Monday, December 30, 2013

An email from Sister Allen

Happy New Year!

Man, I feel like the last couple of weeks have just been holiday after
holiday. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years all came so fast.

It was SO fun talking to everyone this week. I love you all and I'm so
glad that everyone is doing so well. Made me realize how blessed I am
to have the greatest group of family and friends a girl could ask for.
Seriously, you all are the BEST OF THE BEST!

Christmas Eve was spent at the Alston's home. We enjoyed their
infamous Mexitalian Feast and it was quite the party. Some really
great food and a lot of fun people. Plus, we got to teach the plan of
salvation to one of the Spanish Sisters investigators. There's always
an opportunity to share the gospel. :) the rest of the night we went
out caroling with both sets of Loomis Elders. It was a great time and
even though we didn't sound that great, we made a lot of people's
nights. One of the older single women from the ward was so touched
that she cried and offered to make all of us lasagna. So sweet, haha.

Christmas Day was wonderful! It's my only one in the mission field, so
me had to make it good. After we skyped, we went over to Grandma
Sewell's house. The Sewell's are this huge family and they all live in
this area. They all got together as a family and had brunch. They have
a golf cart that Sister Byrne and I had a little too much fun
on...Christmas dinner was over at the Suchomels. They are seriously
the cutest family and Sister Suchomel is the greatest relief society
president ever! We had the best food. Steak, ceased salad, BOMB shrimp
stroganoff, cranberry bread with butter sauce. It was delicious. We
spent the rest of the night shooting off sling shots and playing board
games. It was a perfect day.

One of my Alpha Chi sisters from Utah State lives in the Roseville
area and so her mom contacted me and we surprised her at lunch on
Thursday. Hazel had no idea and it was really fun to catch up with
her. I have the inside scoop on everything going on at school and it
makes me never wanna go back. Haha. Okay I'll come back one day, but
it's just that The mission is such a bubble. You really don't have to
care about anything pertaining to "real life". It's pretty nice.

Sister Byrnes dad told her that her visa is still in its first stages
and so it may still be a while before it comes. In the meantime, to
practice her Portuguese, she has been teaching me Joseph Smiths first
vision. I have half of it down solid! (You should be proud, Zane and
Nate) Maybe one day in Loomis we will come across someone who speaks
Portuguese as their first language, I'll definitely be prepared for
that opportunity, if it ever comes...

Sadly, I have been battling a cold this week. Sister Byrne, bless her
heart, allowed me to get some extra sleep a couple of days this week.
I am pretty much over it and can actually breathe out of my nose
today, which is exciting. My stomach is still hurting most days, so we
have decided to drink a glass of lemon water each night as a sort of
"cleanse" and I've been staying away from dairy. (We think I may be
lactose intolerant) It definitely makes my stomach feel better...but
the lemon water taste pretty nasty and bitter.

Our investigator, Dacoda, is doing great. We only got to meet with him
once this week because he has been busy but, he is still progressing
really well. He talked about how he knows he wants to get baptized but
he doesn't understand why and why it matters to do it in a certain
church. He says he knows this church is true, but he says the Joseph
Smith story is hard to believe because so much of the church relies on
this one person. We then talked to him about prophets and why they are
so important to have. God gave people prophets on Old Testament times,
why wouldn't he give us one today? By the end of our lesson, he
definitely understood more. He is starting to read in the Book of
Mormon and he even came to church yesterday. He knows this is all
good, but he doesn't understand why. We got some work to do!

Christopher from England, is doing wonderful. He is meeting with the
missionaries in York and found out that one of his really good friends
has been taking the discussions too! They are going to all four start
meeting together. The Alston's are basically already booking their
trip to England for his baptism. He is so ready and prepared. It's

Everyone PLEASE watch this awesome New Years Mormon message. It's
amazing! It tells the story of Lots wife. You can find it in Genesis
19:15-26. This year, move forward and LOOK NOT BEHIND THEE.

I love every single one of you. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you
for your love. Thank you for sharing with me your own personal
missionary experiences. Keep converting yourself and I hope we all
make a goal to grow closer to our Savior this year. He is the light
and the way to happiness.

Love always,

Sister Lexis Allen

Sent from my iPad

Monday, December 23, 2013

An email from Sister Allen

Hello everyone! Merry Christmas!

Something super exciting happened this week...we received brand
spankin' new iPads! We got them on Tuesday and they have been a great
tool to hasten the work forward. We are going completely paperless and
transferring all our records into a "virtual" Area Book. We no longer
have paper planners. We plan our whole day via our iPads into a
calendar and can update what principles, invitations, and commitments
we extended right after the lesson. We used to have to wait until
nightly planning, but now it can be quickly and conveniently updated
while the lesson is still fresh in our minds. We are capable of
holding lessons over skype/FaceTime and have so many more resources
available to us! It's amazing.

Speaking of Skype, we had another set of lessons with Christopher, our
investigator in England. He is progressing so quickly and is already
in 3 Nephi after only having a Book of Mormon for two weeks! We really
see his heart changing and he has even decided to slowly go off black
tea. Other than the fact that he's all the way in York, he could get
baptized this weekend if he wanted. He has finally felt comfortable to
start meeting with the missionaries there. It's sad that we won't be
teaching him as much anymore, but know that the best thing for him
will be to meet with the missionaries there so that he can start
attending church and get in that baptismal font.

On Saturday afternoon, we had the opportunity to go caroling at a
nursing home. We didn't realize until we got there that it was a home
for Alzheimer and Dementia patients, so our idea of turning it into a
finding situation didn't really work out because by the time we were
done singing some of them had already forgotten who we were. Haha. But
it was a fun thing and they enjoyed it! Some even sang along!

Last weekend was our ward Christmas party, at the party a kid named
Dacoda came up to us and introduced himself and told us he would love
to meet with us sometime this week. We met with him twice and let me
tell you, this kid is seriously the most amazing, humble, faith driven
person I have met. He is 19 and has had a pretty rough life with his
parents being divorced and remarried and all that fun stuff. He met
with the sisters three times back in February and I felt impressed to
figure out why they stopped teaching him after reading through his
teaching record, because he seemed like a golden investigator.
Anyways, we met with Dacoda on Monday night and he was just asking
these amazing thought provoking questions. "What happens in the
temple? What is the priesthood? How can I be happy? How come I am so
drawn to your church?" He wants answers and peace from knowing the
truth. He has seriously been so prepared by our Heavenly Father. He
even broke up with his longtime girlfriend this week, because she was
wanting to do things he didn't. What kind of 19 year old boy has that
kind of will power to do what is right?! We are so impressed with him.
We are meeting with him again tonight and planning to set a baptismal
date. Crossing our fingers for the first weekend in January, pray for

On Thursday afternoon, Sister Byrne and I were on our way to go
tracting down Logan Lane. We have been tracting and tracting these
past few weeks and could barely motivate ourselves to get out of the
car. We both know that tracting is one of the most least effective
uses of our time and so we sat there, with our seats laid all the way
back, brainstorming of some way to fond new investigators effectively.
We started reading in preach my gospel in the "finding people" section
and had this idea of showing the "Joy to the World" video on Sunday
night at the church building and inviting everyone. Problems: it's
Thursday and that gives us three days to invite people, we don't have
a projector, invitations are a must, etc. The list of problems was a
little longer than we expected...but, we pulled it off. Sorta. There
were about 15 people who came. All being members of the church. We
didn't end up showing the joy to the world video, but the videos we
did show brought the spirit. It was extremely disappointing that the
event didn't bring us new investigators, but the people who came
really enjoyed it and said that the stake will start making it a
tradition each year for the Sunday night before Christmas. Heavenly
Father knows we are working hard and will provide us new people to
teach. It's been hard, especially during Christmas, not to be busy all
the time. But we have been putting forth our best effort and know The
Lord will provide.

Still no signs of Sister Byrne's visa...We get along so well and so I
secretly want to pray for her to stay. Sadly that prayer would be
countered by the 100s of other prayers from her family, Brazilian
mission president, etc. who are praying for her to receive her visa
quickly. But we will keep her as long as we can!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas. It's going to be hard being
away from everyone, but I am being supported and loved by my ward
family here. I am grateful for this Christmas season where we can
remember that miraculous day that started The life of our Savior who
would change the world. I love my savior. I can never thank him enough
for his atoning sacrifice. He is the light of the world and only
through him may we have a place in the kingdom of God.

Peace on earth, good will to men! Let us give back to our Savior who
has given us the gift of eternal life.

Merry CHRISTmas! I love you all.


Sister Allen

Monday, December 16, 2013

An email from Sister Allen

Oi! Tudo Bem? Meu nome e Seester Allen da igreja de Jesus Cristo dos santos dos ultimos dias. 

Im learning Portuguese! Alright, not officially...BUT my new super awesome companion is a visa waiter for the Brazil, Santos mission. She will be here from 6 weeks to 6 months depending on how long it takes for her visa to arrive and go through. She has been teaching me Portuguese and I am picking it up quick. The gift of tongues is real, people. I can start and end prayers in Portuguese and even understand most of what Sister Byrne says when she is praying. I love it! Who knows, I could be fluent in Portuguese by the time she leaves. We have to do an extra hour of language study each morning and since I can't help her that much (because of my lack of knowledge in portuguese) I sit there and read from the English Book of Mormon and Portuguese Book of Mormon and take notes on words. It is pretty awesome and such a neat experience! Who knew I would be called to California, English speaking and come back fluent in Portuguese. Unique mission, eh? 

So a little bit about my new companion....her name is Sister Byrne (you say it Burn) and she is from Dallas, TX. Well a suburb right outside Dallas called The Colony, but no one really knows where that is. Sis Byrne went to BYU and just finished her first year of nursing school before coming on her mission. Awesome, right? She is so pumped and ready to get the work rolling. We are about to light Loomis on fire! Baptizing like crazy...we just have to find the people to baptize. But we are ready to work hard and see miracles. Things have been great so far and I know President Weston was definitely inspired when he put us together. AND small world, Sister Byrne's MTC teacher was Eric Smith from our ward. He's the one who gave his homecoming talk the day I gave my farewell talk. Crazy, right? Tell him hello and that I am training his student well. 

This whole past week was spent doing a lot of tracting and man, people were not happy with us. I think everyone took angry pills or something. Almost all of the houses we went to people started to argue with us about certain false doctrines and things they had heard about the church. "I hear you baptize dead people! I saw it." "Joseph Smith was on some major drugs when he wrote the Book of really believe that stuff?" People were bashing us like crazy, man. But all we could do was testify of what we know to be true because arguing literally gets you nowhere. We met a lot of people who attend Bayside church in Rocklin and the rumor is they have Anti-Mormon classes and basically teach people to hate us. Its sad that a lot of people get their information from the internet. People talk about all this "research" they've done on Mormons and all of it is anti mormon literature they that totally makes sense, right? Of course the people who hate mormons would write the truth about us. We are trying to find a more effective way to find new investigators, but until then, this is what we are dealing with. Makes for good stories though. :) 

Gerald, our investigator who has been meeting with the missionaries for 2 years now, finally stayed for church for TWO hours! Bro Stoddard, our ward mission leader, made him a deal that if Gerald stayed for both hours, he would read up on the Mennonite religion with him. He kept the deal and actually stayed. He is slowly progressing and it is very exciting! 

Tomorrow we will be receiving our INDIVIDUAL mini IPADS!! Merry Christmas to us! This is seriously going to change the way we do missionary work. Everything will be paperless and so much more effective. We are really excited and interested to see how it will all work. The church is amazing! 

Saturday night at our ward Christmas party, a young man named Dacoda came up to us and asked if we could meet with him this week. We have actually been looking for him because we found his teaching record in our area book and there was no record of why he even stopped taking the discussions back in February. I really have the feeling that he is ready now and will hopefully be our miracle baptism before the end of the year! 

We are really working hard and seeing the miracles every day as we do our best. It is amazing to see it all come together. Hard work pays off. We watched this amazing video in Zone Conference on Thursday and it compared the Atonement to Missionary Work. Elder Holland gave some powerful remarks and said the following: "Missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience." "When we struggle, are rejected, etc. we are standing shoulder to shoulder with the most perfect missionary of all time, Jesus Christ." "Why would it be easy for us, if it wasn't easy for Him?" I can do this because He did everything for me! My time to work and invite is LIMITED.

Christmas is coming soon and I hope you all have been able to read over the Christmas story with your families. If you  haven't, do it! And remember the true/real meaning of Christmas. I will miss seeing all of us get together and do the nativity. Sadly our family is getting to a point where we don't have any new babies to play Jesus and will have to start using a baby doll...but, it all works the same. 

NINE DAYS until we get to skype! I can not wait. :) 

Thank you for all of the Christmas cards, packages, and letters. Your love and support is what keeps me going. I love this work. I love Loomis. I love my companion. I love this gospel. And i LOOOOVEEE  all of you!! 

Miss you all. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Love and prayers,

Sister Allen

Monday, December 9, 2013

An email from Sister Allen

I'M TRAINING! again.

looks like all of our predictions were wrong. I am staying here in Loomis and going to be training a new missionary again. This was not what Sister Laws and I were expecting at all, but I know this is exactly what the Lord has planned. It was such a surprise because we received the list of names of the new missionaries who are coming out this week and there was only one sister on the list, which means there would only be one sister needed to train. Last night as we listened to our voicemail from the Zone Leaders, they read off Sister Osborne's name (she's in Lincoln) and said that she was called to be a trainer. So we thought we were definitely off the hook. Then as we kept listening to transfer calls, we heard them say "Loomis 3rd. Sister Laws you will be transferred to Antelope 4th ward and Sister Allen you're training." We had to listen to it THREE times before it became real to us what was about to happen. I guess that they had some miscommunication with the MTC and there are actually 4 new sisters coming out this transfer. (one of them is from the UK. cool, huh?) The AP's (assistant to the presidents) gave us a call last night after we heard and gave me a huge boost of confidence. They said that President Weston trusts me a lot and knows that I am going to do great things again as a trainer. He knows what I am capable of and recognizes my hard work. Feels good to be trusted by the mission president. I am grateful for a mission president who is so in tune with the spirit and follows the promptings he receives to place us each exactly where we need to be. I wont lie, I am really sad that Sister Laws is leaving me. We have become really close these past six weeks and I am so grateful to have been able to serve with her. But here goes another new adventure! 

A trainer is a great responsibility in the mission. Training sets the bar for how the missionary will perform for the rest of their mission. I am grateful for this opportunity.

On Saturday afternoon we had the FIRST EVER international skype lesson in the Roseville California Mission. Last week I told you all about Christopher, the guy from York, England who we had a lesson with. Well, he went home on Thursday and we had a follow up lesson with him via Skype. Isn't it amazing what we can do with technology these days? Christopher has already read through first and second nephi over the span of two days and is loving the Book of Mormon. He is definitely apart of the elect group that God has prepared for the gospel. He is going to check out the church building that is right by his workplace and will hopefully start attending church there. He is very intellectual and has always been the one of his friends that doesn't follow the crowds or see the point in partying, etc. The gospel is giving him a better outlook on life and hope that there really is a God and he desires for us all to be happy. That's the beautiful thing about the gospel, it gives people purpose and perspective for their lives. We are going to do one more lesson over Skype with him before we turn him over to the York missionaries. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if he was baptized within the next month.

It snowed in California!!? I know, I can't believe it either. But on Saturday afternoon as we were sitting in the Alston's home skypeing Christopher, we looked out the window and flakes of snow were coming down! It was nothing like Utah snow and lasted for about five minutes then was gone, but that was the first time in about 10 years that Loomis has had snow. Crazy. 

Brad Frantz, my recent convert from Yuba City, came down on Tuesday night and went to dinner with Sister Laws and I. It was awesome to see him and I am so impressed at how far he is coming in the gospel. I am amazed at what an example he is to his non member friends. At his age, it is hard not to follow the crowd and just go along with what seems to be the world's version of the "normal" thing for people in their 20s to be doing. He has so many awesome LDS friends from the ward and is constantly hanging out with them. He attends institute, church every week he doesnt have work, and is seriously embracing the gospel. It is so great to see success that comes from our work in the mission field. 

We did a lot of tracting this week and although it is considered the most least productive thing to with your time, we didn't really have any other choice. But it ended up being a bit successful because we found two new investigators! And they both happened to be at the last house that we knocked on. Sister Laws and I have decided that Heavenly Father does that on purpose just to see if we will be diligent and knock on every single door. Our diligence paid off. Our first new investigator is James Bailey. James is of the Bahia religion, which is Islam, and believes that the second coming already happened back in the 1840s. Basically Christ came back and was crucified once again on the cross. Which totally doesn't make sense because Christ is a resurrected being and I don't know why God would have him killed again if he was already resurrected. Basically, this religion of his doesnt make sense. But he has read through the whole D&C, Book of Mormon, and Pearl of Great Price.....sadly, he doesn't believe any of it...for now. :) Our other new investigator is Bobby, he has also read parts of the Book of Mormon and doesn't believe it is true. Both of these investigators are going to be hard nuts to crack, but I know we will be able to do it. No one can deny the power of the Spirit. 

I would invite you all to review Elder Ballards talk from this most recent general conference titled, Put Your Trust in the Lord.

"Trust the Lord. He is the Good Shepherd. He knows His sheep, and His sheep know His voice; and today the voice of the Good Shepherd is your voice and my voice. And if we are not engaged, many who would hear the message of the Restoration will be passed by. Simply stated, it’s a matter of faith and action on our part. The principles are pretty simple—pray, personally and in your family, for missionary opportunities. The Lord has said in the Doctrine and Covenants that many people have been kept from the truth only “because they know not where to find it”"......."We are not asking everyone to do everything. We are simply asking all members to pray, knowing that if every member, young and old, will reach out to just “one” between now and Christmas, millions will feel the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. And what a wonderful gift to the Savior."

Have we all accepted Elder Ballard's invitation to find the "one" who needs this gospel.? If you haven't then prayerfully seek that person out and you will find them.

I love you all! Here's to another solid week in the mission field.

16 days until Christmas and I can't wait to Skype. :) See you soon, literally. 


Sister Allen

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

An email from Sister Allen

It's December?!

I hope everyone enjoyed your Thanksgiving and ate lots of delicious food!

We were invited over to the Bishops house and the LaPlante's. Wendy,
the woman who was baptized last week, came with us to the Bishops and
we all had an awesome time. They had four different kinds of turkey
and so many types of food to choose from. It was wonderful.

We went to the LaPlante's later that day and had another AMAZING
dinner with their family. Sister LaPlante is this awesome cook and we
got spoiled. We spent the rest of the night with their family sitting
outside by the campfire roasting s'mores and eating pumpkin pie. It
was perfect and I wish I could have paused that moment forever. Tony,
their dad, is not a member and we are slowly seeing a change of heart
with him. They have 2 kids, Garrett (11) and Jaci(8), that we love and
they are basically our second family. We spend a lot of time at their
house because they need that uplifting and support that the gospel and
Spirit can bring their family. It is definitely not going unnoticed
either. At Thanksgiving dinner, as we went around the table and said
two things that we are thankful for, Tony said that he was thankful
for us and the good examples we are to his family. It was so cool to
hear it from him because he is the one who isn't a member. Lets be
real though, Tony is more a member than not. We call him a "dry
member" meaning he just hasn't been dunked in the water yet. He knows
everything and its just in his time when he will decide to be
baptized. Last night we were over at their house and Jaci told us the
sweetest thing. She has never wanted to go on  a mission before, but
she told us that because Sister Laws and I always look like we are
having fun, she thinks it would be a good thing for her  to go on a
mission too. AH! It was wonderful. We love their family and are so
blessed to be apart of their lives.

This week we have been doing a lot of tracting. It hasn't been the
most successful thing in the world, but we have the faith that just
one of these houses will be prepared to hear the gospel. On Saturday
we went tracting around a neighborhood that is right by our house. It
is one of the 4 real housing developments here in Loomis. (all the
other houses are spread out over acres of land, down dirt roads) We
had been around to some of the houses before and decided to knock all
the doors at the end of the street. Not a single person was home. We
left pass along cards at each door and kept on going. One of the
houses on this street, is where President Alston lives. He is
President Westons (mission president) first counselor and he lives in
our ward. As we were about to walk back to our car, the whole Alston
family pulled up and waved us over to their house. We talked for a few
minutes and they gave us some water, typical stuff. We met their whole
family (all of their kids don't live with them) and their friend
Christopher. Christopher is here visiting from York, England and has
this super awesome British accent. He came to Loomis about four years
ago on an exchange student program and was back for his second time
visiting the area. Bethany, the Alston's daughter who is a return
missionary, has wanted to share the gospel with him for as long as she
has known him. Since we were already there, Sister Alston casually
asked Christopher if he wanted to hear a lesson from the missionaries
and he said Yes! So just like that, we went inside and taught him the
Restoration. He was very intrigued and it seems like he has been
wanting to hear more about the church for a while now. We are going
back tonight to teach him the second lesson and then he leaves to York
on Thursday. We are already planning on getting the missionaries over
to see him there and maybe even doing one Skype lesson with him. It
just was an amazing testimony to me that the Lord places us exactly
where he needs us at exactly the right time. Reminds me of the
scripture in D&C 28:15, "And it shall be given thee from the time thou
shalt go, until the time thou shalt return, what thou shalt do." I am
grateful that we were able to be in the right area to help Christopher
receive the gospel in to his life.

On Friday night, we had dinner over at the Godfrey's home. The
Godfrey's are another part member family in our ward. The dad is a
member and has been less active for about 25 years now. His wife and 3
kids who are 12, 11, and 8 are all non members. Last year they
attended church for about 9 months straight and took the lessons from
the missionaries. They were so close and then at the last minute it
all fell through. They have started to come back to church again and
have come every Sunday but one, for the past four weeks. The kids and
wife are so ready to be baptized and are basically just waiting on
their dad to make the commitment. He is scared of the time commitment
and has a couple other doctrine issues, but they will all work
themselves out as he gains a testimony each week at church. We were so
excited to finally be able to sit down and talk with them and they are
very open about the gospel and where they stand with everything. Their
youngest daughter, Kylie, is seriously my new favorite person in the
world and I absolutely love her. She is so confident and a go getter.
Yesterday during fast and testimony meeting she BEGGED her parents to
let her go up there and bear her testimony. Dad finally gave in and
she got up there with a big smile on her face and said, "Thank you for
all you have done for my family. I love you all alot and thank you for
everything you do for my family." and walked right back down to where
she was sitting. I was BEAMING!! My mouth was hurting so much because
I was smiling so big. That little girl is going to be the one that
takes that family to the baptismal font, i know it.

Exciting news! On Thursday morning, we were asked to be on a
conference call with President Weston and all the other missionaries.
Pres. Weston announced that on December 17th, we will be receiving
IPADS!!! We are one of thirty missions that will be test missions for
the Ipad! We each will get our own mini ipads and will take them with
us to each area we go. Basically, we are going paperless. Meaning
there will be no giant area books full of teaching records, baptismal
records, etc. It will all be electronic! Pretty crazy what they can do
with technology these days. President Weston has asked anyone who
knows Facebook and Ipads to let him know and they will help go around
and train the other missionaries on how to use and activate their
Ipads. I have volunteered for one of these positions and I hope that I
will be able to help facilitate this new tool in to the mission!

This is the last week of the transfer. I can't believe another six
weeks has gone and passed. Time is racing by. I am hoping that I will
be staying here in Loomis, but who knows what will happen. The Lord
can seriously make anything happen. Literally anything! We will find
out Sunday night what will be going on. I feel like some change is
coming, but i'm not so sure what kind of change...

23 days until Christmas! Which means 23 days until I get to Skype with
you all! I can not believe it is already December and next Thursday
marks my 6 month mark. Wowza!

The scripture that I will live by this week is D&C 24:12, "And at all
times, and in all places, [you] shall open [your] mouth and declare my
gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night. And I will
give unto [you] strength such as is not known among men." I would
invite you all to open your mouth and speak to those around you about
this wonderful gift of the restored gospel. Heavenly Father has
allowed us all to take part in this gospel, not to just keep it to
ourselves, but to share it with the world. Find one person this week
that you can share the gospel with. Pray as a family for a missionary
opportunity and I promise that it will come.

I love this gospel and I love this month of December where we have the
opportunity to study our Savior Jesus Christ. Christmas is such a
special time because it is the starting point in the Savior's life.
Without the day of His birth, He would not have been able to perform
the Atonement, miracles, teachings, etc. as he so lovingly did for all
of us. Let us love him back, by remembering the true meaning of
Christmas and the real meaning of the season.

John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as
the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid."

Love you all and have a wonderful week!


Sister Allen

Monday, November 25, 2013

An email from the incomparable Sister Allen...

First off, Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I really can't believe its already that time of the year. Sister Laws and I have been invited to TWO Thanksgiving dinners on Thursday and are already mentally preparing ourselves for two giant meals. The LaPlante's called dibs on us first, but Bishop had invited the sisters a while back and Sis Laws had forgotten about it. So now we are just going to both and everyone will be happy, except our full stomachs.
We had a pretty awesome week! The baptism went wonderfully. Wendy is officially a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She felt so peaceful and just watching her face as they did the confirmation was amazing. I've never seen anyone so peaceful. After she was all dried off from her baptism, Wendy got up in front of everyone and bore her testimony. It was the most beautiful, heartfelt testimony I have ever heard. Sister Laws and I are so lucky to know her and have been apart of her beautiful day. We seriously LOVE Wendy.
Wednesday we had the opportunity to spend the day with Elder Stanley G. Ellis of the first quorom of the seventy. He is really an amazing person and it was a privelage to have a zone conference with him. A couple of really amazing things happened this day. The week before in district meeting, they told us that we each needed to prepare a 5 minute talk on "How my faith is strengthened as I follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost" for this zone conference. There were 5 zones there, which means there was about 100 missionaries there and they don't tell you before hand who will be giving the talks. The AP's announced that only 2 missionaries would be giving talks today. They called out Elder Reynolds name and then the AP's said, "Sister Allen". My heart started beating a million miles a minute, I knew it was going to be me...I said a quick prayer and went up there to speak. Not only to these other missionaries, but to President Weston and a GENERAL AUTHORITY. My talk actually went really well and I told the story of the hospital and how we found Margaret. (even shared the scripture dad sent me about how we should all be as "bold as a lion") After my talk, I felt a little unsure if I should've shared my Margaret experience with everyone, but after lunch President Weston came up to me and told me I did a wonderful job and was so grateful that I shared my experience. He said that if I hadn't he would have asked me to come back up and share the story. So that definitely reassured me that it was indeed the Spirit constantly prompting me to share my Margaret miracle story.
After we had our lunch, all the missionaries were to return to their areas except for the district leaders, sister training leaders, trainers, and zone leaders. All of the leaders of the mission, were having a Leadership conference from Elder Ellis for the next hour. Since Sis Laws and I do not qualify as any of those things, we started back to the chapel to get our things to leave. On our way out, Sister Weston stopped me and asked why I wasn't in the ladership meeting yet because they were ready to start. I told her that I wasn't any of those leadership positions anymore (i just finished being a trainer for Sister MacDonald, but that was in Yuba City). She said that President Weston had specifically requested that I be there in this leadership conference, even though I did not hold a leadership position. I was the only one in there who didn't have a leadership calling. At the beginning, we went around and introduced ourselves and our leadership title...I just said, "um, hi, i'm sister allen and I am a senior companion?"  I was the only one there not called to an actual leadership position. Haha. I still have no idea why I was asked to be in there, but rumors around the mission are: 1. I am being made Sister Training Leader next transfer in the Granite Bay ward (because Sister Tittle, the sister training leader there is finishing her mission). OR 2. I am being switched to a spanish speaking mission and will be Sister Training Leader companions with a spanish Sister Training Leader. President Weston has asked me before if I would be able to speak/learn spanish, so you never know. Guess we will find out on December 8th, when transfer calls come.
Wednesday night, Elder Ellis held a fireside for nonmembers and less-actives only. Two of our investigators, Gerald and Tony, came to the fireside. Elder Ellis talked all about the Book of Mormon and it was a very amazing talk on what's in the BofM, what should and shouldn't be in the BofM, and what we learn from the BofM. Tony and Gerald both really enjoyed it. On our way out the doors, Elder Ellis stopped me and said shaking my hand, "I would love a copy of your story. The experience you shared today at zone conference about meeting the woman from the hospital. Will you email it over to me?" I was in shock...haha. A general authority just asked ME for my experience?! I couldn't believe it and still can't. Wednesday was just one of those unbelieveable days that I think I really needed, to see my potential as a missionary. From speaking in front of Elder Ellis, to being requested to come to a leadership meeting, and being asked for a copy of my experience from a have got to be joking, right? Heavenly Father has a lot in store for me. I know it. Its just like President Weston told me, "Prepare for lots of responsibility, Sister Allen."
I know we have that tradition each year at Thanksgiving dinner, where we go around and say one thing that we are grateful for, so I thought I would include my list of what I'm grateful for and when it's my turn around the dinner table, you could just read this email. It will be like I'm really there. Haha. :)
I am GRATEFUL for the opportunity I have to serve a mission. I am grateful for the people that I have met on my mission. The wards I have served in. The people we have found. Those who have been baptized and confirmed. Those I have been able to teach and plant seeds for their prepared time. I am grateful for all of the wonderful companions I have served with. Companions who love the lord, push me to do my best, allow my testomony to grow, and love and support me. I am grateful for those people who don't let us in or listen, so that when we get to the ones that do, its that much more worth it. I am grateful for Joseph Smith and his first vision that started it all. I am grateful for the rush of goosebumps up and down my spine as I reaccount Joseph Smith's first vision to those who don't know it. I am grateful for the Word of Wisdom, a law of health that keeps our temples pure and wholesome. I am grateful for the blessings of tithing that is paid. Without tithing, we would not have church buildings, temples, gospel resources, the Missionary Training Center, etc. I am grateful for temple ordinances and the joy they bring to those who didn't have an opportunity to receive those blessings while they were here on earth. I am grateful for a living prophet and apostles who guide us and share with us God's will. I am grateful for my freedom to choose and use my agency. I am grateful for patriarchal blessings and the chance to recieve direction and knowledge of where He needs me to be. I am grateful for baptism and comfirmation. I am grateful for the testifying voice of the Spirit and the ability to discern promptings. I am grateful for Christ's atoning sacrifice and the ability to be forgiven, without the atonement I would not be where I am today. I am grateful for the experiences that have humbled me. I am grateful to have been brought up in the gospel. I am grateful for care packages and sweet letters of support. I am grateful for my family and that we are all so close with one another. I am grateful for a mom and dad who love and care about me enough to help me achieve my goals. I am grateful for a driven, kind, and intelligent little brother. I am grateful for my spunky, hilarious, confident, little sister who is my mini-me. I am grateful for my baby brother who teaches me to enjoy the simple gifts of life and to always laugh. I am grateful for trials in my life that help me connect with so many different people. I am grateful for a loving mission president who sees my potential. I am grateful for the scriptures and everything that we can learn from the words of God. Especially the Book of Mormon and the guidance and uplifting it gives me in my life. I am grateful fo the general conference ensigns. I am grateful for the ability to walk, see, hear, move, exercise, smile, and dance. I am grateful for my sensitive sense of smell. I am grateful for the support I recieve from my ward here and the ward, friends, strangers, and family back home. I am grateful for an education, especially a college education. I am grateful for good health, clean clothes, heating blankets, running water, electricity, food to eat, heat, A/C, pants (not skirts), etc.  I am grateful for lice killing shampoo, vacuums, benadryl, and washers/dryers. I could go on and on. I am grateful for every single thing I have been blessed with and I know that without the love of my Heavenly Father, I would not have any of these things I just said. He blesses us beyond our comprehension and will bless us even more as we are obedient to those simple things he has asked us to do.
And to get you in that thankful mood just in time for Wednesday, here are some of my favorite scriptures that talk about giving thanks.
Alma 34:38 "That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you."
D&C 136:28 "If thou art merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing, and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving."
Psalms 100:4 "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name."
D&C 59:7 "Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things."
Psalms 92:1 "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:"
Colossians 3:15 "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."
Danel 2:23 "I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee..."
One of the lady's in Relief Society said this yesterday and I loved it,
"Our combined light will brighten the darkness of the world." Join with all those around you and make this world a better place. Make a difference. Leave everywhere you go, a little better than you found it.
I love you all and will miss spending Thanksgiving with everyone, but give everyone lots of HUGS from me! I AM GRATEFUL FOR EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU!
Love always,
Sister Allen