Saturday, March 1, 2014

February 24, 2014

Well hello there Family!

We had a pretty crazy week. Full of unexpected miracles! I cant believe that Dad and Caleb are running themselves into the ground! I dont know how you do it. How do you do it? What is the secret? Yes I did recive all of that stuff from Brother Jhonson. Thank you!! I did have a question though. Toilet paper?? We have already eaten one package of the Circus animals and are working on the rest. MMMMMM so good. He is such a good man and I really look foreward to seeing him more often! Dad, you are quite the creative writer! And thank you for the letter inside the package! That was the best part to hear from all of you. Thank you so much!!

From what it sounds like I picked a good year to miss the skiing season. NO SNOW!! What is this global warming!?? Spring is in the air. Its a bit different feeling here. The rainy season is in the air. It rained on Sunday for about 30 min and boy did it pour! But two hours later it was almost as if it didnt rain at all. It all evaporated back to where it came from.

Irma Marinet is the one with the car trouble. But she had a mechanic take it to the shop and apparantly he broke something AND found more problems and so now they are asking $1500! She has no means to srape up that kind of money. Cheap-skate mechanics. But she has a good firend that knows cars that is going to help her see what the problems really are. But they did come to church on Sunday!! And she is already inviting other people to come! But they were not baptized on Saturday. In fact nobody was baptized on Saturday. long story.

Irma Marinet and her daughters were haveing lots of doubts and werent reading or praying. But we went over with the wife of our Branch President, Irma Ivone. She helped out so much, again. And now Marinet is all gung-ho and ready to be baptized and just ready to take on the world. So we posponed the baptisms for two more weeks to help them really get ready feel comfortable. Luciana, Victoria and Maria, (they are the ones with the reluctant father) were not baptized either. We held the interviews and they passed with flying colors and were all so excited. But when the time came for their father to sign the form he would not. He baptized them as babies and to him signing another form for baptism was signing his soul to the devil. He is an older man that speaks prtuguese but not the best. He could not understand where we were coming from. He snapped. He yelled at us and insulted us more than once, threatened to beat his children (dont worry he wont be able to, he has a hard time walking) and went plain nuts. Everybody in the family and even some of the neighbors tried to help explain to him but he just kept saying, "this is no game! baptism 2 times! NO!!" amongst other things. That really took a toll on me. We fasted and prayed constantly. I just about snapped as well, but was able to stay calm. We talked for more than an hour trying to explain. And then went back the next day and it was even worse. So we just left in the hands of the girls and their family. They still came to church and now things are looking a lot better. We recieved permission for another family member to sign the form if the father allowed. They are going to all talk it through and tell him what they want. It was hard to accept the outcome in that moment. Yes, they were not baptized, but I trust in the Lord, He knows better that we. And Here in notime their father will accept. I wish I had more time to include all the details but time is short.

Mr. Hwang!! So now that you have met him as well (in picture) I will tell you about him. He stopped us in his car about 2 months ago and we talked for a little bit and he went on his way. Then last week we saw him again and we exchanged numbers and he invited us to eat with him. Yes, he invited us. It wasnt until after that I realized that this man was super important and working for the Korean Embassy. He bought us some really good Thai food!! Oh it was so good. But in between bites and broken English I tried to hold a normal conversation that eventually led to gosepl. Before I knew it we had talked about the nature of God, Our purpose, The Restoration, Family history and may other things. It was in the midst of all that that Brother Jackson came into the picture. It truly was a miracle! He is a great man and eve thought he told us that he had absoulutly no intrest in religion He felt the spirit. He said that he really admired the work we were doing.

Well, thats about all I have time for. I hope you all have the best week ever!! I love you all !!!!

Elder Dredge

Photo from Brother Jackson

Here is a photo we received from Brother Jackson, a SLC businessman who saw Stephen and his companion in a mall food court in Luanda. The elders were having lunch with a member of the Korean embassy in Angola. The conversation and introduction resulted in several contacts being made. Brother Jackson's Korean associate had been trying unsuccessfully to connect with other Koreans living in Angola. Brother Jackson promised him that he would introduce him to members of the Church in Angola in order to possibly locate other Koreans living in the country. Then they walked into the food court, and spotted the missionaries...with a member of the Korean embassy. Brother Jackson's associate was absolutely amazed. Brother Jackson said that it was an answer to his prayer of trying to help his associate...and introduce the gospel to him.

February 17, 2014

Dear Dredges:

Mom, thanks for the Update on all the whole family. I love hearing about what all of you are doing! Wow! More races! And the Patriarchial Blessing! I remeber when I recieved mine. I couldnt believe some of the things that were said. And most of it is still a mystery to me. But I cant tell you how many times, since ive been out, I have had and inspiration about my Blessing and a confirmation to a question that I had. It truly is a compass to our lives. If we strive to live worthy of the blessings pronounced than we will be guided throught our lives. Noelle I am so happy for you. Keep that blessing always. Read, ponder and pray about it and it will be given you in the very hour what you need. Im Glad that you are all of good health and spirits. That is something that I have grown to appreciate SO much more: the importance of important things. Its true what they say about the African people. They have little of what is of no importance and so much of the true treasures of life. I love this people so much! I wish you could meet them all. You would fall in love with them right away. They will do anyting for you.

I dont think there is such thing as a normal week in missionary work. It may seem sometimes like nothing happened but when I look back all I can see is Miracles! I believe in Miracles. I believe the Hand of the Lord guides every moment of our lives. Our mortal eyes and minds most of the time are not able to see just how involed He is in our lives. Irma Marinet and her sister Nocas and her daughter Inez are preparing to be baptized this Saturday. She does have some butterflys but she is convicted in her decision to join the Church of Jesus Christ! They are doing great! I love them so much. And the 3 Sisters, Luciana, Victoria, and Maria are doing amazing as well. they are going to all the activities and are actually making firends with our other investigators as well as members. We actually tought their Father this week and he was very impressed with what they are learning. I believe that he is still a little reluctant but he is seeing how happy his children are and is more and more willing each time we see him. I know the Spirit of the Lord is in that home helping each and every member of that family.

In Huambo the dialect was Ymbundoo, but here most of the people speak Quikongo. So we have been learning a few frases here and there. It is so much fun to greet someone in their native language and watch their reaction. Priceless!

Oh and we got one more Elder this week Elder Sefita! He is from Samoa. And reminds me of Rugby. He is a big man and played football in High School. We had to wake up at 3:30 on Wednesday morning to go and meet him at the airport. His flight didnt arrive until 4:30 we we were waiting for about 2 hours. Then we went back to presidentes house to have a small training with the new Elder. Wow...I was tired that day. But one more Elder!!!! Most of the other missionaries are stil haveing trouble with their visas, but I believe they will be let in soon. I know the gospel is true and I love the Book of Mormon and Hymns. This week I made a goal to sing a Hymn every time I felt like... well, not good, to bring the Spirit back.. I just sing under my breath, or out loud, whatever. It is true when the Lord said that the Song is a prayer of the heart. I love you all! have a great week!!

Elder Dredge

February 10, 2014

Thanks for the emails everybody!

Well, first off Amelia dropped us again, she is a little unstable. She will come around, she just needs a little more time. Solange is having lots of family issues that take up lots of time. So she has not been able to come to church. We took Irma Ivone, the wife of our Branch President, with us the last time we went over. It went very well, there is nothing like woman to woman talk, but when it is based on the Gospel it is Spiritualy Powerful. And thats what happened. Spiritual Power. But she is still going to have an operation that will render her immovable for several weeks. So we are praying and visiting her often. We have already tought most of the lessons in Preach My Gospel so we are teaching a lot more from the scriptures and reading with her.

As far as the Mechanic stuff, she still hasnt bought the belt (dad you might heave to know the price of a belt) because its so expensive. $55!!! So she is saving up money just to by a belt. But yes they did love the cookies and everytime we visit they ask if I could bring more. This is the family of Marinet. They are doing great!! The two girls Inez and Nocas love going to church and being with the young women. Marinet told us that the other day after chior practice when they came home they continued to sing all night long! It is great to see them making friends. They all start school this week and they all study at different times. The only time that they are all in house is at 9 in the morning. AKA= we will be making some morniong visits.

In all we had a crazy week! We tought a lot of people. We have been passing by with a lot more fequency to those that are planning to be baptized. Most of these people will be baptized on Fev 22. Here in a couple of weeks. Our time to find more people is diminishing because of all the people we are teaching but we are still always trying to talk with EVERYONE. Its fun to say that we are missionaries of the Igreja de Jesus Cristo do Santos do Ultimos Dias. Some people take it reverntly and with respect and others not so much. The other day we were contacting and were trying to find our way around a new area. We were in the Paragem (its where all the taxies go to pick up people) and asked a man in a taxi where we could find a certain College. He and 5 other people then proceeded to give us directions to help us. On the other side of things. The same day we were knocking on some doors in a neighborhood and as we were walking down the dirt road we had some rocks thrown at us by some teenagers. We turned around and they quickly ducked into the doorway and tried to hide. I almost blew up. but held my temper and we just kept walking.

We have 3 Sisters that are Cousins to a missiary Elder Gabriel ( cousin to Elder Francisco) that we are teaching. They are Victoira (17) Luciana (14) and Maria (14). Maria and Luciana are twins. They are incredible. Weonly met them this last week. and started teaching them. They soak up information and Love the Gospel. They are also preparing to be baptized on the 22nd. Yesterday we went by and tought the 10 Commandments along with a few others. At the end of the lesson Victoria bore the most powerful testimony I have ever seen. She was moved to tears. I nearly cried. She told of the happiness that she had found in the gospel and the church and with her new friends. She also told of the criticism they were recieving from family. My heart swelled with joy. Vctoria has several debilitating problems. One of her legs is shorter than the other and is slightly twisted along with a few other things. But she and her sisters are amazing. They speak of the joy and peace that they have found in the Gospel. So yesterday we also talked with their parents. They are extremely rooted in another religeon. Their father told us that his daughters had to follow in his footsteps. It took a while and voices were even raised. But the Spirit was there. And in the end he decided that it was time for them to make their own decisions. He is is now way going to support their decision, but he is going to let them deciede what they want. The three of them were there the whole time while we were talking with him. At one point we asked him to ask them what they wanted. He asked them " Is this what you want?! You want to be baptized again!? (they had been baptized as childred). Without hesitation and almost with tears the three of them answered in perfect unison "Yes" and Victoria added "We do." He went very quiet and realized that they were no longer little children. We sat in silence for a while. In the end he agreed. It was a Miracle!! They were smiling from ear to ear!!

I love this people for many different reasons. I love you all and I know that this Gospel works miracles in the lives of all those that accept it. I know that Christ is our Savior!! I wish you all a fantastic week!

Love Elder Dredge

February 3, 2014

Ola familia!!

The work is hastening!!!! I just would like to say one thing (ok, maybe a lot of stuff): I love this mission!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cant ever get enough of it. Wow I was extememly tired the past few days but its wearing off. Im not sure what I did, but I dont think I have ever been so tired that when we get home at night my body literaly starts shutting down and going to sleep. Its a whole new sensation of being exhausted. Amelia is still running, She is a workaholic so we havent seen her for what seems like ages. It took me a while to accept the fact that it just may not be her time. But I know that here in the near future she will recognize what she is missing and come back.

So we now have a Luge in the back yard huh? Cool! You will have to send me a picture or two. Dad: have you talked to Irmao Maximo yet? I see him every week at church. I am hoping to go on splits with him in the future. Thanks for the mission stories. It sounds exactly like what I have seen and experienced thusfar. The circumstances may be different but the Lords work is the same the world over. How is school going with all of you? Is there loads of snow or is it a sad snow year again?

Solange is not going to be able to be baptized becuse of her pregnancy and her husband. He is of another religion. He told her that she could be baptized after the baby. Which is not until April. But she is having lots of complications with her pregnancy. So we will have to see how it all plays out. But she knows!! She knows the church is true and loves it. She loves us coming over and teaching her. We are going to do a lunch with her sometime as well.

Marinet and her family are doing great!! they came to "Integration Night" on Saturday and even helped clean up after. And then on Sunday we went with a member to pick them up becuse her car is broken. The belt snapped, so I volunteered to change it out. She still hasnt bought the piece but when she does we will help her out. There is 7 people in the family of Marinet. two of them, Kevin and Alex, are under 10 years old, but the rest love sitting with us. They all come to church and are reading the Book of Mormon!! They love the gospel!! I am going to make some snickerdoodle cookies today to take over to their house tomorrow. Yeah we had a deal that we wouldnt get fed if I didnt bring American cookies. They are a super fun family!

We are getting 3 new missionaris either this or next week!! I love getting new missionaries. We need their help. We are small in numbers but growing. This Saturday our Zone has 7 baptisms!! I had the privelage to interview Nomar from one of the other areas yesterday. He is 19 and loves the gospel. He is very antsy to be baptised!! Remember Mateus? He is one of my investigators that we tought in Viana a few months ago. He was interviewd and will also be baptized this Saturday!! Alberto and Glaudice should be getting their documents for marriage this week as well!! The Gospel is true!!

We never stop donig contacting and tracting. We meet some interesting people most of the time. And lots of these houses have dogs that look like they could swallow you whole. Its an adventure every day. It rained pretty good so we spent the week jumping from rock to rock to try and not get muddy. Lots of mud!! Lots of water!! It was a tropical storm!! Lightning and rain, wind! But we had a great week. I know that Jesus Christ leads and guides his church today through a living prophet!!! I love you all so very much!
Elder Dredge

January 27, 2014

Welp first of all to answer your questions. Life this week was long and hard and satisfying and stressfull and full of pure joy and lots of other emotions, as it always is. The zone Conference was, well, in my opinion it could have been a bit better, but we worked through it. It was all planned out and went well, but it was hot in the room because the aircondcionars were not working so it was prime time to get drowsy. I was a bit nervous but Haja o que houver e ama-lo. (come what may and love it) We emphasised on uncovering the needs of our investigators and how to ask questions an listen with the spirit. If we listen with love our investigator will tell us what they need to hear.

Amelia is running away in a sense. She has felt the Spirit and knows these things are true. Ive seen it in her and she has even told us. But sometimes other influences get the better of us. I honestly have been keeping up at night wondering what she and other investigators need. We never see her becuase she never makes time for us and she did not come to church this week. So we are going to back off for a while. The only joy I find is in the joy of others. If I can find some way to help them be happy I am happy.

Heh, no we did not preach in Pastor Sammuels congregation. I would have liked too, but he never called us. I think he read the pamphlet we left him and realized just exactly what we were here to say. He never called us. As far as Solange, (bible bash). We sat with her 3 times this week and she came to church. On our second visit we asked if she had read and prayed and she answered in the affirmative. Then we asked if she had recieved an answer. She said no. We then watched the Restoration filme. After the filme she tried to explain what she was feeling and could not. We explained that It was the Spirit. She is changing completly and is just soaking up everything that we have to teach. Irma Solange is progressing so fast!!

So many Mircles are happening. For the last 3-4 weeks we have only been able to get very few investigators at church. But this week we worked extra hard and did everything that we thought possible. And yesterday at church we had 197 people that attended (the usual is 150-160)!!! And 11 of those people were investigators that we are teaching! People ask us all the time, "does your church believe in miracles?" We relpy yes we beleve 100% in miracles wrought by God not by men. When the world thinks of mircles the image of casting out a devil or healing someone in front of the congregation comes to mind. Mircles are the natural occurence of correctly applied principles. Dilligence, Faith, Hope, Prayer, Fasting, etc.

On Sunday I gave a blessing to one of the memebers that is going through a rough time. He is 18 and walkes with us on occation. He asked me to give him a blessing of comfort. During the blessing I literally felt the Spirit putting words, ideas, and frases into my thoughts. I dont remember all that I said but I know that it was guided by the Spirit. You recieve so much more when you give, than when you recieve.

I do have a quesiton for you. I have been thinking about tithing latley. I believe that you are supposed to pay my tithing on the funds, such as cash reeback, that I recieve. Im not sure if you have done that but if you could that would be great. Mom and dad, would you be willing to share with me your experiences with Tithing? Dad, What was one of the biggest lessons you learned as a missionary?' What was your mission like?

Im not sure what I miss the most. Brother Johnson is a great man and I loved talking to him.

Today we played soccer and some good old basketball. There werent very many of us but it was fun and I had a great time! We had a great week!! And it sounds like you all had a fantastic week as well.

I would like to thank the Fox Hollow Ward for all the Christmas letters I have recieved!! I got more than any other missionary!! They just kept coming and coming. Thank you all. I wish I wish I could write all of you individually but time does not permit. I am very thankful for your love and support. You are all the best!

Well thats about it for my week. It was a good one!! I wish you all a fantastic week as well!! I love you all so much!!

Elder Dredge

January 20, 2014

Dear Family:

We had a pretty stellar week with lots of ups and downs as ususal. We have a Zone conference on tuesdsay that Elder Pimentel and I have been planning for. I am a bit nervous, to say the least. But we have been pounding out a training for the past few days. Its cool because we get to use powerpoints and videos, so we spent a few hours in the library making up a powerpoint. It was a little stressful. And on Tuesday we had Missions Leadership council. Something that I dont think I had ever heard of until last week. But it was inspiring and uplifting. President Merrill is the man for the job. He is a great leader and mission president! We counciled together on what we could do to help the mission of Luanda Angola. Then after we had a leadership Training. Lots of things to learn and soak in. President talked about the most effective way to be a good leader. EXAMPLE. He is very big on "Show how and not Tell how." Which is true, most people will learn more from what they see than from what they are told. Sim we need to tell how sometimes but being an example is much better way of doing it.

Sunday was a great day but a bit of a struggle. We waited and waited for ANY of our investigators to come and no one did. We called and people cancelled or didnt «answer. And then halfway through the 2nd hour our fone rings and we both got up and bolted for the door to get out of the class to anwser the fone. It was Amelia!!! She had come. I was about to fall into " The pit of despair." But then Amelia pulled me out!! She came!! It was great because she knows Germina, a recent convert, so they sat next to eachother. But during the sacrament meeting I sat next to Amelia as well. I pulled out my scriptures and showed Amelia the Sacrament prayers. She then asked me about her baptism and marriage. But she was really asking me about repntance. I explained about the sacrament and what she was about to eat. It was cool, We talked about Repentance and the meaning of baptism and the sacrament, during the meeting with hushed voices. But she works a lot so it is almost impossible to sit with her. We havent seen her for 2 weeks. But she knows the Gospel is true.

We also tought a woman that just wanted to Bible Bash. She wanted to prove her knowledge superior to ours. But we tried to avoid her penetrating questions and eventually moved into the Restoration. By the end of the lesson the Spirit was thick. You could feel it. We asked her if she had any quesions... I was suprised at what she actually asked, (I was ready for more doctrine questions) "You have told me all this, and that I need to pray to know,...but how will I know?" I was taken back , but then we were able to testify of the Spirit and how he works with us. She understood and even accepted baptism. This is a Miracle! I know the Spirit changed the hearts of those that choose to listen. What was starting out to be a classic Bible Bash turned into a powerfully inspiring lesson. We have written on our door, to see as we leave the house every day, "Go find those Miracles!!" When you do what the Lord wants you to do and follow the Spirit, the Miracles will find you.

We were contacting and knocked on a particular door. A woman came to the door, saw us, asked the gardener what we wanted, then announced that she was already part of another church and that she DID NOT want to talk about church stuff. I knew that she was never going to let us in, so thinking on my toes I decided to try and get a reference out of her... "Sister, do you know anybod...." She cut me off in real fast and started to go balistic. Screaming very loudly, Get out, I dont want to talk to you, you can leave! No get out go away!" (This was in English by the way, Which was even more suprising.) She even threatened to «call the police...we left without another word. Ha, But I had to laugh. It was pretty funny, even though it suprised me a lot! Then we tought a pastor of another church that wants us to come to his congregation next Sunday to deliver our message... Yeah, I didnt know what to say either... But we shall see what happenes, He said he really wanted our help to preach the gospel to the members of his church. So we talked about the restroation and left him a pamphlet.

I know the Gospel is true. I love all of you very much!!!

Elder Dredge

January 13, 2014

Hey family!

Im glad that you finally recieved my letters. I guess the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season was a little much for my one letter. heh, but Im glad that it finally got there...After Christmas... You all sound very healthy. Is Noelle doing better? Zach! You want a violin! Thats good! Just make sure you pracitce it all the time. Caleb, you are getting ready for your eagle project. I remember when I did that. i was all excited until I looked at all the paperwork that I had to do. But hey, Its really not too bad. I Actually really loved scouting, all the merrit badges, and the Eagle Project. Good luck!!! Emma, you are in the presidency of the Beehives!! You will love serving the others!!

We had a great week with lots of ups and downs. We did two divisions with the other elders. We also recieved tranferrs. I will be serving with Elder Pimentel for one more transfer as zone leaders. We are getting 3 new missionaries tomorrow!!! Elder Nash, Garcia, and Hollingsworth!! I am so excited to have their extra strenght added here to help the gospel grow in Angola!!! But two missionaries are also going home ( their time is up) this next week. So our numbers will still stay the same, almost. We will be at, If im right, 34 missionaries. Its a great time to be a missionary!!!

Our area is struggling a little bit, but that doesnt change anything. We are still working hard, if anything harder. I have been so exhausted the past few days. But for some reason I am incredibly happy. Its strange what the Gospel/Mission does to you. You can be beat to a pulp, put through a grinder, one of those rolly things that compress metal, and still be the happiest guy on the face of the earth. Oh man I love it! We have not yet met the Husband of Amelia but hopefully this week will be the one. I have been reading the Acts of the Apostles in greater depth the last few weeks. I really admire the faith and power of these men. Even after the devestating death of the Savior they continued on. Sure the got dicouraged, hey if they didnt they wouldnt be human. But the pattern of their teaching fits right in with how we teach the gospel today. They asked questions, used scriptures, used testimony of other profets, personal testimony, tought of Jesus Christ, and then invited to be baptized and recieve the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It struck me more than ever that these were real men doing unreal things. The pattern of their teaching and ministry is the same as the Saviors and is the same way that the gospel is tought by thousands of missionaries all over the world. God is the same always, and he wil NEVER stop loving his children. I know the Gospel is true. I know that i have the best family on the face of the planet. I feel so blessed to be a part of our family. I love you all!!! I wish you all the best week ever!! Be safe and trust in the Lord. He knows whats best. Go find that Miracle!!

Elder Dredge

December 30, 2013

Christmas! New year! What is the deal!
Oh man I loved talking to you all on Christmas! That was great! The Venancios are great people, not to mention that he owns his own company. But from the sounds of it things are "running" smoothly. And dad tells me that the "race" never ends. Wow I couldnt do that, "going and going" in the not so warm air. Im trying to liken everything to a race, but its not working out very well. Zach! You are losing teeth like crazy! The tooth fairy must be getting tired. Sorry you didnt get the violin, maybe next year. But hey you will be getting some new teeth soon. Emma with the new tablet, wow!! Upgrade! Noelle I would have to say that I am relieved that you are ok and almost unscathed from that crazy car crash. But really, be careful out there on those slick roads. Here all you have to worry about is... well lets just say that you dont have to worry about sliding on the Black Ice. Just be careful. And that goes for the rest of you with a drivers licence! I havent heard anything from Caleb for a while. Hows it going over there in the frozen winter wonder land little brother?! Are you skiing at all? Mom and Dad, Happy Anneversario do Casamento!!! Para bens!!
It does not feel like last week was Chirstmas and this week is New Years. But last week was a different schedule and was full of random stuff. One was because of Christmas and all the hustle and bustle of the season and two because of the work. It is totally unpredictable every day we walk out the door. Its kind of exciting. But on Thursday night we were doing some contacting outside of the local Super market "Nosso Super." We asked an older woman who seemed to be carrying a lot of goceries if she could use some help. She accepted and we proceeded to walk to the nearest Pragem (where all the taxies are) with Gorceries in hand. (side note, she had a lot of bags but most of the stuff inside was light and fluffy, a little decieving) We went to the paragem and waited for a min the whole time talking about the church and asking questions, the usual. And then she asked us If we could just walk with her to her house. ummm, ok, sure. She said It was just up the street. Anyway, 30 min later we finally plopped down the goceires on her living room table. Her name is Emelia and she invited us to come back. We went back On Saturday and tought her and her brother (who is a marine). It was one of the most powrful lessons that I have had the privelage to participate in. Wow, She loved everything we had to say. Clung to every word. At the end She bore poweful testimony about what she was feeling and thinking. Yesterday she came to church. We will be sitting with her on Tuesday. The Spirit is the Key. The Spirit is the one who really teaches, not us.
I just have to say that I love my mission and to think that I have already been out here for a year scares me. Because that means I only have one year left. Elder Pimentel is a great missionary and I am learning so much from him. I cant put into words how much I love this people here in Angola. It is sometimes hard to look at a person and think "I really do love you." But our pourpose here is to do our best to follow the path that Jesus Christ carved. And did he deny anybody? NOPE! Ive been trying to learn more about Love and Charity. I have been studying and pondering since day one. It is a principle that is never ending. What does it mean to love? A question that has been stumping me for a while. The other day while I was studying three things came to my mind. Sacrifice, Serve, and Repent. Im not sure but I would have so say that most acts of Charity would be classified as one of these three actions. Just something that I have been thinking about latley. There is so much to learn, so much to explore and so much to Love!!

I love you all! I wish you the best of a happy new year! 2014!! Here she comes! Time is up. Be safe, be clean and have fun!
Love Elder Dredge

December 23, 2013

Its Christmas!
Hey family! Thanks for the emails and Emma for the sock survey. Heh, it was pretty halarious! But this week so much stuff happened. You will have to remind me on Skype becuse lots of stuff happened. We had the Christmas party on Saturday and the president of the other Branch dressed up as Pai Natal and gave presents to all the kids. There was a show of talents and us, the missionaries, sang a few songs in English. You know, like the classic Jingle Bells and Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. It was a blast! And after we all ate loads of food. Everybody brought snacks, meat, soda, cake, bread or some sort of food. Seeing as we didnt have lots of time to make anything we bought a couple cartons of juice at the cantina down the street. But it turned out to be a pretty hoppin party. Somebody brought a giant Jump roap which of course intruiged everybody. Even the older crowd. We all liked it a lot.
Oh, and thanks for sending the email that Elder Francisco sent. He is a great guy! And thank you for sending him a package. Im sure he loved it! Did dad put a note in it? If its in english Im sure he could translate it.
As far as Skype we will be starting around 15,. (aka 7 oclock back where you are) Im not sure exactly what time I will get but but It will be between 7 and 9 ish. I will send an email Christmas morning to let you know exactly what time I will be getting on. And just a reminder I am only allowed 40 min max. So questions and stuff need to be thought of before hand to take advantage of the time. And dad, Elder Pimentel is planning on speaking with you, so get ready, time to brush up on the ol Portuguese. :) I hope this wont incommodate any present unwrapping or anything... But be assured that the presents will be ther when you return. I want to see all of your wonderful smiling faces.
Did you by any chance recieve my letter with multiple letters inside? Dont read them until Christmas or Christmas eve... your choice.
Tonight we have our Christmas devotional thing with the missionaries President! Its going to be great. We are actually heading over there in a few min. But Hey, Im loving it out here so much! I love this people and my companion. he has tought me so much already. A few days ago, I hit the lowest that I thought possible. Dont ask about the details. But It was pretty stinking difficult. Elder Pimentel talked to me and told me some very key things that I had lost sight of. I owe a lot to him. He is a great man and is blessing my life and the life of so many people here in Angola!!! Since that day, I have been aware of more and more aware of the miracles that taking place around me. I have developed a deeper love for missionary work and for the people. It made me think of the Joseph Smith movie when he says that for the Lord to pull us up we first need to be brought down. I am grateful for the challeges of life. I am grateful for all the hard stuff that happenes. Without it we would go nowhere, without opposition we wouldnt know where we were going or where we have been. I am grateful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and for the opportunity that I have as well as thosands of other Missionries and members of the church to step into the wine vat and lend a hand. And as members of his gospel we all promised that we would take upon us the name of Christ, take up our cross and "follow him." What a blessing!! To follow in his footsteps, the path that he carved. Its not easy. But that is why he promised "come unto me all ye heavy laden and I will give you rest." We are commanded to follow him but at the same time he has promised that as we follow, if it gets too heavy to bear, will be there with us to take part of the load. The Prince of Peace. The Savior of the World. The Son of God.
Well, its that time of the day again. I love you all and pray for you all every night!! Until Quarta Ferra!! Merry Christmas!!!!!!!
Elder Dredge

December 16, 2013

Hope you got those fotos. I sent I think 5.
But hey family!!!
Wow! You all had a crazy week! Car crash...almost. Spectacular play! Snow and everything! How is the snow by the way? Lots or little? Thanks for sending that stuff to Elder Francisco. It was so hard to let him go. Us three grew very close. I know he will be a great missionary! He is far from home and the only member of his family that is a member. If thats not a living witness of faith I dont know what is.
I never knew that dad was a stunt driver. That story you sent me should be published or something. You did always life life on the edge...Im sorry to hear about Brother Dave Jones. I got thinking a lot about that and the perfect plan of happiness that the Lord has in store fo us. It brings a lot of comfort to me and to millions of other members of the church.
Elder Pimentel is a great missionary. Very excited all the time and alwyas willing to joke around. But always ready to share his testimony. He is a very powerful missionary and I have already learned a lot from him. He was the first to be baptized in his family and over the year before his mission converted most of his family!! He came out on the mission with one year as a member. Our schedule doesnt change too much just that we have one training each month to give to the zone and we do divisions with the 3 districts in our zone and we will be going and visiting their district meetings every now and then. Not much as far as I know. I was just put here last week so Im not up to date on all the stuff we do, but those are a few of the things. And yes we still have our own area that we will be working in. As a matter of fact the other day we contacted and tought a reference that I gave to this area when I was in Viana. Heh. I remembered talking to the woman, Felizbina, and hearing her story. I left her a pamphlet of The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Lo and behold 3 weeks later I end up teaching my own reference. And she is an amazing woman as well. She has 6 kids. The oldest is 23 and the youngest is 4 and is parylized to the pont that he cant talk or walk. But he can hear. Felizbina held him in her lap as we tought her about the love that the Lord has for her and her family and her son Carlos. It was a very spiritual lesson and I could tell that the spirit was working inside of her. It was fun to talk to Carlos and to see him smile and giggle. I sure hope we are able to see them again.
But this week consisted of saying goodbye to Elder Francisco and Elder Dunkley who is now in Lubango. Oh, on Friday we gave a small training. I had merely unpacked my bags and my second day as a Zone Leader I get to give a training. It all went well but I have to admit I was a bit nervous. In the end it wasnt all that difficult. On Monday (last) We said goodbye to Alberto and Glaudice. It was a very emotional conversation. They are so close to getting married and Glauice getting baptized. They are turning into very strong members. Always willing to help and do whatever is needed of them. They dont have a lot. In fact I would go as far as to say that they have almost nothing of great wordly worth. But they have more of what matters most. I love that family so much. On Sunday I met a lot of new faces and kids and people and Branch President Armada etc... Its crazy introducing yourself to a hundred new people in one day and then trying to remember their names. One thing that Elder Hamilton falou was that "Every Missinoary a member." Pretty close to the original but with more meaning for the missionaries. It is no small task. But I love this new area. IN fact I have already gone on 3 divisions before I arrived here. So I already knew some of the members and investigators.
Before I forget we will be doing Skype on the 25th at about 16 hours/ 4:00 our time. That would be about 8ish for you in Utah. but you might want to double check the time zones, I dont exactly remember. But I will send an Email more or less 20 min before I get on Skype.
I did open the Package!! And yes the Toffe did make it and everybody loves it! Oh super tasty! I gave Elder Dunkly the present before he left. And some of those bracelets I gave to the girls of Alberto and Glaudice. I have already given out some of the ties as well!! They love them. Thanks! Dont worry. I didnt open any of the wrapped packages yet. Today we bought a tree, since there is no bush or shrub here in the city that we could cut down. I will take a picture and send it you as soon as we decorate it.
I cant believe that its almost Christmas again!! Time just flys out the window when you roll it down too far huh?. Where does alll the time go? I miss you all alot and love you all very much!! Happy week until Christmas!! Be safe and dont try anymore car stunts :)
Love Elder Dredge