Thursday, May 8, 2014

May 5, 2014

Welp we have been walking a LOT. This new area I'm in doesn't have many taxis and so we are left with the Fred Flinstone alternative. But its no big deal, I was working on my figure anyway...
I LOVE hearing from all of you back home and the many adventures you are all having. You branded some cattle!! Way to go! Caleb, sorry you got kicked. But if it makes you feel any better the other day we almost got eaten by a ravenous dog. smacking his chops with rabies and everything, don't worry we got away without a scratch.
Not much happened worthy of the books this week. It was a very normal week. As in not a lot of excitement. But we are constantly finding more and more people to teach. Feliciana could possibly be baptized this Saturday, but we aren't 100% yet. we will know tomorrow.
We have a man named Cordoso that has been trying to get married for a long time, years. Yesterday we taught him and he brought up some very serious doubts about if there was really only one true church. It made me very nervous because we had been trying so hard with this man and others like him wrestling for marriage. By the end of the lesson he was fully ready to accept baptism and left behind all of his doubts. I don't remember half of what was said. But I don know that the Lord had mercy on us, incompetent missionaries, and changed the heart of irmao Cordoso. Tender Mercy of the Lord.
There are always miracles, if you look for them you WILL find them.

There is a recent convert named Jose Francisco. I have NEVER seen such faith. He guards a house or property of a general. He was baptized right before I was transferred here. He is poor. He is half blind. He is 55 or 56 years old (which is already more than 10 years above the average life expectancy) He trusts in the Lord more than any other man Ive met. He has no doubt about anything. He cant read and so for his reading he opens up the Book of Mormon and just stares at the pages trying to read at least one word or have the Spirit whisper something to his soul. He is in bad condition. He tells us of the dangers he has in guarding the property and how may times people try to steal things. He used to sleep at the doorstep with a machete in hand. And now he tells us of the Angles that are posted at watch around his house since he was Baptized. He Prays for them to guard him and his life and his wife, and has no fear of anything else. This man has nothing. For the past week all they ate was noodles, without sauce, salt, nothing, just noodles. One meal a day. He has a hard time walking. Jose has nothing, and yet, Jose has EVERYTHING. His faith and literal trust in the Lords promises has helped me to grow and trust even more in the lord. Spiritual and Physical.

I know that this is the Gospel of Christ. I know that He lives!! I am his representative. I pray that I may be worthy to wear his name. But not only me, but every single member of this Church has already taken up themselves the name of Christ. In short, we must always pray and strive to be worthy to bear His name.
I love you all, and wish for you a great week!!!
Elder Dredge

April 28, 2014

Wow! it sounds like you all had a great week, as did I! I'm glad that you all loved conference. Truth be known I have still not seen the Priesthood session and have no hopes of seeing it. I will just have to wait for the Liahona to come out and read it. But we did get to watch the other sessions on Saturday and Sunday. We had to sit in the back because it was packed (or so we thought). And so for lots of the time we were out of good hearing range. Needless to say I dosed off for a bit. And then halfway through we found out that there was an entire section of chairs that were unoccupied. So we finished on the front row!
Soberas baptism went well, except for the beginning. The service started 1 1/2 hours late. And Sobera was the only one being baptised. We all had to wait for a long time before the baptism could start. But when it finally did start it was one of the most spiritual baptisms I have witnessed! The confirmation took place immediately following the baptism because on Sunday we were watching Conferencia Geral. I loed it and Sobera was beaming!!! He is 26ish years old and completely changed his life. When I say completely, I mean like 100% changed everything he did in the past. As soon as he learned of the commandments he dropped everything. He is a great example to me of the truly converted. He recognized the truth when he saw it.
Im going to tell you a little about Feliciana. She is an investigator that has 78 years. She understands everything very well and can read and speaks two languages. She is actually a very healthy woman accept for her knee. She has a hard time walking. I had taught her twice before IT happened. We had invited her to baptism on the 10th of May and she told us she would think about it. Our next visit was one never to forget. We started off the lesson and Feliciana was more spry and giddy than normal. She was breaking out in random laughing streaks and at one point starts praying incessantly praising and singing to God. Ive seen some strange things, but a 78 year old woman cracking jokes, praising the heavens, and jabbing her elbow in the side of her sleeping friend sitting next to her (almost equally as old) just took the cake. We laughed for a good while after that lesson. We went back only one hour later to see her condition had worsened. She was now lying on the ground on her back, waving her arms in the air yelling inaudible words and praising the heavens. Her daughter told us it would be best it we came back another day, mother was ill. In my mind I was thinking,, Can we just talk to her to see what she does?. But I refrained and we left. We still get a good laugh! She later explained to us that she had accepted the baptismal invite and became so overjoyed that she just lost all control, in short, She snapped. She is fine now. heh, oh Feliciana...
Its nice and hot here in Benfica, But it has been raining lately and last night we watched an array of lightning dancing across the sky. It was pretty far away but it was a spectacular scene! The sky was almost constantly lit up because of the consistency and frequent occurrence of the lightning. It was cool!!
We are doing great! We are trying to do a lot more work with the members. The work needs to hasten and its not just the full time missionaries that are going to pull the load its everybody. MEMBERS ARE KEY. I never realized how important member missionary work is. It is incredibly important. If you ever get the chance to share the gospel, DO IT. Dont wait because, who knows, that person may never cross your path again, and Heavenly Father put them in your path and is counting on you to be an example and share the Pearl of Great price. A quote my Bruce R Mckonkie "Consecration is the only surrender which is also a victory." I know that to be true. The Lord asks that we follow the pattern that he set before us. He asks simply that we Love Him. I love my Savior, I know he lives. I know that as we consecrate all of our time, energy, strength and ultimately our lives, we will be the tools that He uses to help push the "stone cut out of the mountain without hands" through the whole world. I pray for you always. I love you all!
Elder Dredge
ps, dad, did you ever stand on a box in the middle of the town square and preach the gospel? just curious, and if so, how did it go? and do you have any tips?
pps....never mind I forgot...

April 21, 2014

Hey there family!

I had a great week and I will apologize now for the brevity of this email. In this new area of Benfica there are not may Cybers. We spent most of the morning searching and only managed to find 6-7 that did not work or were closed or had some sort of problem. So here I am sitting at a desk in a 12 by 6 foot room with two computers out in the middle of no where typing on a laptop. But hey, its cheaper than the nicer places, so thats a plus.

This new area is really spread out and is mostly residential. We have a baptism this Saturday. Sobera. I actually did his baptismal interview before I was transferred and now I'm teaching him. Cool huh! We have a nice house. And yes the cookies did make it and the bread did help a lot! Thank you. I will give the books next Sunday at church. Elder Nash Is a great missionary. he is still new and working on the language but we are going to work really hard here!! I am in a tripla with Elder Rodrugues as well. He is Angolan. He is actually a member from the first area that I served, Terranova. He is waiting for his visa. Its funny because he always used to walk with is in Terranova and now I am serving with him.

we will be watching the rest of conference with the members this weekend!! Wohooo. Now I can finally see what everybody has been talking about!

well, that's about it, sorry don't have loads of time. I love you all and wish the best for you

Elder Dredge

April 14, 2014

Thanks for all the letters I received from you all this week. It is great to hear from all of you, and yes, for one reason or another this cyber computer was able to play Zach's song!! You did a great job bud!! You already play better than me!! Keep up the good work and keep scoring goals!! Wow, lots is happening back home with you all. Choir, dates, Soccer, skipping rocks, piano, sounds great!!! I am so glad that you are all doing well and of good health. Those families that we met are very hard to see. The work schedule here in Angola is very difficult for one who has and decides to support a familia. Usually both parents work all hours of the day and don't return until 19 or 20 hours. Its crazy! And sometimes frustrating, but we are trying to make it work.

This week we worked. We had lots of success. Just like dad said there is no greater feeling that getting home knowing that you put in a solid days work. But then there are the days that you come home and just want to fall asleep in your chair because you are so tired. Elder Whitaker and I talked about how physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding it is to keep the same level of animation for every single person you see or talk to. I have a firm and unwavering testimony of the aid that The Lord gives to his missionaries. We don't do anything, it is ALL The Lord. It would be impossible without His divine help.
In my studies this whole week I have been reading anything I can get my hands on that has to do with families. We have been focusing a lot more on finding prepared families. I have the Scriptures, Gospel Principles, and the priesthood manuals that are just loaded with information about the family. I have learned so much, and I haven't even studied a fraction of the material. And the Lord has started to bless us with families. On Friday I Elder Banta came to our area and we had a division. During that division most of our lessons fell through. We had a 2 and half hour gap of time to fill because of fallen through commitments. So I picked a spot where I thought we could find families that had already been prepared by the Lord (I had actually been thinking of that place for several days). So off we went to a certain neighborhood. But we were about 25-30 min walking distance from that particular neighborhood. So we decided to talk to people on the way. We set off. Not 5 min later, I was compelled to a door that we were just passing by. I immediately stopped, we knocked and found Bruno and Sandra. A couple that were planning on getting married the end of this year and that had not been to church in several months. (Bruno came to church on Sunday). We continued, stopped by the house of a recent convert to say hi and kept on going. Then as we were walking I glanced down a street perpendicular to us and immediately just turned and started walking down. We met Izabete who had recently married to her husband who speaks fluent English. Her Cousin has a friend who is serving a mission. We marked to pass by this week. She was really excited. Long story short, we didn't really even make it to the neighborhood where I wanted to do contacting. But in turn we met 5 families, 3 of whom are already married legally, and a widow that has several children who stopped us and asked us if we could go by. We ended up pretty far from where I wanted to go. That day was guided by the Lord.
On Saturday we had 2 baptismal services for two different Branches. I was privileged to baptize two former investigators. So at 10 I baptized Regina, whom we started to teach then moved out of our area and the other elders finished teaching. And then an 14 I baptized Marisa, who is the little sister of Marcia, one of our recent converts. It was a great blessing for me, but more so for them. we taught a lesson in between the two baptismal services. So that was fun, changing back into wet clothes... oh well.

Today we received transfers. I will be serving with Elder Nash in Benfica. And Elder Banta will be taking my spot as ZL with Elder Whitaker. I really love the are I'm in right now and it is going to be very hard to leave. Leaving behind lot of recent converts that I love so much. But I trust in the Lord, He knows what Hes doing. I am also excited to try out a new area. It will be lots of fun! And so as always this week was full of miracles. I wish I had time to tell them all to you, but that would take too long.
I love you all and wish you the best of weeks!! Stay safe and follow the Spirit.

Elder Dredge

April 7, 2014

Well Family, that's another week down in the history books!
We had a great time, but lots of work. We had Mission leadership Counsel meeting that brought a whole new light to our needs as a mission. So this week was spent brainstorming ideas and ways to help the missionary work in Angola accelerate via our Zone meeting. We spent countless hours praying, brainstorming, and typing, powerpoint, etc... We have our meeting this Wednesday. Wish us luck. Its mostly on Chapter 2 of PMG, if you were thinking about studying it due to the new challenge given to families... :) 

The majority of our time was spent contacting, knocking on doors, and trying to find new people. We really do have almost no investigators. For some reason when we had the baptisms our other investigators decided to drop us... So needless to say we are finding, finding, finding. We are focusing a lot more on families though. Our goal is to find as many families that have been prepared by the Lord as we can. We have met a few that have potential this week, but haven't really taught them too much yet. We have high hopes for 3 families that we met this week. Keep your fingers crossed. The families of Alexandre, Francisca, and Rosa. 
And yes, the reason I am writing so late is because today we went on a Safari!!! It was the experience of a lifetime. Yesterday we watched most of the Sunday sessions of conference at presidents house. (I say most because the power cut out for a bit) It was amazing! I learned a lot and just love hearing the messages. We stayed the night at Presidents house, woke up, ate breakfast, then all piled in the cars and took off. We drove for a good few hours to get to our destination, out there in the African bush. After we got there we ate lunch then climbed into a large Safari looking truck. Just a big ol thing. Our driver came out with his co-pilot and saddled up. He brought an AK47 just for kicks and giggles/ in the case of a wile bore or tiger decided that we looked tasty. (don't worry, nothing happened). Then we set off, driving through the Jungle, dirt, desert, and beautiful scenery of the Angolan backcountry. I will send a few fotos. We saw, not a whole lot, but did manage to get a good glance at 1 elephant, 5ish giraffes, a monkey here and there, baby deer all over the place, A strange looking animal with curly horns, and Wildebeests!!! It was so beautiful out there! Seeing all that animal life and all the creations of God just made me sit in awe. It was amazing!!
Well, that's about my time. I know that this is the church of Jesus Christ. And I add my testimony to millions already borne that I know he lives!! I love each and every one of you so very much!! And yes, all of the recent converts are doing fantastic. Irma Marinet was given a calling last Sunday. She is now working in the Nursery! They are all still going strong and love the Gospel!! You are all the Best!!! I wish you all a marvelous week!! Keep it up with all those races and soccer games. 
Elder Dredge

March 31, 2014

To the family of the Dredges

I'm just going to start writing because time is running out (it always seems like time is running out...) Thanks for all the emails Mom, Grandma and Noelle and Jessiqa!! You are all amazing!! You are all growing up so fast! I love hearing about all your activities, even though im not able to comment on all of them thanks for letting me know.
We had a stellar week. It was full of the spontaneous happenings that you never would have guessed.

Story #1: We received a call from President early Wednesday morning informing us that that afternoon we would be receiving a new missionary from Angola, that is waiting on his Visa. And that he would be staying in our house with Elder garcia. I have been living in a two-man apartment for almost 3 transfers now. Elder Bernardo, the new elder is 26 and really smart. Studied in Russia for 6 years, yeah, he speaks Russian...
We were told to be in house at appx. 15 to open the door and help the new guys in. We arrived home a few min early ( to clean up a bit:) And called president. he didn't answer. Over the course of the next 4 hours we called and called... President was on radio silence. We couldnt just leave, giving no way for the other elders to get in the house, but on the other hand we had to cancel all of our lessons and a division with another dupla. We ended up leaving and around 19:30 to go and find president, (Nobody could get a hold of them for this whole time) So naturally my mind went wandering and I thought of every possible situation. We walked down the street a few miles and waited on the corner. Almost 5 hours late they finally arrived. Traffic was horrible! They didn't want to answer their phones because in slow traffic people will run in between cars, rob you and gun point, and then run off and your stuck in traffic. They arrived safe and sound. The new elders are great!
Story #2 One night we were called over by some teenagers. we went over and I guess they wanted to test out their english skills. He opened with saying "Wats up! where do you abide?" Abide??? I had to bite my tongue from not laughing. Elder Whitaker replied with a huge smile on his face "We abide over there." pointed. Then another kid came up and asked me "What is your mother tongue?" I had to have him repeat the question twice and when I still didn't understand it he said it in Portuguese. He wanted to know our native language. So best two questions said to me this week: "where do you abide?" and "what is your mother tongue?"
All in all the week was great, We are doing lots more finding because all the people we were teaching got baptized. I know that God lives and loves each one of us. There is so much more I wish I had the time to tell you. All about his tender mercies toward us as missionaries and to the people of Angola. I love him so much! I love all of you so much!!
Elder Dredge

ps, We are seeing Mr Hwang on Tuesday... scheduling conflicts

March 24, 2014

Dear reader, I am so glad that you have decided to read my letter today. I hope to help you feel better about yourself and the world as a whole. anyway...

We had a great week! As usual. There are always those tough days and rough moments that you just have to tell yourself, " I can do this, whew, lets go!" you wipe the sweat off your brow (which we are doing a lot more lately, because the humidity is rising and its getting hotter than ever), put your trust in the Lord and NEVER stop. I sure do love missionary work.

Wow, you sure do run a lot, all you crazy runners. I keep trying to tell myself that I like running but I'm just not that good at convincing myself. And keep it up with all that Chinese. Who knows, you might get called to serve speaking Chinese!!
On Tuesday we had our Zone Conference with both the zones in Luanda. Presidente Merrill talked a lot about effective study and effective teaching skills. It lasted several hours. It was good to get all (well most) of the missionaries back together. I saw Elder Wilhelm, my trainer, who is already home, for the last time!!! holy smokes I'm getting old!! The Conference was a spiritual boost much need. This time we did not have to give any part of the training.

I really do like working with Elder Whitaker. We have so much fun. The other day we were walking and he said, "Ya know, preaching the gospel is only fun when it works." We had a good laugh and went on. You know those cards that when you open them a nice little tune rings out. Ok, so we had an old one in our house of Charlie Brown, (it plays a 15 second Charlie brown jingle) I took it out of the card and placed it ever so carefully on the hinge of our apartment door. So every time we leave or come home we get a dose of Charlie Brown! We also like to experiment with food. When we cook it goes something like this, "What do you want your food to taste like? I don't know... whatever...hmmm, how about this (holding up a sauce, spice, meat, or something) Ok sounds good.... What else?? Ummm, how about this? DO IT." And then as we throw it all together somehow it always turns out not half shabby. Don't ask me how... I don't know.
Paulo is still a little crazy and asks us questions every 5 seconds. Its very hard to teach him anything. But we were a lot more direct the last time we went over, and it helped out a lot. I believe he will come along. He just has such a different background than most people we teach. The Spirit is touching his heart, and with time he will heed to His promptings.

Saturday, we had the baptisms, They all happened but with a bit of difficulty. They were scheduled for 14. We got there a bit early to make sure it was all in order. As the time went by we called Irma Amelia, and Irma Marinet and Marcia to see where they were. Irma Amelia said she was on her way, Irma Marinets fone was turned off, and Marcia didn't have a fone. 14 rolls around...nobody...ummmmm.... Then out of the blue Marinet and her 3 children arrive. We quickly get them the right set of baptismal clothes and they go an change. 14:15.... still waiting on Amelia and Marcia...14:30, The meeting has already started and Elder Whitaker and I are waiting outside in our white clothes for the others. Finally they walk in the doors at the same time. Whew, We ran them over to the bathrooms, they changed, and we made it into the meeting just in time to hear the last little bit of the last talk. We had sat for less than 10 min and off we went to the font. I baptized Ines(13), Elder Whitaker Baptized Nocas (14) and Alex (9), Presidente Armada baptized Amelia(30s), and Irmao Natanel baptized Marica(14). Alex almost didn't make it in the water, it was up to his chin. He is a pretty short kid but when he got in the font he had to stand on his tiptoes to breathe. In the end it all worked out. Its the Lords work and it cant be stopped!
On Sunday they were all confirmed. Amelia, Inez, Alex, and Marcia all asked if I would Confirm them and I gladly did. It amazes me how the spirit works and how powerful it is when given. I was a little bit nervous though. When the time came to sustain the new members their names were called and they didn't stand up. (during the last confirmation they all left, Nocas, Ines, Alex and Marcia, to buy some hard candies for their little brother who was crying) So Elder Whitaker and I dashed out of the chapel to try and usher them in. but they were long gone. The didn't get back until the middle of the Sacrament during the water. So 4 of our recent converts were confirmed, sustained and only took half of the sacrament. Boy I sure was stressed out. I love baptisms but they stress me out sometimes.

I know that the Savior lives, I know that he loves us so very much. I know that Heavenly Father is our Eternal Father. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the prophet Joseph Smith! I love you all so very much. Don't forget that I pray for all of you as well!!
Elder Dredge

March 17, 2014

Well hello there family!! How are you all doing. Wow!! 58th anniversary! Thats awesome!! Im sure it was a kickin party! How did grandma and grandpa like it? We also had a great week full of miracles!! And yes I did talk to Brother Jackson and we tried to meet up, but since the adresses here are a little hard (AKA they dont really have them) it was a bit difficult. But no worries. Oh and in case you are wondering we are meeting with Mr Hwang next Tuesday! Wish us luck!
We spent most of the day Tuesday and the mission office for our Mission leadership meetings. It was the perfect day to do the meetings because it rained cats and dogs (that is the first time I have ever used that expression by the way) all day long. So we had a week full of jumping puddles and mud, and on one occasion...well... The path was 1 foot wide and was either my shoes or her shoes. needless to say I took one for the team and had to wash off some very smelly mud caked all over my shoe.

We spent most of our week preparing the people for baptism and contacting. We had 4 baptismal interviews already and are waiting on the 5th this week with Irma Amelia. For some reason we are teaching lots of teenagers and the younger crowd but we are really praying and hoping for more familys and men that can be the future leaders of the church in Angola.
We did find the famly of Paulo and Paula. I think paulo is an ex-gangster. He reminds me of a mobster from new Jersey or something like that. He wears a gold necklace and talks with a slang accent, One of the funniest angolans Ive met. He told us of how his house was cursed and that devils walked in the celling at night. I suggested that they were rats. oops,(We had just finished talking about the Priesthood so he asked us if we could see the evil spirits. We said no... and then he told us that he wanted , the next time we saw a devil spirit, to light it on fire with our special power. He was kindof joking, and I was trying hard not to laugh , was a bit strange. We will be passing by this week, if it goes good then we will keep on teaching, but we are going to be ready to high-tail it outta there!

Lots of strange things happen in the City of Luanda, but hey, I guess thats the world over, You can never predict what people will do.
On a more Spiritual note we had 12 investigators come to church this week!! I about fell over and collapsed with joy!! Never have there been that many! It was a day to rememeber. I have been thinking about the fireside that Elder Bednar gave, "Not shrinking is more important than surviving" Its true, it is more important to keep on going and to not stop than it is to survive. Several times this week I had to tell myself , literally, "Elder Dredge, Forget yourself and go to work!" I Know this is the church of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!! I love serving this people and these missionaries so much!! And I love all of you

Elder Dredge

Here is the picture of Irma Marinet and her family. The two girls and the older boy are getting baptized this Saturday. Marinet is the one in the Pink shirt.

March 10, 2014

I would like to apologize for not sending pictures this week. But something is wrong with this Cyber Café, the computer wont read my card.. anyway.. It sounds like this week was full of adventures!! Wow I cant believe how much you are all growing up! Caleb thanks for the email, And yes I did have some very cool experiences this week, I will tell you in a min. thanks also to Mom, Dad, Emma and Zach for the emails, they were all great! Sorry I don't have time to respond to all you individually. Ill try and put it all into one letter.

Yes Elder Whitaker is a great hard working missionary. He is from Florida (a very strange black and white looking bug with large antennas just ran across my desk...) I really like working with him and we get along great! In our Zone meeting we talked about Teaching techniques . During the Zone meeting we give a presentation and then we practice what we talked about. Its like a training counsel. But we have one nest week as well... oh boy....

The best news this week was our 4 baptisms on Saturday. I really wish I could send a foto. Luciana, Maria, Victoria, and Marinet were all baptized. Maria and Victoria chose me to baptize them and Irma Marinet chose me to Confirm her on Sunday. I will never forget this weekend. These are the sisters with the father that was against baptism. I know that the Spirit of the Lord touched his heart. And the other day he even told the Maria that they should take their little sister to church as well!! I have never confirmed anybody before. It was a new experience, but I have also never felt the Spirit so directly and specifically. It is impossible to describe. At times I wonder how I have been given the power of God, The Priesthood!?? I realized That I have a very limited sight as to what the priesthood can do. There is no greater feeling that this, Helping and leading someone onto the path of righteousness and then helping them stay on it!!! NO GREATER FEELING. Weather it be investigators, friends or your children, No greater feeling. And now Irma Marinets sister and two kids are going to be baptized here in two weeks!! The Lord is hastening his work. And to think that we found them knocking on doors. I love missionary work!!
So that was by far the best part of last week but we also had some difficulties in house. Our washing machine had been broken for two weeks, so what was I left to do?? Yep, Wash all my clothes by hand. I wouldn't mind it too much if it didn't take so much time. But we finally did get a washing machine. Elder Whitaker and I had to carry it up the 3 flights of stairs to our apartment and then had to install it. It was kind of fun to finally do a little manual work again.

One day while we were contacting we were stopped in the street by a man holding a blue bucket that started speaking English to us. We stopped and after about 30 seconds realized that this man was a little strange. He told us that he was looking for scrap metal that he would put into the bucket and then give to some people. Then he just started telling us all the languages he spoke, English, Portuguese, French, Spanish, German, Russian and Chinese. Wow, He even spelled out his name in Chinese for us in the dirt. Then a truck passed by an kicked up some dust. Without hesitation he stuck the bucket on his head and mumbled something about dust.... I about busted a gut laughing. Then he said some more random things, said he would go to church, then walked away. What a strange man that spoke 7 languages. So that gave us a good laugh.

We also had a woman tell us that if we could tell her any one thing wrong with her church that she would join ours. It was hard to refrain.. But we explained that we are here to help people know for themselves the truth.
Times up. I love you all so very much! Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts. !! You are all the best family ever!!

Elder Dredge

March 3, 2014

Wow the time just flies buy. I cant believe that transfers are already here!! This week Elder Pimentel will be the new Assistant and Elder Whitaker will be serving with me here in Luanda 2. I am going to really miss Elder Pimentel. I have loved working with him. He has helped me learn so much. He is a great missionary!! But I am also excited to work with Elder Whitaker. I don't really know him, never lived with him or served with him, so it should be really fun!!
We always did have a great BBall team! I love hearing from all of you and I am so glad that you are all doing well! Something that has been on my mind lately is the mission (I know, of course) But missionaries are serving their two years and going home and we are not receiving more missionaries. They are going but not coming. When I got here there were 42ish and now this week with Transfers we will be down to 32. Visas are not being released. I know that the Lord has a purpose for everything, I trust him. He knows whats best for Angola.
But we had a great week. It was a little slower because of Zone meeting and interviews with President. Oh yeah,...we had Zone meeting and it went 100 times better than the last. I actually had a lot of fun. I don't know if the missionaries learned a whole lot but I sure did and I had a blast doing it! the meeting lasted about 2 hours and at the end we ate with Irma Gomez. She is from Venezuela so she speaks Spanish mixed with Portuguese. its really hard for me to understand. But she is an amazing lady!!

This Saturday we will be having 4 baptisms!! The three sisters and Irma Marinet! We finally got their forms signed by their older brother. It was a long and agonizing process but finally its almost all worked out. We are still waiting on a few things. Also at church we had 14 investigators come!! Holy smokes I was blown away! What a blessing!!! The Lord is helping us so much!

Elder «Cook of the 70 came and gave a training to us and the Local Church leaders. It was very cool. But I was asked to translate for some of the other missionaries so I lost a lot of the content. It was hard for me to focus. Whew, translating is a tough job, I had a whopping headache after. trying to listen in one language and then repeat it in another is no easy task. I'm not sure if they were able to understand what I was saying the whole time. But I made it through. But I was touched by the Spirit in a few specific moments. And there it was all worth it to me. I strongly believe in personal revelation. I also have found that we need to write down the ideas that come to our head as a soon as possible or they will fade away. Heavenly Father is good enough to give us the inspiration so we need to take care of it.
I wish you all the best of the best! I love you all so much!!! Thank you!

Elder Dredge