Sunday, December 28, 2014

Merry Christmas - December 23, 2014

The Ward Christmas party turned out really, really good actually, a lot better than I had hoped. I think like 50 showed up! And the Bishop generously put a little money in, (our budget was $5) and we ended the activity with ham sandwiches in croissant rolls, cupcakes, and cookies. Simple, but good :) We also had 2 members give a Christmas message, and a few Musial numbers. Us, the 4 missionaries, and another member Karla, sang Rudolf the red nosed reindeer, first in Spanish, and then in English, as that is what we had learned in the English classes that I am teaching the week before. I was Rudolf, with the antlers and the red nose. :) It was really fun. We also had an investigator go, and was a great experience for him :) 

On Tuesday I also had Companion Exchanges with Elder Madrigal, and we had some great experiences sharing our testimonies with people we talked to in the street. Our testimonies can be so Powerful! We need to always be trying to strengthen them, and also, share them. It feels so good! 

On Wednesday we had a dirty job to do. Brayan, a young recent convert, had a problem with his back patio. It had flooded with sewage. The bathroom is outside behind the house, and the drain had gotten clogged. We helped by trying to shove poles down the pipes to loosen up the clogs, and we had to end up breaking the concrete of the neighbor’s house to get to the pipes and fix the problem. But now it is all good. It was a smelly job :) 

I have also made rice Krispy treats a few times this week too, because of Christmas, and I have been thinking about giving them away as gifts, If I have time to make them, that is :) 

On Friday I had my second Baptismal Interview as a District Leader. Interviewed Hermano Rosalio, a great investigator of Elder Adamson and Madrigal. All went well, until I discovered that he wasn’t legally married with his wife, when I asked for the date of their marriage to fill out the form. oops. He has to get married first. He is already pretty old, and they have been together a while, but are not married. oops. We thought we were so close to having another baptism! 

That night in the market I also found a 3 foot Christmas tree for 100 pesos. After passing it a few times, I decided to buy it. The house looked so Christmassey for the few days I had it up, with the snowflake ornaments that Grandma made for me last year. I ended up wrapping it up and giving it away as my gift for the Christmas Party. I wish that the Elder who ended up with it in the Gift Exchange had of appreciated it more. I thought it was an awesome gift! 

On Saturday, as a Zone, we tried to talk to people by giving away cups of Hot Chocolate and shining shoes in a plaza. It went alright; it wasn’t as successful when we did the same last year. It was fun though. 

Sunday we tried super hard to get people to church, and at last we got one investigator there! Jose Alfredo, with the help of Michel, who came to pick us up, because were running late. As we pulled into the church lot, his car stalled, because he ran out of gas! He hadn’t been planning on making the extra trip, but was willing to help us out nevertheless. We had to push his car into a parking spot, and then hurry into church before it started. I wish there had been better attendance... there was almost no one in church... like 20-30, lots of people out of town!  

Today we had our P day because we had our Mission Christmas Party with President Bird. We had a Christmas Breakfast of fruit and crepes, had a gift exchange, and each Zone performed a musical number or skit, and then President helped us to remember the true meaning of Christmas, and taught us that the best present that we can give to Christ is our heart and soul; not only a mission, but a life dedicated to him. 

He also shared with us a very moving experience that a bishop had had that was in his stake when he was a stake president. This Bishop advised him that we had to leave and would be gone during December because his daughter, a mother of 8, was crucially ill, and he needed to visit her. He went to the hospital fully expecting that his daughter would not make it to the next year, as the doctors could not figure out what her sickness was in order to treat it. He said that as he was walking down one of the halls, he heard a familiar voice. The voice of President Thomas S Monson, who visits hospitals during Christmas to give blessings. He said he waited for him to leave the room, went over to him and explained his situation, and asked a blessing for his daughter. The Prophet's response was `of course`, he took him by the arm, and they went to give her the blessing, and then left. They waited until the next day. And She left the hospital, completely free of any sickness or ailment. It was a very moving example and testament of the power of the Priesthood, the power of a person's faith, and that there is a Prophet here, who walks the face of the earth, and who represents our Savior, whose birth we will celebrate this Christmas. THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!! 

I wish Everyone a Very Merry Christmas! 
Elder Redford

 Picture is of my District. Me, Elder Madrigal, Elder Adamson, and Elder Luna, my companion :)

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