Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Happy People

hello beloved family. it behooveth me to start this off with a random fact from chile that i learned this week
-sometimes people walk around the streets yelling ESCOBAS which means brooms, and people come out and buy brooms so they can sweep more dirt.
i made my first few jokes in spanish this week. it was awesome. i felt so cool. if anybody has good material send it on over to me. 
i seriously cant even remember what happened this week or what i related this week. also i want to start typing spanish sometimes. elder ramirez and me stayed here in belloto. 6 more weeks with my argentine giant. pray for me. i love him but sometimes i want to push him out the window of our 3 story apartment. 
for starters carlos did not get baptized, and we will not be going back to his house. he lost all his faith. it was super sad. in one week he went from being ready for baptism, recieving the priesthood, and preparing to enter the temple to perform covenants for his wife that died 15 years ago, to being angry at god because hes poor, not wanting to walk to the church anymore or be baptized, and being mad at us for who knows why. he let pride really take over. most of the time people with no money or food are pretty humble but he reacted the opposite.
danny is doing well. apparently he met with the elders before 2 or 3 times but couldnt be baptized because he lived with his pareja. but something happened and they separated and now he lives in belloto. cool. it was funny because the first lesson we taught him was the law of tithing. yeah i dont know how it happened but he committed to pay tithing and told us he wants to be baptized. the problem is he thinks he needs more knowledge before baptism than he really does. hes started reading the book of mormon and loves it though. tonight we have a family home evening with him in our bishops house so thatll be awesome. our bishop is so solid. hes been the bishop of estero viejo for 8 years now.
on sunday we were seated and sacrament was about to start and one of our investigators walked in named manuel. it was so awesome because we didnt think hed come. he told us a few days before that he had work but we told him to pray about it. so he said if he felt like god told him to come he would come. it was the best sacrament meeting ive been in in chile. he got pretty emotional and told us all of the problems hes been having with his family. were hoping to help him out thjis week but him and his pareja (not married... nobody likes to marry) have a lot to do before theyd be eligible for baptism. theyre awesome though.
i prayed more this week to love people more than anything. i decided after my first change that if i could just learn to love the people here i could forget about home. its been working out really well. i still have days where i feel miserable, but ive been able to think about all the things i love here and when we are actually teaching or giving service im really happy. self control is a hard thing to develop but i think with persistence im going to love missionary work. its been hard. but everytime i progress in spanish, feel the spirit, or strengthen relationships with others it gets easier. it doesnt come easy. nothing of value does.
ive come to the realization of this concept this week. there are two types of people in chile. the ones who work every day in their job, church calling, and families are happy. they put every bit of energy they have in the day to get stuff done and help others and they are truly happy. then theres the people that just want to give half hearted efforts and get by. they might have another 2 and half hours to watch netflix or play warcraft but when you compare them to others they are not happy. i read an article on lds.org called the key to supremely happy people. it says that 50 percent of being happy depends on genetics. 10 percent on circumstances, and 40 percent on activities. when im working im happy. when i slow my pace and think about something that doesnt help me be a better servant in the lords hands im sad. 
im gonna do everything i can this week to never slow down and cien por ciento give everything i have to this work. theres no better way to serve a mission and have a good time in the process.
my two best days in the field were this week and i dont think i thought about home the whole day for those two days. 
thanks for everything family. love you guys, i see miracles constantly and i know the lord is the head of this church, and my haircut looks less bad every day. 

-Elder Allred - Chilean Street Raptor

El Fin de mi Primer Cambio

whats good everyone? the random fact from chile of the week:
-every single dog has fleas. without exception.
yesterday was the last day of my first change here in viña del mar chile. its hard to put together in words everything that is happened. i ceven remember what happened this week. but its been crazy, fun, and ultimately the hardest six weeks of my entire life. going from the mtc to the real thing in chile has been hard. i didnt understand a word anyone said the first three weeks, and i still struggle to understand some people. but the language is not my problem. im learning spanish faster than i ever thought i would. but sometimes its hard to remember why im out here. my testimony of this church is stronger than ever, yet sometimes i feel so lonely and down. i wish i had king benjamin here just screaming in my ear all day the word ¨remember¨. hes good at that.
thats why last thursday was so awesome. im back on my feet and im ready to tackle the next obstacle. i recieved the packages di and they made me so happy, i got letters that changed my mission, and more importantly than anything we had a lecture in zone conference about something that was very dear to president brigham young. autodominion, or in english self control. i dont want to go into it but pretty much if i cant force myself to focus on others and think what god is trying to help me do than my mission is going to be pretty sucky. sometimes i want to explode on my comp, sometimes i feel like lying down in the middle of the street and sleeping with the 1893030 dogs there are, sometimes i feel like yelling at people because they want to complain about their lives but dont want to do anything about it like try to stop smoking or better yet try to believe in god or read the book of mormon. so many times during the week im down, yet every time ive seen a tender mercy from the lord hellp me back up. i see the lords hand in my life every day, and thats why i have such a passion to help others see it too. but like i said sometimes its hard to remember that- ive relied more on my patriarchal blessing, prayer, and fasting than ever before, and for this i feel pretty close with my heavenly father.
speaking of fasting.. i think im just gonna fast every day for the rest of my mission. we did a mission wide fast to accomplish our goals of baptism on saturday and sunday, and i think i had a miracle but its not for sure yet so i dont want to get my hopes up too much. but like the third or fourth day i was here in chile i asked my comp if we could try something. the idea was that we both pray and meditate about a specific name and then once we know the name we pray every day that change for the lord to prepare that person to be baptized. yeah well my name was daniel and my comps name was fransisco or fransisca. we have like three fransiscos that were are teaching, and one that is progressing so who knows maybe.. but we had not even met a daniel for six weeks. on the last day of our change, yesterday, we broke our fast and headed for lunch and some guy in the street yelled at us to come talk to him. this doesnt happen unless the guy is drunk or wants to yell at me for being american, usually both. but this guy tells us he just moved from viña and was meeting with the missionaries there, and wants us to visit him. then i asked him some questions and i dont remember how it went but ultimately he told us he wants to be baptized before the end of the year. we got his number, address, and then i asked him his name and he said danny. we walked away and i didnt even realize what had just happened until my comp pointed out his name was daniel. i was so pumped!! now we dont really know anythbing about him so i dont want to get too excited but it was awesome. we have an appt with him tonight.
carlos is set to be baptized this sunday. he came with us to first hour on sunday so hes doing good. we had interchanges and for the last time i went out with elder alonzo. hes a stud, and a good example of what i watn to become as a missionary. we dont know if either of us are moving until wednesday. but i think we´ll both stay.
esten bien familia. les quiero.
-Elder Allred - Chilean Street Raptor
i didnt take any pics this week because i cut my own hair and i butchered it. no im just kidding i just forgot to take pics. but really my hair is bad.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Estaca Belloto es Bakan

halo hermanos queridos como estan en los estados? here´s three random facts about chile:
-they consume mayo like its candy
-there are horses pulling carriages alongside cars and buses in the streets of viña
-people water and sweep their dirt like its grass
yeah i couldnt believe that first one for awhile either. its the strangest thing in the world. i think i was blind to it the first couple weeks but now i look around and see everyone sweeping the front dirt. its great.
me and my comp had our ups and downs this week. i think as an allred i just struggle to have other people tell me what to do all the time because im always right. its super frustrating that he cant see that. haha no but we´ve been working on getting along and having more unity and ive accepted the fact that hes my trainer and im probably gonna be with him for another six weeks. hes a great trainer and i learn a lot from him. its just frustrating sometimes becuase he likes to do things in the complete opposite way that i would do them and honestly i think that is why im with him. i think my purpose in being with him is to learn how to act and accomplish things in different ways. he knows preach my gospel and the missionary manuel like the back of his hand. seriously sometimes he just quotes a page when i do something he doesnt like. im not kidding its insane. so yeah i guess he pretty much knows the answer to everything according to the books which is solid. not something that im all that good at.
our only progressing investigator carlos came to stake conference with us this weekend (which was so good) and everything was going great until he asked us if this is the catholic church after it was all over. he struggles sometimes. hes a seventh day adventist so yesterday we taught him about keeping the sabbath day holy and why its on sunday. hopefully he remembers why because his baptism is in two weeks. hes solid he just struggles with memory. for example he has given up coffe and tea completely and has promised to pay tithing even htough he pretty much has no money. good guy. needs the church.
in stake conference one of the counselors in the stake presidency did a presentation saturday afternoon in the first session about the role of fathers and mothers. pretty much everything he talked about i thought back and realized how awesome my parents are. the main responsibility of the mother was to maintain a home where the spirit can reside and teach and love individually each or her children in a way that affects generations of people other than her son. i can definitely see that happening here. and the father was the carry out traditions and activities with his children that teaches them things and that they will be able to remember forever. every day i see this. thanks mom, thanks dad, you guys are stellar. continue to be beacons of light for generations of chicacabras to come.
all of the little kids here in the one area of my boundaries call me one direction. yeah i dont know it doesnt matter how many times i explain to them that one direction is from england and i am from the united states. but in stake conference there was another talk that was phenominal (how do you spell that?) that talked about when we think were great we miss out on more opportunities to progress. if i think my spanish is awesome and that i dont have much room to progress, then i wont work hard and i wont progress. thats why people who remain humble and dont even try to recognize how good they are at something end up progressing even more. kind of like that one song that says like you dont know youre beautiful and thats what makes you beautiful. pucha i cant remember who sings it though.
were going to find some people who are prepared this week. i learned that our stake is the lowest baptizing stake in the mish and that just motivated me more to find people. its weird because our leaders here are so solid yet the converts are so few. i dont know why.
i love the mish, but the mish is tough every day. thank you for all your prayers. keep choosing the right and youllhave the promise of the lord to bless you.
-Elder Allred - Chilean Street Raptor

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Old Ditch Lives On

so i figured out what the name of our ward means. i didnt know estero meant ditch and viejo means old. so yeah. old ditch. im not going to continue giving info of my investigators until theyre well along their path. because this week we pretty much went back to the drawing board. its all good though because we have some promising people who i think will continue to progress and one old man with a baptismal date thats awesome. a young 18 year old but he fetching studies philosophy! im so sick of talking with philosophers haha because they want to explain spiritual things with logic and science and it just does not work out,
about our old man though i want to tell you just a little. hes italian, he lives off welfare, and he has a little case of alzheimers so occasionally he tends to forget our committments to him. thats alright though because he doesnt do anything so we teach him everyday and if he forgot what happened the day before we just teach it again. its funny though lots of times he asks the same questions as before and we have the same conversation over again like why seventh day adventists have church on saturday. we´ve talked about that like everyday this week its really intriguing.
i learned a lot this week and settled more into the role of a missionary. im really trying to learn as much as i can from others and in interchanges on tuesday i was with my other zone leader, elder armitstead from layton utah with red hair and blonde eyebrows, he fits in really well with chilenos. haha no  but he is a great missionary and loves to be upfront with people which is something i love to do in english but havent quite gotten the hang of in spanish because my comp is a little more timid than others. in interchanges we were teaching a lesson to this old guy and he would not stop talking, for so long, he was telling us about his granddaughter that died and went on so long, finally elder armitstead just stopped him and said brother bravo, we dont know why this happened, but we do know that you can find the answer if you ask god. the guy just started crying and we started reading alma 40 with him. it was pretty sweet. just 10 sec to talk and he had him in tears. my comp is very powerful though. thats one thing ive learned from my comp. he may be an argentine farm boy with a small spanish vocabulary, but he knows preach my gospel like the back of his hand and he always follows the spirit! im realizing every day why i was put with him because its like he has all the opposite talents that i do. we can communicate really well in spanish now so thats good. my spanish is coming along pretty well and at times things just come out naturally and i surprise myself. but most times im still thinking as i talk and i have to come up with the next word. its like i can communicate pretty well with people, but lots of times my grammar is bad and sometimes with people in the street or in lessons i just want to be able to express what i feel like i can in english and its a little frustrating. practice, prayer, and some time and ill get there though.
this week as i understood people more i realized that they were talking bad about our church. there are some people that no absolutely nothing about the church and like to say the most ridiculous things. so this week i tried responding to some of these people and contending a little bit. my comp had my back but more importantly i realized for most people its just not worth it. like christ did its better to simply ask a question and if they get mad they are not going to change. but if like nicodemus they actually think and then change it works. its simple they either accept or reject. the problem is coming up with a question like christ could that can just baffle people. its really cool to read the new testament and how people really just did not know what to do with themselves when he would reply.
but yeah this week was sweet. i ate a lot of completos at members houses and taught a good amount of lessons so thats a good week. halloween apparently is celebrated here too so we had a pretty sweet ward activity on friday for that. 
have a good week, keep being good cause good is good. i love this gospel and i know were in the last days. preach the gospel, love your fellow man, and have a good week.

-Elder Allred - Chilean Street Raptor