house. They are Aussie, but they love celebrating whatever they can. They had an excuse to have a party, so they planned a Thanksgiving dinner. Not a lot of people knew what turkey meat was. Haha. They thought it was great. They are all just used to eating ham.

We are doing good. The missionary work is slow, but it is progressing. The members are starting to help a little bit more. Our teaching pool is small, but the people that we do teach seem to be understanding the importance of our message. I hope that [all of you] will be examples and help with the missionary efforts. Everything helps.

Those are some awesome pictures of [Bryant hunting]. The other elders think it is so cool because two of them don’t hunt. They don’t have guns, and here you aren’t really allowed to have a gun, so I’m pretty safe. Every time I share a little hunting story, they all think it’s really cool.

I heard that you got snow. That is awesome! I’m still here getting tan. Haha. I have heard that it doesn’t snow here, so that’s something I will be looking forward to when I come back. That’s all for this week. I love you all. I hope your week is great. Keep me up to date with what is new back home. Thanks so much for everything [you all] do for me.

Love, Elder Newman
The Church Is True

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 9

Well this week has been busy, but both our investigators seem to be progressing.

The one [Fahad] has agreed to be baptized December 5th, but we will have to push the date back closer to Christmas just because we don't have enough time to teach him.

And the other one we have had a little trouble with. She has been learning from the missionaries for 3 years, and she is still on the first lesson just because she doesn't retain the information that we give her and that might be because she doesn't speak English very well. So we had the Chinese elders come and teach her, and the first lesson went great. The second lesson we had them come and teach her again, and it didn't go so well. But we did have a member there with us, and the member kind of saved the lesson.

The whole time we were trying to teach, the investigator didn't want us to. She kept saying that she is sick of the missionaries and that all she wanted was friends. She was sick of the missionaries because we had to keep teaching her the same lesson, and so she was sick of the same questions. The reason she wanted friends is because she moved here from an Asian country [Taiwan], and she doesn't have very many friends. She feels like the missionaries are a burden to her, so she doesn't want us to come back, so we ended our visit right there. We said a prayer and left, and the member stayed behind and talked with her. They kind of became friends, and they exchanged information and kind of talked. I don't know what the member said to her, but somehow the member got her to come to church, something the missionaries haven't been able to get her to do for the whole 3 years we have been teaching her.
We have two really good potential investigators so we should be able to contact and teach more people—
So that was mostly what happened this week. I love you all. I hope you have a good Thanksgiving. There is an American family that is fixing us Thanksgiving Dinner.

Love Elder Newman

The body [on this spider] is about the size of a quarter. They jump, and they aren’t scared of you. They aren’t poisonous, but they hurt when they bite you, or so I have been told. And I guess that’s a small one. Haha

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Week 8

Everything is going good over here. It’s starting to get really hot, but it’s not too bad. I love the warm weather.

The teaching is going good. We about had our investigator drop us because he was going to move to another area for work, but he flies back every weekend to take the lessons from us. I think he is going to be a great member someday, but it will just take a lot of time because he has a lot of questions.

Mission life is going great. My basic everyday goes kinda like as follows:

6:30 Wake up, exercise.. We have been playing tennis and basketball, and we have a lot of gym equipment that we use, so it’s pretty easy to exercise.
7:00 Breakfast and get ready for the day
8:00 Personal study
9:00 Companion study.. We usually prepare lessons during that time.
10:00 Language study.. My companion is Japanese so he needs this time to study English, so I usually either do laundry or another personal study.
11:00 12 weeks, which is a training program for new missionaries.
12:00 Lunch
1:00-9:00 is [spent] looking for people to teach and also teaching members, non-members, and less actives; and basically talk to anyone that will talk with us. Dinner is somewhere in there if we have time or an appointment. It is usually around 5:30 when we eat.

That’s basically what we do every day besides Preparation day and Sunday.

This is now my second transfer. I am staying in the same area with the same companion, so it’s going to be about the same for the next 6 weeks. I look forward to hearing from you all. Thanks for everything you do for me.

Love, Elder Newman

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 7

Well this week not a whole lot happened, but I am having lots of fun, and I am enjoying it. It is becoming a lot easier to talk to strangers, and I see the growth in my testimony and the affect the mission is having on me. It took a whole transfer, but I am getting into the routine of missionary work.

I am loving it in Australia. Right now we are just focusing on finding new people to teach. It hasn’t been working too well. A couple days ago we knocked on like 30 houses, a whole street, and nobody wanted to talk to us. The longest conversation we had was like ten seconds.

But this week I had the opportunity to speak in Sacrament [Meeting]. I had a couple hours to prepare. Luckily it was an easy topic. It was about preparing for a mission. I think it went great considering I had only a few hours to think of stuff to talk about. But yeah, that’s how this week has gone.

I love you all!

Elder Newman

Birthday celebration for Elder Iino!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 6

We are teaching two people. I asked one to be baptized, and he said yes. It is Fahad. He is very curious and very smart. He has some tough questions, but it’s all good. We set a baptismal date for December 5th, but we might have to push it back a little farther than that just because it’s hard to teach him with his schedule. But he hasn’t missed a day of church since we met him, so that’s really good.

This Sunday a guy that we never met before came to church. He was deaf, but it was pretty easy to communicate with him. He could really feel the spirit. It was a great meeting for him to show up to; it was fast and testimony meeting. This guy (Paul) loved how he felt there. He couldn’t hear the testimonies, but he could feel them. And I thought that was really cool!

So this Sunday we had three investigators come to church. Two of them now have a baptismal date, and it’s going great! I can’t wait to hear from you guys.

Elder Newman

A blue tree at Mount Annan Botanic Gardens.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 5

Camden is good. This week went by super fast. I am really enjoying it. There isn’t anything new that didn’t happen last week, but I did see my first kangaroo today. I love it here, but I do miss home. I ate some Tongan food, and that was different. They had gasava [cassava?], and that is like a potato. But they also love meat. They had a meat salad, and it was lamb and some greens. And like you would be eating it, and you would have to stop to pull out bones and fatty tendons, but it didn’t taste bad. It was just the texture of some of the foods. I have tried more foods, but I forgot the name of them. They make sure that [we] are fed.

This week we were doing service for a non-member, and they gave me and elder Iino a weight lifting set. So we have three adjustable dumbbells and a barbell and a bench to do bench presses, so that’s good. I was getting sick of pushups. And we also have a forearm thing that is pretty good for your forearms.

We are only supposed to do four hours of service, but this whole week was service. Like we had no one to teach, but we had heaps of service to do, so we got that done. I got a little sunburned, but not bad.

Saturday morning we were playing basketball at 5:30 am. I jumped to get a rebound and came down on someone’s foot and rolled my ankle and its purple and blue. It hurt to walk on it the first day, but it’s getting better. The young men of this ward love me and Elder Iino. We always are laughing when we do something with them.

That was basically our week. So it wasn’t busy with like teaching, but it was with everything else like service and making connections.

Elder Newman

Burragorang Lookout near Oakdale, NSW:

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 4

Well this is my second week in Australia. I'm doing good. I am starting to get the hang of things as a missionary. My trainer is awesome. His name is Elder Iino. He is from Japan, and he speaks pretty good English. There are times that he is hard to understand, but we are both still learning. He is pretty new also. The food is pretty similar to home, a lot of meat and potatoes, but there are some new things here. I'm going to try them, and I will let you all know how they are.

There is a famous rugby player in our ward, like he plays pro rugby, and we are eating at his house this Wednesday. His name is Sam Perrett. Like almost all of Australia knows him.

Yesterday I blessed sacrament because they had no priests to bless, and then before I sat down I was asked to introduce myself, and that wasn't too hard. But then we got to elders quorum, and then the Stake Presidents wanted me to teach the lesson. I was about to, but then another elder helped me out, and we started to talk about conference talks, so I was like picked on all day.

And then we got a new investigator yesterday which is a good thing. He is really interested in a girl that goes to our ward, so he is willing to basically do anything. He wants to join the ward choir even, because she is in it. We gave him a Book of Mormon, and he said that he would read it and mark any confusion he had. We didn't even have to invite him to read it; he just said he was going to read it. He also said that he prayed for the girl he likes in sacrament meeting. He is from Pakistan, and he is in Australia working. He is a pastry chef, but does cakes mainly, so he baked her a cake. He is really persistent. I hope it works for him, because that would be a cool story.

But that's basically everything that has happened this week.

Signing off.
Elder Newman

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 3 - Australia!!

It was a long flight. The first day in Australia I got sick. I think it was a combination of jet lag and sleep deprivation, but I'm alright now. I got sleep that night and woke up feeling great.  

It's pretty similar here, but the food is different. There is a lot less sugar in the food, but I am gaining heaps of weight. It's a pretty big culture shock here, but it's all good. I'm adjusting well. I miss our home foods, even the mayo tastes different, and everything's expensive here.

There was a lizard that got into our flat, and there are heaps of spiders. I haven't seen big ones, but there are heaps of them, and they are scary looking. Haha.
My trainer is Elder IIno. He is from Japan. He is so cool. He turns 24 pretty soon. I'm having so much fun here. Everyone loves my accent. Haha, I'm not the one with an accent, but okay. They like Americans here, which is good for me. 

Thanks for everything. I love you guys so much!
Elder Newman

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 2

In my zone there are 12 other kids going to my same mission and like 24 going to Australia. When I said I had a bad day, I meant as in I didn't teach very well. It wasn't like I was missing home. I love it here! I am in charge of 8 missionaries right now, but we are leaving today at 11:30. I have seen Riley a couple times. Everyone thinks it's cool that we are twins. I have probably seen him like 5 or 6 times. 

I have taught my first real lesson to an actual non-member. The first lesson was kinda awkward.  It was like he didn't want to listen to us. And then the next lesson we kinda just got to know him and then share a quick message with him, and we could really feel the spirit. I felt like he was progressing a lot, but I have only met with him like 4 times. He will take lessons from other missionaries, so it's all good.  I hope he watched conference like we asked him to because it answered a lot of the questions he didn't know he had, I felt like.

Elder Newman

This is today's pic.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 1

I am doing great. Thanks for the letters. The food is alright. I had a hard day yesterday, but I have loved everyday. I am really enjoying my companion. He is really cool, it makes it fun. I am now district leader at the MTC. I leave the MTC October 5, so be expecting a call that day or the 6th. I want you to know that the computers are having a hard time today. It seems likes it's everyone's p day so they aren't working. I have to split time with my comp, but I will email for as long as I can. Thanks for everything again. I love you.

Love, Elder Newman.

I will be able to email more when I get out into the field. I'm pretty busy here. I don't have your letter with me right now, so I don't know what to write, but I'm having a great time.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Here I Go!

Goodbye Koda (my dog).

This is the night I was set apart, and the great men who were in the circle.

My family the night I was set apart.