Thursday, June 12, 2014

June 9, 2014

Well, im probably going to keep this one a little shorter, seeing as I sent lots of pictures. And they say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so in essence I have already written a lot. heh,just kidding.

Your summer adventures and projects are all sounding like a blast! Hiking and water stuff, marathons. wow!! Ryan is getting married!! Holy smokes. I will need pictures of that, and of Weston with his girlfriend.

Things here are going well. We finally recieved energy for the first time in two weeks. It was strange, becuase we can actually buy perishable items to put in the fridge. Dad, its about the opposite of your mission. Its very hot and we sleep on top of the covers every night and sweat. No, we dont have a water heater. We dont really need it. Its almost refreshing to step into a cold shower every morning.

As far as education, its the same as it is back home. There is 12 grades and after that they can choose to go to college or follow up with some sort of education. But the local schools, dont provide a lot of education. Its a bit rough for those with less money and cant afford any better. But most kids are able to get some form of education.

This week Elder Cook has been sick and we had to stay home for a few days. He is still a little weak but is doing a lot better. Sister Merrill thinks it was Pnemonia, but we arent sure. But he is doing great now. Needless to say this week was a little slower. But our investigators are still doing well. And on Saturday Claudio was baptized by Elder Cook, who at the time could barely stand becuase of his sickness. I confirmed him on Sunday. It was a great experience. I love this mission and these people. I love it so much. And I love all of you very very much! I wish you the best week ever!!

Elder Dredge
Flooding in the street outside their house

Add caption

Baptism earlier in the year

The tripla

Maybe this is the funge he has wrote so much about

80 year old Feliciano getting baptised with her daughter

The desk

Fishing boat

The drunk guy that jumped in the picture and hugged him

June 2, 2014


We had a great week here in Benfica, and it sounds like back in the Green of the Mountain you all had a great week too. School is out! Holy smokes! Im old...

We did a lot more contacting this week which consists of door knocking. Most of the time we do door knocking is because one of out lessons fell through. And our lessons usually fall through during the heat of the day when nobody is home. Our area is pretty empty during the day. There are very few people on the streets so we are left to knock doors and hope and pray that somebody other than the 10 year old kid. We have gotten pretty good at joking around with the kids. There are always kids playing in the streets. So we will go over and talk with them and sometimes even play with them. I jump roped the other day with some kids. We also play pass a lot, just with a soccer ball, for a few min. Its pretty fun. The kids here are great!!

Our couples are progressing a lot. Lemba and Cordoso are still very close to getting married. They only fault a few documents. I sometimes have to check my patience level and not get too excited. It can take a lot of time for people to get married here. But Irma Feliciana is doing superb! She is brought another one of her daughter in laws to church this week, with whom we wil be teaching on Tuesday. She is quite the missinoary, and wants everybody to be a part of her faith! Jose Francisco bore his testimony at church yesterday. He talked for a long time. He literally told the story of his whole life. He even started off with, " in the year 19.... on day .... I was born." It was pretty funny. but he ended giving a very firm conviction of the truthfullness of the Gospel and how it will change lives and bring us comfort. I really liked it.

Elder Cook is doing great! He is speaking the language very well and is able to explain almost everything. Its just when the people start to talk back that he has a hard time. But we are doing great together. Lots of work to do in our area and with the Branch. Our Branch mission leader (who actually lived in Provo for 9 years) is starting up some activities with us to get more people intergrated. We call it integration night. It will basically be a fireside. But we will be in charge. Its going to be fun.

The other day we went to take a picture on the edge of the water next to a pile of clam shells on the beach and a drunk man came over. I was stading there, posing for the camera and he just comes up, puts his arm around me and says, " ok now you can take the picture." He smelled pretty bad. He was in old rag tag clothes, was smoking and was drunk. Cool huh?!

Today we are getting 4 more missionaries from Mocambique. Two of them will be living with us in our house. SO that bumps us up to a 6 missionary appartment. I hope our energy comes back soon.. Oh yeah, We have been out of energy for almost two weeks now. But we have water so its not that bad, And a generator, but that only stays on for a little while every day.

I have grown to love my savior more than ever before. I am striving every single day to increase that love and my relationship for him. The other day I wathced "On the Lords Errand" The life of Presidente Monson. I love the profet of the Lord! I know he is guided and inspired of God. I love this gospel. I love the Book of Mormon. It is true. I love all of you and wish the best of weeks full of Miracles.

Elder Dredge

ps. sorry for my bad spelling and strange wording. it makes sense to me...sort of...

May 26, 2014

Hey there family!

So we had a great week and it looks like you all had one too. With the almostathon and all. I did get the pictures and the explination. It looks like it was a lot of fun. Para Bens!

So Elder Cook got here on Wednesday morning at about 5 oclock. Elder Nash went to Viana and Elder Rodrigues went to Huambo. So for the past few days I have been teaching a lot of portuguese. But he speakes incredibly well for how log he was out of the MTC. Elder Cook was reassigned to Texas for 9 months until he finally got his visa. I really like him. He is very easy to get a long with and is just a fun lovin Elder. We are going to work very well together.

We have still been focusing on our couples to get them married. One couple, Cordoso and Lemba are so close. They are faulting ony a few documents and then will be able to get married. Hopefully here within a month they will be signing the papers and be baptized. All their kids are already members but they arent becuse of marraige. The Branch is also helping out a lot as well. We have done a visit with out Branch Presidente and others to help strengthen and prepare them for marriage and baptism. We have the other two couples that are also progressing but will take a little bit longer for them becuase of other situations. But they are all on the right path and moving foreward.

Other than that not mich happened this week. Lots of contacts and teaching of investigators, ya know.... the usual. But if all goes according to plan then this Saturday we will be having a baptism. His name is Claudio. He is a friend of a member John. He is only 15 but has good support and is progressing. WOOhooooo!

Irma Feliciana is doing great!! She is quite the missinonary. She is bringing new people all the time to church or to sit with us. She is so awesome. So on Wednesday we will be visiting her dauther in law that she brought to church.

We are recieving sister missionaries!! They are two sisters that riecieved their mission calls to another country but are waiting on Visas. So it was approved that they serve in their own country for a time. Cool huh! We are also recieving 3 Mocambuiquens this this Coming Monday!!! More missionaries!!

I love you all!! This is the Church of Christ! I know it. I wish the best for you this week!!!

Elder Dredge

May 20, 2014

Well we had another great week in Benfica Angola.

Feliciana (the 78 yaer old) is doing great! She is quite the missionary. She invites everybody she knows to come to our church. All of her kids, grandkids and so forth. She is pretty spry for her age too. She frequently whacks her 40 and 50 year old kids with her cane if they fall asleep, and referes to one of them, Antonio, "my fat child." She makes fun of him all the time becuase of his weight, its pretty dang funny. Oh, and she did invite us over for a genuine Angolan meal of Funge, Kisaca, Kisangwa and an entire chicken, freshly killed that morning. All but the stomach was in the pot of the steeming chicken. When people prepare a chicken here they gut it and then (without taking out any of the bones) Chop it up into pieces and cook it like that. So you are constantly pulling bones and cartalage out of your mouth during the meal. But is was pretty good. It was actually one of the best Angolan meals ive had. Kisaca is just leaves smashed up with oil and vinegar. Kisangwa is a drink. It is made up of different types of flour, sometimes potatoe peels and other things that I dont know, with a tich of sugar, all mixed in with water so you can drink it. Its basically just a stomach filler. Sometimes if its not done right you have to gag on the chunks of flour or corn meal. All in all, great meal!

We have several famillies that are working on their marriage papers. One couple is getting very close. Lemba and Augustinho. They are an older couple that are just buring with testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are doing so well and are so close to marriage and to baptism. We are talking within a month!!!!!!

Our other couples Lina and Geraldo also we have Isabel and Danilson are not quite as close but we are working closely with them all to feel the Spirit of the Lord and get married and baptized. The members are also helping out a lot. Members are so critical in missionary work. Elder Bednar said that "Missionaries are full time teachers, you and I [members] are full time finders."

Quick note. Elders Cook and Rush have finally recieved their mission call and wil be getting here Tomorrow morning. I will be serving with Elder Cook here in Benfica!! Im really excited!

Yes, it is true. We had a seventy come to our mission!! Yesterday we had the privelage to have a conference with Presidente and Sister Remlund! It was a once in a lifetime experience. It was an outpouring of the Spirit. I learned so much that was NOT said. Truly the Spirit is the true teacher. We talked a lot about being agents and not being acted upon. Exercising faith with our works and helping our investigators do the same. Because when we act on our faith we are able to call down the promised blessings of the Lord. I am going to be studying Acting on faith in more depth and challenge you to do the same. Its an amazing concept!

Elder Nash started to get sick Sunday night. On Monday he was okay until the end of the conference. He had a rough night. We arent really sure what it is but he is already doing a lot better. We stayed home most of today and just left to come and do internet.

I cant believe its already transfers again!!! Im getting old.. oh well. I love my mission. I love this people. I love Portuguese. I love all of you and wish the best for you all this week!! Keep the FAITH!

Love Elder Dredge

May 12, 2014

Welp, it was great to see all of you on Sunday!! Probably the better skype session I have had. It was a blast.
I told you most of what was going on and so I dont have a lot to say, but I do have a funny story. Last week doing contacting we knocked on a door and they let us in. They proceeded with an onslaught of questions. After successfully answering all of them and teaching a watered down version of the Restoration, Elder Rodrigues turned to one of the girls and asked a question you never ask. (this was right before we were about to leave, and at that exact moment I was sitting down in my chair bending over sliding my BOM back into my bag) "How old are you?" woops... "Ummmm im 17." Elder Rodrugues "WOW! I thought you were like 25 or 26!" "oh... Is that becuase im fat?" (note: she was not fat at all) (and then trying to cover up his tracks) "No, no... its becuse of your face." (remember I was in the process of bending over) Few times in my life has it been so difficult to hold in laughter. But its a good thing my face was toward the ground becuse I probably had some pretty strange expressions going on becuse of the fact that I was exherting all of my strength to hold in the laughter. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldnt hold it all in and let out a few wheezing chuckles, and then had to bite my lip before raising my head. We said a prayer and left. Never to be forgotten.
I know this is the Church of Christ and he is personally leading and guiding each and every one of us personally and through the Profet of God. I wish you all the best week ever. The Book of Mormon is true. Read it always.
I love all of you!!
Elder Dredge