Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Un Salto en Forestal Alto

Well im exhausted... and my body hurts... but im pushing to finish this letter and get up to our sector to work. we had a super intense soccer game this morning that included a few elbows and an occasional body check. things get crazy sometimes when you put north american football players on a small soccer court against fragile latinos.

im doing good though. honestly its been a huge help and relief to be able to play soccer every week. i feel like it takes out all of the frustration, and disappointment and you just forget about it all for a little while. its helped me to have more energy to keep going even work hard even though we dont have as much time in our sector to work as i would like. This week especially is going to be rough preparing for changes. a million things to go buy and prepare for changes and mission council, and a lot of presentations to make too. We`ll probably be late in the office every night considering that it will be the first and only time i help my comp do it all. its chill though, we have a good time.

if everythign goes well this week, were also going to have a baptism on saturday! Catalina wants to do it and we`ve been working really hard to help her...the only thing that would hold her back is the support from her family or if she decides to go to her soccer game on sunday instead of following through with it. Shes committed to do it though and ive got the faith that we can help her understand better so that she can make the decision with confidence!

other than that we`ve been working with a sweet family (the Reppeto`s) we found a week ago and theyre progressing really well. were gonna help them with a service project his weekend and hopefully help them feel comfortable to go to church as a family... the only reason they arent getting ready for baptism is because theyve lived together 26 years... and theyre still not married! common theme. But its been sweet because the branch has come alive and we`re leaving with the members to do visits every day! we had 3 less actives show up to church last week for the first time in years which was awesome! its crazy how much of a difference the gospel can make in somebodys life. it really shows in their lifestyle and happiness.

ive been downloading talks from byu devotionals this week and heard a few awesome ones. then yesterday it occurred to me to search for talks from Grandpa Rex... so i did and i downloaded one from the archives named Lift up Thine Eyes: Miracles Big and Small... its a talk that Rex did together with Nana. I had never known that they did that. Way cool! first thing that comes on is a story about alex asking if santa was real to Di haha! super wierd... i wrote down a lot of the things that they said in the talk and i loved it, but htere was something that really called my attention.. a story from Rex on his mission.

He told how his first change in the mission as he taught the restoration he began to have doubts about if he actually knew, or if anyone actually knew that it had happened... he began to worry about it which drove him to study Moroni`s promise and actually put it to test again for himself and eventually he felt in strongly in a lesson he was teaching that yes, joseph smith had actually seen God and Christ, received the priesthood, and restored the church of Christ..
it was amazing for me cause i felt such a profound identification with what had happened with my Grandpa in his mission, to what had happened to me in mine. the same way... i was struggling my first few months. i began asking myself if what i was preaching actually had roots in me and if i knew it was true. so i prayed hard, i wanted another confirmation. then i remember very very clearly that one day we did a contact in the street and i did something i had never done, i recited the first vision from memory in the street. and it was then that i felt an impressively strong and undoubtable feeling of the spirit take over my body and tell me that i did indeed know that it happened! it was good to remember that moment and appreciate the answers to prayers ive received countless times.

this is my last week in the office, and im pumped to continue the journey. ive got two changes starting next wednesday to leave it all out on the field... literally the mission field. and im 110% committed to do it. ive got a busy last week int eh office which will be good, i pray almost every minute of every day that i can finish here with a baptism in the branch, and if its not the Lord`s will i know it`ll be better anyway. 

keep on keepin on fellers. If its been awhile since youve received a spiritual renovation the book of mormon is true, put it to test. and even if it hasnt, do it again. our testimonies are the most important things we possess. 

Love all of you knuckleheads.

Somebody please tell Hilary Clinton to stop sending me campaign ads to my mission email and that ill get around to my donation when i get back.

-Elder Allred - Chilean Street Raptor

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


bueno amigos mios. It really sucked seeing you guys on Sunday....
hah.. haha.. sorry im just kidding. It was good. i was telling Di though that it felt weirder than all of the other calls ive done up to this point. I really enjoyed it though. you guys all look good. especially Col with his luscious locks!

ill be straight up honest... this change has been harder than the others.. its my last change in the office and even though ive been living it up and we have so much fun im just really really ready to have two changes outside working full time in the normal field. it gives you a different type of satisfaction working all day and just getting home after having given testimony ALL DAY. obviously i know what i do is important and that we help other missionaries be able to do what they do, but its gotten to the point where i feel like i have too much time to think about things. all i want to do is finish my mission as strong as i can and do exactly what the Lord expects of me and nothing less! im still working hard but sometimes i get off topic especially when the other two secretaries are dying as well and wont ever leave the office. we really do have a good time though i love elder staton and elder ammirati. Good guys.

President and the assistants went to interviews today and wont be back till friday but yesterday they surprised me with a birthday party in the office that included Dr Pepper, lunch, and a big huge Lucuma cake. if you dont know what lucuma is you`re missing out. its this deluctable celestial fruit that i will dearly miss. it was really good though. Hermana Dìaz got me a big package filled with more dr pepper, root beer, chocolate, and other candies. Theyre the best i love the office. Also this morning Elder staton, Ammirati, and my comp elder rogerson told me we were playing basketball at 630 at the church. which is normal, but what i didnt expect is cinnamon french toast in the office for breakfast haha! ive been treated well here. today these other two missionaries Elder ROjo(its funny because im elder todorojo) and Santa Ana are in Viña and theyre gonna take me out to lunch for mexican food, so the plans arent looking bad! I cant believe im 20 man... what the heck.

news from our sector - Catalina came to the conference and is getting baptized this saturday!!! were so pumped, it will be the first baptism in this sector since August of last year. Her family is going to attend and all of her soccer teammates as well. We also had a sweet lesson this week... we went with a sister from our ward and taught about the ten commandment adn the word of wisdom and while we were teaching Catalinaàs aunt and 8 year old cousin were there. her little cousin is almost always there when we teach, his name is augustin and hes our homie. what we didnt know is that he has some issues. at the end of the lesson we sang a himn and gave the closing prayer and before leaving asked if we could do anything else for them... Catalina`s aunt looked at us with a tear in her eye and told us that her son has problems with violence and always hurts other people, but that lately hes been better about it and she thinks its cause hes been hearing the lessons. she asked if we could start teaching him as well and if she could take him to church on sundays! we were like heck yeah you can take him to church. hes 8 years old right? chiste chiste. it was cool though.

we also had another investigator come to stake conference named Herminia. we have been teaching her son and daughter in law but she committed to come and came through and the other two didnt so that was a miracle! shes 86 years old and took the bus like 20 min to get to the stake center. dedication lets go! she`ll have a baptismal date this week.

Well, its been another awesome week. I love this work, i love the gospel, and theres nothing more gratifying than living it every day and sharing with everyone. 

Love you fam.

-Elder Allred - Chilean Street Raptor

photos: heres a pic of the squad, and my lucuma birthday cake.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Goods

I pulled a hammy... im struggling here it really hurts. Just kidding i dont think i pulled it, but it hurts really bad. we had an intense soccer game this morning and we were gonna lose so president kicked it up like 14 gears and we pulled off the victory. The guy is one of the most competitive people ive ever met.. haha seriously he`ll do anything to win. It says in the missionary manual that we shouldnt keep score but he loves winning to much. its like an addiction... haha we play well together though so its a good time.

other than soccer and some good old office training we`ve had a decently smooth week. Everything is coming along well, my comp learns really fast and is better and most things than me. He has a lot more patience to be methodical with his work thats for sure. Sometimes i just want things to be right fast. its a weakness ive been able to see pretty clearly lately...

its actually made me ponder about something else a lot too. I feel like at the beginning of my mission i had zero talent, couldnt speak, didnt know how to teach, no idea about how the mission worked, and my testimony was below average. But if there is one thing i was forced to do it was to trust in the Lord 100%.. because there was no other option and i completely depended on him... Now id say i speak teh language pretty well, i feel the spirit when i teach and testify, and a lot of confidence in almost everything i do. which isnt bad at all.. but maybe its maybe me trust a little bit less in God and a little bit more in my own abilities... ive been working on it a lot, and studying it too. I think it happens to every missionary to a certain extent, but i wanna do everyhting i can to turn it around!

this week we saw some miracles in our sector. were working hard everyday to get out to our sector on time and its gonna well most days, but theres still room to improve a lot. on monday we found Luisa again, the investigator that had a dream about us helping her, and we taught about the restoration with a member from our ward! it was super powerful and we figured out that shes no longer living with Antonio her ex boyfriend/melchezidic(i butchered that) priesthood holder! she accepted a baptismal date and is ready to come to church tomorrow with us!!! lesss goooo!

Also we had an incredible experience last night with Catalina and the Calderon family. pretty much every time ive taught those guys its been with a different person. Twice on exchanges, once with elder ammirati and the elders quorum president, and this time with Elder Rogerson and our ward mission leader. So what happens is everytime Catalina`s dad feels the need to explain that he has problems with smoking and that he doesnt want to be pressured to do anything yet but that he wants his daughter to be baptized. but this time after doing it, he confessed to us in the lesson that he feels the same spirit in his home for the first time since teh elders came ten years ago in concepcion and they were baptized! he says he feels like the messages we share are directed towards him and not towards his daughter, and after my companion testified that its not because we planned it that way, rather that the spirit always helps us to feel what we need to change, the spirit just filled room so strong you could almost touch it! it was awesome, and even though he doesnt feel reaady to go to church, hes recognizing the spirit again, as well as his wife. Having your only son tell you hes gay when hes 14 is not easy. Nor is it easy having marriage problems with an unstable job and still trying to take care of your family. The gospel is the only thing that will save the Calderon family. I love those guys i hope they can keep progressing and the Catalina can lead teh way by being baptized.

i read a scripture this week that i wanted to share from 3 nephi 6:15 --  15 Now the cause of this iniquity of the people was this—Satan had great power, unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity, and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world.

satan takes gifts and blessing from God, and offers us the cheap worldy form of it. God gives us spiritual power, authority, and riches, and too often theyre rejected for something far less valuable. the trick is resisting the temptation to fall for the cheap substitute. 

I love you guys and i have everyone in my prayers. thanks for the support. The truth is i cant believe the clock is winding down. I still feel like i should be a young new greenie missionary. But i know that ill remember this time for the rest of my life and longer! Its setting the stage for everything taht comes after. I love the Gospel, these people, and my Savior. 


-Elder Allred - Chilean Street Raptor

Midnight selfie in the office with Elder Ammirati passed out. Late night view of our sector in the hills of Viña. 

sorry i still dont have a pic with my new comp. but we figured out his full name at birth it was - Kostyantyn Oleksandrovych Dovzhenko.
What a guy. Capo.