Hello family! My my my... I seriously can't believe how fast time has flown by this week! Seriously, I've been in Ohio nearly a month already now! Crazy!
This week was WONDERFUL! The weather has been cool and mostly dry like a lovely Virginia autumn.
Here are some of the highlights of this week:
-I went on my first exchanges! With the Zone Leaders, too, so I was a little nervous, but it was a GREAT experience. I went to their area, Englewood, and slept there/worked the next day with them. Englewood is a much, much poorer area with a high crime rate, and we kept hearing sirens go off every so often! The Zone Leaders had great pointers for me and helped me get over my fear of talking with everyone I saw about the Gospel. It was dinner time, and as we turned to meet up with the other Elders, a car zoomed by, screeched to a halt, and three teenage boys called us over. I thought I was going to get mugged! Turns out they were SUPER nice and cool, and we talked to them for about 20 minutes about prophets and the Restoration. It was really neat!
-Two nights ago, when we were about to go to sleep, and my companion told me that I was his favorite companion. I was really shocked and really humbled that he could look over my faults and see the good in me. :)
This past week, I had some time to sit and read the September Ensign, and was touched by the article, "Opening Our Hearts to Revelation". I've always had a hard time figuring out what personal revelation is and how I can receive it, but I've learned now for myself that it is real and ever important to the well-being and productivity of our souls. Just as letters of love, support, advice, and encouragement from home buoy you up while you're away or struggling, personal revelation is the same! Personal revelation is a message of peace, guidance, and support from a loving parent, our Heavenly Father. If we could just set aside a few minutes each day from our hectic schedules to be still and quiet, seeking guidance from above, we will be able to refocus on our purpose and priorities, and put ourselves in a position to better receive and feel the messages our Heavenly Father would have us receive.
After an amazing Zone Conference this past week full of learning and the Spirit, I felt dark and irritable for no earthly reason! I was distracted, unfocused, and unhappy, and we were just about to teach one of our investigators. The counsel from this article popped into my head, so I excused myself from the earshot of my companion for a few minutes and offered a prayer to Heavenly Father, asking for His help to overcome these feelings. Just like that, those feelings left me, and my companion and I were able to teach in unity and with the Spirit, AND.... *drum roll please*.... GOT HER COMMITTED TO BAPTISM FOR SEPTEMBER 21st!!
I KNOW that Heavenly Father is a God of love, and miracles. He truly is our tender parent who is aware of His children's trials and struggles, no matter how small they may seem. Sometimes all we have to do to be more in tune with His messages of love, support, and direction is ASK for His help, and then LISTEN to what He has to say.
I love you all SO much! Thanks for the love, prayers, and support you offer me. This Gospel is TRUE! Heavenly Father loves YOU! I love you!
Love, Elder Jason Allred
Picture: Me working on both my spiritual and physical physique ;)