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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.