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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

Sunday, January 14, 2018

This week I worked really hard.  I talked to more people this week than I think I've talked to in my whole mission. Almost everybody that God put in my path was a hearer of the good word of God.  But the majority of the people didn't want anything to do with it.  So I guess that only leaves us with one choice.  Change that "almost everybody" to "every single person"  Honestly talking with so many people made me really really really tired every single day.  You get really tired looking for people to teach and the mental force required to talk to them and to try to help them feel the spirit.  But it is a great feeling to get home at night and to know that I did better today than yesterday.  It's a lot of work.

We, on Friday, had a mission wide conference call with all of the zone leaders. We talked about some of the goals of the mission and how we are going to do it.  Really the goal right now is baptize 125 people in February.  To do it we have the goal of talking to everybody, being obedient to all of the rules, and having the faith necessary to harvest.  I am working on all of those.  I'm not too bad in any of them, but there is a lot of room to improve. ALWAYS!  

 You'd think that you can just change in one day.  And sometimes you do.  But what I've learned with myself, as a leader, and more than anything with the investigators that I teach is that change takes time, and a lot of it.  We have to constantly be improving in everything that we do so that we can be more like God.  I've had to learn a lot of patience.

The bad news this week is that the Elder that had a appendix, but now he doesn't, has decided to go home. Even with all of our efforts he is just determined to go home, and we can't do anything now but wait for him to be physically recovered enough.  Today they tell us when he goes.  I feel really bad for him and hope that he can get everything worked out fast.

We also had a very sad Wednesday this week.  First we heard that President Monson had passed away.  It was a very sad bit of news.  I think we all saw it coming, but he was a great man and a mighty prophet.  I know he is still working hard in the other side of the veil.  He was undoubtedly one of the Lord's elect servants in these latter days.  He left a great legacy of service for all of us to follow.  May we always follow his example and believe his testimony in the days to come.

We also received news that day that one of the recent converts in the ward had passed away.  He has also been sick since his baptism 4 months ago, and hasn't been able to go to church for that.  It was a great to know that he has been baptized and had taken the name of Christ upon him.  I think that he went to the Spirit world with good company, and maybe he and President Monson were able to exchange a few words as they entered into their rest in paradise.

It is a great comfort for all of us to have the great plan of Salvation.  We no longer have the doubt of where we go after we part this mortal life.  We know where we go, and we know how to get the best reward when we get there.  God loves us so much and his marvelous plan has everything we need to be able to receive eternal happiness in the family.  I know that families can be forever and we will have one of those eternal families.  I love you each so much and hope that you can have a very happy year.  I pray for you, and hope you continue to pray for me.  Never forget who you are.  you are each Children of God and have HIS potential for good inside of you.

I love you
Elder Brady Allred

Thursday, January 4, 2018

I'd like to start by saying that this keyboard stinks, so hopefully everything is legible.

Happy new year.  It's all over.  This year I'm going home.  We get a new mission president.  I have a lot of goals that I hope to accomplish.  It was a little sad yesterday when I looked at my goals from last year and I hadn't achieved one.  There was only one of the seven that I even got close to keeping.  Hopefully this year goes better.  I have mission goals, post mission goals, and whole year goals.  It was kinda weird to think about all of that.  So I decided that I'm not going to think of the post mission goals any more until about the 2nd of September. ( I should go home the 3rd)

I'll let you know that today has been the best day of the whole year so far.  HAHHAHHA  I've been waiting all year to tell you that.

The great thing that happened today is that the other 2 elders that were living in our house moved out about an hour ago.  There is so much room now and it is much less cluttered.  I can now do all of my exercise without being cramped.  I can eat my breakfast and shower before 8 am because the 2 that took 30 minute showers just moved out.  It should be pretty calm now.

Guess what happened this week. I went the the hospital with appendicitis again.  But this time I wasn't the one that was sick.  They were the weirdest splits in my whole life.  They started Tuesday afternoon.  He has been struggling emotionally so I, as his Zone Leader, wanted to help.  I brought him to our area.  We were going to have a good day with a lot of success.  Well everything fell apart.  He started getting depressed and everything.  And so we talked to President in the night.  He just wanted to go home, and he wanted to send emails and talk to his mom the whole day.  He's still relatively new in the mission, so we thought that it was because of the Christmas season.

We talked to President for about an hour that night, because President was in the part of the mission where there isn't cell phone service all day.  We talked about goals and I was trying to help the Elder to be able to relax and set some reasonable goals, cuz he has that Mormon Perfectionism that almost every missionary has.  President gave us some recommendations and told me to stay with him for another day and I went to bed thinking that everything would be better in the morning.  Nope

He was worse.  It was crazy to see somebody tremble from anxiety for a few hours as I tried to calm him down.  As I said President didn't have service and the assistants told me to figure out what I could do to calm him down.  We played games, but he quit because he couldn't stop thinking about home and how sad he is. So we listened to conference talks.  That did help him a little bit, but not much.  He still wanted to talk to home and go home. so we talked to president again.  

And then he felt like throwing up so we went to the hospital because he felt really sick..  It was his appendix.  The funniest part was when he was laying down on the bed before the surgery and the tests and they asked are you comfortable.  He answered by throwing up a TON.  all over the bed and everything.  It was really funny.  I enjoyed talking to anybody that would come into the room for the 2 days that we were there. I felt a little like mom.  He's doing all right now and we are still a little concerned about him emotionally cuz he still wants to go home.  I remembered a lot about that hospital visit 11 years and one month ago and it was another one that I won't forget.

I'm sorry I'm short on time.  I love you all and hope you all have a great new year.  I'm excited to make these the best 8 months of my mission, and hope to do everything that I can to please the Lord.  Thank you for all of your help and support.  I love you and I know the church is true.  Have a great week and year.

Elder Brady Allred

Friday, December 22, 2017

This week wins on the crazy scale.  It started off alright with a lot of successes in the work.  We were able to talk to a lot of people that were very willing to accept our message.  So in that aspect we did have more luck than usual.  We also had interviews with President Ramirez and they went very well and he gave us some new ideas for how to teach better and how to keep finding new people.

So it was all going very well until Saturday. I woke up and felt a little bit drained of energy.  I tried to do exercise but I couldn't do all that much.  I ate breakfast and we kept going.  About 12 got here and I felt super tired and a little bit discouraged.  We even had some of the worst rejections Elder Sanchez or I have ever seen in our 3 years of combined missionary experience.  We went to the house because the sister that was going to feed us was going to bring us Pizza.  We thought that it was just hunger.

So we ate and then went to a stake Christmas "devotional" (I say that because there was really no opportunity to feel the spirit there, it seemed very "worldly" to me and the other missionaries)  So we were there and I felt like I had a fever, and I felt pretty bad.  We went back to the house and I got some rest.  I am feeling better now.

We also had transfers today.

Guess what!  I have a new companion.  His name is Elder Bawlby (I still have no idea how to pronounce it).  He is from New Jersey but he and his family live in Utah right now.  I really haven't talked to him that much because of being a little sick, but I'll get around to that.  We are still here in Lomas and we hope to keep working hard.  Elder Sanchez didn't go far, he is only on the other side of the city but he is going to be training a new Elder.  So we will still be seeing one another.

I do want to tell a great experience that was very much a miracle this week. We were looking for a past investigator called Gloria.  They were teaching her about 8 months ago.  We were in the colonia and the street but the register didn't have her house number, it just said that she lives in front of a bike shop and we had no idea where that was.  So we stopped to pray for direction, and we were going to contact people while asking for the bike shop.  We finished the prayer and an older lady was walking towards us.  She stopped us and started talking to us about the Jehovah´s Witnesses that stopped visiting her a few months ago without telling her why.  We told her that we aren't the JW´s.  And then we asked her name.  Guess what!  Her name is Gloria.  She said that she had felt the impression to talk to us.  So we went to her house and started talking to her.  She is recently separated from her husband, her 2 daughters already moved out, and she is alone.  the Gas also got there while we were there to fill up her gas tank, and the water jugs also got there.  She also found her pills that she had to take for her stomach just before we got there.  It was really cool how everything fit together and now we are hoping to find her in her home tomorrow to teach her some more.  But we are hoping for some great experiences with her and we hope that all of this was a sign that it is her turn to change her life.

I love you all and hope you have a great week full of miracles.  I hope you enjoy this Christmas season.  Thank you for everything.

Elder Brady Allred

Saturday, December 16, 2017

This week was a ton of work.

We planned a ward/stake missionary activity.  We were going to let some helium balloons go with some cards for Light the World initiative.  So it turns out that helium is really expensive so we had to give away candy attached to the cards instead.  And it just happened to be one of the coldest days in Victoria in about 20 years.  And then the next day was the coldest in 20 years.  We did go below 0 degrees Celsius.  I guess that was why the list asked for a below 0 coat.  It was cold and we all (every body in the whole city) froze half to death.  We did alright, but it was definitely very cold.  It's different here.  They don't have insulation in the walls and they don't have heaters. The good news is that the house does have a water heater so we didn't freeze like all of the other missionaries did.  But we outlived it and we will keep going on.

So El Chino told us that he doesn't want to get baptized until he knows more (we already taught him everything) and he still drinks coffee.  He's stopped coming to church.  So right now doesn't seem to be his moment.  Hopefully we can see some progress soon but for right now we will not have a baptism on Saturday.  It's kinda sad :( 

Aylin, the little girl that we told you about a few times a few weeks ago, seems to be going well and we hope that we will be able to get something moving in the family.  It may be time for a baptism there.  The family situation seems to be going better.  We just have to find them home.

Antonio and Laura don't seem to want to progress right now.  They have some problems in their house and we still can't figure out what they are.  They did stop smoking, but they haven't done anything to get married, and they aren't going to church, or reading either.  So it may not be their moment either.

We did find a man that seems to have potential.  He is called Javier.  He is 57, he works in the state government.  And he is a lifetime alcoholic.  Honestly, I do like working with alcoholics.  Sometimes they don't make it all the way out of their addictions but at least we do leave their lives a ton better than before.  He has drank since 13 years old.  He has destroyed his pancreas, and I think that his liver is about pickled.  He has tried to stop drinking but has never been able to accomplish it.  He said that right now the alcohol is the only thing that keeps his blood pressure down.  He thinks that drinking alcohol is better for him than taking pills.  He doesn't have much hope.  But we see a lot of potential.  He loves to read so we are hoping that the power of the Book of Mormon can get him out of his problems.  He just needs help and support.  Hopefully we can change his life.  Well I guess we're not going to change his life, the Gospel and Jesus Christ will do that.

I love you all so much.  Thank you for all of your support and love.  

Elder Brady Allred

Monday, December 4, 2017

So this was probably one of the most difficult weeks of my mission.

I started by getting really sick on Monday night.  A fever and everything.  Turns out that the cold that I had had the week before went away and then I got sick from a bacteria.  It was all in the throat and it was super miserable.  So we didn't work Monday or Tuesday cuz I had a fever.

Wednesday we worked a bit in the afternoon, I still didn't feel great but we honestly had to get out of the house.  The bad thing that happened on Wednesday is that we found out that they had tried to kidnap Alexis (El Chino).  They hit him a few times, loaded him up in the car, and when they were going to start beating him up again he got away and made it back to his house.  So he is staying in his uncles house and we still have no idea where that is. He also lost his Book of Mormon so he wasn't reading.  But now we are going to get going again with him.  That's 2 weeks without a good lesson.  He didn't come to church this week. So we'll get that figured out.

Antonio and Laura... well for all of the illness we lost touch with them a bit this week but we hope to start it up again with them this week.  They didn't come to church either.

Thursday was a normal day...kinda.  It was just a weird week and our time didn't go as we had hoped on Thursday.  I had had a dream that night that I was going to be bitten by a dog, and then we saw more dogs that barked and chased us on Thursday than my companion or I  have ever seen in our lives.  We saw 8 dogs in the last 2 blocks to get home.  But we were able to get away without any problems.  

Friday...We went to Tampico.  We had to take a baptismal record from some sisters in the zone and they weren't at the meeting place on time, they were in the bus central, so when we got there, we were going to go on the bus but it left 5 minutes early that time.  THEY ARE ALWAYS LATE!!! Except that time.  So we had to wait.  And we got to the meeting more than an hour late.  So that was really embarrassing.

The Christmas devotional was great.  I love all of the talks about love.  I hope you are all lighting the world in these days.   There are people that need your help.   We even picked up garbage yesterday looking for some way to light the world a little bit more.

So it was a rough week.  This week we are going to work hard and we are going to talk with literally everybody that we can.  We hope to have a lot of success.  I'm going to try to be more diligent this week.  The mission is great but it makes you realize all of your weaknesses.  I hope to be able to overcome all of them soon, but I think it's a life long practice.

Christ is there to help each of us.  If we honestly want to change then he will help us out and we will be able to do it.  I've seen many people.  Those who want to change do it, and those who don't, don't. And there are those that only want to change a bit, and they change a bit.  But God wants to change us completely, and if we are willing then He will make us what we were intended to be.

I love you 
Elder Brady Allred