Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 71: "I'm Trying To Be Like Jesus" (:

"Beautiful Cheyenne sunset!" (:

Hi everyone!(: I hope you all had a wonderful week, and if you didn't,
I want you to know that I love you and more importantly, God loves you
and is very aware of you(: this week has been exhausting in the best
way possible, I love having the privilege of serving the Lord.

We had some awesome lessons with the Beck's this week. It was cute, we
texted them Alma 13: 28-29 to read. When we came over the next day,
Brother Beck was like, "Well, I thought it meant all three chapters,
so I read all three!" haha(: We were able to teach them about tithing
and fasting, and the spiritual strength that comes as we sacrifice to
keep the commandments of God. We also had the opportunity to talk
about the importance of testimony. Probably the coolest thing that
happened all week was seeing Brother Beck realize a time where God's
hand had been so evident in his life. His eyes lit up and he bore his
testimony to us, and in that moment I really experienced a "fullness
of joy". Seeing others recognize the Savior's love is one of the most
beautiful things, and we have a front row seat in witnessing those
experiences. The changes that the Beck's have made to live the gospel
have been truly wonderful, and they are going to keep growing. Grandpa
Mike, Brother Beck reminds me so much of you(: I want you to meet him
"The Beck's" (:
Teaching the Crane's has been a really great experience. Brother Crane
has lots of questions, which has been neat because I have learned so
much from the Lord as I have been studying for the answers that
Brother Crane needs. It's really sweet, every time we come over, the
whole family automatically gets on their knees for the opening and
closing prayer, and Brother Crane is always the first one(: the Spirit
changes people, and it starts small but it makes all the difference.

We also had a great lesson with Tonya, this amazing lady who is
working on returning to activity. She reads her scriptures and prays
every single day, she's starting to keep all the commandments, and the
Spirit in her home is amazing. She has a cute little girl named
Isabella, and it makes me so happy knowing that she gets to grow up in
a place where the Spirit is present because of the righteous choices
that her mother is now making. I'm so thankful for the righteous
influence of my own mother(: honestly it has made all the difference,
especially in helping me come back to the gospel. Her unconditional
love for me and for God, her vision of the future and her "perfect
brightness of hope", and her determination to keep the commandments
and really live the gospel of Jesus Christ has been such an example to
me and is what eventually softened my heart. I love my mom(: and I
can't wait for Isabella to grow up and be an amazing young woman
because of the mom that Tonya is.

A cool miracle this week: we were on exchanges, and I was putting gas
in the car, and the pump was being weird and not working. So I poked
my head around the pump and asked the man next to us if he could help
me. As he was, I said a little prayer in my heart that I'd be able to
share the gospel with him. Two seconds later he said, "So, are you on
a mission??". We talked about the gospel and about how he had friends
who had gone on missions who now have awesome families. He agreed to
have the missionaries in Laramie come over and teach him(: so
awesome!!! God is so good, and I'm grateful that He made it extremely
difficult to put gas in the car so we could meet Mike.
"My beautiful companion....Sister Jenks and me!"(:

This week, I've been thinking so much about the part in 1 Nephi
Chapter 8 where Lehi talks about the vision that God showed him. In
the vision, Lehi is being led along and then he finds himself in "a
dark and dreary waste,". He goes on to say, "..after I had traveled
for many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he
would have mercy on me....after I had prayed unto the Lord..I beheld a
tree, whose fruit was desirous to make one I partook of the
fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore
I was desirous that my family should partake of it...they stood as if
they knew not whither they should go...I beckoned unto them,". I
pondered on this for a long time, and I realized how important Lehi's
example is.

We are all going to go through our own times of darkness and
confusion, because that happens in life. Sometimes we wander for
hours, for days, for years, and we just want to see the light.
Heavenly Father is always there, but He waits for us to open the door
and ask Him for the light that we need. "No one can know of spiritual
truths without prayer,". The second that Lehi prays, he is shown the
beautiful tree of life, which symbolizes God's love. Once Lehi is able
to feel that love for himself, he reaches out to everyone around him.
He wants to share the joy that he feels in his heart, and he isn't
afraid to invite others to partake of it, even when people mock him.
Because of his example, there were "...multitudes pressing
forward...and they did press their way forward, continually holding
fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and
partook of the fruit of the tree,". (:

I read a quote that said, "Live in such a way that people who know you
but don’t know Christ will want to know Christ because they know
you,". Our examples make such a huge difference. A simple smile, a few
kind words, one invitation, the way we live; that can change someone's
life, that can impact their salvation. How awesome will it be to fall
down at the feet of our Redeemer someday with the people that we have
loved and served.

I hope that each of us can really focus on being an example of the
Savior this week(: I love you all and am thankful for all your
prayers. Have a great week!

Love, Sister Allen