Mission Scripture

Mission Scripture

Sunday, January 26, 2014


So, as you all know, last week was our temple trip with Kim! 
I know I said that in last week's email but I just had to mention it again, because it was just a great experience! Not too many missionaries get the opportunity to baptize someone and then see them go to the temple for the first time two weeks later. Huge blessing! I feel so honored that the Lord has trusted me to be one of the missionaries working in Newtown and experiencing some people become new members of the Church. The session was so cool. Kim got to do some names for a little Spanish guy named William Zambrano that was there by himself. I think I told you that last week. What I didn't tell you is that right after the baptism session, Elder Savage and I did an endowment session. We just so happened to go in right at the same time as Hermano Zambrano did, and he asked us to so some names for him in there as well. Just a really cool experience! The Lord has his hand in how everything worked out last week. There are no coincidences. 

We also had the opportunity to have interviews with President Morgan this week. This doesn't happen too often. We only really get to see him maybe once or twice a cycle (six week periods). It was just so great to be able to have some one on one time time talking to him. He expressed that he is grateful for how I have handled being a trainer. He told me that he knows it has been tough for me but he thinks I have done a great job with the situation. He also told me that he trusts me. That meant a lot. It's good to know that President Morgan sees my efforts. I never want to let anyone down. Anyway, he's just such a great man. I look up to him so much, and I am beyond grateful to have him as my mission president. He and his wife Debbie started their service in July of last year. Mission presidents are committed to serve for three years, so we will go home at about the same time. 

Elder Savage got some pretty big news this week. The office called him and told him that he got his visa! They weren't expecting that to happen for about four months to a year of him being in the NY NY N mission. He's only been here for about two months, so that was kind of out of left field. He leaves for India on February 3rd. So we have about two more weeks together before he flies out. As you know, our journey together has been a little rough. It's been a challenge. I'm grateful that the Lord has trusted me to be his trainer though. I have learned so much about myself and who God wants me to be through this. I have learned that I am capable of handling tough situations. I have learned that as much as I wish I could stay in the background, I am often called to be a leader. The Lord puts me in these positions, because it is what will take me out of my comfort zone and make me stretch. It gives me challenges but never more than I can handle. If we were never challenged, we wouldn't have the opportunity to grow. we wouldn't reach our full potential. The experience that I have had in the last couple months has allowed me to take another step toward becoming the person the Lord wants me to be. Elder Savage seems really excited to be going to India. I really hope that he has a good experience there. I hope he looks back on his time here and says that he enjoyed serving with Elder Allred. I have tried so hard to have a positive influence on him. I sure hope that I have! If nothing else, I can say that I've tried my hardest and that I myself have grown because of this. 

We haven't been able to do too much teaching lately. We're just trying to find new people to teach now. We went from having Declan and Kim getting ready for baptism, to now having no one that is even close. It's a little tough. We did meet the other day with a guy named Erik, one of Kim's friends who has been to church with her a few times. He seems interested and we're really hoping to meet with him again sometime this week. Other than that we don't really have any other prospects. It's kind of a tough area for finding people that are interested. Pretty much everyone is already Catholic or another Christian denomination. Plus a lot of people are super wealthy and think they don't need God in their lives.  I still love it here though! I'm hoping to stay in Newtown for atleast another cycle. We'll find out in a couple weeks what will happen for the February transfer. 

Anyway, right now I'm about to play some volleyball with the other missionaries in my district. I'll probably get back on in a couple hours and reply to some of your individual emails. Love you all!!! Have a fantastic week. Remember that God loves you, and don't let a day go by that you don't love your life and smile!! Thanks for everything you do and for all of the support. Love you!!!
~Elder Allred

** NOTE FROM MOM:** Kim shared this photo with us of Elder Allred on his way to the temple. We LOVE that he still falls asleep in the car like he's always done :) 
He DID get back on to answer some emails after the volleyball game, and we got to email back and forth almost like a real-time conversation. Not quite as great as Skype, but pretty awesome nonetheless:) Have a great week everyone! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Manhattan Temple (oh, yeah, and Yankee Stadium!)

Hey everyone! What a crazy day! As you all know, Kim got baptized a couple weeks ago. So this last week we've been trying to set up a day for her to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead. We finally got her in for an interview with Bishop Keller on Sunday night and she got her recommend. The other cool thing about that is that missionaries can go with recent converts for the first time they go. So we got permission to go and went with today! So many cool things happened today. First, we took the wrong route to the temple, but it just so happened that the way we went took us right past Yankee Stadium. The baptisms session was so cool! Kim got to do some names for a little Spanish guy that was alone and couldn't do the girls' names. Just such a wonderful experience. I don't have much time to email today, but I just feel so blessed to have had that opportunity today. Hopefully I'll have more time next week. But I love you guys so much! I hope you have a great week! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Blizzards and Baptisms

This week has been crazy crazy, but so awesome! On Friday, we got a pretty good sized snow storm. It was pretty much a blizzard that day that started Thursday night. Whenever it snows more than like 3 or 4 inches, they shut us down, so we didn't get to drive all day on Friday. We got up early and helped our landlord shovel the complex so that everyone could get out of the parking lot. Our landlord is this Christian minister named Henry. He's probably about 80 and has been a minister for most of his life. Needless to say he really likes us, because we're all "men of God". We relate pretty well to him, because we can talk about God together and have a lot of the same beliefs. He's such a nice guy! He also has a lot of good advice for us, so it's always fun to spend a little time with Henry. He even invited us to breakfast on Saturday as a way to say thanks for helping him shovel all winter. Just a really good guy! Anyway, after we shoveled we were pretty much stuck at the apartment for a few hours. In the afternoon, a member came and picked us up and took us over to his place. He's this super funny guy named Johnny Choi from China. He got baptized in March of this year. He owns a company that produces baby bedding products over there and has a warehouse in Bethel (which is the town that we live in). So, he's super rich, but also very careful with his money. He and his wife live in the warehouse in a little bedroom with one small bathroom and a kitchen. Anyway, we went over there for a while and helped him package some of his products. They're super nice people, and I always love spending time at Johnny's warehouse. Highlight of the week was definitely Saturday! As you all know Kimberly got baptized. It was such an awesome day. She was so excited about it and even called President Morgan to get permission for Elder Kroff to come. He played "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul" on the violin for part of the program. In case you didn't know, that's pretty much my favorite song ever since hearing it in the MTC. It was so good to see him. The time that I had him as my companion was just so great, and I have so many wonderful memories from my first three months as a missionary. It was also just such a blessing that Kim asked me to be the one to baptize her. As I stood in that water and raised my arm to the square, I was so incredibly filled with the Spirit. And as I felt the Priesthood power burn through me, I knew that what I am doing out here is the right thing. My testimony grew so much on Saturday, and I'm so grateful that Kim got baptized. Now the next step is for her to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead. If it all works out right, Elder Savage and I get to go with! Hopefully that will be happening in the coming weeks. I just feel so incredibly blessed to be here in Newtown right now. With Kim's baptism. that makes three consecutive Saturdays that the Newtown ward has had a convert baptism. So cool. I can definitely feel the hastening of the Lord's work here! Anyway, Kim got confirmed on Sunday in fast and testimony meeting. She was super nervous but she got up and bore her testimony. It was so good to hear her testify of the feelings that she has because of the way the Gospel has had an impact on her life. There is no doubt that the Lord's hand is in every bit of the miracles I am witnessing here. You guys, I know that the message I am trying to bring to people is true. If I didn't have a testimony that this gospel is fully true, I would be home right now. I'm not going to lie. It has been pretty tough lately. It would be so easy for me to call President Morgan and say "I can't do this anymore. Get me a flight  to Utah". If I had to do this alone, that's exactly what would happen. But the wonderful thing is that I don't. I have been able to rely on the Lord so much in the past couple months. I feel closer to Him than ever, and that support is making all the difference. That may sound cheesy and that I'm supposed to say it because I'm a missionary. But it really is the way I feel. God is real. He knows me personally and knows how to give me the strength I need to keep pushing forward. He also knows and loves each and every one of you individually. Don't you ever forget that. I love you all. I'm so grateful to have you as my family and friends to support me. Thanks for everything. Have a fantastic week. I love you!!
Elder Allred

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! Mine was awesome. It was so amazing to be able to see all of you on Skype. I can't wait until we get to do it again. Thank you all so much for the packages and letters that you have sent in the last couple of months. That first Christmas away from home was definitely a little tough, but it was so good at the same time. The Newtown ward really knows how to make missionaries feel loved and cared for. I think the coolest thing about this Christmas season is that I was able to focus so much more on the birth of our savior. Not being consumed with big trees and lights and gifts allows you to feel so much closer to the true meaning of the season. We spent a lot of our time singing Christmas carols in the streets and trying to find people that way. We didn't find any new investigators through that, but we definitely shared the spirit with a lot of people. We also went to a few nursing homes to sing to the people who were stuck there for the holidays. To see the smiles on their faces brought me so much joy and filled me with the most wonderful spirit. It always feels good to know that you are making a difference in someone's life, even if it's just a small one. I'm so excited for what the new year has in store. It's weird to think that the entire year of 2014 will be spent as a missionary! I can't even imagine what  I will experience and how I will change in the next 12 months.  Super exciting! The work here in Newtown is amazing right now. You all saw the picture of us with Declan at his baptism. What an awesome experience that was! Now this coming weekend is Kim's baptism. That will be three convert baptisms in a row into the Newtown ward. The members have said that they can't even remember the last time there have been three baptisms in the same year here, and there has definitely never been three right in a row. I can feel the hastening of the work here for sure. What a blessing it truly is to have a front and center view to such an incredibly exciting time in missionary work. You guys, there is no doubt in my mind that this is where I'm supposed to be. This is easily the most challenging thing I've ever done in my life. But my testimony of the gospel grows deeper and stronger every single day. It's just a little bit at a time, and it's hard to see the change, but I know I'm changing. The rest of my life will be so much brighter and better because of this. I miss you all like crazy, but I wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world. I love you all so much! I hope you are all doing well and are excited for what lies ahead in the coming year. Keep being strong, and remember to smile. I love you, I love you, I love you!!
~Elder Allred