How's life? Masaya ba? (Happy?) I hope it is for everyone! :)
This week flew by! I think there is a strange time-warp phenomenon when we serve missions...it's the strangest things, talaga (really).
So after the rough letter from last week I really wanted to step up and do a better job out here on the mission. Of course I wanted to be a good missionary and everything, and every night I prayed to Heavenly Father and told Him that I wanted to be, but I wasn't showing any action. But one morning for personal study I read Elder Dube's conference talk from Novemeber 2013 called " Look Ahead and Believe." In it he talks about how instead of looking back and talking about how much we've already done we need to just look forward to how much work still needs to be done. You might think this would be overwhelming, but this was exactly the wake-up call that I needed. I've spent too much time on the mission looking back- thinking about home, comparing countries, counting days...STOP!!!! It kind of reminds me of the story of Lot's wife in the Old Testament- in that story, the Lord warns Lot to move his family out of Sodom and Gomorah, because those cities were so wicked that they were going to be destroyed. The Lord also warns them not to look back. Lot moved his family, but as they were leaving, his wife looked back and she turned into a pillar of salt!!!! Now it's not that extreme in our lives, but there definitely comes a time when too much looking back hinders us instead of helps us. Of course we should appreciate the things we've learned, the people we've left behind, but we shouldn't let those thoughts distract us from the work we're doing right now. So I'm leaving it behind folks and looking forward!!! :) We'll see how this goes:)
For an update on our golden family, they passed their baptismal interview yesterday and they will be baptized on Saturday!!! :) I'm so excited for them! Again, their testimonies are super strong and they love the gospel and the prospect of going to the temple next year! (I'm really hoping that someway will work out that I'll be able to go with them!), and their mom is already counting down the years until their sons can serve missions. I'm so proud of them! :)
There's also a youth in our ward, Edmar, who has been less-active for quite some time, but has now been starting to bring his friends to church! The other day we had a ward Family Home Evening and he brought 7 friends! :) And now 2 of them are taking missionary discussions and Edmar comes to church all the time now. It's been really neat seeing him begin to GLOW with the spirit...not only because he's being more active again, but also because you can see how happy and proud he is to share the gospel with his friends. His testimony and his love for the gospel is a lot stronger than he gives himself credit for- he's just so great! :) And all his friends are awesome too- they're super funny and we just laugh all the time! This computer is being kind of frustrating so I can't send pictures, but I will next week!
And every week now I will try to include something fun or cool about the culture here- I'm finally adjusting and the idea of going back to America now seems kinda weird...but hey, I'm trying not to think about home haha. So here is the first installation of "WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE PHILIPPINES" :)
1. There's always room for one more on the jeepney. Like no joke, you think you're already squished and then we stop for one more person! And then another one! And another one! And it works! :) Everyone is just super chill here, and you just do what you need to do to make things work! :) haha
Again, I love you all and I'm so grateful for my Savior. There are times when I get soooo close to breaking down, but I know that God never gives us anything that He won't help us overcome. And I know this is worth it, even though I don't quite understand it yet, I know it's worth it because I know this gospel and Church is true. We were at the ward mission leaders house the other day and his kids were watching the Joseph Smith movie, and I didn't even need to watch a lot of it to be reminded again that the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I felt the Spirit so strongly and I could never deny my testimony, and I would never want to because I know it's the only way to true and lasting happiness. I love you all and I love our Savior and Heavenly Father:)
Hope all is well wherever you are and know that I love and pray for you!! :) And that Heavenly Father is only a prayer away!!:)
Love y'all to forever and back,
Sister Allen :)