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.
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!