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!