Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Week 20 Tottori: メリークリスマス!

merry christmas!!!

i love this time of year and i love this holiday! unfortunately Pretty
much nobody celebrates christmas in japan, it isn't even a holiday
really because everyone still has work. but that didn't stop us fRom
wishing everybody we saw a merry christmas and trying to give them the
present of their eternal salvation! christmas morning i really prAyed
to father in heaven that investigators would come to church, but when
church came around none of our investigators had shown up, but then
out of know where a guy we had never seen before came into the church
speaking english! we asked him where he was from and he told us
vietnam. he told us that his name was "ka" and that he was going to be
in japan for a year studYing mechanical engineering. he came to church
because his girlfriend is christian and told him that they Couldn't
get married until he becOmes christian too. so then he told us, "so i
want to be christian but I don't want to believe in god, i think
christ will be okay with that." yeah... we have a little bit of work
to do, but he is so willing to do aNything that we asked him to do so
i really think that he will come around and truly come to know thaT
christ is his savior and god is his heavenly father who loves and
cares for him. then after we taught him the fIrst lessoN he asked us
if it was alright if we could meet everyday to stUdy the gospel. he's
pretty much pure gold! so that was our christmas miracle. i truly am
so grateful for a savior and father in heaven that loves and cAres for
each and every one of us and who always hears our prayers, and who
blesses us at unexpected times and in unexpected ways so that we might
feel the pure joy of his gospel. christ was born and he lived and died
for us. and he Lives. and he gave us a gift that is bigger than we can
imagine, and aLthough we might not be able to return gifts to him like
gold, francensece, and mhurr (however those are spelled) we can give
him the gift of our broken hearts and contrite spirits being devoted
to follow him and to serve and love his sheep. because whenever we do
something for another one of god's children we are trulY doing that
thing for christ (matthew 25:40). i love you all so much! i hope that
your days are merry and bright and that all your christmases are
white.


elder allred


Merry Christmas!
This is the mountain of Goodies that the members gave us for Christmas

Then there is my おしい Christmas breakfast

We went caroling as a Zone and taught everyone who stopped to listen it was magical!



Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 19 Tottori: It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas!

konnichiwa minasan!
this week was senior week for me in my training, which essentially
means i get to pretend to be the senior companion for a week while
having a trainee's speaking ability. as you can imagine it was really
fun. but as hard as leading all of the planning, teaching, appointment
setting, and reporting things that we have going on is, the most
daunting task i had to accomplish this week was being in charge of the
phone. the phone is scary for two reasons. one, to text we have to use
kanJi (the complicated japanese characters that look like this 脱藩),
and two, people talk at inhuman speeds and it's impossible to fake
like you get what's gOing on on the phone. so mix all that with an
inexperienced trainee and instead of saying that my companion's bike
broke and he was so sad he cried, i accidentally told a member that mY
companion's bike broke and he was so sad that he died. and she was
like "what? is thaT why you answered the phone this week?" it was
rough.

but despite the uncoordinated planning meetings and awkward teaching
appOintments that happened this week we saw a huge miracle! this
saTurday we went with a bunch of our english class students and made
soba noodles. one of our english students brought his friend yuji with
him. we talked to yuji about churcH and he was really interested. he
told us that his hobby was studying the bible, and wE were like...
this guy is a staight 金人 (kinjin). we invited him to church and he
came yesterday! our ward members fellowshiped him so super well and we
taught him about the restoration. we asked him if he read a little and
prayed about the book of mormon and got an answer if he Would be
baptized. and he said, "of course!" we are so stoked! we found out
that he had been to church meetings before so he could pOssibly be
baptized this year! this is the miracle that we have been looking for.
i have felt the love of our savior so strong the last few days and
know that through him and his infinite atonement all things are
possible! i know that as soon as we accept that his woRk needs to be
done in his way and start completely relying on the spirit as our
guide and put full trust in him, then we will receive strength beyond
our own and miracles will flow into our Lives. he lives and supports
everyone who comes unto him and establishes their founDation upon his
rock. i love being a missionary and i love you all! i hope that you
all have the merriest of christmases and the happiest of new years!

メーリクリスマス!
愛しています!

アルレッド長老


Here is our Soba making experience!




All Done!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 18 Tottori: A Christmas Miracle!

hello my beloved family and friends,
this last week i saw a christmas miracle. it was our branch christmas party this last saturday and we were preparing most of the day. earlier in the day we were doing our weekly planning meeting. during that planning meeting we were trying to figure out who we could visit this coming week. we stumbled upon the record of a family of old investigators who were Just straight golden. we talked about visiting but realized that the family all only spake sign language. we talked to the branch president about them and he said that the member that used to translate the lessOns for the missionaries Had unfortunately gone less active. regardless, we decided that maybe we would try to visit them later this week if we could figure out where they lived. 

well the Night came and the christmas party sTarted. and the only people tHere was me and my companion and about 6 other members. i was pRetty bummed that no one showed up and during a vidEo that they were showing at the very bEginning i decided to say a prayer. i prayed that people would show up and that our christmaS party would be filled with the people that we had been invIting throughout the week. after my prayer and the video was over, makabe shimai, one of our investigators showed up! it was eXcelent! shortly after her, Two less active members came with their families. then one of our english class students showed up, then a couple people who we had never even met came walking in. then out of nowhere a huge family came walking into the church building, and i about passed out, it was the Entire family that we had been planning for earlier that day! there were eight of them or so and they all came to participate in our christmas activity. i was so amazed because we could not remember inviting them at all. i mean we had just learned that they even existed that morning! it was a christmas miracle. we struggled to communicate with them to much  because they were speaking sign language the whole time, but it turns out that one of our members spoke sign language and was able to communicatE with them! we got to know the family really well and are now planning on visiting them sometime this week. and i even learned out to say ありがとございます in japanese sign language! it was unbelievable! the church was packed and we had so much fun. the less active members were laughing and talking with members. one of our investigators found out that she works with another one of the members. and our english class student was asking all about christ! it was definitely a christmas miracle! christ is at the head of this work, i know that none of these miracles would have happened without his divine help. if we just rely on him he will work wonders amoNg us. i know that this church is true and that jesus christ lived and died for us 2000 years ago, and i know that he was ressurected and lives today and watches over his children and is immediately their for any one of his children if they but seek him. i love you all so much and i wish you all a very merry christmas!

i love christmas so much!

elder allred



Merry Christmas!
We busted out the Elder Santa costume!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Week 17 Tottori: Rain Rain

happy holidays!
it is finally the christmas season and i am stoked out of my mInd! even here in japan people are puTting up treeS and there are lighTs going up all over the town. now i just need to let them know that witHout them rEalizing it they are celebrating the birth of jesus christ, then i can tell theM all about whO that is. this week was super rainy! and i learned very thoroughly that it is imposSible to keep your pants dry during a japanese rain. yesterday i wore 2 "water proof" pants over the Top of my slacks and evaded puddles on my bike like they were the plague and still when I got back to the apartment and got out of my rain gear, lo and behold the pants thereof were exceedingly wet. and Wet pants make for a sad missiOnary because i have to get those things dry cleaned, i can't just throw them in the wash! #missionaryproblems

but amidst this dowNpour of struggles the lorD gavE me and my companion gReat light this last week. we Found a couple of people who really seem like they are going to be golden investigators. and also one of the less actives that we have been trying to get to church for the longest time, ogUra kyodai, finaLly came! i was so happy to see him aT sacrament meeting i almost faInted for fullness of joy. i love that guy so Much! also this wEek another bright light for us was the "light the world" christmas video. we have been sharing it with everyOne and it has made such a difference in the response to our contacts. it is unreal how strongly you can feel the spirit as you watch it. and also the videography skills on it are incredible. so iF you haven't seen it, it is Totally worth the time to go look it up on mormon.org. man i am so excited for cHristmas! i can't imagine a better thing to bE doing during the celebratorY season of the birth of christ than to be sharing the light of his everlasting love. he lived and died for us and we arE so blessed to have this knowledge in our lives, let's shAre it with the entire world! i love my savior jesus christ and i feel his love. i hope that you all feel it too this wonderful christmas season. you all Rock so much!

love you all,
elder allred


Happy Holidays!

Zone P-Day

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 16 Tottori: The Light of Christ's Love

Braden ran out of time to get out a group email and asked me to post some of mine:

Hello!
This last week was great! We had a exchange with the Zone Leaders and I got paired up with a Japanese companion who didn't speak English! I was super nervous to see how the transfer was going to go with the issue of communication but it was awesome! I realized that I can speak quite a bit more than I thought and it was so fun to try to make jokes to him Japanese. Needless to say my Japanese got a lot better during that exchange.

After the exchange though we had a lesson and it was pretty rough we were trying to get a commitment to a baptismal date. This investigator’s sister is apparently very opposed to her joining a Christian church. The lesson was a little discouraging and then we had to make the long 40 minute bike ride back to our apartment because it was getting late. It was pouring rain and we were both freezing and soaked. Spirits were pretty low, but then we were  crossing the bridge to get over the river and Wheeler Chōrō (Braden’s companion) felt like we should stop this guy who looked freezing and didn't have a jacket and was soaked. We stopped and taught him a quick lesson about the Savior and asked him if he wanted to know more, he said that he did and then gave us his number! It was so amazing, no one usually ever stops to talk to us in the rain, but it was really a miracle from the Lord. I am so glad that Wheeler Chōrō acted on his prompting.

We had a few other contacts and also have been teaching a lot of less active members recently and trying to help them regain a testimony of the Lord. In sacrament meeting yesterday I gave a surprise talk because one of the members that was supposed to speak got sick. I was pretty terrified because I don't think that I could even do that in English let alone completely in Japanese. But I remembered the scripture that says, "Take ye no thought what ye shall say, but treasure up in your mind the words of eternal life and it shall be given you in the very moment what ye shall say." So I just spent the little time I had to prepare reading scriptures and pondering on the love of Christ and his atonement. And right before I went up I felt inspired to talk about the light of Christ. I shared 3 Nephi 12:16 and also 3 Nephi 18:24 and I talked about sharing the light of Christ and the Joy that we feel from having that light in our lives and how we need to share that joy with those who don't have it in their lives. I truly felt the Savior and his angels bearing me up as I spoke to our ward in a foreign language testifying of the light of Christ's love. The Lord truly does work miracles through those who just put their trust in Him.

It was really just such a good week! We hit most of our goals and we are progressing with a lot of our investigators. Something that I have been really learning and working towards lately is developing the charity of Christ and not just in my actions but throughout my whole being. I want to completely align my will with Christ's will. I want my thoughts to be filled with charity. I know that as I do this I will have so much more energy throughout the day because the Lord will strengthen me in the work and I will just absolutely love riding through the rain to get to that wounded soul who is in need of healing. I love my Savior so much and I want to serve him with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. May you all feel His love especially throughout this season!  


Happy Holidays,

Elder Allred


The cold whether is harsh to do missionary work in, but I am bundling
up and buying lots of nice winter gear and it is making this winter
seem a lot less daunting. I even got a scarf!




Week 15 Tottori: Feeding the Hungry

this last week was transfer week and so i am officially on my second
transfer! time is just going way too fast! but fortunately i got to say
in good ole' tottori which is "tottori" awesome! this last week was so
good! we put up numbers like have never Before been seen in tottori,
and we are slowing getting more and more support from our church
members! it is so great! missionary work honestly depends all on
member help. when mEmbers are giving us referrals and are willing to
go and meet our investigators and come to lessons and befriend the
less actives and people we are trying to bring into the fold, then
missionary work explodes! and in addition to that, they start giving
the missionaries tons and tons of food! it's like the greatest win-win
in the world! the salavation And joy of hungered souls and the joyous
ingurgitation of hungry boys. oh it is wonderful. wonderful, to me.

we have been putting in a ton of work and will be this transfer
because our mission president has promised us that in every
companionship we can see a baptism by the end of the year. so we are
going to have to work hard but i know that we will see one. i am so
excited to see a souL brought unto christ this transfer just in tIme
for christmas. i have been so happy too this last week and I can truly
feel the joy that radiates from this Gospel. i am really starting to
gain a love for the people that we teach and i want so badly to be
able to help them feel the joy that i have been feeling. at this point
i am not really sure where the baptism is going to come from, but i
know that it will come from somewhere because someone Holding priesthood keys has promised it to us, and i know that god keeps his promises as long as we do our part. our promises to god truly empower us, that is why covenants like baptism are so important. when we make promises to our heavenly father, it shows that we Trust him and then when we follow our end of the deal he will pour out blessings to us in our lives. the christmas season is rolling in and i hope that you all have the happiest of holidays and are filled with the light of christ and the love that he has for each of you.

きおつけてください!

アルレッド長老

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 14 Tottrri: Lifting Others, Lifting Rocks

hello everyone!
this Week just flew by! and unfortunately the bad wEather and a couple other inconveniences mAde the work pretty slow this week, but we are going to get up and get going with the work this week for suRe! first off, this last week my companion crashed his bike 3 times and popped his tire twice! poor guy. and one of those times we were about 10 kilometers away from the bike shop, and on top of that thE heavens had been opened, but not in the good way, for they were dumping tons and tons of water down on us! the devil was definitely sending forth his mighty storms to try and stop us, but nay we fixed that bike and went right back out into the raiN to dendo (proselyte)! Unfortunately none of our appointments came through, but i definitely learned patience, and the importance of wearing waterproof clOthes. 

also this week we had the opportunity to go and help serve at the places that really got affected by the earthquake that happened last month. in japan it is really difficulT to find real good service opportunities so it was a great experience being able to serve the community in that way. iT was so great to see How service really opened the hearts of people who probably wouldn't have any interest in the gospel. wE had the oppORtunity to sort of explain who we were and why in the world two big white guys from america were speaking japanese like a 4 year old while lifting out all of the rocks that had fallen into their flooD canals. hopefully their memorIes of the missioNaries helping them in a time of need will stay with them and will help them later in their lives to accept the joyous message that is the message of the restoration of the gospel of jesus christ. then i hope they will be able to feel the happiness and peAce that has come to me that only comes from following the savior jesus christ and allowing his infinite atonement to Raise us higher than we could ever be on our own. well it's been another awesome week here in japan, hopefully next week is just as good. I love You all and hope that your weeks are すばらしい!

アルレッド長老 (elder allred)


Me after my first Japanese haircut!... (sorta looks like an American haircut...oh)
I went to conveyor belt sushi this last week. It changed my life!
I made crepes. おいしい、おいしい
Shafts in the whirlwind!



Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 13 Tottori: The Helmet Thief

this week was full of meetings. there was district leader training meeting, trainer trainee training meeting, and zone training meeting. lots and lots of training. but in between meetings some great things happened. first off we played touch rugby with everyone who was at the meetings. they had me teach everyone the rules and then we played on a dirt field. i felt like ricK penning from forever strong teaching his ragtag bunch of inmates how to play the sport that is for men. minus the inmates part, for these men were my brethren of the cloth. fellow soldiers in the lord's army. man it felt good. i miss rugby so much! also we met a man whIle on our trip of many training meetings who was golden! we taught him on a bench in a pArk and he kept telling us that he felt so happy as we were teaching him. now he has a book of mormon and he told us that he is so excited to read it because he loves jesus christ. what a guy, am i right? it is so nice to find people like him every once in a while because those are the people who we are looKing for. 

finally all of the meetings were over and we traveled back to our humble city of tottori. and when we got back i learned that heaven truly does have a sense of humor because right before we left for the meetings i left my bike locked up at the train stAtion. and i joked to my companion how its a good thing that i don’t need to worry about locking up my helmet because nobody wears helmets in japan. but low and behold when we got back his helmet was fine, but mine was nowhere to be found. it was Hilarious. the helmet thief also took the headlight off my bike and it was dark so we walked our bikes back to our apartment singing "the lord is my light" what a week.

so many times throughout this week i received little reminders of the lord's love and care that he has for us. like right after this guy turned us down after what i thought was a really great lesson me and my companion prayed for comfort, and i swear i could almost feel christ right next to me with his arm around me. i knew he was nearby and that he was reminding me why i am out here. i love him and i know that he lives. his love has shaped my life and i need to share it with all those who will accept it. i know that there will be people who don’t accept the gospel at this point in their lives, but the savior just needs us to keep on trying. and as long as we are worthy and standing as witnesses of him in word and in deed, then he will walk with us. and carry us when we can no longer stand. i love the words of the song "the lord is my light" because that is how we should allow our lives to be guided. walking in the light of his everlasting love. i love you guys and i am so glad that you are all my family and friends. i hope that you have an Amazing week.


elder allred

Here is my plate at a Japanese buffet that I ate at this week... yeah it was good!

The streets of Kobe.

I had to search everywhere but I found it...blessed Nutella!

Week 12 Tottori: Happy Ha-ro-u-i-n

hello friends,
this week was another Super exciting week in japan! but the best part of the week was our ward halloween party! the missionaries helped a ton in the prEparation and the sEtting up of games for the party so a large portion of our day on saturday was dedicated to setting things up for the party. it was so fun! we had bobbing for apples, a toilet paper mummy making game, pumpKin carving (which is unheard of in japan), and then we had lots and lots of candy (including octopus dumplings). it was so fun and everything went great! THEre were even a handful of non members who came who we were able to meet and introduce ourselves to as the missionaries! it was so super awesome! my companion came dressed up in his captain america costume that he got sent to him, and i ran over to the dollar store and got stuff so that i could be a doctor. pictures will be attached.

besides that this weeK was really just super rainy, but i learned a lot about patIence. we haven't beeN having a lot of success in our efforts lately and it has kinda been getting me down. i prayed really hard this week and i found this scripture, alma 32:40-43. it talks about beinG Diligent in your faith and having hOpe in the proMise that blessings will come because they don't always come right away. i realized that i need to be more focused on trusting the lOrd and his timing, and i know that someday i will see the blessings and i will be filled with more happiness and joy than i can even imagine. and at that time i will look back and realize what an incredible journey it was. i know that the lord loves his children and that he knows them personally. i know that though we sometimes Face hardships in life, if we stay focused on the reason we are staying stronG in the faith of the lord we will sOmeday taste of that fruit that perisheth not and when we eat we will be filleD with the love of christ and thirst no more.
i love you guys, have a very happy halloween!

elder allred


p.s. oh and i forgot to mention, i also got hit by a car this week, but its all good, i'm perfectly okay. getting hit by a car is nothing compared to getting hit by gabe summers playing football!



Party

Carving
Me and my companion

The guests


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Week 11 Tottori: Earthquake!!!!

this week was great! we are Still Hard At work looking for new investigators, but we are seeing blessings left and right. we met a new person too, her name is ueta. she was appaRently visited by the missionaries like 8 years ago and really wants to learn more about the church, so we've got high hopes for her as we go and teach her this wEek!

we were also Teaching a less active member earlier this
week, noda shimai, and she had her daugHter with her. we met at the
church with a couple of members, and we taught the fIrst lesson and
everything went aweSome. and right at the end we were bearing
testimony and the spirit was so strong, and i could feel it and she
could feel it and it was just getting stronger and stronger as we
promised her blessings and we Grew closer to the cOmmitment. i was so
excited i thought that i might pee my pants... but then her daughter
beat me too it, and a yellow lake formed in the middle of room. we
spent the next 20 minutes cleaning up and helping where we could, but
refocusing was difficult. she was super embarrassed but we assured her
that it was all good and we managed to rope the lesson back around and
finish very spiritually. we finished and She wants to come back to
church! woot woot! it was definitely our most interesting lesson that
we taught this week.

and then there was the earthquake! that was exciting. we were on our
bikes and all of the sudden the houses that we were next to started
making a lot of noise and the telephone Poles all started shaking we
thought it was the wind so we stopped to feel how strong it was, but
when we got off our bikes we realized that the whole earth was
shaking. it was so weird, it felt like i was on a giant ship riding
through choppy waters. it didn't last too long, but apparently it was
like a size 6 and actually took down an old building somewhere!
there were a couple of after shocks, but from what i know (and i don't
know much but..) nobody got hurt. i actually thought that it was
awesome! and then a voice came over the town intercom system and
started saying something really Echoey in japanese. it kinda felt like
the apocalypse was starting, and i was like bring it on! because we are
missionaries and we are invincible! just kidding i didn't say that
because we are also very humble. 

but things are going great in our little town of tottori. i can really feel the lord's hand in this work. my japanese still isn't that great, my companion, elder wheeler, keeps saying that "they listen to what you are saying because they can tell how much you care by how hard you try." so sometimes we just need to accept the fact that we are not perfect at some of the things that we face in life, but the lord will be able to tell how much you care by how hard you try. and i know that if we just try our very best and give it our all, then the lord will make up the rest. i Love you guys and hope that your week is filled with awesomeness!


elder allred


I made curry!

Out making contacts

Oh にほん

Week 10 Tottori: Group Letter (late)

hey everyone!
this week was crazy! i worked hard, i Got soaked, i ate cow tongue;
liver; and stomach, and me and my companion found new investigators!!
the one whO is progressing the fastest though is this guy named yuto.
we talked to him for awhile in front of the train station and told him
a whole bunch about christ and our beliefs. at the end we gave him our
number and wrote Down his, we invited him to church on sunday and he
said that he would like to come but might not be able to because of
something that was going on that day for him, and then We gave him a
book of mormon and said goodbye. the next day on saturday, early in
the morning we received a call from him and he said that he had been
thinking abOut what we said to him and wanted to talk with us as soon
as possible. in 15 minutes we were at the church and he showed up. it
turns out that he had some fRiends who were mormon who he had called
the night before and who had told him that he needed to taKe the
lessons, so we spent the morning teaching him the first lesson, and at
the end he said that if he found out that the church waS true then he
would be baptized! we promised him that if he would read the book of
Mormon and pray that he would know whether or not this church was true
he saId that he would and then he left. we meet with him again soon
and hope with all my heart that he reads and prays because i know that
he will feel the spirit. this week has been a week of miRacles and i
know that the lord answers our prayers and that he cAres deeply for us
and our needs. i know that the book of mormon is the word of god and
that if we read it and live its teaChings that we will be bLessed with
incomprehensible joy and happiness. the book of mormon is amazing,
prayers arE amazing, christ's love is amazing, and with it you can do
thingS that are beyond your own. i love all of you and hope that you
have a すばらしい week!


elder allred


Ramen noodles, おいしい、おいしい!
YUM YUM, Cow tum tum
Me and Elder Wheeler made some Japanese Fried Chicken
Oh yeah check out the new ride!