New York

New York

Friday, January 19, 2018

Week 94

This week was pretty great! We’ve had some great experiences and have been working on helping the ward and future missionaries by recreating a list of all the members with simple and helpful information. For example, we have over 800 members in our area. Not all of them are still living or currently living here, contact info has been changed... etc. so we’ve been reaching out to members and trying to find them all to make it clear where people are and how we can continue to help them each make it to church or have their records moved to their local church.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018
We visited Brother C just to share a brief message and get to know him a little more. We shared a video of the Last Supper and talked about the sacrament and focused on why it’s important to each of us. It was great to hear his response in making it clear that it’s personal and is similar but different for everyone. We had a great visit with him. He’s been returning to activity recently so it’s been great to have him around at church more.

After meeting with Brother C we decided to go to another place in our area close by to look up some members and make contact with them. We felt to look up this guy named M, he lived in one of the apartments underground behind the building so it took a little bit to find it. We then gave him a call, while I was on the phone with him and trying to communicate with M (who speaks mostly Spanish) my companion met this young lady opening the gate to where we needed access to get to find M’s door. While he was talking to her he was able to find that she was interested in coming to church and they exchanged information. Meanwhile I was still trying to let M know we were coming by to visit. On the phone he said he wasn’t home, but we tried to knock his door anyway. He opened the door and he was home! He invited us in and we did our best together to speak with him. We sat on his couch and Elder Stokes offered a simple sweet prayer in the little Spanish he knew. We then shared a video in Spanish and testified of it. We invited him to allow the Spanish missionaries to stop by, he agreed and set a time for them to come tomorrow.

Thursday, January 11, 2018
We’ve been meeting with a young converts younger brother. A, he’s 14 and has shared with us his interest in being baptized. He’s young and doesn’t understand much of the commitment of baptism but we’ve been working with him to learn. We had a great little discussion on the Book of Mormon and it’s importance. We left him with a little assignment to read the introduction. We then scheduled another time to come back and talk about it. He also said he would come to church on Sunday.

Later that evening we visited a man named N, he is from Africa and was interested in receiving a Bible. I had called him some time earlier in the day or even yesterday and set the appointment. Soon before we arrived at his apartment I realized I didn’t pack a Bible with me. So we got to his door, he invited us in. We talked about what inspired him to order a Bible, he shared with us why and we then talked about the Book of Mormon. We gave him a copy and told him we would come back and deliver a Bible. We ended up teaching him the whole Restoration very briefly and setting a return appointment. We will see how he feels about the Book of Mormon and find whether he has real intent to continue learning.

Friday , January 12, 2018
Today was a special day and one to remember. We had the opportunity to watch at the chapel the funeral of President Thomas S. Monson. It was really neat! The speakers were great and I just loved hearing about their experiences serving with President Monson and testifying of how Christ leads His church.

After the funeral we stuck around waiting for a guy named C. He is one of our recent Bible & Book of Mormon referrals. We met at the church in a classroom, we opened up with a prayer and then we asked some questions to get to know him and find out why he felt to request the scriptures. He then spent the next half hour sharing with us his life story. Which was just, wow. It was so personal and he said he had never opened up to anyone about his life. We testified to him of the love his father in Heaven has for him and scheduled another day to meet and he committed to come to church on Sunday.

Saturday, January 13, 2018
Today we had correlation for the first time in about a month since our ward mission leader had been gone in Utah for the holidays.

Early that afternoon we went to Bishop Ferguson’s and visited with him for a bit. We wanted to speak with him about his goals this New Year for the ward and how we can help him to achieve them. It was a pretty great meeting as helped us make a plan to know where we should focus.

Later in the evening one of the members, Frank brought us dinner at the church, a box of pizza for each of us. It was very nice of him!

Sunday, January 14, 2018
Elder stokes gave a talk today, his topic was focused toward general conference and the importance of reviewing the messages given. We are led by a prophet today and how important it is that we not only read the scriptures of old (because they were written for our day) but how important it is that we listen to the current prophet today and what they have to teach us. We should most definitely be viewing conference both times a year but also in between, be reviewing and studying them.

Later that evening we met with a man named S, he was a referral from the sisters in Manhattan. They met him while they were meeting with one of their investigators. Right after a lesson S walked into the room and they met him and talked to him. He’s recently become sober and is working on changing more in his life to follow God. He told the sisters he would love to meet with us. So we met with him that evening and he told us his story about he was and what led him to make changes in his life.

We introduced the Book of Mormon and taught him a little bit about it. We were running short on time and set an appointment to come back next Sunday.

I find it so amazing how people we don’t know are so comfortable telling us their lives to the very details without us even asking them too because they recognize us as Christ’s representatives.

Monday, January 15, 2018
After district meeting we went on a split with Zone leaders and Elder Murset and I met M & M. They are members who haven’t been to church in some time. We talked a bit and got to know them. We asked what they remember about their baptism. They both said they were baptized at 16 and 14 (they are now 31 and 29) and they were very nervous, but excited. They said in the moment they were baptized they recognized the spirit strongly. We asked them if they had felt that way recently? One of them made a face and said naa it’s been a while. While the other one said yea, whenever I feel down and I open up the scriptures or pray, I feel the spirit. It was a nice experience and they enjoyed being with us, as did we with them.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
We had a great experience this evening!

We had just stepped out of an appointment when I answered the phone to a call from President Smith last night. After ending the conversation with him, I felt great about the decision I made to just wait and hear from my family later about Josh’s mission call and was determined to find a miracle. Very soon after my call with President, Elder Stokes and I found ourselves on a train ride to deliver a Bible; while on the train we met a man named R, he actually started the conversation. “You both are getting off at Kingsbridge right?” We replied saying “actually we are going to deliver a Bible to someone, but we do have a church over on Kingsbridge.” He said “yea I know, I had a friend drag me there a few times in the past to play basketball and stuff, I’ve never gone there for the right reasons though, just to play basketball and goof around with some friends. But hey, take down my number so we can get together another time, maybe sit down and talk more about what the church is like, I’m interested in learning.”

I just love that! Had I made a different decision on the phone that night, Elder Stokes and I would have missed that opportunity.

Grateful for these wonderful experiences that I’m having here in NY and pray that I may “Never slow down and Never stop”.

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,

Elder Newbold

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Week 93

Well I’ve got to be honest, the closer I get to coming home the less motivation there is in me to write home... I love you all dearly and am so grateful for the letters, emails, and support. I appreciate ALL who have sent me packages and letters during the holidays. As much as I would love to reach out to you individually, with the time I’m limited to it may not happen while here in NY. So I thank you all and I truly appreciate your support and kindness!

With that being said, it’s been a wonderful week! They all have been and I know they all will continue to be wonderful, I’m doing my absolute best each day and we see the success and miracles from our obedience. I do apologize in advance, I do not plan on writing too much today.

A lot has happened this week just as you’ve seen in the last handful of weeks but I’ll just write about a couple highlights.

Last Wednesday night we experienced a wonderful miracle. We had been doing some look ups around the area by our church. When leaving a building Elder Stokes said, “Who’s H W”? I explained that he’s a member we’ve been trying to get in touch with since Elder Davis came to the area and prior to our efforts Elder Richards had been trying since early April of 2017. We hadn’t had any success trying to find him, but we decided to try anyway. We got to his building and stood outside, we waited for someone to let us in. In the past we’ve usually waited for about 2 minutes or so until someone either walked in or out and we could then get in. So we waited and maybe it was just over 2 minutes but before we decided to leave I said “we will give it another 30 seconds” (I don’t know why I said that, but I did) Elder Stokes actually started to count aloud, “30, 29, 28, 27 ... 10...” then he stopped at 10... in the moment we weren’t sure why, but looking back we felt that we were both stopped in time, we didn’t leave, we stopped counting, we just waited. And what might actually have been a couple minutes later, felt like 10 seconds. But all of a sudden, someone came waking up the street and into this building, without hesitation we followed in behind. We knocked Hubert’s door and found very quickly that he was home! He opened the door and said, “come in” as if he was expecting us. We walked into his living room and sat on the couch. He sat with us and we had just the best time with him. We learned so much about him. He got so excited to talk about when he served a mission in Manchester England. He went to find his mission photo album. He sat between us on the couch and just went through and talked about nearly every photo. It was so cool to watch his excitement about his experiences.

We’ve had a handful of meetings this week. On Friday last week we had MLC and met as the mission leadership. We met in the Scarsdale chapel and discussed the needs of our zones and what we could do to help the missionaries and the areas we are serving.

Saturday morning we went to the church for the baptism of B. He’s a guy our roommates have been working with for about 8 weeks. He is so awesome!

Sunday was great! Other than the fact that our chapel was 25°! The heater in the chapel broke but everywhere else it was working.

Monday was great as well! We had district meeting in the morning and then Elder Clark and I went on a split and went up to Scarsdale for our “What’s Next Meeting”. As we sat around the living room of the mission home President leaned over to me and asked if I would conduct this meeting. He left and came back a few minutes later. In that time I picked someone to play the piano, a hymn to sing, and a prayer to be given and I conducted the meeting. It was pretty sweet! Not too many people came with questions to ask. So it wasn’t as focused in too many different topics but the first thing that was brought up was dating. Missionaries asked questions about dating. We came prepared by studying a talk called Meeting the Challenges of Today’s World and we focused on the future events of our lives; dating, career, schooling, marriage, finances, etc. it was pretty cool to be able to hear from President and Sister Smith about their experiences and what council we received from them as we discussed these nearing events in our lives.

After the meeting I went to the garage of the mission home to get my shoes, when I came back in President asked if I would conduct Zone Conference tomorrow.

Tuesday we had Zone Conference! It was a pretty great meeting and I can’t believe it was my last one. It was special to me, I felt more involved and willing to participate than usual. I wanted to make it a great one.

In the beginning I stood and welcomed the missionaries, recognized President Smith who was presiding in the meeting and Sister Smith’s presence. I informed everyone of the first few items of the agenda for this meeting and we went about it. It was such a great meeting, the Spirit was very recognizable and a lot was learned. Elder Stokes and I were asked on the spot by Elder Chaz, Davis and Elder Aurich to participate in doing a role-play with them during the conference. It was a pretty good role-play for having no preparation. I feel like this conference proved to me my growth since serving as a full time missionary. It was definitely a meeting I will remember.

We’ve been so blessed this week and I’ve recognized through practicing this and doing my best, “ALL blessings are predicated off of obedience.”  As we strive our best to be obedient and as we are obedient, we are blessed. That’s inspired me to be obedient and continually strive to be more obedient. 

I’m truly grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Grateful for the wonderful privilege it has been to serve in the Lord’s Vineyard. My time is coming quickly to an end as a full time missionary, so I will be doing ALL that I can to be my best.

Hope this was enough for you all to make it to next week! Ha ha love you all!

Patience. Love. Faith

Much love, 

Elder Newbold 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Week 92

What a fast cycle it’s been! It felt like Elder Davis and I were only on a 2-hour split. It’s crazy to look back and think it’s been 5 weeks and how much we accomplished together in that time.

December 27th, we met with this guy named K. The Spanish Sisters ran into him some time recently and they sent us over to meet with him. He met some missionaries in the past and looked forward to meeting with us. We came by around 6:30pm and talked to him a bit, he told us that he enjoyed meeting with the missionaries before. We simply taught a short version of the Restoration since he was starting his online course soon. As we came to the conclusion of our discussion, he said, “I look forward to meeting with you next week”, before we even talked about scheduling another appointment. He seems like he has potential to progress and continue learning.

Later that evening we went to M’s home and visited with he and his wife G. M again asked how we came to know Joseph Smith was a true prophet. We talked about the spirit and shared our experiences of how we’ve come to know the truth of the things we know. We invited G to sit with M and read the Book of Mormon together then to kneel and pray about it. They accepted and we told them we would follow up the next visit.

On the 28th we just met with D early in the morning. We shared a message with him and focused on committing him to read the Book of Mormon daily and as he does Heavenly Father will bless him to be able to understand English and the scriptures. He committed to do so and we invited him to be baptized on February 10th.

We came home and did weekly planning and then went out and visited members and others around the area.

Friday the 29th we went to M’s again and met with him. We followed up with him and his wife reading together. He said they read together and they prayed and they had a neat experience. He really enjoyed that with his wife, he said they haven’t done that before.
Well about half way into our visit, P (M’s Mom) came in and had all these other unrelated questions and misconceptions about the church and so we helped her understand those and then tried to gain control of the environment.
M’s wife had called while we were speaking and he was getting a little upset because P was interrupting him on the phone... so things got a little out of hand. We finally were able to gain control enough to say a prayer and get out.

When we returned home that night we received a text from President informing Elder Davis that he has felt that he and Elder Pina should go on a split tomorrow for a special assignment. We weren’t given much information then but were told we would receive a call tomorrow from someone who would give us further information.

On the 30th we went about the day and around 3pm I split with Elders Clark and Windsor. Elder Davis split with another Elder and went to Harlem for a commercial the church is making. I don’t want to share too much about it, but one day I’m sure we will see it completed but he said he thought it was really cool.

When he finished they came back to the church around 6pm and we went home to eat and then went to P’s to visit him. When we showed up he seemed really out of it and we noticed just above his eyebrow his head was split and had a nice cut parallel to his nose and a couple teeth missing. The blood looked recent like it must have happened earlier that day. We asked him about it and he didn’t say anything, we asked if he had fallen or something and then he hesitated to respond and then said he fell and hit his head on the table. He wasn’t really in the right state of mind to speak to him. So we prayed with him and we left.

Sunday the 31st we received a call from the Spanish Elders saying they met with a kid who wanted to be baptized, he even set his own date to be baptized. We messaged him and invited him to church but he couldn’t come, his mom needed his help with setting up a party for New Years.

Elder Davis was giving a talk on one of our favorite topics! REPENTANCE! He gave a great talk and we had a couple investigators show up during it.

After the sacrament meeting we came down from the stand and talked with some members, the Ardinez family invited us over that night for dinner. (Since it’s New Years Eve and The Bronx gets a bit crazy. We’ve been asked to be in a couple hours earlier tonight to avoid getting caught up with the partiers.)

After church we came straight home and changed out of our suits and got on our coats and dressed warm to go back out, we did a couple look ups and then went to the Ardinez families home. This family is so great! They are from the Philippines and are just so sweet. They have 3 boys and 2 twin girls. For dinner they cooked a lot of food! Since it was New Years they went big. The entire dinner table was covered in food. Everyone ate either on the floor or the couch. Elder Davis and I were fed 6 difference typed of meat! Chicken, goat, pig feet, beef, liver, fish, and tripe, along with all the meat we had Filipino spaghetti and rice. Elder Davis is a pretty fast eater so he finished pretty quickly and was sitting around. While I was finishing up and trying to hurry so we could leave. They thought it would be fun if Elder Davis sang karaoke while I finished eating... to save him from doing that I tried to eat as fast as possible. I finished and we ended up having to sing, “imagine”. Then we fast walked home!

Monday, the 1st of the New Year, Elder Davis was taken from me by the assistants at 8am and I spent the rest of the day with Elders Clark and Windsor in a trio till transfers. We spent all day in their area.

Tuesday the 2nd was transfers. We went to meet with D that morning and taught him the rest of the Plan of Salvation. Then we went to Inwood for transfers. My new companion by the way is Elder Stokes! (He was trained by Elder Davis!) We are gonna rock this area! After transfers we had enough time to get home have lunch and head to the church for district meeting at 2:30. After district meeting we went home for dinner around 5pm and then headed out for the night. We had an awesome experience looking up people. We met this lady J who hasn’t been attending church for the last year. She explained why and we testified to her how personal salvation is and that when we attend church it must be for ourselves and not for anyone else. The Savior knows us personally and we must strive to know him personally and to accomplish that we must attend church to partake of the sacrament. It was a neat experience to stand there in her doorway and testify to this daughter of God.

We look forward to this wonderful last cycle together!!

Elder Stoker and Elder Newbold serving their last cycle together.

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,
Elder Newbold

Friday, December 29, 2017

Week 91

This week was pretty special! We had an awesome time together!

On December 22nd we had an APF to “Light The Bronx”. Elder and Sister Richards made a lot of hot chocolate for us. We had hot chocolate in big orange Gatorade coolers and we brought them out to the front of the church doors where we had signs that said “Free Hot Chocolate”.

We had a TV playing the Light The World video in the front as well and we were outside finding people to bring in. We found a few awesome people. One of the guys we found was D, he was just walking past the church and almost didn’t come in but he did and he got some hot chocolate and we gave him a chapel tour! It was awesome, while we stood in front of the baptismal font he said, “it’s funny, my mom was just talking to me about getting baptized the other day and now here I am”. He was a pretty cool guy.

We also met this guy named T, he was walking by the church and noticed us and said “you guys took me on my first camping trip!” He stopped and we went into the church, he explained that when he was living in Georgia His friends who are members of the church took him on a camping trip with the scouts to North Carolina. Then later on when he was 13 he was baptized with his grandma and his brother since his move to New York with his mom. He hasn’t been around to church since he’s been in New York. But he said when he comes back from being upstate for the holidays he will start coming back to church now that he knows where we are. Throughout the time we were there we ended up finding a lot of people who were interested and we gave out a lot of copies of the Book of Mormon that we had wrapped up under a Christmas tree in the foyer. It was pretty awesome!

Later that evening I had my interview with President, which was pretty special.

December 23rd we had another APF. We went to Fordham plaza and set up a couple large tables and did free gift-wrapping for people. Today it was pouring rain all morning and we were afraid it wouldn’t be dry enough to gift-wrap. But we all prayed for the weather to be well enough to do it and while we set up the rain lightened up till it stopped soon after we started. We had a hand full of missionaries wrapping gifts while others were making contact with those in line. It was really special. We talked to a lot of people and so many are just so sweet and nice this time of year. I handed out a few copies of the Book of Mormon while people waited in line. The copies were also gift-wrapped and we gave them as gifts and explained what they were. When we finished and packed up the rain started again.

Our last stop for the night was Bishop’s. We just stopped in and planned to ask him about his plans and goals for the ward. But when we got there we met bishop’s stepson, N, who isn’t a member. We introduced ourselves and spoke with him for most of our visit. He expressed an interest and even a bit interest to be baptized and join a church one-day. We introduced him to the Book of Mormon and gave him a copy to read for himself. He accepted it and said he would read it.

December 24th was a very special day for Elder Davis and I. This morning we went to meet with one of our investigators, M, just to ride with him to church since he didn’t know how to get there.

When we got to his house his mom P was just walking in and we invited her to come to church with us. She wanted to but she was hesitant because she had just got home and wasn’t ready for the day. After a few minutes of standing around she decided she would come. (Now P is a character, but she is such a sweet and wonderful lady.) We had quite the conversation with her on the way to the church.

We also had 4 other investigators come to church! We had 6 total and it was awesome! The chapel was full! Before each of them left we spoke to them about how they enjoyed the service, they individually told us they loved it and would be back next week! We pray that they will remember this experience and come back often!

In the evening of Christmas Eve we had a little Family Home Evening event opened up to single people who would be alone on Christmas. We had dinner and sang songs together and then did a Christmas nativity. Elder Davis and I were shepherds. It was a pretty great Christmas Eve.

December 25th Merry Christmas!! How crazy is it that it’s already come and gone! I sure did have an amazing day! We left the apartment that morning after studies and within the first 30 minutes the Spirit led us to a nearby park where we met M. M is a single man from Mexico, he was sitting in 25° weather on a bench, in an empty park, alone. He said he had no plans for Christmas because he had no family. After a minute of speaking to him and bearing testimony to him of the love Heavenly Father has for him and that we are all family we shared with him the Christmas video, Light The World. We then introduced the Book of Mormon and gave him a gift-wrapped copy in Spanish. We exchanged contact information and wished him well on Christmas. We sent his contact information to the Spanish Elders and we walked away. We ended up by a restroom and saw a man brushing his teeth. We went inside and began talking to him. His name was A. While talking to him he told us that he had met with some missionaries before and attended church in Florida, years ago. We invited him to join us this coming Sunday, he said he would love to. We got his number and shortly after left the bathroom. Leaving the bathroom and heading towards the east side of the park to go back to the main road we turned around and looked back to find M reading the Book of Mormon, he looked up and saw us walking away, in his hand he lifted up the gold wrapping paper that previously covered the Book of Mormon and waved it in the air to us.

I don’t believe in coincidences, the Lord for a surety led us to that park and there we were able to bless the lives of those two men who were alone on Christmas Day. It was a special day.

After our park miracles, we went to meet with J to go to the nursing home where his mom was. We had with us President Smith and his family, Sister Muti and Sister Ståhle. We went to his mother’s room and wheeled her to the lunchroom where some others were gathered and we sang some Christmas songs together.

Later that evening we spent some time calling home and talking to our wonderful families! It was so great to see and talk to them!

When we came back in that night we got a phone call from the Spanish Elders, they said they called M and he answered. They said he told them that he began reading the Book of Mormon and loved it, it helped him keep his mind off of drinking alcohol which was awesome, because he has been sober for 3 months now and has tried quitting. They set an appointment to meet with him the next day.

We truly have been so blessed this Christmas with all that we’ve done and have seen. Miracles have NOT ceased. The Savior Lives and He Loves us. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It is divine and it is scripture. It testifies of the Savior Jesus Christ and is proof of His earthly ministers while here in the Americas. I invite all to give heed to the scriptures and the special witnesses of Him who lives.

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,

Elder Newbold

Friday, December 22, 2017

Week 90

We’ve just been having a blast together! Elder Davis and I are seeing so many great things!

On December 15th we had the mission Christmas Devotional. As a mission we gathered in the Ossining chapel. President Smith and his family each spoke to us and bore their sweet simple testimonies on the Savior Jesus Christ. In between each of them speaking a musical number was performed. It was a really great devotional. 

Tonight I finished reading the Book of Mormon! I started 110 days ago on August 17, 2017 and tonight before going to bed I finished reading it. It’s been so awesome to read it through once again. I’ve received so much greater insights and knowledge from the scriptures this time around and I plan to begin reading from the beginning again tomorrow and hopefully finish before I come home.

The next day we met with this referral we received a couple weeks ago, we were finally able to get in contact with him. We met with him at 10am and it was a pretty cool meeting. He comes from a Muslim background but is searching out Christianity. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and he has shown to be fairly interested.

We then went to another referrals place to deliver the Large Print copies of the Bible and the Book of Mormon that she ordered and visit with him to see his interest level. We had a pretty good visit with him. His name is M.

We then took a mini road trip on the bus to get to the very top of our area and help a member move into their new home. They had already been unpacking for a little while so we were only there about 15 minutes and then we were offered a ride by another member to drive us to the church. Driving in a car in the city is pretty crazy. People don’t know how to drive here. When we got to the church we walked down to Fordham Rd. and met with some other missionaries for an APF. We had set up tables on the sidewalk and were offering to wrap Christmas gifts for free! It was so solid! We showed up and there were a handful of people surrounding these tables in line to have their gifts wrapped. So while the Sisters were wrapping, Elder Davis and I would talk to the people in line and share the Christmas initiative, talk about their plans for Christmas, ask if they have any party’s coming up (if not invite him to our church Christmas party), ask them if they are going to church Christmas Eve, etc. everyone was so nice and open, because it’s Christmas! Everyone’s hearts are being softened. It’s so much easier to find people who will let us share the gospel. It was such a great service APF. About an hour into us being there one of the Sister companionship’s had to leave and the line of people was growing so I hopped behind one of the tables and started wrapping some gifts and talking to people. It was one of the best things we’ve done, everyone loved it. People getting their gifts wrapped were saying how great an idea this was and that they love it!

After about another 45 minutes my hands were pretty cold and another companionship showed up to take our spot. So Elder Davis and I then went back to the church for our Christmas party.

Sunday was pretty good! I was asked to give a talk earlier in the week, here are my notes:

The topic is Trusting in the Lord.

Have you ever wondered why people respond differently to the same set of circumstances? Such was the case with Lehi’s family. During their trials, some of the family members looked to God and trusted in Him while others complained, lacked faith, and rebelled. Our response to circumstances should produce growth and greater faith rather than an attitude of complaining and rebellion.

We’ve been given so many wonderful examples of Heavenly Fathers children showing trust in His Son, Jesus Christ. We see this all throughout the scriptures both the Book of Mormon and The Bible.

We see it here:
In 1Nephi 17:8-9
Nephi writes...
8 “...the Lord spake unto me, saying: Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters.”
9 “And I said: Lord, whither shall I go that I may find ore to molten, that I may make tools to construct the ship after the manner which thou hast shown unto me?”

Did you listen closely?

The Lord commanded Nephi to build a ship.. that was the commandment, it was easier said than done, but Nephi‘s trust was in the Lord, he shows how much he trusted the Lord in his simple response “...Lord, whither shall I go...”

Nephi’s confidence did not likely come from any previous ship-building experience. Rather, his confidence stemmed from tremendous faith & trust he had in the Lord.

We see how much trust and faith the Brother of Jared had in the Lord,

In Ether 3:4 we read
“O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness;...”

The brother of Jared’s trust was in the Lord. He knew that the Lord had power to do whatsoever was asked of Him, if it be to benefit Heavenly Fathers children.

Because of his trust, the brother of Jared’s request was not only granted of the Lord, but he also saw the Lord in this experience...

Brothers and Sisters, at times we may become discouraged because we compare ourselves and our circumstances to the countless demonstrations of great faith and trust in the Lord that we see in the scriptures so long ago.

But I strongly encourage each of us to take the Lord’s word.

2Nephi 4:4
“...Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; and inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence.”

May we each trust in the Lord and His promises. They weren’t given just for the time of those people, the commandments were given for us all and for now.

Alma 38:5
5 “And now my [brothers & Sisters], I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.”

After church we were asked by a member, Brother B to go to the hospital with he and his wife to help give his mother a blessing. It was super awesome, it was Brother B’s first time anointing for a blessing. (He’s a convert of 2 years and his mother is not a member) it was really neat to be there with him and participate in blessing his mother.

December 19th 2017
It’s Tuesday! Which means Elder Davis is going with his group of missionaries who will be going home with him. We went to Manhattan for the day; we arrived at the temple and waited for the others to show up. When they did they all went inside and I joined Elder Espinoza and Elder Smiley for the day. We went upstairs and had companionship study and talked about the day and who we will see. We had a look up to do and then we went to a member’s for lunch. This member was so awesome, he is a Green Beret and he’s from, or his parents are from/currently live in Citrus Heights. He is such a great guy and in his last visit with the Elders he told them about his current goals in life and we did this really awesome game to relate to life and including Heavenly Father in our goals and looking out for His helping hands.

After returning to the temple to meet up with Elder Davis again we immediately returned to Kingsbridge where we met with K, a referral we received more recently. We followed up with him for the 2nd time to see if he had read the Book of Mormon. He said he had not, but is going to make time to read soon. We began testifying of the importance of this book and how it will bless him spiritually. It will give him a better understanding of Christ. He then had all these questions about who Joseph Smith was, who wrote the Book of Mormon, etc. all the questions that could be answered in the introduction of the Book of Mormon, so we invited him to read the introduction to have all his questions answered.

After meeting with him we left to our next appointment with M and he is just so awesome! He’s got all these great questions! (He has been in and out of prison twice because of false charges, yet he continues to smile through it all. He was locked up for a number of years in total and is just searching for truth. He said he was baptized while he was in prison but while we were meeting with him yesterday he said that he is thinking about being baptized again.) He’s just so awesome and is being prepared to receive the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Then we went to the church to meet with Brother B, soon after we got there so did he and he brought a box of pizza for each of us and then said he needed to leave back to the hospital to be with his mom. He’s so awesome!

It’s truly been a wonderful week. A scripture that I’ve loved this time around reading the Book of Mormon is in Ether 12:41. “And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen.”
My invitation to those who read this is the same… seek this Jesus of whom the prophets have written. It is only by our personal search, ponder, and prayers that we may receive our own witness of the truth and divinity of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. As promised by Moroni “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,

Elder Newbold

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