Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 33 Lockdowns, Service, and Interviews

Friends and Family,
The title of this email sums up what happened this week. Haha. While on exchanges, the mission went into lock down due to a big storm. It wasn't actually bad until they lifted the lock down. Then it actually got bad. It was a bit scary. Lightening could be seen every second or two and the wind was really bad. I guess there were a few tornadoes on lake poncentraine. It was fun to hang out with Elder Barney in the apartment though. He's a really happy guy.
We had interviews with President Hansen this week. They went well. He suggested that I find new people to teach through the ward roster. I'm excited to try that out.
We did service all day saturday for the rock and roll marathon. haha. It was fun. We put together the marathon medals and just helped out with the cancer research booth and the expo center. 
Leon is doing alright. After meeting with him yesterday, I think he is a little farther from baptism than I thought. There's a lot of little things that are holding him back, but it's ok. We will just keep trying our best.
It was a great week. I'm excited for this upcoming week! We are planning for success.
Love, Elder Chandler Allen

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 32- Tender Mercies

Friends and Family,
This week has been great! I have had some neat experiences. We followed up with a man named Stephen, whose wife passed away a couple years ago and he just lives by himself. He is a bit lonely, so we were happy to listen to him. He loved to talk. He is an honest truth seeker, and he wants to come to church, so I firmly believe he could get baptized.
Leon is doing great! His car was stolen, but despite that, he has remained faithful and keeps telling us that God will provide for him. I know God is blessing him for living the gospel. He even prayed for the guys that stole his car. He is prepared.
Another special experience was that we were told to visit one lady who had bipolar. At first, she was very closed to us, but then she just started telling us everything about her life. We were able to testify that God loved her. That made her tear up and she ended up crying during the pray. It was a testimony builder that no matter who you are and what you've done, God still loves you, and he wants you to repent and turn to him for comfort.
Our new apartment is great! I love it. We go running right on the lake in the morning and it is beautiful. And me and Elder Schaffer are staying together. I'm very excited about that. He is a great missionary. He only has 3 months left, so we will certainly end it on the right note.
I was again humbled this week, haha. I just realized that I wasn't the best teacher out there, and that I could still improve on a few things. It's ok though. I will set goals and get better so that I teach more of what the Spirit is telling me to say.
Love y'all!!!
-Elder Chandler Allen

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Week 31- Love in the Air

Family and Friends,
This week has been great. It was a little tough because I felt lost and without direction, mainly because I finished my goals and didn't have new ones. And since it was Valentine's Day, I made a goal to love. Haha. I realized that I needed to work on Charity. So I will be working on that now. I was serving a mission out of duty rather than love. Hopefully I can always have a true desire to serve others.
We had a Stake Conference and Elder Merideth spoke from the Seventy. He was a really nice guy. It was a special and spiritual conference. It really lifted my spirit.
We also got a new apartment! It's very nice. It's smaller, but it's a lot more fun. It feels like home already. Haha. And we moved in yesterday.
Leon is doing well. He recognized times when he felt the Spirit during our meetings and at church and I think that really helped him.
It has been a great week! Hope y'all have a great week as well!
Love, Elder Chandler Allen

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 30- Mardi Gras Madness

Family and Friends,
All I can say is that Mardi Gras is crazy. People love to party down here. I went on exchanges with one of the downtown elders and we helped parade goers park at the downtown church, which is literally on the parade route. When these parades are over, there's so much trash and beads on the ground. Haha. It's honestly not as fun as everyone thinks. I think its just really fun because people can get drunk and go crazy, and no one else really cares. haha. It's fun to catch the beads and other things they throw out though.
This week was a lot of fun. I wasn't able to see a lot of our investigators because of exchanges and such. But they are all doing well. Leon was pushing back a little and losing progress, but that's just Satan working on him. We talked with him again and things are good now. He still wants us to come back. He will get baptized. He will find that this church is true. 
We had a neat experience. We were just in this neighborhood seeing an investigators. As we were driving away, I felt like we should try another investigator in that area. We thought that he had moved away, but we tried it anyways. It turns out that we moved back and they are both still really interested. We committed them to baptism. I'm very excited. We are blessed to be teaching so many families. God has answered our prayers.
Overall, it has been a good week. I have been losing focus on the basics of the gospel a bit, so I just started to focus on reading the Book of Mormon, and finding the joy in the simplicity of the gospel. Nephi even rejoices in the simplicity. President Uchtdorf gave a great talk on that in General Conference as well. I love the gospel and how simple it is. It is simple enough for children to understand it and love it. Hopefully we can find the joy in living the principles of the gospel so we can access the cleansing power of the atonement that is so sweet to our souls.
I love y'all, Have a fantastic week!
Love, Elder Chandler Allen

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 29- A Spiritual Reboost From Elder Rasband's

Family and Friends,
I was able to participate in a very spiritually uplifting meeting with Elder Rasband, one of the new Apostles. He visited our mission and had a mission conference with us in Baton Rouge. We shook his hand before the meeting. After shaking his hand, I felt the power and authority he held as an Apostle. It was like that mantle of authority was tangible in that room, and just being around him made you a better person. It was a testament to me that the Apostles and first presidency are lead by Christ to lead His church. That meeting changed my perspective of the mission. It reminded me of the importance of my calling and how I should treat it that way. There is no place I would rather be right now. Sometimes I forget that and loose focus of my purpose and why I'm out here. But that meeting was a strong reminder of why I am here. 
He also talked a lot about the importance of names and how names, especially Christ's name, has power. It means the world to someone when we remember their names. When we testify in the name of Christ, there's literal power behind it. There is a reason why we pray, do ordinances, and act in the name of Christ at all times. When we were baptized, we promised to take upon ourselves His name. I suggest you ponder this principle, as I will be doing the same.
Leon is still progressing, although he didn't come to church yesterday. He is becoming interested in the Book of Mormon. Hopefully he begins to read it.
We visited Dalton's girlfriend with Brother Naquin. Her name is Alicia. She has been struggling lately, and needed help from God, so she reached out to us. I promised in the name of Christ, that if she kept the commitments we extended to her, she would be able to overcome the trials in her life. Brother Naquin testified about how good he felt after being baptized, and she said that is what she wanted. We will be working more with her to take those steps towards baptism.
Yola and Johny are another family that we contacted from the Bible referral system. We met with them and they are very interested in learning more. 
This week has been good. I think I need to simplify right now and focus in on the most important things going on.
Love y'all. Hope y'all have a fantastic week!
Love, Elder Chandler Allen