Archive for March 2009

03/30/2009 Letter

March 30, 2009

Hey familia. So things are going well. My comp is really great, he has a year already as a part time missionary and has much experience. This week was a little crazy, we made many trips for him as we are preparing to get him on his real mission. I was his escort to the temple this last Saturday and I really enjoyed that experience. This week will be full of more work. I am not worried and I am sure that with time we can get everything done on his paper work so he can go next transfer. It’s like trying to prepare for a mission all over again. Maybe I am getting some prep training for a future calling in the church, who knows. Anyways our scheduled baptisms didn’t go through, they weren’t at church and so to be baptized, a person needs to keep their commitments. But we have two young men about 17 years old who are ready to go this Saturday. We just need to prepare them a little more. I am really excited to be doing this transfer. The president said it would be a little difficult and seem a little different but promised all will be normal afterwards. His main worry is that my comp won’t go on a mission if he goes home so we are sending him straight from mission to mission. His choice will be if he wants to do the full 2 years or 1 year because of his 1 year as short term missionary. But I believe he is planning for the full 2 years. It will be interesting to see where he goes. The ward is really going well. We are now giving training to the ward missionaries. I am confident that we can increase our finding of God’s elects to teach as mentioned in Alma 32. I am very confident that we can help their area be more acceptable to new missionaries. I am hoping with this new form the ward will be teaching as much as we do and finding as much as we can. After all, the responsibility goes to the members to provide. In preach my gospel it talks of the ideal situation. The ideal situation is when an investigator has a desire to go to church because they choose to learn. They go with a member friend of theirs who has invited them. The missionaries don’t necessarily have it easy to teach them but it is better for the investigator. How cool would it be if all the investigators already had a friend? If they could ask their member friends anything and their member friends could respond with certainty. I am confident this is what Heavenly Father wants. That’s why it is so important to study doctrine each day and always be willing to help. I can’t wait until I can make new friends this way. The work here has taught me that as a member I need to be looking for every opportunity to make friends with the new investigators. In the end they will feel more confident about their personal decisions. And if they choose not to follow their answers than they have and I have at least gained a friend. And how can that hurt?

But we will work with this. The goal is to make it a mock district meeting. Basically the missionaries of the ward will be treated as missionaries. We have ordered planners already for them and plan to give them lesson booklets and pass along cards. It will be a good start and its something I’ve had on my mind for a long time. It’s good to be finally doing it. Well I can’t say I’ve done too much else. We did a family home evening the other day with our investigator in the house of our maína.

I am glad to hear the play went well. I can’t wait to see it. I hope everything is going well with you all and that you are having a great time with the youth. Love you all. I am always praying for you.

Love elder allred

03/23/2009 Letter

March 23, 2009

Hey Family. Well I was transferred. I am in Barra de Janga now. It is a great place; the funny thing is it is within a bus ride to my last area. I am in the same zone and everything. Funny huh? Well yeah the missionary from Barra got transferred to my area so we just switched. It’s neat to see how the Lord works. I am enjoying my new area and all is well. My new comp is what we call here a curto praza. He isn’t exactly a missionary but a member who is serving a part time mission. So in all a lot of the rules don’t apply to him. It is kinds hilarious because he knows practically everyone here. I found out that all of the people that went to church last week have been marked to be baptized. It really shows me how all the finding and teaching we did brought about much good. I know we prepared them well and now the new elder and my old comp will make sure the rest happens. It’s a good feeling to know they accepted. We are working with the baptisms in Barra. Of course the first week is always a learning week. It was slow because I needed to learn all the things about the area. But now we will be working hard for our baptisms. The only problem is we have no idea where they live. It appears they show up at the activities and we teach them before or after at the church. We will be better about doing that. The ward is really great. They are all excited for the missionary work. We will be giving the ward missionaries training for the next transfer. We have been talking to the bishop and he feels it s a good idea that they be prepared to teach like the missionaries do. This I have no problem with as long was we can see they know the gospel principles and have a clear testimony of the gospel they can be baptized. This I think we greatly help the missionary work grow. I feel very grateful to my father in heaven for giving me this opportunity to experience the growth of missionary work. We did a service project the other day. I learned a little more about cement and mixing it. At the same time we almost put up a whole section of her home. The only thing missing was the roof and a few more brick levels. But for the most part it was finished. I agree with this phrase. Missionaries really have no idea how to do anything but can do everything. I learned some good tools about working with cement and figured out how to do it well enough. I guess it isn’t all that hard anyways. The hard part was the setting in the bricks. Tried that I am not sure I want to try it again thanks. But it was a good time. My comp was sick and really couldn’t do much but we enjoyed it anyways. This week I managed to get into the real good things in first Nephi. I learned a lot of the Lord’s promises to him and the events that would take place in the world. Studying the scriptures the way the president has asked has helped me to learn more and get more out of reading. I have read the same chapter over and over and until now have missed a lot of things. I have found that reading the same chapter over and over is really good because every day our perspectives change. So one scripture can mean something to you one day and the next have something completely different to add. In this way we can learn that the scriptures have many of life’s answers. It’s funny how many times I can pick up the scriptures and see a new meaning in it every day. Just thought I would share that with you. Well I know this is really short. I can’t say a whole bunch happened this week. This week I know will be better. I love you all. I hope you all are doing well. I am praying for you.

Love Elder Allred

03/16/2009

March 16, 2009

Hey familia how are things? Well life is going well. I can’t complain. This last week of the transfer was probably the best I’ve had on the mission as far as last weeks [of transfers] go. We worked well and my comp is much different than the others I have. He believes in working hard. I have really enjoyed this last week. We saw the results of the work we put in all come together this last Sunday. All of our investigators came to church. We are just that much closer to helping them grow and follow the example of the Savior. They have seen the functions of the church and have made friends. This step has been tremendous and to see an area grow from very little work to what it is now has been a privilege and a blessing. I can’t express my gratitude to the Lord for the opportunity I have had to serve here. I just hope he allows me a little more time to realize the ultimate goal. The members are excited, there seems to be a stronger desire to work and grow here. And this upcoming Sunday will give us a chance to really bring the work to them. We will be giving talks on missionary work in the ward. I have been thinking some on the meaning of eternal friendships. I have finally realized what that means on the mission. It means you don’t give up regardless of how many times they deny the gospel. Because one day we will all know the truth of things. I personally want my family and friends with me to enjoy all the blessings I can enjoy. I don’t want to see them unhappy with me because I didn’t bother to share the gospel with them. I don’t know what I would say to a friend, who couldn’t be there with me, knowing that I had the knowledge and testimony to help them out I didn’t. So here I am on the mission making tons of new friends each day and trying to help them reach their full potential. And by doing so you no longer become just a friend in this life but forever. I have reflected on this during this past week. I can only think of the scripture…John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” I just thought I would share that with you all.

We have been working with a family here. They have really been great about teaching with us and sharing their personal testimonies. The greatest thing a member can do to help is to just accept the investigators and become friends with them. Sometimes their doubts and worries all end from simple friendships. I have a good idea how a simple friendship in the church can make even the biggest doubts disappear. We have had many investigators here who didn’t know whether they wanted to go to church. The truth was that it was just a simple matter that they hardly knew anyone and in a normal human reaction were nervous to visit. But the moment we taught with this family they began to feel more comfortable and confident.

We have also had the opportunity to meet many devoted members of other faiths. We made really good friends with a composer of music who wants to stay with his church. But you never met a nicer guy in all your life. The first day we met him he gave us big hugs and we listened to his music. A real nice guy. But I guess that is about all that happened this week.

We have the call tomorrow so we will see if I stay, go, or get a new companion here. I am not sure what the lord has planned but in all I can be very grateful for this last transfer and the things I’ve seen and learned. Be happy I am praying for you all here. Hopefully you will get to see Uncle Joe and Aunt Billie getting sealed I am way excited for them. I will be praying for you all there. If you can buy the Book of Mormon Doctrine while you pass through Provo I would like two inexpensive copies. I have a buddy here who will give me money for the book when it arrives and can send it to you. But if you don’t go through Provo don’t worry there are lots of Utahans here who could do the same thing. He just wanted me to ask. Well I love you. I hope Korbin and Corbin are all right. I have been thinking about the Kavanaughs lately. Tell them hi for me and I will be sending a letter soon. Love you all.
Elder Allred

Pics

March 14, 2009
Jason on Splits

Jason on Splits

03/09/2009

March 14, 2009

Hey Família. How are things? So I am doing really well. Thanks for all your letter of support and for everything. I have really been enjoying my last few weeks of this transfer. I have seen how the Lord has definitely prepared people to teach. We have met many new people this week and through our efforts have prepared many for church and commitments. Although Sunday was a little difficult for many to come to church we did our part by helping them come and those who didn’t come this time have made plans to meet with us this week. So in all we are really trying to do our part of the work. This being our last week of the transfer will be a rush. We will be working with everything we have to baptize this last week and also prepare others for baptism the first week of the transfer. I am really excited to work this week. We have been planning an activity with the youth here. We had the youth come in and place 500 pass along cards with 500 messages into 500 envelopes. We wrote on all of them a short message and gave them out on Sunday to the youth and Relief Society to hand out and give out to the residences around them. The idea is that with the elects that our Heavenly Father prepares a few of them will try to call and receive information about the church. The message we sent out with the cards invited them to come to church. Many who live here don’t realize that they can just show up when they want and attend, being with the hours. So it is very important that we invite them and let them know they are always welcome to attend and learn more. To our surprise we had a great number of references that came to church. I was very excited to see how the wards members are getting so excited about the work here. It shows that through our efforts the Lord’s work has really taken off this last transfer. The key word being effort. It has taught me that we are required to put in effort and put in our righteous desires and the Lord will do the rest. As a ward member was telling me, the inspiration of the ward leaders and members led to the great reactivation and references that happened on Sunday. It proves that no effort on a missionary’s part is wasted as long as he/she are doing all they are supposed to do. We, along with the members and the leaders, did something really great and a lot will come from it. Now it is a matter of working even harder to keep this going. We had a good experience the other day. We were teaching about the plan of salvation. It was the first time I think I’ve gotten to teach this lesson in about 2 months. We taught it and found that she was really excited about all she was learning. We have really enjoyed the time we have had to teach her. She said it was the first time anyone ever asked her to pray to know something.

I have appreciated reading your letters. I thank you all for your love in showing and giving me so much advice. It will really help make these situations pass better. I love each of you and think of you often. I pray for you each day. Thank you for your prayers also. I will talk to you all again soon.

Love Elder Allred

03/02/2009 Letter

March 14, 2009

Oi tudo bem!! Como vêm de vocês. Eu sou muita grato por uma família mesmo se vocês. Sabia? Te amo..

Well thanks for your last letters they really were a great spirit raiser. This last week was really good. We marked some people to be baptized so now we have some people to work with as far as reaching their goals. I really enjoy the companion that I have. He has a vast understanding of the gospel and I will learn much from him. So this week I have been working much towards being a companion and not a senor. I have realized that it is more important at times to follow. I don’t not believe a leader always should lead but when not making a joint choice it is really good to just GO with what others have. I have seen my companion make some really crucial decisions for us this week and I have realized that he is a leader also. I think all together the role of senior is to have someone responsible for reports and rules. But I have realized that having more time on the mission doesn’t actually mean you are better qualified to work and invite others. It’s been a good learning experience and I see him growing also.

I like the fact my home has become my old work. Wow, 25 dozen cookies sounds like I was back in sunshine again when Steve told me he was knocking out 300 types of M&MS and then another 300 of chocolate chip. Yeah I had to laugh at that one. All you were missing was your experienced bakery assistance. But the lord is working him in Brazil for at least another year!! Well that is good though now we can open a bakery!!

We had a very good experience this last week. We got a to a guy’s home to teach him and found that he was a composer of gospel music for the Assembly of God. It was a good experience talking to him. We talked to him about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We felt the spirit very strong with him and invited him to be baptized. I’m excited to see how he is doing we will visit him this week. My comp and I were walking. Sometimes as missionaries we get too much into the mode of ´´missionary thinking´´ to really understand the promptings of the spirit. When in all reality missionary thinking should be purely the spirit. Anyways I was thinking about what we would do and who we were going to teach. My comp stopped and turned and started talking to an older lady who was resting under some shade. We talked to her and taught her about the restoration also. She has a very sweet spirit about her and she wants to hear more. I’m really excited for this time that we get to teach her. I have learned that it is better to be thinking with the spirit and not of my own desires and thoughts. Imagine if we had not found her. So I invite you all at home to follow the promptings the Holy Ghost gives you and when he tells you to try and converse with others, just go and enjoy what come of it. We were walking the other day and I had a thought that said to do contacts. So I talked to my comp and he agreed and we went and did some contacts. It was great to do it again and I met many people. The desire was a good one, the thought was a good one. Therefore as the scriptures tell us all things that are good are from the spirit. Alma chapter 5 I think. I didn’t get much luck but my comp managed to meet a few people that we are now teaching. Perfect. Elder Bednar told us. Follow your good feelings and do all the good that can be done and if something doesn’t work out try again. But at least you’re doing well and keeping close to the Holy Ghost.

It was a good week. I know I need to work a lot more on retaining scripture references. I can remember what I am told and things but remembering where exactly they are is a big weakness of mine. So I will try to improve on that. Any advice? I’m proud of you all and the work you are doing to help the branch grow. The missionaries will really appreciate your help and desires to serve. I love you all I hope all goes well this next week. I’m always praying for you. Love you all!!
Elder Allred