New York

New York

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Week 61

May 17, 2017
Wednesday, Day 419
Day 59 back in NY

We were determined to go on a hike today! While doing some service last week a member gave us an old small BBQ, and just a few days ago another member happened to have some propane, so he gave us a small can and we were going to take it with us and make lunch on our hike. Well we had our chicken, food, BBQ, propane, backpack with a first aid kit, etc. we were ready and about to kneel in prayer before we left the apartment... when all of a sudden we get a call from a member in Kingston. It was Sister Parks (she's a member in our District Leaders Ward. On a split, she took us to Panera bread for lunch, she's super awesome!) Well, Elder Murray gave me the phone and said she wants to talk to you. So I put down all the things I'm holding and grab the phone, I get on and she starts guilt tripping me about not coming to her place for a BBQ. Well we had turned down the DL and his companions offer to go to her place because we had plans with another set of elders to go on a hike... so for about 10 minutes I'm trying to explain our plans to her and she wasn't having any of it lol! She talked about all the food she would have ready for us and how much fun we could have. And I just couldn't say anything to let her be okay with us not coming.  We finally made our way out the door and loaded up the car, we went to the local library to use a computer to quickly check and see if it would cost us anything to go to this state park to hike. Literally as we got back to the car to make our way there... the Elders bailed on us, they said something came up. So guess what... we went to Sister Parks and surprised her. Lol She was definitely right, there was lots of great food and fun. Her back yard is the woods and so we went for a short walk through it. When we finished we came inside and emailed for a bit. Then her kids came home and they wanted to play pillow tag. So we played pillow tag for about 45 minutes. What fun that was! Sister Parks played and everything, it was a blast!

Just a couple hours before pday ended we left and went to Wal-Mart to see if they could change the battery in Elder Murray's watch. Unfortunately they don't change batteries of watches they don't sell, so we left and made our way to Brother Hinds home. We had planned our evening to help his neighbor! Yesterday, after helping Brother Hinds, his neighbor asked if we could come help he and his wife and they offered to make us dinner. We arrived at their home at 6:30 and began pulling rocks from the ground that circled a tree. They were fairly large rocks; we loaded them up into a small trailer hitched to the back of their lawnmower. When full we drove it to their side fence where other rocks were lining the fence and we added to the pile. Then back to fill the trailer once more and then did the same thing. After our rock project, they had us install their AC window unit. That was pretty quick; we then went to the bathroom and washed our hands because they were about ready for dinner. A had made us Puerto Rico style steak and rice, she prepared a salad, and pea soup, she also made freshly squeezed lemonade (which was delicious!). The husband, C, claims himself to be atheist and said prior to dinner that they were into saying grace before eating, but he did say if we prefer that we were welcome to. So we waited for the food to be placed on the table and everyone to be in their seats and I offered to bless the food. C respectably sat in reverence with his hands folded and after the prayer A said she really liked it. So maybe there is something to come with this couple in the future. Dinner was awesome! We then said goodbye and went to Brother Hinds, where he then had us unload his van of wood and place it by his shed, which he was backed up to. Then Brother Hinds after talking about Elder Murray's watch, offered to take it and get the battery changed for him. After just a few minutes we were back on the road and headed home. On the car ride home Elder Murray reminded me of our lesson to teach at seminary in the morning. So he read through the lesson plan as we drove home.

May 18, 2017
Thursday, Day 420
Day 60 back in NY
We weekly planned for about 3 hours this morning, had a break in between for lunch and then changed into service clothes and went over to a members mother's home. His mother isn't a member but she is very sweet and had lots of things for us to help her with. We were at her place for about 3 hours. She had a shed out back that was empty and everything she wanted inside of it was outside on the lawn. We cleaned everything and put it in the shed very organized and neat, as she told us where she wanted it. Around the time we were about to leave, her husband and daughter came home and had dinner for us, so we came in and they fed us. It was very nice of them! They are great people; we really enjoyed helping them and getting to know them. So most of our day was planning and service! It was a great day! We ended the night with some contacting at the college campus.

May 19, 2017
Friday, Day 421
Day 61 back in NY
This morning at 10 we had a miracle line conference call, which is always so great to be apart of. I'll have to remember to write some of them down next time.  We were on the conference call while we were driving to do some service at a member's home. She needed help getting her A/C units from her shed to her home. We carried those in and then moved some other things out of the shed that she wanted. We could only get so much done because we had another service appointment at another members, she told us what more she wished we could have done and we offered to come back after our next appointment. We left her home and went to this other member’s home; he has a shoulder injury and is unable to use a rake very well. So we raked his backyard, there were soooooo many leaves; we spent an hour and a half together raking. We then, after uncovering all this chopped wood, stacked a pile of firewood. Then we left and went back to the member’s house where we were this morning, she had us carry a lot of furniture out of the house. She then made a "joke" about painting her house. We offered to do it. So she got out the paint and the brushes, we grabbed a ladder and onto her roof we went beginning with chipping away at the cracked paint and then repainting those spots. The roof was super steep so our legs were killing us! We spent some time painting and finished around 6pm we went home showered, Elder Murray somehow managed to get his hair painted so he was in the bathroom trying to get to all out. We then had dinner and went out to do some contacting to end the night. 

May 20, 2017
Saturday, Day 422
Day 62 back in NY

We started off our day with helping Mrs. P move some things off her lawn. Then we went to the church and wrote up our progress report to send to the members of the branch council. After having companionship study and daily contact with members and investigators, we had lunch. Around 3 we were back at the church to help the Olsen's clean the church building. It only took about an hour and that was it. We had a good hand full of people to look-up after which we were then again back at the church to meet for correlation with our Branch Mission Leader and the Sisters. We met from about 7:20-8:30. Elder Murray and I, after the meeting went to the nearest grocery store and bought some thank you cards and headed home to begin writing some for members in the Branch.
May 21, 2017
Sunday, Day 423
Day 63 back in NY

Church was great! With the very limited number of priesthood brethren, I passed the sacrament. After sacrament Elder Murray and I taught Gospel Principles. Our lesson was on the Holy Ghost. It was a pretty good lesson; we found out late last night that we would be teaching so for our preparation it was good. Earlier last week Sister Olsen asked if we would be willing to come join the young women next week and speak to them. She said she would like it if we could speak of experiences we've had with prayer and bare testimony of the power of prayer. So during 3rd hour today, we came into the room where they met 3 young women, Sister Olsen, and her counselor. They went through opening exercises and then into the lesson she started. After a brief explanation of their lesson she turned the time over to us for a few minutes. I shared 2 experiences that came to mind about prayer during the week as I pondered what to share. One experience was when I was between 8-12 years old. Another experience was more recent. One I've shared before about my experience of praying out loud on my drive in upstate New York, as I followed behind President Smith. Both experiences mean very much to me and have taught me much and continue to teach me as I reflect on them. After sharing these experiences, Elder Murray then shared an experience and we bore testimony of prayer and it's power. We then joined the elders in Elders quorum and listened to Brother Hinds and others discuss Home Teaching. After church we went to the P's for a family BBQ that they invited us to. We got to meet more of their family, which was great! We feel like we were able to build a stronger relationship with the kids, they seemed to open up more and enjoy being around us. We had burgers and macaroni salad and other fun BBQ party food, lol. They also had a Polaroid camera and some photo booth props so we took pictures. It was a good time! We went out and did some contacting before dinner. Then went to the church to write some thank you cards after dinner and ended our night.

May 22, 2017
Monday, Day 424
Day 64 back in NY
This morning we had district meeting and it was good! Afterward we had a couple look-ups and then met with J.R. for a bit. Then went around doing more look-ups until our interviews at 4:50 & 5:00. We had to drive to Newburgh for our interviews, which is a 30-minute drive. When we got there we were a bit behind in schedule so I waited for 2 other Elders to go before me. Then around 5 I went in and met with President, I offered a prayer to start. Then in my interview he started off asking about my family and I'll just say I LOVE my family, I ALWAYS get emotional when President asks about my family because my family is amazing and I love them so much. I always have something good to share about them and it makes my heart swell. And to have someone who you know just cares so much about you and when he asks questions you know he cares about your response, all he wants is the best for us and he truly wants to know each of us better, so of course I get choked up and wet eyes as I respond to tell him about my family. He asked about Josh and the baptism and it was just so great to share with him all the great things going on back home and all the missionary miracles. We then talked about my area and how it's going and all the service we've been able to do. He encouraged me to keep serving and build great relationships with those we serve. After asking the questions he did, he asked one more and said, "Is there anything I can do for you?" And I replied, "Just a blessing would be great". President and I had been talking about me receiving a blessing from him the last couple weeks and he was more than happy and willing to do so. The blessing was beautiful and encouraging. It helped me feel like doing nothing more than become better from that moment on. Being 30 minutes from home we found a Taco Bell and had dinner after our interviews. On our way home we made a couple stops, then made a final stop at the church to write some more thank you cards before going home.

May 23, 2017
Tuesday, Day 425
Day 65 back in NY
Guess who did more service today?! We did!!! Whooo! My prayers for a service mission have been answered haha! We really have been blessed with so many opportunities to serve our members and community. This morning we went to Sister Menzer's and did some landscaping in her from yard! My favorite! It wasn't much but we laid down fabric and a lot of mulch. After helping out with the yard our plan was to go to Brother Hinds and help him in his yard with his garden. But he had a little bit of an accident the other day, trying to move some wood on his own... the stack of wood fell over and he slipped under it all and was scrapped up pretty good. He was in too much pain to want to have us help him today, so he fed us lunch and then we had a home teaching meeting in his office for a bit. We did lots of look-ups after, we had a ton of media referrals sent in, and unfortunately they were all really old and just reminders of people that had been set-aside for a while. So we didn't have much success returning to the homes of people that already told previous missionaries they weren't interested. After an hour or so of that we finished the night off meeting with J. We talked about temples and eternal families. It was a good discussion.

Well I've been writing some of these journal entries on the ride home from the temple today, it's an hour and a half drive or so, depending on traffic... so I'm getting a bit car sick staring at my screen. So I hope it's enough for the week! Lol love you all!

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,
Elder Newbold

Friday, May 19, 2017

Week 60

May 10, 2017
Wednesday, Day 412
Day 52 back in NY

This morning we had a conference call with the mission. President Smith shared some wonderful miracles taking place in the mission and it was just so great to hear all that was going on. We then had a 15-minute study before going out to do laundry and grocery shopping. After coming home we went to the church to play catch with the mini nerf football. I did a couple backflips to see if I was still in shape… which I'm not, I landed them... but I was tired haha… after maybe 10-15 minutes we went inside the church and did emails for a while. We set up times with our families to FaceTime on Mother's Day. We then went home for dinner.  About 6pm we took off to our first appointment, funny guy... Brother D… we came by because last week he said to come by again next week then next month and every month following to come by just every 3rd Wednesday. So we came by like he said last week and he wasn't expecting us. We knocked on his door and this is what he said when he opened the door "Oh you must have not heard me last week. I told you not to come by this week." We looked at each other funny because he told us to come by, well he let us inside anyway and we read together from Enos and talked about saying meaningful prayers. It was a great and short spiritual message. But he's a man of few words and on our way we were so he could get back to painting.   We tried stopping by a couple people, the first guy wasn't home; the second guy was, but told us to text him sometime to remind him about the baptism we invited him to this weekend and to set an appointment with him.  We then were doing our last look up for the night and had no success finding the guy, we asked for directions from a guy and he pointed down the road. We walked to a corner where we estimated he was pointing and looked around. Finally we called the guy and he answer, he said he was at work,  so as we made our way back to the car, Elder Murray, still on the phone with the guy, an older couple was walking towards us with the biggest smiles on their faces and their hands out front waving to us. With great enthusiasm they asked how we were doing. We were in shock, but with great excitement to see them so happy to see us we briefly exchanged words as we passed each other. The older man pointed at us and said "we like you guys!" And on they walked…
It seemed to have happened all so fast! We didn't have enough time to realize that they were a couple we tracted into the other day while it was raining. 

We were out knocking doors and it was raining, not too bad but it was wet and we had an umbrella. We knocked this couples door and the wife opened the door and said, "hello can I help you?" We introduced ourselves and she recognized the rain and said "oh please come in its raining!" At that point it was only sprinkling and I had our umbrella down.  We came into her home and stood only there just inside the front door. Her husband came from the other room, not to thrilled to see us. We explained again who we were and began to talk about the Book of Mormon, we asked if they knew anything about our church and the woman said she used to teach and one of her students was a Mormon but that she moved back to Utah. They expressed no interest but were very generous, even just to let us in and out of the rain. The husband stood back folding a blanket and said they had no time now because they were getting ready for a party, but thanks for stopping by he said (showing he didn't want us there any longer). We thanked them, shook their hands, and were on our way. 

It was just so cool how we happened to run into them and they were so excited to see us! After this quick and very unexpected encounter, I prayed in my heart that if Heavenly Father wanted us to speak with them more then what we were able to in that moment, that He would allow us to see them once more.

To conclude our night we went to the church and planned the lesson that we would be teaching for seminary! Apparently we are schedule to teach seminary every once in a while! So we are a little excited for that! 

May 11, 2017
Thursday, Day 413
Day 53 back in NY

This morning we woke up at 5:30 and washed our faces, got dressed, and took off to a members home to teach seminary. There were only 3 kids in the class and we talked about Light. The Light within our Father in Heaven and Christ. We read from 1John 1:1-8. We had a couple flashlights and a candle on the table in front of us and we turned off the lights in the room and shut the blinds to show the darkness. Then we talked about physical properties of light. We then talked about spiritual light and compared the two.  We came home for a little bit and then left to the NewBurgh chapel where we had Zone conference. From 8-3:30. It was such a great meeting I learned a lot from the Spirit as to how I can improve myself, my prayers, my teaching, and other specific things like how to most effectively teach and help others apply and learn from the Book of Mormon.  About 7 hours of pure spirit! My goal today was to truly take what I leaned and felt and bring the information and revelation from my head to my heart and apply them continually. Generally I go to meetings and conferences and learn a lot and want to apply those things, but I always struggle to do that. 
So in a quick planning session Elder Murray and I, prior to going back to our area, we talked about our desire to apply what we learned together. We set an appointment with J, (he's an awesome guy who served as a firefighter for 27 years in The South Bronx) and planned to speak with him about a question he brought up to Elder Murray in a previous appointment before I came along. "Why do bad things happen to good people?" It was such a great lesson, the spirit was there so strongly and he began to open up more about his question and a personal experience he had. It was such a great visit!
After dinner we drove over to the college campus and made the goal to pass out 2 copies of the Book of Mormon and use the Book of Mormon more to teach people in the 30 minutes we had. We started up some stairs and said to each other we should come running here tomorrow… We continued walking forward after coming up some stairs, we then actually decided to turn around and walk the way we came and as we did that there was this girl walking (facing us) in the opposite directing as us, so before she passed us we walked kind of at her and she stopped and we talked to her. It was such an awesome contact, we approached her with the question… what brings you peace? She thought and gave her answer and we tied the Book of Mormon into her answer and in our response. She began to show some interest. We explained the Book of Mormon, reading from the introduction, and promised her blessings and answers to questions if she read and prayed about the Book of Mormon. She accepted a copy and we parted ways. A couple minutes later we realized we didn't get any of her info... we repented and made a point to ask for the phone number of the next person we talked to. Shortly after we came up to this guy named Aqib (Ahh-key-b) and we also talked to him about the Book of Mormon and had a quick but cool experience with him as we testified of the Book of Mormon and how as we've applied it's teachings in our lives we've come closer to God and have become better people. He also accepted a copy and we made an effort to find another person in the last couple minutes we had as we walked back to the car. We didn't run into anyone on the way back but we felt successful in our total efforts. If felt good to end our night with that.

May 12, 2017
Friday, Day 414
Day 54 back in NY

Well we did what we said we would do… we woke this morning at 6:30am and went for a run from our apartment to the campus, up the stairs, and circled back to our apartment and were back just on time at 7 to get ready for the day.  We started our planning and just barely getting into it we received a phone call. It was from a member of our Branch who was having some demolition going on in her home and she asked if we could help her out. We told her we could after we had our studies.  After studies we went over to her place and cleaned up as someone she hired to take out a couple walls in her basement did the job. He knocked out the wall and we carried out the wood and sheetrock, then swept and vacuumed. When we finished helping out we went just down the street to this members aunt’s home who we had planned to help her move out of her home. One of her sons was there from New Jersey, so the 3 of us guys carried out all the heavy awkward items. We carried from upstairs, out to the UHAUL; solid wooden chests, dressers, nightstands, safes...etc. lots of up and down stairs with heavy furniture.  We spent about 3 hours getting all the heavy stuff out for them. Something I absolutely love about serving others is the love developed in that time of service. I had never met or spoken to this woman or her son, but in the few hours we spent together and the little interaction we had from keeping busy to help get as much as we could done for them, I just developed such a love for them. And I feel they felt the same, she made us lunch and kept offering water, and her son was also so appreciative and was interested in us, so it was just so great being so them and having the opportunity to serve them.  We came home about 4pm and we're dead tired... We cleaned up and got ready, then quickly had lunch.  After lunch we had weekly planning for about 3 hours and then went around and did some look-ups, made some phone calls, then ended our night at the college campus. We had the goal to pass out 2 copies of The Book of Mormon in the 30 minutes we had left of the night. We achieved our goal! It was awesome, both people were very receptive and we had solid conversations and were able to have meaningful discussions about the Book of Mormon. Great way to end the night!

May 13, 2017
Saturday, Day 415
Day 55 back in NY

This morning just before studies a couple surprises came. I picked up phone, which had been ringing, and on the line was Brother Walker, our 2nd counselor in the Branch Presidency. (Yesterday we had asked him if he would conduct a baptism for today, Saturday, after going back and forth with it for a bit and helping him realize he had to because neither the Branch President or 1st counselor were around to do it so he needed to).  Pay back for having him conduct on short notice, I picked up the phone and Brother Walker asked me to give a 10-15 minute talk during church tomorrow. I laughed to myself and accepted his request. I asked what topic I should speak on and he said to choose whatever I'd like.  Completely forgetting it was mother's day tomorrow I prepared a talk on the Book of Mormon and how powerful a tool it is. Later this evening the 1st counselor checked with me to see if Brother Walker had asked me to speak and if I was told to speak on something with Mother's Day as the focus... well I was asked to speak but not given a topic so I chose my own and realized then it was mother's day and I needed to change my talk…  After studies the Sisters in our Ward called and said they had a big favor to ask of us, after having some things fall through in the baptism schedule we were asked if one of us would give a talk on the Holy Ghost and the other baptize A.  Elder Murray offered to speak since I would be giving a talk on Sunday and said that I could baptize Amani. So I quickly grabbed my baptism clothes and to the church we went.  The font was full, the chairs were set, pictures were taken… it was a good turn out and a great baptism. It was such a neat experience to be in white and in the water to baptize this girl. She was so excited and the Spirit was so strong. 

After the baptism we went to visit a blind member in our branch. Our message was on the Spirit. After talking about it for a little and sharing scriptures we invited him to choose something he could do to invite the Spirit more often in his life.
Leaving his house we did a good chunk of look-ups. We had a little bit of time toward the end of the evening so we started praying and discussing ideas for a Branch Mission Plan. After some time we developed our idea into a brief plan. At 7pm we then met with the sisters to discuss the idea and planned to introduce it in Branch Council tomorrow.

After our little meeting we left the church and went to the college campus and contacted some people, we were able to give 2 copies of the Book of Mormon out. 

May 14, 2017
Sunday, Day 416
Day 56 back in NY

Happy Mother's Day! 
Since I found out around 9pm last night that I should speak on something for Mother's Day, I rewrote an entire talk for this morning.  We got to church at 9:15 for branch council, we didn't have time to get to our part to discuss the plan which we came up with so that will be next week.  We were sitting down ready for church to start and Sister Olsen came over and asked what our plans for dinner were, we didn't have any plans we said and she said okay what time do you want dinner then you coming to our home. We thanked her and said that 5 would work for us.   Brother Walker stood up to conduct and as he was announcing the program for this morning he said my name and said I would be giving the opening prayer... (So now I'm thinking, this guy really didn't like us asking him to conduct the baptism yesterday because now he's surprising me with saying the opening prayer and giving a talk... and I wasn't even the one on the phone to ask him to conduct!) haha well I thought alright no problem I'll give the prayer and talk. The opening hymn ends and I stand up to make my way to the pulpit and a woman walked past me on her way to the pulpit, my companion grabbed me and I sat down. I guess I wasn't asked to give the prayer any way, (brother Walker must have been nervous and said my name or something). After the sacrament was over I stood and gave my talk on mothers. For the time I was given and having to rewrite it all this morning I thought I did pretty well.  After church we came home and had lunch and companionship study. At 2:30 we went to the church and Elder Murray FaceTime his family. I stayed in the beginning of his call and spoke with his family for a minute then let him have the time to himself. While he was on his call I was in a nearby room reading the Book of Mormon and at times couldn't help but hear parts of their conversation, his family is so sweet and funny! It was fun to be able to listen to parts of his call he has a wonderful family.  After his call, we did a couple look-ups before we went to dinner. On the way to the Olsen's we talked about his call with his family and how it was. Sister Olsen made a wonderful dinner! We had roast beef sandwiches and potatoes with vegetables. Our plan was to eat and then take off to the church to FaceTime my family. Well our dinner conversation carried longer and in a direction unexpected so that didn't workout but it ended up working out just fine. Sister Olsen asked how long I had been out and I just told her a little over a year. She then asked what month I came out to the mission on, I said October of 2015 and she said "oh so you are finishing up here pretty soon" I smiled and replied, "not really" and went on to explain that I had returned home for a little while and I have just less than a year left now. One of her boys said, "why'd you go home? Did you get food poisoning or something?" I thought for a short second and felt to bare my testimony, I explained briefly my little understanding of repentance and the change that took place and my current undertaking of repentance. It was a pretty cool little teaching moment.  Well once dinner was over and our conversation transitioned, dessert was served and our time was extended past our schedule. Sister Olsen then offered that I could stay here and use their wifi. So I did!   I ate my pie and went over to the couch where I then FaceTime my family! It was so fun to see them all again, it always is so nice. Even though it's only been 8 weeks since I last saw them it was a fun reunion!  We shared some great and fun experiences with each other. *Not that it was ever a race, but josh thought he'd have me beat with baptizing someone before me. (Because Josh had the opportunity to baptize his girl friend Mother’s Day evening)  But I surprised them with my unexpected experience on Saturday of having the opportunity to baptize A, so we had a good laugh out of that.  It's always so fun talking to my family! I can't believe Akayla is already walking!
After facetiming my family, we went to stop by and see if Teddy was around. After a quick chat with him before he left on a delivery run we made our way home for the night.

May 15, 2017
Monday, Day 417
Day 57 back in NY

Today was probably about the slowest day of the year... I don't know what makes it feel that way but it just was so slow... District meeting was this morning and it was good! We reviewed the goals we set and made more goals. Around 12:30 we had lunch. When we finished eating, we left and went around looking up some people and maybe it was that, that made it slow. Nobody was answering the doors.  Around 5 we went to visit Jackson when we pulled up he was getting ready to leave. He said what car are we taking, yours or mine, we said his. So we hopped in his truck and went for a drive, we went to Lowe's to pick up a spray pump to kill poison oak. After Lowe's he pulled off and he got us milkshakes. (He's so awesome! We love Jackson).  While outside having our milkshakes he brought up some questions he had about the church. So we sat and answered his questions, some of which I've heard but never have answered so pray that the Spirit helped us explain it and him to understand it.  After a good while we got back in the truck and he took us back to his place, we then said a prayer with him in the drive way and off we went back on the road in our car. 
We decided to go to the campus to contact people. After about 45 minutes and passing out a couple copies of the Book of Mormon we went home for dinner at 8:30. And stayed home to finish off the night. 

May 16, 2017
Tuesday, Day 418
Day 58 back in NY

Today was a great day! *I struggled a bit this morning staying awake and focused. My mind was wondering and I hated it! Before studies began I got a text from President Smith, he said "I'm available this afternoon or evening to FaceTime." I wasn't sure what for but I told him 4:15 works for me.  After studies I said a prayer and told Heavenly Father that we had a lot of service to do today and that during this time I want to be focused on the people we are serving. I asked him to clear my mind once we began serving and to help me keep it clear, clean, and focused.  About 10:30 we went to Sister M's and in her basement we took down her ceiling. It was the ceiling like schools have in classrooms. After clearing out the ceiling and cleaning up the mess, we then went back outside and began cleaning up her yard, pulling weeds and dead trees. We got a lot done and when we finished she had lunch ready for us. We went inside and ate and shared a little message about the sacrament.  When we left we went to Brother H's. We were going to help him till the ground for his garden. We went to his neighbors first to load the tiller and drive it over to his yard. After helping out his neighbor C asked if we could come by and help move rocks. (C is 68 years old... and he's got a sweet Harley!) We told him we would love to, he grabbed his wife and she came out and we asked where she'd like the rocks. We told them we could come by tomorrow at 6:30pm to help, she said perfect, I'll make dinner, do you like steak? My jaw dropped, my eyes widened, and I looked like a dog as I said yes.  

Elder Murray likes frogs

We left Brother H's home and looked up a couple people before going to the church. Once we got to the church President Facetimed me. He's so inspired… I can not tell you how great this man is. I had been emailing him a little bit about how I've been doing since back in the mission and we've talked once in an interview and a couple times briefly on the side. But he felt the need to FaceTime me today, so he did and he asked what was on my mind. I shared with him some things that were bothering me and we also talked about my FaceTime call with my family and the baptism of Miranda and I told him about baptizing A. We had an awesome chat for a bit and we closed in prayer, I can't express enough how grateful I am for his love and true concern for me. 

Afterward Elder Murray and I talked for a bit about how my chat with President was and we set some goals to help each other out when we have those times where we feel down and out of focus.  We then went tracting for a half hour and then we went to the campus and contacted people for a while. We were able to pass out 4 copies of The Book of Mormon. Before going home for dinner and companionship study. It was definitely a great day; we wore our selves out today! 

Patience. Love. Faith

Much love, 
Elder Newbold 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Week 59

May 2, 2017
Tuesday, Day 404
Day 44 back in NY

Transfer day! This morning we got up at 5:45am... because Elder McBride and Elder Jackman wanted to go to IHOP for breakfast. They all ordered nice big breakfasts and I only wanted orange juice. After returning home to finish getting ready and packing. We headed out the door, the four of us with 5 suitcases. Easy. Right? Well yes, anywhere else in the world, but on public transportation, in NYC. Ha! You’re kidding!! I offered to grab a taxi van... but Elder McBride persisted in taking transit... because he wanted to ride his last bus before going home. What a funny kid. Well, we rode the bus, trying so hard not to take up a ridiculous amount of space, I believe we were successful. Then we got to the subway and like any other transfer continued to haul around our suitcases till we got to the Inwood chapel. Not too long after getting to the church the other returning missionaries arrived and soon after them, President Smith showed up. I said a quick goodbye to Elder Tabor, Pulu, and McBride and they took off to the temple. I was with Elder Petersen for the time being, Sisters Busby, Bongolto, and Benedicto stayed to watch all our suitcases at the church while Elder Petersen and I went and got subway for us all for lunch. 

We finished lunch and people started arriving for transfers. The UHAUL was here and already being loaded up. Once our suitcases were packed up, we drove up to the Ossining chapel to wait for the UHAUL. 

I met up with my companion, Elder Murray. 

After it arrived we unloaded our stuff and then loaded it up into our car and we took off to our first appointment. We stopped by a member’s house, Brother Rizzo. We shared a message with him and were about ready to be on our way... but this guy is so funny before we could close with a prayer he brought up dinner and asked if we wanted steak. We didn't have dinner plans so we thought sure why not. So we ended our message and moved to the kitchen, he pulled out of the fridge this fat bag of steak. He told us to prepare it haha so we got it out, cut it up, and threw it on the BBQ. He made a quick salad and got us some drinks while we cooked the steak. The first glass he brought us was some really good grape juice he made. When we came back in for a plate to put the steaks on he had another drink for us, he said he couldn't remember what it was. (He juices all the fruits that he has when he doesn't want them to go to waste). We grabbed the plate and our drinks and went outside to the BBQ. I took a sip first and whatever it was, it was fermented... We came back into the house and told him and he said "oh okay, that must be the older one". We asked what was in it and he said he could remember. He just juices random fruits together. This guy is too funny!

Our next appointment was visiting our Ward mission leader, brother Walker. He is from Jamaica and has such a great testimony. We caught him outside on his lawn mower; he stopped and was excited to meet the new guy (me). We chatted for a bit and talked about him and me and got to know each other. It was getting late so we let him go so he could finish the lawn in the light and we left to our last appointment. We met at the church and our Investigator T came and we met with him. We read a scripture from Mosiah 4 and talked about the power of God and how we can do all things that are expedient to the Lord. We followed up with his smoking, he said he isn't doing better but he's not getting worse. Then we invited him to work on it and committed him to daily prayer. He is preparing to be baptized at the end of this month.

Our church is tiny because it's just our branch that meets there. It's in the middle of a big lawn. 

After meeting with T we drove home, we are about 5 minutes from home. It was a great day!

May 3, 2017
Wednesday, Day 405
Day 45 back in NY


We went and did laundry first, which was a pain. The laundry card we have can only be filled at a certain place, which we didn't know. I loaded my laundry into the washer, and then realized we needed more money on our card. So we left and wasted about 15 minutes figuring it out. When we got money on our card we then went back to our laundry room and started the load. Then we went grocery shopping. We then went back to put our clothes in the dryer and then we went to the church to email and play catch with a football. All the while we forgot we had groceries in the car. It wasn’t until after we decided to go home that we saw them in the back seat of the car and remembered. After putting our groceries away (thankfully the milk was still cold) we planned to go find somewhere to hike. On our way out we noticed one of our tires was getting flat... so we spent time finding somewhere to fill it. By then we didn't have much time and planned to hike some other time!

After pday, we had two appointments. One was with a member of our branch who we are helping to prepare to receive the priesthood. It's kind of funny... all our members are older… like in their 60’s or so. Then we met with T at the end of the night to uplift him and motivate him to read and pray.

May 4, 2017
Thursday, Day 406
Day 46 back in NY

This morning we had Zone meeting. During one of the trainings given, a question was asked. "Why is Jesus Christ the foundation of everything?" My answer was simply, "well, take away Jesus Christ and what are we left with? Nothing... without Him nothing has purpose and nothing would exist." A scripture that came up in today's meeting was Ether 12:12 "For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them;" and it's so true, we can't sit around and expect miracles to happen... you need faith and what's faith? Well, faith is a belief so strong it motivates us to ACT. And there you have it, of you want to expect miracles, you have to act.  Something my companion says a lot, which I love, is "you just have to have Faith over Fear." D&C 6:36 "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." If we look unto Jesus Christ in all things what should we fear? Nothing. We will have no fear because we will look into Him and understand His plan and our part in it.

After our meeting we went out to subway for lunch! Then we had a few people we looked up and then an appointment with a guy named J. He's been seeing missionaries for a little while and is a super nice guy, he's 80 years old and he told us he's been sober about 6 years now and is trying to kick smoking. He's so awesome!

We also went to SUNY New Paltz College campus and contacted people for about an hour before going home for dinner. While on campus we ran into this student who was pretty cool, he was the only one who let us talk to him. We taught him about the plan of salvation and our purpose in life. We gave him a pamphlet and continued on. He said he's studied and read about other religions but just for fun, he's not really looking for a religion. After dinner we met up with T for a bit at a deli near by and a miracle happened! We were about to walk into the deli and this guy just outside stopped us and asked us what kind of missionaries we were. When we answered, he said, "Oh awesome, I was baptized a Mormon." But I only went to church from about 9-13 years old and haven’t been back since. (He's in his 20s). He then asked, "How would you guys try to talk someone like me into coming back to church?" I kind of laughed inside and after the fact wanted to say, "well do you want to come to church? Cause if you answer that, we could save a lot of time." But we went onto answer his question and some others he had. Then a car pulled up and he said it was his ride, we quickly exchanged info and we went inside to meet with T before heading home for the night.

May 5, 2017
Friday, Day 407
Day 47 back in NY

We started off our plans after studies with weekly planning. We planned for about 2 hours in hopes the rain would lighten up so we could do an APF. But the rain continued and we reschedule the APF and went to the church after having lunch to continue planning.

We then went to the library where we wanted to print off a calendar to help T set goals and make plans to quit smoking... but it wasn't till after finding a calendar and a button away from printing it, did we notice the sign in front of us that said 15 cents per page... well we didn't have any change! So we laughed to make ourselves feel better and we left…

We went home and had companionship study and dinner. The remaining time of our night was spent contacting at the college and look-ups around the area.

One of the guys we met was atheist... before leaving we asked if there was anyway we could serve him. He responded, "right now? No! But you come back at 12:30pm tomorrow and I'll put you to work!" We accepted his given time and home we went.

May 6, 2017
Saturday, Day 408
Day 48 back in NY

Exactly 12:30pm we showed up to C the atheist's home. Where we found him dumb surprised, because he didn't believe we would show up. We followed him to the backside of the apartment where he lives and under the building was his workshop. He's a sculptor; he's been sculpting for 27 years and has sculptures in other places around the world. We had no clue what we signed up for… But he put us to work. I wish I took pictures because it was the most interesting thing I think I've done on my mission. We were filling pre formed molds of a sculpture he was making; he made this mix that we used to spread across the mold to make his sculpture. I don't really know how else to explain it so I hope you can picture it like this, two young men in aprons and plastic gloves. Spreading a mix of some kind with paintbrushes across what looks like the mold of an octopus arm. After I think was about an hour and a half of that he said thank you and you’re off the clock for today! Haha so on our way we went.

We changed into our proselyting clothes and on our way to another service project we stopped by a couple people. The first guy we stopped by was a member of our branch. Brother Krom, he's blind and Elder a Murray says he plays the piano really well! (So I hope to watch him play sometime). Our visit was short; we shared a message with him and offered our service. He appreciated the visit and said there was nothing more we could do for him at the moment. We then were back on the road and on our way to Brother Precour's to help him move a lot of stuff on his property. For about 3 and a half hours we moved around a lot of things either to the back of the house or into the dumpster. Sadly by the time we finished it looked like nothing changed. But we surprisingly got a lot done! He ordered us pizza and we ate before we left. Once we left, we went to the church to have our Branch coordination meeting with the sisters and our branch mission leader. It was a bit of an interesting meeting, we basically discussed things that we needed to come back next week and discuss more of. We felt like it was a bit unproductive, but we tried to talk about and form the basis of a Branch Mission Plan. Our meeting was all right, and Elder Murray and I were a bit out of it with all the service we did today.

Now that I think about it, I didn't have much to eat for breakfast and because we were sculpting at noon we missed lunch, then we didn't have pizza till AFTER working for 4 hours, so thankfully our Branch mission leader, brought chicken legs and pizza too. After eating we went to catch T before 9pm. But he was running a few deliveries during work, so we shared a quick scripture with him before he took off so that he could have something to ponder. Then it was a little after 9pm and our beds were calling us! So you know what that means!

May 7, 2017
Sunday, Day 409
Day 49 back in NY

Today we had a live broadcast, so we met in NewBurgh at the chapel there and the whole stake was there. It was sweet! Had trouble staying awake... but it was good.

(I need to order a new mattress from the office because mine is pretty dead and I don't sleep to well on it. You can feel the springs when you lay on it. So maybe once I get that figured out I will stay awake.)

Not too much happened today besides going home for studies and lunch, then lots of contacting, tracting, and look-ups.

May 8, 2017
Monday, Day 410
Day 50 back in NY

This morning we had District meeting! Afterward we began our split with the district leader. Elder Murray stayed in the area and was with Elder Viera. I went to Kingston with Elder Hughes (who I served around in the Bronx at the beginning of my mission). We got all the way to their chapel which was about a half an hour ride or so and then I realized I still had the phone to our area in my pocket .... so after planning and companionship study we got a call from Elder Murray on the sister’s phone asking us to meet them half way so I could give them their phone... way to start off the split right!?

Elder Hughes and I visited some people in their area. There was this one lady... this poor older lady, who had really bad shoulder problems. She had a surgery scheduled 3 days from now to have it fixed. I knew nothing about her, so when we showed up and I saw all the bottles of alcohol on the coffee table and couch, I thought nothing of it. Elder Hughes's reaction was so little that I thought maybe this was normal... but it wasn't, so we did her the favor and threw them out… she was drunk... we tried to talk to her and help her out, but she was gone... she wasn't making sense and was in pain… so we cleaned up her kitchen and living room. We cleaned the dishes and dumped the alcohol in the trash... and we left her with a prayer.

The rest of the day we went around looking people up and trying to set appointments. There was a member family we visited for FHE. Awesome family, they were so sweet and fun!

May 9, 2017
Tuesday, Day 411
Day 51 back in NY

This morning after studies we looked up some people before lunch, we then came home for lunch and drove to New Paltz, back to my area, to help out at the bishops storehouse and to unsplit. We got there about 12:30 and set up tables. Around 1:30 the truck showed up. We unloaded the truck and organized all the food by labels on the table. Then we each began filling ordered for those who ordered food and supplies. We were there till about 4pm and then we had an appointment with a less active member in our Branch. We stopped by for a bit and got to know him, we shared a message and then left.

The member lives in an area with a nice amount of apartments around. So we tracted, we said we'd hit 6 doors. Then go to the church and make phone calls and finish writing up lesson reports. On our 4th door we met this kid J. He opened the door and we immediately testified of eternal families. We asked him what he thought about it and what he believes life is like after death. He was quick and said well I never have thought about it, death scares me. I then bore my testimony of eternal families and how we can know about the life after death from reading in the Book of Mormon. He accepted a copy and we exchanged information. He was really cool and was willing to listen. We went back to the car and drove to the church. We then made 10 phone calls each and wrote up lesson reports, we had about 45 minutes and we got it all done!

The gospel is such a blessing, after meeting J I thought how sad it is to know that many people have no idea what it's like after death and how reassuring it must be to learn and have a knowledge of life after this one. I know that we can be with our families forever. If and only if we submit our will to Heavenly Fathers will and follow his commandments. Then after all we can do, we may have eternal life.

Patience. Love. Faith
Much love,
Elder Newbold