Monday, September 30, 2013

An email from Sister Allen...

Today is the BEST day to be a missionary...
I chopped my hair off! All you who were asking on facebook, its true! 8 inches, people. I can't believe I did it either. I seriously don't know how I gained the courage to do so, but it was much needed. I needed a change and I need to not get hair lice again. Also, after many prayers and washes with tea tree oil, we are proud to announce that all of the lice is gone!
This weekend was amazing as we had the opportunity to see Brad, our investigator, be baptized and make those covenants with Heavenly Father that will keep him happy for the rest of his life. His baptism went wonderful and the spirit was so strong. Brad walked down in to the water after Brother Miller and Bro Miller took a hold of Brads hand/arms, I guess Brad was a little excited to get in the water because as soon as he held on to Bro Miller, he started to bend his knees close his eyes and arch his back down in to the water. Haha. Luckily, Bro Miller stopped him in time before he dunked himself into the water. Bro Miller said the prayer and Brad came out of that water BEAMING! This guy has the biggest smile and just glows with the light of Christ. Not only was Brad baptized on Saturday, but he was confirmed and given the priesthood yesterday! Three ordinances in two steps, right? haha. Brad was also confirmed by Bro Miller and as he walked down the aisle back to his seat, he had a huge grin on his face and as he sat down he looked over and says, "I feel so good. I'm shaking!" Right after church we were able to join Brad and the Bishop as they ordained him a priest in the Aaronic priesthood. Next step, temple. He has already expressed his desire to go through the temple and do baptisms. His hope is to go a couple of times before he is deployed to Afghanistan in December. He has invited Sister Mac and I to go with him the first time he attends and we are hoping to get permission to do so. Brad is seriously the golden convert and is going to go so far in this gospel! He even shared some of his photos from his baptism and his testimony via Facebook. None of his family or friends are members and it was all his idea to share his testimony. In the words of Brad, "Do good, be good, feel good. Word."
Clayton, the little boy who is being baptized with his sisters on the 12th, has given us new nicknames. He can't say his R's and has the cutest lisp, so he now calls us Sticker McDonkey and Sister McAlien. I wish I could record him talking and send it to all of you. It has been really fun being able to come up with simple ideas and ways to teach young kids the lessons. Kendra, 13 year old, got up yesterday in fast and testimony meeting and bore her testimony. Everyone was amazed by her testimony and courage. They aren't even members yet, but they have the strongest desire to learn and grow in the gospel. It is truly amazing! They are counting down the days until they are baptized and we might be too...12 days. :) (which also means 12 days until my 4 month mark...uhhhhh, what? where has the time gone?)
I hope all of you were able to attend the Relief Society broadcast! It was truly wonderful and I received so many answers to my prayers. I would like to share some of the things that were said and suggest that all of you watch the full broadcast. (even if you arent a girl. haha.) They talked a lot about why it is so important to be covenant keeping people. A covenant is a binding spiritual contract. The Lord sets the terms and we promise to follow Him. The Lord rejoices in the soul that repenteth. We all have burdens to bear and share
Why do we keep covenants or promises with our Heavenly Father?
1. Covenant keeping strengthens, empowers, and protects.
2. Keeping covenants is essential to happiness
3. Keeping covenants demonstrates our love for our Savior and Father in heaven.
There is nothing that the Lord could ask of us, that we should not anxiously and willingly do.
We keep our covenants each day by being kind and serving others. When we realize that we are children of the covenant, we know who we are and what God expects of us. Do we recognize the ability and blessing it is that the Savior cleanses us each week when we partake of the sacrament? For those of us who are busy and distracted with children during sacrament, prepare on Saturday to renew your covenants and reflect on what you need to work on.
The Lord allows us to be tried and tested, sometimes to our MAXIMUM capacity, to strengthen us. Nothing that happens to us is a shock to him. Trials are what help us CLING to our covenants. The Lord wants to build us up, not tear us down. We can continually be purified by the Savior.
My favorite talk of them all was from our beloved prophet, Thomas S. Monson. He had so many good points and I will share with you some of them. Our trials are each different, but common for all. Remember prayer and God will speak peace to the soul. We were not placed on this earth to walk alone. He has assured us that He will be there to help, if we but ask. "Not my will, but thine be done." Prayer is not just for times of trouble. "Feast upon His words for peace, strength, and knowledge." -Gordon B. Hinckley
President Monson ended with the statement, "You will one day realize that He was always there through it all." This statement hit me like a ton of bricks. I look back at my life and all of the trials I have overcome or all of the times in my mission when He has been there with me. He has always been there. He will always be there and all we have to do is ask for Him to be there. What an amazing broadcast!!

Margaret, the woman who's husband died in the hospital when i was there, has committed to be baptized on October 26th. Two problems: 1. she needs to quit smoking and 2. she didnt come to church yesterday because she found work (and she really needs the money) and so now she might have to wait for the first week of November. (For those of you who dont know, investigators have to attend church 3 times before being baptized) Her 19 year old daughter, Hannah, has also committed to be baptized and last time we checked she had already read all the way through Jacob in the Book of Mormon. She loves when we come over to teach her and the Spirit is definitely testifying to her of the truthfulness of our message.
Sadly one of our investigators dropped us this past week. Elizabeth, who had a baptism date on the 26th, has told us that she found another church to attend. We were pretty bummed about it, but we know that the Lord has a plan for her. She will be a member one day in the Lords time and when He knows that she is ready. We will continue to pray for her and hope that she finds her way to the truth. :)
I told all of you last week that I would share my thoughts and studies on Charity, so here it is...1 Corinthians 13 (read it, if you havent already) talks all about the virtue of charity. Moroni 7:46, "If ye have not charity, ye are nothing." It is something so vital for each of us to develop and will make our actions and deeds so much greater if we obtain charity. Mosiah 2: 17, "serving others, serves God." D&C 88:125, "...clothe yourselves with the bond of charity...which is the bond of perfectness and peace..." 1 Peter 4:8, "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover (JST: preventeth a(see footnote a)) the multitude of sins." Alma 7:11-13, Christ suffered our pains, temptations, afflictions, sickness, sins, etc. just so we could repent and inherit the kingdom of heaven. 1 Nephi 19:9, Christ was spit upon and did nothing, because of his pure love towards us, the children of men. 2 Nephi 26:30, "if they should have charity they would not suffer..." Charity is the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love. It is not selfish, prideful, jealous, quick to anger, evil thinking, or rejoicing in others failure. Moroni 7:48, "...pray unto the father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love..." CLEAVE unto charity. All things must fail, but charity will not.
 My thoughts: We too easily become offended or get angry. there are so many promises of inheriting the kingdom of God if we are charitable. Charity makes all of our actions mean so much more. Life is short. Too short to hold grudges, too short to stay mad, too short to show jealousy, pride, and selfishness. All of those feelings are not from God, but are of Satan. When we feel that negativity burning inside of us, we are less capable of feeling the spirit and making good choices.
I am so grateful for this priceless time in my life where I have the opportunity to be edified and uplifted by my Heavenly Father. I know that He lives and that Christ suffered for all of our sins. I am grateful for the atonement and the opportunity we have to be forgiven because we are not perfect and He knows that. I am grateful that my Heavenly Father is always there for me, even when I think I am alone. I know he loves each and every one of us and wants us to be happy. I know that the only way that we can obtain this true, lasting happiness is through the true restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He gives us resources that we must use to their full potential in order to receive the greatest blessings of heaven and eternal life.
I love you all and thank you all for your love and support.

I am so grateful for each and every one of you. :)
Do good, feel good, be good. Word.


Sister Allen

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