Monday, January 27, 2014

Miracles Happen!

Hello family and friends. Familia y amigos. How is everyone? It's
Monday again, which means you get to (hopefully) enjoy reading about
my mission life and what's going on out here in good ol' Loomis,

We have breaking news this week! Gerald, our investigator who has been
taking the discussions for two years, has committed to baptism! This
is the first time in two years that he has ever actually accepted the
offer to get baptized. He has been asked more times than you could
count and finally he has said YES to baptism on February 22nd! It's a
miracle, people. Last week we gave him a copy of Preparing to Enter
the Holy Temple and he read the whole thing by the time we saw him on
Wednesday. He didn't have many questions, but mostly shared with us
parts That stood out to him. He said things like, "Looks like I'll
have to buy some new underwear." "When I wear garments..." And "Ill
probably figure that all out when I go to the temple..." WHEN, not if
statements. So awesome! We also had a great lesson with him on Friday
afternoon where we talked about receiving answers to prayer. I
reassured him that his answer would come and may have already come,
but he needed to recognize all the good things that have come from
participating in the church. He really sat there and thought about it
for a minute and then I felt like we should commit him to work towards
February 22nd. He just said yes. He didn't say normal Gerald things
like, "we'll see..." Or "I don't know about that." He said a flat out
Yes! It was an exciting moment and he is definitely prepared. Bro
Minton in our ward, called the temple and had Gerald's name put on the
prayer rolls and he received a priesthood blessing for the first time
after staying at church for all three hours!!! (Which was also a
first) He is so ready!

Sister Byrne had the opportunity to Skype teach this man named Berto
who lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Mintons in our ward had him
here as an exchange student about 30 years ago and gave us his info so
that sister Byrne could practice her Portuguese. We reached out to him
over Facebook and then set up a couple times to Skype this week. He
speaks a little English, but mostly just has a lesson with Sis Byrne
in Portuguese, while I just sit there and look nice. The first day she
taught him and introduced him to me, I thought I would be confident
and use some of the Portuguese I learned, so I said "Oi! Tudo bem!",
basically " hi! How are you?" And then he kept talking in
Portuguese...I had to stop him mid sentence and tell him that I really
didn't know much more than that and he just laughed. I must have been
pretty convincing and he must have been confused by my authentic
Brazilian accent. Kidding.

Wendy, who was baptized back in November, attended the temple for the
first time on Wednesday. She was able to go and do baptisms with some
of the woman in the ward. She loved it and wants to go back and do
more. She was amazed at the beauty and calm feeling the temple
brought. Wendy keeps saying how much she is looking forward to the end
of this year when she can go through the rest of the temple. She wants
to see the rest of it so bad! It's such a sweet thing watching
converts attend the temple. This is what it's all about!

This week I really recognized that this work is not mine, it is the
Lords. This is all His work, I am just the means by which it can be
accomplished. It's not about me. It's not about what I want. It's
about what He wants and His timing. I recognize this especially with
Gerald. there have been numerous sister missionaries who have helped
him over the part two years get him to where he is today and we all
extended baptismal invitations...but we had to wait for the Lords
timing of when this would all work out. It was all up to Heavenly
Father to know when Gerald was ready to open his heart and be
baptized. Maybe a year ago he wouldn't have been ready, who knows? All
I know is that god knows each of us and what we need. He knows what we
can become and how and when we can accomplish things. He knows best.

I was reading in Alma 6 this week when Alma is cleaning up the church
in Zarahemla. I came across the following scripture in verse 6 that
says, "Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they
should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty
prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not
God." We are the children of god. Our wards consist of the children of
god. Which means that we must be the ones who "join in fasting and
mighty prayer" for those people who have yet learned about the gospel,
investigators your missionaries may be teaching, etc. We need to pray
for those missionary experiences to bring happiness to the souls who
don't know God. That is our responsibility.

Try a little harder. Do a little better. It's a new week.

Love you all! Miss you guys like crazy. Keep it real.


Sister Allen

Sent from my iPad

Monday, January 20, 2014

Transfer #6

Transfer calls came last night and another six weeks has come and
gone. Sister Byrne and I are staying here together in Loomis! No
changes there. We heard today that her visa should be arriving within
the next couple of weeks, which is bittersweet. Even if her visa comes
next week, she will have to wait six weeks until the end of the
transfer to go to Brazil, just so they don't have to move everyone
around in the middle of a transfer. so we get to keep her here until
the beginning of March, at least!

Our investigator, Gerald, helped brother Stoddard, our ward mission
leader, give the lesson in Sunday school yesterday. It was awesome! He
prepared everything himself and typed up this paper with questions and
scriptures. They talked on the Millennium and he did a great job!
Gerald is so close...but he is just patiently waiting for an answer to
his prayers. He has been meeting with the sisters for about 2 years
now and wants to finish the Book of Mormon three times before he
really believes it. Things are starting to click though. His wife died
three years ago and he really wants to have peace in knowing where she
is. He's just got to develop some faith. It's all about "hoping" with
Gerald, which is a good start in the right direction.

So I don't know if you all remember me telling you about Troy and
Nicole, the young couple who were expecting a baby...? Well they have
been separated the last couple of months and moved back in with their
parents in Rocklin and Roseville, so we haven't had contact with them
since about November. The other day though, I got a message on
Facebook from Troy asking if we could call him to talk. We called him
the next day and he is really stressing out because a lot of craziness
is happening and he has to make a lot of big decisions. Long story
short, Nicole and him separated, he found out that the baby isn't
actually his, and now Nicole wants a divorce. Drama. He called us
seeking wisdom and answers and I gave him the best I could. We invited
him to our church open house last night and he actually came! It
wasn't what he was expecting, but he was able to have a meeting with
our Bishop and received a lot of good advice and direction. It
definitely was not a coincidence that this all happened and even
though he is in Roseville, we are hoping that he will keep in touch.
It was amazing how his demeanor changed within the hour that he got to
the church, from when he left. The spirit was so strong there last
night and the message of our Saviors healing was directed right at
him. It was perfect.

Patsie, the cute 80 year old woman that we teach, made the decision
that she WILL read the Book of Mormon and give it a chance. She has
been meeting with the sisters since last summer, but is quite the busy
body. For example, she's on a cruise to Belize this week learning how
to airbrush and she is an amazing wood carver and president of the
local wood carving club. She keeps herself goin. Patsie has a lot of
faith and has a hard time with some of the doctrine we teach her.
Which is understanding, because I am sure that after being taught one
thing for 80 years, opening up and accepting new (true) doctrine would
be hard. We had a lesson with her on Wednesday and as I was sitting
there trying to think of what to say, I realized that the reason she
has a problem with all of these things that are so simples nd make
sense, is because she hasn't read the Book of Mormon. If the Book of
Mormon is true, then that means all the doctrine and teachings of
Christs gospel and all the modern day revelation we have, is true
also. She has been hesitant to start the Book of Mormon because she
thinks it may contradict the bible, but finally after boldly telling
her my thoughts, she says that she will definitely start reading the
BOM when she finishes the New Testament...which will be soon. Thank
goodness! She has come to church twice and really feels comfortable
there, plus she makes friends with everyone.

We didn't have a lot planned for Saturday, so we decided to take the
bikes out for a spin. Pretty sure we rode about 20 miles mostly that was a good idea...As we rode down Auburn Folsom road,
which is super sketchy and basically a highway, I saw this random
driveway. I rode past it and then had this feeling like we should go
back. We got off our bikes and walked them back up the hill to this
driveway. It was a long, twisted driveway that led back to this super
cute house. We walked up the steps and this middle age man named Pete
came out before we even got to the door. He was actually super
friendly to us and told us that he used to work with a Mormon guy.
Then he told us that he knew the Perez family really well (the stake
president) and the Latham family (our bishop). Small world. His
daughter is best friends with the Latham and Perez girls and has even
gone up to girls camp for the past six years with them. I guess his
daughter has even told them that she would join the Mormon church once
she moves out of the house. It was a very interesting coincidence and
even though he didn't set up a return appointment with us, we left him
with a Book of Mormon (that people don't usually accept) and planted a
seed! Follow the promptings of the spirit! Trust in The Lord!

This week I spent a lot of time in the doctors office due to some
stomach issues. They ran some tests and will hear back tomorrow what
the results are. Don't be worried people, I'll be fine. Being sick
this week has really helped me realize one important thing, the
priesthood ROCKS. I don't know why, but I was putting off getting a
priesthood blessing because I didn't really want to make it a big
deal. But on Friday night I finally agreed to get a priesthood
blessing and I am  so thankful I did so. I believe that Satan knows
the power the priesthood can have in our lives, so he makes us feel
like we can do it on our own and that we would be burdening a
priesthood holder by asking them for a blessing. DONT BELIEVE HIM. The
priesthood is there and meant to be used. We can't do it on our own.
We need Gods help. He knows best. He can tell us exactly what we need
through a blessing from a worthy priesthood holder. Allow these
priesthood holders to use this divine blessing. It's amazing!

Love you all! Have a good week! Focus on the Savior. Face the trials.
Grow stronger. Pray always. Stay strong, yo.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Twenty Fourteen

Hello again! This week flew by and I'm pretty sure I say that every
week...but it's true.

President Weston has challenged each companionship to talk to at least
20 people each day. Out here in Loomis, where there aren't many people
just out walking around on country roads, makes it a little tough. We
haven't been  able to reach this goal yet and so on Saturday we were
determined to get at least ten. We looked up some different parks in
the area and luckily it was in the high 60s (welcome to California),
so people were out and about. We were really nervous about the whole
thing and finally got the courage to get out of the car. As we were
walking, this girl started waving at me saying "Hi Taylor!!" I looked
around and sure enough, I was the only person around. Seriously heaven
sent, because it gave us a reason to walk over and talk to them. We
spent about 40 minutes getting to know them, asking them if they had
talked with missionaries before, etc. one of the girls actually had
attended church in our ward before and had even taken the missionary
discussions. Most of her friends were in our ward before going off to
BYU and so she knew exactly who we were. We were able to get their
names and we have them our Facebook info. And guess what? they
actually added us on FB! We are hoping to start there and warming them
up to the idea of meeting with them. Sister Byrne and I both agreed
that these two girls definitely would benefit from our message. It
would chance their life around and help them become more successful
and happy. Such a miracle. We talked to a couple more people that day
and although it was nerve racking at first, we just got it over with
and realized the worst thing they can do is say No, which is not that

New Year's Eve we had to be in by 6pm to be safe. President wanted us
off the roads at night for safety reasons. I actually was on exchanges
with Sis Benally that night and so I was in Auburn. We stayed in and
updated the area book for a couple hour and I got to wear a Happy New
Year hat while doing it, so that made things a little better. We were
in bed by 10 (party animals, I know) and that's about as festive as we
got. I seriously can't believe its a new year! Time just flies by and
I'm almost hitting my 7 month mark. Seriously crazy.

Tomorrow we are going back to James' house. He is the man who we found
tracting, a while back. He is of the Bahai faith and believes that
Christ has already come. He challenged me last time to read in Matthew
24 before the next time we met. So this morning I started studying
about the second coming and now I'm hooked. It was hard to even peel
myself away from my studies this morning, because I was so interested.
Here's a bit of what I learned based on my readings on Matthew 24.

Some of the signs of the second coming are false prophets, wars,
famine, pestilence, earthquakes, martyrdom, persecution, rejection of
Christ's followers, hatred, betrayal, easily offended, iniquity and no
love, false Christ's and false prophets who deceive the elect, no
light from the stars, sun or moon. Pretty scary stuff. Yet, as I was
reading this I did not feel nervous about what is to come. I feel
grateful that God has given us ways to be prepared for the coming of
Christ. Verse 46 reads, "Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when
he cometh shall find so doing." Basically if we are doing what they
have asked of us, then we will be blessed. It clicked in my mind, as
to why the apostles and prophets so greatly encourage us to read the
scriptures, pray, attend church, etc. It's all for our good. So we can
be those blessed servants who are showing our service to Christ by
doing things he has asked of us. Wouldn't you rather be part of that
elect people where Christ can be in your midst as you do those things
pleasing unto him? I also loved verse 43, that describes Christ coming
as a thief in the night. I finally understood the analogy. Verse 43
says, "But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in
what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not
have suffered his house to be broken up." If you knew that someone
would be coming to break into your house tonight, what would you do?
Personally I would prepare by locking up all the windows and doors,
calling the police, etc. Christ is that thief that we know is
returning, don't we want to prepare for his coming? It's amazing how
people in the world would prepare better for a burglary, then they
would for the coming of our Savior. The faithful will look for the
signs. "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear" I know that if we
strengthen our faith, know the signs to look for, and do his will,
that we will be the blessed people. We can do it!

The 2014 theme for the young men and young women is Moroni 10:32,
"yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves
of all ungodliness." The youth videos that they have been putting out
with this new theme are really great. I included he link to my
favorite one below. I think everyone should watch it. Youth or not.

I hope you all are well. Enjoy your week and this picture of me
wishing you all a Happy New Year.


Sister allen

Sent from my iPad