Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Josephinos - September 22, 2014

Today we didn’t eat with a members, so we went to a Pizza Buffet called Josephino`s to celebrate the baptism of Bryan, which I talked about in my other email. 

To get there we took a train. When it pulled in for us to board, the six of us, us four missionaries and Michel and Bryan, filled in. But I was last in line. And the door closed before I could board! I tried to stick my hand in the door to see if it would automatically open, but it didn’t, and it started moving away, with my companion inside! 
So yep, I was alone, without my companion, without even the cell phone (Elder Hernandez had it) for a little while. My plan was to board the next one that came to meet them there, but then I saw them running up the steps toward me. They got off and got back on the train that went the opposite way to find me. Luckily it was like only 5 min, but it felt really weird. :) 

But all is good, I am here with companion, and super full from the buffet! 

Everyone thought I was crazy wasting space in my stomach eating green salad, but after not ever hardly eating it, it is SO GOOD! 

We didn’t use all of our time to write before we went, so I thought I would tell you about my little adventure. 

Love you all! 

Elder Hayden Redford
                        Elder Agular, another elder in our ward, completed a year in the mission, so he burned a                                    shirt out of tradition.
                        We cut down another tree with machetes (that we borrowed from a member.)

                                                                         Bryan's Baptism
Michel, who wearing a Future Missionary name tag looked pretty official :) 

Trees, and awesome youth‏ - September 22, 2014

Wohoo! There is defiantly progress on the basement it sounds like! I am glad that Dad is able to find time to go hunting! 

I LOVE that pic of Haylee on her four wheeler! I can just hear her little laugh/giggle/cackle that she does when she gets excited! :) 

It is also great that Mom has been able to be a great missionary. There is a saying that says ``preach the Gospel; use words when necessary`` that I remember asI read about your experience. That is great that she is able to feel the Spirit that you bring and the light of Christ in your countenance.  

Hope ShayLynn can get through with her computer problems and with all her homework in general! 

This week was great, as seen in the pictures we went and cut down another tree with machetes (that we borrowed from a member.) We felt odd walking down the street with machetes, until a woman called to us and told us that they would arrest us if they saw us, and gave us some black garbage bags to wrap them in so that they weren’t out in the open. She wasn’t too interested in listening to us, but I am grateful for her concern to help us. 

Elder Agular, another elder in our ward, also completed a year in the mission, so he burned a shirt out of tradition. (I do not plan to do so :) I sent a foto of us and the smoldering shirt on the hanger! 

On Friday we invited Alejandro and David, out two young investigators, to come the market with us to go and do contacts, or invite the people to listen to us. We showed them a few examples of how to do it, and the two of them went with a member, Michel, who wearing a Future Missionary name tag looked pretty official :) we split up and tried to have a competition, but only had half an hour to do it before we had to be back in our house... but it was a great experience, and I am so happy that they are willing to be so involved in the Work of Salvation. Even non-members can do it! 

On Saturday the other missionaries in the ward had a baptism, they baptized a young man named Bryan. Now we have 2 young men! 2 more (Alejandro and David) are soon to follow! 

I also got to give another talk on Sunday, on the Holy Ghost. I told about how the Spirit helped me to be able to answer Mandy's Email as one of my experiences. 

But yeah! That is my week. 
Thanks so much for all your love! I fell at home for a few minutes each week as I read your letters :)

Enjoy that 4 wheeler Haylee! 

Love, Elder Hayden Redford

PS a sister from the ward, Hermana Paty wants to send some photos of us through facebook. She is going to try and find dad's and send them. Her account is Patty Sylvia. We will see how that works out; you can always use google translate! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

                                                                           Ward Activity

                                                             Elder Redford in the Rain

Ward Activity, and RAIN - September 15, 2014

I am trying to send pictures of myself :) I realized that you guys might like pictures of me better than pictures of things or places :) 

Thanks for telling me about the Conference. I am doing well, don’t worry about me :) I already have 11 months almost, so time is going by very fast. Thanks for sending your love. I can feel it from here reading your emails. I send mine as well :) 

It is great that ShayLynn was able to pass her test! It took a lot of effort and studying I imagine, but now it is all worth it :) I tried to help a young man with a math problem, and I realized how much I am forgetting.... doesn’t make me too happy, but math’s not important right now :) 

And you really are great bargain shoppers. It’s as if you bought things that valued dollars for pesos! (it’s about 12 pesos for a dollar. Sorry, that was random :)

Since Thursday not a lot has happened. On Friday we had a ward activity to celebrate their independence day. We as the missionaries did everything, apart from the food. The musical entertainment and the games. I wore Mandy`s hat the whole time too, and Elder Hernandez had a Mariachi bow tie. I put it on and took a picture, as seen in the other email. :)  For the rain, we had a good turn out, I guess. a lot more than we were maybe thinking, though we were still a very small group. Alejandro, our investigator, even sang with us :) My companion played the guitar, another Elder (Elder Aguilar) played the violin. I tried to sing the chorus, because I didn’t know the words, but I looked great with my sombrero :) 

Saturday it rained the entire day straight. And since there is no dirt and hardly any plants, all concrete and asphalt, the streets flood; as you can see in the pictures :) 

We got soaking wet while walking in the street, and people didn’t want to let us in because we were so wet :) We ended up visiting a few members, but not a single investigator today. We visited a member and my companion and I helped him learn how to put together a PowerPoint! It was hard because I am unfamiliar with the terms in Spanish, but it felt great to help him out with something that I know so well :) My shoes are still wet, and it is weird to go from the super hotness to this coldness :) It is raining today, thank goodness. I think it was something like a tropical storm or something, and I also heard something about a hurricane on the coast. Good thing we are not on the coast :) /and luckily I didn’t get sick from the rain! A little bit from the chicken yesterday, but all is good!)

With the rain, I passed the sacrament to 14 members, plus us 4 missionaries and 2 investigators. By the end there were 25 members, but it was small yesterday. But Alejandro still came! 
We learned that Martin is seeking professional help with his alcohol addiction, which is great, because we hadn’t been able to find him all week. It is great that he is taking that initiative. 
Now we just need to focus on finding new people to teach :) 

Things are going great, thanks for your love! 

Elder Hayden Redford

Sunday, September 14, 2014

 My Zone at the Monterrey Temple

Tools we used to chop down a tree - in service to a neighbor

Temple!‏ - September 11, 2014

So, like I said when I emailed you really fast on Monday, today we got to go to the temple again! Attached is a picture of my companion and I in the entrance. I almost have it down in Spanish! 

 Well, it has been the first week and a half of the new transfer. We are working hard, especially with a couple of young men, Alejandro and his friend David, who randomly showed up to church on Sunday without us even teaching him! He heard Michel, the Young man of the ward (Moderna is a ward, not a branch :) talk about how great it was to go with the missionaries, and now he wants to too! We told him that we have to teach him first so he can have something to say :) It has been hard to find him to teach him though, but he has the desire! 

Also, a week ago Thursday we went to help a member cut down a tree. With a Machete and a Butcher`s knife. Yep. It is all we could round up. They just make stuff work here in Mexico, even if it’s not the ideal :) Alejandro found us we were heading over to help, and offered his help. And he was a HUGE help. He is great for being so willing to help out. He not only waits for others to say hi to him or talk to him, but he tries to present himself and help in whatever way he can. (Or maybe life in Moderna is just boring ;P).He is progressing a ton and hopefully my comp and I can help keep up the excitement of these two young men! 

The Ward keeps on having problems. As in, the members all hold grudges of some sort against one another. It really makes it hard to help investigators feel comfortable in the church sometimes, as you don’t feel a lot of love amongst them.

What we learned from the visit from Elder Piper hopefully can help us out and know what to do. He opened up for questions, but instead of answering one by one, let us ask like ten questions, and then from the questions that we had, taught what he felt that we needed. It was cool. The majority of the questions had to do with changing the behavior of other people, such as ward leaders, investigators, etc. So he taught what we had to do. We have to start by making sure they understand the Doctrine (things that are always true, i.e., we are children of God, God has a body of Flesh and Bone, etc.) correctly. Once they understand the doctrine, they can understand the principles (faith, repentance, prayer, Word of Wisdom, etc.), and then they can apply those principles to their lives. Doctrine and principles never change, but the Application of them is different in each circumstance. He also taught us how to help the investigators apply these principles to their lives, which includes helping the investigators teach us the principle, so that the Holy Ghost testifies of their own words, and is the real teacher. He taught that we need to help them rely on God and the scriptures to answer their questions instead of always the missionaries. It is really interesting and I am excited to put it into practice. I don’t even know if what I wrote makes sense, but it is basically what I learned with the visit from Elder Piper. 

We also tried to directly teach the Apostasy and Restoration to our, oh so Catholic friend Blanca, and it got kind of heated. She declared that there was no mention of Joseph Smith in the Bible. That morning I had read in the Book of Mormon of the Isaiah chapters of the book of Mormon that prophecies of Joseph Smith, so I declared that it did, and tried to find the reference in her bible, but it didn't have the desired effect.... it talked about a voice as if from the dust and a sealed book, and I testified that it was the book of Mormon, but she didn't even want to consider it. I felt super.... passionate to try to convince her but her heart was closed. Even after the lesson, she invited us to eat cake! She just wants someone to talk to, I think, and isn't really interested in the message...we really need to just stop visiting her, but my comp hasn't wanted to. That was my reference to Bible Bashing in my last email :) 

Our investigator Martin is still drinking... with us he declares that he wants to change, he agrees with all the commandments, but still won’t stop! Maybe it doesn't help when we aren't united when companion had a headache while we taught the Word of Wisdom lesson, and after I finished testifying of the Word of Wisdom, Elder Hernandez asked him if he would keep the law of Chastity. He corrected himself, and Martin said he would live The Word of Wisdom (and he said he would live the law of Chastity too, half joking), but it didn't help the teaching situation.
(That is the picture with the minions. It says Unity at the top, and the minion on the left is testifying of the Word of wisdom, and the minion on the middle asks if he will keep the law of Chastity :) It’s a statement on teaching with unity in a companionship :)

And a super spiritual Experience! When I logged on to send a quick email to let you know that I wouldn't write until today, I saw a message from Mandy. She said that she was struggling trying to find answers to her prayers and feeling the spirit and that she felt super lost, and even though I shouldn't have, I took some extra time to write her back. And I am glad that I did. I was able to share my short testimony of Heavenly Father, refer her to some scriptures and give her some counsel. Apparently, I ``literally saved her life`` for answering when I did. I know that the Heavenly Father is watching over us, that he gives us opportunities to bless the lives of others, and that his timing is perfect. 

Well yeah, that is my week pretty much. I’ll be able to write more on Monday, not too far away. 
It was great to hear about the camping trip and I LOVED the pictures. I was also super entertained to hear the Provo is finally winning football games. It’s nothing personal against Thomas though :) I can imagine it would have been really funny to have been with Karen during and after the game :) 
Hope you can have some success as well with the dove hunt! I actually have thought about it a few times, and wished I could go. I know I am not good at all, but it is great spending time with you (Dad) and Steve! 

Well, talk to you next week, 

Love ya lots!!!

Temple on Thursday - September 8, 2014

Hey, sorry, but this is a quick one. We had our P-day changed to Thursday (Temple) so I won’t really be able to write you until then. 

This week went really well, our friend Alejandro is progressing a ton, and even is going to seminary every now and then at 5:30 in the morning! I had an attempt at bible bashing with a fervent Catholic, half way cut down a tree with a machete and a kitchen knife, and taught a whole bunch of lessons :) 

We also have a visit from a general authority this Wednesday, Elder Pieper. More details to come :) All is well, and hope all is well at home! 

Love you! 

Elder Redford

Sunday, September 7, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEGAN!!!! !!11!!!!‏ - September 1, 2014

Hey Megan! 

I wanted to let you know that I did NOT forget about your birthday, but that I have been thinking about it all week :) 

I hope you have a great year as an 11 year old :) 

And I am sorry that I cannot give you anything for your Birthday this year :( 
(I would love to go see a movie or get a shake or something!) But I hope that a few pictures will do. 
One is from our minion friends and me wanting to wish you a happy birthday! 

The other, as I heard you really wanted a pet, is a little doggy that we found in the street yesterday. I am sure that if we gave him a bath and cut his hair, that you would love him to death! 

Always remember that I love and that I am thinking about you! It is great to hear about your missionary experiences too! Keep up the good work in school, at home, and finding and making good friends! 

Always remember that you really are a daughter of God and that our Heavenly Father and Older Brother Jesus Christ love you and want you to be happy too. 

I love you, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! 
Megan,  I heard you really wanted a pet for your birthday, this is a little doggy that we found in the street yesterday. I am sure that if we gave him a bath and cut his hair, that you would love him to death! 

                                                                  House that we painted

                              Room that we stayed in while waiting for our power to be turned back on.

Painting, No Power, and SUCCESS!!!‏ - September 1, 2014

Hey that is kinda cool that Donna has published a book. I am also very interested to see what it is all about. She sent me a poem too. She seems to be trying to keep herself busy :) 

And that is awesome that Daren is Ward Mission Leader! It really is a huge help to us missionaries. That it awesome, hope that he can have success in his awesome calling! 


Wow. There really is a lot that has happened here in this past week!  

On Tuesday we spent the afternoon painting another house! This time of a member who asked us for help. We invited an investigator and another youth to help us and it turned out great! The family bought us hamburgers afterwords :) The Member is Karla, who is like 20, who lives with her family. She and her Grandpa are members, but the rest of the family isn’t. When they invited us in the house, I sat down in a rocking chair, and noticed that the shelf behind me moved! I tried to slowly get up, because the base of the rocker was underneath the shelf, but it moved again, and I almost caused the statue of the Virgin Mary (her mom is catholic) to fall off and shatter into pieces! Luckily I caught her, and all that broke was a candlestick.... But afterwards we thought about how funny or ironic it was, and how easy it is to destroy Graven Images, A reminder of the power and stability of a living God! 

Wednesday morning just before we left, we noticed that the power had gone out, but expecting it to return soon, we left to work for the day. We had a Family Home Evening with a part member family with a lot of problems, and it turned out great. When we got back to the house, we still didn’t have power! After calling the owner and trying to figure out what happened, he told us that we hadn’t paid the power bill, which I had paid Saturday! Turns out that I paid the power bill of the neighbor instead. The owner, who also owns the apartment of the neighbor, said ´´well you guys paid´´, and had them pay our bill. That night and the next we slept in another room upstairs (that he rents out, but no one is currently living there) so that we could have light and we could plug in fans, because our house is really hot! 

The next day we still didn’t have power, so I bought ice to put in the freezer to keep the milk and other food cold. Finally we got it back on Friday! We found a great member to help us fellowship Martin, who has had a drinking problem, but who is doing much better. This member, Hermano Ibarra, helped us out in the lesson and helped us invite him to church. We have not had much faith in the members helping us out here, but this week we saw how great they can be. Friday there was a stake wide mutual that we invited an investigator to, Alejandro, who is 17. We ended up bringing him and two of his friends! We understood that it was going to be a soccer tournament, with a spiritual thought right before, but the spiritual thought turned out to be an hour program, first talking about the Word of Wisdom, and them about first aid. Alejandro and his friend stayed almost to the end, one of the friends leaving early. Even though the activity didn’t really turn out all that well, Alejandro was able to meet the few youth in the ward and it really helped him to feel comfortable, and also know where the chapel was to go to church on Sunday! 

This week in church was sooo much better. Martin showed up and was there the whole time, and Alejandro came late, but HE CAME! Michel, the only young man in the ward (and recent convert), invited him to seminary as well, and he went today at 5:30 in the morning! He is really getting involved, and it is great! This ward really needs more youth! What seems to be the young men in this ward consists of Michel, a recent convert, his friend who is an investigator Bryan, and now this Alejandro, also investigator :) Only one is actually member :) 

So with two investigators coming to church after a long time without any, I am feeling really good :) 
And by way of Transfers this week, my companion Elder Hernandez and I are both staying. This will be our third Transfer! I was totally expecting and ready for a change, but just like last time, our entire district is staying the same. I have accepted it. And really, it is a good thing, because I really need Elder Hernandez´s help with Alejandro, they are good friends :) 

Today while shopping a lady came up to me and starting speaking pretty good but broken English, and asked me where our chapel was. We told her, and ended up seeing her like three times in the trans course of shopping :) We also ran into a few less active members that we hadn’t met, and they invited us to come to their house. I am glad that we decided to go shopping today when we did! I am seeing Gods hand quite a bit this week :) 

So yeah, I think that that is the news from around here. We are seeing success and we are going after it. 

Thanks for the support from home! 

Love Elder Hayden Redford