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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 albaƱil (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

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Change is great.  It was about time for some sort of change.  I didn't really care whether I went or my companion or both of us, or even if we stayed together but in another area.  I just wanted some thing to change.  And I am not in Ebano anymore.  Back to Victoria.  We'll see if I can last a while here this time.  I am in Flores Ward which is right next to Carrera so I do know a bit about the area.  We hope to be able to animate the members after some other bad experiences that they have had with missionaries.   I am going to be with Elder Pizarro.  He has three months in the mission field and has one transfer in Flores already.  He's excited and we already knew each other because he was serving in Panuco before he came here to Victoria.  We are hoping to have a lot of success here.
Well, My companion did stay in Ebano, I don't know what he's going to be able to do with that.  Seberiano lost a lot of excitement for the Gospel and the church when I told him that I was going to go.  He actually said "Oh! I guess we'll postpone the baptism then" and then he walked out of the church.  Hopefully my companion can find him and explain to him that the church is still true even though I'm not there.

Perla didn't go to church yesterday because she got sick.  I did go to say goodbye.  Hopefully she will decide to get baptized.  She still won't make the decision.  I hope that she decides to follow the example of Jesus Christ and that she can know that the church is true as well.

The pictures that I sent are from our District.  I guess there must have been an angelic ministration behind us or maybe it's a sign that we are going to be translated.  Maybe it was just a window.  But it's the picture that I got before we had to go running to get to the bus on time.  I will send more pictures when my companion sends me the few that he got.  We also took pictures with the Morales Family.  I forgot to take pictures with the other people that we visited but I will try to remember better here and I'll send more pictures.

I love you all and hope that you have a great week.  I know that the church is true and that we have the fullness of the Gospel that the other churches don't have.  They all have a part of the truth but they are missing the authority and at least part of the truth.  Thanks to Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon all of those parts that were missing have already returned to the earth.  Like President Monson said "If you do not have firm testimony of these things, do thawhich is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony in these difficult times, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. However, once obtained, testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through continued obedience to the commandments of God and through daily prayer and scripture study."

I know that he is the prophet of God and that if we follow his instructions we will be able to make it through these tough times.

Elder Allred

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

I´m glad to hear that you are all enjoying your warm summer so much.  I am grateful for the rain that we have been getting.  Supposedly it is the rainy season right now for about 3 weeks and then it heats back up again for the Canicula, the 40 hottest days of the year (The catholic beliefs and traditions are really fun.  It´s hot for these days due to San Isidro Tadeo, who knows why but I´ll let you know if it is true or not), and then comes the real rainy season.  But last year that second rainy season never got here (Because I was already in the mission field a year ago during the rainy season).  So that's my general idea of the weather forecast.  And then we'll just repeat the whole year all over again.  And then I'll come home and dry up and be really cold.

So we are always sweating, it's fun but I think that we almost do get used to it.

This week we decided to follow President Ramirez's council.  He said that if the members don't want to help us then we are going to keep doing the missionary work while trying to help them want to help us.  And so we started doing the missionary work for ourselves and backed off a little bit on trying to get their help.  And we had a relatively good amount of success.  We talked to more people in the streets, set up a lot of appointments and then had a lot of those appointments fall through.  So we walked a ton.  We did have a lower sacrament attendance yesterday but the good news is that we are in the process of looking for more people to teach.

Seberiano also came to church yesterday.  He went with the TJ's (Spanish JW's) because he thought that the members weren't actually going to go to the conference.  So we talked to him a few times this week. He is reading the Book of Mormon and I think that he is enjoying it.  Our biggest problem with him is that his answers to our questions and his asking questions is almost impossible to understand.  My companion and I can't describe it because it literally has no sense what he is talking about most of the time.  I think that he tries to use examples to impress us but his examples make absolutely no sense whatsoever.  So we are looking for a way to find a Urim and Thumim to be able to understand him.  But we keep going and he seems to enjoy everything and maybe he will really get baptized on the 15th.

Perla is also going well.  She did enjoy the conference last Sunday, but we do have some news about her.  She and Roberto broke up Sunday after the conference.  We were trying to figure out how to help them live the Law of Chastity so that it wouldn't take a year and Roberto took care of that.  They fought a bit and then decided to break up, and they are not going to get back together it seems.  So that makes it so that Perla is living the Law of Chastity and she is now praying to know what she should do with Roberto and if she should get baptized.  She fasted yesterday and hopefully that helped her make up her mind.  Sometimes it's hard not to tell them the truth about what they should do and we have to let the spirit tell them, but in the long run it is so much better if they can learn for themselves what they should do.

I want to adopt Elder Maceda as an Allred.  He had a great Allred moment this week.  We went running for the house and I'm sorry to say that he only made it half way through the bedroom before all of his fruits and vegetables decided that it was time.  He'll make a great cousin or something, but I think he's spent too much time with me now.

I also pulled out my English scriptures yesterday to show my companion. We have more references and information at the end of our scriptures than they have in Spanish, about 4 or 5 times over.  Take advantage of it in your studies.  We have more information there than you can imagine.

I know that when we overcome our trials is when we progress most and learn more about how to be like Christ.  Don't forget to trust in Him to overcome the problems that you are all facing.  Make sure you read the Book of Mormon everyday.  If you don't then Satan will always win the fight.  Do family history and always love one another as Christ loves you.

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

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Well speaking about the roller coaster of missionary work I would definitely say that right now we are trying to go uphill but we don't have much momentum helping us out.

In other words it was a rough week.  We have been pretty stressed but we keep going every day.

We did, however, have a little success with a few investigators.  With Seberiano we put a baptismal date for July 15th.  He has been reading the Book of Mormon and is doing great.  The only problem was yesterday when we went to District Conference.  We went early because we were trying to leave room for the investigators in the trucks.  So we went by bus. Everything was all set up well and Seberiano actually got to the rendezvous place on time without any problem.  He was there waiting with a few other members when (ten minutes later than they were planning on meeting) some Jehovah's Witnesses showed up.  They started talking to him a bit and invited him to their conference that they were having (it's not fair... they had food).  He got in and went with them instead.  The members said that they couldn't help but let their jaws fall open.  So I guess Satan really did his work there and he beat us pretty sorely there.  But we are going to see how it goes this week and if he really wants to learn from us and live it or if he is just listening to listen to the Word of God.

Perla and her family also had a miracle this week.  On Monday she told us about a few problems that she is having with her "husband".  We read from the Family Proclamation, invited her to pray and then wait until she got an answer from God about what she had to do.  We promised her as Christ's representatives that if she would do that and then do what ever God asked her to do then she would see a miracle.  So Tuesday she talked to us and said that suddenly her husband wanted to listen to us.  We have talked to him a few times and although he has a lot of problems, he is great.  He has ADHD but we are working with that.  They do have to get married which means that Roberto has to get divorced first.  And that's what's going to take a while.  So we are going to try to get that done and hopefully we can get everything worked out fast and effectively so that they can progress.  Because without a doubt they love the church and mention repeatedly the peace that they feel.

So we have very few people and they have problems.  so this week we are going to look hard to find more people to teach.  hopefully we can find several people that will come to church, read, and pray and by so doing gain a testimony of the church, repent and get baptized.  We are going to keep trying and hopefully we can progress.

We also tried to help a member repair his truck this week.  We know that the problem is the gas pump.  We went with the member to Ponciano and it is obviously the gas pump that is the problem.  So we went to help him and he said "Elders, it's not the pump that's the problem it's the air filter." ??? so he proceeds to show us this....  He took off the air filter and said when I plug this then the truck turns off so he plugged the tube with his hand and the truck started struggling.  So I guess that when you take the air supply away the truck turns off.  We argued with him as the truck continued struggling (without his hand plugging it's air supply) and at the end of the argument we had to leave him with his problems that he doesn't want to recognize.  Another real world example of missionary work.  People don't want to realize what the real problem is..  the lack of the Gospel and they cover their problems with other things.

Missionary work is hard, but I do feel like it is worth my time.  I keep getting better and even though it is hard I guess that is the best way to learn.

I love you and hope you keep enjoying your summer.
Elder Allred

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

We have been working really hard these days.  We hardly have many results but we have been giving it everything that we have.  Honestly I'm really tired and sometimes it's hard not to get disappointed when everything doesn't work out.

Perla still won't accept baptism.  Carolina stopped paying attention to us and won't say a prayer to ask what she should do.  Leidy still hasn't done anything.  Maria del Rosario is one of our best chances but she's going to go to Oaxaca soon and wont be back for over a month.

We have also had various problems with the members who still won't do anything.  Lolis and Sandra haven't come in several weeks.  In these 2 months neither has received a single visit from a single member.  We keep finding out about more and more problems that the members have that makes it so that they shouldn't even have callings.  But we keep trying.  It is very slow and requires a ton of work and even at that we are not seeing a lot of progress.

We also did get to go to Ponciano this week.  We visited the members during lunch and then went to work. I'll just say that it didn't turn out like we hoped it would.  Some of the pictures there are from our preparations.  We made a ton of puzzles and were going to do some really cool things with balloons and the Books of Mormon but I'll just leave it at that.  One person that we visited talked to us for 2 and a half hours and burnt all of the time that we had so we had relatively little success there.

We also had a training on Thursday.  The President's assistants told us that they are proud of what we are doing with Panuco/Ebano but that we should keep working and even work a little bit harder.  We'll see what we can do.  We are going to try to revive the members in Ebano for the three weeks that are coming and we'll see if we can keep Ebano going for the next transfer.

Our most promising investigator right now is Severiano.  We met him through a reference and we went to visit him one other time last week.  He read the pamphlet that we gave him so that is promising.  He's mostly blind and he told us that it is hard to read but that he enjoys reading.  He was the only one to come to church yesterday and during priesthood he made a lot of really great comments.  We are going to teach him about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon tomorrow and hopefully he can realize fast that it is true.  That's why references are so great.  It is much easier and much more effective. We´ll see what we can do this week to keep going.

The biggest problem that we are facing right now is that this week end we have to go to the district conference in Panuco.  That means that we have to take investigators and members 45 minutes by car to Panuco and then the conference and then come back.  So not many people are going to come. But it also helps us to see who really has desires to come and who doesn't.  It weeds out the weaklings, but it leaves the garden very very empty besides the few very strong plants.  

Thank yo for everything.  We are excited for what's to come and this week we are going to work even harder to be able to invite others to come unto Christ.

If nothing else I'm learning a lot about me and about how I actually cope when there is stress.  Not something that I'm used to, but I'm getting there.  The heat is about getting ready to start here and we'll see how we handle that.  the good news is that the Elders quorum president bought us two containers of Gatorade dust so we shouldn't get dehydrated too easily.

I know that the church is true and that without a doubt God does have a plan for us and many times when we pray for help he will tell us what to do to be able to achieve that plan.  He wants to help us and the Spirit will tell us how to be able to overcome our problems as long as we are actually willing to act on that answer.  It's hard but it's worth following the spirit, because that is when we will learn what is the plan.

I love you and have a great week.  Make sure to visit ward members and don't ever use the excuse with the Elders that you don't have time and that you are busy.  God gave you all of your time so make sure to give it to his work and his Glory and that includes doing home and visiting teaching in a very very dedicated and loving way to those families that do need your help.

Elder Allred

Thursday, June 15, 2017

This week was also really fast and really slow for me.  I have very officially realized that it is very hard to speak English seeing that we just talked to a guy that lived in the US for 15 years.  Needless to say he made fun of my Spanish but he did tell some good stories.  My companion just stood there staring at us.  He's learning but definitely not very fast.

Today we went to Panuco for a Zone activity.  It was pretty fun and we did enjoy our time there. But this morning my testimony grew about the power of prayer.  We set the alarm for 5:15 to be able to get ready and eat before we went.  But at about 6:15 my companion got up and woke me up.  Turns out that someone put the phone on vibrating mode for church yesterday and never turned up the volume again.  So it just buzzed.  Now usually that would wake us up.  Vibrating phone on a hard plastic table does make a decent noise.  But that same somebody put the phone on their planner last night so we weren't able to hear it sound.  So miracle number 1 that my companion woke up.  If not I think we are sufficiently tired to sleep in until about 10:00 without ever noticing.

So we hurried to get ready and running out of the door it was 7:17.  The bus leaves at 7:15.  So we had two options run and hope that maybe the bus leaves just a little bit late.  But something told me to say a prayer.  So we paused in the door and offered a prayer praying for protection and that the bus would leave late so that we could make it.  And then at about 7:22 we ran and made it to the bus stop just as the bus was leaving so we stopped it and got on board.  No doubt that God answered that prayer and helped us make it on time to Panuco.

I keep laughing about the 3rd base play and hope that dad can calm down and not get so upset at the umpires.  But it is a good funny experience.

This week we also took 11 Coconuts to Panuco last Wednesday for our district class.  We could have fit them all in my luggage but When we stood it up we realized that the poor little wheels would not have made it with us.  It weighed about 70 pounds.  And I might say that that is a conservative guess.  So we split it up and took all of them to our companions in Panuco.  We opened them all with the machete and had a great "party" eating coconut, mangoes, lemons, and coconut water.}

We finally did it.  The members are finally starting to work.

We have been passing by with the members, actives, in actives, less actives, more or less actives, and almost actives, new members old members and just about everything in between.  And even though less members came to church yesterday they are starting to talk about the Gospel with friends and coworkers.  They are starting (only starting) to visit the other members.  They are starting to ask us when they can come with us.  We are breaking the reputation of Ebano.  We hope to keep up  this work and that in about 2 weeks all of our work will be purely member based work.  It's not easy but it will be much more effective here in a few months.  We are excited and hope to be able to see Ebano Ward before we go home.

We also got permission now to go to Ponciano.  A little town (I think that town would be the equivalent for Ejido) about 35 minutes from Ebano.  There are about 15 members there and about 15 more people that are willing to learn more about the Gospel and hopefully a few of them accept it.  A few members are going to accompany us and are going to visit less actives while we are there.  We are going to spend the day there on Friday and we hope to have a lot of success in that work there in Ponciano.

Carolina keeps learning.  Slowly but surely.  She won't accept a baptismal date but keeps reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church.  We are trying to get her to pray.  She says that she has no idea what to do with her life right now.  Look for a husband.  Go home to her farm.  Stay here and get a job.  Stay single.  Get baptized.  A lot of decisions and we just tell her to pray.  If she doesn't pray then I don't think that she will every know.  But that is the battle that we are having with her right now.

Perla was finishing up school this week and she had a lot of after school assignments so we couldn't hardly see her this week.  She didn't come to church but hopefully next week.

We also found a very promising young family.  Jonathan and his wife are happy but very full of questions.  They believe in God but not so much in the Bible.  They think that it has been manipulated over the years and although it does have a lot of truth he doesn't believe in everything that it says.  I told him "we believe the bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly" and we also believe that God has cleared up the "plain and precious truths" that have been lost.  He seems very interested an although he goes to school Sundays in a few weeks he wants to come to church with us.

Elder Alllred

"Our coconut trafficking this week was very successful.  We had a very good time and enjoyed it a lot."

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

More Photos!

That´s kinda cool to hear that the son of Elder Pino lives in our ward.  When I shook hands with Elder Pino he asked where I´m from. I said Utah. He said What part?, close to Salt Lake, what part? South Jordan.  They told me that they had just visited their son who lives in South Jordan and that he had just moved and that he was impressed by how much it is growing out there.  I thought that maybe it was Daybreak but I didn't think that it would actually be our ward. That's honestly pretty cool.

This week was pretty great.  We worked quite a bit with members and I say that we did have success.  We had more that 50 people in church on Sunday for the first time in 3 months.  We don't know exactly how many but my estimated count at the end of the Sacrament was the number that they used.  We may have been even closer to 60 but I was the only one who even tried to count.  Old habits die hard.

We also had 7 investigators come to church yesterday.  That's two families.  We are supper excited and we do think that they have a lot of potential to be able to progress.  A lo mejor [best case scenario] we have 4 baptisms in June if we can get the one sister married.

So the two families are Perla and her 2 kids Paco (11) and Paula (5); and the other one is Carolina and her 3 kids.  Aldo-10, Naomi-4 and Hiram-3.  I'll talk first about Perla.  She is doing well and is starting to read the Book of Mormon more.  She is catholic but she has backed away from the church a lot and is fighting against the pull of her mom.  She told us when we started that we couldn't invite her to baptism but I think that she's ready to accept now. She didn't want pressure but since she came to church the first time she seems to be a lot more motivated from inside. And she asks a lot of really good questions.  She is ready to change her life and we hope that tomorrow she accepts a baptismal date for June.  She is a teacher too and so that helps me relate a little more with her because she works in a "middle school" basically.  But she's really great.  We just have to divorce her spouse so that they can get married and that will be the biggest challenge that we will have.

The other family, Carolina, also asks a lot of questions.  Her oldest son Aldo asks a ton of questions and he actually answers the questions and looks up the scriptures and the end of the Pamphlets that we use.  That's a first.  But he learns really fast and I think that he is motivating his mom to do the readings too.  She is a single mother, but only because her husband is with another person.  They do struggle a bit with money but they keep going. We are looking for a house with cheep rent so that they can go there.  Their two youngest children are full of energy and it is literally impossible to help them focus.  They don't leave us alone and are always digging through our backpacks.  We have tried taking balloons, the coloring book, and just about everything else that we can think of.  Today we are going to bring an elderly couple that always wants to help us and maybe with two  more sets of hands we can keep everything under control.

So I finally came up with some ideas for how to teach some lessons in a more easy way to understand. One was a really hard puzzle that we made representing the apostasy when the church fell apart and that it is really hard to put back together without a guide.  Then we give them the picture and my companion or I help them to reassemble the Gospel.  It worked really well and the family really understood well.

Another idea was with the balloons.  We wrote the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the balloon.  And then when God revealed the Gospel to Adam we filled the balloon and then put a clip on the blow hole that was labeled prophets to represent that prophets maintain the Gospel.  Then when the people rejected the gospel we took away the prophets and it got smaller.  It did leave some writings (the Bible) but it wasn't complete.  Then Moses filled the balloon.  And then Christ filled it anew when he came.  And he tied a knot with his 12 apostles.  But the people rejected the Apostles and popped the balloon.  And then it fell apart in small pieces, representing the many churches that formed as a result.  Each one with a part of the truth but not all of it.  And the only way to have a full balloon again is to get a new balloon and restore the Gospel.  So God pulled out a perfect balloon full of the Gospel known as the Book of Mormon.  And it will not pop again.  It was really great and I feel like I had a bit of heavenly intervention to come up with that idea.

We also discovered that when you put a marble in the balloon (it doesn't matter how full) and you drop it, the balloon almost always breaks.  Representing that even sins that seem to be really small can destroy us.

But up to now that's about all I've got besides the good old bleach and food coloring.

We are starting to find more people and we are going to now work more with references to find better people more easily.  We are also staring to have more support from the branch and hopefully we will have a lot of success.

But that's about it for this week. We are going to redouble our efforts this week and we hope to be able to have some baptisms in June and find people for July.  We are excited.

I love you and I love to hear from you.  Have a great week and don't forget to do Family History work and go to the temple and read the book of Mormon individually and as a family all summer long.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

More Photos!

This week was really good.  On Tuesday night we had a huge thunder storm that would have even made Dad wet his pants.  But we had no idea until our District Leader called at 3 am.  We were sound asleep and the phone barely even woke us up. I banged around getting to the phone and then Elder Sanchez asked if everything was alright.  I played head shoulders knees and toes to verify that I was still alive and my companion moaned so I said that we were just fine.  That's when he said that it was raining really hard in Panuco and that they were concerned for us.  That was when I realized that there really was a lot of lightning.  I had to move the curtain to see and so I hadn't realized until that moment.  Then the realization of how much rain was falling down.  And then I realized that the AC was off and all of the fans.  I have never seen so many lightning bolts at the same time.  It was about 3 or 4 per second but without mountains to echo all of the sound we almost didn't hear anything.  I should have taken a video but I was really tired and didn't think of that until I laid back down.  Then the next thought was that I should have brought my towel and socks in.  But I didn't want to get wet so I left them outside and took care of that in the morning.  Needless to say they were soaked.  Thank goodness that we only had a little bit of water come in the house.  Maybe a pint of water that leaked under the door.  Panuco didn't fare so well. There were trees tipped over and all of the power lines down until Thursday. Some of the Elders there had a good 5 or 6 inches of water in their house at 3 o´clock. So I guess that everything was good for us.

This week we also had a lot more success in finding new investigators.  We have been looking for inactive members and we have found people by contacting looking for those members.  The sad part is that when we do find the members they usually don't want anything to do with the church. The majority have gotten baptized in other churches and are some of the most loyal members of those churches.  I wish they would have stayed Mormons but they didn't.

We are staying here in Ebano 6 weeks more.  Hopefully we can keep having success in these days and weeks that come.  The mission (due to some extra hard work by some really handsome missionaries) doubled the number of baptisms in May and we are going up.  Hopefully we can double it again in June and we should have more than 100.  That is the goal for every Mexican mission nowadays.  And we are looking to be able to achieve it.  We are excited and we hope to contribute our 2 baptisms in these next few weeks. 

We have found a few families to teach this week.  Perla is back on the list and she came to church yesterday with her two children.  We are excited and we hope to be able to help her get married one of these weeks and then help her arrive to the baptismal font with her oldest son Paco.  Gabriela is also starting to learn and we had one of my best Restoration lessons with her due to a difficult but creative puzzle of a picture of Christ that we made that ended up relating to the Restoration even better than we thought.

The electricity keeps coming and going so it's kinda hard to write. In a few hours or minutes we probably wont have more electricity due to the storm that is coming so my letter is a little bit short.  We are enjoying what comes including the heat.  Hopefully we can keep up the good work and have another great transfer.

Thank you for all that you do. I'm glad to hear that you all finished another great school year and I'm happy to already have 9 months and to feel that I am finally starting to get the hang of things.

I love you.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Happy Birthday Mom, from me and about 10 others Mexicans.  They and I all hope that you had a very happy day and that as you start the 5th decade of life that you keep enjoying it.

This week was pretty good.  We worked a lot and still did not have many fruits to show.  Finally the members are starting to work since we told them about the baptismal goal that the mission president has set for 2 baptisms per area per month.  They are pretty excited and they are finally starting to work and to find references.  Hopefully in these weeks and months we will have a lot more success in finding people that want to learn more about the Gospel.

We do have two sisters in teaching right now.  Esmeralda and Perla.  They are both about 30 to 35 years old and they both have a family.  We are excited because they both are willing to learn more and are willing to read.

Perla just had a problem with her baby that didn't form right and now she's not pregnant any more :(  She had told us that she was going to stay catholic but when we told her about the plan of Salvation and shared some great scriptures from the Book of Mormon she said that we could come back.  Hopefully we can have some success in teaching her today and be able to help her come to church.  Her mom has a very catholic influence over her and her husband just wants her to stop stressing.

Esmeralda is an old investigator from about 4 years ago.  Her kids love listening to us and they loved learning about the plan of Salvation the other day when their mom was cleaning the house.  Hopefully they can convince her to come to church too.  She is really great.  She said that we would not be able to convince her to get baptized (sorry I use the word convince, that is not my goal) we said that that is alright but we just wanted to share the Restoration.  And then the spirit went to work and I think that she is softening up a little bit.  Hopefully she can find out that the Restoration is true and convince herself (with a lot of help from the spirit) that the church is true and that she should get baptized.

It's so weird that I can feel that something is so right and then sharing it with the people they can be so convinced of some thing that I know is not true at all.  Sometimes (almost always actually) they don't even let us give our testimony very well.  We try to teach a little bit and then we hope that they listen to the spirit and accept an appointment.

What we are trying to do right now is visit the members a whole lot more.  We are searching for inactives and visiting active members too. Trying to help them and hoping that someday they will give a reference to some lucky missionaries.

We are also trying to get permission to go to an Ejido called Ponciano Arriaga.  There are about 13 members there that are a part of Ebano.  They have references and hopefully we do get permission to go there one day this week and see how many new investigators we can find.

I can't really think of anything else that happened this week.  We are looking and looking for people and we don't find them.  We did get to go to Tampico again for that training and it was really good and inspired us to work harder and more with the members.  Supposedly if what President Ramirez said is true the next transfer my companion and I will stay here one transfer more to try to have the 2 baptisms in June and be able to accomplish the goal but I'll let you know next week.

Elder Brady Allred