Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cute girls!


Sounds like things are way busy around there.  I can't believe they (Kristina, Nathan, & McKayla) have already started school.  I know what you mean when you say the days drag but the weeks fly.  That is a truth I have learned very well.  Being completely honest, there are some days that fly by and I wish they didn't.  Like Mondays.  But I know that Monday will always come again.  I was so excited when I saw I had an email from you in my inbox.

  I am working on exercising more too.  How about we just surprise each other with how awesome we both look after my mission. Wouldn't that be so awesome?  We can both work on eating right and exercise.  For me, I have to stop buying creamo's.   They are like oreo's and I am addicted to having them with peanut butter.  Naughty I know.  I will stop..  (I am going to try to put some pics on here.  Will you give them to mom to put on the blog?)

  So yesterday I thought of you when I read Sister Daltons talk, "Love Her Mother".  It talks about how dad's need to be the examples of what their daughters need to look for.  How dad's need to be worthy of their priesthood, and to bless and protect their families.  Thank you for being that kind of dad for me.  You should read this talk it is really good.  I think you would really like it.  It almost made me cry.

  I know things are way busy and that you aren't a big fan of typing up emails, so thank you for sending this one.  I love it.  I love you very much.  When I get home we are going to have to go on drives together so we can talk, and you are going to have to take me fishing and shooting.  Ok?  I really want to do that.  Have a good week, daddy.  Stand tall and be strong.

Love your daughter,
 Sister Brittany Nichole Newman

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 7, 2012

Mommy & Daddy,

First of all let me say before I forget, after you send me the package with shoes and hopefully pop tarts (it would have been nice to know she wanted pop tarts before I sent the package), please don’t send anything for my birthday or Christmas (like I’d let that happen). Just send a bunch of letters & everyone’s Christmas family pictures. That is best. Then just put some money in my account so I can get the special things I want to bring home to you all. (Don’t worry. I am not spending too much. I don’t convert the pesos into dollars in my head so even though $2 for some stuff isn’t bad in America, I won’t pay 90 pesos for it here. . .I am stingy).

It is raining like crazy so we didn’t get to go out today. It doesn’t appear to be stopping. Our apartment is close to being flooded. It is up to my waist outside in the road. This has been the longest day.

The fact that you probably won’t get this letter until October doesn’t phase me one bit. Just makes me a little sad is all. I hope it gets there before the end of this month.

I am supposed to email you tomorrow but I seriously doubt that is going to happen. Maybe a miracle will happen and we will get to go out. Sister Dennis is also supposed to be picked up to go home tomorrow. The A.P.s can’t even get here because of the flood. We are just stuck here. And it stinks, literally, because the water is really nasty.

So I have been converted to using baby powder on my body. It is incredible! I love it! I am sure I still smell awful because we use a bucket to shower with Malolos water that turns white clothing yellow unless used with acid that makes the skin peel off your hands. Yes. . .it is that great here. You have to promise me that when I get home, the bathroom is totally mine to hog for a few hours. I want to sparkle! Someone is going to have to teach me how to do my hair and I will need some bangs cut out of this mess. Waiting for a clean body is torture now. I don’t know how I will last. Of course, I will go on.

So. . .these past weeks have been pretty good. There have been way ups and way downs. Last Friday was a way down. First off, we got permission to go to SM Fairview (a mall) with the other sisters, but we decided to stay & go to our people. The other sisters accidentally locked us in our gate and took both sets of keys. Then, when they got back & let us out we got to one appointment & I didn’t share very much because I didn’t know how. Then we went to pick up sisters laundry & our ward mission leader said that I rely on Sister Bird too much. That really hurt because I have been working very hard to be able to talk to people on my own and he just told me I wasn’t doing good enough. So, that night I poured my heart out to Heavenly Father, cried, and missed home more than ever (I haven’t missed it too bad lately).

When I woke up I didn’t feel any better, so I just asked Heavenly Father to lead my personal study to some comforting words and this is what I got:

“Be still, my soul: The hour is hastening on, When we shall be forever with the Lord. When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone, sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored. Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past. All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.”

Mosiah 27: 14, The Lord hears our prayers for these people. We need to just keep being faithful and keep praying. Someday our prayers will be answered and someone will remember their testimony and return to church.

Vs. 31, Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before Him. They shall  confess that He is God, and their judgment (received) is just.

Vs. 36-37, “And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea to the knowledge of their Redeemer.

“And how blessed are they! For they did publish peace; they did publish good tidings of good; and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth.”

We are richly blessed for being missionaries. I don’t need to miss my mom one wit because I know everything is going to be just fine and this is all going to work out for our good. Heavenly Father has never let me down when it really mattered. He won’t let me down now. Instead of being sad about people not liking or understanding me, I should just remember that the Lord always loves and understands me. I am never alone and neither are our people.

Mosiah 28:1 When you truly know these things you will have a desire to share them with others.

The song “The Test” came on Sister Winger’s ipod today when I came downstairs. That was no coincidence. I needed that song today. That is one of the songs I sang a lot with my mom. Heavenly Father gave me that tender mercy to remind me that He is there. He is listening. I matter to Him.

“At these times of trial I promise you if you will seek the Lord with all your heart, He will fill you with the spirit of compassion, with comfort, with solace, and with the knowledge that you aren on the right path. He will be your guide and you will come forth victorious.”

“These blessings will be answered upon your head if you keep the commandments and strengthen your desire to serve you Heavenly Father and Savior at all costs.”

This was an amazing spiritual experience. I will forever be grateful for it. And I will look to it in times of struggle. I have been so focused on finding things for people that  I forgot to nourish myself.

But, this amazingness didn’t end there. In companion study I told Sister Bird and she asked why I felt I needed that. Was I sad? Yes, I was. Why? I told her. “Sister Newman, he didn’t mean it like that. He meant it for all new people. And you just need to get used to the fact that Filipinos are blunt people. That made me feel lots better. Our lessons made it the very best day of my mission so far. We taught the Barredo kids the word of wisdom. It was so fun and I got to participate a lot. The works came, even though I didn’t know them all. Sister Bird helped me. We then went to Balite and taught the Navarro family. They are less active. We planned to share on faith, but because of the fire at the palengke (market), Sister Bird shared about hope and tied it back to faith. Then I finished the lesson about faith. The spirit spoke through me. I felt it. Those were not my words. It was incredible.

Afterward, we felt impressed to go to this active family who had missed  church. We didn’t know why we needed to go there. We just needed to. Well, it turns out we were an answer to prayer. The husband lost his job in May. They are running out of money. The wife is pregnant. May sobrang malakas pananampalataya sila. Talaga! (literal translation: They may very strong faith. Really!) They know it will work out somehow. He has had interview after interview and nothing has come from it. His wife crochets so she has started making little coin purses to sell. Sister Bird and I each ordered 12. They are a little overpriced but this family really needs it. They are doing everything they can. And we can’t just give them money, but we can but things from them. It will be awesome to say, “I know the lady who made these. She is a friend from my first area.”

When that lesson was over we went to Brother Jovy’s house (he is the 1st counselor in the bishopric). He made us fish balls again and we taught him and his sons about finding the blessings in our lives and that we are nothing, but through God we can do all things. He just needed a spiritual message and that one felt right to share. It must have been because he bore his testimony about the experience on Sunday.

It was the most amazing day I have ever experienced in my entire life. I have never felt so close to my Savior, the spirit, my people, my companion, and My Heavenly Father than I did on Saturday, August 4th, 2012. I firmly believe that I would not have had such a sweet experience if I hadn’t had the hardship & struggles before.

Well, Sister Bird is going through her souvenirs so I am going to go see what she has. I love you. I hope you are all doing well. I hope to hear from you soon. Don’t hate me for making you wait for this letter to hear this experience.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX (not in a weird way. . .)


Sister Brittany Nichole Newman
AP's here to pick up Sister Dennis to go home, found us in a flood and helped us out.

We made it!
Happy Birthday, Sister Westover!

road kill

Going for a ride


frog on the laundry bucket

Sister Winger & Sister Westover

My family:
My lola(gma), Sister  Dalagiut, who trained Sister Bird and my sister, Sister Walker who was  trained by Sister Bird before she trained me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Week 7

Dear Friends and Family,
   These past two weeks have been crazy.  There were days we were punted none stop.  There were days when there wasn't enough time to get to everyone.  We found a Less Active we have been searching for, for weeks and we got a new investigator through it too.  There hasn't been an email in a while because we got stuck in our apartment because of rain and floods.  Then we were rescued by the AP's that came to pick Sister Dennis up to go home.  We waded through waist deep water with suitcases on our heads to get to where they were able to park the car.  Then they took us to the mission home.  People kept saying Its more fun in the Philippines,  We responded with its more flood in the Philippines.  They laughed and we are sure we are on facebook a billion times. 
   At the mission home we felt like an unwanted burden at first, but when there were 13 new missionaries and Sister Cheri couldn't come to help with food, Sister Sperry was very grateful for our assistance and we were more than grateful to help her cook and bake.  President and Sister Sperry told us stories of how they met and their home life before coming to the Philippines.  It was way cool to get to know them better.

    We got to come home on Friday.  On Sunday we were able to teach a sister in Balite who is so ready for the gospel in her life.  We are way excited.  And also on Sunday, I talked more to people than I ever have before.  It was so fun to just BRT on the streets and teach people about our unique message.
   I really don't know what else to write today.  Except that my first transfer is over now, but we still have a house of Americans.  We celebrated Sister Westover's birthday.  I got some cool souvenirs.  Part of the Palengke burnt down the night after we were there and on one Friday, the sisters locked us in our house, so we couldn't go out.  That was crazy, but I know the Lord works in mysterious ways and we needed to not go out.
   Well, that is all for now, I am going to make you wait for my letter to hear the really cool story.  Know that I love you and we need to all continue to work hard.
   Thank you Grandma for the email. I hope you and grandpa both heal well and tell those boys that they are so funny.  I love it when they have fun together.  I miss them.  I miss you all.  Have a good day and do whats right.
Mom, if you haven't sent the package yet will you put the dvd o holy night in.  I really think it would be a good thing to have here.  If not don't worry about it.


Sister Brittany Nichole Newman 

P.S. I am going to speak about the Lord's will on Sunday

Eating rambutan fruit.

This reminds me of Grandma and Grandpa Pratt pictures from the Gilbert Islands!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Letter to mom July 23, 2012

July 23, 2012


Hey pretty lady! I miss you but I am doing very well. I haven’t cried in 6 days. You should be proud. But you already know that from my email. It is weird to think that you won’t be getting this for a few weeks. That by the time you do get it, you might have forgotten what was said in the email. Oh well!

This week has been awesome. I got sick on Tuesday and that was rotten and hard, but Wednesday I got to go to the temple. Did you ever think your name would be on the prayer roll of the Manila, Philippines temple? (Which isn’t even located in Manila, but in Quezon City).

The temple is my all-time favorite place to be in the whole world. It always calms my heart and helps me see more clearly. I love the feeling of knowing Heavenly Father loves me for doing the best I  can. I can feel that love in the temple.

Thursday we had zone interviews with President Sperry. President and Sister Sperry love me like you do, mom. I can feel it when they are near. They want the very best for me and they are happy with my efforts.

After that we went to work, but had to come home because Sister Dennis was sick, but they had 2 very important appointments that needed to be gone to. So we went to this little store to buy Gatorade and while there we got to place a Book of Mormon with a man who seemed very curious about our religion and why Americans would willingly come to live to preach in the Philippines. So we bore testimony.

Then we were almost home when we stopped a man selling bread on his bike. Sister Bird wanted a coconut bun. We found out he has been inactive for 7 years. He is from our ward and used to be a stake missionary. Coincidence? I think not! Friday was a day where no matter where we went people either didn’t want to talk to us, were asleep, pretended to not be home, really weren’t home, or had their friends lie to us. Sister Bird said “Ayna Ko! I have never been lied to so many times in my life. This is ridiculous! We saw them in there, do they think we’re blind?!” Well, we just had to laugh. It was hot & we walked for pretty much six hours straight. It was tough & fun. He never said it would be easy. This is the test, which reminds me, that song has been stuck in  my head so if you ever decided to send a package, a CD with you singing that song would be the best gift ever. That song makes me sad and happy at the same time.

Saturday morning we were doing personal study when the rains came down and the floods came up. Way, WAY up! We decided to companion study to see if it would die down. Nope, not really. But we went to work anyway. We walked through nasty flood water.

A total of 2 lessons were taught. 1 to the Barredo kids & their mom. Faith & repentance. They are great, but need to do their reading assignments so they really get it.

The second was to Maricel who needs a birth certificate so she can get married and her and her husband can get baptized.

Then I had kamote gue which is sweet potato on a stick. You would die. It is a sin. It tastes so yummy! Sister Bird says I am crazy. She likes banana que which is fried banana on  a stick. But the bananas are so different from home. They are so tasty. But I like kamote better.

Afterwards we went to a baptism from the Elders part of the area. It was really cool. He was very scared about going under the water. I really prayed for him to have the comfort he needed to be able to do it. That was cool.

Sunday was ward conference and it went for 4 hours. Holy cow! I will forever. Share this with dad and because yours has most of the stuff I did in it. You can both enjoy it together. I want a hug from you. I miss your hugs and advice so much. I will not take you for granted mommy. You are my hero and I am glad you are mine. I needed you to be my mommy. Keep working hard. You can do the real estate stuff. I know you can do it. I pray for you every day. My heart is full of love for you. I can’t wait to get home to say it to you and show you how much I mean it. And by the time you get this I will be that much closer to going home.


Sister Brittany Nichole Newman

Letter from Sister Bird

July 23, 2012

Dear Newman family!

Hello! I am Sister Bird, your daughter’s kasama here in the Malolos area! You are probably wondering why in the world did we get a letter from Sister Bird. . . Well let me just tell ya :o)

I wanted to thank you for how obedient, hardworking, teachable and fun your daughter is. She is a great missionary! When a child turns out well, it obviously means the parents did a great job and I can tell you did! We have only been companions around 4 weeks but we have worked so hard, laughed a lot, seen many miracles, tender mercies, floods and even hard times but these weeks have been great. Sister Newman always has a positive attitude no matter what. We are opening this area so we are both new here. She’s had great patience and trust in the Lord. I feel privileged to get to train her even though I feel like she’s my 6th trainer. You always learn from companions, and she is no exception. I just wanted to make sure to thank you all for teaching her so well. She is doing great and I know she and you all are being blessed for her service. May the Lord continue to bless you and your family as she continues to labor in the Lord’s vineyard here in the Philippines.


Sister Bird

Just a thought. . .

“Though you sometimes may not be able to see the way, know that your Father in Heaven will never forsake His righteous followers. He will not leave you  comfortless. He will be at your side, yes, guiding you every step of the way.”

                Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

Letter home July 18, 2012

July 18, 2012

Pamilya ko,

I hope things are still going well. I just wrote you all a pretty decent sized email this morning so I don’t know what else to say other than to remind you once again that I love you. I love you so much I could just pinch your fat little cheeks off! Oh my. . .

Well. . . We teach lots of cool people. One guy named Rodrigo is deaf so Sister Bird is working on remembering her sign language from high school. He is great! Very spiritual. He loves the gospel. He likes to exercise a lot. He has a bunch of really old yucky equipment in his house & he has a sign that says it is a gym open weekdays 9 – 4. I don’t know who comes, but he loves it so, that’s awesome.

We teach a ton of less actives, but so far we haven’t had too much luck getting them to come to church. We will keep working and praying though.

Every day is so hot! I stink all the time. It is embarrassing and gross. I feel bad for the people we visit some days because I am just drenched in my own nastiness. Yuck!

It is supposed to be rainy season. . .he he. LIES! It rained really bad twice and we had to walk through nasty baha with who knows what living inside. Ew! Heck! We even had to hike up our underwear but I can promise you we have had some good laughs about it that is for sure. I have seen marami himala araw-araw, that’s for sure.

We have really great members here. Sister Lomie reminds me a lot of mom. She is so sweet & kind & has such a strong testimony. I love her very much. She is very patient with my Tagalog. She made us a very yummy dinner on July 10th. Plus, I got to share a spiritual message with her.

Also on Tuesday I got 3 letters. 1 from mom,, 1 from Bishop Warner, and 1 from the Sister Montgomery (who I found out today has already gone home). But they gave  me much needed laughs & strength.

Sister Bird has one speed and that is fast. So when we work with members she almost dies with how slow we have to walk. It makes me giggle when she gets that “AynaKo” look on her face.

I loved going to the follow up training last Thursday. My Mission Pres. & his wife are so great. I feel their love for me just being around them. It was so cool to learn from them both and to know that I am doing ok. That the other new missionaries are in the same boat I am in.

You wouldn’t believe how young people start smoking here. It is insane I tell you. Cigarettes are so cheap & you can get them anywhere so it is no wonder, but I wish they could understand how much it is actually hurting them. It is a very dumb choice.

I can’t remember if I told you the story of teaching the children a few weeks ago. Sister Bird had this cool experience in her 2nd area. She & her companion got to teach this group of children. Well, I wanted an experience like that so I prayed for it and it happened later that day. We were just supposed to teach 2 boys but all their neighbors came & we taught them all. It was so cool. My prayers are being answered left and right. It is incredible!

One thing I have learned is that if you have the faith & desire nothing can keep you from coming to church. These inactive members have no excuses for me because I have seen what our active members do to get there.

An elder in our district (who goes home the end of August)is very baby hungry. He hates the fact that we can’t hold kids almost more than I do.

My favorite person here is probably Tatay Antonio. He is a very old man who wants to die. He says he is ready to meet his maker. We want him to follow the Word of wisdom before he meets his maker. That would be good. Other than that fault he reminds me a lot of Great Grandpa. He works hard every day. He likes to tease me and make me laugh. He is just a very nice man who lobes God and wants to be ready to go home to his Father in Heaven.

There was a great big band that came down the street one night following a newly wedded couple. Then they came back at 6 am the next morning to wake them up.


Sister Bird was mad that they woke her up & she said, “What!? Are they celebrating the fact that she isn’t a virgin anymore? Well, duh! As if it isn’t awkward enough!”

So I think that is about it. Oh, Sister Bird is from Erda (by Tooele), is 22 years old, b-day Sept. 23 (the day before Kristina). Her favorite sport is basketball. She is a twin. She goes to Utah State (Go Aggies!) so Kristina can look her up in January.

I love your faces!


Sister Brittany Nichole Newman