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