Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

Dear family!
Thanks for the photos, they are great!! I do miss Panguitch a lot. But things sound great! And with Conference and all. We only got to watch the Sunday sessions. But it was a great day and I love General Conference! 

We have Luis and Alfonzo that are doing great!! They both have been reading the Book of Mormon and understand it very well. Luis read the part where the Lord changed the color of the skin of the Lamanites because of their iniquity to a darker color.... That opened up a can of awkwardness. But it turned into a spiritual conversation. We explained to him that this "curse" does not apply to him. And that was the way that the Lord distinguished the righteous from the wicked back in those days. He understood and took no offense. It was pretty cool. 

We are doing lots of contaction still. I really liked what dad said the other day. That sometimes you are doing the harvesting and sometimes you are doing the planting. I have to remind myself of that a lot. But one overriding thought is that I am here to do the work of the Lord. He knows whats best for me. All I need to do is put myself in His hands, sacrifice my will for his and he will take care of me. It's hard sometimes but its worth it. I've been thinking a lot about this concept this week and a few of the stories I will share explain why.
Yeah, sorry I didn't write this last week, the internet went down for like 5 days so it was super annyoing. But I'm alive and all is well here in Viana. On Saturday we had 2 baptisms!! Lala and Tati! They are 9 and 10 years old and are family of some members. They are extremely smart and know more that some of our adult investigators. But getting them baptized was a luta! (Wrestle) First of all the times for the baptism were mixed up, we were told they were at 14 so that's what we told everybody ( we did baptisms with another branch) On Saturday morning I got a call from the other elders asking us where we were. I was a bit surprised and said that we were going to leave in a few hours. Well , long story short they were there and waiting for us at 10. So they did their own baptismal service and we decided to carry on with ours at 14. We got there about 13 to put more water in the font because it has a slow leak. (By the way, it takes about 2 hours to get to the Cassequel Chapel from our house by taxi) 14 rolls around and two members show up but the candidates still weren't there. They didn't get there until 15, 1 hour late! Ahh! Side note: to baptize someone under age you need to get signed authorization from a legal guardian on the baptismal form. We had not had the parents of Tati sign the form yet, but we were told that her parents were going to come to the baptism and we would just have them sign it before. (Their parents aren't members) They didnt show up..... Ummmmmm.. so only one of the little girls can be baptized?? Their brother Fernando was going to be the one performing the baptism and he is leaving on his mission this Wednesday. So brother Nequetela drove all the way back to Viana to get the signature. What took us about 2 hours to travel ONE WAY he did in about an hour, THERE AND BACK!! I don't know how he did it so fast but wow. WE got the signature!!!! They were baptised and confirmed the next day at church. It was quite the day. After that all we had time to do was to catch a taxi and go home. The taxies were running sparse so we cought a ride in the back of a pickup truck with like 5 other Angolans. So there were 9 people piled in the back of this random pickup truck flying down what is equivelant to our freeway. That was one adventure for this week.

I would have to say though that that was one of the most spiritual baptisms I have ever participated in. Maybe because it was so hard to finally make it happen. But the spirit was thick and testified to me once again that this is why we are here. Satan can try as hard as he can to stop us but in the end it will be the Lord that Prevails! (I presided at this baptism...weird huh?)

Today on the way to Soccer we caught a ride with a man in his truck (this time we sat inside). On the way there, in crazy traffic, we were pulled over by the police. The police here drive around on motorcycles and have machine guns strapped to their chests. So they stopped us and asked us for our documentos. We all had them except for Elder Dunkley. The policeman was very angry and started to just rip into Elder Dunkley. Then he told him that he was going to go to jail. I had already been praying like crazy, and I felt like everything would be fine, but when he told him that he would be going to jail my heart skipped a beat. And then he ordered him to get out of the car. Then my heart stopped. What was going on? This policeman was going to take my companion to an Angolan jail?! I immediatley got out of the car as well. The policeman looked at me like I was stupid and asked what I was doing and told me to get back into the car. He was a little shorter than me but he was decked out in body armour and had a machine gun across his chest. I just stood there and told that as missionaries of the Church we have rules and that I have to stay with my colleage. He turned away from Elder Dunkley and looked straight at me and with a very commanding voice told me to "get in the car right now!" I stood there and told him no, and that I had to stay with Elder. There was no yelling involved but he was very assertive. He put his hand up close to my face and ordered me again to get in the car. My mind was running, this guy has a gun, he seemed pretty scary and I felt like I was getting into a mess that I wouldn't be able to get out of. Right when he told me to get into the car for the second time I had the thought that "you have to stay with your companion." So I told him again that I WOULD NOT let Elder Dunkley go to jail without me. He got really angry. Raised his voice and started waving his arms in the air, but the whole time telling me to obey his command and "Get in the car!" I slowly started moving back toward the door and then he just snapped. "The both of you!!.....Get in the car!" he yelled. He gave us our documents and left. 

I am convinced that the hand of the Lord was in every step of that encounter. I was scared out of my mind. But I was as calm as could be. I know that the Lord protects his missionaries and that we are here to do a sacred work. The work of the Lord. This is his work and as long as we are doing what he would have us do we will be guided and directed by His Hand. I love my Savior and know that he is also watching over all of you. And I know that If everybody, missionary or not, follows the counsels of the Lord and His Profetas and Apostolos, His hand will guide and protect you.

Overall it was a great week to do missionary work!!! I love my mission and I love each and every one of you so much!! Thank you so much for everything!! 

Wow, that was a long email. Tell everybody I said hi! Wait, this email goes out to everybody...

Hey everybody!!! I Love you all!! If you're reading this than I love you! Even if you're not reading this than I still love you!
Love Elder Dredge

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