Sunday, February 21, 2016

February 15, 2016

Happy Valentines Day from a nice elderly man in their ward :)

Eating a "pamper". She says it's a good reason to gain weight :)

Hello! Aw man! I was so excited to see where Christopher was going! But that's ok. It's testing everyone's patience... even mine. :) This week was an emotional roller coaster and we were just absolutely exhausted by the end, but it was still really good! Because we're doing the training program we have an extra hour every week to study something that will help us in our lessons and this week we were focusing on "Teaching people, not lessons". It was exhausting because it takes so much effort to really listen and take the time to dig deep and find out their concerns and doubts, but we saw so many miracles as we tried hard to do it! We really tried to apply every lesson to them and really let the spirit guide us to know what to share, what to read, what to ask, etc. As we did that, we saw many people start opening up to us and we were able to help them with doubts that they hadn't ever mentioned before and we were able to help them feel the spirit and the importance of this message in their lives.

One example of this was last Monday. We had a family night with our recent converts, (K. and H.), their newly reactivated husband/dad (C.), and the parents of C. (who had separated for several weeks because the husband was pulling away from the church and just barely got back together again). So it was a group with a lot of different needs and problems and we weren't really sure what we should focus on. But we prayed really hard to know what to share and we decided that we needed to teach the plan of salvation. As we taught we were inspired to explain it in ways that I've never used before. We read new scriptures, asked new questions, and focused on points that I had never focused on before. And at the end of the lesson, C.'s dad was in tears as he bore his testimony of what we had shared. Afterwards, C. bore his testimony as well and talked about how much that lesson had strengthened him. It was incredible that the spirit helped us know what to do so that we could help each of them with their individual needs. It was such a huge miracle and am so grateful for the guidance of the Spirit!

One day this week, we didn't have any appointments so we were just contacting most of the day and it started raining and we didn't have our umbrellas. So we got so wet! After a while of hoping that someone would let us in their house, we ended up stopping in a bakery to wait it out a bit. As we sat in the bakery, freezing cold, exhausted, hungry, and a bit downhearted, one of the workers came up to us and said "you guys want some food?" She then started preparing a plate of rice and chicken for us and then said "Don't worry about paying. Enjoy!" And then walked away and went back to work. It was the sweetest thing! It completely changed our day around and I really gained a testimony of always going about serving others because you never know who may need it that day.

This week was freezing cold with LOTS of rain! You're going to laugh, but this week it got down to 65 degrees which is the coldest it's ever been on my mission so far. And we were freezing!!! When we got home we changed into our warmest pjs and then wrapped ourselves in blankets and socks and sweaters and whatever we had that was warm. Bendito.... I think I'm going to freeze when I get home..... :)

I haven't gotten your package yet, but I know I will on Wednesday. Thank you! :) also, did you guys get my card? I hope Heidi feels better soon and good luck with the wedding tomorrow Dad! I'm so glad you guys got to see Cokeville Miracle. It's so super good and I just remember feeling the spirit so strongly when I watched it. I'm glad you like it! And I hope you guys had a Happy Valentines Day! I love you all so much and am so grateful that I have such a wonderful family!

It's been awhile since I've sent anything in spanish to you guys, so I'll give it a go this week. :) Yo se que este evangelio es verdadero. Ha bendecido mi vida en todos aspectos y estoy bien agradecida por el conocimiento que tengo de ello. Se que Dios es nuestro Padre Celestial y que por Su amor, nos envio Su Hijo Jesucristo. Se que por medio de el, podemos ser libres de pecado y vencer nuestras debilidades y faltas y en el fin, vencer aun la muerte para volver a regresar con Nuestro Padre en los cielos. Este Evangelio cambia vidas. Ha cambiado la mia. Es la unica cosa que nos brinda gozo y felicidad duradero y eterno. Hay tanto paz, consuelo, y esperanza esperandonos. solo tenemos que seguir adelante con fe y nuestro Padre Celestial derremara sobre nosotros estas maravillosas bendiciones. Se que eso es verdadero y no hay nada mejor en nuestras vidas. Amo mi Salvador. Amo el Evangelio. Amo mi mission. Y les amo a ustedes! En el nombre de Jesuscristo, Amen.

~Hermana Allan

Sunday, February 14, 2016

February 8, 2016

Hello family! It fills me with so much joy hearing from you guys every week. I love you all so much and I'm so grateful for your examples and testimonies that you share with me. Thank you for everything!

Last week all of our investigators dropped us so this week we had to completely turn our time over to the Lord to help us find those who are prepared for the gospel, and it was incredible to see His hand in our lives and to see Him guide us to specific areas. We found a ton of new investigators and all of them are super interested! There was one, where we were in a new area and we didn't know where we should start so we said a little prayer and Hermana Curneal pointed to a street and said we should go here. So we started contacting and at the end of the street there was a 20 year old girl outside who we started talking to and we talked a bit about the Book of Mormon. We gave her one and told her that that was the key to really knowing God and Jesus Christ and drawing closer to them. She told us that she had been trying to find God and Christ in her life but wasn't sure how and nothing had worked before. She said that us meeting her must have been a sign and that maybe this was her answer. It was so cool! She was so prepared! She didn't come to church on Sunday, but we have an appointment with her tomorrow so hopefully she read the Book of mormon and we can help her feel the Spirit and gain her own testimony.

Also, we've been teaching an 8-year old daughter of a less active. The less active and her daughter have been coming to church every week for a while now, but the daughter, has always said no to baptism when we ask her about it. So this week we asked her again and again she said no. We asked her why and she's super shy so she hasn't ever told us but this time she told us that it's because she's scared of the water. We were able to calm her fears and practice with her so that she knew what to expect and then we asked her again if she wanted to be baptized. Like I said, she's super shy so she hardly talks to us and she wouldn't answer us. But then we felt inspired to give her our planner and a pen and asked her to write her answer. She did and then asked us to not read it until we left. Our hearts were pounding as we left and pulled out the planner and then we read, "Si!" We were soooo excited!!!!! So she's going to be baptized on the 20th! YAY!!!! :)

Also, we visited K. and H. this week and I was just overwhelmed with joy! We showed up and they were just so excited to tell us about the first family night they had had together a couple days before, and the movie of the Restoration that they watched, and how they are preparing to go to the Florida temple to be sealed in a year. They were so excited to tell us and it just made me so happy for them! They are so great and have such strong testimonies. The change they've made in their lives is huge and I feel so blessed to have been a part of that change. I can feel Heavenly Father's love for them and I know He's with them, helping them make this change. I'm so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and I know it's true! It truly changes lives and turns the bad into the good and the good into the best.

This Sunday, we taught a lesson about missionary work and I found a scripture that I really loved! It's in Doctrine and Covenants 15:6. It says:
6 And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bringsouls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen.
The thing of most value in our lives will be sharing the gospel with others and participating in missionary work. We truly will be blessed if we put other things to the side and focus on sharing our testimonies with others. Always keep your eyes out for ways that you can share the gospel with others and pray to have missionary experiences. I know you will be filled with more happiness and more peace as you devote more time to serving the Lord. :)

 I also love a scripture in Jacob 3:2 that says:
2 O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love;for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.

I love that it says that we can feast on God's love for us. God wants us to be happy and wants us to feel His love so if you ever feel lonely, overwhelmed, stressed, sad, or anything, in confidence you can turn to the Lord and ask Him to help you feel His love. And not only will you feel it, but you can feast on it. We can delight ourselves in His love and find the strength to continue on and live our days in happiness! I know God loves each and every one of you. You are His child and He knows you, cares about you, and loves you. Turn to Him and He will be there for you at all times.

Mom- I'll definitely be praying for you! Good luck with your work and everything and I hope you can find that internship!

Dad- thank you for listing those blessings. The Lord truly has blessed us and continues to bless us each and every day. I'm praying for you and your ward. Good luck with everything!

Nathan- I still can't get over the fact that you're engaged!! I'm super excited for you and can't wait to see the pictures of the wedding :)

Christopher- I'm dying to see where you go! I expect an email from you next week... :)

Heidi- thanks for the emails every week! I love you!

Amelia- great job with bearing your testimony! I love you!

Love you all!!!!

~Hermana Allan

February 1, 2016

New companion! Hermana Curneal

Hello! I survived my first week of training and my baby survived her first week in the mission! YAY!!! :) This week has been a bit crazy trying to adjust, but it's been a great experience! On Tuesday we got to take the nice scenic drive again to San Juan and there, Hermana Melgar left for her new area and I had to wait for about an hour at the church before the pre-training meeting. But after about 30 min, my trainer Hermana Stevens showed up! It was so good to see her! We just talked and talked and talked and shared our experiences with each other and everything. It was so nice! And she gave me a lot of tips for training which was really super useful. Then, we had a mini training orientation with President Boucher and then the greenies arrived! It was funny, because when the greenies walked in, one of them saw me and started getting really excited and whispered something to another greenie who also got really excited and I was super confused. But then she said, "I've been reading your blog for the past several months and I absolutely loved it! You've helped prepare me for my mission so much and you make it look so easy and that made me really excited to get here!" So I just wanted to say mom, thank you for updating the blog! Apparently it helped someone. :)

Then we were assigned our babies! My baby is Hermana Curneal from Riverton. She so super cute! She's a super girly-girl and absolutely gorgeous and such a hard worker and a great missionary! She's has a really strong testimony and has taught me a lot this week. The spanish of course is a bit rough so that's been something we've been working a lot on, but she really is super great and already I love working with her!

After the baptisms last week, we didn't have very many investigators progressing, so this week we got to do a lot of finding activities! It was great because we were led in so many different ways. Also, I had a super cool experience! Because she is training we have an extra hour of companionship study in the morning where we study fundamentals of missionary work. And for this specific day, we were studying "Revelation through Prayer". We talked a lot about saying prayers with investigators in a way that helps them see that through prayer we can have close relationships with our Father in Heaven. So then later that day, we were contacting and we taught a man that was pretty interested. He said he had seen missionaries pass by his house many times but none of them had ever stopped to talk to him so he thought it was really cool that we stopped by his house. Then after we shared a bit about our message, we felt like we should say a prayer so we asked him if we could say one. But he was like no no it's ok, I'm tired and need to go rest but thank you for sharing the message. And usually I would be like that's ok, next time we'll be sure to say one, but this time I was thinking a lot about what we had studied that morning and realized that he needed a prayer. So I pushed for it. "Please please please can we just say and really short fast prayer?" "No, no, esta bien." "Look, I'll say it and it'll be super short". and after doing this for a while he finally agreed to a short prayer. so I said a short quick prayer and after I had finished he paused for a bit and didn't move. Then finally he looked up and said "I really liked that...will you guys be passing by again?'" It was a miracle! It definitely strengthened my testimony of the importance of prayer. That really is the best way to feel the Spirit and to draw closer to our Father in Heaven.

And CONGRATULATIONS Nathan and Michelle!!!!!! That's so exciting! You guys are seriously the cutest couple and I'm so happy for you! Thanks for all the pictures and the story and all that. :) YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!! :)

Also, congratulations to Christopher for turning in your papers! My guesses..... Texas and Thailand. :) I can't wait to find out!

I just want to end with a quote I read this week from General Conference by Elder Maynes. It says, "The joy we experience in this life will be in direct proportion to how well our lives are centered on the teachings, example, and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ." and then "Our lives must be centered with EXACTNESS in Christ if we are to find true joy and peace in this life." As we strive to follow Christ in everything we do, we will be blessed with true joy and happiness in our lives. Of this I am certain because I've seen it work in my own life. There is nothing better, nothing happier, than following Christ and feeling the love of our Father in Heaven. This gospel is true! This is the one true church of God restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I promise that our lives will be forever changed and forever improved when they are centered with exactness in Christ.

Thank you everyone for supporting me each and every day and for all your love and concern and all your prayers. I'm positive I have the best family in the world. :) Hope you have a fantastic week!

~Hermana Allan

January 25, 2016

Trio with Sister Human and Sister Melgar

Add caption

Lighthouse in Cabo Rojo


This week was incredible!!!! First of all, I feel so extremely blessed and humbled and overwhelmed with gratitude for the chance I had to witness the baptisms of A., H., and K. on Saturday. It was incredible. Preparing for the baptism was insane! We were also planning two ward activities, one on Friday and one on Saturday, as well as the baptisms so we were super super busy and super stressed, but in the end it all came together! It was amazing to see how happy each of them were after they were baptized. One thing that we failed to discover before the baptism is that H. (the 8 year old) has a fear of getting wet...... That resulted in many many tears and a lot of convincing to go in the water. In the end, her mom had to be in the font with her and the priesthood holder said the prayer really quickly and dunked her under really fast to get it over with. It was very interesting and kind of funny now that we think about it. :) But it's all good, because they did it!!!!!!

Also, the activities ended up being really good too! We had quite a few people show up for both of them and we received several references, so it was pretty affective! On Monday, we finally took the chance to go sightseeing and we visited the lighthouse! It was absolutely gorgeous! It was a nice hike along the ocean to get there with beautiful views the entire time. It was super fun! Then on Wednesday, there was a missionary devotional for all the missionaries in the world and it was super powerful! Elder Anderson and Elder Bednar and a few people of the seventy gave a little training on how to be an effective missionary and we learned so much! It was awesome!

We also had a kind of funny/humbling miracle that happened this week. We were out contacting and while we were walking we were talking about the effectiveness of handing out pass-along cards. Up until this point, I hadn't received a single call from someone that had received a card and Hermana Melgar hadn't either. So we were talking about why we still do it or how we can do it better so that it's actually worth it and in the middle of that conversation the phone rang and it was someone that had found a pass-along card on the ground and wanted to know what the church was about. We learned a very good lesson that day. :)

Now for the part I know you were all waiting for..... TRANSFERS!!!!! I'm staying here in Cabo Rojo and guess what? I'M TRAINING!!!!! I'm super duper nervous but excited at the same time! I'll meet her tomorrow and we'll see if she's una gringa o latina. :) Hermana Melgar is going to Carolinas to be in a trio again. I feel bad because a trio is not the ideal situation on a mission, so I'm just hoping and praying that she has a good experience! This transfer has been incredible here in Cabo Rojo with Hermana Melgar. I love looking back and seeing all the things I've learned from each companion and area and I'm super excited for this next adventure of training!

I love the picture of all you guys at the baptism! What a lovely family I have! :)

I love you guys all so so very much and I hope you have a wonderful week. Never forget who you are or what you stand for and most of all never forget the Lord. Include him in everything you do and you will be blessed immeasurably! Stay strong and keep on pushing on in the strength of the Lord! :)

~Hermana Allan

January 18, 2016

What a week! I have so much to say, I just hope I have time to write it all. :)

This week I witnessed the greatest miracle yet in my mission! On Friday, we didn't have any appointments so we left to contact a new area. After a little while without any success we decided to go visit some less actives so we started driving back but on the way we both had the impression to drop by C. and K. (up to this point we still hadn't heard from them at all for 2 weeks). So we passed by their house but they weren't home. We were pretty disappointed, said a prayer for them, and then started heading back again. As we were stopped at a stop sign, they passed us in their car. We were so excited and Hermana Melgar said, "Hurry! Hurry! Follow them!" So we followed behind them for awhile and eventually they stopped at a gas station and we were able to talk to them! They invited us to dinner that night at their house so we were able to talk through things and find out what was going on and then they commited to baptism this coming Saturday! What a HUGE MIRACLE!!!!! It was incredible and afterwards Hermana Melgar and I were literally in tears as we prayed to thank the Lord for this miracle. It was the best thing that has happened in my mission!

Also, we did a "stop smoking" program with a less active, and he completed every step and now has no desire to ever smoke again. He has been smoking since he was 7 years old and now he's about 70 years old, so it was incredible to see him overcome this addiction and change his life. And he's attending church now and will probably be reactivated by next week! The young woman that we're teaching, A., is also ready to be baptized and will be baptized on Saturday too! We're super excited!!!!

I feel so extremely blessed to be able to be here in Cabo Rojo and to be able to see all of these blessings and miracles that are happening each and every day. These wards and this area is truly growing and progressing in the gospel of Jesus Christ and I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here and be apart of this miracle!

Hermana Melgar got her package this week!!!! Thank you so much for sending it! It was perfect! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!! Also, I printed out that family picture of you guys at Kylee's house during Thanksgiving and I've been showing it to basically everyone and I thought you guys would like to here what people say about you... :) Everyone says that I look exactly like you, mom and everyone sees you and says "Wow! Your parents are so young!" And in one lesson, I showed the picture to an elderly lady and she said "Wow, how handsome is he!" I said "who? The one in the blue? (Nathan)" she said, "well, he's ok too, but look at that one in the red! Que guapo! (How handsome!) (Christopher)" Haha, I thought that was really funny. :)

Sorry, I don't have a ton of time this week, so I'll send pictures next week but I want to leave you with a spiritual thought. This week I studied a lot about the vision of the tree of life and there are two parts this time that really stuck out to me. The first is that when Lehi tasted of the fruit, it says that he desired to share it with his family. I love this, because when we taste of the goodness of the gospel, we should have this desire to share it with everyone and to help them taste of the same happiness that we have experienced. Also, at the end when it's describing the group of people that were faithful and made it to the end, it says that they reached the tree and then fell down and partook of the fruit. It must not have been easy if they fell down when they reached the end of the path. The phrase "fell down" implies that they were struggling and fighting and pushing forward and finally when all their efforts were wasted, they fell down to partake of the blessings of their labors. This path isn't going to be easy. We're going to have to put in all we have to be able to reach the end. But we've been promised that it will be worth it. And even more, we have the Atonement of Jesus Christ to help us and give us more strength than our natural ability allows. How grateful I am for this gospel and for the Atonement of Christ that we can use everyday of our lives to continue onward in this glorious fight for truth!

I love you all and am so grateful for you love and support!!!! Hope you have a fantastic week!!!!!

~Hermana Allan

January 11, 2016

Happy King's Day!

Darker hair for a change! :)
Hello everybody!!!!! I love hearing from you guys every week! Thanks so much for the emails and the love and support and everything you guy's do. I love you all so so very much!!!

Lots of things happened this week and it was pretty amazing! We had so many experiences being led by the Spirit and it just reminded me of how essential the Spirit is in missionary work and in our lives in general. We were led to people that desperately needed comfort and were led to less actives who had never had missionary visits before and led to houses that we were searching for but didn't know exactly where to find them. It was incredible! Never do anything that separates you from the presence and the guidance of the Spirit. It's not worth it. Things are so much better and so much easier with a companion who sees and knows the bigger picture and has the eternal perspective!

This week was King's Day! It's celebrated just as much as Christmas here. We watched the Three Wise Men ride through the streets on their horses and everyone was giving out candy and having fun. It was great! Not so great for missionary work, because no one wanted us.... but it was still fun! :)

Also, I basically burned all of my taste buds off of my tongue this week..... Ouch. It hurt... a lot.... and it was a bummer because the next day someone made mofongo for us (a typical Puerto Rican dish) but I could hardly taste it because my tongue was so burned. :( Oh well, all is well now. :) Also, I dyed my hair this week! I'm sending a picture... not sure if you can tell very well in the pic but it's quite a bit darker and I love it! Anyways, that was a fun change this week!

We had another reactivation this week! It's a lady that was a missionary many many years ago but became inactive partly because of health problems and partly because of laziness.... but she's been coming every week for a while now and accepted an assignment in the church so now she's officially reactivated! YAY! :) And the elders of Cabo Rojo 1 had a baptism which was exciting!

something really cool that happened this week- There is a street in town that is super close to where we live and we pass it just about everyday. Everytime we passed it I kept having the feeling that we needed to contact that street but I kept pushing it aside thinking that every other missionary had contacted there because it's so close to our apartment. But I kept getting that prompting. So finally I told Hermana Melgar about it and we decided to contact that street. We met a lady who had received the restoration pamphlet from the elders a couple months ago and she had read it and really liked the message but the elders had never passed by again so she just pushed it to the side and moved on. But she was so excited when we showed up at her house and in that first lesson, she accepted a baptismal date! Then, in the second lesson with her, we taught about the 5 steps in the gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and endure to the end) and at the end of the lesson we invited her to say the prayer. In the middle of her prayer she had a long pause so I looked up and she had this shocked look on her face for a couple seconds and then kept going and finished her prayer. After she finished it she told us, "I felt this feeling come over me... I don't know what it was.... but I felt it! I felt something! Look! I have goosebumps!" It was incredible! She was so excited and so happy!

I had the opportunity to speak in church this week on the joy of service. Service is one of my favorite subjects to speak on because I've had so many examples of service in my life. There is a quote I found in True to the Faith that I love. I'm translating it from Spanish so it might not be exact but more or less it says, "You will notice that the key to true happiness is to labor to achieve the happiness of others." I love this! We can be truly happy if we are diligently seeking to improve the lives of others and help them in whatever way we can. It made me think of Granny when I read this. Despite her suffering and her pain and her condition, she was always serving those around her and she was always happy. she had found the key to true happiness and no mortal challenge or trial could take this hapiness away from her. I know we can be truly happy too, if we lose ourselves in the service of others. Because afterall, "when we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are only in the service of our God."

I love you all so much and I hope you have a fantastic week!!!!!

Mom- we still haven't received anything, but then again mail hasn't been sent here since Christmas so I'm sure it's in the mission office. We get mail once or twice a month here because we're the farthest away from the office. But we have a zone meeting tomorrow so I'm sure we'll get it then.

Dad- thanks for sharing your thoughts about your singles ward! That's awesome that you're seeing so much change in the ward. Yay! :)

Nathan- you went ring shopping?! How weird...... It's literally driving me crazy that I haven't even met her yet. I can't wait until Mother's Day! :) How are you going to do it?

Heidi- I'm so sorry about your ankle! That sounds super painful.... But I'm so glad that you already love your calling! It's such a great opportunity to serve those around you and to serve the Lord. :)

Also, let me know when Christopher submits his mission papers! I want to throw my guess in the pot :)

Love you all!!!!

~Hermana Allan

January 4, 2016

Hello everyone! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!! This week was a roller coaster. It started off a bit rough but ended great! On Monday, C. (the less active that we've been working with) texted us and told us that we need to give them some time to think about things and that they will let us know when they want us to pass by again. It was devastating! They were going to get baptized this Saturday and everything was ready for them and they were super excited and then we received this text from him. We have no idea what happened or what's going on right now because we still haven't heard from them or seen them. We're just hoping and praying that all is ok and that they are still doing things to strengthen their testimonies.

So that was a bit rough, but then we met a new couple named C. and A. We taught them the first lesson and invited them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. We felt prompted to ask them if we could call them the next day to hear about their experience with the Book of Mormon and they accepted. So the next day we gave them a call and they said that they read the introduction and then prayed about it together and that they received an answer that it's true! And also that before this happened they had been searching for something but couldn't find it, but then after reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, they found it. C. said that they believe that God blessed them and helped them find it because they had read the Book of Mormon. How cool is that?! They said that it's true and that they want to come to church! We are so super excited! They are the cutest couple ever and are so prepared!

And we are teaching this 16 year old girl, A. and she is super excited to be baptized! Her date is the 16th of January and we're sure she'll make it! The only thing is that we need the permission of her parents and we haven't been able to meet with them yet..... but we're hoping that we can do it this week. She is so cute and has a super strong testimony!

New Years Eve was a bit boring..... we had a small fiesta with a member where we ate really good Puerto Rican food and then sang a few songs and then we went home and went to sleep at 10. Then we woke up at 11:55 to say Happy New Year and watch a few fireworks and then we went back to bed. It wasn't too exciting....

Things are definitely changing here and it's super exciting seeing all of the miracles and blessings that are happening here in Cabo Rojo!

And we had two reactivations this week! Yay!!!!! A man and his wife and their daughter have been coming for several weeks now and this week they accepted a calling to teach Sunday School so they're now officially reactivated! They are a power house family and I know they will be a huge blessing for this ward!

That's so exciting that Christopher started his papers! I think he's coming here to Puerto Rico... :) How and where is Nathan going to propose?

Dad- keep going with the Living Christ! it's such a blessing :)

Mom- transfers are the last week of January. This transfer is going great! I really enjoy working with Hermana Melgar and we're seeing so many miraculous changes here in Cabo Rojo. It's amazing! And good luck with your job!

and... HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you have a fantabulous week! I'm going to send your birthday present a bit later because I'm going to send it with Nathan's birthday present so that I don't have to send as many packages. So I'm sorry that it's going to come late, but I promise that it's going to come. :)

This Sunday, Hermana Melgar and I had the chance to teach Relief Society about missionary work. I learned that we might be doing all that we should be doing like keeping the commandments and all that but it isn't enough if we aren't caring for the salvation and welfare of others. Love is a huge part of this gospel and if we truly love others, we will have a desire to share with them what has helped us most in our own lives, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope you all can find opportunities to serve and help others and to share with them your testimonies. I love you all so so very much!!!!! And HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!! :) :) :)

~Hermana Allan

December 28, 2015

Hello!!!! What a week! Here, Christmas Eve is a bigger deal than Christmas day, so Christmas Eve the town was super dead. Nobody was outside or at home and those that were were too busy to listen to us. It was a bit rough, but it was nice because we had eating appointments with an investigator for lunch and then two for dinner (one with a less active and one with a member). It was super fun and I really enjoyed it.

We still haven't had the baptism for K. and H. but we're hoping to have it this week. Also, we had a huge miracle with a less active. We had passed by her house several times but every time we did, nobody was home. Well, this week we were contacting but nobody was home and it wasn't very effective so we decided to pray. After we prayed we felt like we should pass by this less actives house. And this time someone was outside! It was the less actives daughter who is also a less active. We started talking to her but she was pretty annoyed and didn't want to listen to us or anything. In the end we ended up just asking her if she could give us a bit of water and when she came out with the water it gave us the chance to talk to her a bit more. We started talking to her about the peace and assurance that comes from the gospel of Christ and the hope that we can live with our loved ones for forever in the next life if we remain faithful in the gospel. After we shared that, she started crying and said that her son had died last year during Christmas time and ever since then she's been very depressed and full of anger. Then she ended with "Can you guys come by tomorrow night? I want to hear more about this." It was a huge miracle! So, we're going to pass by tonight and help guide her in the right direction. It was so amazing!!

And of course, It was so good to talk to you guys!!!! I'm sorry that it was super loud and that I was crying at the end..... It had been a bit of an emotional morning because I had felt inspired that morning to study the basics of the gospel and to ponder on my testimony and how much it's grown since my first day on the mission and I had a super spiritual experience while doing that so of course when you asked me to bear my testimony I could hardly talk. But thank you for asking me to do that and giving me the opportunity to share it with you guys. Also, because of the noise and the pressure of the time limit, there was a lot of things that I wanted to tell you guys that I didn't get to say so I'm going to say it now. :) I want you guys to know how much I love you and how grateful I am for your examples to me and all that you do for me. Even though we are far away, my love and appreciation for each and every one of you grows everyday. I know that the key to a happy and eternal family like ours, is the gospel of Jesus Christ. And that's why I'm here in Puerto Rico. I'm here to help others have happy, eternal families like my own. Thank you for your sacrifices and for encouraging me and supporting me in serving a mission so that I can help others here have the same blessings that we enjoy as members of the true church. I love you guys so so very much and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you have a wonderful New Year! Love ya!

And thank you so much for sending a package for Hermana Melgar! We still haven't gotten it yet, but I'm sure it's great. Thank you thank you thank you!

Nathan, thanks for the awesome shirt! Christopher, thanks for the lotion! I always need more lotion... :) Heidi, thanks for the earrings! I love them! Amelia, thanks for the picture! Mom and Dad, thanks for the note cards and the apron and everything! And many thanks for the stocking! When I opened the package and saw the stocking I just about started crying. Thank you so much for everything! I feel so spoiled to have such a wonderful and thoughtful family. :) Love you guys!

And even though the presents were all wonderful, I'm extremely grateful for the one present given to us 2000 years ago in a humble stable in Bethlehem. I'm so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and all He did for me. What a great blessing it is to have the opportunity to celebrate His birth and show our love for Him. In this new year we can follow the example of the wise men and brings gifts to our Savior and our Father in Heaven. We can give more time, more service, more testimony, more love, more patience, etc. What will you give Him this year?

Dad, question for you. In the call you said that you love the singles ward. Why do you love it so much? I'm curious. :)

~Hermana Allan

Skyping on Christmas!

 We all loved skyping with this beautiful missionary on Christmas!! She is radiant and so happy to be serving the Lord in Puerto Rico!