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Thursday, September 21, 2017

So this week was pretty crazy.  I went to Carrera yesterday in splits so that a missionary from there could come to our ward so that an investigator could come to church without being too scared.  It was really weird to go back to my old area.  A lot of memories came back.  It made me a lot more grateful for the great area that I have and all of the awesome members that help us so much with the work.

Alberto is doing pretty well.  He is working on stopping drinking and smoking still.  He didn't want to go to church yesterday because he didn't feel too good.  We visited him last night and today his goal is to make it the whole day without drinking anything, and he's only going to smoke 2 cigarettes.  It's a long and difficult process.

Rebeca and Daniel are still going to get baptized on Saturday.  Daniel wasn't here this weekend but tomorrow we are going to have his interview and then on Saturday the baptism with the other ward in the building.  I think it will all go over well.

Tambien estamos enseñando a una hermana que se llama Luciana.  Esperamos que ella pueda progreasar

We have been living a super crazy life and it is starting to wear me down.  I need your prayers a lot right now.  I'm sorry that time already ran out.  I didn't really write all that much, but that is how my life has been right now.  We do a lot and it's hard to get everything done.

I love you a lot and love to hear from you, hopefully I can tell you more next week.

I love you all a ton.
Elder Brady Allred

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

This week was pretty good.  And considering what other places are experiencing it was a really good week. 1. We did not feel the earthquake.  2.  It rained for about 10 minutes and then stopped.  It was one little cloud, it did rain hard but 10 minutes and it was more than over.  And in future events in which you hear about hurricanes don't worry about me while i'm in Victoria.  We have a few mountains around us and we'll only ever get water, and we live in the second story so you don't have to worry about that.  They tell us a few hours before at what time we have to guard ourselves in our houses (only for the "tropical storms" not whatever rain) so don't even worry about us.

It's also been hot here.  But we're getting used to it.

Our stake is now the Garden Park Stake?  Sounds like you had some great messages in the stake conference.  Don't forget what you learned, and keep applying it to your lives.

We have been working a lot with Rebecca and she is now  progressing better.  She and her family are changing a bit, and right now we are hoping that she can pray to know that The Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet.  Hopefully she can do that one of these days and if she does then we will have her interview Saturday and her baptism next week end.

Daniel came to church yesterday and if he can make it to church next Sunday then we will also baptize him the 23rd.  We are excited for a double baptism with the other ward in our ward building.

Alberto is struggling a bit because last week one of his friends died a very sad death.  He really struggled last week, but yesterday he came to church and hopefully God can show his hand in his life to help him come out of these struggles.  We are trying to be there as much as we can for him, and trying to help him remember Christ in all of these struggles.

We are looking for more people to teach.  I have started looking for the spirit more these days and i'm really seeing the changes in what I do and what I say and how I feel.

Thank you for all that you do.  I love you so much.  Thank you so much.  I can't wait to hear from you next week.

I love you 
Elder Brady Allred

Friday, September 8, 2017

Today it finally rained.  It has been cloudy for about 3 weeks straight, but it never wants to rain.  Today it finally let a little water go for about an hour.  It was great and everyone says that now it is going to start to cool down for Winter.  "Cool down" means about 75 degrees, but it's better than 100.

Alberto is doing great in stopping drinking.  He now is only drinking about 1 beer a day, sometimes less.  That's a lot better than the 15 that he drank before.  He started at 10 am before and now he just drinks one sometimes with dinner when it is really hot.  So we are getting there and we are really happy to see the changes that he is making.  I think the cigarette is going to be harder for him, but he's working on it.  We moved his baptism for October 14th, it's far away but that was the day that Alberto wanted because he beleives that he can be done overcoming his problems by that day.  Maria (his mom) is a great support and is helping him a ton.

We are also starting to teach Rebecca.  She is supposedly a member, but according to the church records she never got baptized.  Nobody has a picture, nor written in their journal, nor anything written about what day was the baptism or who was their.  So the good news for us is that we get to teach her again and baptize her.  She is 13 years old and so we are going to try to reactivate her whole family so that this time she can be sure to stay member.  We are planning to teach her everything because honestly she doesn't remember a thing, but we do have a date for the 23rd of September.

Today was super great because we got to play volleyball as a zone.  It's the first time that I've gotten to play since president Ramirez gave us permission.  It was super fun and I really hope that we get to do it again.

This week we are going to have some family nights with some different members, and we hope that they can turn out well so that we can get to know the family members and friends of some of the members of our ward.  Hopefully we can find some new people to teach that way.

We are working really well with the ward and we are also realizing that a lot of times the activities are very under-planned and that really the church meetings need a lot more direction.  But hopefully we can figure out how to do that.

It's great to hear that you are all getting back to school again.  Work hard and don't procrastinate.

I love you all,
Elder Allred

Friday, September 1, 2017

This week was really great.  It's rough getting to the year mark, but now that I'm almost here it's getting easier to get back into the rhythm again.  I bought myself a new pair of shoes and a tie and socks for my "birthday".
We are loving this area and Barrio Flores (Flowers Ward).  The members here are super great and they are really willing to help us with the missionary work and to organize and plan great ward activities.  We decided to plan one for in September and we are hoping to have a lot of members and investigators come.  We are going to preset Lehi's vision, but we are going to do it in a very original way.  We presented the plan yesterday to a committee that we organized and we improved the plan a ton.  Really church committees can get a ton done when they are well organized and have a good direction.

I am really starting to get a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon.  The more problems and stress that I have the more the Book of Mormon helps me to find direction and peace.  As there are more responsibilities in the mission experience more and more I want to read the Book of Mormon and feel the spirit that we can always feel when we read it.

The other day we were talking to a brother named Jaime and he was telling us about all of the problems that he is facing and that everybody wants to give him good advice but that nobody really knows what he is feeling.  I told him that Christ knows how he feels and the way that he can receive Christ's help is by reading his counsels that he gave to the Nephites just after suffering everything that would help him understand us.  In other words Christ suffered and died for us and then after being resurrected he taught to the Nephites the ways to receive his help and his secret for how he passed through our problems.  It was really cool and Jaime committed to start reading the Book of Mormon again.

This week we also worked quite  a bit with Alberto and his mom, Maria.  They are very willing to change their lives and are starting that process.  They have a very rough and personal backstory, but they were very willing to tell us because they really see us as Angels, and believe that we can help them.  It is incredible to believe that two 19 year old young adults who have never had a problem with drinking, smoking, or real life family problems, can help people with all sorts of problems and 3 or 4 times our life experience.  It really strengthens my testimony of the importance of the gospel because it is the Gospel that changes their lives, not us.  We are just the messengers.

Now that school started here too, Steve has disappeared.  We are trying to look for him but it is really hard to find him, except after 10pm, and even at that we may not find him.  And Daniel is also having a hard time in his family and business problems and it is really hard to help him too, because he is moving away from our help in his attempt to fix his problems.  We keep telling him to read the Book of Mormon and he is, but he is really struggling.  but we are there still to help him.

We hope to keep working with Maria and Alberto and hopefully this week we can find a few more people to teach.  We are looking at teaching a sister that got baptized a few years ago but there is not paper or registers or pictures of anything.  And it is not in the computer.  So we are going to have to teach her again.  her name is Rebecca and we are going to try to reactivate her family again and baptize her again.  She is 13 years old and she and her little brother are really fun to work with.  Hopefully she can start to remember what she already knows.

It`s a really great experience to be on a mission.  It is really hard but very worth every effort.  Really I know that this is the true church and that through the ordinances available with the restored priesthood we can find more peace and happiness in our lives.  Really God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son for us.  I know that the Book of Mormon is a true testament of him and that a man can come nearer to God by obeying his precepts than by any other way or book.  I know that all of this is true because I've lived it.  Don't ever forget that God loves you and that he wants to help you get rid of every mistake.  It's not easy, but He will help you.
Thank you for all of your love and support.
Elder Allred

Sunday, August 27, 2017

This week was only slightly more eventful than last week.  But I do have to admit that I did think about Wolf Creek quite a bit on Saturday.  We were doing a service project for a less active Brother and I think that my mind took advantage of the physical activity to take a break thinking about the nice, green, and cool mountains.  The idea of the coolness was a very relaxing thought.  and I just told myself, "Next year you will be going through the same experience. But! in one year and two weeks you will be there.  So JUST WAIT!" and so I will wait another year and two weeks and not worry about it.  But, it was great to see several pictures of people and scenery.

I would like to comment that Kira is a lot taller, Zander´s hair is a very different color, and I had never noticed so much the eye colors of all of you.  And that was sad to hear about Brian and I will be praying for him as well.  It was good to see a few pictures of loved ones and I feel ready to give it all again.

This week we worked a bit more with Steve.  We invited him to get baptized and he accepted a baptismal date for September 2nd.  And then he told his friend Alan to tell us no.  He said it made him feel uncomfortable to tell us no.  But at the end of everything he is not going to get baptized for at least 2 or 3 weeks until he feels like he knows more (that´s what they always tell us).

Daniel came to church again.  We are trying to help him understand that Green Tea is not good for you because God said so.  But that's not working to well.  We are in the difficult process of getting him to start reading the Book of Mormon again to be able to strengthen his testimony of Joseph Smith and that he was a prophet when he received the Word of Wisdom from God.  But so far he hasn't read much of anything.  We were able to get him to church again after a very serious talk about faith (thank you Alma 32, it got my point through that if he didn't read or go to church he was basically uprooting his tree of faith)  I also had the great experience of being able to promise specific and much needed blessings for him and his family if he went to church.  I have never felt such certainty about the blessings of Sabbath day observance as I did in that moment when I knew that he needed those blessings and I knew that I could promise them.

We also had a very pleasant surprise yesterday.  We finished the sacrament and as I went back to my seat I saw the Elders from the other ward motion that I needed to go out.  I told my companion to come, follow me, and he followed.  We got out there and to our surprise we saw a man that we had contacted the other day waiting for us with his mom.  He apologized for getting there late but they came in and enjoyed the last 2 and a half hours of the church block.  We were remarkably surprised seeing that he was half drunk the other day when we talked to him.  But we are going to work on that and I personally think that he will progress and we will help him to stop drinking and smoking.  Some one once said "I love it when the chapel smells of cigarette smoke"  I guess we fulfilled that dream yesterday.

My companion really thought that he was going to get transferred so lucky you.  He took a ton of photos last week so I will send you a few.

We are going to play No Coma a Pedro today in a family night.  for those of you who don´t speak Spanish that's Don"t Eat Pete.  It's my first attempt so hopefully it goes over well.

Wow I feel really good now.  It was great to hear about your week and I feel super excited for this week.  Make sure to send some good pictures of wolf creek every week ;) and the family too if you want.

I love you all so much.  It's great to see that you are all growing up and enjoying so much.  I hope you all work super hard in school this year and have a great time.  Please be great examples of the believers and do everything for the right reasons.  The church is true and God and Jesus Christ live.  Read the book of Mormon and you will know that it is true.  I love you.

Elder Brady Allred

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I'm excited for the Bow Hunt.  I want to see lots of pictures and lots of people.  Tell them all that I say hi.  I'm also excited because it means that the next bow hunt I will at least be there for the last part.

So I did live through a hurricane.  Technically.  So we are way inland and the hurricane took another route but it did rain quite a bit on Thursday.  There was a mission wide alert and we were all under house arrest on Thursday and we were going to be there on Friday as well.  But the hurricane took another route and didn't hit us so hard.

This week Daniel and us fought about Green tea.  He says that it is good for us and we said that it isn't.  It didn't matter how much I testified we couldn't get him to feel.  So we told him to pray about it and ask what God thinks.  Hopefully he can come to a conclusion with God.

We also talked to Steve this week and he is going to accept to get baptized.  Hopefully the 26th he will get baptized.  He has gone to church several times now and is ready for the water.  

A young adult contacted us today and wants us to teach her.  Hope to tell you good things next week.

Nothing else has happened.  I love you and have a great week.  Sorry I ran out of time.
Love Elder Allred

P.S. The pictures are of a Taco night that we had in home, the rain storm from inside our house.  We couldn't go outside to take pictures because President would have been angry, and I also want to mention that we got really wet Friday morning from 1 cloud that floated over and drenched the city for about 20 minutes.

Other than that we honestly just talked to a whole bunch of people and got rejected a ton.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

This weekend we did have a successful baptism.  Karen got baptized Saturday and yesterday I got to confirm her a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.  It was a pretty unique experience one that I hope that neither she nor I will ever forget.  We have a lot of hope for her and I think that she will be a good loyal member.

This weekend nobody came to church and really all of our plans fell apart.  We had a lot of hope for these next few weeks but really all of that just fell apart yesterday.  Daniel couldn't come to church because he was babysitting his mom.  Francisco flat out didn't show up.  And all of the other investigators  that we had had a little bit of hope didn't show up either.  So we have no baptismal dates.  Several people told us that they aren't interested any more and we couldn't help them to change their minds.

We also got to do another service project on Saturday.  We cleaned up a lot (a lot as in a piece of land) and cut down a ton of really tall grass.  I'd say that I'm starting to get the hang of using the machete, and I put on band-aids this time so I didn't get a single blister.  A young man named Alan helped us and he almost cut off his finger with the machete, I had much better luck than that.

Yesterday we started talking to a less active sister and we were planning on baptizing her younger daughter Fernanda because they had told us that she had just turned nine.  The bad news for us is that she just turned 8.  The good news is that we are still going to help her mom to keep coming to church and we are still going to be partially involved in the baptism.

We also got to go to Tampico on Tuesday.  I'll just say that it was a horrible experience.  We got up at 5:00 am and ran to the bus station.  Took a 3 and a half hour bus ride and got  to Tampico at 10:17 (leaving Victoria at 7:00, so we did get there a little fast) and then I went and  signed 3 papers to renew my visa and then we ran to the bus station (this time in the literal sense) and at 10:50 we were on our way back.  We were in the offices for about 15 minutes and then 3 and a half hours later we were back in Victoria.  We had cancelled lunch and then we had to reschedule it when we got back on the bus.  It was a crazy day.

We also contacted a reference that reminds me a ton of Uncle Ed.  I will say that he has the same face, the same teeth, the same way of talking.  The only difference is that Luciano is just a little bit shorter, a little bit older, and speaks Spanish.  He was talking and I was thinking, I swear that I've talked to someone who talks like that and that looks like that and then I realized that it was Ed.  We talked to him twice and we aren't going to go back much more because it seems that he has a mental illness that impedes his learning and his memory.  For example he told us the same information about 7 times in 15 minutes about his job and his life story.  It was word for word the same.  And then he asked us on Thursday "What are you going to do tomorrow for Sunday of the Holy Week?" we told him that Friday was not Easter and I have never seen anyone so confused in my life.

We are going to work hard this week and we hope to have a lot more success.  we are going to enjoy all of the heat for these next few weeks.  You don't stop sweating here, but It makes me appreciate more the AC every night and the thought of snowmen in the back yard.  But we keep going.

I love you all and hope that you have a great week.
Elder Brady Allred

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

This week was crazy.  We walked a ton and we talked to a lot of people.  This week we worked really hard and did have a ton more success.  We received an assignment from President Ramirez to look for, teach and then baptize a family in August and the good news is that we found two promising families this week.  One of them is the Cifuentes Family. We stopped when we saw them outside and when we said "Good morning" they actually invited us in and asked us to tell them what we do.  They gave us lemonade and we had a good 15 minute talk.  For those of you that have even the faintest idea of missionary work in Mexico in the 21st century you know that this is not normal.  We talked about the Family Proclamation and prophets and they invited us to come back today at 7:00.  They couldn't come to church because while we were there their guests (family) arrived and are going to be there for a few days, but they do want to talk to us.  hopefully we can extend a baptismal date and they will be willing to accept it.  It is a family of 5, but only 4 of them are old enough to get baptized.

The other family is a little less promising, but I still have a lot of hope for them.  It is the family of a man called Jesus (that name is ridiculously common). He has his wife and 2 kids that live with him.  We hope to be able to find them all together this week and to be able to share a very spiritual lesson with them. 

Yesterday a man by the name of Daniel finally came to church.  He has about 6 months in teaching but has not gone to church in about 2 months.  We haven't been working a lot with him.  We have pretty much just been waiting for all of his health problems to go away so that he could come to church.  Now that he came we also put a baptismal date with him.  He already knows everything but we both thought it would be good if he could go to church 2 more times before getting baptized. He is checking to make sure that he is not going to go to a conference for Herbalife first, but if not then he will get baptized the 19th of August.

We are hoping to have a few more baptismal dates in August next week including these families.  We have been working really hard and our bodies are feeling it.  We hope not to get too tired but we are going to give it our all.  We are getting a long better and I would say that as a companionship we have a lot of trust and confidence.  Hopefully we can get a lot of work done that way.

I had a really cool experience yesterday.  The other day we contacted a man that is about 50 years old.  He works as an albañil (pretty much a construction worker, gardener, yard remodler, or what ever other type of work that you can think of). He told us in the contact that he can't even read and he really didn't show much interest.  We got there yesterday to the appointment and we started talking about him and his hopes and dreams, his family and his work.  Trying to get to know him and figure out why he needs the gospel.  We were really not all that much in the conversation.  I asked a question about his grand kids and he started to tell us about them.  In that moment I had a very interesting impression or revelation from the spirit.  It reminded me a lot of the talk that president Eyring gave in the priesthood session.  He said that one day while he was bishop the police called him and said that they had just arrested one of his members.  It was a recent convert that had crashed his car into the bank while he was drunk.  When the security guards pointed their guns at him all he said was "Don`t shoot! I`m Mormon!"  He said he was going to give him what he deserved  but when he sat down in front of him he heard the spirit say, "I`m going to let you see him how I see him."  Then he saw him as a son of God that had decided to change his life and join the church.  Well when we were there in front of him and he was talking about his grand kids I saw him as a son of God, as someone that had decided to follow Christ and come to Earth, I saw him as someone who has problems but I knew that the atonement could help him, and then I realized that if I never invited him to get baptized he would never receive the blessings of the atonement in his life.  He would never receive peace that comes only through repentance and forgiveness, he would never receive the fullness of the blessings of heaven if he were not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I knew that I had to offer it to him.  So as we talked I moved the subject to baptism and then I invited him, he energetically accepted, and then after a little more explaining he accepted a baptismal date for September 3rd.  And the change that I then saw in his eyes made it all worth it.  it seemed to me like if a light had turned on inside and then I think that he felt the Spirit, only when we exercise agency correctly can we feel the spirit, and I think that he felt it and it changed him.  He accepted to try to read and we are going to go back to visit him on Wednesday.  It was a moment that marked me and I hope to try to see the other people that we teach in the same way.

I'm excited for what's ahead.  I'm glad to hear that you are all having such great experiences.  Don't forget to do Family History work and to go to the temple the most you can these weeks before school starts.  Read the scriptures everyday.  The prophet told you that you have to do it.  I love you and I'm excited to see what the next 13 months have to bring.  I love you and pray for you everyday.  And it was a relief to hear that Grandpa Hash is doing well.  I have prayed a lot for him.

I love you and am so glad to know that we are an eternal Family.

Elder Brady Allred

Thursday, July 27, 2017

It's good to hear from you all this week.  I'm glad that you all had a great week and had lot's of spiritual experiences.  I'm glad to hear that you all enjoyed your variety of experiences.

This week was honestly a little bit rough.  Lots of ups and several downs.  We did find a few people that we are going to start teaching.  Last night we went with one of them, Marcos, and he really accepted the Book of Mormon very well.  The problem is that we can't pass with him again until Saturday.  We are going to use the cell phone to stay in contact with him this week.  We have an advantage over his Christian church for two very big reasons.  Our church is the true and living church, and it also helps that our church is closer to his house.  So maybe we will be able to help him come to church with us.

My street contacts are getting better now.  This week we had splits (we call them divisions) with our district.  I got to work with Elder Button (the elder that is the son of a friend of somebody, the one from Kentucky).  He is about to go home this transfer.  He has amazing contacts and I am trying to do it more like he does.  I hope to be able to do it because he has a lot of success.  I want to be able to have a very big teaching circle and we hope that this week we can put the work as our number one priority and find a lot of people to teach.  We are looking desperately for families so that we can teach, baptize, and then seal families.  It's a lot of work and it's not as easy as we want.

We are trying right now to have the members give away Books of Mormon to their friends, and we are hoping to be able to have a few references this week.  We have given away about 12 Books of Mormon this week and we are going to give follow up to see how it went.

We are also going to walk faster this week.  Elder Pizarro has a very relaxed attitude and I hope to be able to change that.  We are going to get home and be exhausted this week and I hope that we can be blessed with more success for doing that.

Yesterday Karen didn't show up to church.  We talked to her and even though she already passed her baptismal interview we decided that it would be best to move her baptism one week so that she can go to church one time more before getting baptized.  We want her to feel the spirit in the chapel so that she can understand why it is so important to go there, every single Sunday.

This week end I started a project for my study.  I am doing what President Nelson talked about in the General conference.  Looking for every scripture in the Book of Mormon that talks about Christ.  I am using the index and I have learned a ton in just 2 or 3 days. I highly recommend it, because it is incredible to read analyze and then mark those scriptures.  It would be a great project to do before you all go back to school in less than a month.

Elder Allred

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

(I normally try to edit out the typos from Brady's letters.  I decided to leave them in this week.)

please wish Conner and grandma a happy birthday for me, and anyone else that you cn think of.
This keyboard really stinks and not a lot happened this week so this letter will be a little bit shorter.

Flores is about the same size as Ebano, but it feels about 10 times smaller.  It is amazing what public transport will do for an area.  I love the buses here.  they save me so much time and energy, but we still walk plenty.  the ward has more members that come to church than we do. It was incredible to see a full sacrament meeting yessterday.  we do need to work quite a bit on reeverence and recognizing the real importance of the sacrament.

talking about the Sacrament.  this month in the Liahona (probably in tthe new era) it talked about how we can take the sacrament better.  and irealized that we should honestly remember the Sacrament every day if we are going to realy take the sacrament onn sunday.  it means so much mor tome taking the sacrament when I really think about Christ during the week and really repent of all of my eerrors during the week.  I invite youu all to study the Atonement this week and try to undersstand how ithelps youu personally.

i also testify of what mmom said.  We really do just go through the motions in the church.  but i invite you all do try to do the things for the right reasons always.  Maybe a good study and applicationn of Moroni 7 would be a great starting place.  and then follow up with Alma 5.  I think that it will change you.

elder pizarro is bolivian, he is a recent convert of a little more than a year and a half, so he has a lot of great questions about the doctrines.  I`m glad that he allready finished his training so i know that he already has the basics down and I am helping him to answer a lot of his questions about...well about anything that you cn think of.  I have honestly learned so much in these 10 months and i keep learning more every day.  Study the scriptures daily or you will fall away from the church, if not physically then spiritually.

He's really lovable and likes to talk to the people, so I am going to take advantage of that to be able to get me in nthe habbit of talking to people.

we have a ton of exmissionarie inn the ward that are willing to work, but we just need to get them to do it for themselves, i am going to see how we are going to do that.  i do see a grand potential for working with members here in the ward.

The house is iin much better condition now than it was last week.  We got out of our water bill debt, bought a fryinng pan, and got rid of most of the dust that was on the floor.  It`s now a vey different house.

We should have a baptism next week.  we are working with Karen and teaching her.  She is almost readdy and wwe are exctited.  after her baptism we have the goal to look for a family to baptize in August.  wee are going to look hard because we have nobody else in our teaching circle.  we left a ton of investigators this week that have 4 months in teaching and haven't gone to church still.  it hurt my companionn`s feelings, but we would waste a lot of timme if we keep ogining with them more than once a week.  we`ll see whaat we`ll do this week and we hope to find a few families to teach.

i amm sorry for thee horrible spelling and grammar.  it`s ont my fault.  tHis keyboard is horrible. 

i love you all and hope that you can keep doing thinngs tahat will help you get closer to God.  if youu donn`t want to do faammily history work then please do it for me.  don`t forget to pray and read the scriptures everyday.  and try to realaly understand the sabbath day observance.  it will change your weeks.

Elder Allred