Hello everyone!(: Well, it's official, I have been in the field for one week tomorrow. I am loving it so much. I have an awesome companion who is so understanding and helpful in this whole training process. She's super funny too, which is good because sometimes when things don't go the way you planned, you just need to laugh. Also, we are both terrible with directions, so I'm very thankful that GPS exists. The people we live with are awesome and hilarious and I'm so thankful that they are letting us stay with them. So here is a basic summary of this last week:
- I am serving in the Horsetooth YSA Ward right by the CSU campus. It is so BEAUTIFUL here. So many trees, so many different colors, and the mountains are so perfect it's ridiculous. I'm actually going hiking today with Sis. Metzger and a member from the ward named S____. Something that I have learned so far from being in YSA is that focusing on the active members is just as important as focusing on the less-actives, inactive, and new investigators. Everyone needs to be reminded of the love that the Savior has for them, no matter where they are at in their lives/relationship to God. Our mission was challenged by Elder Allen (Head of the Missionary Department) to teach the first 3 lessons to all the members of our ward. Then, we are supposed to invite them to pray for a name of someone who could use this message. By the 2nd lesson, Elder Allen has promised that a name of someone who needs the gospel will be manifested to them by the Spirit. How cool is that?! He said that if members will do this, we should have one new investigator every week, which is amazing. So me and my companion have made it a goal to teach 20 lessons every week no matter what. We got 20 lessons over the last 4 days and it was awesome. We were super busy and exhausted by the end of each day, but it was so worth it. We already have some members who are inviting their friends to come and join in some of the activities at the Institute. We are also doing Preach My Gospel studies with some members who are going to be putting their papers in soon. Yesterday, our Ward Mission Leader challenged us to go out on the street and find someone to teach. So we did, and we taught a girl The Restoration in 5 minutes standing on the sidewalk haha! It was so awesome. She was Catholic but said that her relationship with God was so-so. So we challenged her to pray for it to grow stronger and if she ever has questions, she can find us at the Institute(: Planting seeds. It was so wonderful. It was hilarious because right before her, I walked up to this guy and asked if he'd be interested in hearing our message, and he was like "Yeah, I love the gospel!". Turns out he was a member.....of course that would happen to me. It was great practice for when I walked up to her though haha(:
-I have made it a personal goal to recognize one miracle each day. Even if the miracle is that my oatmeal tasted especially delicious haha. I have so much to be thankful for, and I need to remember to recognize those things.
-We have an awesome girl in our ward named Kat. Yesterday, we were able to teach her and then have dinner at her apartment. Her mom and 20 month old sister (they call her Bean, she's sooo cute) were in town for parents weekend and they made us dinner. It was honestly like a little slice of home, and I'm so thankful for the mom-hug I got, because I was missing my mom's 20 second hugs that we used to do back home(: Blessings are everywhere.
-Yesterday we had Stake Conference and it was broadcasted to us from Salt Lake City. Elder Bednar and Elder Scott spoke and oh my goodness, it was great. I love Elder Bednar. He just says things the way they are and if you don't like it, he doesn't care haha. He spoke on how the hastening of the Lord's work can only happen through the hastening of ourselves. The Lord is the one who hastens His work, we just have to decide if we are going to keep pace with it. As disciples, it's our responsibility to learn, press forward, and become better through Him. We have to learn the true meaning of the word sacrifice. To sacrifice is to willingly give up all the things of this world in order to reach a better world. We have to live for the gospel. He also talked a lot about the law of consecration, which really hit home for me. Being out here has shown me that this isn't about me. It's about God's children and helping them find their way back to Him. As many of you know, I'm vegan and feel very strongly about it. People are very respectful and mindful of my egg, gluten, and dairy allergies here, but honestly they don't really know what else to feed me once those things are out of the picture and don't really know all of the veganism do's and don'ts. So I've been to a few houses where chicken was being served. I decided that my veganism is something I'm going to have to sacrifice when I go to members houses sometimes. It has been really hard for me to make that decision but I know that when I go home, and when I am feeding myself out here, I can still eat the way that I feel strongly about. I know that being willing to sacrifice something that I hold dear in order to help others come unto Christ (even though it might seem like a silly thing to sacrifice to some people) will bless my life while I'm here and bless the lives of those I teach. Elder Bednar said "As we come to more completely understand sacrificing and consecration in the hastening of ourselves, we will be able to chase out the darkness from among us using the light of Christ,"
-Elder Richard G. Scott gave an AMAZING talk on the subject of prayer. Pray with sincerity. We are being encouraged by someone who is all knowing and all loving to pray to Him anytime and anywhere, but how often do we really do it? How often do we get down on our knees and sincerely speak to our Heavenly Father? I have had some very heartfelt conversations with God since coming out on my mission. I know that it's so important to have that open door of communication, not only out here in the mission field, but throughout our lives in general. Elder Scott said that answers come in 3 ways:
1. Peace, comfort, confidence. This is usually a yes.
2. Unsettled, stupor of thought. A no.
3. Nothing at all. This is the Lord asking us to go forward, with faith in Him and His plan for our lives, acting on the truths that we already know.
God needs us to ACT. Nephi said, "Not knowing the things which I would do; nevertheless, I WENT FORTH." We need to stop worrying about what might happen. If we are striving to be Christ like and to follow God, the decisions we make are being led by Him. He will prompt us in peaceful moments, when we study the scripture or take time to ponder.
- Family prayer was capitalized on a lot yesterday too. In the morning, to arm your family against the forces of evil that reside in the world, and at night, to give thanks for that protection and for all our blessings in general.
Wow this is really long. Sorry everyone, it's just been a really great and really inspiring week. I hope you all have a great week and remember the Lord throughout your day. He loves you and so do I! <3
Love, Sister Allen