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