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!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Week 10 Tottori: Kinjin Kinyobi

From Elder Allred:  
P.S. I'm so sorry I am on an exchange so I can't send pictures this
week or send my weekly email, but I promise good pics next week! And
you can put some of this one on the blog since I couldn't get a group
one going.

Part of our Family Letter:

This week was awesome! Our hard work and efforts are beginning
to manifest itself as an amazing blessing! The subject line of this
email is kinjin kinyobi. Kinjin is a word that means golden
investigator and kinyobi means Friday or the day of gold. And this
last Friday we were street contacting and we started talking to this
guy and started talking about our beliefs. It turns out that he had
spoken to missionaries before, but they never really taught him more
than the basics of what we believe and they never set up a return
appointment. So we taught him an overview of our church and invited
him to come to church that Sunday. He said that he would try but that
he had a lot going on Sunday and wasn't sure if he could make it. We
gave him our number and wrote down his. And we prayed for him to feel
the spirit. The next day he called us early in the morning and said
that he had been thinking about the things that we said and he wanted
to meet with us at the church in 30 minutes to learn more! We
immediately went over there and met him. It turns out that he had
Mormon friends that lived in America and he had called them the night
we met him. They told him to meet with us and learn more. So we taught
him the first lesson and he said that he felt happy as we taught. We
told him about the Spirit and he said if he receives an answer to his
prayers and knows that this church is true then he will want to be
baptized! It was so awesome! We are going to meet with him some more
in these next weeks and I'm praying that he gets a really powerful
answer to the question whether this church is true!

Also on Friday we met this woman housing who intently listened to our
message. We talked about the Book of Mormon and the Joseph Smith
experience and how we believe in the Bible and the Book of Mormon and
that the Lord's Church was restored through Joseph Smith. She was very
interested and and kept saying "Really? I didn't know" it turns out
that she is Christian and was attending a Christian school somewhere
nearby. We asked her if we could meet with her again and she said of
course! So we are going to go back to her house this week to
teach her more. We promised her that if she read the Book of Mormon
that we gave her that she would feel the power of the spirit as she
read. I really do hope that she finds time to read it, because I know
that she would know that it is true.

We also met a man not on Friday but on Saturday.
This was a funny contact. We were housing and I wanted to talk to the
people in this car that had just pulled up, but I didn't want to be
weird about it so we were fussing with our bikes for a while until a
woman got out with her child. "Surprised" I looked up and said hello
how are you? Then I introduced us as missionaries for the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She looked like she was in a hurry
and just shook her head as she ran into her house. I felt a little
sheepish as me and my companion started to ride away, but then a guy
got out of the car. He seemed pretty young with really long spiky
hair, a leather jacket, earrings, smoking a cigarette, and a crazy
look in his eye, but I forced myself to say hello and how are you. He
looked at us and kind of waved us off saying he was good, then I said
that we were missionaries and he came over to us. He started to
question us about what we believe. We told him that we believe in
Christ and it turns out that he is a Christian too! He looked around
and then ushered us behind his car and told us to please sit down. So
a little confused but down for whatever we sat on the asphalt behind
his car. And there we taught him the first lesson, invited him to
church and gave him a Book of Mormon. He was very interested in the
Book of Mormon, so hopefully he reads it.

So this week was pretty great! We have a new investigator and a couple
of high hopes. I got to meet the branch and bear my testimony in
sacrament meeting. The members are so awesome. We even taught a
lesson to a member on Saturday and he took us to this place that was a lot like
Tucanos and had us eat the weirdest things! I ate cow tongue, liver
and stomach! Delicious right?...

Our daily schedule is pretty much just a lot of studying in the
morning after exercising and eating breakfast. We have an hour of
personal study, then an hour of companion study, then an hour of first
12 weeks study, then we eat lunch, and then we have an hour of
language study. So studies end at 1:00 pretty much everyday unless
there is a meeting or Sunday or P-day. Then we normally go try to
contact some less actives and we street along the way. There is a ton
of bike riding and my butt hurt so bad after the first week and my
hands were all blistered, but now my hands and bottom are in great
condition. Then as we reach the end of the day after having taught as
many lessons as we could we go eat dinner. And after dinner we go to
any appointments we have if we have any and then we house for the rest
of the night. Then we are back in the apartment by 9:00 where we plan
then next day until 9:30 then it's get ready for bed/personal time
until lights out which is at 10:30. Then we repeat. The days are long
but the week fly by, it is strange how that works, but everyone
always says, "days like weeks, weeks like days." It's so true.

Well it's been a week of blessings and miracles and tender mercies
from the Lord. His love is so powerful, and I know that he cares for
us. He weeps with us in our sorrows and rejoices with us in our
successes. He is definitely going before our face and his angels are
bearing us up. I can't wait to see lives change because of His love.
Elder Bednar gave a devotional in Japan the other night and he said,
"The Atonement gives us strength beyond our own, if we think that we
must press on in the gospel pathway by ourselves, it would be hard to
find Joy. But with the Atonement of Christ we can do all things." How
true that is. He died so that we might live a life more powerful and
Joyful than would have ever been possible without Him. And the people
of Japan need that Joy. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

アルレッド長老 (Elder Allred)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 9: This isn't the Language I Learned in the MTC!!

i made it! i am in japan! and i can't undersTand a single thing a person says unless it is "yes, no, or konichiwa" also i have figured out that "kekko desu" means "i'm good" people talk so fast here, its nuts! but i am going to learn this language if it kills me! which it migHt be doing considering the splitting headache that i have from tryIng to understand people. or maybe the headache is from the jet lag, or the endless bike riding, or all the foreign food that i have been eating as opposed to mtc food. the food iS delicious though! and i love using chopsticks! now i just need to catch a fly with my chopsticks so that i will become like daniel-san from karate kid and master the japanese culture and arts and be able to speak fluently by next week. just kidding why would i need that when i have the gift of tongues! well besides my Crazy experiences trying to adjust to the culture of japan, and lifestyle of being a japanese missionary, and the art of using a bidet, i have seen a couple really cool tender mercies from the lord. i don't have too mucH time but i will just share one experience. so in the morning of my second day in japan me and elder hyde went to go get his ipad from the chapel. on the way back we saw a gUy with a big bag of stuff that looked like he was getting ready for work, i felt like i should say hi so i said konichiwa and he staRted asking questions. amidst the barrage of japanese jibberish i figured out that he was asking us if it was okay if he put his bags down next to the church building. i told him yes, and we were about to leave, but then i turned back and told him who we were. i fumbled through the story of joseph smith translating the book of mormon, and he seemed interested so i said to hold on a second as i ran and grabbed a book of mormon out of the ChurcH building. i came back out and he was still there. i testified about the book of mormon as best as i could and asked him to read it. he said that he would and i took down his number and address. he told me in broken englIsh what i think was "this was not chance" which hopefully meant that it was fate! it was awesome! i hope that the miSsionaries that i gave the info to go and find him and that a miracle happens and gets baptized because that would just be so awesome! the lord is at the head of this work and we just need to open our mouths and the lord will put prepared people in our way to hear our message. Though it has been so hard to find people that will listen i have felt the savior near and i can feel his spirit so strong as i testify of the truthfulness of the gospel. this work is tRue, and these people need christ in their lives. i am privelieged to be out here serving my lord and savior. i hope that all of us will recognize his inflUence in our lives this week and accept his life giving love into our hearts because it will fill us with happiness and joy. i love you all and hope that your weeks are super awesomE!

elder allred

Here are some questions I sent Braden, and his answers:

How did your traveling go? Who did you sit by for 12 hours? How did the plane transfer go in Tokyo?
Traveling went good, we got a little delayed out of Salt Lake, and the captain said that it would be for an hour which meant that we were going to miss our flight to Tokyo, but then the Lord stepped in and we got going after a couple minutes. The cool thing is too that right as we landed in LA our flight to Tokyo was leaving and we just barely got on! Tender Mercies were popping up already. And then one of the missionaries that we were with taught this lady that he sat down with all the way to LAX, by the end of the flight he had committed her to get baptized if she read the Book of Mormon and prayed and felt like it was true. I was mostly sitting next to other missionaries so I wasn't so blessed to have started many discussions about the gospel. However I did try to start up a conversation with this Taiwanese guy who was on the row behind us and we ended up talking about Christ for a solid hour or so, unfortunately he wasn't interested in the gospel, but I bore my testimony to him and he shared some cool stories and something he kept saying really stood out to me He told me pointing at the picture of Christ that I had, "They need him" talking about the people of Japan. It was really cool. Besides that all went well with our flights.

First impressions upon landing in Tokyo, and Osaka?
The second I stepped off the plane it felt like I had just stepped into a hot tub with my suit on, it is so humid here! So mix that with jet lag and that'll about sum up how drained I have been the last week. Also I feel like time is just shooting past, I feel like I haven't been able to adjust for a second. Our schedules are so packed I just feel like I don't have much time to really unpack and unwind, but I don't think that I really ever will have that time. This is the Lord's work and there's not much wasting time on his errand.

Where did you sleep that first night?  What did you eat?  What did you do that following day at the mission home?
So the first night we all piled into the missionary apartment near the mission home and just fell asleep on the ground because there wasn't much room, but it didn't even matter to me because I was exhausted. We ate this really delicious dumpling thing that was super soft and full of pork. I can't remember what it was called but it was delicious! The next day was all training, right after we all played ping pong in the cultural hall of the church building for a while. There was some great stuff taught and I am way pumped to go serve as a missionary. Then the next day at the mission home was awesome! We had some time in the middle of the day to do whatever we wanted so me and my Companion Elder Cook went out trying to do some street contacting. Everyone we tried to talk to either brushed us off very quickly or just ignored us. It was hard but then we found some kids playing basketball and we joined them and then invited to the missionaries free English lessons. It was cool. 

Where is your companion from?  How long has he been in the field?  What are your impressions of him? 
My companion is Elder Wheeler. He is from Southern California, he has been serving for about 6 months now. He is such a cool guy and is just so dedicated to being completely obedient. He is a hard worker and a great trainer. I'm super glad that we are companions. We definitely get along.

How did you get to your first area? What is your apartment like?
Me and my companion took a bunch of trains to get to Tottori and it to quite awhile, but we were able to teach a couple of lessons on the train so that was cool.  I really like our apartment it is small but really nice since it is only me and my companion that live in it. And I actually really like the futons, I can't tell if it's because they are awesome, or if I am just so exhausted every night but I have gotten the best sleep that I ever have this last week on them. It's great!

Did you get a bike?  Sheets?  Rain gear?  Food?
My card works great and I was able to pull out lots of yen for my bike, it's pretty cool. I really like my bike, but my butt hurts so bad from riding it and my palms are all blistered because we ride everywhere. But it's all good because it hasn't killed me so it's just making me stronger, right? I got my sheets, but I haven't quite gotten rain gear yet. I should though soon because it rains all of the time. But at least it's always a really warm rain. My trusty companion has been cooking lately for me which is awesome! He said that he will teach me how to make all of the quick easy Japanese meals that he has been making so I'm soon going to look like the big smiley anime cook that is on the side of the grocery store cooking up Japanese food like a Nihonjin (Japanese person).

What is shopping like?  What kind of food have you bought?
Shopping is easy because we live right next to the store. We bought a bunch of vegetables and noodles and rice because that is what goes into about 90% of Japanese meals. And then we cook it and eat it all up with our chopsticks which I have gotten really good at recently!

Have your experiences with bidets gotten any less weird - hahaha?

I really need to learn the Japanese Character for STOP.

Have you been out proselyting?  How is it?
All day everyday! We actually don't have any investigators right now in our area which I was really sad to find out, but that is going to change really soon because we have been working and praying hard, and we will find the Lord's elect! I've taught a couple of lessons at doors, but a lot of people don't want to listen, but every once and awhile we will find someone who is nice enough to listen to a lesson, but we haven't found anyone who wants us to come back yet. We've definitely got our work cut out for us in this area though.

How have you seen the hand of the Lord in your life this week?
I can tell that the Lord is going to teach me a lot in this area. His sheep are out there and we are going to find them and bring them back to the flock. I know that the Lord cares for me, even when I feel like I'm not doing enough to build his kingdom in this area quite yet, but that is going to change. The mission president promised us that if we work hard then we will see a baptism in our area before the end of the year, and I believe it.

We just love this kid and are so excited that he is doing what he's doing!

Friday, October 7, 2016

From the Mission President

Dear Brother and Sister Allred
We are happy to have your wonderful missionary here to serve with us in the Japan Kobe Mission.
Elder Allred’s trainer/companion is Elder Wheeler and they are serving in the Tottori Area.

                                             Love, President and Sister Welch

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

I Made It!!

Thought I'd share the short email we got from Braden today:

I am officially on Japanese soil! I am so excited! As soon as I got into the airport and started to walk around and talk to Japanese people as I made my way to my next flight, I can just tell that I'm really going to fall in love with this place. I have already begun to love the language and the people too! It is just so cool and the atmosphere is unreal! Not to mention my experience using a Japanese bathroom was very quick and very interesting. I'm not quite sure how I feel about bidets yet. Well I'm alive and well and feeling better than ever (minus the jetlag), but this is the place. I can't wait to do the work of God and to find and feed his sheep! 

I love you guys so much! 

Elder Allred

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Japan Kobe Mission - They Have Arrived

October 4, 2016 

All your missionaries have arrived safe and tired.  They will get a chance tomorrow to send individual emails home.
We love them all already,
President and Sister Welch