Monday, January 27, 2014

Jan 27, 2014

Hey family!  WHAT a week... It was full of ups and downs!  There's really not a whole lot of "in-between" on a mission it seems!  It has been a very trying week, but one of growth, and one of hope, too!
We have been doing our best to stay busy this week!  Elder Stringham was SICK all week though, so it was a challenge being out and about all day.  Some days we had to come in early, or go out late, which put a damper on things, but we pushed through and he is on the ups now, which is good!

Sad news... On Tuesday we got a text from W_____ saying he no longer wants to investigate the Church.  We are CRUSHED!  After such a powerful experience at church, he was so excited to continue to meet to prepare for his baptism.  Turns out, his girlfriend has been feeding him Anti stuff.... so he's "checking out" different churches now.  Just like that.  Satan does that to EVERYONE.  As soon as we have a powerful spiritual experience, he sneaks in IMMEDIATELY to try to deter us, or tempt us, or convince us that what we experienced wasn't what it really was.  We are bummed about W_____, because we know he has felt the light of the Gospel start to change his life.  Keep praying for him!  He'll come around.

I had my first District Meeting!  It was so scary preparing for, but it went so well!  I love my district!  They are special, special people.  It is so fun hearing about their miracles and successes, and relating with them when they have a challenging day.  It is renewing to know that over 80,000 other people are in my exact situation; praying for, studying for, stressing for our lost brothers and sisters.  We all face devastating losses, and wonderful victories.  There is so much JOY in sharing the gospel with others!

We did have a wonderful experience yesterday, though!  Church was cancelled due to high winds, negative temps, and snow, so we got permission to have an intimate sacrament meeting at the McClellan's home.  We invited a few of the less-actives in town, and also K____ (our most progressing investigator) and his family to come.  They came!  It was so special to have that ordinance despite church being cancelled.  The Spirit was there, and we were renewed after a crazy week of ups and downs.  I love the Gospel!  K____ will be getting baptized March 15th!  His little family is SO excited and have the temple as their goal one year from now.  Satan has tried to throw every curve ball imaginable their way... and there have been some close calls, but they are resilient, and are pushing through the emotional and financial woes they face.  The payoff for them will be wonderful and ETERNAL!  They have a vision, and are already giving away Books of Mormon to their friends!  We might start teaching one of their friends next week!  Yippee!

I know that Heavenly Father is there for us, ALWAYS.  He is just a prayer away.  I have felt his sweet embrace this week as I've begged for His direction, His help, and His love.  It is there for ALL of us!

I love you all so very, very much!  The Gospel is TRUE!  Go share it!

Love forever, 

PS - Go to: for pictures of this week from the McClellan's blog! :)  I GOT A PET!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

#MORMON -- Jan 20, 2014

Family!  How have you been this week?  This week has been SO BUSY but pretty good!  The life of a missionary is SO FULL of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  You're basically always exhausted physically and spiritually because it's a roller coaster of emotion, both good and bad, each and every day.

This week was all over the place.  We had Zone Meeting, Zone Conference, and Zone Weekly Planning (3 2-hour trips to Ft. Wayne = a TON of miles on our car and a LOT of time away from Angola!).  All three were uplifting and SO good.  Our mission is a very "young" mission.  For than 2/3 of the missionaries have been out 6 months or fewer! (Hence why I am a district leader/training.)  The Lord is REALLY hastening His work!  It is scary and wonderful and exciting!  We watched a montage of all the baptisms the mission had this year, and it was inspiring!

We got W______ on date for being baptized Feb 8th!  WHOA!  It has been a roller coaster with him, but he really really wants forgiveness and peace and his life, and came to church yesterday and loved it!  I know Satan is going to work really really hard on him these next few weeks though, so PLEASE pray for him to be able to make it!  I know he can with Heavenly Father's help.

The focus of this past week as a mission was what we called our "#SocialMediaSplit", which was a member/missionary effort to flood the web with photos and captions of the everyday life of a missionary.  It was so fun!  On Facebook Saturday, members around the whole mission followed us around and chronicled our day via Facebook so their friends could see what missionaries do, and hopefully ask them questions.  I've attached a few pictures that were posted to Facebook while we were serving a member at their farm.  SO FUN!  I know that it was inspired to use social media in efforts to reach out to the public.

We had A LOT fall through the cracks this week, which is always discouraging, but we are looking forward in faith to a great week this week!  I'll be having my first district meeting, which I'm stressed about, and the Zone leaders are coming to it to see how I do!  Yikes!  It will be good though.  I was sick ALL week, which made it seem pretty slow, but I'm on the ups now, and can't wait to see what Heavenly Father has in store for us in Angola this week.

I have SUCH  a testimony that Heavenly Father loves His children.  That love has given me hope, and has brought me so much joy!  The Gospel is LOVE.  Christ's life and example was LOVE.  How I love them, and love that they love me and you despite our flaws and weaknesses. :)  The Church is true!  GO SHARE IT WITH YOUR FRIENDS.  :)

Love, Elder Jason Allred

Monday, January 13, 2014

HOLY COW. Transfers. Training. Leading -- Jan 13, 2014

I LOOOOOOOOOOVVVVEEEEEE MY FAMILY!  So much! Holy moly... I've been thinking about you ALL WEEK!  This past week was a whirlwind of emotion! 
At the beginning of the week, it got down to negative 45 degrees, so we were BANNED from going out!  So... We got "snowed in" with the McClellans which was wonderful! :)  We spent 61 hours together non-stop, because if we were to leave, the county would ticket you $100 and impound your car!  Yikes!  So for a few days, we just had some great studies/talks with the McClellans, and watched some REAL cheesy church videos (Saturday Warriors; The Phone Call; etc.)  It was great!
THEN ON WEDNESDAY WE GOT TRANSFER CALLS...... Elder Phillips is now gone, and President Porter called me and said that I've been called to follow-up train a new missionary who "wasn't trained right" and the be the new district leader. WHAT?  This past week has been such an intense flurry of emotions.  I feel SO inadequate and scared and nervous and anxious.   So pleeeease pray for me that I'll be able to train effectively and be a good leader.
Despite transfers, we were able to have some great lessons with a few of our investigators!  K____, who is part of a Less-active/part-member family, is now on date to be baptized on February 15th! :) :) :) :) we are SO PUMPED!  He lives with his girlfriend, who is a member, and they have a 3-year-old daughter.  He has been so willing to act on his faith, and has committed to live the Word of Wisdom, and to get married!  K____ and K______ (girlfriend) will be married hopefully by the end of the month.  Tender mercy!  Haha I gave him Pero to help him quit coffee, and we were able to give him a Priesthood blessing to help him overcome his addiction to cigarettes.  It was so wonderful!
D____, the 16 year old we've been working with, is unsure about baptism.  He doesn't have a super solid Christian background, so we're working on that to build his faith and testimony so that he can choose for himself to be baptized.
We have a few good potential activities and people coming out of the framework, and Heavenly Father has truly carried me each day this week!  It has been so hard but as I've relied more on Him, His miracles, and His grace, I've been supported and have been able to make it through each challenge.

 When we were looking for a good Mormon Message to share with members when we visit them, I came across this video:
Watch it!  It made me cry.  It was JUST what I needed.  I think we ALL go through little times of trial, disappointment, fear, anxiety, etc. but if we turn to Heavenly Father in faith, it WILL sustain us and carry us through.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ gives us the perspective we need to overcome any obstacle thrown in our path.  If we can but endure this small moment, we will be exalted on high!  I can't wait for the day when we can all look back on our times of challenge, or despair, or disappointment, and say, "Thank you, Heavenly Father, for letting me have that growing experience, and for getting me through it."  One day, ALL of our troubles or worries will disappear,and we will be able to look back on our lives with total happiness and contentment.  I LOVE THE HOPE OF THE GOSPEL!
I love you all so very, very much.  Thank you for your prayers, support, and love. I can feel it!
Love forever,
Elder Jason Allred
PS - Sorry for no pictures!  Go to for a few pictures the McClellans took of our happenings this week. :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! -- Jan 6, 2014

HELLO FAMILY!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I cannot believe that it's already 2014... Where did 2013 go?!  I hope your New Year is filled with happiness and a resolve to be even better!  I love the new year because it's the perfect kicker to get started on being BETTER!
This past week was GREAT!  It was SO busy, but it was wonderful. On Monday, we got a referral from a less-active member and went to contact him.  We call referrals "manna from heaven" because they are typically few and far between ;)  D____ is the less-active's grandson, and is pretty great!  He's 16, and has had a ROUGH life (living out of a car with his mom; dropping out of high school; etc.)  Due to some legal complexities with his mother, he is now living with his grandmother, the less-active who gave us the call.  It has been GREAT getting to know him better, teach him, and see the changes already take place in his life!  Since he's out of school right now, we were able to teach him 4 times this week!  We got him to pray out loud for the first time in his life!  It was a very touching experience.  He was SO NERVOUS, and we had to re-assure him like whoa, but after a few awkward minutes of waiting, he finally opened his mouth and offered a very humble prayer.  :)  He and his grandma even came to church yesterday despite the CRAZY blizzard!  D____ will be the key to getting his grandmother re-activated, and he as already accepted our invitation to be baptized!  WOW!  I think he is able to see and feel how Heavenly Father and the Spirit can and will help him through this hard time in his life, and further down the road.

We had another amazing lesson with C____, the widow that we have been visiting.  We are always touched by her humility and earnest desire to find the truth.  We are going to give her a chapel tour this week, and commit her to be baptized on February 1st!  

W_____, the young man we've been teaching has been flaking on us... but we're not giving up on him!  This past week we received a text from a part-member/investigator family we've been working with.  They are VERY poor, and were out of food, so we gathered up the extra food we had and some gift cards we received at Christmas and headed over to relieve them.  They were SO humbled and thankful.  After shoveling their driveway, we were able to teach K____, the non-member about faith and baptism.  We are SO excited for this family.  They have made some pretty poor choices in the past, but are now choosing to put their lives back in order.  I really admire people like that!  I am SO thankful for the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ that makes it possible for each and every one of us to repent, and become perfected through Him.  What a blessing to know that no matter how far we have strayed, there is ALWAYS hope; there is ALWAYS healing; it is NEVER too late to make things right.

We had a C-R-A-Z-Y snow storm yesterday and today, and because of it, we are not allowed out, so Sister Porter, the Mission President's wife, asked us to take our patriarchal blessings out, and do the following with them:
- Make an "I am..." list from your entire PB.  For example, "I am from the tribe of..."  or "I am born of goodly parents" etc.
- Next, make an "I will..." list from your entire PB.  Make the "I will" statements things you will do/accomplish as promised in your blessing.
- Lastly, make an "I won't..." list from your entire PB.  If your blessing has any warnings, write them down in this format.
I was able to take some time and do this activity, and I was BLOWN AWAY at all the wonderful things Heavenly Father has in store for me.  I was better able to see who I am, and how my Father sees me.  It will inspire you to live up to your divine potential!

I love you SO much!  May this new year bring a renewed determination to stay faithful, have fun, and BECOME who Heavenly Father wants us to be.

Love forever, 
Elder Jason Allred

PS - Transfer calls come this morning, so stay tuned for a potential change of address!

Elder Allred has some "Swag"
SNOW SNOW SNOW!  two feet on the McClellan's deck!