Monday, July 13, 2015

July 6, 2015 (Puerto Rico)

First companion in Puerto Rico, Hermana Stevens

With Sister Jacobsen at the MTC

Favorite fruit so far in Puerto Rico, star fruit

Last night of pictures in the MTC

A friend found in her bathtub in Puerto Rico

With Elder Spence from Jamaica

Last MTC picture with Sister Jacobsen
AHHH!!!! I'M HERE!!!! It's still so surreal! But I'm so excited to tell you everything, but I don't have a ton of time, so I'll do my best. Buckle up! :)

So real quick, a little more about the MTC. The last Friday we went on splits again and this time I only had one companion and she was a latino so everyone spoke so fast to her, it was crazy! There was one lesson we taught for 2 and a half hours! So long! We had been talking about the Word of Wisdom and the investigator had a lot of questions so she was going back and forth with my companion for about 30 minutes and all of a sudden I hear, "Now, my companion is going to talk about the Law of Chastity." I was like what?! I had never taught the Law of Chastity or even studied the vocab for it in Spanish so I had no idea what I was doing. I did my best but I probably blew it. Kind of funny though. :) It really was such a great experience, though! 

Now for Puerto Rico! My companion is Hermana Stevens. She's from Layton and is the coolest person every! We get along so well and have such a great time together. She is a wonderful missionary and I am learning so much from her! It's going to be a great two transfers with her! 

My zone is Caguas and my area is Aguas Buenas. It's in the mountains, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that we get more rain than the rest of the island so our water isn't rationed like it is everywhere else (Puerto Rico is in a drought). And it's not as hot because it's pretty windy up here. However, because it's a mountain it is so hilly! I'm going to have pretty toned legs after this because we are constantly walking up and down hills all day long. And everyone lives pretty far apart so we walk a ton! We typically walk about 8-14 miles every day! These past two days we walked 13 and then 10 so we are so sore today! But it's great! I love it! It is absolutely gorgeous!!!! 

It's just us two in our house. We live underneath the sweetest couple who take us grocery shopping every p-day. Also, the backyard of the house is filled with fruit trees! Bananas, plantaines (spelling?), starfruit, sugar cane, avocados, lemons, oranges, some native fruits that I don't know the name of and so much more! So we get tons of amazing fruit! They are all so much better here than in the states. :) I love it!

Also, we have some friends in our house. Mainly, spiders, cockroaches, ants, frogs, lizards, geckos, etc. It's pretty great. The frogs are my favorite. They are super small (I think they are called cokee frogs....) and they are kind of like crickets. They are super loud at night, but I love it so much. They're so cute! :)

The flight here was great. Super short but awesome. We taught several lessons in the airport before we left and then were planning on sharing in the plane too, but no one sat next to me on the flight, so I couldn't. But it's ok! Then we met the mission president and his wife (they are the best!). We went to this old fort thing in old San Juan and spent a little bit there. We got totally drenched in the rain though! I didn't have my camera so we took pictures on Sis Jacobsen's but I haven't gotten them from her yet, so I'll send them when I can. 

My area especially is said to be one of the hardest ones, but I haven't noticed. There have been so many miracles here that I've seen and I can't wait to see what else the Lord has in store for this area. Me and Hermana Stevens are only the 2nd all american companionship to be here. They used to only send Latinos here. So that's kind of exciting. :)

The Spanish is coming along. It's still a bit difficult and I talk SUPER slow compared to the fast, slurred, accent of the Puerto Ricans, but every day I'm learning more and more and i'm just loving the culture here! Kind of a funny story, we fasted this Sunday for rain and when I prayed to end our fast, I asked Heavenly Father to bless Puerto Rico with snow instead of rain.... yeah... the struggle is real. :)

It's amazing what is possible through the Lord! I met one of the members of our branch (only 20 people who actually come! It's tiny!) and his name is Leonel. He was just baptized in June and he is incredible! Apparently he had spent 17 years in prison, always took drugs, drank, smoked, did some terrible things, but I never guessed any of this when I met him! He is the sweetest, most humble, most honest, most amazing person I've ever met. It's incredible how this gospel can change people. He's come with us to a couple lessons and his testimony is so powerful. I'm so excited to help others make this same change in their own lives and experience the peace and happiness that comes from this gospel!

Also, we are having a hard time getting people to come to church, so on Thursday we decided we would set a goal to invite 100 people to come to church by the end of Saturday. So we invited everyone we passed. thursday we got about 12 people, Friday we had about 26 people, so we weren't sure if we would be able to get 100 by Sunday. We prayed a lot about it and felt that it was a really important goal that we needed to meet so we asked Heavenly Father to help us find a way to meet that goal. So Saturday came and every single appointment fell through. We walked from house to house and no one was home (this was the day we walked 13 miles). But, walking this much allowed us to pass more people and talk to more people. So at 8:55 that night, on our way back to our apartment we contacted the 62nd person. We had gotten exactly 100 contacts in 3 days! We wouldn't have been able to invite 62 people in one day if our appointments had all worked out. But Heavenly Father knew we were trying really hard to make it, so He helped us. It was such a cool experience. I know He is watching out for us and will help us every step of the way! 

Also, I just wanted to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMELIA!!!!! I love you so so very much!

It sounds like you guys had a great 4th of July! I missed you guys but I can't wait to join you when I get back! I love you all so much!!! Thanks for all of your support! Being a missionary is the best thing in the whole entire world and I wouldn't rather be doing anything else. I love it so much! Love you!!!

~Hermana Allan

P.S. Please send more pictures! I want to see more of your lovely faces! :) Thanks!

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