Monday, June 9, 2014

Argentina: Week 43

So this week has been full of miracles. We have had people just appear out of nowhere and say they are less actives and want to listen to us. I am amazing at how often the Lord shows me he is using me and my example to help others. I have been trying to focus and learn this transfer about my worth. I have a hard time understanding my divine nature, even if I can see it in others. My goal is to understand really just how He feels about me, and to start that journey this week, I decided to ask Him. The thing that I realized this week is that I had forgot that He can communicate with me in any way He wants. He doesn’t need to use the scriptures (even though they are the normal means through which He does communicate); He can speak impressions to our minds and that experience is amazing!

Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work.

I don’t have a lot to share, because they were very personal experiences, but I invite you all too sincerely communicate with your Heavenly Father this week. Our prayers can become lax and we forget that He can’t help us if we think of our relationship with Him as a casual thing. He is there to help us, but we need to realize the sacredness of communicating with Him. Ponder on what you will say and what you need. Ponder on your desires and His desires. Consider changing the wording of questions you have: for example change the question "what do I need to do to follow the will of god?" to be "what do I need to do in order to have the trust of God in me?" Both are amazing questions but each person is different and maybe God can only answer a question worded in a special way. I hope I am making sense. I honestly want the best for all of you. I pray for you and ponder on how I can serve you better when I get home. I am sorry that I didn’t show how much I love you all before I left. I feel like my selfishness destroyed a lot of opportunities I could have had to serve and feel the spirit and build the kingdom of God. There are so many people that can benefit from your love! I have.

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

I hope you all have an amazing Father´s day!

I love you so much!!!!!

Hermana Allen

Argentina: Week 42

I am doing so great family!!!!!

So the low down of this week is that I cut my own hair because it started to bother me.

We found a family of 6 but we aren’t sure if they are going to progress because they have started to avoid us and make excuses for why they can’t listen to us when we set up a cita and come back. The dad has a SERIOUS addiction to alcohol, which is why we were pretty excited because they seemed to be out of other options. The son who is 13 has the most GORGEOUS eyes in the world and I kind of want to steal them for my future husband.

Today we are going ice skating!!!! I'm super super excited because I have wanted to go skating for so long. The bad thing is I will probably have a ton of bruises and be super sore for a couple weeks, but ITS WORTH IT!!!

Well, going on to the more spiritual part of things, I want to share another personal study that I had! It is actually a group of personal studies, but with the same theme. I was studying about faith and how to get more, which helped me understand in that quest a lot of things about the concept of faith. Faith isn’t measured by quantity but rather by quality. Faith is an action of power based on genuineness, purity, and unmixed quality and is preceded by sincerity of disposition and humbly of soul.

In a specifically down time that I had this last week, I received the answer to my prayers in the scripture Ether 12:37 which reads:
37 And it came to pass that thLord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful;wherefore, thy garmentshall be made cleanAnd because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which have preparein the mansions of my Father.
The reason I am sharing this is because I want to encourage you all in your righteous efforts. I think that sometimes we get discouraged because we feel like we stand alone in the decisions we feel that we make that are good in the sight of God. Know that all of your efforts to be better don’t go unnoticed even if only He is the one who takes note. I love you all!! Thank you for supporting me in this amazing time that I have to be here to learn and grow!

Hermana Allen

Argentina: Week 41


I realized after the fact that I wrote familia instead of family so you will just have to begin now in understanding that English is pretty hard for me. Not really hard, but I have a ton of Spanish words that just creep their way into my language. I´m normally pretty good when I´m writing, because I notice and can change it but speaking not so much.

SOOOOO I am doing fantastic. I have had a pretty rough week, but that is mainly trying to adapt to different circumstances and accept the will of the Lord. That is what I have been focusing on this week. I have been trying to figure out the will of the Lord, but more important, having complete faith in that will. Have faith that it will be for my benefit even if it is not what I want to happen. I may have an idea of what I think is best, but the only think I can do is serve others and accept the things I can’t change.

 I feel like for the first time in my mission I am actually learning to consistently lose myself in the work. I have been focusing my thoughts on what I want my desires to be, and understand that Heavenly Father is always by my side, even when I´m being a punk.

I have learned that communication with those around you and especially the expression of love, is key in having a strong relationship. I feel like one of the reasons I have such a low self-esteem is because I haven’t focused my life on loving others and serving them. When we give more love we receive it, and I have grown to understand that that is who I want to be, a servant of the Lord who helps His children feel they are loved. I feel like sometimes we aren’t sure how to serve others, but as we pray for the opportunities and look for them during the day, we will see that God can use us more and there are more of His children looking for the relief that we bring. I thank you all so much for being a part of my life. I´m so sorry that for many of you I didn’t make you more of a priority. I can’t say that I will come back and all the sudden be able to serve everyone that is a part of my life, but I will sincerely try. If you need help, know that there are people willing to help you. There are people around you that could benefit from serving you. I love you all so very very much. Thank you for supporting me and being strong members of the gospel. If you aren’t attending church: GO TO CHURCH!!! That is the place to find happiness!!!! But seriously, I am a living testimony of that. The gospel is the way to be happy.

Hermana Allen

Argentina: Week 40

First of all I received an answer to my prayer a couple weeks ago where Heavenly Father told me something I would like to share with you all. "When you are discouraged, seek a clear conscience and be obedient, and you will obtain exaltation because of your righteousness."

I have studied a lot these past weeks about different things and many of them have changed my perspective entirely. One such study was about desires. Our desires are what motivate us and make it so that we are teachable and therefore humble. In order to change our desires to agree with God's will we must change our thoughts. Always think of Christ and what He would do and our desires will be in line with His (we will come to know Him and the Atonement). Our desires define who we are, so who do you want to be? Satan attacks our thoughts so much because that is the beginning of every sin. We change our nature as we change our thoughts.

My next study that I want to share is about becoming a disciple of Christ. To be a disciple of Christ we must be willing to give EVERYTHING to Him (time, talents, fears, laziness, etc). "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Faith is to know and act on the promises of God. The world may seem like it is falling apart and we may have confidence in that because that is what we see, but that is not acting in faith. The gospel exists to help us to develop the faith sufficient to be saved. He gives us trials so that we can have the opportunity to grow in our faith and rely on Him or His servants. He is showing us love when He gives us weaknesses so that we have ways to improve and can use His Atonement.

One of the most important studies I have had was about the Atonement and the sacrifice of God. All unhappiness/sin comes from us being disobedient to some law/commandment of God. Christ suffered for the disobedience of every person. When we deny our will and follow that of God, we are becoming perfect and drawing unto Him. When we put ourselves, our will, our desires/wishes/dreams before those of God we are putting ourselves as a God before Him. He gives us moments of difficulty to put off ourselves as God and submit to Him. Submit to His will and not be prideful even when we dont have desires to pray or be humble.

I love you all so so so much! Please write me and I will find the time to write back! I hope that you all learned from my experiences as much as I did. :)

Hermana Allen

Argentina: Week 39

Stepped in some mud!

Argentina: Week 38

So I haven’t been having too much desire to actually write lately, but I love you all. I´m super happy with my new companion. She is awesome and we are trying to work really hard and be exactly obedient. I love my mission! Heavenly Father really puts you through a fire to make you a better person and while it is hard I am so grateful for His amazing blessings! LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

Hermana Allen

Argentina: Week 37

I am filled with so many emotions. The end of this week is transfers and in two weeks I will be able to call home for mother’s day! I am incredibly excited for changes, but also nervous for whom my new companion will be. This week has been pretty interesting.

First of all, our district leader went to bed before he told the zone leaders that everyone was in their apartment safely. His phone was on silent and so he didn’t answer any of their calls. We went over to their apartment and rang the doorbell a billion times and banged on the door to no avail. We were so worried and the other Elders walked to their area which is like 4 miles away in the dark at like 11 o'clock. The mission president was on the phone with salt lake because no one knew what happened. I realized for the first time that there are many people that I love that it would break my heart if I couldn’t see them again. I was more upset about the fact that missionaries could disappear than anything else. We were up until the elders broke into their apartment, just to find them sleeping. That was about at 1 am, and we were all pretty peeved. Our district leader thought that the elder breaking in was a robber and said that he yelled at him "I see you, don’t rob me!" but in Spanish (even though he is gringo). :) That is our exciting thing for this week and I can’t really think about anything else that I wanted to tell you all.  I LOVE YOU!!! By the way, the picture is from our celebration of Pascua (Easter). We decorated eggs.

Hermana Allen

Argentina: Week 36

So this week has been super great. For the first time in my mission I had a few days where I actually wanted to run to the houses and talk to every single person we passed. I have been so focused and incredibly happy because of it. I finally understand perfectly what it means to find yourself when you lose yourself in the service of others. Thank you for supporting me and helping me to have this time to actually become who Heavenly Father needs me to be and who I want to be. I honestly thing that everyone should serve a mission if they have the intent to be exactly obedient and let the Lord change them. If not then it is honestly a waste of the Lords time and money.

Today we are celebrating Halloween, Christmas, and Easter together because it is the season for Easter and at the moment it feels like the time for Halloween. I am supposed to be tree/ Mother Nature in the pictures. We took them today!

Hermana Allen

Argentina: Week 35

So bueno. First of all, I wasn’t on yesterday because we had super bad weather and we didn’t leave the pension. This last week has been on and off electricity and water because the weather has been constant rain and some storms. Neuquen is not ready for storms or any type of natural disaster, so a lot of people are suffering because the water leaks into their houses. Saturday we went early to see the women’s session of conference but the satellite didn’t work out so we went to another chapel that was farther away. We watched the two sessions (I got to watch it in English!) and then went home. Sunday there were no buses running so we had to take a taxi. The first session worked more or less but they didn’t have an English room in this chapel so I had to watch it in Spanish. While I understood it all, I struggled taking notes or feeling the spirit because my mind wanders so much when someone is speaking Spanish for so long. The second Sunday session didn’t work at all and I don’t know if I will ever get the chance to watch it. It doesn’t come to us in English so I might have to wait until the end of my mission to actually watch it and read it.

This week I have considered a lot about the small tender mercies of the Lord. Really they are everywhere and I think the natural man would have us ignore these miracles in our lives. Honestly pride is our natural response and I realize how damaging it can be. Who cares if the other person doesn’t want what we have to offer? It may help them and be teachings that come from experience but if they don’t want to accept it, what are we to do? Our prideful side would love to be irritated and offended that we are giving them a better path and they don’t want it, but the Christ-like side would have us pray for them and love them even more for how much more they will suffer for the decision that they are making. I found it touching how much the prophets and apostles talked about or mentioned love. We could all honestly use more love in our lives, so we should begin loving others more. It is so much easier to love someone who already shows you love. That is what I have learned this past weekend. That I need to be more loving to everyone and help them feel needed.

I will have to tell you a funny story next week. Love you ALL!!!! Honestly, you don’t understand how grateful I am for your support, and your letters.

Hermana Allen

Argentina: Week 34

I really just want to share today how important prayer is. I understand that people generally understand that prayer helps us, but this past week and the past transfer I came to realize that my personal prayers weren’t really personal. I think I already told you all a little about this but I have learned more and want to share specifically about taking time during the day to vocally pray and spend quality time with Heavenly Father. I have seen a lot of changes in myself in the mission, but I never thought that my prayers would be the best part of my day. Maybe you all are a lot more on top of things that I am but what I learned recently is that Heavenly Father bears our burdens as we go to Him in sincere prayer with the necessity to change and the desire to do so. More than all of that, we need to take time with Him. Tell Him or troubles and look for the good. I recently made a list of all the struggles I have had in the mission and all the blessings as well. I thought that for sure my struggles would have been a lot longer than my blessings but it wasn’t. My blessings list was a lot longer and also each individual blessing meant more to me than any hardship I could have experienced.

Love you all so much.

Hermana Allen

Argentina: Week 33

Transfers are very interesting. I am not a huge fan because I will miss my companion a ton but we go where the Lord wants so I can’t complain. I am not in a city close to Neuquen called Centenario. My companion is Hermana Santos from Peru. I don’t know if I have already told you but they have a TON of holidays here in Argentina. They all seem to fall on a Monday which is not pleasant for P-days but I enjoyed women’s day.

I was super stressed and upset at leaving my last area. A huge part of me thought that I already knew what was going to happen to me and where I was going to go, only to find out that I was COMPLETELY wrong. Maria (the one who just got baptized) left for Chile Sunday morning so I had to say goodbye to her Saturday and that was hard. The Lord is so merciful in allowing us to be part of some miracles. He is also merciful in other ways. For example, when we are prideful and we are upset that what WE wanted to happen didn’t, he is there to give us comfort and understanding. I was getting ready for bed Saturday night and fell on my knees because that is what you do when you fight the will of Heavenly Father. This was my answer He gave me and I hope you all understand just how sacred it is.

I love you all. I am so grateful for where I am and what I am doing. Thank you for your support. 

Hermana Allen