Sunday, December 28, 2014

Merry Christmas - December 23, 2014

The Ward Christmas party turned out really, really good actually, a lot better than I had hoped. I think like 50 showed up! And the Bishop generously put a little money in, (our budget was $5) and we ended the activity with ham sandwiches in croissant rolls, cupcakes, and cookies. Simple, but good :) We also had 2 members give a Christmas message, and a few Musial numbers. Us, the 4 missionaries, and another member Karla, sang Rudolf the red nosed reindeer, first in Spanish, and then in English, as that is what we had learned in the English classes that I am teaching the week before. I was Rudolf, with the antlers and the red nose. :) It was really fun. We also had an investigator go, and was a great experience for him :) 

On Tuesday I also had Companion Exchanges with Elder Madrigal, and we had some great experiences sharing our testimonies with people we talked to in the street. Our testimonies can be so Powerful! We need to always be trying to strengthen them, and also, share them. It feels so good! 

On Wednesday we had a dirty job to do. Brayan, a young recent convert, had a problem with his back patio. It had flooded with sewage. The bathroom is outside behind the house, and the drain had gotten clogged. We helped by trying to shove poles down the pipes to loosen up the clogs, and we had to end up breaking the concrete of the neighbor’s house to get to the pipes and fix the problem. But now it is all good. It was a smelly job :) 

I have also made rice Krispy treats a few times this week too, because of Christmas, and I have been thinking about giving them away as gifts, If I have time to make them, that is :) 

On Friday I had my second Baptismal Interview as a District Leader. Interviewed Hermano Rosalio, a great investigator of Elder Adamson and Madrigal. All went well, until I discovered that he wasn’t legally married with his wife, when I asked for the date of their marriage to fill out the form. oops. He has to get married first. He is already pretty old, and they have been together a while, but are not married. oops. We thought we were so close to having another baptism! 

That night in the market I also found a 3 foot Christmas tree for 100 pesos. After passing it a few times, I decided to buy it. The house looked so Christmassey for the few days I had it up, with the snowflake ornaments that Grandma made for me last year. I ended up wrapping it up and giving it away as my gift for the Christmas Party. I wish that the Elder who ended up with it in the Gift Exchange had of appreciated it more. I thought it was an awesome gift! 

On Saturday, as a Zone, we tried to talk to people by giving away cups of Hot Chocolate and shining shoes in a plaza. It went alright; it wasn’t as successful when we did the same last year. It was fun though. 

Sunday we tried super hard to get people to church, and at last we got one investigator there! Jose Alfredo, with the help of Michel, who came to pick us up, because were running late. As we pulled into the church lot, his car stalled, because he ran out of gas! He hadn’t been planning on making the extra trip, but was willing to help us out nevertheless. We had to push his car into a parking spot, and then hurry into church before it started. I wish there had been better attendance... there was almost no one in church... like 20-30, lots of people out of town!  

Today we had our P day because we had our Mission Christmas Party with President Bird. We had a Christmas Breakfast of fruit and crepes, had a gift exchange, and each Zone performed a musical number or skit, and then President helped us to remember the true meaning of Christmas, and taught us that the best present that we can give to Christ is our heart and soul; not only a mission, but a life dedicated to him. 

He also shared with us a very moving experience that a bishop had had that was in his stake when he was a stake president. This Bishop advised him that we had to leave and would be gone during December because his daughter, a mother of 8, was crucially ill, and he needed to visit her. He went to the hospital fully expecting that his daughter would not make it to the next year, as the doctors could not figure out what her sickness was in order to treat it. He said that as he was walking down one of the halls, he heard a familiar voice. The voice of President Thomas S Monson, who visits hospitals during Christmas to give blessings. He said he waited for him to leave the room, went over to him and explained his situation, and asked a blessing for his daughter. The Prophet's response was `of course`, he took him by the arm, and they went to give her the blessing, and then left. They waited until the next day. And She left the hospital, completely free of any sickness or ailment. It was a very moving example and testament of the power of the Priesthood, the power of a person's faith, and that there is a Prophet here, who walks the face of the earth, and who represents our Savior, whose birth we will celebrate this Christmas. THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!! 

I wish Everyone a Very Merry Christmas! 
Elder Redford

 Picture is of my District. Me, Elder Madrigal, Elder Adamson, and Elder Luna, my companion :)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mi Familia Eterna - December 15, 2014

Wow, what a busy weekend! 

That is awesome that you could help out a needy family this year and go shopping for them. I am sure you had fun with the task. 

That is right, I forgot about Kent´s gaming party. I missed it. We´ll see if I make it next year ;) 

Good progress on the Basement! 

Hope you could enjoy the Christmas Parties. Our ward Christmas party won’t be too extravagant... with only a budget of like 5 dollars, as the ward has no money, they will be giving a refreshment of hot chocolate and cookies, and there is hardly any program.... we´ll see if we can do anything to make it better. It is this Thursday night. Hopefully it goes well... 

We have really been trying to find new people to teach, and this week we were able to find 8! It is hard to tell if they will keep progressing though, as not a single one went to church, even though we left the house early to knock on their doors Sunday morning to bring them. They were all asleep, I believe. But we will keep on trying! 

On Tuesday we had a Zone Conference, where the Zone Leaders tried to refocus us on the most important thing.... the reason why we are out here serving a mission. It is about the people. And those people as God's children. We are here to teach people not lessons. And then they invited us to think personally about their reason for coming on a mission. find out their ´´why´´ of serving a mission. I really liked it, because I found out, or at least put into words, mine. I am serving a mission to complete my Eternal Family. Yes, that includes the family, and my future family, but I am trying to see the bigger picture. A very common doctrine that we teach is that God is our Loving Heavenly Father and that we are all His children. We are all brothers and sisters. We are all one big family. And the gospel was restored so that families could be Eternal. That is something that ShayLynn wrote to me in a letter one week. She encouraged me to keep on trying to complete our Eternal Family, and it made me feel so proud of her to think that even though I am serving a far off country and with people of a different culture, that she sees them as her family, our family. It also helped me to realize that that is why I am serving a mission. Now I am trying to see everyone as if they were a family member. A brother, a sister, an aunt, an uncle, a grandpa or grandma, or something like that. And it helps me to love the people more. 

Then on Thursday we had a mini Zone Conference and President Bird came to have us practice Listening and Asking Good Questions while teaching. We practiced by doing role-plays, and they were very intense, especially when President is watching over our shoulder :) I learned that I need to make an extra effort in asking questions, and as I have applied it this week, I have felt really good coming out of some of the lessons this week. Teaching people, not lessons.

A member gave us money to eat one day, so went to a Little Ceasers in the area with the other Elders in My district. I basically ate an entire Pizza myself. Is that a bad thing? I couldn’t do that before....  :)  

We are also playing a lot of Soccer. are getting up early to play before studies. I am still no good, but I get the exercise running around the field (well, more like court, as it doubles for soccer and basketball :) 

On Sunday it was hard to find people to teach. There was a soccer game where the local team went to finals. Ya. Basically no one in the street, and everyone partying in their houses. And then their team lost. It is so amazing to see how passionate these people are about soccer! We ended up visiting some less actives, and one gave us tamales to eat :)  

I am trying to brainstorm, thinking about what we should do this Christmas and Christmas Eve to make it meaningful, because normal proselyting isn’t very effective on those days. And I want to make it something special, as my last Christmas on my mission. 

On Tuesday we are going to have a Christmas Party as a mission, and we are supposed to bring a small gift. I will see what I can come up with. Also, that day will be my P day, so I won’t write until Tuesday!

And yes, we can Skype on Christmas! I am hoping to be able to call from a members house; maybe at around noon? I am really not sure, We still need to figure it out. 
Next Christmas I will be home! That is crazy! 

Well, I don’t feel like there is much more to report on, so will just wish everyone una Feliz Navidad, and talk to you next week! 


Elder Hayden Redford

El es la Dadiva - December 8, 2014

That is great that Haylee's birthday turned out great! That sure is a lot of celebration for one little girl :) 

That is great that the basement is coming along! Thanks Kent! 

Oh, I wish I could be there to help with the Math homework.... just hang in there ShayLynn!  

This week we did a lot of looking for addresses. We talk to people in the street, invite them to listen, and they give us their addresses. This week we focused more in looking for those addresses :). We have fun sometimes because the house numbers don’t make sense here in the Colony Moderna. We see 3120 and then 1911 and then back to 3127. An example :) We get a lot of fake addresses too... so with all our looking for new people, we only found 3 new people this week... not too many really, but we will keep om working at it. We will find those who want to listen eventually, and it will be great :) There are quite a lot of people that Elder Hernandez and I visited before, that Elder Luna and I don’t really visit anymore, because they just won’t come to church and aren’t progressing... so we have focused on new people, and it was been a little slow :) 

This Wednesday we got introduced to El el la Dadiva. I had no idea what Dadiva meant. Is the video that the Church has produced about Christmas, He is the Gift. It is only 2 minutes long, but it is really good. The word Dadiva isn’t a very common word here in Spanish, so it sounds a little mysterious when we invite people to watch it. 
`Do you know what the Dadiva is?, No? Well check out the link on the pass a long card we just gave you and you can find out.` 
It’s kinda fun :) It makes them more curious. Dadiva is just a fancy word for a gift given out of love or gratitude, without hopes of getting anything back. Have you seen the He is the Gift video yet? here it is :

We helped out a part member family (Adela and Iresema) decorate their house too, and asked me to help put up the lights because I am tall. People suddenly like me for that :) That gave us Tamales as well, they were really good. I quite like them now :) 

We are teaching an awesome young man, Dilan, who has hardly any religious background, and it is going great with him. But, a woman in his house, I think it is his mom, doesn’t like us. We teach him outside on his porch, and suddenly, at least once per lesson, pokes her head out to say something against us. When she answers the door, she tells us that he’s not home, that he will never be home when we ask her. Just like that. And then she told us that we are super stubborn coming by to see him, that we are wasting our time, that if Dilan starts to treat her badly, as in starts to hit her, she is going to blames us, and blah blah blah. She also at one point told us that she would call the police the next time we knocked on the door, but seeing it as an empty threat, we have continued to visit him. It is really quite funny how hard she tries to say something against us, as there is nothing to say. I don’t know if she is completely right in the head either....she is quite snobby... at least she doesn’t yell :) ,  but we have high hopes for Dilan. He is 21, so he has the right to listen if he wants to or not. 

On Sunday, instead of having a lesson in Priesthood, the Bishop had us go and do visits. We went with two Brothers to visit a less active, and it was an interesting experience :) We had visited this member, Nicolas, many times before, and it was funny to see how they acted during the visit. But it was good. At last, the members are helping us a little more :)  

We also went to the First Presidency Christmas Broadcast yesterday. the Music was awesome! I also like the talks on the importance of having Christ like love and being generous with each other. I especially liked the story about the about who had terminal cancer and who would die in a few weeks, and that the entire ward and community did all that they could the help him celebrate Halloween, thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas all in one week, because they knew he wouldn’t make it to all of them. It is amazing how much love they showed, and how they turned a sad experience into an edifying and happy one. 

And yeah, in the morning My companion and I continued deep cleaning the house, and it feels so good! Now we are going to eat Pizza as a Zone to celebrate doing a lot of contacts the past week, and things look good. 

Thanks for everything and for all your letters! 

I hope you can all feel the Christmas Spirit of this season and think in what you could do to help someone out this year :) 

Until next week,  

Elder Redford

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAYLEE!!!!!! - December 8, 2014

Whew whew! :) :) :) :)

Haylee's got her ears pierced! 
They look awesome from what I can see in the picture. 

I wish I could have been there for your party. Pancakes sound super yummy! You and all the girls ate a TON of sugar that night! 
I hope you had fun with all your friends, and with Saydee, Shyanne, and Whitney. 

I hope you got some awesome presents and that all the cake, pancakes, and doughnuts were DELICIOUS! 

That is great that you are 8! 

That means your baptism is coming up next month. That is exciting! You will look so pretty in your white clothes, and you will feel so good. 

I hope that you can try to feel Heavenly Fathers love for you when you get baptized. You will be able to have a very special friend with you after that day, who is the Holy Ghost. 
He is a friend that we can’t see, but who makes us feel good. He helps us feel better when we are sad, and who makes us feel happy when we think about Jesus. And if you are good, he will always be with you to help you, and you will never be alone. 

It is so exciting to be baptized! You are going to be able to show Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that you love them and want to follow them, so that you can be with us as a family FOREVER! 
I am so grateful that Heavenly Father makes us that promise. That if we live the gospel and do what He says, we can be an eternal family, and we will always be together forever. 

I hope that you are excited for your baptism, and excited to get your new friend. 

I am excited for you! 

I love you! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

 To say goodbye to Elder Hernandez Michel & Bryan made us a Carne Asada
 Clay dolls made by a member of Elder Redford (me) and Elder Hernandez
 Decorations for Christmas, Snowflakes sent last year from Grandma Redford
I decorated my Planner for Christmas

Elder Luna - December 1, 2014

I am glad that Thanksgiving turned out good =) 
Looks like the group was a little smaller this year without Mary or Lane, (or me =), but it sounds like and looks like everyone had a great time. And I hear that there was plenty of food =) 

My new compànion is Elder Luna, which translates to Elder Moon. He is from Puebla (de los Angeles) the same place that my first companion E Bautista is from. He is great, and reminds me of my MTC companion Elder Harris. He was the same time as Elder Hernandez on the mission, and is putting up with me. No, we get along great. Unlike Elder Hernandez, he likes to be clean =). We deep cleaned the house today, including the fridge. The house feels better and more organized now =)

I was surprised to have Elder Luna be my companion. We is the Elder that took my place when I left Tamaulipas, and who I met better when I went back for Betty and Valente´s Baptism. After a Transfer in another ward, he is now here with me in Moderna. So, he has been able to fill be in on my converts, as he followed me in my last ward. Valente has the Melchisedek (how do you spell it in English!?) Priesthood, and he and his wife, Betty, are Ward Missionaries! They are basically the parents away from home for the Missionaries too =D. That me so HAPPY to hear!!!! 

To say goodbye to Elder Hernandez Michel and Bryan made us a  Carne Asada, grilled meat and basically hot dogs cooked over charcoal. they went way out, they bought a ton of meat and potatoes and we had a great little party to say goodbye to Elder Hernandez and Elder Aguilar. A member also made some clay ....dolls? of me and Elder Hernandez as a gift because he left, and attached is a picture. 

 We have left a few investigators, and a few investigators have left us. Alejandro, who was so close to baptism, didn’t ever want to put a date, and then got a job where he works 8am to 8pm, with a day off during the week, and we simply can’t find him. His friend David whom we were teaching has moved away (to Apodaca), so we lost him too. We are working hard trying to find new people to teach. 

As a Zone we put a goal to contact 20 people each day, and we worked hard to achieve it. We ended the week with 103 contacts, and it felt good to work so hard, inviting almost every person we see in the street to listen. 

Elder Adamson stayed, and is training Elder Madrigal. They are Missionary Machines! They are working hard having a ton of success. Elder Madrigal got a great companion =) 

We didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving until Saturday, when a family gave us money instead of food for lunch. We went to KFC and each ate a MegaBox. Also, to celebrate contacting, we have plans to go out to eat again today. 

We tried to decorate more or less for Christmas as well. My companion put up a picture of Santa Claus, and I put up a picture of a snowman that the girls made for me and some snowflakes that Grandma Redford sent me last year. I also decorated my Planner with Mary and Jesus, as seen in the picture. 

I also got my package on Tuesday. Looks like it took about a month and a half? Thanks for the goodies and the cards Megan, ShayLynn and Haylee! =) And thank you Mom for reminding me about what brother Hyde said.  It was something I needed to hear. =) I am quite surprised at the wisdom that my little sisters have, especially with the quote that Megan made up about problems being the moss on the stepping stones of life. That was awesome! and Thank you Haylee for your bracelet that you gave me. It is really big! Looks like you have had fun making the rubber band bracelets. I have seen some of the kids here making them too. 

Thanks for all your love, and I send mine too! 

Elder Redford

Monday, November 24, 2014

Elder Hernandez‏ - November 24, 2014

Ay, ShayLynn! That doesn’t sound fun at all, sick for 3 days.... I’m sorry :( 

That is so weird! Luke is already married! Sounds like the wedding and reception turned out amazingly, I am happy for him. I want some homemade doughnuts now :) 

Yes, we were able to have a really great lesson with Lisle on Tuesday. She explained to us what she felt and thought of the experience when she was sober, and she felt the Holy Ghost super strong. For that reason she is very interest to hear what we have to say. It has been hard to find her again though. to me it looks she lives outside of our area, but comes to visit her in-laws here (we taught her in a relative’s house) so we will need to find out where she lives to get her in touch with the other missionaries. (And I was wrong, the drunk man I was talking with is her husband, and the other guy who I  thought was her husband was just a relative of hers :) They are much better people when they are sober. 

We were going to have a Family home evening with Martin in a member's house, the Ibarras, but Marin wasn’t home, so we just taught them instead. They are on older couple that live alone. We were able to have a spiritual lesson on the Atonement, using the blender activity. Afterwards they served us tostadas with beans and salsa, and we tried to help them learn to use a tablet that they bought, to read the scriptures on it :) 

On Thursday was a ward activity to celebrate the Mexican Revolution. It started super late. We helped a sister by carrying cupcakes that she had made to the chapel; she put them in nice heavy glass pans too, and it was a 20 minute walk. Our arms hurt a little bit. Elder Hernandez also sang in the activity, with the guitar he bought. He sang Los Hombres no Deben Llorar, Men shouldn’t cry. He dedicated it to the ward saying that he too would cry when he left. 

On Friday, as district leader, I had companion exchanges with my district. I worked with Elder Adamson, from Utah (who also played tennis in high school, and worked as a janitor!). We had a great day working hard, and even found a hot dog stand with some delicious hot dogs, (and Mountain Dew, something they don’t sell here) in a Market that we passed through :) We felt we deserved a little something after a hard day of work :) 

Yesterday in church was the Primary Program. There were a total of 8 kids that participated, so it was small and they didn’t sing too loud, but it made me happy. I was also really pleased to pass the sacrament to a congregation of about 50, double than normal, because they arrived on time. It is great that they paid attention to the talk on punctuality last week :) 

Well, Elder Hernandez picked a good song to sing, because he has Transfers. He is leaving tomorrow morning, and I will be getting a new companion. I think I might be training a new missionary. It’s a possibility at least. We won’t know specifics until the day of, or, tomorrow :) He was been packing and I have been cleaning the house. I won’t be able to tell you about my new companion until next week :) 

There are a lot of people here in Moderna that really love Elder Hernandez. We are going to say goodbye to everyone today. I hope that now I can gain everyone's confidence like he has. 

Elder Aguilar, an Elder in my district, whom I seem to always be following, as we are always in neighboring areas of each other, and who is a good friend, is also leaving. Just us two gringos, Elder Adamson and I, are staying in the district. It’s OK. Changes are good :) 

Well, I will have to update you all on what happens next week :) 

Love you all so much! 

Elder Hayden Redford

Friday, November 21, 2014

Punctuality :)‏ - November 17, 2014

That is an awesome story that happened with Kathy. You would think that more people would, it being Utah, the Mormon factory, would have talked to him. That was a great chain effect. I am sure that it made a couple of people very happy. Go Darren! 

I AM SO EXCITED TO HEAR ABOUT MANDA'S MISSION CALL!!!! Tell her congrats for me. That is awesome that she and Shelby will be in the same mission. I will have to tell her to look out for Hermana Fillingim in February. And that is awesome that Luke is getting married. Thanks for the pic, it made me happy to see them :) 

And Song Leader in the Primary Program, eh? I am sure you did a fantastic job, Megan!

I still have not received the package.... maybe maybe I will be able to see if it arrived tomorrow. 

It hasn’t rained, but it has gotten cold. Ok, I think it is like about 40-50, but it feels terrible after being so used to the heat :) My companion got sick, the flu. I am just hoping not to catch it being with him all day. I am drinking lots of water and taking multi-vitamins, trying to ward it off :) 

We had some great visits, and found a great young man to teach who has never been baptized (usually everyone here is baptized as a baby in the Catholic), and who is curious to read the Book of Mormon. His name is Dylan. 

Also, we had a member of the Stake Presidency come and set the ward straight. When we begin sacrament meeting, there are only like 9 members there, and everyone gets their late, the majority after the sacrament, which does last very long, as there aren’t many people to take it :). So when he gave his talk, he talked on the importance and sacredness of Sacrament meeting. He taught that not even the Temple transcends the importance of Sacrament meeting, and that it is THE most important meeting in the church. And then he went strait the point and gave his talk on Punctuality. I never thought of that as a principle of the Gospel, but now I have a testimony that it is. He taught that time is a renewable resource, one that we cannot get back, and that arriving late is a great disrespect to everyone present as it interrupts the Spirit of this sacred reunion. Wow. And he also taught the phrase: No Pasa Nada. Nothing Passes or Nothing Happens. In Spanish, it also means It`s OK. He taught that if we do not arrive on time, nothing happens. If we do not participate in the activities nothing happens. Our lives keep moving on just the same. Nothing Happens; the spirit doesn’t happen, the blessings don’t happen. If we want something to happen, if he want the Spirit and we want the blessings, we have to come to church and participate of the sacrament, and arrive on time. Wow. I was blown away by his talk :) It was exactly what the ward needed. I want to be that in-tune with the Spirit as well. :) 

Even though we had that awesome talk, it was sad because we did not have a single investigator come to church... I need to do something about that. I was really happy that the other Elders were able to bring 3. They were also impacted by the talk, and promised that they would arrive on time, as they too arrived late :) 

After church we had to rest a little in the house for Elder Hernandez, and when he was ready we went out to visit a family that we had contacted the night before. Wow. what an experience. I will have to tell you about it. 

So, we entered the house like normal.. We started talking with one young man, and starting teaching the plan of salvation when he told us that a few family members had passed away. Suddenly a drunk guy walked in, and the young man left, and the man started asking us questions..... then another woman entered the house, and also started asking us a bunch of questions. The house was so full of people going in out, and then there was loud music playing outside... it was not a spiritual environment. As the people filed out and we found ourselves alone with the woman and her husband, I realized that she had begun to cry. In all the craziness while I had been trying to answer the questions of one side of the room, my companion had been talking with the woman on the other side, Listen, and invited her to baptism. And she felt the spirit. Just in that moment, we were each offered a hamburger, as the lady who lives there (another who was listening in the background) sells them outside her house (it was super uncomfortable). We tried to explain the Holy Ghost to Listen, and quickly ate the hamburgers as she tried to compose herself. Confused at what had happened, she then told her husband to sit down in front of us, and told us to say the same thing to him that he had told her, because she was confused at the feeling and wanted him to feel it too. So we ended up testifying of the Spirit, of God`s love, and of the Savior. Then the drunk guy came back in and they left, and after saying goodbye to the drunk guy, we left. It was a weird experience. Somehow in the tumultuous noise this woman had felt the spirit as we talked. As she left she invited us to come to her house the next day, or today. we are going to see what happens from there. But whatever happened there, it wasn’t us, it was the spirit. We honestly had no idea how to take control of the situation, but our prayers were answered in the end. I learned that the Spirit so strong that it can be felt in situations such as this. Wow. As well as Listen, the woman, I too felt a little confused at what happened after the lesson :) 

We didn’t have anyone to eat with today, so we went to the Pizza Buffet again ;P 

I also wrote a letter to a family in my last letter asking about my converts, and the letter that they sent me made me feel super happy :) 

Here it is with the help of Google Translate : 

Hi Elder Redford. Hermano Salazar, Victorino and Guera / Edgar, are very excited. This Sunday (yesterday) was the primary presentation in Sacrament Meeting, and  Edgar and the son of the family Salazar participated and advanced to the Young Men, and Bro. Victorino continues to attend faithfully every meeting. Last week we had stake conference and Saturday was the Priesthood meeting and then the meeting of adults, and there he was; Like other hnos. That's how it is Elder, by their fruits you shall know them, they are good fruits of your labor. Congratulations on that, and go ahead with that humility and sincere smile that characterizes you. Congratulations.
Continue enjoying the fruits of the Spirit, and find the elect, those who do not harden their hearts, and joyfully receive the good news of the restored gospel and truth, through his servants. With love.
Flores Serna Family

So, I hope to have a great last week with Elder Hernandez (as I am sure that we are going to be separated this Transfer, we have 4 together!) and I hope to be able to get some investigators to come to church next week :) 

Thank you SO much for our letters and keeping me updated. 

I love you!

Elder Redford

Rain, District Leader Training - November 10, 2014

Sounds like a great talk from Pres. Bell. He sent me an email with the talk attached, I will have to read it. That is a pretty awesome experience! In the email he said it was in Japan :) 

Congrats to Amanda! I hope she enjoyed. That is great that she had so much support from the family and friends! I bet it made the experience that much better. It made it better for me :)  

Thanks Haylee for your persistence in wanting to go to Chuck a Rama. I hope the food was really good! I am glad that you were able to go. I have good memories in Chuck a Rama, especially the Temple trips with Grandpa and Grandma Fillingim. 

Nancy is back? I feel bad, I think I only wrote her once on her mission... oops :)

That is great that you have been able to see Kent and Erika, and also Thomas. I hope he is doing well. Grandma tells me he is smart, but sometimes has a hard time applying himself. I hope he can pull through!

Ok. Let’s see what has happened since Thursday :) 

Well, it rained for two days straight, Thursday and Friday. It made it a little hard to work, no one wanted to talk to us in the rain. I ended up buying an umbrella. Thankfully it is sunny again :) 
Oh, yeah, and my companion Elder Hernandez bought a guitar... he was been playing it whenever we are in the house :) He had a band before leaving on the mission, and he missed playing. For Ward activities he chased all around the ward looking for a guitar that worked, and now he won’t need to :) 

On Saturday morning I had a training meeting for District Leaders with President Bird. I am very thankful for it. I was able to receive a lot of answers to my fast this month, which was to be a better leader. I learned a LOT. 

On Sunday we had a depressing turnout at church, by way of investigators and recent converts. Our investigator David came, a least! We are still waiting for Jorge, with whom I had my first baptismal interview, to come to church again after his baptism. He still hasn’t been confirmed! 

Then yesterday we had some strange experiences.... we basically walked into 2 fights. Well, ok, arguments. And not like fist fights, one was just an argument between a member and non-member over a grandchild that moved away, for example. And then an interesting young man contacted us in the street, and it just felt like one strange experience after another. But don’t worry. My well-being was not put in danger :) 

Then today I deep cleaned the house, including the bathroom (what fun!) but it feels a lot better now. We also just finished a quick service project with a member and the hope is that we are going to go play a little soccer before P day ends :) 

And a tip from President Bird:
 As a reminder to US Missionaries, remember your parents when they send packages for Christmas, that they should use US Priority Mail and the boxes they provide. It is the fastest and cheapest and safest way your packages will be able to arrive. 

Love you, and hope that you are all doing great! 

Love you all! 

Elder Hayden Redford

Thursday, November 6, 2014

One Year Mark! - November 6, 2014

Sorry I couldn’t be there to wish Grandpa a Happy Birthday! I am sure the food and pie were DELICIOUS :) Felcidades Abuelo! 

Looks like Megan and Haylee´s costumes turned out awesome! I loved the pic of the two of them on the porch. Megan looks great as Maleficent and Haylee too as a cute little Hermione. Homemade costumes are the best! 

And ShayLynn and Luis made a great couple as well as Rapunzel and Flynn. It is great that she was able to have fun through the stress of planning and driving and all :) 

Congratulations Whitney! That is great that you were able to go to her baptism. Hope that Mac and Laurie are doing well. It is also exciting to hear that Amanda was able to go to the temple! Wow! That means that her time to leave is getting close :) 

Thanks for the One-Year-Mark wishes! The time feels like it has gone by fast, but at the same time, if I look back, I feel like a lot has happened.... That is good I guess. I hope to be able to keep chugging along, becoming a better and better missionary =) I bought myself a piece of chocolate cake to celebrate :) It is better than burning a shirt in my opinion :)

I don’t feel like I have a lot to tell this week... 
On Friday, Halloween, we had a Zone Conference with President Bird. We talked a lot about faith and the acting part of it. We also learned about Personal Revelation and how we can look for it better. The Zone Leaders taught us a cycle we can use. Fist we need to be worthy to receive revelation. Then, we need to Pray, then read, then think or meditate on what we learned, write down what we learned, and then do the cycle again, asking further knowledge. Pray, Read, Think, Write. And then the most important: act on it. We also learned how we can follow the spirit better while teaching lessons. 
We were not able to have a lot of success that night with Halloween though... 
While were in the street, we even saw a protest against Halloween by a Christian church, a truck driving down the street with a man in the pickup with a megaphone, and a crowd of kids dressed up as angels following, with signs that said If You Love God, Say No To Halloween! It is interesting how big of a controversy it is here. Many really like the holiday and others do not, even among the members. It is interesting :) 

For my district meeting this week, I also trained on how teaching the Atonement can answer almost any doubt that our investigators have, and it is true. We really need to constantly be studying and thinking about the Atonement. There is always something to learn about it. The prophets even admit to not understanding it fully still. But it is real. And it is powerful. Alejandro is still going strong, going to church and everything, but doesn’t want to set a baptismal date... I think that he needs, also, to understand better the Atonement.  

On Tuesday we had companion exchanges with the Zone Leaders, and I worked here with Elder Arizmendi for the day. It was great. We walked a lot though, looking for fake addresses... We got to knock a few doors though. We can do that now. Not like all the houses in a row on the same street, but at random, and if we feel like we should. So that is something new we can try. I was able to learn a few things from him too :) 

And then today to celebrate my 1 year mark, we went to the Temple, and saw the new video. It is very different. Some things I like better and other things not as much. It did help me though to learn a little more about the Atonement though, and for that I am very grateful. The Lord´s sacrifice for us is something we can never set aside. It is amazing that He took our place, to suffer the punishment of our sins, even though he had nothing to do with it. And even after all of that pain, he doesn’t blame anyone for it either. He just wants everyone that will do what he asks, so that that sacrifice isn’t in vain. It testifies of His great love for all of us. 

Ok, maybe I did have things to tell :) 

Thanks for all your love and the news from home! And the pictures! 

 And yes, I think that my clothes are holding up. I just have a few little stains here and there on my shirts, nothing to worry about. I bought a few pairs of garments today at the temple as well. 

Enjoy Chuck O Rama!

Love, Elder Hayden Redford