Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Monte Kristal‏ - May 18, 2015

Hello everyone,

So my new area is Monte Cristal 1.1, here in the city of Jaurez, Neuvo Leon. My new companion is Elder Martinez from Guatemala look like a giant next to him, he is kinda short, but he is older than me, being 22! He doesn’t have a lot of time on his mission, but he is a really hard worker :)

So the new house that I was going to move into got robbed a few days before I moved in- Well I didn’t actually move in, since we are staying currently in the house of another set of missionaries, and it is really small... We aren’t staying there in our house because they broke the lock and a window to get in and robbed all the appliances and a few other things, so the since the door doesn’t lock, it isn’t too safe anymore. We have been looking for another house since the landlord doesn’t answer, and we found one that a member is renting, so far everything is a go so that we can have the contract singed on Tuesday and move in. It is in the safest part of our area, and it will really be a big help, since the house that we are staying in now with the other missionaries is outside of our area, and our area is HUGE! It was quite the hassle to get the senior couple, who are serving as the secretaries to come up and approve it, but FINALLY they came and it is all good... I hope. We spent the majority of the afternoon yesterday making calls and running around so that it could happen, but now we can breathe easy..... er. 

This is my biggest area, and it looks like it will be the most fruitful as well. The people here seem more friendly and humble, so that is good, and we have some great prospects, one who will be baptized in 2 weeks, who moved from one of my old areas, Moderna, to here. Kinda interesting :) 
The Ward here is a good size, and has lots of youth, which is cool. Well the chapel is just super far away, and getting our investigators to church is the hardest part. The bus to get there takes almost an hour..... the good thing is that in June we will start to attend in a different building a little bit closer; it is of a different stake (Andalucia) but we will still be part of our original stake (Los Angleles). Kinda weird. Our services are at 10, but in June they will be from 2 - 5, as there will be 4 wards attending that building!  That is super late! I am interested to see how it will work. The boundaries here are a little weird sometimes..... 
Once we get the whole house thing figured out I will feel much less stressed.... It was a wonderful ´´Welcome to your new Area!´´ The thing is that my companion got put into a trio because a missionary went home, and stayed the other Elders´s house, and in that time that the house was alone it got robbed. He hasn’t been able to work much in his area because of the trio, so now we are working hard trying to get it all back up again, and we have found a lot of new people, so things are looking good. 

We spent our P-day cleaning up our old house, that got robbed, cutting and pulling the weeds with a hoe and garden shears and organizing it so that we can move some of the things to the new house this week. It was pretty tiring, not much of a ´´day off´´ :) 
Well, that is the update :) 

Hope everything is well at home! 

Love you! 

Elder Redford     

Monday, May 18, 2015

Hello Again :) - May 11, 2015

So yeah, that was kind of lame yesterday....the connection died on my end and I think because my companion started to call his family on another laptop and the connection couldn’t handle the both of them, or something like that. 

I felt like it was kind of lame, because we didn’t even get to say goodbye or anything; I didn’t even say I Love You, Happy Mother's Day to Mom! Sorry about that, know that I love you and that I am doing well, and it is good to hear that you all are doing good too :) 

Well, in the days since I last wrote, Friday was a really good day. We were super busy the entire afternoon, and found 4 new investigators to teach, 2 accepted baptism, and we also had a super intense lesson with Luis, the recent convert with cancer who had his hand (to his elbow) amputated. A few days ago he fell and it broke the bone in his bad arm, and it just hurts really bad, and they don’t have the resources to go into surgery right away, and was doubting the worth of his life if he had to live like he is any longer, as he has had tons of surgeries and problems, he is just getting fed up with it. The good thing is that through all of it, he isn’t blaming God. He is just super tired of all of it and lacks some self-confidence, and thinks that he isn’t good for anything. We tried to hammer into his head that he is so much more valuable to his family than money (because he feels bad that they spend so much on him) and that he is important to God and that He will always be at his side. As we talked, Elder Monterroso shared an experience of when he crashed a motorcycle and injured his back really bad, and was bedridden for a few months, and that he too had many similar thoughts, but he told Luis how he became stronger from it, and was what he needed to hear. We also came to the conclusion that all of this was helping him to be able to understand the Atonement better- how the Savior felt as he took upon himself the sickness and infirmities of his people, and how His Atonement can strengthen us. I hope the best for him. We already said goodbye (as we are both leaving the area), and one of the last things he said to us was that he hopes to see us again, whether in this life or the next, and hopes to be able to joke about all of it later on :) The Plan of Salvation fills us with so much Hope! 

Saturday was a less successful day, and Sunday we got to talk through Skype, so that was fun :) Of our 5 people who were going to go to church, only one went, a less active, but I think that we can blame the holiday. 

Well, I hope Mom was able to have a good Mothers' day. I really am so very grateful for all the sacrifices that she makes for me, and all the time and effort she puts in to making us, the kids, happy. I read the scripture of the Stripling Warriors before church on Sunday, and as   read it, I too knew that my mother knew it!  

I'll let you know where I am next week when I write, I will be in my new area tomorrow! 

Love you! 

Elder Redford 

Temple - Good Week - May 7, 2015

We went to the Temple today! It was a good experience, really enjoyed it.

This was a long week, I had two companion exchanges, one with my district leader Elder Bravo and another with my Zone Leader Elder Pendleton, whom I just love :) 

With Elder Pendleton we spent the entire morning knocking doors (we can do that now) and inviting people to baptism right then and there on their doorstep. It was really cool. I felt like I was fulfilling my calling, because I wasn’t just contacting, but teaching basically a lesson at the same time :) It was really cool, and good experience. 

We have kept on visiting our amigo Luis, the recent convert with cancer, and he is super awesome. He gave me a seashell as a gift from the first time he went to the ocean. He doesn’t have much, so it really meant a lot to me. 

Things have been picking up, we are having more lessons in a day and finding new people, so that is cool. We are pretty sure that the two of us are going to leave in a week with Transfers though. We were told that we are here temporarily, so we will see what happens. I have 4 more transfers left.... what does president have in store for me?

On Sunday I didn’t have to give a talk or teach a class :) But! I was able to see Ivon, an investigator from my last (not so far away) area, get baptized! I was a spiritual experience, her whole family came to support her and see, the ward did a wonderful job to make her feel accepted into the ward (especially the young women) and I hope they can keep fellowshipping her so that she can keep faithful and develop a testimony of her own. 

Yesterday was cool, because Hermana Olga, a recent convert of Elder Pendleton's. signed herself up to feed us lunch! We always eat with the members, but I have never eaten with a convert so recent before, and it was a lot of fun. She is always so happy and bubbly and was just thrilled the whole time. She didn’t want us to leave. :) It was a fun experience :) 

Our Zone Leader talked to us about how important our attitude is, and Elder Pendleton and I have been trying to figure out the relationship between making our decisions and taking initiative and following the spirit and such, so as I have tried to apply these things, I have seen good results. I said to myself yesterday, picking a certain area that we were going to work in, 'there is someone here that will listen to us, and I am going to keep contacting and knocking doors until I find them.' And then we found one, a pretty cool young man name Tomas :) Our attitude has a HUGE part in our lives :) 

Say congrats to Noel for me, and I am glad that ShayLynn was able to go to Prom and have a good time :) 

Love you all and wish a great rest of the week! 

Talk to you on Sunday Mom! 

Elder Hayden Redford

Friday, May 1, 2015

Lots of Conferences - April 27, 2015

Before I begin, I would like to wish Grandma Fillingim and very Happy Birthday! 

I hope all goes well with Uncle Lennis funeral. I hope that the family's testimony is strengthened in the power of Christ’s resurrection, and how this victory takes away the Sting of death. It is real! There is a great video that you should see on that, 2 actually: Because He Lives and Thanks To Him (search on YouTube). I am sure that they will bring peace. 

This was a busy week, by way of conferences. We had our Zone Conference with President Bird on Friday and our Stake Conference Saturday night and Sunday Morning, which were all really great. 

The week started off really rainy. Normally we try to talk with a whole bunch of people in a market that they put up every Monday, but with the rain, there just weren’t hardly any people, or market. But the few people that we contacted were good experiences. 

On Wednesday we tried to look for a member's friend to teach him, but he wasn’t too interested. I kept talking like: ' in my religion' and 'in your religion' and was more interested in our friendship than the gospel. Oh well. My Companion found a statement by the Pope saying that the Virgin is a myth (a lot of people believe in the Virgin here as if she was a god) and he wanted to bring it up, but I am glad that he didn’t. He would have felt like we were just attacking him. 

On Thursday we found a less active member who is really cool, we could tell that he had a really great relationship with the missionaries who baptized him, but then after they left, he kind hasn’t been too active. That is something that I have seen a lot here, people who get baptized out of a friendship of the missionaries rather than an actual testimony. That is something that I am learning, we can’t expect to be able to always rely on the testimonies of others, we need our own and we need to have the initiative to live what we know, not because someone else is watching us or pushing us, but because we really Love Him who has unlocked Heaven's gate, and because we have a desire to be like Him and share His love with others. I am learning lots about being Truly Converted. 

Then we had our Zone Conference with Pres Bird on Friday, and we talked about being full of Love, and we studied a talk by Elder Uchtdorf about not judging others. The Phrase that he wanted us to learn was - STOP IT! If we are gossiping or talking bad about someone or judging someone - STOP IT! Doing so is not a sign of Love, but one of Pride, thinking that you understand everything when you really don’t, because we do not understand what others are going through. We need to accept people with their weaknesses and do all we can to strengthen them. We also learned how to create good habits, which was cool, and talked about inviting people to baptism. We are going to try inviting people to baptism in the street in contacts! 

Saturday was the adult session of stake conference, and a 70 was there, and taught us that we need to keep the Sabbath day holy. That it is vital and necessary so that we can have greater Faith in the Jesus Christ and his atonement. I pointed out some things that we might have been doing wrong, or some wrong perspectives, and now I would like to change a few things. We need to have a spiritually edifying experience in every Sacrament service. I am going to try harder to have that experience and to go prepared. 

On Sunday the Temple President spoke, and wow. He reminded us that we have everything we need to be happy and everything that we need so that the Savior can come again. We just need to act, and he reminded us of the great power that we have. The thing that I took away from it is that I need the Spirit- I need it need it need it. If I want success, I need the Holy Ghost with me. He said that the secret is this - keep your baptismal covenant. Keep The Commandments with exactness - every single one of them. Go to church and participate of the Sacrament to show God that you Always remember his Son. And take Upon You His Name and follow his example in how you live. Then the Spirit will be your constant companion, and whatever you ask, if it be revealed to you by the Spirit, will be given to you. Wow. I need the Spirit! 

I have been able to enjoy his company often, but I recognize times when I am distracted, and I need it even more. I am going try harder to look for the Spirit, because it just feels good too, to be led by it while working and testifying by it. I still have a ways to go, but I am going to do what I can to have that Power. What the Temple president was trying to say is that sometimes we forget the power that we really do have as members. He gave an example- if every family would just bring one other family to the gospel, we would have an entirely brand new Stake. It was a cool talk :) 

Well, now we are waiting too see what happened with Elder Bravo. The other companionship that we are living with had special Transfers for some odd reason. Elder Bresee left, and Elder Bravo will be getting a new companion. We will see who he is today at Lunch when we see them. Elder Bresee got the call last night at 10:00, saying that he had to be in the offices the next morning. We are curious to know what’s up. 

Well, thanks so much for everything! I love you all, and hope you have a fantastic week! 

Elder Hayden Redford