Archive for June 2008

06/24/2008 Letter

June 25, 2008

Hey Família

So things have been pretty good here lately. I have had the opportunity to learn a lot since I’ve been here about quite a few things and also have had the opportunity to learn a lot about the church. I gave my first real talk in Portuguese about 6 min in church. Members gave me a congrats at the end so I am thinking that that is a good sign. Also we taught a lot of new people this week and have people ready to be baptized. I am really excited. They had Sao João yesterday and it will go on until the end of this next week and it was insane. Fires in the streets and everything. But we still tried to teach although most of our investigators weren’t there we managed a few more lessons for the night. We have zone conference tomorrow and then we will have only this week and the next until transfers. Doesn’t seem like it should’ve been that long but here it is. The investigators are telling me I speak better already, so thank you for your prayers, they really are helping. This week just seemed to fly by but there is a lady we taught and met two days ago. She has had a really tough life and we are trying to help her out the best we can. I know the gospel will give her that strength in her life. I was happy to get all of your e-mails and things. It sounds like things have been going better there since school stopped and things slowed down a bit. How has your many travels been going? Well the walking has sure helped my legs I remember how bad my shin splints were at the beginning of the mission and now they are practically fine!! We are teaching people and getting people really excited about the gospel and I think I am just beginning to understand all my responsibilities. Though learning them will come with a lot of time and patience on my part. But I am teaching better. I just began to teach the first lesson with out too much difficulty and now am trying to teach the 2nd and 3rd the same way. The areas great the people are really fun here. I thought I would tell you that for lunch today at a member’s house I ate cow heart!!!Yummy!!! They just had it extra it wasn’t really all we were going to eat but it was mighty tasty!!! By the way mom and dad thanks for the package. I made a pizza crust today for breakfast it was tasty Too!! Well my comps giving me the times up sign I’d better get this thing sent out and ready. Love you all I hope you get my pictures and letters soon!! 
Elder Allred

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Letter from 06/18/2008

June 18, 2008

Hey Familia!!!

How are things go for all of you!! Things are going well we have taught lots of lessons and would you believe I did 70 contacts this week wich is the norm but still I finally realized how much I do in a week when I did the math!!  Well we taught a new familie on Saturday got some of them to go to church on Sunday and then they all accepted baptism on Monday so now we are getting them prepared for july 5th iam way excited for them. Also we met two new families yesterday one form a referall and the other from a contact that we did.. IT was really great to teach them I learned to listen to all that my companion has to say that way I will learn a lot more about what I need to do!! Today I think we might look around town and things!! Elder Sampaio had his HUMPDAY last Thursday and we celebrated that!! It was a lot of fun we had pizza and also enjoyed speaking to the members who live below us. He made the pizza also I think he worked in a pizzeria and everything when he lived in São Paulo. It was a little different than American pizza but really GOOD!!! WE are teaching more and more people as the transfer starts to close out. 2 and a half more weeks and we will see if I get transferred or not!! I really like the area and am learning a lot so I hope at least I can stay for one more transfer. We have about 8-9 people marked for baptism now it is just trying to get them to church and everything!! If we can we want to baptize them all and I have faith that it will happen. We had to drop one other person last week because she wouldn’t go to church but that is the mission I suppose. They are having The Dia do Jão (sp) celebration in Brasil now. It is really cool to see all the fun stuff that they do. They have tons of decorations up in the streets and a huge dnace and concert area set up. It is sort of like Fruita Fall fest!! So things are going well here. I sent you a cd with tons of pictures and also a letter I think it should get there in a week cause I sent it last p-day. I hope you like it. I will be sending another letter soon in the mail. I love you all I hope things continue to go well for all of you. Have a great day!!! And a great week I will talk to you soon!!
Love Elder Allred

Letter to Sioux Falls Second Ward

June 16, 2008

Maio 21, 2008

Hey Ward!

 

How are thing?  I am doing well.  I’ve been out (in the field) now for 1 month and I am learning tons.  My language is going much better now that I am in the field.  So the field truly is white out here.  We have had 2 baptisms on our way to the 3 this weekend.  The people here are friendly and open, but it is also really different.  There are churches everywhere.  That is one thing I am trying to get used to, but everyone has a belief in Jesus Christ and that is a good start.  The members here are really nice.  In a lot or ways, they remind me of Sioux Falls 2nd ward.  We had an experience with an older woman.  She needed some help with her door, so we helped her out and in the process, we taught her a lesson.  She is interested enough to investigate and come to church this Sunday.  Hopefully she will feel the spirit.  People love the missionaries though.  Even those who don’t want to be taught always say hi to us in the street.  Some of them try to be funny and speak English!  Also, some think it’s funny to call us “Alemao, Alemao”, which is “German, German.”  So it is way funny to be American here.  A few of our baptisms have fallen through due to personal problems, but as discouraging as that can be, my trainer always stays positive, which definitely keeps me positive.  The work is going well, though it just took me a few weeks to figure out where I was going.  It’s funny how much a mission makes me work on my imperfections.  Christ-like attributes seem to take more effect on the success than do my weaknesses.  The first week I was out, I could recognize some things I could work on, and over time, I am learning to trade those for Christ-like attributes which always strengthen me and the work.  Ether 12:27 is my favorite scripture about that!  Well, I hope that all of you are doing well.  Thank you for all of your support.

 

Elder Allred

Jason’s Latest Paper from 05/14/2008 & 05/21/2008

June 16, 2008

Maio 14, 2008

Hey Mom and Dad,

 

Well, I am doing really well, rest assured.  I find it is very difficult at times to be the Jr. Companion.  I am used to coming up with my own plans and now, find my time is planned for me.  It sometimes gets to me, especially when it interferes with writing to you.  Thanks so much for the recipes and for all the things you have given to me.  I find it really hard at times to think about all the times I didn’t take advantage of home.  It is way funny what sort of things I miss.  Things are going well though.  I find it easier each day to work hard and I am growing in confidence.  It is funny, I think the first thing I will do when I am home (except for the huge hugs I will give you) is hit the clean and wonderful bathroom!  (He He)  Me and my companion joke about how great it would be to actually have an American bathroom!  The ones here are sort of bad; actually, they are like the ones we use for camping.  I think it is funny because of the experience, but there are a lot of things an American bathroom has that just can’t compare to that of a Brazee bathroom.  It is kind of funny.  Anyway, I miss your guy’s cooking.  I can’t wait to eat some of your home coming once again!  Yeah, my companion and I both agree that we were both really not smart when it came to meal times.  I definitely regret the times I missed your guy’s food!  Darn!  Just thought you should know that. 

 

The mission is going well.  I am really doing well and I think we have a few more baptisms on the way.  I am really excited to see how they turn out.

 

Hey Mom and Dad!  So there is a funny thing about some of the Brazees here!  So I found out that I have to watch out for who we contact, teach, and baptize.  So there are like 3 girls here, (all baptized by American missionaries).  They all have huge crushes on them and are all pretty much inactive since the missionaries left.  The problem is they get obsessed with the Elder and not enough with the Gospel.  So I definitely look out when I do contacts.  Normally we try to stay away from them.  It is extremely sad to see how they act though, and what is even worse, they aren’t the best examples to other converts.  It was interesting.

 

So I have about 3 weeks until transfers and then I will find out if I go or stay.  I really am nervous about getting a new senior companion.  He is pretty cool and teaches me tons of stuff.  So Brazil has this crazy idea of how to run a business.  It is so funny and kind of strange (different)!  If they run out of cups for serving, they don’t serve it to you and here; they actually get mad and yell at their customers.  I thought that was the craziest thing ever.  I can tell that whatever pet-peeve I had about disorder is gone now.  It is like everything is disorderly here.

 

Maio 21, 2008

So it is P-day once again and I am able to finally finish this letter.  I have had a lot of spiritual experiences.  It is sort of normal here for me, especially when I am teaching the first lesson.  The only thing is that so many people hear the message and run away from it.  It saddens the work a little.  One such experience was that we taught a girl named Luana the other day.  I taught her the First Vision and she understood everything I said.  To be honest, it was the worst language experience I have had, but she understood everything!  Another experience happened, only this time Elder Riddle and I felt it was the adversary.  We were teaching Edicleneo first and Elder Riddle asked if he was ready for baptism.  Just then, the street light went out and it interrupted Edicleneo.  He had to run in and turn the porch light on.  Not a few seconds after he left did the street light come back on.  I taught his sister while Elder Riddle kept teaching Edicleneo.  Edijane was still feeling a little Mulley about membership so I asked her “Are you ready for baptism?”  Again, the street light went out, interrupting the conversation.  Elder Riddle had no idea I had asked her the question.  So a little while after we left, we both talked about it.  It was a little strange for coincidence, but we decided that if it wasn’t coincidence, then we would baptize them anyway.  We still really don’t know if it was or not, but if they are elect enough, I am sure it was.  We felt we needed to go down a new street last night and met a man whose brother is a member.  So whether he will be someone for the future or not, we will see, but it was great to meet someone who already has an in!

 

The people here are extremely friendly, depending on what religion they are.  In respect to ours, one absolutely hates us.  They wouldn’t give two seconds of time to us even if we paid them.  Mostly because they have pastors who hate us even more!  So here is how Brazil is.  They have almost 12 different Assembleia de Deus Igreja’s on one street.  They are different because of the different rules of standards they choose to live by.  It is way funny though because sometimes, we will see the men who hate us on the streets and it ticks them off when we say Hi and smile, so I do it every chance I get.  I usually go up and begin talking to them and they get really upset and start telling me that I am wrong and stuff.  I just smile and testify and give them a card.  The more friendly I get, the more upset they get.  It doesn’t make sense.  Anyway, this lady came up and told me she didn’t have time for my religion, and that she was going to church.  So I said “O tambom Entao se voce tem tempo de Ouleir um mersagem sobri de Igreja verdad por favor Igar! (If you have time for the true church, please call).  Sometimes, the best way to end stupid conversations is to testify and move on.

 

The people here make livings on everything (one common thing is food – its sort of like booths from the Ren-Fest).  Also, people buy and sell pirated movies here like crazy.  It is like 40 Reis for the real thing, but 3 Reis for the Pirated.  I saw them selling Iron man on video already.

 

A lot of people here will work only for a few weeks until they have the month’s salary and then go back to whatever they do when they don’t work.  One thing to watch out for though is the ones that don’t ever work, but can afford everything.  They usually deal the stuff.  Luckily, we have rules and such that protect us from that.  The homes here are great but a lot of times, unfinished because they save up until they can buy more materials and work on their houses.  Some people have lived here for 5 or more years and still are building their homes.  It is the way it goes.  It is really cool though, how they mix the old life with the new.  There are cars all around here, and still a lot of people have horses and buggies, hauling stuff around.  I think is way cool, it sort of makes me want a horse someday. 

 

Muribecca Rua is a really poor part of the area.  It is really sad how they never had an education in life, so they suffer so much.  Sadly, it isn’t just the education, but they seldom follow the law of chastity.  That is one reason we have lost so many baptisms.  One wants to be married and baptized, the other doesn’t, which forces us to drop them.  Oh, also, most of them have huge dental problems in Rua.  I try to find opportunities to serve them more because they need it most.

 

They have these funny little cars that go around town.  I took a picture of one.  They are like golf carts, but more car-like.  The people here are really nice and open; it is just their opinion of religion.  We sort of by accident walked right through a congregation on our way to teach someone.  They started singing louder as we walked through.  It was sort of funny.  So pretty much, Brazil is cool, but way different.  I am way glad I have all the blessings I have in America and home.  There is so much I overlooked.  Well, I just want you to know I love you and also I will try to get this letter out this week.  If there is anything anyone wants to use from all my junk upstairs, feel free to use it!  Ai hope this summer goes well.  You are all in my prayers!  Love You!

 

Elder Allred

06/11/2008 Letter

June 16, 2008

 

Hey so funny story but not to funny I was about to send you this letter that I wrote and then the computer shut down because Brazilian computers systems aren’t as good so it erased it all. So now I am rewriting part of it.

I like Arcoverde a lot I think it is really great!! There are lots of mountains and such and I really enjoy the area. The people here are supper nice and happy. It is about the size of Sheridan so getting all the contacts I need compared to my last area is difficult but doable. My new companion is Brazilian and he really has taught me a lot about Portuguese. There really isn’t a substitute for just talking to a native speaker. He is a cool guy and very obedient. I think I will learn a lot from him as I strive to be a better missionary. So we are doing well with investigators we are trying to get a woman to come to church but she always gets these things that come up. Also she is really trying hard to stop drinking coffee. I think she is pretty strong to stop something that she has been doing for her whole life. I have a lot of respect for her. Also we have had a lot of references from street contacts. I think we shouldn’t have a problem getting our goal for 6 by the end of this transfer it just is sad that we have 4 weeks left. This transfer is cut short for some reason. So thanks for all the prayers and fasting for my language I am progressing so much.
SO mom you were right the buildings here are so crazy they have their own way of expressing themselves. Each house is so different and it has a crazy color to it. I love it. The only way you can tell that a new house has begun on some streets is by the color because they build their houses in some places right off of the next one. It is cool!! BEM SHEEKY!! Very Fancy. Well that is Arcoverde it is really small compared to my last area. I think I will be here longer than one transfer I have a pretty good feeling I will be. It is nice though. The work is going well and I am learning a ton. I am trying to get a cd made to send with the letters I am writing you. Hopefully I can get it done in the next week to 2 weeks so you will have it soon. I love you all!! DAD Happy Fathers DAY!!! I hope it was really good. I sent you a card in the mail but it isn’t really until august because they celebrate it in august! Well I love you I better get this sent my comp is giving me the times up!!

Love Elder Allred

06/04/2008 Letter – Transferred to new area

June 10, 2008

Hey!! Well I’ve been transferred I am now in my second area and it is 2 hours interior. I am in Arco Verde agora (now)!! I have a new companion Elder Sampaio, so it will be a great time getting to know him and also the new area I am in. I a little nervous, Elder Riddle told me that the ones coming out of interior are more obedient because they follow the rules even though they are so far away from the president. I would like to live up to that reputation of a missionary. I am sorry if I didn’t read your e-mails I am low on time before p-day ends. So I will try and write as much as I can before 6 then. So it has been an interesting week. We baptized Manuel and then found a load of people to teach in Marcos Freire. All of them are really awesome people. Then it became Tuesday all of a sudden out of nowhere, and we knew that one of us was going to be transferred out of there. So we got back to the apartment after a great day of teaching and finding novo pesquisadores (new investigators) and the call came!! I have the video clip of the moment so I will get that sent to you. Anyways, I have been transferred and it is great so far. I really go to see a lot more of the mission. There are mountains here, a lot like that ones in the Wyoming-Montana area only a little more round on top! It was awesome to see some mountains. The area I am in now is desert area, the city is about the size of Sheridan and smaller than Casper if that puts it in perspective for you. So, I feel right at home with the mountains and the desert! I am going to love it and can’t wait to see why Heavenly Father has called me here to this area. Well I promise next week this will be a lot bigger and better because I got here about 40 min ago and don’t have a clue yet. It took about 3 hours to drive here. Well I love you all.  I hope this week has been great for you.  I just wanted to see if I could drop a quick one by. Have a great week. I am always praying for you.
Love Elder Allred