Friday, January 30, 2015

Went to the Temple again :)‏ - January 29, 2015

Sorry that I didn’t write on Monday, It is because we went to the temple today :) It was great. 

And, since it is the only place where we can take our cameras, I took a good amount of pictures, which I will send :) There is a picture of the Temple (we got there at 5:50 in the morning while it was still dark!), my companion Elder Weiss and I, us and the sister missionaries in our ward, and then most of my Zone :) 

Well, things have been slow. Not many investigators. We are working hard though. This week we are focusing on Street contacts, and have been able to pull off about 25 or so per day. I have never talked with so many people before! We are trying really hard to find new people to teach. 

We also made a deal with the sister missionaries, who have a hard time contacting, that we would buy them Campechanas (big huge tacos full of greasy meat) if they met 100 contacts this week, and they are working hard to earn them, because they are pretty good!

I caught a very small cold at the end of last week and the beginning of this, but nothing big, really. 

A member gave us a huge bag of Oranges! I quite enjoyed them :) 

We were able to find a great investigator last night. We had a guy in a car signal to us to come over, and asked if we could visit one of his clients, because he really wanted to talk to us, and gave us his address. So we had a member come with us, and not knowing what to expect, we went to visit Jose Luis. Since the moment he opened the door, he was just super excited to learn more. Some other Missionaries had talked with him, and given him a Book of Mormon. Then he got sick, and so much that he honestly thought he was going to die, and then decided to look to God and has been slowly recovering. He is super smart though, talking about the Bible. He wanted to know more about the Book of Mormon, and just super excited about it, and had a ton of questions. We were just like, wow, hold your horses, let’s start at the beginning. So we ended up giving a brief summary of 1 Nephi, and then taught the entire Restoration lesson with him so he could understand where we were coming from. And during the part where we taught the first vision, the spirit was super strong. I tried to just bask in it as my companion quoted Joseph Smith's experience in the Grove. And he said yes to baptism, but didn’t want to set a date, because they are going to kick him out of his house this week!!!! No!!!!!!!!! I hope they have mercy on him or something, because he is Golden! He has our number, so he can communicate what happens. 

Also, it is fun to be a leader and get to know the investigators of the other missionaries in my district. One, who is staunch, is a young man of 14 who has a burning testimony of the gospel, and, who, apparently, told his parents to their faces that there religion (catholic) was wrong, and that Mormonism was right, and that he was going to be baptized, just like that. They didn’t take it too well, and for not going to school one day, they are suspending him from going to church on Sunday. No!!!!!!!! They are going to keep trying to soften his dad's heart, but it was just great to see how passionate this young man was about the gospel. I really do hope the best for him. He will be a powerful member one day! (but what a stupid punishment, Eh? going to church is supposed to teach him to be a better person!) 

I am getting the hang of the whole District Leader of a huge district thing, and Elder Weiss is a huge help. :)  

I am still waiting for my packages.... so we will see if they even get here.... darn it.

Well, I didn’t feel like I have a lot to tell, really... just working every day, talking to people, making lots of phone calls (as DL), planning training meetings, and yeah, that’s basically it. I hope to have more to say next week :) 

Thanks for everything, I love you all! 

Elder Redford

Temple Pictures - January 29, 2015

Week 2 in MA - January 19, 2015

There is a running joke here. Less Active in Spanish is Menos Activo, and our area abbreviates to MA 1.2. So, we are the misioneros MA (Menos Activos), or, the Less Active Missionaries :) 
The Ward is bigger, yes. And we never have to worry about going hungry, they feed us a lot here :) Just like my last ward, we have 4 missionaries in the ward, but 2 are sister missionaries, and they like to joke around a lot. Hence the whole MA thing :) 

My companion, I have decided, reminds me of uncle Noel as a missionary. He looks like him, talks like him, thinks like him. sorta :) I still don’t have a picture yet :) 

Well this week was better than last. I am getting used to things, such as the area and my district. We doubled the amount of lessons we had this week compared with the last week, so that was good. Still no one in church though, we are working on that. 

The week was rainy at first, but now it is actually a little hot. I like it much better than the cold. But the cold will return :) That is how the weather is here. It is super cold for a week, then we have some hot days, then it goes back to being cold :) It is much worse than Utah :) 

I feel like I am here in this area to develop as a person (maybe as in Leader) than to really baptize. That is the emphasis I am feeling. Learning diligence, Leadership skills, being direct, making decisions. But I hope that we can found some good people to teach as well; I have  yet to grow to love one of our investigators, which is usually what happens and motivates me to work to teach them; which is something I miss. I hope we can figure out what we need to do to find the Eligidos (chosen), and bring them this awesome gospel! But, I feel much more relaxed than the first week, it is just a matter of pushing through and doing my  best :) I love that we made arrangements with the Elders Quorum President in the Ward to work with him to find people; I have some high hopes there. I also bought a box of UNO cards today, maybe a way to unstress in the little free time I have :)

I am not sure I have some awesome stories to tell... just talking to people and trying to teach them and doing leader-y things. I'm going to give a Training tomorrow, probably on doing street contacts, as we having a hard time with that, so we will see how it goes. 

It is exciting to hear that Thomas is going to church, and that the basement is coming along! 

Hey, and I was SO very super excited to hear about how ShayLynn got her Patriarchal Blessing!!!!! I wish I could have been there. Sounds like the Lord has many good things for you to do, and  many blessings as well. Now I want to read my own again :) What a blessing it is to have one! 

Thanks for all your love and support, say Hi to everyone for me! 


Elder Hayden Redford

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Miguel Aleman - January 12, 2015

Happy Birthday Dad!!!!! 
I did not forget! I was thinking about all week actually. Thinking, ``I cannot forget to write Dad, I cannot forget to write Dad :)`` 

I hope that the Birthday dinner was super fun and that everything!

So I have some interesting news. We had 2 hours to write before, but we now have the new rule that we can only write for 1. So, I will try to print off your letters and read them later so that I can take advantage of the time to write :) 

So yeah, with Transfers I was moved out and out in Miguel Aleman, with Elder Weiss from West Valley Utah and as district Leader. Elder Wies has only a few months on the mission, but he tries so hard even despite his bad Spanish to share the gospel. I realized that we get a lot of different reactions from people, because we are both really big white guys, (he is only like an inch shorter) walking around in Mexico, trying to speak Spanish. :) 

I thought it was no big deal that I was called again as District Leader, until I found out that my district was twice as big as before, (from 4 to 8) and that the Zone Leaders are in my district as well, and that I am replacing a missionary who went home because he finished his Mission, Elder Soto (who was Assistant to President and everything. I felt I had big shoes to fill). It was a little stressful at first, but I am getting used to it, and to the new area. 
My companion is helping me to see that I need to be a little bolder when it comes to being a leader, and when it comes to helping those missionaries that aren’t working as hard as they could be. We are working on that :) 

This week was very had actually. We made a goal as a Zone to find new people to teach. We don’t have very many investigators in this area, so we full-heartedly agreed and went right to it, but with Zero success! If we had an appointment, we went, but all of our time with appointments, we were looking for people whom we had contacted, visiting their houses trying to find new people. A few answered their doors, but all told us to come back later. We worked so hard, with the attitude of refusing to go back to the house until we had fulfilled our goals, with contacting people especially. I have never been so tired on my mission! And we didn’t find a single new person.... 
And then all the phone calls afterwards in the night to check up on my district, and it was super cold this week. I have felt very stressed, to the point of neck pain, but it’s ok. I am getting used to things day by day, and I hope that all our hard works pays off and that we see success as we keep on keeping at it! (don’t worry, I still have plenty of ibuprofen :) No, everything is ok though. It’s just an adjusting thing :) 

We were rewarded though by two AWESOME lessons though on Sunday night. One with a couple, Alfredo and Martha, who are super friendly, but super talkative, and in the past have let us hardly talk in the lessons. But this time, they listened the whole time, the Spirit was just so thick, as us two Gringos tried to share the message of the Restoration with them. It just felt great! And we knew they felt it too, despite the language barrier. 

And then another one with Adan Zapato, an atheist turned Christian with a die had passion for the bible, who could not see the reason God would reveal new scripture that taught the same thing as the bible. We shared the First Vision with him and just full on pure testimonies about the Book of Mormon, as the previous Companion of Elder Weiss had tried to Bible Bash, but didn’t do any good. But at the end of the lesson, he decided on his own that he wanted to read it to see if it was true. So! It was an AWEOME NIGHT: We felt bad for getting chewed out for our terrible numbers for the week, but we know we did our best. 

I am learning a lot here and working hard. It is great. 

I am still waiting for the packages! 

Thanks for everything and I love you all so much! 

Elder Hayden Redford

Sunday, January 11, 2015

 Elder Luna & Elder Redford

Transfers - January 5, 2015

Hello Everyone! 

I am super excited to hear about Haylee's baptism! I am super happy to hear about how excited she was, and about how much support she had from the family and friends. ShayLynn says that it seemed like a bigger deal than Thanksgiving, and well, it really was :) That is awesome that Haylee has taken her first step to return Home with Heavenly Father :) 

In the ordinances of the Priesthood (like baptism), the Power of God is manifest. I could feel it just seeing the pictures. Congratulations Haylee, and thanks Dad, for being such a great example, and using the marvelous Priesthood to bless our family! I love you :)

So I have news. I am finally leaving Moderna, after 7 1/2 months. I am a little sad to leave, as I have really learned to love the people here. I guess I met my goal that I set when I got here; to love this area so much that I did not to leave :) I feel I have done my part here though, the Ward is getting stronger and progressing, but I am mostly sad to leave my little district. We have become a tight little family :) I thought that maybe I would stay other Transfer, as I only have 1 with my companion Elder Luna, but no. 

We will see what the Lord has in store for me next, then. Oh, man! And we just got new mattresses from the mission in our apartment! :) 

Elder Luna doesn’t want me to leave :) 

On Monday we got together as a district to roasted chicken and play Uno, and it was a lot of fun. That night we found Hno Falcon, our Ward Mission Leader, and went to visit Hno Elias Reyes, who had not attended church in over 10 years. It must have been really good for him to have seen a member reach out to him, because he came to church on Sunday! 

On Tuesday I gave a training meeting on being more like Christ. We took a self-evaluation on Christ-like attributes, and then each one of us picked an attribute we wanted to develop, studied it for a few minutes, and then shared what we learned about it. It was good :) Afterwards we had Companion Exchanges and I worked in my area with Elder Adamson. It was a good day. We and our companions worked hard that day, and we ended the night with some Gringas (a type of taco) :) 

It was hard to find people on New Years and New Years Eve, a lot of parties and, well, drinking. We didn’t even stay up until midnight, but went to bed instead :) We didn’t celebrate much that night, but when we ate that day, Hna Dorita gave us Tamales and Champurrado, a chocolate drink, and another less active family, Yolanda and Ruben (who is a Mariachi/Musician) gave us some chicken, which was nice of them. 

On Friday we went to the offices to pick up new mattresses for the house (as the mattress I have been using doesn’t even have springs, just a pad), and then again on Saturday to have Interviews with President, and they were great. 

Our church schedule changed as well, we now go at 11, which I like better, as a missionary that is, because it is easier for people to get up on time. We had a good attendance, and had 5 less actives come back to church again who hadn’t gone for a while, so that was great! It was Testimony Meeting, and a few members don’t know how to bear their testimonies and say other things, but it turned out well. In Ward Counsel we planned for a really awesome Missionary Activity to go and contact people in the Market as a Ward this Friday, but I won't be here, sadly :) 

I got almost everything packed last night, so hopefully I can enjoy this last day that I have with my District. For now it is a great mystery where I will go and what I will do, but as I have said in letters before, Changes, in general, are good. They help us to learn more, to do more, and to be more. I will let you know where I am next week, as I won’t know until tomorrow. 

Thanks for your emails, and I love you! 

The Bishop here and his family (the Martinez family) say hi, and so does my companion, Elder Luna :) 

Love you! 

Elder Hayden Redford

Still anxiously waiting the packages! 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year :) - December 29, 2014

I am very, very happy to hear that you were able to do the challenge I gave to read · Nephi 11, and sing I Stand All Amazed. I Hope that it was a good experience :) I had a really good one doing the same thing that Christmas morning in my personal study, and I wanted to share it. I Stand all Amazed at the Love Jesus offers me! 

On Christmas Eve, we were actually able to find some people to teach, which surprised me. A less active, a new member, and an investigator. Then we went to Sister Patty`s house, and helped her repair a broken piñata so that they could re-use it, as it is a tradition to break a piñata on Christmas Eve night in the shape of a star, like the star that appeared at Christ's Birth. While we were there, she set the table for Christmas dinner and invited us to join in. It was a humble dinner of grilled meat and chicken and beans. We didn’t eat much, because another family, the Bishop, had already invited us to eat later, but she enjoyed having us there, and I was glad to have been there, as it was just her, her husband (Diego) and her two daughters (Diana and Marleen), and a friend of Diana's. I also delivered a letter that my old companion, Elder Hernandez, had sent me to give to them, and then we headed over to meet the other Elders in the ward to go with the Bishop. 

We started eating really late, like at 9pm, and we had to be home at 9:30! We didn’t make it though. I have to say that even though the Bishop's house was much bigger and nicer, and the food more expensive, I didn’t enjoy it as much, as I felt bad for being late, and I was already full ;) But it was great to spend some time with the Bishop's family. It was the first time that I had visited his house. He has a shop in our area, and his direction on the church records is according to his shop, not his house. His house is actually in the other ward! 

On Christmas, we went over to the other Elders' house to make a breakfast of French Toast to celebrate Christmas, and then went back to our own houses to study. I was able to have a really great study, focused on Jesus Christ, picking and reading whatever passage I could remember in the Book of Mormon that talked about Him and his mission on this earth, and also the Hymn I Stand all Amazed. That is why I wanted to share 3 Nephi 11 and that Hymn with the family, to help them remember not only the birth of Jesus Christ, but what His birth meant. It meant that A Savior came to this Earth, who established his Word and his Church, who showed us how to live, and who suffered for us, died for us, and resurrected for us, so that our families could be Eternal. He is the Gift. And that Gift means a lot. But it is up to us to use it :) 

We had a hard time being able to talk with our families, as the Member whose house we were going to use wasn’t home at the hour he told us he would be, and we ended up calling a little late.... but we got to call! And it was great! It was great to see and hear that everyone is doing well,  and say hi to everyone :)

Afterwards, we went to visit a member family, the Diaz's, and ended up helping them move a friend: move all of his stuff from his house to their (the Diaz's) house. While we were waiting for a phone call, we were waiting at the Diaz's house, and the kids were playing Just Dance on the Wii which they had gotten, and they convinced us to dance a song; me my companion. We shouldn’t play video games, but it was just one, it was Christmas, and it was fun. We want to buy one now to do exercise in the morning ;P JK
We didn’t teach anyone, but at least we were able to talk with our families and give some service :) 

The day after, I had companion Exchanges with the Zone Leaders, and I worked with Elder Bateman, from Utah, and who is going home in 3 months, in his area. It was a very interesting day (Elder Bravo). We talked a lot about what we wanted to study and do when we got home, as he has only a few months left. We also had a really good day, finding a lot of people to teach =) 

No one came to church on Sunday..... no investigators that is. The schedule is going to change from 9am to 11 am, so maybe it will help, as the people here like the night better than the morning, usually, and don’t get up :) I am excited though, because we had a great Ward Counsel where the Ward finally made an almost Ward Mission Plan, something that they haven’t ever really had. They were everywhere, throwing out ideas for activities, when I stepped in and told them that they first needed to make a goal (as in numbers, like church attendance) , write it down, assign names to the numbers, and THEN make plans for activities and visits, to guide them on what they needed to do. That is something else that I have learned on the mission, that one has to set a goal, and then make plans to achieve it. It sounds like common sense, but there are so many people who don’t do it that way. They have always just done activities to invite investigators, and called that good, but never had an end result. This time they actually made goals and plans, and at last, I felt good leaving one of these meetings, with hope rather than feeling weighed down for all problems in the Ward.  I hope they follow up with their plans! 

Still waiting for the Christmas Package! 

Thanks for your letters and for being and awesome family :) 

Lots of Love,

Elder Hayden Redford