Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014

Hello, How's it going??

Well this week was slow with lessons... Lots of cancellations but still was really good!

We had a baptism Saturday! Her name is Rhaynee. Sister Diaz and her last companion were already teaching her and had her on date so by the time I came it was just figuring out the baptism information. She is 10 years old, super shy, and super cute. Her parents are less-active and she has a 15 year old brother, Bryson, that hasn't been baptized yet. They all came to sacrament meeting for her confirmation which was awesome!!!! Tami, the mother, was super touched. Hopefully we will be able to work with them and Bryson more!

We taught Gracie the Restoration and it went really well. She said she felt good and of course we established that was the spirit! Then our next appointment they weren't home :( But she did come to Sacrament meeting which is so great! We are back on track with our next appointment and they said they will definitely be there this time. Fingers crossed.

Darwin and Mary had to go up to Provo for something so we haven't started the "Stop Smoking" Program with them yet but we did stop by last night and they already switched over to vapor cigarettes which is apparently better for you so we'll see. I just feel so uplifted when I go over there. Darwin is always, always testifying of Christ and his faith in Him. So excited for them and their adventure to become temple worthy. One day we will be able to join them in the temple and I can not wait!

This weekend we had dinner with a member family and it was probably one of the most humbling experiences. It was in the smallest, most run down trailer and you could tell that they had sacrificed to feed us. I wanted to cry for them. I didn't feel worthy enough to be in this situation. They were the cutest, happiest couple too. He played his guitar for us and some of his very own songs he had written. One was entitled "The Lazy Home teacher song". But cool fact- He has been an extra in over 5 Mormon videos.. Including Finding Faith in Christ, Ephraim's Rescue, and 17 Miracles.

Speaking of the guitar....Yall never thought I could be musical did ya? Well I'm probably still not. But I have taught myself how to play a few hymns on the piano. The right hand only but hey it's progress. I even played 'Be Still My Soul' in our District meeting. Yes, you read that right I played the piano in our district meeting. It wasn't the best, but I'll work on it :) Also I can play 'Come Follow Me' on the Ukulele and working on perfecting it. Maybe I'll take a video one of these days... Haha or maybe not.

This week was Spring Break here in Sanpete County which meant that PJ (8) and Kash (6) were home all week. (The family we live with) They would run downstairs every time they would here us come home and shoot us with Nerf guns or ask if we could go dirt biking with them or paintballing. Haha one night after planning we even got convinced to play "Chubby Bunny" with them. It was a fun week and made me feel like an aunt again. Now if only I could hold their sweet little baby that they are going to have tomorrow! Yep, Ricci is getting induced tomorrow and it's a surprise of what gender it will be so the whole town has been guessing. Gotta love the small towns!

It snowed this week! Yep, I'm freezing but then when it has gotten 60 degrees I feel like I'm melting in the car. I'm gonna die in Mesa.

The General Womens Meeting was this last Saturday and oh my goodness it was amazing!!!!!! I'm so upset, I left my notes at home but I feel super blessed to be a women. Haha we are pretty awesome and taking over, at least as missionaries. I have had a question on my mind for quite some time, something that has really been bothering me and I was able to receive peace about it during the Conference. I love Conference and that we can hear from these disciples of Christ and truly receive answers to our questions and prayers. I can not wait for General Conference this weekend. Click here to read more about the blessings of Conference and make sure you all watch it!!!!!! We are so blessed to have Prophets and Apostles of God to speak to us! 

PS: I got my hair highlighted this morning. Yep, I'm going blonde again. I have missed it for too long. I took lots of pictures this week but the blonde pictures will have to wait til next week! ;)

Picture Directory:
- The kids drew me on the driveway
- Rhaynee and her family at her baptism
- Sister Diaz in front of the "Great Gatsby" house
- Chubby Bunny
-Sister Diaz and I

LOVE YOU ALL! Hope you're doing good!

~Sister Allen
107 S 1470 E STE 304
St George, UT 84790

Monday, March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014- "Quiet: God at Work"

Hi, How's it going??

This week has been crazy.. It's been kind of a rough week really, but I continue to look for the tender mercies the Lord gives us every single day. And I am able to find those tender mercies every single day.

Here is a quote I found in the ensign this morning that I absolutely love.
"Sometimes we will face things for which there is no earthly explanation. In those moments we need to erect a sign that reads 'Quiet: God at Work.' Meanwhile, hold on, Child of God. Keep believing. Don't quit. Don't give up. Let God do His work in you. The greatest tragedy is to miss what God wants to teach us through our troubles."

Announcement: The Lord loves us all.
I read my patriarchal blessing this morning and it amazes me the things that stood out to me that I've never really paid attention to before. I saw a lot of different things in there that gives me strength. I was told quite a few times how much our Heavenly Father loves me. Well you're probably thinking 'Of course- He loves us all'. It was a great reminder nonetheless. Sometimes I forget that. Then I sign online today to find a simple email from my Mission President which said "I am really grateful for you." I really have no idea where that came from but it's just what I needed. Sometimes I feel like I'm not doing enough. I get down on myself because of the lack of progression in our area. I just have to remember everyone has their agency, I can't make people accept the gospel or have the desire to repent and change. I continue to push forward, serving Him in righteousness and keeping His commandments and then I see the tender mercies of the Lord.

We did get 1 new investigator this week. Her name is Grace. She is 10 years old and just moved in with her Grandma Becky, who has 3 kids at home still. Grace has had a rough upbringing being moved to and from foster homes but she should be permanently with Becky now. You wouldn't know she has had a rough life though she is a super quirky and funny girl. We are going to have our first official lesson this Wednesday. YAY!

The week before I got here they had stake conference and the percentage of how many members actually went is unbelievable. Only 16% showed up to the Saturday night adult session and on Sunday only 31%. So many people here have the blessings of the gospel and don't take it for its full advantage. So we are working with tons of less actives and there lots of updates on less actives this week.

Last week I mentioned about Scott and his mom Colleen. Well we had an appointment to go help her plant her tulips and she had her husband call us and cancel the day of :( Well the next day we were walking and contacting a few homes and Scott comes running up and tells us to just show up in our jeans ready to plant later that day. So we did, of course. Haha. At first she said 'No it's okay.' But after a little convincing and plus we were already in our jeans she said yes! It was so good too! (Besides when Sister Diaz threw a worm at me and it landed on my hand!) Colleen opened up a ton! This town is tough for new comers to come in to especially when you are told if you are not an active Mormon you won't fit it. Her and her family have just been here about 2 years I believe. But she is a really strong lady. We are going to start the 'Stop Smoking Program' we have as missionaries this week hopefully. Why did no one tell me about this program before!? I could have helped so many people quite. I have heard tons of miracles about it! So I am excited! We are also starting another LA couple, Darwin and Mary, on the program this week.

There is another LA family we have been working with, Tyler and Lacey, and they have come to church the past 2 weeks!!!!!! YAY! Tyler even met with the Bishop and if they continue to come to church and become activated he will be able to baptize their oldest daughter in a few months.

We also met a 15 year old LA girl named, Mercedes out in Wales. Life is tough for high schoolers here in SanPete County. There is so much bullying that goes on and it just kills me. She has dropped out of school and now doing online because of it. And that's not the first story we have had heard like that. Luckily, she says she is doing a whole lot better now. Anyways, we told her to look up some Mormonchannel videos and we are going to go back to see what she thinks because we couldn't go inside because she is underage.
Here are the links for them: Bullying- Stop it and Our True Identity.

We also went "home teaching" yesterday with a member to a LA couple, the Rancks. We felt impressed to show the Restoration DVD. Not really sure why or what way to go with it but we did. After the movie Sister Rancks just had tears in her eyes and expressed how she knew she needed to change and to be a better example for their son. Who he is super active, he is 14 years old and just a little Joseph Smith. He bore his testimony to his parents and it was so beautiful. I tell ya, the youth these days continue to amaze me!!!

Moroni is stretching me a lot. We have taught some sort of class every week since I've been here. We taught Gospel Doctrine and a 12/13 year old class yesterday. It's tough but ends up being really good and draws me closer to our Heavenly Father and makes me learn to trust him more.

Well sorry, I thought this weeks email would be short but turns it... It's not.

Know that you are loved by me, and by our Heavenly Father even more.

~Sister Allen
107 S 1470 E STE 304
St George, UT 84790

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hello, How's it going?

Hmm Lets see if my mind will focus for a second...

This week was good, as always. Work is continuing to be slow with non-members but blowing up with less actives.

The youth these days are the greatest. I am totally inspired by them. 1- There was a Family History Fair at our stake center on Saturday and we popped in to some of the youth classes for a little bit. It got me so pumped to do more family history to take names to the temple. So mom, you are helping me when I get back. 2- This last week we got a call from a "Scott" he wanted us to come over on Sunday. We set an apt over the phone but had no idea who it was until we drove by his house later. We had randomly knocked on their door last week but no parents were home. So we went over yesterday for our "appointment". They just happened to be outside doing yard work. Scott said "hi" and then walked away. We were so confused but started talking to his mom, Colleen. We got to know her and found out they are a semi-active family and she is the most in-active. And Scott is the one that is always trying to get the whole family to church. We set an appointment to come back to help plant tulips and also start her on the "stop smoking program". She then said sometimes Scott will call the missionaries without her knowing. Yep, that's what happened this time too. Sneaky kid.

Update on Lucille- Well she came to the Relief Society activity this week! YAY! She even signed up to feed us the next day. Unfortunately she cancelled and was feeling too overwhelmed. We stopped by that day and she seemed okay but than started to get light headed and black out. We hurried and helped her to the couch and all was well. She is now out of town but hopefully we can meet up with her this week.

We had Zone Conference this week in Richfield! We were able to drive down there the night before because it is quite a ways away. So we got to stay with the sisters there. It was so fun! Zone Conference was weird with so many elders and not as many sisters. Way different than being in the St George area. But the training was super good and I'm excited to put it into practice.

Let me tell you about one of my favorite families- Cherrie, Justice, Kiara, and Ryker! They are a semi-active family. The kids were more so than the mom but she has been coming back because she knows she needs to be prepared spiritually when Justice goes on his mission. (In 3 years haha) But we have lessons with them about twice a week and they are just awesome. She is sooo motivated to get active and everyone else around her active. She has just turned in to the greatest missionary. This week she invited us over to their house for Kiara and Rykers birthdays (12 and 4) We watched the Testaments and ate pizza. What better way to spend your birthday then with the missionaries watching The Testaments? Haha I love their family.

Ok funny story! So the family we live with are about to have a baby in a few weeks. So they got the baby monitor out to prepare. One night when we came home we saw the 2 boys PJ (8) and Kash (6) playing with it. After planning we go into our bedroom and see it sitting there on my night stand facing my bed. Hahaha so I go to unplug it and PJ comes running in insisting I leave it. So we did. We get ready for bed and came up with a plan to just talk about ridiculous things that "happened" that day. So I just tilted it up so it was facing the sealing so they couldn't see us but just hear us. We talked all about our monkey and moose we saw that day. (and ate haha) Oh and our paint balling activity with the Relief Society President and of course had to mention when we met President Monson and how he got us tickets to conference. The next morning they came running downstairs asking us all these questions. It was so great! When their parents found out they made breakfast for us and made the kids apologize. It was pretty good. But I've been raised with 4 brothers. What else can you expect form them? Haha I love their family.

Well that's all for now. Oh and it snowed this week. What!? Yep, but it didn't really stick though but it is freezing!!!

Love you all! Don't forget about me! Just 6.5 months left!

~Sister Allen
107 S 1470 E STE 304
St George, UT 84790

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014- Home of the turkeys!

Hello, How's it going??

So last Tuesday morning I headed up north on the transfer van- a van with about 11 missionaries. I always thought it would be fun to go on the transfer van, it was kinda anticlimactic but it was fun though because Sister Hollander (my daughter from Kaibab) was on the van too! So we got to catch up lots and got to hear about all the progress of those we taught together in Kaibab. I also got to see 2 of my favorite sisters on the way up- Sister Pene in Richfield and Sister Luebbert in Beaver. And we have Zone Conference this week so I will get to see them again woohoo!

Ok, Did you know that 90% of the turkeys for Thanksgiving come from Moroni, Utah? Yep, pretty cool huh. Except the fact that you can smell them everyday. But I think I've already gotten used to the smell.. I am now a Moronian or Sanpeteian, that's the county we are in.

We cover 4 different towns here. Moroni, Fountain Green, Wales, and Chester. So there are 5 wards, 1 stake and we cover it all. Reminds me of good ol, Kaibab except even smaller haha. About 1 month ago we had interviews with President and Sister Center (love them!!) President was asking what areas I had served in and I mentioned that I loved the small towns in the Kaibab stake. He said "You could have gone to a lot smaller town than Kanab." Haha I never thought I actually would but I am excited to be outbound again and just really focus on these people that I get to serve.

We are about 20 minutes from the Manti temple which means I will get to go there for our temple trip next month!!!!! Eeee so excited!

The people I have met so far are "mostly kind". Yesterday was testimony meeting and a girl gets up and says she likes her neighbors because they are "mostly kind." Hahaha everyone was laughing. It was good. But no I'm just kidding, they are amazing! 2 of the Relief Society Presidents have told us that we can just walk into their home at anytime and eat whatever we want or if we have want a ride to get ice cream or McDonalds they will take us. People are more than generous here!

We live in a basement of some members, Joe and Ricki, who are just awesome. They are a young couple with the 3 cutest kids ever. And she is due with another in less than 1 month now. The kids love hunting so we get along. Not that I know anything about hunting but I get to brag about my dad and brothers a bit. My first day here when I met PJ (8) he comes riding up on a four wheeler yelling "I caught a skunk!" Haha oh just wait, I am in a red neck town. If you look at some of my pictures below you will get it.

I'm pretty sure everyone here is either a "Christensen" or a "Cook" which makes it super confusing but I guess you got a 50/50 chance of getting it right. It is always hard at first to figure everything out and who is who but I will catch one. You wouldn't think a small town would be so confusing.

The work seems to have been a little slow around here lately with non-members but we are teaching a lot of in-actives. I was kinda bummed when I found out that we do a lot of in-active work. In the past when I have tried to reactivate members it just has been super hard. In-actives all seem to be super unmotivated and lazy! But there is a lot here that are wanting to come back to church and asking us to teach them the lessons again. I specifically want to talk about one we met last night, Lucille.

Have you ever known that you were in the exact place at an exact time that God wanted/needed you to be. That was us last night and probably one of the highlights of my mission so far. We decided to go stop by Larry and Lucille, who have been in-active about 15 years. But just lived here in Moroni 5/6 years. Right as we walked in we were welcomed with big smiles and the sweetest lady ever, Lucille! Turns out they haven't gone to church more than 2 or 3 times since they have lived here but Lucille went that day! We had no idea she had gone, no idea who she even was. She had even talked to the bishop yesterday about meeting with us. She has really bad anxiety problems but decided she needs to overcome it so her and Larry can be sealed. That is her goal right now. She was raised in the church but really doesn't remember a lot. She asked us if we would be willing to teach her the lessons! Uh YES! Anyways, I'll make this shorter. But we sat for a while and really got to know her, like her whole life story. She told us she felt completely comfortable with us and now claims us as part of her family. My heart just melted! It was just amazing to testify that God knows her and is completely aware of her. He knew that we needed to stop by last night because today her anxiety might have kicked up again and she might not have called us. We have made all these plans for lessons, cleaning her home, and even baking cookies with her. She is just the sweetest. She has the real intent to come back to the gospel and to enter in the temple to be with her family for eternity!

I hope you all now that God is aware of you also. He knows our needs, wants, desires and will do anything to make us happy. That's what this gospel is for- to make us happy. I know that as we are continually trying every single day to come closer to our Heavenly Father that He will bless us with what we need.

Here is an amazing video on that shows this as well. Please watch it :)

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

~Sister Allen

You can still send things to my mission office.

They will forward everything to me.

107 S 1470 E STE 304
St George, UT 84790

Sister Allan has just arrived in our area, and we can already tell what an asset she will be in our little community. Sister Diaz has already been such a blessing to us and is doing such a wonderful job of taking the reigns, so to speak. We hope they both stay for a long time! They both have such a happy disposition and are sure and steady in their testimonies which is easily felt by those whom they come in contact. We had the privilege to be taught a lesson by them about the Restoration and and reflect on our feelings about different aspects of it. The Spirit was so strong as we contemplated things like the Godhead and their roles, Joseph (the boy praying in the sacred grove and the prophet), the gifts of the Book of Mormon and the Gospel. Our children even opened up to them so I know they have been given spiritual gifts that reach into others’ hearts. We love these Sisters and really appreciate their efforts in helping us as members fulfill our duty to share these sweet messages with those around us!

Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful Daughters with us – although we are in Utah, we actually face unique challenges in keeping Gospel standards and commandments here, especially in our smaller communities. Progression in this valley will and has happened because of the efforts of great missionaries like Sister Diaz and Allen. We are so happy to have their wonderful influence among us!
Have a super-duper day!
Love, the Stuart Smith Family

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014- Moroni Bound

Hello, How's it going?

So sad news, I forgot my old planner at our apartment so I don't even know what happened this last week... Life as a missionary.. Every day runs in to each other!

But exciting news, Pat is now a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! It was such an amazing baptism! Like literally perfect. It should have been on "The District". There was so much member support and the spirit was so strong. His kids kept saying "Daddy's getting baptized!" Everyone was just so happy! Then Sunday was his confirmation and also fast and testimony meeting. Him and his wife, Megan, both bore their testimonies! Oh my gosh! The BEST thing ever! I'm sure everyone in that room had tears in their eyes. I can not wait for the day when we can all meet in the temple again for their sealing! Agh, I love this gospel.

Transfer call: I am going outbound again! Ya its crazy ans pretty rare but I am excited! I know it was truly inspired. So I am going to a town named Moroni. Yep, if you didn't know that I was in Utah.. You know now. Haha I love it. So Moroni is about 3 and a half hours from St George.. It almost reaches our mission border. Which also means I will also be only 1 hour south of Provo/Orem. Yep, insane! But I am really excited for this new adventure. Oh and my companions name is Sister Diaz. She is a full-proselyting sister and we actually came out together but have never served around each other. Oh and Sister Phagwah will be staying here in Washington East and Sister Archambault will be going to a different area here in St George. I'm sad to leave them and the Visitors Center and just the headquarters of our mission but I am excited and ready for this new adventure!!!!!!!

Well I am so scatter brained and that pretty much is my week summed up. I'm sure I will have lots of exciting things next week!

Picture explanations:
Last Pday at Dixie Rock
Pat and his family and us missionaries at his baptism :)
James (our eternigator) wrote a poem for me.. Ah I'm gonna miss him!

Love you all!

~Sister Allen
107 S 1470 E STE 304
St George, UT 84790

 Oh and a random picture at the Visitors Center and a typical truck in Utah.. Haha love it!