Monday, August 24, 2015

Week 47: "The Spirit of God Like Our Apartment is Burning"

Hey everyone!(: okay, so I want to start this off with a question...let's say your apartment caught on fire..what are three
things that you would grab? What are the most important things? Okay,
now I will tell you about our exciting week. 

So, Sister Martin has been pretty sick, but we have still seen lots of
miracles and tender mercies(: the Lord's hand is in each and every
day. Sometimes we have to look a little harder to find it, but I can
promise that it's there. I know that our Heavenly Father is watching
out for us and blessing us in big and small ways, and when we are able
to see those things and give thanks, our eyes adjust and we are able
to recognize Him that much more in our lives. 

We got a referral for a woman named Norma who was in the hospital this
week. She hasn't been to church in a long time, but we were able to go
and talk with her about her family, her life, and the gospel. Sister
Martin was able to relate to her a lot (they both know a lot about
horses). I know 0% about horses, but I do know how to work an
essential oils machine, which I was able to fix for her. We shared a
message about hope in Ether 12:4 and we were able to leave her with a
prayer. She seemed a lot more peaceful by the time we left. I'm so
thankful for the Spirit, for the ability that it has to bring feelings
of refuge and calm into our lives when things around us seem to be in
the greatest sense of chaos and turmoil. It is such a huge blessing. 

 We were able to see Bobbi Sue twice this week. I love her so much. It
was really awesome, we were able to talk to her about how she's felt
since receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. She said, "I feel like I
get more answers now. And I feel like they're clearer,". I'm so happy
for Bobbi Sue, and I'm so proud of her. She's faced a lot of
adversity, and she hasn't had a ton of support from people that she
loves in her decision to be baptized. But she is so strong and so
excited to continue to move forward. I want to do everything that I
can to help her on her spiritual journey(: 

We had a mission tour with Elder Zeballos and his sweet wife. She is
honestly one of the nicest people I've ever met. Their talks were
inspiring. Something they talked about that I absolutely loved is that
our main purpose, our vision, is to let people know that they are
children of God and that He absolutely and completely loves them. That
is why I came on a mission. I want people to know that in their
hearts; to know that they are loved and cared about and valued by
Heavenly Father. When I came to know that He is real and that He loves
me, it changed my life, and I know that it can change other people's lives too.

After we got home from Cheyenne (where the mission tour was), we had a
great dinner appointment and then we came back to our apartment to lay
down for a bit (we woke up at 4:30 am and we were exhausted) and
change into something else to go visit a lady who smokes (we didn't
want our other clothes to smell, which ended up being kinda
pointless). As we got up to leave, Sister Martin opened the curtains
and looked outside. She yelled back at me to come look, and I saw
flames in our neighbor's window. My immediate thought was, "Our
neighbor's apartment is on fire!". By this point, Sis. Martin had run
outside and came sprinting back through the door way yelling, "WE NEED
TO GET OUT! Our apartment is on fire!". I'm thankful that she was on
top of things. We froze...uhhh...sort of unsure of what to do...and
then we started running around grabbing things. I grabbed my bag, my
scriptures, my letter binder, the area book, and my running shoes (?)
and sprinted out to the car. Fire was literally cascading over the
side of the building, it was intense. We could feel the heat from the
flames and there were ashes and sparks flying everywhere. People were
screaming at us to get out and to run. Also, I realized at this point
that I didn't have shoes, so I had to run back and put those on. We
hopped in the car (and no, I didn't buckle up this time), and Carl was
screaming at us "seatbelt seatbelt seatbelt, aggressive driving, RPM
violation," as we sped around the corner. We parked our car at a
members house and ran back over to see our complex going up in flames.
Honestly we thought that we were going to lose everything, it was a
little scary, but we were just thankful that we got out okay and that
we grabbed the most important things. It was at this point in time
that we realized how absolutely ridiculous we looked. Sis. Martin was
wearing a striped sweater with a snake skin patterned skirt, and I was
wearing a sweater from Goodwill that was a turtleneck. We couldn't
help but laugh out loud. 
                                             On the phone with Bishop in my sweet sweater! (:
                                              Sitting in camp chairs with my best fwiend!(:

The fire trucks showed up then, and they put
it out really quick. We had to wait around to see if our apartment was
okay/if anything was salvageable. So from 8 until midnight we sat
outside waiting to hear the news. We got to meet a lot of our
neighbors. One of them was a very drunk man who called himself Brother
Rich and was hitting on Sister Martin. It was hilarious. No one was
hurt in the fire, which was awesome. Our Ward mission leader and
Bishop both showed up and some awesome members (the Brummonds) let us
come stay the night at their house after all the craziness died down. 

A few miracles: 1. Our apartment was literally untouched. The
apartments to the left of us and above us got hit so bad, but ours is
perfectly fine and able to be lived in. It smells like s'mores too,
which isn't a bad thing really. 2. We had some very dry hedges outside
our door. If those would have caught on fire, we wouldn't have been
able to get out. They weren't even touched by burning debris or anything. They
are removed now, thank goodness. 3. We got to talk to all our
neighbors and get to know them. It was pretty great(:

                                                                             The Fire....
                                                                        The Aftermath... 

The next day, we could have slept in or something, but we woke up at
6:30 and got started on our day. We have been pleading for miracles in
our area, and we know that keeping the commandments really does bring
blessings. And the blessings are coming full force(: 

At church, a
Brother in the Ward came up to us and said "I have someone for you to
teach!", and proceeded to tell us about this lady he knows who is
looking for the truth. 

Then, we had a wonderful lesson with David on
faith(: he is so excited about baptism and is reading the Book of
Mormon stories, and his mom is supportive and happy about it. 

I love the Lord. I know that He sent me here for a reason, and I know
that I'm still here for a reason. I think a big part of that reason is
because I was meant to meet Sister Martin. She has helped me so much
since she has been here. I truly know that God answers our prayers
through others, and the fact that she got transferred here is a
testament to that. I'm so excited for all the miracles we have yet to

I am so thankful to be a missionary. I'm so thankful for this
opportunity I have to serve the Lord with all of my heart, might,
mind, and strength. I am striving to do that. I falter, and I fail,
but at the end of the day the Savior is always right there helping me
up again. 

I know that this time is limited, it's precious and it's
important for me to make the most of it. Elder Zeballos said, "You
have eternity to prepare for your mission, and you have eternity to
reflect on it, but you only have a year and half or two years to live
it. So enjoy your mission, and be a happy missionary, because your
time here is short,". 

I love my mission. I am a happy missionary. Does
everything go my way all the time? No. Is everyone progressing
perfectly? No. But I am happy. I am happy because I love the Lord, I
know that I represent Him, I know that He provides miracles, and I
know that He will move mountains as long as I am willing to keep
pressing forward. 

I know that the gospel, my family, my close ones,
and my relationship with the Savior are the most important things in
my life, and those are things that can't be lost in a fire or taken
away. Those are things that last(: 

 I love all of you so much. Thank you for your prayers and your love! 
 Love, Sister Allen