Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 69: "He's Pretty Great" (:

Beautiful Cheyenne! :)

Hello everybody!(: I am so so so happy and can't wait to tell you all
about this week. Let me start by saying, Heavenly Father is SO good to
us. Each of us. I'm starting the Book of Mormon over again (I have a
goal to finish it before the end of my mission) and I was reading in 1
Nephi today. The very first verse says, "...having seen many
afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly
favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge
of the goodness and the mysteries of God...". This life isn't easy.
I'm sure that each of us can relate to Nephi because each of us has
had individual afflictions. One thing that I know for sure is that the
Lord is good to us, and there is always hope when we trust in Jesus
Christ. In Psalms 119 verse 105, it says, "Thy word is a lamp unto my
feet, and a light unto my path,". Things will work out, it will get
better, and we can move forward. We have the Redeemer of the World
directing our path, and when we look to Him with steadfastness, His
light will illuminate the way before us. We are not our trials or our
mistakes, and how great is the goodness of our Savior for being
willing to make that possible(: okay, now that my rant is over, let me
tell you about this week of miracles(:

I LOVE Sister Jenks. Not only is she super adorable and kind and
loving, but she is a great missionary. We have so much in common, it
kind of freaks us out sometimes haha. I feel like I've known her
forever. And also, this Ward is amazing. I really love the people here
and am grateful for the chance to serve them and serve with them.

 We started teaching this amazing family named the Crane's this week.
Neither of them are members and they have four cute little kiddos. We
had a very powerful first lesson with them on the Plan of Salvation.
Brother Crane has felt the pain of losing someone close, and the
knowledge that it's possible to see them again brought a light into
his eyes that wasn't there when we first shook his hand that night.
The next time we went back, there was a happier feeling in their home.
They said that they had started doing family prayers together(: my
heart is so full of love for their family and we are so excited to
continue to see the miracles that come into their lives.

We also taught this couple named the Beck's(: the funny thing? They
are Brother Crane's parents. Sister Beck is a member, but hasn't been
active for a long time, and Brother Beck isn't a member...."yet"
(that's what he told me when I met him haha). They have both been
reading in the Book of Mormon, so exciting! We had an awesome lesson
on the Word of Wisdom. When we got to the part about coffee, Sister
Beck explained that we didn't want to be around her in the morning if
she hadn't had her coffee. We were both able to bear strong testimony
that the Lord knows what is best for our bodies because they are gifts
that He has given to us, and that if He says we don't need something,
then we really don't. Fast forward to Sunday, the Beck's are at
church. They had to go home early though because Sister Beck had a
headache....from not drinking coffee!(: I was so excited to hear that,
I jumped up and down and gave her a big hug haha. She said that it was
awesome because she felt totally fine during Sacrament Meeting.
Blessings!! We are so proud of both of them for giving into the Spirit
and the counsel of our Heavenly Father. 

 We had a really cool experience in the middle of nowhere (because our
area is HUGE). We were going to contact someone, and the house looked
like it was being reconstructed, but we decided to knock on the door
anyways. One of the construction workers answered and said he wasn't
interested. As we walked back to the car, a different man came to the
door and yelled, "God bless you both! Have a great day,". So of
course, we ran back to talk to the nice man haha. He said we can start
teaching his family!(: we are so excited.

So last week, I was praying about how to be a better missionary this
transfer than I was last transfer. The Holy Ghost taught me that I
need to help people have more personal experiences with the Savior. So
I prayed and asked how to do that. We had an amazing missionary
conference that the apostles broadcast across the world to all the
missionaries serving right now. It's the first time they've done that
in 20 years! It was amazing, and I received so much inspiration from
it(: the Spirit hit me like a ton of bricks with an answer to my
question. "Kneel down and pray with the people you teach, always,".
Since then, every single lesson we've had, we have closed with a
kneeling prayer. The Spirit has been such a sweet and peaceful feeling
every time we have, and it has been amazing(:

 I love the Lord and His
guidance and direction in our lives. How grateful I am to get specific
and direct answers from a God who loves me better than anyone ever
could. I know that He will give us all the answers that we need as we
seek His divine direction. 

 I love you all and hope you have the most fantastic week ever! 
 Love, Sister Allen

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 68: "The Last Melon" (:

Well, this week was wonderful and sad and fantastic and depressing.
Basically, just picture the scene off of the movie Tangled where she's
going through the roller coaster of emotions, and that is an accurate
depiction of the current situation.

We got transfer news on Saturday, and I'm going to be going to
Cheyenne to train a new Sister Training Leader named Sister Jenks!(:
I've never met her, but I'm really excited to get to know her and
learn from her. I have a feeling that the Lord has a lot of growth
planned for me this transfer and I can't wait!

That being said, leaving Casper is one of the hardest things I have
ever had to do. Honestly, it's worse than leaving home. Because for
the last 9 months of my mission, I've poured my heart and soul into
the relationships with the people here and into the area itself. And
in the process, I have changed and been molded by Heavenly Father.
Some of my toughest personal battles have been fought in this town,
and because of the Savior, I've been able to overcome them(: so many
memories and spiritual experiences are tied to this place, and I will
never ever forget them. President Thomas S. Monson quoted a poet in
one of his talks and said, "God gave us memories, that we might have
June roses in the December of our lives,". Casper is going to be my
June roses. The people I have come to love in such a deep way, the
growth that has occurred, the places I've gotten to adventure to, I
won't ever forget it. And I know that the memories of this beautiful
place will help me get through my Decembers. For that I am forever

Also, leaving Sister Tahere is something that I'm really dreading. I
have learned so much from this valiant servant of the Lord. She has
taught me so much in such a short period of time and she is someone
who I can trust completely. She's helped me grow in the best ways. I
love her and I know she will continue to bless so many lives here.

We experienced a lot of miracles this week. Heavenly Father is so
wonderful in every way. I'm going to tell you about five of my
favorite things that He did this week.

1. He has been softening Brother Lien's heart in a very noticeable and
beautiful way. Every time we go over, he is happier than the time we
went before. He has changed so much in this short six weeks, and it
has been so wonderful to see. The Holy Ghost is the best.

2. He let me go on an amazing exchange with Sister Barlocker. She's
serving in Riverton, and she is honestly the sweetest and most
adorable human being. We went and knocked a ton of doors and it was so
much fun! We had a lot of awkward and hilarious experiences (having
people show up at their door right as we were knocking, meeting a man
who we thought was a monk, but really he was just an old bearded guy
wrapped in a snuggie, and having a cat go to the bathroom while
sitting in Sister Barlocker's lap in the middle of a very spiritual
lesson). I really love that Sister, and I'm going to miss being her
Sister Training Leader.

3. He allowed us to have a very powerful lesson with Bobbi Sue.
Honestly, my heart is so full of love for that woman and her family. I
would do anything for them. We had a lesson on the importance of the
Sabbath day. Feeling the Spirit teaching through you is one of the
greatest feelings in the world, and I know that the Lord gave me the
words to say to truly convey how much this families' eternal life
means to me. It was a moment I won't ever forget because of the way it
felt. Bobbi Sue's whole family came to church yesterday, and loved
it(: I am so happy for them.

4. He introduced us to Tim!(: who is such a wonderful human being.
He's had a hard life. He's a former investigator in 4th Ward, and he
has come to church three weeks in a row now. We had a powerful first
lesson with him, and he agreed to be baptized in February!(: I can't
wait to hear about his progression. I know the Lord loves him very
much and sees that he is trying to come back to Him.

5. He gave me a chance to say goodbye to some people that I love so
dearly. I can't possibly count them all, but the hugs, the tears, and
the absolute joy He has sent to me is unbelievable. I feel such a
peace about leaving Casper, because I know the friendships that have
been formed here are eternal. One certain goodbye that meant a lot to
me was Abby. She has become one of my best friends. She's 16 and she
has come to so many lessons with us and goes tracting with us all the
time. I know she's one of the people that the Lord sent me to Casper
for, and vice versa. I needed her and she needed us, and it's a
beautiful thing when that happens(: I'm going to miss her very much.
She is my ohana(:

So, long story short, I love my Heavenly Father. From the moment I
said at first real and heartfelt prayer, from the second I felt His
love and His Spirit, I knew my life was going to change, and it has.
In the best most wonderful way possible. He is so good, and He knows
me so well. I love that He lets us talk to Him. I know that prayer is
the greatest way to come to know God, because it is one on one
communication with Him. It allows us to have personal experiences and
receive personal answers from the one Being who knows exactly what we
are going through and exactly how to help us. I am thankful that He
continues to answer my prayers in the way that is best for me, and I
know that He will do that for all of us. We just have to ask Him, talk
to Him, and trust in Him.

I love you all so much(: Have the best week ever!

Arohanui que! Xx

Sister Allen

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Have I Done Any Good? Official Music Video ft. Alex Boye & Carmen Rasmus...

Just thought I would share the video version of the song that Sister Allen refers to in her email this week.  So awesome!!  :)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week 67: "Joyful" (:

(*no pics from our sweet Sister Allen this week....I know they are busy so I try not to be too sad! :) I thought I would include some of her favorite pictures from some wonderful LDS artists.)

Hello everyone!(: This week has been absolutely fantastic. I love being a missionary, and I love serving in Casper. It's going to be really hard to leave next week, but I am excited for my next adventure!
We were super busy this week and at times it was a little stressful, but we had tons of fun while we were out sharing the gospel. I love my companion. She is so awesome and is such an amazing missionary. Funny story from this week: So, we were driving in the car, and we were listening to "Have I Done Any Good In The World Today" by Alex Boye. As many of you probably know, he sings VERY passionately. So Sister Tahere and I decided to try and really get into the song and we started dancing and singing really loudly. We looked to our left, and the guy in the car next to us was busting up laughing. It was beautiful.

We had the chance to go on a couple of exchanges this week. I went on one with Hermana Nambo, and the Lord placed a bunch of new and wonderful people in our path. One family was the Webb's. We came in their house and their little 8 year old boy walked up, shook my hand, and said, "I want to be baptized!". Little kids are so innocent and wonderful(: We started teaching them the lessons and they are just awesome. We can't wait to see the miracles that Heavenly Father works for them as they learn and live the gospel.
Okay, super cool experience. Hermana Nambo and I were wondering where to go after an awesome lesson with Robert and Kendra, and the Spirit made it really clear that we needed to go and see a sweet less-active lady in the Ward. We drove there and went and knocked on her apartment door. She answered, and we look inside and see Hermana Hansen and Sister Tahere sitting on the couch! It was crazy that we all got the impression to go there. So we had a great lesson on the Plan of Happiness and it was really amazing teaching all together(:

For church yesterday, we went on splits so that Sister Tahere and I could have a normal Sabbath Day. I went to 4th Ward, and Sister Tilley was my companion. We had a super amazing experience! We were getting ready to go to our second hour class, and then one of the members introduced us to this lady who had showed up at the church looking for the Elders. She opened up to us and shared how her life has been going and how she feels like it's too late for her. We went in a classroom and had a lesson with her on the power of prayer and on Christ's grace. It was an experience where I literally can't remember anything that I said, and I know that Heavenly Father was just using us as instruments to help comfort her and help her know that there is always hope. Sister Tilley bore an amazing testimony, so full of the Spirit and heartfelt. At the end of the lesson, we taught her how to pray, and invited her to say the closing prayer and she did! It was so lovely to be able to be there for her in her time of need, I know it wasn't a coincidence.

Something I have been thinking about so much lately is the importance and the blessing of knowing that God is our loving Heavenly Father. The fact that we can know for ourselves that He is real, that He listens to us and cares about us as individuals. He is the Creator of everything that is beautiful, the trees, the mountains, the stars. But we are the most important thing to Him. He loves us enough to give us a Plan of Happiness for our lives. He loves us enough to give us Jesus Christ, His Son, to suffer and to feel everything we have ever felt. He loves us enough to sacrifice for us, and that is a truly amazing thing. That kind of love is a love that only the most perfect, wonderful being could feel. And He feels that for us(: I love my Heavenly Father.
I love you all and hope you have an awesome week!
Love, Sister Allen(:

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 66: "I Love the Lord" (:

"Me, Sister Tahere, Marla and her cute dog Rio, but we call him Bunny!" haha
Hello everybody!(: this week was beautiful and wonderful in every way possible.
On Monday, I got my hair cut, and it was awesome because I got to
share my conversion story with Theresa (the lady who cut my hair). She
opened up and talked to me about her family and her life and it was a
really great opportunity to share with her about how the gospel
blesses families(: Abby came and hung out with us all day and we got
to know her better. She is like one of my kindred spirits. 

 We had a really amazing lesson with our investigator Connie this week.
She is such a sweetheart. She has been reading and praying and we
taught her about the Plan of Happiness this week. It was a very sacred
experience, especially as she talked about her father who passed away.
We were able to tell her about the Spirit World, and the fact that her
father will be able to learn about the gospel there. Her eyes were
full of tears and she was so excited. At the end of the lesson, she
said the closing prayer, and she simply said, "Heavenly Father, thank
you..". It was such s beautiful moment and the Spirit was so powerful. 

 We also had a wonderful lesson with the Peterson's. Brother Peterson
is so awesome and he said that when he knows the gospel is true, he'll
be baptized(: we taught the rest of the Restoration, and talked about
Joseph Smith and his experience. Brother Blank came with us and he
bore a powerful and humble testimony of Joseph Smith. You could tell
that Brother Peterson really resonated with what he said. After the
lesson, he turned to us and said, "I'm going to practice praying so
that I can say it the next time you come over,". So awesome(: 

 Okay, so, I love the Lien family. Honestly, some of my favorite people
in this world. Sister Lien is best friends with Bobbi Sue, and Bobbi
Sue and her family were out of town this week. So we went over and
cleaned her house for her while she was gone. It felt so good to do
service for someone that I love so much(: On Sunday, we had another
family night with the Lien's. Brother Lien stayed in for the whole
lesson and paid close attention, he even asked questions at the end.
We taught about the Plan of Happiness, and it was such an amazing
experience. As we spoke about eternal families, and being able to be
together forever, long after this life, I was staring right at Brother
Lien. As I did, I just pictured him wearing white and being sealed to
his awesome wife and his wonderful kids. I love them all so much(: he
has changed in so many ways already, and I know that things will work
out exactly the way the Lord wants them too. 

 Yesterday at church, Robert got to pass the sacrament and he bore his
testimony(: he and Kendra are so wonderful. They are growing so close
to the Lord, and it's because they want to, that's the desire of their
hearts. I know God is going to bless them in so many ways. 

 As you can see, we taught a lot about the God's amazing plan for His
children. I am so incredibly thankful for the knowledge of this plan.
My end goal is to live with my Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother and
Jesus Christ again after this life(: I can't wait to give them all a
big hug. And I want all of my friends and my family to be there with
me. That is why I'm out here. Because I love the Lord and because I
love them. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and that it
works. I know that it's the only thing that brings true happiness, and
it will bring us back home to God(: I love my mission. I am so
thankful for the blessings that it brings into the lives of those I
love and into my own life.

"Sister Tahere and I, she is awesome!" (:
Honestly the best way I can describe how I feel is Alma 26: 16
"Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will
rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever.
Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much
of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering
towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the
smallest part which I feel,". 

 I love the Lord, and I love all of you!

 Have a great week(:

Sister Allen