Wednesday, August 19, 2015

This Week in a Nutshell

This week was really awesome! It was really a growing week for me! I was told a couple times that I had improved a lot last transfer, and also that I need to keep improving. 

Missionaries are pretty blunt sometimes, but it was all good because no tears were shed, on my side of the table, I had to comfort some other sisters this week. Though, I definitely learned the meaning of a mighty prayer! What an experience! We got to go to district meeting, and I was asked to lead the district in a meaningful prayer after just learning about how to help our investigators really feel like they are talking to God and not to themselves. 

After that, I really learned the meaning of mighty prayer when I was having a really hard time with a specific situation, something that I did not know how to move on from, but it was good because I just had this really great practice at district meeting. Then I went on a three day exchange with some sisters in White Rock, doing my best to help them get to where the area has potential to be. It was a great couple of days and really helped me bond with the sister I was with. 

We kept going. A couple days later, I got a call from President Burt asking me what we should do about this skype. I didn't know what to do. I really, REALLY, wanted to skype with Mac, but then the spirit told me once more that I would need to wait to see Mac till we were both home from our missions. President was praying all week for that too, so we could do our best to have the same answer. It was really good. So that was a nightly mighty prayer going on there. 

Shortly after, we went to the temple! And it was so great! It was the first time I had been in about 9 months. I hadn't gone since the MTC, and it was such a huge blessing to go. I really am glad. We also then had a crazy p-day to follow. It was so busy, which leads me to my next thing I need to tell you. 



I had to use about $70 of my own money for some groceries this week. None of our sisters had money for groceries, literally all the Chinese zone is currently broke, and none of them have any savings of any sort. So I paid for some groceries, my own and some basics like bread and milk for the sisters. I thought I was a frugal person. Still think I am but our life style lately has not allowed us to go home and cook, and if we do have time to cook, there isn't enough time to cook a meal of any sort so we can actually eat. We are over the YSA (Young Single Adults), so no members really give you dinner, because they all kind of are living the same way we are, paycheck to paycheck and none of us have the money! 

So I want to declare now that I will do dishes for you all every time that we have a real meal at the house from now on. 

Man, not eating is almost the worst, the next being starving. No wonder I lost weight, but I am healthy! You've got a good American blood in this body, and so it is really not a big deal, though my fellow Chinese and Taiwanese friends are a little more health cautious, my companion doesn't really care, but then her body will literally fall apart, there are days when we have to kind of carry each other because she has no energy, but it is good. 

That is what happened this week in a nutshell!

Love you, Alyssa

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

the Chinese District


We have had a Chinese zone in the mission for about 6 months now. It is really great! It is the smallest zone in the mission consisting of 9 companionships. 4 sisters and 5 elders. We love it! We know that we will never be transferred out of our zone and we all love being able to go on exchanges and see the people that we used to teach all the time, see the members that used to come to our lessons all the time and really just fall in love with every single Chinese area because you know every single one is a part of your home!

This week, we had 7 baptisms in the Chinese zone, and it was so cool, because over the course of ten months in the mission, I had taught 5 of those seven on a regular basis! It was such a miracle to see them all come to the waters of baptism!

Somebody I wanted to mention specifically was Jason. Jason's story is really awesome. I was in White Rock when I got a call from some Spanish elders, they asked us to speak Chinese on the phone with a guy they met on the street. We ended up taking for about a half hour trying to convince this person to meet with the missionaries, but he was just not having it, he really wanted to hang up the phone. But we ended up getting his phone number and name, thinking that maybe when missionaries go to Vancouver YSA that he will finally have missionaries to meet. 

He didn't want to go to a Chinese speaking ward because he wanted to practice his English, and he didn't want to go somewhere that he did not know anybody. At the very end of the call, I told him that one day I would be in Vancouver and that we would meet then. I really didn't know if that would happen, but I really wanted to meet, at least in person.

As time went on, we forgot about Jason, we knew that he was not in our area and passed him to our elders in Vancouver. Two weeks later we got our transfer calls, I got called to Vancouver YSA Chinese, and we still had his phone number. I was a little nervous to call him because he was so not willing to meet with us when we were on the phone the first time. 
But we were opening a new area and he was our first potential we had. So we called anyways, he met us the next day, had a baptismal date his first lesson and then we met with him almost four or five times a week. He was going to be baptized, and he was determined. 

When I went to the MTC I heard about all these stories where missionaries find reasons why they needed to go where they go, and for the first time in my mission, I felt like for the first time I actually came for an investigator instead of another missionary or a member. It was awesome. I don't think he needed me, or Sister Chen, but he needed Chinese missionaries in YSA and it was so good.

This Sunday he bore his testimony in Sunday school about how to endure to the end, and he used his English! Later that night he texted us and told us how happy he was baptized and how excited he is to endure to the end and help others find the happiness he has found. He is so good! 
I know that every person has the potential to do things like this. Every perosn has the potential to find that happiness and endure to the end. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only living and true church on the earth today. It is such a blessing to have it here with us today. I hope you all will continue to pray for missionary experiences so that you can give people the same if not better joy that we have. 
Love you all tons.
Sister Allen

PS 
This is Guilan! the perosn who was supposed to be baptized on Mothers day but just got baptized this friday!




Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sorry...not enough time! oh, and another baptism!

So this week has been super crazy! We have been really busy and I would love to tell you all about it, but I do not have a lot of time to email after doing all this stuff for President Burt, because we have to report all of our sisters baptismal dates, and their statuses, which takes like a half hour, then I still have to write him about our area and update him on all our sisters, so not a lot of time goes to you all anymore, and I am SO SORRY! And part of it is because all the libraries in Vancouver only allow us to have one hour even though our mission president has allowed us to email for two, so the time is cut super short!


Anyways! Matt was baptized! it was so great! Especially compared to lasts week's baptism, we had a lot more plans this time and everything ran a lot smoother. It was so good! he said he has a plan for his older brother to be apart of the church too, which he said it all started with him coming to the baptism. He did! So it is super exciting! he has been going to church for about a month now, and loves the gospel, he progressed super fast. The elders in the picture are the elders who found him. 


It was pretty awesome! Matt had literally had the worst day of his life, he got fired, his car was stolen, his life was going down hill, and then he started to ask himself if there really was a god, or anything out there watching over him, then the elders came up to him in the subway and said, "Hi! I am a missionary and I am here to tell you that God loves you!" Matt got the hint that the Lord sent, and then he joined the church like 6 weeks later, he went to church without meeting with the missionaries for about three weeks, people thought he was a new guy who moved in. It was crazy. Anyways! Super good!
Love you tons!






The two sisters in our ward have the exact same car, we accidently parked next to each other.

My first baptism!

First things first, I am so glad you got to go to girls camp and that it was raining there instead of here! Even if there were fires, we really did not see the sun for about four days because the smoke was so thick. It was pretty awesome. But, it was also hard to find people because nobody was out, so we had to use other methods of like mall contacting, which is tricky because you can't just walk up to people in the mall. 


We had a baptism this week! It is the first one of my mission! We are being so blessed! I am little by little learning what the law of consecration means. I still haven't been to the temple while on my mission but I am learning more and more. I love it! His name is David. 

It was super crazy. We had President Burt come, who had family visiting, so half of his children came too. Stressful. Then, Sister Chen and I forgot to fill up the baptismal font so we had to get up in the middle of the sacrament to turn it on, luckily the elders had remembered earlier and turned it on, otherwise we would have been waiting. 

But then David forgot another set of clothes, so his mom ran home to get some, and came back with a pair of gym shorts instead of church clothes. Our elder who baptized him is from another ward and was twenty minutes late. 

Like, really everything went wrong. It was crazy. But the spirit was super strong once it had started, so that is good. He also was confirmed the same time, which is not normal for convert baptisms, actually against the rules, but we did it anyway because he is leaving for China on Friday to help his dad with the family business. 

All in all though mom, it was really a wonderful experience. I am so glad that he was baptized, he will keep going to church in China too, President Burt wants Sister Chen and I to keep emailing him while he is away, also not allowed, but hey, anything for somebody's salvation eh? Love you tons mom! You are the best! :)


Zone conference! We had all the Chinese sisters wear orange ;) 
my idea :) and then ya, pretty much :)



Transfers and Sister Training Leaders

Letters to Dad

I always love your emails! This is so good! With the soccer womens world cups going on here, we have been seeing lots of America and Canada clothes. Canada day was July first, we wore red and white, and then on 4th of July I went all out in our true colors, helped my companion do it too even though she is from Taiwan. It was so fun because I serve pretty close to down town right now and that is the best place to find people to teach currently, so we went down there, and I literally heard the crowd shout for America on every goal, by the way America is in the lead. It was funny, I got to talk to a Canadian yesterday and he said something along the lines of America being extremely patriotic, I said, "Ya we are. My dad is in the Air Force and I think we would prefer it this way, we love our country." It through him off guard, and then I got to tell him why I was in Canada and that it was not for the world cup! It was awesome!

Love you tons dad!



Transfers! I have some big transfer news mom! I am going to Vancouver YSA and opening a new area in the Chinese work there with a new companion. Sister Chen, we spent Christmas together in Richmond. Not just that but we will be the first sister training leaders in Chinese work. There have only been English speaking sister training leaders, so this is the first time that President has decided for the Chinese sisters to get enough attention to work with their own leaders. 

We are like being segregated. I never see English missionaries anymore. It's cool though. I am so excited! I am so ready to move! I spent three times longer in White Rock than I did in the house you are all in now, so I was really getting antsy. But it is good, I am working with those feelings of not being what White Rock needs, and as soon as I realized that I needed White Rock not White Rock needing me, I got transfered. It is pretty great. Love you tons mom! Hope everything is going well in the life of Colorado! 



Sorry I do not have a lot of time to eamil you but I wanted to send you some pictures of Sister Chen and I! We have been really busy in the lower mainland. I have not had one day all in my area yet. I went to a baptism yesterday. I got to help find her and teach her when I was in Richmond. It was really great that we got to see each other, I asked her if she remembered me and she did and thanked me a lot. 

Mom, I have not yet had a baptism, but I have found a lot of people that are getting baptized. Like really, tons of people on the street are getting baptized all because you start by saying hello. It is the best, I know that is part of the reason why I am here, because I talk to a lot of people and can do both languages instead of one. It is a blessing. Heavenly Father has blessed me so much to be in Vancouver.

Vancouver is ON FIRE!

I don't know if you have all heard, but recently there has not been enough rain in Vancouver and has literally set things on fire from the dry air. 

It is crazy! It was so crazy to see all these things happening, police were patrolling outside for safety, and firemen were at every fire hydrant ready to work. And then there were the missionaries, outside street contacting. Because 9:00 didn't hit yet. It was crazy we woke up and the skies were all orange, covered in this weird ash, we went to church and everything was fine, but there were some areas in the mission that couldn't leave the chapel because the air was so bad! 

Even though all of this was going on, there was still a baptism in the ward for the week! It was a testimony to me that no matter how crazy life gets, or the weather, there is always going to be God. He will always be there for us, and He wants us all there. And that is why we were all out contacting or teaching lessons if we could, because that is where they needed to be, comforted with Heavenly Father. Love you all tons! Sorry no pictures recently. Our computers are wierd and don't always take my SD reader. Love you tons :) 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Little Things Can Bring Big Changes

Yesterday, Sister Chan and I went to ward council at "really early" in teh morning, which evens out to 7am. While we were there we got a call from a couple people. 

We got a call from our sister training leaders and turned the phone on mute because our mission president has asked us to not answer phone calls (no matter who it is, including himself) during meetings. 

We didn't answer. We put the phone on silent instead of vibrate and then kept in in our pockets till the end of the meeting. When we were leaving the meeting at about 8:30, we realized that we had a message from the President. Which does not often happen. 



We went out to call him back, following the instructions he gave on his voice mail. First thing we hear is "Why haven't you been answering all morning?" 

Apparently he had called us a few times. We told him we were in ward council and all his feelings became softer, and said "You sisters are so good! You have such a good bishop and ward mission leader!" That was perfectly said. We have a really good ward. 

He then said, "I have your transfer news for you" We start listening. Sister Chan is training somebody from Ethiopia learning Chinese! And that is super cool! 

And then he told me my news and I am starting somehting I have never done before.



I got my transfer news! It is so exciting! So I have a new companion, I am moving from Sister Chan to Sister Chen. With this little one letter change, so comes the other changes. 

Like me leaving White Rock. I am going from the oldest ward in the Chinese work (most of them are retired) to the youngest age around, 

I am going to the Vancouver YSA ward. And not just this, but Sister Chen and I are reopening a closed area. It was been closed for over a year, and we finally have enough Chinese sisters in the mission that we will be able to go forward with reopening areas! So exciting! 

So we are both new to the area, and we are both excited. We also are going to be the first sister training leaders over the Chinese speaking sisters. So that is pretty cool.  

So things are pretty good! I quite literally started jumping for joy and told President I was super excited. He started laughing at me over the phone and then told us how important it was to him that we do these things. 

I was pretty glad. I love being a missionary and getting to move to as many areas possible to get to talk with as many people possible. I am so blessed. 

I love this gospel. The Lord and His Atonement is so real, and really should be used daily. I know that He will guide us through this work and help us work together and have a successful companionship, successful areas, and most of all growing testimonies. 

What a blessing.
Sister Allen

Found a horse tracting. Because this is White Rock and that happens here.




Friday, June 19, 2015

Scripture Study is the Best

This morning in my studies I was reading about Captain Moroni in Chapter 55 of Alma. In that chapter, Captain Moroni has told the Lamanites a couple times that we will not exchange prisoners to get his people back. He keeps going forward in the story and his plan how it was executed. The Nephites ended up surrounding the other camp and waiting till the Lamanites were all drunk of wine and arming his people who were currently prisoners. It says that they armed every woman, child, and person that could hold a weapon of war. And they say that all these things were done in "profound silence" that nobody would hear, and then the next verse (verse 18) says that even if the Lamanites did wake up that it would not have been a problem and the Nephites could have slain them anyways. Pretty safe guarded. 


As I was reading all I could do was relate it to us as members of the church. We do not negotiate with Satan to give and take prisoners, the same way that Moroni didn't negotiate with the Lamanites, he just prepared to take back the Nephites and help the Lamanites that now were in their land. You think of the wards and the stakes of the church and how we really do our best to not let anybody go, we send missionaries out to get more and have more people stand on our side. We start arming people with weapons of righteousness as young as nursery kids when they start learning the basic principles of the gospel! And we continue to strengthen your armor as you make covenants like baptism and going to the temple.



Soon you read verse 32 that they were being cautious to the Lamanites trying to poison them. The world is no different now trying to put things into our lives that do not belong in the lives of children of God. I love in verse 32 it also says that if it would poison a Lamanite then it would also poison a Nephite, so they took precautions. How is that any different to the commandments we live today? We are taking precautions to the ways of the world and doing our best to live the way that Heavenly Father has proven to us that is most safe.


And then you consider how it was all done in profound silence, what a great way to describe it! The world might know that we are here, but don't quite understand how it is all working out till they become a part of it themselves! Things that go on in the church are not secret, but only through the Spirit will you know the truth of all things, so until they let the Spirit teach them, they won't know what is going. And just like Captain Moroni said, that even if they had woken up, they would have been able to slay them. I really hope we are building our stakes, wards, families, and selves so that we are all going able to slay the not so good parts of the world, the parts that we need to cast out in order to make it where we want to be, with Heavenly Father. Things are good, things are so good in this gospel! Heavenly Father literally prepares nursery age children to fight against the bad, and all you have to do is keep up with it. He has already come up with a plan, just as Captain Moroni did for his people, we just have to arm ourselves the way that He has provided, because through Him, we will all be saved and taken into our home land. Just as the Nephites were able to return home, we will all be able to as well, we will all one day be back with our Heavenly Father. What a blessing! Anyways, this is what I learned this morning, hope you all got to learn something too! :)

Love Sister Allen

Monday, May 25, 2015

HOPE

President Burt will send out a weekly email for encouragement and for studying. It is to be studied a lot like a conference talk would be studied and this week it was all about hope. It didn't really click till later in the week, but once I started thinking about it I got really excited and really started wanting to have hope! I related it to the mission, of course. From what I have seen other missionaries start to loose a little but of hope halfway some time though out their missions. I am no exception. 

I want to be a type of missionary that always feels like a beginner missionary and never wants to go home but is always excited to see her family when the time does come. I want to be the type of missionary who works hard to help every person come unto Christ and follow Him. I thought about how when we receive our mission call, we are all real excited and practically ready to jump to get there. 

Then, we get to the MTC and are just about willing to fly or walk on water to get to the mission and we are all just so stoked to go to the next step. Then you get to the mission and you just want to get going as fast as you can and literally talk to everybody, because the offer can't be taken away from anybody. And then you are a couple weeks or months in and realize you have to wake up at 6:20 every morning, or have some other realization that is a little bit harder to face than helping somebody get baptized. I don't have a problem with waking up at 6:20, but it isn't always easy to do it.
 
And then you compare it to life, we were in the premortal life probably all stoked to get to earth and have a body and have our families and be happy together. Along the way we realize we have to do hard things. But it is great because when you read Alma 34:41, you realize that you do all these things, even if there are hard things in the way, because you have hope that one day you will rest in the peace of the Lord. And even better, along the way, 

He blesses us to have those little moments that make life worth it! He has given me so many moments on this mission that make it okay that I have not seen anybody to baptism yet, He has given me so many moments to make it okay that I am not with my family even though my brother is graduating from high school. There are so many things in this time that make it worth it, because all He wants to do it bless us. That is why we are here, so that we can become like Him in a way that allows us to one day be with Him., and all He does is bless us along the way of doing it because He knows it isn't easy, but it is always worth it.

Hope, what a blessing.


We have three area books because there used to be three set of missionaries in this area, we are the long rovers. awesome. Anyways, planning is always a mess because we have that many area books!


Last Weeks Pictures


We had a Victoria Day Chinese potluck in Richmond on P-day, 
and they invited all the Chinese missionaries and all the Chinese members in the Vancouver area, 
it was awesome!


We got to wear pants! 
This is all the Chinese Sisters in the Vancouver area. 
There are three more on the Vancouver Island, 
but they could not come to the party, 
because that would have been expensive. 
Anyways, this is us!




A letter from a lost but now found member. It is so sweet and really shows the depth of how in tune with the Spirit you are on a mission, or when you really want to be. Because we can be in tune, if we want to.

 Hello,

I am writing both of you to express my gratitude for both the dedicated service and sacrifice that your daughter, Sister Allen has made is and a very precious and dedicated young lady. She is committed to the teaching of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am so grateful for helping to become reactivated in this true church of Jesus Christ himself. It was through both prayer and faith that my prayers I become reactivated were answered. 

Through prayer I was inspired to return to White Rock, BC and begin to seek out my now personal start in the reactivation process.

First, I received help to make the trip back to White Rock and to specifically to return to the White Rock ward where I had attended with my two sons and newborn daughter 22 years ago. When I arrived in White Rock I struggled to search out the location of the White Rock chapel. 

When I did locate the building it has doubled in size. After I tried repeatedly to get to church. However it was stake conference. 

The next week I tried again only to realize it was too late. Instead of being angry with myself I had a very humble prayer of sanctity to my Heavenly Father. He testing me to determine my deep desire was both sincere and "seatiful" to be reactivated. 

On my third attempt to return I had again made yet another walk to the chapel but I was too late. I sat down on the steps of the front chapel entrance. Still no one came. I was not angry. The belief was my faith who was strong. That this truly was the true church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He knew in my heart I was not giving up. 

I began my journey back to my residence still believeing the missionaries would find me, even if I could not find them. I had walk several blocks but this time I had felt inspired to walk down a different path to my place of residence. This trail was brand new to me. 

As I turned around a bend I looked up and there were two young lady missionaries with their name tags on. I knew instantly. Heavenly Father had heard my plead, I was embraced with a muster of personal humble feelings of love and compassion from both these young sisters. Tears were running down my face as were the young missionaries also shed some tears. 

The gift of the Holy Ghost was so pronounced in all their hugs. We could not stop embracing each other. It followed the Saviors path and these two special missionaries, Sister Chan and Sister Allen had both followed the same prompting to walk the same path I was inspired to follow also. The tears were flowing with all three of us. 

The witness of the Holy Ghost was so profound. All I could say to them was I know I have come home and He sent these two young sisters, Sister Chan from Hong Kong and Sister Allen from Colorado. I am very humbled by the grace and mercy of Heavenly Father and know he does love each one of us. He does love us, He does try our faith and He does hear our prayers and He does answer them when He knows the time is right and have been tried to be trusted. 

As a parent writing to parents I want to thank you both for the life you are living and the example you are setting and the sacrifices you are making.

JohanneCraig

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Missionary Work

When I thought of missionary work as a kid, I thought about suits with ties. When I thought about missionary work as a young woman I imagined baptisms, like big family baptisms. When I started going out with the missionaries, I started picturing doors. 

Then I became a missionary, and now when I think of missionaries, I think of Preach My Gospel. It is the best thing that can happen to anybody! I still see the ties, I still see baptisms, I still see doors, but I always refer to Preach My Gospel. I study it every morning, I use the techniques when talking to people, I teach the lessons it provides, and it is just a missionaries second best friend! Next to the Book of Mormon of course.

I love it!



This morning I was studying the part about missionary work from lesson five. It was great, it is all blessings! I prayed for Heavenly Father to help me understand this from a member's perspective and then from a missionary's perspective because I need to figure out how to teach it too. 

When I looked at it as a member I was like, "Dang, that's a ton of commandments." and then as a missionary I felt like "Holy cow! These people need to get going! Look at all those blessings happening if you share the gospel! No wonder why missionaries are always happy!" I mean seriously, if you look at missionary work at a perspective as if you are being blessed in the process of allowing others to be blessed, you just get happy. I then realized that we are asked to share the gospel in times of serving others, beautiful. 



I can not tell you how genius Heavenly Father is. First of all, if you are already serving somebody, you're happy, they are happy for the help and things are more open to conversation, why not bring up the gospel? Perfect time for them to accept it, and hopefully be able to have a good idea of the church. That's the thing too, just because the people you talk to about the gospel don't always accept it, does not mean that God won't bless you for your efforts. I see that all the time as a missionary. Pretty quickly, you forget about the things that hurt because you share it with everyone and find somebody who is ready or willing. 

Missionary work can be different for everybody, and can mean different things to different people. I encourage you all to go read that section from Preach My Gospel and find somebody today that you can share a spiritual insight with. I promise you that you will be blessed by the Lord to know what to say and when to do it, and as you pray for those missionary opportunities to come, they will.


Something that stuck out to me yesterday when I was on the skype call with my family, which was great, was that they all had experiences to tell me about the church. It was awesome. Some time of missionary experience to share, and they were happy when they were doing it too, because even if they hadn't recognized it, the Lord's hand was there. 

Right now, my dad teaches the stake missionary prep course and he told me that they use the Preach My Gospel as curriculum, it gave me bounds of joy hearing that! Right now, my missionary work is 24/7, it isn't going to be that way for others, maybe it is shoveling a snowy driveway, or unflooding a basement, but there is always something to do, an act of service a day, will be guiding you to those opportunities to share this plan of happiness. 

Love you all! Thank you all for the emails!

Sister Allen


By the way, those mountains are America. I love seeing America! Every time I do see them, I tell my companion in Chinese that it is America. I love it, and we see them all the time too, so just wanted to let you know that I really am close. :)



I was in Vancouver on Tuesday, it hailed like crazy. And the air is super polluted, who would have guessed. Anyways, got this super cool picture!


Sydney Allen

Sydney Allen
Where are we off to now daddy??

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