Archive for March 2008

Jason’s Email for 03/25/2008

March 25, 2008

Hey!!!I had a really good week this week. On Wednesday we went to the police station where I was finger printed. It was a fun experience. One of the elders in the back broke out into song though so that was sort of weird. They have a way cool police station here though. I really enjoyed it. Thursday we had normal class. I was able to say full sentences without notes and form them in my mind. A big leap for me!!  I also passed my milestone (test in the CTM) so it was really great to make progress. I finished reading the scriptures and will start them all over again. Also, I am halfway through reading Jesus the Christ. If you haven’t already read it, it gives really good insight to our Savior’s life. Me and my companions are getting along well; we have a lot of fun in our district. Friday we had our desks stolen and replaced for smaller desks. Actually we have been sort of battling over them from another district across the hall. They always take them away. Anyways we were fortunate enough to receive bigger desks this week from our brother district that left this morning for the field. They were some of the coolest guys in that district. It is really sad they left. Oh well, I will be here for 4 more weeks so we all have to go sometime. Saturday was really probably the worst day and longest. Our teacher had to leave for meetings all morning so we had pretty much 6 hours of study period. Saturday I had a really fun experience working out in the gym. My buddy who I always worked out with left today so that was his last day.  It was a fun last work out and we pushed ourselves. I always say when you’re given 40 or so minutes to exercise, use it!!! Sunday was Easter. I love Sundays anyways but Easter was great. I had received a package you probably already knew about, from the Homers; it was a good surprise for me. My companion also received one so we watched the “Preach My Gospel” movies which is basically a real life documentary on missionaries teaching and doing what they do. We all enjoyed that and ate candy and read from our scriptures. It was a great time. Anyways Sunday we had a really good church meeting. We also had a really good priesthood session. Elder Smith gave us a really great talk. After which I was called into a meeting with Elder Edwards. He asked me to be the new district leader for our district which I accepted so I am the new district leader. And Elder Fletcher who was the old one has become the new assistant to the president. It has been a good experience so far. I am sending you a letter about the whole experience that I wrote right after wards because I tend to forget details too much. We had a really good Easter Sunday. I read another chapter of Jesus the Christ. I wrote some in my journal and then took a short nap before we were to go to our meeting that night. Our fireside was amazing. I really can’t explain it any different. A president, I believe from Utah and his wife who are getting done with their missions soon, gave us an awesome speech about working hard. After the meeting we went to our rooms and had a really good time just talking and everything. The district that left today came by and talked with us so overall Easter was a fun experience. Yesterday I woke up having another cold. I have had this cold since last week and can’t understand it. It is almost 70 degrees outside. Oh well Monday was sort of an off day but I understand the language a lot better now. Today we went to the São Paulo temple and really enjoyed that. I think it is now in my favorites. I am sending you a bunch of letters today and a pic cd because pics are too hard to send through Brazilian internet. So I hope I can get it to you this week or the next. You probably won’t get it for another 3-5 weeks depending on how long they take for small packages here.  I think today we are going to try a hot pocket shop and then photo shop for the cd and probably browse like we always do. P-days are great to just browse. Thanks for the e-mails. And the funny poem you sent me.  Megan, Tyler, good luck with the play practice as always. I hope you are getting those lines down pat… I figure if I can get what little I know about Portuguese down, and I really have a bad memory, you probably should have the whole play committed to memory by now. Lol… jk jk… anyways good luck. Have fun getting ready for prom Megan. Be easy on the poor guys too; if you don’t want to go with them let em off nicely. lol jkjk. I probably shouldn’t give you trash even though I am too far away for you to even get me back.. But really enjoy it.   Jr./SR. years were my favorite. Anyway I’d better go. Eu ama voces… Tchue!!!

Elder Allred

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Text from Paper Letter sent 03/09/2008

March 24, 2008

03/09/08

Hey Mom and Dad,

            I thought I would just send you this letter because e-mails are great but letters are even better.  Today was pretty much the best Domingo ever.  I had read Chapter 6 and 7 of Jesus the Christ and think I will probably have to read them once more.  Tons of info.  Today we had a great talk about missionary work and of course I took notes because if I don’t I forget.  I love my district so far.  We are growing closer together and definitely seeing each others point of view.  I learned an important lesson today.  To truly love God, you must love his children and part of loving his children – you must listen.  (All through my own studying)  Today during companhero inventory I let Elder Sudweeks know about the fact that I have trouble listening to others.  I expressed to him my desire to completely follow the “True to the Faith” section on “Love for God” as I try to serve.  I learned that I am not alone – for one – that many have that same problem but most importantly that all that is required of me is to “sacrifice” some of my time and just listen.  Anyways Sudweeks has the same problem I do and so we are going to try to help one another before the real work begins.  This all came about because of the characteristic test I took.  One area I scored lowest on was charity and love.  In a way it doesn’t surprise me because my patriarchal blessing says this mission will help to love people.

            Yesterday we had a large group meeting!  That is when only the Americano’s get together.  We listened to a talk about the Atonement.  It was interluded with a talk by Elder Holland.  He said “that we as missionaries should never ask why it is so hard, because the Atonement wasn’t easy.  The Atonement didn’t come cheap.  And if Christ could go through the Atonement then we can go through a mission.”  I liked it because it basically said stop whining and get back to work.  The Atonement wasn’t easy; we are all required to give something so why would it be easy!  Anyways watch it if you can for Family Home Evening, it would be a great one for Tom to watch because it deals tremendously with Jesus Christ.  Anyways life is good.  I am still working hard at Portuguese.  Its coming easier.  I can talk to Brazees and get them to understand me – I guess!  I am really learning a lot more in the Gospel and teaching.  I am also learning so much in adulthood.  I actually do my own laundry now!  I work out hard on my gym days.  Hopefully in 6 weeks I will be toned out good enough so I can do more pushups in the field (he he – hope for meJ.  I guess that is the extent of what you get in this letter.  If I told you anymore I would have nothing to write to you on P-Day so I will leave the rest for e-mail.  Anyways, don’t worry I am allowed to write on Sunday (Domingo) at least in the CTM, which is pronounced “she-the-emme”.

            Good luck with the play practice Megan and Tyler.  I am really excited for you!  Dad I hope California was great and you are home.  Mom I hope you are better of course I will need to check the email on P-day, but I hope that as spring is coming up, you will get better.  Love you all!

                                                            Love Elder Allred!

P.S. (he needed an address of a friend in Colorado)

P.S.S

I like candy yes I do!

I like candy how bout you!

The Easter Bunny isn’t in Brazil,

I know I am on my mission but still!

If you be willing Americano candy is nice,

Even a snickers bar would suffice!

Brazilian candy I like a lot,

But American candy hits the spot!

Homemade candy I love so greatly

But a package of something would help me lately!

So here’s a way to make the others jealous,

If you want to know how to make me more zealous,

Elders have a craziness for sweets

And I will shout “Hooray” to all the Brazilian streets.

(but not too loudly because then I won’t get any!!)

Just kidding, but just so you know I like candy a lot Mom & Dad, and Peanut Butter.  I love Peanut Butter, a lot!  So like a little jar of PB and some American candy at least sometime, “Not Right Now” cause right now, I am leaving in 6 weeks (now 4 weeks)!  But you know whenever you want to send something you know one day, like even if its Christmas, candy is good. Even if you save Easter candy for me until Christmas, I will be so amazingly grateful, so will my companhero.  Yeah, not to say I need it now but this is sort of a request (I think) – yeah, a request.  Um but remember, postage really is crazy so I am not sure how packages will work so I will let you know.  But I thought I would at least let you know!  Love you guys.  This was all a funny joke, but really, I LIKE CANDY!

Love Elder Allred

03/18/2008 Letter

March 18, 2008

Oi!!  
Well I bought a green tie just for that day so no worries there. I haven’t received your letters yet but I bet they will be here in the next week or so. I am excited to receive them. I will only be here for the next 5 weeks so in 2 weeks I think it would be safe to start sending my mail to Recife that way I know I will get it. I will try and get my apartment address to you as soon as possible. Any mail sent to the mission office will be kept there until transfers so if you feel it is safer to just send it to the office then I’m fine with that. I just won’t get any of it for 6 weeks at a time. I sent a whole lot of mail out last p-day so that should be arriving in the next week. Hopefully.. Well today we have the whole day to ourselves. We will be going to an all you can eat meat place today for like 5 bucks. Yeah I’m excited. Umm I guess it is a big thing most of the missionaries do here at the CTM… I am not sure what else we will be doing today but probably scouting around more. The juice stop was good last week. There weren’t any repeats like last time. I had passion fruit and that was really good. I also didn’t get to give my talk on Sunday. Probably this Sunday though because my companheiro gave his. We watched the new Joseph Smith movie on our film on Sunday. It was really good. It really helps to be reminded. I was then prompted to read Joseph Smith History all the way through. I did that and to my great surprise we had a devotional about scriptures. And the presidente giving that talk used the JSH as apart of his lesson. I really understood everything better. Sunday has got to be my favorite day of the week. Meals are getting better I’m sure it isn’t so much the cooking it is probably me getting used to it. I actually am frustrated when they don’t have beans and rice!!! I am sorry to hear about the home problems. I am sure I will get my taste of home difficulties here in 5 weeks. Hopefully not as severe as a leak as you had. I don’t even know how to stop those.
I am going to try and send pictures today hopefully they make it. 
Funny story we found the spiting image of the MONSTARS from ´´the space jam“ here at the CTM. At lunch this district always comes in and it is a district of about 5 people. There is one skinny tall guy, two medium tall kids, one really short guy, and then a really big tall guy. They always stick together wherever we see them. It is sort of an observation my companheiro made when at lunch. He started laughing pretty much uncontrollably. And let us in on it after about 5 min of hard laughing. He’s got a huge imagination.

Anyways class hasn’t had as lot of interesting things lately. We are just getting into our third lesson.. We are writing more in Portuguese and I think in 2 weeks we aren’t allowed to read anything in English unless it is for personal study. Other than that we are only supposed to write and read in Portuguese. Our last week is strictly Portuguese speaking with maybe a bit of English thrown in their if we don’t know words. (Our districts goal) anyways I am excited for it.) I am amazed on how much I’ve actually learned this last 4 weeks here. I am definitely growing in my knowledge and understanding. It has been an awesome experience so far. Our Brazilian roommates left last night. So I guess we are just waiting for some more so we can learn more of the language. It helps a lot when trying to learn a language to just talk to them. They have no problem trying to help you out.

Last week our district pretty much got sick. I guess we got too used to the temp here. And even though it has only dropped to the low 70´s at night we all got colds. It was sort of funny to see. You walk into class and you have all these Americans sick from 70 degree weather. Oh well I think we are all over it now.
I have been thinking a lot of all of you too. I can’t wait to hear about how school, work, and life, have been going for you. It sounds like fun so far. Well love you all I hope things are going well. And continue to go well. I am glad you are all over the flu. I hope as it actually gets warmer there that things will start to go better. You are in my prayers all the time.

Love Elder Allred

CTM CourtyardJason in Class

03/11/2008 Letter

March 13, 2008

Hey! Well I made sure to write down something exciting that happened in case I forgot it. I do that when spending a lot of time memorizing things… thanks for the letters I will love to read them when they get there I sent you another letter or rather will send it today.. You can also send me more e-mails..lol.. I love lots of stuff but if it is easier to send it then that is fine. Well Elder smith and his wife are the assistant’s secretaries and assistants here at the ctm. I was really glad to here from the chorus elder smith directs. He was a music professor at BYU, I think, but he is great at what he does. Tuesday devotional was pretty amazing I learned a lot about the Brazil missions and our expectations as missionaries. IT was good to see how the church is so predominant here. I bought a cool tie last p-day and found a bag of a ton of candy for practically nothing, just to tell you how different things are here. Also last p-day my companhero and me and our district went to a juice place on the corner. I had papaya and if you think that Jack Lalane´s was good you should try this. The only problem was that when I went to pay for it I tried to tell the guy how great it was using my best Portuguese. I said MUITO BEM!! And gave him the “ok” sign, well I forgot in Brazil that isn’t so good to do… Luckily the guy just smiled and I said thanks and paid for it. There is a Brazilian elder who really likes to play jokes and stuff. Well one time he came bursting in on our district meeting, he had just finished his gym time, he said “I am an American” “True Baller”, and then ran out. We just sort of wondered what just happened. And Elder Salazer (the assistant to the prez.) sort of shook his head and said “who taught him baller”? I had to laugh at that one. Our district really likes to sing. We some times get so bored that we break out into the lion sleeps tonight and such. So far we are trying to learn it in Portuguese. I wrote my first lesson in Portuguese the other day. I was told what a great job it was, but needed to cut it down some because it is going to be my street approach. I guess I only have like 30 seconds to talk. My professor was impressed I showed him my talk and slipped him a piece of candy. I am pretty sure it wasn’t the candy though : ).. I tried eating this crazy banana thing at lunch a few days ago. It was like some ham and cheese thing with chocolate all rolled up in a slice of brown banana. Probably won’t try it again… Irmão Borges is our new teacher, the other one is in law school for a month, he is pretty cool. He promised us hat if we did everything he said we would leave without know Portuguese. I was asked by our district leader to bless the sacrament. I was like sure that is easy. Yeah I had to learn it in Portuguese. It wasn’t too bad I got the hang out it. It was just difficult trying to pronounce all the words correctly. Anyways I was really nervous before I had to say it and said a quick prayer asking heavenly father to help me say right. I did just fine. I said it I think well enough for my first time that I didn’t have to repeat it. MY companhero did just fine also. On Sunday, my favorite day of the week in the ctm, I read 2 chapters of Jesus the Christ.. 6& 7.. It has a tone of info I will probably have to reread it. I also read chapter 11&12 in 3rd Nephi.. (Excellent chapters) I didn’t get to give my talk, DARN, lol… but maybe next week. WE are all asked to prepare talks in the ctm and the branch president chooses at random who will speak. It sort of keeps you on the edge because you’re half afraid you’ll be the next one up. I think it helps people listen more to the talks. This Friday I will go proselyting for the first time.  I have to crunch down on my Portuguese this week so I can at least speak something. Anyways they are going to just drop us off in the middle of the citatde ( city) and we are to just go and talk to people. I am way excited for that. As for the studying though I guess that comes with practice. We went to Templo Campinas again to today. IT was a very good trip. Today for p-day I am sending like 7 letters out. One will be to you guys in roughly two weeks. I am also sending a postcard to the ward. I’ve sent it to bishop but I will send to you next time. But you will be getting a letter from me soon I wrote it like 2 days ago. I think today for p-day we are going to go and try some more juice or something. Probably look at some more shops and what not. There are a lot of really cool shops around here. It is fun just to go and look around at what they do. I have a great view of the city from my room it is so big. It feels kindda of restricting coming from a place where it is wide open spaces everywhere. The people here are way nice though. I actually don’t have any more brazee friends. They all left this morning to go to the mission field.  I learned a lot from them in the language. So it was really sad seeing them go, they were all really neat guys. I have pics of them so I will send them to you as soon as possible. I still haven’t found a way to get them through the internet but as expensive as they are to print I am not sure if I can get tem. They are almost double what it is to print here around the ctm then at say a shop in the US. I am sure as you get away from the ctm though it isn’t too much. We had an experience trying to print pics. We tried to get some printed for the brazees who left today and they told us to come and pick them up the next day, which wasn’t our p-day. Well we gave the ticket to a friend who had his p-day the next day and they charged him full amount for it. Well that was my week. I am still working hard and trying to get everything learned and memorized. I can’t wait to read the letters you sent me. Love you guys. Megan, Tyler, thanks for you messages and good luck again with the play keep up the practicing. I can’t wait to see it when I get home!! Stick with it to it will really build your confidence and you will be great. I am proud of you both. Mom I hope you are feeling better, Dad I am glad you got home safely. Love you!! Elder Allred

03-04-2008 Letter

March 8, 2008

Dear Mom, Dad, Megan, Tyler, and everyone;First off I’m so happy to hear from you! As much as I love the CTM so far, I love hearing from home. Well this week has been eventful but first I want to tell you about my flight.

It was nuts getting off the ground in Sioux Falls, I was pretty excited I’ll admit. There was a guy from Ohio who, through his dad’s work, got a free trip to hunt on one of the big farms out there. Well I talked to him for pretty much the whole flight about everything. We talked about hunting and fishing and even my experiences on the mountains and just everything. Well I gave him a pass along card because we had a good talk about religion. I really enjoyed that experience. So I got off the plane and quickly found my way to a bus and went to the other gate. My jet this time was much bigger and had TVs and everything in it so I just sort of chilled out n the plane. I was the only one in the seat and didn’t really talk to anyone. Umm, I know they were watching “How I met your mother” on the plane which I absolutely love but I resisted and kept telling myself nope you are the Lords now, don’t do it.  So it was sort of a boring flight but gave me tons of time to evaluate life. Amazingly enough one of the pilots who kept walking by my isle from Ohio talked to me after the flight .he said which mission you going to? I was like your a member aren’t you? So we talked about his mission and I guess his parents were flying out of Atlanta to England and he wanted to catch them. So he showed me where to go and I had no trouble getting through the Atlanta airport. Thanks to Heavenly Father for answering my prayers.

    I met up with only one other elder. Elder Reesse. He is from Washington and why he flew all the way from Salt Lake to Atlanta rather than catching a ride to Dallas with the other missionaries I will never know. But he was a good friend to have along the long trip to São Paulo. We actually met some G.A. ´s I think or maybe just church officials who are finishing up work in Manus for the temple there. Anyways we had a nice chat with them before we left. If they were General Authorities they were probably from the 70´s. Well it was a long flight and I was so tired I got maybe 2 hours of sleep. It was nuts. Plus I didn’t understand a lick of Portuguese anyone way saying. Luckily for Elder Reese. Anyways we got to the CTM after a long drive and I got first pick of room and bed and closet. So that was sweet. And it has been smooth sailing ever since.

Um as far this last week we have been just getting to know each other as companions. Elder Sudweeks is a lot like me in things we like to do he is actually a lot more laid back than I am which is great because I never have to worry about things. I work out every gym session we have plus nights. I am trying to build some kind of something while I am here but I won’t let it get in the way of my real work. The food here is a lot like what we are going to be eating. Rice and Beans. It is kindda gross at first but after 2 weeks of it I’m getting used to it. The juice here is amazing. I love fruit. I bought a shirt last p-day and plan on buying more today. Like $2.50 a tie and they are like Italian ties. Wow… anyways. The CTM is just amazing I feel so great. It’s like being in church all day for every week and I love it. Sundays are my favorite it is such a chill day and you get extremely close to god. I went to the temple today. I felt very good I will write down that experience for you later and perhaps send it to you. Oh yeah I sent you something also so it should be there in a few weeks. We love class. One thing is the Elder Durant, one of my and Elder Sudweeks´ room copanheros is pretty much the funniest guy ever. You just look at him and laugh. We don’t let him say prayers anymore just because he makes everyone laugh just from saying one word. I don’t know what it is but he just has that gift of happiness. The lord answered my prayers again I’m learning quite well despite my problem with retaining info. I now know to pray before every study session. And try and end with a prayer of thanks. It is amazing how the Lord handles life’s crazy situations when you humbly pray to him for help.

That is so great to hear about the play I’m proud of you both Megan and Tyler. I just wish I could be there. I will be there in spirit though… I wish you both luck and promise not to get too nervous that is my only advice for you. I m sorry to hear about you, mom, getting sick I am glad to hear you are feeling better. I’ve been praying for your health every night and it must be working!! That has been a major worry for me is your welfare and health.  I hope you continue to get better. I miss being there to help you out. Dad I’m so proud of you good job. That above all my language classes has been my worry that you would be save traveling to California. I’ve prayed for that I still pray you get home safely. I know god will continue to bless all of you because of this mission. I’m still getting better at writing letters. I hope I included more info this time. Last time I was feeling pretty sad because I had to rush. I will try better to include as much as possible. Tyler can definitely have my bed. It’s cool with me..lol… but that is just so cool to know that Tyler has got the part and he is only a freshman. I’m way proud of him for that. Megan you are going to be great never forget that. I’m proud of you.  You have an amazing talent for acting.  I love you all. Never forget that. Umm I only really have 45 min to write and check but if you want to write me all you want I can try and arrange to get printing. We’ll work it out it is still a new process for me… lol…. but umm I have to run. Love you

Elder Allred

p.s. Jacob go out with the missionaries all you can and read the scriptures like twice a night. Say vocal prayers twice daily and just keep being the awesome kid you are. And you will be amazing!!! IF you are already doing these things keep it up cuz!! Love ya!!

Love you all!!

Mailing Instructions

March 3, 2008

We found out that only letters should be sent to the address in Sao Paulo for the next few weeks.  Please be aware that letters will need to be addressed with his address in Recife beginning in a few weeks.  If anyone wants to mail a package to him, please send it to the Recife address.  Its shown in the “Jason’s Address” link.  We really appreciate all the support that everyone has given him.