Archive for April 2009

04/20/2009 Letter

April 20, 2009

Hey familia… Tudo esta bem?

Well this past week was great. We baptized Alisson and the baptism went well. Also we found some more people to teach in a smaller village outside of our area. We will begin teaching them more this next week. We did a few more divisions this past week. My comp had more things he had to complete on his mission papers. I guess he ran into some problems with the dentist and so he will be waiting a little while. He also got pink eye so I’ve been keeping clear of that. I am pretty sure the Lord has blessed me with good health because I haven’t had any problems with it until now. It’s already been found though in about 5 other missionaries so I am going to just keep washing my hands and hope I won’t have to deal with it either.

The president was speaking at priesthood session the other day. We had stake conference. I thought we would be required to go to these things so naturally showed up at priesthood conference. To my surprise the president was there which I wasn’t informed and no other missionaries were there. Afterwards I found him and asked him if we were supposed to come and he told us no, it was only required for us to be at conference during Sunday session, so we went to visit our other investigators that night and it was a good spiritual uplift. Next time I know I guess.

Transfers will be this upcoming Wednesday. I am almost certain my comp will go to Recife now that the president wants his papers in, this way the president will be able to know exactly what will happen and the cost for travel won’t be as much. I’ve learned a few more things about leadership this last transfer. I’ve learned that regardless of our positions in the church we need to be leaders. The mission is full of leaders who are good and then again we have leaders who make mistakes. The important thing is to never criticize them for their abilities but always support them. The effect of our examples will be of better use than the power to command others. I have often times on the mission until now thought that the influence of our leaders is what moves the mission but what truly motivates the mission are the missionaries who are obedient and who work regardless of rank or calling. It took me 1 year on the mission, one eagle, and observations to finally realize that. Just serve in our positions that the Lord calls us and keep going when we are called to be leaders we are examples and influences. I read a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson the other day. He said “your actions speak so loud I can’t hear what you are saying.” I thought that was very true in concern to how we as members act. I see many times on the mission people who wish to criticize but don’t practice what they say. Then again it seems that greater influences are those who don’t criticize but do what is faulting to serve and to help others. In this people realize that they are slacking on some things and need to improve. So with this new thing I’ve learned I hope I can practice more being a person by example then by criticism. Because I know we all criticize during some points. Lol…

I know today is a short letter. We didn’t have many people to teach but were blessed with a baptism. I love you and am praying for you always. I love you all have a great week.
Love Elder Allred

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Letter from Jason’s Companion

April 18, 2009

Hi Brent and Jackie,

How are you all? First, I will introduce myself. My name is Elder Archilia, I am in the Brazil Recife Mission for 4 months. I am from Sorocaba, Sau Paulo, and I had the opportunity to be your son’s companion. Well I wanted you all to know that I am very grateful for this opportunity that I had because he is a great missionary and I was able to learn a lot with him.

Elder Allred is a very special and spiritual man. I’m sad that I didn’t stay one more transfer with him. Unfortunately, we only stayed together for 21 days, but I can say that they were my best days in the missions so far.

We were in a difficult area that didn’t have investigators at church for 5 months, but in our first Sunday together we had 3 investigators, and on our second Sunday, there were 10 investigators at church, it was great. But there was a transfer and he left, I was sad, and last week my companion and I baptized one of these families and Elder Allred couldn’t even come to see it.

I know that he is doing a great work in his new area, and I am pretty sure that he will baptize 3 people this week. Well, I just wanted to tell you all that without a doubt you have been a great example to Elder Allred. I also had the opportunity to see your family’s happiness by the video that you guys made for him. I say the games that your family plays, and even making Megan laugh. That was very funny, she has a beautiful laugh! I say Tyler playing ball with her, he needs to practice to get better, but it was good. Even the moment that the 2 began to play fight.

So in the end, congratulations for the son that you have, and I hope that I helped him in something because he helped me a lot.

Hug to all of you.

Elder Archilia.

04/13/2009

April 15, 2009

Hey familia.
Well this past week was really good. We had a great run around this week. Easter was also very interesting. They did a huge production of the passion of the Christ here in Brasil. They have about three different street locations and also a city play that goes on. It is so big here that they have an arena especially made for the passion of the Christ. We had very little luck with member references because lots were traveling this week but that is to be expected. We baptized this last week. It was really nerve racking to me because they were late for baptism but eventually they arrived and all went well. They told us afterwards how light they felt and different they felt because of the baptism. The next day only one was confirmed, the other had some activities he was doing and couldn’t make it. We will do all we can this next week to get him to church.

My companion has been going to the dentist and doctor to finish his last portion of the form. We hope to have the form sent out so that he can go on his mission. It almost done and we are doing a lot of divisions to get the area and him set up.

On Thursday we had our zone conference and that was really good. I really enjoyed that. I also really enjoyed the message we received from president. We need to be more receptive to the spirit and also recognize the spirit in our personal lives. Many times we call thoughts our own when really we received them. This I really need to work on.

We tried finding some more people to teach by looking at all the old investigators. Turns out that we dint have much luck finding. We found a good family though and we will begin preparing to teach them this next week.

We are working now more with the missionaries of the ward and also the stake president has been giving us some pointers on things we can do to help the ward mission program. It has been a lot of meetings and things and I hope I can stay in the ward to get the program activated. That way everything can be up and running for the new missionaries that arrive. I am really excited to be working with the members they all have a very special spirit of service in them and with this spirit we can baptize many and help many here get on the right path.
For the first time yesterday I realized the gravity of only having 10 months to go. I realized that I will never have the opportunity to do this kind of work in my life again. I have realized that I will have very little time to invite people to be baptized. I won’t have this authority of God to knock on doors searching for people. Sure I can knock on doors after the mission but I won’t be able to do it as a missionary. As much as people are ready to go home after two years of serving I don’t think I will be overjoyed at ending my missionary service. I know I will be happy to see everyone again. It’s a weird feeling and it struck me yesterday as we were going to a meeting. I have really looked at this as a good thing though. I know now I will be working a lot harder to do the work I need to. With this feeling that it is going by to fast it will encourage me to want to do all I can before it ends. My companion told me this once; the mission is like hard candy. It’s sweet and satisfying, but hard. I thought much on this and received this in my thoughts; hard candy takes a while to dissolve so it can be enjoyed longer. With more time you develop a taste for it and it becomes normal. Then it gets to be the end and when all is said and done you have an after taste that is still really good. I guess the same can be said for a mission, but the only difference is I control the after taste I am going to have. I want to have a good long lasting after taste, so I need to work a little longer and a little harder to make the flavor sweeter. Sort of a funny analogy but it makes sense. Well I Love you all I hope that this week is going well for you. I miss you all and can’t wait to talk to you again this mother’s day. The members here are treating us really well. They all have a very good spirit about them. Love you all.

Elder Allred

04/06/2009

April 15, 2009

Hey Família
So this week was good. We tried baptizing some more people we only managed one. It’s a good reminder to me that really it’s the individual choice that one makes to be baptized. We did our part and tried to get them prepared but in the end it is their choice and their future they are making. I really enjoyed the time that I had in teaching and preparing Andre for baptism. We had a few happenings on his day though. The baptismal font was left full from the last elders´ baptism almost 3 weeks ago. The electric motor no longer works and so the water has no way of leaving. It was a little discouraging, we needed to call the other ward to use their font and had no time to talk to the bishop of our ward about the problem. Imagine the surprise he had when we told him of our findings. Needless to say I understood and with calmness was able to fix things. The baptism went well. During the night we had a good talk with his mother about the gospel and have managed to set up a time to talk with her this up coming week. She was so impressed that she made a visit to conference on Sunday. It was a very good conference. I missed the first session because of a moving project in the morning. Our mission moms in Barra who lived just below us moved. So we helped them and their family. We arrived to see the last session and then went to priesthood session the next morning real early. The last two sessions were excellent I met up with my old comp from the CTM and watched conference with him and also met up with Edijany and Edicleneo from my first area who I practically baptized. We had taught them everything and when I left for Arcoverde they were ready to be baptized. I was 2 feet taller that day knowing they have stayed firm to their covenants with the Lord and that I had some part in their conversion. I will never forget them. I consider them some of my closest friends here in Brasil. I sat with them during conference also and talked to them afterwards. I believe I will plan a day to go and visit them and all the ward members again.

I was very edified by the talk given by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf. From what I gathered in Portuguese I believe he talked of our own preparation in life and how we must be prepared each day. Of course I loved the talks by all those who gave them and can’t wait to watch it in English. Although a good experience to listen to conference in Portuguese I think I would get more out of it in English. So that was basically my week. We are planning so much right now to really help this ward next transfer. My comp really is working to get on his mission and I want more than anything to help him their and experience the growth he and I will have in this experience. Of course we met with many obstacles and we are working for it to all come together. I feel we are much like the early men on Zion’s camp. Sometimes in our normal lives we are called to do special things that require our own will and desire. Things get tough like it did for them but if we don’t complain about those things and keep on keeping on the Lord will see what he can call us to do. We are then prepared and edified together as members and can reach our highest capacities. Sometimes its best not to complain and just do it and see what is waiting for us. I really liked to talk by President Monson that said we need to pray fervently, study diligently, and live in I honestly forgot the word in English but understand the Portuguese you know what I mean. Anyways it was really good and I know it called me to repentance a little like GC always does. Lol. Well I love you all. I know you are doing well. This makes me happy. I am glad the Lord is protecting you and keeping you. I know the church is true and know we have living prophets and apostles today. I know we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father. I love you all and can’t wait to talk to you next week. Tyler plan on getting a good letter for your 16th birthday, I got some advice for you bro. I love you all. I hope this Easter will be awesome I am missing you guys. Love Elder Allred