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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

More Photos!

Happy Monday.   This week was pretty good.  We are working hard and we are getting along great as companions.

Just a great note about this week.  I have spoken with more people in English this week than in 7 months (that's right, we're crossing the 7 month line!!!).  Everyone stops me in the streets to talk in English.  There is quite the range of English speaking ability here.  Sometimes I answer with a Utah accent and it loses them.  Other times I respond and they carry a heavy southern accent.  It's pretty cool and it's motivating my companion to learn English even faster (but it is going pretty slow, I´m being patient but he's taking his time ha ha).

Yesterday Sandra and Lolis came to church.  They got there late (after the sacrament) and left right after sacrament meeting.  But they did come.  Now we're working of two more hours, or 7 more for this weekend.

I'm really excited for the conference.  We are planning on inviting everyone and we hope to see a lot of people there.  I'm planning on good health this week.  But don't worry if I miss it. I still listen to the last conference and I know just about every talk based on how it starts.  And I'm planning on keeping up the habit.

It´s going great here.  The people are a little weird.  They'll talk to you for 3 hours but in the second that you say God, Church of Jesus Christ, Religion, Joseph Smith, Prophets, Bible or just about anything else they go running.  We're working on that, and we have some good plans.  Hopefully my idea gets approved to talk to some of the AA groups in the area and ask them to "advertise"  Hopefully they let me and hopefully it works to find some people to teach.

I had a very spiritual experience yesterday in church.  It started off really bad.  So I play the piano in the branch and so I played the sacramental hymn. When I finished they blessed the bread and passed it.  And then I realized just as they were starting the water that they never came to me.  I was meditating a bit and didn't notice.  So they passed the water and after a lot of confusion they brought me the bread and the water.  It started as a very stressful moment when I realized I hadn't eaten the bread but then when they brought the bread and water to me the peace and the joy I felt to renew my covenants was so incredible.  I have never felt the importance in the way that I felt it yesterday.  I always knew that it was important but it took a whole new meaning to almost not be able to take it.  And then they let me talk about the Sabbath Day observance.  It was nice to add a little bit more heartfelt meaning to my testimony of the Sacrament.  It was a good experience but I don't really recommend it to everyone.

I hope you all enjoy conference and have a great spiritual week.  I pray for you.  I love you
Elder Allred

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Brady sent a few more pictures this week.  Check out the photos page.

It´s going really well here.  We are starting to really get going and we have some really good plans already for the upcoming Transfer.

My favorite part about training is all of the extra help/luck that God gives us to find people to teach.  We have not had a lot of success knocking doors or talking to people in the street but we have had a ton of success with references.  Everyone that we ask for a reference gives us a reference, and then it leads to more references and more.  And almost all of these references are actually really interested in listening to us.

Our Number 1 Investigator is Sandra.  She is the wife of Efrain a returned missionary and less active.  They went to church the week before we got here and had a great head start.  Sandra is pregnant and is going to give to the light (the Spanish way to say give birth) at the end of April or the beginning of May.  She is really excited to get baptized the 15th of April and is reading everything and learns really fast.  She's really excited and everything is going really well there. 

Now I'm sure you're asking how we're going to baptize someone that is almost 9 months pregnant.  The good news is that we already have that figured out.  We've been talking to some missionaries and the plan is to put her in a chair in the font and then just tip her back and baptize her while she's sitting.  We're pretty excited for all of that.

Our next best investigator is Lolis.  She is the wife of Jonathan a member.  She just had a baby and is also reading and studying and learning really well.  Our biggest problem with her is that her "spouse" Jonathan is not actually married to her.  Surprise!!! OK, so they get married.  Nope.  The problem is that Jonathan is in the USA and he can't come back for a year and a half more.  So the Law of Chastity is a bit of a problem.  So as we've talked to our leaders about this.  We have decided that if she really does everything and actually repents then she will be able to get baptized.  So it's just a matter of repentance now and then get married as fast as is possible when Jonathan gets back.  We'll see how that all works out and hopefully it all goes well.

So something that I find a little weird.  There are public bathrooms here.  But guess what, you have to pay 5 pesos to use them.  Sometimes 4 sometimes 6.  WHO KNEW!?!?  You have to pay to use the bathroom.  It's crazy but true.

Another crazy thing.  There is no time change in the spring.  They have one time change in November.  One year forward one year back.  So guess what, we are living at the same time right now.  Yep who would have thought.  Only in November.

I dont know if you have looked up Ebano on a map but it is a pretty decent size.  We have officially walked everywhere just about.  It´s much bigger than you would think.  But we're enjoying it and my feet are feeling better today ;)

I love you guys and hope that you keep on doing the things that you know you should.

I love you

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Man, this week was crazy.  We worked really hard all week and we had some pretty descent success.  We're working on contacting more people. It was really hit or miss.  We had some days that we found a ton of people and every person that we talked to accepted an appointment.  And then other days in which the people wouldn't even listen to us.  We knocked doors a lot of the week.  We had some very good experiences with that and some not so good experiences.  Sometimes the people are just so funny.

Yesterday my companion contacted a door.  The guy came out of his house.  "What are you offering?"  My companion started to talk and the guy said "well we're Catholics here"  My companion bore his testimony, and the guy said "alright" turned and walked in the door without saying anything else.  My companion looked so confused and I was laughing for like 5 minutes straight.  The guy really did not want anything.

Yesterday we had quite the rainstorm.  We woke up and everything was wet, we got our umbrellas and went to church. When we left if was a beautiful day, so we left our jackets home and our umbrellas.  We went to work and then it started looking rainy again.  We grabbed our umbrellas and got working again.  We were about 5 or 8 minutes from the house and it started to drizzle, I grabbed my umbrella and my companion his jacket.  And then it started to rain more.  And more.  And then there was a really cool lightning bolt.  It started on one side of the sky and then flew across the whole sky.  it made a sound something like cckckdciabooomscksocokks.  something like that.  Everything turned purple too.  And it really started to rain.  But I had to put away my umbrella because that was not the only lightning bolt that was falling from the sky.  I either had to laugh or cry so I laughed as the guy that we had just contacted drove by and said have a nice day and laughing (he was nice it was just a funny situation).  We ran to the house and got there soaked.  We gave it ten minutes while we changed into dry clothes and everything cleared up.

The attendance in the ward is about 50.  We have found members everywhere.  The branch has the members to have a ward  but nobody goes so it's only a branch.  We're working on baptizing and reactivating and hoping to have a lot of success in both aspects.  The stake patriarch (of a stake because Panuco is only a district) came yesterday to give some blessings and when he spoke in sacrament meeting he said some pretty cool stuff about the future here in Ebano.  The members and us are very excited for the potential that he saw here.

I;m 4 for four on my houses.  Four houses and four of them we have lost the keys or left the keys inside or some sort of problem.  I guess that now we are protected from losing the keys again here because we locked them inside yesterday.  We got the door open thank goodness.

It's great to hear about all of the great experiences that you guys are having.  I hope that everything is going as well there as it is here.  The time goes so fast and it is hard to get done with everything that we have to do, but we're keeping busy.

I hope you have a great week.  I love you

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

More pictures on the Photos page

We received this email late on Monday night.

All's Well

Hey I´ll write tomorrow I´m training and we had training all day to do that.  I´ll write you tomorrow.  Everything is great and we're really excited!

Then on Tuesday we received his weekly letter.

Well, I hope that you got my email last night.  We were busy all day with some training for us as trainers and then training for our new companions.  We got 4 new missionaries this transfer, a lot smaller than the 12 to 15 that have arrived for the last 6 or 7 transfers.  For some reason President Ramirez thought it would be a good idea for me to train one of the 2 Elders that got here yesterday.  After spending a few hours eating and in the training we got paired up with our companions.  I'm with Elder Maceda.  He's from Puebla Mexico, south of Mexico City.  We're pretty excited to get to work and we have plenty to do.

So it's my 5th transfer, 4th companion and guess what...............4th area too!!!!!  We got put in Ebano, San Luis Potosi.  That means that I am in a different state of Mexico!!!! I guess what my zone is Panuco, which means that I get to go to Veracruz for my district classes!!!  I´m getting to know some new areas.  It´s pretty cool.  We are opening Ebano after about 5 months of it being closed.  There hasn't been a ton of success here in the past but there is a lot of potential.  It really does depend on the missionaries.  We have some good plans already laid out to find people to teach.  I figure with 40,000 people in our area there should be a few people willing to listen to us.  There are people everywhere we just have to stop them and teach them, and with faith and hard work and maybe just a little bit of luck too (aka blessings from God) we should be able to have some baptisms.  We are going to give it everything we have these first two weeks so that this transfer we can have some baptisms.  We're really excited and have some great plans. (PS Ebano is a branch).

The good news is that they left my companion this time in my old area to keep working. I really appreciate that.

Well last week we went to eat on Saturday. We sat down and the sister brought what she thought was chicken.  Now there are a few options.  Maybe the chicken had steroids.  Maybe I´m going crazy. #3 the most likely is that it wasn't chicken.  It was shaped like a chicken leg/drumstick, but it was way bigger than my hand.  My best guess is that was cat.  It tasted good and something similar to chicken but it was definitely not chicken (and it wasn't turkey either).

My birthday was really good.  We worked all day and really there wasn't time to eat in a restaurant nor were we hungry enough.  It was a really good day and we had some alright success that day.

Our only thing that we have left to worry about now is the food for the rest of the week.  We´re trying to get in contact with the branch president and the relief society president.  We´re going to find them tonight and we should have food for the week.

Everything is really good and we are giving it everything that we have.  It's warm and sweaty but really good (we do have AC)

Keep up the good work and doing the things that you should.  I love you all and hope that you can all take advantage of the time and opportunities taht you have.

I love you
Elder Brady Allred