Archive for September 2008

09/29/2008 Letter

September 29, 2008

Hey family..

Como esta meu família? Things were really good this week I did a lot of running around but it was a good end to a good transfer. We only baptized 4 this week and only 3 were confirmed but I’ve learned that in this work it is important to allow the investigators to make the decisions for themselves. One thing Elder Bednar told us during his conference with us was that we needed to stop worrying what they wanted they will choose what they want. We need to present the gospel message and allow the spirit to teach them. We do the talking not the teaching the spirit does the teaching through us and they choose what they want in the end.  I have learned that my job here is to baptize those who wish truly in their hearts to be baptized and if they truly don’t want it because they want to follow the savior then help them until they gain a testimony of the truth and if they don’t want it then we have done our part in the work and the spirit did its part.

 

We had an experience this week that was really great. The cousin of Fabia who we baptized 2 transfers ago choose to be baptized. When I first met her she had no desire to come to church or anything. After explaining a few things and inviting her to pray she accepted and the next day choose to take the rest of the discussions. She chooses because she wants it. We will be working with her this week and have made plans with her to baptize her this weekend. We have a family in the country and about 10 investigators in Custodio. It was discouraging this week because usually by the end of the month, if you’re me anyways, I run out of money and so does my comp. So we waited for about 1 ½ hours for a corona (free ride) to come and take us to the country so we could teach Danilie. It didn’t happen and we had to go to another appointment that fell through also. We have been trying to go to Custodio and that didn’t work out so well this week and our appointment to do a sacrament meeting there won’t happen until the end of October.

 

This week had a lot of set backs but I learned a few things about the work. If an appointment fell through we visited a member and helped them out or did bata portas (knocking on doors) it was a good experience for me because I learned that we can always be doing something and not just return to the apartment feeling down and out because things didn’t work out.

This week is transfer week. Tomorrow is the day of the call so I am not sure who will get transferred but chances are I will because I have 4 months here. = ) the members here are really getting me prepared for my next area. Especially this transfer I’ve learned a lot of new Portuguese and things.  I am glad to hear that all is well back home. I was glad to hear you had a great trip. I missed you all a lot this week. As far as the shorts are I will do what ever is easiest for you. I sent the pics out and everything I hope they make it there. Mom can you tell grandma Ingalls I am sorry if her card doesn’t get there In time I tried sending it out as soon as possible. I hope things continue to go well for all of you there. Lighting sounds pretty awesome right now I haven’t seen one for 7 months…lol. Well love you all. Have a great week I will be praying and thinking of you.
Love Elder Allred

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09/22/2008 Letter

September 29, 2008

Meu familia!! Este semhana foi mutio ótimo de mais.

We finally made it to Custodio, a town about 80 kilometers away from Arcoverde. We spent the night at a member’s home but it was a lot of good work and fun. I didn’t make it on the trips though without falling asleep it is sort of difficult for me to stay awake now on the busses here. We taught 10 new people and are now trying to organize a group to come with us on Sunday to do a sacrament meeting if we can do this and they stay firm in their commitments we could possibly open up a branch out there which could possibly be a means in the future of forming an actual district in the mission. This is only a goal that I’ve thought over. But I hope we or whoever replaces me in the future can do this because it will make this area grow so much. We arrived there Friday and left Saturday, it was so much fun. I loved the spirit that I felt there, it was so strong.

On Thursday we had interviews and that of course was stressful. It always seems there is something that happens in the work that needs to be discussed right before interviews. Our president is really understanding and kind to the missionaries and despite the difficulties he always seems to put more happiness in every situation. I felt a few feet taller when I left that meeting.

On Tuesday we went to Recife and went to the temple. Can you believe that I forgot my temple recommend and didn’t remember it until I was at the foot of the temple? Luckily though the president of the temple called Presidente Emerik and got it worked out for me to enter. Unfortunately we couldn’t do a session because we arrived too late for our group but we did something else instead.  After wards we went and sat in the celestial room and felt the spirit there. My worries seemed to sort of disappear as soon as I entered the room. And it was good to just sit and ponder and feel the spirit there. I had to take 40 reis out of my card to return just to let you know but the mission reimbursed me for it.

This Sunday the 1rst counselor Edjayi came to me and asked if I could give an emergency talk in Sunday school. I sort of volunteered for it also!! I had originally chosen to speak on temples. I grabbed Grandpa Allred’s journal to use a story he had about temples the one about computer viruses and such, the funny thing is when the time came to give my talk I didn’t feel I should give a talk on temples at all but instead gave a talk on journals and the importance of them. I used the first page of Nephi to help me and of course used Grandpa’s journal as an example of how it can help the future generations in the family. It went really well and Edijayi said he wanted to begin a journal. I think what helped was the prayer that I said also. The members said they understood every word I said and I spoke correctly the only thing that was funny was my accent. Amazing to me how the spirit can prompt someone to do something for a motive they have and then help them use that action for a different purpose. I have been reading the scriptures well this week it has been tough though with all the trips we have made and then we are half dead the next day because of the trip the day before but I have learned a few things about the work here on the mission. I have learned that it is important to work with the members for 2 reasons they know the area and the people better and can enable people to listen to us and also the converts who bear their testimony to us the missionaries give us a motive to find and baptize people like them. I heard a testimony of a man who has been baptized for only 2 years.  I know if that missionary saw him to day as our ward mission leader he would be proud of him. This has given me a desire to find and help anyone to be like that someday.  Just something I learned. I love you all this week has been really good. I will pray for you all and your travels this week. Love you
Elder Allred

09/15/2008 Letter

September 21, 2008

Oppa meu Familia

So, this last week was really great and had some things that weren’t so great. We lost our baptism which wasn’t so great but I learned a few things from the experience that are really good. I learn first that love is stronger than forceful action. We lost our baptism and she showed up on the night of the baptism to tell us that she no longer wanted it. We calmly sat with her and talked it out and tried to understand where she was at and why she feared baptism. She told us that her brother from Portugal called and said he didn’t want her to be baptized and so she wouldn’t. Was I sad? You bet I was. I get stressed and sad when I see someone make a decision not to accept the truth but I felt that she must have been very nervous to cancel it after everything. We simply explained that it was her choice, we were there to provide her with the teachings and if she wanted to learn more that she was always invited to church. 


    We met a new family while building a house on Thursday. We built a house for a service project with the Elder’s quorum. It was fun learning the way to build houses here.  The roofs are simple they are shingled using clay shingles and have a frame of base wood and you just lay the shingles down, first upward and then the rest go downward. It is really neat. Of course I just handed the shingles to them because I have no idea what I am doing. We met this family there, I guess they are really good friends of the people whose house we were building. We talked to them and taught them the first 2 lessons and left. They came to church this Sunday and all had a great experience. We taught some family of one of the elders here in the ward.  He lives way out in the dessert. It sort of was a long walk but we ended up having a good lesson and also helping the family out a lot with some problems they were having.

    We didn’t make it to the town Custodio to teach. The cities are having their festas [festivities] right now so we are trying to wait patiently to go out there but I am eager to go. Probably will have to wait until next transfer hopefully I can stick it out here for one more transfer rather that have to move.

Today for our p-day I will try to make cookies. I think it will have to be one of those trial or error like the time I tried to make brownies. But I will learn it sooner or later.


The members here are really getting excited about the work; we got a new ward leader and he has tons of new ideas that he has probably known for a long time. Now the lord has called him to use them. He is an energetic guy I think he will be a good mission leader. So if you are wondering about the temp here it is hotter than I’ve ever had in my life. And they tell me it is only going to get worse…man….it is kinda like being in a sauna all day and there isn’t anyway to escape it. But as hot as it is I am starting to like it I can’t imagine what it will be like when I come back to freezing cold snow.

    I only have a few more requests about the package. I would like 2 or 3 jars of peanut butter because I want to surprise a member family here with a jar; they have really helped me out a lot. Also if you could send my wake boarding shorts the jet pilot ones that would be great!! I can’t think of anything else that I haven’t already mentioned. Thanks a lot for the packages mom and dad. I am excited to see that DVD you are making me I can’t get over the book mom sent me last time!! Love you all. I will be praying for you all this week

Elder Allred

09/08/2008 Letter

September 8, 2008

 Oi meu familia bem otimo.. Como eta!! Eu estou muito bem e senti belezza..

[Hi my family and others..  How are you!!  I am very well and feel great.]

So this week has been really good but a push. We had 5 baptisms; 1 family and then a young woman. The family was great. Jeffereson choose N. Silva to baptize him and the other 4 choose me. It went well except the oldest one has a fear of being in the water and so it took us about 1 hour to get her to feel comfortable in the water. In the end though, she choose not to be baptized. It was real depressing and discouraging at the same time. But we will work with her and the bishop will have another opportunity to interview and prepare her for baptism. It went well though, they had political rallies all through town and so it was pretty much a run around trip getting them from the house to the church for their baptism. But it was still a lot of fun and I think their family will be really blessed for their choices.
I have been pondering Doctrine and Covenants Section 88 this last week. The blessings promised in that section are so great that I think if every person knew that they were a possibility, we would have no problems finding people to teach. SO many people today have no idea that those blessings are even available for them to have. I think that is in part, the fun thing about being a missionary is finding people and letting them know what is available to them in this life. I love seeing the faces some people have when they are told about these things and truly know it for themselves.  I studied the Book of Mormon, it was about the time that the Ammonites entered the land of the Nephites and called themselves the Anti-Lehi-Nephites. They lived in peace for a while until the Lamanites came and attacked them, destroying many of their fields and homes and killing many of their kin. But they didn’t fight back because of the promise that they had made with God not to take up arms against any more of their brethren. I learned a few things from this. We need to have great respect for the promises we make with God. And also, even though the Anti-Lehi-Nephites had done nothing wrong and it would have been prudent for them to protect themselves they choose not to and would have rather perished than break their covenants with God. Likewise I’ve made covenants with Heavenly Father and feel a great love for their example of courage. I would like to live my life this way. If we look at our plan here on earth, we see that it is all to return to Heavenly Father someday. So it comes to this; if it is a decision as great as losing our life or simple as choosing a path we should keep our promises in mind and act accordingly. This mission is a great example. 2 years is giving life to the work of our Savior. When I was baptized I promised to represent Jesus Christ; in so doing this mission I am keeping the baptismal covenants I made with Heavenly Father. Luke 9:24 says that if we will lose our life for Christ’s sake he will save it. I know that those ancient Nephites who died by keeping their covenants gained it again because of their love for him and keeping their covenants. Just some things I’ve been thinking about this week.

So that was pretty much the most of my week. We will be traveling to Custodio this week to teach some families there. Our president has allowed us to spend the night in the member’s home there, also we have a few service projects this week. YES!! And then hopefully 2 more baptisms.
I love you all I hope things are going well and that you all have a great week I will be praying for you this week. I hope you all have a great time for homecoming!!
Love Elder Allred

09/01/2008

September 1, 2008

I aye meu familia? Como estas coisas la no casa..
Eu estou bom de mais..
Foi um ótimo semanha por a trabahla do senhor!!

 

[How are you my family?  How are things at the house?  I’m good for more… it’s been a good week for the work of the Lord!!]

    So things this week have been really good. We had our conference in Cararu again and that was great.  We listened to two really great talks by an Area Authority here in Brazil about our purpose in Brazil, then we rode the really nice bus back, but I can’t even really remember the ride because I snoozed the whole way back (big surprise). At conference, I was surprised to hear that I looked a lot chubbier than before. Yep, so I’ve gained a lot and I looked at my pics from when I first arrived. It sort of made me laugh but everyone tells me not to worry too much because when I get back to Recife I will lose it all. I think its because it is so hot over there.. Anyways the work went well. We didn’t baptize anyone again this week but found a lot more investigators and people to teach for next week. We want to teach 3 families in a different area and try to open a branch out there. The family we are teaching didn’t come to church this Sunday so we had to bump their baptism until next Sunday. It made me a little discouraged but I remembered that we had done all that was required of us and the only thing Heavenly father requires of us after that is to be patient. My comp is really great, the members seem to be much happier in the ward now. He has a way of putting smiles on everyone’s faces. This is good and I think I will learn a lot about the work here. We agree on many points of the work and I think it will be a rewarding transfer. We just need to help our investigators keep their comprimisos. We also have had a lot of success in doing contacts. We had people approach us this last week to talk to us. The Lord really has opened up his blessings on this area.
I got to play some guitar in an activity for the ward on Saturday night. The family we live above is in charge of the activities for the youth and the youth always bring new investigators for us to meet and to teach. They asked me to play a song that I wrote for everyone during the activity, so I took the lyrics form I Am a Child of God and put it to the a mixture of the different guitar music I had wrote before the mission. It went really well, I think they seemed to enjoy hearing it. I added a second verse about missionaries that I thought was really good. It all took me a couple hours to prepare before the activity (a couple of sacrificed dinner hours) and it went well. But it was really easy to pick up again. It just proved to me that the Lord preserves our talents and abilities for such things. Normally I don’t have time to play guitar, let alone want to, but this opportunity came along to serve the members and the Lord allowed me to use my abilities again. Anyways it went well. I hope the same thing happens to my Portuguese after my mission is over.

 

I gave a talk on Sunday. Tiago returned form his mission in the ward here. I spoke about our positions on the mission and the calling to build and expand Zion. I will send you the talk in with my letters. But it is all in Portuguese.. hehehe… Anyways my comp told me that whether I was nervous or not it didn’t seem I was nervous at all and that the members seemed impressed with the lingua now. Maybe someday I won’t need to write my talk out. Its funny how there are always newer ways to improve. Now that I have my lingua pretty much down I will try to work on not needing notes as a crutch in study and talks. Today is p-day – we had a water fight in the part of the apartment we never use for anything, it’s ok because we needed to clean it anyways.. So that was fun and then we ate lunch at the member’s home under us and helped clean the dishes.. (Talk about an hour of homesickness!!!) Oh yeah me and my comp are going on a fruit diet because the same thing was told to him.

I don’t know as far the package goes. I know a member here asked me for chili powder because they like to make chili and they don’t sell it here..  So I guess some chili powder and maybe if you could burn some cds with church music (or even Scottish  music as long as it isn’t rock and it invites the spirit we can listen to it). The companions I get like American souvenirs so I share with them some of the fun stuff you guys give to me because it will help them to remember the mission also. I hope that is ok. But for the things you sent me like the faith stones and the quote block and sentimental stuff I keep for sure. Just like the pez containers and things I like to share because they will remember their missions more.

 

Well I love you all.  I am really grateful to you for the last package it was extremely special, especially the letters and pictures; those are my favorite part. I hope things are going well for you all I love you and hope things are going well. Meg Ty Boa Sorte com escola [Good luck with school]. Dad , Mom I will be praying for you and your travels.. I love you.
Love Elder Allred