The roommates in Harlem
A mural that reminded Elder Allred of his mommy:)
Hello friends and family!
Well, today was transfers. I can't believe it's already been six weeks since the last transfer meeting. Elder Raine and I will be companions in Harlem for another cycle. I was so relieved when I got the news that I would be staying. There was a small chance that I would leave, but I was pretty sure that since Elder Raine is only halfway done with his training I would stay and finish. I just don't think that I've completed the Lord's purpose for me in Harlem quite yet... so it will be good. My district isn't changing too much. I get to keep four out of the same five missionaries. We're only losing Elder Poulsen, because he is returning home to Utah. We will also be gaining two new district members. The sisters here have been covering both the Harlem family ward and the Harlem YSA. This transfer is bringing a lot of sisters into the mission, so President Morgan opened up the YSA ward area, and two new sisters will be working there. It will be great to have more missionaries to get to know and to serve with. I just love this calling so much. I've gotten so close with this district in the past six weeks, and I'm excited for more memories to be made in the coming weeks. Our investigator, Kristina, is doing really well! Yesterday we taught her about the law of tithing and fasting, and she said that it made total sense. She's ready to start paying her tithing after she gets baptized. That was the last lesson we needed to teach her before her baptism. So, now we're just working on scheduling an interview with her for this weekend, and as long as the interview goes well she will be baptized on September 13th! I'm so grateful that I have had the opportunity to teach her and Rafael since I've been here. They have both learned and progressed so much in the past few months. You might get sick of hearing me talk about the doctrine of Christ, but this doctrine has really changed them both as they've been able to apply the Atonement in their lives through it. This brings me to the last thing I want to talk about in my email this week. The 120 day challenge! It's so exciting to me that so many of you have joined me in this challenge. Already I've learned so much from my study of the Book of Mormon. I've begun to highlight anything that pertains to the doctrine of Christ that I find as I read, and there is seriously something on every single page. As I read the stories in the beginning that I've heard a million times before, I am gaining new insights that have never come to my mind. One that I would like to point out has to do with Laman and Lemuel. Of course, everyone knows these two as the wicked brothers of Nephi. Always complaining and murmuring. Constantly turning away from the righteous decisions of their younger brother. The thing that has impressed me is that on a number of occasions they soften their hearts and follow their brother for a moment. Several times it says that they "humble themselves before the Lord" sometimes more than once in a chapter. In the first 18 chapters that I've read so far, it even says a couple of times that they repented. Every single time they humble themselves or repent they are forgiven, and they receive immediate blessings. What I really like about this is that it shows you how the doctrine of Christ works for everyone. Even for Laman and Lemuel, so after countless "humbling themselves" and repenting, even after seeing an angel with their own eyes, turn around and harden their hearts and go back to their wicked ways. It doesn't matter how many times they mess up or how bad they mess up. They are always welcome to turn back to the Lord and ask for forgiveness, and He gives it to them every single time. The same is true for you and me. We all make mistakes in this life that leave us feeling a little guilty and shameful of ourselves. We even sometimes make mistakes that are pretty big ones. Ones that we've made in the past. Ones that we promised ourselves we would never make again. And when we slip up, it feels like there's no hope for us. It feels like we will never be quite good enough. That's what is so wonderful about the doctrine of Christ and repentance. Just like it was in the case of Laman and Lemuel, we can always turn back to the Lord and receive forgiveness for our shortcomings. None of us are unqualified for the infinite love of our Father. No matter what we do. I've learned this truth from experience in my own life. I've changed a lot over the past twelve months. I still make mistakes every day, but I know that I can always talk to God before I lay down and go to sleep and ask for forgiveness. It's such a beautiful thing to me that we have a Father in Heaven who offers us this kind of love. This truth is only being solidified for me as I take in everything that the Book of Mormon has to offer about the doctrine of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I want you all to know that there is nothing you could ever do that would disqualify you from repenting and feeling the power of the Atonement of Christ uplift you, strengthen you, and change you. I hope you can all feel how powerful this has been in my life and how strongly I feel about it. I love you all more than you could even imagine!