Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 24- A Very Merry Christmas

Family and Friends,
I hope all of you had a very merry Christmas! I had a very good Christmas. We woke up, opened some great gifts(thank you all for sending me stuff!), Then we went to the branch President's house to skype home. I got to talk to my family for about 2 hours and it was awesome! Time flew, but we still enjoyed it. Then I just hung out at their house for the rest of the day until we went to do some service with the Branch President. It was fun doing service on Christmas.
On Pday I tried Blue Bell ice cream for the first time. It's a huge thing down here. It was very delicious(cookies and cream by the way). We then got to go to the Saint's game!!! haha. The person with our tickets didn't actually show up, so after standing outside for a little bit, we decided to buy some tickets from some random guys. The were 5 bucks cheaper, but they were in the lower bowl, 11 rows from the field!!! The other ones were in the upper bowl. It was so fun, although the Saints lost. I saw Ziggy Ansah from BYU. That was neat. 
This week, we also got the opportunity to visit the World War 2 Museum. It was a really neat experience. There was a lot to take in all at once. They had some really cool videos. It was a special experience to walk into the room about the nuclear bomb. It was very quiet and the whole mood was respectful. That really was a sad thing. 
A really cool experience me and Elder Wilson had this week was when we were trying to visit some old investigators, a thought came to my head to go knock on this one door. I first came up with excuses not too, but then I realized that was Satan, and when we receive revelation from the Spirit, Satan usually follows. So on the way back to the car, we tried knocking on the door. It was a family, so we taught how the gospel blesses the family. The Dad's name was Andrew. He was open to listening and he even invited his whole family over to listen! He agreed with all of it and took it in great. We taught the Restoration, which always brings the Spirit. They agreed to have us over again to have us bring a Book of Mormon. We went back the next day, not thinking they would be home, but Andrew answered again and treated us like we were best friends! We even asked us where our church was before we asked him. He was knowledgeable in religion and he was very open to hear more! Elder Wilson says that the family will get baptized. I don't doubt it! I know they will too. I am very thankful for the Spirit, which brought that thought to my mind. I know that the Spirit makes this work, work.
I love y'all and hope each one of you have a great time setting new goals for this upcoming year! I will share mine with you next time. My ponderize scripture this week is 2 Nephi 31:8-9.
Love, Elder Chandler Allen

                                                         The apartment Christmas tree

                        Showing off his PJ's from Grandma and Grandpa Hatch and his buff-ness.


                                                        At the Saint's football game.

                                                          The World War II Museum.


Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 23- Christmas Miracle

Family and Friends,
We had a baptism!!!! It was a miracle, and since its around Christmas, it's a Christmas Miracle. Haha. Wilson got baptized. I got to go down in the water to help him balance since he only has one leg. Elder Wilson did the actual baptism. He was so happy and he felt clean. He told everyone from the font that he loved all of them. Haha. He's such a sweet and spiritual guy. I had the privilage to confirm him the next day. After he received the gift of the Holy Ghost he told me that God was talking with him. The gift of the Spirit is so wonderful. He was so thankful for it and was blessed for his righteous actions. He made some very inspired comments during church after he was confirmed. And his nephew, Wayne came with him, so hopefully we can start teaching him and help him follow in the footsteps of his uncle. Wayne is a really funny guy.
We went on exchanges this week with the downtown Elders. They are awesome. We double worked our area, so all four of us slept in the same apartment. I was with Elder Hardick, an awesome greenie. This is his 2nd or 3rd month out. He finds a lot of joy from being obedient and I look up to that. That really motivated me to step up my game. haha. He's from Canada. He knows Brandon Mugerian, my cousin!!! Apparently Brandon taught  Elder Hardick's girlfriend. He said Brandon was an awesome missionary. I don't doubt it.
We have found some new investigators lately. We just need to start following up with them. Haha. We even tried to tract in the richest neighborhood here in Chalmette and we found someone. Usually they aren't as open to the message. It was awesome though. I really think that the Christmas initiative has helped out because we would just ask to share a Christmas message and they were a lot more willing to listen.
This week has been great. I'm doing great and can't wait for Christmas! I wish each of you a very merry Christmas! I hope as you turn your thought to the birth of Christ, you feel the Christmas Spirit. I love and miss you all!
Love, Elder Chandler Allen

Week 22- The Christmas Spirit

Family and Friends,
This last week was a bit of a struggle. We just didn't put forth the best effort in using our time effectively, and when you aren't constantly out doing missionary work, it's hard to stay joyful and happy. It was a hard lesson to learn, but the best thing we can do now is move forward, and get to work! haha. So this week will be awesome!
Wilson is still good to go for his baptism this Saturday. Hopefully he continues progressing. He has such a great desire to come closer to Christ. He is willing to do anything to be baptized! The Lord has certainly prepared him. Funny story, we were out walking with him and he bought a house! haha. It was actually a trailer home, and he decided to rent it from a friend, so they took 10 minutes and moved it across the street to his property. He thanked Heavenly Father for providing him with a home since he was just staying on his sister's couch. And he got a new leg! Haha. It's hard for him to walk on it, so he's going through therapy, but he will get a hang of it. 
I had such an amazing spiritual experience. There was a stake Christmas Program. A Catholic Leader spoke and the Stake President did as well. Then we went outside for the live nativity. They had live animals and everything. It was really cool. They had the narrator tell the story, then we would sing Christmas Hymns as the people would act it out. I just couldn't hold back the tears as I watched and sang about the birth of Christ. It's just so brilliant and glorious. The atonement of Christ brought about our Salvation. That is the most important thing that has happened. Christ's birth is so sacred and special. It's the birth of our Savior. I am so grateful for this Christmas season, for the time we get to turn our thoughts to our big brother, Jesus Christ. I hope you each get the chance to do that. Check out to watch some great videos about Christmas. I feel the spirit so strong as I watch those too. I love you all! I miss all of you too! 
Love, Elder Chandler Allen

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 21- Blessings in Chalmette

Friends and family,
This week has been great. It was very busy and went by super fast. I like these weeks the best because they're full of work. We have been doing a lot of tracting recently and we have actually found some success from it. We have some solid new investigators and some referrals from one of them. Everyone accepted the message when we taught it to them. That's normally what happens when we teach the restoration. I know the spirit testifies to their hearts when we share that message. 
Wilson is so ready for baptism. I'm overjoyed! The light of Christ is just constantly beaming in him. He is such a sincere and nice guy. Even though he can only read a few words in the Book of Mormon because of his bad sight, he feels its power and firmly believes it's true. He carries it with him everywhere. It's so neat. He has the desire and God knows that. I am so happy I have  had the privilage to take part in helping him towards conversion. He's even excited to share the gospel with others and go about doing good.
His nephew is really open to our message too. He remembers how good it felt to go to church with his family when he was younger, and he really desires that now, so why not our church? He retains everything we teach him. It is so cool to see what happens when we actually apply the message to them personally. We helped him understand that his grandpa who passed away is in the spirit world. He is so interested by our messages. Hopefully he starts coming to church soon.
We helped Leon mow his lawn this week. That was fun. We are helping him progress slowly but surely. I think we are going to focus on really having the spirit with us during his lessons. He honestly wants to know how he can grow closer to God.
Elder Wilson is such a stud. He is a really hard worker and has a lot of hope and faith. I love his work ethic. I don't have to worry about having to pull him along. I actually need to worry about him pulling me along. Haha. He loves everyone too and everyone loves him. I am so grateful to work with him.
We had some fun playing basketball with some kids our age and then with an investigator. I love hanging out with people like that. 
We went to a multi-faith bible study this week. It was a new experience. We had a really long prayer, but very heart felt. It's interesting listening to the prayer and hearing people muttering things and agreeing with all that was said. There were even people muttering in tongues. It was a neat experience. I had a great time. It was fun. But the next day, I just felt like it wasn't that fulfilling of an experience. This strengthened my testimony. It's hard to explain how I felt, but I just know that this gospel brings lasting, constant joy and peace. We are so blessed to have this wonderful gospel. It certainly fills that hole within us.
I hope everyone has a great week. I hope everyone enjoys thinking about the Savior more as it's Christmas season. I love all of you so much and miss everyone.
Love, Elder Chandler Allen

Elder Chandler Lee Allen

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Week 20 Life in the Big City

Family and Friends,
I got transfered to Chalmette, Louisiana. It's pronounced shal-met. It's right outside of New Orleans. We have the Downtown Elders in our district and we go to downtown NO every district meeting. It's awesome being down here in a big city! And we have a car!!!!! I can't tell you how happy I was when I found that out. My new companion is Elder Wilson. He is from South Jordan. He went to Bingham and Herriman. He has been out only two transfers, while I've been out three. So lots of greenie fire. I love it. He is already a great missionary though. I'm so happy he's my companion. He's a hard worker, good example, charitable, and loves to have fun. The spanish elders stay in our apartment as well. They are the best. We have a great time in the apartment. Haha.
We already have a few great investigators, two with baptismal dates. Robert is on date for next weekend, but I haven't met him yet since he's been out of town. Wilson just committed yesterday in an awesome lesson at the branch president's house. He is so humble. He's had a lot of challenges recently. He wants to find peace and come closer to God, so we were able to commit him for later in December. A cool story with him, when we were starting a lesson at his house, I felt like I needed to invite everyone in the house to come participate. His nephew, Wayne, came and participated a lot. He was really interested and even said he would be baptized if he came to know if the Book of Mormon was true. Such a cool experience. I know the Lord is blessing us with people to see.
Leon is another new investigator who has had a lot of struggles recently too. He called us up and wanted us to go visit him, so we started teaching him. One visit, the lesson was unfocused and getting harder for him to understand. Finally he just asked us how he could know if the church was true. We were very glad to give him a Book of Mormon telling him to read and pray about it. If it was true, the church is true. I hope he continues to progress. 
Church was great. We have a great branch who is very focused on missionary work. They doubled their attendance just in the past year. It's growing a lot, and we are super excited about it. I am so happy and grateful for the opportunity to be involved in that. Elder Wilson has worked really hard to find investigators, and it's working! 
I hope all y'all have a great week. I hope your Thanksgiving was great as well!
Love, Elder Chandler Allen

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 18- Attitude

Friends and Family,
This was an up and down sort of week. During the middle of it, I was super motivated because we were seeing the Lord's hand in the work and our investigators were progressing. We had high hopes. But then towards the end of the week, I started focusing too much on the negative things. I realized that my attitude affects the work as well as how much I work.
Chris, the investigator who is on date for baptism next month, was doing really well, then tried to drop us all of a sudden! We replied back trying to help him remember how good the message made him feel. He said he was just struggling and depressed, because he has bipolar and PTSD. We haven't seen him since, but we will visit him and help him through his struggles. Help him see that the atonement will make weaknesses strengths.
We were able to give Bob a blessing to help him sleep better, since he had really been struggling with that lately. He said that the blessing started to work even during the actual blessing! He felt at peace. I know his faith and God's power helped him feel at peace. I'm glad we were there to serve him.
As for other investigators, not too much different. We visited a former investigators house. At first they put up a wall and said they didn't want to learn more about Joseph Smith, but we were able to build on similar beliefs and they said that God may want them to join the church in the future. The spirit certainly softened their hearts. It's a blessing to see how a visit really changes the attitude in the home, even by the end of one discussion.
Hope all is well. Love y'all!
-Elder Chandler Allen

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 17- What just happened?

Hey family and friends,
This week has flown by. So many awesome things! I hit my 4 month mark yesterday. I really don't know what happened these past few months. They seem like a blur. I guess just adjusting to the mission.
We were able to serve with our investigator David, a young college student. We helped him sand walls and paint them. It was awesome doing some home construction again. Elder Rush looked like jack frost after sanding. Haha. David has a lot of potential though. He is a stellar guy.
We met a guy named James on the way to one of our appointments. He told us that we had dropped a pamphlet off a while ago(the first day me and Elder Lehr went out together) and he had recently read it and actually prayed about it. He got and answer! He had a dream of the the first vision. He says he is looking for the right church. We invited him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon after sharing some things about gifts of the spirit, because he had questions about his dreams. He is a very intelligent young guy who asks lots of great questions. I love that so much!
A miracle or two happened yesterday. A bunch of non-members showed up to church! It was a crazy week. I think mainly for the primary program. It was awesome to see so many people. One of the members brought a non-member as well who is looking for the right church. We are going to teach him tonight in the member's home where he can feel the spirit. His name is Shawn.
Another miracle happened. Elder Rush thought about one of the investigators we dropped because he was moving. His name was Chris. Elder Rush called him to see if he had moved yet and Chris said that he wasn't going to move at all, and that he had been reading the Book of Mormon we gave him and he felt like he needed to join the church! What just happened! That's what I thought. Heavenly Father certainly has prepared this guy. It's a miracle! He has some struggles he needs to overcome, but he is very humble and willing to do so. We have a baptism date for next month. Hopefully I stay for it, but it doesn't matter as long as he is baptized!
This week has been so awesome! There have been so many miracles and blessings from God. I am filled with so much joy and humility as I see God's hand in the work. None of this would have happened unless he was in the work. Hope y'all are doing great! Love each and every one of you!
-Elder Chandler Allen

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 16- Simplify

Friends and Family,
This week has been full to the brim. I feel like we were constantly doing something, which was awesome! There were a couple days where we were out on our bikes all day. Haha. We are getting kicked into shape. 
We have been focusing on the lessons this last week. We have been studying the doctrines in the lesson. We have been focusing on keeping what we teach very simple and brief so that they have a powerful spiritual experience that sticks with them. If a lesson drags on, they lose focus and lose the spirit. It has worked. I know the Lord has helped me in my efforts. I thought it would be hard, but after practicing a little, I was able to teach a great first lesson that flowed very well. Hopefully we are able to meet back up with the guy I taught it to. He even accepted a Book of Mormon.
We contacted a referral that the Sisters gave us. I wasn't expecting much out of it, but the guy actually let us in. He is a preacher at his church, but it doesn't sound like he is set at that church. Hopefully we get to see him this week.
We ran into someone doing yard work and asked if we could help. He let us help and we discussed the gospel with him. He said that he was a non-denominational christian because he believed that truths were lost that were in the Bible. We instantly jumped on the opportunity to share the Book of Mormon with him, which is the most correct of any book. We are going to visit him this week and give him a Book of Mormon.
This last story is awesome and I hope it leads to success. We always see a man biking around who yells go BYU at us. We finally talked to him at the library one day. The spirit lead us there and he said the spirit told him to talk to us. We gave him our number and told us to call us. He actually did! No one usually does that. Me and him talked for almost an hour. He said that he was struggling in life right now. His kids won't talk to him. He has some regrets. He is older now. He is a less active member. He wants to be active again. I know the Lord has prepared him. I know that the Lords hand is in this work because none of what happened was coincidence. I hope we are able to visit him again this week.
Hope all is well! Love y'all
-Elder Chandler Allen

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 15- Rain!!!!

Family and Friends,
This week has been quite the week. I've been adjusting to a new companion. Elder Rush is great! He's just a go getter. I'm super excited to keep working hard with him.
We had a great zone conference this week. Very inspiring. We also had a funeral this Saturday. It was an older guy whose wife passed away exactly 2 weeks early, so they're together again! It was a sad funeral. But it was his time to pass on.
And it finally rained! A lot. It rained Saturday, and it came down fairly hard yesterday. It's still really cloudy and a little rainy right now. It's been difficult getting work done though because of the rain. We have been doing a lot of book work and calling people though. 
We got Bob to come to the ward Halloween party. He got to know many people. We wanted him to come to church too, but he wasn't feeling good. He was still recovering from going out to the ward party.
Darrell is doing great. He has changed a lot from when we first met him. He is now way more open and truly desires to learn the gospel. He is keeping his commitments. We just need him to come to church now. Everything is going great though!
It's been a good week. We are going to contact more people this next week and find more new investigators. I know that when we petition the Lord for his help, He will certainly give it. It's important to realize that all we have comes from Him. This work can't go forward without him. I know he has been helping us out so far. It's a blessing to see it first hand.
Love y'all, Elder Chandler Allen

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 14- The Work is Rushing Along

Friends and Family,
I got a new companion this week. His name is Elder Rush. He is a very determined and spiritual missionary. He wants to baptize 5 people this transfer. I know that if it's the Lord's will it will happen. I get along with Elder Rush very well. He is super hilarious. 
We made a goal to contact at least 5 people a day. On Thursday, we had contacted 3 and we were on our way home. We took a different route through a neighborhood. We stopped to talk to one guy, and just as we were wrapping that up, his next door neighbor asked us to go over to her. She asked us why we hadn't ever been to her house and then told us that she wanted us to come teach her and her husband. What a miracle!!! I know the Lord provides a way for us to accomplish worthy goals. It is so neat to see the Lord's hand in this work. It doesn't get done without him. 
We have been trying to contact more college students, so we went to the homecoming parade and game. College is crazy. I'm nervous to go to college, but I know BYU is a good clean college. We were able to find some people that were interested. They are smart kids that want to have purpose in their lives. I hope we can meet back up with them soon.
And we went through all the old investigator contacts on our phone and contacted as many as possible. There were a lot who want to meet back up with us again. Even though it may have not been their time before hand, it may be their time now. 
I'm so glad I'm with Elder Rush now. I've already learned a lot. Thanks for all the prayers and support. I am so grateful for the many blessings God gives me and you. One of the greatest blessings is the spirit. I have been studying the Holy Ghost and came across a really awesome scripture this morning. It's 2 Nephi 26:11. It says when the spirit ceases striving with man, speedy is his destruction. How profound! We must always strive to have the spirit with us. He will help us overcome temptation and even get rid of temptation. The spirit is essential for day to day life. Do all you can to have the spirit with you. One of the best things to do is have scripture study in the morning, so you are equipped with the spirit throughout the rest of the day. Love y'all
-Elder Chandler Allen

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Week 13- Study, Study, Study!

Family and Friends,
This week has been a roller coaster of a week. Haha. We had an exchange, zone training meeting, and transfer news. Good news! I'm staying in Natchitoches! I'm nervous to see who my new companion is, but also very excited. I'll find out tomorrow. Elder Lehr is going home in two days! It's so crazy and awesome. I'll miss him a ton. 
I was feeling fairly down for some of the week. I was frustrated because I felt like we weren't getting work done and I was just discouraged. I realized that I was missing out on the blessing of the spirit. I had missed out on personal study a few times. There was a very obvious difference in how my day went when I didn't take time to study than when I did actually study. I feel the spirit so much stronger when I put forth the effort to have a full effective study each and every morning. I have realized how important the spirit is. It is SOOOO important. The only way I can be an effective missionary is if I always have the spirit with me. So I am focusing on doing the things that will allow the spirit to always be with me. I hope all of you strive to have the spirit with you always as well. It is truly a blessing. You don't realize how joyous and happy it is to have the spirit with you until you actually put in the effort to allow Him to be with you. It is easy to stay discouraged and unhappy, but it is far better to keep the commandments, turn in humility to the Lord, and allow the spirit to be with you. I testify of that in the name of Christ. 
There were a few missionaries that had family members pass away recently. Please keep them in your prayers.
We had a great lesson with Angie this week. She's the a referral from Olivia. Angie is so ready! She is very humble and willing to accept the gospel. She is in a wheel chair and has muscular dystrophy. I know the Lord looks out for her. She is inspiring to me. She committed to baptism when she finds out if the Book of Mormon is true. I am so exited! I felt the spirit so strong when she committed. I know the Lord lead us to her through Olivia. 
I hope everyone is doing great. I challenge you to take time in the morning to study the scriptures. It starts your day off right. You are much happier all throughout the day. Love y'all!
Love, Elder Chandler Allen

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 12- Conference Weekend Holiday

Family and Friends,
This week was great! We have been buckling down with our planning so that we can use our time most effectively. This also means that we are very busy. Haha. I walk into the apartment at night and just want to sleep. It's probably Satan tempting me to just miss daily planning for the next day. I need to work hard on overcoming that temptation.
Bob watched conference! He watched the first session on Sunday. He saw the three new apostles bare their testimonies. I honestly don't think he enjoyed it as much as he was expecting and it seemed a little too political to him. But he still wants to watch more. He is honestly searching to know if this gospel is true. He prays for God to tell him if it is true. I know he will receive an answer when God knows he is ready. Keep Bob in your prayers.
We brought cookies and a note to Olivia, but she wasn't there. I hope her heart is softened.
We were able to visit a lot of less active members this week. Darrel is doing alright. Often times our lessons get too complicated, so we are going to simplify them a bit, just like what Dieter F. Uchtdorf talked about in conference.
Conference was fantastic! It is kinda like a holiday for us missionaries. We get to have the overwhelming feeling of the spirit and get to have a break from normal proselyting. We watched most of the sessions at the church. I loved all the talks about faith. Neil L. Anderson gave a sad, but really good talk on faith. If we are obedient, our faith will increase. It's so important for our faith to increase so that we can withstand the evil influences of the world and so we can stand as a light to the world which was something that was talked about by Kim B. Clark I believe. I also really enjoyed the talks about allowing the spirit to always be with you and how important it is. That is probably the biggest reason the general authorities have emphasized keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, because we renew our covenants, which in return, God gives us the Spirit to always be with us.
Neill F. Marriot was from Louisiana. She's from Alexandria, which is the center of the zone I'm in right now. It was nice to here that southern accent during conference! Haha.
The talks about Mom's and women in the church made me a bit trunky because I was just thinking about how great and wonderful my Mom is. Mom's are truly saviors. They have such a sacred and special calling. Russell M. Nelson gave a great call to action to all the women. We truly need your help in the church. Some of the greatest missionaries are women. Women are essential in this church.
Thomas S. Monson gave great talks. I could literally just write down everything. Everything he said just applies to our lives. I was really saddened to see that he was struggling a bit towards the end of his talk. I know that he is inspired of God. I know that he receives direct revelation from God for these last days. I felt the spirit as he spoke. 
I hope all of y'all had a great conference weekend. Watch and read the talks again. I was thinking of how amazing it would be if we could feel the spirit that strong always. And we can. Let us apply what we've learned. Make goals to improve and check up on yourself regularly. You can look back and see your improvement from last conference. I love you all!
Love, Elder Chandler Allen
 Elder Allen and Elder Lehr got to go to Stake President Deford's home to watch General Conference.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 11- Ups and Downs

Family and Friends,
This week has been quite unique. We had many different things that got us really excited, stressed, happy, sad, peaceful, and frustrated.
I'll get the frustrating things out of the way first:
We may have to drop Olivia and her family. We have been working so hard with them. But when we were trying to visit her, she pulled up in a truck with another lady. The other lady asked us to come up and talk to her. She was a Jehovah Witness. She said that Olivia will be studying with her from here on out and that Olivia would let us know if she wanted us to come back. NOOOOO!!! I wanted to bash with her soo bad. I wanted to stand up for what I believe in. Nobody can tell me what to do! Haha. That's everything that came to my mind. We had to just walk away. We plan to just drop by Olivia and give her some cookies and let her know that we respect her agency and would love to come back if she really wants us to. It's crazy how all these miracles just lead up to this. I know the Lord will figure everything out though. We just need to try our best and it's up to Him and Olivia for the rest of it. She has to be converted, not us converting her. 
On the bright side, Bob continues to progress. We will focus on getting him to church this week.
It was a little crazy Saturday because we were planning a discussion at a members house where we would give a stop smoking workshop to one of the less actives. He showed up to church on Sunday! He really wants to quit. I truly hope he does. Keep him in your prayers.
We have an new investigator. Her name is Angie. She has muscular distrophe so she's confined to a wheelchair. She is very humble and just a great wonderful lady. We feel the spirit strong when we are there. 
We also are teaching a member's less active son. He hasn't come to church since he was a teenager and he's in his 30's so he has forgotten everything. He is really humble and has gone through a lot of trials. He is truly interested. He is our top priority right now. I'm so glad his mom gave him to us as a referral. His name is Darrel.
It's been a crazy week, but this next week, we will focus on finding more investigators to increase our teaching pool. I'm so glad the Spirit has lead us to the investigators we have now, and I know He will continue to lead us to the right people. And as we teach people, if we are sanctified, we will be endowed with power. It's such a cool promise. Sanctification was the topic of my studies this morning. As we use the atonement to become perfected in Christ, we become sanctified and purified. I will be focusing on becoming more sanctified so that I have that power given to me from God.
I hope y'all are having a great week. Be happy in your work!
Love, Elder Chandler Allen

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 10- Gods Hand in the Work

Family and Friends,
We had a fairly busy week this week. We had multiple service projects again. We helped a less active move some stuff to a house she's building. Her husband isn't a member, but he is such a nice guy. They have some potential. Their house is also very nice. We also helped some members in the Many ward build their house. It is so cool because most of the wall are wood and there are huge windows that bring in a ton of light. That couple is so nice and they have such strong spirits. She shared a story about how she stood up for what she believed in and was let go from her job. She prayed to God and wondered why she was let go if she did what she was supposed to do. She got an answer that something better was coming. She eventually got a way better job that helped her retire easier and better. It was such a cool story. We also helped finished the deck at a member's house. I was sweating bullets up on the deck even though it wasn't even noon yet. Haha. That's how you know you're working hard. I love that feeling!
God's hand is truly in the work. I gained a much stronger testimony on the power of prayer. Olivia and her family have been really hard to contact for the past couple weeks. So Elder Lehr asked his family and the ward his dad is bishop over to pray for her situation to improve. We have done that and God provided a way for it to happen. We got a call during a meeting, but felt prompted to answer it. It was Olivia thanking us for the prayers. She had moved and was in a much better situation than before. She was soooo much more happy. She's no longer depressed. She had us over the next day. It was so neat to see God's hand in this wonderful family. We hope they continue to progress. Right now, they are searching for the right church. Pray for the spirit to lead her and her family to baptism. Our whole contact with them has been a true testimony builder. 
Bob kept his commitment again!!! We can tell he is really progressing. We see a brighter light about him. I love him so much. I hope he gains a testimony of Joseph Smith. That is the thing that is holding him back right now. Keep praying for him to have the spirit testify that Joseph Smith was a true prophet.
I was reflecting on my mission up to this point. I have realized that my testimony is much stronger. It's been tested, tried, denied, and challenged. I know that going through trials and having questions about the gospel truly strengthens our testimonies IF we search the scriptures, pray, and truly desire for this church to be the true church. That is acting in faith. This has solidified my testimony of the gospel. I know it's true. 
Hope y'all have a wonderful week. Look for God's hand in your life. That is such a testimony builder as well.
Love, Elder Chandler Allen

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 9- Rayad and Zynoch

Family and Friends,
What a week! It has gone by so quick, but a lot has happened. I had exchanges with our new district leader, Elder Johnson. He is such a neat guy. He works hard, but he is always true to himself. He focused on teaching me to use the members to do missionary work. I should get to know them personally and gain their trust. If I can get them motivated to do their own missionary work, it will be much more effective than having to find investigators ourselves. This ward is great at that anyway.
We also had Zone Training Meeting. I learned that there aren't really any disobedient missionaries, but rather, missionaries who lack faith. If we can have faith that the Lord will provide for us if we follow the rules and commandments, we will be effective missionaries and will be blessed.
Our investigator, Bob, is finally progressing! We have been visiting him for a whole transfer now. He read the assigned reading out of the Book of Mormon. He even said he has been happier ever since we have been sharing the message of the gospel with him. I hope and pray he continues to progress. He really is a neat and humble man. I look up to him for that.
This last Sunday, we performed a mini play. It was about a kingdom called Rayad, and the villain, Zynoch, was trying to destroy it by making the people in it eat chocolate and wear red. Haha. It's cheesy, but it was a ton of fun. None of our investigators actually showed up, so we just performed it for the stake president and his family. It taught a great lesson. Satan tempts us with small little things, that are only a tiny bit bad, but as we succumb to his temptations, the sins get worse and worse, until we eventually commit serious sins. We need to watch out for little temptations now, in order to avoid the big temptations.
 I hope everyone is having a great week! The weather is perfect down here. Not too hot and not too cold. I am so blessed to be out here on a mission. I love you all!
 Love, Elder Chandler Allen

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 8- Service, Service, and More Service

Friends and Family,
Hey y'all. This week was an ok week. It was crazy busy with transfers. We have a new sister. Her name is Sister Pflegar(pronounced flay-ger). Haha. She just got out of the MTC. Sister Carpenter is training her. We also got a new District Leader. His name's Elder Johnson. He is such a stud. I love that kid! He is so charitable and Christlike. I look up to him a lot. And it doesn't hurt that he's from Washington. He's a Seahawks fan!! He might walk on the BYU football team. How cool is that? By the way, I heard BYU won on the last play of the game. Go Cougars!! So this week, we had a lot of service opportunities. We helped our ward mission leader fix his broken fence. We helped move a sister in the ward. We had to help move her piano. It was pretty intense and scary but we got it into the trailer. Right now we are preparing for a mini play. We are going to perform it at a cottage meeting. I'm the narrator. Haha. Brother Allen, the ward mission leader, goes all out. He is having me wear a suit with a bow tie and slicking my hair back. Haha. Hopefully I look classy enough. This week, I also had some of the best burgers in my life. A sister in the Many ward cooked for us. Her name is Granny Lowess. She is 80 years old, but she can still make amazing burgers. They are very simple, but so good. I ate too many. I had 5!!! Elder Johnson was egging me on though. Haha. I ate way too much this week overall. The food is too good down here!!!! Why is southern food so good, but bad for you at the same time?! Haha. I am making it a goal to eat less. I am still in fairly good shape because we bike everywhere, but I still can feel the difference. The spirit likes to reside in a healthy body. When I eat healthy, I wake up feeling more alert and active. I feel more motivated to work hard. I know it will be a blessing to me to eat healthy.
Me and Elder Lehr had a great weekly planning session. We talked about how Preach My Gospel is meant to make missionaries like the ancient missionaries whose stories are in the Book of Mormon. It is such a neat and inspired guide to missionary work. In order to become like them, we must consecrate our lives to the Lord. We talked about giving him our all. We are both soooo pumped to work harder this transfer. We made transfer goals. We are ship shaping up! I am going to make sure Elder Lehr finishes his mission in style. He will never forget this transfer. I know we will both grow so much. I can't wait to tell y'all all about what I learn. It is all of our missions to share the gospel. Always remember that. We are truly converted when we give our hearts to the Lord. He blesses us beyond comprehension as we dedicate our lives to Him and as we strive to become like Christ, the ultimate example. I love you all!!!
Love, Elder Chandler Allen

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week 7- Can't Wait to Serve

Family and Friends,
This week has been full of service! I love it. It's a great way to do missionary work. It truly builds the respect others have for us. We were able to sing with the elderly. The Baptist hymns we sing are fun and upbeat. We've gone a couple of times, and we now have made some elderly friends. They are all so nice to us. We always have to sing a duet for them. haha. They love hearing the bass because there are mostly ladies that sing. We also were able to help give out boxes of food for the elderly. It was a fun, but exhausting experience. I am truly learning to love everyone, no matter who they are. It's really neat to see that it's not only our church that is charitable towards the poor and needy. We were also able to help a member dig some holes for fence poles. I got some really good blisters, but they were worth it because we got to know that family a lot better, and we realized that we can do some missionary work within their family. I'm so glad we helped out with that. It also reminded me of a time when me and my brothers were really little. We were all in our tank tops and helping dad dig holes for the fence. Haha. It was fun to remember that. Last of all, we helped move a family yesterday. It was the coolest thing to see so many members come and help. There were more than 20 people helping out and we moved that family all in one night. It was really neat and it made a very good impression because they weren't members. It was super fun doing that. There was a great spiritual moment this week. We were having a discussion with a girl named Dynasty. We were teaching her about the Book of Mormon. At first, there were many distractions all around, but as the discussion went on, things around us calmed down. We were able to get her full attention. The Spirit was then able to testify to her. Towards the end, I bore my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I know it's true. I felt the spirit so strong, witnessing to Dynasty of the truthfulness of it. At the end of the discussion, she mentioned that we got her really excited to read the Book of Mormon. It was such a neat experience. 
It has been pretty crazy recently. Transfers are this week. Elder Jacildo, our district leader, and Sister Neilson are being transfered. I'll miss both of them. They are both really funny. I hope they enjoy their next area!
I hope all y'all are able to feel the spirit continually, especially in your homes. It's so nice to have dinner with families here because you can just feel how much love is in the home. The spirit is so strong there and I feel like I'm a part of their family. I love the members here!
Have a fantastic week! I miss y'all. 
Love, Elder Allen

Monday, August 24, 2015

Week 6- The Lords Hand in Missionary Work

Friends and Family,
This week was great. We had a few investigators say that they wanted to be baptized! It's super exciting. I just hope they stay committed and don't give up. A really neat experience explains the title. We were biking to go and contact a referral, when all of a sudden we took a wrong turn and we were all the way down the wrong street. I had to stop and fix my bike anyways( not the tire this time. haha. The handle bars needed to be tightened). So right as we were about to turn around, Elder Lehr said that we should just try tracting the house we were in front of. We knocked and were asked to just come on in. We met Olivia, the Mom of three young daughters. They said they were willing to listen to our message. We started to share it with them and all of them were very interested. When we brought up baptism, all of them said they wanted to be baptized, even the daughters! I was jumping for joy on the inside. They were such intelligent kids, and I could really tell they desired to have the gospel. Their Mom really needs it as well. She said she has been struggling and that she wanted to raise here daughters in a much better environment. I know that God lead us to them. It's so important to be worthy of the spirit and so important to be willing to follow it. We also brought a member with us for the first time to Bob's, the investigator who served in the Vietnam War. It really helped Bob better understand our message because there was someone present that was able to relate to him better. Bob is becoming more and more interested. The spirit is really strong when we teach him. We just need to help him keep his commitments. We also met with James this week. He is such a neat guy. All of his friends look up to him. He stays out of trouble, although he hangs out with some guys that probably do get in trouble. He is really religious and loving, and he wants to be baptized. We set up a baptismal date. He was a little nervous and didn't want to rush things, but he still accepted it after telling him he could have more time if he needed it. We had stake conference this weekend. Funny story. Brother Donaho picked us up to take us to Alexandria. When we were 5 minutes down the road, I looked down at my feet. I realized that I wasn't wearing church shoes. Rather, I was wearing my cheap Walmart slippers! Haha. Luckily Brother Donaho was willing to turn around. He still gave me a hard time the rest of the trip. Haha. I just laughed about it.I almost wish I wouldn't have noticed because they were super comfy. I hope all of y'all are having fun and enjoying the first week of school. Love y'all!
-Elder Allen
Chandler(Elder Allen) at Stake Conference with Dawn Leone and the other elders in that stake.
 Chandler(Elder Allen) at Stake Conference with Jill Burch.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 5- Oh Snap!

Family and Friends,
First I will explain my title. Haha! This past week, we tried fishing. Since we have a dock on the river in our backyard, we can just fish off of that. We were at home for our lunch break, and after finishing my pb&j sandwich, I decided to cast a line out just to see if I could actually catch anything. Within 10 minutes, I actually caught something! I reeled it in and to my surprise, it was a big turtle! It was about 2 feet long. As I was pulling it out of the water, the line snapped and it fell back in, never to be seen again. It was a bummer deal, because I am not usually lucky when it comes to fishing anyway. But it was still really fun reeling it in. I went on exchanges this week with our district leader. His name is Elder Jacildo and he's from the Phillipeans. He is a great teacher. In our discussions with investigators and less actives, he was really good at helping them understand how the gospel and the scriptures can apply to their lives. I learned a lot from him and am trying to implement his teaching style into mine a bit. This week, I gained a stronger testimony of the atonement. I was struggling a little with a temptation, and I read in the scriptures that to overcome it, we must always turn to God. So I did that. I prayed to Heavenly Father and asked Him for strength to overcome the temptations. I know it was through the power of the atonement that I overcame them. That experience has really helped strengthen my testimony and relate to investigators, because most all of them have problems with temptation in their lives. I love how God gives us trials to help strengthen us. I hope everyone is doing great and can feel the spirit in their lives constantly. The spirit is so essential. I've learned that having personal study everyday really brings the spirit, and helps it to stay throughout the day. I know it can help each of your lives tremendously! Love y'all!-Elder Allen


Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 4- 1 Month!

Family and Friends,
How has it been one month already? It's gone by quick, but not at the same time. Honestly, looking back, it feels like a long time, but the good thing is that I've enjoyed all of it and there's no place I'd rather be. A few really crazy things happened this week. The first one is more freaky. We were at Zone Training Meeting and one Elder was talking about how our apartment was haunted. Apparently there was an Elder that thought he saw his sister as a ghost that wanted to grab him or something like that. I was so freaked out. So I went to bed, despite being a bit afraid of the dark, only to wake up to my companion freaking out and panicking! I freaked out too and asked him what was wrong, thinking that it was all happening again. He said something that I couldn't understand and then told me just to go back to bed, which was what happened in the story I heard as well. So for the next two hours, I was too scared to even move from under my sheets. He finally got up to use the bathroom and I asked him again what happened, only to find out it was just a bad dream. He dream a bee was coming to sting him and so he freaked out and woke up freaking out. I was able to sleep after that, but it was a super crazy night! Our apartment isn't actually haunted. The second story was more spiritual. We went tracting and Elder Lehr led us to start at an apartment building. We knocked on all the doors and no one answered. He then walked across the street and we decided to try this one house. We knocked twice and right as we were leaving a lady opened the door and let us in. We soon found out that she wasn't going to open the door because she thought we were Jehovah Witnesses, but she was prompted to open it. Her twin brother recently passed away, and she had been recently questioning how she could know which church was true, even though she was baptist. God prepared her for us, and Elder Lehr was in tune enough with the spirit to be able to lead us to her. It was a really neat experience. We plan on teaching her and her husband. It's been a good week. I've learned a lot! Something really important was that personal study is so important. Without it, my days were a lot harder. I finally made it more of a priority and it has made everything so much better. Hope everyone is loving the last few weeks of summer! Love y'all!
Love, Elder Allen

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week 3- 300 Years Old

Hey Everyone,
Did you know Natchitoches is the oldest city within the Louisiana purchase. It's pretty neat I got sent here. The people are so great. We met a couple more people this last week. We had a really neat experience. One evening, on our way home, the sisters saw us and stopped to talk to us. They said they would bring us ice cream if we contacted someone on our way home. We wouldn't ever turn that down. So we stopped at an apartment complex on the other side of the street from our apartment. I had to take the lead on this one and I was pretty intimidated. It was a group of 6 or 7 guys just hanging out in front of the building. I just went up and shared my testimony about Jesus Christ and gave them pass along cards. It was a really neat experience getting over a fear and feeling the spirit strongly. There was even one guy that was really religious and wants us to meet him again. We feel like he has some potential. He was serious about us seeing him again, which is really good because it's difficult to find good potential investigators here. Another funny thing- I got a flat tire again last Monday, so that was three flat tires, three days in a row. Kinda crazy! It's alright though, we got it all figured out and I haven't gotten another one yet. This week was difficult but great. At the beginning of the week, I was a bit discouraged because it seemed like we weren't having any good success and I felt like we were doing all this for nothing because none of our potentials were working out and we have very few investigators. It was after I talked with my companion and prayed that I felt better. All of this is for something. Whether or not we actually baptize someone, we are still making a difference for the better in the lives of others. We are bringing joy and happiness. We are motivating others. We are serving others. We are even shaping ourselves. But most of all, we are bringing the light of Christ into the lives of those we meet with our testimonies of the Savior. It is such a sacred privilege to be a missionary. I hope all y'all can find a way to be a missionary too. Love y'all. Hope you're enjoying your summer!!
-- Elder Chandler Lee Allen

Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 2- How do you say Natchitoches?

Hey Everyone, 
    I'm finally in Louisiana! It is so great! I'm in a town called Natchitoches. How do you say it? haha. Good question:) I had that same question. It goes (nac-i-desh). I don't exactly know why, but that's how it's pronounced. My apartment is nice. The lake is literally my back yard, but it looks more like a river. It's actually called Cane River Lake. haha. The people here are so nice. They are true to who they are. This last week was quite eventful, but a great growing experience. I experienced the humidity coming out of the airport. I met my mission president and his wife there at the airport. They are so great and caring. We had dinner at the mission home and slept there overnight. We had a testimony meeting as well. The next day was the transfer meeting. My new companion is Elder Lehr! He is a funny missionary. He works hard, but has a fun time doing it. I think he's been really good for me. We drove 3 hours from Baton Rouge to Natchitoches, then got settled into the apartment. The first full day, we went out to try and meet one of the progressive investigators, but he wasn't there. So we just tracted around in the trailor park and actually found 2 new potentials. Reggie was a nice guy, but wondered why God would allow bad things to happen in this world. We made a return appointment, but we haven't been able to get a hold of him yet. The other was a family. They invited us in to hear a message. They were Baptist and Christian. They invited us back, but we're going to let the sisters in our town teach them because there usually isn't another man there at their house. The sisters missionaries in our town are Sister Carpenter and Sister Neilson. They are both really hard working and nice. And by the way, we're on bikes!!! It's crazy, fun, and even more crazy. The temperature index has put the temperature at 107. It's really 98 or so, but with the humidity it feels like 107. It's really easy to get dehydrated because you sweat all the water you drink. Haha. Honestly, it's not too bad. I thought it would kill me, but it feels nice to ride our bikes. That is if the bike works. Haha. I had two flats over the past two days. They were both neat experiences. The first day, I got a flat, but Elder Lehr didn't notice and he kept riding away until he couldn't see me. He called President and the Sisters in our town, but he found me when I called him using a phone from inside a mexican food restaurant. We had to go to Walmart to get some goo stuff to fix it, but while we were walking over there, a member from Idaho pulled over to help us, and he drove us over to Walmart and even paid for our stuff. What a great man! I was trying to fix my tire, but it just wasn't working!! I got to the point where it was all or nothing. It would either work, or not work. I finally humbled myself to say a pray in my heart, pleading for God's help. I don't know why I didn't pray earlier, but God helped me instantly. My tire started to inflate again and the problem was fixed! I know God gave me that trial so I could learn humility and so that I could gain a stronger testimony of His presence in my life. The next day, the same tire went flat in about the same place as the day before. luckily we made it to a member's house, Brother Donaho. He cheered me up a bit and helped us out a lot. We had to go to the Wood's house, which is an older couple in the ward. I think the flat tire was the means of some missionary work. It allowed others to have an opportunity to serve, it taught me a lot of lessons, we found referrals and was able to get it all fixed. One of the investigators we met was an older man who served in the Vietnam War. His name is Bob. He reminds me of my own Grandpa Hatch. Bob committed to go to church, which was miracle because he wouldn't commit for a long time. It's so exciting! He's coming next Sunday. This last Sunday was great. The ward is so nice and inviting. But I admit, they aren't the best singers. Haha. They make up for it in how nice they all are. They all feed us pretty well. We've already had a couple meals and dinner appointments. At church, during the gospel principles class, a man walk in and sat right by me. He was in a white t-shirt and jeans. I was guessing this was his first time here. His name is Bruce, and he came because a friend gave him a pamphlet with the church address on it. He is a humble, quiet, and caring guy. He even offered to help with a service project that was announced in Priesthood. How amazing is that!!! Seriously, God must be looking out for him. I really hope we can help him grow closer to Christ. He is such a nice man. I hope all y'all are having an amazing week. I love you all!
Elder Chandler Lee Allen

Dinner with the Leone's

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Week 1- First Week- A Great One!

Hello Family and Friends,
This week has been.... well indescribable! The first day I was here, I was super sad and scared right when I walked away from my family. As I met my district and my companion, Elder Hunter, I began to feel at peace. Elder Hunter is such a hard worker, but he is still fun. I'm so grateful for him. He has helped me out a lot, even more than I have realized. And it truly helped to have a great friend that coincidentally ended up in my district. Elder Rentfro was one of my great friends at Westlake. The Lord put us together in the same district for a reason. Both him and my companion have great testimonies and strong spirits. They are both really excited to share the gospel with those in their missions. The MTC is such a sacred place, although we still laugh a lot. We wake up, get ready, and have study time. We'll normally teach some investigators, then eat lunch. The food isn't the greatest. It's ok though. I just can't wait for the food in the south. We then have a classroom instruction time where we gain a better understanding of our purpose as a missionary. Then dinner and another classroom instruction until 9:30, unless there is a devotional or something. Then it's bed time. It's difficult getting everywhere on time, but we are still working on that.  I'm doing so well. I love it here and can't wait to share the gospel with the people in my mission.
Throughout my stay here, I have truly been converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know God is my Heavenly Father. I know that it is only through Christ and His atonement that we can return to live with God for Eternity. As I have followed the doctrine of Christ, looking outward, I haven't had as much joy in my life until now. It can get difficult and tiring at times, but through diligence and relying on Christ, I have been able to find so much joy in serving others. Through the atonement of Christ our weaknesses truly become strengths. We just need to have faith in Jesus Christ and do all that we can do to follow God's commandments. I challenge each of you to strive for your own personal conversion. To be truly converted is to be true to what you believe. Think of how you can be truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and make a goal to do that if you aren't already doing so.
I love you all and I'm doing great! I hope all of you are doing great as well!
Elder Chandler Lee Allen
                                                        Elder Rentfro and Elder Allen
                                                          Elder Allen and Elder Hunter
                                                          Elder Allen and Elder Hunter

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Saying Goodbye

There's nothing like some good old ugly face crying and sad smiles. No one can ever explain to you how completely full of joy and how horribly heartbroken you can be at the same time.