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:
HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!!!!
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 :)