Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Feliz Natal!!

Hey there everyone!  Luckily this week I have enough time to write out a letter to everyone!  This week was good.  Challenges always come up around Christmas no one really wants to talk to us in the street but we keep going on!:)  I can't believe Christmas has already rolled around again!  Exciting and scary at the same time! So also something happened this week, on Wednesday I got my "trunky call".  Trunky is a word missionaries use to mean "can't wait to go home".  In this call the office asks you a bunch of questions so they can buy your ticket for the airlplane and set everything up to send you home.  So yeah that is why in the pciture that I will send I am crying haha.  All of the other missionaries were laughing at my sorrow as well but it is ok!  In reality I didn't get very trunky I feel like I still have a ton of time left and I need to finish strong!  They always tell you in a race you have to run through the finish line not TO the finish line so that is what I will do.  But it is crazy being here and looking back, thinking about everything that has happened and everything that I have learned.  What a journey it has been and still will continue to be!

This week we also had a funny run in with some seventh day adventists ( a religion I was not very familiar with before my mission) Anywho they (like the jehovas witnesses) really like to have bible bashes with us.  I have learned that the spirit doesn not usually testify during such arguments so before we went to the teaching appointment (our investigator had already called her pastor to be there to help her in the lesson) me and Elder João talked and we established how we were going to approach the situation so that the spirit could be there.  We were very careful in the way we taught and it was a really great experience!  It worked well for our first lesson and we combined to have another lesson.  On the second lesson we went with the same attitude but then in the end they kind of told us that they weren't meeting with us for real intent.  But anywho long story short we won the bible bash that they insisted on having and then we made a trade we went to their christmas presentation if they came to our christmas sacrament meeting.  The pastor came and said that he liked it!

Anywho I tell you all of this for a reason.  During our lessons they were fixed on knowing if these things were true by logical facts and reasoning.  i told them that if they really want to know if our message is true they have to remember that this is a spiritual question, and so if they want to know they need to have a spriritual search in order to get a spirtual asnwer.  The gosple is a feeling, a transformation, spiritual and powerful but is not something that you can measure with numbers or calculate with equations and reason it is much more than that.  So that will be my thought for you all I I will have be off for now!  I love you all!!!

Elder Elderdge    

Pictures !

This is me getting my 'trunky' call

This is me with one of our awesome members in Gaia
By a sweet car!

December 7th, 2015

Hey everybody!  This week went well!  We had to do a surprise zone meeting that we had to organize and throw together (the president didn't tell us until last minute)  But it went well and I think the message made a difference for the missionaries in our zone.  Then we had a rougher week trying to find and teach people but me and my companion made some specific things that we are going to sacrifce and do to have a better week!  We had a wonderful testimony meeting yesterday!  Also Gloria and three other people from her house decided they would give us a surprise and come to church!  I had one of those strong feelings to share my testimony one of those ones where your heart pounds inside of you and you know it is your turn.  I shared a story that a long time ago my best buddy Duncan shared with me about the Atonement of Jesus Christ.   I don't have time to write it all out right now but if any of you get the chance Duncan might remember. the one about the girl in the room with a bunch of filling cabinets and Jesus (I know that sounds weird).  But to shroten the story when I was bearing my testimony Gloria started crying and after the meeting went and spoke witht the stake presidente and the bishop about her desire to be baptized so it was awesome!:)  i am loving this area!  Also yesterday I got permission to call Luisa and Beatriz from povoa de varzim!  Yesterday was there one year mark of baptism!  They are both in need of your prayers but especially Luisa.  I can explain later but just shoot a prayer out for Luisa.  
I love you all sorry for not wirting like I usually do !  I have had many surprises as of late;)  Have a great and happy week!
Elder Eldredge 

November 30, 2015

SO I won't be sending a giant e mail this week:(  I know I just don't have time today but I did learn some big lessons and there were some dang big miracles!  Gloria called us over and sat us down and one thing led to another and we got on the subject of baptism and in tears she said that she will be baptized!  That was an inredible miracle!:)  The only thing is that she didn't say when nor would she accept a date (she is a stinker sometimes;)  BUt I love her to pieces she just told me it would be before I left portugal!;)  So I hope I stay in this area until the end of my mission to be able to be here to watch it all happen!  But for her it was a huge step for sure!  Today is her birthdya so you should tell her happy birthday!  Also don't you worry I went to her house and she came up and was like sorry Elder and she gave me a big hug and I was shocked and then she was like that is from your mom!:)  Haha it was great;)  
Also we had a baptism this week!  We did very little tohelp him.  The sisters area got closed and he was already on track to be baptized!  So we just kind of put the cherry on top but it was great to see for sure:)  I am going strong tell Dad that I love him a lot andI want to see him again and give him a big hug!  tell him we still have a ton of boating trips to do;)  Even if we don't have a boat we will find a way;)  I miss you all can't wait to talk with you guys on Christmas!
Elder Eldredge

Baptism! (11/30/2015)

Very awesome to be able to perform the baptism
For this man whom the sisters had worked really 
Hard to bring him to baptism

One more down (11/29/2015)

Hey friends and family!  Hope you all had a wonderful week!  Well today marks the start of a new transfer!  I will be staying here in Gaia but I will be serving with a new companion Elder João he is from an African country called Angola!  It should be really great!  He is a hard worker so that will be good for our area!  Also the sisters area here is getting closed down and so we will be picking up and teaching all of their investigators which will be a big work load but it will make the time go by fast, and I love spending time teaching, definitely my favorite part in missionary work!  Other than transfers nothing too crazy is happened this week!  
One thing that I really liked this week was a lesson that we gave to the priest quorum on sunday at church.  The bishop told us we could teach whatever we felt was right so at night I was thinking about what I could teach and I cam across a talk by Dieter F Uchtdorf called the WHY of Priesthood Service.  I thought perfect!  We had a great lesson with them about the why of the gospel and priesthood.  I told all of them there that the reason I chose that was because if I were a priest again I wish that I would have understood the why a little bit better.  There are whats and whys in the gospel.  We can learn and even do all of the whats in the gospel but when we understand the why of the gospel we will actually desire to do the whats and do them for the right reasons.  The whats can be the commandments, teachings, assignments, and other various things on the average Lds to do list but the why has to do with an eternal perspective of one day dwelling in the prescence of God.  When you understand the real WHY you feel more motiviated and inspired to fulfill the WHAT part.  It reminds me a lot of the talk music of the gospel, we can learn the steps to the dance but if we don't learn to hear the music we may give up dancing and eventually walk away.  I hope you all know WHY you do what you do in the church.  It makes for a lot deeper conversion and a more valiant defender of the faith and if you don't know, find out.  Will a bit of reflexion and pondering and an honest mind you can find you answer and know how to act from there.  I'll say it again if you don't truly know WHY you go to church or pay your tithing or read you scriptures or do home teaching or anything,  Find Out because there is always and eternal reason that when understood and grasped brings us peace and understanding.
I love you all tons!