Hello everybody and HAPPY NEW YEAR!(: First of all, I want to say thank you to every person who helped my family move last week. I am so thankful that you have all helped and supported them while I've been gone. It's so wonderful to know they are being taken care of. I hope you all had an awesome week and are staying warm! It's pretty chilly here in Longmont, but I am so excited because I get to stay!(: We found out about transfers on Saturday, and Sister DeFord and I will be here for another transfer serving in the Ute Creek Ward. After this week that we just had, we are very thankful that we have more time here. Hermana Ferrell is leaving to go to Boulder, and I will miss her tons, but I'm very excited for her to serve there and know that she will do great things.
*This is Brother and Sister Seyfi who take such good care of our missionaries and open their hearts and their home to them! They are the sweetest people and our Sister Allen refers to them as her home away from home and Sister Seyfi as her "second Mom". So grateful for beautiful people like them!(from Sister Allen's mom)
So this past week, I decided to focus on developing a specific Christ-like attribute more fully in my life. The one that I have been praying about a lot is patience, because it truly is the one that I need to become better at. I have had so many opportunities this week to practice patience, and they have all helped me grow so much. I know if we pray to God and ask Him to give us experiences and situations that will help us become more rooted in the gospel and in being more like our Savior, He will give them to us. Something else that I have learned is that they are never in the way that we expect. What we have to remember is that He knows what we need to go through in order to become better and develop those things that we are striving to work on.
*Just some of the beautiful food that Sister Seyfi feeds to us!
Alright, so as you all know we have been teaching a man named F_____. We love him so much and were very excited about how interested and happy he was with the things that he was learning/experiencing as he was reading and praying. He was attending church and had a baptismal date set for January 17th. And now, we haven't heard from him in almost two weeks. We have tried everything that we can to reach out to him. Nothing. We are continuing to pray for him, and hoping that he will talk to us or someone else in the ward eventually. However, we know that the Lord's timing is what matters, and we are trying to remember that as we deal with the hurt that comes with losing someone who is so close to receiving that amazing gift and entering into a beautiful covenant with Heavenly Father. If you could all remember F____ in your prayers, I would greatly appreciate it.
We have been doing a lot of finding this week, through tracting and street contacting. We were outside in the 0 degree weather on Tuesday, but we didn't even feel cold while we were walking up and down the streets knocking on doors. I think the Lord helped us out a bit with that one. We managed to meet a woman named J________. She's such a cute mom and she had to go and pick her kids up from school, but she said that we can come back this next week. We also had a really awesome lesson with a less-active named N_____. She is has struggled all her life with alcohol, but she is so faithful and loves God more than anything. We are going to do everything that we can to help her feel supported and uplifted during this difficult time of overcoming that addiction.
New Year's Eve was so much fun, and it was Sister DeFord's birthday that day also! We were able to get in contact with one of our potential investigators named Seth. He is so kind, and we got his phone number finally and will hopefully be having a lesson with him this upcoming week to discuss the things he has been reading in the Book of Mormon. We had dinner with the Bishop's family and had to be home by 6:30. We spent the rest of the night watching The Testaments and baking a cake for Sister DeFord(: We also had some Martinelli's to ring in the new year.
We had a few different no-show appointments this week that we were really looking forward to, so that was kind of sad. But we did manage to get in touch with a less active named S______. She has such a special place in my heart. We met her one of my first weeks here, and she and her non-member husband D______ were at the Ward Christmas Party. We got to know them better there and we just really hit it off. When we stopped by, we shared the story of the Prodigal Son with her, and talked with her about coming back to church. She said that she wants to, but there are things that make it hard and she needs to pray about it. As she told us about some of the stuff that is keeping her from coming, I could see the sadness in her eyes. I pray for S_____ every day, and I feel like I've known her for longer than the six weeks I've been here. I know that she will come back, and I know the Savior is waiting with open arms to embrace her when she does.
We had some really awesome dinner appointments with members this week. Sister Nielson is one of the spunkiest and funniest members of the ward, and she and Brother Nielson are really good friends with the Seyfi's. We had dinner with them and it was so fun getting to know her better. She has such a strong testimony and isn't afraid to boldly share it, I really admire that. We also had a dinner with the Dalton's. Sister Dalton is one of those people who I feel like I had an instant connection with. We had so much fun talking with them and we shared a message with them about making sacrament a more meaningful experience. The Spirit was very strong as we did, and I think it was exactly what they needed to hear. We had dinner with the Hermanas and the Cardenas family one night also. They mostly speak Spanish, but their son speaks English very well and Sister Cardenas speaks a little. At the end of the lesson that the Hermanas shared, Brother Cardenas asked me to say the closing prayer. I said it in English, and afterwards, he was like "No habla espanol?". It was really funny and my face was bright red.
On Saturday, we had a plan to go visit S______ (one of our investigators who sort of tried to drop us over text; we've been trying to see her for a while and she is never home). We were going to go see her earlier in the day but then felt like the night time would be better. So we went and tried to contact lots of people, and we shoveled a lot of walks and driveways. It was snowing a lot, and we had already gone tracting earlier and no one wanted to hear what we had to say. We decided to pray and ask God what we should do and where we should go next. I got the impression that we should go tract some more, and even though I was not too excited about it, I told Sister DeFord and we went. No one let us in, most people didn't even open their doors. We got back into the car and I was kind of wondering why I got that impression when nothing came of it. We headed over to S______'s house, and she answered the door! She said it was really crazy that we showed up right then, because they had just woken up from a nap, otherwise she wouldn't have been able to meet with us. I was saying a prayer of thanks in my head for that 30 minutes of tracting. We were able to talk to S_____ about some of her concerns, answer some questions, and invite her to read the Book of Mormon and come to church this next week. I was also able to invite her to be baptized when she comes to know these things are true, and she said she will be. We are so excited for her, and so thankful that we were able to see her thanks to the Lord's perfect timing.
*Me with all the swords from "Lord of the Rings"!!
We met with J______ (a less active who is really struggling with quitting smoking) yesterday after church. J______ has very strong opinions on things, and yesterday he said some things that made me feel a little frustrated. As soon as I started feeling that way, I didn't feel like the Spirit was helping me teach. I didn't know what to say. Thankfully, Sister DeFord was able to follow a prompting that she received and was able to redirect the conversation back to the gospel. After the lesson, I was disappointed in myself. I love J_____, and I knew that I needed to be more patient with him. During personal study, I was reading in Mosiah 23. I have been wondering why things have been so hard this week, and praying to know why. In this chapter, the people are living their lives righteously and doing all the things that they are supposed to be doing. In verses 21-22 it says, "Nevertheless, the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith. Nevertheless - whosoever putteth his trust in him, the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people,".
This week, I asked to be able to develop more patience. I had many opportunities, and I have learned a valuable lesson that being patient with those that we love, with ourselves, and with the Lord's timing is key in being a great missionary and in having the Spirit with me always. I'm thankful for the experiences I had this week, they have taught me a lot and I feel so much happiness now knowing that I am growing!
I know that as we try our hardest to be kind and to be patient with others, we will be able to feel a happiness in our lives that is indescribable. I also know that if we pray to God to help turn our weaknesses into strengths, we will be able to do it(: He always creates a way for us to accomplish our righteous desires. I love you all!(:
Love, Sister Allen