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, October 26, 2015

With the Savior's Help We Can Do All Things

Dear Family and Friends, 

This week has flown by and been a great blessing as well!  This week was full of great events.  This work is important and it is meant to be enjoyed.  It isn't always easy... but it is important to remember the eternal life wasn't a cheap price that the Savior paid for us.  Although at times the road in front of us may appear long and may look scary.  I testify that with the Savior's help we can do all things.  This work and living a gospel centered life is worth it. It always will be.  

This week we went and saw the "G" Family... they are awesome.  They are really going to need some prayers and a lot of faith.  I know that they can do this.  This thing that we hope to help them understand this week is that baptism isn't some grand ending... it is only the beginning.  We do not have to be perfect to follow the example of the savior and receive blessings from our loving Heavenly Father.  We just have to be willing to do our best.  We hope to help them understand this.  We have invited him to keep a gratitude journal every day... I remember when Dad invited us to do that that one Christmas.  That was really powerful!  We also invited him to kneel down at night with his wife before bed and pray together.  He committed to doing so.  I know that it will help.  

Yesterday we had a special experience.  We were out contacting and there was this big Daoist festival going on... and let me tell you.  when daoists party... oh man do they party! hahaha!!  Anyways the park was crazy crowded.  (the festival is for MaZhu... she is the God of the Sea)  anyways I saw this guy on the bench and went up and talked to him... I found out that he was Daoist... haha of course. So I asked him if He believed in a God that is greater than all other Gods... I usually ask this because they believe in a lot of Gods... but rarely grasp the concept of a supreme God or a creator.  He said it probably existed.. I then told him about church... and the feeling there.  We talked for a while and I asked if he had ever felt God's love in his life before... he wasn't sure.  I told him that he would feel it at our church.  It was really neat.  He committed to coming to church with us in two weeks.  I asked him once more at the end to make sure that he was legit about it.. and he said that he would be willing to come a try.  Super awesome!!  

I love you all so much!!  Keep the faith and keep on keepin on!!  Love you all so much!!  


Elder Redding

Monday, October 19, 2015

"I Could Possibly Spend the Rest of My Days Here"

Dear Family and Friends, 

This week has flown by... once again.  I have been in Taiwan for about 11 months... crazy.  I can't even believe how the time has gone.  This week we really focused a lot with some of the RC's and LA's we had about taking the next step!!  We are hoping to help them all get to the temple.  That is the goal!! 

This week we met with an LA who has been a member of the church for the longest period of time out of any other member in GangShan.  I hope that makes sense... haha!  Anyways... he is really awesome and has recently gone through the temple to do baptisms for the dead.  We went to his house this week and brought a member with us and shared about the temple.  We invited him and his wife to come up with a goal together of when they can go through the temple and be sealed... and then we committed them to talking to the bishop this week about their goal so that he could work with them... Well when we left their home the member that came with us told us that 15 years ago they he went to this mans house with the missionaries and taught the same thing... so unlike last time,  we were very hopeful that they would talk to the bishop this time.  Well Sunday rolled around and they were at church.. haha and I thought that I better just remind him about what they committed to do.  He remembered and went up to the bishop and they set a time for next week to interview and talk about this goal!!  Awesome!  

This week we also taught JM the Filipino again.  He is awesome!  He even came to church and stayed the whole 3 hours!  We are very hopeful for him. We will meet with him again this week. They are talking about starting up an english gospel principles class for the filipinos.  That would be awesome.  

This week we also found out some sad news... On monday we went decided to go over to "Cs" home.. we hadn't seen him in a while.. and we thought that was really strange.  Well when we got there we found out that his dad was really sick... Long story short.. his dad is really old and "C" was really worried.  We took him to the hospital.  He had like no strength and I had to basically lift him in and out of the car.  This has been really hard on "C".  He is so young and is going through a lot right now.  Keep him in your prayers.  

We went running again on Saturday!!  We ran 6 miles with the GangShan running team.  It was such a blast!! hahah I love this ward so much.  I feel like Ammon when he says that he possibly could spend the remainder of his days among the Lamanites! haha 

This week I did a lot of studying in the Bible... I found the more and more I read the more it truly testifies to me of the Savior’s mission.  The Savior loves us so much.  One thought that really hit me this week was that the Savior was prepared beforehand to perform the atonement.  However, the Savior still had his agency.  He was subject to all the things that we face.. the difference is that he never yielded to any temptations and bore all sorts of pain and trials with patience.  The reason why this thought struck me so hard is that the Savior while he was suffering for us could have given up... but he didn't.  He didn't give up on us.  For that reason we cannot ever give up on him, or anyone else for that matter.  When we let this sink deep into our hearts I truly believe it is enough for us to take on any challenge that this life will throw at us.

JOHN 16:33
  33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me yemight have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation:but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

I love all of you so much!  Thank you for all your emails and letters of encouragement!!  They mean the world.  


Elder Redding

Monday, October 12, 2015

Deeper Gratitude for Our Prophet and Apostles!

Dear Family and Friends, 

What a crazy busy and awesome week!!  It has been a week where I have felt a deeper level of gratitude for our Prophet and Apostles than ever before. I am so grateful that we have the chance to receive over 8 hours of pure instruction from their mouths.  They have been called of God.  They are receiving revelation to guide and direct us today.  They know. As President Hinckley said... it is wonderful! This week was crazy... here is how it went!! 

On Tuesday we had ZoneTrainingMeeting and after the Zone Leaders wanted to go on exchanges
Lunch After Training Meeting
again.  I got to go with Elder Hamula!!  I love him.  I was so grateful to be able to serve with him again.  I count him as a companion.  We have been on like 4 or 5 exchanges together plus the week we spent together with Elder Ju in DaKeng.  I knew that going with Elder Hamula we would see miracles.  I went to his area and Elder Chi came to GangShan with Elder Christensen.  Elder Hamula and I went first to the Stake President's home (He actually translates for the prophet in general conference and has some incredible experiences with the brethren) ...anyways we went to their home to teach a new investigator.  She is a friend of the wife.  Elder Hamula and I knew of the importance of a first visit, and as we were there we just relied on the Lord.  The lesson went amazing.  There were questions that we asked here that were really guided by the spirit.  I love teaching with Elder Hamula.  When we teach together it always has just felt so smooth and really has just felt like the spirit has been guiding us. We invited her to be baptized at the end of the lesson and she said that if she came to know it was true that she would be.  We shared a lot about the Holy Ghost.  As we taught that lesson and we and Sister Yang (presidents wife) bore testimony, you couldn't help but feel the love in the room at that time.  It hit me so hard then how important it is that we work through the members.  That is the way to do missionary work. It is more effective and has more meaning.  After we had the lesson we ate with the whole family.. and guess what we ate???  HAWAIIAN HAYSTACKS!!!  hahaha hawaiian haystacks in taiwan!! what the heck?? hahaha!  it was so great!!!  Overall the exchange was awesome!!  I love being with Elder Hamula and it really hit me how important the members are in this great work!!

Wednesday we were traveling again.  Elder Christensen is already half way through training!!  Crazy!!  we had a follow up meeting with all the other trainers and new missionaries in GaoXiong!  It went awesome and was sweet to see President and Sister Blickenstaff!  It is a lot more rare that we see them down here in the South! It was a great treat!  

Thursday we had a lesson with a Filipino and Jonathan came to help us out.  It went awesome! He accepted the invitation to be baptized.  We are still working on a date with him.  The lesson was so interesting.  Haha.. we speak English and then sometimes they just start speaking tagolic.. haha and we don't understand most of the time but the spirit directs us what to say next.  His name is "J"... and he came to General Conference and met some of the other Filipinos in our ward.  It was great!  

Friday we had a cool stake activity.  It was a sports/hiking/running thing!  It was great!  we went with some of our ward.  I will try and send some pics... just for the record GangShan came in first... hahah but some of the other wards weren't really racing... haha but we were! ;) haha

Saturday and Sunday were so special.  I just love the church.  I left all my notes at the apartment... my bad.. haha and you know how at the end of it all it kinda all gets jumbled in you head? haha!  However... I must start out by saying Thank you mom.  You are amazing.  The talk following Elder Holland's reflected on Fathers...  So I must add a big thank you to Dad.  Thank you Dad.  I think that it is fair to say that I have been blessed with the greatest parents in the world.  They love me and they understand me, I can't comprehend how much they love me... but they let me feel it.  Thank you.  Speaking of parents... I loved what Elder Renlund said about loving.  That once we are looking through the eyes of a parent, even our Heavenly Parents is when we are able to really see others as they are.  I loved that.  So I just love you guys. haha

It saddened me to see President Monson as he was, however I know that the short council he gave is important.  As members of His church we have  a responsibility to let our light shine before others.  To be an example of the believers.  The world isn't getting any better or any easier.  All the more reason that we need to be an example.  This world is so confusing right now... it is imperative that we let other see very clearly how this church has blessed us.  With all President Monsons strength and power he shared this with us.  I know that it is important.  

There were a ton of other things that I learned but one last one that I would like to share is that I am not a Ponderizer!! :) I loved that so much.  As I listened to that talk it helped me realize that ponderizing is a way that we can more fully honor our covenants.  As we center Christ in our lives we become ACTIVE covenant keepers.  It just so happens that the covenants we make are all centered on the Savior.  This is the plan.  As we take time to read and ponder the scriptures every day... we put him at the center of our lives.  IM A PONDERIZER!! hahaha 

The last miracle for the week happened yesterday.  Last night we went to ShiHua's house for dinner with the "..." Family.  I was talking to "..." at church and he was telling me that how when he was at church it helped him forget all of life's stresses and worries.  I pondered this and realized that this was the Holy Ghost, but that he might not fully realize that.  So after dinner we shared about the Holy Ghost and brought this up.  We invited them to be baptized.  They accepted!!! :D  They will be baptized on November 7th as a family!!  He has never been ready and always said that he would need time and wouldn't set a date.  I am so excited for them.  They will hit their goals.  I really have faith in them.  

I love you all so much!!  Have a great week!! 


Elder Redding 

Monday, October 5, 2015

When You Feel You Can No Longer Stand...Kneel in Prayer

Dear Family and Friends, 

This week has been so fast!!! I can't believe it is already October!!  Where in the world did September go?? Ayyyeahhh! This week has been a very great week.  We are continuing to work hard here in GangShan to find those who are ready to receive this gospel!  It is such a great blessing!!  We are really working with the ward here - the bishopric just changed.  I am very grateful for the organization of the church and the wisdom and humility the leaders have in directing this great work.  I know that Bishop Gao was called to lead and most importantly to serve the ward here in GangShan at this time. 

We had a great opportunity this week to be able to sit down with him for about an hour and a half and just discuss some of our goals and plans and missionaries and how we can best work with him and the ward to accomplish his vision and desire for the ward.  It was such a great experience.  He is really focused on helping the members develop habits that would allow them to become the most spiritually strong they can be personally and also strengthening the families.  It was all so simple but made so much sense.  It was a great experience to sit and set some goals together.  I feel the love he has for the Lord so much when I speak with him.  It is amazing.  I am really excited for this ward.  

This week I really felt the power of the Book of Mormon and saw it in action.  We have been working with "..." who has really been struggling.  We were at the FamilyMart making some calls and I called him... he was still at work but he sounded so bad.  He had no energy or life or anything.  I asked him if he felt that at any time he had felt the Savior’s love in his life.  He said no... and that this burden was so heavy on him.  I told him that that was the role of the Savior.. to lift burdens.  That night during our English meeting there were scriptures shared in Ether 6 about the Jaredites leaving and being on the Sea for almost a year.  That really would be so hard...with all the animals and everything..  It would be tough.  However, in there it talks about the wind constantly blowing them towards the promised land.  I invite you all to read Ether chapter 6 and really pay attention to the reaction when they had reached the promised land.  I knew right when I heard that scripture that that was the one that "..." needed to hear.  I knew it.  Well that night went on... we had English class and at the end he showed up... he doesn't usually show up.  I shared that scripture with him and invited him to read it on his own.  

The following day I got a call from "..." and he called to tell me how happy he was.  He called to tell me that he was going to hang in there.  I know that the Lord is always constantly pushing towards the promised land.  I know that as the Jaredites were on the sea it wasn't always smooth and when the waves crashed over their barges it was often time probably very scary, but I know that the Lord's hand was always there pushing them towards the promised land.  We all need to keep the faith and hang in there... if we feel that we can no longer stand... that is the perfect time to kneel in prayer to our Heavenly Father and cry unto him for help.  I know that the Lord answers our prayers.  

I love the scriptures so much!  I love you all!  Thank you for your constant prayers and love.  I feel your great love.  I love you all!! 


Elder Redding