Monday, October 21, 2013

An email from Sister Allen

Man! this week was pretty hilarious!
Where do I even begin with the stories from this week? There are too many to tell.
There is a homeless man named R who sits outside of the post office every single day begging for money. We talk to him each time we go to the post office and he is super awesome. He was baptized in to a christian church last year and is originally from Logan, Utah. Small world. His whole family is LDS and has a lot against the church because those he knows in the church would judge him for his tattoos and the decisions he made earlier in his life. We finally had time this week to stop and have a full lesson with him. We had given him a Book of Mormon a few weeks ago, but just now had time to catch up with him. He has told us before that he didn't go to church much because he wanted to choose when he worships and says "hello to God", as he puts it. We thought that 3 Nephi 20 would be an awesome scripture to read with him, so he could understand the meaning and importance of the sacrament. And how we are commanded to partake the sacrament. We sat down with him on the curb right outside the post office and started reading. He loved it and was so grateful that we were there to read with him and explain to him exactly what each verse meant. He loves the scriptures but has a hard time understanding what it all means. At the end, I asked if we could close with a prayer. He said yes and all of a sudden I feel his arm around my shoulders...I was so caught off guard and then felt Sister Mac's arm around my shoulders, as if this was a normal thing you do when praying...I could not stop laughing. I could feel Sister Mac next to me laughing and tried my best to control my laughter as I went on to say the prayer.
How many of you knew Hostess was up and running again? Well, i didnt. On Wednesday night, we were out trying to contact some of our referrals. We had just come from dinner and Sister MacDonald had to use the restroom so bad. We stopped at the local grocery store and as she was in the restroom I just was browsing around the aisle I was standing in. I looked over and did a double take. I saw Twinkies and Ding Dongs. None of that imitation stuff. This was the real deal. I stood there with a box of Twinkies in my hand, thinking to myself, "I really am so set apart from the world that I didn't even know Hostess made a come back. I can't wait to tell Sister Mac. This is crazy!" She walks out of the restroom and sees me standing there with this box of Twinkies. I'm standing there with this big grin on my face, "Do you know what these are?!" "Uhh, Twinkies?" "Yes! Hostess made a come back! Isn't that crazy that we didn't even hear about that?" "Umm, Sister Allen, Hostess went back in to business back in didnt hear about that?", as she's trying to hold back her laughter. Yeah, I felt like an idiot.Haha guess I was just out of the news loop when I was home.  But hey, Hostess is back people! Not that I will be eating it. My stomach ain't got room for that.
Saturday we didn't have any set appointments, so we spent the day finding on Cooper Avenue. We ran in to a bunch of interesting people, as always, and even picked up a new investigator. We knocked on one door and there was no answer. The front window was wide open and as we walked away, I quickly wrote our phone number on a pass along card and jokingly frisbeed it at the house. It went through the open window and landed right behind the curtains. Haha! Who knows, maybe that pass along card is the answer to someones prayer. As we kept walking down Cooper, we met an older man who is a member of the church, but has been inactive since he was 15 because someone in seminary accused him of smoking weed when it really was his friend who was. As he was telling us this story, I was just thinking to myself, that's what has ruined your chance at salvation? Someone wrongfully accusing you? He also went on to tell us that he is an avid marijuana smoker and that he will continue to be until the day he dies. Big goals, big goals.

Sunday was the primary program. R, K, and C all had parts in the program and did awesome. Sister Mac and I were dying the whole time because R was standing up there in the back row with his dad's giant suit coat on.
Last week I told you all about the D girls and how they told us they want to be baptized. We went to contact them this week and had no success. We knocked on their front door and we could hear someone in there. They looked out the peep hole and all we heard was, "Oh! Its the church girls!" and then nothing...haha. We got a hold of their dad on Saturday and plan on going back this week to start the lessons with the three girls.
M was moved to a care home in Marysville this week. (our hilarious investigator who thought Hitler was the first person on earth, even though he has a giant tattoo of Eve on his right forearm...yeah.) He was planning on coming back to Yuba City to live with his sister on Tuesday, but we found out last night that his sister isn't a great environment for him to live in. He has to stay in the care home, which stinks for us because now we wont be able to teach him, but when we called him last night he told us he wants the Elders in Marysville to come teach him so he can keep working towards baptism. We're all working for the same cause out here, so we feel good about handing him over to the Elders.
Saturday was the birthday of one of our less actives in the ward. L was baptized a year ago, but hasn't come to church since then. We have been really working with her, but she just had hand surgery last week and is on a lot of intense meds. We bought a cupcake for her and ran over to her house to drop it off. There was a sign on the door that read, "please ring the door bell." We rang the door bell probably about 8 or 9 times and faced the fact that she probably wasn't going to come out. (She has a past with depression and hiding away from everyone for long periods of time) The window right next to the door was cracked open and we decided to use that to our advantage. Sister Mac and I sang her "Happy Birthday" real loud with our faces pressed up to the window screen. We still don't know if she actually heard it, but its the thought that counts, right? :)
A little update on H, M's daughter. We have started on the fourth lesson with her and sadly had to move her baptism date back to the 9th of November because she didn't show up to church yesterday. She is having a hard time because their family just found out they have to be moved out of the house by Nov 15th and then they will have no house and no income. We are continually asking the people in our ward for job ideas and homes that they see are for rent. I really hope we can help their family and that they will realize the peace they can feel from church. Especially at this time in their life.
Last night the community put on a Christian Choir Festival over at the Faith Lutheran Church in Marysville. Different christian churches came together to sing and "praise together". We had an awesome time and it was so cool to see all the churches join together in unity. On the last song, the pastor of the church invited all of the choirs back up to sing together. Sister Mac and I thought it would be funny to just walk up there and act like we knew what we were doing. We went up to the front with everyone and stood there nice and tall, singing the last song. You only mission once.
We were confronted this week about the rumor that our church is a "cult". This is the first time I had really heard someone straight up say it to us while I have been out here on my mission. We were on our way out of the library when a man by the name of B stopped us and asked what our badges said. We told him and he said, "I knew that's what you would say. But I haven't ever met girl missionaries before, is that a new thing?" We explained to him the age change and then he started to talk about how every time he meets missionaries he tells them to read the book "Kingdom of the Cults"...sounds pretty inviting, right? While we were talking to him, you could feel the spirit just leave. Every time we would tell him something about the church, he would say, "Hmm, i didn't know that.." I just couldn't help but think, maybe you should know a little bit about the church before you accuse them of being something they're not. He wouldn't give us his address or any way to contact him so that we could teach him more, but we gave him a copy of all six of the pamphlets and let him go on his way. Sad that people think certain things based on random literature.

Last week and a lot of this week will be spent contacting the Less Active's in our ward. Our ward is putting on their annual Chili Cook Off/Trunk or Treat this Saturday. Brother M, our ward mission leader, says that this is the one event where all the less actives come out of hiding, so we are really looking forward to it. Our ward invited the Spanish Branch as well, so we are expecting a large turn out and a lot of delicious Chili.
Transfers happen each six weeks. The end of my third set of six weeks is this Sunday. Sister Mac and I are praying that we stay together at least for two more transfers, but who knows what the Lord has in store for us? We'll find out Sunday!
I love this gospel. I love missionary work. I love my companion. We work so well together. One thing i would tell all missionaries is, Do NOT forget to have fun! There are so many things in life to enjoy. Don't take life too seriously.
I love it out here! Love you all!

Sister Allen

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