Mission Scripture

Mission Scripture

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Last One Posted by Mom

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

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Two Weeks!

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

Friday, July 17, 2015

To the Statue Today

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

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

29 more days!!


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

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

~Elder Allred

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Five weeks to go!

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

~Elder Allred 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Six More Weeks in the City

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

God is Real

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

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dan and Little Dan in Danbury

Awesome week! I love this work so much. I love this area. I was pretty bummed out when I left Manhattan. Only being there for six weeks was pretty sad for me. It's cool being here now though and seeing that the Lord definitely has purposes for me up here in Danbury. I've emailed a few times about our investigator, Brother Dan. He's so awesome. We went over to teach him on Sunday night. Each time we go over, his thirteen year old son (also named Dan) goes into the bedroom and doesn't join the lesson. This time we made an effort to invite him to stay and join us. So glad that we did! About ten minutes into the lesson the house phone rang. Little Dan answered the phone and stepped into the other room. When he came back I was overcome with a feeling that we were supposed to change the direction we were going with the lesson. I stopped talking about what we were talking \about before and just started to testify about the Savior's love. I told them that I didn't know everything that they are going through but that Christ does. I also promised that if they would accept and apply the gospel of Jesus Christ that they would be happy and they would be able to overcome all of the adversity that they are faced with. Then Elder Richan started talking about baptism. It was perfect. Just the right time and situation. We told Little Dan that his dad was preparing to be baptized on the 11th of July and invited him to prepare himself for that date as well. He was very hesitant at first. He told us that he had been baptized in another Christian church before and that he didn't know why he would need to be baptized again. We explained briefly about Joseph Smith's experience and the restoration of the priesthood power. That made sense to him, and he must have felt good about it, because after that he accepted the baptismal date! It was amazing. The Spirit that was felt in that house was undeniable. It was really cool as Elder Richan and I were talking in the car afterward. We just realized how much we were led by the Spirit in that lesson. We are not the teachers. The Spirit is, and I could definitely feel the Spirit teaching Brother Dan and Little Dan and myself. I love these guys so much. This is why I came on a mission. To bring the gospel to Dan and his son and a number of other people. On that note, I saw Elder Coburn and Elder Steiner at the temple on Saturday. They told me that Murphy was getting baptized that night! Murphy is an investigator that Elder Coburn and I were teaching while I was down in Manhattan. I was so happy to hear that she was finally getting baptized. Wish I could have been there. We had a super busy weekend, and I'm exhausted. The reason we were at the temple was because we were asked to help with an activity for the youth in our stake. We had to wake up at 4 in the morning to make it to the 8 am start. It was a lot of fun. It was called "Alma Academy" and it was to help the youth prepare to go on missions. Elder Richan and I were in a trio companionship with one of the priests in our ward. We got some talks from President Morgan, the AP's and one of the counselors in the stake presidency. Then we had a companionship study and went outside on the streets of Manhattan to contact people. It was so cool to see these youth and their enthusiasm! I wish I would have been that excited about missionary work when I was their age. After the activity we went up to Ossining for the adult session of stake conference, which was awesome. President and Sister Morgan were there and both spoke. The stake president, President Checketts (awesome guy! I've served in his stake for seven months of my mission now) talked about how much he will miss the Morgans when they leave in two weeks. We were also lucky to have Elder Gordon Smith of the seventy at the meeting. During his talk he talked about the Morgans as well. He said there are a lot of great mission presidents, but there are none as great as the Morgans. I was really impressed by that. Elder Smith has got to know so many mission presidents, and he genuinely thinks ours is the best one! I love President Morgan and Sister Morgan so much. I don't think they will ever fully realize how much of an impact they have had on my life. I sat in the congregation as he was talking and I got pretty emotional looking up at the Morgans on the stand. It's sad to see their time in the mission coming to an end. We got home at about 10:30 on Saturday and had to wake up and drive to Ossining again for the Sunday session. Then we had to drive to Ossining again on Monday for car inspections from the vehicle coordinator in the mission office. It was just a lot of traveling and lack of sleep! Good weekend though. I can't believe we're already down to two weeks in this cycle. It's pretty sad actually. Knowing that my time in Danbury is coming to a close seemingly faster than it started. I was thinking about it a lot yesterday. My whole mission it has taken about two cycles before I"m really comfortable with a new area and a ward, and at that point I feel like I can really start being effective. By the time I'm at the two cycle point in Danbury I'll be on a plane to Utah.It's all good though. I"m just doing everything I can to do the Lord's will with the short time that I do have to serve here. Anyway, everything is awesome. I'm happy and healthy as ever. Have a great week everyone. Love you!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2015


I sure am going to miss this! The mission is more and more amazing all the time. Last week I talked about an investigator that we have named Dan. Dan is awesome. We had another lesson with him on Friday, and we brought a member with us. We hadn't finished teaching him the Plan of Salvation yet, so we went into the lesson with the intent of finishing that. We only got through one or two principles before the lesson just took a turn of direction. We started talking about baptism. Elder Rican and his previous companion invited him to be baptized the first time they visited about a month ago. He told them he would do it but didn't commit to a date. So we were going to hold off a little longer before we committed him again. Something in that lesson just told us that we needed to go for it again. That something was an undeniable impression from the Holy Ghost. It was amazing. We invited at just the right time, and he accepted a date for July 11th! Just awesome. What has been really cool for me to learn on my mission is that I am not the teacher. The Spirit is. The plan that Elder Rican and I had going into that lesson was a good plan. It wasn't the right plan. Because we are worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost and did our part. Because we prepared and listened to the promptings, we were shown the right way. Now Dan is preparing to enter the straight and narrow path to eternal life. We had another lesson with him yesterday, and his friend Greg was at his house. So we finished teaching him the Plan of Salvation, and Greg sat in on the lesson. He liked it so much that he said he wants to be there when we go over again on Saturday! I've had a few people tell me that some of the greatest mission miracles come right at the end. It's in the last few months that you see some of the most amazing things. I'm seeing that already, and it's just amazing. It's also sad to realize that I only have a few short weeks left to be fully engaged in this great work. It will be sad to take off the name tag, and be released as a full time missionary. A couple days ago I sat in a meeting which was closed by the testimonies of a few missionaries who are going home this transfer. They have three weeks left. One of those missionaries talked about how he had been emailing a returned missionary. The RM that he was emailing just happened to be Elder Romo, one of my previous companions. Elder Romo told this Elder something that he shared during his testimony, and it really hit me. He told him to bear testimony of Jesus Christ as often as he could. He told him that one of the most difficult things about being off of your mission is that you don't have nearly as many opportunities to bear your testimony. So take advantage of it now! I loved that. It was  a real eye opener to me, and it gave me a lot of motivation to continue to work hard to the end. After the next two months are up, I will never again be a full time missionary. Okay, I probably will when I serve a senior couple mission with my wife one day, but it won't be the same. This is just such a special time in my life. I cherish every moment of every day. I wake up filled with gratitude. I'm so happy every morning when I get the chance to put my name tag on my chest. "Elder Allred: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". What a privilege. To literally wear the Savior's name on my chest every single day. It's a great feeling. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's exciting. It's scary. It's joyous. It's incredibly sad. A whole mix of emotion I never though I could feel at the same time. Nine weeks will go too fast, but I know that that time will be filled with amazing opportunities to draw closer to God and to help others do the same. Like I said in the beginning of this email. I'm going to miss this... a lot!!! I also miss all of you... A LOT!!! It will be sad to leave this behind, but it will be amazing to be back home again. One more thing before I finish this email.I was super sad to hear the news that Elder L Tom Perry passed away. I met him when I was in high school. He came to a stake conference in Nephi. I remember shaking his hand and being overcome with a spiritual confirmation of his diving calling. He was a good man. There is no doubt in my mind that he was called by revelation to serve as an apostle of the Lord. His amazing influence will be missed. I also have full confidence that whoever replaces him in the quorum of the twelve apostles will play an equally important role as a servant of the Lord. I love you all more than words can express. Thank you for being who you are and for the amazing role each of you have played in my life. Love you!!! 
~Elder Allred 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

4th Yankees Game

A few months ago, Elder Wagner's family offered to get him four Yankees tickets for a game in May. At the time I was his companion, so he offered to give me two of the tickets. Of course I jumped on the opportunity! We got permission from President Morgan  and got it set up, so today I'm headed down to the Bronx to go to my fourth Yankees game on the mission! I think I might just stay here forever. It seems like all I have to do is be a diligent missionary, and I'll continue to go to Yankees games! Before I came out on the mission, I had high hopes that I would have the opportunity to go to one game while I was here. By the time I come home I will have been to five! Pretty awesome. Anyway, this week was great! We have a new investigator named Brother Dan. He's super cool. The Portugese speaking elders tracted into his door a few weeks ago and handed him off to us. We had our second lesson with him on Friday, and we brought our ward mission leader along. Brother Dan also has a thirteen year old son (also named Dan), so our ward mission leader brought his eleven year old to fellowship a little bit! It was awesome. We visited with him again last night and talked a little bit about the Plan of Salvation. Little Dan's mom passed away a couple weeks ago. It's a tough time for them. I think that the message of the Plan of Salvation is very comforting right now. It's especially important for Little Dan to know that he will see his mom again. I love being a missionary. It's so amazing to see the happiness and relief that comes to people amongst life's challenges. Another highlight for me this week was that we had interviews with President Morgan on Sunday night. President and Sister Morgan go home in four weeks. So sadly, this was my last interview with him. I got pretty emotional. President Morgan has been an amazing support to me while I've been on my mission. He's been right by my side through several different challenges that I've been faced with. He and Sister Morgan both have done a lot to fill the hole that was left in my heart when I had to leave all of you behind. They are true friends, and I will always love them. In our interview I asked President Morgan a question. The same question I've been asking a lot of people recently. Over the last twenty one months I feel like I have come so much closer to God than I ever have before. I feel very close to the Spirit, and I feel like I can recognize its presence very easily in my every day life. So I asked President Morgan what I need to do when I get home to stay close. The things he told me helped me a lot and gave me confidence that I will be okay. Among several things that he said, I'll just highlight a one-liner that has been on my mind. "You can go home, but you can't go back". Powerful statement. I'm coming home to Utah in about two months. But I can't go back. I can't go back to the same bad habits that I had before. Not that I'll be a totally different person, I'll just be living on a higher plane than I was before. I'm confident and excited. Can't wait to see you all soon! Love you!!!! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Feels Like Home

It's so great to be back in Connecticut! It was awesome to drive back up last week. Everything was so great! I was in Newtown from the end of August to the beginning of February, so I mostly saw the area when the leaves were coming off the trees and snow covered everything. This area was beautiful then, but I think it's even more beautiful now, especially compared to the concrete and graffiti that I was surrounded by  before. It was pretty surreal to drive back into the small town of Bethel, CT. I'm living in the same apartment that I did before. In fact I'm sleeping in the very same bed, studying at the very same desk (there's still a picture that I  carved into the desk one day when I was bored), and using the very same closet. Being in this apartment and just going to different places (the library, the store, the chapel, etc) is flooding memories back into my mind. It's kind of an interesting thing, because it's very reminiscent and also very new all at the same time. I'm reflecting on a lot of experiences that I had back then and the kind of missionary that I was when I was new. I'm also adjusting to a new companion, a new ward, and new people to teach. Hard to describe. But I love it! The people here are great. We have this awesome focus on service right now, which I love! Just in the week that I've been here we've done some sort of service on five difference occasions. This service has ranged from being for investigators, less active members, and active members. We've done some yard work and some house chores. My favorite so far was on Saturday afternoon when we went and chopped wood with a member for a few hours. What has been really cool is that all of our service has provided great opportunities to share the gospel. We've seen miracles in some investigators who didn't have contact with the missionaries for several months, but as we offered service, we've been able to start working with them again. We have also received a few referrals from the members as a result of our efforts in service. It's been super cool! Great things can happen when you sit down and talk, but sometimes what people need more is just some physical help. It's what the Savior did when He was here. He wasn't always sitting down and teaching. He was out helping people and tending to their physical needs. As Elder Richan and I are the Lord's representatives in Danbury, it's great to feel like I'm doing what He would do. I love the mission more than ever. I've seen miracles. I've grown a lot. I'm closer to my Father in Heaven than I've ever been in my life, and I'm grateful that I have eleven more weeks to be fully engaged in this great work! I love you all. Hope you're doing well, and I'll be home faster than you can blink! 
~Elder Allred 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dashing off to Danbury

Sister Smoot saw Elder Allred at the mission meeting this past Saturday. She gave him the promised "high five" from his Mama. 

Hey family! 
This email will probably be pretty short. Most of you know from Skype that I'm getting transferred again today. Going back to Connecticut! I'll most likely finish out my mission serving in the Danbury ward. Unexpected! I'm excited though. It will be cool to be back where it all started! It's sad to leave Manhattan. Only being there for six weeks was kind of tough. I was just starting to have a good handle on things and coming to love the ward so much. We don't always understand the Lord's plans. His ways are much higher than our ways! One other thing  I wanted to mention this week. Saturday was so awesome!  The whole mission had a special meeting with Elder Quentin L Cook! As he closed the meeting with his apostolic testimony, I was touched by the Spirit in a way like never before. There is absolutely no way  that I can deny the truthfulness of what he said. That man is an apostle of the Lord. I haven't been more sure about anything in my entire life. What an awesome experience to be in his presence. I feel incredibly blessed to have had a kind of experience like that which not too many people get to have. Anyway, today is kind of crazy with transfers and everything. I'll send a better email next week. It was great to see you all on Skype. Next time we hear each other's voices it will be in person. Love you all! 
~Elder Allrec

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

3 More Months!

Yay! Lots of pictures for Sister Smith this week:) 

We got some pretty exciting news this week! We went up to mission leadership council in Scarsdale on Friday, and President Morgan gave us some really awesome training to give to our zone. One of the biggest things that I got out of the meeting was when President Morgan was talking about missionaries that are approaching the end of their missions. The whole thing started when he got talking about how he will be going home in a couple of months. He got super emotional. Serving in a place for two years gets you pretty attached, but I'm sure that serving for three makes it even harder to leave. He said something specifically to older missionaries.  Exact quote "Be exactly who the Lord wants you to be all the way to the end". I come home in three months. I definitely fall into the category of missionaries that President Morgan was talking to. I'm not sure what my calling will be next cycle. I don't know where I'll be serving a week from now. I could stay here or I could get transferred to another area. No matter where I am, what calling I have, who my companion is, or who I'm teaching, I need to be the person that the Lord needs me to be. All the way to the end. I fully intend on finishing strong and being exhausted when I step off of that plane. I'm grateful for that motivating reminder. Now for the exciting news that I was talking about.  First is that on June 30rh we will have a meeting where we get to meet President and Sister Smith. It's going to be kind of weird for me, because by that point I will only have just under six weeks left. So I don't really know what it will be like to see President Smith at the pulpit instead of President Morgan. I'm excited though. I'm sure President Smith will be awesome! He's definitely got some big shoes to fill. This Saturday we will be having another all mission conference at the temple in Manhattan. With a special visitor, Elder Quentin L Cook of the quorum of the twelve apostles! Yup, pretty awesome. He's  coming to New York and exclusively visiting our mission. Usually when church leaders tour they hit a few missions in the area. But Elder Cook is only visiting NYNYN. We're pretty lucky! We don't know what the training will be on yet, but I'm sure I will learn so much! Last big announcement.... I think some of you may have heard this already. But I'm like a kid on Christmas a thousand times over on this one.  July 3rd the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will be performing at Yankee Stadium. They're going to open a Yankees-Rays game with five numbers, finishing with the National Anthem to start the game, and the whole mission is going to the game! Seriously... am I dreaming? I don't know if they are going to show the game on TV, but hopefully some of you can watch. I think that the camera crew will probably pan over the section of missionaries at least once during the game. That day will be pretty crazy, because I'll be about a month out from coming home. Exciting stuff coming up!!! I love the mission as much as ever, and we've had some great success with our investigators here. I also really love the ward that we're serving in. With transfers next week I'm a little on edge. I don't know why, but I think there might be a chance that I'll leave. Hopefully not, but like I said wherever I serve I'll just put it in the Lord's hands.  I'm excited for what the next three months has in store. Plenty of miracles left to be had in the mission field for me! Hope you're all doing well! Can't wait to see you on Skype! Love you!!!
~Elder Allred 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Hey family! 
We had a really good week! President Morgan attended a mission president seminar this past week and got some inspiration for our mission. The big thing is that he made a big announcement last Monday. He has really felt the need that our mission needs to do more finding. The work is broken into different categories, depending on the activities that you are doing. There are meetings (church, conference interviews, missionary training meetings, etc.), studying, planning, teaching, service, and then there is finding. The view that most missionaries have about finding is that it's kind of a last resort kind of thing. If you don't have any teaching appointments or anything else to do, you have to resort to finding. That usually comes down to knocking door or street contacting. Just trying to talk to anyone about the gospel and getting new investigators. Like a majority of missionaries, this area is the toughest area for me. Out of all of the other responsibilities I've had in the mission, the toughest thing for me is still to approach a random person and start a conversation. Especially a conversation that leads into the gospel. I've gotten much better at it in 20 months, but I still have a long way to go. Anyway, President Morgan announced that he wants us to schedule atleast three hours of finding per companionship per day. It's been really cool to implement that this week! We've seen really positive things across our zone in the South Manhattan area. Everyone seemed to jump right on board with us in this new endeavor, which was a huge blessing! As a result of our focus in finding we ended up contacting, as a zone, about 250 more people than we did the week before. We also saw that our zone was able to teach a lot more. It was really cool for me and Elder Coburn. Up until this week I've been a little bit frustrated. We have a really good teaching pool in our area with some awesome investigators. For some reason we just haven't been able to consistently meet with all of them. It was really cool how when we started to focus our efforts in finding, we met with all of our investigators this week. When you do what the Lord asks you to do, He showers the blessings! This week is a prime example of that for me. Another cool thing from this week was that we had a regional broadcast on Sunday. Elder Kacher (of the Seventy), Sister Reeves, Elder Andersen, and Elder Hales spoke to the entire Northeastern area of the country. So congregations throughout New York and other surrounding states met in chapels on Sunday and viewed the broadcast from Salt Lake City. It was a really cool opportunity to hear from them. I learned that Elder Hales grew up in Long Island, so that was pretty cool too. Sister Reeves gave an incredible talk about repentance and the Atonement. It really touched me. She talked about how so often we get caught up in being too embarrassed to go to your Bishop when you need to repent. We put off repentance in fear of what others might think of us. We even sometimes think that what we've done is too much. That we're not worthy of forgiveness. These thoughts come from the adversary, the author of all lies. When we finally build up the courage to repent and ask for help we find that the Lord is ever so quick to forgive. I loved her talk. Then that afternoon we attended a baptism. The most unique baptism I've been to, because it was a baptism in the deaf branch. There are four Elders in our zone that work in the American Sign Language program, and it was one of our investigators who got baptized on Sunday. The Spirit in that service was so strong, and I felt so lucky to experience that and be there to support this good brother. Other than that, everything is great! We're headed to the Yankees game this afternoon!! I have the coolest mission in the world. I'll try to email a little bit more after the game. Love you all! Have a great week!
~Elder Allred

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Hello Family!
Everything is great here! I can't believe I've already been here for three weeks. The next fifteen weeks are going to fly! I love the area and the people here. We have some really cool investigators. It's kind of different to be teaching people my own age. I got that a little bit when I was teaching Joe in Poughkeepsie, but now it's every day that we're teaching only young people. It's good though. Much easier to relate to them. It's also kind of weird to be in a singles ward in general. The bishop wants us to go to as many YSA activities as we can so that we can have good relationships with the members. So on Sunday night we went to "waffle night" at a member's apartment. Basically just went and hung out with a bunch of people our age and ate waffles. Then on Monday we went to Family Home Evening down in Soho. (That's like a really high class area in lower Manhattan). We went to a dessert place down there and got some pudding. I'm getting a really good taste of what YSA life is like. I never consistently went to the YSA ward while I was at Snow, so it's kind of a new experience for me. It's a lot of fun! I'm pretty lucky to be in the city again. Obviously the missionary work is amazing. I love it, and I already love the people. I'm also getting to do a lot of fun things on P-days. Not trying to make you guys jealous or anything. But today we're going to be in the Bronx and Manhattan. We're going to the Bronx first to go to a really good diner that I liked to eat at while I was there. Then we're headed back down to Manhattan to go see Wicked! Pretty awesome. Also Elder Coburn and I got permission from President Morgan to go to my favorite place in the world next week. We're gonna go with our roommates to the Yankees-Rays game next Wednesday! Am I living the dream or what? The week after that we're getting together with some other missionaries in our zone to go mini golfing on one of the piers on the Hudson River. Then probably a few weeks later we're going up to see the view from the top of the Rockefeller Center. I've wanted to do that ever since I got into the mission but didn't ever want to spend the money on it. One of the members was generous and bought tickets for me and Elder Coburn to go do it. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming! I feel more like I'm on a two year vacation sometimes. Of course the day to day grind isn't easy. Being a missionary is full of joy and miracles, but it also comes with its unique set of difficulties. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. I love it! That's about all I've got for you this week. Hope you're all doing well. I love you!!! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Coco Helado

Elder Allred is currently serving with Elder Coburn from Manti:)
Apparently this coco helado is a pretty awesome treat:) 

This was a pretty good week. I still can't believe I live in lower Manhattan. Last week a member took us out to dinner. The restaurant was down in the financial district, right next to Freedom Tower. It made me realize again how good I have it to be in this mission. I'm eating brisket next to Freedom Tower while there are missionaries in South America eating rice for every meal. I"m very blessed to be here. I also had the opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting on Sunday. It was really good, because I didn't get to meet many of the ward members on my first Sunday here due to general conference. So it was a good way to introduce myself to the ward and get a good start serving with them here. It was also really cool how the sacrament meeting turned out. The bishopric of the ward has decided not to assign topics to any of the speakers. They encourage you to seek for guidance from the Spirit in selecting your topic. Well the member that spoke before me  decided to speak about the Godhead. She spoke about how we relate to each of them (the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost). And I just so happened to speak on the Spirit. Then the intermediate hymn was number 127, "Testimony" which speaks a lot about the Spirit. It was really cool that although none of that was coordinated by the speakers or those who chose the hymns, it all went together. Super powerful meeting. I'll send a copy of my talk. Another highlight this week was that I saw all sorts of people wearing clothing with red "B"s on them. I quickly gathered that the Red Sox were in the neighborhood. So I stayed up to date on how the games were going. Sadly I was mostly disappointed. Hopefully the pinstripes will pick up their game soon. One more cool thing is that I saw Elder Monson!! He was visiting the city with his mom and took Elder Coburn and me out to lunch. I took a picture on my camera, but I'm not near a computer today. I'll try to send it next week. Other than that everything is great! The teaching pool is doing well, and the area is awesome! Loving it! 
~Elder Allred 

     Guided by the Spirit  
Good morning brothers and sisters. Just as a brief introduction, my name is Elder Allred. I'm here from the very small town of Nephi Utah to serve my mission in the great city of New York. I've been on my mission for just over a year and a half, and I will be returning to my studies in Ephraim, Utah this fall. I am the youngest of three, with an older brother and an older sister, along with eight step siblings. I'm excited to be here and look forward to serving in this ward with all of you. 
A few days ago, Brother Weinburg extended the invitation to me to speak in sacrament meeting today, and I'm excited to have this opportunity. As I began to ponder and pray about what I should speak about today, I found myself reflecting on a conversation I had over dinner just about an hour before I received Brother Weinburg's text. Part of our dinner conversation was pointed toward the Spirit. I and the person I was talking with agreed that so many of the decisions that we make in life don't come with an instruction manual. As we utilize our God-given gift of agency, there are often no particular guidelines. What it typically comes down to is prayer, study, fasting, seeking for the Lord's guidance. It's really the Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, that leads us down the correct paths. I began thinking about how much my life has been directed by the Spirit. I wouldn't even be standing here in front of you today if the influence of the Holy Ghost hadn't guided me here. So I would like to spend a few minutes today talking about how important it is that our lives are guided by the Spirit. 
I would like to begin today by reading two or three scriptures that highlight some of the roles that the Spirit has. John 14: 26-27 teaches us about a couple of those roles. 
It reads, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." 
The Holy Ghost is sent from the Father to be our Comforter. When we are in times of worry or distress, the Holy Ghost is there to calm us. The Holy Ghost can dwell within us, fill us with warmth and love, and ease our troubled minds. I like to think of the Holy Ghost as a warm blanket or hug from your mom. It just makes you feel good, and it makes you feel safe. 
Another important point from this scripture is that the Holy Ghost is our teacher. All wisdom and knowledge that we obtain in this life is most effectively obtained with the companionship of the Spirit. This role is especially helpful to a young missionary who is teaching the gospel to people or to a college student who is pursuing his or her education. I have found in my studies, wether they be secular or spiritual, if I will begin with a sincere prayer I am much more likely to retain and apply the information. Everyone, no matter what stage of life they may be in, needs to be taught by the Spirit.  
3 Nephi Chapter 27, verse 20 teaches us about another important role of the Spirit. It reads, "Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day." 
When we receive the Holy Ghost, we are sanctified. We are cleansed from our sins. As we live worthily of the Spirit, the Spirit acts as the cleansing tool to wipe away the stains that sin leaves on our souls. The damaging affects that sin can have on us are taken away through the reception of the Holy Ghost. We are purified as the Spirit prepares us to stand spotless before God at the last day.  
We read of an account toward the end of the Savior's life when He was teaching His apostles. As He was preparing them for His death, He promised them that they would receive the Holy Ghost to be their companion in His absence. Part of this account is found in John Chapter 15, verse 26. It says, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the  
Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:" 
The Spirit testifies of the Savior. I know by personal experience that this is true. I have never been closer to Jesus Christ than I am today. I know that my Redeemer lives. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Jesus Christ is the son of God. He came to earth. He atoned for us, and He was resurrected, and the Holy Ghost has born witness to my spirit of these divine truths. 
There are several other roles that the Holy Ghost has. In the interest of time, I won't go into detail on all of them. But the Holy Ghost is the comforter. The Holy Ghost is our teacher. The Holy Ghost is the sanctifier. The Holy Ghost is our guide. The Holy Ghost is the messenger. The Holy Ghost bears witness of the God the Father and His son Jesus Christ. And among so many other amazing things, the Holy Ghost is our friend. 
I would like to conclude with an experience that I had not too long before I left on my mission. I was in my second semester at Snow College in Utah. Prior to attending Snow College I hadn't been very active in the church. I stopped going to church at the beginning of my senior year in high school. I continued to attend my seminary class, but I was not attending church on Sundays. Most of the friends that I remained close with were active members of the church and were great influences on me. One of those friends was actually my roommate in college. It was his great example and an invitation from him to attend the October 2012 priesthood session that motivated me to return to activity in the church. So by the time I was into my second semester I was returning to activity and preparing to serve a mission. My roommate had signed up for a mission prep class at the institute, and I really wanted to be in that same class. When I originally signed up for the class it was full, and I had been put on a waiting list. A few days into the semester, some people dropped the class, which made enough seats available for me to join the class. My first day in the class was about a week after it had begun. I remember walking into class that day feeling very awkward. I felt like everyone else was a step ahead of me, because I was showing up late. I also remember sitting in the very back row and just doubting myself. Remember that I hadn't been active for about a year and a half. I started thinking in class that day about wether or not I was really capable of serving a mission. Did I know enough? Could I really teach people about the gospel, even with my limited knowledge of it? Was I close enough to God? Did I even have a  
real testimony? These questions and others weighed heavily on my mind as I sat in the back of that classroom that day. I have no idea what the instructor, Brother Scott, was teaching about that day, because my mind was too occupied with these other thoughts for me to be fully engaged in the class. At the conclusion of the class I began to walk out feeling very down on myself. I was almost positive that I would not be serving a mission. I was one of the last people to leave the classroom. Before I could walk through the door, Brother Scott stopped me to give me a handshake. He told me that as he was leading the class discussion that day he was scanning the classroom and noticed me. Something prompted him to talk to me after class that day. He asked me if I was in a hurry to get to my next class, and I told him no. He invited me to come into his office to talk. We sat down, and he offered a prayer. He told me that he had no idea why he had me in his office. He knew that he needed to talk to me, but he didn't know why. After a few long seconds of silence, I started to pour out my heart to Brother Scott. I told him about the doubts that I was having. I told him that I didn't think I knew  
enough about the gospel to be capable of serving a mission. All of the thoughts I was having during the class were laid out before him on he table. He talked with me for about thirty minutes in his office that day. The things that he shared with me were very comforting and gave me the confidence that I needed. He assured me that I was capable of serving a mission and promised me that he would be there for me to help me prepare. Brother Scott had never met me before in his life. He didn't even know my name, but somehow he knew that I needed his help that day. How else could he have known unless he had the companionship of the Holy Ghost? I have absolutely no doubt that it was the Spirit that lead Brother Scott that day. It was the Spirit that helped him recognize me in the back of that classroom, and it was the Spirit that prompted him to invite me into his office. That was a monumental day for me. The events that followed over the next several months lead me to my mission, which has been the greatest thing I've ever done in my life. I think this was the first time in my life that I realized just how important the Spirit is. I could see in this man how powerful it can be to have the Spirit with you, and it gave me the desire to have the same companionship of the Holy Ghost.  
Brothers and Sisters, I have a deep and abiding testimony that the Holy Ghost is real..

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Conference is the Super Bowl

First off today, general conference was amazing! The super bowl for missionaries! Haha. I absolutely loved it. Those ten hours went by way too quickly. I'd have to say that the talk that got to me to the most was Elder Holland's talk in the Sunday morning session. Such a powerful testimony of the Atonement of Christ! I loved it. Of course, Elder Bednar's talk about putting faith over fear was great too. I love how he explained godly fear, because I think a lot of people think that fear of God is a negative thing, when in reality it's really a positive thing. It gave me a good perspective. Elder Bednar is easily my favorite apostle. Just as almost else would say, I think the overall message was centered on marriage and families. Not really the message I was expecting to get the last conference of my mission. There was one more highlight that I wanted to mention. In the priesthood session, Elder Ballard talked about how we need to raise the bar. A few years ago he said this in a general conference talk, speaking specifically to missionaries. This time he restated it and spoke to prospective missionaries, current missionaries and returned missionaries. He said that we need to be the greatest generation of young adults in the history of the church. Pretty much a call to action, speaking directly to the people in my age group. He also had a quote that I liked. He said something along the lines of, "RM does not mean 'Retired Mormon". It was a good reminder for me. In the past couple of months I've been thinking a lot about preparing to return home. In the past, that has been kind of a scary thought for me. Back into the real world. I know that will not be the easiest thing to do. There will be a lot of challenges that come along with adjusting back into life as a normal person. But I've been thinking about what it means to be a disciple of Christ. I think I might have mentioned this in an email a few weeks ago. You don't have to have a name tag or be set apart in order to be a disciple of Christ. This realization has given me a lot of comfort in the recent weeks. In preparing to be released from my calling to be a missionary, I'm not nearly as scared as I used to be. I know that as long as I keep both feet planted firmly in the gospel then everything else will work out. I'm grateful for general conference this weekend and excited to study the talks again. Everything in the new area is great. I'm happy to be back in the city again. I love the city, and it's cool to be in an area of the city that I haven't seen before. Elder Coburn and I actually cover the entire East side of the island of Manhattan, which is a huge area. We've had lessons this week from right next to the Brooklyn Bridge, to Park Avenue by Grand Central Station, up to East Harlem, and a few places in between. It's definitely the most diverse area that I've served in. The work is going great. We got a couple of new investigators this week that we're pretty excited about. There's Robin who came to general conference and loved it. He was initially introduced to the church by a friend that he met when was going to school in Arizona. There's also Christian who was referred to us by a member in one of the family wards in Manhattan. Christian is from Mexico, and he is in New York working for JP Morgan, which is a huge bank for super rich people. He's loaded. He's the one that lives by Grand Central. He's really cool. Super busy, so it will be tough to consistently meet, but I see a lot of promise in him. Other that that everything is great. The weather is getting nice, and I'm just as happy as ever. The clock is ticking. I think this will be an awesome area to spend the last part of my mission in. Not sure if I'll finish here or if I'l have one more area. We'll see what happens. For now I'm just going to enjoy my time here. I love you all. Have a great week!
~Elder Allred 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Tyler and Taylor

As you all know, today is transfers. Sadly my time in Poughkeepsie has come to an end. I wish that were an April fools joke. Poughkeepsie is an amazing place. I remember when I received my mission call and I looked at the mission boundaries online. Something about Poughkeepsie was so interesting to me. I remember just looking up pictures and information and wondering if I would serve here. I think that may have been the Lord preparing me for these past eighteen weeks. Poughkeepsie will always hold a very special place in my heart. I have come to know a loving God here more than I've ever known Him before. I have been a witness to incredible miracles, and it is absolutely undeniable that the Lord's hand was the main functioning mechanism in those miracles. What made Poughkeepsie so special was the people. The people here are amazing. English and Spanish. I will be eternally grateful for the opportunity that I had to serve among the Spanish people. I love them so much. I've learned so much about them. I couldn't really speak to them too much, but that didn't matter. What mattered was the Spirit that I felt as I was among them. The Holy Ghost speaks in a universal language that brings all people together. I will miss Poughkeepsie so much, and I'm really down about leaving. It's hard to say goodbye to a people and a place as special as these. I know, however that the Lord has a wise purpose in all things. He no longer needs me to be in Poughkeepsie. I have done what He needed me to do here, and I have personally progressed in the way He needed me to. Now He needs me in South Manhattan. Back to the city. There is a possibility that this will be the last area that I serve in on my mission. I only have three cycles left. It's very untypical that you serve in an area for only one cycle, so I think I will for sure be there for two. Unless I get transferred somewhere else for my final six weeks, I will end my mission in Manhattan. This will be a much different area than any that I've served in. I served in the city before, but I was in the Bronx and Harlem. Much different worlds than the wealthy part of the island at the bottom. The ward that I will be serving in is a young single adult ward. I've come to love the family wards that I've served in so much. This will be a wonderful experience for me. I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for me and the people there. I almost forgot to mention my companion's name. Elder Coburn. I'm pretty sure Elder Coburn is from Manti, but I might be wrong about that. I'll know for sure soon enough. I haven't really served around him too much, but fro, what I hear he is a great missionary. I think that he and I will have a lot in common and will work great together. Change is good. It can be uncomfortable and can make us stretch, but it is good. I'm excited. I'm also incredibly excited for general conference this weekend! It will be my last general conference as a full time missionary. I can't wait to receive the revelation that the Lord has in store for me. If I don't email you back personally today, I apologize. Today is going to be a busy busy day, going from the very top of the mission in Poughkeepsie to the very bottom of the mission. I'll try to have more time to email next week. I love you all and have a very Happy Easter!!

-Elder Allred