Sunday, June 26, 2016

Week 40

This week was a full week of service. That’s probably the main difference between serving in a branch as to serving in a ward. But another difference is you focus a lot more on the members, so you are divided half and half. Sometimes it gets hard to do that as a missionary because you don’t have as many investigators to teach. But in a way you are preparing for the future because you need to have a strong foundation, that being the members once they are strong. Then they can be great fellowship for the investigators, and then you are more likely to have another strong member.

Update on Rob (recent convert)
He had to go back to Canberra to get some more tests to see if he needs to get a pace maker put in for his heart. That is most likely going to happen. Then he is taking vacation so we won’t be able to teach him at least for this week.

Update for Joven
We haven't been able to meet up with him. He has been sick or it has been his birthday and nobody in the Branch really knows his parents. But they know his grandma so one of the members is going to contact the grandma and talk to her about the situation, and hopefully we will be able to teach him. Joven still talks to President Wright at school and talks about how he wants to be baptized and how much he loves the Book of Mormon. He even talks to his friends at school about the Book of Mormon. I hope that he is able to accomplish his goals.

Monday after emailing we went and played a round of golf (I’m getting good), and then we did FHE with the Shoobridges. And then Tuesday we got trapped in Bega all day.

So what had happened was we got our car serviced, and they had forgotten to book us in for an appointment (I did make an appointment), but they said that they can fit us in. So we were going to do some street contacting, and when we came back at 1:00 they had just barely started on the car so they said come back at 4:30. So eventually that time came around, and they decided to put new brake pads on so that still wasn't done at that time. So we leave, and they call us about 5:30 and say that it is done. If we would have known, we would have gotten a ride to somewhere where we could do other things than street contact all day.

Wednesday we did service, and President and Sister Back came to inspect our flat and take us out to dinner. They gave us an idea to get involved in community service projects because here, for some reason, we get mistaken a lot for Jehovah Witnesses and for Seventh Day.

Thursday was weekly planning and service, helping people move. They had just sold their house.

Friday we had DTM [District Training Meeting] and then followed up on a potential and tracted a couple streets.

Saturday was service all day helping a guy move a kitchen; and that was a little difficult, but we got it done. Then we went to help another person move and clean out a bunch of junk. Then Sunday was church and visiting the old widows of the branch and taking them sacrament. And that was my week. I hope you all had a great week. I did.

Talk to you next week.
Love, Elder Newman

Me, and Emmitt, and Elder John

Me, Elder Plata, and Elder John

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Week 39

Well this week wasn't as busy as last week, but we still had a good week.

Wednesday we spent a lot of time doing family history. I indexed 130 names, and then we went and visited some members and a part-member family.

Thursday we did our studies in the morning along with weekly planning, and then drove 600 kilometers [373 miles] to Canberra again this week for zone conference. It was good, not a whole lot of new information but I did enjoy it. We stayed the night there Thursday night and Friday was the zone conference, and then after zone conference we traveled back home.

Then Saturday morning we went to visit with our recent convert family and did some service for them. We taught one of the follow-up lessons and had lunch, and then we drove home and went to another part-member family and visited with them for a while and shared a scripture.

And then Sunday was church and then we took the sacrament to those that wanted it but couldn't make it.

So it was an alright week. Not too much [going on], but we are trying to work with the members. I love this area even though it’s tough.

Have a great week! Talk to you next Monday!
Love, Elder Newman

In Cooma on the way to Canberra.. Haha.

Zone training in Canberra

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week 38

I had a full week this week. Monday was normal, and Tuesday we traveled all day so that we could get to the mission conference in Blair Athol where Gifford Nielson was going to give us a training. On the way there we stopped in Canberra, and I got a parking ticket because I parked in a paid parking spot and I didn’t realize it. So I am going to pay that today. Then we eventually made it up to Blair Athol. We stayed with the missionaries that night, and then went to the training in the morning.

The training was great. Our Mission President trained on repentance just like he always does and his wife trained on “faking it until you make it”. So if you don't love missionary work, pretend to, and eventually you will love it. Then Elder Nielson's wife trained on repentance and talked about how the Lord loves broken things. Elder Nielson trained on how everything we do is a choice, and it kinda just went from there. He kinda combined everyone else's training and made it all come together. He talked about how Satan does not have power until we chose to give him power.

My favorite comment that I heard that day was, "The Lord loves broken things. It takes broken clouds to make rain, and it takes rain to fall onto broken ground to grow grain. It takes broken grain to make bread, and it takes broken bread to remember the atonement of Jesus Christ." It takes a broken heart to be humble enough to ask for the Savior’s help. How can he fix something that isnt broken? That is what we do as missionaries. We teach people how the Lord can fix the broken things in their life. I loved the training. I learned a lot.

After the training we had to travel back to Merimbula, but only made it to Canberra. So we stayed with the Elders there and left again in the morning, and went straight to the Shoobridge family to help them put in their air conditioning and air duct system. We got pretty itchy with all of the fiberglass insulation that we were going through, but we were alright. We were able to take a shower when we got home.
Then Friday we did some more service for a potential. And then Saturday we went on a hike with the Shoobridge family and then went and played squash, which is basically Racquetball. I played against Mrs. Shoobridge who is 7 months pregnant, and I lost. But it’s alright; I beat my companions in that game.

Then Sunday was Church and then taking the Sacrament to the ones who were too old or sick to make it to church, and that was our day. Then Monday was the Queen’s Birthday so that's why our p day was today.

Yesterday the Shoobridges asked us to go on another hike with them, and it was fun. Then we went to their home after and had family home evening, and that was my week.

I love you all. Have a great week. How did everyone do with the inviting someone to church?

Elder Newman

Backpacking getting ready for when I come home and go hunting.

On our way to Blair Athol.

War memorial.


I got beat by a pregnant lady.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Week 37

How was your week? Mine was great. True it has been raining all week, but that's all good. It hasn't been too bad. A lot of roads are flooded, and I am the only one that can drive here so I am stuck in the driver’s seat. But we are blessed, we have the hand of the Lord watching over us.

This week I found out how important it is to work with members as missionaries. We have been trying to find all week, but no success.. same with my last area. And then this Sunday we get there, and one of the kids in the Walker family brought one of his friends to church. His name is Jovan, and I guess that was his second time to church. He bore his testimony in fast and testimony meeting, and he has been reading the Book of Mormon and he loves it. He talks about it at school. He wants to be baptized, but we have to get permission from his parents in order for us to teach him. So please pray for him and his parents that we can begin teaching him so that this kid can accomplish his goal of being baptized.

It just goes to show how important it is to be member missionaries and how much easier it is to introduce the gospel to your friends than it is for the missionaries to do so.

My invitation to you all is to invite someone to church this week, and then pray for that person to feel the Holy Ghost and to see the light of Christ that is in us all.

That boy was a miracle this week. He is just what this companionship needed to keep us going. This is a tough area, but it’s good to see that you can find potential in this area. The branch is great! They are few in number, but they are strong in the faith. It is really inspiring to see.

That was my week. I hope you all have a great one. I can’t wait to hear from you all next week!

Elder Newman

Me and Elder John from Guyana, north of Brazil (not West Indies like I said last week ;)

Elder Plata from the Phillippines