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:

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.



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!


Me and my companion

The guests