im halfway on wednesday! what?! how did this happen? i can not even believe how fast time is going by and they say the rest only goes faster...oh no...
well, i am literally loving chico. i love everything about it. i love serving in a family ward and a YSA ward. it is seriously the bomb. whats better than being able to take the sacrament on Sunday? being able to take it twice. The Zone Leaders also serve in both wards with us, so we divide the work between the two of us. I was feeling pretty overwhelmed when I first got here. So many names to remember, the streets dont line up, our area is HUGE because it covers the entire stake...etc. There is so much going on in this area. We are constantly busy, which is so awesome! But I am feeling a lot better. I know without a doubt that this is where I am supposed to be. Chico is my place!
I seriously LOVE my new companion Sister Housley. She is so awesome and an amazing missionary. Sis Housley is from Kansas, recently turned 21, and attended BYU before her mission. I already know we are going to do work in this area. I feel like we aren't going to have any problems (not that I've had any with any of my companions) and work really well together. She is already teaching me so much and I know that this is going to be such a growing experience for me. She freakin' rocks!
A couple things about Chico. There are taco trucks everywhere, mobile home parks galore! Organic cafes, because people are all in to that natural stuff here in California. And Chico State University is bomb.
let me tell you a little about some of our investigators:
Sherry and Jesus: Sherry is a fireball. Seriously so much personality. She has two kids, Emily (4) and Michael (11). Jesus is her boyfriend who lives with her on and off. I have to admit I laugh a little every time I have to write about Jesus in my journal. Being a missionary and writing, "we taught Jesus today", is just hilarious! Sherry and Jesus have been meeting with the missionaries for a couple weeks now and we were an answer to Sherry's prayers. Sherry has been going through a lot the last couple of years. She was praying a couple weeks ago for some guidance from God. Then the sisters showed up at her door. Her daughter Emily literally loves church and basically wants to live there. Its so awesome! We are hoping to commit them to baptism this week, we just need to figure out the love situation between Jesus and Sherry.
Emily and Chelsea (YSA): Sister Smith, Emilys aunt, referred her to us. She said that she wasn't really sure if Emily would be interested, but to try it anyways. Emily is a student at Chico State, she plays lacrosse, and is super awesome. Sister Housley and Sister Lyman went over two weeks ago and they had so many awesome questions for them about the church. We went over this week with the YSA Relief Society president and Emily and Chelsea were all prepared for us with 20+ questions. Questions about women and the priesthood, how we know there's a god, why we have temples, what we can/cant do on Sunday, word of wisdom, etc. We sat there for an hour and a half answering questions for them. They were dissapointed that we didn't leave them with a specific reading assignment in the Book of Mormon, so we gave Emily Alma 26 about forgiveness and Chelsea 2 Nephi 31 about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There are three or four girls in the YSA ward who could literally be baptized this Saturday, but are having problems with their parents being okay with it. Jamie, Jane, Tara, and Emily have been taking the lessons for a while, know its all true, come to church almost every week, and just wont commit to be baptized because their parents are totally against it. Its so sad! I wish we could just meet with their parents and be like, "yo, you have the wrong idea about us. we are not crazy or weird like you might think. we are totally normal people with totally normal doctrine of Christ." Sadly, I don't think that will happen anytime soon. So we are just patiently waiting and constantly praying for their parents hearts to be softened.
The YSA is a lot smaller than I thought it would be. Yesterday at church there was probably a total of 45 people there...when coming from Utah that is a huge difference. haha. But there is so much potential in this ward. We have a lot of great people. YSA age is hard because people get so busy with work, school, etc. and church becomes less of a priority. I just wish I could emphasize so much with these young single adult's that it is so worth it to stay strong in the gospel. Not only for themselves, but for their future families. They need this testimony and they need to progress in the gospel. Its hard though with so much going on in their lives, but what an amazing group of YSA we have here in Chico.
Every first friday of the month, the leaders in the mission (Assistants to the President, Zone leaders, and Sister Training Leaders) get together for a Missionary Leadership Council. I was able to attend my first one on Friday. It was super awesome to be given direction from President Weston as always. We learned how to use our iPads more effectively and Sister Housley and I are pumped because we feel like this could be a HUGE success here at Chico State. We are planning on going over to Chico State to "table" on Thursday afternoon. Tabling is where we set up a booth in the common area at Chico State and stop people and ask them if they are interested in learning more about the church. Hopefully a bunch of the YSA will be there and can help us. I think it will be super successful and we can use our iPads to share electronic pamphlets, mormon messages, etc. The ability to use our iPads more effectively is going to strengthen this area.
I also learned that our role as Sister Training Leaders is to basically be the eyes and ears for President Weston. I already had my first "mission" as STL. One of the companionship's in our zone was having some major issues getting along, so Sis Housley and I had to go up and talk with each of them and then establish what they were going to do to make it better. I think it went really well and it felt good to help these Sisters work through their problems. Thats basically our job, since P. Weston can't be everywhere at once.
I am loving it here. I love these people. I love this area. I am so excited to see whats going to happen while Im here. Sis Housley and I have a really good feeling about working together. The work is going to light on fiyahhh.
I hope that everyone is doing well! I love all of you and miss you all like crazy.
love you long time.
happy 9 months to me!
love, Sister Allen