Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September 24, 2014- Because of Him

Hiiiiiiiii, how is it going??

Well this it. This will be my final email before flying home 1 week from today! I can not even believe where the time has gone!!!! 

I've been thinking back to the beginning and how much Gods hand is in our lives every single day if we allow it. I remember when I first felt strongly that I needed to serve a mission but had no desire and was too young at that point anyway. Then the age change, I was now qualified to serve a mission ASAP. That freaked me out. A few months went by and my heart was extremely softened and now more open to the spirit which testified to me that I needed to serve a mission. Next thing I knew my papers were in, got my call, entered the MTC, and now here I am. 

I am so extremely grateful for this time I have had to serve the Lord and people here in Southern Utah. More than anything I am grateful for all that I have learned and how much my testimony has been strengthened. I thought I was converted before coming on a mission but now I know without any doubts that I am. The mission is such an interesting thing because my testimony has never been so tried, tested, or denied but with that opposition it has pushed me so much more! 

My favorite thing about being a full-time missionary is the constant spirit and guidance we can have at all times to be instruments in the Lords hands if we allow it. Yes, I know we can do that as normal member missionaries but I believe its different. This is the one time where we can completely devote all our time and attention to serving the Lord. I have loved praying every single day for the Lord to be my companion and oh the miracles we see as we succumb to His and the Fathers will.

I have loved being able to see people change. The atonement and spirit works miracles!!!!!!! I remember teaching Pat who was so stubborn and for the longest time would not allow himself to listen to the spirit. But he eventually did and was baptized and in February can be sealed to his beautiful wife and sons! Or Jay who decided on his own to take out his earrings and stop drinking beer just because he no longer had the desire after reading the Book of Mormon. Ah the list could go on of ways I have seen people change. 

I am grateful for Jesus Christ and for all that He has done for me, you, and everyone! Because of His sacrifice we can all have peace and joy. We can all one day return to live with Him and with our families again. How great is this gospel!!!!!!!! Please watch Because of Him if you haven't before.

"The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the way of life. To the extent we follow it and incorporate it in our lives, to this extent will we be blessed and prospered." -Gordon B Hinckley

I love you all and thank you so much for supporting me during my mission!!!!!!

~Sister Allen
2432 E Minton St
Mesa, AZ  85213

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September 17, 2014, Two weeks to go

Hiya, hows it going??

I am doing fantastic!!!!!!! This week is great, I just love life right now!!!!!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

So after last Pday we headed out to Colorado City where we were meeting up with the Kaibab sisters, Sister Davis and Sister Luebbert. Then we exchanged and I got to be in the Kaibab area with Sister Luebbert. It was amazing! We stayed the night with Bishop and Sister Adair for the Mocassin ward and it was so good to see them. I just love them! Then the next morning we went out into Colorado City and visited with people, than off to Fredonia and Kanab. I saw so many people that I love!!!!!! Kaibab is the place where I felt like I really grew a ton. I was there my 3-5 transfers! So I was still a little greenie and that is also where I trained. Which pushed me a ton. Going out there again just has got me thinking of all that has happened in the last 17 months of my life! I will forever treasure this time and Kaibab will forever have my heart. The exchange was amazing. Sister Luebbert is just fantastic! Its amazing to see how much she has grown as well! We didn't have a dinner apt that night so guess where we ate? The Junction!!!!!!!! Mom you should be jealous! ;) But we can eat here when we come visit. It was crazy too because Sister Luebbert got her flight itinerary when we were together. Its becoming more real.. Ahhh anyways..

Monday night was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!! We actually found people home! Best.night.ever. We have had so many referrals lately to contact (blessed!) and its been hard to contact them but we were able to contact a few and get like 3 return apts!!!!!!! We visited with this girl named Savannah for a while. Her and her husband got sealed about 2-3 years ago but haven't been too active since. She opened up to us a ton and I am so excited to go back and work with them. You know when you just meet some people and you just connect? That's how it was. It was just so comfortable, like I know we were both sent here for them. I love it! That same night we got a call from a ward mission leader, bishop, and a member all with the same golden referral! We set an apt for the next day (now yesterday) and we were able to pick her up as a new investigator. We were on exchanges again so I wasn't there but Sister Calves says she is so amazing! Did I mention her name is Eve and she is 93 years old. She is living with her doctor and his wife. Haha I'm so excited to meet her.

Sarah is doing great! She is keeping all her commitments and loves everything. She just eats it up. Her mother is still not sure about it all but Sarah is continuing to push forward!

I just love this work. I love being able to see people change and being able to help people feel and understand the spirit.

Oh also something exciting- The Ogden temple is being dedicated this Sunday and we get to watch it! Sister Calves has never seen one so I'm excited for her. And it has been so long for me too.

Picture directory:
- Sister Calves knocking doors
- Sister Luebbert and I with Cocoa
- Good ol' polygamist doors that the sisters heart attacked

~Sister Allen
881 S River Rd.
St George, UT 84790

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday September 12, 2014

Hello my loved ones! How is it going??
Sarah is doing great although no longer on date for baptism for September 27th. Her mom doesn't feel that she is mature enough to make the decision yet. But Sarah has such great faith and isn't letting this get her down. She is continuing to meet with us, read the Book of Mormon and pray every day, and go to her ward every Sunday. And she loves it!!! She was used to going to other wards with her friends but we invited her to go to her own ward and she loved it. She said she loved no longer being a "visitor" and that she felt comfortable there in her ward although she doesn't really know any of the Young Women. I am just so excited for her and this journey that she is on. She will do great things in this life! Pray that her moms heart will continue to be softened and that she will see Sarah's dedication and testimony!
We had Zone Conference and MLC this week with Elder Don R. Clarke from the first quorum of the seventy and ah they were both so great! He is an amazing teacher. Extremely bold but loving. Where to even begin?? So Tuesday at the Zone Conference we talked alot about preparation, true conversion, and what "the work of salvation" is. It was amazing but after the conference I kinda felt chastised. I just realized I still have a lot to work on! People say that you start to get everything down at the end of your mission.. Well I am pretty close to the end and I don't think I got everything down. But I realize that is okay. That is how it should be. We should be learning new things every day and applying them every day. Once we feel we get something down then something else comes up to work on. Its a process but a great process because it causes us to change and repent and try harder to become more like Christ each day. I don't understand people that think we just need to accept Christ as our Savior and then we're saved. I would feel sad honestly. Elder Clarke kept saying "Happy always: Content never." I have felt content at some points in my life but I felt like things were lacking too. We either are increasing or decreasing in something. So I realized that its okay that some of the things he talked about I need to work on still. But I can say that each day I have done the best that I knew to be the best that day. At the beginning of my mission I tried my best every single day but today my best is more and so each day I need to give more. Does the make sense? The next day we had MLC, which is apx 20 missionaries including the STLs and ZLs, President and Sister Center, and Elder and Sister Clarke. Talk about scary and intense. But it was great! Elder Clarke talked alot about how we need to apply everything from the mission to our lives when we return home. We need to continue to set goals and make plans every week. We need to think everyday of "Who am I helping?" If we apply the things we learn from our mission and continue to seek out for those that we can help than our missions never end, which they shouldn't. Ah it was so great and it was just what I needed. I no longer have fears or feel like I'm going to throw up when I think about going home haha! I have allowed my mission to truly change me and that's not going to stop when I walk off the plane. My mission has changed my life and will continue to as I let it everyday.
I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have each and every day to testify of our Savior. We have ran into a few people this week that don't believe God loves them or knows them. It makes me so sad!!!! Because I know God is sooo aware of us, our situations, desires, struggles, everything! If you dont know this than I invite you to pray. Ask Him if hes there and if He cares. I know that we can all know for ourselves. Dont take my word for it.
Thank you all for supporting me through this journey! Love you! Hope you have a great week! My Pday next week will be Wednesday again!

Picture Directory:
- Sister Calves getting attacked by a dinosaur
- Last Pday at the Dinosaur Museum
- Hot Air Balloon early last Sunday morning :)
- We have fun at the Visitors Center (Sister Martin)
- More fun at the VC when its slow- Our new "angry baby" face

~Sister Allen
881 S River Rd
St George, UT 84790


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September 3, 2014- "Let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto Him continually." -Alma 34:27

Hiya, Hows it going??

Heads up this may be shorter than normal.

Our area has been pretty slow lately.. After we sent in numbers Sunday night we just felt so down. There is so much potential in our area but it's a matter of finding them and meeting with them! It seems like all our investigators have been out of town the past 2 weeks or just busy. So as we knelt down to plan Sunday night we pleaded with Heavenly Father that we could find a new investigator the next day. As soon as we say 'Amen' the phone goes off and we have a text from Sarah! I think I talked about Sarah maybe 1-2 months ago. Catch up: She had come into the Visitors Center with a member friend back in July watched the Restoration DVD and Gods Plan for his Family. She said she wanted to be baptized but wanted to wait til she was 18. Well we have been texting on and off since then trying to meet up. She has been super busy with vacations and now school and volleyball. (She is 16, senior in high school) Okay so in the text Sunday night she said she wanted to come talk to us while we are on shift at the Visitors Center. So she came in and right away she said that she knows she wants to be baptized but still wait til she is 18 because she is not sure of what her parents would say. We talked for a while with her and showed her the Mormon Message "Courage" and then she got a blessing from one of the senior elders. By the end she was in tears and just knew she wanted to be baptized now! Ah miracle! She is just so sweet and ready. She told us she was going to pray a lot and read the Book of Mormon and get back to us. Well she texted us the next day (now yesterday) and said she is going to talk to her mom so we set up a first official appointment. She isn't worried about her mom not allowing her to meet with us but she wants the support as well. And of course we would love to teach them as a family. So we will see :)

Random things from the week:
I went on 3 exchanges since last Pday. Its been crazy but I love it. I love learning from other sisters and being able to love them even more! 

The Visitors Center has been so slow but we have gotten 3 Asian buses the past week which is super rare! They are so nice and fun!

Last week for Pday we went geocaching. (Google it) It was so fun to do something different! And today we are going to Taco Bell and to the Dinosaur Museum. It's Sister Biery's bday tomorrow and she loves Dinos and Taco Bell so its perfect! I am really trying to live up my last Pdays on the mission. Time is flying!!!!!! Ahhh!

Next week we have Zone Conference and MLC (With Don R. Clarke, from the Seventy) so my Pday will be Friday next week and then will move back to Wednesday the following week.

Picture Directory:
- Sister Calves and I
- Fun at the VC with former comp, Sister Phagwah
- Saw Charlotte (one of my old investigators form Colorado City)
- Exchanging with the Kanab Sisters :)

PS: I know I don't have much time left but yall can still write me! :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 27, 2014

Hello familia y amigos!!!!!!! How is it going??

Wow seems like forever since I've been on here, ha its been a whole 9 days. I'm sure so many things have happened so we will see if I remember it all. I'm also kind of running out of time.. Whoops!

Okay we will start with my new companion, Seour Gaell-Morgan Calves from Bretagne, France! I love her so much! Oh my goodness, she is just the sweetest!!!! She is just so excited about everything. She is always happy and just wants to work. It's great :) 

We moved into a new apartment this week, or casita/guest house/mother-in-law/whatever you want to call it. Here in Southern Utah they call them casitas. Anyways, it is sooo nice! The family we live with, The Parrishs, own 10 of the McDonald's here in St.G so to say the least they are pretty well off. So we are spoiled. Did I mention our bathtub has jets?? 

Anyways, Eric got baptized on Saturday!!!!!!!!! Aw so excited!! He just makes me so happy! He changed so much from the first day I met him to his baptism date (7 weeks). His heart was so extremely softened. He went from only wanting facts and proof to going off the spirit and feelings he felt. He is such an example to me of following the promptings we receive and letting them changes us! Unfortunately he moved to another stake here in St.G so he will have the after baptism lessons from other sisters. But that's okay, he is where he needs to be and doing what he needs to do.

Things have been kinda slow lately with lessons. School started 2 weeks ago and ever since it has been slow. Which is weird because you think people would buckle down but they haven't quite yet. But we were able to get in and see Dale and Immi. We saw him last Sunday night, so my last when I was still with Sister Hokanson. At the end we go to give him a handshake and he pulls Sister Hokanson in for a hug but she didn't know what he was doing and so it ended up being this awkward side hug. Then he does the same to me and it ended up being like a "bro hug". As we are walking out he asked why Sister Hokansons hug was so weird and awkward and of course we explained to him that we can't hug males on our mission and he voice his opinion (like always haha) and talked about how weird that is. The next day he calls and I answer as Sister Hokanson is driving and he starts telling me how offended he was because she didn't properly hug him. He made some other weird and prideful comments and after we talked about it for 15 minutes we hang up. So when we go back to see him, now Sister Calves and I, we have to bro hug him. (Dont judge) but oh my gosh.. I have to say that was the weirdest experience of someone getting offended over. We taught him the Restoration the next time and he has lots of questions but still very open I feel... Anyways we will see with them. He has still gone to church every week since they moved here 2 months ago, except once. She has only come once because she likes the Baptist church but we will see.

Funny story: This week we went to one of our investigator families, the Arzates, and as we were talking to her on her porch this wasp flies up right behind me and the little boy freaks out. So the mom freaks out too and is like "come in, come in!" I"m trying to push Sister Calves in and telling her to go in and she says (in her cute accent) "Oh I know.." And she pulls out a Book of Mormon and hits it! Hahahahaha then it got up and started flying around again so we finally all run into the house. Afterwards we were talking about and I guess Sister Calves that we were telling the wasp to go 
in not her. Oh my gosh, it was so funny! #languagebarrierprobs

It flooded last night and it was so crazy! I also was on an exchange with one of my former copmanions, Sister Diaz! So fun!

Okay I'm sure there is more but I am out of time! Sorry, love you all! And have a great week!!!!!!!!!!

Picture directory:
- Transfer day craziness in the rain
- Sister Calves and I tracting
- Our landlord haha
- Driving haha self explanatory

~Sister Allen
881 S River Rd
St George, UT 84790

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014- "And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness." -2 Nephi 5:27

Hello people that I love!!!!! How's it going??

Mission life is crazy and oh so amazing!!!!!!! Today marks day 1 of my last transfer! I can not believe it but can at the same time I can. I have thought a lot lately of my mission and of all the experiences I have had! Oh okay I need to stop getting all sappy but this week was soo sooo great and this week will be too!

Last Friday Mary (from my last area-Bloomington) got baptized!!!!!!!!!!! YAY! I was able to go to the baptism service and it was so great. She is hilarious! She is older and so kinda loosing it but nonetheless she was ready and prepared for baptism! She has been welcomed into the ward so great and awesome fellowshippers as well. There is a picture of us below and of course her dog, Tinkerbell is in it. She has to bring that dog everywhere. Except surprisingly never brought it to church but needed to have her watch her be baptized. As Mary came up out of the font, she said "Did Tinkerbell see!?" Hahahaha oh my goodness, it was so great!

Ok next exciting news- Remember George and Bonnie from Fredonia ?? THEY ARE GETTING SEALED THIS THURSDAY IN MANTI! And I got permission to gooooooo! Our senior couple in our stake, the Hensleys, are being so kind to drive us up there. I'm so stinking stoked. And Sister Hollander and her companion will meet us there!

Oh (tangent) that takes me to companions.... Transfer calls: Sister Hokanson is going up to Manti with Sister Pene. I will be staying in Washington Fields and Sister Calves will be my new companion. I am sad to have Sister Hokanson go and so far away but excited for Sister Calves!!!!!! This will be the first time that I will be companions with a sister that I actually know pretty well. We have served in the Visitors Center with each other before. She is from Brittany, France and has the cutest little French accent ever. Oh my gosh she is just so cute I'm excited!!!!!!!!! When President told Sister Hokanson and I we both just screamed on the phone. Haha! Sister Hokansons first area was Fountain Green which is not too far from Manti. We even guessed it because Manti was going to need a new STL up there. She is excited to go up north and to a small town again. 

More exciting news- Eric is getting baptized this Saturday, August 23rd!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHH! Yes we have seen him multiple times this week but the first time we followed up and we asked if he had talked to his family about being baptized. He said "No.... but I still want to set a date." We said "Okay so when are you thinking?" There was a pause... So I said "Eric we know that you are ready now...." Then he cut me off and was like "Woowww I'm not ready right now. How about anytime after next Wednesday?" Hahahahaha Sister Hokanson and I were in shock. Apparently Eric thought I meant like that day? Haha who knows? So yes this Saturday he will be baptized! We have already seen the adversary come in since he picked a date but he is so strong and so ready!!!! I'm so stoked!!!!!!!! Ekkkahahaha!

Oh my birthday was this week and it was so great! Thanks for all the birthday emails, letters, and cards. I appreciate it! My birthday was as great as it could have been. It started out with our Sisters Training Meeting (VC sisters meeting every week) at 7:30AM at the Jacob Hamblin home where we got a tour from a senior couple, the Dabbs. So then we can tell more people at the VC about going there for tours. Then we went straight to Zone Conference which we had a few trainings on faith and miracles and then a testimony meeting. It was so fun, there was 4 zones there so a lot of missionaries and sso i got to see so many peopple I love on my birthday. Then we just went out in the area and did normal missionary work but it was great. Had dinner with one of WMLs, the Maclellans, and they are so funny I love them. Their sense of humor reminds me of my family.

Ahhh okay there is probably so much more that happened but I have to go. Love you all!

Picture directory:
- Marys baptism!
- Face masks :)
- Next few pictures are from Zone Conference :)

~Sister Allen
881 S River Rd
St George, UT 84790

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014

Hellllooooo, how is it going??

This week has been so eventful!!!!! And a week full of many emotions!

So this week I had my first MLC. It is a 6 hour long meeting with President and Sister Center and the other leaders in the mission. I was terrified for who knows why, I just get nervous. President at one point asked what I liked about a story in the scriptures and I just sat there because I honestly didn't know the story that well.. and so I told him I wasn't sure. I felt so stupid for not knowing this story better, because I know I've read it and even know what chapter it was in, but my mind was just blank. Anyways, I was called to repentance by the spirit because it was a huge slap in the face that I should know the scriptures more. So i'm working on it. My memory is just horrible but I have been writing more in my study journal so it should help me to remember more. Anyways, The trainings were really good though! One was on working with members and the other on the importance of the Book of Mormon in conversion. It was fantastic and always a good reminder of these things! We had to do part of the training the next day at Zone Meeting so I got to study these things even more. It was great! I'm grateful for this transfer because it has pushed me so much to be better.

We went on exchanges this week with the Kaibab sisters! And I was able to go and stay in Kanab!!!!!!! Ah it was amazing! Like I didn't realize how much I needed it, but it was so sooo good! I love Sister Davis and it was our second exchange so we were just alot more comfortable with each other this time around. But she is a fantastic sister! We got there at like 4pm and had a lesson than dinner with one of the Bishops there! It was so good to see him and his family and catch up. Then one of my RC lives across the street so we got to go see them- Sue and Jim! Ah it was amazing to see them and see how far they have come since I left 8 months ago! Then we had another lesson with someone I didn't know but then we went and visited the Robinsons!!!!!!!!! Ah it was just amazing! It was so good to see these people that are so dear to me. I didn't realize it until I got there how hard it has been for me with these last 2 transfers. Last transfer Sister Garcia and I white washed and then I was transferred to Washington Fields. Its been hard to start over 2 transfers in a row. Because you really cant get too close to people in that short time and you don't get to see people progress as much. But going to Kaibab and seeing these people really helped me. It brought back so much to my remembrance that was really good. And to see as well how much I have changed since I have been there. It is hard sometimes to see if we have changed just day by day but going there and thinking of all the times there just got me thinking alot. Anyways, I'm just rambling now but it was amazing! Kaibab will forever be my home :)

But I am loving Washington Fields though! We have transfer calls this Saturday and I am really hoping that I will stay, I don't want to start over for my last transfer, but of course whatever happens is meant to happen! God knows best right!

So we had a fantastic lesson last night with Eric! Oh my goodness he is so close to baptism!!!!!!!!!!! Bishop Thibault and his son (who just returned home from his mission last week) joined us as well. We taught tithing and fasting, which by the way he has already fasted 3 times!!!!! WHAT who does that before we have even taught about it!? But he does have a fantastic fellowshipper and just finished reading the Gospel Principles book so it doesn't surprise me coming from him! It was so funny, Bishops son would start to say "Well we invite you to..." and then he would be like oh my gosh I cant do this I'm not the missionary! hahahaha it was so funny! We told him to continue though because they were great commitments! Anyways, Bishop asked him if he had set a baptism date and then just opened it all up, it was perfect. Pretty much long story short, Eric wants to get baptized but wanted to know how many lessons were left. We told him 2 and then he said he will talk to his family (who are not too crazy about the church) and next lesson we will set a date. Ahh woohooooo we were freaking out! So ecstatic for him!!!!!!

We also picked up 3 new investigators this week!!!! The Arzate family! They are so cute! We have just met with them once so far so more details later on them.

I am running out of time as always, but know that I love you all! I hope you all have a great week!!!!!!!!!!!!

Picture directory:
- Sister Hokanson, Sister Vergara, and I at MLC
- Sister Leota and I at the VC
- Our sisters at Zone Meeting

~Sister Allen
881 S River Rd
St George, UT 84790