Lindsay Newbold is a walking, talking example of someone who makes a habit of overcoming obstacles and turning lemons into lemonade.
Friends, associates and doctors label her going on a mission as a miracle. Ever since the sixth grade, Newbold nurtured a desire to serve a mission. But at the age of 15, she contracted lupus, and it was difficult just to finish high school. Somehow, she pulled the grades to get into Brigham Young University and was in and out of various semesters there.
When she turned 21, she began to fill out the requisite paperwork to serve a mission. But there was that little obstacle of getting a doctor to certify a clean bill of health. Her doctor said "no."
She thought about doing a service mission and continued to pray and look for ways to serve.
After another year, her mother encouraged her to fill out the papers again. She went to another doctor who didn't really know her history and was certified to go. But she wanted to be honest, so she returned to her regular doctor, who this time finally authorized her noting all the restrictions. Her stake president supported her, saying if she could serve but three months it would be a successful mission.
Newbold, a member of the Willow Canyon 5th Ward in the Sandy East Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was scared. Everyone thought she would get some sort of special mission call. It took six weeks, and a call to Canada finally came. She called the church and spoke to a doctor there about how to find a doctor in Canada. This doctor told her that before she could find a doctor there she would be dead and said he would talk with the brethren. Her mission was changed to Long Beach, Calif.
At the time of her call to Canada, her parents had no insurance, and Canadian health care requires no insurance. By the time her call was changed, her parents had acquired insurance but regardless of all else, Lindsay was ecstatic to be going on a mission.
In the Missionary Training Center, she met an elder from Long Beach who had a friend he tried to convert but had been unsuccessful. Lindsay said she would look him up, but the elder said there was no chance because sister missionaries never were assigned to his ward.
Well, you can guess the rest of the story. But after being assigned to that area, Newbold didn't even know it was this elder's ward until she was talking to a member couple who turned out to be his parents, and they immediately informed her that the friend was coming to a family home evening. That friend was eventually baptized.
Six months into her mission, lupus reared its ugly head again. Newbold found herself on the floor one night not knowing how she got there. She crawled back into bed, but in the morning when she looked in the mirror, blood was splotched on her face. After four days in the hospital and a special fast back in her home ward, tests were inconclusive and she begged and pleaded with the mission president to let her stay. He agreed and only asked that she do her best.
"We continued to have success," she said, "as much as anyone else."
During that time, she was finding ways to teach the gospel. On a subsequent visit to the hospital, the nurse remembered her teaching her while Newbold was lying in bed.
On another occasion, when a telemarketer called, Newbold said, "I can't buy anything but I can give you something," and she proceeded to share the gospel with him. It turned out the caller had previously talked with missionaries and then had moved and lost contact. They exchanged information so he could re-establish contact..
Newbold had many successful experiences and will now return to BYU, where she has one year remaining to get her degree in social studies.
She did complete her mission and attributes her energy and happy disposition to her mother, who taught her: "Feel the hurt and feel the pain and move on."
E-mail: [email protected]