Saturday, May 25, 2013

Texas: Week 4

This has been one crazy week. We havent been doing super well in our area still, but we are learning so much from it. Most people that are catholics here are not willing to change. We taught a man and he refused to ask Heavenly Father if our message was true. He said he would ask his priest. Yeah it is super hard and frustrating when the members lose their spirit, but we are pushing through! I learned so much from exchanges last week. I dont think I mentioned that they were happening but we had a day with the "sister-training leaders". They came in and tried to help us see how we could improve in missionary work. I wanted to focus on discerning the needs of the investigators and I learned how to do door contacting in a different way that has been so much more effective. We have been turning to the Lord more than ever and I am definitely seeing how having these struggles make the miracles that much sweeter! I really want to go to Argentina but I also want to continue working here. I think one of the main reasons I want to go is so that I wont have to train someone after my 12 weeks in a spanish area when my spanish is pretty much comparable to a 3 year old.
I said that I wanted to focus on finding the needs of others and I learned a lot that I have implemented, but I also wanted to learn about how to work with members. The members here have seen so many people get baptized and then go into inactivity. We have a crazy number of inactives here and I can see how discouraging it is. We have one of the recent converts, who just got baptized in February, have the preacher from the Church of Christ come over and pretty much tell her how the church was established and we are not it. False. We are the only church that has the fulness of the gospel and it saddens my heart that not everyone wants to partake of its awesomeness. I love Heavenly Father so much and I could not be more ecstatic about having this opportunity to bring His children to the knowledge of the truth. In this process, I am learning more than I thought I could and I feel His constant presence through the Holy Ghost. This morning I was feeling uneasy and started reading through some of the scriptures that my companion from the MTC gave me (Hermana Canada) about peace. The one that specifically touched my heart was John 14:12. I know the first part by heart, but the second part was what I needed to hear. I seriously love you all and I hope that you are all well.
Hermana Allen

Texas: Week 3

So this last week was crazier than normal. My companion went on a 3 day training (Tues-Thurs) in McAllen so I joined another companionship in Annaville. One of the girls was leaving on Friday to go home and I had the opportunity to learn a lot from her. One of the things that I learned was to listen closely to your dreams and the things you think of when you are asleep/just wake up because in those moments Heavenly Father speaks to you. If they are inappropriate things (like a song that is not spiritually uplifting) then that shows there is something you should change. It sounds dumb but it gets a little more complicated than that. I just want to give you the basics to help you understand my experience. I had two but one of them I dont want to jinx or be wrong about it happening so I will tell you the other one which doesnt make much sense. I woke up in the middle of the night and thought of some things that I thought at the time were really important. I didnt have anything to write with so I made it a text in the phone and when I looked at it in the morning all it said was "talk at wedding or on bus." I'm not sure what I was going to do with that but it seemed really important during the night so if you have any ideas about what it means then let me know.
By the way, the man that was going to get baptized had some legal accusations to handle and he cant get baptized until his name is cleared. All of the new investigators we have found have not had a second appointment because something happens and as we kept trying they ended up being completely uninterested. It is sad to see someone that had an amazing spiritual experience deny what they felt and what they were coming to know was right. We did find two new investigators yesterday and the guy was actually really interested in why we say we are the only church with the proper authority. I hope that we do get the second appointment because their lives seem really crazy and I have found the longer you wait to have another spiritual experience, the longer satan has to work on that person and they havent been prepared for his attacks.
The week before last I met a Satanist. Let me just say: I did not realize how naive I was. I guess I knew that there were people like that but I never thought that I would meet one because I thought they were so rare. The funny thing is that the man I met is the brother of the Ward Mission Leader in my branch. Small world huh? Actually it is not that small of a world in Texas. Most people here know eachother because they never leave Texas.
I know that everyone is busy and life gets crazy but 1. you need to write me because I will soon leave the States and it will take me forever to get mail. 2. if you can find the january ensign in 2012 (I think?) then read the talk called Look Up. I cant remember who it is by but it is absolutely phenomenal! and 3. it is one of the hardest talks to obtain but if you can by any chance get the talk that Elder Holland gave in the MTC in 2009 called the Divine Companionship it will change your life.
BY THE WAY!!!!! READ THIS PART!!! I found out how you do pouch mail (this is mainly for Lindy because she asked me how to do it and I was like: I have no idea, but guess what "I dooo"). So how pouch mail works is you can only send one page at a time. You fold the paper into thirds, tape it shut (not on the sides), and write the address on the outside with a stamp. You can only send one page at a time that way so write really small and use big pages. I wonder if you could still use wrapping paper, Lindy? Anyway, for all of you who did not know how to send me mail when I am in Argentina then you do now (hopefully-> in spanish you say ojala which I only remember because I put it to a rap song). I love you all and I am sooooooooooooo grateful I had the opportunity to speak with my family for mothers day. I LOVE YOU MOM!!! I love you family!!!! I love you friends! 
Hermana Allen

Texas: Week 2

This week has definitely been the most rewarding but also the most difficult. This area is large and we know there are tons of people prepared to receive our message, but we havent found many of those people yet. We found 4 new investigators this week and every single second lesson that we had set up fell through. They either were not home or something else came up. I am starting to get into the attitude that nothing we plan will work out because nothing has. Nothing. We feel like we should be a place very strongly and then nothing happens and after a while that feeling disappears when nothing significant happened. It has been so hard and I am more insecure about my spanish than ever. I had to translate for someone in church during one of the lessons and I'm not sure he got anything out of it. The lesson was on the priesthood and I had forgotten most of the vocab the second I walked in the door. I am struggling a lot and I would love to receive mail.

Love you guys.

Hermana Allen