I’m in Las Vegas!

What a whirlwind of a first week!  It’s been pretty crazy to experience how mission work actually is – and I love it!

So let’s start right when I got here. So I got lost in the airport. Haha pretty embarrassing. I actually had the two other Spanish speakers with me and we had to catch a shuttle all the way back to the baggage claim we actually wanted to be at.  I felt slightly bad that everyone had to wait for us, but tender mercy: we actually met a really cool member of the church on the shuttle – he spoke Spanish and he was super nice.  I thought it was pretty cool that the very first person that we met was a member.  Sadly he lives in the Las Vegas West Mission boundaries, but it was still a fun experience!  I practiced my Spanish with him a bit. 

And then I met President Neider!  I’m really excited to serve with him as my Mission President. We spent pretty much all of the first day at his house.  We got introduced to what the mission is all about and what not, and just got all of the info that we’ll need to do good work out here.  We got to get to know a little the other missionaries who were entering the mission, and something fun: one of the Sisters waiting for a visa to Brazil was in my freshman ward at BYU!   And then we took a nap – which was pretty funny, since we had 27 missionaries scattered around a house sprawled out wherever was available.  
And then at 4pm we learned who our trainers would be!  Mine is Hermana Nieto, and we serve in the Central Zone: Montebello East!  I love it.  Something fun: we live just a block away from the Las Vegas Temple!  You can see it in all it’s glory from our driveway.  I should have taken a picture, but maybe I will send one next week!  One of these days me and my companion are going to go around the neighborhood and look at all the really cool expensive houses that we live by.  

That night we went straight to dinner at 5, and in the Spanish wards you do everything with your District (you share the same ward).   

Teaching people is so awesome.  I just love it.  On Saturday we actually had a baptism!!  I only actually taught her twice (just preparing her for baptismal interview and whatnot), but it was such a cool experience to see this sister accept Christ into her life, and to really see how important this work is.  Her story is that she actually came looking for the church (her sister and daughter are members) – she just showed up at the chapel one day and asked if she could join type of thing!  Then they referred her to the missionaries, and the rest is history.  We are actually teaching her other daughter right now.  

All of the people we are teaching are at varying stages in their journeys, which is exciting to see how everyone has their different paths and time frames.  We actually recently started teaching a brother who really struggles with smoking.  His wife has already been baptized and her faith is just so strong.  We are trying to work with him so that they can eventually be sealed in the temple.  

Someone else we are teaching is actually a less active, but I think that it’s just as exciting to teach her as it is to teach an investigator.  This sister hasn’t gone to church for years, but her sister invited her to see her give a talk, and now she comes to church regularly and wants to relearn the lessons.  We’ve only taught her one lesson so far, and she lives with a nonmember, so we are going to see where that leads as well!  They are both really awesome.

I think one of the coolest experiences I have had here is that there was one investigator who has been taught for 9 months and has never really committed.  We went to go let her know that we wouldn’t be visiting for a while, and you could just tell that she was really disappointed to hear that.  We testified to her that the peace that she feels when the missionaries come is the Holy Spirit, and that she can have that Spirit bless her family if she keeps the commandments.  You could just feel the Spirit so strong in that room.  I am so excited to keep teaching her!  I felt really good about her and that she is ready to progress. 

We don’t have many progressing investigators, just two more, but we are really working right now to get some more investigators.  Our boundaries got entirely changed for our area, so we have been looking at the Area Book a lot, and getting to know people.  I’ve knocked on a lot of doors!  Everyone has been super nice to us, and I’m excited to get to know them all a lot more.  

I hope everything is going well at home!  I miss everyone, but I’m excited to make the Montebello Ward my family for the next 12 or so weeks! 

con amor
Hermana Newey

 

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Heading out into the field!

I can’t believe it is finally here!!  I seriously leave for Las Vegas in less than two days. 
The MTC experience has been the greatest ever.  I have loved every second of being here!  I’m seriously so blessed.
It’s slightly sad leaving here and saying goodbye to my “family” slash District as we all head out into the world.  But it is also just so exciting! It was such an honor to share this experience with so many great Sisters and Elders, and I know that they are all going to go out and have amazing missions.  I’ve learned so much from all of them and I just love em! (platonically of course)   And we had the greatest teachers – they were the best.  I wouldn’t have traded any bit of these past 6 weeks!
I’m really struggling with thinking of what else to tell you all, but I hope you enjoy the pictures I sent! It’s really fun looking back at the pictures that we took our first Sunday (which I never actually sent…whoops!) and then looking at the ones from this Sunday.  We’ve just gotten so crazy, but I love it!
 Getting to help clean the temple a week ago was so amazing.  It is so inspiring how detailed everything is there.  We had the opportunity to polish a chandelier – it was just beautiful.  The Temple truly is the House of the Lord.
Yesterday we got to watch “Character of Christ”, a devotional that Elder Bednar gave here during some Christmas a couple of years ago.  It was just an amazing way to end our experience here.  My District on Saturday also went and looked at the paintings in the main building and discussed how Christ’s example can help us in missionary work.  I have a testimony that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that He really is involved in this work.  I hope to be able to follow his example as I go out into the field and to share the good news!  I know that Christ loves everyone and I am so excited to share that with others, so that they can feel His love just as I do.  Yo se que esta iglesia es verdadera!  Jesucristo es mi Salvador!  Le amo!
Being a missionary is the best!
 
love
Hermana Newey
 
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One week left…wait what?!

Familia y Amigos,
 
It’s always hard to think of new things to tell you all each week, because it’s pretty much a time warp here.  It all feels pretty much the same, and you never really know what happened what week!  But I actually wrote out a list of things that were exciting or funny this week, so I have new things to say aside from just saying “the MTC is awesome!”  So here goes:
 
I got my travel plans this week!! It’s pretty exciting.  The only person in my district who hasn’t gotten their plans yet is my companion Hermana Merrill – she is serving in Salt Lake City Central, so we’re just assuming that she is going to get on a bus the morning of and head up (we like to joke though that she is going to have to push all of her belongings to SLC in a handcart haha).  But I leave on July 24…at 4:30am. My flight actually leaves at 8:30am and then I get to Las Vegas at 9am.  So my flight is definitely the easiest of everyone else in my district!  The first one to leave is Hermana Binks at 2:30am Sunday night for Louisville; and then from there it is Elders Egbert and Johnson to Honduras, Tegucigalpa; Hermana Smith to Alabama, Birmingham; Elders Smith and Potter to Guatemala, Retalhuehu (I don’t actually know how to spell that..), and then Elders Chandler and Elbaba leave an hour after me for Ohio, Cincinnati.  It’s sad that we will all head our separate ways after the MTC, but it’s also cool that we all get to go different places.  Everyone is going to do amazing things on their missions. I’m so excited!
 
Today my district gets to help clean the temple!  We actually leave in one hour to head up there and help out for three hours.  I’ve never been so excited to clean in my life.  I’m honored to have the opportunity.  It was disappointing a couple of weeks ago when we were told that we couldn’t go to the temple anymore because it’s closed for several weeks this summer, but it’s definitely a blessing that we get to go back again, even if it’s just to clean, before we leave.
 
We got to host last week like I said, and we get to do it again this week!  It’s crazy to see other missionaries saying goodbye to their families and then helping them through their first 15 minutes of the MTC.  I got slightly emotional seeing it all!  It was definitely a nice break from all of the study time and class time that we have. 
 
One thing that is super cool about our P-Days is that we get to go to the TRC that night. (The TRC at the Provo Missionary Training Center is a place for volunteers to come and let the missionaries teach them and help bring them closer to Jesus Christ.)  In the English TRC people can actually pretend to be nonmembers, but in the Spanish TRC we teach members as themselves – so we don’t teach the lessons as you would to an investigator, you actually teach it to help the person.  It’s cool.  But…last week there was legitimately a nonmember at our TRC: A Catholic priest from Spain came to visit the MTC.  Two of the companionships in our district got to speak with him and they said it was really amazing to listen to him.  He was just this awesome man who has this great view on life.  He takes his students to visit Utah every year because he loves how important families are to the Mormon culture.  He supposedly said that he will be coming back next week, so we will see what happens!
 
Devotionals are pretty much the best here.  Rumor is that we might be getting someone big on Tuesday because they are going to broadcast it (to the other MTC’s I think), but even if it is someone you’ve never heard of, they are generally still good!  One of the greatest devotionals I have ever been to happened last Tuesday.  Elder L Lionel Kendrick spoke.  He spoke on the Holy Spirit, and it was just amazing. You couldn’t write down fast enough all that he had to say.  Here at the MTC I have been learning a lot about personal revelation, and his devotional was just the icing on the cake.  The coolest part though was when he blessed every single missionary in that room at one time.  You could just feel the Priesthood power fill the room.  We also have the most amazing Relief Society speakers.  We have had Sheri Dew come speak to us, and this week we had Carole Mikita this week.  I love it!
 
Fun things that have happened:
Practicing the subjunctive as Hermano Lloyd drew a picture on the whiteboard of an elephant serving a mission in the language of the flamingos – it was wierd but we couldn’t stop laughing
Every monday morning we have breakfast with our Zone (since we don’t go to the temple) – it’s just fun getting to know everyone in the Zone.  Everyone is super awesome!
Elder Potter always saying “superbien” in the weirdest voice.
Elder Chandler just zings us with what he says – he seriously has the best comebacks, yet he’s always just smiling when he says them!
Hermana Binks accidentally calling herself Hermana Smith “That’s Hermana Smith to you!”
Playing volleyball in the rain.
We seriously just laugh all of the time.  I love this place.  But I’m so excited to get out into the field!
 
And one of the coolest things was that we got to share what we thought everyone strengths in our District were with each other.  It’s amazing how awesome everyone is. 
 
 
Love you all!
 
 
Hermana Newey

All is Well

Family and friends,
 
I have only 2 weeks and 2 days left here! What the what?  It’s pretty cray.  The four Hermanas that were here when we arrived leave tomorrow, which just feels so wierd (I’m going to miss them so much!). We’re going to be the oldest District now.  When ever a District leaves we sing “God Be With You Til We Meet Again” enthusiastically, but in Spanish – it’s crazy to think that will be us in just 2 weeks….Also, my comp and I got a calling – Music Coordinators for our Zone! Haha we have to pick the music for Sacrament Meeting, and wait for it…Priesthood. Haha random.
 
So Fourth of July. What a day.  So I’ve officially decided that the MTC is a pro at keeping secrets.  You never know who the Devotional speaker will be til the day of (my Living Prophet’s teacher Brother Richardson spoke last Tuesday, which was pretty cool)…and 4th of July they were preeetty sneaky.  So they told us we were having a special July 4th event thing  that night, with some video and fireworks – so we all just assumed it would be a video of fireworks (due to the fact that our  bedtime is before the fireworks even start).  Plot twist: The video was “17 Miracles”…and we got to stay up late! The movie ended around 10ish and then we watched the fireworks from Stadium of Fire.  You should have seen how proud the MTC Presidency looked when they pulled that one off.  What they did fail to tell us though, was that even though we were allowed to stay up late (til like 11) we were still cursed the next morning because we were just straight up exhausted.  Everyone was zombies the next morning.  It was rough to say the least.  But I have never actually enjoyed fireworks before, but I strangely did on Thursday!  Maybe it was because we were standing up so I couldn’t fall asleep, and everyone was just so excited (our Elders were just oooing and ahhhing the entire time haha). One sad thing though was that they turned the movie off right before the last scene,  and supposedly it is the best part! Hermana Merrill told me what happened though, so that was good – wish I could have seen it though!! But that movie is super good.  I’m actually really impressed with the quality of some Mormon films – we watched the Joseph Smith movie last night, and that was pretty well done as well.
 
We get to Host this Wednesday!! I’m pumped.  It feels like yesterday I was getting here, and now I get to help new Sisters as they arrive!  It’s gon be fun.
 
I seriously fail at thinking of things to say in these emails.  So much happens, but it all just takes too long to explain or I just forget it all as I sit down to write.  But all is well here at the MTC! I still love it! My District is awesome, even my Zone is awesome!  Seriously, Missionaries are awesome.  Everyone is going to go out and kill it on their missions. 
 

One super cool thing about being at the MTC is just how awesomely in tune everyone is with the Spirit. When we practice teaching with our District you can just tell how much everyone has grown.  And we can have discussions about things as simple as the importance of Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, and everyone has just such great insights.  It’s pretty awesome.  I haven’t had any crazy experiences this week, but I’m just growing so much in my testimony.  This Gospel is seriously the greatest. ever. 

Love,

Hermana Newey

MTC week 3!

Hey family and friends!!
 
Straight up, I love the MTC.  This is pretty much the greatest place on the planet.  I’m so obsessed. 
If there was one thing I could change it might be the food, but I can handle it. At least I don’t have to cook it!  Some days the meals are really good though! And if they aren’t – salads are the way to go.
 
I still can’t get over the fact that one moment you can be having the most spiritual moment ever, and the next you are just laughing, and then you are just studying intensely.  We condense so much stuff into each day – I’m exhausted by the time my head hits the pillow!
 
One thing that is super fun is that my district plays sand volleyball every gym time – it’s the best.  We get to go barefoot and it’s the only sport that Elders and Sisters can play together.  We always get so excited when it’s gym time – it’s probably one of the funnest times of the day! (except when it happens right after a meal – then it don’t feel too good haha)
 
Spanish is coming along great!!  I don’t really feel like I’ve learned that much, but when I think about it, my speaking is so much better.  My district is actually signing a pact (or “Declaracion de Dedicacion”) to speak only Spanish from 6:30 AM til 9:30 PM – if us Hermanas mess up we have to say something nice (in Spanish) to whoever caught us, and if the Elders mess up they have to take of their tie and then retie it.  I think us Hermanas have it easier haha, but I have a feeling we’ll be pretty upset with whoever caught us – so it might be hard!
 
So supposedly we get some new Hermanas in our room on Wednesday!! They will most likely be native speakers who just come for the 12 days, but I’m super stoked to meet them!  I hope they are as awesome as the Hermanas I’ve already got!
 
Saturday night was pretty much the greatest.  I cried like a baby – but I guess that’s just what the Spirit does to me! What can I say – the MTC is making me way too emotional.  Me and my companion got to teach two lessons that day, so when it got around to our lesson that night, we were a bit exhausted with planning, but we thought we had a really great lesson planned!  It didn’t go as planned, but I think it was better.  We all really felt the Spirit – I was seriously crying – and the room just felt full. I definitely have a testimony of the power of heart-felt prayer.  I know that the Lord really cares about everyone. Hermano Lloyd decided to have our district just have a testimony meeting outside after that.  It was inspired, because we all definitely felt the Spirit really strongly there, and it was just awesome to really edify each other and grow closer together as we learned more about each other.  I definitely have a testimony that our district was meant to be together.  They are awesome. 
 
I seriously love you all!! You should all write me or dearelder me or what not!  I miss you all like cray. 
 
 
Hermana Newey
 
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