Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pictures of Sister Allen

Christina Garff and I have become friends on Facebook. She had the sister over for dinner and took this picture. I do this kind of thing all the time for missionaries in here in England. It is so fun when someone does it for me. I love it. 
 My sister was in Manti and ran in to Sister Allen. How fun is that? So jealous. 

April 29, 2014- It's a great time to be a missionary

Hello, how's it going??

Today is a good day! We started our day with a session in the beautiful Manti temple. I remember going and doing baptisms for the dead there like 7 years ago and I have just been in love with that temple since. Today just increased my love for the Manti Temple! Then on our way here to do emails, we checked the mail and lo and behold I had 2 letters. One from my long lost Norwegian missionary, Soster Harrison and one from a friend out in Colorado City, Charlotte! Then I get online to find out that one of my investigators from Kanab (Sue/Pam;) is getting baptized this Saturday!!!!!!!!!! I can not even begin to express how happy I am. Sister Hollander and I first started teaching her in November!!!!!!! And oh she was a stubborn one but we both knew she would come around! 
Also something I keep forgetting to mention is the names of those people that I once taught that have now been baptized!!!!!!!!!!!! Remember when I was a little greenie last summer and I taught Leah, Gilberto, and Tiana? Well Tiana got baptized last month!!!!! Sad thing is that apparently they were at the Visitors Center the day I got transferred up here but I obviously missed them. Ok now do you remember from my last area in Washington city- Lisa and her 2 sons, Brent and Kyle? They all got baptized last month too! Also, Kyara from my last area got baptized in March also. It's so hard to leave an area and those investigators and people that you love but it is the greatest to hear that they continued meeting with the missionaries and finally entered the waters of baptism!!!

Speaking of the waters of baptism, Marcuan is scheduled for baptism this Saturday, the 3rd!!!!!! Please please pray for him. It's been a struggle with his dad so he can take all the prayers!!!!! We have hopes it will go through this time, as this is his 4th baptism date! 

Tyler and Lacey is a couple that we have been working with that are freshly activated and Tyler is going to baptize their oldest daughter, Chanley, this weekend too! We are so excited that they have made this step as a family. We love them so much. The past few times we have gone there the kids are always trying to sneak out and want to be missionaries with us! If only we could bring the kids along, I'm sure we would get into more houses!

Saturday was a good day! There was a womens conference for our stake and Janice Kapp Perry and her husband came and talked with us. Cool thing is that almost exactly 1 year ago, last Mothers Day in the MTC she came and spoke to us in Relief Society and we were the very first ones to sing her new song "The Sisters of Zion" They now sing that every Sunday in the MTC. Anyways, we got to sing it again. Janice is such a hoot too, oh man she was making jokes like every other second. But here are some really cool quotes I'm stealing from her "Feeling the fear but doing it anyway" "Pray every morning to find someone to serve" "To love another is to see the face of God" She talked a lot about getting out of our comfort zones and developing new talents. Did you know she didn't start writing songs til she was in her 40s!? Ya and I thought I was too old to develop a new talent. So looks like I'm really gonna crack down on practicing the piano. Ya... because I have so much time haha maybe someday...

After the womens conference we went to Lindas our in Chester to help her paint and restain her cabinets. It was so fun! It seems like in every area there is 1 certain kind of service that people have you do... St George- Well no one let us do service there haha. Kaibab- Was pulling weeds. Oh we pulled weeds out there like no other. Moroni- Is cleaning, but luckily we got to paint. my whole mission I have wanted to paint! So I finally got the opportunity too. Have I mentioned Linda and how much I love her and her little family?? She is recently active and we are working on her husband, Cody still, and they have the 2 cutest little girls ever!

I love that I am surrounded by children up here. It seems like they are just everywhere!!!! They all love taking pictures on our cameras and they all also love wearing our name tags. Pictures of that below! :) They make me feel at home. Kids have such a sweet spirit and I just thrive off of them.

Maria is doing amazing! We had a few lessons with her this week and she even committed to come to church! Unfortunately, she wasn't feeling too well that morning so didn't come. But she has lots of sincere questions and is super open. Now if we could just get her to understand the difference between us and Catholics haha. Working on it..

Oh some hilarious, different take on God... One of our investigators.. (name shall be withheld) said she thought God has no butt! Hahahaha she said "If he is around us all the time I think he is just a giant head and has no butt." Hahaha so we had to clarify we are made after the image of God so he definitely has a butt! Hahahaha it was a good laugh.

Just in case you are having hard time watch this Mormon Message.

Picture Directory:
- It had been super windy this whole last week.
- Little ninos with our name tags
- Painting with Linda
- Rocks for sale

Well love you all, have a great week!

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

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014- 1 year of serving the Lord! :0

Hello, How is it going??

I hope you all had a great Easter and remembered the true meaning of why we celebrate Easter. I know that as I have thought of why we celebrate Easter my testimony has really gotten stronger of our Savior and his atonement. I've realized that everything we have and everything we can become is because of Him. Without Him sacrificing Himself for us what would we have? We would have nothing. There would be no point to this life or to the next because we wouldn't be able to live with Him or our families again. Think about it. What do you have because of Him?

Last Pday we colored some Easter eggs with Ricci, Kash, and Madelaina. It was fun, I hadn't done that in so long! Our Easter day was really good! While we were getting ready in the morning Ricci called us up and we got to hide some Easter eggs for the kids. It was so fun to watch them get so excited. They even got Sister Diaz and I Easter baskets filled with candy, a necklace, and a scripture bookmark thing. They are the best, I love living with them!! Church was amazing, with some really good talks on of course Easter. After church we had an Easter lunch with Joe and Ricci and then an Easter dinner later with the Morleys and their whole family. They kept apologizing for how crazy it was but it made it feel like home to me :)

Yesterday we also went and visited with Maria again. She got surgery on Thursday and got home Saturday evening. Can I just say our Relief Society is awesome! They have lined up dinners for her this week! Maria I think is totally prepared.. Everything we have talked about so far is making sense to her. She really wants to go to church but not sure how long it will take her to recover from her surgery. When we told her we had to get going she was so sad and asked where we had to go.. So sweet, I love her!

So there is a Spanish branch in Ephraim where all the Hispanics from our area go to church. Well they just closed the branch down so they will be coming back into our wards! Have I mentioned that 50% of Moroni is Hispanic and most of them do not speak English. Well our mission president said we can take extra study time every day to learn Spanish.. So you can now call me Hermana Allen. Has a nice ring to it, right?

This week was really good with Marcuan, one of our investigators who was supposed to get baptized last month but got postponed til Mary 3rd. Well he is typical 9 year old boy, been hard for him to really get into the lessons but we found what works- Mormon messages. We focused a lot on the Book of Mormon this week and showed him this Mormon message on a man and his testimony of the Book of Mormon. He loved it! The next time we went back his mom was saying after we left that night he just kept watching Mormon messages and finally he told his mom "I feel weird.... I feel good!" She then told him that was the spirit and then they continued to watch them for a while. His mom, Ashley is less active so it's been really good for her too. We have also been doing lessons with just her in the day when the kids are at school. We have focused a lot on self worth and set some goals with her. We love their family too.

Have I talked about Jenn before? Not sure but she is one of our investigators who is engaged to a LA member. She is awesome and so so golden. She goes to church every Sunday and has the most awesomest fellowshippers- Joe and Ricci of course. Joe even got her tickets to Conference so she went to a session of that with some of James (her fiances) sisters. The elders that were here before us kinda lost some trust with her so we have been working on gaining that again. But just last week she had us over for dinner and said she is sick of being wishy washy. She loves going to church but she wants to make it more part of her life. Her family lives in Texas and asks her lots of questions about the church that she doesn't understand either. So we are starting the lessons tonight and we are all so excited! She would've gone through with the lessons I think earlier but she knows she cant get baptized til her and James get married and there is some financial issues there. But things are looking up and I think it is all coming together :)

We heard this great analogy this week: Going to church is kinda like a backflip. You have to be fully committed. If you lose sight of where you're going you're just going to land on your head.

Soooo today marks my 365th day of being a full time missionary! Yep the time is flying and who knows where! (Freaking me out!!!) Sister Diaz will hit her 1 year mark next week so we have decided to celebrate by doing a temple session so we have switched our Pday to Tuesday next week so be aware when I don't reply Monday. It will probably also be later in the day Tuesday that we get online.

Well love you all, and hope you're doing great!!

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

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014 Staying another transfer

Hello, How's it going??

Transfer calls: I'm staying in Moroni with Sister Diaz again :) We are both super happy. I just can't believe I've already been here a whole transfer. It has flown by, but at the same time I feel like I've known her and everyone forever. Either way I am glad I get to stay.

I've realized member missionary work is super hard here in a small town. Some members here refer to everywhere else besides Utah "the mission field". They often think there is no work and that people will never change. Drives me insane, because you truly don't understand the power of the atonement if you think that. So we are working on truly converting the members here and teaching them the lessons too :) Every dinner appointment we have (which is 5 nights a week, I know we are spoiled) we teach the Restoration afterwards. It's been working out good!

"Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." Ok go re-read the last 4 words because that is the tricky part. We invite others to come unto Christ and endure to the end just as much as we do prepare them for baptism and help them receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. We don't just baptize people, we bring others to Christ continually. Less active work is missionary work and just as rewarding.

So Darwin and Mary have now been smoke free for 10 days!!!!!!!!!!! :) We did the stop smoking program with them and it worked! Hallelujah! We celebrated their 1 week Friday with brownies, popcorn, and Finding Faith in Christ. Gotta love this missionary life. Really though I love this couple so much! They have been less active for years and are now back to activation and working towards the temple. On Friday we also talked about the day when we can all enter the temple together. It's the greatest feeling knowing you have helped someone along that path. (The first picture down below is of me with them, and Grandma Wanda)

A huge reason why I'm glad neither of us left is because of Lucille. She is the one I've mentioned before that has major anxiety and really bad migraines so she doesn't get out much. She opened up to us even more and although we can't set up return appointments because she doesn't know when she will feel well enough we decided to just stop in randomly and see if she would want to go for a walk. She needs to get out and we figured that would be a good way to work her into going out more. Our mission president wants us to work with the pamphlets for all the lessons so we figured we could get the lessons in that way while we walk :) I have truly felt like she was one of the major reasons why I come here and am staying here another transfer. She wanted to make sure we both said in our emails today that she loved us the minute we walked in that door the first time. She felt comfort and knew that we would be the ones to help her and her husband get to the temple. She calls us family, and it's true. We are all part of one big family and once again, I can't wait to enter the temple when her and Larry can get sealed! :)

Here are some of my favorite quotes from this past week:
"Maybe I'll come back as a bird and poop on everyone. Hahaha" Darwin- talking about reincarnation
"Sometimes we'd get hungry and have to eat one there." Betty- talking about working at the Turkey Plant here
But then there those spiritual ones you just love:
"We can have our own sacred grove." -a comment made in Relief Society yesterday
"When I get up here I don't feel like just a child.. I feel like a child of God." -11 year old girl bearing her testimony
"When I saw my little sister get baptized I was just surprised.. It was like the Wizard of Oz- watching her follow the yellow brick road." -12 year old boy bearing his testimony

Picture directory:
- Only 104 miles from Salt Lake :0
- Found a "singles" sign.. Looks like S Diaz is looking for one. But I'm more than happy being in a relationship with the Lord ;) PS Don't mind my nun outfit and bun remember I am in a relationship with the Lord.. oh and it was weekly planning day!
- It was Kash's (7) birthday this week so we decorated his door. Best live in missionaries ever :)
- Fountain Green sign (one of the towns we cover)

LOVE YOU ALL! Hope you have a great week and Easter! Click here for an Easter Video!

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

Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014 - The Superbowl of Missionaries

Hello, How's it going??
Did you know I am now in love with lambs? No dad not eating them.. just looking at them. They are the cutest ever! We found one tracting this week and of course we had to attempt to get a pic with it! 

Ok first off before I forget because I forgot last week- 2 of our recently activated sisters have been called as Ward missionaries!!!!! Cherrie and Amber and ohhh they are just so excited and so pumped to hasten the work. They have already gone and met with some of the less actives our WML has assigned them too. Amber had an awesome experience where she was trying to contact this couple but could not find them home or get a hold of them. Well yesterday Amber and her husband went to a baby blessing and she was able to meet the couple there. They were able to talk for a while and now Amber has her foot in that door in a less stalkerish way AKA awkward missionary way. It's true what Elder Ballard say.. We do always followup and are very persistent. You just learn it doesn't matter how awkward you are as a missionary. It's just what we do ;)

Sister Diaz and I were able to reach Standards of Excellence this week!!!!!!!!!! With over 20 lessons, 75% members present at our lessons, 3 on date, 4 new investigators, and over 7 at church/watching conference! It was a good week.. Lets see what I can remember... Time is just flying!

Fun fact- I did a LA ladys dishes for 2.5 hours straight. Don't ask me how she had so much. But it was good! Afterwards she asked if we could do the lessons with her. Service opens peoples hearts and am so glad people are willing to let us serve them. (Mosiah 2:17)

We went on splits with our STLs Thursday-Friday. I was stressing like always but it was actually really really good! Sister Rodriguez joined me here in Moroni and Sister Diaz was with Sister Moyano in Wales. 

Sister Diaz had the car so Sister Rodriguez and I were on foot. Sister Diaz accidentally dropped us off at the wrong house but we figured we would knock it anyway. Which is where we got new investigator #1-Maritssa. She said she had gone ot our church when she was 5 but didn't remember much. Her mom started going to the catholic church shortly after then so she claims that as her church now. She really doesn't know much of what they believe though. She let us in and we shared the message of the Restoration. The spirit was so strong. We committed her to pray about what we talked about and set a return appointment. :) 

We then go to the house next door thinking it was going to be the family we were looking for in the first place. This is where we found new investigator #2- Maria. She let us in right away (never happens) and we taught the Restoration as well. Unfortunately a little of the lesson ended up being in Spanish but I could catch up a little. English is Marias second language so we will see how this goes. Gift of tongues maybe? I would love to learn Spanish. Have I mentioned that 50% of Moroni is Hispanic? We are praying President will call us to take language study time to learn Spanish. PS Transfer calls this weekend. So maybe he will just call Spanish speakers in here :(
Sister Diaz also found new investigator #3- Heather, while they were in Wales. It was a good day and exchange to say the least! Miracles are happening here in the Moroni Stake! :)

We put Grace on date this week for April 26th!!!!! She is catching on really fast but unfortunately she struggles with remembering to pray.. but she has been reading the Book of Mormon so that's awesome! Unfortunately we all know if you don't pray about the Book you won't get an answer.

On a sad note- We were supposed to have a baptism on Saturday for Marcuan but unfortunately he cancelled but he is back on date for the end of the month. Apparently he wants an elder that used to serve here to baptize him and that elder is coming back the end of the month. Fingers crossed it will all work out. We did watch a session of conference with Marcuan and his mom, Ashley yesterday and it was so good. Sunday Morning might have been my favorite session! So many good talks!

Unfortunately, I left my notes for Conference at home and am running out of time :( 
Here are some themes that stood out to me though:
- Daily prayer and scripture study
- Trusting in the Lord 
- Live your religion 
-It snowed this week too! Hence the picture above of me without a jacket. Whoops.
-Grace is funny and got a dog beanie!

These 3 things are so crucial to joy and happiness in this life! I have truly felt that!!!! This gospel is here to bring us joy- To free us, not to hold us back. Trust in the lord and do what you're asked by your leaders. Blessing may not always come in the way that we think they will but they will come! I promise!!!!

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