Sunday, May 1, 2016

Feb. 22, 2016

Happy 20th Birthday! Yummy cake from Sister Curneal!

Donuts provided by her district to celebrate

At the lighthouse
First of all, I just want to send a HUGE thank you to everyone who has made my birthday so special! I'm so overwhelmed with gratitude for the wonderful family I've been blessed with and for all of your love and support and examples to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm absolutely in love with the book of pictures! I seriously can't stop looking at it. Thank you so much for the thinking of me and helping me have such a special day. Now I'm a bit trunky for family but thank goodness it's a p-day so I have some time to refocus myself on the work. :) Thank you for everything! I love the shirt and the necklace and the cupcakes and the journal and everything! I love you all so much!

So far my birthday has already been just grand and dandy! We've been working a lot with one of the elders' investigators because she's had some problems and some setbacks while preparing for her baptism and she needed some women's advice so we've gotten really close to her this week and she brought me giant cupcakes yesterday at church! It was so sweet of her. :) Then today, we are planning on going to the lighthouse and then we have a fun family night set up for tonight with a less active and Hermana Curneal is baking me a cake, so I think my birthday is going to be wonderful! :)

This week was so super busy and so super good! We had zone conference on Wednesday and it was AMAZING! I learned so so much but the best part was my interview with President afterwards. It was really cool, because everything he said was as if he knew me inside and out. He is such an inspired man and I'm so grateful for his counsel and guidance. He told me "there are 2 things that the spirit is telling me that you need to work on to reach your full potential." and those 2 things I know are exactly what I need to do and focus on and it was just such an incredible moment and I've already seen so many blessings this week as I've been focusing on these things. It was such an incredible and inspiring day!

And right after the conference, we met a mom of 7 kids who is so interested in religion! It was really cool to be able to talk with her and answer her questions and introduce her to the church. She is the leader of a small cult of 20 and we actually got to attend one of her cult meetings yesterday. It was really interesting.... but I can just imagine the entire cult of 20 and her family of 9 all dressed in white entering the waters of baptism. We're super excited to work with them and we're just praying so hard that they'll be open to the message of the Restoration and that they'll take the needed steps to know that it's true.

We also had a really cool experience with a less active that we've been trying to find for months. We heard that she was really sick and that she's only been less active for about a year and so we've been trying to pass by to see her but we've never been able to. Finally there was one day when we were in the area and as we were driving by I had the impression that we needed to pass by again. So we did and right when we got their, her son was just getting home and he was so excited to see us and said yes, yes, please come in and visit her!" So we got to meet her and talk to her and we found out that she can't walk so she's stuck in the house and that for the past year her daughter that has been "taking care of her" has had her locked up in the house and never gave her any food or anything. The only way she ate, was when her neighbor could slip the food in through her bedroom window. For a whole year she lived liked that! Then just a couple weeks ago, her son got out of prison (he was there for 16 years) and now he is taking care of her and is trying to undo what the daughter did. So that's why he was so excited to see us and let us in. It was incredible that the Spirit led us to her house right at that time and that we could give her that spark of hope that everything is going to be ok again. We sang I know that my Redeemer Lives for her and she was crying and couldn't stop saying, He's saved me, He's saved me, He sent me these angels and He's saved me. It was an incredible moment. The Lord really is aware of His children and will use us to answer the cries and the pleas of others. We need to always strive to be worthy of the Spirit so we can be led to those who are in need of comfort and hope.

It has been rainy so much this week and we had an earthquake this morning! It was super exciting! :) This week I've been pondering a lot on the beauty of our lives and of this world and of this gospel. We are here to be happy, and as we draw closer to our Savior and our Father in Heaven, we will feel that true happiness that will last in the midst of trial. We will be more aware of the little beauties that fill our everyday lives and that surround us at all times. We will see the miracles and the blessings that come from the joyous news of the restored gospel of Christ. Each day, I'm more and more in love with this work and with this gospel and with life in general. It is beautiful. This gospel is true. Jesus Christ lives. We have a Father in Heaven who loves us. Our families can be together forever. We're guided through a living prophet. Joseph Smith was a prophet. This is the truth and I know it with all of my heart. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Dad- Good luck memorizing the Living Christ! You can do it! :)

Mom- Good luck with your interviews! I hope you can find a good one that you like! :) And thank you for that acronym you sent. It's awesome and I'll definitely be using it!

Chris- I'm sorry about your mission call, but I'm sure it'll come this week. But also, CONGRATS on getting in to BYU!!!!! That's super exciting! See you there in 2 1/2 years! :)

Heidi- I'm so sorry that you've been so sick! But thanks for still writing me! :) I hope you feel better real soon! I love you!

Amelia- I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!! :)

~Hermana Allan

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