Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

Its been a good year.  
      I love you all so much! And I love my mission sooooooooooo much!!!!!!! I love December and I love snow, and I loved 2013 and I love 2014 already. I love Ohio and Utah and companions and investigators and members and food and well everything! My life is SO. GOOD!
     But, really:) It was so so fun to talk to you all at Christmas. I felt so weird for a minute, like I should have been sitting on the couch right there with you, but then it dawned on me that I was the one away from home, I was the one you were all so excited to see, it was so weird! But I loved it! Christmas was so much fun, mostly because I got to see all of you!
     This week has been so eye opening. Its really different being away from your trainer. I miss Sis. Jones but I am loving this opportunity to really spread my wings (cheesy I know) and FLY!!!!!! (ugh...definitely too cheesy). Its crazy but I feel like I have learned so much about myself and about the kind of missionary I am in these past 13 days than the whole 4 1/2 months I was with Sis. Jones. Suddenly I just have so much more responsibility and say in how we do things and it has made me want to work so much harder. I have been trying my whole mission up to this point to really enjoy the work. And I really have, but this week I just have this new found desire to try even harder than I have been and to really just lose myself and work harder than I ever have EVER!  Its awesome. And its totally God. I have been praying to have a stronger desire to do the work and really love it and it has been flowing into my life so effortlessly I can't hardly believe it! There is a quote in our apartment that says, "when obedience ceases to become an irritant and becomes instead our quest. there flows into our lives a tremendous power to do the work" (okay so that wasn't exactly verbatim but that's basically what it says:) I think that is what's happening. With that switch in perspective, that I don't just have to be obedient but that I really want to be exactly obedient. God is giving me more power and more desire to work hard and have more faith. I LOVE IT!
      Christmas was so lovely. The whole season was just so magical. To be able to really focus on what I can give, rather then what I am getting was so beautiful. And looking at it that way, you suddenly realize how very very much we have been given and how no matter how much of ourselves we give it will never repay Christ back. But the best part is, he doesn't expect us to. That's why the atonement is called a gift. because it was freely and lovingly given. We just have to accept it.
       So I decided for New years goals I am going to take it month by month because I always set such elaborate goals and forget what they are by the end of February. So for January.....NO SUGAR!!!!!! Help me k! remind me, encourage me, and tell me its going to be worth it! I am also going to do a 90 day Book of Mormon Challenge!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who wants to do it with me????????!!!!!!!!!!! please please please!!!!!!! So we have from Jan 1st to March 31st.  Pick something to focus on this time round as your reading too. I am going to go through and mark every where it mentions Christ. Ready......GO!!!!!! Its going to be awesome!
       You all have a fabulous New year and a happy life!
ps. I spoke in church on Sunday AND sang a song with Sis. Stack. It was missionary 5th Sunday so they roped us all into it....of course we are happy to do it though. It went really well! I spoke on missionary work and of course the elders made me go last so I had to take up the last 20 mins of the meeting! I kept their attention for 15mins then had to admit defeat and sat down. Everybody said I should be a professional speaker....whatever.... LOVE YOU!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Merry Christmas Everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have so loved being here this time of year....its cold yes, but oh so worth it to be out sharing my testimony of Christ and of how much he loves us with everyone I see! This week was really kinda crazy with transfers (I know I say a lot of weeks are crazy but this one was really really crazy!)...So Sis. Jones and I found out officially Monday night that they are closing our area and adding it onto the other sisters. It was rough...and I mean ROUGH, we had warned our investigators that one of us would probably be getting transferred but to have to go back and try and get a hold of everyone and tell them Both of us were leaving was the saddest thing of my life!!!! I can't even describe it! It broke my heart! As we were getting ready to turn our area over to Perry West it felt like our world was crumbling around us! Everything was going wrong and we were so sad that we were not going to be able to be there fix it. But, I know God's hand is in everything and it was neat to see that even though we had to leave the area we loved so much, God will see that those people are taken care of. I am grateful they are in good hands with Sis. Smith and Sis. Frankenberry. And now I can just look back with gratitude on all I have learned and how grateful I am for the time spent in Perry/Painesville:)

Soooooo....transfers...... I am now in the Ashtabula East area. It is the tippiest toppest point of the mission and covers the country towns of Andover, Pierpont, Conneaut, Kingsville and some other super small is a huge area and has fields and rolling hills and barns and Amish and because its been raining all weekend their are ponds everywhere! lt feels like a swamp sometimes because there is so much water accumulated everywhere!

My Comp is Sis. Stack and I love love love her. She is such a new/wonderful companion and has made me feel so loved and lucky to be here already! This weekend was awesome because I was really able to jump in with the Ashtabula ward Christmas party, a baptism (one of the Elders) and Church. I have done my best all weekend to meet as many people as I could and to memorize as many names as I can cram into my brain and it has helped so much. I already feel welcomed and a part of the ward and as I have sought to lose myself I really have felt so much joy and peace in the knowledge that I am doing my best and God is doing the rest! I know I am going to LOVE it!

So funny thing....but, okay. so everyone has been bugging me that I need to sing more and share my talent...yadayadayda. Well it was hard with Sis. Jones because even though she actually has a really pretty good voice, she is convinced she can't sing and so really never would with me (bless her heart....still love her). Well Sis. Stack...its kinda funny, She kinda can't carry a tune but is more then willing to sing and is always telling everyone...Sis. Newren has a beautiful voice....lets sing a song! So we have been singing Christmas songs all weekend! feels good!

We also have the sweetest senior couple in our ward....oh so I am actually a satellite sister now which means I live in my area which is about an hour from Kirtland and then we drive down there and stay over night to serve at the sites. I love it! so we live right next door to The Banks (senior couple) and one day they were like "we are kidnapping you for 20 mins" haha then they took us to see the longest covered bridge in the States (there are a lot of covered bridges in my new area!) Its called, Smolen Gouth or something like that! We had a blast. They let us get out on one end so we could run through it and then picked us up on the other end! So fun!

Another adventure....Sis. Stacks coat (which had our car keys in it!) was taken when we were at church! We were sooooo worried! It just was the weirdest situation and all I can say is thank goodness for the Banks....they got us where we needed to go and then drove us 30 mins down to the bottom of our area so we could go pick it up from the family who accidently took it! It ended up turning out great...they even fed us lunch;) but oh boy did we have a crazy few hours there!

For Christmas we have a dinner at the church planned at 2 and then the Bishops wife invited us over in the evening. And the rest of the time we will fill with planning and service and caroling! So fun! I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!!
I love you all so much and am so grateful for you all in my life. I really wouldn't be here and going strong with out each and everyone of you, your examples, your testimonies, your love and your support!!!!! So THANK YOU! Have a very MERRY Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sister Hannah Newren

******** This is a video the church just came out with...we play it at the Visitors center for those people who come to see the Nativity Exhibit. It is an amazing video about Christ's birth...if you haven't seen it yet watch it! If you already it again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! click here The Nativity 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Transfers and lots of other crazy stuff!

This week has been crazy crazy crazy!!!!!! Like rip your hair out, no control, headache all week kinda crazy....but its been really awesome too:)
Thursday we did a service project for one of the members whom we love Sis. D. She recently moved and needed some help getting her home in order. So the Elders and us Sisters pulled together to go help her get it all done. We were just leaving, Sis. D had to take all of us sisters back to our area so we were all piled in the car and Elder Peterson, who is the sweetest, shyest guy 18 yr old Elder is standing in back kinda signaling that we can go....well when the car gets up to him he spreads out his arms and leans over to lay on the back of the car. Now. Elder Peterson is really tall and he has done this kinda thing jokingly a few times before and while its not the smartest Idea it never was a huge deal. BUT, not the time or place and it was soooo cold. So he does this and none of us really realize what he is trying to do, when all of the sudden the back windshield shatters and his hand and face come through the back seat! Oh my goodness, we just all sat in shock for a minute with him just saying "I am so sorry, I am so sorry, I am so sorry!" it was so sad, we tried to all just remain calm but Sis. D was in shock and Elder. Peterson is freaking our and All of the other Elders aren't really helping...sigh, well then we realize Elder Peterson's hand is spurting we run inside to find something to stop it, we took to long so Elder Tam just rips off his nice sweatshirt and wraps Elder P's hand. Sis. Jones has taken an EMT course so we looked at it and it was definitely cut up pretty bad so Elder Richen's takes him to the ER where he had to get 6 stitches..poor guy...seriously probably the one dumb thing he has done in his life.... Anyways so the rest of us stayed and went to work trying to clean up the glass and blood...well of course the Elders wouldn't let us sister's even touch it since we didn't have gloves so we did our best to help Sis. D figure out how she was getting to work the next morning and what not. It was a pretty crazy fiasco and poor Elder Peterson has been in a lot of pain all week:(
okay Friday, Ward Christmas party!!!! It was so fun! One of the Elders investigators Shirley made me wear her singing/dancing elf hat for half the night...haha....yeah it was a tad humiliating but I think I pulled it off pretty well, despite the Elders telling me I looked like an Elf! We had a good crowd there though and met some really cool people. I also stole the RS presidents, husbands was just sitting there on the table and he was not paying very close attention so I slowly pulled it towards me and snapped some closeups of him and his wife...haha it was funny, when he realized we had it it was hilarious:)
Saturday. We were at the Mejias for WAY tooooo long (I can't even tell you!) They just kept talking talking talking and Sis. Mejia wanted us to help her with all of these projects, then we did service for them and ended up eating lunch and was crazy but it was the last time we were able to see them. Half way through, President Vellinga called us and told us they are closing our area!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were devastated! I mean we knew it was possible and they aren't really closing it, they are just combining it with the other elders area, but still, that means both of us our getting transferred and all our investigators will now be being taught by Elders. Its so sad because we have poured so much of our heart and soul into this area and the people we teach we have such deep relationships without so its just so sad that we have to up and leave and turn them over to two guys they have never even met. I know the Lord knows what he is doing though and that it will all be for the best. I have served the first 4 months of my mission in Painesville and I can't even tell you how hard it is to leave.
Sunday, We had a Community of Christ Christmas Hymn sing we went to at the Kirtland temple. Us sisters sang a few songs and as always, had several super awkward moments...pretty much we didn't know we were supposed to be singing a song until the pianist was playing the intro and by then we didn't have time to stand up so we sang the whole song sitting down!!!!!!!!!!! it was ridiculous!!!!!! but what else is new...
Sunday we went to bed and couldn't really get to sleep because we have soooooooo much on our minds..between packing and getting our area book in order and contacting all of our investigators its been insane. So we are just falling asleep and at 11:30 our phone rings...well we were a little freaked out ("who the heck would be calling this late???") it was Bishop Dew...well we didn't answer because it was so late, but we knew it must be important so we were really worried...well he left a voice mail and pretty much just said "hey sisters, sorry its so late, I need the Mettler's info there has been a really bad accident, call me back" So really concerned now we call him back and he tells us that Sis metter's (a Less active whom we absolutely adore) daughter got in a tragic sledding accident and was undergoing emergency surgery, he said her spine was broken in 5 places and her neck was completely severed from her spinal cord. We were in shock. He said, its really not looking good, she has no feeling in any of her extremities and will most likely be a quadriplegic for the rest of her life. I was heart broken and in such shock. We texted Sis. Mettler right and away and dropped down to our knees to supplicate God for a miracle and comfort and strength in their behalf. Pray for them!
Well there you go, it was crazy like I said. I love you all! Have a fabulous time getting ready for CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sis. Hannah Newren

Monday, December 9, 2013

Amazing week!

Hello to everyone!

Mission Conference was incredible.... On tuesday of this week our whole mission (unheard of) was able to gather in the Kirtland Temple for a special Christmas mission conference! It was a historic event and the spirit their was unlike anything I have ever felt. I was really praying that it would change my life and really help me to be more focused and diligent on my mission and it did exactly that! I learned so much and then to wrap it all up Pres. Vellinga delivered the most moving message on how we need to re-dedicate our mission! He asked us to get our apartments and cars clean and on sunday evening asked the whole mission to dedicate their homes to be sacred, holy places. They have all of course been dedicated but it was so neat to recognize that al though as a mission we have been doing really well...we have a sacred responsibility here in Kirtland to build it up so that prophecy can be fulfilled. He said "every missionary loves their mission...and thinks it is the best place in the world, and it is! But, We are in an absolutely unique mission. The things that happened here are without comparison. And we have a responsibility to tell people about it and to bring them here and to build up Kirtland!' There has been an incredible spirit in this part of the world as an Apostle of the lord (pres. ballard) and the area mission pres have challenged us to bring people to Kirtland.

With the nativity exhibit going on even more miracles have been happening. Soooo many non-members come in and it has been incredible to talk with them tell them what we do here and invite them to take tours. The other day Sis. Jones and I took Nathan on tour, he is we think 24 yrs old, had just taken the GRE that morning and had stopped because he had been telling his boss that Kirtland was a big gathering place for the mormons and his boss didn't believe he stopped to take a picture of our sign and then decided to come in! We had the most amazing tour with him and he recognized the spirit and accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and gave us his number so we can follow up. He lives in Akron which is about an hour away but his parents live in Madison which is in the Perry ward!!!! He is the coolest guy ever! I also talked to couple who came into see the nativities and thought nothing of it until as they were leaving I saw them take a Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith pamphlet....I gasped and said "Sis. Jones we HAVE to go talk to them some more!" so we rushed out to the school house (where all of the international nativities are on display) and cornered them and asked them all about themselves. They were so cool and promised they would bring their daughter back here and come take a tour. We have had so many experiences like that, It's hard because we can't proselyte with the non-members that come in for nativities but I know seeds are planted and then I just pray pray pray that they will let the missionaries in when they knock on their door and will someday find their way back to Kirtland!

This week feels like it has been a long one, but that is because we are trying our best to work as hard as we can! And because of it I know we were blessed to see some of the fruit of our labors....Bro. Mejia came to church this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so amazing, I couldn't believe it but it really happened...he hasn't been to church in over 10 years and has really been struggling with so many issues....but we have felt prompted to be very patient with their family and just love them and it has been working! It all started to change when we began focusing on the Atonement...then he received a blessing and we have noticed a huge difference in him and when he came to church! He said "at first I felt really lost..but then I remembered it and it felt like coming home!" He said he wants to bring his wife and daughter with him next time....this truly is miraculous...they have been so bitter against religion and people and the church for soooo long and to see them begin that healing process has been life changing. We were able to see Tessa and Bro. Molynuex this week (bradley was sick) and watched Finding Faith in Christ with them because they really don't know much about Christ. It was amazing...the whole time I was praying for them to feel the spirit and then I was thinking..."I need to be more specific" so I started praying for Tessa to be able to say yes to the question we planned to ask them after...if they believed that Jesus Christ was their Savior and the Son of God. So I prayed and prayed and prayed that Tessa, who is so logical and has been dragging her feet a little bit through this whole thing would be able to say "YES" .... after it was over we asked them if they believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world and she said YES! They both did! And it was the best day ever! The lord hears and answers our prayers! After she said yes I asked her "how, how to you know that?" and she smiled so sweetly and said so confidently "Faith:)" The Lord is truly at work in our area and I am so grateful to be His instrument!
And to top off an already incredible Ward Council yesterday the bishop told us that our desire to see a working temple be built in Kirtland was getting closer. He said when Elder Ballard was here, that is one of the topics discussed with him and the stake presidency. He told us Elder Ballard said "I will do my part, I will go to the brethren and ask for a temple here, but you need to then do your part, you must weary the lord with your petitions for a temple in Kirtland!" and so that is what Bishop Dew challenged us to do, he said..."in every single prayer, every single day plead with the Lord for a temple!!!!" They then talked about what we need to do to show the Lord we want a temple, plans for more Indexing, family history work and temple attendance are being put in place and I feel so privileged to be a part of what is happening here. The beginning steps, being faithfully taken, to have again a working Temple in Kirtland Ohio!
Hope you all have a great week! Merry Christmas!
Challenge: As a family, kneel down and Re-dedicate your homes to be a place of safety, refuge, peace and joy. A holy place for your family to feel the Spirit and the Love of God always....I am going to follow up next week so DO IT!
Sis. Hannah Newren

Monday, December 2, 2013


Dear family and friends,

        I absolutely adore this time of year and I think it has just increased on my mission! There just is nothing better then celebrating the Birth of our Savior and when it comes with family time and good music and giving and serving and loving and Nativities!!!!!! It just boils down to the best time of year! Wahoo! I am soooooo happy! 
         Thanksgiving was of course lovely and hilarious! So the Elders in our ward somehow managed to get 4 dinner appointments and 1 dessert on Thanksgiving. They were strutting around so proud of themselves and excited the days before. Well Thanksgiving came and reality hit. We all were invited to a Less active's house for dinner around 4pm and by this point they had already sat down to 2 Thanksgiving meals and were looking miserable! It was SO funny!!!! Well we actually had another appointment with another Less Active (both were interesting dinners let me tell ya!) Bro. Senft  right after so we ate some and then headed on our way wishing the Elders good luck and laughing all the way out the door. Well It was hard enough for us having two dinners! Bro Senft cooked so much food and kept serving us all more and more turkey without us even asking for it! (ps...single dad with two sons+mom and sister= awkward, but the food was good!) We were so full and even while we were lamenting on how horrible we felt being so full of turkey and mashed potatoes and corn and yams...we just couldn't help ourselves from laughing at the Elders...especially when they texted us right before our next appointment which was a dessert with some members that all of us missionaries had been invited to, and said "we are dying.....Sister Newren, do you have any oils that will help us????" Bwahaha...they were being dead serious too! Sigh...We beat them to the members house and when they arrived and walked in the door their faces were priceless! Seriously....utter agony is how I would describe it! hahaha. All in all it was a beautiful day! Oh we also went and saw the sweetest 91 year old women in a care center. We met Helen and Rudy tracting and they invited us right in and talked our ears off! They are 91 and 93 years old and had a billion stories about growing up during the Great depression and serving in WW2 and oh so many jokes....they are the sweetest couple and Helen just recently broke her hip so we finally were able to go visit her again. Although we didn't teach a lesson or commit her to get baptized it felt so good to simply be doing what the Savior did everyday of his life...uplift and love everybody, especially those in the most humblest of circumstances:)
       We also had a really neat interdenominational Thanksgiving fireside at the Kirtland Temple that the Community of Christ church hosted. All of us sisters were asked to sing and I was asked to lead! It was such a special opportunity! We were sitting in the choir seats, right by the pulpits where the Prophet Joseph Smith sat and were Jesus Christ appeared! It was really really special! They had pastors from several different church's participate and it really added a feeling of unity with the community! The worst part was when they passed around a collection basket and none of us sisters had brought our wallets!!!!! was awkward but we survived it okay. I love the Kirtland Temple so much....Every time I get to be in there I have a new found appreciation for the saints here and the sacrifices they made to build it!
      So, This week has been really good. We finally were able to get back into the home of one of our investigators Angela. She had a baptismal date for Nov sometime and then a lot of crazy stuff happened with her family and we couldn't see her till now! But she has a new date for Jan 18th and is on fire with studying and praying and a sincere desire to find truth! We also were able to work with the Mejia's this week! Bro. Mejia and his wife  came to the lighting ceremony at Kirtland and loved it! Bro. Mejia was also able to get a much needed blessing and hopefully will really start healing and moving on from all the things from his past he is hanging on to. We also had a church tour with Tessa and Bradley! They are so awesome and almost made it to church but work got in the way...ugh! We will keep doing our best to work with them all and helping them have those spiritual converting experiences so they can keep progressing and have an increased desire to become converted!  
      Last thing I wanted to mention....Sis. Jones and I got a blessing this week! The Elders were so insistent that we needed one so on their way back from the hospital they  met up with us in a freezing cold park (there was no where else to do it!!!) and gave us both blessings! It was awesome, but oh my cold! 
    Well I love love love you all and hope you had a marvelous Thanksgiving! 
  Happy Holidays!
      Sis. Hannah Newren
 Challenge: Start keeping a Thankful Journal. I have done it everyday of my mission and it is the most incredible thing. It truly helps you see the tender mercies of everyday!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hello Family and Friends!

      This week has been GREAT! Its been pretty cool because we are at sites Sunday, then our p-day is Monday, then we are at sites Tuesday and then in our area for 4 days straight! I love love love being at sites but it really has been cool to have a good chunk of area time to really get some work done! It's really tricky trying to juggle what we want and need to get done in our area when we have to be at sites half the week! So its been awesome! We are seeing a lot of really cool things.
     We are starting to finally see some real progression with some of our investigators. We have three with baptismal dates now!!!!!!! ding ding ding ding!!!! Jeff (Dec 28th) and Tessa and Bradley (Jan 4th). I love them so much and am so excited for them to discover the great blessings of making those covenants with our Father in Heaven. They are all choice children of our Heavenly Father and I feel so honored to even be a part of helping them learn about the Gospel and what they must do to return and live with their God together as a family. It has been so special and I am so excited to continue to work with them!  The last lesson we had with Tessa and Bradley we taught the Plan of Salvation, their dad couldn't make it so that was really sad, but we started teaching them and Sis. Jones got down on the floor to lay out the Plan of Salvation papers and Bradley got down on the floor too! They are so awesome and so eager to learn! At the end they had just set a baptismal date for Jan 4th

 and we all were joking about how we must have known each other in the pre-earth life and how we promised them we would find them to teach them the Gospel! And it really is true! I just know that teaching the Molynuex's is one of the reasons I need to come to Ohio on my mission. They are such a special family!
       God is so good to us. We have so many awesome people in our area I just know it. We are trying really hard to get into more homes and teach more families and help those the Lord has helped us find to start has been a hard slow start, but things are at the breaking point and I just know miracles are beginning to unfold and I am learning so much as I watch/help it happen. I am really working on trying to follow the spirit more and the one thing I have noticed is how humble it requires me to be. I mean I can teach and explain fairly well, but to really have the spirit so that those we are with can truly become converted, I have to step away from all I know and say "okay God, This is your lesson, help me to speak for thee" It has been awesome to see how much more powerful our lessons are when we turn it over to God. I love being a missionary!!!!!  
     We have had some crazy stuff going on with the Mejias...They are such an awesome family and one we have been working a lot with ever since I got here. Well last week Bro. Mejia was to the point were he was seriously considering coming back to church. He just wanted to meet the Bishop and  "see where they stand and how they feel about my family"  Well Bishop is an awesome guy, but a little bit on the formal side....and Bro. Mejia did not like him....oh it was so sad! and it wasn't the Bishop's fault at alll! but now they are pretty much right back to where they were. Its just so sad because ever since his heart transplant Bro. Mejia has been really paranoid and he just is really struggling with feeling like everyone is out to get him! On the bright side they still love having us over and hearing our messages about Christ. Sis. Mejia taught us how to make some traditional Honduran food the other day, it was so delicious! 

    Well I love you all and hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving!!!!
Love, Sister Hannah Newren

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Happy holidays!

Hey hey hey everyone!!!!
     So last night we were at sights, getting our work done. We had noticed it was a blustery, dreary yet oddly warm day yet thought nothing of it...well we had just had an entertaining conversation with Elder Norton (Senior Elder), He was telling us all about the story of those 10 sister missionaries who were trapped in their home during the Hurricane in the Philippines. We were spell bound, then he says,"sorry we can't get anything exciting to happen here for you Sisters (jokingly of course...its always exciting at Kirtland and in Painesville:)" haha well, not even an hour later they tell us a Tornado warning has been issued and they want us all to get to our homes as quickly as possible. Apparently the Tornado had by that time touched down in Toledo and was heading our way...So we grab our things and headed out while Sis. Norton explains to us to go to our basement if it gets bad. It was indeed a nail biting drive up the hill to the Hyrum Smith home where we live. Lots of rain and wind....To carry on the theatrics of the night we did indeed check out our basement and wondered aloud if we really would have to spend the night here:) well pretty much we ended up just sprawling on the floor making calls and updating our area book for the rest of the night. Planned for the next day and calmly went to bed. much for all the hype.  But it was good, it did get pretty windy and rainy but turned out to be nothing to worry about. Still I know it never hurts to be safe:) And I am sure this isn't the last time we will just narrowly avoid getting swept up by a Tornado:)
   This week has been a good one. Mostly we have been doing a lot of stop by's, trying to stay in touch those we have found who are harder to meet with and don't yet realize that this will change their life. We have so many investigators who have such potential and its just so hard to help them have that desire and motivation to keep moving forward and progressing! Its frustrating but its so worth it when it works out and those really sincere ones pull through:)
    We had another amazing lesson with the Molynuex's. Bro. Molynuex and Tessa came right out and said "I am so sorry we didn't read this week!" It was sad to hear but the remorse was evident and we stressed that reading and praying is how they are going to get their answers! I think it sank in a lot better. Bradley, who is Bro. Molynuex's 17 year old son was finally able to be there and is the most incredible kid I have ever met! He is so grown up and responsible and so interested! You can just tell he is searching for truth and was recognizing what we taught as truth. When we asked them to be baptized he said "if this book convinces me..." He has such a desire to find out if this is true and I know once he does he will be rock solid! We love them so much! They are such a special family and we live for them now! We have been able to get the McIntosh's over there every lesson and they have been amazing fellowship. They just rave about how awesome the Molynuex's are after every lesson and it is just so sweet to see the responsibility and connection they feel for them now....I have no worries who they will sit by at church and who will take them to Kirtland. Members are so key in helping investigators progress and feel welcome. Its been just amazing to watch.
     The thing I have treasured most about my mission is people. Learning to care about and love and serve people just as Christ would has changed my life. There are so many people who need so much love....and it has been the most precious privilege to be an instrument in God's hands to give them that love. It moves mountains and its the most powerful, worthwhile thing in the world. Sometimes I come so close to crying, with the people I meet and situations I see, its just heart breaking. And its not always the horrible living situations, I know they are much worse off in other 3rd world countries. But its the emotional hurt and spiritual denial that is the hardest to witness. What really is there to live for if you don't have hope? But that is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings. And that is what drives me. We stopped by Don's house a few nights ago and met his son Andy. Andy is 25 and so bitter. He just railed at his father..."why are you doing this, God doesn't are the man who raised me and taught me that God doesn't exist and now you are dabbling in this #ji45#@ saying maybe he does????!!!" It was so sad and Don just calmly said..."Why not? I am changing my mind, I believe its possible that He does."  It was a powerful moment to see how far Don has come. He still has a lot to work through but he is an amazing person and is beginning to accept the healing power of the Atonement in his life.    The Church is true!
    I love you all! Have a fabulous week!
           Sis. Hannah Newren
P.S thank you so much for the package!!!!! You all are the best! All the senior couples were admiring the outside and how cute it was! You guys are the best family ever!!!!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013


Hi Everyone!

Man, Holidays on the mission are so weird! Halloween? Did that even just happen????? and now its Veterans day which means all of the libraries and our favorite store is closed...ugh. But I still love holidays and I am crazy excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas!
     This week has been awesome but I don't have much time to tell about it. I will just share one miracle:)
   The Molynuex's: Bro. Molynuex is a less active who hasn't been to church since he was little (soooo he is pretty much an investigator) and Tessa his daughter is our investigator...we have taught them several times but haven't been able to meet with Bradley the 17 yr old son...well we finally briefly met him one day and will be teaching all of them this week but we found out that they totally have been keeping him updated on everything! And he was the first one in their family to actually pick up the Book of Mormon and start reading it!!!! So amazing...He is a cool kid! This family is so golden and I was praying and praying that I would not get transferred so that Sis. Jones and I could keep teaching them and my wish came true!!!!! Both of us are staying for another transfer! So happy. I love being a missionary!
 Well got to go. The Church is true!

        Sis. Hannah Newren!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fall is finally here!

Hello Everyone!
     So I know I said we had snow last week. And it certainly is getting bitter cold. But the leaves have FINALLY all turned (well the majority anyways) So it actually feels like fall! Wahoooooo. Its beautiful, I am so glad I am not the one who has to drive so I can just look out the window and enjoy the scenery wherever we go. Its awesome.
     We had a Halloween party with our ward last Tuesday and it was so much fun. The best part was when the Kurzhols walked in. They all looked so happy. Even Bro. Kurzhol which is HUGE for him. He seriously used to never crack a smile. But they were just all so happy and Sis. Jones and I were able to talk with them for awhile and really get to know Sis. Kurzhol. I think we really helped her feel welcomed and loved and it just was the best feeling in the world. They are actually the Elders investigators but we gave them a tour at Kirtland so we definitely feel a strong connection to them. The Elders told us they committed them to baptism again and Karen, the wife was like...."okay so how are we going to do this because its going to be kinda hard juggling two religions." hahah! Whaaaat. The Elders definitely had to clarify on that point:) They are so awesome though and someday they will be members of this church. 

      We have been working more in some of the nicer neighborhoods in Painesville. We feel very strongly that there is a very special family in this one area, right by where two of our members live. So we have been being very thorough in that area. We have one new investigator named Debbie who lives there and she is awesome. She has had a rough life but she has strong morals and knows what is important. Her husband has had two affairs but she just said "Divorce is too easy now days. It was the hardest thing I have ever done to get over that and let myself love him again but I do love him and we are married so we just keep going and making it work" The Gospel is exactly what she needs and I think she is beginning to see that as well. We also were able to have some awesome lessons with two of our less active families. The Mejias really have no interest in coming back to church but they are very welcoming to us and just recently we encouraged Bro. Mejia to let us have the Bishop call him and he agreed. That was such a miracle and I think a big step towards bringing them back. The Molynuex's are amazing. They are really lost and I think are really hoping the church has what they want but still don't quiet see it yet. Bro. Molynuex and his daughter Tessa both excepted a Book of Mormon and seemed really excited about it. We brought a couple from our ward over with us and it was just a very powerful lesson. We are excited to keep working with them all and see a great future comin' for the Perry ward!!!! The Bishop has been awesome! Really been turning around and pushing missionary work and we love it! It is truly an answer to prayer. 
     OH yes I almost forgot. Service this week. K so we had another project that the Elders needed our help with. We went over to that same trailer park (we are getting way too well known over there:) and were helping a Less active, Sis. Barth and her sister Judy (investigator) with washing the walls in her home. It was a big job but we got it done quickly with 4 of us and Bro. Cuttler. Then we got dragged on to the next service project. The trailer home next store where some of the Elders investigators live was burned really bad inside. So we had the pleasant task of ripping that place apart and are now working on putting it back together. We tore down the ceiling, pulled up the floor, ripped off the walls, sheet rock insulation and everything. We smelled so bad and were breathing in all of this horrible dusty, smelly, insulation thick air and coughing and blinking like crazy. When we went home that night. It hurt to touch our faces because there were literally shards of plexi glass all over them! Ah it was awful, but we loved it. Bill(the sweetest man who was in charge of the reconstruction going on)  wanted me to make sure and tell you Papa that I am learning valuable life skills out here, I now know how to demolish a house. 
      Well I better get a goin' but I will talk to you all next week:)
            Sis. Hannah Newren
  p.s. The Jones, one of the senior couples finished their mission this past Friday. We had a nice breakfast all together and then sang to them over the balcony. We sang our mission song and it was just the sweetest thing. All of us missionaries that serve at sites all together saying goodbye to one of our own... I was definitely tearing up.  We are sure going to miss them, They were one of my favorite senior couples!

Friday, November 1, 2013


 Hey Everyone! Hola from OHIO! Where the leaves fall before they turn pretty colors, where everything can be blamed on "the lake effect" and where it snows before Halloween. haha..  Seriously though, snow! ugh, not ready for that. But I still love love love it here. And the leaves really are beautiful, they just are all falling off and half of the leaves still on the trees are still green...what is happening! People are saying this Fall is being a little weird. Anyways....:)
       We were not able to get into too many homes this week. It was so sad, everybody just kept canceling and not being home! But we tried our best and this week is looking awesome. We did find some neat people though that I really hope will be more committed to progressing in the Gospel....arg...its so hard to be patient sometimes, I know though that it is hard for people to change, and that is what we are asking them to do. To change and come unto Christ.
    We had an awesome lesson with Bro. Molyneux and his daughter Tessa. He hasn't been to church since he was a teenager and Tessa doesn't know anything about the church. We feel really good about them, I think they both don't realize this is what they are looking for but they are very willing to experiment with it. Well lets just say you don't hear us complaining!!!!  They are an awesome family and miracles are happening with them! Sis. Jones and I have decided that we need to "flood the world with the Book of Mormon!" So we have been using it a lot in our proselyting efforts and we can tell some amazing things are going to happen with that! Also, I am pretty sure almost everyone of us missionaries in the Perry ward asked Pres. Vellinga in our interview this week about working with the Bishop and ward etc.. and answer to prayer... We went in there with a sincere desire to step it up and the Bishop surprised us all with an hour long meeting and discussion on how he is there for us and he is re-committed and is willing to help us move the work forward. He read us a quote from Elder Nelson I believe from a meeting with Stake Presidents and such they recently held somewhere and it said "the Full time missionaries no longer belong to the mission president, they belong to the Bishop." basically he says, they are members of the ward and the Bishop has full responsibility of helping them move the work forward. So It was amazing! He is so pumped about this and so are we. Which is just what we needed. The Perry ward has been really struggling with unity and supporting the missionaries but with that communication and support from the Bishop I know things are going to explode around here. So excited! I really hope I get to stay here for awhile yet. Transfers are coming up again in a few weeks and since I will be done training its a possibility I could be transfered and/or get a new companion. I am sure it will be awesome whatever happens but there is just so much more we have to do here!!!!!! And with the Bishop now on board we are already seeing miracles.
      Well, hmmm...I am trying to remember what happened this week.....its all a blur! I think that was pretty much it! We have our ward Halloween party tonight which we are all super excited for and we invited everyone we know so hopefully they all come!!!!! Well I love you all and will talk to you next week!
    Sis. Hannah Newren

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rain, Rain Go Away

  It has been rainy and so dreary, all week. Well maybe not all week, just the days we were in our area. The first day it rained it didn't really look that bad and so we didn't even think about bringing our umbrellas. Then it started raining, so we run under this tree where we could kinda stay dry, then it started raining harder. So we were pretty much getting really wet, and then the Mejias called. And it was a really important phone call. So here we are, Trapped under this tree. I am first was trying to keep the phone dry with my planner but then duh...don't want that to get wet, so I am awkwardly trying to pull my cardigan over the phone and talk to Bro. Mejia, all while we are trying to decide which of the nearest porches we should run to. We finally make a break for it and end up on this old ladies porch. So while I am still talking to Bro. Mejia and trying to hear him and listen. Sis Jones knocks on this ladies door and asks her if we can take cover for a little while on her porch. She was so sweet, but was standing there so awkwardly just watching us through here closed screen door. She eventually went and got us a towel. And was then talking to us (by now I had finally gotten off the phone with Bro. Mejia) and we couldn't hardly understand anything she said. She was from Italy and was seriously slipping back and forth from English to Italian....So funny, We just smiled and nodded and then finally just braved the rain and started for our car, which was forever away:) She was awesome though. People really are so nice here:)
      This week was a hard one, but awesome. We were able to take some of the Elder's in our ward, investigators on tour at Kirtland and it went so well. With one family it was so intense. The Kurstols (not sure how you spell it) I was so worried about them and that we had all pushed them too hard or something but I really did feel like we were led by the spirit and this Sunday the dad (who is the most resistant one) came to church by himself and actually looked happy (which is a big deal for him!) and said he felt the spirit (also a miracle). We sat with him and every talk in Sacrament meeting was so perfect for him and all he has been struggling with! Its kinda funny, but we haven't  been able to get any of our investigators to church so far, so we just kinda commandeer everyone else's! haha, not really but all of us missionaries in the ward are so unified and so we all just help each other out when it comes to church:) After Church Bro. Kurtsol finally told the Elders what his concern was and said he really just needed to talk to somebody about it. So he was able to talk with the Bishop and is going to get some help with some concerns he has. It was such an amazing day to see that all happen and know we had helped in some small way:) The other Investigators that had come loved Kirtland. The Elders told us that Harold's mom told them "He has been so happy and glowing every since that tour" wahoo!!!!!  It really is amazing to see that you just have to keep going, you just have to keep at it, and in His own time, The Lord really does shower down blessings upon us. Sigh... am learning so much...and yet more and more realize I have sooooooooo much more to learn. Its just never ending! In Church Bro. Thornton shared this "While other religions want you to know something, The Gospel of Jesus Christ challenges you to become something. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the plan, to help us become what Heavenly Father truly desires us to become" Ah I loved it! And that is really it! We are becoming something...and not just anything, we are becoming what our Heavenly Father intended for us to become. When we follow the teaches of Jesus Christ and participate wholeheartedly in His Church and the building up of His Kingdom, we are refining our souls, we are engaged in that process and journey of becoming. 
      Well, we had another bonfire this week! We did some service for a Less Active and she wanted to have s'mores with us all since we built her a fire pit, but we ended up not having time. So she invited us back, we asked her if it would be all right if a few of our investigators came as well, she said of course. Well what started out as a small campfire gathering turned into a ward/neighborhood, invite everyone you can, and ALL our investigators, big, huge Fiasco! (thanks to the Elders) haha Sis. Rigby who was arranging it all was so stressed about it. But it turned out great and the less active love it and wants to do it every Friday now! It was really fun and I just loving bringing investigators and members together like that so they can really meet some people and be comfortable with the church. 
    Well I had better get going but I love you all and hope you have a fabulous week!!!!!
            Sis. Hannah Newren
Challenge for the week: Read Joseph Smith's testimony of the First Vision....Its so powerful.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Elder Ballard!

      Its getting colder and I suddenly wish I was serving in Hawaii...just kidding I love Ohio so much, even though I know its going to be a killer winter...hope I survive:/
       This week has been AWESOME. The three main miracles this week were 1) finally was able to meet with our investigator Kim. We had an awesome lesson on the Restoration with her and we were inviting her to read and pray about it when she says "well I already know its true" YAY! She really is awesome. We invited her to be baptized but she said she wants to study more before she makes that big decision but she really is so close and we can tell she really has a lot of desire to study it out for herself and to really know! 2) That same night just before we saw Kim we stopped by a less active who hasn't been to church since he was a teenager. The first time we stopped by his house he gave us his number but was very non-committal. The info we have on him in our area book says he has not been interested in the past and to stop by maybe every 6 months. But as soon as we walked up to his house he was just right inside the door and said "is that the sisters? Come on in!" We got to know him and his 19 yr old daughter a little more (he also has a 17 yr old son living with him) and we had an awesome conversation with them, they were very open with us and he was telling us how just recently, his mom (active member), had been pushing him to try going back to church. So when we invited him to take the missionary lessons and come back he was like "you know I think it is time. I have been kinda lost and I am not really sure if God can help me but I want to try!" He is incredible and neither of his kids have been baptized sHHHH I o there is real potential. We are so excited to go back a teach them soon. 3) Don (AAAAAHHH I am so excited for him) has really been our most unlikely investigator. He started reading the Book of Mormon and he loves when we come talk with him but he gets off on so many random topics and it is so hard to teach him. He has been really busy lately and he wont ever let us set an appointment with him. But we felt strongly we should stop by the other day and MIRACLE! He was home and his heart was so soft. He told us he has been praying and reading the Book of Mormon off and on and is really trying to get an answer he said "I was in tears one night, asking God, could this really be the one true faith?" He is getting frustrated because he feels he isn't getting an answer. So we took some time to help him understand the different ways God answers us and encouraged him to keep trying! We promised him if he read a chapter in the BoM everyday and prayed everyday and continued to meet with us he would get an answer. You really could just see it in his eyes, That hunger and desire to know for himself. It was so incredible and I am so excited for him because I know he will get an answer! Pray for him everybody! He is so awesome and he needs to be a member of this church!
      We had stake Conference this week and a Historic Kirtland 10 yr commemoration extravaganza!!!!! It was so cool! Elder Ballard was here with his wife and some of his family, as well as two area 70's. It was such a neat weekend. On Friday night we had a VIP event at the VC (we weren't really invited at first, they were just going to slip us in every few guests so we could meet Elder Ballard but by the end they just let us join them and hang out and eat the food and everything! So I got to meet him! Shook his hand and everything, talked about the weather for a little was sweeeeeet:) Really though, meeting an apostle of the Lord. I was so excited!!!! Then after that reception there was a commemoration fireside for Kirtland at the Stake Center. So good. Saturday morning we were able to go to the 5k walk around the Temple and the village and pancake breakfast. There were so many people there it was awesome!!!! Then that night Adult session was so good, and yesterday the general session was so inspiring! It was just what I needed and so powerful. Its hard sometimes to remember how special Kirtland really is. I think sometimes us missionaries and the members who live here really take it for granted. Elder Ballard said "You want to know what I would do if I lived here? I would frequently walk these paths with my family, I would soak in the testimonies of the sisters and seniors who serve here and I would read over and over again the stories of those early saints who walked here. I would invite everyone I know to come feel the spirit that is here." It was so powerful he then said how will we feel when we get up to heaven and see a friend or acquaintance and hear them say "how could you never have told me about Kirtland, why did you never invite me to feel the spirit there?" It really is the neatest place in the world. Its hallowed ground and I am so so so blessed to serve here!

    Well I certainly hope you all are having a wonderful week!

~ Challenge for the week...ready: Learn about one of the saints who lived in Kirtland. John Tanner, Joe Hills Johnson. Newel K Whitney and family...etc. I promise learning about these people will enrich your own life and help strengthen your testimony of this Gospel!  
     I love you all dearly!
         Sis. Hannah Newren

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Snake in the Chapel!

Hey Ya'alI
Hope I grabbed your attention with that title because its a good ol' story...but first I have to tell you about the rest of the week:) hehehehe
So, This week has been a good one! Update on Investigators
We have a couple but we have not been able to have really solid consistent lessons with many of them so it makes it harder to really help them progress. Angela is the only one with a baptismal date and she is this awesome lady but her life kinda fell apart after our first lesson and so we just have felt like she needs some space. We have stopped by a few times to make sure she knows we love and support her and are hoping to have an actual lesson with her next week. Then there is Don. 50+ yr old man. Such a character. always is cracking jokes about how we are stalking him:) He is so funny, we have a really good relationship with him. He talks so much and sometimes we just have to say "DON! STOP TALKING...just listen okay for 5....minutes:)" haha its great. He hasn't really been progressing though and so we finally stopped by one day and just asked him straight out. "Don do you even want to know if this is true? because we don't want to just shove it down your throat, you really have to want to know." and he said YES! which was huge because we started out having such a casual, joking, friendly relationship, that it has been kinda hard to get him to take us seriously with teaching him. But he also said he had considered going to church the last Sunday but then got called into work last minute! But at least he had that desire. We were so excited when he said that because now we know he really is interested. I feel like he is going to be baptized. I just feel it! He is like the most unlikely candidate but I know the Lord wants him in His church!
For Conference....loved it! Totally the highlight of my week. Everything just meant so much more being a missionary. On Saturday I was at sites and we still have to take tours (silly members....why aren't you watching General Conferance!) So I missed most of the first session. But I prayed that we would get to watch the second session, I told the sisters "dont worry I prayed we would get to see it" and some of them kinda laughed. But even though Sister Jones and I were the next in line to take a tour no one came in and we were able to watch the whole session! We watched the priesthood session too. Then Sunday we were in our area so we pretty much just hung out at the church all day and watched it all. It was so amazing! I love love loved Elder Ballard's Talk on missionary work. Its just so important and the more we all realize that the more its going to actually happen!
Okay so adventure for the week. We had this epic 7+ hour service project for a Less active/part member family. They live in a trailer home that is about to fall apart so the missionaries of the Perry ward were enlisted to help save it! They had this long list of things that needed to be done and when we read them off in one of our meetings we all just looked blankly at each other thinking "how in the world are we going to be able to do any of that?" It was all things like. fix dry wall, wrap ducts under trailer, fix plumbing, chop wood. haha yeah, we were under the impression though that some ward members would be coming too who knew how to do things like that.....yeah, it ended up just being us. HA! Luckily Elder Baker (southern gent from Georgia) knew how to wrap ducts SO, we spent the duration of those 7 hours under two different trailer homes wrapping their ducts with reflective insulation, taping it all in place and praying it would be okay through the winter! It was the nastiest, grossest thing I have ever done. There was untold horrors under those trailer homes. We seriously were army crawling in Mud, puddles of water, Cat poop, bugs, cobwebs, cacooniphied (yes I know thats not a real word, they really were though!) spiders etc. etc. etc. UGH! So gross. But sooooooo funny. It seriously was the funniest day of my mission so far, I mean the whole situation was just hilarious, crawling through all that crap, having no idea what we were supposed to be doing down their and to make it even better was that fact the elders were their! Here we are, missionaries, its been drilled into our head from day one not to touch, flirt with or practically talk to each other...hahahah and here we are ALL underneath these trailers in all sorts of awkward positions, lying right by each other, accidentally touching hands and all sorts of was horrible! And so funny. I mean of course we all were just really focused on getting the job done and not even thinking about it, but really we just laughed about it the whole time. sigh...I was crying I was laughing so hard. Anyways. and the best part is. We still have so much more service to do over there! haha... bring it!
And last but not least. Just yesterday, here we were calmly settled in the chapel watching conference when suddenly Elder Baker gets up walks quickly up a few aisles and crouches down, all we saw were a few jerky movements as he fussed with something on the ground...we look over and all the other Elders are mouthing "snake, there is a snake" with shocked faces. We of course didn't believe them until Elder Baker gets up and calmly walks out with a snake in his hand!!!!! whaaaaaaat! What the heck is a snake doing in the chapel!!!!!! during General Conference no less! Sis. Rigby freaked out and wouldn't put her feet down for a good 10 mins. When the Elders get back they come over asking me if I have any oils that would be good for a snake bite. "IT BIT HIM?" it did indeed. So I give them some essential oils and then they all huddle together over his hand putting them on. Elder Baker shrugged it off and was being so stubborn! Later he said he was burning up and his arm was on fire....ELDER BAKER! Geesh....guys, So pretty much we hope he hasn't died. Havn't heard from the Elders this morning so its not looking good.....(just kidding)
Well I better good going but I love you all and look forward to hearing from you!!!!! BYE!
Sis. Hannah Newren


Monday, September 30, 2013

Hi everyone!

 MAAAAAAAN!!!!! I totally had everything almost all typed up and then accidentally discarded it (I used to be so bugged when ever computers ask you "are you sure you want to discard?" I just think "yes of course I do or I wouldn't be pushing the button duh"  Then the ONE TIME I completely on accident pushed it....IT JUST DELETED IT!!!!!! pshw...typical me, haha:)  ahhhh, sometimes I feel like I am literally losing my mind out here. Don't get me wrong. I love it and its awesome...but. Seriously, I have never had to think so hard and about so much in my whole life:)! I think that is one thing I really overlooked. I thought missionary work would be hard physically (walking/tracting/talking/teaching/serving all day etc.) BUT. really its hard mentally. BLEW MY MIND. There is just so much to think about and plan for and practice for and you're so emotionally tied to it all that you can't think straight anyways. And you're like living in two worlds because what your doing now is just so different then your life at home and you love it so much but, you just can't get away from all the other things/events/people that have made you who you are from before your mission. So you are just kinda half in half out between the two. I am sure the more my mission goes on the more I will be able to just focus on being here. But it certainly has been an adjustment... Its a crazy life. LOVE IT! 
    I can't even remember all what I said now in my other letter. Pretty sure it was all gushy missionary stuff usually plea for MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK!!!!!! and so on....but it....:)
      OH! I did get to watch the  Relief Society Broadcast at sites. SO GOOD! All that talk of Covenant Keeping made me want to go to the temple so bad! But then I realized, being a missionary is probably one of the best ways I could be keeping my covenants right now. And its even more amazing that we can do that everyday of our lives! No matter where we are in the world!!!! Full-time missionary or Member thing:)

    Well we are continuing to press forward in the faith and hope, that God is going to show us where to go and find those prepared people. Every day is challenging and different. Appointments fall through so often in Painesville and we struggle to get the members to come out with us and be excited about member missionary work. But yesterday in Fast and Testimony meeting was awesome. Some of the ward members gave powerful testimonies of missionary work and pressing forward and I think it really helped the ward to remember that it is part of their role as members of the church. For us to all work together in unity to build God's Kingdom up! Slowly but surely we really are making progress. We didn't get to see many of our investigators this week. I feel like a lot of them were just having a bad week and were not willing to make the time for us. We continued to stretch forth our hands and show them we love them though. Something that was said in church really struck me. "Love is when you really know a person." Or something like that. It helped me feel so much better about what we have been doing with some of our less actives and investigators. Coming to know them better and just loving them! I know they will respond. This week has been quite the roller coaster. We have had a lot of weird days were nothing goes as planned! Its frustrating but the incredible thing is, that its most often on those days that the miracles happen. God loves us, He really does. I am so amazing by His goodness and mercy towards us all. 
       We met the sweetest lady last night. Her name is Marie and she is 87 years old. We had such a good conversation with her and are determined to teach her the Gospel! People are really what makes all the difference! You just can't help but feel how much God must love all of us! 
     Well hope all is going well at home! The leaves are starting to turn colors here and it is going to be INCREDIBLE! I can tell already! I will take lots of pictures and upload them one of these days!!! Love you all!!!!
                    Sis Hannah Newren

Monday, September 16, 2013

Another busy week :)

Family and Friends,

Pretty sure I should be learning more Spanish. There are a lot of Latinos in Painsville:) We are working on learning at least a couple of sentences, as of now we just smile and hand them a Spanish Restoration pamphlet and a card telling them about an ESL class the Elders teach:) I knew I should have learned Spanish! 
      Anyways. The weather here is going crazy. You know how in Utah its really bipolar? well its like really REALLY bipolar here. so funny, One day its like freezing cold and the next its back to the middle of summer! Ugh. We keep waiting for the leaves to turn too and they are taking forever and I just know its going to be winter before we know it!
  This week has been simply wonderful and went by too fast. The more I adjust and get used to being a missionary the more I am trying to enjoy it while I can and work my heart out so I have NO REGRETS when I head home. I don't want to even think " man I wish I would have worked harder at the beginning of my mission!" So I am really working on being more willing to walk a little faster, talk to more people and do everything I can more efficiently. I just want to find those prepared people! I know there are hundreds in Painsville!  Elder Bowen toured our mission last week and gave an amazing 3+ hour workshop on not limiting ourselves!!!!! Part of our revised plan in working with ward members is to teach them this flea analogy and help them see that we can't place those limits on the Perry ward and on ourselves Basically he was telling us that fleas jump, and if you put them in a jar they will jump right out, but if you put a lid on the jar, they eventually realize they shouldn't try to jump out and instead jump up right to the edge of the top of the jar. Then even if you take the lid off, they still don't jump out because they think that lid is still there! So silly! He then was saying we are doing that to ourselves when we think, " oh well last week we only had 7 lessons so this week we are probably only going to get 8. He was telling us about this mission in Spain where everyone said 'oh that area doesn't get any baptisms.' But he knew it had more potential so he sent in a faithful missionary who knew God would pull through and pretty soon then were having 10-15 baptisms a month! We just have to have that faith that this is God's work and people are ready. otherwise we are limiting ourselves and God. We have to press forward with that faith that He will deliver and we are simply here to reap. I am so blessed to be here. The ward is wonderful. One thing we decided to do in ward correlation is for each of the missionary companionship's to pick a family to work with in the ward. To be in more regular contact with them and really help them learn how to be member missionaries. Its going to be awesome and I really think some miracles are going to come out of this. We had exchanges this week with Sis. Neslen and Sis. Gee. I went with Sis. Neslen to Chardon and it was awesome! I loved being able to learn from her and push myself to be even more confident and sure of talking to people and sharing the Gospel. We had some amazing lessons and For the first time I caught a glimpse of how fully the gospel can make people want to change. We taught this lady Lesha,  So sweet. I just know she is going to be ready to be baptized soon! Sis. Gee and Sis. Jones also found a lot of new investigators that day and I am so excited to meet them this coming week.
          Saturday we help our ward with Feed Ohio.Such a weird day, We basically sat in  the church parking lot with, 4 Elders and 4 sisters. waiting for people to bring food. We had handed out tons of flyers the week before and some that morning, and we took turns driving with different members to go pick up food but almost all of the areas we had handed out flyers had nothing! It was a  bit of a disappointing turn out from the community but we are hoping and praying they all decided to do the monetary donation online. The ward really pulled through though and we ended up making a sizable contribution. It was really fun to interact with the community and ward members a little more in that atmosphere of selfless service. Really wasn't organized the best though and we all felt so horrible for wasting the day, But the ward had asked us to do it and so we just tried our best to keep busy and make it worthwhile. It was better later that night we had an incredible Bonfire that one of the members hosted for us to bring our investigators too as well as some members to help fellowship. It was a perfect night, with some incredibly spiritual highlights. One of the Elders investigators Rocky is awesome, and sang a song he had written about Jesus. It was so neat!
         Well It has been a fantastic week. We havn't had a lot of chat time in the visitors center on which makes me sad but we have just had so many other things to do! It feels so good to keep busy!  I can't even believe how much better I feel after not even 4 weeks yet, I feel like a missionary!!!!! And I am so excited to be here!
    I love you all! Thank you so much for all the letters and the package! Totally made my day! I have gotten a lot of letters this week and I did know they would take awhile going through the mission office so don't feel bad. Also I am not sure the exact address of my house papa but its called the Hyrum Smith home and its up by the teNewren

mple. So if you are looking on google maps and just look around the temple it is kind kiddy corner from the Community of Christ visitors center, across the street from the gas station there. we can see the temple if we step outside our front door. Its awesome! I am so sorry if I don't get to everyone's questions! Just keep asking and I am sure I will remember to answer it sometime! Love you all! Have a wonderful week and don't forget to be awesome member missionaries! You are so important!!!!! BYE!
       Sis. Hannah     

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

3rd week Here!!

This week has been wonderful! And has flown by! Although the first few weeks felt long, I can tell this really is going to be the fastest 18 months of my life and already I am feeling the need to just enjoy it all and keep working really hard! I am so happy to be here and am getting better and better at opening my mouth and really sharing the gospel with everyone! We found some really prepared people this week, and some who seem not as prepared but deep down I think they secretly are, Their just pretending:) We have several appointments for this week which is wonderful! Sis. Jones and I havn't had much practice at teaching real people lessons, because we have just been doing a lot of tracting to find people and help the area come more alive. So but finally it's starting to pay off and I am thrilled. We met, Carleen and she is just awesome! I know she is so ready! We knocked on her door, pretty late one night, and she came outside, talked with us for a minute, super nice, We told her a brief intro to the restoration and then asked her if she would be interested in learning more. At first I thought she had said "hmm, actually no, thanks though" and I was about to whip out a card and leave, when I hear Sis. Jones saying, "Awesome! When would be a good time for us to come back?" I was thinking "what is she doing!?" But then Carleen was saying, "yea, I just have really been wanting to get back into religion lately but I don't really want to go back to the Catholic church." SCORE! I had totally misheard her and when I slowly realized what was going on.(It was long day and my brain was a little fuzzy I guess:) I was so ecstatic! She is wonderful and is so excited to have us come back and even offered to feed us lunch, so sweet. I am so excited to begin teaching her!!!! So yes, The work is moving forward! And we are finding people! I am so excited!!!! We also ran into Don one night. SO FUNNY. He is such a character, and keeps us laughing our heads off, we just don't know what to do with him! He talks so much we can barely get a word in, and he has some different beliefs, he doesn't really think God listens to prayers or cares that much about us, He believes He gave us our agency and kinda left us to figure things out. So we have some work to do but I think he really likes talking with us and he seems willing to listen. We introduced him to the Book of Mormon last time and asked him if he would read the introduction before we met with him next and he was like "you only want me to read one page?! I can't read more then one page?! " it was so funny, we said "oh no no of course you can read all you want!"
"good, I am going to be at the hospital all day tommorow so I am going to read the whole thing"
"oh alright then, you better have the whole thing read by wednesday!"
"no, you said you would!"
"fine fine I will!"

haha, he teases us so much so we just have to dish it right back at him....:) He is awesome though and I really hope he can see how much the Gospel will bless his life.

Well other then that I had a request to tell what I get to do at the visitors center. So.
We get there by 9am, usually sing a song and say a prayer with the other sisters that are there (usually 4 sets of sisters there at this time of year) then we find somewhere that we can finish our studies, We have companion study to do still and xtra hour, which I will do as part of my 12 week training. We usually get it done in bits and pieces because we often get called on tour. Usually we will take 1-4 tours, which the whole tour takes about 2+ hours so getting even 2 tours is a big chunk of our day! Its fun though! I love giving tours! Then when we get back from a tour we try to get back on schedule so either, eat lunch, study more or head into the teaching center to chat and call some people. I love Chat so much! There have been some real miracles on their. People just have such good questions and are often getting on to chat because they are really curious and wanting to know more. We had an experience the other day where this girl, who was a member but hadnt been active for years, told us she just found out she was pregnant and really struggling. She said her boyfriend was pressuring her to get an abortion and she didn't know what to do and that we were the first people she had come to for help and guidance. It was an amazing chat, she said she hadn't prayed in a long time and so we asked her if she would be willing to pray right then and that we would get on our knees and pray with/for her too. So she did, several minutes later she says "sorry I am still here, just kinda had a meltdown, I feel so peaceful though now. I think I need to start going back to church." So awesome! We were like " yea yea! Do it! wahoo! Your awesome!"
We were really hoping to be able to keep in contact with her but she ended rather abruptly. Sad but see what miracles can happen!!!! It is simply amazing! People are ready, we just have to reach out to them and be willing to open our mouths and share the gospel with them!!!
Random side notes: My hair is awesome here, so curly! I am going to be really sad when it stops performing so well in Utah.
We have a track super close to our house so we run down their every morning, its awesome, we pretty much own the place because its just like 6-7 sets of sisters and we just stretch, run, and do jumping jacks galore! It always feels so good to run, I usually only get in a mile or two and some core workouts but I think it will keep me pretty healthy!
I heard there was a heated discussion about if papa or I loved clouds first, I have to say it was probably Papa...BUT, I think I win the prize for being most vocal about it eh???! :)
Sis. Jones and I eat so. much. spinach! seriously its all we eat! We went through almost 3 bags this week! Is it bad to eat too much spinach mom?:)
Also I found out we can actually have other music here, just what ever is still gospel related and spiritual so efy, lds artist, maybe some klove stuff. So I would love some more cds maybe for christmas or something?! Emily, I really just want every thing on my itunes that I didn't bring that is spiritual! If you can get around to it! (Special requests, Brave by josh Groban, you know better than I, Danial beck song.. (one by some guy by the last name of goodman maybe?) anyways that would be AWESOME!
Finally got to know my President Vallinga a little better, we had an awesome trainers meeting that was so encouraging and spiritual! It really pumped me up. He told me to pray to love tracting! so I am going to! He is so awesome and looks at you so intently I don't think I could lie to him even if I wanted to!
So my schedule is pretty much, 2-3 days a week at sites and the rest in our area, which my area mostly covers the town of Painesville. Awesome town, I love it so much already!

Well I can't remember everything you have all asked me so that will have to do for now but I love you all and can't wait to hear back from you!!!!
Sis. Hannah Newren

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2nd Week Here!

Dear family and friends,

Well today is LABOR DAY!!!!! Which means NOBODY WAS HOME LAST NIGHT!!!! argh.....we were like "were is everyone, why aren't they answering their doors!!!" and then we realized they were probably all camping...haha I have heard their are some great camping spots around here, Everyone keeps telling us we should go check them out and we just smiling and say, yea yea thats a great idea but in our heads "were missionaries....yeeeeaaaa maybe in 2 years:)" haha
Well the work is progressing! Slowly but surely! My area is called Perry but the actual town we cover is Painsville, great name right, and most of it is true to its name, pretty painful, its just really ghetto and sad in alot of places, OR we will start tracting down what looks like a good street and then when we start going up to houses and see them up close they are nasty...but We have found some awesome people so it doesn't even matter! Wierd side note, People really really struggle with cobwebs here, it is honestly more common here to walk up to a house, even really cute houses, and find them with cobwebs and leaves and bugs ALL OVER. I know I am just being a baby now, but it really is wierd! There are some areas up by the shore of Lake Erie that are just beautiful! Seriously, Prime real estate!
So I forget all what I have mentioned before so this all probably sounds really random, but here ya go:) My companion is awesome! Her name is Sis, Jones, Love here, We are becoming good friends, we are really different but being together 24/7 is pulling us closer together. She loves my Essential OIls so that is a relief! And calls me a witch doctor, but thats pretty much true so I don't argue. At district meeting the other day we were going around introducing our companions and saying what cartoon/animated movie character they would be, She said I was Luna or Professor Trelawney and I said she was the female version of Hiccup from How to train your dragon. So that gives you an idea of our relationship...haha we are perfect for eachtother!
We love our ward so much! There are actually 10 sets of missionaries in the ward right now! which is so amazing! 2 sets of sisters, 2 sets of Elders and a senior couple who I adore. And we are just going to go out and get those people reactivated and doing member missionary work!!!! Finding, people have been slow, Most every one we have met around here has been catholic. But We have some potentials that we are working with and in the mean time just tracting tracting tracting and PRAYING for referals! Member Missionary work is so important! Give those missionaries those referals! It just is the most effective way to do Gods work!
Well I better get going soon, I am sure I have forgotten a billion things I meant to tell you but I love you all! Keep writing me ! I miss you!
And Happy Labor Day!
Sister Hannah Newren