Monday, June 20, 2016

The Comeback Kid

Captains Log,
Star Date: 20-June-2016

We´ve begun to see mild signs of movement in the right eyebrow, lower lip, and right nostril. All muscles and ligaments in the top lip towards the right corner have recuperated. Smiles have been made, laughter has been shared. We´ve stationed more troops on the bottom lip and hope to be able to frown as well in the days to come. All forms of movement in the face have improved.


No but really im getting a lot better. im about two weeks ahead of where they thought i would be. in fact i feel almost normal now. just minor details that will go away im sure within this or the next week. The mission presidents wife wont let me stop going to the physical therapist... its kind of funny because teh first few sessions all they do is tell you how well youre improving and encourage you, and then once i didnt go for three days and came back all of the sudden they realize im getting better really really fast and since we pay by session suddenly they stop telling me how well im doing haha.

enough with the face. seriously im fine. other than the physical therapy miracle there were also a handful of missionary work miracles for us this week! including a special trip that i got to make to coquimbo on saturday with permission from President Díaz to see the baptism of an old investigator and friend of mine..... OSCAR GOT BAPTIZED! haha the old man finally did it! a year ago when i was in coquimbo i had hope that he would make it someday, but after i left i didnt think i would ever witness it! however the elders in coquimbo called me during the week and told me about it and i called President to ask him. i ended up giving a talk in the service and i was flooded with emotions as i saw so many people i love in coquimbo. Seriously love that place. the bishop was pretty emotional as well. hes spent a good time trying to help his dad take the step of faith. Congrats oscar.

we found two new student investigators this week knocking doors. both occasions was unplanned and very timely. its amazing to see how the Lord puts us where we neeed to be exactly in the moment when someone else is praying or needing a blessing in their lives. its not a coincidence. thats what ive learned. everything happens for a reason.

felipe and alda have their marriage date but are passing through some trials. its gonna take a leap of faith for them to get married on july 1 and baptized on the 3rd. apparently if felipe gets married right now he will inherit his fathers debt... i dont know why buts thats how it works.. we had a family home evening in the house of a member last night, played uno with them, and shared about faith in preparation for our lesson with them on wednesday. i know if they decide to keep the commandments it cant go wrong for them even when it seems like it well. Satan is pretty cunning in his ways of tempting people to make logical decisions instead of good decisions.

were also working a lot with a colombian investigator named fabian that is addicted to alcohol. such a nice guy, its just hard for him to keep his committments. we´ll see if he turns it around this week and if he doesnt theres not much more we can do. theres so many foreigners in serena its kind of cool. we´re also doing a family home evening with like 20 more or less active ecuadorians every sunday night. theyre natives from the jungle too so spanish isnt even their first language! its pretty fun. they serve us good cinnamon tea and empanadas so its chill.

well even though i received an extremely tragic phone call last night with the news on the nba championship from a couple missionary in Viña, im still pulling for the states on Tuesday. i need everyone to turn into soccer fans for a week and act like they care cause i do! im with an argintinian companion who could not be more confident that its not even gonna be close... but i know the boys will surprise everyone with the W!

its been an emotional week all in all. we´re working so hard we really are.. and the zone is having a lot of success. i guess its just that going back to coquimbo and everything made me start thinking about a lot of things. its not going to be easy to leave everything behind after giving everything to the work.
i love these people and i love the gospel and i know theres nothing more important in the world. dont ever give up on anyone. i went back and looked in my journal and remembered all of the disappointment i felt when oscar decided last minute not to get baptized. things happen, people change, and God can always mold his children into different people if they allow him.

Love you guys have an awesome week.

-Elder Allred

I Can't Move My Face

I´d say this was one of the more unexpected and interesting weeks that ive had on my mission so far...

let me just start off by saying that its true, i cant move my face. well just the right half of it. on wednesday my comp and i headed to lunch and in the middle of lunch with this family we´re really tight with i realized taht my comp, the family, and the two other missionaries in our ward were all giving me weird looks when i laughed... and then i started to realized that i couldnt blink my right eye, and that my mouth only moved on the left side, so when i laughed my mouth was like on my cheek.. (ill send a good photo). i guess when your face gets paralyzed the first thing you do is laugh, and then you think holy crap am i having a stroke or what?
well i waited until thursday morning and it still hadnt gone away so i called Hna Díaz and she told me to go to the hospital where a nice colombian nurse told me that i have Bells Palsy, or as chileans often call it La Boca Chueca. i always made fun of chileans because after drinking tea or something they would always cover their mouth before going outside because they said theyd get the boca chueca. i guess it was karma! no but in reality its a virus and they dont know how it happens. but the good thing is that it goes away.

These last few days i was supposed to be on complete rest to get rid of all stress, but President gave us permission to go out for appointments. so we just started calling a bunch of people to set appts. however i have been to two physical therapy sessions to get my face massaged, (and one time my back without my shirt on what?) and do some facial excercises. yes my excersizes literally consist of me trying to smile, close my eye, and breath through my right nostril. but im gonna tell Hna Díaz that the phyical therapy really is not necesary. i can do all of the excersizes on my own without somebody standing over my shoulder telling me that the corner of my mouth moved a little bit more than the 200 other times i did it while looking in the mirror. if you wanna know what it feels like to be a handicap in rehab, just get the bells palsy virus.

its been good in some aspects. on friday we found a super good family and gained a lot of confidence with them because at teh beginning of the lesson my comp made a joke and i couldnt stop laughing because everyone else was laughing at my face. its a good fam.

really im fine. it goes away in 1-2 months they told me, and today marks the end of my mandatory rest issued by Hna Diaz. so were gonna get back to normal work finally! it wasnt easy being in the house during the day.. i seriosuly went crazy. it was the first time in my whole mission that i wasnt able to go work because of sickness or other issues... like paralysis.

Felipe and Alda are trying to get a marriage date and were thinking of going out to this place in teh boondocks to marry them legally so that they can get baptized. theyre awesome!

love you guys, dont worry about me too much. have awesome week!

-Elder Allred - Chilean Version of Two Face

Monday, June 6, 2016

Cruisin North

flip i dont even know where to begin... why the flip do i even say flip? its so flippin stupid.

well im back in the north baby!!! but this time on the other side of the bay of my true love Coquimbo. im in La Serena as a ZL to finish my last two changes with E. Giustozzi my studly argentinian comp! i really wanted to train but basically President just told me there werent enough ZL to replace those that left and he needed me to go back up to the North. its chill im super happy to be up here and we have a sweet zone. its beautiful here!

transfer week was crazy as usual and even crazier this time because we didnt sleep sunday through wednesday, had transfers wednesday night, got back to serena at 3 AM, gathered everything from the zone that needed to go to viña on thursday, and then that same night at 12 left to viña for mission council. after a full day in viña with pouring rain on friday we got back on the bus at got home at like 2. Im exhausted. its been so fun though. i love my comp hes super tight and hes gotta a little more than a year so hes ready to work really hard!

weve been taking the trash out these last 2 days. we did a million contacts, found some really good future investigators, adn even though we havent taught much and we dont have tons of investigators im having so much fun just doing normal missionary work all day! seriosuly i missed it so much. im grateful for the love i developed to just teach adn have progressing investigators. our investigators felipe and alda came to church for teh first time on sunday and even though their 3 year old was running all over place being a clown, and tugging on the bishops pants, they had a good experience. felipe said hes gonna start coming every week! they´re a young couple, only 23 years old but theyre way cool. were working with them for a marriage and baptism date soon!

before leaving viña i got to see Jacob and Romina and talk with them outside teh office for about an hour. their sealing date is teh 9th of July, and same with Maria Elena and Raul the parents of jacob!!! im so happy for them its undescribable. theyre amazing and have such strong testimonies its so cool! im just hoping taht i can still go to their sealing.. President told me i could, but now that im so far north i doubt ill be able to which is kind of a bummer.. but we´ll see.

Im here, im healthy, and ready to just go all out in my last area. this area is really cool. the members are awesome it kind of reminds of a ward in the states cause its in the center of Serena. its really weird going from a tiny branch to a big ward. but theyre kindof a sleeping giant. everyone is really good but they sort of need to all go in the right direction to start to see some baptisms here. its been awhile.

love you guys so much. keep me updated on Steph and the boys. Good stuff.

-Elder Allred - Chilean Street Raptor

fotos - with jacob and romina, and my comp and i after our soccer game today with the zone.