Favorite Scripture

"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." (3 Nephi 5:13)

Monday, March 25, 2013

First Week in Africa

Well my first week here in Africa has come to an end. Things here are very different than what I was used to in the United States.  It's been pretty hard trying to get used to the new culture and how they do things here.  People here are a whole lot more open with their bodies; that is something that has been really hard to get used to.  The food here is very different, I already miss pizza and cheeseburgers, lol, but it's all good. I was looking forward to the change and I can't wait to show you the things I eat and drink on a daily basis.

Something here that has impressed me is how kind the people are, the members love the missionaries especially the ones from the United States.  The people here have treated me really well. I love to talk to them and it's really funny listening to them say Allred, haha. They can't say the r very well so they say it really different.

One of the highlights from this week is I already had my first baptism!  It was a girl named Brigette, she actually doesn't speak French so it was really hard to teach her.  But the baptism went really well. Things were hard this first week but it is for everyone.

I tell you right now that I will never be the same after my 2 years come to an end. People here live without things that in the United States would kill us if we didn't have.  I've seen things that have changed me, this place is very unique, it is very different, I'm learning to love it but its hard.

My companion is from Madagascar and he is really awesome. He has helped me quite a bit, his name is Elder Rago (his last name is longer than that but I don't know how to spell it). Anyway I hope everything is going well for you. Can't wait to hear from you next week.  I love you and thank you for all the support that you give me!


Elder Joseph D. Allred II

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Elder Allred arrived safely!

Elder Allred with President and Sister Weed

Elder Allred arrived safely in Cotonou, Benin Tuesday night, March 19.  He spent the night with President and Sister Weed in the Mission Home.  After breakfast Elder Allred and his companions went to the Mission Office for orientation.  They explained how to use debit cards, talked about safety and health, then he had an interview with President Weed.  He was driven to his apartment about 15 minutes away from the Mission Home called Jericho.  His companion is Elder Ragondonandrasana from Madagascar .

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Africa...Here I Come!

Elder Allred and his group, Elders Gray, Buxton, and Peterson, began their marathon trip to Africa at 4:00 a.m. on March 18, when they left the MTC for the Salt Lake City airport. Their 36 hour flight includes stops in Washington, D.C. and Brussels, Belgium and 12 hours of layover time. He should arrive in Africa on Tuesday, March 19, around 7:30 p.m. Arizona time.

JD woke me (mom) up a little after 6:00 a.m. for a quick call before boarding the plane for Washington, D.C. It was so good to hear his voice and he sounded so grown up when he said, "Hello, Mom. It's Elder Allred." He called again after landing in D.C. and we got to talk for about an hour. We mainly talked about things that he didn't have time to tell us in his letters:
  • Food: it was great the first two weeks but by the last day he was very tired of it (I'm sure once he gets to Africa he will wish he was eating MTC food)
  • Sickness: he got his Valentine's package and ate a few things; woke up the next morning feeling sick but thought he was just dehydrated; felt worse the next day (Saturday) but the medical center was closed; by Monday his eyes were stuck shut and he had a sore throat; he's still struggling with a cough; "Now that I'm out of this mosh-pit of germs, hopefully I'll get rid of this cough!"
  • Language: harder than expected but he can pray and bear his testimony in French
  • P-day: district went to the temple at 7:00 a.m.; they had personal time when they got back until about 5:15 to get letters written, laundry done, and just hang out
  • Devotionals were his favorite - Elder Ballard talked at one of them
  • Typical day in the MTC: most of the day was spent in class; they had about 1 1/2 hrs. of study time and 50 min. of gym; they had 1/2 hr. for each meal; he had to get up early in order to get a shower because there were so many elders at the MTC; they didn't get to check their mail until 9:30 each night
Before he hung up, he bore his testimony in French. Although I couldn't understand the words, I could feel they spirit. It was awesome to hear him speaking a different language after such a short time away from home. When we asked about his feelings, he said he was nervous about the language but confident in his knowledge of the gospel.

Thanks to Deena Gray for the pictures

Elders Allred, Buxton, Peterson, Gray

Elders Buxton, Gray, Allred

Time to get on the plane

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

We are basically flying for 2 days straight!

Elder Allred got his flight plans for Africa.  On Monday, March 18th he will leave the MTC at 4 in the morning and go to the Salt Lake Airport. At 7:35 a.m. he flies to Washington, DC.  In DC he will have a few hours layover. (He says 1 1/2 hours but another elder that's flying with him says 4 hours). From there he flies to Brussels, Belgium which is a 13 hr. flight. When they arrive Brussels he will have an 8 hr. layover.  Finally he leaves Belgium and flies about another 6 hours to Cotonou, Benin.  He will arrive there at 8:35 p.m. Tuesday night (American time). In his words, "We are basically flying for 2 days straight!"

He is the travel group leader, which means that he's in charge of all the missionaries that are flying with him. He has to make sure that everyone gets where they need to be and if anything goes wrong he has to contact church headquarters to fix it.

The French is coming along well and he is excited to leave for Africa.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

13 Days to Africa

Hello again from Provo!!  How are you doing? that's pretty crazy all the stuff you are doing these next couple days, I'm so jealous that you are going to see Landon's home coming talk that is going to be so awesome!  Anyway things here are good.  The language is coming more and more each and every single day.  It’s amazing how I can see the power of the lord and how I'm a tool in his hands for the bringing of souls unto Christ.  So here is an awesome experience for you, Elder Gray and I were teaching our investigator who we had tried to commit to baptism but he said no because he felt that he wasn't ready.  Anyway we went into our lesson teaching the plan of salvation and he ended up asking us some of the right questions.  Towards the end of the lesson I had the impression to ask him to be baptized so I did, and he said YES!!! It was amazing to see the Lord do that for me.  It really is an amazing thing to see souls brought unto Christ.  Anyway I need that money for the package I’ll be sending home and for dry cleaning; they don't accept cash at either place so I need to find some cash lol. I'm at 13 days before I leave for Africa!!! Isn't it amazing how fast this first month has already gone by!  Well other than that things here haven't changed much!  Oh but I forgot to tell you! M. Russell Ballard came to the MTC for one of our devotionals and it was so amazing!  That is my favorite thing here at the MTC is our devotionals.  Anyway thank you for all of your support mom it helps me so much, I love you and miss you so much!  Have an amazing week and I’ll talk to you next week.  Oh and idk how many people have tried to send me dear elders but I haven't gotten that many so it might be better to send a hand letter lol :)

All my love,

Elder Joseph D. Allred !!

Elder Allred and Elder Gray

Last Week's Letter:


Well things here are a lot better im no longer sick at things are a lot better!  The weather here has been crazy as well! But that's crazy that Arizona is getting weather like that!  Anyway the only thing I would add to your lesson is how the atonement has helped with every aspect of your life! I've seen it in my own life! The French is coming along very and I can see myself improving every day, and most of my district has about the same amount of French as me.  I'm pretty much in the routine.  So on p-days we wake up and do personal study and then we go to the temple afterwards me and elder gray do our laundry and our eat lunch, after that we have free time for a while and then we have dinner and then the Tuesday night devotional.  And that's my p-day well my time is almost up, I do need a few things and that is an SD card reader that I can plug into the computer and a few polyester ties that are cool! lol I'm sending all my silk ones home when I leave the MTC the humidity thing is true, I also need like 10 or 20 dollars in cash cause the ATM here is stupid.  Anyway thank you for all your support it helps so much, remember that you are in my prayers.  I love you and I hope you have a great week.


Elder Allred