Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 5: Joy is Living! (:

Hey everyone! I hope you all had an amazing week, because I sure did. I seriously am so happy out here. Even on days when people cancel or slam the door in our face, I just am so glad that I have this opportunity. I keep having experiences that testify to me that I am here for a reason, and I'm so thankful that the Lord gives me those feelings of confirmation and peace.

- We spent a lot of time with members this week. Teaching lessons and just being there to listen when people needed someone to talk to. My heart is so full of love for the people here in the YSA ward. They really have become like family to me and I am so thankful that they feel comfortable opening up to us. Through teaching members, we have gained so many potential investigators! It's amazing because when the members trust you, they feel more comfortable bringing their friends to you to be taught. We have some appointments set up with people this week and we are so excited to meet them and help answer their questions/tell them all about Christ and how great the gospel is.

- Something I have been praying for a lot is patience. With myself, with others, just being able to be patient in general. I feel like this week, my patience was tested multiple times, and with God's help I was able to handle situations way better than I normally would. It's crazy to see how much relying on the Lord in ALL things really can help you overcome some of your most stubborn habits. I'm thankful that I'm growing and changing every day here, even though it's hard sometimes.
- There is an elder here named Elder Sondrup. I really look up to him a lot. He has been out for about 8 months and he's a really good example of the kind of missionary I aspire to be. He testifies so boldly! Which is something I need to work on. Sometimes it's just hard to walk up to random people and be like "Hey, let me tell you about something that changed my life,". It get's easier every day though, especially now that I am seeing people through the Lord's perspective. He sees everyone's potential, no matter how lost. I know that to be true with all my heart, and I know that it's because of Him that I see myself in a much more positive light now.
- Halloween was SO fun. We had a trainer's meeting that morning and I finally got to see Meet The Mormons. To anyone who hasn't seen it, GO. It is so worth it. It was so touching and really inspiring. Something that was said in the movie that I really loved was "Kindness can sustain a renewal of hope,". Sometimes, I think we tell ourselves we are too busy, too stressed, or too frustrated to show genuine kindness to others. Kindness doesn't need to come wrapped in a bow or baked at 350. Kindness can come simply from smiling at someone, holding the door, or making a short phone call. We are all God's children, and we all need to support each other and lift each other up. Differences do not matter. Christ loves each of us despite our circumstance and He knows that each one of us has an important part to play. We need to recognize that in each other and be more willing to share our light on days when someone is feeling surrounded by darkness. We had to be in by 6 on Halloween, so we went to Whole Foods on our way home to grab a couple things for dinner and guess what....THEY HAD BUTTER BEER. Like, Harry Potter certified Flying Cauldron Non-Alcoholic (Don't worry everyone) Butter Beer. It was vegan and gluten free and DELICIOUS. Anyone who knows how much I love Harry Potter will understand why this is such a big deal haha.

- Sunday was one of the best days I've had out here so far. Fast and testimony meeting was AMAZING. There was a poem shared in one of the testimonies that I loved. It's God communicating with a person and it goes like this: "Come, come to the edge," He said. "No Lord, I am afraid,". "Come, come to the edge," He said. I finally came to edge. He pushed me off. And I flew.
I just love everything about that. The Lord beckons us to the edge of our comfort zones, and then He pushes us off. God is a God of progression, and if we aren't stretching and growing, we aren't progressing. We need to trust Him, we need to understand that He knows way more than we do and He needs us for specific purposes. We need to recognize that joy is living. The fact that we are here means we chose God. We chose His plan for us. And we need to do all we can to climb homeward to Him, and to help others with their climb in the process.
After church we met with our investigator M_____ and her friend E____ (who is a recent convert that we just ADORE, she's so wonderful). I had never met her before but she had texted us and said she wanted to talk to us without her boyfriend (he's a member) there. We were kind of nervous, we thought she was going to tell us she didn't want to investigate anymore. Instead, she expressed to us that she was scared of baptism because the missionaries invited her to be baptized on the very first lesson. She expressed concerns and questions about the priesthood, sacrament, and baptism and I was nervous and didn't really know what to say. And then all of a sudden words started coming out of my mouth. It was the coolest experience ever. I don't even remember all that I said, but I do remember seeing the tears of happiness in her eyes. That is something I will never forget. I know that the Lord was speaking to her through me. I know that He needed her to hear those things, and I am so thankful that I was able to be that vessel for Him. She is going to continue meeting with us and wants to be a member of the church. I was so overwhelmed with happiness.
I know that God is in the details of our lives. I know that we should feel happiness simply because we are living. We exist and we have been given so many beautiful things in this life, we just need to remember that. We need to look around, at our families, our friends, the sunrises and sunsets, and realize that we are here to be happy and to gain blessings through our righteousness. I am trying to adopt this attitude of gratitude, and I would challenge all of you to try for it too(: I love you all so much and am so thankful for all of your support! Have a great week.

Love, Sister Allen