Monday, August 19, 2013

An email from Sister Allen

Hello all!
How has everyone been? I cant believe its Monday once again. It feels like it was just yesterday when i was writing everyone. This past week has been jammed packed and the work is hastening on like crazy!
Sister Macdonald and I would like to request a favor from you all. TELL THE PEOPLE TO STOP FEEDING US! Haha. Okay, seriously the food we get fed is delicious but I have never felt so full in my lifetime. I am so grateful, of course, that we are being fed so generously. But, people, my stomach can only take so much food. Sister Mac and I have started carrying around Tums in our purses because our stomachs literally hurt with how much food people feed us. Its a blessing and a curse. :)
The wedding was on friday night and was BEAUTIFUL! seriously, it turned out so great and was definitely a perfect simple wedding. I will send pictures. :) They are finally married and like Vaughn said, "It only took her 20 years to say yes." They are doing really well and were smiling from ear to ear all night long. The baptism is still on for the 31st for may have to be moved to the week after or the thursday before because of Bro Myers, the person baptizing Vaughn, is going out of town that weekend. We are hoping that it happens on the 28th, but all we know right now is there will definitely be a baptism.

My allergies are acting up like crazy. It doesnt help that everyone has cats and that Yuba City is basically the pollen capital of the world. (That claritin is coming in handy mom) People are really attached to their animals here and me being the cat hater that i am, have a really hard time when every person grabs their cat, sticks it in my face saying "This is Snuggles." with a big grin basically asking me to pet it and love it. But guess what? i dont love it. i dont love snuggles and i dont like that cats make my eyes red and itchy. Sadly, they dont know/care and i have to fake my affection towards "Snuggles" by petting it and saying "aww...what a nice cat". While inside i am just thinking "holy cow, i will not be able to breathe tonight" and "do not touch anything with my right hand until i find a bathroom." This happens a couple times each day and hand sanitizer is my new best friend. :)
Jim, the 81 year old man from the Buttes Vista area, got baptized on saturday. We asked him how he felt about getting baptized and he let out a "humpf" as he shrugged his shoulders. Haha. It was a really cool experience and I am so glad that he finally got himself off of tobacco and coffee long enough to be baptized. He has been waiting a long time for this. He requested roast beef hash and grape, sugar free kool aid for refreshments and I have never seen him so happy.
On wednesday we were invited by one of our investigators to a lutheran church for a 'serve the homeless' dinner. We were a little worried about going, but it ended up being a great thing. We saw Terry, the woman who recieved the preisthood blessing a couple weeks ago. We have been trying to get a hold of her, but she is always working or sleeping. She was in really good spirits that night and invited us to come over on monday (tonight). She introduced us to her daughter and goes "These are MY missionaries. They are sooo wonderful!" We also picked up a new investigator there, his name is Steve and he even came to church yesterday. It was great to see him there and he is really open to learning more about churches. He says he has always gone to different ones but he has never found one that really sticks. Hopefully we will see him this week and be able to begin teaching him the lessons. I know without a doubt that the spirit will testify to him that our church is where he needs to be. The pastor of the Lutheran church came up to us as we were about to leave and was a little shocked to see us there. We quickly told him that we were not proselyting and were invited by a friend to just meet people and have a good time talking with people. He invited us to come and talk with him anytime and we may take him up on that offer. That might be an interesting conversation...
Things are going really well with our investigator Brad. He basically committed himself to September 21st for a baptismal date and we are so excited! We had a lesson with him on Saturday afternoon at the park. We taught him the gospel of jesus christ and it all made sense. Because he was taking lessons at the baptist church about a year ago, it was all very familiar to him but he told us that he doesnt know why, but this time it just makes sense to him. He is also the reason for the title of my email today. We were teaching him about the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity at the beginning of the week and he goes "Hold up for a second. You know what i really like about ya'll? Ya'll are PASSIONATE!" and gave us high fives. Haha it was awesome and he said he really enjoys that we know what we know and we are not afraid to testify of it. Brad came to a baptism on Saturday night and then attended church yesterday. Everyone is so impressed by him and talks about how great he is every time we see a member from the ward. Last night we had another lesson with him over at the Millers home. We were considering going over the Word of Wisdom with him because on Saturday he promised us that he would not drink the whole time he was trying to make a decision about our church. He even went camping on saturday night and as all his friends were getting drunk, he literally sat there and kept his promise to us. His friends mocked him at first and tried to get him to drink, but he didnt. He stuck to his word. (Amazing, right?) So we thought we would teach him about the blessings of the WOW. I felt like that would be good, but might not be exactly what he needed. I suggested we say a prayer and right after i got done, Sister Macdonald and I were silent and then looked each other and at the same time said "Holy Ghost". The lesson was incredible. We taught him how he can receive answers to questions, what the holy ghost feels like, the difference between the power and the gift of the holy ghost (look it up in the bible dictionary for those of you who dont know...i didnt know there was a difference until i was out here.), etc. He told us that earlier he was talking to his Ex-wife and the first time she called, he was super irritated and sarcastic with her. Previous to the second call, he had a feeling that he really should take the time to listen to what she has to say and even if he doesnt agree with it to just not fight back. He said, "its funny ya'll talked about this because now i know that was the Holy Ghost testifying to me" I seriously couldnt stop smiling. HE GETS IT! HE GETS IT! Sister Macdonald and I both felt so grateful that we decided to pray about that decision and know that the Lord definitely knows his children better than we do. We listened to the prompting and taught him exactly what he needed to hear. Sadly, Brad is leaving today until Sept 11th and so we wont be able to see him obviously. We are trying to set up a system where we can skype with him once every week he is gone to have a lesson with him. We would skype at a members home and make sure he finishes most of the lessons with us by the time he gets back from Ohio.
Sister Mac and I had a miracle on Tuesday with a woman named Lucero. We were over in her neighborhood for a lesson, but sadly they canceled with us last minute. The two of us decided that we would tract all the houses at the end of this street to be productive. We started going to each house and not a single house answered. We got to the other side of the street and were at the last house before the house that we started at and finally a woman answered. Her name was Lucero, she is in her early 20s and has two little girls. She is originally a Jehovahs Witness, but hasnt gone for a long time. We asked her if she had met with missionaries before and she said she had, twice. The first time was when she was in her teens and she just remembers that she loved the missionaries and thought they were so great. Sadly, her missionaries were transferred and so she discontinued the lessons. The second time was about two years ago. She was pregnant at the time and was on bed rest a lot, so she didnt have much time to meet with them. We continued to talk with her and all of a sudden she stopped us. She goes, "you guys are going to think i am crazy. i cant even believe this. i just got a good look at what your nametags say and read your last names. Macdonald and Allen? Those are the same last names as the Elders that taught me two years ago." I suddenly got the chills and could not even believe it. What a miracle! She was in shock and told us that we could DEFINITELY come back and teach her now. no questions asked. We have a lesson with her tomorrow and both of us have a feeling that this is her time! Third times the charm, right?
We had another crazy miracle on Saturday afternoon. After our lesson with Brad outside and another lesson after that on our other investigators front porch in the blazing heat, we decided it would be a good option to grab some water. The closest thing to us was a 7/11 and we decided to stop there. We walked in and one of our investigators, David was there! He had found work today and was treating himself to two hot dogs. We grabbed our water and some 2/$2 gatorades and headed back out to the car. The car right next to us had a hispanic man and his daughter sitting in it. As i was getting in, the man called out and said "hey, are you guys mormons?" in a thick mexican accent. We told him we were and he says, "I am Enrique." My jaw dropped! Enrique is a man that was a referral from online on We have stopped by his house almost every day the past two weeks hoping to catch him. The referral told us that he was baptized in 2009, but hasnt been active for the past 3 years due to some word of wisdom problems. He got out of his car and told us that he had gotten our card we left on his door and was sorry he hadnt gotten a hold of us sooner. He asked for the spanish elders to go over there and hopefully he went to church yesterday at the spanish branch. We are so blessed to have finally found him and who knew that a random 7/11 would be the place!

Look up Ether 12:27, that is a wonderful scripture that i have been sharing with everyone this week. heavenly father gives us trials so that we will come closer to him and ask for his help. All we have to do is recognize that we cant be alone through our trials, humble ourselves, and he will make us strong. There is no other way by which we can overcome our trials. I know that to be true and wish to tell everyone out here that there is hope.
I love everyone so much and am so grateful for all the love and support!
Sister Allen

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