Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dear Family, 

2014. Wow what a great number. 14! The Newman number! This is our year ha ha. I am very excited for this year and have great hope and expectations for the things that will happen in it. There is no better way to start a year than as a missionary.  I hope that you all had a great week and that you were able to set goals individually and as prospective families.

While i have been here in Antofagasta the time has gone so incredibly fast. I assume that it has been because of the busyness of our schedule.

On new years eve, the investigating family that is progressing invited us over for a dinner. We had a great Colombian dinner. Pork with BBQ sauce, chicken wrapped in bacon, rice, and a salad. It was some great food.

It was great to celebrate the new year and to think about the blessings and experience i had in 2013 and to welcome 2014 with open arms. I thought a lot this past week about things that i wanted to accomplish and the growth i wanted to see in myself. I made not only spiritual goals but physical/temporal and social/emotional goals. There is great vision and direction in the goals that we set. Without them we will never achieve our true potential. Just like it says in Proverbs 29:18- "Where there is no vision, the people perish."

We had our mission leadership council this week. It was awesome and the meetings that we are having with the mission are getting better every time. We planned this next transfer a little bit throughout the week withe president. Elder Pinto and I are thinking of ideas and planning for this special training that we probably do in February throughout the mission. 

Yesterday was incredible. We have received so many blessings from the Lord. So we are teaching 2 different families right now in our own sector when we have the time to do so. I will explain each one. 

1. Luis, Lucero, Luisa and Juan

This was a family that we found from a reference. The Luis, Luisa and Juan really want to get baptized. We are trying to work with the mom. She is the key. If we can get her than we will have the whole family. Luis shared his testimony in church today. It was amazing. We are working with the parents to try to help them get married. The dad wants to get married but the mom isn't so sure. But we have seen some great progress so far. They come to church every week and are an awesome family. 

2. Rafael and Diana
They are a young couple who have been together for over a year. Diana is the daughter of a recent convert who also gave us the reference of Luis and his family. Diana is pregnant and they are expecting their first child in about 4 months. They all live in the same apartment building. Diana has wanted to be baptized for quite some time, but her and Rafael need to be married. Rafael a couple weeks ago didn't want much to do with us, but he has been progressing little by little. The other day he cut his long hair and now it is short and clean. And yesterday we were teaching the plan of salvation and we talked about marriage at the end and now that he understands the doctrine, of why marriage and eternal families are important. They also came to church today. We have seen miracles with these families.

We have seen great progress in the ward that we are serving in with the other office missionaries. Life is going great. Last night I felt so much happiness and joy. I was so grateful for the miracles that we have seen in this short time since we have worked in our sector. Truly there is no substitute for obedience and striving to live for miracles. Anyways i hope you all had a great week. There is great hope in creating goals and measuring our progress every day to accomplish them. Have a great week. 

Elder Newman

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