Monday, November 20, 2017

Hard, solid, fun, intense, lots of walking, and overbursting joy might just about sum up this week:)  So first off i had one of my dream experiences since i was a kid happen to me, it was so SWEET!!! So i saw a 20ish year old guy playing basketball at the plaza, and he was all alone just shooting some hoops.  Then I totally remembered my dream as a kid, to play against a person on my mission, in proselyting clothes, beat him, then teach him because I won... so that was the thinking in my head:)  It didn't exactly work out like that but we went over to him and just started talking to him, shooting hoops with him, for a couple of minutes while introducing ourselves.  I didn't get to play him;) but he did let us teach him... so there we were sitting on the steps next to the basketball court teaching how the Plan of God for him will change his life if he truly follows God's will, and of course a lot more things that we taught, but it was AWESOME!!! I seriously felt like it was a dream come true for me...:) Now he hasn't came to church yet, we are still working on helping him out, but ya i'd like to call it a miracle!!!

I was able to do a baptismal interview for someone for the first time in my mission on Saturday.  It was an amazing experience, and I won't forget it, this man was so repented, so changed and so so so ready to be baptized. I now more fully understand this scripture, the one that will truly see if someone is ready to take this step to follow Jesus Christ their whole life.
All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church. -D&C 20:37
I saw this in this man and I am so thankful for the Savior and the Atonement to make this possible.

On sunday we had 5 investigators at church which was so amazing!!!  We had huge help from 2 members, who literally picked up all 5 Investigators, (see how big of an impact a member can have:) but it was super cool to see.  Especially one of them Sister Rose Biag who is a mom and 31 years old.  We have taught her a couple times, and we really see big potential in her, because she is one person who really has humbled herself before God, she is ready to do his will. Right now she just needs our prayers and her to pray sincerely and get an answer, i know it will come to her.  

One more thing i have seen this week is the impact of the Johnson's method of personal study.  Johnson because thats our mission president, President Johnson.  And it is really to just write what feelings, inspiration, personal revelation, impressions, or ideas that we have while we are reading, and it really makes personal study so much more meaningful, then you also have a notebook to look back on all of our personal revelation, its such a cool thing, i would suggest that to anyone:)
Well thanks for all the emails and prayers palagi!!!
LOVE, Elder Alldredge

Monday, November 13, 2017

This week was so unexpected but so exciting and fun, and I learned a TON this week!!! It was super unexpected because after having been told by President Johnson that Elder Sauro wouldn't transfer until December, HE GOT TRANSFERRED!!! We were so surprised, but also excited for the new opportunities, and i know that it is totally inspired because my new companion is so cool!! He is Elder Guia from Cebu and he is 3 months older than me in the mission.  And let me tell you he has so much advice and he is such a good teacher and spiritual person! One of the first things he asked me was "ifthe Spirit was guiding me everyday."  I know I am guided by the Spirit but it really helps me to ask myself this question, now we ask this everyday, after every lesson, and i can tell you that evaluating really works to improve.  Like i said last week in my email about my interview with President Johnson, this can help in any thing we are trying to improve at.  So ya I'm thankful for my new companion:)

On Saturday we experienced MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK to probably the fullest i have seen in my entire mission!! We had some 2 youth/ysa work with us and they totally helped out the work in Palayan for about the 2 hours they were with us.  FIrst we visited 2 referrals from them and taught them as new investigators.  Then we went to their referrals from 2 weeks ago and taught them about the importance of the Book of Mormon.  Then we visited a Part Member family and they fellowshipped the sister that is 16 years old.  After that they saw a sister that they had seen the day before and we talked to her and they really helped us gain a trust with this investigator. After that they wanted to work more so they came with us to help one of our other investigators feel more welcome at church.It was amazing to see their spirit of missionary work!!!!  Then on Sunday they picked up 3 investigators and brought them to church with them.  We are thankful for ALL members that help and let me tell you,.... Member Missionary Work is the only way to fully do this work, i know that is the Lord's way, because that is the only right way after all, His way...

A nanay bore her testimony on Sunday and it really strenthened my testimony.  She talked about the power of Priesthood Blessings.  She is maybe 80 years old, and sometimes she has health troubles, but especially lately, the past month have been really hard for her to keep moving and going.  Earlier in October we got a call that she needed a blessing so we went and blessed her.  She then came to church that sunday telling us about how she felt great the next morning and was able to walk just fine.  Then about 2 weeks later we get another call that her knees have stiffened up again and she can't walk at all, so we went the next morning and gave her a blessing, that she would be able to come to church on Sunday.  And that is EXACTLY what happened!!!! She testified that the power of God is true and was evident in the effect of those blessings.  Not because of us but because of the Priesthood power that is real!  Such a MIRACLE!!!! 
another miracle i typed and forgot to send with it:)

So sorry for such a short email, we are super short on time, but just know that I love you all, and I know without a doubt that this is the Lord's work, and I am happy to say that I am happy to do this work.
Thanks for all the emails!!!
Love, Elder Alldredge

District or Zone Meeting?  He is still using pictures from Elder Sauro, so we do not get explanations.  Buy a camera already!!

Great pictures with families in the area.  Elder Sauro got transferred so I am sure he was saying goodbye to all of them.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Halloween in the Philippines... It is not even close to the American way of things, but its still crazy and there is a TON of people every where, especially near the cemetery.  That is Halloween for them more like a Family Reunion/Memorial Day at the cemetery.  So we weren't able to go out on Halloween night to trick or treat:( jokelang!! But we were able to teach lots of people this week which was awesome!! 

This week might have been one of the very busiest weeks of my entire mission!!  We literally had places to go every day of the week!! On Tuesday morning we left early and went to Tarlac where we had a meeting with President Johnson and the AP's about our zone.  It was super helpful and we are super stoked to get the Zone pumped up and working smart while hard.  Also President Johnson gave us some chocolate and we all ate and told stories with President, it was a good Halloween day:)  

Then after that meeting I got to go on exchanges with the AP's in our mission.  But it was super special and so fun for me and my companion because he was my companion in the MTC!!!! Me and Elder Zacchilli worked hard but it was so fun to tell stories and to really see the improvement in both of us, in confidence, in Tagalog, and basically everything.  The last time we worked together was in that area back in our training for about two hours, so lets just say lots has changed since then:) I learned a TON from him, and it was probably the funnest exchange of my mission!!! its not every day you get to work with your MTC companion!!!

I also went on exchanges with a district leader in our zone and it was so fun! and in that one day we had 7 New Investigators!! Also I saw the only other area with a beach!! But i got no pictures....:(i still haven't been able to get a camera, but i will get one this week, don't worry:)
So it was a crazy fast week again, because we were all over the place, from Dingalan at the dagat to Tarlac with President Johnson.

Also on Sunday President Johnson came to church here in Palayan Branch. Then afterwards he interviewed our zone, it was such a solid interview and I learned mostly about improving, the key is to always be evaluating myself, my work, my obedience, and then identify specific places where I am struggling and make goals and plans to improve in that specific area. And this can literally apply to every aspect of our lives!! I really think if everyone did this we would be able to live up to our potential a lot better, to improve all the time, regularly to really see the changes.  But also if we only do that we will fail, the most important thing in improvement is faith in Jesus Christ, because without him we will never come to our potential, without him we won't even get close!! But with him and only through him, trusting in his plan for me and giving our will to every thing that he knows is best for us, that is how we can all improve, and become more like our Savior Jesus Christ.
Love ya'll!! 
Thanks for all the emails and prayers!!
Elder Alldredge

P-Day with Elder Sauro and the District Leader for splits

Monday, October 30, 2017

Its been a solid week like always, especially because we had a BAPTISM!!!! Sister Jessica was baptized on Saturday and it was a super spiritual baptism.  She was super ready, so I was able to baptize her.  Then she came to church on Sunday and received the Holy Ghost. We are now trying to work with her and her husband to gain a big desire to go to the temple in a year, it really is the goal of the branch, but I feel like now I can see more of the big picture in missionary work, I feel like before I was just trying to help everyone to be baptized. But now I know that they need that enduring Faith in Jesus Christ, they need to Repent, and one thing that President Johnson is really stressing with us is that they need to be having personal revelatory experiences in their studies of the Book of Mormon, they need to be converted to that, to understand why it is important, and be reading everyday.  Just like all of us need to be doing, its crazy how big of a difference you can see in an investigator, when they are truly reading the Book of Momon.  I have truly come to love the Book of Mormon here on the mission.  I look forward to Personal Study every day, and its never long enough.  So thats my challenge to everyone, make this hour or 30 minutes or 15 minutes, the very best minutes of your day, study and answer your questions and doubts, and you will see a change in you.  Thats really what this life is about, Change, changing to follow Jesus Christ, to become more like him, through living the gospel and serving everyone around us. Ok so i just realized I just went on a big rant about the Book of Mormon, lets just say I know that book is true and there is converting power from reading and praying about it.

We had exchanges in Kalikid this week, and I was able to work with my ka-bahay Elder Galia, we were seriously laughing the whole time, telling stories about when we were ka-bahay, he is such a funny Elder, but its crazy to see how much we have both changed in over 6 months. 

Other than that we are really having some success in finding and having progressing investigators in our area, we found 6 this week, and 9 the week before.  President Johnson has really been teaching us how to do this affectively and its working, our whole zone really is finding a TON of investigators these past couple of weeks, and I know that the success is coming to the Bongaler Zone.  
Thanks for all the emails and prayers!!!
Love ya'll!!!

Elder Alldredge

Jessica Pascua - New member!

Great support for Jessica!

We had a little Halloween Party and 2 investigators came!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Time goes way too fast, and I am trying to slow it down but i think its still speeding up!!!!! 
On Sunday during the closing hymn I found out that if you want a super super spiritual experience, you should have a primary kid play the piano in sacrament meeting.  And if it works out like it did in our Branch on Sunday you just might cry, not a joke, the little 10 year old girl played it SUPER SLOW, but the spirit was SO STRONG!!! And if you want to make it better sing #86 How Great Thou Art.  It was seriously an amazing experience, thinking about all the words and really how GREAT our God is, I love him and that closing hymn strengthened that testimony for sure!!

We were walking through our area and we visited a less active member, we talked to him for a bit and planned another time that we could come back and share with him.  Then we asked him if he knew of any other members that were nearby.  He pointed further down the dirt path into a place we had never gone before, so lets just say we were PUMPED!!! So we left and went and visited the Estigoy family, who has been members since the 1990's sometime, but are less active and we are now helping them out to come back to church, hopefully next week!  Then we left and then without even saying anything we both turned down a different dirt path.  Then Elder Sauro my companion asked me "Why are on this path?"  so i had no idea, and then he said "well maybe there is a purpose that we turned down here" then we came to the very first small cement house and we saw some little kids playing inside with their mom.  So we Introduced ourselves and they were seriously so nice!! Then turns out one of them was actually the best friend and referral of one YSA's a couple days earlier!! So we taught 4 of them there, and they are such a nice family, even though the kids are CRAZY:) haha But I know there was a purpose for randomly turning down that path, I know that we were led there, because that family is ready to hear the gospel, one of them said she will be coming to church next sunday and hopefully the rest of them too!! There's the Miracle of the week:) Miracles are AWESOME!!!

We also had ZOne Conference on Friday and I just love learning anything from President Johnson.  He seriously BLEW MY MIND!!! Sometimes I feel like there is too much to learn at those conferences, and I can never get it all in my notes or brain;)  But lets just say I got a lot of places that I can improve, its just a work in progress.  But I'm sure I will learn a TON more this week with exchanges with the AP's and a 2 hour talk with President Johnson about the Bongaler Zone.  Super stoked for that!
Your emails make me happy, thanks for that!
Ya'll are the very best, have a Fantastic week!!!

Elder Alldredge
Cool house!  Kyle's Camera is still broke so these are Elder Sauro's pictures


Working with YSA's

Monday, October 16, 2017

We had a miracle this week with one of our investigators. She was an OYM because we were asking her about her next door neighbor who we were planning on teaching. So we asked if we could share with her and we set up an appointment. We came back and shared to her 2 times, the lessons were solid but nothing super special, we felt she had potential, but we knew there needed to be something more. She told us about a really good friend she had that is active, so the next lesson we brought her with us and it really changed the whole picture, she seemed to listen better, and she was more into the lesson. She accepted the BGD and then her friend said she would come pick her up on Sunday, which she did and Vanessa went to church. She had a really good time, and it was so much better to have her friend showing her around instead of the missionaries. I now have a way better understanding for why lesson staffing is important. It increased my knowledge and we will continue to strive to use that with ALL our investigators. 

We also had exchanges with my old district leader in Baler who I am now his ZL haha its so weird, but anyways it was super fun!!! So they drove like 3 hours to do this and it was just downpouring but they said we didn't come all this way to not work, so we went out:) Within about 15 seconds... maybe... we were drenched but we kept going of course it was super fun, we taught lots of lessons in the beautiful Philippines rain:)

So we just got back from Tarlac thats why we are so late to email, because my companion took the English test.  So I'm sorry for another short email... I'm getting worse and I am so sorry mom:):):):):):):):)
But I read an article that will change the rest of my mission... it is the one Breanna sent me last week, I read it twice this morning on the bus, it is called the "miracle of a mission" by Jefferey R. Holland and its amazing!!! I know that this time is a time for missionaries to give it all, and thats what I am trying to do, and will keep working at doing better at that, because this time isn't even mine, and its only two years, but it is two years that I will think about and tell stories of for eternities.  I love my mission.  I love the Philippines, and the Filipinos, its the best place ever to go on a mission:) It really is more fun in the Philippines:)  I would recommend it to anyone...
Thanks for all the emails and prayers!!!

Elder Alldredge

Monday, October 9, 2017

It is so hard to beat a week where you get to hear all the apostles speak, and lets just say I LOVED it so much!! This really is a "missionaries birthday or christmas" its such an amazing experience every time!!!  I will never ever take General Conference for granted again, there is WAY too much to learn!! I know know know that questions are answered, that prayers are answered, and inspiration is given to everyone who wants it, seeks for it, and is worthy of it.  I seriously learned so much and I could go on and on about the things I learned but if i were to sum up what i learned in maybe a sentence i would say, that people aren't perfect, not even the apostles, not even the prophet, but through steady living of the gospel, letting our light shine to others and looking for and finding the light in others as well, we can be happy, we can have true joy, and i love that truth!!  

There was also a ton of quotes and other things, but the one quote that stuck out to me a ton, and probably a lot of people was "Love without Service, is like Faith without Works"  That is something I feel like I need to work on and it opened my eyes, I always teach about faith without works is dead so we need to act, and that added part just added to my testimony and knowledge of service.  Also in Bonnie L Oscarson's talk I love this, and I believe everything she said with all my heart, the first question should be who can I help or lift up in this meeting, or wherever we are, if we are looking with eyes as Christ would, we would find that ONE who really needs a friend, or really needs a compliment, or even just someone to pay attention to them, such a solid talk too!! 

We worked hard this week and are really trying to improve our area, we only had 1 investigator come to General Conference because it was in another city, but we are super excited for all of our investigators!  Here in Palayan the members are super nice and we are now trying to work with them as much as possible to really get it going here... I still havent figured out this whole leader thing, but my companion is awesome and super patient with me to learn.  
Just so you know, ya'll are the best!!
i love reading all your emails, and i leave emails pumped every time:)
Thanks for the prayers!!
Love ya'll!!!
Elder Alldredge