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



Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 76: "Fear Not, I Am With Thee"(:

"I have the most beautiful, wonderful companion!"(:

Hello everybody!(: this week was fantastic. We witnessed miracle after
miracle, and I just love my companion. I couldn't ask for a better
place to be than right here in Wellington(: 

 We had an amazing lesson with Char, this beautiful lady who the
Sisters have been teaching off and on for a while. She's been through
so much in her life, but from the time she was a little girl she was
able to find strength through the Savior. She has read the Bible many
different times and has read the Book of Mormon four times now. She
has a strong faith and wants to follow Christ, and we were able to
invite her to pray about a baptismal date this week(: we were also
able to have a great discussion about prophets and the fact that
President Thomas S. Monson is the prophet of the world today. I know
that he really is a man called of God, you can see it in the goodness
that he radiates and the love he has for all of Heavenly Father's
children. I know that Char will come to know that is true too as she
prays about it. 

 An awesome member in our Ward gave us the number for a lady that she
works with. Her name is Mary and we had a lesson with her this week(:
Mary used to be a member of the church. She has gone down many
different paths in life, and she has a sincere desire to change. She
has already made so many amazing steps back towards God, and as we
taught about Joseph Smith's experience, she said, "I know it's true,
no doubts. It feels good and it makes sense,". The Spirit prompted us
to speak about the Atonement and Christ's ability to heal. As we did,
my heart was full of joy because my testimony of the healing power of
the Atonement has grown exponentially on my mission. I know that Jesus
Christ perfectly understands my physical and mental struggles because
He has experienced all of them. Each day when I pray for healing and
strength, I feel a renewal of Spirit and a resolve to keep trying,
even if I don't physically feel that much better. That's the enabling
power of the Savior, and it's available to every single one of us. So
awesome(:
"Reunited with Sister Thompson!! I was her STL (sister training leader) when she started her mission!"(:
We had an amazing dinner/lesson with Mark, a less active who is coming
back to the gospel. He is such a kind soul(: his whole family is
wonderful. We had a lesson on the Plan of Happiness after dinner, and
Lily and Jen, two of their non-member friends, sat in and listened.
Lily is a little girl, and she had so many awesome questions. At the
end of the lesson, we asked everyone, "What is the first thing you're
going to do when you see Christ again?". Mark's response was so sweet.
This muscular, tough man said, "I'm going to fall down at His feet and
cry,". That brought tears to my eyes(: 

 We contacted an older investigator named Olga, and she said we could
come back the next day and teach her daughter and grandsons(: we
taught the Restoration and brought Bailee (a young woman in the Ward)
with us. The Spirit was just beautiful, and Olga's daughter began to
cry. She spoke about how she wants to be prepared to see her Savior
again, and she knows she's not ready. The Spirit helped me to bear a
fervent testimony of our ability to change through Christ's Atonement.
Sister Larson invited all three of them to be baptized, and they said
yes(: I asked if they would prepare for April 9th, and now that is
their special day(: I love these beautiful souls and am so excited for
them and so proud of Sister Larson for following the Spirit and
inviting. I love my companion!(:

 We also had an amazing lesson with Megan. This girl is honestly my
kindred spirit, I know without a doubt that I was sent here to
Wellington to meet her. We taught about the Plan of Salvation, and she
had wonderful questions and kept saying she felt so happy as we
explained God's great gift of agency and of the Spirit World. She was
like, "This makes so much sense..I love it!". She has been reading and
praying and feels really good about the gospel. She said that she
wants to be baptized by someone who holds the Priesthood(: she's
praying about a date right now, so if you all could keep her in your
prayers that would be great!

 Little miracle for the week: we were in Fort Collins getting our car
worked on, and the Zone Leaders called and asked if we would sing at
Zone Conference. So we started practicing songs. An older man sitting
next to us got up and turned off the television and said, "You know,
I'd much rather listen to the beautiful songs that you're singing than
watch the tv,". He listened to us sing for 30 minutes and when we left
he said, "God bless you girls!". So sweet(: music definitely touches
people's hearts.
"This is Wellington!" (:
This week I've been thinking a lot about fear. Our Zone Leaders gave a
great training on it this past week, and I haven't gotten it off my
mind. There are so many things in our lives that we are afraid of.
Three of mine: not being good enough, not being able to be bold
enough, and sharks (this last one doesn't really pertain to what I
spiritually learned this week, but they terrify me). I was thinking
this week about why I am afraid of these things, and I realized that
it's because of the world and because of the adversary. Christ never
motivates through fear, He motivates through love and faith. Feelings
of inadequacy and nervousness never originate in Heavenly Father and
His Spirit. In John 16:33, it says, "These things I have spoken unto
you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have
tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.". I love
that so much. I have realized time and time again throughout my
mission and my life that I need to be able to go to Heavenly Father
and my Savior and ask for their grace to help me in my time of need.
Every time I do, the fear dissipates and I am able to do what They
need me to. And every time I don't, I miss an opportunity to do
something great. I want to be someone that the Lord can count on, and
I know that comes through overcoming my fears.

 This week, I hope we can all identify what we are afraid of, and then
take it to our Savior and lay it at His feet. We have nothing to fear,
because He really has overcome the world(: faith in Him helps us to
overcome it too, and we will come out stronger, better, and bolder
people because of it.

 I love you all! Have a wonderful week(:

 Love, Sister Allen

Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 75: "If I Trust Him"(:

"Me and my new lovely, wonderful companion Sister Larson" (:

Okay everyone, this week has been absolutely fantastic(: I love Wellington, I love Sister Larson, and I love Heavenly Father. He is so perfect, especially in His timing and His understanding of what people need. 

So, funny story first, Sister Larson and I got ANOTHER gun pulled on us this week...we are starting to think that we just look pretty intimidating standing on people's doorsteps. Luckily, he realized it was us and put it away and then invited us inside to come teach him and his wife. So everything is okay(: (just so you know mom)

Oh my goodness, we saw miracles this week. All of them were amazing, but I'll tell you about my most favorite(: We are teaching an amazing family that the Sisters had met a week previous. They weren't that interested, but they said their daughter Jenna might be. So we went back to see if Jenna was home, but she wasn't. We ended up sitting down and talking to the mom, Angie, and her daughter Megan, who is my age. We have so much in common it's kinda crazy. We asked if we could share the Restoration with them, and they said yes! As we did, the Spirit filled the room. When we spoke of the Priesthood and Joseph Smith's experience, Angie and Megan both said, "You know, that makes sense!" (: I love it when that happens. Angie asked how I came to know these things are true, and I was able to share a little bit of my own faith building experiences. As I did, Megan looked me right in the eyes and said, "You know Sister Allen, you were sent here for me, because I'm exactly where you were at 2 years ago and I need help,". Tears filled my eyes, because earlier that morning I had prayed to know who I needed to help in Wellington and why I came here. In that moment I felt so much love for my Heavenly Father and for Megan, I'm so grateful that Sister Larson and I have the chance to teach these beautiful people(:
"Saying goodbye to Sister Jenksy" :(
Jenna, their other daughter, came home from soccer this weekend, and we got to share the Restoration again with her and Megan and Angie last night. As Sister Larson testified of Joseph Smith, Angie also testified of his experience and of the Book of Mormon. Sister Larson and I looked at each other with the happiest smiles. It was so neat to hear her teach her daughter the gospel. Jenna and Megan both said prayers in our lesson, and they are going to start reading the Book of Mormon together every day(: I know that Heavenly Father has been preparing this family for the gospel, and we are so grateful.

We had a really amazing experience at a members home last night. We went over and ate dinner, and while we were eating I felt really promoted to ask them what it is that they love most about each other. When I did, they looked at each other in silence for a little bit, and then the dad looked at me. He said, "That was definitely prompted by the Spirit, because before you girls came, we were in a pretty big fight,". They went on to tell us what they loved about each other, and their conversion stories. Tears were shed and you could see that they really do love each other so much. Sometimes little things that irritate us can cause us to forget how much we love someone. When I think about that, I think about how many little things I do that would probably irritate Heavenly Father, how many times I make the same mistakes and how many times I continually apologize. Yet He NEVER gets irritated with me or tired of working through things with me. He loves me unconditionally, and that's a love that I want to strive to have in all of my relationships with the people in my life(: when we left their home, the mom and the dad said, "Thank you so much for the happiness that you brought into our home tonight, it made a big difference,". The Spirit is awesome(: 
"Reunited with my Casper fam!" (:
This week I have been thinking a lot about what it means to trust someone. The definition of the word itself is, "Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something,". Something that I realized this week is that I need to have more trust in my Father in Heaven. I've been reflecting a lot this week on moments in the past where God has illuminated the way before me, but that didn't happen until after I acted in faith. In Mormon 9:20-21, it says, "And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust. Behold, I say unto you that whoso believe that in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all...". 
"together with the Casper Fam" (:

I realized this week that I doubt sometimes. When I pray and I seek for answers or help with what is currently happening in my life, I pray with the intent to act on the answer I receive, but do I pray and really believe that I will receive an answer in the first place? Heavenly Father knows us, He wants us to be able to press forward and progress in life, but He can't drag us down the path to eternal life. It's a choice, and sometimes the choice has to be to continue to take steps down the path, even if the way before us isn't lit up yet. God has promised us that if we trust Him and we continue to move forward with faith, the light will come eventually, when He knows it will be best for us. I'm grateful for gradual light, I'm grateful for the things that test my faith, because I know in the end it is for my growth and my understanding, and I know that God's ways are so much higher than my own(:

I hope that this week, we can all put our trust in the Lord and move forward in life(: I love you all, thank you for all that you do for me.

Love, Sister Allen