Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Answered Prayers and Priesthood Power

Family and Friends,

I love being a missionary!!!

I have been praying for new things to happen, been actually praying for miracles, and really just looking for Heavenly Fathers guidance. I have been making an extra effort to just do what I can. 

This week was crazy, we had a really great start on Monday, we had a member visit and an MPL with somebody who said she would be willing to accept baptism once she learns more. We are going to continue to meet with her for sure. Then, Tuesday came and every lesson fell through for the week until Thursday night. No big deal, because we were able to set another baptismal date, who is actually the son of the current baptismal date we already had. 

Their names are Megan and Derek. They are wonderful. Megan's back is pretty sore, she tore something (I think, they were using Chinese, something really bad happened) while gardening and she currently cannot walk or sit up for any period of time. She has been sleeping on the ground this entire week because it is the only thing that is hard surface enough for the healing to happen. Anyways, she was not able to go to church this week, and her son was at home taking care of her with his twin brother Jimmy. 

When we were writing the teaching record this Saturday night we thought of what we could write under the "Help wanted from the ward" category, we thought of a priesthood blessing but we didn't know if she would really understand what it was, because even though you teach about the priesthood, people don't really understand about it until they see it, she has only seen them bless the sacrament. We decided to write it down anyways. It was Priesthood council instead of ward council this week so we were not at the meeting, but our ward mission leader and the elders were giving the information in the meeting for us about our investigators. They mentioned about how she might need a blessing and the priesthood were so WILLING to help! 

We found two brothers that day at church to come to Megan's house that night to give her a blessing. But we still had to tell Megan that we were coming over, because we hadn't yet. So we called and she didn't want to inconvenience anybody, she did not want to make them come over and see her sick. We assured her that it would be fast and easy and that the reason why we have invited them over was because that we and they loved her and wanted to see her get better. She agreed to having them come over and so later that night we went over.

The veil was softened yesterday night. I felt like I was literally walking with God. The Spirit was SO STRONG. We asked the brethren to explain what they were going to do and why they needed the oil. We let the brethren explain what the priesthood was again so she could understand and have it fresh in her mind. They started with explaining to her that the blessing would be dependent on her faith, she was a little nervous about that, not knowing if it would be enough. The ordinance was performed and then we all started to cry in silence. 

Sister Chan and I shared our testimonies and it was incredible. We asked her how she felt, and she said that she was extremely more comfortable. ("bi jiao shufu" for my Chinese Speaking friends) It was a miracle.

Love Sister Allen

Monday, March 9, 2015

I'm teaching English!

I teach English class now! It has been very new and it is so exciting! I love teaching these people! They are people who come from China and move here with their kids and grand kids. Most of their families can speak English because they learn in school, but these people have not. This week they were all learning how to say "Hi, my name is ____" and "I am from China" some basic starters! They are great!

We start out with a prayer, and explain to them what prayer actually is. Once they know what prayer is and that it helped me learn Chinese this fast they are more willing. 

Because prayer has to do with God and religion, a couple of them have started calling us and wondering how to learn more about God! Wonderful! We are finding a lot of good success from it. 

The class really just helps. It helps us get excited to help others to learn, it helps the Chinese people learn English living in Canada, it helps people get into the church and it helps me just be happy.

It was such a blessing that we got to teach English this Friday! It really set up my day for some successful happiness. Stuff that you can't take away. I was so happy. Friday's plans changed like crazy. The only thing that stayed on schedule was the actual English class itself. 

We had three other lessons planned that day and a member for every single one of them locked in and ready to go. Every single investigator then called within minutes of the lesson and canceled. 

The great thing was, neither my companion or I freaked out or got upset. We knew that we were needed somewhere else at that time. We just stayed happy and did our best to have that good attitude. But we got better, we moved on with the day and found miracles. And we smiled all day, it is incredible how influential it is when you just choose to smile. 

That night, we were writing three things we were grateful that happened in our planners during daily planning. We both realized that because we had been so happy in English class that day and chose to smile throughout the day, things were good. 

We were both a lot more grateful for things even though every single appointment changed. We were so happy to be out on a mission and to be able to tell people that we were missionaries and that we became missionaries because we know that Jesus Christ was resurrected, and that God loves us so things were good! 

Anyways, I know that English class was a part of what I needed to have happen that day. I know that it really was a part of God's plan for that day so I could choose to be happy. 

So I could remember those big things that happened that can make a simple difference in my day. I know that God lives and that He loves me. I know that Jesus Christ was resurrected and that's why we want to go out and let people know that because He was resurrected we can be too! Being a missionary is so good.

Sister Allen

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A light turned on won't flicker or blow out

Dad was asking me a ton of questions when he emailed me this week. And one of them was who are our top investigators. I started thinking and the thoughts like "I wish I knew" were coming into my head and I started typing thinking that it was going to get better. 

I really am trying to lose myself and go to work. It has been one of my biggest concerns since I got my call, knowing that I would need to NOT worry about myself and just make sure I grow with my investigators. I have always been worried that I won't do enough.  I am trying to be a better example with Sister Chan, which isn't hard because she wants so badly to improve. 

I am studying Preach My Gospel like crazy and read my scriptures every morning with a question written down on a paper so I can help my companion and our investigators. I am pretty sure it is helping a ton! I see it making a difference in my efforts.

You can probably tell I am getting too locked up in the numbers, I am working on that. It is something my mom and dad have raised us up telling us that it is not about the numbers. They encouraged us all to serve missions. They served in Italy (neighboring missions) and my mom had one baptism her entire mission, my dad had four. They had to make sure they weren't caught up in the numbers, so I have been hearing stories like that all my life. I just need to remember that it really doesn't matter if I see people to the waters of baptism as long as I am being an effective missionary and bringing people unto Christ.

We currently have Megan Chen as our baptismal date, she has March 21st planned for a baptism. But she hasn't been to church for a while, so we've got to work on that. Also, her boys are very likely to be baptized when she does. Which would be great! She has finished reading the Book of Mormon and is reading it again to understand more. 

We also have Sabrina and her family. Sabrina had a baptismal date for February the 28th, she wasn't baptized but she came to church by her self yesterday! She doesn't have her license so she can't drive, but she found one of the people who come to church every week and got a ride! It was such a tender mercy for me to see that. And then one of our new investigators came to church. She did not make it in time for sacrament but brought her daughter to primary and went to Gospel Principles class with her husband. It was such a blessing to be there with them showing up. 

I went to church not knowing if any investigators were going to come, it didn't seem likely that any would, Heavenly Father definitely blessed me. Things are getting so good. 

Yesterday was my 5 month marker for my mission so far and my companion and I celebrated after getting back to the house. We were just going to have hot chocolate but she gave me a gift. She told me to close my eyes, so it could be a surprise. 

She gave me a plastic candle, the kind that take batteries. She said that even if it gets dim for a couple seconds, it can't ever be turned off unless we let it.

I thought it was a really cool analogy. It might not smell like a normal candle, but it wouldn't ever flicker on and off. It would always be on. I liked that because no wind would be able to blow it out. Then she related it to me which was sweet. She said that no wind can blow me out as long as I am working on keeping the light turned on. All I have to do is those easy steps like reading scriptures and going to church and really praying. Heavenly Father makes it so easy for us to have that light! I am so excited to go keep working. Things can only get better! Not that they are currently bad, but things can really only get better. I just have to keep my light turned on.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I'm Training Someone From Hong Kong!

So my week has been insane!

I started off by saying goodbye to my trainer on Sunday/Monday because she was going off with another missionary to visit all of their converts together. So even though she didn't leave till Wednesday, she was gone. 

That was hard, but at the same time I knew she had done her best to train me to the point that I was ready to take over the area. I felt pretty good about it. 

Then President Burt told me that night that I would be training. Crazy! I knew exactly who it would be because there was only one Chinese speaker coming in. Awesome! I was pretty much jumping around all over the place after he told me. Then I realized I was training, boy did I hit my knees real hard. Crazy.

Tuesday, my new companion was not in the country yet so I was with another companion for a bit. She was good and while we were there, her sister training leaders came over to help clean the apartment and get it ready for her new companion. We found some pretty nasty things in the 72 hour kit. That is a sandwich from who knows how long ago. 

That night we went back to my area for ward coordination meeting, and then had a surprise lesson with one of our investigators while we were up in White Rock. It was good. The bishopric is trying to see her more now too, it is pretty cool to see everybody trying to get involved!

Wednesday I was helping with transfers. Being in the lower mainland I got to help with transfers all morning, till they were done. Then I went to a new area for the night till the next day when my companion would be in the country. 

Thursday, got caught up in traffic so we barely made it to the transfer meeting in time to meet our new companions. But we got there! Since then we have been working hard. She is always looking about always improving, a skill I could learn form her. She is awesome! I love her tons! things are good.

I have just been working on my prayers a ton lately, and when I found out that I would be training, I really found reason to personalize my prayers, they are a lot less robotic now, it is good.

Also, just a side note, March 1 is my 5 month marker on my mission! Ahh! It is going so fast!

Sister Allen

Monday, February 16, 2015

Chinese New Year

Kane was baptized! He is now a part of the White Rock Ward and loves it. He cut off his hair, shaved his beard, and took out his gages, without anybody telling him to! He said if he was going to join the church he wasn't just going part way, crazy, it was awesome. He surprised all the missionaries when he said his roommate wants to baptized too! He now has a date, the elders are teaching him because they teach in English, but things are going well! His roommate got to see him baptized and confirmed, he was bummed when he couldn't go up to stand in the Priesthood circle to give Kane the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was really great.

The Chinese New Year party was this weekend! Miracles just kept happening one after another! We did not have a ton of Church members present at lessons this week. But we were able to be with our investigators all week, they were not able to meet for an actual lesson, but they were all helping out in the kitchen and with the performances for the Chinese New Year party. 

So we went to them. We were able to talk to every one of our investigators this week as they volunteered their time and talents. We had some of our performances come from the connections with the investigators and because some were so willing to be a part of this big party, they were willing to perform for free. We had some investigators bring their friends to show others that our church is not a cult. 

We had a lot of people come to church the next day and talk about what a great experience it was for their friends to come and get involved, they aren't even baptized yet! And here they are doing the missionary work! The members also asked us to do a performance, so we danced a traditional Chinese dance with the bishopric as the Lions. It was awesome! We had over 500 people come to the party and maybe half of them were members. All but 2 people in the kitchen (of the ten) were investigators! It was a huge miracle. Awesome.

The next day we had church and I cried a little during the sacrament. I loved seeing all of those 12 year old boys that I have gotten to know the families of over these past couple weeks. I didn't realize how important it was for the young men to be passing the sacrament until yesterday. A lot of those young boys have tried to stay worthy so they can pass the sacrament. And then all of us in the ward doing our best to partake of the sacrament too is just such a miracle. I didn't realize how incredible it is that we really are all of God's sheep, we are His heard. He gives us the sacrament so we can keep going, and has his little sheep, lambs, do it. To help us remember we need to be the teachable ones, we need to be childlike and listen. 

I love how this is the year of the sheep and we are referred to as Christ's flock all the time, I especially love that we have a Shepard, guiding and showing us the way. I love this Gospel! Goodness, God is so good.

Monday, February 9, 2015

I Didn't Realize Missions Go This Fast

My companion is going home pretty soon. At the end of this transfer my Sister Dahl is heading back to Arizona. Today we will be going on rounds of meeting a couple of her recent converts before she goes home.

I got to see the complete two opposite ends of the mission in just four months of the mission. I got to be with my district in the MTC all learning together and figuring out how to even learn Chinese much less learning how to teach or contact. We learned that stuff too, but we were all beginning. 

I did not realize how much I would be speaking English in Canada and that I would need to learn how to get to know people in more than one language. I learned a lot with my MTC district. We were all beginners. 

Then, I saw a completely different spectrum. My trainer was going home soon. I get to go through a lot of the emotions with her and it was completely different from what I had expected. I thought she would run so hard to the end, and she has, but there have been sad days, some incredible days, some days where she really realizes she is going home and those days are roller-coasters. 

I am so grateful for how crazy in tune with the spirit our mission presidents are. Giving us companions we work with from the beginning to the end of each transfer, trying to build more unity. We just keep going. It is so good that we have a companion the mission President was inspired to put us with 24-7, because I don't know how else we could do this work. We have so much responsibility and so much encouragement at the same time! God is a genius. No surprise there! I have only had two companions, but I have learned so much with both of them. I can't wait to see how much I learn with the next one! 

I have already been serving a mission for 4 months and this last transfer has quite literally flown by! We didn't have any baptisms but we have been teaching so much! We have been teaching our investigators, our less active members, our recent converts, and it makes it so easy to sleep at night. I cannot think of a single night this week where we haven't gone to sleep as soon as we could after filling out records and planning. 

I love being a missionary!

Love Sister Alyssa Allen

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

We Found the Border!!

Our ward is literally to the Canadian and US Border. So we we really wanted to find a reason to go down there. But, we actually needed a reason. Trying to keep to our duties as missionaries, we thought we would just let it happen. But, we were really, really, really wanted to go. Eventually, we actually got a referral in the area. We were going to "knock into him" because the person who gave the referral was a little iffy about letting this person know who thought it was a good idea to see him. We were a little bumed about that, but hey, we were going to the border! 

Well, we knocked into him and he was not interested at all. But he was very nice at the door and had just moved here form China a couple weeks ago. He was actually pretty cool! Nice guy. and hey, we made it to the border! 

That picture is of my companion while we were driving away, realizing we had not yet taken a picture. Cool. 

Moving forward.

We had an exchange this week and I got to go with another newbie in the field. We were both in our second transfer out and we got to see a lot of miracles:

1. I can use my Chinese on the streets now without the support of my companion (English exchange in an area full of Chinese people)

2. We got to invite tons of people to church and had more quality gospel conversations than I have ever had on the street before.

3. The other side of the transfer was also good, my companion and the missionary with her found a man named Kane.

Kane is a miracle.

Kane, was found on the street. He is a video game skinner and has traveled the world because of it. He is only 23. When he lived in Italy, he lived right next to an LDS church. He went a couple times but never thought anything too much of it because there are tons of churches in Italy. When he came back home to White Rock, he felt he should start going to church again. He was thinking of our church, but didn't know where to find one. He ended up finding himself walking down this street that has a bunch of shops, and he ran into my companion. They talked and she felt he was pretty promising without knowing any of this. 

He was taught a lesson right then and there. I then got to meet Kane the next day. We exchanged back, and we were teaching him the Restoration and about the Book of Mormon. He committed to reading the Book of Mormon, coming to church, dressing in slacks and a tie at church, meeting with the Elders (we aren't allowed to do more than a follow up lesson with English speakers, he speaks English), he was already living the word of wisdom, and now has a baptismal date for February the 14. And we have the Ward Chinese New Year party right after the baptism! 

Seriously, quite the miracle!

Things are good here in White Rock. 

Love Sister Allen

PS> the other picture is of a recent convert. Sean. He is 18, and always carpools with some of the oldest people in the ward. They are adorable together, we always have waffles and a recent convert lesson every Sunday at 2. Their whole situation is just adorable. 

I also received a special email from Alyssa this week. She took a picture of her desk. When I look at it I can see her studying, laughing, working hard. It is a glimpse into her daily life and I love it!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dishwashers, I thought I Knew How to Work Them

We had a little casualty the other day....This is one of very few dishwashers in the mission homes in my mission. I had been on a transfer in this house prior to our moving in, and thought it was weird that the sisters used it more for a drying rack. I thought; "we are going to use this dishwasher when i move here." Well, I moved here, and we used it.

We thought it would be great to start it up before we left to do the things of our normal P-day. We didn't get around to it till later, but still planned on using it. We ended up using it as a complete last minute thought, totally rushed and not thinking very straight. I ended up putting in the wrong kind of dish soap....oops! We looked over after even a couple of minutes and it was flooding with bubbles! My bad. We ended up having to do more cleaning up when we thought we were getting the easy way out. Lesson learned! Follow the way you were taught, things will be better. 

Super short message this week, but it was one that helped me throughout the week as I applied it to the work. Not everything is going to be super easy. Not every investigator is going to be super prepared, not every door approach is going to be perfect, not every lesson will be as strong as the other without the work you put into it. My investigators can be better prepared if I put in that work I can to help them. My door approaches can be better if I work on improving. The lessons can be better than the last ones if I continue to do my best at keeping the Holy Ghost involved and really guide each lesson. Sometimes it is harder than others, but if I do it the way that I was taught, follow what my mission president says, follow Preach My Gospel, I can do it. It's all about following the Lord's will, how He wants you to do it. 

Sister Allen

PS>the other picture is how we filled up the font that last baptism!


We have been to a couple Chinese restaurants in these past couple days. We find things like this in almost every single one of them. 

Cats. They just love cats, and have them all over.

Little Chinese guys, they are just all over the place. In and out of the restaurants. You find little Chinese guys everywhere!

Monday, January 12, 2015

How to Fill Up the Baptismal Font.....

There was a baptism last night! Sister Dahl had previously taught somebody in another area and we got permission to go to the baptism!

We got to the church, and went immediately to get her baptismal dress, she had been waiting a little while. The baptismal clothing closet is in the same room as the baptismal font itself. When we went to get her things, we realized, the font had not been started...So we turned it on right then and there. Her baptism was supposed to start in about 30 minutes...the font takes about 2 to 3 hours to fill up. Problem number one.

As soon as we find out, the assistants and other elders are around the corner, freaking out that it won't be filled up fast enough. Soon they get the idea to boil water and dump it in. To the kitchen! They had coolers, buckets, pitchers, pots, anything they could think of that could hold water. All teh Elders chipped in, and a couple of the primary kids too. Every which thing was happening to help this baptism happen on time! Quickly we realized that the water wasn't really going anywhere...not a whole lot of progress was being made. Well, the plug had no seal to keep the water in. Problem number two.

Apparently nobody had been baptized in this building for quite some time becasue nobody, had any idea this would happen. Problem number three, not enough people getting baptized.

We ended up using plastic bags and surran wrap for the seal on the plug...didn't hold too well, but it got the job done! We then decided, to eat all theood from the potluck while the water filled up. We just went a little backward for this, no biggie, everything still happened.

After about an hour of eating and various people taking turns to fill up the tank with anything they could, we were able to go on with the ordinance.
Sister Wang was so excited! She barely waited for the words to be said, she was about to just go under water, got about half way before she realized that the words had not been said yet...no worries! She ended up getting baptized! Miracles!
After the baptism all the missionaries were able to sing the song "Families Can Be Together Forever" in Mandarin. We had 10 missionaries sing. The spirit was so strong. Something really special about this sister is that her 10 year old son was baptized just in June, she has been preparing herself and trying her best to really know the doctine before she was baptized. You could tell she wanted it. Every missionary singing was holding back tears, we all could feel the spirit so strongly. We could all feel the words of the song really coming to life. It was probably the most beautiful part of my mission so far. And what was even better, you could literally see the difference in the person. She quite literally looked as if she was glowing. Just tells you something about the Holy Ghost. I love being a missionary.
Sister Allen

A note from Alyssa to her mom:

Different news, guess where I live now! That's right, I got transferred! I live in White Rock! Which is the closest city to the ocean, we could very easily go walk on the beach every day while tracting. And! It is the closest city to the border! I am just about as close to the American Canadian border that I am going to get. I am still with my trainer, We completely white-washed this area. The elders too, new elders, new sisters, and even a new ward mission leader! President Burt said he doesn't know why, but that he knew it was needed. When we went to ward council yesterday (thankful I didn't fall asleep, it was early) somebody in the Bishopric, somebody who has lived here all his life, said he knew exactly why and that it was needed soon. It was so good! Mom! I love White Rock! I mean I really liked Richmond, and I loved the members there, but I absolutely love White Rock. Those pictures I sent last week. is exactly what it looks like here, like Monterey almost. I love it!

White Rock isn't a Chinese ward! My companion and I have to translate for the Chinese members! I haven't translated yet, but one day I will. Mom, it was crazy. All the Chinese people here are mostly investigators and they are all friends, they all just need somebody to push them or even just one and then all the others will follow. That's why we are here, helping them reach that eternal salvational step.

Things are good here mom. I do not have an address for you, but I do have a town. You can look it up, and look up White Rock Beach, you'll have a great idea of where I live.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year
Things are going pretty good! We saw a ton of miracles this week!

Planning day was changed over to New Years Eve night so we as missionaries would not come in contact with any unfortunate happenings. About half way through planning we had this lovely idea to get pizza. We ordered in after getting permission, yum!

We also got to meet with a former investigator who dropped off the map for a month and a half. He is struggling a little bit, but wants to get baptised and is trying to find when will be the best time!

We also had a feeling to go see this member that the relief society president has been telling us to meet with. We have been trying for weeks to meet with this member! She is so busy! We finally decided to just drop by, my companion had a feeling we should see if she was home. Turns out, late notice works really well for her. She fed us chicken feet and let us share a message, the message the relief society president wanted us to share. It was great! She is the one who said I sound like a German when I speak Chinese. Who would have guessed it?! Though she said my companion has a very American accent, somehow I have a German Accent. When I mentioned it to the other Chinese sisters, they agreed. Crazy. Also, crazy fact, chicken feet is some super yummy BBQ right there!

Our relief society president invited us to dinner the day of New years. She is pretty much the best member ever. She was the only member family there, and there were probably about 6 or 7 different families! It was so great! She also fed us chicken feet, and a bunch of other Chinese traditional foods. All super delicious, though the duck neck was pretty spicy. Anyways, the "party" was great! We got to talk with so many people! Nobody wanted to come to church, but we had a good feeling about a couple of them that we will be meeting again some time soon. I love this sister! She is the best!

Our area is improving. We are finding more investigators and things are coming along. We had five investigators at church yesterday! We went from two weeks without any at church, to two people at church, to three, and now we are up to five! And the two that were there three weeks ago, are still coming faithfully! I am so glad. They are two friends. They grew up together in China and moved here with their kids. Vivian has a son, who made her buy a suit and makes her wear a dress to church. Selina has a daughter who she is trying to get to church but she isn't very interested yet. That is okay though, and one was already a Christian, so she asks some pretty hard questions that I don't have the vocabulary for to even understand what she is asking. But Selina was not Christian before, she has no back round of anything, so I really get to help her learn and I get to learn with her because the more you teach the more you learn at the same time. I even got to describe fasting to her yesterday! It was great! 

Love Sister Allen

Sydney Allen

Sydney Allen
Where are we off to now daddy??

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