Monday, August 11, 2014

An email from Sister Allen


Its been a great week here in Anderson, California. Very hot. We have still been so busy and it has been such a blessing. We are racing around Anderson like chickens with our heads cut off. Its been a whirlwind.

Ashlee, our recent convert who was baptized back in April, turned 21 this week. Someone in the ward kindly suggested that we should throw a party for her at the church and she was set. Ashlee is super sweet.She is 21, but is at the mentality level of a 11-13 year old and has a rough family life. She is the only member in her family and has been passed around to different foster homes her whole life. Ashlee lives with her mom and step dad right now, but they dont really support her like she should. She hadnt had a birthday party in 5 years, so we were more than happy to put one together. It started out as just a small get together at the church, but ended up becoming a ward get together. We had karaoke (that ashlee was literally glued to the entire time...haha), a cotton candy machine, fun games, all sorts of super cute decorations, and a photo booth. A lot of the ward showed up to support her and it was "the best night of her life" she said. It felt really good to serve her in that way. The day of her birthday she ended up taking her parents out to Sonic to get an ice cream because they didnt have money, but she wanted a treat on her birthday. She is so sweet and deserved the party that we were able to pull together. It felt so good to do something good for her. She told us at the end of the night that she was so glad she could to spend this night with her "best friends", sister lyman and I. It was so sweet! 

Shay had a scary incident this week. We got a call on wednesday afternoon from Shay's daughter, Anna, telling us that Shay had been admitted into the hospital for a possible stroke. We called the Assistants to the President to get permission to go out of our zone to see Shay, but they didn't think it was a good idea. Sister Lyman and I both felt strongly that we needed to go, so we decided to call President Marston one more time to see if he would answer. He answered within a few rings and before we even had finished telling him the whole situation he said "Go, go. She needs you and that is most important." Sister Walker drove us up there and within fifteen minutes the relief society president and two other members of the ward were there in her hospital room. Shay ended up staying in the hospital until Friday night and they diagnosed her with Sarcadoisis (sp?). Her doctor told her that beginning from this time forward, she would have to quit smoking cigarettes, marijuana, no caffeine, etc. Basically the doctors order was to keep the Word of Wisdom. Shay has been cigarette and marijuana free for 6 days now. As I was thinking about this whole situation, I just kept thinking to myself that God did this to her for a reason. It made me think of the story of Alma the Younger's conversion in Alma 36. At the beginning of the story, Alma is going around doing things that are against the commandments. Denying the church, denying Christ and then the angel appears to him and he is struck dumb. This is the major turning point. He is out cold for a few days and is brought to the knowledge of Christ and is redeemed of his sins. After his conversion, Alma is so converted that he ends up bringing thousands of people to the church. He becomes a powerful missionary and passes on the gospel to generations of posterity. This story compares to Shay 100%. Pre-hospitalization, Shay was not making the best choices and breaking the word of wisdom, she was trying to do it all on her own. Hospitalization was a major eye opener for her. She realized that she needed to take care of herself more and needed to become fully committed to the gospel because she knows how true it is. Now, post-hospitalization, she is being the person that God needs her to be. Her will is more in line with His and she is willing to do anything to receive the blessings of the temple. She is the one who will help her grandkids gain a relationship with God and can pass on the gospel to the next generations of her family. Keep Shay in your prayers! She needs all the strength she can get. Smoking causes major withdrawals, but we are hoping that it will all pass through her system quickly. 

I think Heavenly Father made this weeks theme service. I learned a lot about service this week
and we were given so many opportunities to serve. I think that we sometimes only think of service as doing something for others. Usually someone in the community or the community as a whole. I was thinking about when I get home. I probably wont have the same constant opportunities to serve random strangers, less actives, or investigators all the time, but I realized that one of the most important places we can do service is in our homes. We learn in Mosiah 2:41 that when we are servings others, we are serving god. That being said, if we serve our families, we will make a more god like environment and our homes can become the next most sacred thing to the temple. We are told in the Bible Dictionary under temples that "only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness." Elder Rasband said in the most recent conference that "focusing on serving our brothers and sisters can guide us to make divine decisions in our daily lives and prepares us to value and love what the Lord loves."  Making divine decisions and becoming Godlike through service will create a celestial and sacred environment for our family relationships to be cultivated in. Remember, we are all going to be stuck together for eternity. :) Thats a long time, so you better learn to love these people! So next time mom or dad asks you to wash the dishes or clean your room, remember that life is so much better when we just serve one another. Just do it.

I love you all. I hit my 14 month mark tomorrow. Its really not cool how fast this is going by!

Dont forget to Pray and read your scriptures this week.


Sister Allen

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