Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 14

Well not too much to say this week. It is stinking hot here. We can’t get any lessons taught, and I don’t know why. Like they tell us to come back at a different time, and when we do come back, they are busy...tis the season. We did talk to a few people, but nothing super amazing...

Ernesto is tough. We can’t teach him. It’s like impossible. We start a lesson, and he starts talking about other stuff. I don’t know what we are going to do with him.

Miguel Angel and his Mom are great, it’s just hard to find a time when they are actually home. They are some very busy people, but they really do want to hear the gospel.

[We are teaching English and French here.] First we just started teaching English, but I’m the only one who speaks English, so I’m the teacher in that class. And then I kept hearing about people that love French and want to learn it, so I offered to teach it. I found a book and am starting with the basics. We’ve only had one class, and not very many people showed up. But they all told me they were busy. My next class is in 2 weeks on Friday.

Not much more than this.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 13 Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad! I don’t have too much time to write today. We only get 30 minutes this pday.

A lot has happened, some good, some bad. Patricia doesn’t want anymore leccions, and Ernesto hasn’t come to church. We have found a lot of people that we need to visit, and a lot of them seem happy to let us talk to them.

We have this new investigator named Linda. She is 18 and is very stubborn. I don’t know how it will work out, but I’m hoping for the best.

My new comp is pretty cool and a little nerdy. He has magic cards, and he does a lot of magic tricks, mainly with cards. I’ve learned a few, and I’m also learning piano a bit from him.

When is a good time for Skype, and what day?

We are having a lot of fun! Yesterday we had a Christmas actividad en la capilla [activity at the church]. And we dressed up in anything we could find to look like shepherds and kingsmen.

How are you Rusty and otras amigos [other friends]? Oh y feliz cumpleaños madre! [and Happy birthday mom!]


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Week 12

Well this week was a little better. I was positive that Ernesto was coming to church with us, but we walked to his house and he wasn’t even there. Oh well, maybe next week.

It was transfers today. My new compañero is Elder Rosas. He was Elder Cardenas comp antes me. So i bet he will be great. It was really sad to me to say good bye to Cardenas. He is a really great friend.

We were actually able to teach leccions this week. We have 3 new investigators. One is Patricia. She loves to study religion, which is great because she will let us teach her. Another family is a single mother with a son about my age, and he has sckitzofrenia, or however you spell it. (Spanish is so much easier to spell with, it is great :).

We also had Elida come to church, which was super great. She hasn’t been to church for I think 4 years.
We also have a pretty cool other guy we teach, but he is only in Allen when he works. He knows a lot about ancient people, which is cool because I remember a lot about that stuff from classes I’ve had in school. And scouting is really going to help me out here, because he wants to have a competition in his shop...who can start a fire the fastest using primitive tools. I am so excited to beat him. Haha.

Also I have a less active member that wants to play me at pool because I destroyed Elder Cardenas at it and she loves pool. It’s like baseball to me, but pool for her. It’s going to be fun.

That’s about it.

The score for chess between me and Elder Cardenas finished at: 6 me, 12 for Elder Cardenas.

Elder Newman

Saying goodbye to Elder Cardenas.

 Hello to Elder Rosas from Chile.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 11

Everything is well here. This is my compañeros final week of his mission, and he will be able to spend Christmas with his family. My Spanish has its good days and bad days. It depends on how many new words the person spits out.

The other day we were walking down the street and two drunk guys wanted to talk. They had taken lessons before, but they just wanted to chat with us. They were really animated, and it wasn’t too bad. They loved American movies, and all they know of America is from those movies. It was kind of scary when one of the guys closest to us grabbed the knife that was on the table to try and describe a sentence I didn’t understand, but all was well.

Christmas doesn’t seem close here because it’s super hot and getting hotter every day.

We still have Ernesto as an investigator, but we weren’t able to teach him this last week because he was sick. But we have high hopes for him considering as of right now he is our only investigator.

We walk all day to the houses that we have. We have had people talk to us and say yes to listen to a leccion, but we are lucky if we get to teach one any day of the week. We work a lot with non-active members. I bet I go though a few pairs of shoes on my misión.

I was able to help a guy out with his car. The cars here are different, but basically the same. He was having trouble with his breaks, and when he would go to stop, it wouldn’t stop fast and it had a squeaking sound. Sounds pretty simple for me, but for him he couldn’t figure out why because he replaced the front breaks two years ago. We went for a little drive. I figured it was the back breaks so we set up a day I could do service. We took off the driver’s side. It seemed ok, probably could use new pads, but nothing really bad....but we took the other side off, and there was so much rust where the shoes connect together. No wonder it had a hard time stopping because only one side could actually move to stop the car. I did the best I could with explaining what he needed to do with the car, but I don’t know the words so it was really hard.

I’m glad everyone is safe at home, hope you’re having fun. I can’t wait to see you on Christmas.

Oh, another thing, every time I see a flagpole, I look up thinking to see the American Flag, but it’s a big letdown not to see it. I’m still a proud ‘Merican .

Love, Elder Riley Newman

This is the family whose car I helped fix.

This is mate. The people here love it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Week 10

Well not too much to say this week. We have Ernesto still, and he said he would come to church with us next week. But he invited us into his house, and it was clear to see by the things he had laying around that it is going to be hard work. His home reminded me of the back room of the [old milk ] barn where the toilet is. But the barn was cleaner than what he is living in. I feel so bad. I wish I could do something for him about that. Rusty would have hated it. There were so many spiders in there. Where I sat down, I could have reached out and touched three spiders. I hope I can help him out with the gospel.

My Spanish is much better. I understand the basics of every conversation and can usually respond. The gift of tongues is real! Now I just need to get my English down. Haha.

Also I had to give two leccions this last Sunday. One was with the whole ward because it was the 5th Sunday, and the other was the Gospel Principles classe. I did ok. The members here are really good about helping me with Spanish.

A few days ago I started to use the diary that the mission gave me as a "learning book", because I always say you learn something new every day. I also write in it one thing I’ve seen the Lord’s hand in each day.

Also I haven’t won another game of chess yet, but every match there are like four pieces total left on the board. [My companion] is really good. Not really much else to say. That’s all for now. Glad everyone is ok at home.

Love you all.
-Elder Nuevohombre jajaja
[A lot of people have a hard time saying Newman and Riley, so they like it when I tell them it’s okay to call me Nuevohombre.]

The straw thing is what they use to drink mate. A member gave it to me even though we can’t drink mate here.

 A kid that is not a member or an investigator gave me this (lentes).

We have the nicest pension in the mission. We even have A/C.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 9

Well not much to say. I got sick, and that was fun considering we walk so much. I’m better now. We have one investigator. He is a little slower, if you know what I mean, but he is a great guy. He gave me a little toy plane and a river soccer jersey. His name is Ernesto, and he loves aviation. I wish I could talk planes with him, but my Spanish still sucks. It’s getting better though.

We went to a member’s house the other day, and she has a disease that she is always cold, so her home was burning hot. It was already hot outside, and I was sweating bullets in there.

We had lunch with the Milano family. The dad’s family owns some horses, so I tried to talk to him a bit about them.

Me and my comp play a game of chess every now and then. He is really good. He has beaten me 3 out of 4 times.

I love the recipe book you sent with me. It’s a great reminder of what I can’t cook here. Over half the stuff I need is either super, super expensive here, or they just don’t have it. Today I wanted to make Cornflake Crunchies, but they don’t have peanut butter or corn syrup. It’s hard to ask my comp if there is anything close because he has never heard of them, and I need to translate it to Spanish so it takes a while. Oh well. Tonight I’m cooking some steaks for us because it’s Thanksgiving. They don’t celebrate a lot of holidays here.

If you send a little something for Christmas, try not to send stuff that is silly or just not needed. I have to pay for half the package when it gets here, and I don’t have much extra cash as is. My comp’s credit card doesn’t work here, so I’m wondering if mine even works. If you need package ideas..... peanut butter, a model helicopter for my friend Ernesto, nothing expensive just kind of small. It’s his birthday here in a month, and he has done a lot for me.

Love you all,
Elder Newman

I guess I’m that guy that wears shorts and cowboy boots. Haha

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Week 8.

Well not much to report on. It’s hard here. We walk all day, literally. The tips of my toes have blisters on them, and I don’t know why. My shoes fit right. Oh well. We talk to a lot of people, and I understand about 3/4 of what they say when they don’t speak a million miles an hour. It’s harder to talk [in Spanish], but it is getting better.

This week sacrament meeting was a bit better because the bishops kids were running outside, but the windows were open because no A/C. The Hermanas had a few new people there; we had none. We haven’t even been able to teach a lesson to a new investigator yet because no one is ever home. Dañel is in a different area, so I don’t know how he is doing. We do have this one crazy lady named Lucia. She is off her rocker, but she is great. She always calls us her babies and says bye-bye really weird. She is great.

One thing I could always get in a package now is candy. The candy here is weird, but the good kind is expensive.

I helped a guy with his car, but he couldn’t explain what the problem was. From what I could tell, it was a vacuum leak, and all he had to do was find what adapter had the problem. Love you all. That’s all for now.
-Elder Newman

I found Pepsi! Usually they only have Coke here.

The Allen Rail Monument was in the main city of Allen. It was built with the remains of railway materials.

This is about what my view is all day. There are some poorer spots, but this is the only spot where I felt safe enough to take out my camera.

A meal I had [milanese]. It was really good!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 7

Where to start? It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to write. First off, our Mission President doesn’t speak very much English, but my Spanish is improving very fast. Being out in the field beats the ccm [mtc].

My area is Allen, and my new companion/trainer is Elder Cardenas. He speaks probably 20 words in English, so it is very hard to communicate. He is from Ecuador and is pretty cool. I like him a lot, even though it’s hard to talk sometimes. I am learning a lot of Spanish, pero I don’t know what I’m doing half the time since I can’t speak it or understand it. I’m his last companion, then he is going home, so that’s cool.

First day in the field we went and had leccions with investigators and inactive members. I did the first vision to Dañel and then asked if he would prepare to be baptized on the 28 de Noviembre... he said si!  He lived in a very poor town named Ferri. It was so sad to see what these people are living with. The poorest people in America have more stuff than these guys have.

There are dogs literally everywhere. It’s crazy. I haven’t gotten bitten yet, but I’ve had a few dogs jump on me. My new shoes are great except for the blisters they mass produce. It’s a good thing I have duck tape. My little Toyota would fit in great here. It could probably pull more than a lot of the trucks here too. One weird thing here is that my allergies are gone, and it’s like twice as dirty and dusty as at home.

The food is great, a lot of new things. The only thing that could make it better is if there was pepper. They have plenty of salt though. I had some rice the other day that seemed like they boiled it in the ocean. The people here are really hard to understand. It’s like in English, but a redneck, but they are some of the nicest people. The drivers here are crazy. I still haven’t seen a wreck yet.

This week in Sacrament meeting I had to give a Spanish. I’m pretty sure I slaughtered it, my comp. was laughing. The Bishop’s kids were running all around and making all kinds of noise, and he was doing nothing about it. It was hard to feel the spirit in that meeting.

I traded American dollars for pesos with a member named Pedro something, but he likes to go by peter. So I prayed for him, and in the prayer he laughed. It was funny.

Also I can’t believe already I’ve had two threats. They are a lot more scary when you can’t completely understand them. One guy said something like I want to kill Joseph Smith. Another guy said something I couldn’t understand; but he didn’t look happy, and he put his hands in the shape of a gun and acted like he was shooting us. We just said “qué tal” and smiled and waved.

It’s hard for a gringo that doesn’t speak Spanish to live here. It’s hard to buy stuff and get simple things said and asked for. They say I should have the language down in a month.

It is Elder Cardenas´s birthday today so the hermanas in our area suprised him with a cake. It was a good surprise.

Elder Newman

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Well, I made it here safely. It took over 20 hrs of flight time to get here, which sucked, but we made it. It’s awesome here, and I can’t wait to start doing missionary work. It’s different here, and the drivers here are crazy! I'm surprised I haven't seen a wreck yet, but we are totally safe. All is well here. I can’t wait to actually be able to understand people. Hopefully it will happen soon.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Week 6

I should be all set. I can’t wait to go out into the field, even though my Spanish stinks. It will probably be totally different there too. I met a Hermana going to Japan that was from Neuquen, and her Spanish was pretty cool. It has a lot of "ssshh" in it.

Not much happening here, same as usual. They are setting up lights here for Christmas... I’ll get a pic tonight and send it home when I can.

We were able to see [Jose] once more for a short time, but that was it. [Hermana Alexandria] is doing better as far as I know, but I’m not zone leader anymore, so I don’t know what’s going on anymore.

I can’t wait to leave and get out there and serve.

Love you all. Send me news from home.

-Elder Newman (the best Elder Newman)

El Distrito!

El companero!

El templo de esta manana!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Week 5

Well not much to report on this week. We almost had another kid leave, but somehow we were able to convince him to stay. We have a Hermana from BR here. Maybe you remember her, her name is Alexandria. I feel bad for her because the day she left to come out here her grandpa died. She is doing good right now. She is in my zone, so I was able to give her a blessing. She is being taken care of by the Sister Training Leaders.

Rusty told me that he had someone sic his dogs on them. Don't worry. He just said he tried to sic his dogs on him, so I'm betting they didn't chase them.

We've been having fun here. I miss music. Me and Olsen are trying to do a parody to a rap song. Hopefully we will finish it soon so I can send it.

That’s cool B got his first deer. Was he excited? I miss hunting here too. I’m already itching to pull a trigger.

I can’t wait to get out into the field, but I’m a travel leader and I’m in charge of 4 elders. I have not a clue what I’m doing. And I guess I have to pay 60 bucks for the 2nd bag that I’m taking. I might have to leave my pillow here at the MTC. No worries, I won’t miss it that much. I have not a clue what’s happening after I get to Buenos Aires. We'll just take it as it goes.

My Spanish is ok. I can somewhat communicate about gospel principles, but if I need to ask an armless person where the bathroom is, it won’t be good because he can’t point, haha. Everyone here is ready to leave, but a lot of us are far away from where we want to be in the language. Oh well, I’ll learn it eventually. I’ve forgotten most of my French, so there is basically 4 years of French gone.

Jose [in the picture below] is a member basically replaying his conversion while we teach him. He is an awesome guy. I will go and talk to him before I leave one last time because I love the guy.

There have been some hard days where life just sucks at night when I think about home. But I just have to go to sleep after I finish prepping for the next day. Learning Spanish is probably the most fun thing here. I wish I had my punching bag to take some stress out. The best I’ve got here is 4-square because no one wants to go lift [weights]. At least I’m not fat yet, haha.

I met a guy here from Argentina [another missionary], and he said that I am going to love it down there.

Well, that’s all I have for now.


-Elder Riley Newman

I'm literally climbing the walls here in the MTC.

Some late night "studying".

One of the other elders got a package with 5 mustaches in it, so we all put them on for the day. We could barely get a picture in because it was so funny!

 Skype for the first time with Barbara in Neuquen, Argentina.

Jose after our last lesson. He is pretty cool!