Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Photos From Angola

A typical home outside the city

The baptism of Antonio

In Huambo

The Mosquito net that keeps him from getting malaria again

Helping hands at the orphanage

With the children at the orphanage

Giving haircuts at the orphanage

Home of a recent convert

The infamous guinea pig roast.  Yes he did eat it!

November 11, 2013

Hey there family. I decided to send lots of pictures. I hope they all made it. So this letter will be a bit shorter because of time sending pictures, but hey, they say a pictures worth a thousand words! And sorry we didn't do email yesterday. Yesterday was Independence day over here so everything was closed. 

Thank you for all the emails I received! You are all the best!! I wish I could have been there to see the end of the giant pumpkin. So its getting cold back home. Its getting hotter here. I am starting to sweat a lot more than I did before, but don't worry we drink plenty of water. Oh, and my package is here and I should be getting it by the end of this week, or so I was told. We shall see. Elder Francisco is doing great!! We printed off some pictures for his visa a few days ago so he should be out of here in no time!! He is so excited and giddy about missionary work!! Ive never seen anyone with such animation and liveliness for doing the Lords work before! Its great!! In response to your question, yes we have a refrigerator in our apartment. We actually have two, don't ask me how but it happened...somehow. Caleb!! Get that Eagle project done. It might be a pain and you might have to do a lot of paperwork but its worth it!! Keep up the good work! NO soda!! wow, way to stay healthy. I love you all family!!

This past week was a really stressful week, I'm not sure why but there was just so much to do in so little time! AHHH. We have so many new people and members are bringing friends and family to church so we are almost biting off more than we can chew. But its great and I love every min of it, maybe not in the moment, but after I sure do appreciate it all.

This week we sat with two of our investigators Mateus and Bula that already consider themselves to be members of the church! Its really funny to hear them talk about how they are going to bring their family members to "their church" I love them so much!! They are both older that dad and Have several kids and one is a policeman and the other a professor at a local school. We talked about marriage the other day and that they need to be married before baptism. Most people here are married traditionally and not legally. They were equally excited about that as well. I was a bit nervous as to what they would say, but Bula said. "If that's what we need to do, that that is what we will do." He was super excited about it actually! The church is true! I know it! There is no other way that 20 year old kids can change the lives of 50 year old men. Through the spirit anything is possible! 

I know the power of the spirit is real and can truly guide us if we just let him. The holy Spirit is always prompting us and trying to help us, We just need to learn how to recognize what he is saying. It is a concept that I have been trying so hard to understand that is so simple but yet extremely dense. I love my Savior Jesus Cristo and for all he has done for me and the whole world. His life and teachings are unlike any other and I struggle every day to understand them better. Thank you all for everything! I wish you all the best week ever!!
Keep the Faith!

Friday, November 8, 2013

November 4, 2013

Thanks for all of your emails and for the birthday wishes! The birthday came and went. I don't really fell like 20 but I guess I am. Its a little strange but ill just have to deal with it I guess. Halloween sounds like it was great!! Sadly we did not get to carve pumpkins because the store in which we saw them no longer had them when we went by. Here they celebrate it on November 2nd and call it Dia dos mortos (day of the dead). Zach, Emma! I love your costumes!! They were great! Sounds like you got loads of good candy! And Caleb, did you scare a lot of kids with that costume on the roof! Heh, That looked like a lot of fun! Dad, I am not a fan of spiders but para bens! You held that nasty tarantula with no fear. Heh, I almost laughed out loud here in the cuber cafe when I read the part about you "showing your new friend to mom."  Hahahaha!! Mom, sorry, but I haven't received the package yet. From what I hear it has already arrived its just stuck somewhere in the process of arriving. In other words. I should get it... nah just kidding. It should be here this week. And thank you for the pictures!! I just received them 2 min ago!! They are all great!! I will try next week to send some photos.
We had a great week. Being in a tripla is a whole new experience. Everything had to be done with three people. It can get annoying at times but at the same time its super fun! Elder Francisco is a great missionary and is so much fun to be around! But the area of Viana is doing great! we have several investigators that are progressing very well and that have baptismal dates or marriage dates. We moved chapels two weeks ago so now it is in our area. We have been doing a lot of contacting around the chapel. Its really nice when someone asks where is it located and we just point across the street and say "Its that house right there." Cool success story, this week we had 11 investigators at church!!! It was nuts, they just kept coming in and coming in! I loved it!! We have a man named Mateus that we just met in the Praca. He is one of the people that have been prepared for years to hear the gospel. He is about 45 years old, is a policeman, and has, consecutively, read almost finishing 2 Nefi in 3 weeks!!! He just wants to be baptised and be a member of the church. We have a few more people like him that are very strong investigators. 

This week we had a nasty rain storm with lightning, thunder, the works! It was amazing! We were very far away from home (it was night and we were on our way home) when it started. There was no other choice. An hour later and soaking wet we finally walked into the house. I loved the rain. There is nothing like rain in Africa, It just has a different feeling to it. I loved it! Well, that's about it for this week. We have been working really hard and its starting to pay off!! I love this work and know that it is the work of the Lord. How else would a 20 year old like me be able to go out to Angola and invite others to come unto Christ! I love it all so much! This is the best time of my life! And I'm almost halfway done with it! AHHHH! Time flies when you blink. I love you all and know that I am praying for all of you!!

Love Elder Dredge

October 28, 2013

First of all I would like to thank you all for the Birthday wishes!! You are all amazing! I'm sure with all your wishes this birthday will be the most memorable ever!! I also received a letter from the Abplanalps this past week! Thank you! I too cannot believe that I am 20 years old. As dad put it, I am no longer a teenager.....a strange thought. I have learned a lot. I heard a quote in the MTC that I liked a lot. " Wise men learn from there mistakes, super wise men learn from others' mistakes" I would have to say that I have learned a lot from my mistakes. But hey, that's life! Thanks for the video, I tried to watch it but this computer doesn't have a "player program" thing. Maybe next week.  A few weeks ago we found a store that sells pumpkins! You know what that means!!! Halloween!!! we are going to carve pumpkins!! Woooohhoooo! Its going to be great! Zach I'm right there with ya! But I don't think my pumpkin will be as good as yours. Send me a picture of your pumpkin and your Ninja costume, ok? I'm excited to see it!! Noelle it sounds like you had a great time at the dance! I miss the good old days! Congrats with one more piano recital under the belt mom!! Your the best mom ever!!

This past week we received a new elder. Elder Francisco. He is Angolan and has been assigned to work with us so we are in a tripla. He is the nicest guy you will ever meet. He is 23 and only wants to do missionary work. He is always wanting to pay for our stuff, clean our shoes and dishes and is just the nicest guy. We are not his trainers because he hasn't even been to the MTC yet so we are just giving him a kick start of sorts. Its really fun! Speaking of Norberto we went over to his house yesterday after church. At church we watched one session of General Conference. When we talked to Norberto he bore powerful testimony of what was said and taught!! He is the best ever!!

Darn! Time is up, sorry its not all that much but I thank you for everything! You are all the best family a guy like me could ask for! Have a great Halloween!!! Don't eat too much candy!
Love Elder Dredge