New York

New York

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Week 89

This week was another one for the books, pretty full of miracles. We see so many great things each day. It also started snowing this week! 

The first snow of the winter for 2017

One of the really sweet opportunities we had this week was on our way to go toward the top of our area. We were waiting for a bus at a stop near our apartment when a woman came to the stop as well. We had a few minutes before the bus came so while we stood waiting so we began talking to her. She’s lived in NY her whole life, grew up in Washington Heights in Manhattan. Moved to The Bronx later on and served as a Police Officer in the area she grew up for 25 years. She appreciated her job and has enjoyed her life so far. She said she wasn’t religious but that she was spiritual. The question we asked her was “what do you do each day to strengthen your spirituality?” She stopped and thought about it for a minute. She wasn’t exactly sure how to respond, but she threw out that she does pray often and that helps. Prayer is something Elder Davis and I have experienced personally and that’s something we had in common with her so we taught simple doctrine, that God is our Eternal Father and prayer is a 2-way communication with Him. We testified of prayer and continued to ask inspired questions. We then introduced the Book of Mormon and gave her a copy, she was very appreciative toward our offer and she took the copy and said she would definitely begin reading it. It was a pretty powerful experience for the 3 of us.

Also this week we met with P again! In this visit we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. He agreed with the principles we taught and we invited him to be baptized on January 13th. He was excited about that and accepted it. At the end of what turned out to be a short but powerful lesson we invited him to pray. He then prayed and in his prayer he said “I ask you Father to bless these brothers of mine to be able to visit me daily so I may learn of you.” it was a pretty sweet and sincere prayer.

We visited Brother M this week as well and had a sweet experience, come to find the next day. In our visit we talked about the Book of Mormon, he got a little off subject but he wanted to test our ability to relate the gospel to an episode of Godzilla. In the episode they talked about how great the destruction made by Godzilla and so they needed to destroy him. They led Godzilla to a volcano to have him destroyed. After Godzilla fell into the volcano, they spoke of how great an influence he made and what a lesson was learned by many. We related this experience to Jesus Christ and his influence. We said something along the lines of Jesus Christ has made the greatest influence in History, though he is no longer on earth his influence made a lasting impression in the word that will last through eternity. As we directed the conversation back to the Book of Mormon we continued discussing some of our experiences that we’ve had by reading the Book of Mormon daily.

Before leaving I offered a prayer. Beforehand I asked if there was anything we could pray for specifically. He said just his mom who was still in a nursing home waiting on a list for surgery for her colon cancer.
The next day we received a text from him saying his mother had been approved to move into surgery. It was a miracle! 

We also were receiving a good amount of referrals. We were making contact with them all and delivering their requested items. We met this one referral named R. He requested a Bible soon after having a heart attack. He felt it was a sign from God to get his life together again. We brought the Bible and talked about it as well as the Book of Mormon and left him a copy as well. He said he was just trying to get back into the scriptures so he asked to have some time to read, but that we could stay in contact. 

Another referral we received was M; we met with him last week for the first time. We brought his Bible but the text was too small to read. We taught the Restoration and told him we would be back next Sunday with a Large Print Bible and Book of Mormon. So in this visit we had both books. He was so excited; it was like an early Christmas gift. He ripped open the plastic wrap around it and just loved it! We taught the Plan of Salvation and invited him to church. He said he would love to come but just had surgery on his back recently, so the cold hurt his back. He said pray for good conditions next week and I’ll come.

Last night we met this referral named A. He is super interested. He came as a Bible Referral. He comes from a Muslim background so he’s trying to secretly learn about Christianity because his family will disown him... but he just doesn’t believe in the religion he was raised in. We met with him last night and it was just so cool. He had all these questions and just so badly wants to be a Christian. He was asking about church and baptism and all these things. We loved his desire and excitement. We told him that we could meet often to prepare him to move forward in learning of Christ and His church. We will see him at church Sunday!

It was a pretty great week! Lots of fun and success!!

Obedience brings forth blessings, exact obedience brings forth miracles.

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,

Elder Newbold

Week 88

This week has truly been the best week of my mission! Transfers were on Tuesday! I received Elder Davis. Which you all know, but it’s just so exciting to say! Haha I’m sending my trainee home!! How many missionaries can say that? Lol 

Well just a quick update... Last week we set a baptismal date with D. The last time we met with him was Friday and he came into the room we were meeting in and he said, “I have something I need to get off my heart.” He sat down and we said feel free to share. He proceeded to tell us that he has truly enjoyed the fellowship he has been apart of here in the church, he has loved the meetings, and everything about the church, he said I will continue to join your services on Sundays, I will continue to read the Book of Mormon and pray, but I just don’t yet feel like it’s my calling to be baptized on December 23rd. We asked some questions to understand correctly what he meant by it being a calling. He just didn’t feel it was his time yet. Understanding that conversion is a process, we let him know we are here to help him in anyway we can to help him progress and receive his answer.

December 4th we were walking around our area, looking people up that we’ve never met and members we haven’t seen. One family lived pretty close to our apartment so on our way home that evening we stopped by. They were home, she looked familiar but I didn’t know her name. It was Sister M. She invited us in and we just introduced ourselves and got to meet her kids. She made us aware that her son is 8 and will need to be baptized. He’s a child of record, but we offered to come by and teach him to prepare him further. We asked about her day and she let it out, she said it’s been the worst day yet. Without details she just had a lot on her plate and tried to figure out her living situation, she needs to move soon. Before we left she asked for a blessing. As we left she was smiling and continued to thank us for coming by.

This week we also were able to meet with a referral we received a couple weeks ago. His names P and he’s from Ghana. We asked how he was led to find the church. His response was so awesome, he said, my friend in Ghana recently found The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and has loved it, he then referred me to it. So I went online and requested a free copy of the Book of Mormon. As we talked about the Book of Mormon we were led into teaching him the Restoration. At the end we invited him to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by proper priesthood authority. He said, “Sure, I’ve never been baptized. I’ve been to church many times, but never been baptized.” He was excited and looked forward to our next visit.

It was a pretty great week full of some pretty great opportunities and miracles. I’ve been so blessed throughout my mission to have such wonderful companions and I’m very grateful for the blessing to serve with Elder Davis once again. He has truly blessed my life forever.

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,

Elder Newbold

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Week 86 and 87

WEEK 86
Sorry about last week, I didn’t have much to talk about. I couldn’t remember anything. But the only thing at this point that I can remember is sometime last week someone found access to my church fund debit card and emptied out my account… I called the office; they canceled my card and were able to refund it all. I cut my card and have to wait 2 weeks to get a new one… so in the mean time I am literally living the life of a man with no money! #LoveBeingPoor

Thankfully they were able to add my money to my companion’s card and we could access it. But it wasn’t much, it was towards the end of the month and I didn’t have much anyway.

On pday we went to Manhattan and had a great time! We ended up splitting with some Elders! I got to be with Elder Gentry, we decided to go visit Michael S. who we taught together in Harlem over a year ago! It was awesome to catch up with him.


WEEK 87
This week has been pretty crazy! It’s the week of transfers!

Thanksgiving was great we spent our evening and dinner with our bishop, his wife, and their son A. They had a wonderful meal prepared, it was way good! We spent some time visiting some members and we were actually able to meet with Brother C, a member who hasn’t been to church for some time... He used to be in the Bishopric and then I guess when the Bishopric was changed he left and hadn’t been back since. We were able to meet with him twice in the week. We went over to do some service. And then Elder Patterson was giving a farewell talk on Sunday so we invited him to that and he came! It was so awesome! We walked into the chapel and there he was! It was so awesome! People and missionaries have been working with him for a while trying to get him back to church.

Sunday and Monday were packing days. Elder Patterson was packing up all he had and getting his suitcases to the right weight.

Tuesday morning we got up and went to the Inwood chapel with Patterson’s luggage. Around 12:30 missionaries started showing up for transfers.



Soon after Elder Davis arrived to the Inwood chapel we decided we would go and contact some people around the block, before the UHAUL showed up with his luggage. With-in about the first 10 minutes the first 2 people we approached shut us down. As we made our way back around the block where we started we came across this man walking our direction. His name is B, he stopped and we introduced ourselves. When he told us he was on his lunch break we told him we would walk and talk with him. So we walked and talked and taught him about the Book of Mormon, we offered him a copy and he accepted it. We told him that as representatives of Jesus Christ we visit with people and teach them how they can follow the Savior. He accepted our invitation to have us over to share a message with he and his family. As we quickly exchanged information before letting him order his lunch we found that he lives in our area. We were blessed to cross paths with B.

The rest of our day together was just awesome! We made our way home after getting Elder Davis’s luggage, when we got home I made myself a quick snack for lunch while he got himself situated. When we finished we had a quick companionship study, we talked about the plans we had for the evening and we went out and got to work. We had some referrals we went to T’s first because a referral we had scheduled to visit called and rescheduled. We knocked T’s door and he answered, like the first time we stopped by about a month ago, he said it wasn’t a good time and briefly explained why; he just had some teeth pulled that day and was in some pain. We respected his current situation and offered to just say a prayer with him. Similar to our first visit, his countenance began to change; he smiled and let us into his home. Standing in the doorway I offered to say the prayer. Then T hopped in and said he would like to say it. So I gladly let him and it was a sweet and humble prayer. I definitely felt that he was happier because of our visit. We followed the spirit and were led to see him today. We will make plans to visit with him regularly. We made an appointment for Friday! After leaving his home, we looked up a former investigator and quickly found he didn’t live there anymore. We then looked up a member in our area and also found that she didn’t live there anymore either, but we met a young pregnant lady who said some Sister missionaries came by a few times looking for the same person. We got to talking with her and found that she enjoyed the Sisters coming by and became good friends with them and would love for them to visit her.

It was a little after 5 so we went towards the church and got a sandwich for dinner, we then went to the church to eat and prepare more for our appointment with D at 6:30.

Our visit with D was solid! He is so prepared and just truly wants to follow the Savior. He keeps the commitments we extend to him and he does his research. He loves the community here in the church and the feelings he’s had while worshiping here with us. We extended the invitation to him to be baptized on December 23rd and he accepted it. He said he would pray about it. He is seriously so awesome!

It was just after 7 when we finished meeting with him so we decided we could look up a couple referrals we had. In the process, we received another referral, P. So we called him and were able to stop by his apartment to deliver a Bible and a Book of Mormon. He was an interesting guy. We had asked what inspired him to seek for a copy of the Bible. He said, “It’s just good to have in your home. It brings good vibes, especially when you just leave it open on your table.”  It was an interesting response.

It was a successful day to us! We set a baptismal date with an investigator and were able to make some solid contacts with people along the way.

I am truly so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m grateful for the knowledge I’ve received as I’ve studied and have lived the gospel. I’m grateful for the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the healing we can receive from it.

Patience. Love. Faith

Much love,
Elder Newbold 


***Elder Davis and Elder Newbold are companions again! Elder Newbold was Elder Davis's trainer (almost 2 years ago) and now they are serving together again for Elder Davis' last cycle.  They will be together for 5 weeks and then Elder Davis will go home and then Elder Newbold will have 1 cycle left that will be 7 weeks and then he comes home to us the end of February!  
Elder Davis and Elder Newbold

Elder Davis and Elder Newbold







Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Week 85

Hello hello! Welcome to another week!

This week I received an email from my sweet cousin Emily. She had told me about her week and how recently in seminary they have focused on prayer. She asked some questions about my experience with prayer and how I’ve gained a testimony of prayer. I felt to share this with her and I feel to include it in my email this week.

This was my response to her.
[Since being on a mission I have had to rely on prayer a lot. I’ve experienced a lot with prayer and it’s amazing what can happen when you understand and have faith in something like prayer.

I think a couple of the biggest things we need to understand about prayer is first “what it is”… If we don’t understand what praying is, then, just like anything else in the world if we don’t understand it, we won’t know what to do with it.

So what is prayer… Well to me, prayer is a form of communication. Just as we use a cell phone to talk to someone we can’t see or be with in a moment, we use prayer to communicate with someone very special, someone very important to us, in moments that we feel we need to.

And I’d say the second but really the first thing we need to understand is... “Who it is “ that we are talking to. When we pray, we are speaking to our Father in Heaven. We pray to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ (3Nephi 18:19). Our Father in Heaven looks forward to hearing from us and he will never grow tired of hearing from us. Just like our earthly parents want to know what’s going on in our life so does our Heavenly Father (even though he knows exactly what’s going on) he still wants to hear from us and see us exercise our faith in Him.

I had a really neat experience with prayer just before coming home halfway through my mission. I had just finished meeting with my mission president in a chapel in Stamford Connecticut. I had just found out in that meeting with my mission president that I would be coming home. When we left the building he told me, I need you to drive this mission car and I need you to follow behind me. You’ll be alone but you’ll follow me. While you have this opportunity to be alone I want to invite you to think about the things that we just talked about, I want you to role-play with God what you will say to your parents when you call and tell them that you’re coming home.

I have prayed aloud before many times; alone, in front of my family, even at church in front of a congregation. But it wasn’t until this experience that I really understood what it should be like to pray with real intent. The scriptures say to come before the Father with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. In that moment I had a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I had faced my sins head on and came clean of that which kept me from the Spirit. I was uplifted, I was weightless, but I knew it wasn’t over... I knew that I had to go home, face my family, face my congregation, my friends, people that supported me going to serve a mission and my fear was their view on my early return home.

While driving behind my mission president and in a separate car that day I had never felt so much comfort, so much peace, and so much love in that moment then ever before.

I followed the invitation to speak aloud to my Father in Heaven and tell him of the things that I was worried about, the things I feared, but that I was willing to do it anyway.

For over an hour I had a conversation with God. I can’t say that He spoke words to me aloud, but the feelings that overfilled my heart allowed me to know that I wasn’t alone in this. One of the greatest things I learned that day was to give Heavenly Father time to reply.

So often we pray when we need something or when we are frustrated… Etc. but how often when we pray, do we stay on our knees and give Heavenly Father the time to place in our hearts and in our minds feelings and ideas for the things that we need and that we request.

Prayers aren’t always answered immediately, but they are always heard and in due time are always answered. God’s timing is far better than our timing. So we must give Him the time to respond to us through the spirit, even if it’s not going to happen immediately. Show Him you’re willing to listen, because that’s what a conversation is. A TWO-way discussion.

There are a lot of things we can learn from prayer. As you pray for experiences of your own you will come to have a stronger testimony.

I know that prayer is one of the greatest gifts we have been given in this life. It has blessed me abundantly and I am so grateful for it. Through my experiences with prayer I have felt my relationship with Heavenly Father grow and I know as you pray more often and with specific needs you will be blessed with divine help and guidance as you wait and listen to the Holy Ghost.]


This week has been good! Our mission has been picked to pilot a program to make contact with media referrals (meaning the people that go online and request a Free Bible or Book of Mormon make contact with missionaries online, who then refer that person to the mission of where they live). This alone has kept us busy. We haven’t had too much consistency in meeting with specific people but we’ve been out looking up, making a first contact with referrals, and lots of phone calls.

As part of this program, we get sent a lot of referrals, usually about 6 a day. We will figure out where they are located. We look up their address and determine which area they live in and we will send them to the missionaries that serve in that area. When we have referrals that live in our area we will make a few attempts (if necessary) to contact them. In our 1st attempt to contact them we deliver their requested item and seek to find their interest. We like to ask what lead this person to seek out a bible or Book of Mormon. It usually leads to a great and personal experience, where we have the opportunity to offer them a follow up appointment to come back and see how they are understanding their readings...

It’s been really busy! Going around trying to find those who have real intent to follow the Savior.

Today I felt like we had a pretty cool experience. Elder Patterson knew this family that moved into the Olmstead Ward in Hunts Point when he served there. They reached out to him and we met with them this evening at Panda Express. While we were eating, the husband, Brother Grace, asked Elder Patterson a question… He said “what is one of your greatest take-aways since being a missionary?” He said, “other than serving God and being able to share the gospel, what do you feel you’ve benefited from in your experience?”  After Elder Paterson gave his response, he turned to me and said what’s yours? … Same question but what’s your thoughts? I thought about it for a second, I said similar to what Elder Patterson said (he mentioned maturity and how that’s been a big part of his change and experience as a missionary) I would have to say experiencing on a different level, independence. Being a missionary we are dependent on the funds we receive monthly and even at times the people back home supporting us out here. Learning to be thrifty with that money has impacted the way I see money and I see how I can better use it. I don’t like the thought of relying on people financially; I don’t like asking for money or handouts. So I’ve tried to focus on being independent.

I liked being out with Brother Grace and his family; I got a chance to think about how else the mission has impacted my life other than spiritually. The things I’ve learned while serving a mission apply in life after the mission.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity I’ve been blessed with to have the experiences I’ve had that have brought me to where I am and have molded me to who I am today.

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,

Elder Newbold

Click here to see a wonderful video put out by the Mormon News Room about Religious Freedom, featuring a picture of my cute missionary!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Week 84

Another great week has come and gone!

For a while now we’ve been getting media referrals like crazy, people have been ordering free copies of the Bible and the Book of Mormon!! It’s been awesome, but we’ve also been getting people from sisters in our district. They find people on the street going to and from places and most of them are guys... but they can never successfully hand them over to us. We’ve reached out to the guys they bring to church, we message them over Facebook and stuff and nothing... the guys they find have yet to be interested in learning but more interested in the Sisters. Here’s an example. The sisters have been bugging us about this guy E, who claims to be interested. So they invited him to the church for a tour on Wednesday. After our Pday activities we came to the church and waited for E.

The Sisters invited him and told him nothing about us being there. He agreed to come and get a tour of the church. The Sisters had a one-day notice that one would be getting transferred early. So the Sisters couldn’t make it to the church and we were there to wait for E and give him a tour when he got there. We waited and waited... and we sent him a text saying we were here and that something came up with the Sisters and they couldn’t be here. For a while he didn’t reply and we decided not to waste anymore time. After the Sisters finished their transfer they came back to the church and we met them there before we left. We told him he hadn’t come and we are leaving. (We met the new Sister, Sister Ståhle from Temple Square who just took the place of Sister Neria). E never showed and we left to go visit G.

When we came up to his building we saw G out side smoking. He said we could go in and he’d be right in. We had a quick visit with G due to time. We tried to follow up with his reading the Book of Mormon, but he was too distracted in his mind and talked about the most random things. He doesn’t seem to be in the right frame of mind to be able to be taught, at least in the environment he’s in. So we invited him to come visit the church sometime and we could meet with him there. He agreed and we made an appointment.

On Thursday we spent most the time weekly planning and making a lot of phone calls. We just have so many people in our area book we are trying to find the elect and filter out those who aren’t interested and on top of it all we are receiving at least 3 referrals a day that we are trying to contact as well.

Friday morning after studies we called this guy named J, he is one of the referrals we received. He answered and we set an appointment for today and 11am. So we left the apartment and went over to his. Unable to reach him at his apartment we called him again and explained that we stopped by but he wasn’t home. He apologetically replied that he didn’t mean to confuse us, but he meant to schedule his visit for the next Friday. We then went back home for lunch and made more phone calls. It was a weird day... we had some appointments set but none of them worked out. We even had a window planned in our schedule to Face Time President for a quick meeting and that didn’t happen. It must have been just one of those off days.

Saturday was pretty great too; we had a solid lesson with a kid that the sisters sent us. His name is P, he’s 17, and he is so solid. He’s definitely been prepared, he’s been on a search for God and he found the sisters. We planned to meet with him around 3 and talk about the plan of salvation. We didn’t get through all of it because he had some many great questions. But we briefly went through each point from the pre earth life to the kingdoms. It was a great meeting, at the end he asked how to pray and we walked him through the steps and he offered his first prayer aloud. It was so awesome!

Sunday we had stake conference and it was all right, it was all in Spanish, they had headphones while they translated it to English but it was just different.

The last couple of days have been interesting but great!! Monday during district meeting in comes President Smith! He sat down next to Elder Patterson and listened in for a bit and made some great comments and asked some inspired questions. While someone else was speaking President leaned behind Elder Patterson and said something like, did you get my text? I asked if I could join your district meeting and if there was anything I could help with. I told him we never received his text and I’m not sure how he could help, but that he could participate.

After our meeting President stuck around to have interviews or speak with some other missionaries. Around 1:45 we would need to be back at the church to meet with President. I guess Elder Patterson had an appointment with President, but what ended up happening was around 2pm President was ready, he came to the front of the church where we were waiting and he helped us out with finding the records of a few people and then wanted to meet with us. After he tracked down the records of the family he sat down in the front of the church with us and we talked for an hour and a half. A thought came to my mind while he spoke to us, the thought was... “I was the one who filled out my application to serve a mission, I willingly wrote back to the Presidency accepting my call to serve as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I agreed to live the laws of the mission and the rules of the handbook.” With that thought I realized that I have little time left as a full time missionary and there are things I could do starting now to be more obedient. It was a great meeting; it was different than most interviews with President because this time it was both Elder Patterson and I together with President.

When we finished with President it was 3:30pm, President left, and we went over to a nearby classroom to begin a split with our roommates. Honestly this split for some reason felt like a weeklong! It only went from Monday 3:30pm to Tuesday 5pm. We spent all day out on Monday we were out from 1:30 after grabbing some lunch till 9pm. We were out doing some look-ups in the evening when we got a text from a woman in the Cayman Islands. She asked if we could go to the hospital and give her father a blessing. We went straight to the hospital and gave him a blessing. We grabbed some dinner while we were out and went for church to eat. At 7pm we had FHE this drunken guy named Mr. B came in and joined us, we could smell it on him before we even approached him. He sat through it all and was pretty mellow for the most part, anytime someone said something sort of funny everyone giggled and then he got loud and exaggerated his laugh. It was good though!

Tuesday we continued our split and finally were able to meet with G. We went over and followed up with his reading the Book of Mormon. He said it’s really difficult to understand the words. Then he kind of changed the subject a little and started expressing his feelings about life and he asked the exact questions, “where did I come from?” And “why am I here?” We listened for some time and when it was right we introduced the plan of salvation and testified of how those questions could be answered through prayer and study of the plan God had for us. By that time it was after 3pm and we needed to meet with a Sister from the Ward and give her neighbor a blessing. From the time we left G’s it was raining pretty good. We then went home for dinner and ended our split at home. After 6 we went back out, Elder Patterson and I, and visited a less active member and he asked if we could go to the hospital with him and give his mother a blessing. So we left straight way and walked in the rain to the hospital. I was soaked pretty good so I went to the bathroom and squatted under the hand dryer and dried my head. After waiting for nurses to finish cleaning up her room we went in and gave her a blessing. We then went to the church and picked up a big bag for Elder Patterson’s old mattress and home we went.

It felt like a really great week! I hope I remembered all the good stuff, but in many ways we were where we needed to be to help certain people. In 2 days we were able to give 3 people a blessing.

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,
Elder Newbold

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Week 83

This week was solid! Progress is being made!
Let’s see, where do I start...

Well, last Pday we played volleyball for a long time! Time got away from us but we had a lot of fun.

Friday was a miracle day! We had a really cool experience! So around 10:15am we get a random text from President Smith “Elder Newbold & Elder Patterson, I know there is an investigator in your area book who’s life has changed and is ready for baptism.”
When I read that I immediately felt it was true and had all this motivation to find this person! My companion and I talked about it and he wasn’t all too sure about it, so half jokingly he replied to President “Do you by chance know his name?” ... “Just kidding President, we will go out and find this person.”

We came into our room and we knelt and I offered a prayer for help to find this person. Then we both separately looked over our area book, over the names, to see if anyone stood out to us. I didn’t get very far; in fact I stopped at the 4th name on the list and looked to see where he lived. Then Elder Patterson and I talked about who we think we should see. The name that I stopped on was T, I felt like we should start there. He agreed and we left. We went straight over to his home. When we got to his apartment we made our way to his floor, we knocked his door, and then a man came to the door. This man stood hiding a little behind his door, the room behind him was dark... his countenance was dark he didn’t seem very inviting. I asked, “Are you T?” His response was quick, “yes that’s me, right now is not really a good time… I’m not feeling well.” Elder Patterson said, “are you sick? Is there anything we can do for you?” T responded, “no, I’m battling depression and I don’t think there’s anything you can do for me right now.” I asked, “T, can we say a prayer with you?” With a changed and better attitude T agreed. With all the construction and noise going on out in the hall on his floor, I asked if we could come into his home where it was quiet. He said yes and said hold on one second as he then shut the door and said he was going to tidy up really quick. Hearing some things being moved he then opened his door again and invited us in. We came in and asked if we could kneel he said of course as he pulled a curtain away that entered into his kitchen and living room. We moved into the next room and knelt down together. This room was lit and more inviting. Before I offered the prayer, I asked T if there was anything specific I could pray for. His response was simple, “just my depression”. After the prayer, T thanked us tremendously, he said that we had made his day much better and have brought him better feelings. After the prayer Elder Patterson felt to share a video with him. His plan was to leave him with how to watch it and he could watch it on his own, since it was an 11-minute video. But he began to play the video, we looked at each other and decided to stay and watch it with him. At the end his eyes filled with tears and he expressed his feelings. As he opened up, we listened, and we watched this man’s countenance change completely. Without asking he shared with us his life. He mentioned how he wasn’t always like this; he said some years ago I had everything. I had a car, a house, a wife, I had my own business and everything was great! I wasn’t depressed... then one year everything fell... I lost my business, my car, my house, I became depressed and my wife left me, “if it weren’t for my son I wouldn’t be here today,” he said. We just continued to listen, he also talked about how missionaries in the past would come over and teach him and his son. He really enjoyed it and was getting ready to be baptized but the only thing that kept him from moving forward was smoking. Very quickly after he said that, his words were “but I’m ready now! I want to be baptized and my son too. We’d love to have you over each Friday and take the lessons again and I want to get cleaned up and start coming back to church.”

When we first arrived at T’s door we saw a man with a dark countenance, without a smile and too self-conscious to stand in front of his door. But as we asked the right questions and did our best to listen to him, before we left, that man that originally opened the door was no longer there. He completely changed before we left and was excited to have us back.

This was our miracle! Immediately after leaving his home, we text President “We think we found him!”

The first person we met today was someone whose life had changed and desired to be baptized. We have faith that he is the one, or one of the few potential people in our area book.

Saturday we didn’t have our missionary correlation meeting but we met at the church to discuss our plans on presenting the new Christmas Initiative to our ward tomorrow during 3rd hour. It’s the same idea as last years, 25 ways to serve in 25 days. I’m excited for this year, since last year I was home. Although I participated at home, it will be special for me to be here in NYC during this time.

Also some time in the afternoon, one of the counselors sent a text to us and it said did you get my text last night? We responded “no”. And then he asked if Elder Patterson would give a talk tomorrow... so that was lame for him to be asked that late notice.

But Sunday was good! Elder Patterson’s talk was great! He just went up there and talked off the top of his head and shared some personal experiences of how he has received blessings from obeying the commandment to pray often. It was a great Sacrament service.

Recently I’ve been up and down with how I feel about being district leader. I haven’t been released since I was first called my 3rd cycle in. So it’s been about a year now and I’ve just been kind of tired of not feeling like I’m doing enough or even feeling like I know what I’m doing. And as transfers happen I hear about other district leaders I know all getting released. But this last week I’ve talked to my Zone leaders while on a split and have asked for some help, from that I’ve moved forward with a more confident outlook. My goal is to be involved more in each of the missionary’s weeks, to follow up and see how things are going and to make a clearer agenda for district meetings to help the district know what to expect from district meetings. So this week I worked on that and had an agenda prepared and I sent it to each of the missionaries so they could study along with me to come prepared to district meeting and have ideas and more questions to discuss. I felt much more confident in district meeting knowing that everyone has studied and knows what to expect. We talked about How to begin teaching, which is a topic that helps us as missionaries help those we teach feel comfortable and have a better understanding of what to expect from us as representatives of Christ.

After district meeting we went home to eat and then took off to the Metro North Station, Elder Patterson had a meeting with President. We got to Scarsdale sometime after 3pm and while Elder Patterson was with President I went with the APs, Elder Davis and Elder Davis. We went and visited a guy named M. He’s someone they are teaching. We stopped by, he let us in and we had a quick lesson with him, it was a pretty good one. Afterward we returned to the Scarsdale chapel and Elder Patterson and I were back together. The APs drove us to the station and back home we rode.

Tuesday morning, it’s Halloween! We woke up at 6 and started getting ready. We had Zone conference in Scarsdale from 8:30am-4pm. When we got to the church, we ate breakfast. Then I had a quick leadership meeting with the other leaders to discuss things we’d like to focus on with our districts/zones. Our conference started at 9 and went till about 4pm. We talked a lot about inspired questions and contacting referrals. During our lunch break we contacted a referral of ours and set an appointment with him for 5:30pm. After conference we were shuttled to the train. When we got back to Kingsbridge we went home and grabbed a Bible for our referral, then we went straight over to J (our referrals home). We talked with this guy for a bit; he had a lot to say... when we finally found a place to jump in we asked the question, “What led you to request a Bible?” He then explained his life to us; he said 15 years ago he, his daughter, and his son were all baptized in our church. But things happened and he was put out on the street by his wife and things fell apart. But now things have changed and he wants to come back to church.

Elder Patterson and I immediately after hearing this begin to look for his record in our ward… But had no luck finding anything. We took down the info we needed to track down their records. So if we find them it will be awesome to get them back to church, if we don’t find them it will be a fun adventure to help them learn the lessons and prepare for baptism again.

When we left their home it was about 6:15pm. We headed to the church because a member bought us pizza to take home. We picked up the pizza and headed home. Due to Halloween we have been asked to be in our apartments at 7pm.

It’s been a great and exciting week with some awesome miracles and lots of change going on!

Patience. Love. Faith

Much love,
Elder Newbold

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Week 82

October 18-25 2017
Day 575-581
Week 7 in Kingsbridge

Looking back our week seemed pretty eventful, let’s see how well I can remember everything!

Last Tuesday night we played basketball, with bishop’s son Antonio, who isn’t a member. Then pday we went to the park across from Yankee stadium and played soccer with all the Elders in the Zone. It was pretty fun; we invited a couple guys who were at the field to play. It felt like maybe 10 minutes into the game an Elder and one of the random guys butted heads and bust the guys lip. After a quick recovery and some spitting of blood we were back on the field playing. It was so weird how it ended tho... in the middle of the game (or so I thought it was the middle of the game) the ball was kicked out of bounds closest to where I was, as I went for the ball and returned everyone was off the field and were packing up their bags to leave... no one said anything, it was like they were robots and at the same time everyone decided they were done. Elder Patterson and I went to the church and played ball with Antonio and the sisters. We played for about 45 minutes and we were exhausted from all the sports we’ve played recently, so we stopped and went home to do laundry and some shopping.





Thursday morning my companion and Elder Matson (one of my roommates) had their “What’s next Meeting” (the meeting that all missionaries going home this cycle attend and ask questions about how they can prepare to adjust to going home). So they went on a split and went to Scarsdale for that, while Elder Clark and I were together and we went out and did some look ups in both our areas. Before we left the house I called a guy we had an appointment with and he answered and said that we could still come over at 12pm so after studies and planning we went straight over to his place. (He was a referral from headquarters, he had gone online and ordered a copy of the Bible). When we got to his apartment we tried buzzing in and no one answered so we thought maybe it doesn’t work. Then the super was just walking by and came to let us in. We went to the referral’s door and knocked, after a second time of knocking someone answered. It wasn’t him tho... it was the brother of our referral and he said that he just left. We told him we had an appointment with his brother at 12, by this time in the conversation it was 12:02pm, he told us when we could come back, we gave him our card and left. Then we did a few more Bible Referral look ups and then went into Elder Clark's area and did the same. We didn’t find anyone we were looking for but we were able to meet some people along the way. Around the time we decided to take lunch our companions text us to let us know the meeting was over. They got home a little after we did, while having lunch. We had a great split and a great day overall.

Friday I had a leadership meeting at the temple. It went longer than we planned but it was a great meeting. Our Zone leaders, Elders Bailey and Murset were asked to teach the Plan of Salvation, as they did I reflected on my life and tried to remember when I first had any connection to understanding the plan of salvation, that I could remember. I was taken back to the time I was about 12 and I was told that a close friend at the time had passed away... I remember being devastated... I went straight to my room and laid on my bed, soon after my mom came to my bed and sat with me and I can’t remember exactly what she said, but I remember being told that he wasn’t gone forever, that he had moved on from his life and was now in a much better place. I don’t know if at that time I had much of an understanding of what that meant, but it was comforting... I found hope in what words my mom shared with me and the feelings I had following her effort to comfort me. As I’ve grown and my understanding increased of the plan of salvation, that memory of mine has been reflected on often and I find much comfort knowing that he along with many others in my family who have passed are not gone, but simply, have “graduated” from this life and have returned to their maker. After the meeting we went to Chick Fil A for lunch and then headed home.

On Saturday we went to the church for missionary correlation, we talked about the people we are working with and 10 missionaries later we concluded with discussing the plans for the baptism tomorrow; the Sisters asked if I could baptize R. After our meeting we went home for lunch and then needed to be back at the church so I could give a young boy, R, an interview for baptism. R is a 9-year-old boy who is the son of a member in our congregation. A year ago he was baptized but recently realized his baptism was never recorded so we didn’t even have his name in the church. The bishop then had the Sisters begin to teach him and prepare him to be baptized again. During his interview I was so impressed with how much R understood, with each question I asked he gave an in-depth response to which it was clear he understood the questions I asked. He is so smart and so ready to be baptized.
Sunday was great! We have 10 missionaries in our ward and 2 of them gave a talk during sacrament, they did great! Elder Matson spoke on diligence and Sister Bandeaux spoke on Christ like attributes. After sacrament we went straight to the baptismal font to begin filling it for the baptism after church. During 3rd hour most of our time was spent in a missionary meeting with our ward mission leader and someone from the stake. They talked about some things they wanted to make sure we were aware of and apply as a unit in this ward. After 3rd hour, I went to the bathroom and changed. Everyone seemed to be a little rushed and so I don’t know how, but we forgot to take a picture with R before the baptism. But it was a great baptism! (The bathroom stall was taken by someone in the beginning so I found a closet to change in, so I walked into the beginning of the baptism a little late, then baptized R, after getting out of the font it took me a while again to change because I had to go to another closet while R changed in the bathroom. So I missed the Sisters teaching the restoration. But it went well from what I hear.) After the baptism it was about 5:30 so we went home for dinner, I made chicken fajitas and made some phone calls.
The Fajitas that Elder Newbold made!
Monday morning I was thrown through a loop. My mind had a lot of things going on. I received a text that morning from the Zone Leaders of things they wanted us to study, for both leadership meeting and for our split today. So I had more I needed to study then I had District Meeting to lead and Elder Richards last minute had an assignment that needed to be taken care of and asked if it could be done during district meeting and I agreed but wasn’t sure how much time we’d have... there was a lot going on and I just wasn’t sure if it would work out. But it did! After district meeting Elder Patterson and I went to a bodega for sandwiches and then to the church to eat. Later the ZLs met up with us and we started our split. I went with Elder Murset into his area. We did some daily contact with his investigators and then we made some phone calls. We had a set appointment with a guy and when we got to his apartment no one answered... we tried calling and couldn’t get ahold of him. We ended up leaving and went around to do some look-ups. We didn’t really have any success in finding anyone that we were looking for, but we both were talking to people on the bus and subway and had some great conversations. Around 5pm we stopped into a place called Checkers and had a quick dinner. Then we went to a member’s house to find out some information about some people and ask a couple questions that Elder Murset had. While there, she fed us! We weren’t expecting food but it’s the Spanish program so of course we are going to get food! She was a sweet lady, her father was home and he’s a funny guy. We had a pretty good split, I felt like although we didn’t have success in finding people today we were successful in keeping our commitment to serve and to try to find.

In my studies Tuesday morning I was studying preach my gospel and decided to read the section “a successful missionary” and I walked away from studies feeling satisfied about the work I’m doing. Although the last few months it’s been hard to find and teach people consistently, my effort to show the Lord my commitment to work no matter the outcome has been enough. In that section I read I was reminded that a successful missionary is measured NOT by the outcome of the effort put forth in the work, but the commitment that a missionary shows in his/her effort to work. It was a great split! When we un-split around 3:30pm Elder Patterson and I were back out the door and continued to work. We had a handful of look-ups to do and then we came home for dinner and went back out find more people! We had some little miracles happen tonight! As we showed the Lord we were willing to work, he blessed us to meet 2 different people at different times. The first guy, E, was a Bible Referral. We made contact with him and talked about why he wanted a Bible, he shared his feelings and experience that led him to request a copy and we gave him a copy. He was pretty happy about it and would like us to come back in a couple weeks. The next guy we met was G, he was found a year ago by some missionaries and he came to church once and enjoyed it, but we aren’t sure what happened for the missionaries to stop meeting with him. We talked about the Book of Mormon and he said the last time he read it was when the missionaries before were here. He then began to tell us what he remembered reading and almost perfectly he recited some scriptures from the first few chapters of Nephi. It was awesome; he said we could come back Friday and discuss more. He expressed to us he recently has been needing some prayers. He said he’s been having strange dreams and wanted some spiritual guidance. We testified of Christ and the peace and guidance we can receive from reading the scriptures and invited him to read and pray daily.

Overall it was a great week and we expect more miracles and we continue to put forth more work!

Patience. Love. Faith

Much love, 
Elder Newbold