The intermission has ended and life as a full time servant of God has once again began.
March 20, 2017
Monday, Day 361
__ Days till real life
Today was the day I went to bed just after Midnight, prior to waking up this morning around 4:30 AM. I gave my farewells to my brothers, sister, and niece and off to the airport we drove. We arrived with what we thought was enough time... then we saw the security check line... we've never seen such a long line for security... it was like Black Friday or something. So while mom and I waited in the line dad walked up towards the front and worked his magic. He said something like, “would anyone like to help a missionary get on his flight on time?” Who would have known but God, that a young woman, convert of the church, heading home to LA and happened to be at least 150 people in front of where mom and I stood, she let us into the front and let me stand with her.
|Elder Newbold and the sweet girl who let him cut in line with her|
I made it through security and was on my way! I got to my plane and watched the 2nd to last person board the plane. I was last and just in time. I thank my Heavenly Father for my family and for putting people like that young woman in line that morning. A few hours later I landed in Chicago, walking to find my gate an older woman walking toward me, behind a small group of teenagers, she said "Elder! Where are you coming from and where are you going?" I responded and she then said, "Can I get you something to eat?" I politely declined her offer, I wasn't really hungry, I was anxious and excited to return to my mission so I felt no hunger. She didn't take no, and then asked, "Can I get you something to drink?" I then accepted her generous offer and she gave me $10 and quickly was on her way. As I stood there, more grateful for the tender mercies and blessings God had given me just that morning; my heart was full and my eyes filled with tears... I thanked God and grabbed myself a water. I then found a spot to sit; I face timed home and spoke with my family for a bit. They talked me into buying a $500 Sandwich at the airport... (It was really $12) but it was made from a regular loaf not even a 6". But thank you mom and dad! The airport Wi-Fi was timed, so we only saw each other for 30 minutes, then for about 10 minutes more we were able to talk but I couldn't see them. Which was fine. People started lining up to board so soon after we ended the call and I got on the plane. From Chicago, I then flew into White Plains New York… Excited, nervous, and anxious to see my Mission President and Trainer, Elder Tabor, I unbuckled from my seat after landing and eventually made my way down the aisle of the plane. Exiting the plane, I followed a line of people who sat in the seats in front of me. I turned a corner and made my way down the hallway, I began looking over shoulders as I looked for President Smith. I spotted him; anxiously he looked left and right at the doorway where I would exit. Finally, coming through the door frame and allowing the crowd in front to make their way to baggage claim I was met with arms open wide by President Smith and shortly after then embraced by my great trainer Elder Tabor. What a reunion!
|Landed in NY|
|Elder Newbold and Elder Tabor reunited!|
As we then waited for another Elder on the next flight to land, Elder Tabor and I turned to those around us to begin conversations. The Elder soon landed and made his way to us. President Smith planned to have Elder Tabor Facebook live the Elders welcome and have me speak, saying "Here we are in White Plains New York welcoming an Elder to the mission from the Mexico MTC." In hopes to surprise mom with a Facebook live with me in it. Unfortunately, as we began to open Facebook, we went live and everything froze. The screen was black and we missed the opportunity. We are sorry mom!
We then drove to Scarsdale, where Elder Tabor and I went down to the chapel and I began my evening with the office elders. We had dinner at the chapel in the gym with all the new missionaries. I sat with Elder Chambers, Elder Tabor, President Smith and Sister Smith; it was so great to be back and to be talking with them all again. After dinner we then took all the new Elders to a hotel, there were too many missionaries/sisters, to have the Elders stay at the mission home. So the sisters took the mission home and the Elders went to a hotel.
Afterward we took the van to the mission office, vacuumed it, put the seats back in, and went home and got ready for bed! What an entrance to the mission!
March 21, 2017
Tuesday, Day 362
__ Days till real life
We woke at 6am. We went to breakfast with the Elders at the hotel. Afterward we piled into the van and went to the Scarsdale chapel. After dropping off the new missionaries at the chapel we went to the train station and picked up all the new trainers for this transfer.
When transfers began I was with Elder Kryzsxmoski (I may have butchered the spelling of his name, but it's something like that). We drove from Scarsdale to Ossining where I was also reunited with Elder Gentry and Elder Tatafu! Both very excited to see me, it was so awesome!
|Elder Newbold and Elder Gentry|
We picked up a group of sisters from Ossining and began driving to Inwood. On the freeway, Elder Mafi called and said one of the sisters left their iPad... so we turned around, I filled the car with gas, then we got back to the Ossining chapel and went on with transfers. We drove to Inwood and I met up with my companion, Elder McBride! Boy was he excited to see me! We wasted no time; we grabbed my bags and took off on our long journey home. I'll put it into perspective for you all, if you look at a map or picture of Manhattan, the very top portion is Inwood and my apartment is toward the very bottom of the island on 6th st. and Avenue D. So we took a train alllllll the wayyyyyy down to alphabet city, and then took a bus home to the apartment. The rest of the evening was pretty chill. I unpacked a bit, settled in, and changed out of my suit. We talked about the people we are teaching, the members, the Ward, and the area. We went out and got to work. (I'm writing this a few days later so I can't remember what exactly we did.) But we ended it a great day!
|Elder Newbold and Elder McBride, his new companion|
March 22, 2017
Wednesday, Day 363
__ Days till real life
This morning we had a quick daily planning session, personal study, then went to our church building on 87th St. and had district meeting. Elder McBride is our district leader and he's awesome! When we finished district meeting we went back down the island towards the World Trade Center and ate lunch at shake shack with our investigator C, Tony Zeng, and Shelby Gardner. It was so awesome, I we didn't expect to see Shelby there! It was a sweet surprise; she was pumped to see me back in the mission field (just days before she had commented her excitement of my return on instagram of the last picture I posted).
|Sent to me from Tony Zeng, whom he had lunch with!|
When we finished up we walked with C to work, got to know him a little more, then we went home and did some weekly planning! Usually we do them on Thursdays but this week was busy and weird with transfers. We had dinner at home; Elder McBride made me some awesome tacos with ground turkey meat (with taco seasoning), rice and cheese. We then went to the church, did some daily contact on Facebook with some of our members and our investigator C. We went down stairs around 8pm for institute, but C never showed up, so we headed home. We got on the train, talked to some people, asked for referrals, got onto a bus, talked to more people, asked for more referrals, received none, then we were home at 9pm! It's pretty cool, so now we come home after a long days work, we kneel at our study desks and pray-out for the night as a companionship, and the rest of the night is ours! Till 10:30, I showered, cleaned up, and settled in and wrote in my journal.
Oh yea! Today was super cold! Goodnight!
March 23, 2017
Thursday, Day 364
__ Days till real life
Day 4 back in NY
Woke at 6:15am left the apartment at 7:30 we went to grand central station (or my aunts constipation) [name that movie]. Went on a split for the day, Elder McBride had his "What's next" meeting, since this is his last cycle. The Elder I split with was Elder Petersen, he was called to serve in Turkey, served for about 5 months, the government broke out in war or something crazy, they sent all 20 missionaries in Turkey to Germany, he served their for a bit, they moved them back to Turkey, then he was reassigned to NY. We really just went around looking for Turkish people lol. We actually had good luck with that. We stopped into a couple Turkish restaurants and I just stood there with a smile as he spoke his called language.
Then we got the text to pick up mail, it was after 12:30 so we went to the temple, picked up Mail, and on our way out... Elder Reyes, who served with Elder Gentry after I left, stopped me at the elevator and told me that E had passed away 2 months ago from a heart attack... I was heart broken.
We then went home after quickly un-splitting at a train station and ate a quick snack for lunch. Then went to our chapel on 87th St. to drop off mail.
*A former investigator called us late last night while we were in bed. He said he wanted to meet with us. We told him we could today. So after dropping off mail, we went down stairs to wait for this guy who said he wanted to meet... after sometime we came to the conclusion he wasn't going to show, so we left. So just before we left, Elder McBride was holding open the church doors. This young man was walking past and Elder McBride literally jumped out in front of him and said "would you like to come to church with us on Sunday!?" The 19 year old, was named G, he said "here? Yea sure!" As we started to talk to him, he said that it was cool that we happened to be here and ask that because he and his girlfriend on Monday wanted to change things up in their lives, so they started a diet, started going to the gym, and he said church would be a good idea. We jotted down his name and number really quick and told him we would remind him on Saturday.
We then decided to get chipotle for dinner! So thank you for the gift cards mom and dad! Being the beginning of a new cycle he had little money, so we used my cards for dinner. So thanks again! We took our food to the church, ate, and prepared for a lesson we were going to have at the church... and it never happened. He ended up canceling. So we went home and arrived on time.
March 24, 2017
Friday, Day 365
__ Days till real life
Day 5 back in NY
We had a district leadership meeting at the Lincoln Square Chapel. On our way President Smith called and asked me to organize a group of Elders to assist in bringing mail up from his car when he arrived. When his car pulled up, the back passenger door flew open and out ran William (His son) with his arms open wide he jumped on me and gave me a hug (this was the first time he had seen me since I've been back). It was awesome to see him and I appreciated the hug!
The district meeting was great! I gave the closing prayer. Following that meeting we had a YSA missionary meeting, we had a guest with us. He's a member of our YSA Ward, and he shared his story. He grew up in the church but ventured off when he turned 18, his friends weren't a great influence, but it was his choice. He went to parties and drank while away at college. He just wanted to live a life for himself. He shared with us that he never decided that he would stay away from the church completely or that he would ever come back, he just wanted to make his own decisions and have fun drinking. Well he did that and for years it continued. He eventually hit a point where he wanted more than the "happiness" he had in his life. He was missing peace. He hated his job, hated the flow of his day-to-day life, and a friend of his reached out and asked for him to be a witness at his wedding. Knowing that he needed to change in order to be part of his best friends temple wedding. He started cleaning up and coming back to church. He met with his bishop and changed his life around, stopped drinking and being with friends that influenced him to do wrong. And today is now a strong and fully active member of the church. The point of his story was for him to relate to any of us who could and to help us understand the possible life style or situations of many other YSA age people in the world. Everyone’s situation is different and no one will learn or be interested in the gospel but on his or her own terms and choice. He then opened up the room to questions and we were able to ask questions about how he thinks we could work better to find YSA age investigators. It was a really eye opening meeting I enjoyed it!
By the time our meetings were over it was 4! I hadn't eaten yet. So we quickly found some pizza and came back to the church, I ate at the church and then we got onto Facebook and contacted some people, we sent out invitations and reminders about the "Refugee crisis" fireside on Sunday night. Around 5:30pm we left and met up with a member (Bill) at 6pm for dinner at Johnny Rockets! It was great! I love when members feed us! Afterwards we left about 7pm and were more than half way to meeting up with this guy, and he canceled on us!
On our way home we looked up some people and no one was home. On our way home I was needing some water, I'm sick of NYC water... it makes my mouth dry afterward... So I bought a 2.5 Gallon jug. I need a fit bit!! Because today we walked roughly 12 miles!! We finally made it home and I was beat! And this is when the schedule change comes in clutch! We dropped to our knees and we prayed out and I got ready for bed.
March 25, 2017
Saturday, Day 366
__ Days till real life
Day 6 back in NY
After getting ready this morning we went to the church so Elder McBride could begin My Plan. While he did that I studied for a bit. Afterwards we got a Facebook message from a member of our ward asking if either of us had a sewing kit! I thought it was funny and Elder McBride responded to him saying, "Elder Newbold does, he's a seamstress" it was pretty funny. People will forever know the skills of Elder Newbold around the mission (My animal impressions, my haircutting, and pant sewing!)
Today was pretty slow after studies, so not much happened, but just as we were about to end the night and call it a day we stopped by a less active member’s apartment. Some girl answered on the intercom and said that R wasn’t home, we told her who we were and she said, "Oh he's been wanting to talk to you guys!" So she gave us his number and we called him right then. He was so excited to hear from us, he said that he was out of town on business but would love to get together! So that's our miracle! Then to top it off! Our goal is to ask EVERYONE we talk to for referrals. So we asked him if he knew anyone we could share a message with, and he responded "oh yeah, I've got 3 guys that live around me." We were stoked. So we hope to stay in contact so we can meet when he gets back from work.
Elder McBride and I have a good time together! He says I've got a great sense of humor and he's grateful for that because it makes days like today that are slow enjoyable and better to get through! So I'm grateful to be a blessing in his life.
And I’ll end the night on that note.
March 26, 2017
Sunday, Day 367
__ Days till real life
Day 7 back in NY
Sunday was great! It's fast Sunday! I got to meet some awesome members of our ward! C didn't show up, once again to church so after sacrament we joined the group in family history for a run down of the way it'll work and who has received callings in that area. It was awesome to hear what was being said; great testimonies of family history were shared. We then joined the men in Elders quorum up stairs for 3rd hour.
After church we came home and studied. Before we left for our dinner appointment we stopped by a couple people’s homes and no one was home. We had dinner with a member, A, who's moving out of the east side and over to the west side to expand the options of dating in the west side YSA Ward lol.
We left dinner and went to the Refugee Crisis fireside. Before it started it was super awesome! One of the members in my last YSA Ward, Brandon Harrison, was in the hall of the Lincoln Square building and his eyes widened and his arms flew open and he embraced me right then! Super excited to see me again! He said a few times while we chatted that he it was great to have me back! So I wasn't sure if he knew I went home and was talking about me being back in the mission or back in the area. Either way, it was great to see him and he offered to take us out to eat anytime! It was sweet to see him. We left the fireside a little early so we could make it home! Great sabbath!
Great first week back! Thank you all for the support, going home and staying home for 5 months was tough, but it all has been so worth it and I've learned so much. I'm grateful for those who have reached out to me and members of my family and have offered ways to help pay for my mission. I'm beyond grateful for my home Ward and previous Ward for all the love and support, I've felt like I don't deserve all that I've been given, in fact I don't deserve it all... but God has seen fit for blessings to be showered from Heaven above on my family.
I love you all and thank you!
Till next week!
Patience. Love. Faith