Monday, November 14, 2016

November 7, 2016 - Becoming Like Christ

What an amazing week!!!! I hope I have enough time to write about it all, because it truly was incredible! :)

First, for Halloween we were told to come home early and stay at home because it was too dangerous to be out, so we came home and decided to blast the AC in our bedroom and make it super cold and wear sweats and make hot chocolate so that it felt like winter and Halloween back home. It was super fun. :) haha :) 

And then, J. is such a huge miracle!!!! We taught her the Word of Wisdom this week and she is super addicted to coffee so she was super nervous when we first taught it and almost cried when she handed us the coffee she had, but after a couple days and lots of encouragement, she found the strength to do it and as of right now she's coffee free! She also went with us to a baptism this saturday and she loved it and is super excited for her baptism this week! We're sooo excited!!!! :) 

Also, we met so many people this week that are super interested and that want to be baptized! We met someone named Lily and we invited her to be baptized in the first lesson and she was so excited and said yes! When we left we left her with a chapter in the Book of Mormon to read and the next day she texted us and said she read it and wanted us to give her another chapter to read. She is wonderful and so prepared!

Then on Saturday we had a ward service project doing yard work for a Nursing Home. It was so fun being with the members! I just love them so so very much!!! 

And to answer your questions...... here it usually downpours for like 30 min just about every day now. But sometimes it's only sprinkling.... it just depends on the week I suppose. :) Also, when Puerto Ricans go on vacation (which is very rare) they usually go to Florida, but if you're a member, you usually go to Utah. 

Thank you soooooooooooooooooooo much for signing me up for classes!!! You are wonderful!!! Thank you!!!! The schedule looks great! Thank you so much! 

I read something this week that I absolutely fell in love with. It's an article called "The Perfect Lie". A lot of times we have this idea in mind: Me+More=Christ-like. But really, that's what Satan wants us to believe. It's a trap. It's only going to lead us to disappoinment and failure. But if we change it a little bit, we have what it's supposed to be: Me+Christ=More. Yes our goal is to become more Christ-like, but He doesn't expect us to do it alone. He will be with us every step of the way and we will be able to accomplish so much more with Him then we ever could alone. I know that with Christ, we can be so much more and we can reach our full potential. 

I love you all so so very much and hope you have an absolutely wonderful week!!! LOVE YOU!!!!! :) 

~Hermana Allan

October 31, 2016 - Mis Queridos Boricuas

Delicious desserts!

Hello family!!!! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!! Halloween basically doesn't exist here, but I hope you're all enjoying it on that side of the world. :) This week was SOOO good. It was absolutely incredible and I am blown away every day by this remarkable opportunity I've been given to be a missionary. I'm so very grateful for this past year and a half. It's been the most beautiful experience in the world! :) This week we got to clean quite a few windows for the members. It was so much fun being able to spend that time with them and get to know them better. I love these Boricuas so so very much! 

Then, we've been teaching this lady named J.  But she is amazing! She is progressing so much and she came to a ward activity we had on Saturday and then she came to church on Sunday and she loved it all! She's super excited for her baptism on the 12th and we are too! :) And mom, I think you asked about her fear to come to church. It's more of a fear of commitment and failure. All Puerto Ricans have it. They don't want to fail in the future so they don't bother making the commitment now. But we've been working with her on this and I think she's overcoming it, so it's all good! :) 

On Saturday, we had a dessert night with the ward and it was so much fun! There are quite some delicious desserts here in Puerto Rico! But I think I might have diabetes now..... :) As we were setting up for the activity, a member came up to me and asked "Are you ready-?!" Thinking of the activity I said, "Yeah! Of course!" And then she said "-ready to go home!" It was super funny but kind of a reality check too. I can't believe November has come so stinking fast! It's absolutely crazy... But the members are all so great and ever since they found out I'm leaving soon, they've been buying Puerto Rico souvenirs for me. It's the sweetest thing in the world. I love them so much. 

Then, we had a zone activity today! We went to a park and played soccer and frisbee and some other sports and then ate pizza. It was super fun until it started pouring rain..... but it was super fun! :)

I don't really have a specific spiritual experience to share this week, but just all this week I've been so full of gratitude for this gospel and all the blessings we have because of it. I'm so grateful for our Father in Heaven who loves us and cares about us and has sent us His son Jesus Christ to make it possible for us to return to Him. This truly is the true church and the only place where we can find the authority of God and the fulness of the gospel. I'm so grateful that I've been born into the covenant and that I've been blessed with such wonderful parents who have raised me in this gospel and an incredible family who love and support me and have helped me become who I am today. 

I love you guys so so very much and hope you have an absolutely wonderful week!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!! :)

~Hermana Allan

October 24, 2016 - The Atonement and Missionary Work

Hello family!!! I love you all so much!!!! 

But..... this week was really good! We had zone meeting on Tuesday and we taught the Atonement and introduced new Standards of Excellence. It was such a powerful meeting. The Atonement is absolutely incredible and I'm so grateful for how much it helps us and enables us in our lives. I learned that the key to being an powerful missionary is having a fuerte understanding and testimony of the Atonement. If we truly understand the Atonement, we'll become truly converted to Christ and the sign of true conversion is the desire to share the gospel with everyone. So if we strengthen our testimony of the Atonement we will have the desire to bring his truth to every one of our brothers and sisters. It was such a wonderful meeting and the spirit was so strong! 

Also, we're teaching this lady named J. and she is wonderful! She accepted to be baptized on the 12th of November and she is always so excited to learn more and prepare for her baptism! The only thing is that she has a fear of going to church, so we're working on that one, but other than that she is progressing so much and changing each and every day as she applies the gospel in her life! 

I also had one of the best intercambios ever this week! I was with Hna. Guevara from Mexico and she is such a powerful missionary! She started her mission in Mexico for 3 transfers waiting for her visa and then has been here in Puerto Rico for 3 weeks. I learned so much from her! She was telling me about how hard the adjustment has been because in Mexico, they have baptisms just about every week, but here... it's a lot different. But she taught me a really cool lesson. She said that it doesn't matter that we contact 100 people who reject us while Mexico is contacting 100 people who get baptized, because we're all on the same team and all working towards the same goal. Those 100 contacts in Mexico have the same value as the 100 contacts we have here. We're all working in the vineyard of the Lord and maybe the people here aren't choosing to be baptized, but we are still doing our job of bringing the gospel to them and giving them the opportunity to accept it. Sometimes I feel a little frustrated that some of my friends are having tons of baptisms while I'm not, but then I realized, it's true. We are all on the same team. And I'm so super happy that people in other countries are changing their lives and choosing to repent and be baptized. And I'm going to keep working hard here in Puerto Rico so that hopefully I can find some that will also choose to repent and be baptized. 

Also on the intercambio, we went to an appointment at night but it fell through and the person wasn't home and I wasn't sure what we should do because it was too late to go very far, but I felt like I had already talked to just about everyone in the area we were in, but we prayed and felt like we needed to stay close so we started walking and we found a family who had just moved there about a week ago and they are super religious and super interested in the church! It was such a huge miracle! The Lord is preparing people and He will lead us to them if we let Him.

Sunday was super powerful as well. I had the opportunity to do a musical number on the piano and then we had an investigator in church and the classes were so inspired and so amazing! The investigator in church was Caroline. She was the elders' investigator but they recently passed her over to us so we've been working with her and she's progressing a lot! We're hoping that she'll be baptized this Saturday, so please pray for her so that everything goes well and that she can be baptized! :)

Thanks for all of the pictures and for all of your love and support!!!! I love you all so so very much and hope you have a wonderful week!!!

~Hermana Allan

October 17, 2016 - He Knows Us

With a previous companion, Hermana Melgar

Hello family!!!! Wow, this week was full of fire! We found new people like crazy! It really was so incredible how many times we were lead right to people who needed us in that very moment and that have been so prepared to receive the góspel. We met this one lady named J. and she really has been through so much in her life. She's passed through some super difficult trials but is so willing to turn to the Lord and keep pushing forward. Our lessons with her have been so full of the Spirit and I think for the first time she's finally recognizing how much the Lord loves her. It's been incredible and I can't wait till she can be baptized and receive the fulness of the góspel.

Also, on Wednesday, we had MLC and it was absolutely wonderful. I learned so much! We first started talking about our studies and how to make them more effective and something I learned is that like it says in the scriptures we have to be agents and act and not wait to be acted upon so when we study we need to take a question into the scriptures. A lot of times we read the scriptures hoping that something will stick out to us or some sort of revelation will come, but it doesn't work that way. We have to take a question into the scriptures to be able to find new things and receive new revelation. I've made it a more conscious goal to have a question in mind during every study and wow, pero wow. My studies have changed so much and I just love them even more than before! If we truly seek inspiration and revelation and act as agents, we'll find what we're looking for and the mysteries of God will be revealed to us.

Also we talked a lot about the Atonement and I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The changes I've been able to see in my own life and the lives of others are absolutely incredible and I know that it is only posible through our Savior, Jesus Christ. Through Him, nothing is imposible. We can change. We can improve. We can become more like Him. There is nothing we can't do when we have our faith and trust in Him. In the end, the ultimate goal is to be more like our Savior. At the judgment day we won't be judged with a list of all the good and bad we did in life, but we'll be judged for how Christ-like we've become and how much we've dedicated our lives to Him. And it's only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we can become more Christ-like and become who He wants us to be.

Thank you for sending my byu information! I'm going to attempt to figure out my clases so that it'll all be ready for registration for you guys. Thanks so much for doing it! :) 

Thank you and dad so much for your spiritual thoughts!!! I love you guys!

I love you all so so very much and hope you have an absolutely wonderful week!!!!

~Hermana Allan

Saturday, October 8, 2016

October 3 2016 - Divine Love and True Joy


Intercambio with Hermana Larsen
Hello family!!! This week was pretty good! We had some cool experiences finding people this week. One day, we had this impression to contact in an area super close to our house. We yelled "Buenas Tardes" at one house and woman came out and just started saying "Could this be? How is this happening? Is it a sign from God?" We were so confused as she immediately invited us in and when we entered and turned the corner, we saw that the elders were there too! They had also been contacting there and had found her and found out that she was a less active of several years. She was in shock that both the elders and us had been sent to her house that day. She said that God must have a purpose for her and this was His way of showing her that. It was incredible! We actually aren't supposed to be in the same house as the elders so it was a bit awkward at first as we tried to leave, but I don't think she really noticed and I think she was truly impacted by the double visits so hopefully she comes back to church! :) The Lord truly wants to bless His children and He will lead us to them so that we may help them. 

Also, we found someone who had been listening to the missionaries several months ago and immediately she started telling us that she didn't want to get baptized and she wasn't going to change, etc. But we were persistent and we shared a spiritual thought with her and then asked her if she had prayed about this message. She thought about it for a second and said, "actually no, I haven't prayed about it. But I guess if I did, maybe God would tell me to get baptized huh?" So she committed to praying about it and give it a second chance. That almost never happens! It was such a cool experience and I know that the Spirit will touch her heart and she will know that this is the truth. 

If you find out the date of BYU registration could you let me know? I know I set things up before the mission but I'm having second thoughts so I think I'm going to ask permission to look at my classes and figure things out but I need to do it before registration opens, so if you could let me know that would be great! 

We had transfer calls yesterday! And I'm staying here in Guayama with Hna. Keith!!!!! :) I'm super excited to be able to finish up here. And I'm super excited to have three transfers with Hna. Keith. She is an awesome missionary and I just love being companions with her! This next transfer is going to be the best transfer ever! :) 

WASN'T CONFERENCE JUST SOOOO GOOD?! :) Wow, pero wow. It was so powerful and so inspired. I wish I had time to share everything with you guys but I'll share a few of my favorites. First of all, the entire Saturday afternoon session was incredible. Anything about missionary work has just been a really sensitive/emotional topic for me lately and that entire session was basically dedicated to missionary work through the talks and the missionary choir and everything. It was incredible. I LOVE being a missionary. I loved Elder D. Todd Christofferson's talk about the divine love of God. He truly does love each and every one of us and I've felt God's love for me and for so many people here in Puerto Rico and it's the most beautiful thing in the world. It truly is infinite and unconditional and eternal. It's the greatest gift of God. Through this love, He can see and know of our potential and He will empower us to reach that potential. God loves you. He loves us all and He will reach out to us and bring us back home if we let Him. 

I also loved Elder Dallin H. Oaks' talk about missionary work. (claro! :)). I liked two things in specific that he said. 1- "What is more joyful than sharing God's truth with God's children?" And after being a missionary, I can say without a doubt, there is nothing more joyful than sharing the gospel with everyone. 2- Our participation in missionary work is a reflection of our testimony of the gospel and of Christ and our love for the Savior. If we truly love our Savior and have a testimony of this gospel, we will have this desire to share this joy with everyone. And that brings me to the next talk I loved by President Russell M. Nelson about joy. "Joy is intentionally trying to live a righteous life." This gospel brings us true joy. We should strive to be joyful at all times as if there were a sign over us saying "I have found true joy. Want to know how?" Others will be able to recognize our joy and will want to know what makes us so joyful- opening the doors to missionary opportunities. No matter how difficult life gets, there is always something to be joyful about. We have the fulness of the gospel through the restoration of the church of God. This is something to be joyful about. We know that we are children of God and that He loves us and that we have the divine potential to become like Him. This is something to be joyful about. This gospel is joyful and in Christ we will find joy.

I love you all so very much and am always so grateful to hear from you each and every week!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!! :)

~Hermana Allan

September 26, 2016 - Refuge from the Storm

On splits

Sisters Activity

In Humacao

Loving her mission

Hello family! So sorry that I couldn't email you all yesterday but thank you for being so fiel and emailing me every week! I love you all so so very much!!!! :)

So this week was very good/interesting. First, last Monday Hna. Keith and I took a little companion date to Humacao to find a spot for a sisters activity. It was so super fun and truly I'm in awe at the beauty of the world. Everything is just absolutely gorgeous and I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here on this beautiful island! 

This week we found such an awesome family! The family T. is a family of 5 (mom and 4 kids) and they are all so interested in learning about the gospel and they all accepted to be baptized on the 22nd of Oct! Only one of them was able to come to church on Sunday, but really they are just so amazing and so prepared! It's been a huge miracle being able to know them and teach them. Please pray for them! :)

Also, you probably heard about the major power outage here. Luckily for us, we were only without power one day, but there are some areas that didn't have power or water for several days! But the Lord truly blessed and protected us that night without power. Everything was super pitch black, because the street lights weren't working but we kept on working. We planned to go to a specific area to contact and find new people but before we got there, we were passing one of our investigators (an old lady) and right as we were passing she was walking down a driveway and she slipped and slammed her head on the ground and was in a lot of pain. So we ran over to help and spent the rest of the night helping her out and we ended up having to call the ambulance to come get her. It was super crazy, but later we found out that it was a huge blessing! We heard that some people took advantage of the power being out and there was a shooting in the area where we had planned to be. If we hadn't been with that lady, and we had kept going to that specified area, who knows what may have happened? The Lord was truly watching over us and I'm so grateful for His love and guidance. But then the next day our power came back, so everything is good now. :)

Also, one of our investigators already has her Christmas tree up! Crazy, huh?! But also, Women's conference was SOOOOO good! I loved it so much! I absolutely loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk and Sister Oscarson's talk. They were incredible. I'm a bit short of time so I can't share very much, but I'll share more next week. :)

Then we had our sister activity yesterday, and it was super fun! I love being surrounded by so many wonderful people. They are such great examples to me and I love them so much! :)

Mom- thank you for your email! I loved the thoughts that you shared! And poor Amelia... :( Tell her I love her lots! 

Dad- thank you as well for your email! What you shared was perfect and I learned a lot. Thank you! Did you get your denture cleanser? :)

I love you all so much and wish I had more time, but next week will be better! Have an absolutely fantastic week!!!! :)

~Hermana Allan

September 19, 2016 - Truly Converted

Members from Aguas Buenas


Deep cleaning - before.....

Hello family!!!! I love you all so very much. I'm so grateful for each and every one of you and I hope you know how much I love you!

This week was really good! We've seen so many miracles and received so many blessings and I'm just so overwhelmed with gratitude for all the Lord has done and is doing for us. It's incredible. First, on Tuesday we had zone meeting! It was wonderful because we taught about something that I absolutely love- Personal Revelation. I absolutely love the definition of Personal Revelation in the Bible Dictionary. Revelation is absolutely essential and I'm so grateful that through the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ we have this miraculous blessing of people able to communicate with our Father in Heaven and receive His guidance in our lives. 

We've been teaching a less active named Y. and I don't think I've seen a bigger change in anyone else. When we first met her she was so critical and negative and said she didn't believe in God and didn't want anything to do with religion and she was constantly swearing and saying horrible things about her family members and basically just hating life. But this week we went and visited her and the change was so incredibly huge! She listened attentively as we read 3 Nephi 11 with her and she offered to say the prayer and she told us that she believes in God and that she loves us and is grateful for our help in bringing the love of God into her home and she doesn't complain or criticize anymore and she told us she's going to start coming back to church every week! It's incredible what the Atonement of Jesus Christ can do. It was hilarious though because as we were reading about Christ's appearance in the Americas, we paused for a second and looked up at her and she had this huge smile on her face and said "He came to destroy didn't he?" It was the funniest thing! But don't worry, we cleared that one up. :)

Also, we had stake conference this weekend! It was so good and I got to see the members from Aguas Buenas again! It was wonderful. I learned so much from the talks given and one that I especially liked was about true conversion. He said if we are truly converted, we fear God more than man and we keep the commandments not because we should do it, but because we WANT to do it. It reminded me of a scripture in 3 Nephi 6:14. The Lamanites were truly converted and were "willing with all diligence" to do what is right and keep the commandments. True conversion is a process and comes with time but it's completely possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He also said that conversion is the result of revelation and repentance. I thought that was really interesting as well and clearly explains that it's our choice. If we want to be converted we have to repent and we have to be worthily seeking revelation. If we do, our testimonies will grow and we'll be firm in the faith. 

How fun to have a little birthday getaway! I sent a package... I hope it gets there soon! :) But I'm so glad that it was a good day! I love you all so much and good luck, Heidi at homecoming!!! Have a wonderful week!!!!

~Hermana Allan