Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29, 2013

Thanks for the emails from everybody! I love reading about how life is going for you all! And I did recieve some letters from some of Dads seminary students! Obrigado! I cant believe that Jessiqa is going to get her call this week!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHH!!!! Im about to explode! I think Im more excited than her! I think she Is going to get called to the (the best missison) Luanda, Angola mission! Yeah!? If not, I think it will be either England or Florida. You have my guess. Oh I cant wait!!
      This week I had my first divisions where I went to another area for 24 hours. It was really fun and I learned a lot from Elder Mariquelle. He is from Mozambique. We also got to watch General Conference with the ward yesterday and Saturday. It was really cool, even though I had no idea what anyone said because is was in Brazilian Portuguese. Which is like a totally different language. But I did feel the spirit and nothing could stop me from knowing and feeling that these men are called of god and they have the authority to recieve revelation for the world. How great and marvelous is this work!!
Danilson is going to be babtized this Saturday!! AH! I am so excited and very happy for him! He knows this is true and he is just like a spiritual sponge, soaking up everything that is good and virtuous! We are still doing a lot of finding and we have lots and lots of new investigators. We just need to find those whom the lord has prepared. The language is still hard and I still have have a hard time understand everything that is said, but I can get enough to understand. I love this language of Portuguese!! I had a gross fish the other day. They just fried the fish for like an hour, (it was fried to a crisp) the whole thing, skin, bones, head, all of it. was...yummy?
I learned this week that I need to focus, not on just baptizing people, ( of course this is the reason we are here) but I need to focus more on testifying and bringing these people the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have been doing some soul searching and I have been digging in there pretty deep. Kind of like at the dentist when he drills on your teeth and you can tell when he gets just a little too far. You can feel that new sensation of ZING! all through your body! Its kind on like that. I rely more and more on the Lord as I learn that I can do nothing without him. Like it says in Alma 26. I rejoice not in myself, but I do boast in my god, for in him I can do all things. I know that I am week according to the flesh but in and through Jesus Christ I know that Miracles can be performed. Thanks dad for those thought and for sharing those experiences with me. I have learned a lot from each one of my companions as well. And I continue to be amazed at how much I can can learn from every person that we talk to. I love this people so much!! Sometimes it gets hard to love them. But as I think of the savior and the love that He has shown for me, "I Stand All Amazed." Thank you so much for all of your support and love! Love you all!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April 22, 2013

Ola! tudo bem!? Bem! Entao it was super good to hear from you all and to get the weekly update of the Dredge Clan! Zach is waching the best two years!? That is awesome! Its a great movie to be quoting. I think I may say flip out on the mission than ever before. Heh nah. 
So dad: Im just a young guy and your a... not so young guy. What was the hardest thing for you on your mission and what you did to overcome it? I want to learn a little bit more about your mission. And thank you for being such a great Dad. Mom: thank you for everything and for being MY mother! You are amazing! Remember the strippling warriors? Yep, Without you I would be nothing. Thank you!
This week was really great! We had a lot of first lessons. Because we are finding like crazy. My testimony of Joseph Smith is stronger than it has ever been before. The other day when I told the account of young Joseph in the grove I nearly cried. I was staring right at Sergio and I knew that Joseph had seen God the Father and Jesus Christ. I felt like, for the first time, that what I knew with 100 percent of my being was true. I know that Joseph Smith was called to restore this gospel to the earth. And that through him we have The Book of Mormon: the Keystone of this gospel.
Palo is doing great and he is just progressing super fast so all we have to do is find out a way to get him married. And Ana and Danilson will be babtized on the 4th of May!! Ana is 18 and Danilson is 20. Danilson is almost done with the book of Alma! And he is already inviting friends to church! They are so amazing and I still cant describe the feelings that come when you bring the Atonement to somebody, and offer them the chance to use it. I HAVE NOT KNOWN A GREATER JOY than this. I joy and rejoice in my savior as did the prophets of old, because without him I would be nothing and litteraly fall to the ground with no strength. I rejoice in my god for in him I can do all things. Thank you so much for giving the the grand opportunity to be a part of this family! I love you all so very much and pray for you and wish the best!

April 15, 2013

Good to hear from the family again! Emma and Caleb way to tear it up in Soccer! Caleb, Im sure that you are already better than me. I never could dribble to save my life. So way to go! I cant believe its already spring, well back home anyway. Here we have two seasons. Hot and More Hot. They do have a winter but it only gets down to maybe 50 degrees at night at the lowest. Heh, Glad to hear that the little blue honda is still pumping out the miles! but for them that is like crazy cold! Anyway, so Zac and Lindsey are going into the MTC! That is so cool!! They will be great missionaries!.
This week was full of the spirit. We have done a lot of contacting and door knocking. I love it so much! Teaching people and bringing them the atonement is what Ive wanted to do all my life and now it is here!!! I cant describe in words what it feels like. We have and investigator named Palo. He has a wife and two little kids that are the best! They are so cute! We met him a couple of weeks ago and he is just on fire.! He understand everything and reads all the pamphlets and is already done reading 1 Nephi after like 2 weeks!! I love thins man. He truly has been prepared by the Lord. But he told us of an experience that he had only a few days ago. He had fallen asleep in a class and had a dream. In his dream there were a lot of religeous groups and people arguing about church. He turned to leave and a man dressed in a Black cloak pointed at him and said YOU! You are right. You have the right church. Then the man slowly took off the black cloak and was dressed in a brilliant white robe. He was super excited to tell us this story! And we were awestruck! It was very spiritual and, wow. It was amazing. He is progressing very rapidly. What a blessing!
We also had another investigator have a dream. Her name Is Ana. She had previously been an investigator of the church in another area. But was dropped for some reason. Then she moved into our area and called us up and told us to come over. She said that about a month ago her grandfather had died. About a week after he died she had a dread where he came to her and wrote something on a piece of paper. He wrote (her grandpa in the dream) 2 Nephi 31;4-5. Wow! She said right there. I need to be babtized. When can I be babtized! It was a week full of miracles and more miracles! The Lord truly is in every moment of our lives and knows what we need and how to help us. I love my Savior Jusus Christ, He is everything. The hard work does pay off. We are finding more and more people that want to hear our message! I love them all so much! Thank you again for all your emails and for your support and prayers! I love you all! Let me know where Jessiqa is going when she finds out. I am super excited for her!!

April 8, 2013

Ola Familia!! First of all thank you for all your letters (emails) and for all the good news. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA!! I know it was awesome! That is super cool that you got to meet Pres Merrill and his wife and Elder Brown. I do remember him. I only saw him I think once or twice but we did talk for a min. We only got to watch Priesthood session. But that alone was a tremendous blessing. I forgot how much I love to watch General Conference. It was as spiritual boost and a release valve for a lot of questions and concerns that I had had were answered. I cant wait to get to read the rest of the talks. Even thought they will be in Portuguese. Jessiqa! That is so cool about your misison!! I cant wait to find out where you are going!! Emma, sorry about your finger, that kinda stinks. But congrats on the piano and with the Chinese. And Caleb and Zach as well! That I so amazing that you can actually already have full conversations. It blows my mind! Wow, you guys run a lot of races. But thats good, even though I dont really like to run. But hey good job with the medals!! Heh, dont worry, I will try to not get malaria again. And Yes, I was taking my malaria prevention pills when I got much for that.... They are not 100% perfect I found out. Oh, still havent recieved that package. Just a quesion. Did you send it normal mailing or express. Because we have decided that the only mail that gets here is express. Elder Cliffords mom sent him a package at the beginning of his mission and he still hasnt gotten it. and he has almost been here a year. Anyway...

But my new companion Elder Clifford is from Arizona. All I have had is Arizoninan companions. I love him already. He is an amazing missionary and I have alrready learned a lot from him. He is a very good teacher and very obedient. (This is good) I am SUPER excited to work with him, really though, I am. It rained pretty good on Friday. That was an understatement...It rained like a foot of water in 5 hours. We walked through ( on the paves street) water almost up to our knees!! The roads were literally rivers. There was so much water!! Holy smokes it was amazing! Edson passed the Sacrament for the first time this last Sunday! He was smiling from ear to ear! He loved it so much! He will be a very strong member in the church! We also found a man named Danilson. He had been going to chuch in another part of Luanda for 2 months! We started teaching him and he already knew basically everything. If you go to church for 2 months your bound to know a lot. But he is now going to be babtized on the 20th of April! I cant even begin to describe the joy that comes with a moment such as this. Like President Monson said in the Preisthood session Love hath won the victory! I love you all so much and I LOVE the people here and this work that I am so privelaged to participate in. The establishement of the Church here in Angola. I bear my personal witness that Christ is the Savior of our souls and through him can we be saved. I know this to be true and that Book of M├Ármon has the convincing and spiritual power to change the hearts of the children of men. I have seen it. But more importantly I have felt it. I love you all. Keep the faith!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April 1, 2013

So, We are doing a little bit of email right now and will do the rest later. But my package has not yet arrived but I will let you know when it gets here. We found out Transfers and I will be working with Elder Clifford!! Im pretty excited for that and I know that it will be a great experience! He will be the District leader so that will be cool!  And could I get Trevors and Chases email? That would be great! And just for the books I am fine. Malaria is gone and I dont have the symptoms anymore. But I sure do sweat a lot more since I had it. Thank you for all the updates on the ward and Zac Welsh and all those awesome people! And for the pictures!! Thanks! That sure looks like a lot of fun! But as far as Easter Dinner...I didnt even eat dinner last night. We have been out of water and energy for a week. I will explain later! Love you all!
Thank you all for the updates and good news! Jessiqa!  I still cant believe that you are going on a mission! That is so cool!! Ok, the Malaria is gone and has been gone for two weeks. No worries yeah? Sorry if it worried you a little bit but I thought you should know. Just life I guess....
My Easter Sunday. Well we went to church and there was a different spirit about it. It was, more, sacred and I felt like I learned more during the sacrament and felt the spirit more than I have before. I loved it. But everybody around here has been partying this weekend and drinking. It has been really hard to talk to ANYBODY that is not drunk or has a hangover. Not kidding, Saturday night we had a huge party going on next door that blasted their music until 4 in the morning. Yeah, didnt get much sleep that night. Our Easter dinner.... We didnt eat dinner Sunday night. We have been out water for over a week and out of energy for 5 days. It gets super hot at night. We sweat all night long, not kidding either. And I have had to take several cowboy showers. (Wipe down with a wet rag) for the past few days. That was my shower. But we have a little bit of water right now. Enough to wash dishes, clothes and take spit showers. Thats another thing. I have been washing clothes by hand for a while.....I sure do appreciate washing machines a lot more now.  They are no longer a big white thing that takes up space except for on Saturday when we use them. One thing I have come to learn is to appreciate all the basic necessities of life. All the stuff that I have taken for granted all my life.
But this week was very difficult. I found myself several times falling to my knees with nothing more to do. I have never felt so low, never felt like I could do nothing more. Never felt so utterly helpless and discouraged. I testify that prayer is the closest we get to God. Life truly is the Refiners fire. Where a person must first be beaten and melted down before he can be shaped. I know that Christ loves us and he is with us for time and eternity. He will never let us go. I love my mission! I love you all ! I love the people out her in Angola!! I LOVE MY SAVIOR JUSUS CHRIST! He is everything to me and to us. Thank you all for your support and prayers. They are very much appreciated!

Elder Dredge