Monday, February 23, 2015

Week 21: "And Then There Were Two" (:

                                                                    The Three Musketeers one last time! 

Well it's official!(: Sister Jenson is awesome and we have had such a wonderful week. I love Longmont, I love the people here, and I love this work!

Sister DeFord left on Monday, which was hard but I am so happy for her(: I know that her family is probably loving that she is home and I will always be thankful for the important lessons that she helped me learn while we were companions. We had a great lesson with Sister Morrison and her 8 year old granddaughter that night. Her granddaughter has just started coming to church, and it was neat to have the first lesson with her and talk about Heavenly Father's love for her and plan for her life. We also went and had an FHE lesson with the McKrola's. They are such an awesome family in the ward, and it was neat getting to know them better. 

                                                              Us with the Seyfi's!(: (DeFord's last night)

Tuesday we had a lesson with C_____, and she made us smoothies! It was really sweet. She has been progressing in leaps and bounds, and I know that Heavenly Father is so proud of her. We had a lesson with our new investigator L_____ also, and it was neat because she'd never heard of Joseph Smith before. I love it when we get to tell people about him, and about the fact that they can get answers to their prayers too(:

Wednesday we had a great lesson with S_____. She is so amazing, and truly has a desire to follow the Savior. It was really neat seeing her open up and talk about the things that are in her heart. Later that day we had a lesson with J_____. We were able to help him understand why baptism is important, and why the Priesthood is so necessary and special when it comes to making that step towards Christ. He seems to understand a lot better now, and he has said that he'll be baptized when he gets an answer that these things are true(: We had a lesson with F_____, and his two older sons were also there! F_____ is an amazing person, he really does have such a Christ-like Spirit about him and wants to do all he can to follow the Savior. He is such a good dad, and such a good example to his sons. He is going to be getting baptized in a couple weeks(: I couldn't help but cry when we talked to him about it, he really is so excited and happy, and you can see the difference the gospel is making in his life. I came home Wednesday night to THREE Valentine's packages(: So thank you to Sister Adcock, Papa and Grandma, and my Mom and Dad for making me feel so loved! You're all so wonderful. 

We met so many new people through tracting on Thursday! It was such a miracle. I can't wait to have lessons with all of them this week(: We had a lesson with C__________, and talked about the importance of the sacrament. She has such a strong testimony, I know once she comes to church and feels the Spirit again, she will have so much more happiness in her life. We had dinner with Brother and Sister Prestwich that night, and it was so much fun. They are so cute together, and Sister Prestwich really does tell the funniest stories. Later, we had a lesson with D_____, R_____, and C_______. It was so cool getting to teach them about the Plan of Salvation. They really do have such a desire to progress, and I know that as they read the Book of Mormon and come to church, they will be able to feel the peace and joy that comes from truly living the gospel. 
                                                                                               So happy!

We had a Stake Women's Conference on Friday. It was seriously amazing, I left feeling spiritually refreshed and ready to take on the world haha. Brother Jacobsen was the speaker, and he talked all about personal peace. Something he said that really stuck out to me was that we need to ask the Lord to strengthen you so that you can solve problems on your own. We can't just ask the Lord to take away our burdens, but we can ask Him to give us the strength to carry them.

Saturday was such a special day(: The Baker's daughter was baptized, and F______ came to the baptism! I was so glad he was able to experience that. We were out tracting later on, and all of a sudden, a BLIZZARD started and sideways snowflakes were pelting our faces/everything. We couldn't see and we were like 10 minutes away from the stake center. We finally got there and I looked like I'd just stepped out of the shower, and all we could do is laugh about it haha. We had a lesson with F______, and planned out his baptismal program. He was talking about the baptism, and how he felt the Spirit so strong and couldn't wait for his own. It was really amazing(: 

Yesterday, church was so uplifting. I love taking the sacrament every week(: It seriously helps me get through my week so much easier, because I get to start it with a renewal of all the covenants that I've made with my loving Heavenly Father. We also got to see A____ and Z____. A____ hasn't been to church in a long time, and Z____ isn't a member, and they are both so nice! I'm so excited to meet with them next week!
From left to right: Sister Jenson, Me, Sam, Lizzy, Elisabeth, and Kate(: I love these people. Lizzy and Elisabeth are seriously two of my best friends in the ward.

This week, I have felt so positive, and I know that it's because the Lord is strengthening me as I seek that spiritual strength. He wants to lift us up, and help us stay happy and strong, we just have to have the humility and trust to ask Him. Christ came here so that we could partake of His mercy and His love. His Atonement is for all of us. No matter what we have done, no matter what we've been through, His grace covers it all. In Jacob Chapter 6 verse 5 it says, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I beseech of you in words of soberness that ye would repent, and come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you. And while his arm of mercy is extended towards you in the light of day, harden not your hearts,". 

Now is the time to come unto Christ. He loves you, and His mercy is all for YOU. Don't procrastinate, don't take His sacrifice for granted, and don't be afraid to grow and change. You are loved, and you are good enough. All things can be made right through Him(:

I love you guys! Have a great week! 
Love, Sister Allen

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week 20: "God's Timing Is Perfect"(:

 We saw this super cute house on the way to dinner! (And yes, I know I'm wearing beige on beige, don't judge me...haha)

                                                                         Selfie with Daffy and Daisy duck.

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great week and a super fun Valentine's Day(: I couldn't have asked for a better week this week. I'm so excited to tell you all about it!

On Monday, it was Elder Croft's birthday, so we baked this awesome cake and I wrote "You're really old," on it. His ankle is all messed up right now so he has to walk with a cane, so we thought that would be fitting(: We had dinner with M_____ (the maintenance man that we do service for at the Y) and his family. It was so much fun to meet his wife and daughter and share a message with them. It was cool because he said "We've been having missionaries come over for years, but your the first one's who have ever shared a message with us. Thank you for that,".
                       Us with M_____ and some random guy in a green shirt!(: (we just got done painting!)
Then we had a lesson with Brother C______, which went so well. He said he has felt so much peace since he has been coming back to church, things that would normally make him angry don't bother him as much. He's even been sharing the gospel with people he works with!(:
                                                      Elder Croft with his birthday cake!
                                                        The District! (minus Sis. DeFord)
Me and Hermana Benny lighting up the 21 candles! We shared cake with all the workers at the restaurant too!

On Tuesday we moved into the Mackrory's house. They are both from South Africa and have the best accents ever. They are so sweet and Sister Mackrory is just the cutest lady. And the Seyfi's are still just 5 minutes away, so we can still see them too(: We had a lesson with P___, and it was so neat to listen to her testify of how she came to know that Joseph Smith is a prophet. She has such a sweet spirit about her.
                                                                                              Me and P___(:

Wednesday was such an amazing day. We had a lesson with S_____, a less active member who I have a special spot in my heart for. She has such a kind heart, and such a strong faith. I know that as she works through the difficult things in her life with God by her side, she will come back. He loves her so much, and so do I! We taught the Restoration, and I gave her the talk "His Grace Is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. That talk has helped me so many times when I have struggled, and when I was first coming back to church and heard it for the first time, it helped me more fully understand the depths of Christ's love for me. I hope it can help her too! Then we had a lesson with D_______ and C______, two of our new investigators. We met C______ one day while tracting in an apartment complex. It was funny actually, because we knocked on the door next to hers, and then she answered her door. She was about to close it, but then I was like "Wait!! We're missionaries...". We talked to her for a bit and she said we could come back, so we did! We taught her and her older sister D______ about the Restoration, and it was so cool because C______ said she felt just like Joseph Smith, and that she wanted to know the truth too. They have both accepted the invitation to be baptized.
                                                                The Three Musketeers!
 Making "meep" can definitely tell that one nostril is bigger than the other in this picture.
                                                                                     Me and sweet S_____!
We had a lesson with three new investigators on Thursday. D____, R_____, and C_____. They are all wanting to change their lives and raise their children with good values. What better way than to raise them to become like Christ? We were able to share the message of the Restoration, and it was neat seeing the understanding they grew to have as they asked questions and learned by the spirit.
The Elder's got us a lead pipe to protect ourselves from dangerous men on the sweet hahah.

We had an awesome night on Friday. We had dinner at the Schroeder's (this amazing family in the ward, I love them so much) and they had their friend H_______. She's a really awesome girl, and we're excited to get to know her better! We stopped by Skyline High School afterwards to go support some of our Young Women in their Senior Night Basketball Game. It was so crazy being there, it made me miss basketball. It meant a lot to them that we could be there for part of it, and it was fun to give them hugs after the game.
                                                                       The Schroeder Clan! Plus H______(:
Us with Breanna and Kelsey Robison!(: They are so awesome, and such great basketball players. Fun Fact: The Leifson's are their cousins!!

Saturday. Oh my goodness I don't even know where to start. We got in contact with F_____, and he agreed to meet with us. We went over and had a lesson with him, and he opened up to us and it was the sweetest thing. It was amazing hearing him talk about how he is happier when he meets with us and comes to church, and how he knows it's true and wants to be baptized and raise A______ in the church. He has had a lot of challenges recently, because the adversary knows that he wants to progress. But he is determined to move forward with his life and in the gospel. He now has a baptismal date for March 14th. I love F_____ so much. He is such a good dad and has such a Christ-like love for others already, he's an amazing person. We had dinner with the Stewart family, who prepared an adorable Valentine's Day salad bar and made these rice krispy treats that I could eat in the shape of Hershey's kisses. It was so cute! We also had a lesson with D_______, who bought each of us a rose!(: I don't know what was better, the rose, or the fact that he said, "Just so you know, this cuts out two packs of cigarettes!". Yay for miracles! God is so good, all the time.
                                                         Us with D_______ and the beautiful roses he gave us!

Yesterday was beautiful, and in sacrament we had an amazing musical number. Four of the Young Women performed it, and it was so great. L______ sang and did such a good job. I love that girl. F_____ came to church, and after sacrament he said, "The first talk was on faith! It was like it was tailored just for me,". It was so good to hear that. Apparently when he was in Priesthood, he introduced himself and said, "Hi, I'm F_____! And I'm preparing for baptism!". I started crying when I heard that. I'm so happy that he is so excited about all of this. It's an amazing thing to see. We also had a D____ and C_______ there and a lot of less actives that came as well.

We found out about transfers this week! Sister Jenson and I will be staying here in Longmont!! I am so happy(: Sister DeFord leaves today, which makes me sad :( I love her so much and will miss her dearly. We were able to see tons of families that we love this week before she leaves, and it was so great to feel of the spirit and love in their homes.
                                                                   The Jones Family!(: They are the best!!
                                                                                        The Stewart Family! <3
                                                                The Engstrom Family(: I love them so much!

So there is our week in a nutshell. I am so thankful to be serving the Lord here. I know that there is a time and reason for everything, and that if we trust in God and His divine plan for each of us and for all those who we share the gospel with, we will have success and joy in this life. We need to remember the question the Savior asked Peter. "Do you love me more than all of this?" Do we love the Savior more than the trivial matters in this life? Do we show Him that love? These are questions I've been asking myself this week. I know as we evaluate where we are at with our Savior, our relationship has the potential to grow stronger everyday. He loves us more than ANYTHING. That's a promise and a blessing above all else(:

I love you guys! Have a great week!
Love, Sister Allen

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 19: "Create Good Things"(:

Hello everybody!(: This week has been crazy busy, so hopefully I can catch you up on all the great stuff that happened!

We did quite a bit of tracting. We met a man named W______, and he told us that his friend was LDS and had given him a Book of Mormon and that he thinks it's just as true if not truer than the that was amazing! He's Baptist and doesn't feel like changing that right now, but we are hoping that the Spirit will help soften his heart even more as he continues to read(: We are hoping to be able to meet with him eventually.
                                    *Me and DeFord with a sweet girl, she is getting baptized next week! (:

We were able to visit so many of our wonderful less-active members this week. One of the Sister's that we visited is someone who I've always felt a very strong connection with. She has such a sweet spirit and knows that the gospel is true. She agreed to having us come over on Wednesdays to do lessons and studies with her, and I am so excited. She has a difficult situation at home, and I know that the Lord can help her with these things as she invites His comforting love back into her life.
                                                                    *the Moore's daughter, me and DeFord! (:
I was able to meet the Moore's this week! We had dinner at their house and they are such a wonderful family. Their son Glen and his family are in my ward back home. Small world(:  It's so nice to have those connections because of the gospel and the fact that we are all united in this great work.
                      *DeFord and I with a beautiful birthday cake we made for an Elder in our District! (:
We had a wonderful lesson with Brother C_____. He is such an outstanding person, and I am so excited for him to continue on this journey of healing and happiness that God has in store for him. This gospel is a gospel of peace, of comfort, and security. The promise and joy that comes from aligning our lives more fully with God's plan is so magnificent.
                                                                      *Me with the sweet C______ kids! (:

We had a lesson with our investigator J_____. He is such an inspiring young man. He has a sincere desire to know what the truth is, and to be closer to Heavenly Father. It was really neat making a connection between the questions that he has and the questions that Joseph Smith had when he was confused and wanting to know what to do. I'm so thankful that the Spirit can be a witness to the people that we teach. I know that as they have these experiences, they grow closer God and closer to the Savior. It changes their lives, and little by little they become converted.
                                                    *DeFord and I and our Valentine's to each other...haha! (:
Church was very inspiring this week. I know that when we work to create good things in our lives and in the lives of others, we will have positivity and joy. We will feel God's influence in all that we do and in who we are as people. I'm so thankful for the ability to make that choice, to choose to be happy despite setbacks and circumstance. We all have that choice. When we turn our burdens over to the Lord, He helps and heals us, and we come out better and stronger than we were before(:
                                                 *Lots of beautiful sunshine here, snow is melting quick! (:

We had a game night with some of our less actives at the Doherty's house. I really love that family, and especially Sister Doherty. She is such a blessing and I'm so glad to know someone who I can connect with so well. Also, Brother Doherty is the Gospel Principles teacher. Yesterday, we talked about the Creation. Here is a funny quote from him: "A lot of planning went into the Creation...except for the duck billed platypus."

In other news, WE HAVE A NEW COMPANION! We are in a tri-panionship now with Sister Jenson. We are so excited(: She is so awesome, and I'm so stoked to see all the good that she is going to bring to the area.
                                            *The Three Musketeers: me, Sister DeFord and Sister Jenson! (:

I love you all!(: Create some goodness this week and look for opportunities to show love to those around you. You never know the difference you can make, or more importantly, the difference that Christ can make through you.

Love, Sister Allen

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week 18: "All Smiles Here In Longmont!" (:

                                            *Me modeling a new sweater from mom and dad! :)
Hi everybody!(: I hope you guys all had a great week, and an even better Sunday. This week was so awesome. I think I say that about every week actually, but it's true! We had so many great lessons and opportunities to talk to people about the gospel.
 We had a lesson with Brother C_____ on Monday. It was really neat because he told us that he had been praying the other day about church and everything, and then we knocked on his door(: He's such an amazing person, and it was so wonderful to see him at church this Sunday! I know that the Lord answers prayers, big or small. He loves all of His children unconditionally.
 We met with S______ on Tuesday and talked about the importance of asking simple questions. It really got me thinking about my prayers. Sometimes, I spend all this time focusing on these huge hurdles that I need to overcome, when really it's my faith that needs to increase, or my testimony of the Book of Mormon, or a Christ-like attribute I need to try and be better at. Often, when I am struggling with something, it's because of something underlying that is going on in my own life that can be easily dealt with if I work through it with the Savior's help. We also did service that day, and we raked 14 whole 39 gallon bags of leaves at the Atwood House. It was so much fun though, we sang Disney songs and laughed the whole way through it. My arms were pretty sore the next day, not going to lie. We also visited P___. I just love her. She reminds me so much of my sweet Nana. She has such a strong spirit, and it was neat because we had planned on talking to her about the temple, and that was the first thing that she brought up when we got there! I love how Heavenly Father has a plan, and that sometimes, it aligns perfectly with what we were going to talk about(:
                         *An accurate depiction of how Sis. DeFord and I feel by the end of the day(:
Wednesday was interviews with President Brown. He just loves us so much. I'm so thankful for that, and thankful for the guidance and counsel he gives us each individually so that we can be better missionaries and people. We were out trying to contact a potential (M___) later, and we ran into two girls that are his next door neighbors. We were able to talk to them about the Book of Mormon, and it was really neat because M____ pulled up in his truck and was like, "I can't talk today, but you girls should listen to what they have to say. It's a really good message and they're good people,". It was really cool! We had a lesson with B_______ later, and it went so well. She is such a sweet girl and has really loved mutual and feels confident and comfortable there. I'm so happy to see the progress she is making with the Lord by her side.
 We talked with C______ on Thursday, and she just looks so happy(: It makes me so excited to see the light of Christ in her and I'm so glad that she is enjoying church so much. We also had a lesson with our new investigator J_____ that day. He is a really neat kid, and sincerely wants to be closer to God because he knows how crazy the world is. We were talking to him about prayer and the Holy Ghost, and I told him how I feel when I feel the spirit. Later on in the lesson, he said, "You know that warm feeling that you were talking about earlier? I feel that right now. I just wanted to share that with you guys,". I wanted to jump up and down! I was so happy to hear that and I am so excited to continue helping him learn by the spirit.
 Friday we were able to do service at the Y with Miles. It's so much fun, we love Friday's for that reason. We also got to go and see F_____ that night! His wife, L___, was there, and we were able to talk to her and get to know her better. I know that the gospel blesses families, and that families are the most important unit in Heavenly Fathers plan of happiness. L____ isn't interested in taking the lessons right now, but F____ is still searching for that truth and I know it will bless his whole family as he does so .
 Saturday, everything we planned fell through. But, we were able to go see this sweet lady named J______. She is always working or with the kids, so we dropped a Book of Mormon off last week on her doorstep. She said it's on her shelf and she's going to start reading it soon. I just really love her even though I don't know her that well. She is so genuine, and reminds me a lot of my mom actually. Just a good person. We went and saw the Saxton's, and we watched the Restoration DVD with them. It was so amazing, the spirit was so strong. Brother Saxton shared a very sweet testimony with us when it was over, and we walked out feeling so uplifted. It was beautiful. Later that night, when we were walking, this man and his two dogs passed us. The dogs started walking towards us and he said, "My dogs find you attractive.....(awkward pause because we have no idea how to respond)...and so do I, by the way!". It was very dark outside and pretty much all he could see were our boots, but it was hilarious and flattering nonetheless.
 Sunday was SO great. I just love the ward so much. Everyone is so amazing, and I always learn so much from the kindness and love that people show there. It was really sweet, Sister Chirinos was sitting next to us in Sacrament, and she turned to me and said, "Sister, I am so glad you made the decision to serve,", and then gave me a huge hug. I almost cried. Feeling that love and appreciation from someone that I admire meant a lot to me. We had a lesson with the Griffins after dinner, and it was so awesome because their daughter who is about to be baptized has started a journal where she records her feelings after we do lessons with her. She is so cute and we are so excited for her baptism! We also had a lesson with J_____ (who is now actually going by D_____). It was awesome and he is so much happier lately!
 In companion study this week, Sister DeFord shared a really amazing scripture in D+C 122 with me. It's verses 5-9. It's when Joseph Smith is in Liberty jail. I started crying when I was reading it. I would invite each of you to read that this week, and to remember that God is always there for you, no matter what you are dealing with in your life. He loves you, and He is aware of you.
                                          *Thanks mom and dad for the new shirt and skirt!  (:
 And I love you too!(:
 Love, Sister Allen