Archive for November 2008

11/10/2008 Letter

November 18, 2008

Hey Familia,

 

This last week was a little bit busier than normal. We were teaching a lot of newer families here in Arcoverde. They all are very interested in the messages we have to share with them.  I was very impressed by how the spirit works here. We met a family by knocking on their door. We had originally set out to talk to their neighbors about the gospel. When being rejected we were about to leave and heard that the house next to us had a distraught father trying to calm his children down. We knocked on the door. He immediately invited us in after we explained some simple things about our beliefs. He talked to us for sometime about his life. He doesn’t have a religion that he actually practices, but he is Catholic. He loves the bible and has a testimony that Jesus is our savior. We talked to him about the message of the restoration that we have. It was great to see the change in him and his wife. They invited us in for more discussions. Although they aren’t married, they both wish to be someday. They both have been searching for some answers. It wasn’t the end of the week before we were invited in the home of her mother. We taught her mother and her brothers and sisters. The only sad part was they didn’t make it to church this week. I have a strong testimony about the spirit. I know it was through the spirit that we found these people to teach and even if I can’t be here to finish it, I know someone in that family was meant to be baptized. I just hope the next missionary will have the same patience and will help the work to grow in that family.

    We are teaching another family. The couple is relatively young they have 5 boys all under the age of 11. Imagine the lessons!!! We have taught 3 of them who are all above the age of 8. Only 2 are interested right now. I know that this is only a start in the family. With the example of the two older boys for the younger ones and also with the growth they will receive in the church it will open doors for the family to also want those blessings. It helps that a member has a connection with them and we be here to help them through this process.

    We went to Catimbau today. It was a good go around for me. Only my 2nd time there. This time though with my new comp and everything was a lot better. We hiked a good portion of the main grounds. Only 3 trails, but the ranger told us there are 120 trails total and being the 2nd largest archeological site in Brazil, it was too much to handle. We hiked to the top though and saw all the land surrounding us; it was a lot of fun. I played Come Come Ye Saints on my harmonica and we relaxed and enjoyed the silence up there.  I took a lot of pics for you guys and will try to get them on another cd so expect 2 cds in the next package. I think we probably climbed a small portion but it was a good climb. Nothing I haven’t ever done before. The only killer was the heat. I probably drank 4 liters or more in the 3-5 hours we were hiking around. It was a good time; I would love to go back there someday if I ever returned here. This week has been really good for the ward here. The new bishop is turning things around and the missionary work will really start to take off.  We received a lot of new references and with the new mission leader we have now it will really start to go. I’ve been reading a lot of my P.M.G. this last week. It is always interesting how much it really teaches about life. My favorite chapters are 8 and 9 which teach about how to deal with those we teach.  I was surprised to find a lot of things that I learned only from living the mission. And always found something new that needed changing or revising. The scriptures are always of good comfort to me. I read section 89 in the Doctrine and Covenants this week and studied it in the institute manual. It is funny how I study now. I will read my scriptures in English and then the manual in Portuguese and then if I need to read it again I go to the scriptures in Portuguese again. When I get done I have to speak straight Portuguese with my comp or I sound like a moron who mixes my English and my Portuguese. Lol.. It was great week to have.   I am glad I had this opportunity to serve here. I will definitely write more of those feeling in my letters home.  Just a sad week also because of all I am leaving behind. But that is the mission!!!

Megan I am glad to hear you are doing well in choir. Who’s this guy you keep talking to in hallway. Does he know you have an older bro? lol jk jk.. Yeah so who was the ugly one you took a pic of that made your camera break huh? I want a copy so I can show it to the Looney’s who wont have us along here.

Hey mom and dad I am so glad you guys are doing well in your new callings. Are you getting any sleep with them? Are you guys planning now for the activity in July? Are the youth pretty excited? Are the YM going on any camping trips? The YW doing any other activities?  lol…

 

Yeah about the messages I am pretty sure you guys won’t find them all…bwah hahahaha… thanks so much for the packages and I will be looking for them with eagerness as the transfer approaches. I can’t wait to cry my eyes out when I watch the DVD. : ) I am always proud of you and the fine examples you have always been for me. It has really allowed me to stand in my calling/s as a missionary. I just hope that I am being a good example to you all. I will be praying for you all this week and especially as the winter approaches. Man I didn’t think I would ever say I wanted to see snow again, but I pretty much miss it right now. I love you all hope this week goes well. Thanks for the letters. Love you.

Elder Allred

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11/03/2008 Letter

November 18, 2008

Hey Familia,

It was a great week this week. I finally was able to be a Jr. [companion] again. My comp felt confident enough to take the reins and do the job. It was really nice to do what Jr.’s do. I’ve decided being a senior [companion] is a lot of stress but it is good work to do. I’m sure it will be a lot better once I am actually authorized by the president to do it. It was a good experience.  I sort of received some hands on training to do it for when the time comes. It taught me how important it is when the Jr. helps. I had a day when my comp wanted to sort of test me. He acted like the comps that choose to do nothing but follow. It really was a hard day to go places I thought would be good and not have the input of a comp. I was taught that if I ever get a comp like that in the future I need to be patient and of course do more. It was a good few weeks to learn and I definitely won’t take it for granted whenever I get the calling. So this is my last week here in Arcoverde. Next Wednesday is the transfer and I am pretty sure I am going.
 

Mom I thought of you on your birthday. How was it?  We did a Halloween party just me, my comp and the members below us on Halloween. I taught them some of the traditions we do. So I bought a pumpkin and my comp bought a watermelon and we made jack-o- lanterns. I don’t think I will ever use a pumpkin again for Halloween only watermelon for now on. It is the only thing I can think of where you can carve it and eat it at the same time and not waste anything. My comp loves brownies so I made brownies and we ate them with the members. They loved them. We didn’t have a whole lot of time to celebrate.  We taught and returned home only to celebrate for a little bit before bed. It was a lot of fun though. I have a lot of pics!!

We are teaching some new families now, but I won’t be around probably to see them baptized.  It has been going well for them we took 2 of their sons to church yesterday. The bishop here has a great plan for the ward. I think he will really make Arcoverde much better. We actually have 366 members here in Arcoverde but only 80 of them come to church on a regular basis. This is why it is important for the members to work with new converts. I’ve learned that even after my mission there will be work to do in the wards I live in. With the ward and the missionaries working together it would make it difficult for people to fall.
  

I studied the chapter on how to find people in P.M.G. [Preach My Gospel].  One thing that I realized was stressed a lot in the chapter is references. It is much easier to teach when you find and find when you teach. The chapter says to ask anyone and everyone for references. Especially members. I love this chapter. It has taught me that even on days when there is practically no one to teach I can be doing the Lord’s work by asking for references.

Well I love you all I am really thankful for all you have done for me. If there is one thing I’ve realized it is how grateful I am to have eternal families and that I am in this one.

Megan I am always glad to hear about your chorus stuff. I’m glad it is going well for you. I am glad to hear you didn’t fall off the risers. I can’t wait to see you sing when I get back. You always had a gifted voice.

Mom I hope things are going well. I hope your birthday was extra special. I hope you enjoyed the card I sent to you. Hopefully it was readable. Next time I won’t write it is Portuguese. How is the calling coming along? I’m so proud of you. I always knew you would get that calling sometime; you have the love and creativity that the job needs.

Dad, I hope your calling keeps coming along as well as it has. You always had a special connection with the young men’s. You’ve always been able to help them out and make them feel taller. Including your family.

I’m proud of you both. I hope the work keeps going well and I will be praying for you to help with your trials. I love you both. You both always were awesome examples to me. I was reading D&C 121 the last portion and realized how much you both use it in your lives.  I love you all
Elder Allred