Monday, November 25, 2013

An email from the incomparable Sister Allen...

First off, Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I really can't believe its already that time of the year. Sister Laws and I have been invited to TWO Thanksgiving dinners on Thursday and are already mentally preparing ourselves for two giant meals. The LaPlante's called dibs on us first, but Bishop had invited the sisters a while back and Sis Laws had forgotten about it. So now we are just going to both and everyone will be happy, except our full stomachs.
We had a pretty awesome week! The baptism went wonderfully. Wendy is officially a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She felt so peaceful and just watching her face as they did the confirmation was amazing. I've never seen anyone so peaceful. After she was all dried off from her baptism, Wendy got up in front of everyone and bore her testimony. It was the most beautiful, heartfelt testimony I have ever heard. Sister Laws and I are so lucky to know her and have been apart of her beautiful day. We seriously LOVE Wendy.
Wednesday we had the opportunity to spend the day with Elder Stanley G. Ellis of the first quorom of the seventy. He is really an amazing person and it was a privelage to have a zone conference with him. A couple of really amazing things happened this day. The week before in district meeting, they told us that we each needed to prepare a 5 minute talk on "How my faith is strengthened as I follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost" for this zone conference. There were 5 zones there, which means there was about 100 missionaries there and they don't tell you before hand who will be giving the talks. The AP's announced that only 2 missionaries would be giving talks today. They called out Elder Reynolds name and then the AP's said, "Sister Allen". My heart started beating a million miles a minute, I knew it was going to be me...I said a quick prayer and went up there to speak. Not only to these other missionaries, but to President Weston and a GENERAL AUTHORITY. My talk actually went really well and I told the story of the hospital and how we found Margaret. (even shared the scripture dad sent me about how we should all be as "bold as a lion") After my talk, I felt a little unsure if I should've shared my Margaret experience with everyone, but after lunch President Weston came up to me and told me I did a wonderful job and was so grateful that I shared my experience. He said that if I hadn't he would have asked me to come back up and share the story. So that definitely reassured me that it was indeed the Spirit constantly prompting me to share my Margaret miracle story.
After we had our lunch, all the missionaries were to return to their areas except for the district leaders, sister training leaders, trainers, and zone leaders. All of the leaders of the mission, were having a Leadership conference from Elder Ellis for the next hour. Since Sis Laws and I do not qualify as any of those things, we started back to the chapel to get our things to leave. On our way out, Sister Weston stopped me and asked why I wasn't in the ladership meeting yet because they were ready to start. I told her that I wasn't any of those leadership positions anymore (i just finished being a trainer for Sister MacDonald, but that was in Yuba City). She said that President Weston had specifically requested that I be there in this leadership conference, even though I did not hold a leadership position. I was the only one in there who didn't have a leadership calling. At the beginning, we went around and introduced ourselves and our leadership title...I just said, "um, hi, i'm sister allen and I am a senior companion?"  I was the only one there not called to an actual leadership position. Haha. I still have no idea why I was asked to be in there, but rumors around the mission are: 1. I am being made Sister Training Leader next transfer in the Granite Bay ward (because Sister Tittle, the sister training leader there is finishing her mission). OR 2. I am being switched to a spanish speaking mission and will be Sister Training Leader companions with a spanish Sister Training Leader. President Weston has asked me before if I would be able to speak/learn spanish, so you never know. Guess we will find out on December 8th, when transfer calls come.
Wednesday night, Elder Ellis held a fireside for nonmembers and less-actives only. Two of our investigators, Gerald and Tony, came to the fireside. Elder Ellis talked all about the Book of Mormon and it was a very amazing talk on what's in the BofM, what should and shouldn't be in the BofM, and what we learn from the BofM. Tony and Gerald both really enjoyed it. On our way out the doors, Elder Ellis stopped me and said shaking my hand, "I would love a copy of your story. The experience you shared today at zone conference about meeting the woman from the hospital. Will you email it over to me?" I was in shock...haha. A general authority just asked ME for my experience?! I couldn't believe it and still can't. Wednesday was just one of those unbelieveable days that I think I really needed, to see my potential as a missionary. From speaking in front of Elder Ellis, to being requested to come to a leadership meeting, and being asked for a copy of my experience from a have got to be joking, right? Heavenly Father has a lot in store for me. I know it. Its just like President Weston told me, "Prepare for lots of responsibility, Sister Allen."
I know we have that tradition each year at Thanksgiving dinner, where we go around and say one thing that we are grateful for, so I thought I would include my list of what I'm grateful for and when it's my turn around the dinner table, you could just read this email. It will be like I'm really there. Haha. :)
I am GRATEFUL for the opportunity I have to serve a mission. I am grateful for the people that I have met on my mission. The wards I have served in. The people we have found. Those who have been baptized and confirmed. Those I have been able to teach and plant seeds for their prepared time. I am grateful for all of the wonderful companions I have served with. Companions who love the lord, push me to do my best, allow my testomony to grow, and love and support me. I am grateful for those people who don't let us in or listen, so that when we get to the ones that do, its that much more worth it. I am grateful for Joseph Smith and his first vision that started it all. I am grateful for the rush of goosebumps up and down my spine as I reaccount Joseph Smith's first vision to those who don't know it. I am grateful for the Word of Wisdom, a law of health that keeps our temples pure and wholesome. I am grateful for the blessings of tithing that is paid. Without tithing, we would not have church buildings, temples, gospel resources, the Missionary Training Center, etc. I am grateful for temple ordinances and the joy they bring to those who didn't have an opportunity to receive those blessings while they were here on earth. I am grateful for a living prophet and apostles who guide us and share with us God's will. I am grateful for my freedom to choose and use my agency. I am grateful for patriarchal blessings and the chance to recieve direction and knowledge of where He needs me to be. I am grateful for baptism and comfirmation. I am grateful for the testifying voice of the Spirit and the ability to discern promptings. I am grateful for Christ's atoning sacrifice and the ability to be forgiven, without the atonement I would not be where I am today. I am grateful for the experiences that have humbled me. I am grateful to have been brought up in the gospel. I am grateful for care packages and sweet letters of support. I am grateful for my family and that we are all so close with one another. I am grateful for a mom and dad who love and care about me enough to help me achieve my goals. I am grateful for a driven, kind, and intelligent little brother. I am grateful for my spunky, hilarious, confident, little sister who is my mini-me. I am grateful for my baby brother who teaches me to enjoy the simple gifts of life and to always laugh. I am grateful for trials in my life that help me connect with so many different people. I am grateful for a loving mission president who sees my potential. I am grateful for the scriptures and everything that we can learn from the words of God. Especially the Book of Mormon and the guidance and uplifting it gives me in my life. I am grateful fo the general conference ensigns. I am grateful for the ability to walk, see, hear, move, exercise, smile, and dance. I am grateful for my sensitive sense of smell. I am grateful for the support I recieve from my ward here and the ward, friends, strangers, and family back home. I am grateful for an education, especially a college education. I am grateful for good health, clean clothes, heating blankets, running water, electricity, food to eat, heat, A/C, pants (not skirts), etc.  I am grateful for lice killing shampoo, vacuums, benadryl, and washers/dryers. I could go on and on. I am grateful for every single thing I have been blessed with and I know that without the love of my Heavenly Father, I would not have any of these things I just said. He blesses us beyond our comprehension and will bless us even more as we are obedient to those simple things he has asked us to do.
And to get you in that thankful mood just in time for Wednesday, here are some of my favorite scriptures that talk about giving thanks.
Alma 34:38 "That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you."
D&C 136:28 "If thou art merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing, and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving."
Psalms 100:4 "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name."
D&C 59:7 "Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things."
Psalms 92:1 "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:"
Colossians 3:15 "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."
Danel 2:23 "I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee..."
One of the lady's in Relief Society said this yesterday and I loved it,
"Our combined light will brighten the darkness of the world." Join with all those around you and make this world a better place. Make a difference. Leave everywhere you go, a little better than you found it.
I love you all and will miss spending Thanksgiving with everyone, but give everyone lots of HUGS from me! I AM GRATEFUL FOR EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU!
Love always,
Sister Allen
I forgot that I had found the most amazing quote and passage about gratitude.
"To express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven." -President Thomas S. Monson
And from True to the Faith, "The Lord has promised, “He who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious” (D&C 78:19). Gratitude is an uplifting, exalting attitude. You can probably say from experience that you are happier when you have gratitude in your heart. You cannot be bitter, resentful, or mean-spirited when you are grateful. Be thankful for the wonderful blessings that are yours. Be grateful for the tremendous opportunities you have. Be thankful to your parents. Let them know of your gratitude. Thank your friends and your teachers. Express appreciation to everyone who does you a favor or assists you in any way. Thank your Heavenly Father for His goodness to you. You can express your gratitude to God by acknowledging His hand in all things, thanking Him for all that He gives you, keeping His commandments, and serving others. Thank Him for His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Express thanks for the Savior’s great example, for His teachings, for His outreaching hand to lift and help, for His infinite Atonement. Thank the Lord for His restored Church. Thank Him for all that it offers you. Thank Him for friends and family. Let a spirit of thanksgiving guide and bless your days and nights. Work at being grateful. You will find that it yields wonderful results."

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Dear Family and Friends,
It is that time of year when most are preparing for the holiday season and the customary Christmas cards that go along with it.  Can I ask that if you are able I would love to hear of our sweet Lexis being flooded with Christmas wishes this year as she spends her first Christmas away from her family.  If you are able to add her mission address to your Christmas card list that would be wonderful!  I know that she would appreciate it. Thank you for your continued love and support for our sweet daughter.  
Love from her Mom

California Roseville Mission Office:
Sister Lexis Allen
8583 Watt Avenue 
Antelope, CA 95843

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

An email from Sister Allen


Another great week out here in Loomis, California. The sunsets here
are out of control gorgeous and the weather is still beautiful. We
still walk around in short sleeve shirts on most days. I feel bad that
you all are probably freezing in the snow by now...I would tell you to
come visit Loomis, but I don't know how well that would go over with
President Weston. :)

Thursday I was able to attend the temple. I have been looking forward
to going to the Sacramento temple since I got out here and it was well
worth the wait. Sister Laws had just gone a couple weeks before I got
here and so I had to go with someone other than my companion. Luckily
Sister Dyson, from Lincoln, was due for a temple visit and we were
able to arrange it to all work out for us to go down. I went in the
temple with questions and seeking answers. After our session, I sat
there in the celestial room pondering and praying for a long time. I
felt a lot of peace in my heart and just know that Heavenly Father
definitely has a plan and He will allow everything to work out. The
temple is such an amazing place and there is nowhere in this world
that you can feel so much quiet and calming feelings. I love the
temple and I am thinking about finding time to work at the temple at
least once a week when I get home. What an amazing blessing it is to
have a place like this in our lives. If you are worthy and have a
temple recommend, go as often as you can.

Saturday I had a bit of a scary experience. We were at home and had
just gotten all ready for bed. I was lying in my bed writing in my
journal for the day, when all of a sudden I started coughing a lot.
One of those coughs that is really deep and congested sounding. I had
not felt sick all day and this had just come on all of a sudden. I
continued to cough in order to clear my throat and it wasn't working.
I was wheezing at this point and having a hard time breathing without
it hurting. (I know my mom is totally freaking out right now as she
reads this) Sister Laws was in her bed and was trying to figure out
what was wrong. I could still talk and it's not like I was choking on
something. I just continued to cough and wheeze. I sounded like Noah
when he is having an asthma attack, really. Sister Laws and I went
downstairs to the kitchen to see if a drink of water would help. I
drank the water and still nothing. I could not stop coughing. Sister
Thomsen came downstairs and was asking me questions trying to figure
out what could be wrong. They checked my back and sure enough a red
rash was all over my back and my neck was itching like crazy. I was
having an allergic reaction to something. I have never really been
allergic to any food and so I really had no idea what it could be that
caused it. Not even 10 minutes before was I totally fine and getting
ready for bed. (What's really funny, is that earlier that day as
Sister Laws and I were having lunch, I saw some papers on allergies
and we were talking about how neither of us had never been allergic to
anything. I guess I set myself up for this.) Sister Thomsen grabbed
the Benadryl and called the neighbor to help Brother Thomsen give me a
blessing. I took two Benadryl, got a blessing, and within 30 minutes,
I was totally fine. I woke up in the morning and it's like nothing had
happened. We are still trying to figure out what it was I am allergic
to. Our options are organic pumpkin ice cream, organic milk, or a
chocolate chip cookie. I have no idea though...scary stuff.

Wendy is still planning on getting baptized this Saturday. She
attended church yesterday for the third time and was feeling a little
overwhelmed by the end of all three hours. She gets very anxious and
was overwhelmed by all the people there. We were a little nervous
because she said that she was feeling overwhelmed by being baptized on
Saturday and thought she might be doing a lot too soon, but last night
we went over and helped calm her nerves about everything. I explained
to her how the week before someone gets baptized is always the hardest
week because the adversary knows that this will be such a blessing in
her life and will help her progress. Satan doesn't want that for her
and she completely understood that. She knows that this is where she
needs to be. She loves the people and it really is good for her to
learn how to trust good people who are kind and have good morals. It
is something that really draws her to church. Be those kinds of people
in your own wards and you will make the difference for someone else
who is investigating the church in your area. I promise you that.

We had the opportunity to do a lot of service on Saturday morning. We
helped one of the investigators in Loomis 1st ward move and clean her
house. She is moving to Roseville and we have already been in contact
with the missionaries there, who are going to hopefully move her
family in and maybe even start teaching her. The church has helped out
a lot with her family and I think that has really affected her family.
We also were able to help Wendy unpack a lot of her boxes, so that she
would have more room in her bedroom. Man, people acquire a lot of
stuff over the years. Haha. I love doing service and I love when
people humble themselves and ask for help.  A lot of us, even myself,
have trouble asking for help. But as members of the church, each and
every one of us covenanted at baptism that we would "comfort those
that stand in need of comfort", "mourn with those that mourn", and
"bear one another's burdens". We are all there to help each other and
we need to ask for it. When you ask for help, you are allowing someone
to keep/fulfill those promises they made at baptism. Pretty cool,

Elder Stanley G. Ellis of the Seventy is touring our mission this
week. All Wednesday long we will be in meetings and lectures with him.
He is randomly picking missionaries to interview on Wednesday
afternoon and we have to prepare a 5 minute talk because he will be
randomly calling people up to speak on a specific topic. What a cool
experience to be called on/interviewed by a general authority. On
Wednesday night, he will be speaking at a fireside for nonmembers and
less actives. He will be speaking on the Book of Mormon and we are
hoping to have 4 of our 5 progressing investigators there. I have a
good feeling that this will be a turning point for Tony and Gerald.
They both have questions about the Book of Mormon and I think this
will answer a lot of their questions. Pray that it softens their heart
and opens their mind!

As I have said before, I am reading through the Book of Mormon from
cover to cover, for the first time. I am already in Alma 30 and I
think my whole BofM is basically yellow from highlighting. The
scriptures are amazing and have been such a strength to the lessons we
teach. Every single thing you say can be backed up by the BofM or the
Bible. Something I am really proud of, is that I can teach the whole
Plan of Salvation and Restoration just using the Bible. It helps when
you can have evidence of each of the things we know to be true and
people seem to understand it more. Alma Chapter 24 is super good and I
would invite you all to read it this week. This is when the
Anti-Nephi-Lehi's bury up their weapons of war and choose to sin no
more. I thought to myself of my "weapons of war". Things that I need
to work on and stop doing and "bury" away. All of Alma is good, once
you start, you probably won't be able to stop. Seriously.

I hope that you all are having a great week! Thanksgiving is coming
too quick. I can't believe people are putting up Christmas decorations
already. Where has the time gone? I love every single one of you and
wish you the best. Pray often, study your scriptures, attend all your
church meetings, strengthen your families, and "by small and simple
things, will great things come to pass."

Stay sweet. Love you all!!


Sister Allen

Monday, November 4, 2013

An email from Sister Allen

I love Loomis!
It is truly amazing at how well our Heavenly Father knows each and every one of us. I know I am supposed to be here in Loomis at this time and am grateful that Heavenly Father knew that as well. I had a really hard time last Monday saying goodbye to all of the people in Yuba City, but I knew on Sunday night that I was going to  be called to a different place. It just felt like it was time. I have really enjoyed my time here in Loomis so far. My companion is Sister Laws and she is seriously awesome. She has been out for 3 1/2 months, she came out with Sister Macdonald. I knew we would be companions one day, honestly. I actually thought she was going to be the one I trained and so did she, but I think the Lord's perfect time was now. Sister Laws and I get along really well. She is so awesome. Sister Laws is from Blanding, Utah, did some school at SUU, and is 21. We are going to do great things together here in Loomis.
Let me tell you a little about Loomis. Loomis is completely opposite of Yuba City. Yuba was more suburbs and Loomis is more of the country. A lot of people have beautiful, gigantic, houses on acres and acres of land. The roads are tiny and I really didn't know how I was going to like it at first, but I realize now that i LOVE it. Our ward is seriously amazing and I have been so well taken care of ever since I have been here. We live in a members home and I was also pretty worried about not liking that living situation. The Tompsons are amazing though. They are the cutest couple and I have actually loved living there. We have our own seperate room that is over the garage and it feels  nice being in a real home.
With a new area, comes new investigators. We have five progressing investigators right now and I'll tell you a little about each of them.
Wendy has been investigating the church for about a month. She has a lot of struggles and just had to leave work because of inflamed nerve damage in her neck. The last couple of times the missionaries have met with her, they haven't been able to really have a lesson. She loves  to talk and is very spiritual, so it is sometimes hard to get a lesson started. On Friday, we went over to Wendy's and taught her the entire Plan of Salvation lesson. It was so awesome! She agreed with everything we had to say and even said, "You know what, I think I want to be baptized." In a previous lesson, she told the sisters that she was baptized Catholic when she was a baby and didnt understand why she needed to be baptized again. But this time it was as if she had a total change of heart and honestly desired to be bapitzed. We are going to set a baptismal date with her tonight at our lesson! We are aiming for November 23rd. So exciting!
Tony is another one of our investigators. His wife and two kids are all members and they have been working on him forever so he will be baptized. His wife really feels like now is the time and we can slowly see his heart softening up to the idea of being baptized. Their family is seriously awesome and we are over there all the time. Tony's wife takes care of us and makes sure we have everything we need. His wife feels like it is going to happen at the end of this year. December 28th is the date we are all praying for and feel really good about. He just doesn't know it yet. haha.
Gerald has been taking the missionary discussions for over a year now. He is an older man in his late 60s and literally has no word of wisdom issues or anything. The only thing he is lacking is faith. He hopes a lot, but doesn't really have the faith that anything will happen. Missionaries have taught him all the lessons and he is on his second time through the Book of Mormon. He thinks he has to read it three times for it to be true and for him to have an answer...We also found out on Friday that he has been meeting with the Jehovah's Witness missionaries every Saturday for a while now. That came as a surprise. Those J Dubs are always trying to steal our investigators, danget. I think we have gone through all the scriptures on baptism, faith, and gaining an answer for himself. We just think he might be time. He calls himself a member of the "slow learning group", so we are just going to patiently wait for him to be ready for baptism.
I have been dying from allergies this past week. A couple of the houses we have been at, have cats and they really don't stay away from us  when we are there. In Yuba, they at least were in the other room and so it wasn't as much of a problem. I dont know if cats out here just dont get the love they need or what, cause they seriously jump on you and everything. Its sick.
I didnt realize how much I had really learned in Yuba City until I left. I was thinking this morning of that saying, you don't realize what you got, until its gone. My gospel knowledge increased so much while I was in Yuba City. Being in lessons here in Loomis has really helped me realize how much I have learned from everyone around me. The way I teach and my testimony is solidified from the amazing things ward members and other investigators taught me in Yuba City. Makes me excited to see all I can learn here in Loomis.
Hope everyone had an awesome Halloween night. We had to be home right after dinner and stayed in the rest of the night. We helped the Thomson's pass out full size candy bars to some of the trick or treaters and Sister Laws ran around in her super rad Batman pajamas. It was a good night and we had a great time.
I hope you all are seeing my Facebook posts and enjoying them. If you ever like anything, please share it with your other friends! Facebook is a great tool to use for sharing the gospel and we need to use it to its fullest potential.
I am really grateful for this gospel in my life.  I have come to know so much in these last (almost) 5 months and can't wait to learn so much more. I constantly review my patriarchal blessing and setting apart blessing for answers and I am so grateful that we have these kinds of resources to learn and grow from. I constantly thank my Heavenly Father for the resources He has given each of us to learn from.
I love you all so much!
Sister Allen