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