Monday, October 27, 2014

float like a butterfly, sting like testimony

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hola hola everybody. im emailing from the big apple of chile right now, viña del mar, and its amazing. we came here to buy some stuff and eat at papa johns and its been a great day, and week. were still struggling to find good investigators but when were working hard the days go by fast, i learn something every day, and i`ve had experiences that ill remember for the rest of my life and im only 3 weeks in.
for this reason i really dont have much news to share about my investigators because none of them came to church. its super hard to teach people lessons, KNOW that they felt the spirit, stop by their house before church and they say theyre coming and then they dont show up. the 240 year old lady that we had a baptismal date for and didnt show up to church was exactly what we expected. her husband, who always seems to be drinking wont allow her to meet with us anymore and when we try to talk to him he just gets mad and tells us to leave. its been super frustrating for me this week to deal with people that i dont like. because when i wasnt a missionary i would tell them exactly how i feel. but now i realize thats not the best way to go and as a representative of christ just not acceptable. so ive been studying the love of christ and charity this week in my morning studies and trying to apply some things.
if you havent read elder hollands talk the cost and burden of discipleship then you should. being a true follower of christ never has, and never will be easy or the popular thing to do! its hard for other people to hear the things that we know to be fundamental and unchangeable laws decreed from god because they dont want to change the way they live their lives. i wanted to punch a wall a couple times this week becuase we have a family and another investigator that refuse to open their eyes and hearts and see what god has in store for them. another less active member that we`ve been trying to teach for weeks told us this week her story and its sad. she wont come to church and wont have her daughter baptized because the elders a year ago made a mistake and told her that her daughter could not be baptized becuase she didnt know who the dad was. after this long she still has so much anger over something so small. its tough.
im loving the food here. every lunch is at a members house and then i pretty much fast for 24 hours until the next one. we eat so much at lunch every day, and then i eat like a banana with nutella when i get home and yogurt in the morning. its really fun. but its the best when we have a lesson in the night with someone and they just automatically serve us once!! when they do its usually bread with palta (chileno guacomale without tomato) and tomato soup. its amazing. there has not really been food that i have not liked.
every day im exhausted. not just physically either! im even more mentally, emotionally, and spiritually drained because not only am i trying ot learn a new language and pretty much force my brain to switch the order that sentences should be in english to the way they are formed in spanish is incredibly hard, but also trying to control my mind 24/7 to not think about friends, family, or something stupid like a song that i shouldnt have in my head. but im enjoying every second of it because i know these are the times im going ot remember for the rest of my life. pouting does nothing out in the mission field. if you are sad or angry about something, nobody is there to pat you on the back motivate you to be better expect for yourself. thats why ive grown so much closer to my heavenly father out here. to have a testimony of god, jesus christ, and this gospel is more than just realizing that they exist, but its having an active and continuous communication with them. its simple pray, read the scriptures, obey the commandments, and you should be good to go. should be easy right? sadly most people do not want god in their life and if they do they want a god who is easy going and soft on them. does that sound like the god that christ described while he was on earth because when i read the new testament it sure does not sound like it. how are we supposed to learn and get better in this life and BECOME LIKE CHRIST with gods who not only dont rock the boat, but pat us on the back after doing something we shouldnt and tell us everything is alright??
no for real though if i had to pick any single topic of the gospel that my testimony has grown specifically on it would be the atonement of christ. everybody can change and has the potential to come back because christ provides the way. it requires desire to change first though and thats been hard for me to accept with my investigators. i feel like after i testify of something and i can feel the spirit so strongly that automatically they will recognize what it is they need to do, but in reality lots of times they just simply are not listening and dont want to change.
i participated a lot more in the lessons this week, i gave a blessing in spanish, and i taught the elders quorum lesson on president monson`s talk about being valiant members of the church which you should also read. you have a lot of homework this week. but yeah my spanish improved a bunch but i feel like everytime i take a step in the language i realize more steps that i didnt see before. funny how that works huh, you could probably compare that to a million truths of life.
love you all have a good week.
-elder allred - chilean street raptor
fotos: alexis sanchez jersey that a member gave me, and me and my comp swaggin (is swag still cool?)

Ya boi en Estero Viejo

Hollllllaaaaaa mi familia y amigos! wow i cant believe its been another week it flew by!! i think im learning more each day how to not only make my mission successful, but also make it fly by! so this week on wednesday we were not having a great day and nobody really wanted to talk and it was like 9:15 so we were about to head back to the pension. but we stopped at a house and yelled HALO and some guy answered the door. and his house was right next to a pretty busy street so it was hard to communicate. but i go hey we`re missionaries and all that good stuff, can we share a message with you? and he goes sorry we worship satan in this house. well i didnt hear that part so i reply with alright we can come back another day, what day works for you? thats when the door got slammed. my comp was laughing pretty hard the whole way home. the language is really starting to come along i noticed huge improvements this week. i still feel like i can speak better than i can understand haha so thats a little problem.
so i got my first baptismal date this week! but she didnt attend church.. haha so now its going to be a lot harder. we have a lot more investigators though we worked really hard to last two weeks to just knock a whole lot of doors and contact a whole lot of people. now were going to start having more lessons which will be nice. also ive been teaching this ten year old named juan carlos english for like 30 min twice a week and his mom has never let the missionaries share a message with them. we shared two lessons about the plan of salvation with them this week and watched a video about elder uchtdorf explaining the reality of who we are! it was great. were hoping to invite them to church this week. its really tough getting people to church. we invite, them commit, we stop by their house before church, they say theyre coming, and then nobody comes. its super frustrating. we had one investigator out of like 6 show up. oh and also our crazy philosopher investigator is not so much an investigator anymore. last week when he left in the middle of gospel doctrine we were wondering what happened. well on saturday we figured out he left because we were talking about tithes and he now believes the church is an american scheme to gain power in other countries. i feel bad for people that just refuse to open their eyes sometimes. because we know he had been searching the internet for anti mormon material all week. that stuff is pure poison.
i had my first interchange on friday and it was the bomb. i love my companion and i am learning a lot of stuff from him, but i went on an interchange with my zone leader, who reminds me exactly of my brother alex and it was the greatest day ever. we put two baptismal dates in the street. im having a hard time thinking of everything that happened because it was just so crazy. he said hes never had such a successful day in his mission and he goes home in december. but yeah i learned so much stuff from him hes a stud, and he plays football for boise state so thats kinda cool. what ive learned is that everybody knows more than me and i can become a way better missionary if ill just forget about everything i know and try to develop talents that everybody else has. especially from president kahnlein. the guy is so awesome! we had our interviews on tuesday and he is such a great guy i love him. his rules are strict.. but its easy to follow somebody you have so much respect for.
so i remembered what my favorite talk from conference was. Elder Jorg Klebingat`s talk about approaching the throne of god! wow i had our bishops wife print it off for me in spanish and ive just been studying it during personal study time. i spent a lot of time thinking about it this week and ive realized the only time ive felt malice or ill towards the church or principles of the gospel was when i was not living the way i should be. thats how satan works people. theres two paths and the further you go on one path the harder it is to switch back. sometimes we dont even realize where we are because its little things over time that get us off track. dont procrastinate the day of your repentance because its a lot easier to make frequent small changes than big ones. i love this talk so much.
the mission is not for the weak in heart people. this is the hardest thing ive ever done, but i kinda knew what i was getting myself into. it makes it easier when i had such good examples in my life for 18 years like a father and brother who showed me the way and friends that are serving right along side me in this work. this gospel is the lords gospel and im having a blast telling people in chile to stop being so flaite and fome. haha i love chilean words. que tenga una buena semana!
oh my gosh empire of the sun is playing right now. im gonna lose my mind. haha bye love you.

-Elder Allred - Chilean Street Raptor
p.s. i was reading in liahona and the first person ever baptized in chile was by an Elder Allred. woah.
the second pic is with our elders quorum pres and his sons first time going with the missionaries to a lesson so we took a pic.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

The Mission Life

Hola familia im writing this email first thing this week because i have even less time to email here as i did in the mtc! wow this is stressful i cant even gather my thoughts it feels like ages ago that i was in the mtc. just want to give a quick shout out to allison paulson, i met elder echanberg in the mtc and got to know him before we left. i approve, good work ;).
so i got to viña del mar on tuesday.... met the president and his wife and they are stallions. president kahnlein is tall and intimidating but also really friendly and just a good guy and i love hermana kahnlein. when we first met them at the airport we got on a bus and headed to the mission home and got some sweet views/pics of viña del mar and it is just as pretty as i thought itd be. ill attach the pics but yeah its just amazing. then suddenly our bus stopped on the way to the mission home and president informed us that he was going to drop us off and we had to ask for directions on how to get to the mission home and also we couldnt come back until we had gotten a reference and given out a book of mormon. i got stuck in a group of three and even though we had no idea what people were saying we gave out two books and got three references before we finally found the home. it was cool and easy because people thought it was amusing that three gringos were trying to conversate with them.
however now that im with a latino compañion it seems like people dont like us as much. wednesday i got my compañion elder ramirez and we headed to our area which is in the city of Quilpue just 40 min or so outside of viña headed towards santiago. that same wednesday night i taught my first lesson wiht eduardo and edit who are couple in their 40`s but not married, super common in chile. they love parejas. anyways i ended up participating in this lesson more than probably all of the others ones so far. we ended up talkiing about faith and i quoted ether 12:6 and sang a solo families can be together forever. hahaha it was awesome they were awful at singing, like seriously pathetic, and they just thought that i had the voice of an angel so they told me to sing for them. it was funny. elder ramirez is argentine, about 6`4 and a rugby player, speaks zero english, and is way too nice. i call him the big friendly argentine giant. haha hes so nice it makes me angry sometimes and ive only been with him 5 days... oh well i guess thats what you get when you tell your mission president you want to learn to develop patience and im sure ill get compañions who drive me up the wall. but yes elder ramirez is great and he likes to work which is what i was worried about. were working hard every day trying to reactivate members and find new investigators! a lot of our work is reactivations though, we have a few hundred members in our small area and only about 50 were at church on sunday. in the liahona there was an article that said one in every thirty chilenos is a member but only like twenty percent our active. however the ones that our active are just solid!! ive been meeting our ward and getting to know them the past few days and i already love all of them!! the ward mission leader is great, elders quorum pres, bishop, his counselors, everyone! and we had lunch at the house of the second counselors house yesterday who is super young and jsut got back from a mission in uruguay and all the sudden his wife and her two sisters started speaking english and i was just like what!?! becuase i swear nobody speaks english besides my zone leaders and it was so refreshing to finally go 5 min of understanding everything!
i was blown away my first few days here guys... these people have nothing. i brought more in my suitcases than a lot of people and i mean that quite literally.. and this is like a middle class area. its really been a wake up call for me to see how blessed i was to grow up with what i had and to go back home to it in two years. some people just have no hope here besides the gospel.. really.
we dont really have any progessing investigators right now which is really tough but were working hard and doing a lot of door knocking and street contacting to find some! right now we sort of have one progressing investigators who came to church on sunday with us but then left in the middle of second hour. yeah were not sure what happened. hes a philosophy teacher and honestly i think he has mental problems. but he loves to teach us when we go to his house. the problem is he is following through on all our committments so we dont know if he is actually interested in the gospel or if he just likes to have more students to teach about the class of crazy. also there is so many fetching dogs here it blows my mind. and these are not normal dogs they all just sleep in the middle of roads and are the poorest looking things you could even imagine. i cant drink coke... mission rules. but i found some cans of dr pepper in lider just barely so thats cool.
but really i love everyone already theyre great and im understanding more every day because i can only communicate in spanish with my comp. i think within a couple of weeks i will have it down ive just got to be patient with it and keep praying for the gift of tongues. i see the lords hand helping me every single day here and my testimony grows every time i testify to someone of the truthfulness of the BOM and this great gospel we have. its not like the evangelical church, or catholic, or any other christian church. this church is true and the covenants we have made are the most valuable things we have in our lives. be grateful everyone. we have it good back in the united states.
lastly i just want to talk about my dear father for just a moment. dad you have no idea how many times a day something you have said to me or taught me comes into my head. you`re the greatest example besides our savior of what i want to become. thank you for always being there for me and raising such a good family. i miss all of you guys so much but i know the next 23 months are the lords time. happy birthday steve hope it was awesome.
oh my gosh i almost forgot about conference!!! how stinking good was that?? oh my gosh so many talks i loved and i could go on forever about it but i fetching left all my notes in my notebook at the mission home!! super bummed that i lost those but man there were a lot of good talks i could go on forever! Jorg Klebingat`s talk of the seventy was my favorite i think. or the other seventy in the first session of saturday who talked about facing the right direction. such good stuff. dang im even more bummed about my notes now than i was before. conference is great.

love you guys. hope your week is good. ¡Chau!
-Elder Allred - Chilean Street Raptor