Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hello Again! - May 12, 2014

It was great to be able to talk to you all yesterday! It is great to hear that everything is going well at home, that everyone is happy and well. I hope you said hi to everyone for me! 

And thank you Haylee for the songs! and I am glad to hear that you and Megan are excited for Summer! 

We have been able to keep teaching Beatriz (Bety) and her son Valente, and now her Husband is warming up to us too. The first time that he really participated in a lesson he was asking us a lot of questions about the book of Mormon }, so we felt really on edge at first, but by the end we were able to gain his respect. But like I said yesterday, I was really sad that they didn't come to church yesterday. It turns out, (because we went to see Victorino and then Bety after the phone calls) that her oldest son, who is married with kids, showed up without notice at their house for lunch. They said that they got up, showered, and were getting dressed and ready to leave, when they showed up. They were so close to coming, including her husband and younger son too! They said that they thought about coming after they left, but were afraid that they wouldn't be let in if they arrived late. Oh well. She says she will come this week and talk to her son, and tell him to call her next time so they could plan better. They really are an awesome family. They treated us to a slice of cake when we went last night too. That family is sooo good! 

We have not been able to find Karla since Elder Bautista left... every time we stop by her house, her daughters answer and say that she is sleeping. What are the chances that the three times we have stopped by she was asleep? not sure what’s up. The youth (Danis) that accompanied us that day laughed at me when I blurted out ''¡¿todavia esta dormida!?'' (She is STILL sleeping?) 

On Wednesday we had a little adventure. We live in Dos Rios, which means Two Rivers, which means that there is a river in our area. My companion didn't want to walk all the way across the bridge, which includes a little backtracking, so he decided that we would cross the river. The river is quite sad, there is hardly any water in it, but we found that it was deeper than we thought. We kept walking and walking down the river looking for a place to cross, but never found it, and eventually found ourselves in a place where we couldn’t go back. So we found a waterline that went across the river, and crossed that. It was quite the excursion. We ended up taking even longer and getting super dirty and sweaty, wasn’t worth it :) 

As two Gringos, or Americans, we get a lot of people who randomly come up to us and want to practice their English. And some of them know quite a lot. They could care less about us sharing a message, but give us their names and numbers just so that we can stop by and practice English with them. The problem with having such a small area is that all of these people who want us to visit them don’t live in our area. It is soo tiny! 

Yep, and then on Saturday when we visited Lupita, an old grandma, at the end of the lesson, or more like chat, since she is so talkative, she took my hand in hers when I went to shake her hand, and then asked Elder Harper when we could get married. Yep, a marriage proposal on my mission :) No, I know that she is just joking, but I guess my ''cute smiling face'' as ShayLynn calls it has that effect sometimes ;)

Saturday night the ward had an activity for Mother’s day. It was actually kind of sad.. just tables set up in the chapel with boring music playing, and hardly anyone talking... but they did ask each group (Elders, Young Woman’s, Young Men’s, etc.) to prepare a presentation of sorts. We got there, were handed the music for ''Army of Helaman'' in Spanish and a Poem of sorts from the sister missionaries, and told that we would be singing and reading this Poem. And we were the first ones to present. The Poem was really good it was a conversation between an angel and God as he was forming Woman, talking about how many things he was putting into her. By the end, God, (which is the part I was reading) said to the angel (my companion) that Woman only has one defect..... which is that she forgets how much she is worth. 
It was a great poem, but we didn’t deliver it very well... the microphone kept cutting off, and there was confusion where we should switch off with the parts, and I read a line twice. But I hope that the message got through :) 

And then Sunday I got to talk to all of you! It was super fun, thanks so much for making it great. It felt great to hear you say that you felt blessed for having me out here in a mission. I know that God is looking over us, and I am always praying for all of you too. 

I love you all! 

Hola - May 5, 2014

I was really worried about Transfers (I think I might have called them Exchanges on accident last time, I couldn't remember the word in English!) But it turned out to be super awesome. My new companion speaks English. And he's from Lehi, Utah! We almost could have known each other before the mission! Anyway, we have a lot in common and a lot to talk about. It is so weird that after four and a half months of pure Spanish, I am now chatting with my companion in English all day long! He has about 10 months in the mission, and his name is Elder Harper. He is also into four wheeling and hunting and all that. I guess I have a few stories about that too :) He's been a little sick though, which was sad, since it was his birthday on Saturday! 

And even though he was sick, he still got to enjoy his Birthday. We ate some super awesome Tortas with the members, and afterwards they took is to an Ice Cream Shop, and we got banana splits! We don’t get to eat a lot of ice cream here, so it was really good. We got some sodas from an investigator, candy bar from another, then we also stopped by a member's house to use the bathroom, and we were able to try her specialty made Papas asadas (baked potatoes :). We also ran to the store quick before we had to be home for the night and bought a cake. Well, we thought it was a cake. It turned out to be flan, which is like a Jello that tastes like pudding... sorta. It wasn't very good, but it substituted for a birthday cake! 

We really are working hard; being in the area with a new companion has really helped me to take even more initiative and make more decisions. I feel like a real missionary now, now that I am finished being trained and my trainer has left. It was actually really sad to say goodbye to him. 

We didn't have as many lessons as we could have this week because we were visiting a lot of the members so they could get to know us and so we could work with them. We have continued success with Beatriz. Her husband isn't so interested, but she and her son Valente are intently taking the missionary lessons. They are such good investigators. We invited a member, Hna Duque to come with us in one of the lessons, and I feel it turned out really well.

 After one of our lessons with her, Beatriz gave us a protein bar of sorts from Herbal Life. While thinking of a member that could help befriend her, I looked at the bar, and remembered that Hna Duque sold Herbal Life Products. And it clicked. Revelation through a protein bar! 

We haven’t been able to see Karla and Fatima all week, and she didn't come to church either... we'll keep trying. 

And Holy Cow! another phone call home? 6 Months in the mission tomorrow? The time has gone by so fast. Just two more phone calls left on my mission.

I am super excited to talk to you all. I'll be trying to call, well, Skype in at about 6, but I am not super sure how punctual the call will be. Thanks for the reminder about the account. It will definitely go much smoother this time. I am excited to talk to you and see you!

And Megan! I started crying when you talked on the phone. Sorry about that. I don’t know if you understood what I was saying. But I love you too! and Holy Cow, school is almost out! that is crazy! Keep up the good work, Tiger. 

I love you too, Haylee! It felt so good to hear you say 'Love you' on the phone. Sorry that I couldn't talk very much. But I will talk to you more on Sunday! You are a super cute little sister!

I send my love, 

Elder Redford

Hello - April 28, 2014

Thanks for the photos! It sounds like you all had a fun time yesterday
with the family. I would have loved to have been there!
It is fun to hear about the cake! And knowing Kathy, I bet that she
would not hold on to her vow of never making another cake again for very
long. Didn’t know we had electric knives :)

Grandpa and Grandma look super happy in that picture. I am glad that
they are doing well. And I wish Grandma a Happy Birthday!

This week started out super hard. They have two weeks of vacation for
Easter (well, the Holy Week as they celebrate it here) and it was
super hard to find people, and especially new people to teach. It
dragged by super slowly for the first part of the week, but decided to
go to work during the last part of the week and started contacting
everyone we saw in the streets. Eventually, after an entire week of
what felt like nothing, we see the blessings. We were about to contact
a man on his porch, when we went inside and called his wife, who right
away invites us in. We chatted for a little while, meanwhile scanning
the house and walls for an image of the Virgin, Saints, a Bible,
something, but there wasn’t anything. It was perfect. It was like they
were already members, just that they lacked the Gospel. We shared the
entire first lesson, (a little rusty since we hadn’t been able to in a
while :), invited them to pray, and to be baptized on June 7, and the
family accepted! We could all feel the spirit super strongly, and by
the end of the Lesson, Beatriz, the wife, just simply commented: Que
Bonita. How Beautiful. It is a marvelous opportunity to teach an
entire family! We ended the lesson with a prayer, which Beatriz
offered. It was super short and super powerful she began to cry when
she thanked the Lord for sending his Messengers to teach the
truth. It was an answer to many prayers after a hard week.
Sadly, they did not attend church yesterday, but we are super excited
to keep teaching them. Elder Bautista is a little sad, because he is
going to leave the area! It is time for Exchanges! Sunday night we get
a phone call from our District Leader, to tell us if we are going to
stay in the area or leave. I am staying. Elder Bautista is leaving.
Tomorrow, when everyone gets together in the offices, we will find out
our new companions.

That means that I am losing my trainer, and will be the one who knows
the area! And everyone keeps telling me that I am going to train! I
feel like I still lack a lot of experience and skills, but we will see
what will happen. It will be an opportunity for me to rely on the
Lord, and to learn a lot. I truly am sad to see Elder Bautista leave;
he is the only companion I have had on the mission (other than the
MTC). I hope that we can have a fresh new start with this Exchange. I
have a lot of mixed feelings right now, but we will see what will
happens tomorrow!

I send my Love!,
Elder Redford

P.S. Thanks Dad for your Letter!