Hello everyone(: honestly, my heart is so full of joy right now. I had some of the most spiritual experiences of my life this week. I highly doubt that I'll be able to express my thoughts clearly, but I will try my best!!
We had a spa day with Kendra and Robert on Monday, and Kendra painted our nails. She is such a sweetheart. Seriously Mom and Dad, I can't wait for you to meet these people(: we watched The Testaments all together, and as per usual, we laughed for the whole first hour and cried at the last five minutes. It was such a fun day, just spending time with people that are so near and dear to my heart. They had their interview with President the next day. Robert said that President Brown said that it's not normal for a missionary to stay longer than six months in an area, but that I stayed here for them(: so cool. The Lord has a perfect plan and timing for everyone. I'm thankful that my plan was to be here at this time to witness this amazing transformation. After their interviews, there was a beautiful sunset that lit up the sky with a big pillar of light in the middle. It was like Heavenly Father was rejoicing and it was such an amazing thing to see(: we were all so happy.
In our lesson with them that night, Robert said some things that I really needed to hear. It was an answer to my prayers, and I know that he was speaking the things that Heavenly Father wanted me to know. Afterwards, Kendra gave me a hug and it was like getting a hug from Mom. It was such a miraculous night, I won't ever forget it.
We had an amazing last District Meeting. The Zone Leaders were there too, and we had a conversion story and testimony bearing meeting. It was honestly the best District Meeting I've ever been too. Elder Stock, one of our Zone Leaders, shared his conversion story. As he spoke, it was like I was hearing my little brother Adam speak. Everything he said gave me an insight on how my little brother must have felt when I left my family and the gospel. The spirit was so strong and it was exactly what I needed to hear. I'm so thankful for the healing power of Christ's Atonement, and that it has helped rebuild those bridges in me and Adam's relationship.
The biggest highlight of this week was Robert and Kendra's baptism(: oh my goodness you guys, it was amazing! They are so full of love and joy, it is absolutely beautiful. They showed up and got into their white outfits. We didn't have any quite big enough for Robert, so he wore this one that was a little tight and had an awesome collar. He looked like Elvis hahah(: Kendra looked beautiful and they were both just glowing! Lots of awesome members showed up to support them.
They asked Sister Tahere and I to be the speakers. Sister Tahere spoke on baptism, and did a great job. Then, they were baptized by their friend Mark. They were so cute afterwards, they had the biggest smiles on their faces. After that, Sister Tahere and I sang "Come Unto Christ". We did it acapella and it felt so good to finally sing in front of people again!!(: Sister Tahere has helped me work up the confidence to do that again. Then, I gave my talk on the Holy Ghost. I was nervous, but the spirit helped me say exactly what needed to be said. It felt so good(: They got confirmed and bore their testimonies together and it was just the best day ever. They are amazing. We got to go over and have a lesson with them and Lexi the next day. I love Lexi so much(: it's so crazy, there are some people who are just so familiar, I know that Lexi is one of the people I was meant to meet here. Every time we hug it's the happiest thing ever, like we've known each other for ages. She has such a huge piece of my heart. We taught the Restoration, and as the lesson was coming to a close, I had the strongest prompting to express how much God loves her and how much we love her, and how special she is. It felt so good.
In the Christmas devotional, I love how Christ was described as "The Generous One,". This week, so many wonderful people have been generous towards me and Sister Tahere. Examples: This sweet sister named Marla let us come into her home and treated us like family. The lady at the gas station spotted us a dollar so we could get quarters for laundry. Sister Ungricht got us beautiful necklaces for Christmas. Robert and Kendra saw that my watch was cracked so they got me a new one and got a necklace for Sister Tahere. And then when they found out that my blender broke, they showed up at our apartment with a blender, fruit, and protein powder for me. It was honestly the sweetest thing ever, and I couldn't help but cry tears of joy. All those acts of kindness, that they didn't have to do, were so generous. Normally, I would have a really hard time with people giving us stuff like that, but it was so easy to see that it was motivated out of love. I was reading in Mosiah, and it talked about how the Nephites were going through some really hard times, but they pressed forward with their own strength and went to battle against the Lamanites. Every time, they lost. After the third time, they were humbled so greatly that they cried out to God, which enabled Him to ease their burdens. He didn't take them away, but He made them lighter. Eventually, the Lord brought them out of captivity and into a better place, but it all required their reliance on Him and in the servants that He sent to them.
Humility is something that I've been working on. It's not easy for me to just open up and tell people when I'm struggling. I just want to be happy and do the work and forget about all the other stuff. This last week, Kendra and Robert and my companion were all able to help me to open up and just be honest about it all. When that happened, I also realized that I need to be more honest with the Lord in asking for His help and strength with my struggles. I have felt my burdens lightened in a huge way as I have turned to Him. They haven't gone away, but my capacity to bear them and feel happy while doing so has increased. I'm so thankful for the love and generosity of my close ones, and I'm so thankful for the generous nature of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that He lives, and I know that He sends people into our lives to help us through the difficulties of life. I'm thankful for the people He has placed in my life(:
I love you all, have a great week!(:
Love, Sister Allen
PS: SIX MORE WEEKS IN CASPER WITH SISTER TAHERE(:
Pictures: the best things in life(: