Favorite Scripture

Favorite Scripture:

“Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” (Alma 37:37)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Reflection on 2014 and Baseball in Taiwan!

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy New Years!!!  It is fast approaching and hope that you take a minute to reflect on this past year and the amazing experiences and blessings that have been afforded to all of us.  Take some time to reflect on the really happy times, the sad times,  the times where you felt like giving up, the times where you felt like you were on top of the world, when you felt alone, when you felt our Savior's love.  Take a moment to reflect on the growth that this year has brought, and how you have come closer to our Savior and friend.  I invite you to start in last January and write at least one thing or more about every month this year. Really reflect and look for the hand of the Lord in your life. I am personally so grateful for the Lord in my life.  I will testify until the day that I die that he lives and love me, he knows me and understands me, and that he is my best friend.  After you have written these things I invite you to examine the areas in your life that you would like to do a better job to allow you to see and feel the hand of the Lord in your life daily. As we all have areas that we can improve... I have my fair share haha, but I know that as we strive to seek His hand in our lives He will manifest himself unto us and we will feel of His love.  The difference is right now.  You can make this decision right now that next year you will do the impossible, that you will dream bigger, that you will love more. The difference is right now.  If we don't make the decision right now then it is too late... we will meet these experiences unprepared and undoubtedly we will fail. However, if we make the decision right now to center Christ in our lives and make the necessary changes in our lives that need to be changed, this next year will bring a world full of happiness, through all experiences. This next year will bring a whole new set of experiences, some good and some hard, but they are ALL for our good.  I promise that as we seek the Lord's hand daily and decide to act NOW, we will have the opportunity of meeting these experiences with joy and confidence because the Lord is ALWAYS on our side.

This week was a really good week.  I was so grateful for the opportunity that I had to hear from the people I love most in this world.  You guys are awesome and I pray for you all daily.  I apologize on the shortage of time... that kind of stinks, but it is probably for the best... haha or I might have never hung up! ;)  I love you guys and hope that you guys have the greatest New Year's ever!

Elder Redding with
Wang of the Brewers
Elder Redding Warming Up
Elders Redding and Munger with Wang of the Brewers and
Double A Pitcher of the Year (plays for the Cubs)
I never got to tell you this on the phone because there wasn't a ton of time, but last P day, we were looking for a place to play ping pong.. I haven't played once yet!!  T Lloyd would kick my behind right now!!  haha, but we were looking and we found ourselves at the Local Sports College. (basically just a college for sports).  We learned that the ping pong team was in Taipei for a tournament and then we found ourselves at the baseball field where they were practicing... Oh what a Joy that was!!! haha We watched and the players were so excited to have people watching them.  They were pretty good... but I noticed down the right field line there were a couple pitchers in the bullpen with the pitching coach.  So we went down to take a closer look... haha we got talking to them and I just couldn't help it... I asked if I could try!! haha They let me come in and throw... a little hesitant at first but after I threw they were fine!! The coach invited us to eat with them after practice and called these two guys over to talk to us... Guess who they were!!!  It was these two guys who play in America!! The one actually pitches for the Brewers in the Majors!  His name is WangWeiZhong and the other guy is in DoubleA for the Cubs and was pitcher of the year last year!  Wang came up and was talking to me pitching and showing me how he holds his slider and we were talking!  haha I then threw the best curve in my life and I hear him say in chinese! Beautiful!! hahaha it was so awesome!!! We talked to them after for like 30 min about their lives and baseball and their experiences playing... it was super cool.  They are so famous here!  They were just shootin the breeze with us! haha It was soo cool!!  I got a ball signed by both of them!  I also have pictures I will send! It was sweet!! 
Elder Redding Warming Up Before Pitching

Baptism on December 27th
We had our baptism this Saturday and it was awesome!!! Soooo Awesome!!  Her friend who has kind of fallen off came and it really touched her I think.  She has  an increased desire to get baptized and continue feeling the Savior's love.  I think that she really felt it there.  Kinda funny... the water I guess was ice cold... haha!  So she stepped in and about cancelled the whole baptism! ;) hahaha! it was really neat!  I am very prayerful for her friend, and hope that as we continue to teach her that she will feel of the Savior's love. 

I love you all so much and want you all to know how grateful I am for you and your emails and letters.  I can with surety in my heart tell you that I wouldn't be here if it weren't for all your wonderful examples of love and friendship!  Love you all! Happy New Years!!  

Eating with Investigators


Elder Redding

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Dear Family and Friends,

Merry Christmas!!!  It has been another great week here in Taiwan!  A week full of new experiences, that I hope to slow down and take the most from all of them.  The weather here is actually cooling down quite a bit.  I am sure it is still warmer that Utah... haha but I think that I am just getting used to it here or something because in the morning it is actually a little chilly. haha! 

This last week we actually didn't have the baptism just because it was a little short notice for everyone and everything, so we are having it this weekend!  Actually on the 27th! haha so Happy Bday T!! ;) I am really excited for that.  That is a pretty great Christmas present!  We are really trying to help the others progress and feel the strength of the Atonement and the gospel! We met with D again and really got him focused on a new goal for baptism and got him focused on his personal change and conversion. 

This week we went on splits with the Assistants...well he came with us!  It was super fun because we just rode up the Mountian and contacted hard for like 2 hours!  Just talking to everyone and everything that even looked remotely living! Haha! It was hard work but was so fun and so rewarding!  After we went to this place called A-Bao, and it was so good!  I had this Chicken Burger and this thing called a ZhuaBing!  They are my favorite!  It was a nice end to a really good day!  ...and before that we had a lesson with a less active, who we have met with and he tells us he will come to church then just doesn't show up.  I had the lesson prepared this week and was kinda nervous because my chinese isn't great, but gave it and he committed to coming to church.  HE CAME!! haha I was so happy, and I sat with him at church!!!  It was really cool!  

After church we had a super cool miracle!  This lady from mainland china randomly showed up and told us that her husband had a heart attack last night and was in the hospital.  She amazingly is Christian and was wailing outside and saw our sign on our church that said Jesus Christ.  She came in because she was just really worried.  She found us and we contacted the sisters and they met with her, then she asked us if we could go to the hospital and give her husband a blessing.  It was so cool.  We went there and the security is crazy.  They make you wear these crazy things so that you don't get people sick and she only has 30 min with him and there weren't enough things to wear.  So she gave hers to us and Elder Munger and I went in and gave him a blessing.  He looked really weak, but I could tell he was thankful and felt the power.  It was really neat. 

I love you guys all so much! Merry Christmas!  I can't wait to talk to you guys in a few days!!!!!!  Love you all!


Elder Redding
Elder Varvel, Elder Dawson, Elder Redding, Elder Munger

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sharing the Message With a College Class

Dear Family and Friends, 

To start off... MERRY CHRISTMAS!!  haha!  It has been a really great week, so I will try to remember a lot of the details! 

We were super busy this week with trying to get the ward Christmas party all lined up and in order!  We were in charge of getting all the decorations and wrapping all of these Books of Mormon for everyone and getting everything set up.  

Sharing the Message with a College Class
We were at the church last Monday and we were about to head home after a lesson and this car pulled up and it was a member from another ward and she told us that she was a teacher at one of the local colleges!  She then asked if we could come and speak to her class and tell them why we decided to come on missions and about what we do!  haha so naturally we said of course!  So that day rolled around and we biked all the way to the college and when we got there we had to ask around to find out what class we were going to, and everyone was just staring at us... haha well everyone is always staring at us because we are Americans, but now we have all these young Taiwanese girls and it was just magnified! haha So we get to the classroom and walk in and it is a class of like 50 or so girls! haha and we thought that we were just going to like say hi and whatever, but the teacher had us come right up to the front and just run the whole show! hahah we felt like movie stars!! They were amazed at how fast (missionaries) learn Chinese, because Elder Munger has no problem communicating and he has only been out a year and a half, and then when they asked how long I have been out and I said that I have been in Taiwan for 3 weeks they went nuts! hahah I was so confused at first thinking that I said something wrong! hahaha!  Elder Munger and I talked about our families and we passed around family pictures and then talked about our missions, and why we came and then at the end we were able to share a Mormon Message with them and were able to bear testimony of the Savior.  It was really powerful and really felt like it helped them. After we got a picture with all of them, I will send that as well! ...but a couple days after we made the visit, the teacher called us and told us that she really felt like the things we shared with them made a difference and touched their hearts.  That was super cool. 

That same night that we visited the college we were coming home from contacting up in the mountains and were at a light.  So I was contacting someone on their scooter and so was Elder Munger.  I can't remember what happened with who I was talking to... haha they probably just rode off haha.. the light turned green and the person that Elder Munger was talking to zoomed off, and we continued down the road. We were talking to each other and he was telling me that the lady he was just talking to was crazy and he couldn't understand a word she was saying! haha she spoke some crazy language!  We were laughing heading under this overpass and up this hill and when we got to the top, Elder Munger says, "That's her!!" she had gotten in an accident with a car!  It wasn't a bad one, but she was just getting up.  So we went over and asked her if she was okay!  She was, but she was just frustrated!  haha She was white and was from South Africa and just had a weird English accent.  So it was kinda hard to understand at first.  The Chinese lady who she got in the wreck with was really organized and worried.  haha... I know weird combination right?  The lady from South Africa just wanted to go home, but you can't here when there are accidents... you have to stay until the cops come and take all these pictures and stuff.  No one really knew whose fault it was, so that was the problem.  

The lady from South Africa had been here 6 years... and still couldn't speak the language. We had to translate for her to the cops and the lady!  Mostly Elder Munger.. haha!  There is a lesson to this though.. haha during the whole process that this was going on, I am guilty to say that I started thinking that the Chinese lady was being weird and overreacting a little bit.  I really don't think it was either of their faults from what I understood.  At the end we were all circled up with the cops discussing the situation and they agreed that it was equally both of their faults so no one had to pay and they could go their ways.  I was glad at that... because you hate to see a dumb little thing get blown way out of proportion like that. The thing that happened next still amazes me.  The Chinese lady who I had thought was stubborn and unfair and didn't understand then pulled out her wallet and gave the other lady 2 pieces of candy and 1000 kuai!  (about 33$)  ... the Lady from South Africa was stunned at this moment and almost began to cry.  It was so touching to see how concerned the Chinese lady was about this lady.  It opened my eyes a bit too... it made me realize how much good there is in every single person. She didn't have to give her that money.  She wanted to make sure that she was okay though.  Super cool! 

Saturday was the Ward Christmas party, and it was sooooooo awesome!!! we had like 90 people there and it went really well.  It was just nice.  I played my guitar with a recent convert to silent night and Elder Munger Sang!

Sunday was so awesome!  One of our investigators really made leaps and bounds in her conversion.  She is getting baptized this Saturday! I am so happy for her!!!  Her friend isn't going to make the date we set, but we will continue to work with her.  

I love all of you guys!  The message of the Savior and his life is the most precious gift that we could ever give to someone.  It is a treasure in Heaven that moth and dust will not ever corrupt.  It is something that lasts.  The message of the gospel and of the savior is something that everyone in this world can have in common no matter their background or beliefs.  It is a message that changes lives and is a message that more importantly saves lives. I love you all! 


Elder Redding
MTC Buddies - Now in Taiwan Together

Singing Closing Song at Mission Gathering

At the Seafood Buffet - Christmas Mission Gathering
Two Sister Missionaries and Elders Varvel, Dawson, Munger and Redding

Monday, December 8, 2014

Beautiful Pictures from Buddhist Temple Trip With 200 Missionaries!!!

Dear Family and Friends, 

200 Missionaries at the Buddhist Temple - Incredible Day!
I don't even know where to start! haha, the weeks fly by and there are so many details that I wish that you all could just see through my eyes what I get to see everyday.  It is amazing.  I guess to start off, this last week we on Monday we went to lunch with The District Leaders and went to a ChiDaoBao (Buffet)  It was awesome!!! haha!  The next day, a member paid for us to go to another ChiDaoBao!! haha so we were super lucky because most days we just eat rice and vegetables and noodles for lunch and dinner!!! The food here is really good.  It is so different.  It is awesome though! 

Monk and Missionary - Both Dedicated to What They Believe
This week we also had the Mission Wide Christmas Party! It was in Gaosiung!  So Elder Munger and I got up at 5:15 to ride our bikes to catch the bus that left at 6:45, and the bus ride took like 3 hours!  It was fun! We went to this Buddhist Temple!  It was HUGE!!!!!  We had 200 missionaries there and it was so cool!!  We were taking the picture and all the natives were taking pictures of us too! hahaha!!  I met up with my (MTC) district there and it was the funnest thing ever!!  We got to spend like 2 hours there just walking around.  So I went with Elder Varvel and we just chatted and it was way fun!  While we were there we got to learn a lot about their religion.  It is really interesting. I was so grateful for the fullness of the Gospel.  I was so grateful for the knowledge we have of Heavenly Father's perfect plan to bring each and every one of us happiness.  It was a beautiful temple... unlike ours though... it was just open to the public and pictures.  It just wasn't set apart from the world.  I was really grateful for the gospel as we were there.  I also got a picture with a monk!!!  Yes!  A REAL LIVE MONK!!! haha!!  I was kind of scared to ask, mostly because of my chinese... but I did and she was so nice about it.  They are so nice!!  It was kind of cool.  Here you have these people at the temple who have given their lives for what they believe, with 200 missionaries who are giving all their time and attention to what they believe.  It was cool!  That is why I like that picture.  

With Elder Munger at the Seafood Buffet
After the temple we went to this hotel and had this huge seafood buffet!!! It was so good!!!  I can't even describe it.  Sooo good!!!  I ate a whole squid... right out of the ocean! haha  

After that we went to the church for a devotional, and all the departing missionaries had 2 min to say what they learned in their 2 years.  I couldn't even imagine being in their shoes.  It was really humbling and special to hear their testimonies.  After President and his wife spoke and it was really good and just filled with the spirit. 

After the devotional we traveled home and Elder Munger and I sat at the bottom of the bus and made calls for 2 hours to potential investigators!  We then rode our bikes home and didnt get back till like 11:30! It was crazy!! haha so we decided that we would get up at 630 the next morning instead of the usual 5 40! haha it was weird because when I got up I almost felt guilty for getting up on time instead of early.. hahah!
Elder Munger and Elder Redding in Front of Buddhist Temple
The Taiwan Taichung Missionaries at the Buddhist Temple in Gaosiung

Elder Redding with Ward Mission Leader
The rest of the week we worked with our investigators who are progressing and have their baptismal date for the 20th of December!  I hope and pray that they keep on the course they are on.  It is something that can and will bless their lives and we just continue to try and testify of the truthfulness of our message.  We gave them an invite to write their question down and use it as a book mark in their scriptures and when they read to look for that answer.  I had a cool experience with this.  I decided to do the same and write my question.  I prayed right after and began reading and the answer was simple and clear and right there.  Had I not written my question I would have never known what I was looking for.  I know that prayers are answered and that Heavenly Father knows us personally and individually and knows our needs.  He wants to answer our questions, it just takes a little effort on our part.  

Elder Redding & Elder Munger in Front of LDS Church
Yesterday was awesome!  Church was really good!  I understood more this time, and I got to bear my testimony.  I told them that my testimony was simple but I was grateful for the opportunity to share it.  Isn't it so great that we all have the opportunity to share our testimony and how we have come to know our Savior.  

After the Second Counselor came up to us because we are running the entire ward Christmas party and we mentioned that I am playing the guitar with a recent convert and Elder Munger is singing!  He then asked me if I would teach this guitar class every week for investigators! hahaha I said yes!  I am really excited about that!! haha! That will be awesome!  A great opportunity to share the gospel! The Chinese will be so hard... haha but somehow it will all work out! 

This Holiday season I am so grateful for my Savior and his gift to all of us.  He gave his whole life for each and every one of us so that we could be happy and find joy and not just endure to the end, but so that we could ENJOY to the end.  I hope that all of us this Holiday season can make a difference in someone else's life who needs it.  As we lose ourselves in serving others only then do we begin to truly appreciate the Savior's gift to each and every one of us.  I love all of you!! 

 Sorry, this email was so jumbled!! haha it was a crazy week with a lot that happened!!! haha

 Love Always, 

Elder Redding
Elder Redding and Elder Varvel - Serious Pose in Front of Buddhist Temple

Selfie - Elder Redding, Elder Shurtleff (from MTC), Elder Munger
Elder Dawson and Elder Redding - Both Bountiful Braves Serving in Taiwan!

Elder Redding with a Pig on the Street

Monday, December 1, 2014

Zone Conference and Drinking from a Fire Hose!!!

Dear Family and Friends, 
This week really flew by!!  It was a great week and just super busy!!  We have about a million things to do everyday and there just doesn't seem like there is enough time in a day to get it all done! I will do my best to remember some of the details!! haha I am drinking from a firehose out here, but it is really good! 
Pday last week was really fun.  We went ice skating with an investigator of ours.  It was really fun, and it was so funny to watch all the Natives watch us crazy americans going crazy on the ice.  hahaha all of them were really cautious and scared of falling and here we come in our shirt and ties and are just jumping and trying spins and falling... hahah.  They were laughing so hard.  It was really fun.  After we went to eat and I bought all my groceries.  \
Wednesday was my first English class and it was really fun.  It was really hard.. haha because it is hard to explain things in chinese... especially because i dont really know chinese!! haha! It was really fun though, and it was so funny to hear them laugh and try to speak english.  haha now I know why they smile when I speak chinese.  haha!  At the start of the class we had a couple of new students so we asked them their english names... they are so funny!! One of them was Movie. hahaha!!! I couldn't help but just laugh! The people here are so funny! 
Meeting Elder and Sister Gong at First Taichung Zone Conference
Friday we had Zone Conference and Elder Gong from the 70 came with his wife.  It was really a cool thing.  He talked about Faith, Energy, and Focus.  He talked about how all three of those things are related.  He talked about how 1 can never truly exist without the other.  I really liked that.  It made me
At Dinner with Elder Gong, Senior Couple and Missionaries
think about my own life and my own Faith, Energy, and Focus.  Elder Gong asked all the new missionaries in the room to stand, and so I did, and he asked how long we had been in Taiwan, and we said 1 week.  He then asked who had the first vision memorized and could teach it in chinese.  So I raised my hand.  He then called on me and my companion to go to the front and teach it to the AP's in front of everyone.  I was pretty nervous haha, but we did it and it went really well. haha I think that I even made a little sense. At lunch I actually sat right next to Elder Gong and his wife.  It was really neat to just feel of his spirit and his dedication to the Lord.

This week we were able to set a baptismal date with another one of our investigators, and on Sunday all of them came except one.  It was really cool!  Except that they thought that church was really boring.  
Sunday night we had a FHE for a lot of the recent converts and Investigators.  I was in charge of the game... haha and all I could think of were bowling for batteries and throwing cards, and throwing quarters!! hahaha!!! I realized how much fun we had in our little FHE games at home.  We ended up doing a bunch of little games and played a minute to win it.  It was so fun and they had so much fun!! haha it got crazy for a little bit, to the point that I was on the ground laughing so hard that I felt like I was about to throw up. hahah! it was really funny to watch them get so excited about little games! haha and I am proud to say that I won the card throwing! ;) haha! 
The work here is really neat.  As far as finding, we just talk to everyone.  At lights we pull up to people and have about 30 seconds to get them to pull over and talk more.  So I just kinda of throw myself out there and go for it!! It is really exciting and really neat when you get to share your testimony with them, even if they aren't interested.  haha I have a lot of fun.  We ride by people with their hands out for taxis... so naturally I give them high fives! hahah! Just seeing these people smile really gets me excited about the work and sharing the gospel.  
The bike riding is crazy!!! haha crazy!!! I love it though.  It is really fun.  Yeah, we have some investigators that are progressing towards baptism and actually have a lesson with a new investigator today that I found!! haha.  It was just at a light and I talked to her, asked if she could pull over and talk for a sec, and she did and then we did and then Elder Munger came to help!! haha I was running out of words in chinese!! haha!  That lesson tonight will be good though!! 
Elder Munger teaches most all the lessons.  He is awesome.  He gives me parts. haha and then after I share, he cleans up what i said and clarifies.  He is awesome, and crazy hard worker.  We get up at 5:55, and are lucky to get to bed by 10:30... haha something we are working on! haha there just isn't enough time in the day!!!  His work outs are nuts too!!! the other day we did 100 burpees.  haha and the whole time there was this Chinese guy talking to me.. haha i could not understand him at all and was trying to be nice and do burpees and talk and it was so hard!!
I love you all so much and pray for you daily. 
Elder Redding

Monday, November 24, 2014

First Days in Taiwan and Pictures!

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow!! I am in Taiwan! hahaha! I LOVE IT HERE!! I am so grateful for the Savior and my sacred call as a missionary and the opportunity I have to share this message with the beautiful people of Taiwan.  Wow!! haha these last few days have been crazy, so I will do my best to answer questions and catch you all up to par! :) All of my MTC District received their visas so we’re here together!!!

Arrival at the Tapei Airport
The flight over was good!  I actually sat by this guy on my way to Tokyo who was from Taiwan.  Wow, he was so nice!!!  His english was awesome, because he has been studying in the U.S.! I got to talk to him a for like 4 hours straight.  I also got the opportunity to share about the Book of Mormon with him.  He actually is Christian... which is super rare.  It was really neat, and I also got to swap info with him... and I told him that if he was ever in Utah that he could stay with you guys... haha.  So... I hope that is okay!! hahaha! ;)  Anyways, when we got to Tokyo we had like a 4 hr layover and our whole MTC district met up and it was awesome!! We went and had noodles and shared stories! So great!! haha!  Then we got on the plane to Taiwan, and that was when I really felt immersed in the language! haha everyone spoke chinese.. and I had no idea what they were saying!!

With President and Sister Blickenstaff
We got off the plane and got our stuff and met mission president and his wife.  Crazy... haha the smell here was so different.  I am used to it now and LOVE it, but at the time it was so weird. We got on the bus and traveled like 2 hrs to Taicheng which is a big city, and we had a small devotional.  It was great!  I was so tired though. 

Elder Redding - 1st Morning in Taiwan at Mission Office
I stayed at the AP's home with Elder Varvel-MTC Companion.  That was super fun, and in the morning at like 6:30 he gets me up and is shaking me. haha, we didn't have to get up till 7 because we didn't get back till like 1, haha and he was like "Elder Redding, lets go running." haha that was fun.

I don't have a lot of time to go through all the details of everything, so I will tell the highlights.  The next two days were orientation type days.  We got to go out to eat and the food is different.  There are some things that I love!  other things that I will need to get used to.

The night before we met our trainers we went to dinner and they literally eat everyting..  haha Whole fish with scales and all!  haha and the chicken... head and all!! haha!  After dinner President got up and told us about Dan Jones, a missionary in the church.  He talked about him standing on a soap box... I thought uh oh.. haha so we went to the night market!  We all gathered around in the middle of everyone... It is packed of people everywhere and we sang a hymn and then we got up and shouted our testimony to everyone around!!! haha It was crazy!!  I got up and shouted it and got down and then this missionary ran up and grabbed me to go and start contacting people.  haha it felt so sureal!! It was so Awesome!!!!  I loved it.  We talked to people and I didn't understand a whole lot, but the Elder I was with was super nice and would tell me, share about the book of mormon, or share about prophets.  It was really neat. 

That night we got back and I fell asleep in my suit and all!! haha I was exhausted.

Lunch with New Trainers Just Prior to Heading to New Area
The next day we got our trainers!!  We went up to the very front and got a red envelope with our area and our trainers name in it.  I opened it and it said I would serve in DaKeng with Elder Munger!! Then he came up and gave me a hug.  After we went to lunch and then we were off!!  Elder Munger is great.  He is a stud... that is all I can say.  haha.  He is so obedient and is so patient with me.  haha he also is an animal with his workouts.  He is the most fit person I have ever met.  He is crazy... haha we get up at 6 and he wears a backpack with weights in it while he runs and does everything... haha and he also wears a gas mask!!! haha yes, a gas mask!! It makes it so its harder for him to breathe!! haha He is awesome! 

In DaKeng with Elder Munger and One of His New Coverts
We had lessons immediately and over the last two days we helped 3 people set baptismal dates.  I just love it here.  haha.  I don't know what else to say.  I love the people, the food, the smell, the gospel.  Everything. 

I am sorry this is such a crazy email, but I am trying to help you guys know what I am experiencing. 

The roads are crazy... haha there arent lanes and there a millions of scooters and cars going everywhere, haha and we just weave in and out of cars.  Its crazy.  We go full speed right by cars and reach our arms our and touch them... haha.  There really arent a whole lot of rules for traffic.  The one thing that I have learned is you cant hesitate.  haha You just keep going and scooters will get out of the way and cars will wait.  When you hesitate, bad things happen! haha.  I just wish you could experience it.  Its like nothing you could even imagine.  When we get to a red light we just pull up to a scooter and literally have 30 seconds to get them to pull over to the side.  It is so hard... especially when you have no clue what they are saying... hahah!

Church was great, we had 4 investigators at church.  I also got to bear my testimony. 

Last night we went to a members house for what they call hotpot.  you just throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and eat it.  I don't understand a lot of chinese, but I can feel their love.

This morning we went and played basketball with two members... haha the Taiwanese are so funny!! haha and of course to get our exercise in we ran there.  2 miles... and Elder Munger flew!!! haha! I was so tired!

I love it here guys.  I really do. I know that the Lord will help me with the language.  He already has.  I can feel it.  I am horrible at Chinese, but I know he will help.  I love you all so much and am so grateful for you all.  Keep up the good work.

I read in 1st Nephi 8 today about the iron rod and the mists of darkness that surround us.  The mists of darkness will never allow us to grasp them.  They will never guide and direct us.  You cannot grab mist. When we make a real effort to "cling" onto the iron rod we will always be able to feel the direction of the Lord in our lives.  The Gospel is what allows us to progress.  If we aren't "clinging" then we aren't progressing.  Love you all.


Elder Redding

Breakfast the First Morning - After a Very Short Night's Rest!

Dinner - Night Before Receiving First Assignement in Taiwan

Lunch Break

First Day - Pres. Blickenstaff Leading us in Buddha Pose After Mile Run

New Missionaries with New Trainers

Monday, November 17, 2014

Visa Has Arrived!!!

Dear Family and Friends, 

Well everyone!! I got my visa!! Crazy!! I can't believe the day is finally here. I leave for Taiwan tomorrow!! I am sooo excited and so nervous at the same time.  It has been a good experience here for me in Portland.  I said goodbye yesterday to some people that I am really going to miss!!!  Right before sacrament started the first councilor in the bishopric asked us to give talks because the speaker didn't show up... Haha so we were scrambling to get our thoughts together. Then when we were up on the stand I got a note that we only needed me to bear my testimony... I thought that it was so fitting because it was the last time I would see these people.  It was nice.  After the meeting the ward was so kind to me. I let them know I was leaving and was so grateful to serve with them. They were so nice to me.  The church is true in every part of the world.  It is full of people who have normal lives and try to do the best every day to come closer to Christ.  It is amazing. 

I am super grateful for the opportunity I had to serve in Portland! The people here were so kind to me and I love President Ballard and his family. I love all of you guys! I hopefully will call you tomorrow from a layover!! 

Love always,

Elder Redding

Monday, November 10, 2014

We Are All Known to Heavenly Father

Dear Family and Friends, 

Wow!  It has been a super great week!! I still don't have any word on the visa, but I have a feeling it's coming this week... I dunno though.  This last week went by super fast, I will try to remember some of details.

Wednesday was amazing.  I loved it so much!! There was an emergency splits, so I went with one of our Zone Leaders, Elder Barrow and Elder Plessinger went with Elder Cooper. We got two new investigators in our area... And we taught like 3 lessons, and we saw like 4 other families.  It was really cool because we talked to this girl who was new to taking lessons as well. I really enjoyed it because we just worked super hard. He has a really positive attitude and that in my opinion makes all the difference in missionary work and life.  A good buddy of mine... AKA the green machines heart and soul, Elder Hawks often says, "attitude is half the battle" it is so true.  When we surround ourselves with people who make us happy and strive to be happy themselves I truly think that is when we see miracles.  Elder Barrow and I saw this one girl who hasn't been to church or a YSA activity in years a looooonnng time.  We met with her on the porch and talked to her about some of her favorite T.V. Shows.  She was really enjoying it.  We then read a scripture with her from the Book of Mormon and I invited her to come to FHE on Monday and she said she would, then we set up our next visit with her on Monday right before FHE so we could all go down together.  That was super cool, and when we left Elder Barrow told me that he had never seen her so happy before. That was neat. 

Friday was really neat, we went and saw Grandma D and took Sister T with us.  It was really cool, we talked to D about the temple and about her parents who she always talks about. We talked to her about working towards going through the temple herself and then for her parents.  We helped her understand why temples are so important for families. 

On the way home Friday night, I had this impression out of the blue to go and visit this lady named K Who is never home because she works a ton!! She has a little girl and is divorced with her husband.  It's really hard on her and we hadn't seen her in weeks.  I just felt like we should go over.  So we walk up to her apartment and sure enough, no answer.  We went back to our car and there she was with her little girl. She had just pulled in.  We told her that we were looking for her.  After we just kind of said that we wanted to make sure she was doing okay and if there was anything that we could do for her.  Right then she broke down and cried and asked for a blessing.  Her divorced husband has just disappeared and now her little girl has absolutely no father figure. Plus she has two jobs and always took the little girl to the dads... She just was really scared and worried.  It made me so sad to see the little girl who has no idea what is happening and this mother who is working so hard to make ends meet.  We gave her the blessing.  I really felt that it was so neat that we were able to be there. The prompting from the spirit to go see her was so quiet that I will be honest... I didn't recognize it at first. I just felt we needed to. I think that this is mostly how we feel the spirit.  There are always those times when we feel it super strong, but a lot of times it really is a still small voice.  The more we act on those small promptings the more we will begin to recognize them.  I think a lot of this life is learning how to listen to the spirit.  This is something I am working on every day.  I am so grateful that I was able to have that experience.  

Saturday was crazy! Haha... We had a FHE lesson with these two older couple and I brought cards from a members house and taught them Russian Rummy! Haha! That was way fun and we had cookies and crackers and cheese! After we went to this guys house and I got to play his 2300$ guitar! He plugged it into the amp and man... IT WAS AWESOME!! it made me miss playing the guitar.  

Sunday was stake conference and was super fun! :) stake conference was awesome! We heard from Elder Anderson and President Monson.  One of the messages from the 70s was super good too! He talked about how especially in Portland it rains every day.  How we need to seek out the light.  There are always going to be storms in our lives big or small they will always be there.  Instead of sitting back during those storms we need to seek out the sunlight.  Or as my big bro would say, we need to make it happen.  When we show our Heavenly Father that we are willing to seek him out he will help us.  I really like the analogy of the rain every day.  It's so true.  

I am reading in the scriptures about the 2000 stripping warriors.  As I read it this time I really felt Helaman's love for those boys.  He even called them his sons.  I really thought that it was amazing how they kept fleeing from the Lamanites, and finally had to face them.  It made me realize how much Helaman cared for them.  Immediately after, he numbered his people and none were lost.  It made me feel so grateful that we are all numbered as well.  That during our trials Heavenly Father is mindful of us.  When we are in the service of our god we will never be lost.  

I love you all so much! Have a great week and keep the faith!! 

Elder Redding

Monday, October 27, 2014

Great Friends - Examples of Great Service

Dear Family and Friends,

The month has flown by! I can't believe that October is already almost over.  This week we got to go to the temple! That was really awesome. It made me think of when we went to the Portland Temple. It made me feel a lot of joy because I realized again how lucky I am to have the amazing family that I have. You are my best friends. I feel so blessed with the knowledge that we have the opportunity of spending eternity together. It gave me so much peace and joy. Just think, we get to hear mom tell me to take my vitamins for eternity! ;) hahaha! Just teasing Mom, I love you. Truly I feel so blessed to have you guys. 

We are getting into the winter season here, it's getting a lot colder. It's not near as cold as Utah, but it rains every day. This week it rained like crazy! I was so happy I was in a car this week haha. Next week we will get our turn with the bikes! 

On Thursday it was raining like crazy! We showed up at H's house and got to spend time with him. We talked to him about changing and becoming better. I told him that now was the time to make changes. Not just for him, but for all of us.  I related it to wrestling for him, because he was a wrestler when he was young. I related his matches that went 3 rounds and how tough they were but how much joy he felt after - related that to the atonement and changing. I tried to help him see that the decisions he needed to make weren't going to be easy, but they would be worth it. In the end they would make his best memories and be something that he will always remember and be grateful for. He said that he knew he needed to go to church. We kindly agreed haha. He can't right now because of his foot. He has them all cut up because of diabetes and is in a wheelchair, but as soon as they got healed he would come. We are going to try and get him a ride before then.

Friday was the Temple with our Zone! And after H had us try and help him figure out some paperwork. We helped him interpret the paperwork and explained how to fill it out, so he appreciated that a ton. He is so funny! He calls us his boys.  He will be on the phone when we go over and he will straight up tell anyone he is on with, "hey gotta go, my boys are here! Yeah, the Mormon boys." 

As I was reading this week I read in Alma 38 about when Alma the younger was giving his son Shiblon council.  I read vs: 3 and 4 which say:

"3 I say unto you, my son, that I have had great joy in thee already, because of thy faithfulness and thy diligence, and thy patience and thy long-suffering among the people of the Zoramites. 
4 For I know that thou wast in bonds; yea, and I also know that thou wast stoned for the word’s sake; and thou didst bear all these things with patience because the Lord was with thee; and now thou knowest that the Lord did deliver thee."

When I read this I thought of Sam. I was completely overcome with Sam's experience but more importantly Sam's response. To realize then that he may have suffered quite a bit of pain and the time but to completely direct it outward and be thankful for our Savior and for Joseph Smith is a testimony of Sam's dedication to The Lord and this work. It is very natural for us to look inward when we have things go wrong, or get drilled in the head by a rock. That is the natural man, that is not Sam. Sam has always been a great example to me as a friend and continues to be an example to me in this great work. I love what Alma says to his son. He tells him the he has had great joy in Shiblon because of his hard work and patience. I can say the same thing about Sam. I know that our Heavenly Father is proud of him and his hard work and patience. I know that he is proud of all of my great friends and their great service. I am so grateful for the great friends I have who are amazing examples to me! 

Well, family I love you guys so much! Please keep up the great work and know that I love you all so much and pray for all of you! 


Elder Redding