Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 81:.....the last email from the mission..."Truth"(:

Me and my beautiful best friend!
Hi everyone!(: I hope you are all feeling happy and bright today! I
guess if I had one word to describe this past week, it would be
surreal. My heart is so full of joy and gratitude for the miracles
that the Lord blessed us with, and at the same time I'm so incredibly
sad to have to leave Sister Larson, the people we are teaching/the
members in here in Wellington, and most of all, my full time mission. 

 We had an awesome lesson with Melissa and her best friend Jim this
week. She invited him to come and listen to the first lesson and have
lunch with us(: she's so awesome. We had a great discussion and he
said he is going to read and pray, and that if he finds out its true
he'll be baptized! My favorite part of the whole lesson was when
Melissa bore her testimony(: it's been amazing to see how far she has
come in a short 7 weeks. She has a light in her eyes and conviction in
her voice when she speaks about the Savior, and that is so cool to
see. I love her(: 

 Eric is progressing so wonderfully. The Lord is strengthening him and
changing his heart. We had a lesson at the Flakes, and we watched
President Monson's address in the Priesthood session of conference,
and afterwards we taught him about the priesthood. Brother Flake was
so involved in the lesson, it was awesome, and when he bore his
testimony about how the priesthood has changed him, the Spirit was
powerful. Eric just sat there, not fidgeting or distracted like he can
sometimes be, his eyes were just focused on Brother Flake. Afterwards
he was like, "I really like that. It's all to bless others, I think
that's awesome,". In our second lesson, we had three members with us,
and we taught the Word of Wisdom. Eric said he is going to live it,
even if that means giving up coffee(: I am so incredibly grateful for
the Word of Wisdom. Living that commandment of the Lord has changed my
life and my vision, and I know that the Lord really does know what is
best for us. I just love Heavenly Father(:

Us with Eric!
Sami came back into town!(: and guess what? She got her answer from
Heavenly Father that the Book of Mormon is true and that she needs to
be baptized. She had some really eye opening experiences this past
week that led her to her answer. She said, "So I'm gonna do this, I'm
gonna get baptized. And I'm going to start quitting smoking today, I
know I need too,". She is so great! Her grandpa is a pastor for
another church, and she called him to tell him the exciting news. He
wasn't too happy, and said he won't be attending her baptism. When I
asked her how she was feeling about the whole situation, she said,
"It's fine. I can't deny what I know now, and ultimately it's my
decision, and this is what I want,". Ah I'm so excited for her and so
proud of her! It reminds me of what Joseph Smith said when he was
being persecuted; "I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could
not deny it,".

 Sami and Eric both came and watched someone be baptized this Saturday.
They loved it! Eric said, "I just want to jump in there right now!"
Haha. Sister Larson and I were asked to give talks in the middle of
the service, and Sister Larson had Eric come up and bear his
testimony. It was so sweet to see him bear a simple, powerful
testimony of the most basic principles of the gospel. I was praying in
my head the whole time that he would be able to say what he needed to
say, and that I would be able to know what to say afterwards. As I
stood there, a scripture came to my mind. Mosiah 5: 2, "Yea, we
believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we
know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord
Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts,
that we have no more desire to do evil, but to do good continually,".
I shared that, and I don't remember what else I said, but the Spirit
warmed my heart and I realized that Eric and Sami are both
experiencing this mighty change of heart. Their desires have changed.
And it's because of the Spirit and the love of our Savior. It's
amazing(: and that's what the gospel does, it changes us from the
inside out. It helps us to become new creatures in Christ, better than
we could ever even imagine.

 Eric and Sami are both so excited to be
baptized in July.

Yesterday, we were at Brother Cary's with Eric and Kate. Brother Cary
was playing the guitar and we all sang "I Am A Child Of God,". Eric
was just sitting and staring out the window. All of sudden, tears
filled his eyes. We all sat and watched him for a moment, and then he
said, "You know, I'm changing. I can feel it. My life is so different
now than it was a year ago, and I just can't believe it. I'm so
different,". He wiped more tears away and then just sat still and
quiet. 

It caused me to reflect so much on how my life has changed. It
was almost 3 years ago that the gospel really became a part of my
life. I have changed. I can feel it(: it's the best change, and there
still needs to be a lot more change, but I know that it is possible
because I have my Savior. His Atonement has made all of this possible,
and I don't know where I would be without Him. 

 Later, we all headed over to the Stevens for dinner. They were so cute
and they had a bunch of little decorations set up for me. We had just
finished dinner, and all of a sudden the Rhodes walked in the door. I
was super confused. Then the Holmans, then Sister Hansen, and then so
many more people that I love. "Surprise!!". Tears started running down
my face. Sister Rhodes and Sister Larson and the other members and our
investigators all came together and planned this little surprise party
for me. It was the sweetest thing ever. I love everyone here so much.
At the end of it all, Brother Stevens asked me to give a closing
prayer. The warmth and joy in my heart as I prayed was such a
wonderful feeling. I'm so grateful for the chance that I have had to
love so many of God's children, not just here in Wellington, but in
Fort Collins, Longmont, Casper, and Cheyenne as well. It has been such
a privilege and a blessing.

The Stevens girls!
I had two really special experiences this week. 1. I got to have my
departing interview with President Brown. I love President and Sister
Brown with all of my heart. And I know that they love me. More
importantly, they love the Lord. I have learned so much from both of
them, and I know that the Lord knew I would need their examples in my
life. President Brown gave me lots of inspired counsel, and I'm so
thankful. There were lots of laughs, and even more tears. He gave a
beautiful closing prayer, and once it was over I couldn't help but
feel an aching in my heart. I'm going to miss them so much. 2. I got
to go through the Denver Temple(: after not going to the temple for a
year and a half, it was much needed. The peace and the love and just
the feeling of being there was even better than I remembered. I know
the temple is the house of God. I know that it is so worth it to go,
it's so worth it to fix whatever we need to fix and do whatever we
need to do to step foot into that lovely place, because the Spirit of
God is there, and it is there in abundance(:
Departing Temple Trip
I've been reflecting a lot this week on the last 18 months. A year and a half ago, I stepped off the plane in the Denver airport, and "from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost,". 

Because of this chance to
labor in the Lord's vineyard, I have grown to love so many beautiful
souls and I've grown to love my Savior more than ever.

Every good thing in my life has come because of the gospel of Jesus
Christ. Every joy that I experience, every amazing human that I've had
the chance of meeting, every peaceful moment in the midst of turmoil,
and every weight that has been lifted through repentance, all of it
has come because of this gospel.

 I know that Jesus Christ is real. He
lives. This is His gospel, this is His church. He is our Redeemer, and
He loves us. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and we have a prophet
today, President Thomas Spencer Monson. The Book of Mormon and the
Bible are the word of God, and they are true. This is all true. I know
it with my whole heart, and it makes me feel so overjoyed to be able
to say that. 

I love Heavenly Father, I love Jesus Christ, and I love
the Holy Ghost. "I have been supported under trials and troubles of
every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has
delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I
do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me,". 

 My full-time mission is over, but my lifelong mission is just now
starting, and it's going to be a wonderful, glorious, difficult
adventure. However, I know that if I put my trust in the One who has
never given up on me, He will always direct my path(: 

 I love each of you. Thank you for sharing in this journey with me.
It's been amazing, you're all amazing, and I can't wait to give you
hugs/talk with you in person! Stay in touch. 

 Love, Sister Sarah Anne Allen(:

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 80: "The Greatest Of These Is Charity" (:

me and my best friend(:
Good morning everyone!(: I hope you all had a fantastic week. We have seen so many miracles this week, and I'm so grateful(: it's has been one of the best and hardest weeks of my mission, but I know that every trial equals out to an even greater blessing, and God has been pouring blessings out upon everyone that we have been teaching. He is so wonderful!(: 

We had some really awesome lessons with Sami and Amanda this week. They asked us to come over on Monday night so we stopped by and taught the Restoration again (Amanda wasn't there for it the first time). As I shared the First Vision, Sami got a huge smile on her face and said, "That gave me the chills again! I love hearing about Joseph's experience,". The Spirit is so awesome(: Amanda opened up and talked about how she wished she could have an experience like that, that God could come and tell her that her dad was okay and in a good place up there with him. Then, she said, "Oh, I just remembered something!". She went to her bag and found a little picture of her dad. On the back was a poem, and in the poem it talked about her dad being safe. We explained to Amanda that the Spirit brings things to our remembrance and that it was the Spirit that helped her remember that picture in her bag. God answered her prayers(: as soon as we said that she started crying. It was a very sweet moment and the Spirit was very strong in the room. They both expressed a desire to be baptized, and Sami especially wants to do all she can to align herself with God so that she can get to that point. When people feel His love and are open to the Spirit, it motivates them to act in faith. Sami is a perfect example of that!(: 

We went back again with Sister Rhodes, and had a very powerful lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sami said that she wants to be baptized on the 16th. She said that she knows that God is reaching out to her and moving her in the right direction, and that she feels so good about all of this(: we were so excited for her! The next day, we got a phone call asking if we could come over. Sami found out that she and her boss and Amanda are all moving :/ they were renting the house and the ranch and it's been sold now, so they have to leave. With the help of people in the Ward, we helped them fill a truckload of stuff. Sami said that she is still planning on meeting with the missionaries wherever they end up moving to. I know the Lord will help Sami along her way(: He can see her desires and He knows what she needs right now. I trust that wherever she ends up, things will work out, and I'm so grateful for the time we got to have with her and Amanda. It was cool, when we were helping their boss (Kat) move stuff, we found out that she is a less active member who has been thinking about coming back to church! We got to have some great talks with her, and she is planning on going to church next Sunday(: definitely not a coincidence that we met her.



We had some very powerful lessons with Eric this week(: he's such a good man, and his heart has definitely been prepared to receive the gospel. The Flakes came with us to one of the lessons, and the Rhodes came with us to another one. I love these humans so much, and their testimonies were wonderful! Eric said the closing prayer in the first lesson, and it was the best and most meaningful prayer that he has said yet. You can see that he has been talking to Heavenly Father when we aren't around, and that is such a happy moment as a missionary(: he has been asking God to help him know if he should be baptized on the 16th. He said, "Just so ya'll know, I'm really going to do my part with reading and praying this week, because I feel like this is my next step but I just need to be sure and that's only gonna happen if I do this every day,". We came back for our second lesson, and we were sitting outside talking because it was a beautiful day. Eric has a friend named Mike, and we see him all the time and he's super nice. He walked by and Sister Larson and I both really wanted him to come and talk with us. I started praying in my head and asking Heavenly Father to give me something to start a conversation with. Then, I noticed that he was wearing a Bon Iver shirt!(: lightbulb. We started talking about uplifting music and he actually ended up staying for the whole lesson on fasting and the sabbath day. He even asked for a copy of the Book of Mormon afterward. I know that God helped that happen, and I'm super grateful! Eric and Mike both agreed to fast, and Eric specifically fasted about being baptized(:

The Rhodes picked him up for church the next day, and he came for all three hours. Everyone in the Ward was so awesome, Eric made so many friends and looked overjoyed the whole time. He called us later and we asked him how he liked church. "Girls, I loved it. I felt so happy there and it was just awesome. I loved it so much. And I want to be baptized on the 16th!"(: As soon as we hung up the phone, Sister Larson and I freaked out haha. I'm so grateful to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, to the awesome people here in Wellington, and to the Spirit for helping Eric receive his answer. He is going to talk to his supervisor in his recovery program today about being baptized, we are praying that it all works out the way it is supposed too.

Not too long after our second lesson with Eric, I started to feel really weird. I was dizzy and my stomach hurt, but I was like, "It's fine, I don't want to waste time, blah blah blah,". Well, we got to dinner at Brother Cary's house, and the second we walked in his door I knew that things were really not good. Sister Larson is such a sweetheart and she was really worried. I ended up having another stomach attack thingy at his house (this is the first time we have ever eaten with him), and it was the worst one I've had so far. I felt so bad, but he was so sweet about it. Sister Larson asked if I wanted a blessing, and I know that was inspired, because when I said yes, Brother Cary looked nervous. He went on to tell us that he had just been ordained an Elder not too long ago, and that he had never given a blessing before. We opened up our white handbooks and let him read how to do it, and he called Brother Walker over to help. It was such a sweet blessing, and the Spirit was so comforting. I know that I needed to get sick at Brother Cary's so that he could have the chance to exercise his Priesthood authority(: it was a very sacred experience, and I know I won't ever forget it. While the pain didn't leave immediately, I felt the calm reassurance that God knows what is going on and He is watching out for me. I love Him, and I love the fact that there are so many worthy Priesthood holders in my life. I'm so grateful.

beautiful, wonderful, absolutely lovely Colorado!(: 

Lastly, one of the best moments of my mission. So we've been teaching Melissa, a less active woman in her 20's. She has been returning to activity, and her life has been incredibly difficult. She has two little boys and she and her husband aren't together anymore. She's a personal trainer at the gym (we seriously have so much fun talking, I look up to her so much and she's inspired me even more to reach for my goals and dreams), and she's been doing CNA classes. She's so busy and she has really been striving to turn to Heavenly Father. We had an amazing lesson with her this week where we talked about conference. She has been reading and praying and feels God's help in times of temptation. She has grown so much, and it has been awesome to witness(: I love her. Yesterday during sacrament, she got up and bore her testimony for the third time in her whole life. She was in tears and the light that illuminated her face as she spoke of the gratitude she has for Heavenly Father was absolutely beautiful. Sister Larson and I were both crying, and the amount of love and happiness in my heart at that moment was kind of surreal. I remember when I bore my testimony for the first time after coming back to the gospel. It was a little scary but it felt amazing, and you could see that Melissa felt amazing standing up there. I am so proud of her for the changes she has made(: 

So, Eric just called us and let us know that he talked to his supervisor at the program he's a part of, and he said that Eric can't be baptized until he finishes the program. They said he can still meet with us and go to church every Sunday, but they are worried that if he converts other people will start wanting to do that too (a reasonably good worry). The emotion and the sadness in Eric's voice was a little heartbreaking, but in that moment, the Spirit spoke through Sister Larson and I. We were able to help him know that God is proud of him, that this is a test of faith and patience, and that it will all work out as he keeps meeting with the missionaries, reading, praying, and coming to church(: he said, "Well...that's what I'll do! I'll stay here and work hard and keep going and then in July when I graduate the program, I will get baptized! I am so excited!". 

As we hung up the phone, I couldn't help but feel a little sadness in my heart that Eric can't be baptized. Then, literal words came to my mind, saying, "Sisters, he may not be able to be converted physically, but he has been converted in his heart,". It brought tears to my eyes and the warmth of the Spirit washed over my soul. I know that God is at the helm, and I can't wait to come back in July and see Eric get baptized(: 

So long story short, Heavenly Father is amazing. I love Him, I love this gospel, I love my best friend Sister Larson, I love all the people in Wellington. I love this work!(: I'm grateful for the power of prayer, the power of fasting, the power of the priesthood, the power of the temple, and the power of love. I know that the key to enjoying our lives and enduring to the end is charity. The key to happiness and fulfillment and eternal life is charity. The key to being a great husband or wife, parent or child, or just a great human in general, is charity(: "Wherefore my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail,". All things must fail, but the pure love of our Savior is the one thing that is constant and unchanging. And it's something we can feel, share, gain, and experience every single day. We just have to pray for it!

I hope that this week we can all spread charity to the people that we come in contact with(: I love you all!

Love, Sister Allen



Thursday, April 7, 2016

Week 79: "He Loves Us With His All"(:

Me and my bestest buddy(:
 Hi everyone!(: I hope you all had a fantastic week and I hope that you all got to watch General Conference. I am so grateful for the fact that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that He enables us to hear from our prophet, President Thomas Spencer Monson, and his apostles and other inspired leaders in the church. I know that they truly are men and women of God, and I've come to know that through watching conference and praying to know for myself. The feeling that the Spirit has given me is a calm assurance of trust in God and His chosen servants, and I know that each of us can receive an answer according to our faith, which is so cool! If you missed out on the chance to watch, you can go to LDS.org and see it all(: 

 Heavenly Father loves us and He loves the wonderful souls here in Wellington. That was witnessed to us time and time again through the many big and small miracles that we experienced this week. One of those miracles was meeting John. He is friends with some members in the Ward, and we've called him a lot trying to find a time to meet him. We were meeting with our Relief Society President, and John was there with her husband working outside. We had already gotten in the car and driven away when Sister Knotts called us and said, "Can you come back, John is here and has some questions for you!" (: We talked with John and Brother Knotts for 30 minutes outside. John talked about how he just feels right about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and how he knows it can help him, especially when he is surrounded by things that try and take away from his hope. Brother Knotts bore an awesome testimony on how hope is the center of our gospel, and as he did, 2 Nephi 31:20 popped into my head, so I shared it. "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if he shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life,". John had a huge smile on his face. "I love that! I'm going to show that to my wife,". I know the Spirit brought that scripture to my remembrance and I know he did it so that John could see that the Book of Mormon really does bring us closer to the Savior. Sister Larson offered a beautiful closing prayer, and John was like, "Did you just come up with that? Like did you just say whatever you wanted?". Getting to explain to this humble man that he has a Father in Heaven who loves Him and wants to hear from him was a very sweet experience. I know that the Lord is reaching out for John right now. 

 We had two amazing lessons with Sami and her friend Amanda this week. Sami invited Amanda to start sitting in on our lessons, and it has been such an awesome experience. Amanda has a lot of questions. In our first lesson, she asked, "So, how old are you?". I told her 21. Her next question, "So, can you like drink beer? And what about guys? And what about coffee?". We taught them about the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. I felt really strongly that I needed to bear my testimony of how keeping those commandments has changed my life. Honestly, the peace and relief and the confidence with my Heavenly Father that I have gained through striving to treat my body like a temple has been such a gift. Not to mention the fact that I can feel the Spirit more abundantly and in a constant flow rather than every now and then. I know that these commandments are inspired and meant to help us be happy, that is God's joy, to see us be truly happy(: I don't remember everything I said, but Amanda and Sami were both really quiet afterwards. We talked about our purpose in life, and Sister Larson was totally led by the Spirit as she spoke about how obedience to God's commandments helps us maintain direction here on earth. It allows us to have a closeness to the Spirit so we can be led in the right way.

 We went back the next day with Gretchen. We sat down and I asked if they had read from the scriptures. Sami said, "Yeah we did, and this morning when we were getting ready for the day, we were talking about confidence and what you said about our bodies being temples. Both of you set a good example of how you can be happy doing the things that you taught us about yesterday. So I broke up with my boyfriend, because he doesn't treat my body like a temple, and me and Amanda are going to be more focused on doing what God said is good for us,". I had biggest smile on my face(: we didn't ask Sami to stop living with her boyfriend, we didn't ask her and Amanda to give up things, we asked them to read the scriptures and pray. And by reading and praying and the promptings of the Spirit, they did the other things themselves(: they are experiencing "a mighty change of heart...having no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually,". I love them both so much, this has been such an amazing change to witness.

   Us with Eric
Oh my goodness, Eric. Such a wonderful human. So, we taught him twice
is week and Sister Rhodes came with us. The first time we saw him, he
kneeled and prayed at the end of the lesson and asked God if this was
right for him. He told us that during the prayer he got the strongest
feeling that he just needed to trust what we were saying. The second
time we went and saw him, we all sat on hay bales outside and read the
introduction to the Book of Mormon. Sister Rhodes bore a powerful
testimony of the importance of praying about the Book of Mormon
specifically, and praying to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet.
Eric has been worried because he has been going to another church and
he doesn't want to hurt people's feelings there, but he feels like
this is right for him. Sister Rhodes invited him to come over and
watch conference with us on Sunday. Eric is a really energetic guy,
so sitting there was hard for him. Sister Rhodes gave him a Book of
Mormon picture book to read during it. After it ended, he turned to me
and said (in his very country accent), "Sister Allen, I prayed about
Joseph Smith being a prophet like Miss Rhodes said, and I think I got
my answer. When I prayed, John the Baptist came to my mind, and I
realized that he was the one that had the authority to baptize Jesus,
and that's the same authority that Joseph Smith had, so Joseph Smith
must be a prophet. And that means I need to be baptized,". I sat
there, shocked and so grateful and happy that God answered Eric's
prayer in a way that he could understand it(:

We all went around the room after conference ended and we said what we
learned or felt. When we got to Eric, he sat there for a long time.
Then he said, "You know, I'm just so grateful to be here. I'm so
grateful. And ya'll know its real hard for me to focus, and I can't
remember which older gentleman said it, but I know that I need to
trust God more, I know that I need to trust Him because He loves me,".
Tears filled his eyes and everyone else's as he spoke and the Spirit
in the room was overwhelming. I love that man so much, he has been
through a lot of hardship and he is coming to know his Father in
Heaven in such a personal way right now. What a huge miracle and
blessing to be able to see him grow. God is good(:

        Reunited with Sister Jenksy!(: 

I have been very humbled and amazed by the Lord this week. Even while
I'm writing this I can't help but tear up, because we've seen God
answering so many people that we love. We've seen Him reaching out as
they have been reaching up. 

In Conference, Elder Holland said, "The
first great truth of eternity is that Heavenly Father loves us with
all of His heart, might, mind, and strength,". I know that is true
with my whole heart. I know that God loves the people we teach, I know
He loves each of you, I know He loves me. And I know that He's not
waiting until we are perfect to love us fully. He loves us with His
all, and He especially loves us when we are hurting, afraid, alone, or
feel abandoned. 

I know that all it takes to feel that love is opening
our hearts to receive it. So many times in my life, my choices or my
mindset prohibit me from feeling the love of God in the way that He
wants me to feel it. But I know that as I yield my heart to Him and
give Him my all, even if my all may not feel like much, He sees that
and His love is felt in a richer way. 

 I hope that each of us can open our hearts more to God through
obedience, through sacrifice, through trust, whatever it may be that
is holding us back. We heard so many awesome spiritual truths at
conference yesterday, and "if we believe all these things," we should
"see that we do them," (: 

 Love, Sister Allen

Monday, March 28, 2016

Week 78: "Opportunities"(:

"Baby goat again!"
Good morning everyone!(: I hope that you all had a great Easter Sabbath yesterday. I love Easter because it's a great time to reflect
on the many blessings of the Savior's Atonement and His many other
sacrifices for us, not to mention the freedom He brings to us, freedom
from sin and physical death. He is wonderful. As I was pondering on
that this week, I realized that while Easter is a significant day set
apart to remember all of this, every Sunday should be like Easter,
especially when we partake of the sacrament. How different would our
Sunday worship be if we all treated it like Easter Sunday every
week?(: I know that I'm going to make a more concerted effort to view
the Sabbath Day in that way, and I'm grateful for the Spirit for
helping me realize that it's something I need to do.

 We had an AMAZING week here in Wellington. The Lord is so good to us,
and He blessed us with some more beautiful souls to start teaching.
One of them is Sami. We were searching for the house of a member and
we got lost out in the County Roads of Wellington. We pulled over to
the side of the road to have a prayer, and then I noticed these two
people cleaning out a horse stall. We decided to go see if they needed
help(: they said no, but Sami said that we could come back and teach
her sometime(: we went back and shared the Restoration with her a
couple of days later, and it was powerful. The Spirit has definitely
been preparing her heart. When I shared Joseph Smith's experience, she
stopped me once I finished and we all just sat there for a second.
Then she said, "That gave me the chills. I can just feel that it's
true, it feels right,". The Spirit helped us know that we needed to
let her know that it was God answering her. She had the biggest smile
on her face, and she says she'll be baptized when she comes to know
that the Book of Mormon is true. We had a kneeling prayer and we are
seeing her again this week! I just love her. And I love being able to
share Joseph Smith's experience. It is such a sacred part of his life,
I'm grateful that he has shared it with all of us so that we can
clearly see that God knows each of us by name and He will answer our
prayers, even if it's not in the way that we expect Him too(:

Another awesome part of the story, a wonderful member in our Ward
(Sister Flake), came and picked Sami up without even meeting her
beforehand and gave her a ride to go get parts to fix her car. Sami
was so grateful and loves Sister Flake. It goes to show that an act of
service can leave a lasting impression on people. I'm grateful for
people who exemplify the Christ-like attribute of charity. It's
beautiful(:

"cause we're the best of friends"(:
We had a blizzard this week randomly in the midst of 60 degree days,
but it was super fun. We bundled up and went and shoveled our
investigators driveways. Megan and Angie freaked out when they saw us
doing it, they were so grateful. They had us come in afterwards and we
read out of the Book of Mormon together, in Alma Chapter 32. As we
did, we spoke to Megan about faith and the feeling of the Holy Ghost.
Sister Larson asked her, "Have you felt that warm feeling before, and
do you feel like it's growing". Megan proceeded to tell us that she
and her sister, Jenna, read the Book of Mormon and discuss it
together, and that she feels all warm and fuzzy inside when they do.
She said that this has brought her closer to Jenna than she's ever
been because it gives them something positive to relate on. She even
taught Jenna about the Plan of Happiness(: so amazing you guys. When
she finished, Sister Larson and I were both beaming. "Meg, that's the
Holy Ghost, He's letting you know that this is true, and that it's
good, God's giving you an answer," I said. She smiled big and replied,
"Yeah! That's exactly how I've been feeling about all of it,". I love
Meg so much(: and I love my awesome companion and her inspired
questions. We have so much fun teaching together. I couldn't ask for a
better human to spend 24/7 with. Sister Larson is just great(:

From left to right: Meg, Conner, Angie, Jenna, Me, Sister Larson, and Katie (feat.
Raymond taking the picture) (:
We had an awesome lesson with Mary, Tegan, and Katarina. Bishop came
with us and we taught about the Restoration and the importance of the
Sabbath Day. The Spirit in the room was amazing, and Bishop's
testimony was powerful. During my studies that morning, I prayed and
asked God what we needed to share with Mary to help her come to
church. I opened up my scriptures to a random page, and these two
verses were highlighted: Doctrine and Covenants 44: 2 and 5. "And it
shall come to pass that inasmuch as they are faithful, and exercise
faith in me, I will pour out my Spirit upon them in the day that they
assemble themselves together. That your enemies may not have power
over you; that you may be preserved in all things; that you may be
enabled to keep my laws; that every bond will be broken where with the
enemy seeketh to destroy my people,". I shared it with Mary and then
the Spirit did the rest of the talking. She had tears in her eyes and
said, "That gave me chills! Okay I'm talking to my boss, I need those
blessings and I know I need to get to church,". I love Mary and I know
that the Lord will provide a way for her to accomplish the things He
needs her to do. 

 We met the happiest human on the Earth this week. His name is Eric(:
we found his number in our phone, so Sister Larson called and we set
up a time to meet. An awesome return missionary in our Ward, Gretchen,
came with us. He walked up with hugest smile on his face and we went
and sat down and started teaching him. He got emotional multiple times
in the lesson, and talked about how he felt so good inside and how he
wished he could share it with his family (they're back in Florida). As
we spoke about Joseph Smith's experience, his eyes lit up. He has
cousins who are LDS who had told him a little bit about the gospel,
and about the Book of Mormon. We invited him to read and pray and be
baptized, and he said yes to all three with tears in his eyes(: he has
been through so much and he needs and wants the gospel. I felt such a
strong personal connection to this man and his past, it brought tears
to my eyes to see him so humble and willing to accept it because I
remember when I got to that point. He said, "When I came to
Wellington, I felt like there was something more here for me, maybe
this is it,". Sister Larson let him know that it is(:

"the Seyfi's" (:
Okay last thing I promise. Our investigator/wonderful human, Lissette,
came to all 6 hours of the Women's Conference on Saturday!(: we had a
service project, a dinner, and then the broadcast. She loved it!!(: I
know that she felt the Holy Ghost. I can't wait to see what the Lord
leads her and Terry to do in the future.

 Also, we had Easter dinner
with Meg and her family and oh my goodness it was awesome. We had so
much fun and I just love those humans. We shared the Hallelujah video
with them and it was such a neat experience, the Spirit was powerful.
These people are family to me, I feel so blessed. Also, I GOT TO
SEE THE SEYFI'S(: they drove up from Longmont and it was so good to
give them a hug/handshake haha. They are lovely people and have made
my mission and life even brighter(: I love them so much. 

 This week was amazing, and it of course had its struggles too. But
something that was said in Women's Conference really struck me. "Don't
think of your task as a burden, think of it as an opportunity to learn
how to love,". I love that. One of my good friends emailed me last
week and said, "All the things I'm thinking about/experiencing are not
hard by themselves; I can do all of it. However, all of them added
together is challenging!! That's an area of opportunity for me this
coming week,". An area of opportunity. 

Every time we go through
something hard in life, or we have a difficult task to accomplish, or
something heavy to endure, it's an opportunity to be yoked with the
Savior. An opportunity to show that we are "they who have believed in
the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the
world...". We all have unique crosses to endure, but every single time
we do, it's an opportunity to get to know our Redeemer in a more
personal way. 

 I hope that each of us can take the hard things in our lives and view
them as opportunities to grow. I know that as we do, we can learn to
love in the Savior's way. 

I love you all and hope you have a great
week! 

 Love, Sister Allen

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 77: "Just Do It!"(:



on the
way to church(:
Hello beautiful people!(: I have to say, I'm just super happy right
now. The sun is shining, the tank is clean (Finding Nemo reference,
just in case some of you don't know), and life is wonderful. I love
being a missionary, I love my sweet companion/kindred spirit Sister
Larson, and I'm so grateful for the miracles that the Lord is pouring
down on the people of Wellington!

We had Zone Conference this week. So awesome to see lots of people
that I love, especially Sister Tahere, Sister Malekamu, and President
and Sister Brown(: Sister Larson and I got asked to do a musical
number and we sang "The Lord Is My Shepherd" together and it was so
fun(: and then I was asked to give my departing testimony. I prayed a
lot before it was my turn that the Lord would just give me the words
that He needed me to say. I can't remember what I said, but I remember
what I felt. I love my Savior so much, and I'm so grateful that I get
to wear His name above my heart all day, every day. He has done so
much for me. I know that once my mission ends, my discipleship
continues, and I can't wait to keep sharing this with God's children
and the people I love.
me and my lovely Sisters(:
We went on exchanges with our STL's, and I stayed here with Hermana
Warner. I learned so much from her (actually, from the Spirit through
her example). Something I'm focusing on right now because of the
exchange is using the Book of Mormon to share scriptures when we knock
on people's doors. The Book of Mormon testifies of the Savior on every
single page. It brings a spirit and a light into any situation, and
it's such a huge blessing that we have it today. We got to teach
Olga's family again, and this time, her husband Joseph sat in on the
lesson. As we spoke about baptism he said, "You know, I've been
feeling like I might need to be re-baptized, something just didn't
feel right about mine. I'll read this book and pray about it, if it
feels right then I'll be baptized,". So awesome! Their family has
really been struggling, but through the power of prayer, hymns, and
the scriptures, we were able to have some powerful experiences with
them this week.

The Church just came out with the #Hallelujah Video, and oh my
goodness it is wonderful. We have had the chance to find four new
people to teach because of the hope and the light that this video
brings. One of them is an adorable girl named Jamie. I really felt
like we should knock on the door of this one house before we went to
our dinner appointment, so we did. Jamie answered and was happy to see
us (this is a big deal you guys!). We asked if we could share the
video. The Spirit filled my head with questions to ask her after it
was over. We found out that she's not religious, but she wants to know
which road she needs to be on right now. We were able to bear
testimony of the peace and direction that the gospel brings. She told
us that she wants us to come back next Saturday to teach her more(: so
awesome.
Bebe goat
As we were driving this week, we noticed this family chopping down a
tree in their yard. The Spirit made it very clear that we should pull
over and ask if they needed help. We went and picked up sticks and got
to know them a little bit. Their names are Kelly and Matthew and they
have two adorable little boys. They said that they were so grateful
for our service and that we can come back and share a message this
week. It's crazy because something so small to us (picking up
branches) was huge to them. Christ always served others, He loved
them, and he was willing to help them, even if it was a small thing
(like catching fish). I know that when people see that you really
care, and you care enough to act on that love that you have for them,
their hearts soften(:

We had an amazing lesson with two beautiful souls, Lissette and Terry.
The Sisters met them last transfer. They said they weren't interested
in changing their beliefs, but we decided to text them and ask if we
could come over and share the new Easter video with them. They are
honestly angels. They had us over for dinner, and we had an amazing
conversation about the Atonement, the gospel, and Jesus Christ's
influence in each of our lives. There were lots of tears, laughs, and
good food. Most importantly, there was a tangible Spirit in that room,
and it warmed my heart. I'm really bad at memorizing scriptures, but
as we were speaking about the Atonement, a scripture from the Book of
Mormon flew into my head. 2 Nephi 26:24, "He doeth not anything save
it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that
he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him.
Wherefore he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his
salvation,". I quoted it word for word and it isn't even something
I've been reading to memorize. When I said it, Terry looked at me and
said, "That gave me the chills! It was so powerful,". I know that the
Spirit brought that to my remembrance for a reason(: we invited them
to the temple open house and to our service on Easter Sunday. They
said they are going to try and come!(: they told us that they know
that we were in their lives for a reason. After the lesson, we got
home and I took a few minutes alone to pray about how we can help them
come into the gospel. Then I opened my scriptures to a random page.
Alma 8:10, "Nevertheless, Alma (or Sister Larson and Sister Allen)
labored much in the Spirit, wrestling with God in mighty prayer, that
he would pour out his Spirit upon the people who were in the city (or
upon Lissette and Terry); that he would grant that he might baptize
them unto repentance,". I know that they will be baptized someday(: I
shared this with Sister Larson and it brought tears to both of our
eyes, because these people are so full of light and goodness. We are
praying mightily for them, and we know that the Lord can work miracles
through prayer and faith.
me and my "Nemo" cup from Terry and Lissette (:

 dinner with Lissette and Terry(:

This week, I have learned so much about the importance of following
the promptings of the Spirit. Even if it's just, "Hey, turn left
instead of right," or "You should go back to that house,". These tiny,
little decisions (or what seems like a tiny, little decision) can
change my life and the life of the person that the Spirit is leading
us too. I know that the Lord does speak to us, and that He needs each
and every one of us on His side and following His Spirit. Every time
the Lord gives me prompting, it's for a purpose, and it shows that God
trusts me enough to send me in that direction. When I act on that
prompting, it shows God that I trust Him enough to respond in faith to
what He is asking me to do. The prompting itself can be something that
seems silly, but I always remind myself that "everything that is good
cometh of God,". There are no coincidences. So if there is something
that we feel moved to do, we should JUST DO IT(: no matter how scary
or silly or awkward it may seem, if the Lord is asking us too, there
is something marvelous that will come from it, even if it's not
immediate. Whether it's sharing the gospel with a neighbor or friend,
or helping someone in need, or just posting something uplifting on
social media, God will always have our back when we do what He asks.
We have no reason to doubt or fear, just do it.

Andre the lion dog(:
I love my Savior. I love each of you and I hope that this week, we can
show the Lord that we trust Him through our actions. I hope you all
have an amazing Easter, and that each of us can take some time this
week to really reflect on the real reason why we celebrate it in the
first place(:

Love, Sister Allen