What a great week here in Burgos! It was busy busy busy. On Monday, of course, we had P day. I was feeling really under the weather (haha kind of literally with the heat and all) so after emails and shopping, I just slept for the rest of P-day until we went out and worked in the evening. The heat was really getting to me, and I think I am sensitive to the water here so I was having kind of a hard time this week with that. I decided to do what you suggested, and what Elder Bednar talked about in his talk you sent me ( In the Strength of the Lord )I prayed - not to change my circumstances - but to help me adapt to the circumstance I am in. I prayed to Heavenly Father to help my body change and adjust so that I could handle the heat, to help my body adapt to the water so that I wouldn't feel sick and dehydrated, and to help my body adapt to the circumstances that I am in. I prayed for days, over and over again for this. And my prayer was answered! I have been feeling much better, I haven't been feeling sick or dehydrated, and I have been handling the heat much better. Heavenly Father really answers prayers.
On Tuesday, we had Zone Conference! I like to think of it as Spiritual Feasting Day. It was a wonderful day of learning, fun, and feeling the Spirit. We traveled by jeepny to Ilagan for the conference, which is about one hour away from Burgos. It was so great to see President and Sister Rahlf! This was their last Zone Conference with us. They will be returning home in June, and President and Sister Hiatt will be taking their place. It is sad to think that that was the last Zone Conference we will have with President and Sister Rahlf. But, I am also really excited to meet the new mission president in a few weeks.
We just finished our Book of Mormon Reading challenge - where we read the Book of Mormon in 60 days - so the conference was all about this wonderful book. During our power read, we focused on marking and finding names, teachings, words, and doctrines about Christ. It really helped me realize that the Book of Mormon truly is "Another Testament of Jesus Christ." Before, I never really understood how much of the Savior really is within it's pages. But if you read carefully, it's easy to find Him there. He's everywhere in the Book of Mormon! It was amazing to feel the Spirit testify to me again of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon as we studied and talked about the BOM at the conference. In our area, we made a goal to teach more about the Book of Mormon to our investigators, recent converts, less actives, and members. The Book of Mormon is a great source of strength, and we know it will strengthen our area.
Zone Conference is also fun because you get to see a lot of the other missionaries. I was so happy to see some of the people that I have grown to love so much! I'll send you some pictures of them. :)
On Wednesday, we had companion exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. So we traveled back to Ilagan again (two days in a row! haha). It was so great! They taught us some great teaching skills. It's always so fun to work with seasoned, confident missionaries like the sister training leaders. They always teach me so much by their good example and by their love for this work. My companion was Sister Mariano, who was my house mate in Cauayan. We are already such good friends and it was so fun to be her companion. I love her so much! She really helped me feel like I am doing good as a missionary. She always tells me, "Sister Allen, you are the happiest missionary I have ever met!" I've lost count of how many times she's told me that. It always makes me happier when she says that. But it's true - I am so happy all the time here! Sister Mariano is so kind and sweet and I wished she lived in America so that we could hang out after the mission.
For the rest of the week, we were back to our area, teaching and working like crazy! I really love the area and all of the people inside of it. We are continuing to press forward, despite setbacks and Satan's "pushbacks." This work is really rewarding and I love it so much. Our investigators are still working towards their baptismal dates and we are continuing to help them be prepared. It's exhausting work, but I love it! We are trying to teach more about the Book of Mormon to all those that we teach, because we know it will help them so much, especially in gaining a testimony. We have been teaching that to our members as well, and I think it will help strengthen our little branch. Great things are happening here in our branch as well. The leaders gave great talks on Sunday about keeping the Sabbath day holy, and we saw changes and improvements immediately after their talks. More people stayed for the rest of church classes, and we had a great Sunday service. We are working towards strengthening our members so that they can help us with the many many less actives here.
I love you all so much! I hope you always remember to read and pray every day and that you always remember that I am praying for you always. I hope you have a wonderful week! Work hard, pray hard, play hard.
I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU!
xo Sister Allen
P.S. I can't wait for Mother's Day! :)
Our desk area.
Our laundry area. The little white box thing is our washing machine.
Our daily transportation! It's called a "kulong-kulong" which in English is "cage-cage". Usually it's used for animals, haha. That's my comp Sister Aguanta, and our crazy but wonderful Branch Mission Leader, Brother Roland.
Zone Conference! Burgos, llagan, Tuguegarao North and Tuguegarao South Zones.
Me, Sister Mariano, and Sister Kibaimoa.
Rejuvenated and ready to head back to our areas.