Monday, July 28, 2014

glorious miracles

Happy Monday! 

This week was another full of tender mercies from The Lord. It's been so wonderful really. I love The Lord and what he is allowing me to experience out here. I feel so blessed to be in this area at this time.

Let me just tell you about the Whitmores. They are the part member family we picked up as investigators last week. Bro Whitmore nonmember. Sis Whitmore's semi active. Hey had us over on Wednesday afternoon and we were able to teach them the restoration. Sister Lyman and I taught so well together and the lesson just flowed. Brother Whitmore just sat there nodding his head, agreeing with everything we said. He testified himself of the truthfulness of Joseph Smith and
when we asked him to be baptized, he said "Yes, I'm going to get dunked by my grandson!" At the end of the lesson we asked him to say a prayer out loud and he told us that it was the first time he had ever prayed out loud in his life. Can you imagine living over half a century and never ever speaking to your Heavenly Father out loud? It was such a beautiful prayer and I was beaming the entire time. We also showed him how to get online to listen to the Book of Mormon and by the time we had gone over again on Friday, he had all sorts of questions about what he had read. Friday we taught them the Plan of Salvation. He loved every part of it and told us that he had never heard the story of Adam and Eve make so much sense. He knew there had to be a reason for their transgression. The Elders in the Redding 3rd ward, where there daughters attend, texted us over the weekend and told us that the family is so excited and looking forward to their dad's baptism! Brother and Sister Whitmore ended our lesson on Friday on the topic of being sealed in the temple. Sis Whitmore has been asking him for years to get baptized, so that they could be sealed and they made the decision together that they will be sealed in the temple together within the next year or so! How amazing is that? This whole situation seems too good to be true, but I just love it. Bro Whitmore is eager to have us over again. His heart has been so prepared to accept the gospel! 

Wednesday a member took us over to Burrito Bandito for dinner. After dinner Sister Lyman had a sudden craving for some frozen yogurt, so we went next door. We were the only ones in the store and when we got closer to the cash register, the girl at the front asked us if we were missionaries. We told her we were and then started asking her about her experience with missionaries. A bunch of her friends are in our ward and she met with the Elders about three years ago. She is 17 years old and attends a christian university in Redding. She told us that she is searching for truth. We were able to give her a Book of Mormon and after we explained to her what the Book of Mormon is, she told us to contact her anytime to meet! She told us that she thought the Book of Mormon had a totally different purpose, but after we told her what it really was, her interest was sparked. I know that we were supposed to be there to meet her and God doesn't produce accidents...or accidental froyo cravings. 

Saturday afternoon we went over to read with our investigator Laura and her less active, recent convert neighbor Sister Ward. After we read with them, we were driving back to the freeway when Sister Lyman had a feeling that we should go check on this less active woman named Sister Shepherd. We drove over to her house and before we were even to her driveway, we could see her outside in the 105 degree blazing sun trying to sweep up debris in front of her house. Sister Shepherd had literally just gotten out of the hospital the night before for some brain tests and was not supposed to be out there alone in the heat. We sent her inside for some water and to cool down and finished up sweeping in the front. I am so grateful that Sister Lyman listened to the spirit and followed that prompting because Sister Shepherd wouldv'e been in worse shape if we would have never gone over there. It was such a sweet miracle. God is looking out for his children! 

I am so grateful to have such a wonderful companion who is so in tune with the spirit. I learn so much from her example and I know that we were meant to serve here together. We are doing so much good work! And did I tell you about our lessons? Talk about some of the most spiritual and flowing ones I have had on my mission yet. The Lord is on our side!

We had interviews with President Marston this week and as much as I love the Marston's, I miss President and Sister Weston. He talked to me about the scripture in Ether 12:30 that talked about moving mountains with our faith. It reads, "For the brother of Jared said unto the mountain Zerin, Remove---and it was removed. And if he had not faith it would not have moved; wherefore thou workest after men have faith." P. Marston invited us to share this with those we teach and to have them pick one "mountain" in their life that was preventing them from reaching their full potential. Then we invite them to combine their faith with ours to move that mountain. Let us remember it only took a mustard seed of faith to move the mountain. Matthew 17:20 reads, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." Let us all identify a "mountain" in our path that may be in our way of reaching our fullest potential. I know that God will allow us to move the mountains in our lives if we just have faith and trust in Him. Even if it is just small faith, mustard seed faith. 

love you all! 

sister allen

Monday, July 14, 2014

An email from Sister Allen

i'm melttiinnnnnnnnng. p.s. sorry this is so short.
Hello everyone, I am loving Anderson! It has been so great already. We are so busy and there is so much work to be done! I love it and it is exactly what I have been hoping for. 

Holy moly, it is hot as heck out here! Its literally 106 degrees outside right now and going to be in the hundreds all week. Plus its more humid here than Utah, so its really just so incredibly hot. Im basically melting.

My new companion is Sister Lyman and she is seriously wonderful! We get along so well. She is from Payson, Utah and 22 years old. You can tell a difference between companions who are older and companions who are coming out with the age change at 19. We have a very similar background. Both less active for a while, parents divorced, and we enjoy a lot of the same things. It has been so awesome! She just gets me. We are able to relate so well with one another and our lessons have been BOMB.

A lot of the work here in Anderson is being done with Less Active's. Our ward list is decades long, but only a handful of them are active. It is so different than Chico wards which are huge. The ward barely fills up the chapel without the overflow. It was a bit shocking really. But there is a lot of promising work with the Less Actives. A lot of them will commit and come to church, our ward is just not that great at fellow-shipping, so its hard to keep them coming. Time for another ward makeover.

Anderson is a lot more humble. It reminds me of Yuba City, just more ghetto. Tuesday we were walking down Silver Street trying to contact a less active and there were these two thug boys in their 20s walking down the street. They saw us and one of them yelled out to me, "Hey, can I get your number?" And I yelled back, "Only if you want to talk about Jesus." He looked down with an "oh shoot." and we walked over to talk to them. One of the kids was hyped up on something and told us he wanted to be a famous rapper. He asked us if we could say a prayer with them and of course said yes. We stood there on the side of the road, holding hands, in a circle, and had Jojo pray for us. "Dear God, please help me be a famous rapper. I know I can be a famous rapper some day. And please bless my homie with a fat bag of week in his pocket by the end of the day. Amen." Yep, that happened. I thought I was going to bust up in the middle of his prayer. Welcome to Anderson, Sister Allen. Welcome to Anderson...

Shay is one of the less actives that we work with and I am determined to get Shay to the temple. Shay is gorgeous and is all tatted up. A lot of the older ladies at church have been pretty judgmental of her because of it, but Shay just keeps coming to church because she knows how important it is to be an example. She is raising her three grand kids right now because her daughter is on the streets and she is such an amazing person. Shay is our main focus right now and I can not even tell you how much I love her. She WILL go to the temple and both sister lyman and I will be there. 

We had four less actives this week tell us that they wanted to quit smoking. 2 of them showed up at the Addiction Recovery Program last night and it was so good for them. All of them have goals to get to the temple within the next year.
I love you all! I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to serve the Lord. I have felt very overwhelmed with gratitude to be out here learning and experiencing the things that I am. 

ps. im praying that sarah's mission call gets here this week!! woohoo!


Sister Allen

Monday, July 7, 2014

goodbye chico... hello anderson.

Whats up? I'm getting transfered.
We got transfer calls last night and I am being transfered to Anderson! I for sure thought that I was getting transfered down south to Antelope, but looks like Heavenly Father had somewhere else in mind. Anderson is up north and I live on a street called "Shady Lane", so that gives you a quick idea of what its going to be like. hah. I am really not ready to leave Chico. I guess I really haven't been ready for any of the transfers I've had, but I always feel like I am going to leave. I am excited for another new area and all that I am going to learn here. Who knows? this might be my last area. I only have 4-6 week transfers left on my mission and so it is more than likely that I could end my mission in Anderson!
This week I had an overwhelming desire to share the gospel with everyone that we passed. I just really felt strongly that I needed to give everyone an invitation to hear the gospel. Tuesday morning we were out visiting some less active members. We were getting back in to the car, but I felt really uneasy and knew that is not where we needed to be going. I told Sister Curtis that we should go and knock a couple of doors. We ended up having two awesome conversations with two different people. One YSA who was super interested in coming to activities and a woman named Dorhonda. We have a return appointment with her tomorrow (that im missing) and I can't wait to hear how it goes. Everything that she was saying was exactly what we believe. She is so great! I just think to myself, what if we wouldn't have knocked on those doors? those two people would have never had the invitation to hear the gospel. Invite, invite, invite!
A couple of weeks ago I told a story about meeting the Watson family. They are a part member family. The wife is a less active member and the husband and 21 year old son are not members. We have had a really hard time finding a time to meet with them, as they kept canceling our appointments. We finally were able to get ahold of them on Thursday night and had a really awesome conversation with both the dad and son. The dad told us that his son had been asking and asking if he could go to church. We invited them to come to church on Sunday and they said that they might be able to make it. We reminded them again on Saturday night and they both showed up to church. Brother Watson literally LOVED church. He was so impressed by everything. It was his first time at church and he called us afterwards. He left us a voicemail saying how grateful he was that we invited him to church and how amazing it was. We recieved another call this morning from Sister Watson, she wants us to come over tomorrow to start doing "home studies" (as she calls them) with her family! How much of a miracle could we ask for! I'm sad this is happening as I am leaving, but so excited to see what will come of it! This family is so ready to be members of this church.
Monday afternoon, President and Sister Marston arrived to our mission. We were able to meet them Friday at our Missionary Leadership Council and I already love them. They talked about "Begin with the End in Mind." We are focusing on the end goal, which is to get people to the temple to take out thier endowments. President Marston really stressed the principle of Enduring to the End. We all need to understand that when we are baptized, we are commiting to serve the Lord all of our days. Baptism is the entrance on to the path, but enduring is how we stay on the path back to God. Just as D&C 20:37 says, we must have a "determination to serve him to the end." Are you determined to serve God to the very end? Are you doing all you can to be committed to your covenants? If not, change. Do what you need to do to live up to your covenants you have made.
I am so grateful for the time I have had to serve in Chico. I know that this is exactly where the Lord needed me at this time. I have learned so much about myself. I have an even stronger testimony and know what kind of person I want to be. I have loved every second here in Chico. It wasn't easy here, but I wouldn't change anything about my time spent here.
I love you all! Sorry this is short. I have so much to get done before tomorrow morning.
Sister Allen