July 27, 2015

oh what do you do in the summertime?

You take naps during lunch in your member's hammock. That's what. I'm pretty sure that's the closest thing I'll get to a beach on my mission, there's nothin better.

Anyway, hello one and all! What a week it has been. My heart breaks a little knowing this is the last full week mom and dad will be in Virginia, but time to move ahead and start a new exciting chapter. Although change can be hard, I'm grateful that we are given these experiences and future opportunities that await us and will push us out of our comfort zone and help us to learn and grow. 

Sister Wilson and I had a good week; we went on exchanges with the sisters that are in the Manteca zone. We both felt that Sister Wilson needed to be in Manteca and that I should stay in Lodi and be with Sister Tu'atonga (my companion from el dorado). I was pretty nervous about my first exchange and having it with a former companion but it went well and she is doing great, working hard. 

We've started reading the Book of Mormon with the Allens, that less active couple I wrote about a few weeks ago that are both alcoholics. They haven't read in a few years, when we asked if they wanted to read a specific book or start from the beginning. They said that they liked the story of the people coming over in those boat-things (the book of ether). I've seen such incredible things happen with our investigators and less-actives from reading the book of mormon so I'm hoping to continue reading with them once a week. 

Sister Palmer ( the mission president's wife) came out with us for a few hours. It was fun to spend a few hours with her and get to know her better. We went and saw a semi-active family and had a really good lesson with them. The wife is a recent convert and the husband had been less active most of his life, but since getting married she got baptized and he's come back to the church. He works three jobs so getting to church is difficult but he should have Sundays off in the next few months and they're really hoping to get sealed in the temple soon. 

On Saturday we correlated with our ward mission leader, brother cox. Seriously such a great guy. We love him and the excitement he feels about the work. He shares stories from his mission all the time and you can see what a difference serving has made in his life. it was good talking with him about a few of the discouraging moments from the week and with sister wilson going home it was helpful and comforting. After correlating, there were quite a few new names on our ward list of families and individuals that live waaay out in the country so we decided to go out and try them. Nothin. Kind of a bummer but what can you do...

Sunday was a really great day, our meetings were great and one of the less-active sisters that has a lot of family problems came  to church! The young women presidency has recently been reorganized so we went to their opening exercises and one of the classes. They're really excited about having us around more during activities and the lessons on Sunday. With the youth theme for 2015 being about service, they decided that they would have a jar and each time the girls did service for someone they would put a puffball in it and when it's full have a party. Being halfway through the year, they want the girls to focus more on missionary work and sharing the gospel in order to add to the jar. We should be meeting with the new young women's president this week to decide what they'd like to do. So we're excited to continue working with them. 

We had another lesson with Victor, he's a really great kid. With him being so open about his sexuality it's going to make things a little more interesting and challenging but we're going to have brother cox start coming to the lessons with us. We're grateful to be teaching someone though so keep him in your prayers! 

Today we went on a tour of this castle in our zone about 45 minutes away. It used to be a boy's detention center in the 1900s. There have been some killings and paranormal activity...kinda creepy but it was really fun being with the zone and getting to take that opportunity, you don't get to see something like that everyday. 

Anyway family, hope that you have a safe and happy week. Love to you all!

Sister Allen

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