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, May 27, 2013

Another Baptism

Well another week has come and gone and we are here again.  It sounds like you had a pretty crazy week.  We did as well. This week has been busy because we have received a lot of contacts from members and other missionaries.

So the best news of the week is that Salomé was baptized, yay!!! Her being baptized was really great. From the beginning with her I thought she wouldn't be baptized just because she wasn't progressing very well, but like many other people she just exploded and so she got baptized!  Her cousin Christian was the member who introduced us to her so we decided to ask him to perform the baptism; it was a really cool moment.

I wasn't planning on it but I ended up baptizing somebody for another set of missionaries because they didn't have clothes. So that was cool, his name was Dieu-Donne, which in English translates to god give, or god gave something along those lines lol.

This week the teaching with the family hasn't gone well.  They seemed like they would progress really well but we haven't had a lesson with them in over a week, so we will see what this week brings.

So the big news for this week is we have a member of the Seventy coming to Cotonou and on Saturday morning we have a meeting with him, and you’ll never guess who it is!  Elder John B. Dickson!  So this should be a good week!

I’m finding myself understanding more French now. I feel like the language is starting come. Each week I write President Weed in French so I think that is helping me quite a bit! Like I said on the phone reading and hearing I understand pretty well but speaking is the problem, lol. Things are good though!  I actually left my camera at the apartment so I will send pictures next week!  I hope you had a great week! Love and miss you tons!

All my love,

Elder Joseph D. Allred II

Now that I’m out of school for the summer, I got to chat with JD for a little while this morning. Here’s a summary of our conversation.
Are you still at the computer? 
Yes hi mom!

I finally caught you! We are getting ready to watch a D-backs double header. What did you do today?
haha good job, today I went and played basketball and tore it up like usual! lol because I'm awesome! And we chilled with the other Elders in the other zone, and I did my white laundry, and now I'm here :) good day and you?

Haven't done much yet.  I slept in until about 8:00 and then went into town with Aaron. He had to do some stuff at the hospital. We went to store and saw Jennifer Griffith. She said to tell you hello. Now I'm doing laundry for the elders. 
You are so nice, lol who are the elders in the ward now, I’m sure Lowe is gone. Oh when you send the 4 by 4 Rubik’s cube could you leave the instruction booklet me and Rago want to experiment!

We have Elder Marcos and Elder Call. I think Elder Lowe went to Tucson. I was pretty sad when  Elder Lowe left because he was the last one here that knew you but I talk about you all the time so they know of you. I figure if I help take care of the missionaries here then someone will help take care of you. Lol  
Trust me I get taken care of lol but why wouldn’t anyone take care of me, I’m JD :) I still got it......lol :) Just because I’m a missionary doesn’t mean JD is dead lol! When you have time will you look at that scripture reference on that picture we bought from Deseret Book and send it to me!

You make me laugh. I'm glad to know that JD isn't dead. That scripture is Jude 1:21.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Monday Again!

Hey mom, hard to believe its Monday again but it is! haha This was a good week! Lots of things have happened.

We have committed a girl to baptism. Her name is Salomé and she speaks only a little bit of French but she is coming along well. She didn't come to church yesterday so we have had to push her baptism date back a week so we will see how that goes as well.

So some exciting news from this week is we are teaching new family!  It is a family of 4 people, dad, mom, brother, and sister. They seem really prepared to hear the gospel. We have our next appointment with them in a few days so I'm pretty excited about that!  We are also receiving a lot of contacts and stuff so that's really nice. We are teaching the children of our other investigators, so all and all things are really good with the people we teach. Hopefully they all start progressing well!

Other than that things are pretty much the same.

So my Sundays are pretty normal. (I asked what church was like) We get to church welcome people in and sit with our investigators and help with translations if anyone needs that.  I blessed the sacrament once in the MTC but I haven't done it here. We have a lot of priests so that's nice.  We do work with the members quite a bit to help them with figuring out the way things are supposed to be and what not so that's how we do that.

Well I'm off for the week i love you and miss you tons!  god be with you till we meet again....

Elder Joseph D. Allred II

Benin area missionaries - surprise birthday party for President Weed

Mother's Day 2013

Sorry for the delay... We got to call Elder Allred using Skype (no video) on Mother's Day and got to talk for about an hour and a half. It was wonderful to talk to him. Here are the highlights of his call:

Mother’s Day Phone Call 

Mimi – is kind of like a mom to the missionaries. She buys all of Elder Allred’s food because they try and cheat the white man so she gets better deals. He can get more food this way.

Investigators – They have a new investigator and he is progressing well.  They also committed another person to baptism so we will see if that continues.  All 3 of their progressing investigators were at church on Sunday so they are hoping that things will continue to be good with them.

Food – the food is all pretty weird but he likes it better than he thought he would. Something called enyams (not sure if it’s spelled right) is his favorite. From his description it sounds like sweet potatoes.

Language – he is starting to understand the French and what they say in church. He speaks more English than he should since his companion speaks English. His is also learning some Fon which is a native language. He read 2 Nephi 9:34 and 1 Nephi 5:14 in French. He wants to learn Spanish when he comes home.

Companion – his companion, Elder Ragondonandrasana, is from Madagascar and speaks three languages: his native language, French, and English. He says he got lucky with his first companion who is a District leader. The other elders in his apartment are zone leaders. Elder Rago goes home in September so it is kind of making JD homesick. There are 3 elders from Arizona in the mission.

Church – the building isn’t very big and there aren't classrooms like we are used to. There is a lot of crying. They start late and end late.  The members like to sing a lot so they have songs in every meeting.

Muslim Mosques – there are mosques everywhere with speakers on top of the buildings. They broadcast their moaning throughout the area, starting about 5:30 a.m. He says they moan morning, noon, and night. We could hear it in the background while we were talking to him. Favorite quote: “The Muslims are moaning again.”

Power – power comes and goes and they don’t have any hot water.

Laundry – he does his laundry by hand. Mimi offered to do his laundry but he decided that he needed to learn how to do it by hand himself since he wouldn't always be in the area (I’m proud of him for this decision). He says doing laundry is kind of fun because the elders in his apartment all sit around and do it together and talk.

Transfers – he says the elders usually stay in their area 5-6 months and that transfers mainly happen when they get new elders.

Area – there are 3 zones in Benin and they are averaging about 70 baptisms a month. He says they are hoping to open Porto-Novo soon. They are hoping for June or July.

Temple of the Pythons – pythons are very sacred to the Voodoo religion. He dropped one of the snakes while they were visiting but luckily no one saw him.

Time – feels like he has been gone forever but it has only been three months. He is missing his old life – hanging out with friends, sleeping in, watching movies late at night with his sister, and going to college.

We are getting ready to send his first package so he gave us a list of things he wants. I’m replacing a couple of his favorite ties that went missing in the MTC. He has asked for a Rubiks cube because his companion had taught him how to solve one. He didn’t ask for much food which surprised me but he did request candy and Takis (apparently they haven’t made their way across the Atlantic yet).

All in all, he is doing great. He would appreciate letters because he can keep them with him and read them over and over. He doesn’t have a way to print emails so he can only read them on P-days.

Monday, May 6, 2013

3 Months Already!

Well I know you probably know but today is my 3 month mark on my mission! Weird to think that I have been out that long. It went really fast but at the same time it has been a long 3 months lol.

Things here have been good!  We are getting a lot of rain, but it dries up pretty fast so you wouldn't be able to tell if you saw it here.

This week we had a baptism!  We baptized a little girl named Anicette.  She is a sweet little girl, but she is really shy so it was kinda hard to teach her lol.

Other than that there wasn't really anything new this week.  We lost Hiler :( because of what I like to call Africa drama lol (I’ll explain when you call) but hopefully we will get him back.  We are hopefully going to be having quite a few baptisms this next couple weeks.

Things are good though, the weather has been a little cooler so that always makes it feel a lot nicer here.  I just got over being sick, something was up with my stomach but I feel a lot better now.

I'm so excited to hear from you on Sunday!  Love you and miss you tons!  God be with you till we meet again....

Elder Joseph D. Allred II

Ouidah is best known for its central role in the slave trade during the 17th , 18th , and 19th centuries, during which time nearly 1,000,000 individuals were boarded onto ships from the beach at Ouidah and were transported across the Atlantic. (From the Ouidah Museum of History)

Temple of the Pythons

If this says anything about how people drive in Africa you will see what I avoid on a daily bases, lol. To clarify, that is a freezer on that back of that moto! 

I call this Bay Watch, missionary style lol ;)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Well this week has been an interesting one!  We are still having problems with our investigators progressing, so that has been stressful!  We are teaching a new girl that one of the members of our branch introduced us to.  She speaks only a little bit of French, mostly Fon.  But things are going well with her!  Other than that we haven’t had anything really new go on.

Something that happened that was really awesome this week is we have an investigator; his name is Emile. Emile is one of our progressing investigators.  Emile has one problem: he has a disk in his back that is messed up so he can’t hardly walk at all.  I was sitting at church and we had just gotten started and I looked over and there he was!  He somehow made it to church! So we are working with him and we are going to see what we can do to get him baptized hopefully everything works out.

Well the only other stressful thing in my life is this week was transfers!  So I have been worried all week that either Elder Rago or I was going to be transferred but neither of us were so it’s all good!  The guys in the apartment decided to play a prank on me and tell me that I was being transferred to Togo!  So the whole weekend I was preparing to be transferred and then I wasn't!  Punks!

Well stress is gone time to get back to work!  Things are good, love you and miss you tons! God be with you till we meet again....

Elder Joseph D. Allred II