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.
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