Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December 21, 2015

Hermana Human saving the day and taking the burning frying pan outside

The after effects of the fire

charred cabinets, but it all came off with a good cleaning

Hermana Allan and Melgar

Christmas dinner with the President Boucher and his wife

The whole zone
Hello familia! Wow, this week has been a blur but in the best way possible! :) With this new transfer, Hermana Melgar and I set some pretty hefty goals so we've been working like crazy to reach them and we've seen so many miracles and so many good things happening here in Cabo Rojo!

First of all, Monday was the last pday for Hermana Human so Hermana Melgar decided to do a little "farewell gift" and make us Honduranian empenadas. So while she was cooking, I was sleeping, and Hermana Human was putting on a facial cucumber mask. I was woken up by a super loud "BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! FIRE! EVACUATE!" I ran into the kitchen to see Hermana Melgar holding a frying pan with a giant flame shooting out of it. She was just putting it in the sink and threw water on it and of course that made it bigger. So she dropped it in the sink while we frantically tried figuring out what to do. Hermana Human eventually picked it up and stuck it out on our balcony where it eventually went away. And we were left inside with a ton of black smoke and charred cabinets and melted soap and tupperware..... It was pretty exciting. Eventually we were able to clean everything up so you can't even tell now that anything happened. It wasn't the best way to wake up from a nap, but it was a pretty interesting farewell for Hermana Human. :)

Then, we dropped off Hermana Human on Tuesday. It was weird this week with only one companion, but it's nice at the same time.

Also, K. and H. weren't baptized but it's for a good cause! C. (the husband) wants to baptize them but he has to work through some things with the Bishop first so once he's ready, they're ready! He's hoping to be ready by the 2nd of January so we're keeping our fingers crossed!

There's a 16 year old girl that's been coming to church for months now and I thought she was a member but we found out this week that she is an investigator and no one has been teaching her or anything! We were shocked when we found out so immediately we set an appointment with her and she said that she's been wanting to get baptized but that she just didn't know how to tell people that. So now we're preparing her for the 16th of January to be baptized! She's super awesome! :)

The elders here in Cabo Rojo found a less active that just moved here and ever since they found her, she's been coming to church! And we talked with her and she wants her two little girls to be baptized so now we're teaching them as well and I know they'll get baptized!

We had a Christmas activity in Cabo Rojo 2 which was super fun! It was a bit weird because Hermana Human was there with her family and it was weird seeing her not as a missionary.... but it was fun at the same time. :)

Then, on Sunday we had Christmas dinner with the Bouchers! It's three hours from here to San Juan so we had a nice little road trip driving through Puerto Rico! I love road trips, but I must say, it's a lot funner when you're the passenger...But it was still fun to drive because I've missed driving so much. :)

And I finally received the Advent calendar! It wasn't really melted at all and tastes great! Thanks so much! Also, I received the other two packages! Thanks! Also, I don't know if you already sent one or not and I feel bad asking for something more from you guys, but if you haven't already would you mind sending a Christmas package for Hermana Melgar? I feel bad because she can't receive packages from her family.... It doesn't have to be anything big but just something small would be nice if you guys don't mind doing it. And it's ok if it arrives late, it's the thought that counts right? :) She likes Reeces and peanut butter and needs a new journal or a watch (not expensive) or.... something like that. She likes surprises so maybe you could throw one in there somehow. Thanks so much!

I'm so excited to skype! I'll be skyping around 3 oclock here so I think that's like noon in Utah. And I have only 45 minutes so write down what you want to tell me beforehand! :) Anyways, hopefully it works! See you on Friday!

I want to share a few quotes with you that I found this week in my personal studies. The first is by Sister Linda S. Reeves from general conference. She said "What will it matter, dear sisters, what we suffered here if, in the end, those trials are the very things which qualify us for eternal life and exaltation in the kingdom of God with our Father and Savior?" I love this and the emphasis it puts on the importance of having an eternal perspective. This life is the time to prepare, not to receive blessings. So maybe we won't see the fruits of all we do in this life, but we can be assured that we will receive them in the next life and that our joy will be great in the kingdom of our Father!

The other is by President Thomas S Monson. He said "As we make Christ the center of our lives, our fears will be replaced by the courage of our convictions." How cool is that? I just love this quote and encourage you all to ponder on this and find a way to apply it in your own lives and figure out what fears you have that are holding you back and how you can overcome them with your faith in Christ.

I love this gospel with all of my heart and I love you all so so very much! I can't wait to see you on Friday! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

~Hermana Allan

Monday, December 21, 2015

Bonus pictures - from Sister Boucher (mission president's wife)

Sisters Zone service project

Zone Conference

Zone Conference

December 14, 2015 - another transfer in Cabo Rojo!


Ward Christmas Party

Hello! This week was pretty exciting and we had a HUGE miracle!!!!! First of all, I tried some food from the Dominican Republic called Mangu and it was absolutely amazing!!!! It's like mashed potatoes but with plantaines. It was sooo good!

Also, we had a really cool experience with a less active that we are teaching. He has been wanting to come back to church for a really long time now, but he smokes a lot and is afraid of people judging him. He's tried a lot of different things to try to stop smoking, but nothing has worked so far. Usually when the missionaries visit him they teach about the Word of Wisdom, repentance, keeping the commandments, the importance of church attendance, and things like that. But we felt inspired to teach about the priesthood. We had a super spiritual lesson and at the end, he told us that that was the first time anyone has ever taught him about the priesthood and that it was the most beautiful lesson he had ever heard. It was a really cool moment. We're hoping that if he understands the blessings of the priesthood and that he can have this power and authority, he will have enough motivation to stop smoking and come back to church. I love that we can be guided by the Spirit in all things! :)

Now, time for the miracle. There's a less active named C. that we've been meeting with and we've been teaching his girlfriend K. and her 8 year old daughter H. They had baptismal dates for the 12th (last Saturday). We were sad because on Tuesday we decided that they needed more time because we hadn't taught the law of chastity yet and they needed to get married and a couple other problems so we decided to change the date to the 2nd of January. That night we called them to confirm a teaching appointment and they said they were too busy and couldn't meet with us. So then we asked if we could pass by Thursday instead. He was quiet for a minute and then said, well actually, we're getting married on Thursday.......... WHAT? We were in shock! We hadn't even talked to them yet about marriage or anything and they already had plans and everything! It was so exciting! And the wedding was just beautiful!! So now, we're hoping to prepare them for this Saturday for their baptism! I'm so excited!!!! :)

Transfers were yesterday! And surprise, surprise, Hermana Human is leaving (tomorrow) and Hermana Melgar and I are staying here in Cabo Rojo. Wahoo! It's going to be weird having only one companion now but I'm excited at the same time. :)

Oh yeah, and on Friday, we had a Christmas activity with one of the wards.... it was kind of a flop. The food was really good but the "show" afterwards was awful..... it was kind of sad. But we had a ton of less actives show up so that was a great opportunity for them to befriend the members and feel more included in the ward. We all enjoyed ourselves and had a good laugh so it's all good. :)

Good luck on your finals mom! How exciting that you're done with the semester! Wahoo!!!! And thanks for all the pictures! I love you guys so much! And don't forget, amongst all the fun of gifts and lights and decorations and snow and all that good stuff, the most important part of the season is our Savior Jesus Christ. He was sent here to redeem us from our sins and give us hope. He gave us a chance to improve and become like our Father in Heaven and through Him, we can be perfected. He is the reason for the season. I know this church is true with all of my heart!

I love you all so much and thanks for all of your support and love and I hope you all have a fantastic week! Love ya!

~Hermana Allan

Sunday, December 20, 2015

December 8, 2015

With Mission Presidents Wife - Sister Boucher

Matching companionship shirts

Hello familia! So sorry for the late email, but yesterday we had an activity with the sisters in my zone so we weren't able to write. But better late than never, right? :)

Well, this week was pretty good! It was great because for contacting we went caroling! Instead of starting with introducing ourselves and talking about our message we started singing Christmas songs. It was so effective! There were a lot more people willing to stop and listen and then we shared a little Christmas message with them after the song. We got to talk to so many people this way and now we're just hoping that we can find them again and teach them more!

We've been working alot with this part member family of 8 and I think they are super interested! They said they would come to church but that had last minute emergency, so they didn't come. But it was a legit emergency so I think they are sincere and that they'll come next week. In one of our visits with them, they started asking us about the things we like to cook and we ended up planning a feast! We chose what we wanted to cook, they went and bought all the food and then Saturday night we cooked everything and then had a nice feast on Sunday. I had told them that I like to bake so they assigned me the dessert and then when they bought the food, they bought two betty crocker box cakes! So I had it really easy. It was great! :)

One night we were contacting/caroling and I had an impression to go to a particular house, so we went and we yelled "Buenas Noches!" (everyone has a gate around their yard, so we have to yell instead of knock). We called 3 times and no one came. Usually at this point we leave and try a different house, but then Hermana Melgar felt like she should try one more time and this time someone answered! She told us that she's been looking for a church because she's been through some life-threatening experiences recently and feels like God has a plan for her because He's helped her survive. So she's been searching for a church so she can find out what's her purpose in life. How cool is that? She is so prepared! We're going to go back and visit her this week and I know she'll find her answers in this gospel!

We didn't get to watch the Christmas devotional, but I hope I can soon... And the trio is going pretty good! It's a lot better than I expected it to be. Transfers are this Sunday so Hermana Human only has one week left.

Our baptismal date for this Saturday is canceled because she didn't come to church and we're pretty sure she's having problems with the Law of Chastity. But we set a new date for the 2nd of January so we're holding out faith that she'll make it for this one! And, the elders had a baptism! It was a really special service and almost all the members showed up to support him! It was great! Also, after all the success we had at church last week, we didn't have anyone in church this week. It was really disappointing. But this week we're going to have 10! I can feel it! :)

This gospel is true and is the most wonderful thing in the world! Take time everyday to study it and find out how you can improve every single day, because this will bring you the most joy! And if you have the December Liahona, you should read the talk called "Things I learned as a young convert." I really enjoyed it. I love you all so much and hope you have a fabulous week!

And Christopher, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

~Hermana Allan

November 30, 2015 - Cabo Rojo

Beautiful moon with a white circle around it

Before 4 Thanksgiving appointments

After 4 Thanksgiving dinners

Full but happy.
Hello! This week was so great and I have so much to say so here we go!

First of all, we had zone conference on Tuesday and it was amazing! We were introduced to the new church Christmas initiative. You guys should go watch the video. The website is christmas.mormon.org. And I finally had my first real interview with President Boucher! It was really nice because he had some really good counsel for me and it helped me a whole this week. basically, it was just a fantastic conference! and, yes, I received your package! Thank you so much for everything! It was perfect! :)

Also, funny story. One day we were teaching a family of 8, (the mom and 3 kids are less actives and the dad and the other 3 kids are non-members), and at the end of the lesson the dad left the house to talk to someone outside so we finished up with the rest of the family and when we left the house the dad was still outside talking to missionaries from Jehovah's Witness. and as we passed them to leave, the dad turned to us and asked "so when are you guys coming back?" It was so funny. The Jehovah's Witnesses were just staring at us, dumbfounded. It was priceless. :) I wanted to tell them "and you can come too!" but we're not supposed to do that, so I didn't... but it was really funny.

Then, on Wednesday we set two baptismal dates! It's the girlfriend of a returned missionary that is less active and her daughter. They have been receiving missionary visits for a long time, but have never accepted a date, but now they have! Wahoo! We are so excited! We hope that if they progress towards baptism, he will come back to church too. I'm so excited!

Thanksgiving started super early for us. We had an activity in one of our wards at 5 in the morning! We met at the chapel to sing hymns and listen to a few talks and watch the sunrise and then have breakfast. It was actually really cool, but it just made us exhausted the rest of the day! And yes, we had 4 dinner citas! We were STUFFED! But it was so fun. Here in Puerto Rico, after they eat dinner, they all sit around the table with a guitar and maracas and other smaller instruments and sing cultural Christmas songs. It was so fun and I absolutely loved it! It's something I'm definitely going to start doing every year. :)

Remember AZ and Jovani, two of my investigators from Aguas Buenas? Well, I saw them in Cabo Rojo this week! It was so funny, we were just walking down the street and I hear someone yell "Hermana Allan!" I was super excited to see them! They still aren't progressing or going to church which is really sad, but it was nice to see them again. :)

Also, sunday was awesome! We had FOUR investigators and TWO less actives at church! It was a huge miracle and we were sooooooo happy! Miracles really do happen. I think the difference is that after zone conference we talked about some of the things we learned and decided to put more faith in the promises of the Lord and to act with that faith. It helped us so much this week and brought several people to church! It was so great!

One of the things I learned from my interview with President Boucher is that we should do all we can with the things we can control and let go of the things we can't control. This helped me a lot this week, because once I stopped worrying and stressing about all the things that I couldn't change, I found myself a lot more calm and also a lot more reliant on the Lord and the Spirit. I found that I could put more faith in the Lord and that I had enough strength to act on that faith. I knew that if I did all I could, the Lord would do the rest and would send His Spirit to those we were teaching. I know that the Lord follows through with every single one of His promises and that if we truly trust in Him and do all we can, He will take care of the rest and everything will be ok.

Sorry, one more thing. I thought of one thing that I want for Christmas. I want each of you to give someone a Book of Mormon or invite someone to church or do some sort of missionary work between now and Christmas and then write me with your experiences. I would absolutely love to hear what happens and it would make Christmas especially wonderful if you could all try to do it. Thanks so much! :)

And can I just say, I have one handsome family! You guys all look so great and so happy! Thanks for the pics! I hope Chris feels better soon. That's never fun... And that story with Amelia is hilarious! I was laughing so hard :) 31 STAKES?! I can't even imagine having that many! That's crazy.

Sorry, one more thing, are all the missionaries ok in France? Several of my friends are serving over there and I just hope they're all ok. Are they pulling the missionaries out? Sorry, I just haven't heard from any of them so I'm just super curious.

Well, I think that covers it all..... You guys are fabulous and I love you all so so very much! I'm going to try to start Advent with my companions and I'll be thinking of you! Love you all!

~Hermana Allan

November 23, 2015 - Cabo Rojo

A photo from a member's backyard while on intercambios (exchanges) in Isabella.
Hello! How are you guys? Are you all freezing yet? It's the weirdest feeling preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas in 90 degree weather..... I miss the cold, but oh well. I'll enjoy this while it lasts. :)

This week was a bit slow because Hermana Melgar was sick for a bit and then Hermana Human got sick too, so we couldn't get a whole lot done, but I had some cool experiences this week so it was still good. :)

First, on Thursday I had intercambios with Hermana Portillo and she is absolutely wonderful. I left the intercambio with a huge list of things that I learned and wanted to change and do in my area. It was such an incredible learning experience and I'm so excited to try these new things here in Cabo Rojo.

One of the things I learned was to really and sincerely pray for EVERYTHING! Like what should we do? And if we need to contact... Where should we go? Which street? Which side of the street? Very specific so that we can be guided to those who really are ready instead of wasting our time at a whole bunch of houses with people who aren't interested. So we tried it on Saturday. I felt inspired to contact a certain side of a street so we started there. A mom and her daughter were walking towards us but crossed the street right before we got to them, but I felt a distinct impression to talk to them. So I crossed and stopped them and started talking to them and found out that the mom and her 6 kids are members! They haven't been coming to church because she was really sick in the hospital and then her husband died and they had to sell their cars so they didn't have a way to go to church. We checked our ward directory and they weren't even on there so it was a miracle that we found them! We had an awesome lesson with them and I think they'll come to church this Sunday. It was such a great experience and really strengthened my testimony of the guidance of the Spirit.

Thanksgiving is definitely celebrated here! We have FOUR dinner appointments that day! I'm already planning on gaining 20 pounds..... And for Christmas, we'll be able to Skype so yes, please send me your info! :) Also, about music, I would LOVE new music! But a couple things, the only music we can listen to is music that has been produced FOR or BY the church. EFY, Motab, Hymns, stuff like that is ok. Spanish and English songs would be great. And have you heard of the musical Lamb of God by Rob Gardner? I don't know if it was produced for the church, but if it was, could you send some of the songs from that musical? He is an incredible composer. And the best way to send it would be to put the songs on a CD or on a flashdrive. Thanks so very much! And yes, next week I'll send the numbers for my perscription.

And thank you so much mom for your thoughts about what I said last week. That was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Heidi- Oh good luck with proofs! Those were my least favorite.... And maybe you should start doing little finder exercises to strengthen those fingers! :)

Dad- Thanks for your thoughts as well! Love you!

Love you all so much! See you in a month! :)

~Hermana Allan

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November 16, 2016 (Cabo Rojo)

With Hermana Melgar

With Hermana Human

The trio started the day dry.....

Soaking wet at the end of the day
Hello! You have no idea how happy it makes me to read your emails every week! Thank you all so much for all the love and support! I love you guys!

This week was interesting. I feel like I have a curse with baptisms. It seems that whatever area I'm in, all the baptismal dates fall through and no one wants to accept one. But, I have faith that it will come one of these days. On Tuesday we had a lesson with a lady with a baptismal date and I felt inspired to ask her again if she wanted to be baptized and she told us no, that she wasn't ready to make that step right now. After someone says no, it's usually a bit awkward. We're all thinking what should we say? What should we do? But in this case I had an incredibly spiritual experience. I felt the spirit so strongly and just started to bear my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. I don't think I've ever felt the spirit so strongly as I did in this moment. Of course, being me, I started to cry and could hardly speak, but the spirit gave me strength and gave me what I needed to say. After that each of my companions bore their testimonies and were crying too and then we invited the lady to say the closing prayer and she ended up in tears too. It was such an incredible experience. She still hasn't accepted a baptismal date again, but I know she has a testimony of Joseph Smith. I think she's just afraid to change and be committed to this new way of life. But really, it was such a spirit-guided lesson and was absolutely incredible. 

Other than that, there wasn't much else, but we're working on getting progressing investigators and helping these wards get more involved as well. The work continues onward! 

Heidi- that's so awesome that you have a job and that it's something you like to do! Congrats! How's the driving coming?

Chris- how fun! and maybe I'm just used to missionary haircuts now but I think you need a haircut. :) But way to be for asking a whole bunch of different girls to the dances. Way to be!

Mom- it's super weird having a car. I feel like we hardly walk now and I'm not to fond of it, but I can't change it so it's all good. At least this way we can get to our appointments faster. :)  And thanks for your spiritual thought about Nephi. I love Nephi! 

To answer dad's question about why I look so happy in the pictures- really, it's because I'm the happiest I've ever been. I believe it's because I'm so much closer to my Savior than I've ever been before and as a missionary I have to constantly be thinking about others and don't have time to get depressed or think negatively. And because I'm closer to my Savior, I feel His love, His prescence, and His spirit much more frequently and much stronger than I ever have before. And this makes me happy. The gospel really is the key to finding lasting happiness and eternal joy because it brings us to the One who's love is incomprehensible and unconditional. I love this gospel and testify of the joy, peace, and hope that it can bring into our lives. There is nothing else like it. It truly is joyful and contains the most priceless knowledge that we can gain in our mortal lives. I testify that it is true and that it has been restored in its fulness in our day to lead and guide us back to live with our Father in Heaven. I know it's true with all of my heart!

Thank you all for everything you do! I love you!

p.s. how's memorizing the Living Christ coming? One more month left to do it! :) 

~Hermana Allan

CABO ROJO!!!! November 9, 2015

Missionaries (in yellow) doing a beach service project

Beautiful Puerto Rico

I'd hate to see that in my house!

Saying good bye to her "house parents"

With her trio companionship (Herman Human and Herman Melgar)

Nice looking crab

First day in Cabo Rojo

Eating shark!

and liking it!!! :)
Wow! What a week!!!! I'm just going to jump right into it...

Monday was a lot harder than I expected. Packing was easy and I was done super fast, but then we left to say goodbye to some members and boy was that hard. One member came over with a package of a whole bunch of souvenirs so that I would remember Aguas Buenas and she was just crying and crying so of course I was crying too, and then another member asked us to visit her and she made us a huge goodbye feast and then I said goodbye to the couple that lived above us. That was really hard. They are so sweet and are like my mission grandparents. It was so hard to say goodbye. But at the same time I was super excited to go to Cabo Rojo so that made it a tiny bit better...

So Tuesday we did a lot of car hopping as different companionships changed companions. We have a car to use here in Cabo Rojo so my companions met me in Guaynabo and we started on the 3 hour drive to Cabo Rojo. We got about an hour away and we realized that the other hermana who had been in Cabo Rojo but was being transferred to another area still had the cell phone. So we had to go back and track her down and then we started again on the 3 hour drive! :) It was a great time to get to know my new companions! Hermana Human is from Arizona and this is her last transfer on her mission. Hermana Melgar is from Honduras and she has 6 months on her mission. They are awesome! Then on Wednesday we left for a cita in the morning and when we got back to our apartment for lunch, we realized we had left the keys inside and there was no way to get in.... so we spent the next 3 hours calling people and trying to find away in because no one (not even the owner) had a key to get in. It was crazy. But we finally got in! Then on Wednesday we went grocery shopping and decided to buy all of our food together and split the cost. (We had tons of food because we were buying for the month.) So we started loading up the conveyer belt with our food and then when it was our turn we looked up and saw that we were in the lane of 10-15 items only...... we felt so bad but the lady let us stay because we had already unloaded all our food. So we bought $200 worth of food in a "10-15 items" lane.... With the cell phone and then the keys and then the store, it was a great start to the transfer! :) 

I'm not going to lie, I was super nervous to be in a trio, but so far, it's been great! We're having a great time and I have already learned so much from each of them and can't wait to learn more this transfer. Cabo Rojo is pretty campo just like Aguas Buenas but it's a bit bigger. It was hilarious because our first day everything I saw made me so excited. (like, "wow, look how many stores there are! Or wow, look how big the plaza is! or wow, there are actually kids and teenagers here in Puerto Rico!). It was so funny, because to everyone else, Cabo Rojo is super small, but because I've only been in Aguas Buenas, everything was so big and exciting for me! It's great! :) It's super super rainy here so on the first day we stopped and bought jelly shoes! It's great because they dry super fast and are only $5/pair. 

And yes! I've finally experienced the beach! We had a service project there on Saturday and we went to a gorgeous inlet where we picked up trash. It was so pretty! I hope you enjoy the pictures! :) But here's something even more exciting... on Friday, we went to visit a member who owns a pincho business. I love pinchos!!! It's basically just a kabob- it's a long piece of meat wrapped around a skewer and then grilled and then drenched in some sort of sauce (usually BBQ sauce). So we went to visit him and he offered us free pinchos. Usually I eat chicken pinchos, but this time, guess what I tried? Shark! I ate a shark pincho! AND IT WAS SO GOOD!!!! Being on the beach, he had all different kinds of seafood pinchos, so I decided I just had to try one. It was amazing. Then he asked us to try oysters and I ate that too, but that one wasn't so good...

It's been a bit difficult, because here in Cabo Rojo, we cover two wards. I don't know why, but it's been a bit hard for me to keep track of who is in what ward and when each ward has their meetings and things like that. And we switch wards every other week. I feel like it's going to be hard to have a close relationship with the members because we bouncing in between wards but hopefully it'll all work out. We have one lady with a baptismal date but other than that, there aren't really any investigators here either... only lots and lots and lots of menos activos. That's the case with all of Puerto Rico. There are pages and pages and pages of menos activos. A lot of people here get baptized for the missionaries and then once that missionary leaves, they go inactive. And there's a lot of false doctrine within the wards and branches too so we're trying to fix that as well. It's going to be a lot of work here, but i'm super excited to be here in Cabo Rojo!

Amelia- You're getting married?! Wow, i never thought she would beat Nathan to it.... :) How cute! :)

Heidi- great job with gymnastics! I can't wait to watch you do all these things when I get back! I'm sorry about your toe... :(

Nathan- thanks for your email!

Dad- thanks for your email too and the spiritual thought! 

Good luck with the singles ward and work and school and everything in between! I love you guys so so so so much!!! Thanks for everything. You guys are amazing! Love ya!

~Hermana Allan

November 2, 2015

Bowling party for Pday

Bowling with the district

District Meeting
This week was awesome! :)

Monday, after I emailed you guys, we had a zone activity and we went bowling again. I dominated. :) It was way fun! Then, the rest of the week was pretty normal and then Friday, we had a baptism!!!!!! It wasn't ours, it was the elders, but still, it was awesome!!! I finally got to attend my first baptism! It was such a spiritual experience and absolutely incredible to see the change in the man that was baptized. His mom was a less active that we had been teaching, and then she got reactivated last month and that's when he accepted a baptismal date! It was a miracle! The baptism was supposed to be at 6 and then our Halloween party at 7, but the baptism didn't start until 6:30 which ended up being a huge miracle. We actually had an investigator come to the activity!!!! She brought her 19 year old daughter and 2 neighborhood kids and they showed up at 7 for the activity, but because the baptism started late we were still finishing up. So she got there just in time to hear the testimony of the man that was baptized. The spirit was so strong and I know she felt it. It was such a miracle! Then she stayed for the rest of the activity and said she absolutely loved it!

For the activity we had a talent show which was so awesome! In the Latin culture, dancing is HUGE so basically every act was dancing, but I absolutely loved it! It's so hard being a missionary and then watch these dances because all I wanted to do was dance, but unfortunately we can't..... bummer, but it's ok! It was still awesome!!!! Then, after the talent show, we did Trunk-or-Treating. It was great! We weren't expecting the activity to turn out very well, but we had a great turn out and everyone had so much fun. It was an absolute blast! And we were just so so so so happy that we finally had an investigator show up to something! :)

Then on Halloween, we did some service in the morning and then headed to Trujillo Alto for a mission conference. The entire mission got together and Elder Cornish and Elder Christensen (not the apostle) came to speak to us. It was so good and so uplifting! Afterwards, for our safety, they told us not to leave our houses, so we went home and had a movie night! We had bought soda and cookies and ice cream and donuts so it was basically a party watching "The Testaments". :) 

And this week it just rained and rained and rained and rained some more. And again, we were just freezing cold! It was terrible but so great because it's been pretty dry here. We had some thunder storms where the thunder and the lightning happened at the same time and it was so loud and the house we were in was shaking like crazy. It was so cool!!! I have never seen storms as fierce as the ones this week- I loved it!

Now the part that I know you were all waiting for..... Transfers!!!! We got transfer calls last night and it's good bye Aguas Buenas for me. I'm sad to leave the members and the investigators we are teaching but at the same time, I'm ready for a change, so I'm super excited! I'm leaving tomorrow for Cabo Rojo which is on the complete opposite side of the island and it's on the beach! The weird part is that I'm going to be in a trio... It's going to be interesting, but I'm excited to try something new! Hermana Pardo is going to stay here and train! Wahoo! :) So I've basically just been packing all morning but I'm just about done now so it's all good. :) 

Nathan- You had 2 hours to email?!?!?! I can't even imagine what that would be like. We have 1 hour most of the time but some weeks only 45 minutes. It's super hard. 

Heidi- nice job on your flyaway! And I loved your costume!!! :) Good luck in chemistry! That was always really hard for me too...

Sorry I don't have much time left, but just know that I love this gospel and I know it's the truth. It's the source of all my joy and happiness and peace and I know that it can bless our lives in every aspect. I love my Savior and I'm so grateful for this opportunity to serve Him. I love you all and am praying for you everyday. Good luck with everything this week!

~Hermana Allan

Friday, October 30, 2015

Oct. 26, 2015 - Frozen in Puerto Rico

Don't have much time today because we have a zone activity but hopefully I can type everything fast enough...

This week we focused a lot on contacting old investigators and we found some that we really excited to see us so we are hoping that there is some potential with them! Then, it was cool because one day as we were walking back to our house and man stopped his car in front of us and asked us who we were and what we were doing and later asked if we would meet with him and his wife. So a couple days later we met at a pizzeria with them and had a great time! They are Jewish and it was so interesting learning about their religion and then finding ways to connect their religion with our religion. It was super cool and we're hoping to teach them again some time this week! 

Also, I had my first "family dinner" here in Puerto Rico! I've never sat down to eat with an entire family before, but this week we visited a member and had dinner with her husband and her son. It was so nice! It made me miss our family dinners a bit... I'm super grateful for family dinners and it's incredible to see the difference it makes in families. This family is a lot closer to each other and a lot happier and I know it's because of the time they spend together. It was really nice!

Also, Yes! I got the package and the letters! It was perfect because we had just finished a long 3 hour session of weekly planning and were just about to head out the door when the elders dropped by with mail and I had a package and lots of letters! It made me so happy! It was like Christmas morning! :) So thank you so much! And I love the shirts! Thanks for including me in your girls night. :) 

This weekend has been so cold!!!! We're freezing! It's funny because it would probably still be warm for you guys but because we've adjusted to the Puerto Rican heat, it's so cold! It's been pouring rain the past couple days and we just get utterly soaked. Saturday we got so wet and were shivering from head to toe so we had to go back home to dry off and change clothes. It's the weirdest feeling to be cold again.... I think I like the heat better. :) But I love the rain, so it's been pretty fun!

This week I learned a lot about receiving personal revelation. I had started to feel like I wasn't receiving any revelation for my studies or for the area or the branch and I was a bit frustrated about that. But then I realized that I never asked direct questions and usually didn't wait for an answer. It was always just things like "help me know thy will for this area and this branch..." etc. But this week I tried to ask direct questions like "What do I need to study in my personal studies today?" and then I waited for a response and it came every time. It was so cool! I was led to the exact things that I needed to study in the mornings, or in lessons I was led to an exact scripture to share, etc. Revelation is available to all of us, we just need to ask for it. It's a test of how much we truly rely on the Lord and trust in Him and how much faith we have that He will answer our questions so He waits until we ask. And I know that if we wait a bit to hear His answer, we will hear it and we will be guided to do His will. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father loves us so much to give us a way to receive His guidance and revelation in every aspect of our lives. 

Dad- thank you for your suggestions! Those are great! We've been needing new ideas, because contacting just hasn't been working... so maybe we'll give a few of those a try. Thanks so much!

Heidi- wow you got some major air on the beam! That's incredible! I'm sure you did fabulous! I wrote you a letter today so hopefully you should get it soon.... :) Love you!

Thanks so much for all you guys do! And be sure to send me pictures of all the Halloween costumes! Love you guys!

~Hermana Allan

October 19, 2015

Town of Aguas Buenas

Plaza of Aguas Buenas

Wizard of Aguas Buenas

Wow, so many people to write today so I'm going to try to do this fast today, but hopefully it will still all make sense. :) I feel like everyone single week is just walking and contacting and walking and contacting and walking some more. By Sunday we are just completely exhausted. It's a bit frustrating because we contact so much but still hardly ever find anyone to teach. But we keep on going. I know there's someone somewhere and we'll find them eventually! 

This week, the family that had baptismal dates moved with hardly any notice so that was a bummer. But on the flip side we have a reactivation! A mom and her daughter have been coming to church again lately and all they need is an interview with the president of the branch and they can be counted as active members again! Yay! We're super excited for that! :) 

Other than that, not much happened this week. But I learned some really helpful things this week too. For one, we decided to focus more on obedience this week. We chose one thing to work on and this week is was to stay out until the very last second that we have to be home. The night-time is so hard because no one wants visits and no one is in the streets and we can't contact and so sometimes we get to our house a little before our curfew. But this week when we got to our house before curfew, even if it was 5 or 10 minutes before, we kept on walking and every time Heavenly Father put someone in our path to talk to. It was really cool to see the blessings from exact obedience and using every second to find and to teach. 

Also, I've been reading in Alma this week all of the war chapters. It's a bit difficult to apply in our lives but we still can learn some really important things from them. One of the things goes along with what you mentioned mom in your sunday school lesson- prepare. The nephite army at first had about half the amount of men as the lamanite army but they still were able to defeat the lamanite army because they were prepared. They came with armor and well-made weapons and were able to withstand the blows of the lamanites. If we prepare and put on our armor through the gospel of Christ, we can withstand anything that comes at us in this life. I also love how Moroni didn't know where to go to block the lamanite army so he asked Alma to ask the Lord and the Lord gave them a clear answer of where they could go to do it. I love this example that really the Lord can lead us and guide us in any and ALL aspects of our lives. No matter what problems we are having or what decisions we may be trying to make, God WILL HELP US. There is nothing beyond His reach or beyond His knowledge and He will do all He can to lead us and guide us in the the way that will lead to happiness and peace.

I love this gospel and I still love being a missionary! It's the best thing in the world!!!!!

Hermana Pardo is great! She is soooo patient! Sometimes I get frustrated pretty easily when I can't understand her but she patiently repeats everything 2, 3, 4, or 5 times until I understand. I'm so grateful for her patience and hope that I can learn to have the same patience as her one day... Sounds like you guys had a great time at Cornbellies and Park City! I love those traditions! Thanks for the pics and the updates on everything! 

Dad- I love the shirt! I'm so glad you wore it and that it fits! :) Haha, no I'm not native speaker but people have told me a couple times that I sound like a Puerto Rican. Yay! :) However, yesterday we were talking to a mom and her daughters and I said something to one of the girls and she gave me a weird look and then looked at her mom and said "I can't understand anything she's saying!" And her mom said, "It's ok. It's because she's American!" It was really funny. Other than that, it's coming along. Still have much to learn, but little by little it's coming. 

Heidi- 3 books in 3 days?! Holy cow! That's awesome, though. I love the Harry Potter books! Good luck in school and gymnastics! I know you can do it! Love you!

Chris- I'm so jealous that you might be going on heritage tours. You will have so much fun! You better send me lots of pics! 

Nathan- Thanks for writing me! Good luck with school! Hope everything is going well!

Amelia- I LOVE YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for everything! Love you guys!

~Hermana Allan