Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23, 2013

So let's see... Last thing I told you about was the mission temple trip and that we took a mission photo, right? I think so. It was pretty cool to be honest. Then afterwards we had our email time, and then after that we took zone pictures! That was really fun. I put some of the, on Facebook, but the quality isn't the best. I'm going to see if I can get copies of the originals to send home. 

Then we went and started the Nativity thing with our convert! Which I don't think I have explained, so I'll give a brief summary:
We have an 8 piece nativity set (maybe 7, I don't remember) and we are dropping off one piece a night, secretly, with a little description of that figures role in the birth of the savior of the world. So yea, we have been doing that.

Thursday we had "The Meeting"
That's what president Toone called it! Basically it was all of the Mission Leadership Council (the Zone Leaders and the Sister Training Leaders) and about 20
other missionaries that were invited to come to this meeting with Brother Lee Donaldson of the Missionary Department (also the mission president from The District 2) they talked about how to better use Facebook for enhancing our own area, and kinda threw down on the idea of teaching people in other places. It was interesting, because I have yet to be able to really have success with Facebook in my own area.  Probably because not many people here have Facebook! They don't have internet or smart phones, so why have a Facebook? But I'm going to try my best to use it the way Salt Lake, and really church headquarters, wants us to. If they want us to do
something one way, and I try my hardest to do it like that, The Lord will provide the rest, right? I'm praying for that.

Then on the way home, I got a U of O flag from this flag salesman. It was $15, couldn't pass it up (he didn't have any Blazer, Braves, or BYU ones, Oregon was my fourth choice)

We have someone on date for this weekend!  He's this super cool guy who is from Chiapas Mexico. He is here living with a member family and working so he can send money home to his family in Mexico. He's super nice, and it's really funny how he is trying to learn English.  Quick story about him:  This past Sunday, we were in gospel principles and they ran out of books, so I pulled up the book on my hastening device, and had him follow along. While I was paying attention to the class, he had gotten out of the Gospel Library app, and onto my Facebook! He was just scrolling through my newsfeed asking who people were. Elder Aranibar and I were laughing so hard. But yea, he is a good guy.

Sunday night we had a Christmas celebration, which was as really cool. What they did was like sing a hymn, and read a part of the story of Jesus birth as recorded in Luke, and then sing a hymn that pertains to that part of the story, then read some more, then another hymn, and so on. It was awesome. The missionaries had the final song, El Cristo Es (or He is the Christ I think in English). It was super good, it's a really powerful song.
Finally after that we went had a meeting with our new Ward Mission Leader. He's really excited and ready to go! I'll miss our old one, but he's been super busy with work, and he's been the ward mission leader for 3 years already, I think. It was his time.

Well I'm excited to talk to you all on Christmas, and I have only been approved to use Skype, not Google+, just so you know. We were thinking around 11Am Arizona time, 10am there, if that's okay? Just let me know.
Love you all so much, and I love my mission! I don't think I say that enough. It's super awesome here.
P.S. Thanks for all of the Christmas Cards! I wish I had time to reply to you all individually, but I just don't have the time! Or the stamps...

The Carter Family: I hope all is well and that Ryan is loving his mission! We email back and forth pretty often, and he seems to be doing great. Hopefully the rest of the family is well and not sick this time of year

The Vorkink Family: Loved the card! Shout out to the Oregon beach in some of those pictures. I can definitely Tell that Sarah is enjoying herself in the picture in San Fran by the roses. Can't believe Eric is a freshman and LuLu is a teenager. I feel like I haven't been gone that long. Hopefully Annika is still the best goalie.

Mike and Rebecca Allen: I loved the calendar card thing. The picture made me laugh so hard! It's just adorable. I hope all is well, and that the Giants have a better season next year, yea?

Peterson Family: Awesome picture of Jake! I personally like the one where he is climbing a palm tree... ;) but you all look wonderful. Joe looks huge as always, and Emily and Anna look precious. I get to talk to Jake pretty regularly, and it's always awesome. Love that kid.

Grandma and Grandpa Weight: The deck looks like it could use a good staining. Call up my dad for that, okay? Hahaha just kidding! You look great in the picture, and from what I can tell all seems well.

Neal Family: Love the picture! I can't ever get over how tall Hayden is... And now Olivia! I think she's taller than me... I need to take a moment and mentally accept that... Okay we're good. You all look great and Hayden and I get to talk pretty often, and I love the example he's been in my life! He's been my best friend for as long as I can remember, and I'm eternally grateful for him and you all, his wonderful family. Also, brother Neal, don't worry, if you were afraid I never ate at your home back in Oregon, I can assure you the Spanish speaking people or Arizona are feeding me quite well...

Andrew and Shannon: I think that quote will get as close as I can get to the Grinch. Actually, it is as close as I will get. Don't worry, the essentials kit has already saved my life multiple times. I mean, the empty lead case came in handy when our investigator needed a tiny case to hold sand, and the rubber band has provided for a nice weapon against the chihuahuas of Arizona. The war is still raging on, but they have had it too good for too long... Also Shannon, the Blondies were amazing. Loved them to death! And I actually Love that Owlet shirt so much. Such a cool design and color.

Tingey Family: the Christmas card before the actual Christmas card was nice, and I do miss that jello, that's for sure. I'll wait to see the card before I say anything about how the family looks, who knows what could have happened, I mean Joel is a chemist right? Sketch. Hahaha just kidding. I'm sure all is well with your family.
I hope that is all of the Christmas cards I got and that I didn't miss anyone! I love you all and am so grateful for the opportunity to have you all in my life!

December 17, 2013 Arizona Tempe Mission, the Greatest Ever

Well it has been a crazy awesome past few days, so I think I'll focus on that... Mainly because the first few days of the week (Monday-Thursday) kinda stunk. We didn't have a ton of success missionary wise the first few day. But whatever, just a rough patch, IT CAN'T GET ME DOWN. 

So Friday we had weekly planning, which was super fun this time. We really didn't do anything crazy fun or awesome or anything, but it was just a good time. Everyone in our zone gets along with everyone else so well, I love it. 

Never pass up taking a picture with a goat named night train
Then on Saturday we had the chivo. It was super good. We went to a members house and roasted a goat, and the meat was pretty good. Then later that night we had a Spanish stake activity, it was like this music thing, and our zone (the Spanish speakers) sang a medley of Christmas songs. It was super cool, and President Toone was there, and he liked it so much that he asked us to perform it in front of the whole mission on Monday! It was awesome. 

Then on Sunday we had a super awesome day too. We went to Church, which is always good, and then went with some people and went to the Frietz's house for dinner. They made really good Enchiladas and beans. Mexican food is so yummy... Anyway, then that night we went to the Mesa Community College Institute Building and had a Mission President's Fireside there.... WITH THE WHOLE MISSION. It was so awesome! All 205 missionaries in the mission were there. Talk about a powerful spirit right? It was so amazing. Then we went over to the transfer building and chit chatted and stuff. It was so amazing, like words can't describe. So there at the transfer building, we found out we would be housing the Zone leaders and another companionship from Maricopa Zone. We thought that meant that we would have 8 people staying in our house for the next 2 days (Sunday night and Monday night). But we were wrong. It was actually a tri-panionship too. So we had 9 people, and 2 showers. Ugh it was so bad.

So on Monday we had a Mission Christmas Party! It was an all day thing at a stake center in Tempe. It was super duper sweet. The bad part is we had to get there at 7 in the morning... Which means we had to leave at 6:30... Which means we had to get up at 5:10 so everyone could shower and get ready.... That part really stunk. Especially because Sunday night we didn't get home till around 10:30, so we didn't get to bed till 11ish. The missionary schedule stinks sometimes. But then we got to the place at 7am and we had breakfast as a mission! It was so much fun. Then we went into the Chapel and had a talk to us by Stake President Robert Laney. His talk was amazing. Simply great. He talked about the difference between being healed and being cured through Christ.
He told this amazing story, and I'll paraphrase: "A man with a relatively young family (one kid on a mission, the rest younger) had cancer and was given blessings saying he would be healed. He was able to see his son come home from his mission but later died. For a long time, the person who gave the blessing (who ended up being the stake president speaking to us, he just didn't say at first) was confused as to why he felt prompted to say he would be healed, when the cancer killed the man. Later, the stake president realized the difference between being Healed, and Cured. He was healed because his Christlike attributes have grown. His marriage and family got stronger. He was healed, but not cured of the cancer." Pretty cool story! I really liked his talk. It reminded me of Spencer Hardy. My prayers go out to the family. 

Christmas Lights at the Mesa Temple
So then after that we had the Mesa Temple President come and talk to us about ordinances in the temple, and things like that. It was good, but it was basically the same thing we heard at stake conference.... Then we had lunch, and then we did this survey thing to get to know the missionaries in the mission more. Then we had a testimony meeting for all of the missionaries  and that was really good, but it went really long (2 hours) and got really personal at times.... Too personal. And then we had dinner and then we finished off the night with a talent show of sorts. It was an assortment of musical numbers, and it was really good. We read the story of the Saviors birth in Luke as a mission. Well actually there is this missionary who has a really great voice-- like movie preview voice guy good-- and so he read it to us. It was super great. So then we had this skit where Santa came up and called out some of the missionaries from the Naughty and Nice list. It was kinda like a spotlight for the ones on the Nice list, and a way to poke fun at the missionaries on the Naughty list. It was really fun! We finished off the night with a slide show of the baptisms we have had since President Toone came in in a slide show form.It was really cool, and we are at 850 baptisms as a mission on the year. Then we had the big announcement ... we are going to... MEET ELDER JEFFREY R HOLLAND!!!!!!! He is coming to Arizona January 11th (Shout out to Elder Hayden Neal's birthday!!!) He will meet with us, the Phoenix and the Mesa mission and have a conference with him. I am BEYOND excited. fsjadfgasgdkfga Words cannot even begin.....

THEN on Tuesday we went to the temple! It was super awesome. We went as a mission! Sorta, and then we took a Mission Picture. And that was the weekend! It was the best weekend ever. 
Never pass up taking a picture with a turtle

Final thoughts: 
I want to go to Yuma in my mission at some point.
I want to serve with Elder Sylvester or Mabey 

I Love you all so much!!! Have a merry Christmas :)

"One day you're going to ask yourself 'How on earth does it get so hot in the summer, and so cold in the winter?!' Then you will think of me" -- Elder Hernandez

Well. That day came. It feels cold.  

Bishop Wilson, Elder Allen, Elder Aranibar
But, it has been a chill week. It started with bishop Wilson coming down and taking Elder Aranibar and me out to lunch! We went out to Jersey Mikes. It was good, I like their subs a lot. It was such a nice thing for him to do, and I'm eternally grateful for him.

A cute pit bull puppy, look at his eyes
Then on Tuesday we had Zone Meeting! It was so good. I love our zone leaders. They're like the perfect amount of awesome and spiritual. One thing elder Cassiano said really impacted me. He said:
"The gospel will go forward with or without us. But I want to be one of the people that pushes it forward."
That was a cool quote for me. I thought it was super deep and stuff. Idk. It just hit me hard. I want to be like him. I want to push the gospel forward, not just tag along for the ride.
Then after zone meeting we all went out to a Chinese restaurant and it was pretty good. The whole zone was there, so it was 16 missionaries I think. And we made one giant table. It was legit. Then Hermana Crawford, who was an 8th grade teacher before she came out on the mission, bought the zone 5 Pu-Pu Platers (yea that's what they're called) it was super cool of her to do that. She got transferred though :(

Then on Wednesday we went to the children's hospital with Brother Fritez and it was kinda crazy. There was a kid in the ward who is in there. I'm not sure what he has, but he was in the hospital for some reason, and it was pretty bad. He couldn't move his head. So we have his mom a blessing of comfort. It was kinda crazy, but she needed it.

Then after we went to see our recent convert to see how she was doing because she had been in and out of the hospital lately. So we went over to make sure she was okay.

Then on Friday we went to a members house to do some service. We moved a fridge over from a truck and to an apartment. It was so heavy! I hated it a lot. I hurt my back a little bit but it wasn't too bad.

Side note here, it's freezing here! It says it's only 45 degrees, but it feels like it's about 20. I hate it a lot. I'm freezing when I'm riding my bike out here. But anyway, that's it.

Stake conference was this weekend! It was super awesome. We went to the adult session of general conference, because the stake president wanted us to go and it was pretty cool. Of course it was all focused on missionary work. It was pretty cool. At the adult session president Hansen of the mission presidency said something I liked to try and get the members more excited about missionary work. He said "The gospel of Jesus Christ is too good to not share" it was a good quote.

Then we went to the regular session of stake conference and it was good too. President Toone was good and gave a good talk about missionary work. That's what the whole conference was about, clearly.

But yea! That's about all that happened this week. It was a cool week!

I love you all so much! It's been a good week here in Arizona, I love life and I'm excited to be here serving The Lord for 2 years. I know that this Church is true, and that it is the only Church on the earth that has the priesthood of god. The only C
hurch that has the authority to act in gods name has been restored to earth, and it is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Much love,

Elder Allen

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 3, 2013 I am not getting transferred

Me & Elder Gonzalez in our Mexican Flags

So yea. Transfer calls were last night, and I'll be staying in Montana Del Sur for at least 6 more weeks! Woo!

So on Monday night we had a cool experience. We had a Noche de Hogar (Family home evening) at the Church! It was pretty cool. The Zone Leaders put it on for our investigators and theirs, and it was awesome. There was Posole, so I was in heaven. It was there that we extended a baptismal date to one of our investigators, and she accepted! She is on date for December 14th, and we couldn't be more excited. She has a 17 year old daughter who loves to listen to us when we come over, but she goes to her boyfriend's Church, and she doesn't really want to change :( Darn Agency.

Then on Tuesday we went on exchanges! I went over to the Zone Leader's area, which is always nice because it means I get to drive the Jeep! Elder Cassiano (one of our ZL's) doesn't have a licence, so I drove :) 

My awesome zone
Then it was Thanksgiving!!! It was awesome! We had a half P-Day last Monday, so we finished the P-Day on Thanksgiving. We had from 1pm till sleepy time as P-Day. It was pretty cool. We went over to the Jones Family's house, and they fed us, and we had American Thanksgiving food. 

Then we went over to another investigator and he told us about this dream he had.  Elder Aranibar related it to baptism. That he was going through this forest of trials and hard things, but we were guiding him to the house at the top, which is his baptism. He totally got it, and we extended a baptismal date, and he is set to be baptized on December 21st! Pretty exciting stuff. 

On Saturday we had a ward activity at the church where we played Soccer with a bunch of people. We invited this kid, an "eternigator" basically someone who is an investigator forever. He came and played and seemed to have a lot of fun. He said he would try and come to church, but he got called into work, so he couldn't go :(

That is pretty much all that happened this week! It was pretty awesome. I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving and I am so thankful for all of you always, and especially at this time of the year. 

Love you! 

Elder Allen

November 25, 2013 Legit Week

My District!  
So this week has been legit, as you can tell by the subject. We had a pretty normal week at the beginning to be 100% honest. But on Tuesday we were able to go to the Temple to do a session! Always a great experience, and I took some sweet pictures, but I left my Camera at home :( I'll send them next week.

Then on Wednesday we had our regular district meeting, which was good and all that jazz. Then we went out to work and we found a family! An awesome one at that. It is a mom and her 4 kids, one girl is 19 (we haven't met her yet), another girl is 16, a 15 year old boy and an 11 year old girl! It is a pretty awesome family, but the kids only speak Spanish, they can't read it. They can read English though. So we might have to hand them over to the English Elders... I kinda hope not, because they're super legit. Then we went out and about and did our regular lessons. We are teaching this one lady and she is super solid. She is going to get baptized the 7th! Well that's when we are planning for at least. 

Then we went out on Thursday and did our regular stuff, and we found another family! But this family has 7 kids, but they came to church on Sunday, which was super cool!  

Wet pants from the rain. 
On Friday we had our regular weekly planning, and that was fun as always.... Not. I don't like it to be honest. But yea. We went out that day and had fun EXCEPT IT WAS RAINING. a lot. I hated it actually. I think I am turning into someone who doesn't like the rain :( I don't know how I will feel about Oregon once I finish my mission.... We will see. 

Then Saturday we had our awesome Talent Show/Ward Thanksgiving party! It was so cool. All of the missionaries from the ward got up and sang the 2 verses from "I hope they call me on a mission" in Spanish, and then we sang this song called "Mountains to climb" in English then a 3rd verse we made up about the ward we are serving in, to the tune of "I hope the call me on a mission". It was awesome! I have a video, but it's on the hastening device. 

Then we had our regular Sunday, but Elder Hernandez came and surprised the ward! It was awesome to see him. Then after church we got to go with Elder Aranibar to get his Patriarchal Blessing! That was super cool to be there for that. I didn't hear the blessing, but I could feel the spirit in the house. It was crazy. 

And that is about it! It was a good week. I love you all so much! I wish i could be there for T

Thanksgiving, but I know that this is where I need to be. I will think of you all for thanksgiving, as you all have had such a large impact in my life. Love you!

Elder Allen