February 1, 2016

​Hello everyone! Happy February! Can't believe it was new years just a few weeks ago. This week it was warmer, like in the 60s then yesterday was so cold, rainy and windy. All of my 3 favorite things when biking full time...

Sister Munns and I had an interesting week...and I'm about to be really honest. Ready? 

I was pretty heart broken about staying in our area and to be released as a sister training leader. It's probably pitiful to admit that I cried and cried Sunday night. I know that it might seem selfish but I loved being a sister training leader. I loved working with these sisters the past 7-8 months. I loved seeing them grow and progress. I loved the opportunity to work so closely and be trusted by my mission president and his wife and to have such a good relationship with him. I loved getting to work with other leaders from around the mission, making some of the best friends I've had that I wouldn't have made otherwise. So to find out that for my last transfer, (when let's be real, staying focused can be pretty challenging especially with this new My Plan they have, I'll talk more about that later) I would be staying in our teeny tiny you could bike the whole thing at a leisurely pace in 20 minutes area was kind of a bummer. I felt ungrateful and so disappointed in myself all week that I couldn't just get over this. Just accept things they way they were and move on. I know plenty of missionaries, current leaders who would give ANYTHING to be released from their position so that they could work full time in their area during their last transfer and here I was crying about being released and not being grateful for the fact that I still had six weeks. I still had six weeks to serve as a representative of Christ. I couldn't just be grateful for the time I had left and enjoy it. Our sister training leaders (Sister Neeley who is my soul sister) and Sister Winn who I also love, gave us a ride home after dropping our car off at the mission office on Tuesday. I know it isn't true, but I felt like I was being punished. Last transfer was really hard for me in a lot of ways. I loved working with Sister Munns but I felt like there was so much more I should have done to help her and the few sisters I had stewardship over. I should have done more in our area, the list goes on. So when they dropped us off in our area that's as far away you can get and still be in the mission, it felt like they kind of abandoned us. Like, "Well good luck sisters! Fend for yourselves! Watch out for snakes and spiders, stay dry in all the rain we're getting. Bye!" And we all know I'm just exaggerating. But it was a long week. 

But you wanna know what I've learned? It's okay. I'm still a human being. I have feelings. I can be disappointed about change when it isn't something that you're expecting. And yes I want to be better at being more go with the flow and accepting of the Lord's plan for me, but it takes time. Yes it's important to be humble and submissive and patient. But we're not perfect. And isn't that the whole point of this earthly experience? To learn and grow? It takes time to gain these Christlike attributes. As much as I want to accept things like that, it takes time to adjust and wouldn't you know it that means I have to be patient with myself. Especially when I'm going back to proselyting full time-only to have to adjust to returned missionary life in just a few short weeks. Am I blowing this out of proportion and being slightly dramatic about this? Yeah, probably. But we all have our own challenges and this has just added to the list of challenges I'm facing as I prepare to go home. But I know that all things are for my good and the Lord doesn't waste any of these experiences. And this has been an incredible learning opportunity for me. I've become my own worst enemy throughout all of this but it's given me another experience that's strengthened my testimony of the atonement and taking the sacrament. It was such a relief almost to take the sacrament yesterday. Despite being kind of a brat and ungrateful to know how perfectly loving and forgiving the savior is. That I can take this last week and move forward. I'm thankful and humbled that the Lord allows us to have hard things happen in our lives so that in the end they will help us grow and become so much more. 
Thankfully I had some time to pray and reflect how I can make this a great transfer. I recognize and everyone tells you how fast this last transfer will go and I know that I need to make each day count. Work hard and enjoy it while I still can. And because of that, despite a nasty day in bed on Friday with the flu we've seen some incredible miracles this week. On Wednesday we decided to try one of the streets in our area that has several potential investigators. Our member that lives on the same street had given us a family's name as a referral on new years. We had tried several times but they never answered. The same member was outside while her boys were playing outside, we talked with her for a few minutes then went over to her neighbor's door to see if they were home. As we're walking over and knocking on the door, we hear behind us our neighbor talking to someone in a car that's driving by. We don't hear what they asked in the car but we hear our member say "Oh...that's just the missionaries from our house..." turns out it was this family driving home as we were standing at their door. I wanted to die I was so embarrassed. We weren't really sure what to do so we just awkwardly left because they were still talking. We were a few streets over, trying a different less active family when the same car drives by. I, myself didn't want to make eye contact so in that moment I was really fascinated by my shoelaces while Sister Munns was bold enough to turn and wave. The lady calls us from her car to come talk with her. Are you kidding? Turns out that she's in the process of a messy divorce, she would see us at the door but thought we were delivering her the divorce papers or something so she never answered. But when she was talking with our member a few minutes ago, her daughter in the car, named Cameron says that she wants to meet with us. I guess Cameron has several friends with the girls in our ward and has gone to a few activities. She has an 11 year old brother, Jacob that watched general conference and plays with several of the younger boys in our ward. We've told a few of the families and neighbors who are members and they're really excited for these two kids and are wanting to be involved in their lessons. We're going over on Wednesday, we haven't even met these kids but we both know they're ready to have the gospel in their lives and we're really excited. 

Over the last few months that I've served here, there's a family we've been trying to work with. Their last name is really long and to be respectful I'll just call them the K family. The mom and dad have been less active on and off throughout their lives. Their son and his wife who isn't a member live with them and they have 3 younger kids. We've had dinner there a few times and the kids love when we're there. 2 weeks ago, their "aunt" not sure if she's really the aunt but close family friend who is also a member but hasn't come to church for a long time, came by herself with one of the kids. Then the next week she brought all 3. They loved primary and she really enjoyed gospel doctrine. Saturday nightwe were planning when our relief society president randomly texted us about this family and that she's really good friends with these kids' mom and that she thinks she could be ready to start learning more about the church. Our relief society president brought the kids to church this Sunday, one of them is turning 8 this year and wants to get baptized. We haven't had the chance to go over and see the family and talk with his wife but we're keeping them in our prayers. Sister Munns and I are really hoping to find a family this transfer, so please keep both Cameron and Jacob and the "K" family in your prayers as well. 

 Each area has its own challenges and we've been really struggling to boost the member missionary work here. But we have been working with our ward missionaries to make short visits with members and going into homes during the later evenings of our night to pray and do family scripture study and it's been so great. Seriously. We read with a family last night in 2nd Nephi chapter 2 where Lehi is teaching about the plan of salvation. Their two youngest kids like to show off whenever we're around but as soon as we all started to read, the spirit was so strong. We're looking forward to continue to spend a few minutes each night with different families in the ward and are thankful for the support from our ward council. I'm so thankful for the bishop and ward mission leader we have here. 

I'm sure that there's more but I'm about out of time. So thanks for your patience everybody. Even when you're almost finished as a full-time missionary it's humbling to remember i still have a wayyyyys to go and a lot to learn. But it all works out, things keep going and there's always something to be thankful for. 

Hope everyone has a great week! 

Sister Allen 

This is how sister munns and I feel about biking in the cold. Just kidding, we love being missionaries. We happy. 

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