Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Safe and sound in Cusco :)

We made it! barely haha. This has been the most confusing two days of my life. I met hermana Rasmussen in Atlanta. She didn't know I was going to be flying with her, so I surprised her at the gate. We had so much fun on the trip here. When we got to Lima at dark thirty (our flight was 3 hours late), a guy from the church (i think) met us there and herded us to the van. I had no idea what he was saying the entire time, but people kept saying "abuelo" and um... that means grandpa. I just kept thinking "I'm pretty sure my grandpa isn't here, why do they keep talking about him". An embarrassing 12 hours later, they tell us they're actually saying "vuelo", which means flight. I love Spanish.
They think it's ridiculous that we each have 3 bags. Whatever. (LILLLYYY). Then came our next adventura. DRIVING ON THE STREETS OF PERU! ugh. There are NO rules here. They just drive wherever they want, as fast as they want. Yeah. I just closed my eyes and prayed that we wouldn't die. We spent the night in a really nice hotel next to the airport. I'll send pictures on P-day (we only have 30 minutes to email family now, so my emails are going to be relatively short. That might be a blessing to some of you haha. The driver said something about a 5 pm flight to Cusco, but we weren't really sure, and he said to relax and not worry about anything. Next thing we know, there is a knock at our door at 9 am saying to bring our bags to the car and VAMOS! I'm used to surprises by now haha. We threw on the first clothes we could find, then remembered that we packed our toothbrushes in our bags we had already sent downstairs. Entonces, our breath smells real bad. Esta bien. No one else in this country brushes the few teeth they have left. Hermana Rasmussen said "no makeup, smell real bad, teeth not brushed, steezy hair... let's meet the mission president" 

We got to Cusco, and some guy kept trying to help us with our bags, but um... everyone wants our money that we don't have, so we said "NO NO NO NO NO no tengo dinero" and he said "no no no no no es voluntario" and then we just got REALL confused and he ended up taking our bags and the Elders that picked us up paid him. Lo siento elderes. We met our mission president and his wife (they leave in 2 weeks) and we were on our way to the mission home to eat. REAL FOOD! it was sooo good. We interviewed with the president, went over rules and things, then they dropped us off at the office to just relax. They said the altitude messes up your body, so it's better to take it easy. SCORE. 

Entonces, I am safe, I love this country, there are little niƱos everywhere, and I LOVE ALL OF THEM. Not so much the dogs... they can go.

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!! :) write me letters and stuff. 


love, hermana allred

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tejas week 2 or 7 or however many I've been here.

Well, my dears, Let me start by saying, it wasn't Texas that needed me. I needed Texas. 

I was praying last night to find out what it is that God needed me to do here, because I have been feeling like a slight failure as a missionary, and God very clearly answered by saying "This is a trial of your FAITH". WHOOMP! there is it. We have had a lot of struggles this week with appointments falling through, and sweating our faces off, and being dehydrated, and feeling like nothing we do is working, and NOW I know that this was God's way of testing me before I get to Peru. He wanted to see if I would keep going when it's consistently 105 degrees outside. He wanted to see if I would keep knocking when, day after day, appointments fall through. It was one of the hardest weeks of my life, but I made it, and we laughed and had fun along the way. Satan, get thee hence! You're not raining on my parade.

1// We had a Zone conference with Elder Golden of the 70 and dang.. he put us in our place. Let's just say the bar has been raised significantly for our mission. The mission president asked my companions and I to sit at their table for lunch! We got to eat food with a member of the 70!!!! So cool. (my companions are the ones on either side of me. My president is on the far right, and Elder and Sister Golden are on the left)

2// Lily. She is the craziest old lady I have ever met. She is 88 years old, from Mexico, and she learned to speak English from black people, so she has a really funny accent. She says "whatever" allllll the time and it always cracks me up. Usually when she's feeling the spirit, or we tell her we love her. Before I came here, they couldn't get in the door with her because "she's always busy" haha. she's cooking for her 60 year old son. She's not busy. BUT we miraculously got in the door this week and her son wasn't home. We talked to her for a long time and I think she finally feels something. She's been going to the Evangelical church with her son the last couple weeks, but she knows our church is true, and she just follows her son. when we see her next, we're going to invite her to be baptized this Saturday. She has been going to church since February, but has been stubborn with authority lately. IT WILL HAPPEN! Stay tuned for more miracles with her.

I went on exchanges with Hna. Koerner on Wednesday. SO MUCH FUN! It was cool to see how different people are when it comes to planning and teaching. I learned a lot from her. She's so so nice to everyone.

My birthday was fantastic. The night before, we went on a detour to see the temple :) We took a few pictures and I'll send those in the next email.  We did all our studying and training in the morning, then we went to practice our song for the ward talent show (oh my goodness... that was hilarious. more on that later), after that, my companions said "during exchanges we set up an appointment to have lunch with a family from Chile" Little did I know, that that was code for WE'RE GOING TO CHILI'S FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY!!! :) They paid for it and everything. Best surprise ever. We did weekly planning after, then a million appointments fell through, even Wendy (the one we found on the stairs last week) which is fine, it happens, and it was my birthday so I wasn't even about to get upset. 

THEN we knocked on an investigator's door just to check up on them, and guess who walks up to the door! The husband. MIRACLE. He told us later in the lesson that he was planning on going to the store, but felt like he should come home first. We taught him about the restoration, and just happened to have brought the Restoration movie for the first time since I got here, and I SAW HIS HEART SOFTEN! He said everything happens for a reason and really opened up for a second, then BOOM! he closed it HARD. He just kept saying over and over "Soy Catholico. No quiero cambinar" (I'm catholic. I don't want to change.) GRRRRRR! I was getting infuriated. I just bore my testimony and cried a little bit cuz that's what I do, and he said he likes listening, but doesn't want to change. He's going to want to change... I know he is. in the words of lily, "whatever". :) 

We were all really really upset with how frustrating our week had been, so we went home for dinner and felt bad for ourselves, laid on the floor under the fan to cool off our pools of sweat (ew.), and left for the talent show. Just so you know, everything in latino culture starts late, and ends even later. If it starts at 6:00, it really starts and 7:30 and ends at 9:30. Good thing it was the most hilarious thing I've ever seen. So many off key musical numbers, and hilarious skits, and lots of cultural dancing. Even the Bishop got up and sang a solo. I LOVE hispanic culture. (minus the being late for everything... that's hard to adjust to) After, we went into the kitchen to (I thought) snatch leftover fruit, and THEY HAD A CAKE and Bluebell icecream for me :) I have the best companions in the world, and our week ended with Bluebell, so I can't complain (Bluebell is the BEST icecream on the planet. Someone find some in Utah so I have hope when I get home).

Weird things about life in texas
1// I used to complain about being cold all the time, now I'm sweating to death, so I'm pretty sure God has a sense of humor.
2// I've been bit by so many ants. Right now, I have 6 bites on my left leg, and 4 on my right. It must be my sweet sweet blood. :) thanks Dad.
3// Everyone asks me to pray. I'm pretty sure it's because they like hearing me struggle... I still have no idea what anyone is saying in lessons, so I just nod my head, and catch what I can. Sometimes it gets awkward when I smile and they're talking about something really sad. I HAVE NO IDEA! It all sounds the same. My only indication of a sad moment is when people cry. Other than that, I'm lost.
4// Since no one answers the door, I've considered putting a sticky note over the peep hole. I KNOW YOU'RE HOME!!! ANSWER THE DOOR! :( 
5// All old ladies think i'm 15. Probably cuz I'm pasty white and I've sweated off the weight I gained in the MTC. Despite all the food they're giving me, I'm just withering away into nothing. 
6// speaking of, I sure have learned how to eat. It's rude to not eat peoples food, so I just feel like an overstuffed sofa all the time. My poor belly is getting pushed to the limit. At least it's not guinea pig (yet). All these sweet mexican ladies teach us how to make mexican food :) I love it! I can't wait to get home and be able to make it. I'm starting to enjoy cooking again. Now that it's not my job haha. 

I am happy, I love texas despite the heat, I love the people we teach despite the fact that they forget every single appointment, and I love my companions so much (no despite on this one. they're great.).

Just so you know, a little birdie told me I got my visa, but I have to wait for the President to call so I know it's real and WHEN I'll be going to Peru. It's very very soon though. STAY TUNED!!! :)

Love, Hermana Allred

I got my visa! it's official. I fly to Georgia tomorrow at 8:30 AM, then catch a connecting flight to Cusco!!!!! WHAT!? 

My MTC companion Hermana Rasmussen got her Visa too, and we'll be meeting in Georgia :) I WILL BE IN CUSCO TOMORROW!!! This feels like a really weird dream. I'm FINALLY headed to my mission. I've loved my time here in Texas, and feel very grateful to have met all these wonderful people. Now let the culture shock begin :) 

We're celebrating by eating bluebell ice cream and ordering pupusas from a restaurant :)

If anyone has sent me mail or packages and I haven't gotten them yet, my companions will send them back to you so they don't get lost :) My Peru address is on my blog ( and my facebook page. I don't remember what it is haha. 


Love, Hermana Allred

Monday, June 10, 2013

Texas, What what?

Howdy ya'll. yeehaw! I'm in Houston, TX (Hafer is my area). Home of the nicest people on earth and the best food. 

18203 westfield place drive #618 
Houston, TX 77090
Mission Blog:

Let me take a minute to break down this past year. Wait, what? That was only a week? you little liars.

We got on the bus to SLC at 3 AM and flew to Dallas at 6. When we landed, this very very very nice guy came up to our group and told us he'd buy us breakfast. WHAT? There were 25 of us and were all very hungry. He's from Salt Lake, and just likes doing that for missionaries when he travels. So there we were, all 25 of us, just standing in line at the tiniest McDonalds in the world, ordering breakfast. Those poor workers... THEN! Guess what happened. I saw my 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Hogle!!! What the heck? Her family owns Hogle Zoo. My companion and I talked to some people about the church and (to be said in Elder Calhoun's accent) GUESS WHO PLACED HER FIRST BOOK OF MORMON! This Hermana. That's who. Another Hermana had been talking to him, and I came in to ask him a bunch of questions about himself, and he asked about the Book of Mormon play, and I said nope, that's not us, but would you like to read the real thing? And he said yes. So I gave him my handy dandy pocket sized BOM and he said he'd read it. MIRACLE. It conveniently had tabs on my favorite chapters. golden. 

After our 30 minute flight to Houston, we got our stuff and waited for President Pingree. He is so welcoming and I love him already. His whole family is great. We did a lot of training, ate a lot of food, and spent the night at the mission home in a REAL BED. 

The rest was kind of a blur, but we got our companions the next morning after breakfast, and were off to work! I'm in a Trio with Hna. Villanueva and Hna. Carter. They are both amazing and so patient and caring. Hna. Carter is the kindest person I've ever met. she's been out 7 weeks. Hna. Villanueva is fluent, so we kind of rely on her. She's been out 10 months.
The first day, we went to a lady's house and made tortillas with her and her daughter. I didn't know we'd be eating, but oh boy we did. I got so full. THEN we had a dinner appointment where she fed us KFC, and I thought my stomach was going to just explode right there. I'm glad I made it out alive. It's all so good, but my stomach is soooo tiny :( I can't handle all this food. I pray super hard before every meal haha.

I'm in love with the skies here. It looks like a painting. There are fire ants everywhere, and I'm pretty sure one bit me. If I die, you'll know why. We have to put all of our "sweet smelling" trash in the freezer and throw it away when it's full so the ants can't get to it. candy wrappers, apple cores, you name it. It helps keep the apartment smelling clean :) An Elder in the mission told us about this tuna and honey sandwich his Dad used to make on his mission, so I tried it, and it's actually REALLY good. I've eaten it a few times already.

I saw a frog in the middle of the road. That was weird. I picked it up and got a picture. I've never seen a frog outside of a tank! The rain here is nuts. One second, the skies are perfectly clear, the next, gale force winds, then BAM! it's dumping buckets of rain. We walked from the car to a member's apartment, and we were SOAKED. it was probably 20 yards. I love texas :) It makes for fun memories. 

Okay. now for church things haha. 

The field is so different than the MTC. In the MTC, we teach lessons... all the time. There are very few moments where we live a real mission life. Here, there's a lot of surviving going on and lots of finding. We have a few investigators, but most of them are backing away from baptism. A few of them had dates, but either moved, or just won't answer our calls or answer their doors. I joked about putting post it notes over the peep hole so they'll open the door, but I was partly serious. It's frustrating sometimes. So many appointments fall through, but we just keep knocking until someone listens :) We don't give up very easily. 

We had a MIRACLE happen the other day. Yet again, an appointment fell through, but a girl named Wendy was sitting on the stairs with her baby. She spoke spanish and english fluently. Um... can you say perfect? I can speak one of those languages! English haha. She is so well prepared, and said she's been studying the bible and is scared about not being saved. We answered a few of her questions about life after death and told her about eternal families and her cute little face just LIT UP. She said "I will be waiting for you guys on Tuesday". This may just be greenie naiveness, but I really have a good feeling about her. Our mission president said he had revelation that the Lord prepared tens of thousands to hear the gospel in this mission, and we just have to find them. I believe we found at least one of them. I really like her. PRAY that this lesson on Tuesday will go well and that she will recieve the gospel. I really want to help her. 

We got a recent convert/less active to come to the church for the first time in 3 months! He was the one were we ran to his apartment in the rain. I think he felt bad that we got soaked, so he let us in haha. He has such a strong testimony, but I think it's just hard for him when the rest of his family aren't members. 

Our ward is the Houston 6th ward. We have so many sweet people in our ward and they love to feed us. If I get chubby, just know it's from the members loving us too much. And you should all love me too. haha. I have no idea what anyone is saying, pretty much ever, so in sacrament meeting, apparently they asked me to get up and bear my testimony, but I didn't understand him, so I just sat there staring into space. Then Hna. Villanueva told me to go up. Luckily my testimony is one thing I really can say in Spanish, so I wasn't too worried. I just wish I could have a conversation about something other than Gospel topics. 

oh yeah. in case you didn't already catch that, I'M SPANISH SPEAKING! I feel so lucky because so many people from the MTC got reassigned to English, and I would hate to lose the little Spanish I do know. It's such a blessing. I don't know how long I'll be in Houston. Just until my Visa arrives. It will be at least 6 weeks cuz they won't take me out of the mission in the middle of a transfer. The mission president's wife told me to plant my heart in Houston and make sure to not just wait around for my Visa. I'm here for a specific reason, and I need to continue to search for that reason. 

Funny moments:

1// We have a favorite family with 4 daughters and 1 son (he's milo's age :( ) It makes me feel a little more at home cuz they're around the same ages as our family. I MISS YOU GUYS! but I'm so happy here and I'm working hard :)
We had the following conversation with the youngest daughter (she's around Kitty's age)
us "What did you learn at Church today?"
her  "That Joseph Smith wrote the Bible" .... 
Sister Carter "Oh boy." 
Now we know where all these very very false statements come from. The mouths of babes. We have a lot of work to do haha.

2// We like to greet people, and Hermana Carter happens to be a very bad judge of race. She said Hola to this kid, to which he responded in a very heavy accent, "I'm not hispanic, I'm Asian." That was rough. I covered her by saying we speak Spanish. I don't think it helped.

3// Hispanic people cannot carry a tune in a bucket. They sure do try. very very loudly. Sacrament meeting was interesting. 

I can't think of anything else :( Dang it. I actually have time to talk to you all. 

Oh yeah. My birthday is on Friday. the big TWO OH :) feel free to write me a letter or send me pictures of you. I don't have very many and want to show you all off. 

18203 westfield place drive #618 
Houston, TX 77090

Yo se que esta iglesia es verdadera, y yo se que Jose Smith fue un profeta de dios. Estoy agradecido por todo mi bendiciones y la opportunidad a ser un misionera. Esta obra es marvillosa.


// Hermana Allred

Monday, June 3, 2013


Dear Friends and Family,
My Visa hasn't arrived yet, so I have been reassigned to the Texas, Houston mission. (insert freak out here) I got my itinerary in the mail on Thursday, and I leave this coming Wednesday morning. I am so excited! But I haven't exactly packed for Houston weather.. so that will be fun. Imma melt to death.
My companion Hermana Rasmussen got her reassignment on Friday night, and she left Saturday morning for... guess where... SLC West mission! She wanted to stay in Utah, so this is perfect for her. Hermana Routson got reassigned there too. Hermana Thompson left this morning for Colorado Springs. All the people in my district left this morning or on Saturday. I AM ALL ALONE! I'm just floating around in the other districts until Wednesday morning.
My companion for the flight is a girl going to Cusco too.We're actually super good friends! She and I met over facebook and we went to the Oquirrh Mountain temple together and shopped for mission clothes. I love her and I'm so excited that we got reassigned to the same mission. I have no doubt we'll be able to contact some people in the airport :) WHOOT! converting all of Texas.
FAMILY! I will be leaving the SLC airport at 6ish AM and landing in Dallas for a layover at 9:00am Dallas time. SO! Keep your phones on LOUD so I can call you and you'll pick up. remember... This is the only time until Christmas that I will get to talk to you, so you'd better all be there. I'll call Dad's phone cuz that's the only number I have memorized haha. Also, I don't know where the girls are right now, but I'm calling Mom too, so if they're in Vegas with you, then make sure to have them around so I can talk to them too :)
I LOVE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU! I'm happy. I'm safe. I'm exstatic to serve the Lord and have hot showers for a few more weeks hahha. 'Murica.
Love, Hermana Allred