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