Monday, March 31, 2014

We are moving soon, tell the Brothers 3-31-2014

Hey! So yea they kinda killed Siri on our iPads. It's kinda sad. We can't use it to ask questions and stuff. Like yesterday, I tried to ask it when James E. Talmage died, and she said she can't do that for me it made me sad. But then today I asked when Thomas S Monson was born, and she told me! (he's 31634 days old) so I'm not sure what her deal is. Maybe it's because I yelled at Siri the other day... She might hold a grudge. Anyway!

In other news we are moving out of the flower house! The mission is sick of how it has cockroaches and a pool that is really gross and dirty. So we are gone! We will be moving out after transfers or right at them. Not sure yet to where... Or when we are moving... Just that we are moving. So don't send anything more to this house (but yes I got the package, thanks for the hi chew and the gum. I LOVE IT, I forgot how good hi chew were, but I will say that I like Mexican candy now.... Like the spicy candy, it's good.)

On Monday we had a good day. We went over to Patricia, the lady who got baptized while I was here, and talked to her. The only major down side is that she likes to talk... A lot. So we got home a bit later than normal. I don't like being home late, because then it gets hard to get to bed on time! Which stinks, because I need my sleep.

On Tuesday we had a legit lesson with a new family. We went out with our newly called elders quorum president, president Corona, and that was awesome. He's super cool. So then in the lesson, which was a first lesson so we taught the restoration, and Hno Corona bore a great testimony about Joseph Smith and about how the first vision really happened. It was amazing. I'm really hoping this family continues to have the desire to learn more about the restored gospel.

And the other crazy thing that happened this week was that we got new sisters in the zone! They are from some mission in chile (not Concepción sur, but some other... I don't remember) I don't know why they got reassigned here... But they're really cool! One is from Springville Utah, which is close to Mapleton right? So maybe the Vorkinks know her! Her name is Sister Thompson... I think. I don't really remember too well. But her and her sister sang in some song on the For the Strength of Youth soundtrack or something... Anyway they seem like really cool sisters, and a great addition to the zone!

I think that is pretty much all that happened. Hope you all are doing well! I love you all so much and am so pumped to be serving here in Arizona! It's so awesome. I know this church is true and that I am so blessed to be here. Oh I actually have a compromiso for you all, and I do these in Spanish so here we go.

¿Leerán los tres parábolas de James E Talmage de el ensign en febrero 2003?

Wonder Bread 3/24/2014

This week had it's ups and downs to be honest. It was one of those weeks where by Saturday and Sunday (because in the mission life, Monday is the first day of the week, and Sunday is the last), I was ready to start a new week. If that makes sense. But anyways, on Monday we went to the Bishops house and had an FHE with his family, and our recent convert, Patricia and her family. It was really cool, because we want the kids to get baptized, so we are working really hard to make sure they have friends in the church.

Then on Tuesday we had a really good lesson with one of our investigators. He recently had a cousin die who he was really close to. He said when he was at the funeral service, all he could think about was the plan of salvation we had taught him just a few days earlier. (We hadn't planned on teaching it, but Elder Zoolakis and I both felt impressed to teach him that, so we did, and he broke down in tears and told us about his cousin) so that was a pretty good experience.

On Thursday we came home from doing some work in the morning, and our house smelled a bit like natural gas... So we just opened up some windows and let it all vent out and it was fine. Then we came back at night, and it smells like it again, so we call President and he sends over the housing coordinators who go in, and realize the pilot light is off (I hate stoves with a pilot light) and so yea. But President had us drive over to the ZLs apartment and spend the night there to let the gas all leave the house. I'm so glad we are moving out of here.

Oh other crazy story on Thursday. We were biking down a street towards an appointment, and then we see this guy biking the other way on the other side of the street. We wave and he just goes "WONDER BREAD". So yea. That's a thing.

Then on Friday I was on exchanges with the zone leaders in my area. Elder Murphy (one of our zone leaders) is so crazy, but I love him. He's so cool. He knew a good friend of mine in college who is serving her mission in Italy! Small world. We decided we are going to backpack in South America together with our wives. It'll happen.

On Saturday we did service for a lady, cleaning her yard. It was boring, but fun at the same time. And then Saturday night we were biking down the street and we saw this truck that was stalled. We asked if we could help and they said they ran out of gas, so we helped push it a little over a mile to the nearest circle K. That felt good, but man I got sweaty doing that.

I think that's all! Love you all so much!!

Elder Allen.

Happy St. Patty's Day 3-17-2014

Woooo Saint Patrick's day!! I am wearing my green polka dot tie of course :) 
Us trying to clean our really gross pool

This week was a pretty slow week, nothing super out of the ordinary happened... We went about doing good and stuff. Not a ton happened this week. We taught some people, and did all that good stuff. We did have one guy that we started teaching this week accept the invitation to be baptized! He is on date for April 12th, we we will be working towards that date. 

Then we had Zone Conference this week! Which is normally really good, but this time.... Well it was good, but it was just different. President Toone threw down on all of us for not having clean enough apartments. So that was pretty interesting. That is why I am on a bit later today than normal, he said that we need to have our place spotless before we go and do anything. So that was kind of a drag. So that was what happened on Thursday. And not a whole lot has happened since then... We just had some lessons with some people and yea. 

I don't know if there is anything else that really happened this week to be honest. We had a good week. 

Love you all!!

Elder Allen

#MagicalMarch March 10, 2014

That's our theme for this month, Magical March, because miracles are going to happen this month! It's going to be amazing. We started the month off pretty good if you ask me. WE HAD A BAPTISM!!! It was super amazing. This lady named Patricia got baptized, and she's one of the coolest recent converts I've ever had, and I've only known her for like 2 weeks!

We had some really good lessons this week too. We started teaching this lady named Elma, and that was awesome. She was a referral from a member and she is super ready to listen to the gospel. She just seems ready for it all, and it's so cool to be a part of that, it's super cool because we got her as a referral on Wednesday, the day after we had a zone meeting all about finding through members! Blessings for sureeeee.

Elder Zoolakis and I are getting along really well. We work really well together and I feel like he could totally be a good friend of mine after the mission. He's got about a year on me in the mission though, so that will be sad when he goes home.

But yea! Back to the baptism. So the zone leaders had a baptism at 6:30 so we planned on having ours at 7:15, basically right after. But! The bishop showed up at 6:55 for the first baptism! I'm not sure what he was doing but he postponed the baptism a lot. It ended up being okay though because Patricia got off work later than she had expected, so she didn't get to the church till 8ish. So the baptism started a bit later than we had planned, but she got baptized, so that's all that matters, right? Then she was late to her confirmation! That was scary, I was stressing because I was the one confirming her! That is always freaky... But I did it, and it was a lot better than my last one.

I've decided my Spanish isn't where I want it, so I'm going to focus a lot these upcoming weeks on making my Spanish a lot better. It's not bad, but it could really improve. So I'll be doing that.

That's about all that happened this week! Love you!!

Elder Allen
My Sweet Zone

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 3, 2014 Viva la Phoenix

So sad to say goodbye to Elder Baker
Rainbow after a heavy storm

This week has been pretty crazy awesome. I had to say goodbye to some people before I left, and that was sad. I said bye to Gicela and her family, and Gicela started crying a little bit :( so sad. Then we went and said bye to Anselmo and he began to tear up too! I didn't think I had made that big of an impact on these people... But I'm going to stay in contact with them via Facebook.

Then on Wednesday I got transferred! Pretty crazy. I'm now in the Phoenix Zone (I was in the South Phoenix Zone) but I am in the same stake! Pretty cool actually. I'm excited. I'm serving in a ward called Cielito (which means little heaven) and my companion is Elder Zoolakis. He's really cool, and he was Elder Sylvester's trainer, and then Elder Mabey's companion, then mine! So he's just moving right through my MTC district.

Not a whole lot has happened in the new ward I'm in. We have a lot of solid people that we are teaching, and if all goes well, we should have a baptism this Saturday! Which would be an awesome way to start off this transfer. It should be a good one for sure.

Oh yea! I just remembered something. We got to watch the Gilbert Temple Dedication! That was so awesome. We watched a broadcast of it at the stake center, and so that was really cool. That's my first temple dedication I have participated in. Pretty legit. President Toone also authorized us to watch the cultural celebration that was Saturday night, and that was cool, k
inda cheesy at times, and it was outdoors and POURING rain. Like crazy. The first time it has rained in 6 months. Very different than Oregon. Oh and Elder Zoolakis and I combined our names....... Ready?

Elder Zooallender



Sunday, March 9, 2014

February 24, 2014 Time to say goodbye to Montana Del Sur

Well transfer calls were last night, and I am out! After 5 transfers it seems that the members in Montana got sick of me so they kicked me out ;) hahaha just kidding. But I am getting transferred  That will be sad, I mean this is my first area, so I will miss all of the members and converts that I was able to participate in their conversion. So I will be at transfer meeting this Wednesday and then I will be off to somewhere with a new companion! Should be interesting (I hope he is cool).

But other than that, not a whole lot happened this week.... I honestly can't remember what we did. I don't know if that is a good thing or not. But we did missionary work like always! We actually found 3 new families this week. One is a family of 10, the other a family of 3 and the other has 5. So that was amazing. I am going to have to keep in contact with Elder Aranibar to make sure all is well with them. 

We went to the temple this week, which was amazing as always, and we were able to attend the Mission President's fireside, which is always a good experience. 
AND WE HAD A BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Equation: How much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could.........

Woo!!! We hadn't had one in a while but we had one on Saturday! It was amazing. This older man, was baptized by his nephew-in-law.
So that was really cool. I'll send a picture home for sure.

That's about all that happened this week! I will send you my address as soon as I can!! 

Love you all so much!

Elder Allen

February 17, 2014 New Suit

Me and the Zone Leaders in our H and M suits
Well it's been one of those weeks. We went to H&M on P-Day and I got a suit, it's pretty good looking to be honest. I like it a lot. I'll send some pictures of me wearing it, and some glasses I got.... :) Then, on Tuesday we got our fridge fixed! So that was good. I decided to make fresh fruit smoothies every morning for breakfast. I love it so far! And salads for lunch. I figure that no matter what I have for dinner, it'll be relatively unhealthy so I am going to make every other meal as healthy as I can! Then on Thursdays we had interviews with president Toone, which was amazing, but I had one of the shortest interviews of all time. Like really. It was maybe 5 minutes. At the end he goes "Thank you Elder Allen, you make my job easy". I guess other missionaries are not as easy going and relaxed as me? I don't know. It just seems like it's not worth getting in conflicts with people. Just love who you're with no matter what, and work through any issues you can. Okay I'll get off my soap box now.

We taught Cruz's little brother a few times and he really gets everything that we talk about. He might have some issues with some of the commandments, but we committed him to living the word of wisdom early because we thought that he might have a struggle with that, but he's been clean for a few weeks now. We're excited for him, he'll get baptized by the end of this month.

Then valentines day was good! I got a package from Sister Hill, which was cool. She sent me a cat, which is good. It's really adorable to be honest. Then we had dinner with Hna Jones and that good, her son got home from the mission just the other day, so he's super ready to like go out with us and stuff. Should be good.

Love you all so much! I love this gospel and the blessings that it brings to families--that's something that I have noticed a lot this week. how much this gospel truly blesses families. Super cool stuff.

Elder Allen.

Sent from my iPad 

February 10, 2014 Good week

The cutest puppy ever
Elder Baker and I being thugs
Welp it's been a pretty legit week. We have seen a lot of miracles this week, and so it has been really fun to be a missionary lately. I mean it always is fun, but especially when your area is doing well. On Tuesday we had district meeting, which was fun, and we did this cool thing where the zone leaders gave everyone in the zone a little shout out, and it was adorable. It's because this month we are focusing on showing our love for our investigators. Fitting because it's February right? I think it's funny. Then on Tuesday we decided to call up one of our really cool members. He is almost always willing to go out with us, and so we decided to see how his little brother is doing. He is 16 and when we taught the restoration, he understood everything! It was really good, especially because he then accepted a baptismal invitation and a date! So we're really excited for him.

That's pretty much all that happened this week. We had a lot of smaller things that happened, members not showing up when they are supposed to come out with us, people falling off date, people not keeping their commitments, it was a pretty standard week for missionary work! I love it. I'm thinking I'll be getting transferred at the end of this transfer, which is going to be sad. I'm going to miss South Phoenix, and Montaña del Sur a lot.

I love you all so much! I am so happy to be serving a mission here in Arizona (especially when the weather is so crummy in Oregon right now!) but I know that I need to be here where I am right now. It is such an amazing perspective to have, and I am so grateful that I have it! Love you all!

Elder Allen

Sunday, February 9, 2014

February 3, 2014 The Gilbert Temple is Beautiful

Elder Aranibar and me
This was a pretty awesome week, but also a hard week. On Monday we played Settlers and of course, I won both of the games we played (beware of pride, my eternal souls is at stake, I know) but I did destroy all of these elders here. Then on Wednesday we went to the temple open house, which was so cool. We went with our investigator, and she loved it! She talked to the member that took us, on the ride home, we sorta figured out why she isn't baptized yet (she's been investigating for 3 years or so).

We had a hard week though, because we didn't really have any set lessons this week... So we really didn't teach very much at all. It was really hard, especially because the zone leaders went on exchanges with us on Saturday, and Elder Cassiano and I stayed here and he saw how much our area is struggling... It kinda stinks. So I was pretty sad going to church on Sunday. Well not sad, but frustrated that our investigators are not progressing and that we don't have that many people to teach. So I fasted this past Sunday that our investigators would come to church and spark that interest again in the gospel. And only our temple investigator came.... That was hard. But then I remembered something, that she has the meeting with the bishop after church (I had forgotten) and so after church she had her meeting, and we couldn't wait for it all because we had to go give someone a blessing, and so we left, but our ward mission leader stayed to give her a ride home. The bishop called us and told us that she is ready to be baptized now, and that he was going to extend a date, but that's our job. So we went by her house that night.... And she's in date for the 15th!! I'm so pumped for her :) but that is about all that happened this week! It was a good week, all in all.

Élder Allen

January 27, 2014 Not so good of a week

This week has kinda sucked to be honest. Monday was fun, we ate these really hot peppers (not quite habanero heat, but hotter than a sorano, or so I've been told) and that was fun as always. Then we went over to the church to play Ganor (or maybe it's Gator) Ball. This game that is a mix of ultimate frisbee and soccer. It's really fun. Then on Tuesday we had our regular district meetings and stuff, but I started to feel really sick. I felt like I was just punched in the stomach, and it hurt at all times. I never felt like I needed to throw up, but just that my stomach hurt a lot. And so on Tuesday we had our regular work day, but then I woke up Wednesday morning, and I just felt terrible. So did another elder I live with, Elder Baker. He and I had the same symptoms and so we stayed in Wednesday, and Thursday, and Friday, and Saturday, and Sunday.... It was bad. By the time Sunday rolled around we felt a lot better, but Sister Toone told us to take it easy, and to rest and drink lots of water, because this sort of flu bug that we had has been going around the mission, and there are a lot of Elders and Sisters that feel good after a few days, and so they try and go out, but then they just get it even worse. Especially because it's starting to get warm again (not super warm, but no more sweaters). So yea, Elder Baker and I stayed in those days and slept a lot, told a ton of stories, and just felt sick to our stomach! Yayaya!.... Not. But we're feeling a lot better now, so we should be good to go for the week.

One cool thing we did do while we were sick was write a poem/song. Elder Baker sang it and put it on Facebook, but I'll put the lyrics to the poem at the end of this email.

Yep. That's pretty much all that happened this week! It was pretty lame and sucky. But I still love the work, actually now more than ever! I hated not doing anything--even worse, not being able to do anything. I know that this is the work of The Lord and that I'm here serving him for these 2 short years. I love you all so much!!

Élder Allen

Thy Great Love
By Elder Christopher Neal Baker and Elder Trevor Joseph Allen

As I sit and ponder on Thy love for me
I am filled with gratitude and love for thee
That thou would sacrifice thy holy life
For me a sinner, whom thou would die

Thou came to the earth in a humble way
For there in a manger thou did lay
As thou grew,  mighty miracles were performed
By thy loving hand broken hearts were reborn

Thou suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane
Mocked and scorn thou hung on Calvary
I  marvel at the thought of the pain thou endured
For all my mistakes and sins I incurred

Yet while in the tomb thou wast not wont to stay
For in three days time thou woke to say
"My plan fulfilled, my kingdom come
It being complete from all that I've done"

My hearts filled with joy for all that thou did
On my behalf so that I may live
My wish when Resurrected to a perfect state
Is To stand right before thee and hear thee say

"Blessed art thou for all thou hast done
For all of the weary their you turned away none
Thou good and faithful servant enter into my rest
For thou hast proved faithful and thou shalt be blest"

I will Love my brother as myself
I will love thee Lord like nobody else
So go forward with faith is what I must do
So when this life ends I may live with you!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

January 20, 2014 Another Week Down

This cat doesn't want me to hold it.  
Well to be honest, not a lot happened this week. We went and did our regular teaching, and I honestly can't even remember what we did... Uhh... 

We had all of our regular meetings, and yea! Something cool that we did was watch the Thomas S. Monson Documentary with one of our eternigators. He is 18 years old and has been investigating the church for about 4 years now. His dad said as soon as he turned 18 he could be baptized, but then he was baptized, and his dad said no... So that kinda sucks. So we go by ever once in a while, and he is always down to listening to us. Hes a really nice guy, and so then we invited him to the mission presidents fireside, and he said "ill be there, no excuses" and guess what happened? HE WASN'T THERE. No surprise really. We went by his house and he wasn't there. So we didn't end up going! So that was a bummer! 

But that is really all I can think about that happened this week... Sorry this is so lame. I have some fun pictures to send, so that will be fun. 

Some of the Elders in my Zone
Uhhh Yea! I love the work, and I am excited to be here, but It has been a long time... 5 transfers is a long time in one area. But I love it! Love you all so much, and I love reading all of your emails
Sometimes we like to Box
Enviado desde mi iPad

Elder Burtenshaw and me
I love the Mexican Store

Saturday, January 18, 2014

January 13. 2014 Transfer week . . . . . I am staying

You know I changed my iPad language to Spanish.

Well I'll just start out by saying this, transfer calls were last night, and I'm staying! Me and Elder Aranibar will be staying in Montaña del Sur for at least another 6 weeks. This will be my 5th transfer here, which will mean that I'll be here for at least 6 months of time in the field. Crazy to think about.

Honestly, this week hasn't been too interesting. We had a lot of training this week, which left us with very little time to focus on our area. We had Zone Meeting on Tuesday, where the zone leaders talked about putting things through the repentance process. Like if you're having issues being timely, then you need to put it through the repentance process, because it's an imperfection, and we have been asked to be perfect. It was a really cool zone meeting, I love our zone leaders.

On Thursday we had another training opportunity. We had zone conference! So we got to be trained by the APs and the Zone Leaders and the Sister Training Leaders. It was really good. The zone leaders talked about being unified as a zone. Then the Assistants trained us on having a vision. And that we need to always know where we want to go in life, and in our mission. Then the sister training leaders trained us on sustaining our leaders. And how we need to support them in all of their actions.

Then on Friday I was on exchanges with the Zone Leaders, in their area, with my favorite missionary, Elder Myler. He's the best. He's from Eagle, Idaho, so I gotta see if some of the people I know from there know him. His brother is in this boy band that is really good, by the way. You should look them up, Beyond 5 is their name. They're like 1 direction but 100000x better. I think you might like them, mom. Anyway we were on exchanges, and he had to go practice for Elder Holland (he was going to sing for him while 3 other missionaries would be on the piano, violin and cello. So we went to go practice. It was then, near the end of his practice, that we found out that Elder Holland was called away on emergency business to Salt Lake, and that he wouldn't be coming. We were all heart broken. Someone named Elder Jim L. Wright, from the 70 came. He gave a good talk, and we still were able to meet with the two other missions that came (Phoenix and Tucson) but we all wanted to see Elder Holland.... Oh well. It was still good. (Also it was Hayden's Birthday! S/o to him)

And that's pretty much all that happened this week! It should be a good upcoming transfer!

I love and miss you all so much!

Elder Allen

Enviado desde mi iPad

We all lifted a piano, can you find me?  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 6, 2014 Not too shabby of a week.

Chocolate that reminds me of Elder Neal and Peterson
It has been a pretty legit week to be 100% honest, and it all really started on Wednesday. We didn't do a whole lot on Monday and Tuesday, just regular stuff. Then Wednesday was New Year's Day and that was cool. It all started with the arrival of Elder Burtenshaw and Bakers new companion, Elder Kauhi from Hawaii and Oregon. He's a good guy, he lived in Wilsonville before he came out, so we know a few of the same people. And we went out with some members to get some lessons in. And so by the end of Wednesday we had 3 member present lessons. Then we decided to go hard. Really hard. We had been slacking the last few weeks, not mainly because of us, but because of the time of the year. Christmas and New Years have been kinda killer on our teaching opportunities. So the Zone Leaders, (ZL's) the other elders in our ward, decided they wanted to get the standard of excellence, 16 lessons with a member present (16 member presents).

So then on Thursday we called some members to go out with us, one from around 2:30-5, and one from 6-9. And we got 6 member presents! And 5 new investigators! It was so awesome. So by the end of Thursday we had 9 member presents, and the ZL's had 11. So we decided to make it a little more interesting. We decided to have a completion with the ZLs to see who could get more lessons with a member by the end of the week.

So on Friday we had the same approach, get two members, one for earlier In The day and one for later in the night, and we got 5 lessons that day! And 4 new investigators! It was so legit. And so by the end of Friday we had 14, and the ZLs had 14 too. The competition was on.

Real stuffed peppers
On Saturday we had some things that took up a lot of the morning, mainly service with some of the elders of the English wards. It was good service, and a nice sort of break from the teaching, ya know? So we only had a member come out with us from 3:30-5 and 6-9, and we got 5 lessons again! So we had 19 on the week and the ZLs had 18. It was getting pretty close.

Finally Sunday came around. We all went to church, and there was some playful smack talking between the zone leaders and us. But it was all good. We were really pushing each other, to make the other try harder. To really condense the lessons we were having, to cut out the fluff that isn't needed, and to focus on what needs to be taught. So we went out from 6-8:30 on Sunday night, and we actually went on splits. So I went with our elders Quorum president, and Elder Aranibar went with out assistant ward mission leader. And we had 8 member present lessons on the day! I had 5 and elder Aranibar had 3! So we ended the week with 27 lessons with a member present! Pretty much unheard of. The zone leaders ended with 24, so we won :) it was pretty legit. As a zone we had 102 lessons with a member present this week. It was a really good week for us as a zone.

That's really all that happened this week! I got the blue pants in the mail, thank you mom! I love them. Now all I need to get next is brown shoes and a brown belt to go with them..... ;)

Love you all so much, and I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!!!! It's the best work.

Elder Allen.

12/30/2013 Christmas Fun

me with a mustache??

This has been a crazy week. To be honest, it has just been a crazy month, but Christmas was the icing on the cake, so to speak.

Monday and Tuesday were P-Day. Kinda. We had a half P-Day on Monday, and then we finished it on Tuesday because it was Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve was pretty fun, we didn't do a whole lot because we were all so tired from all of the activities we have been doing lately as a mission, so a nap was welcomed, and much needed. But Christmas Eve night we did something fun! We went out as districts and went caroling. It was super fun. The weird part about it was that we went to go sing to our investigators, but like in Hispanic culture it's not normal to go out and sing hymns or Christmas songs in front of someone's house. So that was kinda interesting. They didn't know what to do to us when they answered the door and we just started singing... So they ended up just trying to give us food,
Elder Baker and I opening up PJ's Christmas Eve
which is one thing that we don't need more of. Oh yea, and on Monday I bought settlers of Catan at Walmart. Best purchase ever.

Wednesday was Christmas!!! Which was so awesome. We had pretty much the whole day off, we just had to do personal study and comp study, and of course get up at 6:30 like normal. But then we went to the church and did our skyping! That was awesome to see you all again, for the first time in about 6 months. Even Tillie haha. I'm so glad that you're all doing well, and grandpa seemed really good, better than I expected. Sorry I couldn't see you Andrew and Shannon! We couldn't use skype on our hastening devices, and we were only told we could even use google+ 2-3 days before Christmas, so it was very short notice.
Ready to Skype, wrapped as a present

Then Thursday and Friday it was back to work! We went out and taught some people, did missionary stuff, ya know, the usual. We also got a new ward mission leader! His name is Hermano Galindo, and he's super cool. He's a great guy who really just wants to get to work, so I'm excited to work with him. Friday night (December 27th) was crazy....

Okay so we were going out with Hno Galindo for some visits, and we went by our investigator, who was on date for the 28th of December, but we hadn't seen him all week, and we still had to teach tithing. So we stopped by his house and we just straight up asked him "do you want to get baptized this Saturday (tomorrow)?" And he was like "yea! I do!" So we were kinda thrown back, but we were like, okay well we gotta talk about a few things. So we taught him the law of tithing, and went over the baptismal interview questions, and he passed! So we call up the Zone Leaders and ask them to do a baptismal interview right then (at this point it was 8pm on Friday night) and they were free! So we got the interview done and passed that night. Then Saturday, the next day, the day of his baptism, and we can't get ahold of him. He's not at home, and not picking up his phone. Finally, at
Merry Christmas MOM!!
5:30pm, 30 minutes before his baptism started, he answers and I go " Where are you? Your baptism starts in 30 minutes!" And he says "Oh. I'm at work, and I won't get off for 3 more hours." ........ My heart sank. I was just flabbergasted. So he didn't get baptized. The good news about this is that the baptism wasn't only for him, it was for the Zone Leaders, and the Sister missionaries in our district. So we actually still had 4 baptisms that night. The bad news was (other than our investigator missing his own baptism) is that President Toone, his kids and most of his grand kids were there! Talk about embarrassing. But we explained it all to him, and he said he understood. So yea. That was Saturday.

Then Sunday was pretty normal. We had our last meeting at 7am! For the past six months I have had church at 9am, which means I have meetings that start at either 6:30 or 7 every week. Which means I have to get up at either 5:40 or 6 depending on the Sunday This upcoming Sunday I will finally know what it's like to "sleep in till 6:30 on Sunday" and then we had dinner with Gicela who is a saint.

I love you all so much! It was so awesome to talk to you all on Christmas. I hope that you all liked what I sent, and that it was a wonderful Christmas. I can't wait to talk to you on Mother's Day! It'll be exciting. I love what I'm doing! I love being a missionary, and being a member of this church. Words cannot describe the happiness it brings to me, but especially the happiness it brings to men when someone else understands the gospel is even better. Love ya!

P.S. I got some more Christmas cards!

Nancy and Jason and family: first of all, happy birthday Jason. And second of all, congrats on the dog! Sounds like it's a keeper. I loved your Christmas card, thanks so much for sending it to me! So cool to see Alison and Ash and the twins. Glad all is well.

The Johnson's: all the boys were home! How exciting for you. Thank you so much for the card, it's so nice to hear that you're all doing so well! And that the move to Washington has been relatively easy and good for the family. We all miss you dearly (I think I can speak for the skyline ward, I mean my records are there haha)

The Fishers: I always love your card. It's always something amazing. Crazy that you went on so many awesome trips this year! Sorry to hear about the losses you had, but glad you're seeing things in a more positive light! It was awesome to hear from you, and I loved seeing the Christmas town picture on Facebook.