Tuesday, December 3, 2013

An email from Sister Allen

It's December?!

I hope everyone enjoyed your Thanksgiving and ate lots of delicious food!

We were invited over to the Bishops house and the LaPlante's. Wendy,
the woman who was baptized last week, came with us to the Bishops and
we all had an awesome time. They had four different kinds of turkey
and so many types of food to choose from. It was wonderful.

We went to the LaPlante's later that day and had another AMAZING
dinner with their family. Sister LaPlante is this awesome cook and we
got spoiled. We spent the rest of the night with their family sitting
outside by the campfire roasting s'mores and eating pumpkin pie. It
was perfect and I wish I could have paused that moment forever. Tony,
their dad, is not a member and we are slowly seeing a change of heart
with him. They have 2 kids, Garrett (11) and Jaci(8), that we love and
they are basically our second family. We spend a lot of time at their
house because they need that uplifting and support that the gospel and
Spirit can bring their family. It is definitely not going unnoticed
either. At Thanksgiving dinner, as we went around the table and said
two things that we are thankful for, Tony said that he was thankful
for us and the good examples we are to his family. It was so cool to
hear it from him because he is the one who isn't a member. Lets be
real though, Tony is more a member than not. We call him a "dry
member" meaning he just hasn't been dunked in the water yet. He knows
everything and its just in his time when he will decide to be
baptized. Last night we were over at their house and Jaci told us the
sweetest thing. She has never wanted to go on  a mission before, but
she told us that because Sister Laws and I always look like we are
having fun, she thinks it would be a good thing for her  to go on a
mission too. AH! It was wonderful. We love their family and are so
blessed to be apart of their lives.

This week we have been doing a lot of tracting. It hasn't been the
most successful thing in the world, but we have the faith that just
one of these houses will be prepared to hear the gospel. On Saturday
we went tracting around a neighborhood that is right by our house. It
is one of the 4 real housing developments here in Loomis. (all the
other houses are spread out over acres of land, down dirt roads) We
had been around to some of the houses before and decided to knock all
the doors at the end of the street. Not a single person was home. We
left pass along cards at each door and kept on going. One of the
houses on this street, is where President Alston lives. He is
President Westons (mission president) first counselor and he lives in
our ward. As we were about to walk back to our car, the whole Alston
family pulled up and waved us over to their house. We talked for a few
minutes and they gave us some water, typical stuff. We met their whole
family (all of their kids don't live with them) and their friend
Christopher. Christopher is here visiting from York, England and has
this super awesome British accent. He came to Loomis about four years
ago on an exchange student program and was back for his second time
visiting the area. Bethany, the Alston's daughter who is a return
missionary, has wanted to share the gospel with him for as long as she
has known him. Since we were already there, Sister Alston casually
asked Christopher if he wanted to hear a lesson from the missionaries
and he said Yes! So just like that, we went inside and taught him the
Restoration. He was very intrigued and it seems like he has been
wanting to hear more about the church for a while now. We are going
back tonight to teach him the second lesson and then he leaves to York
on Thursday. We are already planning on getting the missionaries over
to see him there and maybe even doing one Skype lesson with him. It
just was an amazing testimony to me that the Lord places us exactly
where he needs us at exactly the right time. Reminds me of the
scripture in D&C 28:15, "And it shall be given thee from the time thou
shalt go, until the time thou shalt return, what thou shalt do." I am
grateful that we were able to be in the right area to help Christopher
receive the gospel in to his life.

On Friday night, we had dinner over at the Godfrey's home. The
Godfrey's are another part member family in our ward. The dad is a
member and has been less active for about 25 years now. His wife and 3
kids who are 12, 11, and 8 are all non members. Last year they
attended church for about 9 months straight and took the lessons from
the missionaries. They were so close and then at the last minute it
all fell through. They have started to come back to church again and
have come every Sunday but one, for the past four weeks. The kids and
wife are so ready to be baptized and are basically just waiting on
their dad to make the commitment. He is scared of the time commitment
and has a couple other doctrine issues, but they will all work
themselves out as he gains a testimony each week at church. We were so
excited to finally be able to sit down and talk with them and they are
very open about the gospel and where they stand with everything. Their
youngest daughter, Kylie, is seriously my new favorite person in the
world and I absolutely love her. She is so confident and a go getter.
Yesterday during fast and testimony meeting she BEGGED her parents to
let her go up there and bear her testimony. Dad finally gave in and
she got up there with a big smile on her face and said, "Thank you for
all you have done for my family. I love you all alot and thank you for
everything you do for my family." and walked right back down to where
she was sitting. I was BEAMING!! My mouth was hurting so much because
I was smiling so big. That little girl is going to be the one that
takes that family to the baptismal font, i know it.

Exciting news! On Thursday morning, we were asked to be on a
conference call with President Weston and all the other missionaries.
Pres. Weston announced that on December 17th, we will be receiving
IPADS!!! We are one of thirty missions that will be test missions for
the Ipad! We each will get our own mini ipads and will take them with
us to each area we go. Basically, we are going paperless. Meaning
there will be no giant area books full of teaching records, baptismal
records, etc. It will all be electronic! Pretty crazy what they can do
with technology these days. President Weston has asked anyone who
knows Facebook and Ipads to let him know and they will help go around
and train the other missionaries on how to use and activate their
Ipads. I have volunteered for one of these positions and I hope that I
will be able to help facilitate this new tool in to the mission!

This is the last week of the transfer. I can't believe another six
weeks has gone and passed. Time is racing by. I am hoping that I will
be staying here in Loomis, but who knows what will happen. The Lord
can seriously make anything happen. Literally anything! We will find
out Sunday night what will be going on. I feel like some change is
coming, but i'm not so sure what kind of change...

23 days until Christmas! Which means 23 days until I get to Skype with
you all! I can not believe it is already December and next Thursday
marks my 6 month mark. Wowza!

The scripture that I will live by this week is D&C 24:12, "And at all
times, and in all places, [you] shall open [your] mouth and declare my
gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night. And I will
give unto [you] strength such as is not known among men." I would
invite you all to open your mouth and speak to those around you about
this wonderful gift of the restored gospel. Heavenly Father has
allowed us all to take part in this gospel, not to just keep it to
ourselves, but to share it with the world. Find one person this week
that you can share the gospel with. Pray as a family for a missionary
opportunity and I promise that it will come.

I love this gospel and I love this month of December where we have the
opportunity to study our Savior Jesus Christ. Christmas is such a
special time because it is the starting point in the Savior's life.
Without the day of His birth, He would not have been able to perform
the Atonement, miracles, teachings, etc. as he so lovingly did for all
of us. Let us love him back, by remembering the true meaning of
Christmas and the real meaning of the season.

John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as
the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid."

Love you all and have a wonderful week!


Sister Allen

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