Mission Scripture

Mission Scripture

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Another Great Week

Another great week! This one went by super fast again. This whole cycle has gone by really fast. Glorias's baptism was on the first Saturday of the cycle, and it feels like that was just the other day. Now we're here at the end of the cycle. Next Wednesday is transfer meeting, so I'll find out on Saturday if I will be staying in Poughkeepsie for another six weeks or moving to a new area. I really want to stay, but I have a feeling I'll be getting transferred. Elder Wagner and I have already been together for twelve weeks. It's pretty uncommon for a companionship to stay together for more than two cycles. We'll see what happens. No matter what happens I know I will feel that familiar calm assurance that the Lord has a divine purpose. I've felt that way for fourteen different transfer calls now. His will is ALWAYS much greater than my will. That principle is true for everything in life. He knows much better than we might think we do. Anyway, I have loved my time in Poughkeepsie. Four and a half months has felt much too short. We've continued to see amazing miracles among the Spanish people. I think I may have written about a little Mexican family a couple weeks ago, Oscar and Cristina and their daughter. I can't remember if I wrote about them or not. Anyway we found them tracting a couple months ago. We found them at the perfect time, right when they were ready to receive messengers of the Lord. Just a few days before we knocked on their door they had lost almost everything they owned in a fire in their apartment building. Sorry if you've already heard that story, but it has all just been amazing. They're so incredibly humble and open. They came to church for the first time on Sunday! Cristina also brought her sister who was there with her son. So we had a whole family of five at church! The ward was so excited to see them. Especially the Spanish people. There aren't too many active Spanish members. The regular sacrament meeting attendance is about 80 people with maybe 5-10 of those being Spanish. So they were so happy to see more Spanish people there. It may sound like a broken record, but I love the Spanish people. I love them so much! Well that's about it for now. Kind of a short email this week. I love you all! Have a great week! 
~Elder Allred 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Picture from Joe's Baptism
Hola Familia!
My Spanish is getting pretty good huh? Just kidding. I still can't really speak Spanish, but I think it's getting a little bit better every week. I said the orar (prayer) in a Spanish lesson last night, and it was easily the best prayer that I've said. It seemed to flow really well, and everything that I wanted to say came out smoothly. It was awesome. The lesson was with a part member family, the Santos. Mom and dad are members of the church but haven't been active for a few years. They have three adorable kids that haven't been baptized. Their mom doesn't want to force them into being baptized and has left the decision up to them. The two daughters are 8 and 10, and the son is 7. Since their parents don't go to church their primary teacher has been picking them up faithfully every week. They love going to church and are super involved in the primary. So the whole time I've been here we've been trying to help those two daughters commit to a date for baptism. They're so smart and are more than ready to take the big step. Well last night we had that primary teacher go to the lesson with us. She's actually moving out of the ward this summer and wants to see the girls be baptized before she leaves. The Spirit in the lesson was incredibly strong, and I just felt so good. As we talked to them about baptism again they seemed closer to committing than they ever have yet. They still wouldn't commit to a date last night, but they said they would think and pray about it this week and tell us the date when we come over next week. I love them so much. I've realized lately even more how important charity is in doing the Lord's work. It's amazing what pure love for the people can do. That's why the Savior was so powerful during His earthly ministry. He had absolute perfect charity for the people. We should look to Him as our exemplar in everything that we do. Another thing I've been thinking about lately is discipleship. It's something that Elder Allen and Elder Evans talked to us about when they visited our mission a few weeks ago. As my mission draws closer to its end I've found myself pondering on what kind of a servant I will be when I am no longer privileged to literally wear the Savior's name on a name tag on my chest. I've worried that as a return missionary I won't feel nearly as productive or effective as I do now. When the general authorities spoke to us about discipleship it opened my eyes to a whole new concept that I hadn't been considering. Discipleship begins the day we are baptized and make our first covenant to serve the Lord. It continues as we grow. My responsibility to be a disciple of Christ has lasted through high school and college and now continues on my mission. Why would it end when I get released as a full time missionary? Any member of the church anywhere (missionary or not) has a sacred responsibility to be a disciple. It gives me comfort to know that I will continue to serve Him. In my callings in the church, as a husband and father one day. I will be a disciple of Christ. Even in the classroom and the work field I will be a disciple of Christ. In the social world I will be a disciple of Christ. I can be a disciple everywhere. I love that. I've been thinking about it a lot. Elder Evans said something in our meeting that I loved. He said that our missions are the time that we've been given to prepare to be return missionaries. As I become a disciple in the mission field, I am preparing myself to be a disciple in my return missionary years. This principle of discipleship has changed my entire life. It's given me the perspective that I need that I didn't have before. I could talk all day about what I've been learning these past few weeks, but I think I'll leave it at that. This gospel is amazing. My mission is amazing. And all of you are amazing! I love you all so much. Have a fantastic week!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Still working on Spanish

Hey family!
This week has been great! We've seen a lot of success with the Spanish people lately. The English work has been a little bit down. Since Joe and Gloria got baptized we haven't really had any progressing investigators in our English teaching pool. So we've been knocking a lot of doors with whatever extra time we have. We have some good potentials that have come from that effort, but nobody too solid yet. I do love the Spanish people. We met with a little Mexican family for the second item the other night, and they are just so awesome. It's a young couple named Oscar and Kristina, and they have a cute little five year old daughter named Katie. Elder Wagner and I found them tracting a few weeks ago. At the time they had just lost almost everything they owned due to a fire in their apartment building. They are are so humble and just have a wonderful spirit about them. I wish I could communicate with them. It's kind of frustrating sometimes to just have to sit in lessons and say nothing. I'm trying to learn a little bit, but I still can't really say much. I've gotten pretty good at saying prayers in Spanish, so I've been able to do that a little bit. I only really started practicing my Spanish about three weeks ago. I wish I would have started when I first came to this area. I bet I would be able to talk a little bit by now. Now I'll probably get transferred soon and I won't have too much ability by the time I leave. Oh well. I'm still so grateful that the Lord had allowed me to serve here with the wonderful Spanish people. We had a zone conference yesterday, which was awesome! Zone conference happens once every three or four months. It's a meeting where several zones get together and receive training from President Morgan, his assistants, and some other speakers. This time we got to hear from President Checketts. He is the Stake President of the Yorktown Stake. That was the first stake that I served in when I was in Newtown, so it was cool to see him again. He's a great leader and an exemplary priesthood man. He talked to us about being all the way focused on the mission and fully dedicating your time and effort to serving the Lord. He shared with us some stories from the mission he served in Los Angeles as a young man. I'm always amazed at how much people treasure times from their missions. Great men and women who have done so much good in their lives consider their missions their greatest accomplishments. I remember when I was at the MTC and Richard G Scott spoke to us in a devotional about how every good thing in his life is a direct result of the mission he served as a young man. This is an apostle, and he considers his mission the greatest service he has ever given. It's so awesome. A full time mission is a very special thing, and I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to serve one. Well there's not too much else from this week. Everything is great. Just trying to enjoy every moment of the time I have left! I love you all, and have a wonderful week!

-Elder Allred

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

5 Months to Go!!

Hello family! Wasn't it just barely Wednesday? This week was so packed with different things that it all just went by in a big blur without me even knowing what day of the week it was. My weeks are falling off the calendar faster than I can keep up with them. I hope the time is flying for you the way it is for me. If it were up to me I would crank the speed setting down a notch or two. My fear is that my last five months will feel more like five weeks. When talking about missionaries wanting to  extend the time in their mission, I've heard President Morgan say this, "You shouldn't be asking for more time. What you should be asking for is more service." That hit me. I shoulndn't be wanting more months in my mission. What I should be wanting is more opportunities to serve in the five months that I have left. I like that perspective. Anyway, it was a wonderful week! We started with a mission conference that was held on Thursday down in the chapel at the temple. We woke up extra early to catch a seven o clock train down to Manhattan. The conference was great! Two general authorities, Elder David Evans and Elder Stephen Allen, came to teach and train us. They are both spiritual powerhouses. Elder Evans is currently serving as the executive director of the missionary department, and Elder Allen is the managing director of the missionary department. They are at the very top of missionary work in our church. They work very closely with Elder Bednar and Elder Nelson to direct the missionary efforts worldwide. I felt super lucky to have the opportunity to have some time with them. I'll remember that meeting for years and years to come. The topic of their training had to do with online proselyting. After using online proselyting for a couple years now, the church has evaluated how it has been used and is ready for a "reset". They talked to us about ways we can more effectively use the internet in our proselyting efforts. So for the next few months we will be retraining and relearning how to use our iPads, Facebook and the other online proselyting tools that we've been given. I think this will be a wonderful time to learn and grow and progress the Lord's work further in our mission. Very uplifting and edifying meeting. The next highlight was on Saturday. Another one of our investigators, Gloria, got baptized! I'm so happy for her. She has been taking lessons with missionaries for well over a year and attending church every Sunday for several months. Our other recent convert, Joe, congratulated her and told her he thought she was already a member. There were a few other members that thought that too. It's true. She's so well integrated into the ward now, you would have thought she had already been baptized. I'm grateful that she finally made the decision to be baptized! There are so many people that are happy for her as well. Many missionaries before me worked so hard to help her progress in the gospel. There were five or six RM's skyping in to watch the baptism. It's amazing to be part of this great work. As you work to help your investigators progress, you can be assured that the missionaries after you and the members of the ward continue to take care of them. I feel blessed that I was chosen as one of the missionaries to be in this area when she finally became a member of the church. She's awesome, and I look forward to another lifelong sister in the gospel. The final highlight of the week was on Sunday. Joe received the priesthood a few weeks ago. He's a priest, which means he has the authority to bless the sacrament. He was finally able to do that for the first time on Sunday, and it was such a sweet experience for me to be there in church to see that moment in his progression in the church. I was nearly moved to tears as I watched him break the bread. I was reminded of the first time I blessed the sacrament a few years ago when I was sixteen. Now I was watching him begin the wonderful journey that I've had as a priesthood holder in the church. One day he will be a Melchizedek priesthood holder and bless the lives of his family and members of his ward as he serves as a priesthood holding man. He's just such a good person. I'm grateful that he is my friend. Being a missionary is amazing. It's difficult but so worth it. Opportunities like the ones I have described today are some of the most beautiful moments that I'll ever have in my life. I love you all. Hope you have a wonderful week!
~Elder Allred