Monday, August 26, 2013

My first week here!!!

I am here I am here I am here!!!!!  I can't believe it. Its so much like Wisconson and I absolutely adore it! So green and beautiful! And I can't even wait for fall because everyone keeps telling us were in for a treat! And Christmas is going to be here before we know it and they have a huge nativity/Creche exhibit at Kirtland and I just cant wait!!!! But now I am getting ahead of myself:) my apologies;)
Okay. The first few days were kinda killer. well, mostly I just feel bipolar, because seriously, one minute I am like "I need to get me on the first plane OUTTA here!!!!!" haha...and the next I am like "just kidding....I LOVE THIS!" Seriously though, I love it here, I know I am going to love my mission so much. It has been quite the adjustment. I think the hardest thing is, you go on a mission thinking "I love this gospel and of course I want to share it with people and of course I love missionary work...duh" and then you get out here and realize the actual "doing" part of it is kinda really HARD! But that's the beauty of it I am learning, It is hard, because, its concerning peoples salvation. But that doesn't mean God can't and wont help you fall in love with it. And that's what has been happening. Even in just the 5 days I have been here I can see myself beginning to fall in love with the process not just the subject of missionary work. And mostly that comes from meeting and loving the people. It was hardest at first because I knew and loved next to no one here. But now I love my companion and my mission president and Bro. Mejia and Mari. and That is my reason to stay for now:)
My companion is Sis. Jones, She is going to be a wonderful trainer for the next 11 weeks:) I was kinda worried at first because we are very different. But in learning more about her I am loving her more and more! and she loves my essential oils! Hallelujah! She has been out 6 months already so she knows a lot. It has been interesting though because we are actually opening up a new area and so we don't know ANYBODY! So we are just hunting down all the members and less actives and potentials in the area and praying praying praying for those prepared people in Perry to cross our path!
There are few members out here, In church on Sunday probably only 4 or 5 pews were kinda filled. But the area is on the verge of explosion I can feel it! Its been Kirtland was actually cursed for a time when the people kicked the saints out but when Pres Kimball came like 20 years back he actually lifted the curse. and it has been growing and growing slowly but surely ever since. I feel it is such a privilage to serve here. Especially in the Visitors Center. I love giving tours and I loving our Chat sessions with people on Just the other day we had Joseph come on, and he is SO PREPARED! He used to be athiest but he has been really studying religion and told us Christianity just made sense to him and so now he is just trying to decide which church he should join. I was practically jumping out of my seat when we were chatting with him. It just was so amazing!!!! I will keep you updated on him but I just know he is going to be a member someday. Another miracle. So yesterday after church we were starving and were on our way to a park to eat our lunch, last minute though we decided to just swing by this Less actives house, The Mejia's. His wife was only home so we chatted with here for a minute. She was super busy (she looked just like you mom, had a billion books everywhere laid out trying to prepare a lesson for school:) so we didn't stay longer than a few minutes on her porch but she did agree to let us call her and set up a time to come over. So we headed on down to the park. Started eating our lunch when this man pulls up, gets out of his car and comes up to us and says "what are the mormon missionaries doing at a park eating lunch on sunday?!" haha We were like "how do you know about the mormon's?" and he says " I am a mormon!" At first he wouldn't tell us his name but then we just got talking and find out, its Bro.Mejia!!!!! Ahhhhh! Miracle...I mean there is NO WAY that was coincidence. We talked with him for almost 2 hours! and had such a good time! He took a picture of us at the end, and just kept saying I really like talking with you girls:) He is an amazing person and has been through so much! (hurricane katrina, 5 heart attacks, heart transplant, medication nightmares..sheesh, his favorite sister dying of aids when she was only 25. Anyways he is amazing and I just know that its time for him to come back to church! Were gonna get him there! Ahhh Well I love you all! I have to go but thank you so much for all your letters and everything!!!! Your the best ever!!!!
Love, Sis. Hannah Newren
Historic Kirtland Visitors Center 7800 Kirtland-Chardon Road 44094 Kirtland Ohio.

p.s. I know my grammar and typing is horrible, but seriously I have to type so fast, so you can't judge me for the rest of my mission k?!
pps there is a road called rainbow street here! I placed two book of mormons so far!!!! wahoo! there is a prominant construction company called Howard Hanna I see their signs every where....its wierd!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

One more week here!!

Dear family and friends, 

Ah I have been so excited all week to write you! And now I can't even remember what I wanted to say! haha! um .....Well the devotional on Tuesday was awesome! I sang in the choir and it was broadcasted to all the other MTC's because Richard G. Scott spoke! He gave such a good talk on prayer and it was just what I needed and so sweet! It is so amazing how much you pray here! You just have to be completely dependant on the Spirit to be an effective missionary so every second of every day pretty much you are pleading with God! So that was cool! Oh we also got to take a field trip to Temple Square! Super fun! Visitors Center training started this week and it is pretty much the best thing EVER! I just feel so inspired and privaliged to be assigned to Kirtland and am so excited for the rest of this week and to finally get there! (P.s I will probably be calling around 4:30 or 5ish am on tuesdaymorning so you better wake up! I was thinking I would call home first and then maybe call Katie really quick...actually not sure if I remember the number...oh gosh, if you want to send it to me via dear elder I will probably get it in time Katie and could call you!) So yes vc training is pretty much epic! We have the best teachers! oh side note.. I think by the time I leave the mtc I will have had almost 18 different teachers! which we are assured is not normal...but kinda funny! I promise we were even a really well behave district, well the Elders struggled at times but for the most part, our teachers just keep leaving us! But it has also been a blessing to learn from so many different people I almost feel like I have learned more than I would have from just the 4 or so we should have had! 

    OH we also got to learn how to do the Chat sessions on! It was the funnest/neatest/bestest ever, thing I have done since I got here! I think just because it is actually real people! We talked to this man named Joseph and he was asking us awesome questions about eternal progression and families it was so cool to talk with him! I was so nervous, because they were hard questions and you just sit there thinking how in the world am I going to explain this simply to him, all the while knowing that if you take too long he might just end the chat session. He didn't though and he gave us his email address so we can chat with him again! I am so excited! If this is what it is like out in the field then BRING IT! Because it made me so happy! I was on such a high for the rest of the night! 

    The sisters in my room (so my comp Sis. Smith, and then Sis. Coontz and Sis. Pugh are all learning that hard song Power of Heaven for church this Sunday! It is taking us awhile to learn but it is a welcome distraction and we are hoping we can maybe sing it for our mission Pres. and his wife when we get to Ohio! Its so pretty! 

    hmmm....What else....I don't know I just am really happy and learning so much! I feel like I am finally getting the hang of staying super focused and how much God blesses you when you do! Our one distraction that gets us everytime is we LOVE asking our female teachers about their love lives! Its so fun, I think just because they are all so darling and we feel like we relate to them so much because even though they seem so much older and wiser, most of them have only gotten back from their missions within a year or two. Anyways we have had some great stories! Our favorite teacher, Sis Frost told us the sweetest story and is about to get engaged soon! She showed us a picture of her boy and they are THE cutest couple ever! She just tells us again and again, Hold out for the good boys girls! Look for those boys who still hold their missions sacred and were 100% God's missionaries while they were out there! then she tells us "now don't think about it again until you get home!" haha she is the best! 

 Well I better go but I love you all!!!! Have a fabulous day!!!!!
     Sis. Hannah Newren

Friday, August 9, 2013

More from the MTC

Well I made it through my first week! And it has been just fabulous!!!! I feel slightly bipolar one minute I am all stressed out (like let me go and rip my hair out for a minute kinda stressed...okay thats a slight exageration:) and then to.... "I AM SO HAPPY I'M GONNA DIE!!!!" haha actually the time I got the most stressed out was when we had our lesson on stress management, I felt like mostly the were telling us how stressed out we should be and I was like " ahhhhh I am so stressed...except for not really;) Seriously though I am doing so great and I feel like I have been here forever and am going to be here forever! BUT! We did get our flight info finally so wahoo! We are leaving Aug 20th at 6am so I will probably be calling around 5 I am guessing;) I will let you know for sure next week and how many minutes I will have. We then make a stop in Minosota (pretty sure thats not how you spell it?) and will then fly for 2 more hours over Wisconsin to Cleveland!!!! Yippeia! I am so so so so so excited and just want it to be here! But it will come soon enough and in the mean time I am freaking out at how little time I have left to learn how to be a missionary!!!! AHHHHHH! Seriously, I pretty much have Saturday, Monday and Tuesday left of normal classes and then we start our Visitors Center Training for 1 week then I am outa here! Whew... I will survive though don't worry. Actually the worst day so far was yesterday! I mean it still was really awesome but just SOOOO long! We had In Field Orientation so it was a huge long class from 8am to 530pm then dinner then we went to our evening class for 3 more hours till 930 and then to bed....ohh boy...We pretty much just collapsed into bed and all wrote in our journals "we survived......." haha it really was awesome though but by the end Sis. Smith and I were seriously praying every hour together " please help us stay awake and alert... please please please!" I know that will probably be every day out in the mission field though so I guess I better just love it! Which I do:)
Okay lets see....Time for some funny moments I Well I think I already mentioned Elder Harris (He is this Black 18 year old from Arizona) Anyways, He is so my favorite. He seriously makes me laugh every minute! So we have this one teacher who is dreamy, and just so super Spiritual, Bro. Morris and We all love him to death. He is the best teacher here, He is actually a teacher resource, which means he is so good all the classe have to share him. So the first few classes he had this habit of looking intentently at you when you were sharing a though smiling really big and saying a "I love that" after you said your thought. Anyways it is so sweet and he is so sincere but it just has become the funniest thing because he really did say it all the time and then Elder Harris started mimicing him and now we all just give eachother that look and say "I love that" all the time and it makes us laugh so hard! There was also this one time that Elder Harris and I were taking turns teaching eachother and I was asking him some question about if he has ever heard God refered to as Heavenly Father and he says something (he is pretending to be an investigator of course) like "well my dads name is Ryan, but he's not god." I just looked at him for a second and somehow what he had said just didn't even make sense so I just looked at him at said "what?" and he just busted up laughing and then we tried so hard to focus again and made it through a few more practices but we just kept laughing and we finally just gave up and called it a complete fail because we seriously could not control ourselves....We really are two of the most focused people in the room so don't think this is normal for us to goof of but once and awhile we all just need to relieve some pent up energy you know?! haha yah it was funny. So now we all say that to eachother too....."What?" ( you have to of course have the proper tone for it to be funny just fyi)
Lets what else happened this week! Um....Pretty much classes are awesome and we are learning so much about the Doctrine of Christ and Faith and The Gospel but mostly what we do is Learn learn learn, study study study and then practice practice practice so that we can explain it simply. Which has been The Hardest Thing here...cutting it all down to the bare fundamentals of the gospel and trying to cut out all the mormon lingo and everything is sooo much harder then you would think! My favorite thing in class is when we learn a principle, then two of the teachers will do a role play demonstration and then we get to practice it in a role play too. Its so helpful to just over and over and over again find ways to explain things simply. Its so great though I feel like my knowledge, testimony and faith has expanded so much here in just one week! I can't even believe I could have ever made a choice NOT to serve a mission. It already has blessed me in more ways then I can even tell! And I know the Next 18months are just going to get better and better. I hope you all are not expecting the same person to come home because this is deffinatly changing me. And its simply Incredible! Well I love you all! Thank you so so so so SOOOOOOOOOOO much for all the letters and for your package Katie and Jake! You are all so sweet and it makes me SO happy to hear from you! I seriously am not homesick until I sit down and read a letter and then I almost feel like crying but Its because I love it so much so dont stop! And I really am completly happy so don't even worry about me! I hope you are all doing well! I seem to be able to find more time to write letters so I will try to get back to some of you later! Love you and have a fabulous day!
Sis. Newren

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hannah's first letter!

Hey Family and Friends!
Hola from the mtc! I love this place already so much! And am so excited for the amazing opportunity! I miss you guys but I feel like I have been able to keep it together thankfully. The first night I woke up at 2am and couldn't get back to sleep for ages and just kept thinking of how long I really was going to be gone and all that good stuff...luckily I fell asleep after awhile and in the morning was as good as new! I still think its gonna hit me in like two weeks but until then I am just trying to keep the right perspective and keep working hard!:)
I guess I should start and just tell you about the whole 2 and a half days I have been here! woot woot! It feels like its been forever but already we are all feeling more confident and more like missionaries!
After I left you I went and checked was pretty straight forward...told them my name, they pinned my name tag on my left shoulder, picked up my materials and dragged my luggage to my room. I was only the second girl in there so I promptly claimed a bottom bunk! wahoo! Then the lovely sister showed me my classroom and left me in there with my district. We hadn't all arrived yet so we waited awhile longer until everyone showed up. The last girl to arrive was this adorable blonde, She was crying as she walked in and I just wanted to jump up and hug her! Later as we went around the room introducing ourselves I found out she was my companion! It is just perfect! I love her so much already and we get along famously. We have alot in common too, she loves to sing, took voice lessons for 7 years and yet is very humble about it. She loves running too, yesterday during our gym time we went running around the mtc. It felt so good! Anyways love her, and the rest of my district, we are all getting to know eachother better and learning to love eachother and it is so amazing! There are two other sisters with us in our district and we all are in the same room, just us four which is awesome because the room is meant for 6 so we have some extra space. We get along so good, they are all darling girls and we are all going to the same mission so its possible I could be companions later on with anyone of them, which I would love! I am the oldest in my district. All the girls are 19 and the boys 18 or 19...I deffinatly can tell how young they are sometimes but it really evens out pretty good. Sis Smith my comp actually just got called to be the sister training leader, my calling is music coordinator with Sis. Pugh. Haha, I think I never will be able to escape that calling!
We have really had some amazing experiences already, Besides all the orientation classes and what not we have had a significant amount of classroom time with our incredible teacher Brother Morris. He returned about a year ago from his mission to South Africa and is so cool! We have learned so much from him. Mostly because he is such a humble, sincere teacher and the spirit is able to just get straight through to us. Yesterday we learned about having a vision to drive us forward in missionary work which blew our minds, then we had a lesson on "The Doctrine of Christ" which left us all with such a sweet spirit, It was the most amazing lesson I have ever had and all I could think was "EVERY MEMBER OF THE CHURCH SHOULD HAVE THIS LESSON!" I realize though, its really just being here, this amazing place is so inspiring and the distractions of the world are cut down to almost nothing, That really does make all the difference and then add in the amazing motivation that is everywhere shouting at us to be better and raise the bar and listen, listen, listen more and work hard and stay focused! It really has had such a profound effect on me. I have never enjoyed reading the scriptures so much before! One of my favorite Elders in our district, he actually just got called to be a zone leader is Elder Harris, it was so cool, we had all just had an awesome lesson and we look over and he is grinning to himself, then he tells us, "That was so enjoyable! No seriously I have never enjoyed something so much as reading that passage of scripture!" It was awesome when he said that because I had just been thinking the exact same thing! He is actually a convert from arizona, and it has been so cool to hear his perspective of the gospel. All of the other Elders in our District are awesome as well, They have a hard time staying focused sometimes but it all works out and in the end we always feel the spirit and learn so much when we are all together.
So the here has actually been pretty good, Of course the normal stuff all the elders eat looks nasty and so so fake. But when you are looking for the healthy stuff you really can find it. They have Oatmeal and Cracked Wheat hot cereal for breakfast which I usually have with raisins and honey and then some melon too. Somtimes they have hard boiled eggs around which I can grab too! Lunch and dinner they have a decent wrap bar or I can grab a salad. So hopefully I will be able to stay pretty healthy! I am feeling pretty great! Sometimes already I feel really tired. The beds are not the most comfortable things so I think its gonna take a few days to get a really good nights sleep on them...or else I will be too dead tired to even care!
So as far as my mtc stay, I will actually be here for three weeks. Unlike our elders who we have to say good bye to on the 14th, they are all going to either Fresno, California or Salt Lake City South Missions. Us Sisters will probably fly out on Aug 20th. So hopefully I will get to call you then.
(sigh) The first two days were really kinda a daze. I walk around and see all the other sisters just like me wearing nametags and I seriously keep forgetting that I am wearing one too. But yesterday when we had our first real classroom experience and were so focused on Learning about Christ and feeling the spirit it finally hit me! I feel like a missionary!!!! It still rocks my world when I remember that this isnt some amazing education week experience or mini 4 week mission or something but the REAL DEAL, But I know now that I really would never come home early, How could I? Not when there are people waiting to here the gospel in Ohio. They are people I love and will cherish for the rest of my life...I JUST HAVEN'T MET THEM YET! Isn't that crazy! It kinda killed all us Sisters when we found out we had to stay for an extra week, we just can't wait to get out there, but really we need the extra training!
I love love love this place and have been so incredibly blessed. Really, I can feel so impressed already that this is one of the most important things I have begun in my life, I know there is so much ahead of me still and I know I will just keep growing leaps and bounds but I can't even tell you how amazing it feels to have such purpose, To know, without a doubt that this is Gods Work and we are ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED in it! Its Incredible! And I know you all can be too! I love you all so much! Keep praying for me! I am doing my best but am realizing so clearly how I really know nothing, I am praying for you as well, always! Love you!
P.s. My pday is friday so I better have alot of letters waiting for me either in my inbox or mailbox k!!! I wanna hear from you guys!
Sister Newren!
If you want to write Hannah her email is