New York

New York

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Week 80

Last week I don’t know how I forgot to mention, but October 3rd was like one of my favorite days of all time! Why!? Because of my motto “I love helping people” was shown for 12 hours straight. So like 2 weeks ago I got a phone call during my studies one morning from a brother who works in the public affairs office for the church, here in NY. He said that after discussing this particular project with President Smith he said to reach out to me and organize a group of 10 missionaries who could commit to 2 days full of service for a charity group (Catholic Charities). Immediately after receiving this information I recruited 10 missionaries to this project. This project took place this last week, October 3rd and 5th. The 3rd was Prep Day. On both days we would be building a 2,500 sq ft playground at a school called Lawrence F. Hickey Center (it’s a school for kids from the ages of 3-5. Essentially it’s a school where these kids, who are growing up in The Bronx and don’t have safe places to have fun or enjoy a safe clean playground will have safety and fun in this environment). Catholic Charities for this event was sponsored by KaBoom (another group) and The Walt Disney Company. We showed up on the 3rd at 8:30am, they were expecting more people but it was literally all missionaries and maybe just under 10 other volunteers. We showed up with our group of 10 and when we got there another missionary zone were there. For prepping the area to build a playground we unloaded 2 large moving trucks of playground equipment and organized them according to the most efficient way to assemble it. When that was finished there were a handful of other projects that needed prep work. Lots of wood needed to be stenciled and cut for benches, planter boxes, cutout people, and decorations for the schoolyard. We all broke up into groups and went to work. Elder Patterson and I worked with a group of guys and prepped the area for the playground. They had a tractor to dig holes for the playground so we just kept the area in shape as they went. We raked around the dirt while the tires tore up some areas, we dug out some collapsed holes, and filled in some deeper holes...etc. We were there till about 5:30pm or so. We finished all the prep work and would be back on the 5th to build.

Thursday, the 5th, we had to be at the school at 7am. We had volunteered as project leaders so we had a quick leaders meeting before everyone showed up. I volunteered to be the leader of the planter box building team. I had a folder with all the instructions I needed, so I quickly looked over it and prepared to receive my group of helpers. After the opening ceremony we were assigned a group of people to each project. All the members of my team were people who worked with Disney and ABC news members who worked in sales. They all worked so great together, we went over the instructions and they just jumped right into it, we built 7 planter boxes and placed them in their designated areas and then filled them with dirt and top soil. It was pretty fun. Because of the limited tools we had and the size group we all took turns assisting with each box, so it took close to 4 hours. We then had lunch and spread out to help other groups. I hopped around to different projects; I helped most of the remaining time mixing/pouring concrete. By the end of the day, the group of concrete mixers had mixed over 25,000 lbs of concrete! It was such a fun service project! Channel 7 News was there and Catholic Charities hired a videographer and a photographer for both days to capture the project in the making. It was sweet!! The photographer was awesome, we got a chance to talk with him for a bit, the Elders who serve in the same area he lives in got his info and he showed a lot of interest in learning about the gospel, he seemed really prepared. I got his business card and we look forward to seeing his pictures. 

Click here to see the News clip and read the article about this project.

On Friday we did weekly planning and went out for a bit to do some look-ups. We have a pretty filled/messy area book...(meaning there are a lot of people in our records, but we don’t know most of them) so we are in the process of trying to get in contact with all these old investigators to see if anyone is still interested. We’ve found a couple of guys who have shown interest and we’ve set a couple appointments with them but things have popped up for us and them and we haven’t been able to see them yet.

Saturday we met with this guy named Z he is from Africa and he’s pretty cool. This was the second time that we met with him and this time we brought him a French copy of the Book of Mormon. He speaks English but French is his native language and so he doesn’t quite understand the old English in the Book of Mormon, we’ve invited him to read from the French version that way he will understand it better. We had a good lesson with him reviewing the Restoration (since the last time we met was 2 weeks ago) we asked him what he remembered and he actually remembered quite a bit. So we moved forward a little and just focused on the Book of Mormon, we invited him to read it and to pray to know if it’s true.

Throughout the day I sent emails to people in area book regarding their request for Bibles/copies of the Book of Mormon, as well as made some phone calls. Later in the evening we went to visit a blind member, Brother R. We hadn’t seen him in maybe a week and a half, but we had a plan to share a talk from General Conference since he doesn’t get to leave the house and come to church. Well as usual our plans don’t always work out the way that we had planned and I think this time may have to do with the fact that we hadn’t visited him in what might have been 2 weeks... so I guess he had more to talk to us about, lol. He’s an older man, 93. He lives in an apartment, but doesn’t have anyone really to talk to very often so I guess we didn’t come back soon enough to cut his story telling in half for this visit but we sat and we listened, we are sure he needed us there for that reason, but before we left we shared a scripture and then made our way home for the night. He’s a great man with great faith.

Sunday was pretty good; we had an investigator named E show up. We’ve been to his home twice and have shared a couple lessons with him, but we aren’t meeting him regularly because of his CRAZY work schedule. We didn’t even know he would be coming today, he just showed up. So we hope to get in contact with him and be able to see if he’s interested. During sacrament meeting a man stood up to bare his testimony, he explained that he’s just visiting but that he served here in this area over 20 years ago and to see the change has been a great blessing to him. He said that when he was serving here it was only a branch and there wasn’t even a chapel here. It was really cool to hear a little bit about his experience and his testimony. It made me feel good to know that even though there’s a chapel here and it’s now a ward there’s still work to be done and that my efforts here are making a difference.

For district meeting on Monday I asked Sister Bandeaux to give a training on how we can have meaningful studies. She did a great job, we discussed as a district some of the things that we’ve done in the past and the things we are currently doing in our studies to feel like we are having meaningful studies. We talked about the importance of having faith in what you plan to study; in some way what you study each morning (whether you think or not) is applicable to someone you come in contact with.

Tuesday was pretty great too we woke up and during planning just decided we would do a last minute APF. So we called up the other missionaries in our district and invited them to join us. We went to the church and decided we would stand outside and talk to people passing the church and offer to give people chapel tours. The Sisters joined us and went up to the bus stop near the church and talked to people, we talked to a good amount of people and gave a couple Books of Mormon out. The Sisters had some success in bringing people to the chapel for a tour, it was pretty cool. But the weather was pretty hot, we were out I think about an hour and a half and couldn’t take the heat much longer, we both felt dehydrated and decided to clean up. We felt good about it and had a good time talking to people, but we were both ready for lunch and in need of hydration and a quick nap.

Another great week has come and gone... I don’t know where time is going... but we are enjoying the time we have left in the mission and trying to do our best to prep this area for future missionaries, we have so many people on record and we get referrals like crazy here so it just keeps adding up. I’m thankful for the reminder that I was blessed to recognize this Sunday that no effort is wasted, we are all contributing to the work of the Lord and I know that this is truly His work and that His hand is always in it. He’s guiding us to the right people and the right people to us. I know that the church of Jesus Christ has been restored and that we are blessed to have continued revelation through modern prophets. I’m grateful for this knowledge and I know all who seek to obtain this knowledge can, through faith in Jesus Christ.

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,

Elder Newbold

Monday, October 9, 2017

Week 79

It’s been a good week! Last pday was mediocre; it was raining again so we stayed inside. Thursday was good, we did some weekly planning, called a hand full of people to try and get in contact with to invite them to church and set appointments for the week. It was a bit of a struggle getting in contact with people. We’ve realized before we can go out and do a lot of finding in this area, we need to do some work with our area book as it is. It’s full of people that we don’t teach and neither of us has met. So our goal is to do a lot of contact attempts to get in touch with these people we have in our records and find those who are really interested. We don’t want to continue adding to the mess of people we have. Sometime in the afternoon we went to the church and met with the other elders, Elder Clark and Elder Matson for a split. I went to their area with Elder Matson and Elder Patterson stayed in our area with Elder Clark. We didn’t seem to have to much success with the appointments we had set, they fell through and we attempted to get in contact with some investigators in his area through Facebook and phone and a couple responded but we weren’t able to meet with them that night. Later in the night Elder Matson had challenged me, for I can’t remember what reason, to do 300 push-ups for 30 days. (I know I know, your thinking what the heck is this kid up to? This isn’t gospel related... I know, but it’s what happened okay, bear with me... the miracles will come and the experiences worth sharing are coming) It was about 9pm at the time so I had an hour and a half to knock out 300 push-ups... I thought pshh, that’s too easy... but I proved to myself how out of shape I am... but I did it, I succeeded and before 10:30 I did 300.

Around noon on Friday we unsplit. When we met back up with the Elders we went to Panda for lunch. The other Elders had a great day in their area, they were able to meet with a member we hadn’t been able to visit very much, but they went over and were able to do some service for him. It was great! Slowly but surely making positive progress with him.

We had planned to go back and help Brother Cano with his home. We were on our way and realized we were going the opposite direction. So by the time we had realized it we were too far out of the way, we gave him a call and apologized... he said he was about done for the day anyway and we could come by another time.

This week was a bit slow... unfortunately we aren’t teaching IK anymore... he just isn’t making progress and showing real intent. Other personal reasons have showed that it won’t be good to make time each week to meet with him. He’s a nice kid, just a little confused.

Crazy Story for the week...

GHOSTS live with us. So since I got to this apartment, roughly 3 weeks ago, weird things have happened and noises have been heard. We’ve been making the joke that we have a ghost in our apartment because stuff falls of the counters when they are completely stable where they are, we have a pan that was securely set in our dish rack and all of a sudden at the end of the day we were on the couch talking and we heard this loud (pan hitting the tile) sound. So we got up to see what happened and the pan is on the floor and has a pretty nice bend now. Earlier in my first week here, I can’t remember what happened but other stuff on the counters had made their way to the ground also.

HERE is my crazy story:

So I’m lying in bed, it’s some time after 10:30pm. We have been in bed for a little while now. Elder Patterson is really quick to fall asleep every night while I on the other hand take at least half an hour if I’m lucky to fall asleep each night. So I hear Elder Patterson’s heavy breathing and know he’s sleeping... JUST as I’m on the very peak of falling asleep a very distinct movement was felt from under my bed. Honestly it felt like some one kicked me and it completely woke me up so I (blind as a bat) grab my glasses and look under my bed to catch the little elf that kicked me... but no elf was there. Convinced that he was now hiding, I checked under Elder Patterson’s bed, no elf, and Patterson is sleeping. So I tell myself it must have been a stuck spring in my mattress that decided to spring at that moment. Well again I’m back to the peak of falling asleep and a sock gets thrown at me! For the 2nd time I’m wide awake. This time it’s after 11pm, Patterson is sleeping like a baby and I flip out wondering WHO threw a sock at me hard enough to wake me up. Well it wasn’t Patterson because he woke up the second I shook him, after jumping out of bed, flipping the lights on, and going over to his bedside. He quickly woke and with squinted eyes from the lights being on he, confused as can be, slowly reaches for the sock in my hand and unfolds it from the ball it was rolled into (before it was thrown at me) and says “is that my sock? Bro what are you doing??...” His head falls back to his pillow and back to sleep he went... again, I checked under both our beds, you know... just to make sure the boogieman wasn’t around. Completely disturbed and awake I flip the lights out shut the door to our room and lay back in bed. Finally I’m back to a point where sleep has found me, when all of a sudden my arm gets pulled toward the crack between my bed and the wall, instantly I’m awake again, for the 3rd time... I’m loosing my mind at this point. Something is in my room and wants to play games. Patterson is still sleeping... it’s about 12am and I’m upset I’m not going to get any sleep tonight. Well I again laid my head down and went to sleep... not sure what the time was but for a fourth time I’m awoken by a loud noise it sounded like a hydro flask was thrown at the floor. Well, Patterson has a metal bottle on his windowsill but when I looked it stayed standing on the windowsill with nothing on the ground in our room… tired, confused, upset, I rolled over and on to my knees and voiced to my Heavenly Father my frustration… I’m just trying to sleep and something isn’t letting me. Whatever it is, may it leave, and bless this apartment that it may be a place where we can take safety from the world, a home for the Spirit, and a place of love and peace this I pray for, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. And back to sleep I went and didn’t wake up till 6:30am.

When we both woke up I told Patterson what had happened and if he even remembers me waking him up. He had no idea anything was happening and didn’t remember me waking him up or taking his sock from my hand.

Next week will be a great week!

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,

Elder Newbold

Week 78

What a week! So much good happened!
Monday the 25th:

We had a great district meeting, Elder Patterson gave a great training covering and reviewing all the points we’ve covered the last few weeks about Inviting people, they make commitments, and we follow up. After our meeting we split with the Zone leaders, I left with Elder Baker to his area, leaving Elder Patterson and Elder Murset to our area. Unfortunately Elder Baker is sick… he’s got a cold so let’s hope I don’t get sick.

We went home for lunch and to have our studies. We talked about the plans we had for today and went out to work. The Zone Leaders are Spanish speaking and I’m not very familiar with their people or area so although we had a few set appointments they fell through and I didn’t even realize it because we had such great back-up plans that we met some people who we talked to and ended up teaching that it made today feel like it went as planned.

Tuesday morning I woke up with my back hurting a bit and I was tired... I started sitting on the bed for studies, then ended up laying down for the rest of studies to stretch my back...

We had a couple look-ups we did this morning before we planned to unsplit. When we finished we hadn’t heard back from the other Elders about when and where we should meet. So we went home, had lunch, and then went to the church to meet the Elders. After contacting some people and having dinner we went to the church to play basketball. When we got there I started feeling a little out of it. I sat out for the first couple games to even the teams and relax. Then I played the last couple games. It’s pretty fun; one of the guys we play with is the son of the wife of our bishop. He’s not a member but he’s really nice and loves basketball so we always have a great time.

Pday was great! We went to the church and played sports all day! We started off playing basketball as a zone. It was all Elders. We played a couple games of basketball, switched up the teams. Then we played a long game of GatorBall and then played a game of 21. When we realized it was 2pm we left for lunch and went home, then we cleaned up and did laundry. At 6pm we left and were on our way to do a look up... we were at the train station and waited for over 15 minutes... I don’t know what it was, but we both felt pain, my head was hurting and his stomach was upset. So we went back home and when we got there one of the guys from maintenance came and knocked on the door, we let him in and he started doing some work on our ceiling in one of the back rooms where there was water damage from the floor above us leaking. So we were then stuck inside till he was done which was till about 9pm. We didn’t know he was coming to do work today so we are glad it all worked out.

We had a sweet experience meeting a guy today down in the basement of our building. We had gone down to get our laundry and when we exited the elevator he was standing there, he said hey you both have mail. Confused, we followed him and didn’t find anything in the pile of boxes where he said he saw 2 boxes for us. (Which doesn’t make sense because we don’t get mail delivered to our apartment address and we don’t give our address out to people, so it must have been a mistake.) But while we were with him, we were talking and we found out he’s a member of our church and that he hasn’t been to church in over 12 years. We talked about General Conference coming up this weekend and invited him to come. He said he works all day Saturday and is going out of state Sunday; but that next Sunday he doesn’t work and that he would like to go with us. What a tender mercy! To be placed in the path of someone from our church family who has been lost for some time.

Thursday was all right we did weekly planning and about sometime in the afternoon my head was hurting again and my headache lasted for some time... I had a runny nose. And all that fun stuff…

Friday I woke up fine, but then all of a sudden it seemed during studies my nose was running again and my head was hurting and as time went on I knew I was getting sick… we stayed in for a bit so I could rest because later this evening we have planned to go out and make an hour effort to find and invite people to come to General Conference. So at 6pm we left and I was feeling worse… I don’t know what it is about General Conference, but the last one I was sick for also! I don’t get it! We went out and again we were blessed to meet a few people who were placed in our path. We met a woman named Anna who is from the D.R. and she is a member, she hasn’t been active in nearly 10 years... she said she even served a mission. We asked what happened? What changed in your life? She said that she got married to a catholic man and since she just hasn’t gone to church. We invited her to General Conference and got her number. We talked to a lot of people today and invited them all to General Conference so we will see how it goes!

Saturday I was feeling crappy, I woke up around 9 and just felt like straight trash... we got ready and went to the church for General Conference at 12-2pm which was awesome, we then had a break for lunch and then watched conference from 4-6pm... By then Elder Patterson was starting to feel a little trashy. We ended up going home to watch the priesthood session, which I absolutely loved. President Erying’s talk hit me hard... I realized I need to have a better outlook on the callings I receive. I believe I trust and respect all the leaders that have had stewardship over me, I feel like I’ve been blessed to have great leaders in my life and have always been so easy to love and trust them. But for myself I always wonder why I receive responsibility and callings when it’s not something I necessarily want... but I always accept it anyway because I believe those are callings that Heavenly Father has inspired others to call me to that position. But while he spoke it just hit me that I need to have more trust in Heavenly Father. If I truly believe that they are inspired callings from him and I trust those that receive that inspiration, then I should respect the callings I receive and do more to be proactive with them to show my appreciation.

Sunday we both woke up feeling at our worst... so we were both home all day watching Conference.

Monday morning I felt just the slightest bit better but Elder Patterson wasn’t feeling too good, but I had meetings to attend. We went to the church for leadership meeting and talked about our districts in the Zone and how they are doing.

District Meeting was solid! I was not feeling too good, but earlier in the week I reached out to Elder and Sister Richards to see if they would be willing to give a training. Elder Richards accepted the opportunity and had prepared a wonderful talk given by Elder Brown was back when, it was on the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and an experience he had with a man during his law career. It was so awesome and was perfect for the theme for today, because right after district meeting we all had interviews with President Smith.

Just before we finished watching/listening to the talk that Elder Richards was playing, President Smith walked in and joined us for the last 15 minutes of our district meeting. After the talk was over it was open to discussion, I said a few things and let everybody share their thoughts on what they just heard or learned from the Spirit. It was really cool to hear what everyone had to say and the Spirit was strong. Just before closing I asked of President Smith if he had anything to add or contribute before I closed this meeting, he stood and spoke for a few minutes and just focused on the Restoration, since that was what we would be talking about today. (We were asked, in preparation for interviews with President, to Study the Restoration and to teach him the last three points of the lesson and invite him to be baptized) so he spoke of some things he has seen in previous interviews with missionaries and gave us some tips to teach. It was pretty awesome. We closed our meeting and we went out to eat at Panda before interviews. Interviews went well, things changed a little bit as I’m sure the Spirit guided, but instead of me role-playing teaching the restoration to President, he said this is your interview. I felt to share with him some spiritual experiences that he and I had together a year ago. The month of September-October a year ago and even 2 years ago were very special to me so I felt to share those with him to rekindle the Spirit we both felt and to remind him of experiences that he may have forgotten.

It’s been a great week! Though we have been inflicted with sickness we made the most of what we could and are grateful for the experiences we were blessed with this week.

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,

Elder Newbold

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Week 77

September 13-19, 2017
Day 539-546
Week 2 in Kingsbridge

This week has been pretty good! Last week’s Pday it was raining again, so we chilled inside most of the time. We had a couple appointments set that evening but they fell through.

Thursday and Friday were both pretty mellow days, we had weekly planning and made a list of people, both Investigators and members and made a plan for each of them. We called a lot of people and set appointments.

Since I’ve come to this area we have received so many referrals, at least 2 each day. So we’ve been doing a lot of calling and look ups to find/get in contact with these people. Some of them ended up being inaccurate information so we couldn’t get in touch with a few of them but we have got in contact with a good number of them and have appointments set.

Saturday we had an appointment around 11 with a referral we got the other day. His name is Z, he is from Africa; He’s a super cool guy and is pretty knowledgeable when it comes to religion; he studied theology in school so he just wanted to meet with us to get information from a “direct source”. We talked about some of the questions he had and taught the Restoration. He’s a very nice guy, but in our first visit him we haven’t found his intent level; if he’s just curious or if he’s actually looking for answers. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and told him we would bring a French copy next time. We set an appointment with him for 2 weeks from now because of his work schedule.

Some time in the afternoon we met with a member, Brother R, he’s blind (but I think only partially). We visited with him for a little while and got to know him a bit, he’s 93 years old, I guess because of his vision he doesn’t come to church, so we take him the sacrament. Also, since he can’t read, we came prepared and brought him the Book of Mormon CDs so he could listen to them.

Sunday’s are pretty nice here in KB (Kingsbridge). We have church at 1:30pm so we get up, get ready, we can have all of our studies and planning done and then have lunch and get to the church around 12:30pm for choir practice and then we are ready for sacrament at 1:30. Today in 3rd hour no one knew if anyone was teaching… so Elder Patterson volunteered us and we led the discussion on the topic “The Power of the Book of Mormon”. It was a really sweet spiritual discussion everyone was involved and participated and it was so cool to hear the thoughts and input from everyone. Church got out at 4:30pm and we headed home for dinner.

Around 6 we were out and heading to a member’s home, Brother M. We visited with him for a bit. He had text us this morning saying he wouldn’t be making it to church today and asked if we could stop by. So we came by and he just poured out everything that he was going through right now… it was pretty crazy. (We met with him last week for a bit and so we already had some background on his situation) we were like, how can we help? He asked us to pray for him and so before we left we said a prayer.

Before heading home, we went and took the sacrament to Brother R. Our visit with him was brief but great!

We had district meeting Monday morning, which was great, Sister Muti led a discussion on “We invite, they commit, we follow up.” Afterward we went to the scriptures and read some verses together and discussed it. Then we split up into companionship’s and planned for an Investigator who is progressing and what invitation we feel they need to strengthen their faith.

After district meeting Elder Patterson and I went home for lunch then went out and looked up some people in Area Book. While looking up people and whether anyone answered or not we would then knock the doors around.

After getting in contact with one of the guys we were looking for we knocked a neighboring door, we met Tom. Tom is an older man; he very slowly came to the door with his body hunched over in what looked like the most uncomfortable way… We introduced ourselves and continued to share a message with him; he stopped us and told us he wasn’t interested in a message. I asked if there was anything we could do for him, he said pray for me. I asked what specifically I could pray for, he said “my back, I have scoliosis…” I asked how long it had been a challenge in his life, he said, “it’s always been a problem”… we bowed our heads and I offered the prayer. We prayed with a man that turned us down when we tried to share a message with him, but as we showed interest in him and a desire to serve him his countenance changed. It wasn’t some miraculous thing, but it was one of those moments where the Spirit was present, Elder Patterson was led to a door and the words that were said during that interaction were true and I believe Tom felt that.

We came home for dinner and also made some phone calls to more referrals we had received that morning! This is the Lords work, and it is busy.

Tuesday morning we had Zone conference it started at 9am and got over at 4pm. It was good meeting to start; nothing really caught my attention or anything for a while… not till the end. An experience President Smith felt to share brought the Spirit strong. An Elder in the room had received an email a few months ago from a friend he hadn’t been in contact with for a while now. She expressed to him her feelings and current life circumstance. He invited her to attend church with her older brother in Utah; where she had planned to go to school to change up her life, she accepted his invitation. (She isn’t a member of the church but her brother is a convert and recently returned missionary) In her visit to the church she met the missionaries, they had talked for a bit and had set an appointment with her shortly after. This Elder, a little while later received another email from this girl saying that she had a wonderful experience at church and was meeting with the missionaries and that she has committed to be baptized and her date would be sometime in October. She expressed in another email shortly after that she has received an answer to her prayers and desired to be baptized sooner. Her date was moved to a more recent day and she was baptized. Projected on the wall in front of us was a picture of this girl in white just before her baptism. What a beautiful and special moment for her and for this Elder. Seeing this brought feelings and memories to my mind of when Miranda had been baptized, along with other friends like Sydney and Drue years prior to serving my mission who had committed to their Heavenly Father that they were ready and willing to follow Him, what beautiful memories came back to my mind along with the feelings I had during each of these special moments that I was blessed to be apart of.

As this was being shared President also felt to share an experience of his own while with his parents recently. His mother, who isn’t originally from this country, found missionaries when she was a young girl. His mother was baptized at 11 years old and that has impacted his life tremendously. Up on the wall, he put up a picture of he and his wife with his parents at the Hartford Connecticut temple, which is a very special place to me. Having these experiences shared, these pictures displayed, and memories filling my mind allowed the Spirit to fill my heart and soul. It was a great and wonderful meeting, soon after these experiences were shared; I along with many others bore our testimonies of what we’ve felt today.

When the meeting ended we made our way to the doors to head home and watched the rain pour outside. The train station wasn’t far, so we left and quickly walked to the train. We headed home, changed out of our wet suits and into dry clothes; we had dinner and ended the night by meeting with IK and playing basketball.

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,

Elder Newbold

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Week 76

Back in The Bronx!! #HomeBound

Coming into the mission and starting off in Hunts Point, The Bronx... I was confused, I walked around and questioned if I had actually made it to New York! It was nothing like I imagined and what I saw in the movies... I can look back and say that I definitely wasn't disappointed, I just kept walking with the idea that eventually these buildings would start to look a little familiar! In the Bronx, they never did.

New York looked familiar in Manhattan and only there. But here I am! Once again in the Bronx where I started a journey I will never forget. Where a lot of questions were answered and experiences unrolled. Where I gained a testimony of the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon there in the first 12 weeks. It was the first time that, on my own, cover to cover that I read The Book of Mormon.

It was here that I learned the importance of obedience and witnessed the miracles and blessings that came from my effort to be the best I could be. It was where a brotherhood started that would last through the eternities. Most importantly it was the beginning of my journey to finding my Jesus.

Just as any change takes place, adjustment is expected... even serving upstate for 4 1/2 months it took me out of the city living experience and the first couple days took some readjusting. I had to start using my legs again. My butt has been stuck in a car for the last few months and it's good to be back on my feet.

I guess I am a city missionary! I've served so far a total of 14 months in New York City and I've got just less than 6 months left. I may be in the city till I'm done.

Well this week has been great!! We've got this investigator named IK, he's 21, and he's on date to be baptized this month on the 23rd. Our first lesson together with him was my first night here, it was awesome. We talked about repentance and the sacrament and how important it is to never stop trying. Never stop trying to be better. After our lesson with him we went into the gym and played some basketball. It was 3 on 3. Elder Patterson and I with IK, against Elders Clark and Matson with their investigator C. It was pretty solid; we had a lot of fun!

Pday it rained so we were just chillin. After getting groceries and laundry done we just hung out inside, took a nap, and whatever.

Thursday we had weekly Planning so we made a goal for the cycle that we wanted to increase our wards home teaching by 10% and help a few members get their home teaching done. So we made some daily, weekly, and monthly goals to achieve our cycle goal. It's going to be a sweet cycle together!

Thursday evening we went to a member’s home and helped him take out some walls in his apartment so he can remodel. So we were there for a couple hours and when we left we had sheet rock dust all over us!

On Friday we met down at the temple for a leadership meeting at 1pm and came back up to Kingsbridge to clean the chapel.

Saturday was pretty awesome! It truly was a blessing to have President Nelson, his wife, Elder Gong, his wife, and Bishop Waddell and his wife this past weekend and what a blessing it's been to have my thoughts throughout the week turned toward that experience. I loved and felt the truth of Sister Waddell’s testimony of the Book of Mormon and enjoyed Bishop Waddell’s words as he testified of his eternal companion’s words on the Book of Mormon, what a beautiful thing to see and feel their love for The Book of Mormon.

I loved Sister Gong’s invitation to pay attention to the blessing of repentance throughout the Book of Mormon and Elder Gong’s words of learning the language of the Spirit and what a blessing to hear from President and Sister Nelson as they talked about Temple and Family History and making it a focus as we contact people.

Something I really benefited from was something Elder Gong said on Sunday in Kingsbridge during our special stake conference, "Tomorrow no one has sinned." I've been thinking about that and how true it is. Keeping it in mind, that I haven't made a mistake tomorrow brings hope for a better day, "a new day" and I am grateful for that!
This week has been great! I've really enjoyed being back in the Bronx, with a relatable companion, and having joy in the work! The Lord is pouring out blessings upon my companion, this area, and me!

The last few days we've been getting a lot of referrals from headquarters and other missionaries it's been sweet, we've been contacting people left and right and visiting some solid people.

Monday was my first district meeting in this area, it was pretty good. We have 8 missionaries (including myself) and a senior couple, so 10 people at District meetings. It was great, we started off with introductions to get to know everyone a little bit, each companionship talked about 2 people they've been focusing on and their progress and or their concerns, then Elder Matson gave us a great training on the topic "We invite, they commit, we follow up". We talked about extending invitations and commitments to our investigators and members and how we can show them the importance of the things we commit them to do and that as we follow up it shows them that we care. It was a pretty solid meeting, just before we closed up, I passed out paper to everyone and had them write their testimonies/feelings about the area they are serving in and to fold the paper, tape it shut, and stick it in a jar I had labeled time capsule. The plan is to, in 6 weeks or so, do it again and review our 1st written testimony and see the change.

After our meeting we split with the Zone Leaders. I went with Elder Murset in his area and Elder Baker came to our area with Elder Patterson. It was a pretty cool split, they are Spanish missionaries so we visited/taught people in Spanish. It's been so long that I really didn't say much until the end, I would bare my testimony in English and Elder Murset would translate. Overall it was a great split. Tuesday around noon we met up with our companions at Panda Express for lunch and to un-split.

It's really been a great and enjoyable week! I'm so grateful for the opposition and trials that I've faced in my life, because without the bad we couldn't know the good, without pain we wouldn't know relief.

Patience. Love. Faith

Much love,

Elder Newbold

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Week 75

Hey Everyone, 

I'm sitting in my apartment and realized... I didn't keep a journal this week... due to transfers and my horrible memory, I have no clue what happened between last Wednesday and today.

So this will be a much different entry than y'all are used to. But it will have to do.

This week I know was similar, as every day in New Paltz seemed... service here and service there. 

The only thing that was different was that transfers were among us. Knowing that, and having been in New Paltz for 3 cycles and really feeling the need for change in my life, I expected a change. I expected to be transferred.

Saturday night we got the call! Elder Newbold, you are going to Kingsbridge and will continue to serve as a district leader, your companion will be Elder Patterson. I was pretty stoked!

Sunday was great! But sad! I had told President Cooper I'd be leaving. Unexpectedly in branch council he announced it, I wasn't sure how to tell Brother Hinds, because I knew it wouldn't be an easy thing to do. But President Cooper did it and soon after I felt brother Hinds from behind, nudge me... Asking when I found out? Where I'd be going? etc. Immediately he messaged his daughter and informed her... I spent some time in the halls while members came to make arrangements for final visits and pictures. Elder Wallace and I then planned the rest of the evening and all of tomorrow to visit each of the members to share a brief and final message, take a picture and exchange contact info.

Tuesday Morning I packed all my stuff and off to Ossining we drove. We got there at 11 and loaded my stuff into a U-Haul. Then we hung out with the other waiting missionaries till our companions and ride showed up. Elder Davis showed up after 12 and I got in the van with him, (White) Elder Davis, William Smith, Sister Ho, Sister Gill, and Sister Israelsen. We drove down to Inwood where we met at the chapel. I met my companion Elder Patterson talked with a few missionaries I hadn't seen in a bit and welcomed back an ASL missionary who had left to San Diego for part of his mission and just returned, (Elder Holt, he's a deaf Elder.) We hung out till the U-Haul pulled up. We grabbed my suitcases and fortunately the senior couple in our area offered to load my stuff in their car and drop it off for us! What a blessing!!! It was HOT and I would not have enjoyed dragging suitcases on and off subway cars.

When we got home we ate lunch and waited around for my stuff to get dropped off. Then we put my stuff inside my room and I packed some sports clothes. We went to the church and taught an investigator, IK (IK is his name). He's from Nigeria. We taught him about repentance and the sacrament. We invited him to continue reading the Book of Mormon and to come to church. It was a great lesson! Then we all played some basketball in the gym. We played 3-3, Elder Patterson, IK,
and I against Charles (a member in our ward) and Elders Clark and Matson. We headed home after the game and just chilled till we were ready for bed.

I'm pretty stoked to be in the Bronx again. I really look forward to the next few cycles I have left. Elder Patterson is a great guy! Great missionary! And I know we will have a great time together!

Peace out New Paltz, Welcome back to the Boogie Down Bronx!

Love you all!!
Patience. Love. Faith

Much love,
Elder Newbold

Friday, September 1, 2017

Week 74

August 23, 2017
Wednesday, Day 517
Day 157 back in NY

We decided as our 2nd to last pday of the cycle we would go bowling as a Zone, which was pretty fun! It's nice to “get away”, being stuck with someone 24/7 really gets old… so it was fun to be around everyone else in the zone and just hang out and bowl. We bowled 2 games and that was it. I had gotten a haircut just before bowling so after, we went to the ZLs apartment so I could shower and clean up. 

Once we finished there, we went back to New Paltz and emailed for a bit, had dinner and all that fun stuff.

Everything else we had planned this evening fell through, so we went and helped Brother W work on the house he's working on.

August 24, 2017
Thursday, Day 518
Day 158 back in NY

After weekly planning we went to Sister P's home and helped her out. She is trying to clear out her attic, which is 4 stories up. So we go up to the attic and clear off the shelves she had with wood and bring down as much as we could for 2 hours.

Then we went back to the church, changed out of our work clothes and into our holy work clothes. We had language study at the church for an hour then left to Brother H's home for dinner. When we got there he came out and took us for a ride in his car. We drove over to the S family’s house and visited them, during the visit my pocket kept vibrating… so I checked it to make sure it wasn't some emergency, it ended up being brother H’s daughter J who was making dinner… she said it was ready and that we were late and she and her husband would eat without us. Lol so knowing J, we were in big trouble... after relaying the message to Brother H his eyes widened and he knew we had to go right then, so we quickly ended our visit with a brief message and were on our way to Brother H’s home. We had dinner, and then shared a message with him, J, and her husband N.

August 25, 2017
Friday, Day 519
Day 159 back in NY

This morning on our ride over to Sister P's to continue helping her; we were on a conference call for President’s miracle line. We originally were going to help Sister P move her washer out of her house, but 1. We didn't have another man to help, 2. It was on the 2nd floor so it was going to be tricky and 3. We didn't have another man... lol so while she figured out what she wanted to do about her washer, standing in her front yard, I turned around and offered to dig out an old tree stump. So for the next 10 minutes I worked on that and found a few more things to keep us busy while she was figuring out her washer situation.

Then we drove over to Sister M’s and put together a clothing rack she just got. She tried to figure it out but she said she didn't have the patience for it. With patience and reading a few instructions we figured it out.

Later that evening we went to visit the E family. The parents weren't home, but the kids were and their uncles were watching them, so we stayed for a bit and shared a message about prayer.

August 26, 2017
Saturday, Day 520
Day 160 back in NY

Today was the day we've been waiting for, for some time. We've had a branch BBQ planned since June. And a few weeks into July it was pushed back a week. So it's finally here. We went to the church to send off our progress report for the week, then Brother J showed up and we helped set up for the BBQ. We brought out a couple grills, set up a canopy tent, put up tables in the chapel and outside. Then around 11:50 members and friends started showing up with food and games. We ate, mingled, and played ultimate Frisbee. A (he just returned home last week from his mission in France) got together a group of people for Frisbee it was pretty fun, he had a friend from high school show up and play, it was a good time! We had about 55 people show up.

By the time the BBQ was over and we finished cleaning up it was time for dinner. So we went home cleaned up and had dinner.

We went to the church for correlation at 7 and after calling our branch mission leader a couple times he finally called back at 7:30 and said he wasn't going to make it, he had a busy day and had forgotten lol. So we planned with the Sisters our next APF and talked about some other things we could put together. Then we went and visited the W. Sister W was home and of course sent us home with food. What would we do without the W's!?

August 27, 2017
Sunday, Day 521
Day 161 back in NY

Today was a pretty good Sunday! We had 2 set appointments in the evening after dinner. We visited Brother M and then the D's. The D's are wonderful and always feed us too, he had burgers made. We ate together and then shared a message. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Very short day but very good!

August 28, 2017
Monday, Day 522
Day 162 back in NY

District meeting came up pretty quick so I prepared this morning and we met at 11am. We then had lunch, comp study and then language study; which is always fun. It's a great time!

Our appointment with J.K. fell through so we went and visited the E's. They were all home, we just wanted to stop by and offer to help in anyway. They said we could come back Friday and have dinner and help them out with some stuff. So we said a prayer with them and were on our way.

After dinner we went to the church and met up with Brother J. We visited the S family and made a great contact with them, they invited us back for Wednesday evening. We shared Helaman 5:12 with them and went to stop by Sister C, she wasn't home but her husband was and he isn't a member. I've met him once a couple months ago, he's super nice and willing to talk and listen. So we were talking and felt to share with him the scripture 2Nephi 25:26, one of my favorite scriptures.

We had about 45 minutes left in the night so we went back to the church and he helped us update some records on LDS tools, we printed off some home teaching lists and we went home! It was a great productive day!

August 29, 2017
Tuesday, Day 523
Day 163 back in NY

After studies we went to Sister P's neighbor, L's home. We helped her out, trimmed her hedges and painted her doorframe. We were running low on time but offered to come back another time and talk about the Book of Mormon like she asked. We said a prayer with her and said we would contact her this week to come teach her about the Book of Mormon.

After going home and getting cleaned up we went and visited Brother H, an inactive member. We talked for a bit and then I played catch with his kids, Little D (8) and L (6). They love baseball so we played catch while Elder Wallace talked to Brother H. We went home to change again and on our way grabbed some pizza. We were supposed to help Brother W out at his home, after not hearing back from him for some time we went to the church and worked on some other things, updating more records, etc. when we finally went home for the night he called and apologized for not getting back to us, he had an emergency meeting and couldn't get out any faster.

Transfers are coming up... trainer calls will be tonight so we will figure out if anyone's training today... Saturday we will find out if anyone's leaving... so kind of excited for that... I could use a change soon. But all is well in Zion, I suppose!

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,

Elder Newbold