This week has been so great! There's so much to say and so little time, but I'm so excited to tell you all: I. Love. Being. A. Missionary. There, I feel like I can finally, truly, sincerely say it:)
You may be thinking "Why did it take so long?" haha. I wondered the same thing, but now I can't explain it really beyond the fact that I love this gospel. That's what it comes down to- is that I know this gospel is true and because of that, life is joyous!!
In our missionary call letter, it says " Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor or love among His children." Before I went on my mission, happiness to me was sunsets, camping, horses, music, road trips, the temple, the gospel, the Book of Mormon, traveling. When I read that line in my mission call, I honestly wondered, "How is that possible? I'm already pretty happy!" Well what it said is true- I'm happier than I've been before, but in a different way than I ever expected. Who would've thought? Our schedule is pretty much the same every day- get up early, study for 3 hours, go out and teach, come home for lunch, study again, go out and walk for 6 hours, come home, plan, go to bed. Wake up, repeat. And all the while you're doing your best to serve your companion, keep yourself healthy, study and learn doctrine, learn a language, and talk to everyone you come in contact with. Here there's no camping, no breaks, I mean I'm surrounded by concrete and metal!!! There's no 'relaxing in the outdoors' right now. So then why is it then that missionaries are so happy???
It's because of the gospel. And the people. And the Savior. And all the amazing blessings that come from living the gospel. I absolutely love teaching, especially when you can see them beginning to love the gospel, too:) One of our investigators last night said, "Whenever I read the Book of Mormon, I'm filled with...light!" That's what the gospel of Jesus Christ can do for us- it's light, it's goodness, it's peace. It's so so good:)
And of course I love the people and I'm so happy for our golden family! Their baptism was this weekend and I still can't really believe it finally came! They're such a great family! Their dad came to the baptism and he really felt the spirit and then he came to church with them for the first time yesterday, too! At the end of their baptismal program, our stake president gave a talk and directed it at eternal families- I know that what he said was so true, that because of the gospel, and ONLY because of the gospel, we can achieve salvation with our family....FOREVER! :) And then after church yesterday, Jericho and Renz (the two sons), received the Aaronic Priesthood. Jericho's my little buddy and afterwards he was just GLOWING:) I asked him how he felt and he said very simply and sweetly in his sincere way, "I'm happy." There's no other way to describe it:)
I know this Gospel is true. I know God and Jesus Christ lives. I know that salvation and exaltation and eternal life are only possible because of what we have in this gospel, and what a beautiful journey and promise this life is for us! I know God is aware of each of us and expects a lot from us- we are children of a god after all, so do all you can to progress and choose the right every day, because life is too short to waste it being sad.
I love you all and am so happy for you all! :)
Sister Allen :)
P.S. I sent all my pictures (well not all, some), to my mom and she'll post them on our blog:) Enjoy!
P.P.S. I forgot! here's the second installment of "What I love about the Philippines": There is a bunch of great, great fruit here! Papaya, coconut, mango, banananas, chiko ( I think that's how it's spelled...actually I have no idea but it's good!). This is a perfect place for anyone who likes to eat healthy haha! :)