Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Good Week, Meeting Israel‏ - March 16, 2015

So, this was a really good week.
I had Exchanges on Tuesday with Elder Bravo, it was really good, I got
to visit an awesome investigator that is progressing toward baptism,
named Ronulfo. I was super excited to interview him as district
leader, but it turns out that later when they did a pre baptismal
interview, he had some problems in the past that he needs to talk to
president about. He is an old man on crutches who is super humble. … I
hope the best for him. It was also raining a ton that day! I have
since lost my umbrella, left it in a taxi… oops. That morning we also
had a Zone Meeting, and we learned the importance of being obedient in
order to have the Spirit with us, and about true conversion. And then
they trained us on something that I am really excited about…. Now,
instead of inviting investigators to be baptized on a certain date, we
are inviting them to put their own date, and their own goals. It is an
Amazing idea!

We were able to have a really great experience with that the other
day. We have been having a hard time finding people to teach, but we
found someone that I know is ready. His name is Israel, we found him
in the street outside his house when he called out to us in English.
In the lesson with him, which we taught in English, which was actually
really hard ;), we were doing How to Begin Teaching, and he shared
with us that he wanted help to stop drinking, and wanted to know if we
could help him with that. Of course we could! So we help him put his
own goals on how to stop, and helped him realized why, and he decided
he would do it for his son. Super powerful. And then we told them that
by being baptized, he could have a new start. So, we applied what we
had learned, and after he accepted to be baptized, he let him set a
date, for the 19 of April. It was so cool, and he is super excited
about is coming to visit him. It was the best How to Begin teaching I
have ever taught I feel, as the spirit was there to guide us and to
help us teach to his needs. It was an awesome experience and a huge
blessing from the Lord. We are excited to keep teaching him.
On Thursday we were able to help a member in the ward move, from one
house to another in the same colony. I was surprised that we were the
only ones asked to help, no one from the Elders quorum. I guess they
were all busy because of the activity they had planned that day to
clean the church and have a barbecue. But it is ok. We were able to
lend them a needed hand, and then they bought us hamburgers afterwards
to say thank you. We also reorganized our house for something new, to
change things up a bit.

On Friday we talked with everyone! We had an activity to try and talk
to the people on a market as a Zone, giving out cards, pamphlets, hot
chocolate and shining shoes. It was a good activity, and Elder Weiss
and I had ended the day presenting ourselves with 50 or more people!

On Saturday, we had the treat of visiting Israel again. We invited
Ignacio, a super awesome recent convert to come with us, because 1, he
is super strong in the gospel with a huge testimony, and 2, he too has
passed through a super strong Alcohol addiction. We passed by Israel´s
house and… he wasn’t there! We were super bummed. So for an hour we
looked for other people without success, and tried to go back and see
if he was there. As we approached we saw him sitting on his porch
with a beer can at his side. His neighbor had just given it to him,
and he just barely opened it and taken a sip when we arrived. Elder
Wiess asked him if he would like to throw it away, and he went and did
it, and he tried to beg our pardon. We entered, and Hermano Ingancio
introduced himself and basically started to give him a pep talk and
confess everything he had experienced on his journey to quit. They
clicked right away, and Israel felt super supported, and as we taught
more about the Word of Wisdom, his girlfriend joined in, and confessed
how much his drinking affected him, and how much she wanted him to
stop, and as she saw that we were there to do that, she was in tears
by the end for the lesson, and even said the final prayer. An awesome
experience! We did get back a little late though because of it, but it
was where we needed to be.

I began fasting on Saturday in preparation for the 5 baptism
interviews I had planned to do. By the end of Saturday night, I
realized it would only be one, Hidai, whom I had interviewed last
week, but who hadn’t passed. I was able to talk with her again, and
seeing that she is now living the Word of Wisdom, and feeling the
spirit as she attended a baptism service, she was now ready to be
baptized herself, and she was so happy to hear that she could, at
last, be baptized. I was super happy for her too.

So, it was a good week. And I am hoping for another good one
we are excited to keep on working and contacting the world, my
district is doing great, and I am trying to have the spirit with me
every day.

Thanks for everything, I send my love,
Elder Redford

Hola - March 9, 2015

Well, we are keeping up the fight looking for  new people to teach :) 
We have been working well but with few results, no one came to church yesterday, everyone with one excuse or another, but that is ok. My companion is awesome (even though he yells at old ladies; no just kidding. Yesterday we had a  Bible Bash with a Christian lady yesterday for like 20 minutes, and he got super worked up. It is great to see his testimony though :) It was an interesting experience :) and we are trying our best.

I keep learning to be a better leader, and we even had a District Leader Training Meeting on Saturday, and was able to learn more. I was a little embarrassed to walk in 15 minutes late, because we misjudged how much time the bus would take. President wasn’t there though, just the assistants, because he got sick.. Hope he gets better soon :) 

We had a cool experience planning the other day. we were going to visits a less active family and we were trying to figure out what to teach, as this member is super worried about other people being hypocrites. So we took a long time to think and bounce off ideas, until we came to the conclusion of what we should share, and what the real problem was. So, we learned that the promise in D&C 9 is very true, that if we study it out in our minds and ask if it is true, the Spirit will help us feel that the answer we have arrived at is the right one. That is how He works. We have to work for  the answers, and on the journey to them, we will  learn a whole lot. :)

We also had a day when we just feeling really down, and a random guy from a parking lot yelled out to us in English, asking how we were doing. we find out that he is Catholic Musician or Singer type deal, whose work is to go around singing Religious music and devotionals, and that they were there waiting to go the airport to fly out to some place to have  a concert. He is from Texas, and knows perfect English, but is Mexican. It was really cool to talk with him, and he thanked us for what we are doing, a as there are a lot of people who need to more about God and his gospel, and that even though we were from different religions, he respected out efforts and congratulated us. It was a good experience, because we needed someone to say that to us, and in  our prayer before leaving to work, we  prayed to be  more excited to work, as we felt a little down, and that morning God answered out prayer in that way. It was really cool, and we feel much better :)   

On Sunday I had the opportunity to conduct a baptismal interview, which was really hard because she felt she was ready but I didn’t, as I saw that she lacked a solid testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith and Pres. Monson. She hoped that it was true, but hadn’t received an answer yet or she didn’t feel a she could say she knew yet. So it was a little difficult. I was able to tell her about how I had received my own witness of the prophet Joseph Smith, singing Praise to the Man in Seminary after learning about his Martyrdom. So that was cool. It took a really long time with her, sharing scriptures and experiences, and it took like 50  minutes, but it was good, and I have hope that she will get an answer. 

Today we played soccer as a Zone, which was fun, but the member whom I have mentioned before, the 70 year old who lives the Word of Wisdom, played with us! And he is really good. I got a lot of critiquing though, as he saw that I didn't know how to play, which was a little frustrating for me. But it was good, over all. 

This next week I am going to have a lot of  Companion Exchanges :) So that will be fun and different. 

Well, sorry that there isn’t much to report on this week.... it was supposed to be a busy week, but the rain  and the weather didn’t help us out in a lot of things. It was super cold some days, and there is more to come! 

Thanks for all the emails, I have a lot to read today! 

I send  my love, 

Elder Hayden Redford

Hola - March 2, 2015

Well, it sounds like a good week back at home, busy as always.

Lots and lots of homework and tests for ShayLynn, Oh, what fun! Hope the best for you when results get back, and that you Morp date is a lot of fun!  

Well this week was good and bad. We had a TON of members come out with us to help us teach, which was really cool. We even did splits, and my companion and I split up with different Brothers in the ward to teach two lessons at the same time. My member ended up dominating the lesson and talking the whole time, and we didn’t get to what we had planned to teach, which was a little frustrating, but it is good to see his excitement to teach. He is a return Missionary, and maybe he got carried away. We know better for next time though how to work with him, but it was really cool to try Splits out at last. 

This week was a little hard here for a couple of things. One, is that it was super super cold for a few days this week, and since there is much less heating and air conditioning in the houses, it affects the people more here and the don’t want to leave their houses. And then we are still not having a lot of success finding new people, so we don’t have many people to teach. We have learned that we need to depend more on the Lord and the Holy Ghost. We need to look for him, and I mean really look for him, and not just go along with the thought of following Him if or when he wants to tell us something. Rather we need to be actively seeking for Him and His guidance rather than passively waiting for it to come. And we need to put an effort into developing the Gifts of the Spirit. So I am going to focus on that this week. Discovering what Gifts I have been blessed with, and identifying which ones I need to develop. I also learned that I needed to pray better, and have been able to put into practice more sincere prayers. I invite everyone to do the same. When we pray sincerely and just out of routine you just feel so much better.

This Friday we were able to see the movie Meet the Mormons! It is finally coming out over here in Spanish, and it is in the theaters now, so we trying to invite everyone to go and see it. It was really good, and I would love to see it in English :) The cool thing was that we were able to see the part with the family in Cost Rica talking with their actual voices, and weren’t dubbed like I’m sure they are in the English Version :) It was really really good, I am excited to see the effect that the movie has on the people. 

I don’t think I heard about how it went in the states. Have you all been able to see it? It has a great message of how much potential we have as children of God, and how blessed we can be as we live the gospel fully. I loved every one of the six stories it showed. Hope everyone can see it if they haven’t! 

I also just got back from having another ingrown toenail cut out! Woohoo! So that was fun. 

So, we are hoping to have a wonderful next week as put into practice our humility and seek out the Spirit to guide us. 

Thanks for everything, I Love you all! 

Elder Redford

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Good Week - February 23, 2015

So, this has been a great week, and I am super excited right now. Elder Weiss and I had been having a really hard time here in our area, but now we are seeing a ton of successful prospects. 

First off, we got two new sister missionaries, Hermana Riches from San Francisco California, and Hermana Flores from the State of Mexico who is a new to the field. They both got here to open the area, and had a really hard trying to get to know the area, and on top of that, trying to get their gas tank filled and their boiler working so that they could shower with hot water :) They are super great and really hard workers, they have turned the area around in one week and are getting used to things. 

We also got a new Zone Leader, to whom I am so very grateful, Elder Pendleton, from American Fork. We had Exchanges and he came to work with me here in my area. He put a great example to show me how easy it is to just talk with everyone and do street contacts, how easy it is to just simply pick up the phone and call members (when I told him that the members weren’t helping much, he just picked up the phone, went through our contacts, and starting making phone calls, asking the members when they could come with us. It was so easy, that I as embarrassed not to have done it before. I have repented :). ), and how to work more effectively to find the people who really want to listen, and to find new people to teach. I learned so much from him, and now I no longer feel faithless and stuck in rut, but now full of hope for the future, faith in the members, and a desire to work harder!

I am so happy right now! 
Especially after some awesome experiences that we have been able to have while working with the members. 

And we at last are having investigators go to church! We were able to get two friends there on Sunday, Ivon (14) and Uriel (17). We have high hopes for Uriel. 

I also taught the Principles of the Gospel class on Sunday, and my excitement must have shown, because it was a great class. I taught the Fall :) 

I have also been trying to understand better and develop more Charity and Love for the people. I have found that by doing so, I am becoming more bold. I have come to the conclusion that if I love someone, I am going to do all I can to help them come unto Christ. That I have to boldly invite them to read, pray, and go to church so that that happens. My companion told me that he has seen this the other day. I am so grateful to be spiritually progressing, and that the Lord is helping me out with my weaknesses. With all these things going on, I just feel so empowered. And I can testify that that is exactly what the gospel does. It Empowers us to do Good, and to Be good. 

We also found a living example of the Word of Wisdom. An old Stake President came to visit his daughter, who happened to be the sister that was signed up to give us dinner. We is 70, is still playing basketball and volleyball, has the strength to get up at 6 every morning, doesn’t have diabetes or any restrictions on what he can eat, and just full of energy. He attributed it all to living the word of Wisdom, and taught us how to live it more fully. Now, instead of snacky things, we are starting to but fruits and vegetables to snack on when we get better, and that helps us feel better too. The Word of Wisdom is so true! 

So yeah, that is how I feel this week. 
Thanks so much for all your love and support! 

Elder Hayden Redford

New Transfer - February 17, 2015

Ok, so Transfers were today. And today is my P day. Sorry that I didn’t write yesterday, it because a new group of missionaries arrives yesterday, and we were asked to take them out and work with us for the day, so President changed our P day from yesterday to today. 

That was actually a lot of fun :) I we were asked to work with two new, Latino missionaries for the day, so we did divisions and went to work 2 in 2 for the day. I was with Elder Dominguez from Michoacán, and he is pretty great. is a convert of 2 and half years, the only member of his family, and 24 years Old! had just about finished studying and everything, but decided one day that he would fill out his papers for a mission and see what happened. It was great to work with him for the day, I hope to see his success as a missionary, and the blessings that the Lord sends to help the family of this Elder. 

This week we put some pretty high goals to meet as a Zone, and we all worked really hard to achieve them. we didn’t quite reach all of them, but we were able to work really hard and it was a good motivation. 

One of the goals was to get the members to participate, and to go out and do visits with us. It was frustrating, because we would make arrangements with various members, and when it came to meeting them at the place and time they weren’t there, and didn’t answer their phones... so we were a little discouraged at times for that. But, one success in our efforts paid off, because we had a family home evening with a family who invited their neighbors over. we played the game Jenga, and them taught how we need to build the foundations of our families on the rock of Christ to be able to withstand and overcome the difficulties in Life. it was a good lesson, we are still waiting back to see if they would like to learn more and take lessons, but they liked the message a lot and we were able to gain their respect as missionaries. 

We were also able to find some new people to teach as well! We found a young woman and we boyfriend, Ivon and Uriel. and two families, one the Tovar Family and, the other the family of a sister named Letti, He have great hopes for them. None were able to go to church on Sunday, though, darn it! :)  

On Friday we got together as a Zone to shine shoes in a market. It was the most successful activity of this sort that I had seen yet, there were a tone of people that wanted their shoes cleaned, we had four elders shining at a time, and I shined like 5 or 6 people´s shoes, while in past activities I hadn’t shined a single one! I felt that we got the short end of the stick because both me and my companion both were shining, and didn’t actually get the opportunity to go and contact the people, so as everyone walked away with like 40 contacts for the day, we walked away with 6. I was talking about that with Hna Alonso, one of the sister missionaries in our ward, and I learned a lesson on charity when she replied, “well, at least you got to do some service, that´s the most important part´´. And it is true. I saw that by thinking that way, I was focusing on numbers, and not people. I need to be careful not to fall into that trap again :) 

I was super excited because a member family, The Robles Family, went to our ward on Sunday! They had gotten offended, so they had been going to a different ward for a long time, not wanted to go to their own. We had been visiting them, letting them know that they weren’t forgotten about, and just being friends with them. Then, they told us and Saturday that they would come back! The sister said that she recognized that her family couldn’t progress while going to the other ward, since they want to be sealed in the temple, and can’t get a recommend for not attending their own ward. So, they decided to come back. We went to their house on Sunday morning to bring them to church, and we were super happy! 

Now, though, we are a little sad about Transfers. I am staying the same with my companion (which is awesome!), but the sisters missionaries in our ward both left! We became good friends with Hna Alonso and Hna Martinez as we ate with them every day and worked together in the ward. It is sad to say goodbye. Now we are waiting to see who the new sisters are that we will be working with :) 

So yeah, that is about how my week went. It was a good one. I hope to be able to get things going here and we are excited to see what the Lord has in store! 

Love you all! 

Elder Hayden Redford

P.S. I finally got my Christmas packages on Tuesday! Thank you so much! I loved the calendar, especially!

And the cakes were gifts for valentine’s day, the chocolate from the Flores family, and the cheesecake from the sister missionaries :)  

New Transfer - February 17, 2015