Tuesday, August 16, 2016

It's Like a Mouthful of Joy

Ive been impressed with about a million different thoughts and feelings as my time has winded down. its pretty much impossible and also completely illogical to try to explain what ive felt, seen, experienced, and become in two years as a servant of the Lord so i wont attempt it. but ill try to throw out as many thoughts as i can in these 15-20 min that i have to write what will be my last letter to home as a missionary of the Lord`s church...

yesterday they gave me ten minutes in sacrament meeting to bear my testimony for my last sunday in teh ward. a quote came to my mind that i know came from the spirit. considering the fact that i read it on the wall of my sixth grade classroom in Mr. Hodson`s class years ago, im almost positive i couldnt have just randomly thought of it in that moment. "if you want something that you`ve never had, you`ve got to do something that you`ve never done." a basketball player cannot become his very best unless he changes habitual training, an experienced chef will never learn new recipes unless he tests them and tries himself, we cannot become heirs of our fathers` kingdom without having passed throught the trial. these have been the two hardest, most difficult years of my life... they`ve also been the most rewarding, joy filled years ive ever had. and i no i never could have become what i am today without these experiences that ive passed through.

its kind of interesting how sometimes when you put your hands on the plow and start moving forward you look back after a while and realize how far youve come. if you check your progress every 30 seconds you`ll probably get a little desperate and feel like the work just isnt coming along how you hoped. for 24 months ive tried my very very hardest to keep moving forward with the plow and NEVER look back. at certain moments ive been blessed to realized how much progress ive made but i never wanted to stop and admire anything until the work was finished. well the work is not finished but my time here in Chile is and i couldnt be happier with how blessed ive been. i think the big question every missionary has by the end of his time is - did i do everything i could have? its a question ive been asking for a few days and the Lord has blessed me with the assurance that he is pleased with me. theres no greater feeling. the same words have been ringing in my head for the last few days:

His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithfulservant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

today, tuesday, wednesday, adn thursday will be my last days here in Serena. On friday elder frampton is taking a bus to come here and we`ll be spending the day together in coquimbo visiting our homies. in the morning we have breakfast with my old bishop, lunch is in a peruvian restaurant of a member from e framptons old ward, and at night were having an asado with my boy Alexis and then at midnight hes taking us to the bus station to head to viña. i arrive saturday morning and at about 12 in the afternoon will head to santiago to witness two sealings of waht has been the greatest blessing of my mission. see a family convert themselves to the gospel and change absolutely EVERYTHING they had ever known or had before. theres no words to describe how i will feel to participate in those two sealings. i love them so much. i love everyone here so much. this country is my second home and ill miss it a whole lot.

Sunday will be my last interview with President. Monday i head out to visit everyone in viña, quilpue, and valparaiso with elder mcelhaney, and tuesday morning we head to the temple and then to the airport in the afternoon.

i cant believe its coming to an end. haha i seriously cant it doesnt really fit in my brain. the one thing i do know is that i will cherish these last few days. all i want is to finish strong...!

like i said the mission has changed me forever. ill never be the same. im still Wyatt. but i understand so much more now and thats made all of the difference. i know where my life needs to go. all of the other things are simply tangents on the way, but i know whats most important.

ill finish with my testimony that i know without a sliver of doubt in my mind that this church is true. it really is something way more divine and beautiful than we realize. if we could comprehend the magnitude of the decisions we make it wouldnt be so hard. but thats not the point. im grateful the Lord lets us make mistakes and lets us see our own weaknesses. his plan is perfect. get to know it better. try to understand why he allows things to happen. ask him. i know he answers, i know he lives. his Son died for us, and theres nothing more important in the world than this knowledge! not even Pokemon Go.

my mission has been the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. i love this work.

see you guys next wednesday in SLC. somebody bring me panda express cause ya boi`s got some mad cravings.

Chow mein with orange chicken and sweetfire chicken breast.

-Elder Allred - chilean street raptor signing off...

photos- the last soccer game with the young mens.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Hospital

this week was crazy. but i loved it. whenever there are lots of things going on at once it sort of eliminates any distractions that i could have from the work. so it wasnt horrible that this week our house turned into a hospital.

almost everyone in the zone this week got sick at some point from food, flu, or some other problem. theres a sector in the zone called Vicuña that about two hours away from Serena in the middle of nowhere. well one of the missionaries who was training his comp called us on monday and had been going through really bad back and rib pain for a few days. he had already had to go back to his house one time to get knee surgery and so on tuesday they came here, we took them to the hospital and then for 5 days they stayed at our house so that he could rest and see if it went away. well it didnt, but for 4 of the 5 days i went out and worked with his comp Elder Larson and did his training for a little, while my comp stayed home with the other elder since my comp has had some knee and foot pain. i was chill with it because the last thing i wanted is to be locked in a house doing nothing for my last days on teh mish.

everything was going really well with elder larson, in fact we found a couple of really really good new investigators, until we went to lunch one day and they served us seafood. ive honestly come to like most types of seafood and i can eat anything they give me... but elder larson wasnt so lucky. he stomached it all, but when we went to the house to drop some stuff off he barfed clams, piuri, shellfish, and rice all over. its chill we cleaned it up and everything and he felt better, alright lets go out ot work. so we go out and 10  min later same thing. but in the street in front of everyone.

hah so we went back and then had to go meet up with my comp who was coming back from vicuña because they had to go get some stuff. e larson didnt make it. again in the street in front of everyone hahaha. good times. but yeah i finally got with my comp and we went out to work. sadly the other missionary got transfered to viña because he needs to go to a physical therapist and there isnt one in vicuña. but we had a good week with our pals in the house.

on wednesday i believe with elder larson we went to a store to buy a coke to take home before finishing the night and in the store we realized that the owner was looking at the book of mormon we put on the counter. so we started talking with him and turns out his son was a missionary 20 years ago but was the only member in teh family, but that he had a lot of doubts recently about the bible and religion. so we talked with him, left him with the BOM and when we went back another day he had tons of questions! too many. but they all were centered on the apostasy and so when we talk about the restoration it started to make more and more sense to him it was incredible. he smokes like a train but were gonna help the guy find the truth and start making changes in his life! mario´s the name, baptisms´ his fate.

we also have a few new ecuadorian friends that came to church and are investigating now! the big cafeteria that they´ve turned into their ecuadorian hotel is a gold mine. there are lots of members, but tons of people that have never heard of Christ in their life. its a little bit harder to teach them, but there will be a lot of success. we had a FHE with them last night and played some fun games, sang hymns, and very basic lesson on prayer. 

Cha Cha, our Chinese convert that moved here from Hong Kong is doing well. he has a lot of doubts though and feels like his GF that introduced him to teh church, but now doesnt come is dodging him. we´ve been trying to help the poor guy gain a testimony and understnad whats going on here. he seriously speaks zero spanish and i can hardly understand his english. but tonight a member invited us and him to eat canadian burgers that he makes that are amazing and were gonna share the plan of salvation with cha cha. its such a different experience teaching people without christian backrounds, but its been really cool to learn more about other cultures.

Unfortunately Carlos has let his doubts overcome his faith. he wasnt baptized this week and now isnt sure if he wants to keep investigating. he stopped reading the BOM and started to listen to friends from other churches that think were a cult. im 100% positive he felt the spirit when we read the experience of Joseph Smith this week in JSH, but hes allowing other voices to convince him taht what hes felt and experienced with us is all in his mind. the devil is pretty good and making people reject light after having seen it plainly and clearly. were not giving up on him yet but its gonna take a lot.

well this is the second to last email that i will write as a missionary. im not throwin in the towel quite yet, but i have little time left to share this gospel with my brothers and sisters in Chile. i love them, and ive felt overwhelming joy to see them advance in the plan of happiness, but ive also felt unsupressable sadness when they reject what they´ve received. the Lord knows the timing of everything so i shouldnt doubt in him.

i love this gospel and this work. see ya next time for the last premier of the Chilean Street Raptor.

-Elder Allred - Chilean Street Raptor

photo- a selfie with Cha Cha

Jews and Gentiles Alike

The month of August has rolled around and i still feel the same. i cant believe im coming up on 2 years since i left on what has been the greatest adventure of my life, and what will eternally be one of the most impactful decisions ive ever made. i love being a missionary. i love the Lord´s work. and i love watching lives change as they come unto Christ, more than anyone else´s my own.

i really forced myself to focus this week and the Lord helped me a whole lot. P days are always hard. these last 3 mondays have been difficult. but through powerful prayer and sincere desires to continue to preach the gospel ive witnessed that ive been blessed with the strength to work hard and to bear my testimony to everyone. 

this morning i started looking through my photos to see which photos i can print out and give to people. its crazy to think how many people have changed my life and how many experiences ive had with them. its almost unimaginable to think about the mercy that ive received as a servant in the Lord´s church. sometimes when i get down and think that things arent happening how they should, or maybe i didnt fulfill what i needed to do, i remember that its not about me. it was never my mission. maybe God allowed me to pass through these experiences but it was never about me. im grateful because i know that everything taht has happened has gone just the way it needed to and just how the Lord planned because ive been obedient.

the day before my final interview in Viña which will be on sunday the 21st, i have my ticket bought to head down to Santiago and witness two sealings. Jacob and Romina, and Raul and Maria Elena from teh Castillo family that was baptized a little over a year ago now have everything ready to be sealed for time and all eternity. undoubtedly it will be the most incredible way to cap off the best two years of my life. ive seen promises fulfillled time and time again. its amazing how God prepares teh way for everything.

Carlos our venezuelan investigator came to church yesterday. its been a complete miracle to see his progress. the day before teaching the law of chastity he broke up with his girlfriend (who is not bad looking) and was much more prepared to understand the commandment and why its important for his future. he feels more weight on his conscience now and wants to be baptized this sunday. if he can give up cigarrettes before then were on! hes a stud.

on saturday as we contacted in another companionships sector to help them find more investigators we sat down in a park with a 19 year old kid listening to Queen. after singing along to the last parts of Bohemian Rhapsody we casually transitioned into a topic about the 12 tribes of Israel. haha it was so cool. hes of Jewish descent, and literally has traced his line back to find out that he came from the levite tribe! it was cool we started explaining the restoration and since he became a christian 3 years ago he was able to understand and feel the spirit really strongly and accepted to be baptized! this week we´ll start teaching him.

i feel a love for all the people we are teaching. if it werent for my family and friends that i love to death and who are there waiting for me id spend the rest of my life here helping these people. 

 And now, I would prophesy somewhat more concerning the Jews and the Gentiles. For after the book of which I have spoken shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed.

i know ive been called to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those that are willing to accept the message in their lives. 

thanks for your prayers and thoughts. i know this is the truth.

-Elder Allred - Chilean Street Raptor

photo- E Garcia was bored....

The Week

im gonna be short and sweet today. ill be honest p days are becoming my least favorite days of the week because they´re the hardest to focus. but its chill i aint worried. 

this week was different. its like i was working hard and everything, but the days went by slower. now that the week is over it feels like it flew by... idk its strange. maybe thats just how its gonna be. we worked our butts off though so i dont have anything to worry about.

this week we put a different baptismal date almost every single day. we worked hard with existing investigators and found some new ones that are good. interestingly enough all of them or foreigners. seriously almost everyone were teaching is from ecuador, colombia, or venezuela. theyre all sick.

carlos is still going strong. tonight were teaching the word of wisdom. pray for him. if he can get over this and the law of chastity he´s golden for his baptism. sadly none of the other investigators that we were teaching came to church this week after all of them had committed saturday at night! its seriously tough to motivate people to go ot church. but we saw lots of miracles this week so im not complaining at all. we found lots of good people.

my comp is crazy. haha sometimes i just look at him and start laughing hes super funny. hes like a little kid. he loves like little toys and playing with other kids, but when it comes to the gospel hes the smartest comp ive had. im learning something new everyday from him seriously. we get along really well even though hes a little immature and he teaches like a boss.

on tuesday we had our zone conference. we made everyone french toast in the morning and if we achieve our zone goal were gonna call Pres to do a Serena VS Coquimbo soccer match. that´ll be sweet.

also this week we taught a convert from Hong Kong that was baptized 3 months ago in China! haha he speaks zero spanish, and it was pretty hard to understand his english. he was involved in a shipwreck and the doctors said he´d never walk again, also he didnt understnad anything they said to him so he got really angry. then one nurse started helping him a lot and telling him in english about hope and faith in God. when a miracle occurred and he regained strength to walk he became really good friends witht the nurse who is a member, and when he went back to china started taking the lessons and was baptized. well his family basically disowned him so he came back here and is now dating the member here haha. he´s a boss. were gonna keep helping him little by little because before his baptism he practically didnt know who God was, and had never heard of Christ.

we have no money so were gonna buy a pound of flour to make pancakes for breakfast and dinner every day this week. pray for us.

love you guys.

-Elder Allred - Chilean Street Raptor

heres a pic of our zone.

The Last Melon

this week marked the last beginning of a change that i will have as a missionary. its really weird to think about. the truth is i dont really like thinking about it all that much. but i know that ive got six weeks to continue refining myself and become that consecrated soldier that the Lord would like me to be. 

my last companion is named Elder Garcia. he´s from northern Peru and ill be training him as a new ZL this change. hes a funny guy. little bit different than me but he´s an incredible teacher and knows the scriptures really well. hes a really good artist and is super out going haha its pretty funny sometimes. but we´ve gotten along well our first week together and im pumped to put in the work with him this change and take out the trash in our sector. i just want to give it all before i end and honestly theres lots of time to make some impacts in the zone and in our sector.

on wednesday we headed to changes on the bus. it was a good bus ride with all the homies we had a good time even though it was long! in fact since my comp is a new ZL and Elder Framptons new comp as well we stayed in viña on thursday and went on divisions with Elder Gould going around the zones in viña repairing houses and moving things around haha it was pretty fun. at night we bought popeyes and had a party in my old office pension with the boys. 

friday we had mission council and reported our numbers for the month of june. it was a super good conference. they gave all of teh missionaries that were in their last council a chance to bear their testimony. im not gonna lie i balled in front of about 35 missionaries. but im grateful for all the opportunities ive had on teh mission to learn from others and participate in conferences like this. i realized taht every assignment, companion, and sector ive had were never rewards or gifts for baptizing or doing something as a missionary, rather opportunities that the Lord gave to me to learn from other people. the greatest being President Díaz. 

President didnt want us traveling at night cause we were exhausted so we convinced him to get a game of soccer in against teh office on saturday morning before boarding teh bus to head back up to the north. haha it was pretty sweet.

yesterday we had a problem with some sisters in our zone. haha it was ridiculous. a new sister got here on wednesday and the next day a door accidentally locked in their home with all of her suitcases and clothes inside of it. she literally did not have otehr clothes to wear, so yesterday we went over there with a bunch of keys we had in our house. probably 30. not one of them worked. so we called this brother from their ward and he tried a bunch of different things to get it open, nothing. we were there 3 hours. 3 HOURS IN THE SISTERS HOME. and then my comp opens this closet and while he´s looking at their books he goes and waht about these keys? the first one we tried opened up the flipping closet. haha ridiculous.

Carlos our venezuelan investigator came to church with us yesterday! even though when we got there he excused himself to go smoke a few cigs, the importnat thing is that he came! haha baby steps. hes a stud. tonight he wants to buy us pizza and then we´ll share the plan of salvation. :)

love you guys hope you have a swell week. ill be honest its weird having my friends get home, but when i get to work its like i forget about it all. i know the Lord will give me the strength to be able to focus and give all of my attention to His work. he never gives commandments that cannot be fulfilled "for there is no respect of persons with God." Romans 2:11

-Elder Allred - Chilean Street Raptor

photos: getting mexican food after changes meeting with the Gould´s, and the bus ride from the north.