Hello everyone!(: This week has honestly been so great, I don't even know where to start. I have been so uplifted and truly have felt that this is where I am meant to be. Things kept happening that just confirmed it to me and I'm so thankful to be serving here. So here is the rundown from my week:
- So last Tuesday, we were watching Mormon Messages (we get an hour on Tuesday's for Mormon.org time, it's sweet) and I saw the Lindsay Stirling Mormon Message. It was so sweet and motivating and it really helped me feel positive and ready for the week. We had an amazing lesson with K____ (She got baptized this weekend! It was the most wonderful experience and I'm so thankful I got to be a part of it) and then we got to know a few people in the ward a lot better during lessons. Fun fact for you: there is a girl named Jayde Jones in the ward, and she is so awesome. We were having a lesson with her and I leaned back in my chair a little bit and it fell backwards and I hit my head against the wall....it was really embarrassing but I also haven't laughed that hard in ages so it's all good.
- On Wednesday, we went tabling on CSU's campus. We set up a stand and handed out Mormon.org cards and had Book of Mormon's (Books of Mormon?) available and pamphlets on the Restoration, Plan of Salvation, etc. There was a huge group of people standing a little ways off. They had a man dressed as Jesus screaming really vulgar things about gay people and women and telling everyone they were going to Hell. It was honestly one of the saddest things I have ever seen. People were arguing and screaming and it really just reminded me of the great and spacious building. That's what I imagine it to be like. At first it really bothered us and we were thinking about tabling another day or somewhere else, but I really got the feeling we should stay. As time went by, lots of people passed. We were able to hand out pamphlets and cards and even a Book of Mormon every once in a while. People just kept saying how much they appreciated our kind attitudes and the fact that we weren't yelling at them, that we were just saying that God loves everyone and we wanted to invite others to come closer to Him. It was awesome to see how many people stopped for us that wouldn't stop for the yelling Jesus guy. I had an experience at the very end of tabling that I will never forget. Two guys were walking by (one of them was wearing this really sweet llama poncho) and I stopped them and was talking to them for a little bit. I don't really remember what I said. I offered them a pamphlet and one of them said that he didn't want to take one because he probably wouldn't use it. I told them that was totally fine and we talked a little more. They eventually walked away and I didn't think much of it. Later, right as we were getting ready to leave, one of the guys rode up on his bike and came up to me. He said that as they were walking away, poncho guy said to him that his interaction with me was the best interaction he has ever had with a religious person. He said I was super sweet and motivating and that I seemed like I genuinely cared about him and about other people. He said that he really appreciated what I was doing and that I was loving to everyone, even when they weren't interested. And then his friend said that he thought what I was doing out here is awesome and to keep up the positivity and then he rode off. I was so happy! I know that most people would probably be bummed cause he didn't take a pamphlet or anything, but he noticed Christ-like kindness! That's huge! I know it was God that allowed that to happen and I've been praying every night that one day, they will remember that kindness and someday show interest in the church. You never know!
- On Thursday we went tracting for the first time. We don't do it very much in YSA, but we had some free time so we decided to give it a try. It went so well! We taught the Restoration to two people, and each of them allowed us to close with a prayer. It was a great experience, and I know the fact that we prayed before going really helped us find people who would be interested. We are hoping to hear back from one of them this week.
- Friday we got a new investigator! Her name is K_____ and she moved to CO from Arizona. She is so sweet and we have our second lesson with her this week. We're so excited!
- Saturday was K____'s baptism. It was such an awesome day. She was so so so happy coming out of the font. Her parents came and so did some of her friends. It has been so fun getting to teach her and see her make this step to be closer to Heavenly Father. She has such a happy spirit and I know her testimony will benefit so many people that she knows.
- Sunday we had church and every meeting had something that I needed to hear. The theme of this girl named Diana's talk was "Enlarging thy tent". When people think of helping others come unto Christ, they usually think of baptism or only having discussions about spiritual things. I know that's what I used to think. Something I've learned very quickly while serving in YSA, is that a lot of time what people need is a true friend. That is what Christ is to us. He is our true friend, our best friend, and we need to be other people's friends and have that charitable love towards them. K___'s mom came to church with her, and in Gospel Principles class, she said that she and her husband have been reading the Book of Mormon and want the happiness that K____ has found. It was so awesome! We are so happy for her and her entire family. After church, we had some lessons and then we had a devotional night where people who were recent converts/returning missionaries/people getting ready to leave on missions bore their testimonies. It was so spiritually uplifting. K____ bore her testimony and it was so pure and simple and something that everyone needed to hear.
So that was my week. It was very busy, I am seriously exhausted, we went over our goal number for lessons we wanted to teach and that was a really good feeling. It's not about the numbers though. It's about the people, and the people I'm getting to know and the people we are teaching are seriously so wonderful. I'm so happy to be here and I can't wait to see what this next week will bring!(: I love you all and would challenge you to look for someone you can be a true friend to this week!
Love, Sister Sarah Anne Allen