Thursday, March 27, 2014

Apparently Cabrito is a very commonly eaten meat in Monterrey. I will admit that I had no idea what it was, but the meat was super tender. I late looked up what it meant in the dictionary. Cabrito: kid.
Yes, as in a young goat! 
They sell pretty much the whole thing to you, tripe and all. that is what I am holding in the picture (well a piece of it), they put all the ... unmentionable parts into one piece, and some people are crazy enough to eat it. And yes, I tried that too. Just a few small bites. It was bearable. :)
I also ate a dried grasshopper on Tuesday. Crunchy with a gross aftertaste. not a fan. And my companion has had me eat a raw jalepeƱo, just taking it and biting it. They are really spicy. :P 
                      Attached is a picture of Hermana Guera´s Tienda (shop),  whom we baptized in January. 

Visit from an Apostle! - March 27, 2014


Sorry that it has been so long since I have really written, We switched P day to today, because we went to the temple this morning :)

Like I said in my last letter, our ward that had 2 areas now has been divided into three. I am still in the same area, we just lost a good chunk to the new area and moved to a different house. Even though the new house is bigger and two story, I liked the other one better, which was basically one big living room and kitchen with a small bedroom. We picked up some things from the mission offices to furnish our new house, but the house still seems empty. We have two folding tables and 2 folding chairs to study, and our beds, and pretty much nothing else. We use one of the chairs whenever we want to use our portable electric stove, because there is no counter space :) The doors don’t shut very well, and I am getting accustomed to showering with cold water, but other than that, the house is great :) no, I really shouldn't complain :) I get to learn how to wash all my clothes by hand now! We used to live next to some members who let us borrow their washing machine, but now we wash with washing board behind our house :) 
And the house is creamsicle orange on the outside, and orange, brown, and lime sherbet green on the inside, I think Makaila would like the colors. 

And I lost our cell phone... left it in a taxi. I am glad that we have a new one. It is hard to coordinate with the members without a phone!

It was hard this past week with a smaller area, meaning less people, and we ´lost´ some of our investigator’s (the other area). We are still having success though. We are really focusing on Victorino, and Sofia, who is a member of a less active family who is 15 and has not been baptized yet.
We have been able to help reactivate the family, and are preparing Sofia for baptism. We were able to invite them to a Family Home Evening with a really awesome family (Familia Duque), and it went really well. In a lesson about the Book of Mormon, I shared the example of how my sister Shaylynn is so dedicated to scripture study, which I know has helped her in her life tremendously. I hope that it will help her to read the Book of Mormon and follow her example :) 

And this Victorino! Totally someone prepared and ready for this Gospel! We met him in the street and gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet, and after a long tome finally were able to visit his home. We taught him the entire Plan of Salvation in one lesson, because he said he had read the pamphlet. The next visit we realized that his ability to read isn’t very good, and that he didn’t understand hardly anything we taught. Thankfully, this made him want to learn more, because he realized he didn’t know anything about God, and we have been teaching him slowly and steadily since. He is a perfect example of a man of great faith. He doesn’t understand everything, and hardly understands his readings of the Book of Mormon, but feels something when he does, and knows it’s true. He is 62 with bad knees, and we have to almost force him to accept a ride to church. He is the only Investigator that we have had that has attended church for 5 weeks in a row without fault. We have his baptism scheduled for the 12 of April, and it will be a great birthday present :). It was going to be the 5th, but we changed it because of General Conference. We had a Family Home Evening with him too, with the Bishop of our ward and his family, and were able to give him a blessing of health for his knees. Slowly, the door is opening up for his wife to feel the desire to be taught. She says that she is very happy for him and has seen a change in him, but isn´t yet open to being taught. I hope we can help her out too one day :). 

On Thursday we had conference with the Apostle Elder Quinten L. Cook! Before the meeting started, we all lined up and were able to shake the hand of an Apostle of the Lord, along with the Area Authority Elder Johnson and Elder Tad Callister. I was able to participate in the choir, and we sung All Creations of our God and King' in Spanish. Since the moment he entered the room, the Spirit was super strong. During his talk, I had the thought that if an angel or even the Savior appeared behind him at the pulpit, I wouldn't even be surprised. 

He talked about the hastening of the work, and how it is a great time to be serving a mission, and how important it is to love the people you serve - those who accept you and those who don’t. Also the power of Faith and Testimony He also taught that the Atonement covers all weaknesses, inabilities, and unjustness, and assured us that we have the capacity that we need to to do what we need to. He ended the Conference by invoking a blessing upon us. He blessed us with the knowledge that there is nothing more important for us to be doing than to be serving a mission right now, despite any problems that might arise at home in our families. That we will bless our parents, siblings, spouses, children, and grandchildren by serving our missions than by anything else we could be doing. He promised us the capacity to do what we needed to do here on our missions, and invited us to put all cares aside and all burdens on the Lord, and focus on serving in love for the people, and for the Lord. 

At the end of the meeting, I ended up being in the perfect seat. He came down the aisle, and pointed the door right next to me and asked, ´is this the door I go out of?´ That was my queue. I got to open the door for an Apostle! On their way out, Tad Callister also tapped me in the stomach and said ¨take care of that red hair!¨ 
It was a really great experience. 

Well, yup, I'd better wrap up Thank you so much for your support! I appreciate very much your letters, and am extremely grateful for the contributions of Grandpa and Grandma. 

I send my Love, 

Elder Redford 

P.S. I hope the spelling isn't too bad. The compute is set for Spanish, and I don’t have time to proof read. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Past Two Weeks‏ - March 10, 2014

Ok, I want to start by apologizing for not writing last week. We had a Zone Activity, and sacrificed our time to write to attend. Yep. We went Ice skating in Mexico and since I didn’t have time to change, in shirt and tie too. :) 

And when it rains here, it rains a lot. The street was pretty much small river last night. It added some excitement :)  

btw, I didn´t learn that Mom was the Girls Camp director until today :) Congrats! I know that you will have a lot of fun with that calling :). And your Cupcakes all look delicious :)

Yesterday was marvelous, such as is every Sunday when we attend church. Sundays are key days, because to be baptized one needs to attend church 5 times. And we can really see who is committed to the Gospel. We have one Investigator named Victorino who is a true example. He is fairly old, and has bad knees. We had figured out a ride for him to attend church the first two times, but voiced that he didn’t like have burden the members so that he could attend, and told us he would walk to church. It was a really great feeling to see him standing outside the gates of the chapel when we arrived, after being unfruitful in bringing anyone to church with us. (It was cold that day, and the weather is a really big deal here, I guess). Thankfully half way a member family picked him up and brought him the rest of the way. (I want to say that it is 4 or 5 miles from his house! ) But I was grateful to have seen a token of his faith to attend church. We have also helped various less active members attend church, which is equally gratifying. One sister was having a hard time with selling in her market, and when we saw her in church, elder Bautista and I both more or less received revelation that her market was going to be successful this week because she attended. A less active member that we trying to reactivate also bore his testimony the last Sunday, and it was neat to hear someone tell a story about the missionaries when you are the missionary in the story. 

The Last day of February I had a companion exchange with our Zone Leaders. It was my first time working in a different area. By the end of the day, I was complimented by him for my confidence. I was truly shocked, as I don´t show a lot with my quiet self. It is something that I am working on, and I guess it shows sometimes :) 

This past week we had two more Companion Exchanges with our district Leader. We have had a lot lately. 

Saturday we put on a Missionary Activity for the ward. We made a Tour of the Plan of Salvation, by decorating different rooms to represent the different stages of the Plan. The started out in the chapel, as premortal life, went through life and learned about faith, and the Elder Bautista and I taught about Repentance and baptism, and led them through a blue and an orange door to represent Baptism by water and fire. They followed the Iron Rod to the end, and then were shown the Spirit world, and then they were able to tour the three kingdoms of Glory. 
We had the privilege to guide the last group through the Celestial Kingdom, and it was really beautiful. We explained about this kingdom beforehand, unlike the others, and then let them enter. It was decorated so well that a member said he truly thought it was in the temple at first. We were able to bear our testimonies once everyone was inside, and we could really feel the Spirit. A few members brought friends with them who weren’t members, and I hope that good will come of that. It turned out really well, even though we started out 45 minutes late.... 

Sunday I was also able to teach the Gospel Principles class that we teach to Investigators on my own :). I ended a little early, but it went well. 

Due to all the business, we didn’t have very many lessons this week.... only 18. I cringed at the number when we counted for the week. But we are going to work hard this last week before this transfer is over. Chances are I am going to stay in this area, but change to a different house. I´ll know for sure next week. My hopes are high for this week :) 

All my love, 

Elder Redford

Monday, March 3, 2014

Wonderful Week - February 24, 2014

Well, Elder Bautista and I just finished a wonderful week ;) 

We were able to end the week with a total of 31 lessons taught! We are usually between 20-24, but we were able to work extra hard this week. We actually have been told that the Mission Leaders in Mexico want us to have 40-70 lessons each week! We still haven’t reached that goal, but we are very grateful to our Heavenly Father for the success we are having. We were able to teach 8 lessons in a single day on Friday! It was a great day that day, and it felt good. 

It’s been hard to get up on time lately, since my alarm clock broke. We regrettably have slept in a few mornings... I was also a little sick this week. My throat was a little weird, and I started losing my voice, but I think that it is all good now. 

Sounds like ward conference was pretty good yesterday. Audrey Uhl for Romania. Wow! Ah, yes, I can see President Bell giving said advice. I miss him a little too :) 

I am glad that you were able to visit with Mary this week. I have thought of her too, and kept her and Glen in my prayers. I hope that they can again find the joy in this Gospel. We have been visiting a lot of less active members, as there are a lot in the ward, and sometimes it is just really sad. They have testimonies and agree with all the doctrine, but they won’t come to church or live it. I hope that we can continue to help them, and that they can realize how real and important out covenants and blessings are. 

Megan! It makes me sad to hear that you miss me so much. Mom is right, we have had a lot of fun together, and we will still have fun when I get back. Remember to keep up the good work in School and reading the scriptures. If you ever fell alone, you can always pray to Heavenly Father and he will help you. 

My English is apparently a big asset here :) I have taught the last to English Classes this week, a service project that the Missionaries here are doing, and also helping out a few members in the ward who are trying to learn English.

On Tuesday we had an ugly experience. We visited a man named Felipe, whom we had visited a few times before, who is full of doubts and questions. We decided that for this visit we would read part of the book of Mormon together, but when we arrived, he hadn't read anything, and whatever we tried to teach he would try to prove it false. He ended up blatantly denying the Book of Mormon, saying 'I cannot believe', 'nor can a pray to a being that I do not believe in'. It was really sad, and we have decided that we will not be able to teach him anymore. I hope that in his own time, the Lord will make it possible for him to really understand the truth. 

We have been able to find a wonderful investigator named Victorino, total opposite of Felipe, who was realized that he knows nothing of God, but has great desires to learn. We were able to attend church yesterday :) 

We have also been teaching Socorro, the mother of Guera, whom we baptized the 25th of January :)  

And we were able to teach Jose Luis! After a long many failed attempts to find him and a long time, we were able to teach him about Joseph Smith. After I ended the account of Joseph Smith seeing the Pillar of light, he completely opened up to us. He said that he too, had been searching for happiness all his life, and had not been able to find it. He said he had even been to the United States, and wasn’t able to find it there either. What he really wants is a family. He has had many marriages, but his wives had all left him. We promised him that night that we were the answer to his search, and that we could show him the way to happiness. We plan on seeing him tonight, and I pray that we can help him in the way he needs it. 

I love you all so much!!!!!! 


Elder Redford

P.S. It is slightly random, but could you maybe send me some recipes? :) I have told some people that I liked to bake, and a member has offered me her kitchen to make something :) Maybe a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, no-bakes, brownies, things like that, and anything else that's simple to make :)