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 MontaƱa 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.