Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sprained Ankle and a Baptism!‏ - June 23, 2014

I am so glad that Dad is ok! I too got concerned when I first read that... it’s just like President and Sister Bird say: drink lots of water! 

I am glad that you were able to enjoy the reunion, sounds like everyone was able to enjoy themselves. And I have a sneaking suspicion that you sent me that photo just because it has the banner you made of my peepuls in the back :) I was excited to see that ;) 

This week has been slow, yes, with my companion’s foot. We had been working very slowly this week, and fighting Sister Bird to let us take an X-ray... we did, and it turned out that there is nothing wrong with the bone, which is good (but all the calls and efforts and money spent to get the X ray made me feel bad, as it was unnecessary). It is just a really bad sprain, and the entire foot was swollen and bruised, and my companion is really worried that it will have future consequences when he gets old, so he was super concerned about it. The Doctor gave him an injection and pills for the swelling, and told us to rest for the next 4 days, and gave us another injection to take home with us (apparently that is normal here, to go buy shots at the pharmacy and give them to yourself, I guess... We are going to see a member who is a Doctor about that today). I called Sister Bird and she told us that the days to rest weren’t necessary, that we just needed to take it slow, and that President would call him to encourage him to keep working and remind him of the blessings. That night we taught a progressing family about Enduring to the End, during the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson, and Elder Hernandez gave his testimony that he would Endure better despite his foot (as we really hadn’t been working much). And bore testimony of the importance of the work and that he would keep going. It was more for himself than for the investigators. 

I got back to the house feeling proud of him for wanting to push through it and trust in Sis and Pres Bird. Then we got the phone call from President, that surprised me. President himself told us that we were not to go out to work, that Doc Ortiz was set apart as the Mission Doctor, that we needed to follow his directions, and he said that he too hurt his ankle and didn’t take care of it, so it his hurting him now, and told my companion to keep form working for a few days, even though Elder Hernandez told him that he wanted to keep working. This Phone call helped me to see the love and concern that President really has for us. 

Not going out to work has made this week really slow though... I have passed hours and hours writing in my journal, catching up, since I did not write once last Transfer when I was with Elder that is a blessing, in a way, to have time for that.

One of the best things in the world : wet baptismal clothes!

The thing that broke up the monotony was the baptism of Betty and Valente! We took an hour long bus ride to get back to by first area. I felt like I was home again. Elder Harper and I got dressed in our white pants and ties, we took photos (which I won’t be able to send today... sorry :( ), and then proceeded with the baptismal service. I baptized first the Hermana Beatriz, who had fear of water, so I tried extra hard to explain what was going to happen to help her out. I find that a sign of trust that she wanted me to baptize her even when she had this fear. Right after I baptized her, I could feel the spirit super strong; I was so happy. Next her son Valente came down the steps and I baptized him too. Then Elder Harper baptized Valente, her husband. It was so great. Elder Harper and I hugged each other afterwards and yelled ''we did it!', the two of us in our wet baptismal clothes. Afterwards while they were changing, he told how much it meant to them that I was there. They gave me a few photos to remember them by, and Elder Harper and I gave them a Triple, that we had both signed and wrote our testimonies in. It was really great to see them one last time. I now feel like my duty to my old area is fulfilled, and that I can now sleep easy and focus on the work in my new area, when we can actually get out and work :) 

On Sunday I got to give a talk, and just basically gave the same one I gave last time in the other ward, about how the Gospel makes us happy. The microphone didn't work too well though, and I was told it was hard to hear me... oops. Yesterday, after writing for three hours straight, I finally got caught up in my journal! I have repented from procrastinating my journal writing. 

I am learning a lot being the Senior companion, and I am super excited for when we can go out and work again. I just get these desires to go out and teach and talk to people, rather than being cooped up in the house all day. I look forward to working again, and feeling that spirit again.  

Glad that things are good at home and that girls camp is coming along. 

Thanks so much for the email and pictures!

Love Elder Hayden Redford

Moderna - June 19, 2014

Sorry that I have not been able to write in a while; our P day got changed from Monday to Thursday because we went to the Temple today! It was great; it felt like it had been so long since I had went! I can see that my Spanish is improving, because I understood the session much better too :) 

So, yeah, I have left Barrio Tamaulipas, Dos Rios, and am now serving here in Moderna. That Tuesday morning before leaving, packing the last of my things, was super hard, because I had grown so close to the people there. It was like I was leaving home again!

For our P day we got together wand watched Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and said goodbye to all the missionaries leaving. After that, Danis came with us for the night and I went around saying goodbye to everyone. They were beautiful experiences. First I went and said goodbye to Victorino, whom I had been with all the way from a contact to Priest. I wanted to let him know that I respected him so much for his faith and devotion to walk to church even with bad knees, and read the book of Mormon even when he didn’t understand it, but I promised him that he was being blessed for his efforts, and I wanted him to always remember that he could trust in the Lord Jesus Christ in every situation and moment, and that he should never feel incapable or unworthy to be a priesthood bearer. Afterwards, E Harper and Danis said that they were about to cry :) I also said good bye to a few other families, but saying goodbye to Bety and Valente was the worst/Best. It was just Bety and her son who were there, and they were really sad to hear the news, but understood that that was what a mission was, and she said that she was excited for me to meet other people and meet them too. I shared  1 Nephi 21:16, and talked about how the Atonement is eternal and how we can always rely on the Lord, and thanked them for all that they did for us. I said a kneeling prayer with everyone at the end, and Bety was crying. As we left, I went to shake Bety's hand, and she just held if for a second, and we looked at each other, and just without words thanked each other, wished each other the best, and said goodbye. It was almost like saying goodbye to Mom again as I left on my mission! I then went and said goodbye to the Serna Family (Danis's family), and we got a phone call from a member saying that Valente was waiting for us at our house, so that he could say goodbye, because he wasn’t there. It took us forever to get back, but he waited the whole time just to say goodbye to me. It wasn’t as tearful as with Bety, but just the very act of coming by to say goodbye was enough to let me know his gratitude. I will miss them so much! Then a found a note that Danis had left me, saying that no matter what, I would always be his true Trainer, and had really helped him get rid of his fear of going on a mission. I will really miss him too.

This has been a really hard change for me... my other ward was super awesome with a lot of members. Here in Moderna, it looks more like a Branch than a ward... I think that there were 45 people in Sacrament meeting on Sunday, including investigators :) This ward needs a lot of help... and I don’t really know where to start.... but there is a lot of work to do. It just  feels different here, but I am trying to see the good in it so that I can fall in love with this area too. :)

We have a pretty nice house though, with a washer and dryer and nice tile floor and almost-carpet in the bedroom (think old hotel carpet). Everyone calls it the Celestial Kingdom. I guess it is a pretty nice, small little house :) I hardly slept the first night though, my bed is a wooden box with a super thin mattress on top; I have since got used to it though ;). And I got sick my third day here too.... but I think that it ws thanks to some bad food, but I am good now :)

My Companion is Elder Hernandez, from the DF (Districto Federal), which I believe is Mexico City. Back to speaking Spanish again! he recently twisted his ankle really bad on Saturday playing soccer in the morning.... his foot is completely swollen and he has purple splotches all over.... we fought Sister Bird a few times this week to get an X ray to see what is up. We went to the hospital this week to get it checked, but we are still waiting to hear the results. We have an appointment tomorrow with the Mission Doctor, so we will see what’s up. Our District leader actually told us not to work so that his foot could heal... so being obedient, we didn’t work much for 2 days....just in the night a little while....but when I got a phone call from Sister Bird (the president´s wife) to see how Elder Hernandez was doing, I learned that that was not ok.... My companion was really bummed that we were still expected to work despite his condition, so I need to try to figure out a way to cheer him up, because it really does hurt him, and I don’t want to be so set on working that I cause him too much pain... we really have been able to grow really close through all this, and I was able to give a really good priesthood blessing to him that really helped the both of us out. When we did go out to work yesterday though, we had a lot of success. And today we had our P-day and the Temple, so that was really good :) 

AND BETY AND VALENTE ARE BEING BAPTISED THIS SATURDAY AT 2:00, AND THEY HAVE ASKED ME TO COME BACK AND BAPTIZE THEM!!! The rule is that there is a baptism in our old are within 6 weeks of leaving, you can go back for it. So not only am I going to attend, but do the baptizing. I am privileged. 

I am sorry that I wasn’t able to write on Monday, because now I am super late in saying: 


Thanks Dad for everything! Thanks for being a great example to me, and thanks for using your priesthood to bless our family. I teared up reading about the experience that ShayLynn wrote me about when you gave her a fathers blessing, and she also commented on how strong your testimony is. Even though it is hard to show it at times ;), I know that you truly do have a testimony of the Savior and I thank you for everything that you have taught me as a Father. 
Just that last line that Mom wrote, saying that you love me and miss me was enough for me to feel it. I am sorry that I wasn’t there to tell you in person, but I love you too :) 

Thanks for all your love, and the pictures :) 

Love, Elder Redford

P.S. I am disappointed that Kathy did not make a cake for grandpa.... I can see that it was store bought :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Transfers Again - June 9, 2014

That is crazy that Ethan is already back! I am glad that Preston is working on going on a mission too. 
I hope that Megan has fun at Camp Big Springs! I had a lot of fun when I went.
And that is terrible news about McKenna's Mom! I hope that things work out there.... a lot of prayers will be needed.

In comparison with last week, this week felt so great! We had hardly any success the week before, but this one was great. 

We even started off good, and in the three hours we have to work on P-days, we got in two lessons and a new investigator! On P-day, we went with Danis to a little strip mall to explore for an hour near our area. The most exciting thing there is a movie theater, which we can’t go in :) The rest are like appliance stores and really expensive clothes and a bank, so we got bored pretty quickie, but stopped by an ice cream shop for some ice cream, so that was good at least :) Danis really wanted to go with is to a mall, called Sun Mall, but we didn’t get permission, but our attempt was pathetic in comparison :) 

On Tuesday we went on Splits with the Zone Leaders. I stayed here in Dos Rios and Elder Quevedo was my companion for a day. He is super intense! We were able to have a super successful day, and it showed me that there is indeed a lot of potential in this area. We had 24 contacts in the street that day, which is a lot, and 5 lessons. Pretty good after a depressing week :) And in our meeting with the ward mission leader, we found out that Hermana Gurra´s name is Erendida, not Erendira, which is the name she was baptized with and that is on her record! I think it’s all good though, we just have to change in on the records. 

When we got back together with my companion, the zone leaders gave us some tips, one of which was that I needed to make sure that Elder Harper is checking is blood pressure often, was he has problems with that, apparently. This caused a lot of lost time. We went to get it checked, and they told him it was completely normal, 120/80, but Elder Harper didn’t believe him, so we went and got it checked somewhere else, and they told him it was super high, and suggested a prescription he should take. The entire morning was gobbled up with checking his pressure and call Hna Bird to see what he should do about it. 

That day we also visited a less active family (familia Alanis), and they ended up being super worried about my freckles. Apparently they are undesirable here. They gave me some red oil stuff from a seed that they said would help get rid of them... Idk, I kind of like them myself :)

That night we also looked up some ancient investigators, and found a couple who seem pretty interested. She, Antonia, ended up even more so when we were able to help with her son´s English homework :) She ended up coming to the English classes that the ward teaches and to church on Sunday. success! 

That next day we got up early to go to the offices so that Elder Harper could get some blood tests, but I totally ruined it or him, as I suggested that he should eat something, and then we got there and told him he needed a 10 hour fast! oops... so we came back the next day when we knew and they did the blood tests just fine. Elder Harper was anxiously waiting for the results all week. Apparently, everything is fine, so it is a mystery why his blood pressure is so high....  it was really funny though,  because when we mentioned this to Bety, she was very concerned, and brought out her very own machine to check blood pressure so that Elder Harped could use it, and was trying to give him tips. They really do love us, and are super awesome! She even randomly called us the next just to check up on him and how he was doing! 

Friday was cool, because we had a less active youth accompany us for a good part of the day, named Etson. He and his family hadn’t been to church for a while, but he was super willing to come with us. I felt bad, because we had three appointments fall through (urg!). Every Monday and Saturday they put up a huge market here, down almost an entire street, and there is a member who sells cloths in one of the booths (Hermana Matamorros). While we were over there, we went to go say hi, and we ended up giving away a tie to Etson for free, and told us that we could each get one for 10 pesos each, which is like less than a buck. So, a least he got a tie out of the deal, I thought. Then we were finally able to find someone to teach, Javier. We taught him in his little sandwich shop. He has so many ideas and questions, that it went on for over an hour, and we only taught the first part of the first lesson! Etson was a sport though and really helped us in the lesson, and them even offered to come and help Javier out with his shop sometime. It turned out to be awesome, and Etson came to church on Sunday, too! 

Sunday was awesome, with five of our investigators in Sacrament meeting! Bety and Valente even came and picked us up to give us a ride, and passed by to pick up Lupita for us. We had to go in and help her take her pills before she would go though, as in take them out of the packages and organize them. It was super weird, and it was a ton of pills that she takes! But she finally got to church for the first time! And then a little late, Antonia showed up, who walked all the way there! So were were super happy to have so many investigators show up. 

And, on Sunday, I got to speak in church! I talked about why it is that the gospel makes us happy. I read the scripture in DC128:23 that mom shared with me about the earth rejoicing at the restoration, and then taught 4 points: 1. That the gospel helps us to be clean from sin and feel pure, and used Alma the younger as an example. (There was a word in that scripture that I couldn’t pronounce though!  should have practiced it better :) 2. That because of the restored gospel, we know the Truth, and shared John 8;23. 3. That the gospel gives us hope, and used Moroni as an example, who was the very last nephite, and who wrote the best chapter we have about having Hope in Christ, and also about Job, what had everything taken away from him but remained true to God, because of the Hope he had in Christ and the resurrection (end of Job 19). I taught that even though this life is hard, we always have hope in a better future through Jesus Christ. and 4. I talked about how he can share this gospel with others, and shared DC 18:10-15. 
I even got to sing in the choir that day too, without notice. So I got to participate a lot this Sunday :)

After church I went to go visit Guerra , and I tried Menudo for the first time! Cow Stomach! I was able to eat it without getting sick at all, but I didn’t like it. It was way to chewy and fatty:) She also gave us some Chile Rellenos, which were soo good! Then we went with the members who were supposed to feed us, and ate even more, hamburgers and spagetti! We stayed and chatted with them way too long, and then went to an appointment. We hadn’t even taught them yet, but they were super friendly and right off the bat offered us some Enchiladas! They were really good but, but we were super full, but shoved them down somehow, not wanting to offend their hospitality. We then shore with them the first lesson, but we both forgot to bring a Book of Mormon so we will have to get them one next time. 

So yeah, I returned back to our house felling really good about the new family that we found and about our successful week, ready to keep working hard with Elder Harper, when we got the phone fall for Transfers. Completely contrary to what I thought would happen, I AM LEAVING! am leaving my first area, and getting a new companion and everything. I can’t decide if I feel sad or calm. It’s like I am leaving home all over again! It will be sad leaving everyone I have gotten to know so well, and start somewhere else. I am sad that I will be leaving Victorino and won’t be here to help Bety and Valente get baptized! I hope that Elder Harper and his new companion can keep teaching them and that I can at least come back for their baptism.... It will be super sad saying goodbye to them. They love us so much! Elder Harper is worried too because I know they are super well and he doesn’t, and I never really helped him learn it very well..... I know he can do it though :) 
And I just need to have faith that I need to be where I am going to go. 

I will miss Victorino , Bety, Valente, and Danis sooo much! I have really grown to love them... But we will see who else I can help out in my new area :) 

I will know all about it tomorrow, so I will update you next Monday on where I am and who I’m with!

I love you all so much! I am glad that you are all doing well back at home, getting ready for girls camp and Texas and enjoying Camp Big Springs!


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Painting Houses - June 2, 2014

Ha Ha I am glad that the trip to Goblin Valley turned out ok even
after the car trouble :) I am excited to go with you guys when I get
back. :) And way to go with bearing your testimonies Megan and Haylee!
I didn’t have time to bear mine on Sunday, but I am glad that you guys
were able to :)

This week was really busy, and we didn’t have as much time as we
normally do during the week for proselyting.

Monday (P day) my companion got a virus on his memory cards trying to
send pictures. He is right now trying to fix it. I also sort of had
something happen... it just looks like the pictures that I send home to
you last week can’t be opened on my camera anymore. I am going to be
more careful with where I plug in my memory card :) Then Elder Harper
went and bought new pants, and realized that one of them had a broken
zipper. He was kinda frustrated that day. Then to add to it, we
couldn’t find anyone to teach that night either! (P day ends at 6:00).

Tuesday we had an open house of the chapel, where we showed people
the church building and talked about the sacrament and baptism. We had
a little bit of success there, but then only one lesson that day.

Then on Wednesday We went and painted Hermana Guera`s house as a zone
activity. She is my first convert (Baptized 25 January, 2013). It was
supposed to last until 2:00, but we were there until 6:00, and still
didn’t finish! Everyone left at 4:00, but we stayed to clean up, and
then it started raining, so we helped her put everything back in her
house, as she took it out to paint. The Hermana actually ended up
making food for all 18 missionaries that were there helping her paint!
I painted about half a room and most of the ceiling using a roller and
a brush in that time, but by the end I was pretty tired. And Danis
came with us to help us out, on his birthday, but ended up sitting
down the whole time because he felt sick! poor guy... we took him home
afterwards and gave him a blessing.

As he turned 16, he was also going to be ordained a priest that night.
The bishop was going to come over and do it in his home. He really
wanted us to be there, but we chose to try and get some lessons in
instead. the sad part is that we had zero success, so we totally could
have gone and supported Danis. He really wanted us to be there, and we
totally could have been. :(

Thursday was better. be had weekly planning all morning, but were able
to have two lessons! One of them was with Victorino. He is doing so good. Hasn’t missed a Sunday yet, is now a Priest, and is doing a little bit of missionary work! This week he left to go to a funeral back from where his is
from, because his cousin passed away. He said that his brothers and
sisters gave him a ride there, and on that ride, he told them about his
baptism and going to church. He said that they couldn’t believe that he
was going to church, and asked him some questions, and he said he
answered as best as he could according to what we had taught him. It
was a spiritual experience to me to see how far he has come. I knew
him as just another guy on the street who hardly knew about God, and
now he is a Priest in the True Church of Christ and is sharing the
gospel! It made me so proud of him. I have really come to love him :)
That day we also found a new investigator, Javier, whom we taught in
his sandwich shop. He was a ton of questions, and was glad that he met
us so that we could answer them. We ended that day helping out
teaching English in a weekly ward activity they are doing.

Then on Friday we had a Zone Conference with President Bird from 8:30
to 4:00, which was good, and then we went and was Bety and Valente

Saturday we tried to paint another member’s house :), but they
weren’t ready, so we went and painted some more with Hermana Guera until
lunch. It’s still not quite finished yet, but close. I am always paining
the ceilings ;)After lunch we took a deacon, Benjamin, with us
to see Lupita. She answered the door all flustered, and ended up
offending Benjamin within the first 20 seconds, because she thought he
was making fun of her, and started lecturing about respecting your
elders. We tried to calm her down, but told us she didn’t want us to
visit her. Thanks to the persistence of Elder Harper though, she let
us in. We were able to repair the damage between her and Benjamin, and
maybe a little too well, because he kept talking during the lesson
with her and changing the subject. So we would have to answer
questions that that brought up, and continue on the lesson. It
took forever to get through it, and we were there for an hour and a
half! At least Benjamin felt good and enjoyed going with the
missionaries for his first time.

That night we went and visited an American guy from Texas who speaks
English that we found out lives in our area. His name his Charles, and
he is... interesting. He calls himself an old testament guy, and has
studied a ton of religion. He is always talking about spirits, and
being a spiritual warrior, and light and darkness and stuff like that.
He knows a lot of stuff about the church, but it is a little twisted.
we will see if we can help him out.

On Sunday not only did Bety and Valente go to church, but they gave us
a ride! and not only gave us a ride, but tried to help us out by going
to pick up Lupita to give her a ride! They are so awesome. Lupita
didn’t answer her door there, but there are so will to help abd go to
church, they are almost like members. and this Sunday they were able
to stay for all three hours, which was awesome! The last hour was a
little boring for Valente though, in Elders Quorum. About building
unity in the Quorum and doing Home teaching :) They had good things to
say about it when we visited them after church. SO, even though we
haven’t had quantity this week, we have had quality. I love Bety and
Valente so much!

But yep. That was my week. super busy, but with only 8 lessons the
entire week. We hope things will be more calm this week, and that we
can have more success.

And I finally got my birthday package, 2 months after you sent it!
Thanks for the cards, they were super fun to read! Some of your 19
Points were quite interesting :)

I love you all so much!

talk more next week

Elder Redford

Goblin Valley?! - May 24, 2014

I have to say, it is discouraging to type this letter to you right now, knowing that you are in Goblin Valley right now probably having a blast ;) . Did you take the Dune Buggys and 4 wheelers? I had always wanted to go there with you guys! I hope that we can when I get back. 

Glad to hear that all the girls are excited for school to get out. It will be fun for them to have a break :) I know that ShayLynn will enjoy summer even more now that she can drive :) 
Since you will probably get this after you get back, I hope that you were able to have a super fun time together as a family :) you were all in need of a good break :) 

Last Monday for P day we went Ice Skating again as a Zone :) It was fun, it was just that it cost 100 pesos, for 1 hour, which is a lot for a missionary :) I had to hold myself back buying groceries today :) We ended up getting back kinda late to our areas though, but it was fun. I didn’t fall! Elder Harper didn’t skate though, just me and those with the Zone. 

On Tuesday I had a companion exchange with our district leader, Elder Ereckson. It was just as hard as all the other days in finding people to teach. We did find two new investigators though, One is Martin, who has an Arabic symbol of some sort tattooed on his forehead and who hates the corruption of the government, and his niece Anahí. The lesson went awesomely and at the end said a kneeling prayer and then while still on our knees asked them how they felt, and they gave various responses that we confirmed were the Holy Ghost. they seemed really excited to come to church, but didn’t show up this week...we´ll see if we can find them to teach them again, 

That day we also taught the Word of Wisdom to Bety and Valente. We already knew that they drank coffee and had an alcohol rack. The lesson went really well, and Bety has completely stopped, while Valente, her husband, is little by little. And they all came to church Sunday too! It was Ward Conference, so it was a really great Sunday for them to come, with really good talks and a choir and everything. I think they really liked it. I did :) we went to Visit them last night, but the lesson didn’t go too well... we let them chit chat for too long, and while trying to give the lesson, Valente kept bringing up different movies about religions and priests and the bible and stuff, that are not true (for example, the Debtor of Sins and The Fifth Gospel). He has a lot of ideas swimming around in his head, and we are trying to help him little by little straighten them out. Bety most of the time would just smile and shake her head when he brought them up, and try to help us out by saying that movies are from someone's imagination, not fact. They are progressing splendidly though, especially Betty. She is so awesome!!!!!!! 

We have found a few non active members this week. Not taught them, but found them. We went looking for one of them in their house (Patricia DeLeon), but didn’t want us to come in because she was busy, but then chatted with us for 20 minutes on her doorstep, talking about how she loved the church in her childhood and all those good memories. It was hard for me to understand why she wasn’t active when she had such a testimony! She said that her house was our house and invited us to eat a free ice cream and some chicken if we stopped by her business sometime, but frankly told us that she didn’t have time to go to church.... And another lady randomly came up to us as we were standing there in the street studying our planners, and invited us to eat dinner for free in her restaurant. We tried to go and teach her (Olga, a non active member) a lesson, but she was running around the whole time working, so, our hope of getting a lesson with her failed... but the burrito was fantastic! It just makes me sad... they know that the church is true, but they just don’t go or live it! 

We finally had a decent day on Friday, with 5 lessons! the rest of the week was like one or two a day. I was sitting there banging my head on the table during companionship study trying to think what we could do to teach more lessons. I just wanted to teach so bad but we couldn’t find anyone! That day turned out to be a pretty good one though, luckily :) I am realizing that I need to have more faith in our investigators and the people we contact. So many people let us down when they say they will do something but don’t do it, but I can’t let my faith waiver because of that. Faith Faith Faith! And even if we don’t have any more success, we still have Bety and Valente who are super awesome, and if we have to trudge through just for them, it is totally worth it! 

Yep. The old ladies like the two nice white young men. Lupita, our 66 year old investigator, treats us like her grandsons, and...... on occasions gives us a hug... which we cannot do as missionaries.... it is super awkward, and she gets offended so easily.... we´ll see if we can help her understand what’s up. And then I got my first kiss on the mission too.... but not like that! it was an old woman we contacted. as we said goodbye and shook her hand, she went up to kiss our cheeks! That was even weirder.... the thing is, is that is acceptable here. to greet someone, you shake their hand and give them a kiss on the cheek. We just can’t do that as missionaries, and on occasions the people don’t understand that. 

On Saturday the Sister Missionaries had a baptism! They baptized Narciso, a youth of 17 years old who is good friends with a family in ward. We has been going to church since I got here, but it was hard for him to say yes to being baptized and picking a date, because he is the only one in his family to be a member. but he finally chose to go through with it this Saturday! While they were changing their clothes after the ordinance, Elder Harper and I got up and taught the First Vision, and then we sang a musical number with all the missionaries. It was much less stressful than conducting the meeting like the last baptism I participated in :) 

Well, I hope that everything is going awesomely back at home! Thank you so much for your prayers and your support. I really appreciate it. 

I love You! 

Love Elder Hayden Redford 

P.S. Yes, I took out the 50 dollars, and no, I still haven’t received the package!

From Elder Redford - May 19, 2014

It sounds like you guys had a super fun week/weekend! It is good to hear that you were able to have some fun with Lane and Laura and everyone. So Amanda graduated! That is pretty awesome too that she was valedictorian (however you spell it!). It was great to read your emails and see the pictures and feel like for a moment that I was there with you all.

This week was a little slow... I am not sure I have much to tell :) 
Our numbers were a little low this week, but Elder Harper and I have been talking a lot lately about people, not numbers, are the most important. Our leaders keep pushing us for higher and higher numbers, but we really don’t know what to do differently to achieve them. We do feel, however, that our efforts really are helping people to progress. Bety and Valente (jr) are doing well still. We have been able to teach them quite a few times this past week. Now her husband, also named Valente, is pretty active in the lessons too. At first his attitude was more like ''if you want it, go for it, but I'm good''. After he joined us in a lesson about the book of Mormon though, asking us a ton of questions, we gained his respect, and now actively listening. They are so grateful for us for coming that almost every time after the lesson Bety comes out with a huge glass of milk for each of us and sweet bread almost every lesson. Sometimes we feel bad having to eat it so fast because we have to go, but they really are super good. And they all three came to church yesterday! They even arrived a half hour early because they were so worried about being late! They were only able to stay for Sacrament, but said that next week they will schedule things so that they can stay for all of it next time. It was great to have investigators at church and progressing! We still need to teach the Word of Wisdom with them soon, as it appears to be their only real problem with living the gospel. While we are drinking our glasses of milk, Valente, and sometimes Bety, are drinking a mug of coffee... and they have a shelf of alcohol that I noticed a few visits ago. We see how that goes.  I am sure that they will be willing to give it up, especially if we can bring the Spirit into that lesson. 

Sad news about Karla though....We were finally able to talk with her, and she told us that her husband isn’t allowing her to be baptized anymore, and that he doesn’t want us to come by. And that is why she hasn’t been coming or opening up. It is really sad; not sure if we can do anything but keeps her and her husband in our prayers. Maybe it still isn’t her time yet. 

Last Sunday the Bishop had an interview with Victorino so that he could get the priesthood. We ended up telling the Bishop that he felt unprepared. So this week we taught him and help him understand the Priesthood. We were confused when the Bishop talked about two different Priesthoods and that we would, because of his age, be ordained a Priest. So we helped him understand the difference between the two, and I ended up giving him a pep talk about him being ready and that everyone was supporting him, and that all he needed was to have faith and be willing. And he was faith. It was like one of the quotes that you sent me; That the power of the priesthood is far greater than the one asked to perform it. He said that he would accept it, so on Sunday he was sustained and in Elders Quorum he was ordained a Priest, and I stood in. I still don’t know if he understands what happened, but I have faith that with time we will understand better and better. 

On Friday we tried to paint two different houses, as service projects. the First was a less active family, but we got there and they hadn’t even bought the paint. She told us to wait there while she ran to the shop to get it, so we changed our clothes and ended up waiting for an hour, so we changed again, and told her we could come back another day. When she came back, she wasn’t even able to find the paint... we will see what goes down on Wednesday when we go back to try again. 
We were successful; however, I painted the second house. Well, it was more like painted the concrete wall around her house, but still. She is an investigator, and the first time that we saw her we asked if we could help her with anything, and right away she asked us to help her paint. So, before even teaching a lesson, we came and helped her paint. Afterwards we asked if we could share our message with her. It was getting late and we didn’t have time to change, so we taught her the first part of the first lesson in our shorts and t shirts. She wasn’t super thrilled about our baptismal challenge, as she is super catholic, but I hope that our service will help her want to keep listening.

We had a hard choice to make this week. We went to visit Lupita, but we didn’t have a member with us, and we can’t teach women alone. When we verified that there wasn’t a man home, we told her we would look for someone and come back, but then she started crying and asking us who told us that she was crazy and why we didn’t want to come in. So reluctantly we came in for a drink of water and then shared a scripture with her, and then ended up teaching a lesson about the Book of Mormon. It was bad because we broke a rule teaching her alone, but she really needed it... we just need to plan better next time. I still feel like we did the right thing though.

But yeah. So Victorino is now a Priest and Bety and her family are counting down the Sundays when they can be baptized. So I guess that even though numbers are low, we are still having success :) 

Thank you so much for your Emails! It was super fun to read them. I really did try to send a picture, but it took forever and then told me that the attachment failed. oh well. 

I love you all so much and am enjoying my time here in Mexico! 

And I am drinking a lot more purified water! 

I love you all so much. 


Elder Hayden Redford