Monday, November 23, 2015

Sister Redford's letter: Raccoons... and Miracles!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING :)

Well this week has been pretty interesting.  I have met a lot of new people, taught a lot more and went on my second exchange!  Last P day we went and saw this awesome battle ship in Texas it was way cool and super huge!  It was three floor and the guns on this thing was incredible.  We went as a whole zone so it was fun to be with all the missionaries.  Tuesday was a pretty hectic day.  We were suppose to do service but the lady that we were doing service for wasn't home.. It happens too often out here when people just forget and aren't home when they have asked us to come over.  Anyways the storm on Tuesday was insane!  It was pouring buckets from the sky, the rain here is nothing like the rain home.  We also had our investigator Charlotte meet with Elder Swank to talk about the stop smoking program!  Her husband has been in the hospital and just barely got home this Sunday.  She has been really stressed to we try to go over everyday and just read a chapter of the Book of Mormon with her just to let her know of the importance of scripture reading and how it can help you it times of heart ace, stress, discomfort and really anything you are feeling.  She says that she is very thankful for our love towards her and her family!  I love her so much, she is truly grown so much since the first time I have met her an even stands up for the beliefs of Mormons when she is talking to her family!!!  She is GOLDEN.  Dinner with the Guevaras was amazing homemade tamales an Mexican hot chocolate and Mexican pastries!  The food here is amazing! 
New missionary training was Wednesday!!!  It was the best time ever, I got to see all my MTC friends!  We were like kids on Christmas morning.  It was great to see how much they have grown in just 4 1/2 short weeks.  The saddest moment of that day was hearing that my MTC companion went home.  I was really hard for me because I could really see how much potential she had and I know that she touched numerous lives while she was out here.  I just hope she doesn't regret going home.  We had a lot of different people speak to us and really I just had a new view  on the work that I have been called to do.  My attitude was completely different.  All the new missionaries were asked to give their testimony at the end.  Such a empowering moment to share with my fellow missionaries, leaders and President how much this gospel has changed my life and how I know it will change others lives.  I have learned so much and have grown as not only a person but as a disciple of Christ.  I have been called of him to declare his word among his people that they might have everlasting life. This mission has been the most challenging, frustrating, joyful time of my life.  I am so grateful for this opportunity and strive everyday to be more consecrated missionary. I also had gumbo for the first time!  It was actually way way good!  We got our I pads and our driving licenses that day as well, what a great day to be alive I tell you:) after we went and knocked on some doors we found a family that we have been searching for  for a long long time!  His name is Michael Dimick, Lori Adams, and we met Lori's daughter Marissa.  We started teaching Marissa and she was loving it just absorbing the spirit like none other.  We invited her to be baptized and she accepted!!! She came to church and loved it, the work is progressing and it feel amazing!  I will tell you a little bit about Lori she has no hands and still does EVERYTHING! and I mean everything.  Cooks, cleans, writes, puts on makeup, drives, she is even a nurse.  Nothing can stop that women.  She is amazing.  I recited the whole Joseph Smith Vision to her and she sat there in awe, we asked her how she felt after and all she could muster up was nothing cut peaceful.  The spirit was so strong. 
  We also do a Book of Mormon class on Wednesday for anyone who would like to come and lately our numbers are quite sad.  We are trying to figure out a way for this class to be something that people enjoy and want to bring their friends to, it is going to take some time but we are going to get there no matter what it takes!  Hour of Power this week was amazing!  We didn't have the full hour but we found this amazing lady named Riva, she has three kids and really is interested in family history, she is black so she says it is harder for her to find her lineage because of the slave trades and everything.  I wish that I would have been more interested in Family History because I didn't really have much to say.  We did teach her the Restoration and she was very interested and invited us to come back!  oh yeah and her daughters name is Michaela so I guess it us just meant to be :)  
Exchanges were also this week so I was leading out with Hermana Bushman she came in with me so we are both greenies and we are still new to all of this so it was quite cazy at times.  But we met with a Less active named Terri Stepanski.  You will never guess what kind of pets he has..... Raccoons.  How awesome is that? I don't think it is really legal to have them as a pet.... but it was way cool!  I even go to hold one of them (pic below)  he was so sweet and really wants to come back to church because he misses it but he doesn't want to feel like a hypocrite because he doesn't follow the commandment exactly.  But church is for everyone and he agreed to come!  He even told us that we were exactly what he needed because he has been wondering what he should be doing.  Crazy how God always answers prayers no matter what form he might answer tem in.  He invited us back over for dinner on Tuesday so we are really excited to get to know him more and to help him get back on the right path!
Friday we exchanged back and one of our investigators Diana is in the hospital she had brain surgery, so we went to go see her and make sure everything had been going good.  She is married to a member Brother Barns.  He is so funny, when he introduced me to the doctor he said do you see her last name?  She is related to the real Robert Redford.  He does this every time he introduces me, he is such a sweet man and really wants is wife to be baptized!  Here is the cool part at the thanksgiving social we had last week Diana talked to the bishop and said as soon as she is healed from her surgery she wants to enter the waters of baptism!!!!!!!!   How exciting is that?!  She will be fully healed by January 4th so we are going to make sure we do everything in our power to make sure she is ready as soon as she is well enough to go into the water.

Over all it has been an amazing week and the work has really progressed.  Goes to show you that really anything is possible with doing Gods will.  I love La Porte and the people here.  Sister Turpin is amazing and I have learned so much from her.  This gospel is the true gospel and I know that as we strive to be obedient and do everything we can to align our will with Gods will everything will be ok :)  I Love being a missionary with all my heart :)  Be safe and have a good Thanksgiving.  Thank you for all your support and I love you all.  Don't forget to count your blessing everyday!

Sister Redford

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