January 18, 2016

Is it January? Or mid-April?

Hello everyone! 

It's been in the 50s-60s this week. California, you are unreal! We go out biking during the day and in the evening and it's so nice out!  Most of the time people don't talk to us, but just being outside feels great and gives us all the more reason to keep biking in our area. But besides the warm weather, we had a great week. It's been one of those weeks where my heart feels so full of gratitude, I don't really know how else to put it. But the conversations I've had with others. Personal revelation I've received. Principles and new things I've learned from studying and the scriptures. Our meetings in church. Answers to prayers. The list just goes on and on. The Lord is so aware of each of us in such personal ways.

We had zone conference on Tuesday, it's always fun being with the other missionaries and learning together. Right after I switched with a sister for an exchange. Sister Munns and her companion for the night taught our investigator Anthony that night and had a great lesson. They were planning on teaching Gospel of Jesus Christ, but ended up having a great discussion on the Book of Mormon and the Atonement. He has a lot of questions and looks at things from a very logical point but he's keeping his commitments so he'll get there! On a random note, the other day we were trying some potential and former investigators. As we rode by we saw this older Chinese man doing kung fu in the parking lot. It's just us riding by...and him in the zone...Hey how are ya, can we talk to you about Jesus? He didn't even blink. I swear I have seen it all on my mission. 

Since Thursday, I'd kept thinking about the sister I had gone on exchanges with the previous day. I kept getting promptings to go see them but there was always something, some dumb reason not to go down to Modesto. Saturday morning was hard for me. We didn't have any set plans for the day and I felt really unmotivated to get out, lame and selfish I know but I'm only human. After studies I knelt down and prayed asking to please give me an opportunity to serve someone that day; stop thinking about selfish and self-centered me and help someone else. A few minutes later these sisters zone leaders called me that they had given one a blessing just a few minutes ago. That was the last prompting that I needed to get in the car and go. They weren't expecting us but I took the one sister I'd been thinking about over the past few days and took her to taco bell (I was hungry and wanted a taco!) and we talked for a while. She opened up about some of the things she's been struggling with, not that I can make it all better and solve her problems, but it's nice to know that you're heard and that someone cares for you and will listen. On our drive back I was thinking, feeling so humbled by that experience. The spirit kept prompting me goooo seeee theeemmm I felt him say over and over again. Sometimes he only gives you just one prompting or impression and if you don't take it then someone else will do it and you lost your chance. But I was extended such mercy with this, it felt like. "Come on Sister Allen, here it is AGAIN on a silver platter go see your sisters! They need you! I'm not telling you again!" So not only did he keep giving me those promptings to see these sisters, when in the past whenever I receive those I act on them immediately; but he also answered my prayer immediately and it was a testimony-builder for me that he really does know me. I asked, please give me a way to stop thinking about myself, and my petty challenges and worrying about going home, and give me a way to serve someone else today. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. And then my phone rang. Seriously? Those things don't just happen by chance. He knows me, he knows what I need. And even though I was being kind of a punk I asked for a way to get out of my own head and help someone else and there it was. I know it sounds small, but it's those little things, those answers in small and simple ways that touch my heart and remind me how true all of this is. How incredible the gospel is, how our savior lives and loves each of us. He knows us individually and has felt every single thing that we have. Each broken heart, ounce of regret or remorse, the inadequacies, weaknesses and self doubt. All of it. It ceases to amaze me how someone can love each of us so much to do that for us. The other night we were reading from the Book of Mormon with a family that is getting sealed in a few weeks, and the wife asked us how do we do this? When it's so hard and you face so much rejection. We said it is hard, but to see people's lives change out here and back home and your own life change in so many ways, makes it so worth it. And then I think of our selfless and loving apostles and prophet that serve all day every day, and they just ask me to do 18 months. So I can give 18 months. Some days are better than others but all he asks is that we do our best. 

So there are my thoughts from my deep well. It's been a humbling week as I said earlier. I'm having kind of a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that I only have 7 weeks left...we find out about transfers this weekend. I'm curious to see if I'll stay here in mountain house or if they'll move me one last time. Oh the suspense! The drama! Tune in next week for more! Just kidding, but yes, I'll let you all know next week. 

Until then, thank you all for the kind and uplifting emails. You are all so wonderful. Have a great week!

Sister Allen 


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