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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Well, I am still here.  But Elder Johnson went to Valles.  That is literally about as close as you can get to the sun.  It can get up to 60 degrees Celsius there.  That is 140 Fahrenheit.  And last year it did make it to 63.  So hot that your shoes can melt to the side walk and the doves fall down from the heavens.  I am pretty sure that Moses was in Valles when the Israelites ate all of their birds, until it came out of their noses.  I hope you got that scripture reference.

So the great news is that Elder Jones, the other Zone Leader is with me now. That is just going to make my whole life a ton more easier  (that is horrible English but I'll just leave it there).  We can talk about the Zone now without having to talk on really dinky little phones.  They call these dumb phones "cacahuates" or peanuts.  And sometimes it might be better to use a peanut to talk to someone.  It is going to be great and the whole zone is going to move like crazy now.  We have two ex-zone leaders as our new district leaders.  They are both about ready to go home but they are going to help us a ton to move forward in the work here in Ampliacion.  I'm really excited.

This week the two kids of Gonzalo, Antonio and Ivonne, both got baptized.  It was a very simple service. There were great talks, and great prayers.  The best part was that Gonzalo got to baptize his kids.  He did a great job when he finally found the right words.  There was a very strong spirit there.  I think that they are going to stay active their whole lives.  They are so excited and it is always just great to see the smiles on their faces when we talk to them.

Jose Mateo went to church yesterday.  We had some great lessons with Him this week. We taught the Restoration with questions and he got to his own testimony that Joseph Smith is a prophet.  And he believes that we are the only true church.  We are going to have to keep going so that he can learn everything he needs to know to be able to pass the baptismal interview.  Hopefully we can do it.  His day is the 21st of April.

Good News.  Federico from Hidalgo, the blind and partially handicapped man that got baptized has the Melchizedek priesthood.  He has passed the sacrament a few times and has hardly missed a week. And Lizbeth just had two of her cousins baptized.  They are my strongest converts and they are from my first area.

This week we focused a lot on questions.  And how to find the needs of the people that we are teaching.  We learned a lot and had a ton of really spiritual lessons.  One of the best was with a student of the Jehovah's Witnesses.  She didn't want anything to do with us.  But we started asking her questions to get to know her and to figure out why she needs the Gospel.  And when we figured out that she had some problems in her childhood that she couldn't get over we talked about how Christ could help her to get over those problems and to forgive and feel better.  And we related it to prophets.  Cuz without prophets we wouldn't know that.  We had her in the corner and she felt the spirit. And so she suddenly pulled out a ton of excuses and basically ran away.  It was great. 

We did that with so many people this week.  I can honestly say that it was one of my most spiritual weeks in the whole mission.  Elder Johnson and I got along great and we were able to teach really well together.  Questions taught, Jose Mateo and about 8 or 9 other people this week why they need the gospel and we brought them closer to making covenants with God.

I got to do a baptismal interview for two kids this week. And I talked to their mom to see why she doesn't go to church or read.  We were able to explain the difference between real intent and passive curiosity.  It was really cool cuz she really understood it.  I hope that I can do that now with Elder Jones and that we can have even more success now. We have a ton of people with potential and hopefully some of them can progress.

Keep praying for us.  We can feel the difference, and don't forget to pray for the speakers in conference, they can feel the difference.

I love you and hope you are all doing great.
Elder Brady Allred

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

I was studying this morning and I loved that talk from general conference. And I loved the footnotes as well.  I thought I should recommend it to you.  It's by Elder John C Pingree Jr.  It is a great talk, and It should help you a lot.

This week I also reflected a lot on "The Reasons Why".  Really we need to do more than just read the scriptures or pray or go to church or to the temple or share the gospel.  We have to do it for the right reasons. And maybe just say to receive revelation is not a good enough reason.  We have to go before the Lord with a specific question every time that we pray, read, study, meditate, or take the sacrament or go to the temple we should be meditating a question, and a specific question at that.  And that way we can get a specific answer, and really grow line upon line and precept upon precept until we do get to be perfect "even as [Christ] or our Father in heaven [are] perfect" It's very interesting that we all learned about the same lessons this week, but in such a different way.

So I would like to talk about Friday.  We started by going with Jose Mateo.  He is 86, I think I already told you a bit about him. He is the one that went running for the Book of Mormon when he saw us coming down the street.  So we went with him for the 3rd time on Friday. We got there and started talking to him about the gospel.  The key to success with him is if he starts talking a whole bunch and telling a ton of stories (that is what all Mexicans tend to do, a bit like the guy in Ant-man) then we just grab the Book of Mormon to share a scripture and then he listens to us. So we were doing that and we explained the Restoration of the Church pretty easily and simply so that he could understand.  And when we got to the end we even invited him to a baptismal date for the 20th of April and he said yes.  So we invited him to continue reading second Nephi 31.  We said that he should continue reading where he was. And he thought that we meant that he should keep reading Moroni 10:5, the scripture we had shared moments before.  So he thought that we said to continue reading Moroni 10:5 until he memorized it. Today we are going to go back and check that.  He said that it is going to be rough to memorize it. So that made us chuckle a bit. But then we invited him to pray. We explained to him how.   "First you say Heavenly Father, then we thank thee for.... and you say whatever you feel grateful for, then we ask thee for.... and you say what you want to ask for. And then you finish saying in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen"  So he looked at the page for a moment, and said OK, I can do that.  So this is word for word what he said (translated into English)  "Heavenly Father.  We thank the for. We ask the for. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen."  I thought it was funny but I did contain myself.  But my companion did not.  He let out a chuckle.  The good news is that Jose is a little deaf now, so he didn't realize it. And he looked up with the biggest smile on his face.  So we congratulated him and told him that we would come back on Monday to see how it has gone.  he couldn't go to church yesterday but next week he should be able to.  It was a great experience.

So from there we went to get the food which was as far away as it could possibly be. So we went walking and a lady stopped us and asked for us to come over. She was there with another lady and they told us about how their niece, and granddaughter was in an accident. It was a little girl of a year and a half.  And she died in the accident. They didn't exactly tell us what happened but I think that she got ran over by a car.  So they asked us to say a prayer for her. So we went in and said a prayer for her ashes. And then they invited us to come back at 4:30 to the funeral mass and share our message there.  So we did come back and we shared the Plan of Salvation with 30 people.  And they invited us to come back again the next day.  Both days we sang some hymns.  The first day we shared I Am a Child of God and I Know That My Redeemer Lives. The spirit was really strong.  The second day the people treated us more like just another Christian church and didn't really pay as much attention and the spirit was not as present.  We did share about the Family Proclamation and the eternal nature of families.  We sang Families Can Be Together Forever, and Nearer My God to Thee.  We are going to go back once or twice more this week to see if anybody would really like to know a bit more.  After we finished both days then they started their Catholic prayers and songs, so that was very interesting to be present during that, but the people at least felt the spirit a bit and I think that we planted a ton of seeds.

The other great event that occurred on Friday was when we went with Ivonne and Antonio.  We had to plan the baptismal interview for Saturday. And Ivonne had told us that she was not sure about the baptism a few days ago. So when we got there we thought that we were just going to confirm Antonio's baptism and cancel Ivonne's. But the most incredible thing happened. She told us about her desires to get baptized because of all of the changes that her dad has made.  She wants to follow his example and so she did decide to get baptized and she passed the interview and so did Antonio. That's not all, they also came to church alone yesterday because Gonzalo had to work yesterday for some rainy day postponing to his work this week. But Antonio and Ivonne made the changes necessary to their plans to come with us to church.  The biggest concern Ivonne had yesterday when we talked about the baptism was if she had to fast for the baptism. She was relieved when we told her no.

So that was the best day of my week. Hopefully we can have some more great experiences this week to tell you next week.  I love you and thank you all for your prayers. They did make the difference for Ivonne, and I know that it is thanks to your prayers that I am still here. Thank you so much.

I Love You
Elder Brady Allred

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

I hope nobody had a heart attack when they didn't see emails yesterday.  I suppose you are all alright cuz you didn't send me another email asking if I'm alright ;)  But I know you were paying attention.

The reason we didn't write yesterday was because we moved our P-Day this week.  We had P-Day today so that we could go to the temple.  It was a great experience.  Really it reminded me of a lot of things.  We did an endowment session, and to be honest it has been way too long since the last time.  But it was a great and edifying experience and I have new goals for this week and for the rest of my mission. It is the greatest thing to be able to go the house of the Lord to ask for guidance and help in my life.  I know that He is always there to give us the direction that we need.

This week was a great week full of Spiritual experiences.  I'll start with one on Friday.

Something that I've learned in the mission is that two good lessons can be very similar but two spiritually guided, and effective lessons will never be the same.  Maybe we will talk about Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ, the apostasy, and the restoration, and the Book of Mormon, but if you ask the right questions and follow the spirit then they will never be the same.  We taught a young man called Fernando.  He is studying in the University.  He was very interested to hear about our message.  He read part of the pamphlet and started the lesson asking about the Book of Mormon.  So we did this cool thing where we teach the first lesson, the Restoration with the pictures in the front of the Book of Mormon.  First we talk about God and his love for us.  Then we talk about Families.  Then Prophets, like Lehi.  The Dispensacion cycle that is in the Book.  Then Baptism. Then Christ's coming and his Church.  Then the apostasy.  That leaves us in the perfect place to talk about Joseph Smith and his role as prophet in bringing the book of Mormon out into the light.  It was really cool and really spiritual even though we were standing the whole time.  At the end we invited him to read the book of Mormon and to pray about it to decide if it was the truth.  He ended up telling us no :( so that's real sad.  But if he had said yes then we would have put a baptismal challenge, and maybe even a date.  All of that in less than 30 minutes.  Most missionaries struggle to explain the first lesson in less than an hour.  I do, with out a doubt, know that Fernando felt the spirit, but he did use his agency to choose.  He said it's cuz he doesn't have time, but I know that he will accept the missionaries and their message in a few months when he has more time.

Sunday was really cool.  We were going to church with Gonzalo, the recent convert and his kids.  His kids asked us "Did you eat breakfast?" and before we could answer Gonzalo said "It's the first Sunday of the month, and thus Fast Sunday. No they did not eat"  And we never actually taught fasting super in depth to him.  He just read it in the pamphlet about tithing and put it into practice.   His kids left church to go eat after the first hour.  I think that they weren't fasting, I think that they were just going without food.  I don't think that he warned them, he just made them fast.  It was kinda funny and I got a good laugh out of it.  

We also got to go the temple with Ivon, Gonzalo's daughter, last week. It was pretty neat to hear those great lessons.  It is very worth your time to go to seminary, and even more, if you actually prepare for the classes.  It was a very spiritually edifying experience.

We also got to clean the church this week with the members.  The members are always very surprised when we show up to service and church cleaning activities.  But it's such a great way to get to know them, and to get their confidence, so I always try to set aside time to go help them. We also dug a well this week.  It was cool to go to that too.  I love working with the members.  But sometimes I do wish they would pass a few more references.

We found a great family last week.  We have only met the mom, Vicky, and her daughter. She is great and we are going to go with her again tomorrow. Yesterday when we went, her mom was really drunk and so we couldn't teach much.  She told us that she is going to make sure that all of her chores are done for tomorrow.  She works so hard to take care of herself, her 3 kids, and one on the way, and her mom who struggles with some addictions and some very hard stories.  I really hope that they will open up their hearts to our message tomorrow.

We also found a great brother.  He has a Book of Mormon from about 20 years ago, from sisters that we have never heard of. And they took the sisters out of the ward about 15 years ago.  He has taken great care of it. He saw us coming down the street and ran into his house to pull out the book and he wants to know more.  He's only 86 years old.  If he is willing to go to church then he should progress quickly.

We had a great lesson yesterday with Esmeralda too, an investigator that we found last Sunday.  She's 19 years old, but she has some rough stories about her family.  She really likes the idea of being able to get sealed to her father who died about 6 years ago, her mom, and brothers.  We'll see if she wants to start reading. She's great but so far she hasn't read anything. But we did have a great experience yesterday when we talked about how she could come to have her very own testimony of the Book of Mormon and Christ. And that she doesn't have to depend on anyone else for that testimony.

I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that every time that we read it, it will help us to make better choices.  We can come to have our own testimony, the testimonies of others will only carry us so far.  Families really can be forever. Go to the temple often. The people in Victoria go to the temple once a month and it is 4 hours away.  Please go, it is only 5 minutes away for you.  I love you and hope that you all have a great week.

Elder Brady Allred

Monday, February 26, 2018

To tell the truth, all English sounds really weird right now.  It never sounds right.  But hopefully you can all understand me in what I will try to share today.

First off, thank you all for you support in the last year and a half.  It really makes a big difference to know that there are a lot of people at home praying for me always.  It helps a lot to know that.  Thank you.

This week was a lot better.

We had interviews with President and then we had a 5 zone conference.  What I did learn is that we should focus more on the Book of Mormon in our work.  It is a lot more powerful when we do that.  We have been sharing scriptures from the Book of Mormon in our street contacts.  It's interesting how the people react when we share another book that is not the Bible.  Sometimes they ask a lot of questions.   Like where does it come from?  Why we would ever use a book that is not the bible.  How they can get one  (that's one of my favorites).  We have found that when we talk about the Book of Mormon people are a lot more interested in our message and the offer to visit them seems more like an offer to explain why the Book of Mormon and what it contains!   It was pretty cool to work more with that book of Scripture.

As we have been talking more about the Book of Mormon it inspired me to read it more.  I flew through the war chapters and all of Helaman in less than a week.  If I keep that up then I should finish in about 3 weeks more.  It is a more united story when you read it all together, and some times you see patterns and doctrines that you would not see other wise.  I've even learned a bit about government and society.    Really if everybody would read the Book of Mormon and live the warnings that Mormon and then Moroni give us then we would not have the problems that we have.  Really they give a great warning for all of the things that are happening.  Secret Combinations are not good, and the only way to overcome them is with the Holy Ghost and the Book of Mormon open and in our hands everyday.
Talking about that.  Gonzalo does have a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon, and we made sure of that.  We talked to him and his two kids the other day and we asked them if they have been reading.  They have been but they haven't asked if it it was true.  So we read the talk from President Nelson from the conference.,  It was great and it taught them very well.  So then we invited Gonzalo to kneel down and ask God if the Book is true (it was something that President Nelson and Elder Clayton invited us to always do last year when they came, which will have been a year on Thursday, great experience).  When we did it the spirit came in really strong.  It was really peaceful there and Gonzalo said that he felt like the book was burning in his hands.  They KNOW now that the book is very true.  And his kids finally started reading it.
The good news is that Gonzalo did get baptized on Saturday.  He sacrificed a lot of his time for the baptismal service because it took a while to get started, but it all turned out well.  He has changed a lot and now he is a whole lot happier.  His kids accepted a baptismal date for the 17th of March, and now they have started reading the Book of Mormon too.  We shared the story of Enos last night telling them to be like him and to follow their dad in his righteous ways.  hopefully they do that.

Thank you for all of your help and support.  I love each of you.  Never forget to read the Book of Mormon, it is the key to a strong testimony.

Elder Brady Allred

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

This week I focused a whole bunch on Faith in Jesus Christ.  I realized that even though I believe in Him and I know that He is my savior, I think that I have been forgetting to have more faith in Him while I have been working.  I think that I have been trying to do it all myself.  I had more trust in my work than in His.  So this week I changed that perspective a little bit more.  I worked hard to believe that He is working around and through me to be able to save His children.  Sometimes it is just hard to trust. Should I really talk to that person?  Was that the spirit or me?  But what I have definitely learned in these last few weeks is that if you just go for it and trust that it is always an inspiration from God, then it usually will be.  Joseph Smith said that if we follow the first impression always then 9 times out of 10 we will be right.  So I have been working on my reaction rate, trying to be a first responder.  But sometimes I don't do it.  Sometimes the natural man wins.  That always stinks, but I'm getting there.  I think that it is like a muscle.  The more that you try to use it the stronger it gets.  And the mission is the best time to exercise the muscles of faith, obedience and revelation.  I hope to go home really buff. hahaha

I've decided that Tanner Isbell and my companion are pretty much the same person just with different stories and lives.  But they are about the same in their attitudes, way of thinking, and more than anything in their way of talking.  Elder Johnson is progressing a lot and I am learning a lot by working with him.  It's a pretty great time most of the time.

The good news this week is that a brother called Gonzalo is going to get baptized on Saturday.  Wednesday we are going to have his baptismal interview to make sure that everything is ready and then on Saturday we should have a baptism.  In a few more weeks his kids should get baptized too.  Their names are Antonio and Ivone.  They finally went  to church yesterday and we are going to put a baptismal date this week so that they can start to progress more.  It is a really great family and we are excited for what it is going to bring in the close future.

We are going to keep looking for a lot of new people to teach.  We have to have a lot of faith to really be able to find people to teach.  I guess that I am going to have to try to just swing to be able to get it all right.  It's like baseball.  Just swing.  And later you can worry about getting it right.

We also had the zone leader conference this week.  It was pretty great and we got to hear from President Ramirez.  I learned a lot there.  What I really liked was when we talked about D&C 121:41-45.  Really it is important that we be that kind of leader.  We have to be patient and loving.  We can't force the other people around us to do what we want.  Really Christ is the kind of leader that is described in those verses.  We have to love the people that we serve, and make sure that they know it. Like President Monson says, it's not enough to just assume that they know that we love them, we have to tell them so.  So I am going to try to do that more and I invite each of you to do the same in your callings and in your relationships with others.  Really the patience is one of the most important things to show that love.  Charity is long suffering (or patient).

I love the Book of Mormon and everything that it teaches.  Really most of their problems that they had could have been a lot easier to solve if the people had love one for another, or if they would us the principles taught in the Family Proclamation,  la fe, de la oración, del arrepentimiento, del perdón, del respeto, del amor, de la compasión, del trabajo y de las actividades recreativas edificantes.  Those are really important and I know that whatever problems we have they can be solved by using those principles.

Faith and repentance always work together.  When we increase one we have to increase the other.  They are really like the two sides of a penny.  When you grab one you grab both.  If you only grab one side and don't move the other then you will never be able to pick the penny up.  So I invite each of you to look into your lives and see the ways that you can increase your faith and repent more.  It will really make a difference in your life and everything will be so much easier.  I lived it this week.

Thank you all for your prayers.  I honestly did feel that constant help.  Please keep praying for me,   It is a true testimony of prayer to have received all of that help this week.

I love you all and thank you so much for your help and support.  Have a great week this week and don't forget to read your scriptures every day.

Elder Allred

Saturday, February 17, 2018

To tell the truth this week was really rough.  I think that changing areas affected me a whole lot more than it had the other times.  It's not that I'm in an unproductive area.  It's not that I don't get along well with my companion.  It's not that I'm uncomfortable in the situations.  It's just that it took me out of my comfort zone a bit.  I think that I was really comfortable in Lomas and I didn't want to change areas very much, so I think it just shook me up a bit more than I expected.  Who know's why but it was a rough week.

We did have some great teaching experiences.  We teach really well together and think almost in the same way.   We are able to explain things so simply and so straightforward that I can honestly say that I've never felt so good teaching in my whole mission.

We've also been contacting a ton. I've learned that I have to be a little bit more assertive in the contacts, making sure that the people really know what we have to offer.  I have been trying to make sure that if there is even the slightest chance that they might progress to try to get an appointment so that we can try to pass by another day.  We have actually found a few people to teach that way.  Maybe we only teach them once, but at least that plants a seed in their heart for the future missionaries to harvest.

Honestly, it's a pretty small and a very humble area, especially in comparison to Lomas.  So that is kinda cool.  It is a more accepting part of the mission and It is actually one of the areas and zones that baptize most.  So I do have the responsibility to keep that going in the area and in the zone.  I am training the other zone leader as well, but I think that now he's going pretty well.  So I hope he keeps it up.

We were going to have several people in church yesterday, but it was incredible that nobody showed up to church.  We even passed by for all of them.  I guess that better luck next week.

I hope that this week I will be able to find something to be able to change me or my situation a little bit.  I guess I just have to trust what mom told me that they said in the conference.  “God doesn’t give us what we can handle.  He helps us handle what we are given.”  I think I'll study faith a bit more this week and try to get some more of that.  Wish me luck and pray for me a lot.  I need it.

I love you a lot and hope to be able to continue focusing on the important things for these last months of my mission.

Thank you for everything.  Keep studying and keep praying.  I love you.

Elder Allred

Thursday, February 8, 2018

I got changed to Zona Ampliacion.  That is in Madero once again.  And my area is Del Valle 1.  It looks like a great area with a lot of potential.  I hope that we can work hard and see more people progress than in Lomas

This week in Lomas I was honestly rejected more frequently and more harshly than any other week in my whole mission.  I have never run into so many people with as hard of hearts as this week..  Hopefully we could plant some very good seeds in some hearts that will someday produce the fruit of the Gospel.  But at least for right now I haven't gotten to see  much of that.

Blanca was someone that we had visited last week and she accepted that we could go back for a second visit.  To tell the truth the second visit was not what I hoped for.  She started telling us that the bible is perfect and that we don't need another book.  She told us that there are no such things as angels, and that if an angel should appear than we should doubt it.  We don't need prophets either.  We tried to reason a bit with her but she didn't let us talk at all.  She finished the appointment of an hour and a half talking for half an hour.  It was a little bit rough, but we left her with her Book of Mormon and she said that she is going to read it, so hopefully that can soften her heart up a bit.

The Porras family is progressing very well now.  They are reading the Book of Mormon and have already finished 1 Nephi.  So that is pretty cool.  I remember that the first time that I went there the sister said that she would never read a book because she doesn't like to read, and now she's the one that's reading the most.  She has a ton of questions about the plan of Salvation and I hope that the new missionaries can answer the questions that they have so that they can progress and get baptized.

I am now with Elder Johnson.  He's from Sacramento California.  He has about 4 months in the mission. As we have been talking we have come to the conclusion that we are almost identical.  He is also going to study Computer engineering, he ran cross country, played tennis, and about 3 other sports as a youngster.  He plays piano, he took a ton of AP classes, and only had to go to the MTC for 3 weeks as well.  It's pretty crazy. I think that we are going to work well together and I hope that we will be able to go far to do everything that God wants from us.  He seems like a great missionary and I hope to be able to help him be even better.  I am Zone Leader again and I am going to teach Elder Jones (another Elder) how to be a zone leader. So we are separated again. Hopefully it will go well in the zone.  There are 14 missionaries again, so plenty of work to do.

I am excited, there is a real teaching circle here and it looks like it is a bit more easy to find investigators.  I hope that we can keep doing that and have a lot of success.

Honestly I was very surprised yesterday to hear several members tell me things like "you are the first good missionary we've had here in a long time" or "I've learned a lot from watching you work hard without investigators" or "you always have a good attitude" or things like that.  When I started thinking about it with some of the members we realized that in my time here the members have started to accompany missionaries to visits, they have started to do their home teaching, and the ward attendance has gone up about 15 or 20 people.  And all of the members attribute that to me.  I honestly was a little sad about how little I had achieved there, but I now realized that I did have a lot of success there, and that thanks to my work the other missionaries that go now will have a much easier time.

I don't say that to brag, I say it because I was humbled to hear it, and I appreciate that even without "success" the members there will remember me as a successful missionary.  It was great to hear those complements.  And I hope to be able to achieve it again here in Del Valle

I love you all and hope you have a good week.

Elder Allred

Saturday, February 3, 2018

This week was an incredible week.  The other zone leader and I started by making a zone plan on Tuesday.  What we decided that the zone needs is to focus more on our real purpose.  Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the RESTORED GOSPEL... we have been missing the focus on the restoration of the Gospel.  We have been talking to everyone about the church, but according to all of the numbers this week we weren't talking to the people about the restoration of the gospel, our main message.  We found almost twice as many people, and talked to about the same quantity of people.  So that for me is a testimony that there is really more power in missionary work when we talk about the restoration.

We found a sister named Rosy this week.  She goes to the Adventist church.  They believe that the Sabbath day is still on Saturday because the 10 commandments can't be changed.  So we started talking about Peter in the first appointment and that he had the keys, about the importance of prophets, priesthood, and revelation.  And we told her that Peter, under divine direction was told to change the Sabbath day to Sunday (Acts 20:7, 1 Corinth. 16:2).  She wasn't convinced.  So we took a step back and explained to her the restoration, that God called Joseph Smith to be His prophet in these days and that he was commanded to change the Sabbath day to Sunday.  We told her about the Book of Mormon and that if it is true than the Sabbath day is Sunday because Joseph Smith is a prophet.  We answered some questions.  We found out that in her church they have a prophet that is a woman, and that she wrote a book.  But she had never read it.  We told her that by their fruits shall ye know if a prophet is true or not, so she has to read or the book of Mormon or the book of her prophet, but preferably both to know which one is really a prophet.  It seems like we left her with some doubts as to if her church is true, cuz her and her husband aren't all that convinced to start with.

We also taught the restoration to some less actives in the ward.  We did it with a puzzle and with the doctrines written behind the pieces.  But there were four pieces missing.  Revelation, and Priesthood power to 1 baptize, 2 give the gift of the Holy Ghost, and 3 seal families together forever.  so we went through the exercise.  And when we finished explaining it, the brother, who returned to his christian church, started to get a little angry, because the "gospel can´t be broken".  So we explained the apostasy and that it was partially lost and for the confusion of some of the Christians.  He then was a little bit illogical in some of his answers.  But then he asked how Joseph Smith died.  I can honestly say that it was one of the most powerful experiences I've had in my whole life, and without a doubt the most powerful in my mission. It was the strongest I have ever felt the spirit through my own words.  I started to tell the story and the house was full of the spirit.  And it almost made me start to cry.  My voice trembled a bit as I told the story.  I testified that Joseph Smith died as a martyr, innocent of any crime, and killed in innocent blood, unarmed and in prison.

My companion and I reflected on the experience and we have no idea why the brother did not want to accept our message.  The spirit was so strong in that moment.  His only argument that he had at the end was that we honor more Joseph Smith than Jesus Christ, even after we had shared scriptures testifying that Jesus is the Christ, and that Jesus has done more for us than Joseph Smith. It was sad that the brother could reject our message so harshly.  The good thing is that he said that it always goes that way when the missionaries talk to him.  It was my second time, but he is still really friendly with us cuz his son is in the mission. and he respects the other beliefs.  so who knows.  Maybe the next missionaries will be able to help him more than me.

We also had a lot of splits this week. One day I was with Elder Lopez in Purification.  First of all a dog tried to bite me twice, for no reason whatsoever, my sweater that I had taken off was the only thing that saved me from certain stitches.  But the other thing that happened was that we went to an appointment with a new investigator that they had.  But the most incredible thing was that we could not feel the spirit at all in the appointment.  We wanted to talk about the restoration but we could not.  I felt my mind very clouded, and the brother was not opening up very well.  We couldn't even mention the word prophet.  It is what I would call a stupor of thought.  And then I realized what it was.  I all of a sudden started telling the brother that he has a problem and that until he wants to get over it we cant help him.   I basically told him that he has an addiction (not explicitly, but very obviously) and that we can help him to overcome it, and THEN we could feel the spirit.  A little bit.  It was a very weird feeling but as soon as we left the house (we were outside for the lesson) we felt instantly better.  I talked to Elder Lopez a bit, and we have few ideas about how to help. It was another experience in which I was able to receive revelation to be able to help an investigator know that we are representatives of Jesus Christ and that we really do have his power to be able to help him.

We also explained the restoration to a brother named Eloi (blessed of God in Hebrew) that day. He knows a ton about the bible and we couldn't get anywhere in telling him about the restoration, cuz he knows the bible way better than we do.  We did show him a few scriptures that did help him to soften his heart a little bit to open up to the message.  And at the end of the appointment he asked what he would have to do if he decides that the Book of Mormon is true.  So we told him to listen to the other lessons and to do the commitments so that he can know that it is true.  "If any man will do my will he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of man or whether I speak of myself"  He accepted to listen more to the missionaries without getting too much into the extra details about the church and the bible.

We also taught the most incredible lesson about the restoration last night to a brother called Fernando.  He accepted everything and honestly we could see the spirit explaining everything to him more than we were.  He understood perfectly what a prophet does, why we need a true church, and the whole Idea about how the Book of Mormon came to be.  And he is going to read it and try to stop drinking.  And all of that in less than 30 minutes.

 Those are just some of the experiences that we had this week as we were teaching the restoration. We hope that some of these people will decide to follow our advice to study the restored gospel and decide if it is true.  Maybe some of them will progress, but I can say that our teaching is much more powerful when focused on what makes us unique than what makes us the same.  

I know Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he did indeed see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and that Christ called him to restore the church and the Gospel to the earth.  Without him I would not be here. I am forever indebted to Jesus Christ for his sacrifice and I hope to be able to continue strengthening my testimony of Him and that through that testimony I will be able to overcome all of my struggles and problems. It is incredible how much these plain and precious truths make a difference.

Elder Allred

Friday, January 26, 2018

This week was a really rough week with a lot of ups and downs as well.

We had a great afternoon last week.  We looked for some inactive members for a while and then we visited some recent converts.  It was a pretty normal day.

We continued working this week with the members.  Every single day we had at least one member of the ward accompany us to at least one lesson. It was great and honestly we saw great reactions from the investigators.  They respond a little bit more to the experiences of someone that has gone through Missionary Lessons to get baptized and that has a full life of experiences.  There is honestly a lot of power when there is a member present in the lesson that you can't find without them.  It adds a third, and even more convincing witness, to the truth of the things that we are teaching.  And it is also the best way to find new people to teach because the members are often very respectable and so when they introduce us to their neighbors the people seem to accept us better.

Once again I got to the bus station late for the trip to Tampico for the Leadership council.  It was horrible to go late AGAIN.  I have no Idea how that has happened twice now.  I think I am going to be better in getting there early from now on.  I have already made a lot of changes this week to avoid similar situations. But it was kind of unique to be alone for 4 and a half hours that day.  It did give me a good chance to talk to the people sitting next to me and some of them were very receptive to the message.

Nobody went to church again. Saturday night we had 3 families that had told us that they were going to go to church, but come Sunday morning nobody showed up and nobody answered their phones.  This time we went with one of the families in the afternoon and they told us that their sister in law fought with her brother and then left with the kids so they had to take care of that.  Something always happens like that.  A few weeks ago the investigators that were going to go to church had their washing machine explode Sunday morning.  And if it's not that then somebody has to be throwing up or in the hospital.  Who knows why but its giving me a lot more patience.

That is our little stand that we put in the flee market
close to our house.We gave away a ton of stuff there.
We are still teaching the same families.  The Family of Zenia is starting to do their commitments a bit.  The Hernandez family doesn't drink any more and Brother Hernandez is still reading the book of Mormon.  Antonio and Laura that I told you about a few months ago stopped smoking but haven't done anything else.  The thing that makes me most happy is that I know that every step forward is one step closer to covenants with God.  At least there is a little bit of progress, even if not that much. 

I hope that this week we can have a great spiritual experience with one of those families or somebody else at least that can help these people to come closer to God and to be better than they were before.  I hope to see someone in the church building next week.

I also learned another great lesson this week.  God will always work through imperfect servants even though this work is so important.  Sunday we got to church and started getting everything ready and guess what.  There were no sacrament cups.  So we started church 20 minutes late and the sacrament was still not ready and the cups weren't even there when we started.  It made me appreciate more that we, as imperfect mortals, will always be able to do a good enough job for God.  The only job that He had for us to do that had to be done perfectly was accomplished but the only One that was perfect.  He doesn't hope that imperfect people do a perfect job, He just expects the best that we can give.  I am so grateful to Christ who makes up the difference. There is no undone job that will stay unaccomplished at the end of everything. There is no broken heart that will not be healed and no tear of sorrow that will not be made up by 100 tears of joy.  I know that if we do the bet we can everyday to do what He asks of us it will always be enough.

Thank you for everything. Keep working hard and apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in your lives everyday and it will all be better

I love you. 
Elder Brady Allred

Saturday, January 20, 2018

This week we got to work a lot with the members.  Homar one of the recent converts in the ward is really excited with his calling. The assistant to the ward mission leader.  And considering that the ward mission leader is inactive, that means that Homar is basically the ward mission leader.  We have been doing a lot of coordination with him and we are now going to have members accompanying us in almost every single day.  That will be pretty cool.  We are hoping that the members can help us to reactivate some of the less active families in the ward and then we are going to go for the inactives that only have part of the family baptized.  Hopefully that way we can find some references.

I'll tell you that I am really tired.  When the Elder went home his companion got changed to another zone.  And he was one of the district leaders, so me and my companion have had to fill in.  We are doing a lot of work to put the area book in order so that everyone that comes after us knows where to keep working.  We have been working a lot with that every night.  And beyond that we have been trying to talk to more people in the streets. It's hard. Sometimes you just don't want to talk to anyone and you feel like everyone that you talk to is just going to reject you, so I'm trying not to judge.  God is no respecter of persons, and I don't want to be because I am doing His work. I am trying to get over that.

We have been working with 2 families more than anyone else.  The Hernandez family that I was telling you about a few months ago.  We have been teaching them a lot and the dad is reading the Book of Mormon and he loves it, which is great because it took 3 months to get him started,  but as soon as he grabbed it he was hooked.  His sons are willing to listen and the three of them are willing to get baptized.  Now we have to work a bit more on his wife.  She likes us, and is willing to talk to us but she is really difficult, and she always has a lot of excuses. Hopefully we can help her to have real intent.  The husband is willing to get baptized if God answers his prayer, but we just have to help Sister Hernandez to get over her doubts.

We have also been working a lot with the Porras Family. They are some investigators that I was teaching when I got here to Lomas, but we only every found Sister Porras and she never really had all that much interest.  She likes us too but she doesn't like to read and she hasn't gone to church in years. But we found Brother Porras at home one day and found out that he does like to learn about the church and seems to have a good idea of what we teach. He loves to read. We just haven't been able to get them to church.  We are going to finish talking about the restoration and the first vision tomorrow and hopefully it can touch their hearts enough to help them decide to go to church, and to get baptized.  They are a really fun family to be with and I just hope that they can open up their hearts.

The members are willing to help us.  After some of the Ex missionaries saw us knocking doors, rumors spread.  All of the ex missionaries in the ward know that we are using our last resort, and they are now willing to help. We are starting to get some references and we hope that something will turn up from all of this work.  I guess it's true that if you see the missionaries working hard then you are going to want to work as well.

I love you
Elder Brady Allred