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!!!
** 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!