Hello family! My my my this past week has FLOWN by! Elder Christensen and I have been kept super busy! I can't believe it's already been a whole week since I was last able to mail you!This week has been GREAT! We were able to do a lot of service for non-members, and we able to go back and meet with some potential investigators! On Tuesday, we were helping an investigator with their yard. This family is really nice. They have 4 children, two with special needs, and both parents work really hard to provide a good life for their children. The mom is SO kind and said we could come back and share our message. We're eating dinner with them on Wednesday and will be teaching them the Restoration and more about our role as missionaries! We're so excited! We made some homemade cookies today to take with us, too :)Can I say once again how awesome the Centerville ward is? They ROCK! Members are ALWAYS feeding us, offering us rides, going on splits with us, and offering their homes for teaching our investigators. They are a model for member missionary work! It is so exciting to see members get involved, and it is wonderful to see the progresss that happens because of them! Most of our investigators were found by them, and when they come with us to teach, they are a powerful addition to the lesson. Our Ward Mission Leader, Bro. Arner, is SUCH a great example to me. He is a doctor, has 6 young children, and very enthusiastically makes time for us and goes out with us to contact less-actives and investigators. Members really are the key to missionary work!We were able to teach a young part-member/investigator family this past week. I was SO nervous because I had never talked to them or really taught a formal lesson in the real world, but it was wonderful! The wife, who is investigating the church, told us how she just "feels" like the Book of Mormon and Church are true. She's been reading the Book of Mormon and trying to do family home evening and things, and is really progressing! We're hoping to get her on date and have her less-active, super cool husband baptize her! Yay!This past week was full of training for new missionaries. It was great! President and Sister Porter taught us (the newest misisonaries) how to deal with doubt and the negative/scary feelings that come with missionary work. It was EXACTLY what I needed. I felt like the whole training was just for me, and my soul really ate it up. It was perfect. I know Heavenly Father is keenly aware of all of His children. Being out in the mission field has really helped me see how insignificant my worries of being "a perfect missionary" are and helped me realize how I can use whatever skills/knowledge I have to bless others who are experiencing REAL problems wtih their lives. It's funny how trials really make you learn, and after you choose to help and focus on others instead of yourself, they become less and less important. I love that! As part of Language Study, the Assistants to the President have me call Elder Tolman (the other Visa waiter in the mission) each day so we can talk for 30 minutes over the phone in Portuguese! It's been really fun, and verrrrry helpful!Today and tomorrow, we are snagging a ride up to a place called Englewood to go on exchanges for the day with our Zone Leaders. It will be a great experience! It has been so wonderful learning so much so quickly.Fun story - Today right before coming to the library to email, we met a really nice lady at the hair cuttery who talked to us for about 20 minutes while we were waiting to get our haircuts. Turns out her Sister is LDS and served a misison about 25 years ago, and so she has a soft spot for the missionaries of the church because even though she's not a member, she knows that it is hard work and a good work. We said goodbye and when it came time to pay for our haircuts, we were told that the lady had paid for us. What a sweetie! She is a Walmart employee, and didn't have much, but she wanted to contribute to a good cause secondarily. What a kind soul. :)We're hoping to find more people to teach this week and get one of our Investigators and her son, on date for baptism! Wish us luck!I KNOW that Christ lives. I KNOW that this Gospel is true! Heavenly Father is so good to His children. He answers prayers. I know He hears them. I love Him!I love you all, and am SO grateful that I was blessed to be a part of your family!Love, Elder Allred
PS - Here's a picture of me and Elder Christensen tracting! I'll try to take more creative pictures this week :) LOVE YOU!
PPS-I forgot to say in my email, that Centerville (my area) is getting ANOTHER set of missionaries! So exciting! We're such a small area, but the Lord is truly hastening His work!