Monday, December 9, 2013

November 18, 2013

Hey there family!!

I had a great week thank you!! Thank you for the emails and for the great thoughts about the universe and the grandeur and power of the creations of God. It is truly a vast and inchomprehensible feat that He has accomplished. 

Yes, as you all head into winter we are heading into summer. It is already getting nice and toasty. Every once in a while, we will get into a taxi that doesn't have functioning windows and so our trip turns into a sweat room/steam bath on wheels. Prime time to lose some weight right? Things are warming up here though. Elder Francisco is still here in with us in Viana. I'm not sure when he will be sent to the Provo MTC but I can only imagine soon. 
This week was a bit slower than the rest because of meetings and an incident on Saturday. We had Zone meeting and since we live in Viana ( which is the farthest area) Zone meeting took up most of the day. We travel a little over an hour to get to Zone meeting and getting back is about the same. SO 2 1/2 hours travel time give or take. But it was a great meeting! I learned a lot. We talked about the first article of faith and for those of you who are familiar with the lesson of The Restoration "God is our Loving Heavenly Father." We were tought by our Zone Leaders (one of whom is Elder Clifford) and President Holland. Lots of helpful insights. We were told that we usually skip over this principle or at least don't teach it to its full potential. At first I thought, "I always tell people that God is their Heavenly Father and that he loves them." But as the training went on I realized how much we have all been leaving out. When put into practice we found out that every single one of our investigators thinks that God is a Spirit that you can only feel and not see. It was like a new light in our teaching. Something that President Holland said was that "How are we expected to teach and testify of mortal leaders if first we do not teach and testify of eternal ones?" A penetrating question. But when people know that God really does love them and that we all have a personal relationship with him they will achieve Eternal Life. Through the Holy Ghost we can know of the Sacrifice that our Savior Jesus Christ made for us, and that through the Atonement of Him we are able to be cleansed from our sins and uncleanliness, and ultimately we are able to exist in the presence of God being perfect; returning "to that God who gave us birth." The concept is an unbroken chain of truths and eternal doctrine that once conceived by the human mind opens the doors to teach and testify of The Restoration of this very gospel. Once they know that God REALLY does love them they know our message is true. It is so cool!!!! (I hope that all made sense)

On Saturday we were told to stay home because of a riot/ protest that was scheduled to take place in Viana. Apparently they are trying to get somebody out of jail. But the police were going to be out in full force so we were told it would be better if we just stay at home to not get caught up in anything. It started off well. We did studies normal and then the power went out and then we ran out of gas for the stove. So we sweated the whole day and took out the little electric stove and used the generator to make some food. It took a long time on that wimpy little stove... The energy came back the end of the day and so we did a deep cleaning of the house and moved some stuff around. It looks good. 

Mateus and Bula are doing very well. They both came to church on Sunday. We haven't talked to Bula about marriage yet but we have an appointment to sit with him this week. Alberto and Glaudice ( the French speakers from the Congo) are treating their documents for Casamento!!! The had a meeting with President Pedro (of the Branch) and are working so hard! They are the best little family ever. I sent home a picture of them last week, the one where they are all sitting on the couch and we are standing behind them. Alberto is a member but Glaudice is not. We set the date for her to be baptized on the 28th of December. One week and a day after their marriage!! I am so excited for them!! We have grown very close to them. Glaudice is reading The Book of Mormon like a champ and is already in Helema!! And she only started 2 months ago!! She told us that she wants to teach the gospel with us or to be a missionary!! They are the best little family ever!!

Thank you for all your support and for being such a great family!! I wish you all the best week of your lives!! I love you all very much!! And I know that this gospel is true, without question it is true!!

Love Elder Dredge

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