July 20, 2015

Hello dear family!

I'm so happy to hear about another good week with the exciting news about the move. Virginia will always hold a place in my heart but it's amazing to witness how the Lord nudges us and moves us along when the time is right for a new chapter and to be/do something different. 

Sister Wilson and I have had a good week here, I can't say enough about how much I love my companion and the ward we serve in. Seriously they are the best! I've mentioned that the work has been slow but on Friday we had a really great correlation with our new ward mission leader and his assistant, both younger brothers in the ward with the sweetest families but both totally on board to be helping us with the work. We've been impressed to be doing more with the members, especially the youth. So on Sunday we had a great discussion with the ward council about ways we can be doing more with our members, and getting them involved. Sometimes as a missionary I feel bad asking our members to talk with the people they know and can hear what they're thinking: "we all know we need to do missionary work, we know already. stop bugging us. we've been hearing this for years" But this isn't our work! This is the Lord's and he needs EVERYONE'S help. I remember when Elder Bednar was here a few months ago and one of the things he said was that the Lord will soon be (and is now) expecting more from the members, just as he did with the earlier saints. The world and society we live in is getting too crazy, and we need to be doing more to share the gospel and hastening the work. It isn't enough to just go to church and sit on the pew and call it a day, there's a lot more that we have to be doing. So it was great to have the support from the council and are hoping to see progress with that. 

On Tuesday we finally got to see Christine! She was an investigator we had right as I came into the area but struggles with quite a few different mental illnesses and is trying to figure that out. So we're seeing her again this week. 

Funny story, on Thursday night we went out to dinner to a popular place and it was packed. As we were waiting for our food a man turns the corner and he sees me and comes right over. He's deaf but was in my first ward back in east sac because we had sign language interpreters. Sweetest man visiting Lodi looking for a friend that he was supposed to meet that night, but saw me at the table and remembered me after all this time. We talked (writing notes back and forth) for a few minutes. It seemed so small but I really needed that, and the Lord knew that. Of all the places to see each other again on a Thursday night, in restaurant in Lodi but I needed to have a conversation with him, even with how limited our communication was, to talk with someone who actually wanted to talk with missionaries. I'm so grateful with how aware the Lord is, that he knows us personally to send us these tender mercies and small ways to extend His love to us that He is there. That He does care. 

I hope you all have a great week and will see those tender mercies throughout your week as you see the Lord's hand in your daily lives. Love you all!

Sister Allen

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