Thursday, December 12, 2013

Transfers and Tender Mercies -- November 25, 2013

HEY THERE, FAMILY!  It's been an AWESOME and very full week!
This past week, I was employed to sing AGAIN, but this time at Stake conference!  Thankfully it was a quartet, so it wasn't too scary.  At stake conference, the theme was "Hastening the Work of Salvation" (I think the church is starting to really emphasize that everywhere now).  It was an awesome experience!  The 40 or so missionaries from our stake were waiting in the lobbies on both sides of the chapel, and when the Stake President said "...called to serve" in his opening remarks, the organ started to play "Called to Serve" as all of us missionaries came in and funneled down the pews and sang.  It was kind of cheesy, but pretty cool!  There was so much power!  And lots of wet faces.  It's so fun being a missionary and having everyone love you ;)
GREAT NEWS!!  So B_____, the 9 year old we're teaching and will be baptizing on Dec 7th, is still on for baptism.  We got them to Stake conference, and her older 11 year-old sister, C____, who we used to teach came too.  C____ pulled us aside after Stake Conference and told us that she too wants to be baptized on Dec. 7th, but wants it to be a surprise for B_____, as Dec. 7th is Bri's birthday!  WE ARE SO EXCITED!!  C____ was actually how we started to teach B_____, then she decided to stop investigating, while B_____ really took off.  These past few weeks, C____ really has had a change of heart, come to B____'s lessons, participated, and been really, really happy!  Heavenly Father has really been working with her, and both B____ and C_____ will be such wonderful examples to their family.  This past week, Elder Phillips and I had the car, so we drove up to their trailer in a town called Fremont.  It really hurt my heart to see the bad environment they live in (total squalor, father who smokes/drinks/lounges around all day in the home and insults them).  It was amazing to me that they are somehow able to be so happy despite so much unhappiness at home.  I know they've been able to feel the difference of having the gospel in their lives.  Hopefully their mother will be soon to follow!
We got transfer calls this morning, and I'll be staying in Angola for another 6 weeks!  I'm pretty excited about it!  Now I'll be able to see C_____/B_____ baptized, and see the new senior couple come in.  We taught a really great lesson with W______ (the guy we found by the train tracks late one night) yesterday.  We talked about the Book of Mormon and Plan of Salvation. He gets it!  He's so fun to teach because he's our age, very teachable, asks great questions, and very open.  We're trying to get through to his girlfriend who thinks Mormons are polygamists ;)
More happy news!  We've been working really closely with a few less-actives (trying to get them to church; meeting with them/teaching them/getting them caught up to speed with the gospel).  B____, one that we've been working with since I've been here has been a member for 10 years but has yet to go to the temple.  We have brought it up in the past, and she wasn't thrilled with the idea. She's had a rough life, and is a single mother, but it has been such an amazing experience meeting with her at the church and at her house twice a week and reading from the scriptures with her, teaching her, and serving her.  She REALLY likes us and trusts us.  A few nights ago we got a text at midnight from her saying that she feels like she needs to go to the temple and start preparing for that!  We've been able to see the Spirit work in her and soften her heart, and grow her testimony.  She's basically like an investigator, so we started from ground one, but she has progressed so much!  Yay for re-activation!
Haha... so.... we were leaving a dinner appointment we had with a less-active member and we were running late to another appointment, so we STEPPED ON IT..... we MIGHT have gotten pulled over and ticketed.... Woops!  Lesson learned!  We started to use cruise control now (and NO I was not driving..)
I love this work!  You know what is one of the neatest things about being a missionary?  Testifying all day, every day of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and God's perfect plan for us.  Something so cool that I've noticed is that no matter who we're teaching, whenever we bear testimony with the Spirit, eyes lock, the focus is there, and you can SEE, I mean SEE the Spirit touch that person's heart. It is so special.  Even children can feel it.  And most of all, I can feel it, and it is such a cherished opportunity.
Keep C____ and B____ and W_____ in your prayers if you will!  The Adversary is real, and the last thing Satan wants is for 3 more people to get closer to Heavenly Father.
I love you!
Elder Jason Allred
1 - SNOW!

2 - Our stellar district.  I love them!

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