What a stellar week! There isn't a whole lot of new things going on, but here are some highlights from my week:
People all around are still getting sick! I've been having a pretty bad cough/sinus infection that's put a damper on things, but I'm coming out of it, so hopefully things will be better soon.
On Sunday, we were privileged to watch a talk given by Elder David Bednar entitled, "The Character of Christ". It made me cry! Go watch it! Its message will stick with you. The main take-away is that the natural man within us wants to turn inwards when faced with trial and hardship ("wo is me..." "life is so hard..." "why me.." "Haven't I done enough service?" etc.). The character of Christ, however, is turning outwards to others at those critical times. Think when Christ was suffering in the garden for OUR sins, and instead of letting Paul cut off the ear of a guard, he turned outward, and healed him. Think of Christ suffering on the cross. He didn't say, "I think I've done enough, Father... Bless me." He instead asked for a his mother to be watched over after his death, and prayed for his captors and the thieves next to Him. There were so many marvelous examples. Go watch it. It will change you.
View from the Temple
Yesterday, the 4th of July, the MTC put on a wonderful program for us. We had a devotional where we sang many patriotic songs and watched a touching film entitled, "17 Miracles" which chronicles 17 of the many miracles of the handcart company that crossed the plains late in the season. It was so touching! I'd whole-heartedly recommend it! After showing us the film, they gave us all a "Magnum" ice cream bar (SOOO good!) and let us outside to watch the firework show that was put on at the BYU Football stadium. It was beautiful. I'm so grateful to the early pioneers who sacrificed EVERYTHING they had for the building of the kingdom. Being the 4th of July, I started to think about America and the progress of the church. I have NO doubt in my mind that this blessed land came to be to enable the restoration. Think about it. Nowhere else in the world could the Gospel be restored. No other place had the religious freedom or means to bring this to pass. Then I started to think about all of the marvelous technology and advances we've made in just the past 150 years. It is incredible. It has been exponential! No doubt that increase in knowledge was also God-given to further and speed the work of the Gospel.
In my Book of Mormon reading, I've been blown away at all the marvelous examples of missionaries within its words. Alma, Ammon, the sons of Mosiah, there are so many! I love reading about their struggles and their deliverance. It is so cool to see how God blesses his children! Over, and over, and over again, the message of repentance is shared with the people. ALL they have to do is to forsake their wrong doings and heed the commandments of God! When they are blessed, they prosper and grow. The gospel is SO simple! All we have to do is do what is right, repent, and endure. If we can just endure this speck of mortality, we will be blessed beyond comprehension. God wants nothing more than to bless His children. I have a strong witness of this.
Portuguese is coming along! I've noticed it's a little hard now when we teach because there are three of us in a companionship. One of us usually subconsciously takes the lead in a lesson with an investigator, which makes it harder for the other two to say much. We're working on it! But I love my companions and have been blessed with wonderful teachers.
Here's a pictures of me with Elder Manning, one of my companions as TWINS! We have the same shirt, and I had two ofthe same shorts, so we were twins for gym one day. I love my companions!
I ran into two other 'Allred' missionaries from Virginia! They are brother and sister and live in Williamsburg. Maybe we're distant cousins or something..
Anyways, I sure love you guys! I know the fullness of the Gospel has been restored through Joseph Smith and we have all the commandments, covenants, and guidance we need to progress and return to our Father in Heaven.