Monday, July 29, 2013

An email from Sister Allen...


wow, this past week has been crazy and a lot of amazing miracles were seen this week.
On Thursday night we were supposed to go and see a family but they ended up canceling on us. We honestly had no idea where to go or where to look and so we decided to pray and ask heavenly father to guide us where he needed us to go. After the prayer, Sister Powell said that she thought of a road called Scott Street. She said she doesnt know where it is or why it came to her mind but thats just what she thought of and she had heard of it one time before. Well, Scott Street is in my area and thats where our investigator Jeff lived. We headed over to Scott Street thinking that we needed to see Jeff. We met with Jeff for a second and as we were about to walk down the rest of the street, I remembered a woman that lived right next to and behind Jeffs house. Her house couldnt be seen from the street but i remember going there with Sis Grant. She was a former investigator of ours and dropped us because she said she "wasnt up for this whole mormon study thing". The last time we went back about a month  before she definitely wasnt interested, but we decided to go anyways. Abena came to the door with a lot different attitude this time and was so kind. She allowed us to come in and told us we looked like we had just walked out of a catalog. haha. Abena had some questions throughout the book of mormon and thinks that church is too boring. She wants the hymns to be more up beat. Well we answered her questions from the BoM and then invited her to come to see a baptism on saturday. Abena came and really enjoyed it! We are going back this week and it is a miracle that we chose to go see her when we did. She is really looking for answers and i think we have those answers for her.
Saturday was an amazing day for my testimony. My testimony of the power of the preisthood increased ten fold that day. We were referred to a woman named Terry by someone in the ward. She lives in one of the more rough areas in town and has been through a lot. This neighborhood is one that we arent supposed to go in at night because its so sketchy. Anyways, Terry has been through a lot and she really needs christ in her life. A couple of days before we went over there she had some very intense experiences and so she was emotionally and physically unstable. I decided that we should go down a couple houses to a members home to see if they could give her a preistgood blessing. Bro Patterson came down with us and before we explained to him the importance of preisthood blessings. I sat next to her the whole time and held  her hand as he gave her the blessing. As soon as he started saying the blessing, i felt this calming rush of peace and chills run through my body. I could feel the spirit so strong and i started to cry. I
 still dont know why i was crying, but i think it was because I could feel how much pain she was going through and the words kept popping in to my head "This is who you were sent here to help". It was unreal. Afterwards, she was so calm and i knew she felt the difference. Terry looked at sis dalton and I and said "you both look so familiar. are you guys sisters? are you sure i have never met you before?" Chills ran down my spine and I feel like there is a chance that I have met Terri before. She doesnt know where she would know us from and she told us that we are her angels sent from heaven. We hope to continue teaching her but are giving her a couple of days to recuperate from the past weeks problems. What an amazing experience and i really hope that she is the one i was sent here for. I really think I might be. The craziest part was that we had a lesson scheduled at the time we saw her and last minute they canceled on us because we had work. The first name that popped in to my head was terri and i knew we were at the right place, at the right time.
Last night was another amazing experience! WE HAVE A BAPTISM COMING UP! So last night, we had dinner over at a members home and they invited Sis Bosquet (shes a member) and her husband Bro. Schmit (nonmember) over to dinner as well. We had planned on teaching Bro Schmit the first lesson after dinner. After dinner we started the lesson and he told us that he had taken the discussions before but that was a long time ago back when they were in Idaho. He said he was really ready this time because he got a sign from God that this is where he needed to be. Last week, Sis. Bosquet and Bro Schmit were at the Hands for Hope center in town. Bro Schmit was outside waiting for his wife when an older man came up to him and gave him a penny with a cross stamped in to it.The man gave it to Bro Schmit and said "It makes sense to believe in God." and just like that the guy was gone. Bro Schmit had been praying to God for an answer to what he should do next with his life. He now wears that penny around his neck on a necklace as a reminder that this is where he needs to go next with his life. So we went through part of a lesson and i felt like i should ask him to be baptized. I said "Bro Schmit, when you come to know that what we teach is true, will you follow the example of jesus christ and be baptized by someone holding the preisthood authority of God?" came out flawless. (surprisingly because  was so nervous.) And without hesitation, he answered with the most amazing word i had ever heard..."YES" I let out a deep breath and then Sis Powell came to the rescue and asked him if he would prepare himself to be baptized on August 31st. He said he would and thats what date we are aiming for. He just has to do two things...quit cold turkey on smoking and marry his wife. They got married by a medicine man on the reservation but want something more official. My first time asking someone to be baptized is one i will never forget. What an amazing thing he is doing for his wife and he talked about getting sealed in the temple next year and it just gave me chills.
I have an official tan line from my shoes. So i guess you could say i am now officially a missionary. haha.
I was voted the "Cutest Sister Missionary" that has ever come to the Feather River ward, besides Sister Grant. haha. so that was pretty great.
I also love to throw up the hang loose, cowabunga hand gesture while im talking and without fail every time i do it someone freaks out cause they think im throwing up a gang sign. welcome to yuba city, people. i try to explain to them its a habit picked up from college and they just think im trying to cause problems. haha. Its like "oh yeah, totally (hang loose hand gesture)" "WOAHHH! what are you doin?!" thats how it goes every time. without fail.
Sister Dalton gave me a list of 6 things that she has learned from me:
1. cleanliness is important, even if you are tired
2. Have confidence
3. Its good to share personal experiences
4. Appearance matters
5. Dont slow down to change lanes
6. Greenie Fire is great! haha
Sorry this email is all over the place, but i am really excited to see great things happening out here. Its exactly what we needed and heavenly father is watching out for us. This is the last week of the transfer and I cant believe I have arleady been out in the field for 6 weeks. 8 weeks including the MTC. CRAZY! Thank you to everyone for the packages and love. I really appreciate it all and its the only thing that gets me through each week...well that and lots of prayers. :)
We are seeing lots of miracles out here and i know that as we continue to pray and ask for miracles that the Lord will allow us those as long as we are ready and worthy to recieve them.
Everyone is amazing and I am so privelaged to be serving the Lord.
Make an effort to find opportunities to serve at home and keep being awesome everybody!

I love you all and miss you all like crazy. (still.)

Sister Allen

Monday, July 22, 2013

An email from Sister Allen...

Hey everybody!

has this week been crazy or what? Being in this trio is just go, go, go all the time. With two areas and two wards, we are just crazy busy all the time. But its pretty nice because I would rather be busy then trying to find something to do.
Mom, i know you were worried about my situation for meals...but dont worry, i am being taken care of. The ward feeds us every night for dinner and we get to go grocery shopping for breakfast and dinner. I usually have hummus or a sandwich for lunch. For breakfast we make a spinach smoothie. Its my new thing. Spinach, banana, milk, and a little bit of nesquilk. Its super good and very healthy which is even better. :) Oh and this week the Elders brought over a $60 gift card from some random less active person in our ward. It was so nice of whoever it was but we eat at subway every once in a while because it is just across the street.
Every morning we ride our bikes a mile down the road to a park where we run around the park for 30 minutes. Its a really nice park and i usually do stairs, lunges, or whatever my heart so desires. We have also been going to soccer some mornings at the stake center. The elders all play at 6am in the cultural hall gym. Its actually super fun and even though im not that good, i try my best. Im definitely getting better but its all fun and games. I just usually try to avoid getting passed to...i did score a goal though in our game on saturday. Go ME! haha.
Sister Dalton and Sister Powell have been great. We are all above 5' 8" and so everyone calls us the "tall trio". Sister Dalton is from New Jersey and graduated from Dartmouth (ivy league, i know!)...she wants to be a midwife and i told her she could deliver my babies one day. She has been out for ten months and is in charge of driving the car. Lets just say she is a bit of a cautious driver haha. We were driving the other day and she was trying to get in to the other lane and she slows down WAY slow so she is holding up traffic behind her. Well that day the lady behind us was not happy and totally flipped us off. hahaha. Sis Dalton didnt see and i ended up telling her later that night. It was so funny. She drives WAY slower than the speed limit which i am not used to. But, hey, at least im safe. :) Sister Powell is from Rexburg and has been out here for about 3 months. She is cool and knows everything about the bible. She can whip any scripture out and knows all the stories of the bible. Its really helpful in lessons haha. She is 21 and loves rexburg and will defend that city until the day she dies...ive already told her how i felt about rexburg and thats when she started trying to convince me of why rexburg wasnt that bad. i still promise myself i will never go back, even after talking to her. haha.
The city next to us had their giant peach festival this weekend. Its pretty huge and they have peach everything. Peach jam, peach tea, peach ice cream, etc. Because it wasnt in our area we didnt get to go. so we had our own peach festival consisting of buying our own fresh peaches from a fruit stand and enjoying some peach ice cream from a members house. gotta make do somehow.
In the Buttes Vista area, there is a retirement home that we go to every day. It is called Yuba Manor and let me tell you, it is always an adventure...There is a lady named Lois who lives there and she forgets everything in two minutes. She cant hear well or read well either. Its hilarious because every time we are there she stops and asks us our names. Every time we pick something different. On Saturday I told her my name was Sister Allen. She goes, "Allen?! Isnt that a boys name?! Whats your last name?" I could barely hold back my laughing and just said "My last name is Johnson". She looked at me so confused and basically yells, "ALLEN JOHNSON?! HUH? And not a boy?!" We make up new names every time we see her and it is hilarious! Plus she gets right up next to your face so she can hear you. I cant even handle her...Oh Lois. Oh Yuba Manor...classic. And then there is Jim, he is the crankiest old man i have ever met. He is 81 and has a baptismal date for August 10th. He is always so angry because the food sucks at Yuba Manor. We buy him corned beef hash because thats the only thing he will eat. Jim has been free of tobacco and coffee for 12 days now after being hooked on it for 62 years. It really is a miracle and i know he sees it too even though hes stubborn.
We met this man in my area named Narayna (N-orion-ah) who is really interested in the book of mormon. It was amazing because we went to go see a less active and as we were walking back to the car he came out with his daughter. She is 3 and literally the most darling little girl. He is in his mid 20s and after Sis Powell got done explaning about the book of mormon and the restoration he just goes "Hm...i get it. That really all makes sense to me." UH WHAT? who says that? no one. thats who. because it was like it wasnt real life. but it was and he wants us to come back and teach him. The best part was when i was talking to him about being a single dad and how my dad was like my best friend and raised me. He goes, "Really? Well i want my daughter to grow up and be just like you some day." Uh yeah...what? that was an unreal experience.
One of the people we are teaching in the Buttes Vista area is so ready to get baptized...but there is a bit of a problem...shes a lesbian. Eeek...she loves the book of mormon and knows everything is true. Her name is Rose and she lives with her partner Donna. they have been together for 30 years and basically donna is the worst and she does nothing for Rose while Rose does everything for her. Rose is completely deaf and only reads lips but she can hear some things through an amplifier and headphones. We have been trying to get her to pray about leaving donna but never really reads our lips correctly. At church yesterday, she told Sis Dalton that she had this dream and an angel came to her and told her that she needed to leave Donna. Woah! The best part was Rose told us, "The only reason i remember the dream so well is cause my favorite Rhianna song was playing in the background the whole time." HAHA. she is such a hoot. literally the funniest person ive met. she NEEDS to get baptized and NEEDS to leave donna. maybe now it looks like more of a possibility to her.
OH! yes! i forgot...everyone really needs to read the talk "Beware of Pride" by Ezra Taft Benson. its amazing and such a wake up call. its really great.
It is seriously crazy out here but so much fun. A mission is hard. Its VERY hard. But this work is so worth it. I am missing everyone like crazy but I know this is exactly where i need to be.
I keep you all in my prayers and hopefully you are doing the same for us because we need them. :) thank you for every letter, package, note, etc. I appreciate it all and could not ask for better family and friends.

what an experience this is and what a blessing it is to be out here.

i love you all!

Sister Allen
ps. i hope everyone is still receiving my emails!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

"This is the infamous giant MTC map that everyone gets pictures with. I'm not impressed because I thought it was going to be bigger... But I'm pointing to Roseville!"
"Classic... We were so hilarious together."
"Our last Sunday in the MTC... :-( Sister Giani was tall that day... Haha!
"Delicious homemade cookies and my Disney photo album that I look at when I miss my favorite people. BEST Vacation EVER!"
"This is for the Jakins... THANK YOU times a million! My special treat bags were always the highlight of my days! Love you guys!
"Another one of my favorites with Sister Giani. She's seriously like my other half and I was so happy to have her as my companion. (She's on her tippy toes)
"This is my favorite picture of Sister Giani and I!"
"Right after our first P-day trip to the temple."
"Left to right: Sister Sargent (StGeorge), Sister Jones (Rexburg), Me (😃), Sister Giani (New York), Sister Miller (Sandy), Sister Nitta (Las Vegas). We all were in the same district and all came to Roseville!
"On the front runner on our way to the airport! Everyone loved my glasses and calls me the "Hipster Missionary."
"Here's all the girls in the district on our first Sunday. We got to go on an hour long temple walk before sacrament meeting."
"Holla at cho girls!"
"Nor Cal-- Thug Life. We had to make sure no one was around when I flashed a gang sign. They legit have gangs here. Haha. None of that PTG stuff, this is real life. But, isn't that grafitti awesome?!"
"Outside our apartment! Getting ready for a full day of PROSELYTING!"
"Sad days spent in the doctor's office. Sis Grant was the best and I'm so sad she's gone... But she needed to go to better doctors."
"Yahoo Sister Grant! AKA: the best trainer in the world!"
"This is Sis Dalton, one of my new companions. She is Sis Sandholtz's niece from Dad's ward...and now were companions. Crazy, huh?

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

An email from Lexis...

hello people.
wow, this last week has been crazy!

well, a lot has changed this last week. my companion left to Arizona. she is on a 30 day medical leave and still set apart as a missionary. her mom is her companion for now and hopefully she will be back before we know it.
because my companion is on medical leave, i am now in a trio. my companions are serving in the buttes vista ward. they are sister dalton and sister powell. (sister dalton's aunt is in our ward, dad) so their area is huge and very busy. our weeks are packed full of stuff to do and we basically have no time to tract. i am the only one in our trio that knows the feather river area so i am basically training the other two girls on our area and im getting trained in theirs. its going well but definitely is hard at times. i feel like im doing my area by myself at times because they dont know anyone or where to go. i plan where we go, who we see, where to focus, i have to set up appointments, call all the people, text everyone, make sure we are following up, etc. and they do that between both of them in their area.
one of our investigators, yinka, who has been being taught since april came to church yesterday and stayed for all three hours!! i was sitting there in sacrament and i looked down the hall while there was only two minutes left before sacrament started and there she was! it was a real miracle because we were thinking about possibly dropping her cause we didnt know if she was accountable or not.
i got all of the packages and am so grateful to have such an amazing family and support system. i love my new skirts and they were dfinitely needed. even though we are in a car, the flowy skirts are definitely way easier to walk around in. im only wearing pencil skirts on sundays and p-days. Thank you so much for the CDs. they are getting put to good use out here because we are driving back and forth  between both areas now. 
the heat isnt too bad and i actually really enjoy it. i love being outside as much as possible.

MOM and DAD, and anyone else, HAVE THE MISSIONARIES OVER FOR DINNER! they need food and being a missionary, now i realize how important it is. we need to be fed. :)
so i saw kyle, stefan, brandt, and ismael on TV. it was super awesome. we went and knocked on a less actives house. they usually dont let missionaries in at all and normally just talk to them on the doorstep. as we were talking, i noticed they had the USA vs CUBA game going on in the background. i kept glancing at it and then all of a sudden i saw them on TV! i was like uh, sorry to interrupt you...but i think my friends from home were just on the tv! so they rewinded it and sure enough the camera was on them for a good 10 seconds. they paused it and i took two pictures. crazy, huh? we got in their house and even got to talk with them for a while because of it. it was awesome...and basically a miracle in disguise.
i am still really loving it out here and all my focus is on out here. i do miss everyone, but when you are as busy as we are its hard to find a lot of time to think about home...which is a good thing in a way.

did you guys ever get that picture from our Bishop? it was of me and sister grant on the 4th of July. he said he sent it but i didnt ever hear if you got it.

i am jealous that you guys got to go on vacation last week and can not believe you were only 20 minutes outside Yuba City. how crazy is that? you guys shouldve just stopped in...haha jk. that wouldve been bad. i would have been on the next plane home if that happened.
The lord is definitely putting a lot of trust in me right now and i feel grateful that he trusts me so much. I know i can do this and although it is definitely a challenge, i am ready to accept. I have the lord on my side and know he will be here for me through everything i do and need.
please read my journal entries i have been sending to my mom! they are on the blog and worth the read. they give a more detailed outline of whats been going on. its hard when there are so many things going on and i cant remember them all. plus, too many things happen in one week and they dont all fit in one email. haha.
you all are amazing! i challenge you all to live so that you may always have the spirit with you. that feeling is unlike anything else you can imagine and he is there waiting to help us if we just let him. stay positive and always keep a prayer in your heart.

Heres a little excerpt from my weekly letter i sent to President Weston:

"I know the Lord trusts me with these two areas. He knows i can do this, therefore I know I can do this. He is going to be there with me all along the way and I know that I can only do this with his help. I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to learn and grow. This trio and opportunity to manage two areas is really going to make me in to that exceptional missionary I know I can become. It has forced me to move out of my comfort zone and take control of this Feather River area. I know what I need to do in this area, where I need to go, and those I need to see. I was surprised at first that i had learned so much only being out here for three weeks, but the Lord definitely made sure I remembered every little thing Sister Grant was telling me. I am sad that Sister Grant is gone, but grateful that she is somewhere that she can gain back her full health. I know this was Lords plan for all of us involved and know that he has a lot in store for us if we are obedient and continue to be guided by the Spirit. I love this work and I love this area. I am so glad I am out here serving. "
Miss you all like crazy! Love you all and keep staying in touch. :)

Sister Allen

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Lexis' Journal Entry July 9, 2013

" Well, tonight we got the call from President Weston and Sis G is leaving to Arizona on Thursday morning.  She will still be on full mission rules and her mom will be her companion for the next 30 days.  I will be staying in Yuba City and I am being put into a trio with Sis P and Sis D.  We will be covering all of their area and all of ours.  We will attend both wards on Sunday, both ward councils and will be in a car in our area and on bikes in there's.  I cried for the first time in the field tonight (besides those couple of tears when I said goodbye to Sis G.)  I just felt overwhelmed and unsure if I could basically train them about this area by myself.  Now I'm feeling like I could do it.  I know the area, I know the ward and I know how to teach.  And I know I will be find because this is part of the Lord's plan for me.  Other than that, today was a pretty good day.  We had a lesson with one of our progressive investigators.  It went well but I don't know how receptive she is being.  I shared with her the story about mom and baby Michael because she has a son with autism and one of her concerns is him not being able to sit through church.  It seemed like she was receptive and I feel like if we are patient with Y she will come around.  We got to go to Chili's for lunch, which was really good.  Mom sent me a box of fresh organic fruit and veggies.  It was literally the BEST thing EVER!  It's exactly what I needed cause at dinners we don't ever get anything super healthy.  Except tonight we ate at the Miller's and they are way organic and fresh when it comes to food.  It was refreshing to eat something like that.  We had an awesome FHE lesson with the R family.  We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ and did a fun activity talking about each thing we need to do to return our Heavenly Father.  Hopefully they come to church!
Sis Allen "

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8, 2003

An email from Sr. Allen...
hello everybody,
how is everyone doing? thank you for all the emails. :) i LOVE hearing how everyone is doing.
things were good this week but once again we didnt get to go out too much because my companion is still sick. they really dont know what is going on with her, but i wish they did. sadly, she might be leaving this week on a 30 day medical leave to get things back to normal. she is still trying to decide what to do and i have given her multiple pep talks about how staying out here would be the best idea but that ill support her no matter what. its really going to be sad if she wont stay out here. we work really well together and she has already trained and taught me so many things. Ugh...its going to be really hard if she leaves but the Lord will find me another great companion if she does. Plus, hopefully she will be back after a month and then we can do what we do best again. we will find out today what is going to happen. i dont know what they will do with me or where they will put me if she leaves, but im hoping ill stay in the same area but just get a new trainer. it sucks though because then ill basically be training them too and teaching them about the area and all of our investigators.

holidays are pretty normal days for us missionaries. one of the recent converts we visited lit off one small firework after we were done meeting with her. haha. that was as good as our Fourth of July festivities got! but we found 3 investigators that day, so we were feeling blessed.

we found 4 new investigators this week! we are feeling so blessed because we didnt get to go out as much as we wanted to but we were so blessed when we did go out. one of them we found on the 4th of July. he was just out watering his lawn when we went over to talk with him. we brought up the plan of salvation and he said he had always wondered about what happens to us after we die. he said that was a question he had been trying to find an answer to for a long time. we are going over next saturday to meet with him! two others were also found on the fourth of july. melissa and zayah are mom and daughter. zayah is 10 and is really interested in learning about different religions. we gave them a book of mormon to read and have a meeting with them on wednesday. yahoo! :) of course we have our fair share of rejections. (mission life probs) but that is bound to happen. I am really trying hard to maintain a positive attitude and just enjoy my time out here. things really get hard sometimes but for the most part ive realized that if i just maintain a positive attitude and keep moving forward that i will be able to accomplish anything. i only get this mission experience once, so might as well make it a good one. :)
I can hardly believe that only one month has gone by. it seems like it has been a lot longer but it also has come so quick. wednesday will be my one month mark. Crazy, right? 1 month down, 17 more to go and i can't wait for what the lord has in store for me.
Yuba city is definitely full of some different people. i told my mom that this has definitely been a reality check. i am no longer in my utah bubble and didnt realize how much of a bubble i was in until i came here.  a lot of people here struggle with abuse...drug, alcohol, physical, mental, emotional, etc. every kind of abuse. most homes are low income or have no jobs. most are on welfare and medicaid. there are a lot of broken homes and we see a lot of really sad things. AND EVERYONE has dogs and cats.

yesterday we went in to a home of a less active and i could barely breathe. the smoke and cat smell was insane. i had never been in anything like that before. last night my eyes were bloodshot red and i was sneezing like crazy from allergies. whoosh that was a tough one, but we gotta see those people. they need us and they need the spirit in their homes.
we also saw another less active couple yesterday and got to read through two chapters of second nephi with them. they are pretty different and i guess last time sister grant was there, she asked them why they didnt come to church and she lifted up her shirt so you could see her belly and as she jiggled it around she said "im just too dang fat to go to church" ....hahahah. its so hard not to laugh in some of the situations we get in to. but these really are concerns of people and reasons they dont go to church. its pretty sad.
i would love to recieve pictures. you guys can send them through email or via snail mail. and i would like to request some CDs. if ever you are at deseret book and see some awesome gospel CDs send them over this way. we "rock out" to remade hymns all the time. its pretty great and pumps us up for the work. also, i left a couple of gift cards to subway and starbucks at home. if you find them will you send them out to me?
I am really enjoying my time out here and am so grateful for this opportunity. my testimony is growing so quickly and i love the people of yuba city already. i just want to help all of them. i really do. i know this is where i need to be and as hard as it is sometimes, it is so WORTH IT. I already see myself becoming a better version of myself. I am so humbled and really working on always constantly having a positive attitude. that is really the only way you can keep going with this work. Just keep moving forward. I am a lot more patient and loving. i already see the changes in me and know this is going to be a great 18 months. We see a lot of miracles and i feel so blessed to have the opportunity to see these things happening right before my eyes.
i love and miss you all like crazy!!
keep being awesome everybody! :)
Sister Allen

Lexis' Journal Entry July 8, 2013

"Uno mas P-day!  Hooray!  This morning we were asked to go over to a storage unit and help a lady move her stuff in.  The Spanish Elders came with us too to help lift the heavy things.  After that we went over and grabbed the Buttes Vista Sisters.  We did our emailing and I got to chat back and forth with Mom but Zane got on right as I was getting off and when I got back on he wasn't online anymore. :-( But, I always send one big email to everyone else.  I had a little missionary moment in the bathroom.  This lady who used to have the discussions wanted us to send some over so she could know about Singles Activities.  We got her address but have to find out what missionaries are in her area.  We of course went grocery shopping at the Grocery Outlet!  and after went to Target for a couple things.  Some members invited us to Janyo (frozen yogurt) and so we headed over there around 3pm.  Then we decided to get our car washed...I only had a $20 bill but Sis G said it would give me $ bills back.  She put my $20 bill in and out came $14 of quarters!! It was hilarious.  She was like right when I put that in, I looked at the things I was like "Hmm... I wonder where the dollar bills will come out of."  We had dinner over at the Millers.  They have 4 super cute very well behaved young kids who all want to go to BYU and serve missions.  They fed me my official "greenie dinner."  We had pesto pasta, green salad, green Kool-Aid, honeydew melon and green rice krispie treats.  It was so fun!  After we did our usual stops around less actives homes.  We are hoping to get the R family to church this week.  Sis G also made her final decision and is leaving for 30 days to go to the doctor in AZ to get better.  I am staying in Yuba City... but that is all I know right now.  I will either be in a trio or get a brand new companion.  We'll know by the weekend...
Sis Allen "

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Lexis' Journal Entry July 7, 2013

"Sis G is really having a hard time.  I honestly think that Satan knows we could do so many great things (cause I've seen it already) and he is really trying to get her down to her lowest point.  She even talked about going home and called President and her family to talk with them about it.  A mission really is the hardest thing in the world and it sucks, but you have to keep moving forward because the blessings after and in the future are endless.  I know with all my hear that would forever regret going home.  Yeah, of course its easier, but easy doesn't teach us anything.  But theres this 30day medical release that might do and she will go down to AZ to a special doctor and get help... then she would hopefully come back.  We had dinner with the S's tonight.  He's a convert and she is just getting over her 4th or 5th year cancer free.  They are a really awesome couple. We went to see a less active tonight. She was great... but her house was covered in cat hair and cigarette smoke.  I could barely breathe.  It was so bad and tonight I have red itchy bloodshot eyes because of it.  I was laying in bed and Sis G came in and was like, "Oh My! What is wrong with your eyes!?"  We went over to the F's (LA couple) around 7pm and read with them for an hour.  Sis F is not really great at reading so she gets frustrated and starts to cry.  It was super awkward because one second we were reading in 2 Nephi 2 and the next she was in tears... They're a little different... She's the one who lifted up her shirt, shook her belly and said "I'm too fat to go to church!"  Haha Oh man, the people we run in to.  Gotta keep things interesting, I guess.
Sis Allen "

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lexis' Journal Entry July 6, 2013

"Sis G is still not feeling well.  They have no idea what wrong and woke up with a rash.  This morning after study we had a new member lesson with A & J.  Sis W, one of the ward missionaries, taught most of the lesson and we helped facilitate.  It went really well and hopefully they have a deeper understanding of the Plan of Salvation.  My days have started to all mush into one thing and sometimes its hard to remember what we did each day.  We did get to have lunch with Bro & Sis M (Bro M is the ward mission leader.) They took us to this awesome place called CILANTROS... man, it was amazing and I'm going to craving more all day.  After lunch, we came home for a while and Sis G rested.  We visited a couple people later today who were former investigators.  One of them, R, we made an appointment to come back and gave him a B.O.M.  We saw J today, he was doing okay and hadn't smoked all day!  It was also Sis S's birthday and so we made her a little birthday basket and took it over to her.  Sis F (Relief Society President) called her to wish her a Happy Birthday and she told her that she would be at church tomorrow.  Sis G and I are pumped.  We probably high fived a hundred time and jammed out to some upbeat hymns as celebration!! :-) (missionary problems...)  The S's had us over for dinner tonight and then we had our weekly meeting with Bro M.  Although we didn't get to be out as much as we wanted, it still was a good day.  It's hard at times, especially with Sis G sick, but I'm trying my best to be patient and positive.
Sis Allen "

Friday, July 5, 2013

Lexis' Journal Entry July 5th, 2013

"This morning we did weekly planning until about 1pm.  Then we got to go to lunch with Sis P and Sis Giani!!! Sister Giani went on exchanges today and so she was in our area.  Sadly, she is having a bit of a hard time with her companion, Sis T.  She kind of has a really big personality, wakes up late cause she's always sick and just isn't really meshing well with Sis Giani.  I'm hoping and praying that things will get better.  Bad companions are the worst because you feel like they don't really want to be out here and then you start feeling like there's no point.  Its hard. Sis G always says if she were to go home, she would go live with my mom in Provo and keep an eye on Zane.  Haha.  She's so funny and I definitely miss her.  I hope we get to serve again because we are the same person.  We met with 2 less actives today from the ward.  Sis H is older and loves to talk.  We probably got 12 words in during the whole time we were over.  Haha.  We also visited Bro P.  He was super nice and his wife has lupus and is Catholic.  He comes when he can but it seems like he and his wife have a bit of religion conflict.  It really just makes it so much easier when you and your spouse believe the same things.  When you don't it causes a lot more unnecessary stress.  We were able to see the S's today and we are going to be going over to teach the restoration Wednesday night.  Tonight we had dinner over at the P's and oh man, that was an adventure!! I have not laughed that hard in the longest time.  I was in tears.  So first of all, we had dinner scheduled for 6pm and we didn't actually eat till 7pm.  Bro P is so sweet but very deaf and he sat with us for an hour going on and on about his life for an hour.  Then when we finally got dinner we saw cucumber and avocado on Sis G's plate, which she hates...So, we were talking and Sis G was trying to quietly tell me to eat hers.  (Sis P does not hide how she feels well and gets offended when you don't eat everything.)  Anyways, I saw a pic of a temple across the room, I asked which temple it was.  As Sis & Bro P looked over I grabbed the first cucumber and shoved it in my mouth.  Then Sis G caught on and asked what the picture was right next to it.  Then again, as they looked I grabbed the cucumber and VOILA they were gone.  It was hilarious because they had NO idea. We were trying to stop laughing the whole time they were just sitting there having a normal  convo with us.  The best part was Sis P was talking about how many times they've moved and cause Bro P can't really hear she basically yelled and annunciated "NINETIMES!" over and over again.  We lost it and I laughed so hard... and the best part was after Bro. P kept telling her it wasn't that many she counted and it really was only six.  I'm sure I'll read this and it won't actually be funny.  But we were DYING!  Our night ended when we had a chat with this 21 yr old air force kid who was drunk... we'll see if he actually makes it to church on Sunday...
Sis Allen

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Lexis' Journal Entry July 4th, 2013

"Lets just say that this fourth of July was very different from any other before this.  Haha. We had a full proselyting day and from the very start, it went very well. We found 3 investigators today, which was such an answer to prayer our first one is Samuel.  We met him this morning and he was outside his house watering the grass.  He is a member of the Basilican faith from Mexico.  I'm pretty positive when dad and I were in Mexico City we visited their cathedral.  They believe something about Mary of Guadalupe...but we were talking & Asked "what he thinks happens to us after we die?"  He says that a question he hasn't known/found the answer to yet.  I told him about the Plan of Salvation and how God wants us all, as a family, to return to him and live with all our loved ones forever.  He was very interested to hear more and we are going back next Saturday to teach him and his family!  Right after S, we ran into V.  V had a hard time accepting B.O.M. because the last verses of Revelations says that any man that add to the Bible will be given plaques.  We tried to help her understand that God through Joseph Smith restored the gospel and translated the B.O.M. That's one of the hardest questions we get asked is "Where's evidence of the B.O.M. in the Bible?"  and the other hard one is "If God loves us, why do bad things happen to good people?"  I'm hoping to slowly learn the answer to both.  We saw two Less active's today, Bro H and Sis B.  Well Sis B is active but her health makes it hard sometimes.  Its so crazy hearing the different stories of people and I've just been so humbled because I don't think you really realize how lucky we are.  I've also realized that it is a really rare thing to have a good solid family.  Most families here suffer from poverty, single parent homes, abuse of all kinds, neglection, etc.  Most areas are low income and most are on welfare.  But that's basically like living on nothing.  It's extremely sad and just extremely humbling.  And definitely a reality check/wake up call.  We saw A, J and C again tonight.  They are recent converts and are just an amazing family with the greatest testimonies.  After we read Enos with A and her kids, we walked down the street & ran into M and Z.  A mom and her 10 year old daughter.  Z is really into religion and so smart.  We gave them B.O.M. and are hoping to go back next Wednesday to teach a lesson. It is so awesome and we are feeling so blessed/grateful to Heavenly Father.  So this really was not the typical 4th of July...the only "holiday" things we participated in were: a barbeque at Bishop K's, one mini firework at A's and the noise of fireworks as we tried to fall asleep. Haha!  It definitely was not a typical 4th of July, but we saw so many blessings/answers to prayers and that's all that matters.
Sis Allen

*We went to a super sketchy Chinese buffet for lunch...haha It was definitely an experience!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lexis Journal Entry July 3, 2013

"We finally went proselyting today!! Sis G was determined to go out and do work, so we did!  It felt so good to be out and in the sun.  We had district meeting this morning and were combined with another district because there were only 4 people at theirs cause the Buttes Vista Sisters are sick. We talked a lot about the B.O.M. and how it can help with conversion.  This morning for breakfast we had plain oatmeal with fresh banana and nectarines.  It was pretty nasty!!  I don't know how this whole "diet" thing is going to work.  After district meeting we visited two less actives from the ward and even saw the S family! (their daughters recent converts and now we're teaching the mom & son)  We then had the feelling we should go see a referral from the Elders.  Gill and Judy walked in to the church last week & talked with the Elders about meeting with missionaries. The address the Elders gave us was 120 B Street & there was no apartment 24.  So we were walking out to the car and I looked across the street and there was 1201 B Street.  The complex had 24 apartments and thankfully Apt #24 was really Bill and Judy.  They have been married for 32 years and are very strong Christians.  They had Bibles, gospel books and "Jesus loves me" smiley face stickers everywhere.  They really like to talk so it was hard getting a word in. We basically taught the first lesson but it just took 40 min. longer than usual because we had to start talking at the end of his sentence when he was about to take a breath.  They are very spiritual and know so much about the Bible.  Sis G and I left them with our phone number and a Book of Mormon.  They are very hesitant about reading it but offered to come back and read with them.  We really hope they read and call us.  They sound like they need something more & we could be it.  We went home and had dinner from the Hendricks.  Because Sis Grant's been sick people have just been bringing our meals to us, which is super kind and awesome. We both got to meet with President Weston tonight and he told me I need to push Sis G to get out because she will get better faster if she's outdoing the work.  He told me he already knows I'm an awesome missionary and that I'm going to have a "remarkable mission."  He is super awesome!  We were able to have a lesson tonight with Jeff.  He was smiley and I think he even laughed tonight.  Which is so unusual cause Jeff really doesn't say much.  At all.  We introduced him to something we want to try to help him stop smoking.  We are going to try and find some hobbies he can do during the day to keep his mind busy and off to smoking.  He thinks its a good idea but doesn't know what he would want to do.  We read Moroni 6 & 7 with him.  He really likes it but needs to learn how to apply the B.O.M. to himself.  Then he will get more out of it.  Our last stop was at Sis F's home, shes active, but is having a hard time finding a job.  She had one all lined up at the Laundromat but the manager basically lied to her about the position.  She quit her other job for this one too...its so sad.  A lot of people here have no job and have a really hard time finding one.  Its sad.  I am definitely here to be humbled.  I already feel myself becoming more patient, a better listener, and happier/more loving.  This mission has already been so great for me.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lexis' Journal Entry July 2nd, 2013

"Once again we were stuck at home.  This morning I didn't feel so well.  I felt pretty nauseous and my stomach felt uneasy.  I got to take a nap and that felt really nice.  My stomach is still a little uneasy but I'm trying to remain positive.  I'm hoping that if I just act like I'm not sick, my body will play along with me.  Sis. G did go in to the Dr again and they are going to give her a CAT scan on her stomach just to make sure there's nothing going on in there.  Tonight Sis P came over and wrote out a paper of all the foods that hydrate, dehydrate and are toxic for the body.  Basically Sis G and I are on a diet, starting tomorrow where we only eat fruits, veggies, beans and chicken... We're hoping this will help her out.  The mission nurse told her to eat things that were super dehydrating which is why she wasn't really getting better.  We've also decided to go out tomorrow.  We are gong to do one hour out and one hour of rest all day.  She needs to keep her body moving even though she doesn't want to.  Hopefully this whole thing works!  I just want her to be better!  I'm running out of things to do with my day. 
-Sis Allen
P.S.  I made it through 1 Nephi...on my way to 2 Nephi!"

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1st, 2013

An email from Lexis....
"helloooo everybody! it feels like its been so long since I have written to you guys.

I am serving in Yuba City, California. Home of the top population of Punjab's and ice cream trucks. Seriously, you always hear that ice cream truck song ringing around town when we are out. Every single ice cream truck is also driven by a Punjab man...meaning those guys who wear the turbans. It is my number one goal before i leave this area to take a picture with an ice cream truck driven by a Punjab. Also, almost every house we go to has the strong aroma of weed. Classic california. Thats what happens when its legal. Haha.
I got my new companion on Wednesday. Her name is Sister Grant, she is from Las Vegas, 20 years old, and has been out here serving for 3 months. She just finished her 12 weeks of training and so she is just barely done being trained. She is 5' 1"...CLASSIC! I always get put with the shortest companions but they are always the best ones. So i gladly accept. Plus, Heavenly Father has a sense of humor obviously so i cant help but laugh.
everything is going super well! my companion has been sick since Friday with dehydration and other things so we haven't had much time to go out. On wednesday we went out and started my first tracting experience. I picked a street called Fruitvale that kept catching my eye on the area map. We knocked on three doors. The first house wasnt interested. The second house we met a man named Terry. His wife had just passed away from diabetes and so we had a nice conversation with him. We ended up leaving him with a plan of salvation pamphlet. He kept saying how he wasnt interested in a new religion but was just waiting for something to come and tell him what his next step in life could be. (which totally could be going to church) We plan on going back next week to check in and chat with him about the plan of salvation. The next house we went to was a lady named April. She has been taking lessons with Jehovah's Wittnesses (there are a lot of them out here and we always say "if someone can be a JDub then they can be a Mormon. :)) She actually told us that her stepmom was LDS and that she had gone to our church building and our ward back when she was 12. We invited her to church on sunday and told her that if she ever needs help with anything to let us know. She has a sickness that sometimes prevents her from working some days. Sadly, she didnt show up to church but we did get a referral from her. So we are going to go check in with the referral this week.

My first meal in Yuba City was Subway. Sister Grant says its a tradition to get Subway for your first meal in our area. Luckily, i had a subway gift card! (THANKS!)
Thursday we got to go out again. All of our previous plans fell through but we got to talk to a TON of people. We visited a lot of Less Actives from the ward and ended up having dinner at a Less Active's house (which was a miracle).
My address is: 745 Lincoln road Apt #38 Yuba City, CA

Letters are still greatly appreciated and desired. :) I love packages full of good stuff (no candy) too.

well i love you all and hope everyone is doing well.
keep updating me on your lives. miss you all like crazy!

sister allen"

Lexis' Journal Entry July 1, 2013

"It's July!  Crazy how time flies but at the same time it feels like the days are so long.  Today was my first P-day. This morning we picked up the Buttes Vista sisters & went to the library to email.  I have such a hard time remembering exactly what I need to say & so I'm going to carry around a notepad and write down things I want to email people about.  So much happens in one week here and so its to remember.  We went grocery shopping (finally!) and I know have food to eat.  The rest of the day we spent at home because Sis. G is still sick...I get so bored at home.  I watched 3 different "movies," read scriptures, one Ensign, took a nap, cleaned some of our apartment, did laundry and still had time on my hands.  I guess I shouldn't complain because I probably won't ever get this again on my mission.  We called the mission nurses and they want Sis.G to stay in again tomorrow. Ugh... I have to find ways to keep myself busy.  I hope she gets better soon and then we can go out and work.  Oh and we had to miss our dinner appointment, but Bro and Sis M brought us over a fresh spinach salad, melon and awesome bread.  I guess they are vegetarians but that salad was awesome.  I'm praying Sis. G will wake and be feeling 100% better but we'll see.
--Sis Allen"