Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 72: "Faith and Fear" (:

"Me and Sister Jenksy" (:

Dear family and friends, I just love you(: thank you all so much for your encouraging words and your sweet Valentine's Day cards and
letters. It's such an awesome opportunity to be out here spreading the
best and most charitable kind of love during this holiday, the love of
Jesus Christ(: I hope you were all able to share some "I love you's"
with the people who matter most.

 Heavenly Father is so amazing. He showered us with a lot of blessings
this week, and I'm so thankful. We got to start the week off with an
amazing girl named Jenna(: she got baptized back in January, and she
is so full of the Spirit and just radiates the love of God, it's
awesome. She is such a good example to everyone around her, and she
has been such a good influence on her friends. In our lesson, we had
her teach us about the Plan of Happiness, and it was really cool to
see how much she understands and her perspective of everything. The
gospel really is so simple(: I love the hope and the happiness that
she exudes, she has a great love for the Lord. 

We got to have interviews with President Brown this week. I love that
man. He really is inspired and I know he loves all of us so much. I am
so thankful for his counsel, his love, and his confidence in each of
us(: he is wonderful. 

 We had an awesome lesson with Tara and Lexi. Tara is a less active
member who has had lots of different ideals come into her life over
the years. She's very confused about religion, and really about God in
general. Her daughter, Lexi, is trying to decide if the church is
right for her and if God is even real. We had a very powerful lesson
with them on faith, repentance, and the Plan of Happiness. Tara was in
tears as the Spirit witnessed of the hope and peace that comes from
the knowledge that our loved ones aren't lost, and that we can see
them again some day. Her daughter asked lots of wonderful questions,
and we were able to testify of the fact that God does know us and love
us as individuals, and that He will answer our sincere prayers. He
lives, He is real, and He wants to help us through this life. Lexi is
now planning on being baptized in March(:

Okay, coolest miracle ever. So Dalene, this awesome lady who we are
teaching, was living in a hotel for a while. She has really been
progressing and immersing herself in the Book of Mormon, and we are so
excited. We went back to the hotel to teach her again, and she was
gone :( we tried calling her and the phone was disconnected. We
remembered that she mentioned that she and her daughter might move to
this one apartment complex. So we went there and we had a very
pleading prayer with Heavenly Father, telling Him that if He needed us
to teach Dalene, we needed Him to lead us to her. This apartment
complex has three floors, each with 20 apartments on it. After the
prayer, Sister Jenks felt like we should knock a door on the third
floor. No one was home, so we worked our way back down the stairs,
knocking a few doors as we went. We met a man named Brenton who is a
new investigator(: we were about to leave the complex, and the Spirit
made it really clear to me that we should knock the last two doors. I
told Sister Jenks, and she said "okay, I feel like we should knock the
one with the floor mat,". We did, and Dalene answered!!(: Heavenly
Father is so awesome. We had a great lesson and we were all so happy
to see each other. God is so good, all the time. 

We were also able to teach the Matechak's. We taught about the Plan of
Happiness, and the Spirit brought so many inspired questions into my
brain, which I was so grateful for because that's something that I've
really been working on. Sister Matechak bore her testimony so many
times in the lesson, it was really cool. Brother Matechak's heart is
definitely being worked on by the Spirit, you can see it in his eyes.
After the lesson he said, "Hey, we should have you guys over for
dinner sometime," (:
 "the cutest itty bitty baby cacti
that the Matechak's gave us!(:"
In my Book of Mormon reading lately, I've been reading about Nephi and his family and their journeys in the wilderness and across the sea. I've been thinking a lot about Laman and Lemuel, and the rest of Nephi's family (even Lehi, the prophet), and I realized something. We are ALL just like them sometimes. I can imagine them wandering in the wilderness, murmuring, "My feet hurt. I am so hungry. I feel sick. Why is it so hot out? I'm going to take a nap. Nephi, you're super annoying. Are we there yet? Heavenly Father, why on earth are we going through this right now?". 

In our journey through mortality, I think
each of us has a time where we ask, just as the Apostles did, "Master,
carest thou not that we perish?". (Mark 4: 38-40)

In response to His apostles plea, Christ answers, "Peace, be
still....Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?". 

was thinking a lot about Christ's response. I know the Apostles had
faith, and I know that Lehi did, so why would Christ say they had
none? It's because in that moment, they didn't. Fear and faith cannot
coexist. One cancels out the other. In life, we have many
opportunities to exercise one or the other. We can respond to life's
challenges with self pity and pessimism, or we can hold fast to the
joy and the peace that we know we receive through acting on our faith
in the Savior. Even if it's just a small particle of faith, it makes
all the difference. 

 In 2 Nephi 2:2, it says, "..Thou knowest the greatness of God; and he
shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain,". This week, I hope
we can all remember to place our faith in the One who knows what is
best for us, and that we can respond with positivity and great trust
Savior throughout our experiences.

 I love you all!(: 

 Love, Sister Allen