Monday, August 12, 2013

An email from Sister Allen...

hello everyone!
happy two month mark to me!! its official. i have been out here for two months so far and i cant believe it. 2 months seems like it came and went so quick. Its been a crazy and amazing ride so far. I am so lucky to be out here. The Lord has shown his trust in me and I in him throughout these past two months. Lets see, its been two months and i lost my trainer in the first two weeks, joined a trio, covered two huge areas, and now im training. Maybe i should stop saying "BRING IT ON!". But then again, maybe i shouldnt stop because i feel extremely happy and that this is exactly what was supposed to happen.

My new companion is awesome! Everyone told me training would be hard, but i actually love it! My companions name is Carissa Macdonald. She is from Centerville, Utah and went to Utah State for a semester before coming out here. Its really funny because we know all of the same people and we both think we have seen each other before. She is super cute and ready to work hard! Sis. Macdonald is definitely super in tune with the spirit and that has been such a blessing in our companionship. It is so awesome and we are getting along so well. This past week it felt like the miracles were endless each day. One after another kept happening and it is an amazing thing.

Friday was our MIRACLE DAY. It literally was like one after another, something kept happening and it was amazing. So we went to lunch on Friday with our Ward Mission Leader, Bro Miller. At lunch, he said that one of the missionaries who previously served in Feather River told him that the days she saw the most miracles is when they decided to park way down the street and walk all the way to the lessons. Stopping to talk to every single person along the way. So after lunch, we decided to give it a try. Our lesson was with Eddie, a referral from the website that we had made an appointment with the night before. We parked 3 blocks away from his house and got out of the car to walk. Thats when the miracles began. As we were walking, a woman named Patrika rolled up on her electric scooter. She asked us if we had any food we could spare her and coincidentally Bro Miller had just given us this small box of fresh vegetables to eat. We told her that we had this box of veggies in the car and asked if she wanted to go with us back to our car and grab them. She was so grateful. We gave her the food and started talking with her about the church. She said she believed in God and He was the one who has gotten her through life. She doesnt belong to a certain religion and doesnt find it necessary, but
definitely believes in God. We gave her a Restoration pamphlet and invited her to meet with us this next week. We promised that the message we had was one of hope and could bless her life and help her through the challenges she was facing in life. She agreed to meet with us and we are going back tonight to teach her the first lesson. MIRACLE #1! We started back down the road towards Eddies and sadly, Eddie was still in Sacramento and wasnt going to be back until later that evening. We rescheduled with him for Saturday and then decided to go back to the car. As we were walking down his driveway and just as we had stepped on to the sidewalk a man on a bike called out to us and says "HEY! Are you guys sisters?" We turned around in surprise and told him we were. This is David. David is a member of the church. He has been inactive for about 20 years. He was in the bishopric, served a mission in Japan, and suffers from alcoholism. He has begun to turn his life around and has started attending AA meetings. David has been attending the Pentacostal church for a year now and is living with one of the families in the church. He has been praying and searching for the missionaries because he feels like now is the right time to come back to the "church of his fathers and ancestors", as he called it. He has struggled a lot in the past with different worldly temptations and definitely needs the power of the Atonement in his life. Sis Macdonald promised him that the Atonement and this gospel could bless his life and he could be happy again. He started crying and he knows that this is exactly where he needs to be. He told us he would attend church on Sunday and we gave him the Bishops number so he could meet with him as well. (Yes, he did come to church yesterday. He only stayed for sacrament but at least he came. :) We also asked him if he had been reading in his Book of Mormon. David told us that his mom kept bugging him to save up his money to buy one, but at this time with no income he couldnt put that as his first priority. We pulled a brand new copy out of our bag and told him "here, you can have this one for free." He started crying again and said this was an answer to his prayers and how grateful he was that he stopped us. He called us again last night and we are meeting with him tomorrow. He asked us to teach him and go through the lessons with him again and we are so excited to help him through this.) Another random thing, he knows a bunch of Sis Macdonalds family because his sister and his parents live up in the Centerville area. His niece even went to highschool with Sis Macdonald. He graduated from Viewmont and so did Sis Macdonald as well as her parents. Our hearts were so full with gratitude for heavenly father for leading him to us. We said a prayer directly after and both of us were holding back tears. It was an amazing moment filled with the spirit. So yeah, that was GIANT Miracle #2!! We thought that was more than enough miracles for one day, but heavenly father thought differently. :) As we were walking back down to our car, there was a man sitting on the street corner smoking a cigarette. We stopped and began talking with him. Our conversation went a little like this:
Us: "Hi there. We are the sister missionaries from the church of jesus christ of latter day saints. How are you doing today?"
Him: "Im fine."
Us: "You just hanging out trying to cool down. Its really hot today."
Him: "yup." (at this point, we thought all hope was lost haha.)
Us: "Well, have you ever talked with missionaries before? Are you religious at all?"
Him: "Ive been baptized."
Us: "Oh really? Thats cool. When were you baptized?"
Him: "When I was 8..."
(the wheels started turning in my head but there was no way that he could actually be baptized in our church, right? you dont meet random people in yuba city that are apart of your church. theres just not that many members here...but i asked anyways...)
Me: "Oh okay...well, uhm, what church were you baptized in?"
Him: "Your church. The mormon church."
Thats when my jaw almost hit the floor. What the? You dont just meet people who have already been baptized...those things just dont happen. haha. BUT, everythings possible with the Lord. My goodness though!!
We talked to him a little more about his past with the church. He told us he had been inactive for about 6 years. He didnt have a Book of Mormon and we told him to wait there as we literally ran back to the car and ran back with one in our hand. It was AWESOME! That was miracle friday. three miracles within thirty minutes and we were so grateful.

Brad, our investigator who is 21 and in the Air Force, has been meeting with us a lot this week! He even came to church yesterday and stayed all three hours! He loved church! He was talking all about it and liked the personal aspect of it. He said it was very simple and thats how religion should be. Sunday night he even came to the YSA fireside. (Sister Macdonald and I both had the opportunity to speak to the young adults in our ward and let them know our conversion stories. It was an amazing moment and I felt very blessed to share.) Brad was talking about how it was "his church" and "when he's a member of the church". WOW! i couldnt believe my ears. We are hoping to have him baptized by September 14th. Sadly, he will be out of town from Aug 20-Sept 11, but we are planning on setting up lessons over Skype at a members home with him so we can get through all the lessons. :) He is so ready. He just doesnt know it yet!

The Schmidt-Bosquet wedding is this week and we have lots of things to prepare for the big day. Sister Macdonald and I are in charge of the decorations and I am now grateful for those countless hours of pinning on pinterest. haha. Its going to be beautiful, simple, and just what they need. The 31st is still the date that we are planning on for his baptism. Yesterday was hard for him and was dealing with some of his PTSD. He is still doing well and keeping all his commitments. Satan will definitely start trying him as the days wind down.

Oh yeah, i sprained my ankle in soccer on Tuesday morning. That was fun. I had to hobble around on crutches for the day and my ankle was very swollen. Things are looking better this week and by Thursday it was feeling a lot better.

EVERYONE, read 2 Nephi 26:33. It is my favorite scripture right now and a huge testament that everyone deserves a chance at this gospel. No matter who they are, they deserve eternal life. Everyone can change and that is why we have the blessings of the Atonement in our life. Look at people at what they can become and the potential they have, instead of the way they are at this point in their life. Everyone can grow and learn and God will deny no one from the blessings of his gospel. Dont be afraid to invite. Invite with love and the spirit will testify to them that this gospel is the true word of god. This is the same church that Jesus organized when he was on the earth. They will come to understand that as you do your part as member missionaries. I know that with all of my heart.
thank you for all of the packages, letters, and emails. i love you all and wish i had more time to respond to you individually. i pray for each of you every day and dont worry about me because I am definitely being taken care of out here. By my amazing mission president, the members, my companion and especially by the Lord. I love you all and miss everyone!

Sister Allen

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