This week was a wonderful week. It's been a week of growth and a week of learning.
This past Wednesday was transfer day, and all the missionaries got shuffled around. I am still in my same area, Burgos, but I received a brand new companion, fresh out of the MTC! My companion is brand new here in the field; she's been here for five days! Her name is Sister Escalante. I have been called as her trainer here in the Philippines Cauayan mission. Trainers show the ropes to the brand new missionaries and help them become amazing missionaries. Becoming a trainer has really brought out the best parts of me. Even though I've only been a trainer for a few days, I have already learned a lot and I am experiencing changes in myself. I am more exactly obedient, more diligent, and more in tune with the Spirit, because I want to be a good example for my companion. So far, training has been good. It's amazing to think that I was in my companion's shoes just a few months ago. I didn't realize how much I had learned here until I started to teach it all to someone else. I am excited to continue training and continue to grow through this responsibility. We do training every day for an hour - kind of like a lesson - along with our other studies. The real training comes from the example of the trainer and from just getting out and working every day. It has been great so far being her trainer. I feel like I am learning just as much as she is, if not more. I am working harder and better, because I want my companion to learn to do that. It's been wonderful so far!
Let me tell you about my companion: Her name is Sister Escalante. She is from Western Samar, under Philippines Tacloban mission. Her language is Warri-warri, but she knows Tagalog very well. She is a survivor of Hurricane Yolanda, the hurricane that hit the Philippines a few years ago and killed thousands. She was baptized four years ago, and is now here with me, serving in the Great PCM! She is 19 years old. She is the second of four children. Her and her oldest sister are the only members of the church in their family. Her sister and her left on their missions at the same time, one here to Cauayan mission, and the other to Davao mission. She is very kind and very humble and is going to be one of the best missionaries here once she gets things figured out.
In three days....I will be HALFWAY through my mission! I can't believe it. Time really is flying fast! I feel like I just stepped off the plane. These nine months have been amazing and I have learned so much, about the gospel, about the world, and about myself. Missions really are amazing!
Our area is doing well. Our work was kind of slow this week, but we are still seeing great progress with those that we teach. We had two less active members return this week, which was great! We are also very close to the baptisms of two of our investigators, Carmelita and Herminihildo. We are so blessed to have watched them experience such big changes in their lives, and now be working towards the change that comes from baptism. We are so excited for them.
I really love this area. As we were visiting one of our brand new investigators, Sister Kayleen, for the second time, she said to us, "Sister, I am coming to church today! My friend told me that after I go to church I can get baptized. I hope I can get baptized this month, because I really want to." We were almost speechless! She is so prepared for the gospel. We told her that, yes, she can absolutely get baptized! We set a baptismal date for her for the beginning of June. I am always so happily surprised when we find people who are prepared for the gospel. There are so many people here who are prepared by the Lord. It's so reassuring and exciting when you find someone like that to teach. Every thing just clicks. I am excited to keep teaching and finding in this area.
This week, I have been studying and thinking a lot about prayer. Our zone leaders this week taught a lesson during a meeting about prayer. They told us that we should do more than just "say" our prayers, they should be meaningful. We should think of our prayers as a two-way communication with our Heavenly Father. I have had so many amazing experiences with prayer in my life, too many to tell. We are so blessed to be able to talk personally, whenever we want, about whatever we want, with our Heavenly Father. Teaching someone to pray is one of my favorite things to teach here in the mission. It's amazing to watch and hear someone pray for the first time. It's so sincere and so simple. Sometimes, especially here in the mission, I think, "I wish I had someone to talk to, " or "I wish I could talk to my mom." When that happens, I just pray. I talk to my Heavenly Father. I know that He hears our prayers, and that He cares about everything we pray about, however trivial or seemingly small. I hope you all do more than just "say" your prayers. I hope you each talk to your Heavenly Father every day. I know He wants to hear from each of us and that He will always answer our prayers.
I hope you all have a wonderful, beautiful week! I love you and miss you all so much!
I LOVE YOU!
xo Sister Allen
My companion is the one of the far right. Her name is Sister Escalante! She's cute.
(No, that's not a fanny pack, it's my new bag. My "ugly missionary bag." It's a shoulder bag with a strap around the waist. Eh. I like it. Hehehehe.)
There were a lot of weddings in April, this is one of them.