Mission Scripture

Mission Scripture

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Last One Posted by Mom

Hey family! 
I'm gonna keep this one very short. I can't believe that I'm going to see you all in a week! That's so crazy! It's gone so fast. I just want you all to know how much I love my mission and how much I love the Lord. I've grown so close to Him in the past 24 months. I look forward to talking to all of you about that when I get back. I also want all of you to know how much I love you. You've been an amazing support group for me through the ups and downs of my mission. Thank you all so much for everything.  I love you, and I'll see you all next week! 
~Elder Allred

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Two Weeks!

Two weeks. I feel like I can't accurately describe to you all how I'm feeling right now. I've never been this emotional about anything in my life. There have been several times in the recent weeks that I've just had to fight back tears as I've thought about having to leave my mission behind. I love my mission. I wouldn't trade the opportunity for anything in the world. A lot happens in two years. I could have been anywhere, doing anything. At 19-21 years old you have potential to do absolutely anything. I chose to accept the call to be a full time missionary in New York and Connecticut. Best decision I've ever made. I had the opportunity to attend the Manhattan temple last Thursday. I won't share all of the details of that experience, because it was a very sacred one for me. Some things I'll keep in my journal. Some things I'll just keep between and my Father in Heaven. But I would like to share a little bit with all of you. I think it's important for me to share this with you, because it will help you to see how much of an effect my mission has had on me. This trip to the temple was the last time that I would be in the temple as a missionary. I went in with a few thoughts. One was a question that I had. I wanted to know if my mission was complete. Had I done enough in my two years? Was my offering acceptable to the Lord? These questions occupied my mind during the few precious hours that I got to spend with the Lord in His house in Manhattan. Again, I won't tell you all the details. I will say that I felt the gentle influence of the Spirit. For those of you who haven't attended the temple before, the Spirit that you feel in the temple is unmatched by any other place in the world. You just feel so good. It doesn't matter what else is going on in the world outside. You are totally calm and comforted. I believe that is a small taste of what it will be like to live with Him again in Celestial Glory. Those of you who have been to the temple recently know what I mean as I talk about this. It was just so reassuring for me to feel that influence of the Holy Ghost. The Lord answered my prayer as I felt an overwhelming sense that I had indeed done enough. My offering is acceptable to Him. What a good feeling. To know that I've served hard and done my Father's will. I'm just so grateful that I decided to work hard through my mission rather than coast through and take the easy road. This is the feeling  I want to have when my mortal mission comes to its end as well. I'm almost done  being a missionary, but my work isn't done. I'll always be a disciple of Christ. Can't wait to see you all in two weeks. Love you!!! 
~Elder Allred

Friday, July 17, 2015

To the Statue Today

Great week! I can't believe I only have three more left! Things are going really well here in Manhattan. Elder DeGraw and I are teaching a cool investigator named Christian. I may have told you a little bit about him before. He's awesome. 17 years old. This week we took the bishop's 19 year old son with us to our lesson with him. What a great experience that was! We talked to Christian about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I've taught this lesson so many times on my mission, and it is more true to me now than ever. President Smith invited all of us this week to study Joseph Smith History, verses 1-20. That's been a really cool thing for me to focus on right here at the end of my mission. I have absolutely no doubt that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he truly was called to restore Christ's church, complete with the power of the priesthood and the Book of Mormon. I'm grateful for him. I've had a lot of people question my testimony of Joseph Smith in the past two years, but nothing is going to break me. I'm grateful for the Book of Mormon. I'm reading it now for the fifth time on my mission, and it has proven again to be the truth. I hope you all can feel my love for the gospel and for the opportunity that I have to be a member of the restored church. We had interviews with President Smith yesterday. He's a good man. I love him and his family so much. It's sad that I don't get more time to serve with them. Sorry for the short email this week. We're going to the statue today! Hopefully I'll have time to get on later this afternoon and email a little more. Have a great week1 See you soon! Love you!! 
~Elder Allred

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

29 more days!!


His 5th Yankees game of the mission! And they played the Rays for every game he saw. Haha 

Hello family!
First I just want to say how sad I am to hear of the passing of President Boyd K. Packer. I remember watching him speak at general conference ever since I was a young kid. He was a good man to say the least and definitely an apostle of the Lord. I have no doubt that whoever the Lord calls to replace Elder Perry and Elder Packer will be men of God. I hope you all enjoyed your 4th of July weekend! Mine was a lot of fun! As you all know, we went to the Yankees game on Friday night. That was so much fun! It was cool to see Mo-tab there. Actually in the days leading up to the game we ran into some of the members of the choir out on the streets of Manhattan. That was pretty neat. The event also provided a great opportunity to start conversations with people in the subways. Did you go to the game? How did you like the choir? That's our church! Haha. That was pretty cool. I love when the public eye gets a positive perspective of the Church, because there is just way too much out there that tries to put out a negative image. Sadly I hear the negative rumors quite often here. So to have this event was great! The game was pretty good too. The Yanks were struggling a bit for the first six innings. I don't know how many of you watched the game, but most of you  probably at least know what happened. I was bummed because Tanaka wasn't pitching too well. I was excited to see what all the buzz was about this new pitcher in his second season with us. Our offense was decent. Had a few good hits, but nothing really came of it. When I had to leave at nine o clock it was right after the sixth inning and the Yanks were down 3-0. Of course the next day I was asking people about the game and heard how it turned out. Sounds like it was pretty awesome! I wish we could have stayed for all twelve innings! Then on Saturday we had to be in the apartment an hour earlier than usual. One of our roommates is a missionary from Germany. He's been out for about eight months, and this was his first 4th of July! So we cooked some burgers and fries that we had bought from Cosco and tried to give him the most "American" experience we could without being able to catch fireworks. It was a lot of fun! However, the 4th just doesn't feel the same without fireworks. Next year! The work is going well in our area. We have a few pretty solid investigators that I'm excited about. Elder DeGraw is great, and we're having a lot of fun working together. This week it started to get very hot and muggy! I think my last four weeks in New York will probably be some of the hottest four weeks of the year. I remember being in Harlem last summer, and July was pretty brutal. Drinking lots of water these days and sweating it all out. As long as my short sleeve shirts can survive a few more sticky, sweaty weeks I'll be alright. Haha. Other than that I'm just getting ready to see you all soon! This is the most bittersweet time of my entire life. You've heard me say it before. Excited to come home to see you but sad to leave this great city and this amazing work. Hope you all are doing well. Love you! 

~Elder Allred

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Five weeks to go!

It's fun to be back in Manhattan again. Elder DeGraw and I have seen some awesome things happening as we have begun working with each other here. We have on investigator named Christian. He's a 17 year old kid who is going into his senior year of high school this year. Actually Elder Coburn and his companion tracted into his door just a couple weeks before I came to Manhattan the first time. I had heard Elder Coburn talk about him a few times, so I already knew who he was. Then on Thursday, my first full day in the area, we went to visit him.  Apparently Elder DeGraw and his previous companion have been trying to get a lesson with him for months and nothing had worked out. Then my first day here we got in and had a wonderful lesson. The main topic of our conversation with him was the Savior, and he accepted a baptismal date in September! Awesome! He ended up being sick on Sunday, so he couldn't come to church. We went over again yesterday, though, and we brought one of the priest-aged young men in the ward. It's just so great to be involved in bringing people the message of the restored gospel. Christian is really excited about what we've been talking about and committed to start reading the Book of Mormon this week. We have another investigator named Vincent. Elder Coburn and I actually tracted into him when we were companions. He is in his 40's, so because we were in the YSA ward, we referred him to Elder DeGraw. Same story. He and his companion have been trying for a couple months to get in contact with him, and it hasn't worked. Then on Friday we had a great lesson with him. So many wonderful things happening. It's starting to get real now. With the way this week went by so fast it's starting to hit me. My mission is coming to a close very soon. It's a pretty sad thought to know that I will no longer be directly involved in bringing people the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I love teaching the gospel, and I love to see the joy that it brings into the lives of those who accept it. At least I'm finishing out strong with wonderful people to teach. So grateful for that! Another big thing from this week was that we had a meeting yesterday at the temple. President and Sister Morgan flew home to Utah on Monday. A few hours before they flew out, President Smith flew into New York with his wife and three children. The meeting that we had yesterday was the first time that we got to meet President Smith and his wonderful family. They are so awesome! President Smith is very energetic and excited to serve. I am confident that he will fill President Morgan's shoes well and do a lot of good here. It's kind of sad actually that I only have a few weeks to serve under his leadership. I have absolutely no doubt that he was called by God to lead this mission at this time. As sad as it is that I won't be sent home by President Morgan, who I love more than words can express, I know that it was designed by the Lord that I would serve with President Smith for five weeks. I'm very excited for this weekend! Friday night is the Yankees game! Number 5 on my mission. How awesome is that? This is a great way for me to end my service as a missionary in New York. Watching the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform at a Yankees game. Is that  a coincidence? I don't believe it is. The event paints a perfect picture for what has happened in the last two years. A Yankees fan from small town Utah goes to serve his mission in New York City. I'll remember this night for years and years to come. I hope  you all have a wonderful week and a happy 4th of July!! Light off a firework for me! Love you all!!

~Elder Allred 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Six More Weeks in the City

The cost of discipleship is that you have to allow your will to be swallowed up in the Father's will. You have to give yourself up and let go of your desires, even if those desires are righteous. Sometimes we want good things, but the Father has better things for us. My desire was to finish my mission in Danbury. I love Danbury. The people here are amazing, and I will forever be grateful for the time that I've had to serve here. If the first few sentences of this email haven't given it away yet, I'll tell you what's going on. I'm being transferred again. We got the call on Saturday night. This one was a tough one for me to swallow.  Still is. When we got the news I was pretty upset. I was angry and hurt. This wasn't the way it was supposed to end. I was supposed to stay in Danbury, watch Brother Dan and his son be baptized, and come home rejoicing. I didn't understand why I couldn't just have that. Was that not a righteous desire? Would I not be able to serve the Lord well in this area for six more weeks? I didn't sleep very much on Saturday night. In fact, I crawled into bed still angry, hoping I would wake up in the morning feeling better about the whole thing. I woke up Sunday morning, still upset. It has taken me a few days to overcome my emotions. I've started to think about the Savior. Not comparing myself to Him, but did He not have a similar (much more intense) experience? When He was in Gethsemane, knowing that He would soon be crucified, and asked His Father if there was any way He could not go through with it. "Nevertheless not My will, but Thine be done". For a moment, He wanted to pull the plug on the whole thing, but He so quickly understood that His Father's will was much more important than His. He had agreed to be the Savior and fulfill the Plan of Salvation. He was on His Father's errand and wasn't there for Himself. I was being very hard-hearted and selfish when I was presented with this change. I've been reminded in the last few days that I'm not on a mission for myself. I didn't agree to serve a mission so that the whole thing could go my way. I did this to serve my Father, and I ought to be willing to do what He asks. I'm still sad about leaving Danbury. It breaks my heart. But at least now I have calmed down enough to realize what I need to do. There is a scripture in the Old Testament that has become a motto for me in the past few months as the homestretch of my mission has come with a lot of unexpected turns. Isaiah 55:8-9. His ways are always higher than our ways. The Lord had a purpose for me being in Danbury for six weeks. He has a purpose for me in the six weeks I will spend in my next area. I don't know when I will see or understand that purpose, but all I can do is put my trust in Him and move forward with faith. Now that you see a glimpse of how I feel about this transfer, I'll tell you where I'm going to finish my mission. I'll be in a family ward on the upper east of Manhattan, back in my last zone. My area boundaries are partially the same as what I was covering when I was in the YSA ward. Then I was covering the whole east side of the island. Now I'll just cover about 40 blocks North and South. I'm sure I will love the area and the people, and I'm quite sure it will be difficult for me to leave there in six weeks. One more thing I wanted to share with you guys this week. I finished reading the Book of Mormon this morning for the 5th time. Just as true as ever. I have a personal goal to read it again before I come home in six weeks. Last time I did a timed Book of Mormon read was when some of you joined me for the 120 day challenge, which I thought was amazing. Now I have to do it in just 42 days. You don't need to read along with me for this one. It will be a lot of reading, and I have the luxury of having an hour each morning to study the scriptures. I would encourage you to continue to read the Book of Mormon at your own pace each day. I promise you will be much happier if you do that. I'm excited to continue to allow this amazing book to change me for the better. Now we're on the last lap everybody. I'll see you in six weeks! This will be the shortest six weeks of our lives!! See you soon. Love you!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

God is Real

God is real. There is absolutely no way that I can deny that truth. He places us exactly where He needs us to be, exactly when He needs us to be here. I know He called me to serve in Danbury for a purpose. I had an awesome experience yesterday, which was another confirmation to me that I need to be here. I went on a split with Elder Casper and worked in the Newtown area for the day. It was awesome, because I was able to see some of the people that I used to teach when I was assigned to the Newtown ward. One particular visit was very powerful. It was close to the end of our night, around 7:30. We had just gotten out of a dinner appointment in Newtown. The family that we were visiting lived close to a member that I visited once a week for the whole six months that I was here. She is the sweetest lady. For a long time she wasn't active in the church. Elder Kroff and his trainer, Elder Taylor, knocked on her door on a snowy day in the beginning months of 2013. Just a few months before I got there. They helped her become active in the church again, and by the time I got there she was faithfully attending every Sunday. When I left Newtown she was doing really well. Still going to church every week and attending the Manhattan temple as often as she could. Last summer she got hammered with medical problems. She's been in and out of the hospital for about a year now. Her doctors are working hard. They've tried a few different things, but nothing is helping. Now she's pretty homebound. Unable to go to church and not in condition to accept visits from people. Hoping that she would remember me well enough, we stopped by. Her husband answered the door with a sad look on his face. "She's not doing well". He informed us that she had had a rough day and just couldn't accept a visit. We stood and talked on the porch for about 15-20 minutes. I caught up with him, and he told me about the struggles that have befallen them in the last year. He had me write down my email address and told me he would tell her that I was in the area. We walked away. I was disappointed. I really wanted to see her. I wasn't sure what I could do to help, but it felt like there was something that I hadn't done. Just before I stepped into the car, her husband came back out the front door and stopped me. "She wants to see you". I was relieved. As I walked through the door, he warned me that it would be an emotional encounter. She came almost running down the stairs. Before I could get both shoes off, she wrapped her arms around me and cried on my shoulder. It was so good to see her. We sat in her living room, just like I had so many times before. I started to feel like I was doing what I needed to do to help her. Before we left, I said a prayer. Words can't describe that prayer and the presence of the Spirit that filled the room. There's something really cool that happens every time I give a Priesthood blessing. I've given several on my mission. What never ceases to amaze me is that every time I give a blessing, that God is speaking through me. I feel that every time as I apply the power of the Priesthood. It's a pretty awesome feeling. What was really interesting what that I had that same kind of a feeling as I was saying that prayer last night. I wasn't acting under the authority of the Priesthood. Just a normal prayer. But God spoke through me last night. I have no doubt about that. I think that she needed to feel God's love through me, and I hope that she did. I think that her husband also needed to feel the Spirit. He's not a member of the church, and from what I've gathered isn't really religious at all. I know he felt something. We all did. As he walked us out the door he thanked us. He said that one visit was the highlight of the day, and he was just so grateful. This experience is a great example of one of the most important purposes of my mission. President Morgan has said something in several meetings where I've heard him speak. "God had you come on a mission so that He could manifest Himself unto you." He has done that several times in the last 22 months. He did it again last night. He manifested himself to me in a way that was undeniable. I'm so grateful for days like this one. The mission is so hard. I would be lying if I told you that every day is bliss. Days like today make every bit of it worth it. I am so full of gratitude that, even with all of my imperfections, God allows me to be an instrument in bringing about great things in His work. I was a tool in His hands last night. There are so many other things that happened this week, but to keep emphasis on this experience I will leave it at that. Next week is transfers. I'll find out on Saturday if I'm staying in Danbury to the end or if I have one more place to serve. I hope that I stay. I love it here so much. But I will go and do what the Lord requires. I love this work. I love the Lord. I love all of you.