Archive for November 2009

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November 20, 2009

11/18/2009 Letter

November 20, 2009

Hey familia. Well I wasn’t transferred and neither was my comp. We are staying here in Rio Doce. I am not exactly sure what will happen as of now whether there will be an immediate change in the District or not. We will have to see about that one.  Well as far as the week is going we have had a lot of great things happen. irmão Germilton who had been away for so long has received a calling in the church as ward activity leader and also the ward “bem estar“ I am not sure how that is in English I forgot the title in English and can’t remember it. It deals with the distribution centers and helping families in need. He will be very dedicated and it is good to have been apart of the return trip he made to the church.
We are working a lot with members who are less actives. We want to help this ward grow a lot more and try to help the ward missionary program increase in size. We will be doing a series of activities in preparation for Christmas and hope to see a lot more excitement in the ward mission.  Emerson and Etyanne talked us last night. We had tried to see them and called them up to schedule something and they told us it would be difficult. Emerson was studying and everything. Well we did a division and I went to visit some of our investigators that live in the apartment building just under the building of Emerson and Etyanne. We had been in the middle of the lesson when Emerson came up to us and asked us to come and visit him. So we went. Etyanne got assistance to all the praying she had done. Her mother wasn’t excited for her baptism and she wanted to have her acceptance before she went ahead. Her mom told her on Monday that she was going to come and see her get baptized and also that she was waiting to get the Book of Mormon from us when she comes. So we left one for her when she comes. We are now waiting anxiously to see what day they want to decide to be baptized. We are going to talk to them tonight.
A young lady who we are talking to has been trying to come to church. She prayed and asked about the Church. Through her prayers she received an answer as promised in James 1:5 and she felt the spirit as explained in Galatians 5:22-23. She wants to go to church but is having problems going. We know that this happens much. There will always be opposition is the things that are righteous and that are true. Unfortunately that is the fact of life but what never ceases to amaze me is even though she and others have so much opposition in joining the church and following Jesus Christ they keep firm to the answer they received for them and keep doing all they can to go forward. We had been teaching a younger man about 13 years old. He had wanted to be baptized from the first day he went to church. In his prayer he asked if the church was true and if the messages we had been giving to him and his aunt were true. Even though his parents wouldn’t allow him to follow his answer he told us that he knows what is true and when he gets to the age where he can decide for himself he will find the missionaries again. It is my prayer that he will. It has taught me that when we receive an answer to prayer and our testimonies grow that even opposition can’t stop us from doing what is right. It might prolong it or make it a little more difficult to follow, but there isn’t a single thing that can stop a person if they truly believe in the answer they received.
Well the week went by we had a long day on Monday and Tuesday in preparation for transfers.  Last night the phone call didn’t hit us so all is good here. We have a lot to do here still and some things to work out in the area but I am excited for this transfer.  I love each of you. I am praying for you and wishing the best for you.
Love Elder Allred

11/09/2009 Letter

November 20, 2009

Hey familia
Como esta a vida de vocês?
Well we have been working with a few families this week. But as always the opposition comes in. I have learned something. If it becomes too easy to do something right than perhaps there is something wrong in the equation. It always seems to be that the ones that are met with a lot of opposition are usually that ones that are more willing to follow Christ and keep his commandments. Of course we know that the adversary doesn’t want the elects of God to be found and he puts many things in the way for them not to be found. When they are it is sort of like a battle the whole time we help those individuals. So when we get so much negative opposition it is a good hint that we are in the right place.
WE had zone conference this past Thursday. It was very spiritually uplifting. I felt that spirit more each passing hour we sat listening. Our Presidente had been on a mission training with Elder Richard G. Scott. He told us of the testimony he gained in talking with him and in listening to his testimony. I am hoping to get the opportunity in hearing him if he passes here during his stay in Brasil.  President shared a thought with us on faith. He said that we have a step by step pattern in the way we use our faith in Jesus Christ. First we need to believe in his words, the words given t us by his prophets, and also those we read in scripture.
After we believe we need to compromise in doing everything that is asked of us. Then opposition will come when we reach that point of nearing our desired goal and doing his will. At that point we don’t give up but continue on in faith waiting for the lord to work his will. He will eliminate the opposition keeping us from completing his will. Then we need to get on our knees again and thank him for that ting which he did. I too was impressed by this before the conference. I was reading in Helaman chapter 10 about Nephi. I had been struggling with some things in the work that were leaving me almost discouraged. I read this and understood that we need to have faith and persevere in doing his will. WE often times remember our physical or spiritual weaknesses during times of opposition so we need to forget ourselves and get back to work. Then the lord does his part. I am very glad we have his helping hand in our lives and have felt it many time during this time on the mission. IT is a humbling experience to feel the love of our Heavenly Father in our lives amidst our weaknesses. He loves us and guides us and I have a testimony of that. Overall it was a good conference and strengthened us. It is good to reflect on these things while writing so thanks for being so patient in reading this.
The people we are preparing have met a lot for this option this week. One of the women we are teaching who was marked for baptism had a lot of trials come to her all at ounce. Her ex came by after 3 months asking her to live with him again, that same day her friend she hasn’t seen for practically 5 years came by asking her to go out with him, she has been working at her brothers beach hut to gain some money and was invited to drink and has been a little sick this week. The big thing that got her was the coffee. She drank coffee that week. So it has been a rough time for her. I know that the Lord will help her this week. And we will stop by her home to keep giving her the strength she needs.
Sunday was a good day. I sat in sacrament meeting and my comp was called by the bishop. He looked at me while talking to elder Amorim. I knew that the speaker was late and was scheduled to go at that time. And I had to laugh because I knew I was going to be called. So my comp came back sort of trying to decide if he was going to tell me or not. And I was called to speak with about 3 minutes of preparation time. Good thing I wrote the conference notes in my planner because I talked on that. They gave me 6 minutes and I talked for 15. I am not sure if it went so well but I felt good and the Holy Spirit was with me. Our recent convert Anderson who had found us on his motorcycle got the Aaronic priesthood on Sunday as well. I was very happy about that. Also Ediclenio who was baptized at the beginning of his mission by me elder riddle and elder whiting is going on his mission. He went through the temple last week. I didn’t get the memo until late and didn’t go. But hopefully I can pass through the temple with him before he leaves.
Well that was my week. I got the package you sent me. Thanks a ton for the music. It is all my favorite study music form home. I appreciate it a lot. Thanks also for the gadgets and candy. I hope it is ok to give the pez dispensers as gifts. Is that alright? Well I love you thank you for everything. The package was like getting a piece of home. I really loved it. I hope all is well with you and I am praying for you. I love you all.
Love Elder Allred

11/02/2009 Letter

November 8, 2009

Hey família.
How are things going your way?  Well we baptized this week. That Guy we talked about who found us walking in the street was baptized on Saturday. He hás been preparing for this baptism for a long time now and it was done yesterday. We have been working a lot with the members for references. We have a new program similar to the older one. It was ounce Said that sometimes you have to GO back to the old way of doing things to accomplish the new difficulties. Sop we are giving DVDs and Scriptures to the members of the área to put a Picture and write a message to their friends. We then take the dedicated books or DVDs to their friends and try to talk to them about the gospel. It hasn’t gotten off the ground yet but we are trying.
    We managed to help Alexando and Suelly clean out their garage this week. Imagine it was Just like the good old days of cleaning out our garage. WE cleaned it all out in about 3 hours. Lunch fell through so they gave us lunch. It was a good Day and we had fun. I Love serving others. I see the importance in it. When we serve we also accomplish helping someone progress and it is hard to help someone progress with out you progressing with them. Sort of like walking with someone, you end up getting to the same destination at the end of the walk. I also managed to value the importance of working to help someone out. You feel much more accomplished in your life. You know that they will only give you a simple thank you and that seems to make all the difference in the world. I felt about 5 feet taller when I left their house. We have had many opportunities to serve members here and it hás brought about many blessings.
    We have been working a lot with our older investigators they seem to be getting more prepared each time we talk to them. We have seen so much happen to them and it is amazing that despite the crazy things that happen in life they seem to get back up again and keep going. I AM hoping and praying that we can help them follow all that they have found to be true. That we can help them follow all the answers they have been looking for.
    We carved a watermelon yesterday for Halloween. We were a Day late but that is all good. The watermelon was pretty funny looking carved. I and Elder Amorim had a good time and the Bishops son (Lucas) and Requiel were with us. I have pics that I’ll send to you.  My comp didn’t do too badly for his first time carving. I think I Will never GO back to carving pumpkins again for Halloween I think I Will probably just buy a watermelon and carve it for now on. 
We have been preparing Emerson and Itainy for a while now. They have been taught by many missionaries. Itainy received her answer a little while back and she hás been waiting for Emerson to get his. Well Sunday came. My comp was asked to GO in front to bless the sacrament. I was alone in the back benches and Emerson came and Sat next to me. The first thing He told me was. ´´ I read the part you marked in the Book of Mormon to read´´. ´´I prayed about it´´. “It’s True!!“ Well you know me and how well I can hold in excitement. It was difficult to hold it all back but good thing you taught me to be reverent in sacrament meeting. My comp saw that I was really happy about something. After sacrament meeting we talk to them and Emerson told my comp ´´ It is true“ He didn’t understand at first but acted like He did. We called him and his wife with their friends in to talk to us. The second time Emerson said it my comp looked surprised. They have decided to be baptized this Saturday.
Well I Love you all I hope is going well with you and that they move is going good. I will talk to you all soon.
Love Elder Allred

10/26/2009 Letter

November 8, 2009

Hey Familia

It was a great week. I was called by the zone leaders to do a division in our zone in my district. It was a good day. I guess there were a few difficulties somewhere with the zone and they needed a break. So we woke up and left early to walk to the next area. I traded companions there and then walked back to trade again at the chapel here in Rio Doce. That was an exhausting trip. Then as we walked to our lunch appointment a guy stopped us on the street. He had invited us to talk to him. This guy we have been trying to find for almost 2 months now. He is Pricilla’s boy friend and has been taught by the missionaries before. Pricilla was baptized in March and so she has been preparing him. We have been teaching him, this week. The lord sort of put us in his way because that day he had been really wanting to talk to us. He hadn’t had the opportunity to get the number from Pricilla and found us. The amazing thing is that we had been doing a division. If not for the sudden division he would not have found us. We were scheduled to be in the 5th stage of Rio Doce during that morning.
We had interviews and I gave training at the district meeting. That was a lot of fun. I talked about finding the elects that are prepared by the lord is like finding rich minerals like the panners do. They don’t just pan for gold or other rich minerals but pic up all the minerals they can and with simple technique are able to separate the minerals that are precious. In any sense all souls are precious in the sight of God. SO that gives us even more incentive to teach all of the people we can teach and not just pick who we think are prepared. Many rich minerals can be lost if the panner is only looking for a certain type. I think it went well. I got my thoughts from thinking about all the family reunions we had in the Big Horns. I remembered one of the Uncles on the hike brought a pan with him and was panning in the river. It sort of went on from there.
Well we have been getting really close to a lot of good people here. Many of them are still trying to find an answer to their questions and that can only be done in Prayer. We are praying every night for them that they can receive what they need to realize that what we are teaching is true. We have seen many trials happen along the way but the Prayers are helping.
I gave an English class yesterday. I was expecting more people than those that came. Those that came were my companion and an old area 70. His name is Germilton and I and my comp have become good friends with him. This week he gave us each a tie and on Sunday we wore them to church. It is what he calls a relic tie and it is but it was a nice gift from him. He knows a lot about the scriptures and teaches us a lot of new things each time we visit him.
I’m anxious to hear how the move went and about Boise. It will be sort of different living there but I guess it will be easier to do mission reunions now, considering most of my group is from Utah and the other 2 are from Idaho. I hope all is going well with you. Megan the number of ward attendance is anywhere from 80-90 on average. So it is normal here.  Good to hear you had fun meeting Ron’s Family. I hope college continues to go well. Well I am going to be on later to read e-mails and such I love u all. I hope all continues to go well. I haven’t gotten the package yet I think perhaps it is because of the strike they had here in Brasil. Maybe track it and see if it got here or not. It seems every time I have a package sent here they decide to throw a strike again and then nothing gets sent to Recife. It hard to even send letters anymore here in the correios. But things will get better. I’m sending moms b-day letter today and I hope that Dad and Megan got there b-day letters that I sent them almost 2 months ago. Well I love you all hope all is going good with the move. I’m praying for you.
Love Elder Allred

10/20/2009 Letter

November 8, 2009

Hey familia. So how are things going?
This week was a push to gat people marked for baptism but a good week to get references. We have received about 15- 20 references from the members. The one thing is that most of the references are really prepared by the lord and we are still trying to get them prepared for baptism. As far as Custodia we are preparing them for the meeting this Sunday. It will be exciting to see how far our labors have extended as well as the members that live there. I am hoping for a good outcome that way future missionaries can begin opening the branch out there. We went tracting the other day and tried a lot of the apartment houses here. We had a great success when we met a guy who just so happened to be in his sisters apartment to relax. He invited us in and we aught him the first lesson. It was a good experience. We will try and prepare him for baptism this transfer. We have done a lot of contacts and such it was really great to meet some of the people here. Also we are teaching an older couple now who actually made it to church yesterday!! One thing I am learning about the gospel is that it has everything we need for happiness and fills our lives when we are missing things. It is no wonder to me why anyone can learn the gospel and live by its teaching if they choose to. It is so simple to understand and everyone can find something they need from it. My favorite part of the mission so far is seeing the people make the changes themselves. It was always difficult for me to think about helping someone to change but in reality we just teach them according to what they need to know and invite them to make the changes themselves if they truly want it then they accept it and that is one of the best things to watch. The truth is they get their help to change because of the Holy Ghost. Elder Bednar said that our job as missionaries is to literally bring the spirit to them and then they have to choose to accept it or not. If they choose to accept the feeling that they get for the spirit than they themselves will be taught by it, it is interesting to me to look at it this way because in reality I am simply speaking according to what the Holy Ghost tells me and it is the one that teaches. Just some things I’ve been thinking about this week.

We did a lot of knocking on doors like I said. We had some good successes come from that as well. Right now we are just waiting for them to make the choices and we will begin teaching them more. Arcoverde is extremely hot now. It is beginning to be the hottest three months of the seasons. Summer here begins in less than three weeks but already it feels like I am in an oven. At least it is really dry here. The only thing I have to worry about is the sun. I am grateful for all the trees here it keeps us away from the sun. But the funny thing is at night it gets really cold. I guess that is because we are in the middle of the desert. There was a wedding this week in our ward. We were invited to attend and the new bishop wanted contact cards to place by the sign in book. It was a good wedding the stake president said some things about families and the relationships that were great. One bit of advice he gave was to allow every Friday night to be your wife’s night to choose what you will do. He said just because you’re married that it doesn’t mean the fun stuff stops, and encouraged the couple to date the same way when they met. My comp especially liked that part anyways…. We did a few contacts there. I met a friend of the brother who got married he is an English teacher and invited me out to his class this Thursday to talk to his class. That will be interesting. Three couples received their endowments in the temple Saturday including the couple that was married. The other two I have gotten to know really well here. I was a little bummed that I couldn’t go to see it.
Well Familia bem otimo quem eu ama bastante. I had better send this out I love you all I hope things are going well. I am praying for you all always. Love you
Elder Allred

10/13/2009 Letter

November 8, 2009

Oi familia!!
So this week was good but some things happened that were difficult, it happens. We went to Caruaru on Tuesday for zone conference. I enjoyed it a lot but the only problem was that we didn’t get back until way late and so we had to do contacts and couldn’t teach. We received two contacts; both are people who wanted to learn more about the gospel. Ainelli is a young lady who is the cousin of that member who visited us here from Atlanta in July. She called her up and told her to find us, so we are teaching her and her friend now. We have a reference from a few weeks go that seems to never be home but she always comes to church. We are hoping to begin teaching her this week. We were doing our weekly activities in the church this week and the other reference came up to me and told me that she wanted to be baptized. So we will begin this week teaching here.

 

Elder N. Silva called me this morning during study and gave me a reference here of a lady who lives here. It is going to be really nice to teach. I love teaching references these are the people who are truly prepared by the lord through the members. If all the members in the world gave references out each week I believe the work for the missionaries and the wards would grow and I would be much easier to retain these members. Often times here in Arcoverde I feel like half the town are members. I am always finding new members everyday who haven’t been to church for years all because they lost interest. It is hard to take in sometimes. I think a fear I’ve developed and sort of calmed down also is teaching people who will lose interest, but I know with references it helps the work go and makes things much better for us!!!
We have a new bishop here in Arcoverde I will get to work with him at least for a little while longer. I’ve practically spent 1/4 of my mission here. Crazy huh?
Today I got my first real taste of mountain climbing Brazil style. We climbed a mountain peak here that I’ve wanted to climb since day one. I just haven’t found a comp crazy enough like me. Anyways we made it up and back. It was really good to use that skill once again while I am here. It brought back a lot of good memories and I got some good pics for you all. So things are really good.

 

I’ve been worried for you all there this week it seems every member sort of informs e when disaster strikes there. I guess the banks fell or at least that is what I was told and that people were losing their homes and everything to the banks. How is that panning out?

 

Hey so we will be going to Custodio this week and hopefully the next week too. I think it will all go really great. We will begin marking baptisms for the first of November!!! That is a great way to end a transfer. I am sort of enjoying Arcoverde while I can this might be the last I have here, but I think it will be exciting to see new places. Well I love you all I am glad you go the package and I am looking forward to getting this next one. I am praying for you all and I love you.
Love Elder Allred