Mission Scripture

Mission Scripture

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