Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 39: "Do Not Waver" (:


                                                                 "Me and Sister Dubya" (:


Hey everyone! This week was amazing. And I just have to say thank you
to everyone who is writing me and supporting me and praying for me.
You are all so wonderful and please know that it truly does make a
difference. If I could give each of you a huge hug right now, I
totally would(:

We had such a fun P- Day! We had dinner with the Ball's. It was Sister
B_____'s birthday and we had a make your own pizza night(: it was super
fun and it was awesome getting to share a message with their family.
Their daughter stayed in the room for the lesson for the first time
since I've been here. It was really cool(:

This week was so full of service, some planned and some random
opportunities, and it was awesome. I love the feeling you get when you
help others. Serving at Joshua's on Tuesday and Thursday every week
has been a very humbling and wonderful experience. It's amazing how
being kind to people really can turn their whole day around. We were
also able to help Sister T____________ pack up some of her stuff and deep
clean her house. She's going to be moving in August :( I love her so
much. The lessons she has helped me learn in the short amount of time
that we have been together are things that I won't ever forget. I'm so
thankful for her friendship and honestly can't really think about
having to say goodbye cause it makes me emotional.
                                                         "One of my favorite quotes" (:



We had some really awesome less active lessons this week(: we were
able to meet with Brother H________. He's such a great person. Brittany
(one of our awesome members) came with us and we finished teaching the
Restoration. We talked a lot about receiving revelation through asking
in faith. It was such a powerful lesson, especially when Brittany was
bearing her testimony of how God has answered her prayers. We also had
a great lesson with B______ and her family. We talked about how the
gospel truly does bless families and how we can see that as we seek to
strengthen our testimony and relationship with Christ. Two of her
family members aren't members, and they all agreed to take the
lessons, so we got two new investigators! We are super excited for
their family to progress together. The Stanley's fed us dinner on
Thursday and it was awesome! We were able to share a message with them
on the blessing and gift of the Holy Ghost. It was neat hearing about
the spiritual experiences they have had in their own personal lives.

We had a wonderful lesson with B______ S___(: We shared a message on the
10 Commandments. It was awesome talking about how they are just the
basics, and how when Christ came, He took everything to the next
level. He taught us how to love, how to serve, and how to be. He is
such an amazing example of selflessness and happiness, and if we
follow that, we will be better, brighter people(: it was hilarious,
after the lesson, D______ wanted to show us his "super fart". He
started breathing in a bunch of air and then blew a huge raspberry
against his arm. It was hilarious. B_____ S____'s kiddos are the cutest.
                                                      "Us with D_____ and R_____L____" (:

C_____ and A________ had their little baby boy! His name is J____ and he
is adorable. We got to go meet him the day after he got home from the
hospital. C_____ and A________ are such cute parents, and we're excited
to see the positive impact that the gospel will have on their little
family as they start this new and exciting chapter of their lives! It
was hilarious, J____ burped up all over himself, like we are talking
projectile vomiting, and C_____ just looks at us and shakes his head
and goes, "Parenthood...". Hahaha it was awesome.

In other news, we are now the Wheatland Sisters STL's as well. All the
exchanges! And the best part? Sister Waters is in Wheatland!!!(: my
cute lil MTC companion and I will be united at last and it's going to
be glorious. I love her.

This week was super humbling, and I feel like I learned so much about
the spirit. I am so thankful for the gift of the Holy Ghost. I'm
thankful that it helps me to make the right choices, to say the right
things, and to be a better and more humble person. I am so thankful
for Heavenly Father's infinite patience. I make mistakes every day,
and always have things to improve on, but God builds me up and gives
me the strength to climb those mountains and move on to bigger and
better things(: I know that He is ready and waiting to give us all
that spiritual strength, we just have to ask for it. When we stand
with our Savior, we will not waver. We may stumble or hesitate at
times, but when we are firmly rooted in the love and light of Christ,
we will have the courage to stand for what we know is right,
regardless of the situation we are in or who we are with. One of my
favorite quotes is, "Be the same person you are in the dark that you
are in the light,". I hope that we can all truly and sincerely strive
to be the person that God wants and needs us to be, every single day(:

I love you all! Have a great week.

Love, Sister Sarah Anne Allen <3

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Week 38: "There is Beauty All Around....When You Stay in Casper!" (:

                                                            Bowling with Aunt J______! :)

Hey everyone!!(: This week has been so awesome. And I get six more
weeks in this beautiful place with Sister Williamson and I am so
stoked! It's going to be an amazing transfer I just know it. Sister
Williamson is on her 8th transfer here, and everyone told me she'd be
leaving after this transfer. I'm so thankful that is not the case(:

Monday was so much fun! Aunt J_____ took us bowling. You guys...I
bowled 109. That's the highest I've ever gotten! It was so great haha.
It was so awesome getting to spend time with her and just have fun.
She's such a sweet lady. We had a lesson with her on the Plan of
Salvation and it was very sweet and sad to see her open up about her
family and how much she misses them. We know that they will all be
together again, and she knows that too. What a comforting and
beautiful knowledge to have. I'm so thankful for the plan God has for
our lives. We also got a chance to meet K_______'s husband, R______. He's
a really nice man and is going to join us for our next lesson. We're
so excited!

                                                             Me and Sister Gardner (:

We had Zone Conference and exchanges on Tuesday. We talked a lot about
the sacrament at Zone Conference, and the spirit was very strong. One
of my favorite quotes from the whole discussion is, "Pain in this
world is not evidence that God doesn't love you. It is the wounded
Christ who is the captain of our soul - He who yet bears the scars of
sacrifice, the lesions of love and humility and forgiveness,". Pain is
necessary for us to grow, but we are never ever alone. Our Savior has
been through it all. He had to descend below all things, and He did
that for us. The sacrament is a time for us to reflect on that great
and redeeming love and sacrifice, and to renew our covenants with our
Father in Heaven. What a blessing it is to have that opportunity every
week. After the conference, we went on exchanges. I stayed here with
Sister Gardner and it was lots of fun getting to know her and work
with her for the day! We met a new potential investigator named C_____.
It was cool, she was walking inside her house and we started to walk
past, then the Spirit hit me like a wall and was like, "Go talk to
her, now,". So we did! She has met with missionaries before and said
she would love to have us in her home. Sister Williamson and I are
going to meet with her this week(: I'm so thankful for the promptings
of the spirit.




                                                              Sister W and her dessert! (:

After we exchanged back, our dinner cancelled so Sis. W and I went to
Applebee's. It was super fun to hang out a companionship and unwind
after the long car ride haha. After that we met with Sister T___________.
She has been in a lot of pain this week, but she's still as positive
and hilarious as ever. I love her.


                   Sister T_______________ gave me Lord of the Rings Goblets........so awesome!! (:

We had a great lesson with the C________________s. They are seriously doing
so well. It's been so cool to see their growth over the past 6 weeks.
We also had an awesome lesson with Sister G___________ this week. She
opened up a lot as we talked about our purpose here on Earth, and it
was so neat to listen to her testify of the strength and the joy that
having a relationship with God brings to this life. She has seen it
help her through so many struggles, and it's built her into a better
and stronger person.


                                                          Another beautiful sunset! (:

We had three amazing lessons with B_______ S__ and her family this week.
We talked about enduring to the end, and how the gospel of Jesus
Christ truly does make this life joyful. The adversary always tries to
bring us down, but we have the peace and strength of God on our side
when we are living the gospel. The L____'s came over to dinner at their
house on Thursday, and we were able to explain the blessings of the
Priesthood and our role as women when it comes to that Priesthood to
Sis. L____'s daughters and to B______ S__. It was so awesome. We were
also able to share The Family: A Proclamation To The World with her.
It was so awesome talking about the that their family is going to be
together forever. I am so incredibly excited for them.

Sunday was a very special day. All week, I've been trying to prepare
more for the sacrament. As I took the cup of water and bowed my head
in a time of reflection and thanks, I had this overwhelming and
powerful feeling of warmth and love come over me and I had a
realization. The H___________'s were sitting on my left, and Sister
Williamson was on my right. I realized that I was surrounded by people
that I love so much, people that I know I will be friends with into
the eternities, people that I know I was meant to meet when I came here,
and none of that would be possible without the gospel and the
opportunity to serve as a missionary. It brought me tears of gratitude
as I sat and really marveled at Heavenly Father's divine and wonderful
plan for me personally. We were able to be present as Brother H________
was given the priesthood, and it was a moment of such joy and
happiness. B______ S__'s face was literally glowing as she hugged her
husband, who now has the opportunity to baptize her and one of their
children. This work is amazing. It is powerful and meaningful and it
is so much more than knocking doors and teaching lessons. This work is
about bringing families and individuals unto Christ. It's about
binding families to one another, it's about love and purpose and
happiness. This work is His work, and it is marvelous(:

We went and saw B______ S__ last night. We were able to talk about the
temple. It was a wonderful lesson(: I love talking about the temple.
I can't even begin to explain how the temple has blessed my life. It's
helped me grow and receive guidance and strength and peace in my life.
I'm so excited for their family to go to the temple someday! B______ S__
said that it's already a goal(: we are so happy for them.

Also! We got a new investigator this week. His name is D______ and he is
the son of one of the members in our ward. He is so funny! He reminds
me a lot of my brother Jacob. It was cute, in the closing prayer he
was like, "Please help me to feel the spirit within me more,". I love
teaching children they have the most innocent and sweet spirits and
sincerely love to learn.

So yeah, this week was a miracle. I love being a missionary(: I'm
closer to my Savior now than I ever have been before and I feel so
thankful in my heart for this chance to serve Him for 18 months.

I love you all and hope you have the best week!

Love, Sister Allen

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 37: "Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled" (:


                                                        Sister W and I...at Martin's Cove



Hey everybody!! I hope you're all enjoying the summer so far. It's
been a bright and sunny week here in Casper(: full of so many awesome
miracles.

I was debating on whether or not I should tell you about this at the
beginning or end of the email...but B______ S__ is getting
baptized!!!!!!(: we had our lesson on the Word of Wisdom last week and
it went awesome. B______ S__ has been praying to receive an answer for a
long time and just hadn't felt like it had come yet. On Tuesday
morning during companionship study, we got a phone call. She was
crying and at first we thought that something was wrong! Then she said
"I was driving and it hit me like a ton of bricks...I need to be
baptized!". Needless to say, we were all crying and so incredibly
happy!(: we went and saw her and her family that night and talked
about everything. She and C____ will be getting baptized on the same
day. And the best part? Brother H________ will be receiving the
Priesthood on Father's Day, which means he gets to baptize them(: The
amount of love in my heart that I have for their family is something
that I can't really explain. I know that I was meant to meet them
here. I'm so thankful that God allows us to have these experiences. We
can't wait!! 

 On Monday, the Millers took us to Martin's Cove. It was such a sweet
and spiritual experience. We were able to hike into the Cove. The
right side of the Cove is where the pioneers who lived camped and took
shelter from the winter storms, and the left side is where they buried
their dead. When we got there, Sister Williamson and I took some time
to just sit. It was so quiet and peaceful. It truly is hallowed
ground. As I reflected on the pain and the sorrow that must have been
felt on the left side, and the rejoicing and thanksgiving that was
felt on the right, I couldn't help but get teary eyed. These amazing
people gave all that they had to follow the Lord. Their example is one
that will never be forgotten. I thought to myself, "Is that something
I'm willing to do? To give my all, my agency, my will, over to God?" .
It is, and I know that it's a life long process of surrendering my
pride, my worldly cares, and my fear, but I know that it is worth it.
Totally and completely worth it. It was very humbling to sit there, to
pray, and to feel the spirit. I'm thankful for the opportunity we had
to visit that sacred site. Even though we did come home with 64
mosquito bites between the two of us hahaha(:
                                                                Inside Martin's Cove
                                                   Sweet Water statues at Martin's Cove
We met with lots of wonderful people this week. We had an awesome lesson with C____ and A________ on increasing your faith and hope. It was really neat to hear them both bear their testimonies of how they gained their faith in the Savior. A__________ should be having their little boy soon! So exciting. Also, they have three snakes. I held two of them. One of them is 8 feet long. It was terrifying. Enjoy the pictures Sister Jenson(: haha love you.

                                                      Me holding the snake...kind of!!! (: 

 The C_____________'s are doing so great. They are both striving to live
the commandments of God, and it's so cool to see how it's translating
into the rest of their lives. We had a very spiritual lesson with
Sister G___________. She is opening up so much, it's been so awesome to see
how the Holy Ghost is working in her life. Okay, and I just love
Sister T__________ so much. We go over every morning to have a prayer
with her. She is so hilarious and happy and I just feel very blessed
to know her. Whenever I have negative thoughts about myself or others,
I just think, "What would Sister T_____________ say?". I'm super thankful
for the example she is to us.

Saturday was intense. We drove down to Lusk with a few people from our
ward to go and help with the flood cleanup. We got to ride with the
Young Women's President, Sister Morris. She is so cool! It was so much
fun getting to know her(: We got there at about 10 and worked until
4:30. We were with about 9 other people from our ward and we were
helping clean out this man named Larry's basement. There was so much
water in the basement, and all of the stuff was soaked. There was
furniture that was so heavy because it was water logged. At one point,
Sister Gleason and I had to tie a rope around this giant, moldy,
mattress and drag it to the garbage pile. We worked and worked, and
Larry and Carmen appreciated it so much. It's funny, because
pre-mission, I probably wouldn't consider wading around in a bunch of
moldy, mucky, water grabbing miscellaneous items and praying that
there is nothing living in there, to be "fun". But it honestly wasn't
bad at all. It was so evident that these people needed help, and it
allowed all of us to come together and serve. And it felt good(:

                                                         This from our MLC last week! (: 

 We had a really awesome dinner appointment with the F____ family. It
was honestly one of the best experiences that I've had so far in
Casper. We were prompted earlier in studies that we should share the
"You Never Know" video. It was amazing, because that is exactly what
Sister F____ needed. It was so awesome getting to know her better. We
really clicked, and I just have so much love for her. She and I have
had some similar experiences, and seeing what a wonderful person and
mom that she is gives me a lot of hope. I love her. She and her sister
in law gave us lots of great advice for life, and it was exactly what
I've been needing to hear. I'm thankful for spiritual experiences that
we get to have with members of the ward. It truly is a blessing.

                             Sister Williamson's great aunt Julie gave me her glasses                                                                                                from when she was younger! (:

This week, I've been studying a lot about humility. Often times, I
have this tendency to be like "Nope, I'm fine, don't need help, I can
handle this all on my own,". Yeah, that's not true. Sometimes I forget
the Savior's invitation of "come unto me,". Christ is our best friend.
He wants to help us, to strengthen us, to give us peace, to love us.
And every time we say "Oh I'm fine, I've got this," instead of looking
to Him to see what His will is for us, we cheat ourselves out of the
blessings, guidance, and love that He is constantly offering us. "For
my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,
saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are
my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts,"
(Isaiah 55: 8 -9). When we humble ourselves and earnestly seek to
align our will with God's will, then we find true and lasting
happiness. In Doctrine and Covenants Section 112 Verse 10, it says,
"Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and
give thee answer to thy prayers,". I know that as we humble ourselves,
and look to the Lord in all that we do, we will be led by someone who
loves us and knows us better than we know ourselves. He has our best
interests at heart, and He will never lead us astray(:

 I love you all! Have an awesome week.

Love, Sister Allen

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 36: "We're Gonna Have a Really, Really, Really Good Day"(:









Hey everyone!(: I hope everything is going so wonderful with all of
you. This week in Casper has been another crazy one, but still so
good. Being exhausted is a good thing when you're doing the work of
the Lord. I feel so privileged to be serving here. The people I've
met, the things I have learned, it's kinda surreal. Most of all, my
personal relationship with the Savior has never been stronger. I know
that He is going to keep stretching me, helping me grow and be humble
and learn to rely on Him more. Sometimes that growth is painful, but
the pay off is well worth it. He never ever leaves us alone, and He is
trying to help each of us understand that. 


                                                             "Us with Sister T_____" (:


 We had our ward picnic this week! It went really well. Lots of people
came, including some less actives. We were going to have it outside
but it ended up raining super hard so we had it at the church instead.
The weather in Wyoming and Colorado has been nuts. Tornados, flooding,
all that fun stuff. Luckily here in Casper we just had a lot of
thunderstorms and hail, but that's it(: we are going to Lusk this
Saturday to help with flood cleanup! They got hit with the worst of
it.

We had some amazing lessons with less actives this week. The S______'s
are so great. They shared a lot of their spiritual experiences with
us. We were able to talk to them about King Lamoni's father, and how
he is so willing to give up everything he has just to know God. When
we are willing to make sacrifices of our time and our material things
in order to further our relationship with the Lord, we are focusing on
what truly matters. None of the "stuff" of the world goes with us to
the next life. We met with B_____ and shared the He Lives video. It was
really powerful. We met with Brother H______ as well! The Millers (one
of our awesome ward missionary couples) came with us, and we all had
lunch and talked. The spirit was super strong as we shared the message
of the Restoration. Brother H_______ has a sincere desire to know these
things and to feel the spirit. It's really neat to see that. I just
love him and hope that he can continue to seek after the light of the
gospel, because it's going to change his life. We visited this
adorable couple, C____ and A__________, and it was so awesome getting to
meet them. They are both working on coming back to church, and it was
so cool to see the determination they have to get things back on
track. A___________ is having her baby on Sunday! We are so excited for
them to see the miracles and blessings that God will bring to their
little family as they continue to strengthen their relationship with
Him(:

We met with B_______ S__ twice this week. It was so great. I love her
and her family so much, they have a very special spot in my heart. It
was adorable, their son D______ said the closing prayer in the lesson,
and he was like "Please help us to have a good day, somewhere. And
please help us to um..to have a good day sometime. And help us to have
a good day,". Haha it was great. I love it when kids pray. It's so
cool to see their other son, C____, be so excited about baptism. Their
whole family is working together to draw closer to the Savior, which
makes us so happy(: When I was first developing my relationship with
the Savior and working through some really hard things, my family told
me that it wasn't something I was going to do alone. They were there
for me every step of the way, especially on the really hard days.
Through that, our family bonds are stronger than they have ever been.
The gospel truly does bless families, and I am so thankful for that.
                "B_____S__ and her awesome family....D____and C_____ were being dinosaurs! haha!"

We were able to visit Sister T_________ a couple times this week. She's
so awesome. She's such a huge example to me of having a positive
attitude through trials. She never gives up hope, even on the days
when she's in a lot of pain. I love her so much, and her little dog
Minerva McGonagal (yes like Harry Potter, see why we get along so well?).

"Sister T______ 's dog Minerva" (:


The C____________'s are doing awesome! Brother C______________ got the
Melchizedek Priesthood this Sunday, and it was so sweet to see him in
his white shirt and tie getting sustained at Stake Conference. We are
so happy for him(:

We had another long road trip to Fort Collins this week for Missionary
Leadership Council (MLC). The drive there and back was so much fun. I
love Sister Williamson and I'm really glad that we have become such
good friends(: It was an awesome meeting. I felt so uplifted and
inspired to be better after we left. I know that the Holy Ghost speaks
to all of us individually, and we all learn different things from what
people testify about. Something that really stuck out to me is that
nothing in this life is by chance, it is all by God's design and it
ALL matters. And then it was really neat because in stake conference,
they talked about how you need to pray and find out your why. Why am I
here in Casper? God invites us to seek, to ask, and to listen. He will
help us find our purpose, because each and every one of us has a very
important role that He needs us to play.
"Sister W and I having too much fun with our Ipad" (:
We are all children of God. He loves us, regardless of our social
status, our money, our shortcomings. None of that makes a difference
to Him. We are His and we are so special and amazing simply because of
that. As we embrace the gospel and God's plan for us, we begin to
really gain that divine inheritance, those blessings that God wants us
to have in this life. Our understanding of our self worth increases as
we come to know our Heavenly Father on a more personal and real level.
I know that He will never give up on us. I know that God loves me and
He loves you. I wanted to invite you all to read the talk "Living The
Gospel Joyful" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. That talk lifted me
and helped me so much this week, and I hope it can bring some
happiness to you guys too(:

I love you all so much! Have an inspired and happy week(:

Love, Sister Allen

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 35: "Chocolate Chip Cookies.....and 8 months!!"(:



Hiiii everybody!(: Can I just say, this week has been a week of
miracles! Well, I feel like every week on the mission is like that,
but this one in particular haha. I hope that you have all been able to
recognize the miracles that have been in your lives this week too! The
Lord is constantly blessing us, even if it's not in the way or at the
time that we expect. Also, CONGRATULATIONS ON GRADUATING LITTLE
BROTHER(: I am so proud of you, and your graduation announcement was
probably the funniest thing I've ever seen. I love you!

We had such a great Monday! We watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the
Restoration together and ate food and just had a great time. I love
Sister Williamson. Anyways, if you guys haven't seen that movie, you
should definitely watch it. I know, without a doubt, that Joseph Smith
truly is a man that God called to help restore Christ's church. I know
that he is a prophet of the Lord, and that he sacrificed so much of
his life just so we could have the gospel and another testament of
Jesus Christ. I'm so thankful for that sacrifice, because this gospel
has truly changed my life.



We saw so many wonderful less actives this week! I'll just tell you
about a few. Sister C______ is just so sweet. She has such a strong
testimony of Christ's atonement. We got to see B______ and have a very
spiritual conversation with her and her friends and family. She still
has so much faith, it's really cool to see. Also, she and her family
really want to feed us, so that'll be fun! We had an amazing lunch
with Brother H________(: he is so nice. It was our first time meeting
with him and we all just clicked so well. His roommate was there also,
and she is so cute. We were able to share the He Lives video with
them, and Brother H________ talked about how he just needs to know truth
for himself. I remember that feeling. I know that he can receive
answers from God as he prays. Heavenly Father doesn't want us to be
confused, He doesn't want us to feel alone. Prayer bridges that gap,
it allows us to communicate directly with someone who loves us more
than we can comprehend. What a blessing(:

We got two new investigators this week! K________ is so awesome. She is a
former investigator who we visited, and she still had her copy of the
Book of Mormon(: We were able to testify boldly, and she said we can
come back and teach her more. I can't wait to talk to her about the
Plan of Happiness!! Then, we had a lesson with P_______ and E__________.
We taught them the Restoration, and the spirit was so powerful(: it
was honestly such an amazing feeling. Sharing the First Vision was so
special, you could tell that it really impacted them both. E_________
isn't a member, and they said they will read the Book of Mormon and
pray, and that they'll be coming to church! After the lesson, she
said, "Thank you so much for coming over, that was really good. I can
tell that you are really passionate about this, that you really know
it's true,". I love them and am so excited for them!!(:

We had two amazing lessons with B_______ S__ this week, and she is
progressing so well. I love that family so much. On Saturday, they had
the L_____'s and Sister F______ over again and we had a big barbecue. It
was so awesome. One of the L_____'s daughters is so sweet and talked
with me the whole time about being a missionary. She has such a strong
testimony already. It's so cool to see someone so young with so much
faith. I know that so many of the youths are like that, and I'm so
thankful for that strength that they have. It is much needed.

An awesome family in the ward made me allergy free chocolate chip
cookies this week(: It was so sweet, and a great little 8 month mark
celebratory treat! I can't believe that I'm almost halfway done with
my mission. I am so thankful to be here. I learn something new every
single day. The Savior is making me into a better missionary, a better
sister, a better daughter, and a better friend. I'm so thankful for
the stretching and growing that I'm experiencing, even though it's
hard sometimes. Every day is a beautiful day to be alive(: there is so
much happiness, so much pure joy, that comes from this gospel, if we
simply live it.

I love you all and hope that you have an amazing week!

Love, Sister Allen