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

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