Thursday, January 23, 2014

This week has been really wonderful. Our Area has been doing really well! We have been focusing on our baptismal dates and to be able to find new investigators on campus.

Monday was pretty mundane, but we went down to Idaho Falls and shopped at Winco! Hallelujah I love Winco. I got all of my normal stuff for the month, but instead of costing $90, it was only $50! It was the best! Also, as much dried fruit as you can get for dirt cheap? Please and thank you! Needless to say I walked out of there and said, "I'm a convert to Winco!" I am so sick of expensive local supermarkets. I swear when I buy in bulk I feel like I won the lottery! It just hit me how funny it is that I take such great delight in trivial matter like cheap groceries. Oh, how being on a Mission changes you!

For our Preparation-Day activity, we went as a zone to I-Jump. It is a trampoline place where you can get a good work out and have a lot of fun! One of the sisters in our Zone is from Tonga, Sister Kaafi. She had never been or even seen a trampoline before, so I showed her the ropes ;) We had her jumping in no time! I thought it was really cute how much enjoyment she had from just being able to jump on a trampoline. There was a section devoted to dodgeball, and we had a free-for all at one point. I felt kind of bad because I nailed my District Leader Elder Nava right in the nose, but he deserved it. They were the really squishy balls too, so it was not like he had a lot of damage. He also had been targeting me for the previous five minutes, and I was sick of getting out! Overall, it was a lot of fun :)

Oh my goodness, Tuesday was a strange day. We had district meeting and since we cover half of BYU-Idaho campus we went to the Tuesday Devotional. WOW! It was really, really weird. I had never been on BYU-Idaho campus before (I mean I had never been to Idaho before my Mission) and it was weird to be on a Church campus again. There are a lot of similarities and it was weirding me out. Especially because their big center where they have Devotional looks just like the inside of the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. My companion could tell I was a bit out of sorts, and jokingly started to fan me when it was over. It was just very, very, very odd to be on a BYU campus as a missionary! I guess I will have to get used to it though because I think I will be here until I go back to Nauvoo in April. But, the best part of Tuesday was that I ran into Sister McInelly from Nauvoo at Devotional! I was kind of out of it so I am glad that she called me over. It was so fun to see her again, and I found out that my Trainer and her husband are here, and well as one of the Assistants from Nauvoo too!

On Wednesday I went on Exchanges with a sister serving on the other side of BYU-Campus. Her name is Sister Mafi, and is from Hawaii! We had a great time too. We were contacting that afternoon, and Sister Mafi accidentally got us stuck in the snow in a ditch on the side of the road. The little Chevy Cruze (or the Hawaiian ;) is just not used to Idaho snow yet! Luckily someone came by and pulled us out with their truck. In our Mission we have a thing called "Exchange Miracles". It is where there is a miracle in one of the Sister's Areas each time there is an exchange. This time, I was able to be a part of it! Sister Mafi has been working with a boy named Tyreese who is from Jamaica. Obviously, now he is here in the States but he is in the Foster Care system. We took him on a Church Tour, and the Spirit was super strong as we testified of the Savior and his Atonement. We invited him to be baptized, and Tyreese said yes! There was some concern with getting permission from the State, so we talked with his foster parents, and made a plan to get permission for him to be baptized. We then set a date for the end of February! It was so sweet- Tyreese wanted to be baptized on his Foster Dad's birthday, and have him perform the ordinance. It was very touching, and Tyreese asked me to be there too :) Inside I said, "Yes!" but of course I kept my cool and was calm and collected ;) 

This week we had three lessons with Josh, one of our baptismal dates on BYU-Idaho Campus. I feel so blessed to be able to serve here, because each one of our investigators have roommates that can help them along. Josh has a roommate who just came back from serving a mission in the Phillipines, and definitely added to the lesson. We were talking about tithing in one of them, and his roommate Sam just pulled out his laptop and showed Josh a video of the Widow's Mite, a story from the Bible. I just could not take this big grin off of my face because I kept on thinking, "Only at BYU-Idaho!" It's wonderful though, and Josh is going to be baptized at the end of January!

 On Friday I did an exchange with my old companion Sister Blankenship and it was great to be in Rigby again! I was then blessed to be able to return to my old Area in Rigby on Saturday for the baptismal service of Molly and Grace, two girls that I taught! It was a wonderful, spiritual experience. They asked me to play the Piano so I could still be involved even thought I had been transferred. I had taught these two girls for the entire time I was in Rigby, and it was so fulfilling to see them make this covenant with their Heavenly Father. I am really coming to understand the joy Heavenly Father feels when he sees his beloved children press forward in faith. It just made my day when as soon as the kids saw me they ran and yelled, "Sister Allred!" Yes, they were yelling and running in the Church, but the reverence will come eventually :)  I was just so proud of these two girls I felt like I would burst! The time came for me to leave, and Lily (the five-year old) cried again when I had to say goodbye. Man, that little girl can just pull on the heart-strings! 

I have had really great week as you can tell. I just enjoy being here! What makes it better is my companion. I have heard returned missionaries tell stories about this one great companion, and they would joke and say how they were "in love" with them. I thought they were just weird, but I now understand! Sister Woods is such a blessing in my life. My entire goal for my mission is to be just like her. It is such a blessing to have a strong, powerful companion who is exactly obedient. She has that wonderful British humor, and is so good to me. These past two weeks have been such a breeze, and I want to stay with her for as long as I can! We have a really great unity when we teach, and I have gotten to the point where I can speak "British" ;) I have to interpret for her sometimes because she will use funny phrases or words, but most of the time I can guess what she is saying and I am right. The one time I could not figure it out though was when she asked me to open "the boot". Most of the time I can just make a quick guess and be right, but this time I had to think about it for a few seconds! I then realized she was meaning the trunk of the car :) 

Sister Woods and I have been having very productive studies. At the beginning of the transfer, we set goals together as a companionship. Sister Woods wanted to get to know more stories from the scriptures, and I have been working on memorizing all of the scriptures from Preach My Gospel and the old and new Scripture Mastery's. We combined our efforts, to such that I prepare my "lesson" for Companionship Study during Personal Study, and then teach a story from the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Then, we go over and mark key passages of scripture I have found to be useful. This manner of study is beneficial for both parties. I enjoy having a purpose for my study, and studying these stories in-depth has blessed my teaching and my spiritual growth. In turn, Sister Woods is learning these stories and getting to know the scriptures a little better! I really enjoy having her and she is a blessing in my life. 

Finally, we had a little surprise this week! We got a call from the Mission President, letting us know that a General Authority had called him and wanted missionaries to teach his friends. The General Authority asked for the best missionaries in the northern half of the mission, and President Brinkerhoff recommended us! I still kind of laugh that it wasn't the Zone Leaders ;) Well, we had our first lesson and it went great! It was a bit nerve racking though because the General Authority was a former Mission President and was over Missionary Work for the Area. Yikes! We were also on exchanges that day, but from the sounds of it Sister Woods did wonderfully. We have another lesson for this week, and we hope it will go well!

I love you all, and I will try to write soon! Love you!

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