Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 17: "I Love Being A Missionary"(:

Hello everybody!(: I hope you all had a wonderful week and a great Sunday yesterday. It has been beautiful here in Longmont, perfect weather for walking and meeting lots of new people!! We got five new investigators this week!
*catching snowflakes on our tongues!!

*so fancy!! haha!
On Monday (P-Day), we got permission to go to Estes Park, which is this cute little mountain town about 45 minutes away from Longmont. We went with Sister Seyfi and their friend Charles Henry. It was so much fun! It was Charles' first time seeing snow (he's from Haiti), and he thought it was pretty great. We went to this one shop where they let you dress up and get your picture taken. It was so much fun. Later that night, we were finally able to meet with Brother C______. He is less-active, and we have been trying to get in touch with him for weeks now, but he was never home. We were able to have a lesson with him on deepening conversion and church attendance and how those two things go hand in hand. He has an extremely strong testimony and love for the Savior. We are excited to continue to meet with him and help get him back to church so he can take the sacrament. That is one of the most powerful hours of my entire week. The Spirit can be felt so strongly as we reflect back on the sacrifice, the promises, and the love that our Savior has for us. I feel so close to Him during that time when I get to take the bread and water, and I know that everyone can feel that if they will come with a sincere desire to feel the Spirit.

Tuesday, we had a lesson with a man named S______. He has smoked for many years and all he wants is to be able to quit so that he can get baptized, because he loves the fellowship that is in the church. He says that he has prayed many times for God's help to quit, but that nothing ever happens. As we talked to him more, we came to find out that he isn't sure about the Book of Mormon being the word of God or that we have a prophet today. I know that as S_______ develops a stronger testimony of those core parts of the gospel, his faith will increase, and he will be able to quit smoking. Our faith determines God's ability to bless us. We have to believe that He will help us, we have to trust in Him. There was a Relief Society Activity later that night, and it was a very fun get to know you game. C______, a less-active sister who we love, was able to come to the activity! Sister Anderson has been such a good friend to her and it's crazy how happy C______ has been just in the last couple weeks since she has started coming to church again. Her countenance has completely changed. It makes me so happy just thinking about it! The gospel really does bring a literal light into your life, it's noticeable and beautiful.
                                                                *Just a gorgeous sunset here in Longmont!
We had exchanges on Wednesday. I stayed here with Sister Waite and it was wonderful! We had a great lesson with our new investigator A_____. The Spirit was so strong and she seemed really interested in everything we had to say and asked lots of questions. She's agreed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. We had dinner with the Schroeder's, and they really are one of my favorite families in the ward. They are so funny and are so excited and motivated to do missionary work! It's really awesome to see people who love the gospel so much that they have this desire to openly share it. I know that as they continue to do that, and as we all strive to do that, the Lord will trust us and bless us with more and more opportunities to share the gospel. We went to mutual that night with B_______ (our 16 year old investigator). She had such a fun time and we were able to have a lesson with her afterwards. She is such a sweet girl, and is going to come to mutual every Wednesday and continue to have lessons with us. She has so much faith in God, and I know that the message of the restored gospel will only add to and expand that strong faith. I am so excited for her!(: Sister Waite and I got to spend lots of time getting to know one another while we were walking around Longmont, and I just love her. She is such a great missionary and I know that exchanges are inspired decisions. She was able to see her cousin Sarah, who is in our ward (she had no idea that she was here). It was awesome getting to see their reunion and I know that it meant so much to both of them.

Thursday, we went and saw Sister Wright. She is the sweetest and funniest little old lady, I seriously love her. She has such a strong testimony and loves it when we come to see her. She's 95 and can't drive, so she spends a lot of time alone. We were able to talk about the importance of sacrament with her, and hearing her testimony of the peace that she feels (even when she can't hear what the speakers are saying) when she is there was so special. She said that the Spirit tells her exactly what her heart needs to hear. I thought that was so cool and such a good example of how Sacrament should be for all of us. We went to contact one of our potential investigators (J_____) later that day, and we accidently knocked on the wrong door. The guy who answered the door definitely was not J____. But he was one of those people who could pass for a very mature looking high school student. Anyways, Sister DeFord was like " your mom home?" and he said "No...." and then she was like "Do you know who J_____ is?" and he said, " don't know anyone named J______. My name is D______,". It was hilarious and slightly awkward. We found out that he's 24 and we ended up talking to him about the gospel and giving him a Book of Mormon and are going back to have a lesson this week. So all is well(:
                                                   *notice the name of the shop in the background? haha! (:
On Friday we had dinner at Sister Christensen's house. She is the nicest lady and has such a neat conversion story. I think I might have talked about it before in one of my emails. Anyways, we were able to talk to her about a scripture (Mosiah 26:20). It says, "Thou art my servant; and I covenant with thee that thou shalt have eternal life; and thou shalt serve me and go forth in my name, and shalt gather together my sheep,". I love that scripture so much. That is a promise that the Lord has made with each of us. If we will open our mouths and share the gospel with those who don't yet know the joy that it can bring, we will be blessed with the greatest gift of all. I find that the greatest blessings come into our lives when we are striving to serve and love others. We had a lesson with Sister C______ (a less active) on Friday, and she finally opened up to us about why she hasn't been coming to church. That was a huge hurdle for her, and we are hoping that we can help her feel loved and accepted enough to come back.
                                        *me outside a cute candy shop while they were making fresh taffy!
Saturday was so amazing. I kind of don't have words to describe how great it was. We had two appointments cancel, so we decided to walk towards one of our investigators houses and see if he was home. As we did, we came across an older woman, two kids, and a man, who were trying to move into their apartment. We told them we would love to give them a hand, and the older woman (B______) said that she would love that but only if we let her buy us lunch. Deal! We came to find out that B______ and her daughter S_____ (who is pregnant and lives upstairs) were two of the people that we had talked to the other night who said they weren't interested in our message. As we were moving everything in, they just kept saying thank you and you could tell they really meant it. The little five year old boy, J____, told me "I like your hair. It's super cute,". Which pretty much made my day. After we got done, B______ took us and her granddaughter F_____ out to lunch at Chipotle. We were able to share a message with them and talk about the Book of Mormon. We gave her one and she said she'll start reading it and that we can come by anytime next week to talk with her about it(: It just goes to show that service is one of the best ways to soften peoples hearts. It helps people know that we really do care about them as individuals, not about increasing the size of our congregation. Later, we had a bunch of plans get rearranged and we ended up at a potential investigators house (the S__________ Family) later than we had planned. When we knocked, Mr. S__________ said that his wife wasn't home. We were bummed, but all of a sudden, she pulled up in her car! We were able to go in and share the first part of the Restoration with them and invite them to take the lessons. They said yes! I am SO excited. This family already has a truly amazing faith in Christ and they are such wonderful people, I know that the gospel will only help their relationships with Him and with each other grow stronger. We are going back next week(: I know that God has a timing for everything, and if we wouldn't have been there right as she came home, who knows what would have happened!

Last night, we went and visited J______. On our way there, we met this man on the side of the street. We talked with him about the gospel and gave him a Book of Mormon. When we asked what his name was he said "Creed..or John". And then when we were saying goodbye he said "Goodbye Milady". He was very proper and super nice. It was just hilarious that he said that. So now we call him Creed-John-Milady-Man. Then, this lady drove up to us in her car and was like, "Hey, are you from a church or something?". And we told her we were and gave her a card. So that was really cool. Our lesson with J_____ went SO well. He seemed a lot happier than usual, and he is going to watch Finding Faith in Christ this week. We can see little bits of progress with him, and it's been such a blessing.

*Blowing up balloons to figure out what gender the baby is that Sister DeFord's sister is having! 
                                                                                             It is not a girl!

So, this week was full of LOTS of laughter. Sister DeFord has honestly become one of my best friends. She's so awesome and I'm sad that I won't get more time with her after the next three weeks, but I'm super thankful for her example and impact that she's had on me while we've been together. I know that God is directing the work here. I know that I can trust in Him, because He will help all those who have a desire to serve him find those who are prepared to receive the gospel. I know that the plan of happiness that God has for our lives is real, and that it truly is the most joyful way to live. I love being a missionary. I love the fact that Heavenly Father loves us all and that forgiveness, peace, and comfort can be found in that love. This gospel truly is the best part of my life.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Love, Sister Allen