New York

New York

Monday, April 24, 2017

Week 57

April 17, 2017
Monday, Day 389
Day 29 back in NY

This morning we got up at 5:30 to start our laundry. We got our stuff together and we were out the door... We got to the elevator and it wasn't working... (We are on the 5th floor and the laundry room is in the basement) Elder McBride didn't like that very much and decided that we would go back to bed. So back to bed we went.  I was already awake so I didn't go back to sleep, but laid in bed till the 6:30 alarm went off. Then we did laundry when the elevator started working. We then studied and planned. Then finished our laundry and went about getting ready.

We went grocery shopping at Trader Joes and came home to unload after lunch at the apartment. We left to Soho and went looking around Cole Haan with Elders Mackintosh and Cottrell. We know a member who works there and hooked it up for them. Elders McBride and Mackintosh wanted new shoes and the member gave them 50% off.

After having dinner at home we went to go meet a member of the church who was on our list to visit. He was super cool, very nice guy! He shared his story with us and it was really neat. It was definitely a great experience, after hearing someone's experience of growing up in the church and knowing that his chosen lifestyle wasn't fit to continue and deciding to leave the church and still respect the church, I've never experienced the amount of love that I was blessed to feel for him from Heavenly Father... With this overwhelming feeling of love, I couldn't help but do my best to express it to him and let him know that although his life decisions don't correspond with the standards of the church that his Father in Heaven loves him so much and welcomes him back.

We had one last stop before heading home; we met with another member of our ward, a convert of about 2 years or so. He too has an incredible story, which in short starts with him coming from China as an Atheist and eventually finding the church in search of something more in life. He's got an awesome conversion story typed up and I was able to read it. The message we shared with R was focused on the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What we felt to share with him was starting with the apostasy and ending with Joseph Smith’s experience. Elder McBride began describing the apostasy and what it was like on earth during that time. When he transitioned into the Restoration, where I then took over, there was already so much power in the message and it felt so good to share. Before sharing Joseph Smith’s experience, I paused, and the room was silent and the spirit's presence was strong, I continued...

"I saw a pillar of light, exactly over my head above the brightness of the sun which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me I saw two personages whose brightness and glory defy all description standing above me in the air, one of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said pointing to the other, this is my beloved son, hear him."

This message and Joseph's experience has so much power! I know that Joseph Smith was and is a chosen Prophet of God. I know that even as a 14 year old boy Joseph was confused when it came to religion and I know that because his confusion and desire to know he went forth and read in the Bible, James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

And I know that from this, Joseph knew if anyone lacked wisdom it was him, with the little education he had. He took the scripture to heart and carried forth with faith and asked of God. From his experience, as shared above, I too know that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph and that they live and love us. And they show this love by their continuation of calling prophets. I know that if we feel that we lack wisdom, in any way, we can ask God and receive answers and guidance. This is my testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

April 18, 2017
Tuesday, Day 390
Day 30 back in NY

This morning we got up and went straight to the church. Elder McBride had his exit interview. While he was in the chapel having his interview I sat in the hall and read the Book of Mormon. Following the interview we went up stairs to prepare for our leadership meeting and district meeting. We had our FaceTime leadership meeting then district meeting. To save time we stayed at the church and had studies, Elder McBride did My Plan. For lunch we went home and I probably had chicken quesadillas with Chick-Fil-A Sauce.

We had an appointment with A, a recent convert. We went to his place to stop by for a quick visit, we knocked on the door, someone came to the door but no body answered… so after knocking annoyingly multiple times and getting no one to open the door, we left.

We went home for dinner. Then had to go back to the church to give a Baptismal interview to one of the Sister’s Investigators, K. While at the church we quickly planned our split and soon after we met with Elders Staker and Reyes. We split at the train station then Elder Staker and I went home. Tomorrow should be a good split... We didn't have much planned since it's been tough meeting with our members.

April 19, 2017
Wednesday, Day 391
Day 31 back in NY

Our split today was good. We did a lot of look-ups. We have a list of people who need to be contacted and figure out whether they still live at their addresses or if they've moved. We had a miracle today! We were doing look-ups down by the Brooklyn Bridge and we came across this name B. We went to his address, knocked on the door, and he came to the door! He immediately said "hey, y'all came over last time right?" We explained that neither of us came last time, we were on a split and the last time missionaries came by was about a year ago. The next thing he said was "That's crazy, I was just cleaning up the house and couldn't find my Book of Mormon, do y'all have another one?" We gave him a Book of Mormon and talked about his interest in the church. He said that he wasn't interested in looking for a church but that he likes to read religious books. He did say that he is interested in coming to church activities; we talked about Volleyball, institute, and FHE he said he'd like to come to volleyball. He said that he was going to visit his dad this week and that we should send him an invite about volleyball so when he's back in the city next week he could plan for it.

Super awesome! The rest of the split we did look-ups and looked for those who live here or moved away. On our way home we saw the Nesquick bunny dancing on the street corner and next to him were 3 reps from Nesquick passing out free bottles of protein packed vanilla milk shakes. We grabbed a bottle and headed home!

When we got home it was about 5pm. We got a text from President Smith asking if we could meet up in The Bronx, Olmstead. We told him we could, so we ate a quick bowl of salad and went to the Temple to split back with the Elders. Elder McBride and I quickly made our way to Olmstead. We got on the train and went up to 138th St. and got off to transfer to the express train. It was so fun! We took the train through Hunts Point and I got to see parts of the area I served in during my first 6 months! We kept going up and finally got off at Park Chester. Then we quickly walked to the church to meet with President, Elder McBride needed to translate a baptismal interview for President Smith. While they were in the interview, I waited in the hall with some Sisters and the kids to the mother who was being interviewed.  After the interview, we got into the car with President and he started to take us home. He grabbed McDonalds for me for dinner, which I was so grateful for! He's the best. I only had a small bowl of salad before I left the apartment. Instead of taking us all the way home we had him drop us off at the train station in Harlem so he could just get home to his family and we could travel home. So here comes a miracle! We were on an express train, so the stops were spread out a bit. The second to last stop for us a man gets on and stands right in front of us. I was on the phone sending some messages and Elder McBride saw this man and just felt like this guy in front of us really wants to talk to us. (“Not, oh I think we should talk to this guy, but this guy wants to talk to us") So Elder McBride compliments him on his suit. They talked about where he was coming from since he was dressed so nice; he told us he had a job interview. They talked for a little bit and then came to our stop. Someone called, so I was on the phone and the crowd of people got off the train, we lost sight of the guy we were talking to. As we were then walking up the stairs, I was on the phone and Elder McBride was up in front of me. Once we both met at the top of the stairs, there was the guy on the train, waiting for us. Still on the phone, I was occupied, and couldn't hear their conversation, but after talking to my companion about it after leaving the station he said... The guys name is K, he said when he got on the train he felt something peaceful… he said he didn't know why he did when he first got on, but after speaking with my companion and I he knew that it was because we were good people. They exchanged contact information and we were on our way.

We were blessed even though we were coming home late. But everything happens for a reason. It was a great way to end the night!

April 20, 2017
Thursday, Day 392
Day 32 back in NY

Today wasn't too wonderful and full of stories but it was a good day! Following our studies and everyday routine, we went to the church to weekly plan. We worked a lot on Google sheets where we have a list of members that needed updating, so we spent time putting in information about less active members and others we've been trying to contact, updating contact info and making notes about them. After a couple of hours we decided to go to Chick-Fil-A for dinner! Thanks mom! 

They only get 30 mins for lunch so since sometimes it's hard for them to get back to their apartment, make lunch and eat it so quickly, I like to send him gift cards so he and his companion can have the convenience of eating out. 
Around 7pm we went back to the church to help set up for Volleyball. When we finished it was time to head home.

April 21, 2017
Friday, Day 393
Day 33 back in NY

After studies this morning we went out just around our apartment and tried looking up some people. We went out for about an hour or so, and then came back for lunch. On our way home for lunch, we were walking under some scaffolding and Elder McBride stepped into this pretty big crack that neither of us saw at first and he rolled his ankle and took a pretty nice tumble. The construction workers around came over and assisted him. He was fine; his ankle was pretty swollen and too sore to walk on very long. The workers went over and got him some ice packs and filled in the gap in the concrete. After lunch we needed to go to our YSA meeting on the west side at the temple. We were about 15 minutes late because Elder McBride’s unexpected dip. The meeting was great; we set goals for this week and planned to achieve them. After our meeting we grabbed mail and took it to our chapel for the district. Then our night concluded with contacting members.

April 22, 2017
Saturday, Day 394
Day 34 back in NY

I honestly don't remember much of what happened today beside the wedding reception we set up for. We traveled for about an hour or so to get to this random studio apartment where the wedding reception would be. The wedding was for a couple in our YSA Ward. We waited at the front of the building for the senior couple the Huntington’s. They are so awesome! We carried up some boxes to the room and began unfolding and setting up chairs and tables. Then more of the people setting up showed up and brought the decorations, we were needed there for longer than expected. The cake was later then planned and others came later bringing decorations. We started setting up around 5pm and left the party around 7:30 when we finished. Then home we went.

April 23, 2017
Sunday, Day 395
Day 35 back in NY

This Sabbath was great! We had Ward council this morning, which was good, we were able to report and inform the ward that we had made progress on the list we were given. We were also asked late last night if we could teach Gospel Principles. We accepted, although we had no time to prepare. We have K's baptism today! After sacrament we went to the basement to fill the font. When we got to class after filling the font, we split up the members into groups and assigned them a section of the lesson. Each had a question as the heading of the lesson, they read over it and had to come up with an experience or story that they've had or known to share with the lesson. We then went around the room and had each group teach the lesson to each other. It made the class much more engaged! It was a great lesson. After church we went to the basement, turned off the water and got ready for the baptism. It was so great! There was a good amount of people to support K. The service was so sweet and awesome, the members who were asked to speak became good friends with her prior to her baptism so it was awesome how well they were able to focus and relate everything they said to K. It was a great baptismal service, very well put together and the spirit just radiated from K and those in the room.

That's about all that happened and worth writing about this week! So I apologize for how short this week’s email is.

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,
Elder Newbold
Sent from my iPad

Newbold Avenue!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 56

April 10, 2017
Monday, Day 382
Day 22 back in NY

This morning we woke up at 4:30 to start our laundry, then we came back to go to bed... it was very difficult falling back asleep, but I must have about 6 and woke up at 6:30. After studies we went to Trader Joe's for our groceries. We met a member that works there, he told us he's from Roseville, California and he hasn't been active for some time. We were checking out so we didn't have much time to talk but hopefully next week we see him again. I think he said his last name was (Burn-strum) or something like that. If I see him again I will invite him to church! We came home put our groceries away, ate a quick snack to hold us over till lunch. We went to Chick Fil A for lunch! Thanks family of mine for the gift cards! We enjoyed our delicious chicken and waffle fries! After lunch we met up with our roommates at Jos. A Bank and looked around while Elder McNairy looked for a suit. We then hopped around to a few different stores before coming home. We came home responded to emails and had dinner. Oh! I was sitting by the window writing emails and I heard some commotion outside. I opened up the window and looked out and saw a "fight". So we all huddled around the window. A large group gathered and the police drove by and watched then left. The police were in a tiny smart car, a couple minutes later the police returned with 2 other police cars and they drove up to the scene and everyone took off. Elder McBride and I went to the church, I filled out lesson reports and Elder McBride looked for members in our Ward who we haven't met yet, mainly less actives then came home, we came up to our building and there were all these trucks and things, usually that means a movie is being filmed. This guy came out of our building while we stood around to see if we could find out what movie and on our building the "Punisher" skull was projected. He said that they were filming the punisher, so maybe our building will be in the show on NETFLIX or something.

April 11, 2017
Tuesday, Day 383
Day 23 back in NY

This morning we went to the church for Leadership/District meeting. Elder McBride had asked me to give a spiritual thought on prayer. I accepted and went to a scripture I had marked sometime ago. Doctrine and covenants 10:5 "5 Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work.

After sharing this scripture I briefly shared an experience I had of prayer. I explained that praying always is really just keeping a conversation with God. The experience I shared was the day before I had come home from New York. President Smith and I had just finished our tour of the Hartford Connecticut Temple. A set of sisters from our mission had asked us to bring home their car. After arriving at the church where their car had been left President asked me to follow him, driving behind him alone in a separate car. He then said, it'll be an hour and a half drive so use that time to just talk to God, and that's what I did. Something I learned during that experience was that it's also just as important if not more important, to not just talk, but to listen. After sharing my experience I shared my testimony and we moved forward with sharing miracles.

When the meeting ended we went to do a few look-ups. Then around 2pm we meet V for a late lunch. We meet at this place called T-swirl Crepes. And no we did not just eat Crepes... They were pretty good tho. We really only wanted to get to know V better and he wanted me to try the Crepes since I've never been. We then went home for an actual lunch and studies.

When we left the apartment we had planned to go to the church to do some Facebook contacting and hopefully find out whether C would be coming to institute or not. On our way to the train station we ran into a member from our ward. He told us he had been waiting for the train for a while then an announcement came and there would be delays... So we changed directions and walked to a bus stop with him. It was a long ride... About an hour long. We talked with the member most the ride there and also talked to this really nice woman sitting next to us. By the time we had gotten to the church, we had time I only to go to the bathroom...fill our water bottles and head home...

April 12, 2017
Wednesday, Day 384
Day 24 back in NY

Today we meet up with the Harlem YSA elders (Elders Davis and Elder Burt) to split. They aren't in our district, but we got permission from President to split. The reason we split was because Elder Burt had a dentist appointment with an active member from our ward. So I was with Elder Burt, we went to the NYU dentistry. It was only brief but I got to meet the member of our ward. Elder Burt doesn't have much longer in the mission so he was getting his teeth checked prior to going home. His appointment was about an hour and half and for some reason I couldn't be with him, so I was in the waiting room on my own for that time. Which was a little weird. After the dentist we made our way home. The whole way home Elder Burt asked a lot of questions about my journey home. He explained that he had a couple friends return home early and he wanted to know how he should talk to them and what he could say to them. It was pretty cool, we just talked about it all and how I've taken the whole experience as a blessing, nothing but blessings came out of the experience of going home.  When we got back to our apartment for studies our conversation continued and a full study session didn't quite happen, but it was good because I was able to help him.  We had lunch and went to join Elders Clark and Howard for an APF at Central Park. We weren't there for long, afterward we went to the church and planned out our schedule and route to do look-ups.

While we were looking up some people we got a text from our companions saying someone from Elder Burt first area was in the city and wanted to see him. It was the Getty's. He got in contact with them and they said they'd like to make dinner plans with us. Around 5:30 we met with them at an Italian restaurant. It was awesome; they are such a sweet couple and are so funny. Sister Getty has multiple sclerosis, but she had a great sense of humor and a wonderful smile. She was so sweet to us. Elder Burt made a joke about the numbers on the side of the menu across from the meals being the time it took to eat. He knew it was the price but he played dumb and it was pretty funny. After this wonderful evening at dinner we helped her down the hall and up the steps to her wheel chair. Since the restaurant didn't have a handicap ramp. We walked with them to their car and they gave us a ride to Columbus circle, where we ended I our split. The rest of the night consisted of Elder McBride and I getting home.

April 13, 2017
Thursday, Day 385
Day 25 back in NY

This morning we had interviews, mine was scheduled for 9:30am but President didn't get to me till about 9:50am. When it was my turn, he walked by the room where we had been waiting and said he was ready for me. As I came into the room for my interview, President stood there with his arm reached toward me; in his hand was the tie I left with him to come back to when I returned to New York.  I said, "President it’s yours now" he said, "No, I told you to come back for it." I took the tie and he gave me a hug and said "Welcome back, we need you here."

My interview was great, he asked how it's been since I've back in the mission and to be honest I'll tell you about it: Sometimes, maybe even more often, I feel like missionaries talk about all the great things that happen, all the recognized blessings, or all the witnessed miracles... but something I feel I don't express much are the trials and the struggles as a missionary. Now this isn't to scare anyone from starting their paper work or not going on a mission, but real talk, missions are hard. Yes, I'd agree that they are the most rewarding and the most you may feel the spirit so strongly, so often, but they are not always so easy.

After President asked how it's been, I told how I've been... I have been struggling recently with feeling completely focused, feeling like I'm working hard enough, and feeling like I’m recognizing the Spirit... and as I've come to recognize these things Satan attacks and I find myself in a low place where my heart begins to ache and my thoughts are unorganized and I feel my worst... Satan wants nothing more than to bring us down and make us feel like we are worthless. One way he does this is by bringing back to memory our sins and making us question our worthiness. But after expressing my feelings to President, I didn't feel that way anymore. He asked me what I've done in the past and during my time back, to stay focused and recognize the spirit. I said that praying always helped and signing hymns.

When my interview was over, we found an empty room to start planning. After planning we went to the 1 train and saw President Smith again. We then met a girl from Cali, who moved to Queens recently, she needed help finding her Ward Elder McBride was able to look up her ward boundaries and give her the ward and address to her church. After getting on the train with President, I had began talking to a couple, at first I asked how they were doing, he responded and went back to his phone... they sat silently, then Elder McBride made a comment about their stroller, the man then said "Hey Elders!"  I was confused, why didn't he say that the first time when I had said hello. The man asked how President Smith was doing, I turned around and pointed at President and said he's right here. The man freaked out and stood up to shake his hand. He said that a few years ago he had served in this mission, during the time President Morgan was here. We thought that was pretty cool.

We took the train to 200 West St. Met up with B.H., super awesome guy from my YSA Ward on the west side, we had lunch, BBC. We talked, I said okay B, this is the 2nd YSA ward that I've served in, so either I did something right... Or I didn't learn what I needed to the first time... He laughed and I asked him about what I did right to gain his trust and friendship and what I did right so that my name was still talked about in the ward street I left 8 months ago. I'll spare the long details, but in short he responded with "well you see, there's 2 types of missionaries, one knows how to work hard, be obedient, but still know how to have fun and relate to others. And there's the missionary who can work hard, be a kiss up, and is boring." He then went on into detail about my question. But it was so awesome to have lunch with him again and for him to see me as he described the first missionary to be.

When we finished lunch we headed home, packed for another split, and went to the church. When we got there we heard water under the elevator, so we went to the building staff and got help. They called someone to take care of it. When Elders Clark and showed up we split.

It was now about dinnertime, so we went to a grocery store on the way home and picked up some things for dinner. Elder Howard loves to cook so he made dinner. It was a dinner that a member made for him once. It was some authentic Chinese noodle soup. It pretty good.

After dinner we had a night of look-ups, we talked a lot about each other and shared our interests and such. It was a good split.

April 14, 2017
Friday, Day 386
Day 26 back in NY

This morning we had the Miracle line conference call. It was so awesome to hear what President had to share. So many great miracles! After the call we had some awkward time open between the call and the lunch plans we had set with Brother Ray Smith. We walked toward Mel’s where we would be having lunch and looked up people on the way.  I got a burger, which was delicious! After our meal he asked for a spiritual thought or message. Briefly I shared D&C 10:5 and shared my experience more personally with Ray because of our friend and I then bore my testimony. 

We then ended our split, Ray heading in the same direction as us walked with us to the train. When we got into the station and noticed or train had arrived we ran down the stairs to catch it. Ray was wearing a heavy backpack and while running, it some how by the weight and his up and down movement began opening and became unzipped! Just behind him, I saw it opening and items in the bag trying to make their escape, I reached forward, still running down the stairs, grabbed the large portion of the bag that was coming undone, and lifted it off his back. When we made it into the train I zipped up his bag, he turned to me and said was that you? He said, "I thought, what angel had grabbed my bag off my back??" His bag was pretty heavy and he was surprised to feel so much weight be lifted off his back. I explained that I saw it opening and he laughed because he thought it was an angel.

Elder McBride and I went to Lincoln square for our YSA meeting where Brother J.B., a member of the Harlem YSA Ward joined us to help answer some questions we had about how we could improve and better approach members of the YSA Wards to set appointment and build their faith. It was sweet! After the meeting I changed into my suit and went into the temple with a recent convert V.G. This is the second time he has been to the temple since his baptism. The 1st time he went was on a Saturday so it was busy and he felt rushed. So we were able to come with him today with hopes to slow things down and help him have a better experience. We showed up without an appointment, which is hard in the New York Temple because they have limited ordinance workers, so when a reserved baptism session is over they usually are done with baptisms till the next one. Fortunately without having to beg and explain our story the temple workers were great and let us have a little session of our own. We got dressed and the workers asked how we wanted to go about it, Elder McBride said we were here for V, so he would be the one getting baptized. The worker then asked who would baptize him, Elder McBride then looked at me and said Elder Newbold will, so that was awesome. I got into the water and V followed. 10 names later we were done. V made his way out and Elder McBride did the confirmations. It was such a neat experience for all of us in different ways. After returning to the changing room we stopped and asked V about this experience, he lit up with a smile and at first struggled to explain his feelings. But was then able to describe to us what he felt and his thoughts. Super cool day! 

April 15, 2017
Saturday, Day 387
Day 27 back in NY

We went to the church after getting ready and filled the font for a Baptism! Best sound you'll hear on your mission, the filling of a baptismal font. There's something spiritual about it. While it filled we planned and studied. 

We saw on the ward page that a member needed help bringing treats and food to the chapel for the baptism. We reached out and he accepted, within 20 minutes we were at his door and then a few minutes later we were out of his building with all the stuff. We made it out to the street and flagged a van taxi; we filled the trunk and drove to the church. Then into the building with all the stuff we went. We took it all to the kitchen where we set up and helped cut up fruit and lay out the food.

The service started at 12 there were about 60 people, so we had the beginning service in the chapel and moved down to the front for the baptism, then back to the chapel to wait for A, the newly baptized member and C, the member that baptized her and then to finish the program and move to the treats in the other room. We stuck around and talked with members and of course enjoyed their treats. Afterward we went home and finished our planning and studies, had dinner and went out to do some look-ups before coming back home.

April 16, 2017
Sunday, Day 388
Day 28 back in NY

This morning we went to church and welcomed members and visitors. At some point we went up stairs to unlock some doors for classes later on. Then back to welcoming people we went. Someone had asked us if C (Our investigator) was coming to church... After getting the message on Facebook that he sent to us we weren't sure. He has difficulty messaging in English.

We were pretty excited about today! It was the 1st Sunday in 2 weeks that we've had the Sacrament. About 2 minutes before sacrament started we went into the chapel to get a seat and there C was, sitting with V. Why we sat with him I do not know. There was no room for the 4 of us. The pew was the smallest one in the room and would comfortably sit 3 regular size people. I sat pretty uncomfortably for a little over an hour. But it turned out to be worth it. We had I believe 4 musical numbers. And they were awesome! We also had A, a less active recent convert show up, who we've been trying to visit since I've been here. After sacrament meeting we went to gospel principles and V taught the class, it was about the Priesthood. In Elders Quorum the lesson was on General Conference, it was more of a discussion and it was centered on how could we prepare better for conference. Class was cut 30 minutes short because we had an Easter ward brunch. The brunch was successful! Great food! We got to talk to a lot of members and scheduled appointments with some who we haven't had an opportunity to meet with yet.

After the brunch and cleaning up we went to a classroom and had a short planning and studying session. We scheduled to go to the mall strip in Central Park for an APF. Which we did, we were there for 2 hours to cover our shift and the Elders in our apartment, since they had something come up. We had this poster board and written on it was "What are you hopeful for this spring?"  We stood out away from the board and invited people to write on a sticky note what they were hopeful for and stick it on the board. We had a good amount of people who participated and some good conversations. We also met a few random members who happened to walk by. When we first got there it was pretty hot and since we didn't have time to go home before we were still in our suits... I took my suit jacket off and out it down for the APF. Towards the end of our time being there it got really nice, it was over cast and there was a nice breeze. About 10 minutes before leaving, it started sprinkling, thankfully it was only that.

We made our way home for dinner around 5 and left again to do look-ups. We had a handful of people towards the very bottom of the island; just near the Brooklyn Bridge we looked up 4 people in a project building, then walked to another nearby project and looked up another guy. We made our way home and closer to home we looked up a couple more people and had a funny experience on the last one. It was a nice building, Elder McBride buzzed the room that we were looking for and it quickly stopped, so he tried again, and again and was confused as to why it kept canceling so fast. He thought maybe he was doing it wrong and I thought we were being rejected by whoever was in the room. He continued buzzing in, probably a total of 15 times. At that point a women answered and said, "Will you guys please stop ringing!" Surprised, Elder McBride responded, "Wait! Does M live here?" And she said, "he lives here but he's not here, why?? Do you know him?" Elder McBride said "Sorry we rang so many times we are from his church" immediately you could tell she felt bad, you could hear it in her voice as she said "oh. Yea he's not here right now, do you have his number?" We didn't have the correct number; she then gave us the correct one... We hope! We then came home... We walked the whole way home, a little further from China town.


Patience. Love. Faith

Much love,

Elder Newbold

Monday, April 10, 2017

Week 55

April 3, 2017
Monday, Day 375
Day 15 back in NY

Sick day-pday. This morning we started our laundry, came back up from the basement (where laundry is) slept for 30 minutes and went back down to put our load in the dryer. We were too awake by then so instead of going back to bed to rest our sick bodies, we decided to get ready and study for a bit. Finished our laundry and got ready to go to the Empire State Building. Elder McBride knows a member in one of his previous wards that use to work in the Empire State so he has a VIP access card and is allowed to bring 6 guests. We skipped the 5-hour line and within 20 minutes we were at the 86th floor. If the member that had helped us get there had stayed with us we could have gone to the 102nd floor. But the 86th was good enough. The member had another group of missionaries that wanted a tour so he left us and went down to get them. It was a sweet view. We didn't stay up there very long. Since the member didn't stay with us, we had to wait in the regular line to get out. 1st! I've never seen a line for an exit... 2nd! I never would have guessed that it'd take 45 minutes to get out of the building! We spent more time in line trying to get out then we did going in and checking out the view.

After leaving the building we made our way home. We picked up a few groceries and made it home around 3pm. I quickly ate and we spent our time resting up and responding to emails. Being in the YSA Ward, it's been hard to feel productive, I'm sure I've expressed that before. But our plans are generally the same and we find ways to make our selves busy. We travel to the church, which is 45 minutes from home. We do our best to talk to multiple people on our travel. At the church we contact on Facebook, then we left for home in time to be in by 9pm and again we would talk to people on the way.

April 4, 2017
Tuesday, Day 376
Day 16 back in NY

This morning we went to the church for Leadership meeting, then we had District meeting. During our leadership meeting the fire alarm went off. There was a company here cleaning carpets and someone else testing the alarms, so occasionally, through our meetings, the alarms would sound. The Spirit must have been burning with power! 

So I have yet to receive or see our new missionary schedule, but from what I heard back home no one told me we had 30 minute lunch... WHAT A JOKE! I think my companion is trying to be funny. But it's not, because that’s no bueno to scarf down food and then walk 10 miles, ill cramp! Lol. I'm not going to able to cook anything in less then 30 minutes and be able to eat it all with enough time to settle before we leave again. So since he was originally called Spanish speaking, I make him do his language study so that while he studies, I can cook and eat at a reasonable speed. So, I guess I really have nothing to complain about lol.

Again, we traveled to the church, contacted people on transit, then contacted on Facebook while at the church. We also met with C. He came to the church and we taught him about baptism, focusing on the authority to baptize (the priesthood). He has already been invited to be baptized and he said he would pray about it. So we followed up and re invited him to pray about it.  He has already prayed about the Book of Mormon and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and has received an answer that both are true. We are now just waiting to hear back about baptism.

For dinner we went to Taco Bell! I want to thank Grandma & Grandpa Watts for the gift card from Christmas! You served a missionary today! Haha Love you! After dinner we then came back to the church for institute and that was the last thing we did tonight, we left a bit early to make it home on time.

April 5, 2017
Wednesday, Day 377
Day 17 back in NY

We split this morning with our roommates, Elder McBride stayed in our area with Elder McNairy and I went with Elder Jackman and served in his area. We were in the apartment today till about 12. We had studies and lunch, and then left for the rest of the day. We had our appointments this morning reschedule, so with 2 hours now free... we walked and walked and walked looking up less actives and potential investigators in their area. About 2 o'clock we had a late lunch appointment with their Ward mission leader and were later joined by an investigator around 3:30. We ate together and well, Elder Jackman did the talking since I know nothing about their area, so he talked about the work etc... After lunch we went to the church and did some online contacting. To fill some time before then traveling to Roosevelt island to pick up dinner from a member. The original plan was to have dinner with the family, but the member’s husband got caught up at work, so she made our meal to go. On our way to her apartment we ran into Brother and Sister B from Elder Jackman's Ward. We told them what we were doing and they said "well, pick up your dinner and come to our place, you can eat it there". So we went to the member’s home, she opened the door with her sleeping baby in her arms and handed us a bag of food. We took it over to the B's and began pulling out the food to eat. She prepared an awesome salad for us and some home made bread and a delicious apple crumble. They were just so sweet to us! After a great meal and conversation with the B's we packed up and were in our way. We came out of the apartment and saw a beautiful sunset! We went to the near edge of the island and took pictures near the water. Then made our way home to end the split.

April 6, 2017
Thursday, Day 378
Day 18 back in NY

Most of today was Zone conference! It started at 9AM and went till about 4:30pm. We were given lunch and blessed with little snacks from Sister Smith. It was a great and spiritual meeting. We did some role-plays and practiced teaching specific people. Then during the assistance's training they asked if anyone wanted to volunteer for a role-play. Immediately Elder McBride's hand went up, so we went to the front of the room and role played with another missionary, Elder Paulin. He was acting for a friend of his from back home in California, who moved to NY, Z should be in our YSA Ward but is less active. It was pretty awesome, we role-played contacting him for the first time. It was way cool, the spirit was there and it was very well focused on him. We talked about him and things he likes to do then we rolled the conversation into talking about his family and coming back to church. At the end when we were asking about how we did and how he felt during it, he mentioned being comfortable and that our questions were not to forward.  By the time we got home from the meeting it was about 5pm we had dinner and were supposed to meet with a less active but because we got home later and finished dinner later while on our way to him we had to reschedule because he was leaving to the studio and it would be too late. So we went to the church to contact members and plan for tomorrow. Then it was time to go home!


April 7, 2017
Friday, Day 379
Day 19 back in NY

This morning we went to the church so Elder McBride could continue My Plan. We stayed and had our studies. Came home for lunch and went to the Lincoln Square chapel for our YSA meeting. One of the members from one of my previous wards, the Lincoln Square YSA Ward came and spoke. We as YSA missionaries had questions about how we could more effectively and quickly gain trust and friendship with members and how we could potentially change the culture of the YSA wards. The time was left open for questions, it was great we learned what we needed and had lots of questions answered. The rest of the day was the usual blur, planning on how to improve for next week and contacting members for appointments.

April 8, 2017
Saturday, Day 380
Day 20 back in NY

Today all we really had planned was an APF. We went to the 87th street chapel and gathered our stuff up for the APF. The idea the sisters had that we thought we executed well was to go down into the 86th St. Q Train station. We went down to the platform and set up a background and decorated the wall behind us, to make it look nicer when we took pictures of people. So we had a table set up and had an iPad on, playing the new Easter video, The Prince of Peace. Then we each spread out a bit and contacted people walking by and standing waiting for their train. It was busy and a great way to show our purpose but we learned we needed more material for the set up. It looked a little trashy, and we were in a nice newer station, so we definitely stood out.

We then left after the APF for a late lunch with one of our members. We met at his apartment and he had a home cooked meal for us! It was awesome; we had sweet potatoes, chicken thighs, and asparagus! It was the best meal I've had so far. After eating, we then shared a message with D (the member). We showed him the Easter video and talked about how it made him feel. We testified of the Savior and then cleaned his dishes before heading out. We left his apartment and went to the church did some contacting then went over to the west side to the Lincoln Center chapel and were ushers for the adult session of conference. Once we finished, we went to the front of the building and welcomed members coming in later. When it slowed down enough we headed out. We planned to go to the 87th street chapel and pick up Elder McBride's study desk that we used at the APF. Then we received a text from President Smith 2 blocks from the church, he asked if we were still close to the building, we told him yes, and he asked if we could be back in an hour when the meeting was over, we said yes. At the end of the meeting we came back and waited for President to finish conversing with members. It was 9 o'clock and we knew we wouldn't make it home by 9:30… so I was interested to see what he needed us for. After his conversation with a member he came to my side and said "Your Uncle Dale, he has bad health... tell me about him" I began to explain who he is and my relationship with him. Soon I was interrupted by another member who then spoke briefly with president... he apologized and quickly came back to our conversation before it was interrupted again, he said your dad sent me a text last night... your uncle had passed away... with the brief interruptions I had thought that this was what I would find out. 

If I could speak to each of you or be there at the funeral, I would desire to leave this message with you...
Sadly Uncle Dale is no longer with us physically… but fortunately he no longer will suffer from any pain or discomfort... knowing this truth, places much peace and gratitude in my heart for the Plan of Salvation that our Father in Heaven has for each of his children. When I was given this news I felt a deep sense of sorrow, much of this feeling, I believe came from knowing that many who knew my Uncle Dale either don't have a knowledge of this plan of salvation or have heard of this beautiful plan, yet lack a firm testimony of it. But I bare testimony that I know, as my mother and father know, that Uncle Dale's Spirit, immediately after leaving his physical body returned to the presence of God and was reunited with his father, his brother, his wife, his daughter, his great friend, and many more of those he lost in this life. I know how hard it can be to accept the loss of those you love and not understand the feelings we often feel in these sudden times. But I know that our Heavenly Father loves each of us dearly and in result of His love for us He has given us this plan so that we may not live a life of sorrow and pain when we lose those we love, but that we may live a life full of peace and gratitude with the knowledge of His plan. In the Book of Mormon, in Alma, chapter 40, we learn of this plan. We learn that we each will be resurrected, as Christ was, what a blessing it is to know that Uncle Dale is pain free and that when he is resurrected he will be perfected. As will each of us be, we will all be perfected when we leave this short earthy life. It is my prayer that each of you will know this truth. That if you are mourning, that your heart and mind may be put at ease. That your life may be filled with peace, and it will be if you turn to the Lord, Jesus Christ with a sincere desire to know for a surety the truth of His eternal plan, He will bless you with this knowledge. This, my simple testimony, I leave with you, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

At the end of finding out his news, we went down to the 1st floor and out to the curb where President then ordered an Uber for my companion and I to get home.

April 9, 2017
Sunday, Day 381
Day 21 back in NY

This morning, the second week in a row, we had no sacrament meeting. We had stake conference. It was an interesting and great stake conference. Elder Sinclair and Elder Pierson from the Quorum of the Seventy came and spoke. Our stake president was released and called to be an area Seventy, Elder David Buckner. These two great elders spoke wonderful talks about faith and also about the process which calling a new stake president works.

Following this conference, we had lunch at home, then an APF at Washington Square Park. With chalk the sisters wrote on the ground "What brings you JOY?" We each wrote a couple things to start and during the hour and a half or so we were there we approached everyone that came our way and asked them what brings them joy. Many walked by, but many also participated, and a good handful of those who participated stayed and chat with us a bit. This is where we had the great opportunity of talking to them about what we are doing. And we concluded the night with dinner at home.

Patience. Love. Faith

Much love,

Elder Newbold

Sent from my iPad

Monday, April 3, 2017

Week 54

March 27, 2017
Monday, Day 368
Day 8 back in NY


Got up at 6:30am and got dressed enough to go downstairs to start laundry. Then we came up and had personal study. We finished and went back down to put our clothes in the dryer. We came back up and got ready then went down to get our clothes, laid them out and headed out to get groceries! We walked outside and it was raining! I was soaked way before we got to the grocery store. Our bus wasn't coming anytime soon so we walked... and it began to rain harder and I didn't know it was going to rain, so I didn't wear my rain jacket. We came home and put away our groceries and got ready to go to the church in Lincoln Square to play basketball and gatorball, after a couple hours I stopped to type my journal and respond to emails.

(I saved a life! Not really, it wouldn't have killed her, but it would have hurt...) We were at the church for about 3 hours. Around 3pm we left and headed home, we stopped at Penn Station because Elder McBride said there's a Krispy Kreme Donuts shop. So we got off to get some donuts. We headed one way and saw how backed up the stairs were so we turned around and went toward a different set of stairs. At this point the train we got off had not closed its doors. This girl had quickly walked at an angle in front of me; I stood roughly 3 feet from the train and heard the ding as the doors began to close. Instinctively I quickly stepped behind her and put my arms on either side of her where the doors were and kept them from closing as they had already began pushing against her. What was so funny about this was that she had no clue what I did and I walked away like I didn't do anything. It was just in the moment and quick. Within seconds she was from between the doors and I stopped them to then back on my journey for donuts. We enjoyed our donuts. Then back to the train we went to go home. By the time we got home it was about 5pm and we had just enough time to make dinner and get ready for our night plans. It's been a little while…so I forgot to email President... so I took some time to write an email report really quick, but then I couldn't send it because we had no Wi-Fi. So we quickly left for our plans so we could find some. When we got to the train station I sent it off and we were on our way to the church. We did some contacting on Facebook and waited to hear back from C, our investigator. We were planning on going to "FHE" at one of the members, but we decided to let C go and have the member’s fellowship him so he wouldn't be attached to us while we were there. So he went and we stayed at the church taking care of sending messages to members and other investigators. We finished with just enough time to go home; so home we went.

I ate 3 PB & J sandwiches today... I've been so hungry and I don't know why... I have such a larger appetite then ever. I just eat and eat! It's kind of great!
Just thought I'd share that.

Well goodnight!

March 28, 2017
Tuesday, Day 369
Day 9 back in NY

This morning in my personal studies I decided to review the first lessons. So I started with the first one, in preach my gospel, the message of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The first heading in that section is God is our Loving Heavenly Father, as I began reading that section, 4 sentences in I read "He weeps with us when we suffer and rejoices when we do what is right." It didn't take long but I pondered this and thought of my journey and the experience I've had with going home. I remembered back to a time when I wept with my loving parents on the occasion of my return. This experience brought this sentence to life for me; it made me understand the truth of it and on such a personal level how real the love of our Heavenly Father is. He truly loves each and every one of us, we are His children and as such He, like our earthy parents, weeps with us when we suffer and rejoices when we do what's right. He wants to see us succeed, but he expects us to try and make the right decisions. It was definitely one of the most spiritual studies I've ever had. We then left to the church for leadership meeting and district meeting. District meeting was great! During our meeting our roommates, Elder Jackman & Elder McNeiry received a phone call from Sister H, who was looking for us to give a blessing to a man sometime today, in Spanish. We went home for lunch and companion study. Then we left to the hospital where we gave a man in critical condition a blessing. The doctors warned us that he was very easily irritated and so we shouldn’t have much interaction with him. We weren't sure if he was conscious, he had no family with him. It was just he in his bed and us by his side. We put on our gowns and gloves and placed our hands gently on his head Elder McBride being called Spanish speaking gave the blessing in Spanish. When we finished we watched his heart rate calm to a regular speed. We stood by his side for a couple minutes before we left.

We made it home for dinner then left to the church for institute... unfortunately C told us he wasn't going to make it but not till we got there... then the sisters gave us pizza!! We went home and ate frost bitten ice cream! The end.

March 29, 2017
Wednesday, Day 370
Day 10 back in NY

Woke up this morning at 6:00, got ready and left the apartment by 7:00 to catch a train at Grand Central to be in Scarsdale for MLC (Missionary Leadership Council).

Our leadership meeting was great, very spiritual as always. Since having experience serving in a YSA Ward I'll say, it is hard! You experience more days feeling less productive. We have to work completely through the members. Something President Smith said was, we as missionaries in the YSA Ward are the pioneers of is work. We are laying the groundwork for the next missionaries. At the end of the meeting it was opened up to testimonies. I bore my testimony of The Atonement of Jesus Christ.

We then had lunch around 1pm at the meeting then had to be back to the train by 2pm. We got back to our area by 3pm, we went to the church with some other leaders in our zone and had a Zone planning meeting so the leaders could be prepared to share what was relayed by President Smith to the zone tomorrow. When we finished it was after 5pm so we went out to dinner and did some Facebook contacting

March 30, 2017
Thursday, Day 371
Day 11 back in NY

This morning we got up at 6 and went for a run, we ran about a mile and a half. We cooled off, came home, and got ready for studies and planning. We had Zone meeting around 10-12pm, it was great, and we talked about things that were discussed in MLC. A lot of the focus was on, "what would I do, if the Savior stood beside me". If the Savior stood beside me, would I talk to the person next to me... stuff like that. We also pondered and discussed ways of sharing the new Easter initiative, which I will share at the end of this letter.

We began Weekly planning and then split for the day. We started off the split with some service! The husband of a member family is moving and requested help for a last minute move, well they had already moved most of their belongings but had some furniture they wanted out of the apartment. We stopped our planning and went over to their apartment. We arrived and went straight to work; we had plans for the day and had only 30 minutes. We carried 2 decent sized couches down a 5-story walk up. The second couch was red; it was very dusty and had lots of hair. Do you know what that means?! ALLERGIES! So I sneezed every step down the stairs.... Turns out they were throwing them away... well for the rest of the day I was wrecked! My allergies broke me, my sneezing was out of control and my nose was itchy. Towards the end of the night we had an awesome lesson with an investigator, B. This guy is massive! Ha ha well his upper body, he was over 6 feet and his biceps were at least 2 feet round. His shoulders just about rested below his ears.

For dinner a member who had signed up to feed us was unable to make it, so he sent us pizza! He had it delivered to another members house, which was where we ended the night. This split was in my old area so I slept in the same apartment as I did when I was serving in the West YSA Ward.
Zone Meeting

March 31, 2017
Friday, Day 372
Day 12 back in NY

We started the day off with working out with B, the massive investigator. We went to his apartment; on the fifth floor was a gym. They had a few different machines so we just kind of rotated around as B asked us questions. B made his way over to the bench, put on 250 and pumped out 20 reps, close grip! He was being very modest in front of us only benching 250. It was raining on our way back to the apartment to get ready and eat.

Elder Cottrell and I went to the chapel and planned until we had a met to unsplit. While we talked about our studies we began talking about our missions and some experiences we've had while being a missionary. Elder Cottrell, knowing that I had returned home, asked some questions about my experience. He also went home early but due to a knee injury. He began his mission in Brazil and had served for a short time before returning home, due to his knee condition, where he was for about 3 months. So we had a great conversation and talked about the blessings and trials we each received and experienced. He also told me that in a conversation with President Smith, he was told that he puts his most trusted missionaries in YSA wards, but of course with the direction of Heavenly Father, it just works out that way. I thought that was pretty sweet, since I have now been in a YSA Ward twice.

After our split, it rained horribly, all day! After all that we did, we came home completely soaked. I wore my rain jacket so my shirt was fine but my pants were filled with water. My legs had water dripping down them from the inside of my pants. After my allergy attack and this horrible weather, I was sick... I worked myself to sickness…

April 1, 2017
Saturday, Day 373
Day 13 back in NY

We didn't do anything today....APRIL FOOLS!

I woke up at 6:30 feeling like a sick person feels and went back to sleep. My companion then woke me up around 9:30. I got up and got ready, I studied a little and then we went to the church to watch general conference.

General conference was great. I felt like sickness and struggled to stay comfortable and awake during it. We had an appointment between sessions but I wasn't feeling up to it so we had a mini split and Elder McNairy went with Elder McBride for me… and Elder Jackman and I had some lunch. I was glad I didn't go to the lesson because it turned out he wasn't even home. We then watched the next session and made our way to the 65th street chapel (the temple). Where we watched the Priesthood session of conference. This is really the only time we ever have permission to stay out after curfew. It ended at 10 and we didn't get home till 11pm. On our way home, like a sick person I fought to stay awake, haha. We got onto a train and standing, I leaned up against the doors as they closed and immediately after the girl sitting to my right stretched her hand out and said, "Will you hold my hand?". I was too sick to laugh, but I would have totally laughed. I politely turned down her invitation and I closed my eyes, praying to get home sooner. Ha ha ha. THIS IS WHY WE HAVE A CURFEW... THE CRAZIEST PEOPLE ARE OUT LATE.

We made it home and I went to bed!

April 2, 2017
Sunday, Day 374
Day 14 back in NY

Still felling sick but better than before I wake up to my companion who is now sick. Thanks to me ha ha I think? He then went back to sleep for a bit longer and we then quickly got ready to watch conference at the church again. After the first session, a wonderful lunch was provided by a sweet elderly woman, from one of the family wards. Since being back into the routine of a missionary, my appetite has once again developed into a monster... but twice as big. I am always so hungry even after eating "plenty" of food. Well with my body type, there isn't such a thing as "plenty". We finished our meal with my favorite triple chocolate cake! And went on to contact some people on Facebook. By the time we concluded those plans, on to the next session we went. What a blessing it is to hear from our beloved Prophet and apostles of God.

Writing this a day later, and still feeling out of it, I cannot recall what we concluded our night with, but I do remember going to sleep! Haha

Well as promised, my great and spiritual experience...

This week we received the new video for the Easter Initiative. As we've been given this video, earlier then it was published, we were instructed many times to watch it and focus on our feelings and thoughts, then to watch it again and come up with ideas of how to share this video with members in our wards.

Well, on multiple occasions throughout the week I did this... I absolutely love the video but never had too many ideas that were new to me. So I continued to watch it... then one time my mind drifted and I began to find myself reflecting on my life. I started to remember the life I previously lived, a life of darkness, a life without peace, a life I hid but wanted an escape from... as these things came to me, my mind settled briefly on the feelings and moments of self worth that I had felt and experienced in the last few years of my life. As the Easter Initiative was once again played, my mind redirected itself, from darkness and sorrow; my focus was now on Jesus Christ. For He was the one who saved my soul from hell, who healed a broken heart, and saved a future eternal family. It's He who has blessed each and every one of us with the ability to find Peace, for He is the Prince Of Peace. It is my prayer that those in this often crazy and distraught world may find peace. I invite all and especially all who suffer and struggle with finding peace, to turn to the Savior. We don't need to suffer any longer. He didn't suffer for us to suffer; He has blessed us with Peace. I strongly encourage all who seek to find peace to turn to your loving Father in Heaven in sincere prayer. Then turn to the Book of Mormon and be mindful of the things you read, ponder it's message and you will find peace. I can promise peace will be found as these things are done with diligence, patience, and faith. And to those who have yet to experience the Latter Day Saints way of worship, we welcome you with open arms, to come and feel the Love that your Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ have for you. It is my testimony that all can find peace in the Lord Jesus Christ.
In His sacred name, Jesus Christ, amen.

Patience. Love. Faith

Much love,
Elder Newbold
Sent from my iPad

***If you are interested in viewing the video Elder Newbold wrote about please click here The video is called Honoring the Prince of Peace! #PRINCEofPEACE its a short, wonderful video that will help you get into the Easter season! 

Not sure where he got the hat but he sure is a handsome missionary!
The red building is the Chapel that his YSA ward meets in