HELLO FAMILY! My my my, this week was a little crazy, but GREAT! I got transferred to Angola, Indiana, and it is SO DIFFERENT!
Transfers were conveniently held in Centerville, so that was nice, but Angola was about a 4 hour drive! My new companion, Elder Phillips, is really nice, hard-working, and FUN. We work hard and have a good time in the process!
Here are some fun facts about Angola, Indiana:
- There are over 100 natural lakes in the area
- It is an OLD town... I'd say it's dying. Lots of old buildings, and old people! But it's pretty.
- There are a TON of farms! Mostly soybeans and corn, which make for very pretty pictures!
- This is the BOONIES of Indiana. Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from both Ohio, and Michigan.
- Our area is as far north as the mission goes
- There are quite a few Amish communities in our area which is pretty cool! We see them around town sometimes...
- There are 40 active members in Angola. Yes. 40! Our little branch is quite the change from the sprawling Centerville Ward where we typically had about 300 at church each week. Out of the 40 members, there are about 8 youth, and most everyone else is aged 60+... :) It's fun!
- Angola was just re-opened for missionary work, and the work is pretty slow at the moment. I was shocked when Elder Phillips told me they taught only ONE lesson the week before I came! We'll be fixing that!
I LOVE Angola! I love being in the "boonies" with farms and animals and members who are a little rough around the edges :) It's very refreshing, and there certainly is never a dull moment!
After our 4 hour excursion from Centerville to Angola, I was able to unpack a little bit, then we hit the town! We live in the heart of Angola, the very center of downtown called the "Square". Our apartment is ironically on top of a bar! It's fun though, because it feels like a NYC kind of apartment. Haha... There are tons of trailers, and a few homeless people, too! We have a car, and cover the town of Angola, and about 7 surrounding little towns. It's pretty huge! The members here feed us REALLY well! I'm worried that now that I'm in a car area, I'll start packing on the pounds! YUM!
We do a TON of service for members and less-actives. The majority of our service has been manual labor, like roofing and cleaning out barns. It feels so good to serve, and it's fun having the opportunity to serve so much.
Our investigators are an interesting bunch! We're teaching a bi-polar, schizophrenic named "C___" who is 28 and needs the Gospel. He loves the missionaries, and we're working on a baptismal date for him. We're also teaching a Pagan girl named "B____", yes, that is her real name, and she is Pagan. She's 19, has already been addicted to drugs, had a child, cleaned up, and now is looking for hope in her life while she lives alone and is trying to finish up high school. Like I said, pretty different, right? It's awesome! It is really a different experience teaching someone who doesn't have a Christian background. The others that we're teaching are children from less-active/part-member families. Two super sweet and willing 8 year old girls named "B____" and "B_____". It is so hopeful teaching them, because they love meeting with us! Ironically, the 8-year-olds are the ones keeping their commitments all by themselves with no parental support. Yikes! I hope that they can get baptized soon and be an example for their parents in their homes.
We already had a little miracle! One afternoon, we were walking by and spotted two of our former investigators, who we said hello to and kept walking. As we walked down the street a ways, some lady hollered at us and invited us to "come eat supper" with her and her family. SWEET! Her name is "Twink", and it turns out that the two formers we said hello to were her brother and his wife! Small world. We had chili and met her whole family and extended family! They told us to come back and share a message sometime! WOOHOO! It was so random, and so fun being invited in by a total stranger to be "part" of her family for the evening and invited back. We're pumped for the potential there.
I have some fun pictures, but the computers here at this library will not allow picture sharing... :( I'll print them at Walmart and mail them to you!)
I LOVE MY FAMILY! :) GO OUT AND SHARE THE GOSPEL!
Love, Elder Jason Allred
PS - MY NEW MAILING ADDRESS IS (for letters only):
40 N Public Square
Angola, IN 46703
Packages go to:
1240 N 155 W
Angola, IN 46703