Tuesday, January 28, 2014

First Baptism & MTC Pictures

                                                   Baptism - Saturday, January 25, 2014
Left to Right, Top to Bottom:
 Elder Aguilar and Elder Ramirez, Hna and Hno Villasana (who is the ward Mission Leader), me (can you tell? ;) ) Erendira, her daughter Brenda, Edgar (whom I baptised), Elder Bautista (mi compañero), Elder Needham (Elder Bautista´s trainer), Hna Mary Delgado, 2 daughters I believe of the Villasana Family, Elder Tenorio (Comp of Needham), Hno Rafa Delgado, Peluchón their dog (who follows us everywhere), Edgar (not the Edgar I baptised ;) a recient convert), Rosalinda Marthell (an investigator whom we plan to baptize 8 Feb! ), and Hna Ortiz, the wife of the Bishop.
                                             Elder Redford with Companion at Provo MTC
                                                            Provo MTC Mission District

January 27, 2013

Wow. Thank you all so much for your email! I can truly feel your love from here, and it is strong :) 

Holy cow Megan, you have read a lot so far!  

Thank you Haylee for your Love pictures ;) 

This Saturday was great. I had my first baptism! Erendira and her son Edgar were baptised this past Saturday at 5;30 pm. They were really excited, and really ready for it too. I felt really happy to hear Edgar say that he wanted me to baptize him. And it was in Spanish too! I had to baptize him twice, because his foot popped up  ;) 

My Companion Elder Baptista was able to baptise his mother, Erendira. She needed up swallowing some water, and came up chocking. She was ok though, and could still feel the peace and happiness of the Spirit. We forgot to practice with them beforehand, which was our bad.  

And yes, we had an indoor font with warm water :)

We also plan on having another baptismal service for another investigator on the 8th of February!

Attached is a picture that we took at the baptism. I love it so much, because 
almost everyone I have grown to love is in it.  

Left to Right, Top to Bottom:
 Elder Aguilar and Elder Ramirez, Hna and Hno Villasana (who is the ward Mission Leader), me (can you tell? ;) ) Erendira, her daughter Brenda, Edgar (whom I baptised), Elder Bautista (mi compañero), Elder Needham (Elder Bautista´s trainer), Hna Mary Delgado, 2 daughters I believe of the Villasana Family, Elder Tenorio (Comp of Needham), Hno Rafa Delgado, Peluchón their dog (who follows us everywhere), Edgar (not the Edgar I baptised ;) a recent convert), Rosalinda Marthell (an investigator whom we plan to baptize 8 Feb! ), and Hna Ortiz, the wife of the Bishop. 

This Friday was great. It was my first Intercambio.... hmm... I don´t know the word in English :P ... Companion Exchange I believe. Our District Leader was my companion for a day. I stayed in my area with Elder Hood our district Leader, and Elder Baptista worked in Elder Hood´s area with Elder Nay, who is also a new missionary. Since I stayed here, I directed the the Area; in other words, I was in charge. At first I was really nervous, but it turned out to be really great. I learned that I could do a lot more than I thought I could. Elder Hood also taught me some things that really helped. Makes me want to be a more effective Missionary :) Not knowing the language isn´t much of an excuse anymore not to talk/teach/take initiative. I am still learning how to be a good teacher, and I know that I still have a long ways to go.  

This week we didn´t find a single new Investigator... We need to work on that ;) 
But yes, I have gotten better at contacting people in the streets. I can now do so completely on my own! My Spanish / confidence is up to par. Relying on the Spirit really helps. We also use Taxis to get around, and contact every taxi driver. It´s hard because they always say that that don´t have time and are always working, but I can maintain more or less a conversation with the taxi drivers now too.  
Learning and Speaking a Language has a lot to do with the Culture. I understand now why they say that you need to live in a country to really learn the language.  

The little motorcycles that they drive around here to deliver food sound just like our dune buggies/4Wheelers. A little nostalgic :) Already miss the day trips in the Mountains. 

And thank you so much for your letter, Dad. You say that you don´t know what to write, but you really do. I am really trying to lose myself in the work, and show that love to everyone. 

Thank you so much for your prayers. It means a lot to me. 
¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡ I love you all so much !!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Missionaries at the MTC in Provo

¡Hola de México!‏ - January 20, 2014

  • January 20, 2014

  • ¡Hola de México!‏

This week was really pretty great. We were able to have some really great lessons. 

We have been teaching a youth named Isreal (I believe I have mentioned him in a previous letter), whom he found out has a drug problem. So we decided to teach him the Word of Wisdom, to help him overcome his addiction as soon as he can. We had him read a list of things that the Word of Wisdom prohibits, and asked which ones he consumed. His answer was all of them. Elder Baptista knew exactly what to say, and promised him many blessing if he could follow this commandment. It actually brought tears to his eyes. I tried to offer some encouragement too, with the Spanish I could muster. We then offered and gave him a Priesthood blessing to help him in his efforts to over come the addiction. He could fell the Holy Ghost super powerfully, and said that he had only felt like that one other time in his life, when his son had been born. He has been really hard to get a hold of lately, and I pray that he has been able to resist. 

Also, after a meeting with the ward on Saturday, we felt that we should visit an Investigator . We arrived at his house, and he hesitantly accepted us, because, in his words, he "was sinning". He had a cigarette at hand, and a bottle of beer in the doorway. He is very poor, and that that night he had gotten a phone call from his wife, saying that she wouldn´t be coming to live with him anymore because the very poor house that he had just bought was no place to raise their child. Depressed because of his economic troubles and his wife, we turned to other things to console his problems. before we left, we offered a pray with him, which I offered. It was really powerful, and I prayed that his wife's heart would be softened, and that he could be at peace. Learning that he was without food, we left and brought him some of our own so that he could eat something. In the time we were gone, he said that his wife had called, and that all was coming back. We were all super happy! And, I hope, he was able to experience the power of prayer. 
I know that I did! 

Sorry, I really want to write more, but my companion wants to leave. Already late for lunch with the Serna family! 

And the baptism was moved to this Saturday, so I will update you on it next week. 

I Love you all! 

Happy Birthday Dad! I feel bad that I missed it! 

Love Elder Redford

¡Hola Familia y Amigos! - January 13, 2014

January 13, 2014

¡Hola Familia y Amigos! 

Well, everything is going pretty well here ;) I feel that I am getting pretty adjusted to the Missionary Life. I have a hard time still with contacting people in the streets; I am afraid that I won´t be able to understand them when they talk back to me :) At one point my companion told me to contact a lady in the street, so I said ´Hola, Buenas Tardes´, shook her hand ,and them just stood there smiling at her. I guess I forgot that I had to speak :) It wasn´t until she started walking away that I realized that I needed to do something, but my companion jumped in saved me... sorta. He thought it was really hilarious, and needless to say, doesn't have a lot of confidence in my ability to speak to people, and he does most of the talking... which is a little frustrating at times when I want to contribute. And then when he nudges me to tell me that I should say something, I am often unprepared. It's hard sometimes, when I can see what the investigators needs to hear, but I can't express it clearly or quickly enough to really contribute much. I get cut off a lot :) I recognize that it is all part of learning the language :) Every now and then my companion and I have different Ideas, and with the language barrier, It's super hard to argue my point. But no, Elder Baptista has to be super patient to deal with me sometimes, and my lack of language and teaching skills :)  

We have a Sister and her son who are getting baptized this Saturday! 
It is exciting to have a baptism so early in the Mission. In truth, it is the work of my companion and his former companion, but it is exciting to participate in preparing them for baptism. She has a lot of faith, and has withstood some persecution from her family. She doesn't know a lot of doctrine, but has faith for sure. Her 11 year old son remembers everything we teach :) He knows it, but I am not sure if he really feels it as much as his mother. We are going to be visiting them a lot this week to get them prepared.

I have had some interesting experiences. One of which, we tried to have a lesson with a less active member who has, I feel, a slightly unstable sister who lives with him. We got there, and she started talking/yelling about how the world was such a terrible place and full of hypocrites, and how her brother, whom we were teaching, was one of which. She claims that he acts as a Saint when we are there, and is drunk when we leave. I am not inclined to believe her.... Anyway, Elder Baptista read a few scriptures about humility and turning the other cheek, and then we left. The spirit of contention was too strong there. Apparently she was speaking quite a few curse words, which I didn't understand, thanks to my lack of Spanish :) My companion claims that it is good that I didn't understand everything.... 
We also have some investigators who have a lot of doubts, most of which are about small details that have nothing to do with their salvation. Like why all the prophets are americano, why the name Lehi doesn't appear in the bible, details about the law of Moses, etc.  We have also taught some people who have talked with the Jehovah witnesses, one of which has turned out to be a wonderful investigator. She is a cousin and a reference from a family in the ward. I have really been able to participate in teaching her, and it has felt great. I have great hopes for her and her family. 
We have a a companionship of Elders who claims that there house that they are staying in is haunted... idk :) 

And I sort of dreamt in Spanish last night (ok, a little) so this is good ;) 

I am hungry All The Time! It's not for lack of food though, the food is really good here! Lots of tortillas ;) 

I really have been enjoying my mission, even though it's hard sometimes. 
I really don't think there is anywhere else I would rather be.  

I love you all, and pray for you! 
Thank you for your e-mails! I can truly fell your love from here. 

Elder Redford

Sunday, January 5, 2014

¡Hola! from Elder Redford‏ - January 2, 2014

January 2, 2014

¡Hola! from Elder Redford‏

Finally a P Day that I can write! 

This morning I was able to go through the Monterrey Temple, which meant that our P Day this week got changed from Mon to Thurs. I barely had enough clothes ;) At the temple, many of the Elders were able to see the new film, as it had been translated into Spanish now. I was grateful for the headset, because I am not that good yet ;) It was wonderful, and I realized how much I missed the weekly temple trips with Grandma and Grandpa Fillingim. 

These past few weeks have actually been kind of hard. I really don´t have the language down yet, and sometimes some doubts creep in, but then I remember why I am here and what my purpose is. And I am praying like never before. 

The meals here are a little different, they are all really late. Lunch at 2 o clock , and dinner at 9. since we have to be back in our house by 9, we actually eat lunch with the members everyday at 2. I got a little sick to my stomach the first week in Mexico, but it has since passed :) 

It is really cold here! I know that it is not as cold as it is at home in Provo, but it is surprisingly cold. I did not expect that :) I am glad that i brought a jacket, Christmas and a few days afterwards it also poured down rain.  I didn't think I would need an umbrella, either, but it looks like i will need to pick one up :) 

Things are going fairly well. There are a couple of our investigators who are preparing for baptism! They need to attend church 5 times before they can be baptized (I personally feel like that is a lot). We have had to push back quite a few dates because they miss a week or 2 of church. 

One of our Investigators has a shop set up at her house, and is really busy sometimes. She has to leave multiple times during our lessons when people come up to the window of her shop. We are also trying to prepare her eleven year old son to be baptised on the same day. The problem is that her husband doesn't know yet.... 

You know those corn on the cobs with the read chile all over it in Nacho Libre? they are called Elotes (eh low tays), and are really good. Corn with butter, cream, chile powder and crumbly white cheese. This Investigator, Guerea, makes them and sells them, and on occasion has given us one when we stop by. 

We also have found a young man named Isreal. He is 17 or 18, and I have never seen anyone so young pay so much attention to anything before. he says he wants to change, and even said that he wanted to be a missionary like us, even though he expressed that he had no religious background. Sadly, he has a son, so he can´t serve a mission. I have been really excited to teach him. We have also had a lot of success with an Investigator named Karla. It felt really good to be able to teach the Plan of Salvation in Spanish yesterday. I felt like I actually helped out my companion :) As of now we have 4 Investigators with a Baptismal date! 

We walk a lot. 

Well, I should probably wrap up now. I am alive and well :) 

Love you all! Thank you all for your Emails and Letters! They are wonderful to read. 

Elder Redford