Skyping with Elder Allred was SO great!!! He is doing well. There have been only three nights since he got to Newtown, CT, that he didn't have a dinner appointment, so the members are taking very good care of him. He loves transfer meetings where he gets to see the other people he has met in the MTC and out in the mission field. He appreciates all of the letters and packages he receives from all of us back home and has a reputation for being the most spoiled missionary in the mission. He has a baptism this Saturday and another one the following week, so the work is going really well. They don't get to teach as often as they'd like to because they are in a very affluent area, and people aren't often searching for the missing piece that the Gospel will bring to their lives. He says that being a trainer is very challenging but he prays a lot for the knowledge and strength to teach his junior companion the things he will need to know as he goes on to continue his missionary work. Elder Allred was excited to see Riken walking and couldn't stop smiling through the whole call. The hour went by WAY TOO FAST, and Mom and Zack only cried a.little.bit as we heard Elder Allred's testimony at the end of our time with him. We are counting down to Mothers' Day when we get to see him again!!! :) Merry Christmas to all!
Sunday, December 22, 2013
You guys probably thought I forgot about you today! Haha we had our transfer meeting this morning in Ossining, NY, and we just barely got back. Transfers were great, and I got to see Elder Kroff (who is training a new missionary again) and Elder Steiner. I have made some amazing friends already on my mission. Relationships that will have a lasting impact on my me for sure. We don't have too much time before we have to go to our dinner appointment, so today might be a little short. Not too much has changed this transfer. WE did lose our Italian roommate to the Bronx. I got to spend three awesome cycles with Elder Fragiacomo from Trieste Italy. I have some incredible memories with him. I'll miss him for sure! Now my District Leader, Elder Plouzek, is training a new missionary from Hurricane, UT! Change is always good. One thing I've learned about a mission is that change happens super fast. Before you know it, six weeks (That's how long each cycle is) has passed and the people you've just barely gotten to know are gone. That change I think plays a big part in why missions fly by so fast. The Lord doesn't allow you to get too comfortable with anything, and you have to be constantly adapting to new situations. It seriously doesn't feel like I have already been here for four months. Crazy! Well, with what little time I have left I'll explain how Skype will work. On Christmas Day I will be skyping with Dad and Tracy at 4pm my time, 2pm your time. On Christmas Eve I will be skyping with Mom and Kenjee. I don't know exactly what time yet. Our schedule isn't concrete for that day, but I will be trying to get on between 2-6pm my time, 12-4pm your time. Sorry you guys might be waiting in anticipation for four hours before I finally log on. Haha. But when I finally call it will be a nice Christmas surprise! I'll get to skype no longer than an hour on Christmas Eve and an hour on Christmas Day. My skype name is eldertylerallred. I'll try to add you guys on skype before it happens. Hopefully it all works out! I"m sure it will!! I'm super excited to see everyone, so try to make it to either Mom's on Christmas Eve or Dad's on Christmas Day. I love you all so much. I wish I had more time tonight, but just know that I'm doing really well. I'm loving it and the work is going really well right now. I want you all to know that my testimony is growing each day. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. He and the Lord know you each personally and love you. Don't forget it! Thank you for all the letters and packages. I'm feeling super spoiled! Haha. You're in my prayers. I love you!!!!
Thursday, December 12, 2013
You have probably all been wondering if I was even going to email today! Usually I'm done with emailing by about twelve o clock your time, so I am definitely a little bit later than normal. It's for a good reason though. Our district got the idea to do a Secret Santa gift giving activity. We meet together as a district every Monday, so this coming district meeting will be a little mini Christmas party. Instead of emailing first thing this morning, we went out to find our gifts for that. Should be lots of fun! My Secret Santa recipient is one of the sisters, and I found her this huge pillow that's shaped like a frog for ten bucks. I was pretty proud of that find. I thought of Kenna as soon as I saw it. lol. I know she would love that! There was all sorts of Duck Dynasty stuff everywhere that I wanted to buy for the gift, but I don't think everyone is quite as redneck as us and enjoys shows about rich country boys trying to win a camper from a doughnut shop. Haha! That show better still be running when I get home! Anyway, that's about the most adventure you get as a missionary. We had a super fun day though. This week has been fantastic as well. On Friday, we went to Ossining, NY and had a mission Christmas devotional. Altogether, the mission includes about 300 people. So, with everyone in the cultural hall at the chapel, it was super packed! It was such an awesome meeting. Tons of people put a lot of effort into preparing a good program for it. There were several musical numbers and some talks by President and Sister Morgan. There are some very talented people in this mission. Some of the instruments and singing voices gave me chills. Sometimes there is no better way to feel the Spirit than through powerful music. Not very many people were selected to participate in the musical numbers. Included in the most talented musician were Elder Kroff, Elder Fragiacomo ( my Italian roommate) and Elder Plouzek (my District Leader). That tells you how much I have been surrounded by music so far on my mission. It has been awesome! Another cool thing is that we have been asked to participate in a couple of different choirs. We'll be singing with the ward choir on the 22nd for the Christmas program in sacrament, and this coming Sunday, the 15th, we will be singing with a young mens' choir for a Stake Christmas concert. I'm so excited! My only downfall with all of this involvement with singing is that I don't have the slightest clue how to read music. Haha. I'm hoping someone will be able to teach me at some point, and by the time I get home, maybe that will be a new skill of mine! Other than that, we don't have too much doing on. Transfers are next week, so there's a chance I could be getting moved. I kinda doubt that will happen though, since Elder Savage will still have seven weeks of training left. It's pretty rare that trainers and trainees get separated after just one cycle. Plus, if I got pulled out of Newtown right before Christmas, I would probably have to cry! We're planning on going over to the Arend's and another member's house. So, hopefully, I will be staying! Anyway, I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas season. I know it's a little bit difficult this year, but it can also be one of the most special Christmases we've had yet. Just remember to really focus on Christ this year. It has been so cool for me to do that as a missionary. I'm not in a position to be doing as much of the normal holiday traditions as I normally would, but and that has provided me with the opportunity to think a lot more about the Savior, and what all of this really means. I want you all to know that I know He is real. Jesus Christ has provided us with everything good that we have. He has done more for us than we could possibly comprehend, and as I reflect on what His birth and His life mean for me, it becomes so much more real and powerful to be celebrating Christmas. I love you all so much! Have a fantastic week! I'll have details next Wednesday on how they whole Skype thing is going to work. I"m not exactly sure what time I'll be on yet or what's gonna happen with it. All I know is that I'm really looking forward to it, and I hope that I will get to see all of you! I love you, I love you, I love you!
P.S. I just got a pretty cool email from Elder Spencer McPherson in Florida. He just recently go called to be an Assistant to the President in his mission. The cool part is that his companion in the new calling will be Elder Taran Wright! Pretty cool! Love you!!
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Well, for starters, Thanksgiving weekend was awesome! We went over to the Knibbe's house for dinner on Thursday. They are such cool people. Sister Knibbe is all over the place and loves to talk, so the energy was really fun! They have one son living with them who is a junior. He starts at right guard and defensive tackle on Ridgefield High School's varsity team. So, we had plenty to talk about since those were basically the exact same positions I played in high school. We also watched some of his highlights from this season, so that was fun. Having the opportunity to play high school football is something that I think really shaped me into who I am today. It taught me many things about myself and many lessons were learned through that. One of them is to work hard, which is a very useful attribute for anyone that does anything. It's especially helpful in missionary work, because if you don't have the drive to keep pushing forward and working hard, you won't last for two years' worth of sixteen hours days. Another thing that it taught me is something that is very helpful for me with where I am right now. That is to rely on other people and let others help you. That aspect of humility can help so much in so many ways. As you all know, I am training Elder Savage right now. That comes with a lot of stresses, especially for someone as new as I am. I feel a tremendous amount of responsibility on my shoulders 24/7. But, knowing what I know about turning to others for help has really saved me and gotten me through some of the hardest points in the last three weeks. The organization of the mission provides us with leaders to turn to for help. I have a district leader that I live with named Elder Plouzek, and two zone leaders in the Spanish program, Elder Killpack and Pawlowski. I have had so many good talks with all of them. They have done so much to make me feel encouraged and loved. It's been really nice to have some more experienced missionaries to turn to for advice. I think the biggest thing that they've helped me with is to make me feel like I am doing a good job. The last thing I want to do is let anybody down or disappoint people, so with this responsibility, I have worried a lot about if I am doing that. So many times, these guys have told me what a good missionary I am and how much good I am doing. That means the world to me! It gives me confidence that I need to succeed in this call that the Lord had entrusted me with. In Alma 37:6-7, we learn that "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass". Their small amount of effort in putting an arm around my shoulder and offering a simple phrase of encouragement goes a long way to help. So, I'm beyond grateful for that! Things are going well with our investigators. D. will be getting baptized on the 14th of December. We might change the date to the 15th, since it will be the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy that happened here. The 14th will probably be a somber day and might not be the best day to have his baptism. Anyway, the point is that he is ready! We've taught him everything that we need to and we feel that he is ready to do this! What a blessing! Plus K. is still looking forward to January 4th being her date of baptism. She's been on fire lately! She even posts on facebook for all of her friends to see the good decisions she is making. So cool! My birthday was amazing. We went over to the Arend's and they worked so hard to make it special for me. Sister Arend cooked enchiladas and german chocolate cake, just like at home! She is seriously an angel. She has a son on a mission in Kansas, so she knows what it is like for the parents and families of us missionaries. She does an amazing job of taking care of us. If you're not already friends with her on facebook you should be, because she posts picture of me all the time. I really hope you will all get the chance to meet that family one day. They truly are one of the greatest blessings that I have seen on my mission. Well, that's about it for me. Thank you everyone for all that you do. I still get more packages than any other missionary that I know! Haha, Elder Allred's family is getting a reputation around here for the coolest one, so thank you! I know I'm a little slow at responding sometimes, but don't think that I don't think about you all each and every day. I appreciate you all and love you all more than words can express. Happy holidays everyone. I can't imagine the miracles that we will all see this year as the Christmas season is upon us. I love you and have a wonderful week!
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Hey everyone! For starters I need to apologize to you all. I don't think I've written a letter for like over two weeks now. I'm trying. I promise! Haha. I've just been so busy. Training Elder Savage has been going pretty well. He's a good kid. He has a strong desire to serve the Lord and to work hard. That work ethic is something very valuable that you don't always find in everyone. The new position as trainer definitely has its stresses though. This is one of the hardest positions I think I'll ever have in my entire life. I feel like I am still the new guy and have so much to learn. Now I have the responsibility of knowing everything about the area and teaching Elder Savage everything. I don't want to let him down. He will forever remember that his trainer was Elder Allred, and I don't want him to wish that I would have been a better companion. I spend a lot of time wondering if I am doing a good job. If I am being the influence on him that the Lord wants me to be. You know me. I like things to work out. When things don't go the way I they should or everything isn't perfect, I feel inclined to fix it, and it creates a little stress. Most of all I just don't like to let anyone down. Needless to say, I am spending a lot of time on my knees, praying for help. The Lord has done a mighty fine job of being there for me so far. He's helped make sure that everything will work out one way or another. A great example of that is something that has been going on all week. Last week our GPS started to freak out on us. It started freezing up and we had to fight with it to get it to pick up a signal and get us where we need to go. This tool is essential to have in Connecticut for a couple of reasons. One is that there are so many trees everywhere that you can't just look at Mt. Nebo to tell you which way is north, south, east or west. The other is that roads aren't laid out like they are in Utah. There is no grid system and none of the roads are numbered. They all have different names and you don't know where things are compared to where you are. So my point is that you need a GPS to tell you where to turn. Even though this has been a difficult thing to deal with, we haven't missed a single appointment. Every single time we get lost, the GPS starts working or I magically remember how to get around roads I've been on before (That's the Holy Ghost working!). So that's a pretty good example of how God has helped things run smoothly. Now our GPS is totally frozen and hasn't changed for like three days. So we're getting a new one on Friday. Things are going pretty well. The work is still doing well. D should be getting baptized soon. His Mom just bought him a quad with his name embroidered on it, and he's been at church every week for the last month or so.
Even though I'm stressed a lot I'm getting through it. My district leader, Elder Flouzek, lives in the same apartment as me and has been such a good help to me! He only has about three months left and has had many of the same experiences I am having now, so he knows really well how to help me. I'm excited for the holidays! It should be a lot of fun. I assure you I will be taken very good care of. We're being fed for Thanksgiving tomorrow and Sister Arend is having us over for my birthday on Friday. Thank you so much for the packages and letters. They mean a lot to me! I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving. Everyone give everyone a hug from me and two for Riken lol. Love you all. Have a fantastic week. In the spirit of the season, don't forget to thank the Lord for all that we have been blessed with. Love you!
Wow this week has flown by so fast that I'm still trying to convince myself that it even happened. The biggest news is that I've been training Elder Savage. It's such a great experience for me. It's teaching me so much but at the same time, it's one of the more stressful things I've ever done in my life. It's hard to have to remember everything that's going on in the Newtown area and set up Elder Savage to be the best missionary that he can be. That's a lot of responsibility! It has been good though. Elder Savage is one of the happiest people I've ever met. He's also one of the loudest lol. Let's just say that the dude likes to talk. And you all know how quiet and soft spoken I am. There have been a few times at dinner appointments where I maybe have said like ten words, because he just rambles on and doesn't give me a moment of silence to speak. It's been wonderful though. We're teaching pretty well together and still have some good things going on with investigators. We met with D on the second day that Elder Savage got here. D is still progressing really well, and he and his Mom were at church again on Sunday. One of his concerns a few weeks ago was that he didn't want to stay for all three hours of church, but now he's been to the whole thing twice. He has been in with the Deacon's quorum, which is awesome. Brother Arend is the teacher for that class and Beau Arend is in there, too, so they're doing a great job welcoming him into the group (in case you didn't know, the Arends are easily my favorite family in the ward). We only have a few more things to teach D before he can be baptized! The whole situation with him and his Mom is just a miracle. To see him choosing this path for himself is so cool. Even better is that his Mom is back in church now. She was on the "Do Not Contact" list for the missionaries here for like twenty years.That's how against going to church she was, but miraculously she's back now! We're meeting with K again tonight at a member's house for another lesson. I'm glad she's still meeting with us. Everyone needs the gospel in their lives, but especially her. She's at a fork in the road right now. If she chooses the gospel, her life will be happier and brighter than she could ever imagine. If she chooses the other road, she'll be setting herself up for a very tough life. Anyway, that's about it for investigators. J.S. hasn't answered any of our calls or texts for close to a month now. We're praying that things are okay for him and that we'll get back in contact soon. Another pretty crazy thing that happened this week is that every missionary in the mission now has an iPad! We're only the ninth mission in the world to receive this technology to work with. We got them last Friday, and have been using them since. We're converting our area book, our daily planners, and everything that we need to know about the area onto the iPads. Seriously, did you guys ever think that I would be using an iPad and getting on facebook as a missionary? I know I sure didn't. It just goes to show that the Lord's plans are much bigger than ours. With this new technology, we will be able to reach just about everyone in the entire world! Which wouldn't be possible through just door to door tracting alone. I feel so blessed and amazed to be one of the missionaries that's trusted to be a part of pioneering this era of missionary work . One day we will look back on this time and I will be able to say that I was one of the first missionaries to start using this. It's so exciting! Please keep liking and sharing my posts. I really want for the messages to reach as many people as possible. Other than that, I'm still just kicking. Every day goes by faster than the last. I can't even believe it. Being a missionary is the greatest thing that I have ever done for my life. I hope that you're all getting excited for the holidays. We're going to be having Thanksgiving dinner with the Knibbe family in the ward, which will be great. The day after, the Arends are having us over for my birthday!! That will be a bunch of fun. Then, before you know it, it will be Christmas and I'll get to see all of your faces on Skype!! I love you all so much. Have a fantastic week, and remember that God is real and that He loves you!!!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Pretty crazy week! We got big news last Wednesday night. President Morgan called us just as we were finishing our planning session. Elder Kroff answered, and President told him he wanted to talk to me. I had no idea what this was gonna be about. He asked me how I was doing and I told him I was doing well. His reply was this: " Well enough to train a new missionary?" Wow! So for a week now I've known that I would be training a new missionary. It's pretty crazy because I just barely finished training myself. So, today we had our transfer meeting, and I met my new companion. Fresh out of the MTC yesterday. His name is Elder Savage and he's from Michigan. I've only known him for about three hours at this point, but I can already tell he's going to be awesome. He's a really happy guy, and he's just ready to go to work! He's actually waiting here on a visa so he can go to India! Hopefully I'll get to finish training him before he leaves. Man, I feel like I just have so much to learn. It feels like yesterday that I had my first day in the mission field. My time with Elder Kroff feels like it went by in the blink of an eye. I enjoyed having him as a companion so much. He taught me a lot, and we just got along so well. He has been transferred to New Rochelle, which is just above the Bronx. It is super sad to see him go, but I'm also really excited for him. He's been in Newtown for his whole mission, which is just over eight months now. So the change will be good for him. I just can't believe how fast the time is flying on my mission. I know that it will only start going faster now. I'm going to be way busier now and have a lot more responsibility. I'm excited for what lies ahead. Things here in Newtown are still going really well. We still meet with D. and his Mom every week. They actually came to church and stayed for all three hours. That was exciting! I wouldn't be surprised if D. gets baptized in the coming weeks. We meet with K. pretty much regularly as well. She's doing pretty well. The biggest thing right now is that she works on Sundays, so that's been kinda tough. Things are good though. I'm so glad that I get to stay here two cycles, so I should be here for Christmas. Speaking of that, we got our first snow yesterday!It only snowed for like an hour and now it's all melted, but winter is fast approaching here. The temperature is dropping fast! Well, I hope all is well at home. Exciting things lay ahead for me here. Have a great week everyone. I love you, I love you, I love you!!
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
I cannot believe how fast the time flies. It doesn't feel like I've been a missionary for three months already. And the crazy part is, it's only going by faster and faster. Next Wednesday is transfer meeting, which means that I have already been out for almost two cycles. That also means that I will be done being trained. 12 weeks in the mission field has gone by in the blink of an eye. On Saturday we will know who is leaving the area and who's staying. If I had to guess I would think that I will be staying in Newtown. Elder Kroff has been here for six cycles now, which is about eight months, so there's a very good chance that he will be getting moved to another area. It will be sad when we're no longer companions. I have loved working with him so much, and he has taught me so much. I'm a little nervous, because when he leaves, that means I will be the one who should know the area the best. When I get a new companion, he will be relying on me to know what's going on and the best ways to use our time. That's intimidating, because I feel like I'm still the new guy. Haha. But I'm also excited, because that means I will have no other option but to fully rely on the Lord to help me. With guidance from Him, I will be able to keep the success that we've had here. So next Wednesday I'll let you know what is going on and if I'm staying. This last week has been pretty exciting. I'm now a fully fledged Facebook using missionary. As you have all been able to tell by my posts. I'm so excited that we have this opportunity. And by next week or the week after, we will all be getting iPads to work with. Pretty exciting! I never expected to be carrying around an iPad as a missionary. That just tells you how much the work is changing and evolving into something new. It's so cool that I am a part of it! One day I will be able to tell my children that I was one of the first missionaries to start using the internet as a tool in spreading the Gospel. We're still working with our three main investigators. K had an awesome week! She has recently been praying a lot more, and we can see progression for the first time in a while. There's a very noticeable light shining in her as she comes closer to Christ. Hopefully she will continue to progress and be ready for baptism by the first of the year. We also started meeting with a new lady from Ghana. She has lived in the states for about ten years. She is a super nice and humble person. She lives in New Jersey but works here. She is working as kind of a caretaker for older people and spends 24 hours a day in their homes. Once a month she goes back home for a week to be with her two teenage sons. It will be interesting to see how it works out since she doesn't technically live in our area, but spends more time here than she does at home. Hopefully soon she will be able to find more permanent full time work so she can stay home and be taught by the missionaries there. For now, we're planning on meeting with her next week when she comes back. All in all things are good here. I'm so happy to be doing the Lord's work. There are ups and downs for sure. I don't want you all to be worried about me, because I know that you are (especially you, Mom). I have my homesick days just like anyone else, but I am able to deal with that very well. As I turn to the Lord in prayer I find instant comfort and relief. Like I've said before, this is the hardest thing I've ever done. It's hard to be away from all of you and all of the things that I love about home. However, it's also the most rewarding thing I've ever done. There is no other place that I would rather be than in the full time service of the Lord. I absolutely love what I do. There's not a day that goes by that I don't smile atleast once and count my blessings. I hope that you all do the same. I love you all so much! Thank you so much for your prayers and support. Your love stretches every single mile from Utah to Connecticut. Have a great week. I love you!!
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
As most of you have probably already noticed, I'm on facebook now! This week has been crazy. On Friday, we had a Zone Conference in Ossining, NY. That's about 40 minutes from Bethel, and it took up most of the day. At the conference, President Morgan announced that the New York New York North Mission has just been authorized to start online proselyting. So every day this week, we've been taking about an hour to log on to our accounts and get them cleaned up and ready for missionary work. By mid-November we will each have an iPad and each companionship will have an iPhone. Pretty crazy! Some things you should know about this. Facebook is a tool that will be used for proselyting only. I'm not on there to chat or to communicate with anyone aside from the purpose of a missionary. I'll be using Facebook to teach lessons and update my page with inspiring church related articles to spark interest in those that can see my page. I do invite you to like and share my posts. That way all of your non-member and less-active friends will be able to see what missionaries are posting. Communication with friends and family will still be through letters and emails on Wednesdays. I won't be able to communicate with any of you through Facebook. This is a very exciting time to be a missionary. President Morgan said that a few months ago he went to a training for mission presidents. Elder Richard G. Scott
was speaking at that training, and compared this time in missionary work to some of the biggest moments in church history. He said that the hastening of missionary work today is ranked up with the first vision, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and the restoration of the Gospel. Words can't express how blessed I feel to be trusted as one of the missionaries pioneering this aspect of the work. One day I will be able to tell my children that I was in the field when all of this was introduced. I can't imagine where missionary work will be by then. With today's technology as an instrument in the hands of missionaries, more people will be reached than ever has been possible before. It's so exciting, and here I am right in the middle of it! I'm really looking forward to seeing where this will go. That's probably been the most exciting thing for the week. The work is still fun and rewarding. We're still meeting with our three main investigators. I find a lot of fulfillment as I get the opportunity to share the Gospel with other people every single day. Thank you all so much for the love and support. It sounds like things at home are pretty good. I count that as a huge blessing. I know that in my absence the Lord has really stepped in and is watching over and protecting each and every one of you. I love you all so much! Have a fantastic week. And don't waste too much time stalking my profile;) Haha. Keep up the good work everyone. Keep on smiling. I love you, I love you, I love you!!
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Still chugging along! I'm really starting to see how much of a challenge being a missionary can be. I miss you all so much, and some days all I want is just to be home. There are times when I doubt whether I can do this or not. In those moments I pray a little harder and read a little more intently, and the Lord always pulls through! It's building my testimony that no matter what we face in this life, there's nothing that He can't get us through, as long as we turn to Him. Every time we put our trust in Him and let Him help us get through a trial, it builds our faith just a little bit more. I encourage you all to do the same. Pray continually, and when life gets hard, when you have stress because some dumb kids are partying at the apartments, when you have to stay up late to finish an assignment, when one of the kids at work is giving you a hard time, when you don't get to go home for another two weeks, pray harder! Talk to your Father in Heaven. He's listening and waiting for you to come to him. He wants to help you, and as soon as you make the decision to let Him, you will find more comfort and strength than you could ever imagine. The power of prayer is incredible! Everything with our investigators is going pretty well. D. and his mom were at church on Sunday, so that was awesome. We finally met with J.S. again and we have a meeting with him tonight. Both D. and J. well on their way to being baptized around the end of November. It's such a blessing to be working with them. Not too much to complain about. This last week has been fun. On Sunday, Elder Kroff and I got to teach the priest quorum, so that was pretty cool. It feels like I was just barely a priest and preparing to serve my mission. Now I'm giving young men advice to help them prepare. The ward here is fantastic. It feels just like a Utah ward. I better enjoy that while it lasts, because I heard that some of the wards in the city are a whole new experience. I would imagine so. I love it here in Connecticut. There's a good chance that I'll be here until at least the end of the year. Which would be great. I'm sure the holidays here are so much fun. We have a ward Halloween activity coming up on Friday. We got to help the youth one night get all the decorations ready and set up for their "Haunted Trail" in the woods behind the chapel. We also get to sing in sacrament meeting next week. Me and the other three elders in the Newtown ward are going to be singing Army of Helaman with the primary kids. I'm way excited for that! Life is good here. Thank you all for everything you do. I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Sister Morgan updated the New York New York North Mission blog today and if you look closely, you can see Elder Allred in one of the photos!
Also a cool new blog from New York missionaries. Check out the awesome project on Union Square from October 21.
Mom received an email from the mission home reminding us to send Christmas packages to the mission home at:
New York New York North Mission
700 White Plains Rd. Suite 315
Scarsdale NY 10583
Elder Allred is also having a birthday on November 29, so use the same address if you'd like to send something then.
If you're regular readers of the blog, you know that last week was kind of discouraging with three appointments cancelled:( Elder Allred is missing his music and has requested the following tunes:
Strength of Youth: 2013
"The Work" by Nashville Tribute Band
"Lead Thou me On" by Vocal Point
"Take it Home" by Jenn Blosil (A sister missionary in the NYNY South mission!)
"Seeking What's Good" by Ejay Mulitalo
If anyone would like to get any of these for Elder Allred, please let Tina know either by facebook message or email at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we don't double send them to him. I'll be sending a package the second week of November for his birthday.
We expect an email from Elder Allred tomorrow, so tune in then!
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Hey everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful week! I know I sure did. This week had it's challenges for sure, but it was still a good one. We have been meeting with basically three main investigators while I've been here. We have D. who we meet with every Thursday, and he and his mom had to cancel this week. I was sad we had to miss an appointment, but I feel very confident that we will pick right back up tomorrow. I feel the Spirit so strongly every time we teach them, and I really believe that he will be ready for baptism by November 30th. Our other two investigators are K. and J.S. . K.just got a new job and things have been kinda crazy, so we haven't been able to meet with her for about two and a half weeks. We finally met with her again the other day and talked about her baptismal date for January. We told her what needs to happen if she wants to be ready by then. She hasn't really been doing the things that we have been asking her. We invite her to pray and read the Book of Mormon all the time, and she hasn't really followed through very much. So, we told her that if she wants to do this that her commitment level is going to have to increase. I have faith that she will realize what needs to happen, so hopefully it works out. Then there is J.S. ! We haven't been able to meet with him for almost a month. He had a baptismal date for this Saturday, but that will have to be pushed way back, because the only things we've been able to teach him was the Restoration (which was an awesome lesson by the way!) So that's been kind of hard. Last night we had an appointment set up and he cancelled last minute. He felt really bad and told us he wasn't trying to avoid us. He just has a lot going on with work. Plus he's in the army, so he has had to go to drill a few times too. We rescheduled for tonight, so I'll let you know how the next lesson goes! Other than that we're just trying to find new people to teach and getting fed by members almost every night. I love my ward so much! We haven't been able to have regular church for a couple weeks because of General Conference and this last Sunday was Stake Conference, which was amazing! They talked a lot about temples and the Manhattan Temple President spoke. It made me so excited to go and do a session there. Hopefully I'll get a chance to do that soon! Other than that there isn't much going on. I'm just loving it so much and I feel blessed every single day. I hope you are all doing well and loving life. I miss you and I love you all so much! Thanks for everything and for all the support. Keep smiling, and don't let a day go by without realizing how blessed we are and how much the Lord loves us. Have a great week, and keep smiling. Love you!!
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Sushi with Elder Kroff
Elder Allred's first zone
This has been a wonderful week! I don't know if I've told you about D. or not. He's one of our investigators. He's an eleven year old boy and his mom is a member. She's been less active for over twenty years though, so she doesn't know very much about the church. We've been teaching D. for a while and he's decided that he wants to be baptized. Last Thursday he set a date for November 30th! How cool is that? I felt the Spirit so strongly and was so excited when we got out of that lesson. I just feel so blessed that the Lord has put these people in our lives to teach. It's amazing to see people coming to the gospel. General Conference was awesome! As a missionary, General Conference is kind of like our Super Bowl or our World Series haha. We spend pretty much all day at the church or at members' houses in between sessions. We just get to relax and soak up everything that our prophets, apostles and other leaders of the church have to tell us. I hope you all got a chance to watch some of it and enjoyed it as much as I did. I really enjoyed Elder Edward Dube's talk on Saturday morning.
He talked about how we have had trials in the past to get over and how we'll have more in the future. He shared a story about when he was a kid working in a field with his mom. He was proud of how much they accomplished and told his mom to look back at what they had done. She told him, "Never look back. Look at what we still have to do." For some reason, that just struck me. Especially being on a mission. Look at what I still have to do. 22 more months seems like a long time. It seems like it's going to be really hard. The truth is, it probably will be. But I know that no matter how hard it is, I can get through it. If we turn to the Lord we can do anything. I also really liked how much emphasis there was on member missionary work. I want you all to think about what the role of our prophets and apostles is. They have the keys to receive revelation from the Lord to know what to tell us as members. So, this call to action is from the Lord. Missionary work is hastening and He needs all of us to push it forward. I know that it can be scary to share the gospel. Elder S. Gifford Nielsen talked about three things that members should do to fulfill their role as missionaries.
The first is to pray about how you should share the gospel and who you should share it with. While you're at it, you can pray for strength to get over your fear of talking about the gospel with others. The second is to pray for the missionaries and their investigators by name. I invite you to have the missionaries in your area over for dinner. Get to know them. Ask them who they are working with. Pray for them and their investigators by name. The third is to invite someone to an activity. The challenge was extended by Elder Ballard to reach out to one person before Christmas.
I invite you all to do that. I'll be praying for you, and I'm excited to hear how it goes. There was so much more that I loved about conference, but I don't have enough time to type it all out! I hope everyone is good. Thank you so much for all the support. It means the world to me to hear from everyone and to know that you are doing well. I love you all so much! Have a fantastic week!
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Elder Allred said that in this photo he and Elder Kroff were at a sweet lake house doing service. How about that aura surrounding these guys? Pretty cool :)
Wow time really flies! Today we had our transfer meeting in Ossining. I can't believe my first cycle is over. There are a few people that got transferred and are in different areas now. It's kinda sad to see some of them go. I have loved my zone so much! I've been surrounded by such great examples. Good news is we got some awesome missionaries to replace them. We also got two sisters in our district this transfer. So now we'll have a total of eight missionaries in our district. There are only going to be more and more sisters in the future. We got five new sisters today and only one new elder. By next year sometime, it is projected that forty percent of our mission will be sisters. Pretty crazy, but exciting. Having elders and sisters working together really keeps everything in balance and makes everything work out much better. The best news about this transfer is that Elder Kroff is staying!! I'm so relieved that he will be finishing out training me in the next six weeks. He's already been in Newtown for seven and a half months, so I was worried that he would get transferred. By the end of this cycle he will have been in his first area for nine months. His brother went home to Montana last night from a mission in Croatia, so that was pretty cool for him. I think if I stay here for nine months I'll go crazy! Haha. I love it here, but that just seems like it's way too long. Elder Kroff doesn't seem to mind it though. Plus any area is awesome if you have the right attitude. When you realize that you are where you are because that's where the Lord needs you, it makes it a lot easier to be excited about anything that you're called to do. I'm so excited that I get to continue working here. The people are so nice here. A lot of people are already Catholic or Jewish or something else, so not a lot of people are very open. Plus the people here are very wealthy, so they aren't as open to religion because life is generally pretty good for them already. But it's okay. All we can do is invite them and teach by the spirit if they are willing to accept. We're still teaching a few investigators, and they're doing great. We have an eleven year old kid that we're teaching right now named Declan that could be getting baptized soon! His mom is less active and hasn't been in a chapel for over twenty years. This last Sunday she and Declan were both there! It's so cool to see miracles like that. The Lord is truly blessing us for our efforts. Sacrament meeting was awesome this week. It was the primary program, which is always fun. The ward here does this thing every once in a while that they call a "Linger Longer". So, after primary, the whole ward cancelled sunday school, priesthood and relief society and everything and just got together in the gym and ate food and mingled. It was so nice! Our investigators that were there (Declan, his mom, and Kim) were able to meet and talk to a lot of the members in the ward. This ward is so great! It feels just like home, and the atmosphere is just like a Utah ward. I love the members so much. They really take good care of us. Well, that's about it this week. I look forward to the next one with general conference coming up! Make sure you all watch it!!!! At least one session. I love you all. Thank you so much for all that you do. Your support means more to me than you know! Have a great week. I love you, I love you, I love you!!
Love, Elder Allred
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
I can't believe I'm already on week six! We do transfers every six weeks, so that means that next Wednesday a lot of people will get switched around. We'll know by Saturday who's leaving the area and who's staying. Pretty crazy! I will probably stay here for the next cycle. Hopefully Elder Kroff stays too. He's been here for five cycles now, so that's about seven months. There's definitely a possibility of him leaving. Most of the time, though, your trainer will stay with you for your second cycle, because it takes 12 weeks to finish training. I don't want to lose him just yet! He's a great trainer. This last week has been so busy. We spent the day last Wednesday cleaning the apartment for conference cleaning checks, which took so long! We started right after we e-mailed, cleaned until 10, and went to sleep. The missionaries that have lived in our apartment in the past definitely didn't take good care of the place. The point of that story is that I had zero time to write letters last p-day. And I won't have any time to write any today either, because we're going to a zone activity in Ossening, which is about an hour away. So, I might be a little slower writing back. I'll do my best though! On Sunday night, we went to dinner at a non-member's house. Some of the Elders helped her move into her new apartment a couple weeks ago, and she was so grateful that she wanted to thank us by feeding us all dinner. Her name is S. and she has two little kids. Her kids have some kind of special ability where they can listen to a song and play it back by ear on the piano. She said it happens with one in every ten thousand people, so they are really good at the piano. Her ten year old girl played for us and it blew me away. Her hands were moving so fast! I've never seen someone in person that's as good as she was, and she's only ten. It was so cool. Also, as we ate dinner, S. asked us why we came on missions. We all basically got to bear our testimonies to her and her family. Afterward she began to ask questions about the Church and the Book of Mormon. She got really excited about bringing her and her kids to church this Sunday. How cool is that? She's not in my area, so Elder Elliott and Elder Fragiacomo (the other guys that we live with) will be teaching her. I felt the spirit so strongly, and it helped reassure me why I'm here. The Lord has prepared people for us to teach that will be receptive of the Gospel. We go through rejection after rejection, but when we keep trying, the Lord trusts us enough to bring people to us in His way and His time. It's so cool to see those miracles all the time as a missionary. Everyone faces rejection. Metaphorically, everyone gets doors slammed in their face all the time. But if we don't let those rejections discourage us, we all get our own S's in our lives. The Lord blesses us for enduring through all the temptations and the struggles. This is true for me, as a missionary, and I know it's true for all of you too. Miracles are all around us. Great or small. We just have to recognize them and thank the Lord for them. Another cool thing that happened this week is that our mission was visited by a General Authority. We all went to Scarsdale yesterday and got to hear from Elder Bruce A Carlson of the second quorum of the Seventy. He's a retired four-star general of the Air Force. What a privilege it was to hear from him. He talked about four things we can do to become more consecrated. Smile, focus, be obedient and open our mouths. I really like that first one. Always smile. It's true with everything in life. Not just missions. If we aren't enjoying what we're doing, then we're doing it wrong. That's why I always like to tell you guys to smile. Enjoy life. Enjoy it every day. The Lord loves us so much and he wants us to be happy. So, let's be happy! Happy with everything that life throws our way. Count your blessings and remember the miracles that you've seen and the blessings that you've received. I love you all so much! Have a fabulous week!
Monday, September 23, 2013
Thank you so much for the package! That was such an awesome surprise. I feel terrible, though. Apparently we can't have iPod Touches. With the internet capability, it's against the rules. I feel so bad, because it looks like you worked so hard on it :( The music selection was awesome. I looked through it once before I put it in the envelope to see if there was any music on there that I can't listen to. Pretty much all you can have is like Mo-Tab, EFY, church music. If it's on Deseret Book and the lyrics are uplifting or gospel related then it's good. The memory card is in here! All of the buildings on there are the different churches around here. I haven't even taken a picture of all of them yet. That's probably about half. There's tons! Much different from Utah, where there's like maybe a Baptist church in your town. lol. Well, I love you so much!! Elder Kroff says he loves you too! Love you!
P.S. I LOVE YOU!!!!
With churches on every corner in the Northeastern U.S. , it's easy why Joseph Smith wasn't sure which one to join!
Mom LOVES this one!
MTC Zone Leaders Elder Allred and Elder Steiner
Elder Kroff and Elder Allred in Bethel, Connecticut.
One more of Elder Ockey:)
Thursday, September 19, 2013
September 8, 2013
(Elder Allred says he only had one hour to prepare this talk, but it went pretty well:)
Good morning brothers and sisters. It's good to be here this morning, and I'm grateful to have this opportunity to speak today. I"m very new to being a missionary. In fact, this is my first area. You all know my companion, Elder Kroff, and so you probably all know why I am loving the mission life. He is a great example to me, and I've already learned so much from the two weeks that I've been able to serve with him. Just to introduce myself a little bit; I grew up in Nephi Utah. I'm the youngest of three, with an older brother and an older sister. After I graduated from Juab High School, I went to Snow College in Utah for a year, where I made the decision to come on a mission and now I'm here.
Well, of course I was asked to speak on missionary work this morning. I still have a lot to learn about being a missionary, but one thing I do know is what kinds of things prepared me to serve a mission. One of those things is the youth programs that the church has to offer. I was raised in an active family, so I had the privilege of growing up participating in those youth programs. So, I want to talk a little bit about how I think that opportunity had prepared me to be a missionary. One way that it has done that is through the leadership of these programs. Bishoprics, Scout leaders, Young Men and Young Women leaders, primary teachers and Sunday School teachers. These are the people that lead the organization of our youth programs. Without them planning activities and sacrificing their time and efforts, youth programs would consist of a bunch of kids running around and not learning anything. I recall one young mens trip that I went on when I was fourteen. One of our leaders had had experience with white water river rafting. So he planned a trip one summer to take our group down to southern Utah and raft the rapids of the Colorado River. Because he had experience he was able to lead us and teach us how to work together to steer the raft and handle the rapids. Today, that is one of my fondest memories I have of growing up. I didn't know it at the time, but Brother Woodland was teaching all of us how to work together and rely on your companions, and in a more exciting way than other activities. From the things I learned on that trip, I became better prepared for the mission field, when I would have to work well with my companion and other missionaries and rely on them to help me become a better servant unto the Lord. This is just one example of a time that I learned something valuable from a church leader growing up. There are several others that I'm grateful for. Another way that church youth groups helped me be prepared to serve a mission is through the examples around me of other kids my age. In Alma Chapter 53, verses 20 through 22, we read
"And they were all young men,and they were exceedingly valiant for courage; and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all-they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted. Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him. And now it came to pass that Helaman did march at the head of his two thousand stripling soldiers, to the support of the people in the borders of the land on the south by the west sea. "
I can relate very well to this story. Most of my friends growing up were active members of the Church. We did everything together. We went to school together, we hung out together, we played high school football together. Most importantly, we went to church together. We went on scout trips and youth conferences together. We helped each other learn and grow through the programs of the church. I was blessed to never be put in situations that would contradict what I learned at church and knew to be right. Instead, I was uplifted by the righteous examples of friends that encouraged me to stay strong in the gospel. Today, many of my best friends are serving missions. From Oregon to Jamaica to Denmark and all over the world. What a blessing it is that I have those good examples in my life, that helped me know what righteous paths to choose and helped me make the decision to serve a mission.
I'm grateful for the programs that this church has to offer. Which programs helped raise me to be prepared when my call came to serve a full time mission. I have a testimony of the youth programs of the church.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Another great week! We have been very busy this week! On Saturday our stake had a day of service and we went to help out with it. The service project was at a homeless shelter in Danbury, the Dorothy Day Center. We cleaned up the shelter a little bit and retiled some of their floor. It feels so good to serve others. It's awesome how much you look forward to doing service projects on your mission. At home, you usually have so much stuff going on that it's hard to find time to do service, especially on weekends when you just want to relax, but on the mission the top priority is to do things for other people. It's awesome! We had some great lessons this week as well. We finally met with J.S. . We gave him a tour of our chapel in Newtown. He is already so ready to do this and find out for himself it it is true. He even accepted an invitation to be baptized! He's going to prepare himself for baptism on October 19th. SO cool! Also we have been meeting with K. I don't know if I told you about her yet, but she's twenty years old and lives in Brookfield, about fifteen minutes north of where we live in Bethel. She has also committed to be baptized on January 4th. The Lord is blessing us so much! With these two baptismal dates, He is putting a lot of trust in us as missionaries. We're excited to do our part to help them. We know that they need to find out for themselves whether or not they want to get baptized. The only way they'll know that is by the power of the Holy Ghost, so we will do everything that we can to invite the spirit in our lessons. As long as we do our part the Lord will take care of the rest. And if Joseph and Kimberly are ready and open to the spirit, then they will come to know that this is the true church. I love being a missionary so much! And I love being here in Connecticut. The leaves are already starting to change colors. I'm so excited to see a New England fall season! I'll make sure to take lots of good pictures of the trees for you. I hope you are all doing well, and I miss you! Stay strong and know that I'm doing well, and that I'm happy! Remember to smile and enjoy every single day! I love you all and have a wonderful week!!
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Well, we have had a great week! On Saturday, we got to go to a baptismal service at the chapel in Newtown. That's where my ward meets, and it's the only baptismal font in the area. There were four baptisms, and they were all converts through the Spanish program. There's a little Spanish branch in Danbury (which is about 10 minutes from where I live), and it's brand new. They just got their building in March. The spirit at that service was amazing! It reminded me of the commitment that I made to our Father in Heaven when I got baptized, and seeing the joy on all four of their faces made me so happy. The whole thing was done in Spanish, so I couldn't understand very much of it. Luckily my zone leader sat next to me and translated for me a little bit. Elder Kroff played a musical number on the piano. He's super good with music. He can play piano, violin, and guitar. He can probably play other instruments too that I just don't know about. Missionary work is awesome! Remember how last week I talked about consecration. I have strengthened my testimony of it so much this week! As we put forth the effort to be consecrated, we saw blessings from the Lord because of it. We tracted in Sandy Hook on Saturday, and we found three different houses that said we could come back. We also found two others on Monday and Tuesday. It's super cool to see the blessings from the Lord when we put our part into it. We'll be teaching J.S. for the first time on Thursday. I'm so excited for that! I can't wait to meet him and help him see what the gospel has to offer him. We went to Costco today for groceries. No better place for shopping, but I was sad to see that there weren't any pretzel rolls. We all pitched in and bought a Costco card, which went under my name since I'll probably be in the area longer than anyone else. When we checked out we had lunch there and I threw away the receipt. Whoops. They had to call a supervisor to work out letting us go without it. As soon as he came over, he took one look at us, and said we were good, and walked away. I don't know if he knew we were missionaries or not, but we could tell he trusted that we were honest. Haha the advantages to wearing white shirts and ties! Sorry this is kind of a short e-mail, but thank you for all the love and support. Remember that through the power of the Atonement, we can overcome anything and become better! God loves each and every one of us. I love you all so much! Hope you have a good week!
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
We got some pictures today! Yay:) Elder Allred and Elder Ockey crossed paths in the MTC
MTC Zone Leaders Elder Steiner and Elder Allred
Elder Allred's first companion in the field is Elder Kroff
And the requisite selfie:)
Hey everybody! So I'm gonna start doing something new with the e-mails. I try so hard to e-mail everyone back, but it just doesn't work out usually. I wish I had more time and could talk to everyone more! But it's so great to hear from everyone, and I love to know how everything is going! Anyway, I'm gonna start doing a weekly e-mail to everyone as a group. That way you can all know what's going on and how I'm doing. I'll still do my best to answer everyone's questions, but I don't know how it will work out. So if there's a super important question that anyone wants to ask and I don't answer it, then keep asking and I'll get to it. Haha. Also, I don't have as much time to write letters as I wish I did. So, if it takes close to two weeks for me to return a letter, then just know that I haven't forgotten about you and that I still love to hear from everyone! I love receiving letters, and I love writing them as well. I'm really on the Lord's time here. I'm so busy all the time! But that's a good thing. He needs me right now, and I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to give so much of my time to Him. The mission life is treating me great. We have a standard set by President Morgan for everyone to strive to be consecrated missionaries. As I have grasped this idea, it has been such a blessing. Basically what it means to be a consecrated missionary is to leave every desire that you have on altar of sacrifice. You have to completely turn your will over for God's will. We have also been given a goal by President Morgan that every companionship in the mission has one baptism. It's important to remember that numbers don't matter. I don't care if I don't see a single person convert in my two years here, as long I know that I am doing everything in my power. However, I do know that if Elder Kroff and I do all that we can to be consecrated then we will see that blessing of having the opportunity to have a baptism in our area. I've already seen the blessings of being a consecrated missionary. We had a zone meeting on Monday about how we can all work toward consecaration, and so on Tuesday I really thought about what I could do to improve. I came to the conclusion that I need to open my mouth more and have confidence. I don't have as much knowledge of the gospel as I wish I did. But what I do have the Holy Spirit can work with. I need to leave that fear behind of not being able to answer someone's question. Elder Kroff and I were able to meet with a guy named Rob on Tuesday, who hasn't met with the missionaries for a few months. We had a great conversation with him and I look forward to helping him know more about the gospel. I know that him letting us come over was a direct blessing from the effort of being more consecrated. On a note other than spirtual, I am having so much fun here! The people are super nice and the missionaries that I work with are so fun to be around. I laugh all the time! I don't have much more time to write, so I won't be able to answer anyone's individual e-mails today:/ Just know that I love you all so much! Thank you so much for the letters and the packages. They are amazing! Hopefully I'll have more time next week, and I will also try to send my memory card to mom soon so you can see more pictures! Love you all! Remember to smile and enjoy life! And just know that I'm doing awesome and you don't have to worry about me. Have a great week! I love you, I love you, I love you!!
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Connecticut is so great! There are so many trees everywhere. It's hard to have a sense of direction here, because you usually can't see farther than the end of the street. I'm used to looking for mountains to know which way to go. Luckily we have a GPS in our car. Oh yeah, I didn't have to buy a bike. We drive a 2013 Chevy Cruze. Which is awesome, other than the fact that I'll probably get fat. haha. Especially because the members feed us all the time. It is beautiful here though. I'll probably be up here for a while, so I'll get to see fall upstate. I bet that's gonna be so pretty. Turns out I can have an iPod. The rules on music is anything you can buy at Deseret Book. Within reason though. So anything church music from Deseret Book. Pictures would be great too! I love ties! How cool is that about Sister Arend? She's awesome. They're a great family. The work is going great. I've only had one lesson with an investigator which is a little weird and different than I thought it would be. We have a few others scheduled though. And some less actives. We also have a potential investigator. You will never guess what his name is. Joseph Smith. I"m not kidding. Hopefully he will meet with us soon! Well, no crazy stories yet. The members are taking good care of us, and we've been able to do a little bit of service. Hopefully we'll have more meetings with investigators soon! Love you!
P.S. Keep sending letters to the mission home! That's the best way.
Monday, August 26, 2013
We received THREE letters from Elder Allred today, dating back to August 13.
The MTC is still awesome! We got the chance to go to the temple this afternoon because it's our p-day. So cool! I had such a spiritual experience there today. We also had our Tuesday night devotional. That was in the Marriott Center and guess who was the speaker? It was Richard G. Scott! He talked about prayer and it touched me so powerfully. It set me on the course to do something that will help me grow so much this week. I look forward to growing closer to Christ and my Father in Heaven every day!
Here's just some random stuff about the MTC: The food is delicious. I better not get used to it, because I don't think I'll be cooking three square meals a day in New York. We work for like 16 hours a day, so I'm always sleepy! Especially after lunch. The showers are terrible. They're either super hot or super cold. Elder Steiner and I are working well together. I love you guys. Stay strong!
It was so nice to be able to talk to everyone today! I can't believe that I'm finally on my way to New York. The MTC was awesome. We had a lot of classroom time, but I learned so much. In our last devotional on Sunday night, I really felt the Spirit. We sang Called to Serve, and about halfway through the song, everyone stood up. That gave me chills. It was so cool to see that many missionaries and made me realize what a big thing I'm part of now. After the devotional, we met as a district back in our classroom. We just wanted to have a little testimony meeting since most of the district left on Monday. My district at the MTC was amazing. I even teared up a little bit. Not quite as much as I did the night before I left. I'm going to miss the people I met at the MTC, but I look forward to those that I'll meet in New York! Being a ZL was such an amazing experience. I was able to connect with people through that calling in ways that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to. Most days at the MTC were so spiritual and amazing. Some days were a little stressful. I'm grateful for that. If this was an easy ride, I wouldn't grow any closer to Christ or help anyone else to. Tell Grandma Becca I said thank you. I love her so much! Keep telling me stories. I love to hear what's going on at home. Stay strong!
This mission field is great! President and Sister Morgan are super loving and welcoming. We stayed at the mission home the first night. Today we went to the Bronx. I didn't see the stadium, but my time will come. My first area is around the Danbury, Connecticut area in the Yorktown zone. My trainer is Elder Kroff from Montana, and he seems like someone I'll get along with really well. We live in Bethel in an apartment with two other Elders. One of them is from Italy, and his English can be a little hard to understand sometimes. I can tell I'm going to love it here. Can't wait to get started!
Dear Sister Carlson,
It was a pleasure for Sister Morgan and I to welcome your son upon his arrival in the New York New York North Mission. We were touched by his enthusiasm and sweet spirit. It is our desire to do all that is within our power to help him become the finest missionary possible during opportunity for service in New York.
Elder Allred has now left the Mission Home and has been assigned to serve in the Newtown A1 with his companion, Elder Kroff. Since missionary transfers occur every six weeks in the mission, your missionary's address may change prior to you being notified. We ask that you send all correspondence to the mission office at 700 White Plains Road, Suite 315, Scarsdale, NY 10583. We will then forward or deliver any mail to him. The first few months in the field are critical to the success of a missionary. For that reason, we encourage you to make your weekly letter one that will lift and strengthen your missionary during this time. Positive, encouraging communication will be a great source of motivation throughout his mission.
We are grateful to have your son with us. I enclose a picture we took with him at the mission home together. He is happy and very excited to be here. We look forward to getting to know him and serving with him. If you ever have need for urgent communication with him other than your weekly exchange of letters, please call me.
With love and sincere appreciation,
Thomas B. Morgan
**NOTE FROM MOM** It is amazing to me that Tyler's first area is the Newtown, Connecticut area. Ty's nephew Riken was born on December 14, 2012, the very day of the tragedy in Newtown. We picture Riken's spirit crossing paths with the spirits of the little ones from Newtown, so Ty being there is just one more manifestation to me that he is where he needs to be.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Elder Allred spent time with the Arend family today, and Sister Arend was thoughtful enough to send photos to Mom. YAY!!!!!
Mom is glad to know that Elder Allred is being fed, even on his first full day in the mission field.
And that he hasn't lost any of his personality!!!
THIS is a good day:)
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Made it to New York! We stayed in Scarsdale last night at the mission home, which is way cool by the way! President and Sister Morgan were super welcoming and they're really nice. We went in to the Bronx this morning for a meeting, but that's all I've seen of the city. My first area is around the Danbury, Connecticut area. We live in a town called Bethel, and I can tell I'm gonna love it here. I wrote you a letter on the plane and I'll mail it as soon as I can! Just wanted to let you know that I'm doing well. Love you!
Elder Allred woke up at 2:30 AM on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 in preparation for leaving the MTC and flying out to New York. He was able to call Mom from the airport in Salt Lake City, Ashli and Dad from his layover at the airport in Detroit. Zack made the rounds between Ephraim and Nephi and got to talk to Elder Allred TWICE on Tuesday:)
Ashli and Mom tracked his progress on "www.flightstats.com" a great website that Mom found through other missionary moms.
Elder Allred LOVED his time in the MTC and said "I feel bad, but I hardly ever think about you guys during the day. Sorry!" Mom was SO glad to hear that. The biggest worry in the beginning is that he'll be homesick and sad, and it was such a comfort to hear that he hasn't been feeling that way at all.
He and his companion, Elder Steiner, were MTC zone leaders for three districts, a total of 28 missionaries. Elder Allred liked to address his zone in a Scottish accent, and his companion reports that Elder Allred even started using the accent for his nightly prayers. This surprised us, as he has always been kind of quiet and shy in front of groups of people.
He was able to attend the Provo temple on Tuesday, August 13, and hopes that he gets to do some sessions in the Manhattan temple, located on the top three floors of a skyscraper in the heart of the city.
He said the food in the MTC was great. He loved getting letters and packages from everyone, but especially liked the package containing the chips and dip, as that one reminded him of home the most. (OK, so he DID think about home ONCE in a while!) He ate a few of the brownies he got on Monday, but left the rest of them for his zone to finish up after he flew out.
Elder Allred apologized for not having much time to write letters in the MTC, but loved reading what everyone had to say in the letters and "dearelders" he got while he was there. He loved hearing from Ashli that one day while Riken was watching "Wreck in Ralph", the movie paused. Riken then crawled over and pushed "Play" on the X-box. He likes hearing what is going on at home, and asked if the Yankees got rid of A-Rod yet. Sadly, we had to report that we are still carrying the gazillion dollar weight on our shoulders, but that he did homer against the Red Sox on Sunday.
You can write to him at:
Elder Tyler Layne Allred
New York New York North Mission
700 White Plains Rd. Ste 315
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Monday, August 19, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
I love the MTC! I have been getting all your letters and I got the package this morning. Thank you so much! It's so nice to hear that things are going good back at home. I know it can be tough at times but I promise it will be worth it. The power of prayer is so amazing. No matter what we face in life, we can just know that our Father in Heaven is there and that he loves us. I sent you a letter on Thursday so hopefully that got to you. If not, I'll tell you again that my companion is named Elder Steiner. He's really cool and we work so well together! He's from Ogden, Utah! We actually got called to be the zone leaders and started on Sunday. That has already been a great experience in serving others. This experience has helped me grow so much already. I love being a missionary! I'm gonna send you another letter today, so whenever that gets to you you'll be able to know more about what's been going on here. I'm sorry I don't have much time to write. Just know that I am doing really well. Stay strong! Love you.
Monday, August 12, 2013
The first day at the MTC has been so awesome! Everyone is super positive. When we first got here we went straight to a classroom. We had two teachers and they were both way young. They were so helpful though. They had me tell a little bit about myself and how I think God has prepared me to be here. It was so cool to be able to share that.
Today (THURSDAY) was pretty hectic. I felt like I was just walking around, trying to learn, and having a hard time remembering much. We did a really cool thing today. We went into a room with like 50 missionaries, and there was a guy in there that was an investigator. We all just taught him like we would in the mission field. It was a really cool and spiritual experience.
My first companion is Elder Steiner. He's actually a pretty cool dude. He's from Ogden.
My district and my zone is so cool! There is one zone leader that went to Snow. His name is Elder Harris. There are so many people at the MTC. In my first orientation meeting, there were probably over 200 new missionaries, and that's only about half of what came in today. It's so cool to look at everyone and know that we're here for the same purpose.
So, overall, it was such a good first day. I love it here already. I'm sure it will have its challenges, but I can already tell it's going to be an amazing and spiritual experience. I'm so glad I'm here. I love the gospel.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Elder Allred entered the Provo MTC on August 7, 2013. He was greeted by Elder Crowther as he began his journey serving the Lord and the people of New York New York. Saying goodbye to 8 month old nephew Riken was difficult, but Tyler valiantly stepped into the work and will do great things in the mission field.
Elder Allred with his sister Ashli Brown, mom Tina Carlson, brother Zack Allred and dad Kurt Allred.
Mom is a bit concerned about the look of consternation on Elder Allred's face, but Elder Crowther walked over to the truck before we pulled away and assured Mom that Elder Allred is where he needs to be, he is in good hands, and they will take good care of her boy.