I have had a good week. I can't believe it's already p-day again! I feel like yesterday was p-day, and now it's p-day again. Time is flying so fast, it's scary! We had about 20 lessons this week, which is okay. Me and Sis. Escalante are doing great! We are almost done with her training and I'm not feeling like a babysitter anymore. :) Sis E. said she was feeling emotional and homesick. I have tried to help her and comfort her, and now she seems better. She also received letters from her family in the pouch for the first time since she left on her mission, which helped a lot. This week is also week 11 in training, which is the week where the trainee leads everything. I think it stressed her out at first, but she's doing well and is very capable and prepared to lead. She's improving every day. She's getting things figured out and is becoming a more consecrated missionary every day. Transfer day is next week, August 3rd. I'm not sure if I'm going to stay or if I'm going to transfer. Either one is possible! What do you think?
The weather has been super super super rainy this week. All the prayers of the rice farmers here have been answered! It hadn't rained in probably three or four weeks, but it's been raining a lot again now.
This Tuesday we had our monthly Zone Meeting. At ZM, the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders taught a lesson given to them by Pres. and Sis. Hiatt. This was the first meeting since Pres. Hiatt became mission president, so there were a few changes, but nothing too big. The lesson was focused on the phrase:
"Teach repentance, baptize converts." It's our job to teach everyone that they need to repent - or in other words - that they need to change and come unto Christ. That is our goal as missionaries! We are helping people, step by step, to become a little better and a lot happier.
At the meeting they also announced that they have a new requirement for every single lesson that we ever teach: we have to sing. Ah! Before every lesson, we must start with a hymn, then pray and start the lesson. We have never done that before! At first, when we tried it out this week, it was the worst thing ever. Sometimes we're off key and our voices don't sound good. After doing it for about a week, I can honestly say that I really like it. It adds a special feeling to the lessons and makes me feel reverent and helps us to feel the Spirit. Like they said at ZM, "the hymn is the first prayer of the meeting, then afterwards comes the real prayer." I love that. Like it says in D&C, when we sing, it is like a prayer to God. Our lessons have become more spiritual and I don't feel embarrassed to sing anymore in front of people.
They also talked to us sisters about wearing the slacks...... I finally have a pair but have yet to wear them because I kind of hate them. My companion says they suit me well, which is embarrassing. I don't want slacks to suit me, haha! But, we'll see if I wear them this week. I'll send you a picture if I do! The ZL's quoted Sis. Hiatt at our ZM. She said: "Sisters! Be obedient. Follow the brethren. Wear the pants." I thought that was hilarious. Hahahahaha.
This Wednesday, we traveled to Ilagan City to have our cycle-ly companion exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. It was fun! My companion was Sis. Biolena. It was fun to work with such a good missionary. We had a great day.
On Sunday, I was SO SO SO HAPPY because two of our investigators came to church and they had a great experience. Frechelle is 13 years old and Sherell is 15 years old. Sherell had come to church in the past and was finally able to make it back with the help of her friend and recent convert, Angelica (she was baptized last month). It was Frechelle's first time. We picked her up in the kulong kulong (even though it was pouring rain!) and made it to the church. We walked to the front doors and she timidly followed in our wake. All of a sudden, someone shouted very loudly, "Frechelle!", ran towards her, and buried her in a big hug. It was one of her very best friends, who is also one of the young women in our branch. We had no idea that they were so close, but we were so grateful that she was there. Frechelle had a huge smile on her face and was happily by the side of her friend for the rest of church. Having a friend really makes such a huge difference! Frechelle and Sherell are excited to come back and participate in the activities. They both have a baptismal date scheduled for mid-August.
Pres. Hiatt asked us to share a miracle with him. There’s so many, it’s hard to pick just one! The miracle I shared is about Angelica. When I got to the area, she was a painfully shy new investigator. To be honest, I didn't think anything special or significant would happen with her. During our lessons she barely spoke. She just stared at the ground and sometimes was able to choke out a "yes, sister" or another quiet phrase. I don't know why, but we kept going back. I guess the Spirit was telling us that there was more to this girl. Slowly, she started to pray with us. She started reading. She started coming to church. She looked into our eyes as she listened in our lessons instead of looking at the ground. She started speaking more and to our surprise - sharing her testimony. To make a long story short, she was baptized last month and since then, has been continuously growing. She has blossomed. She has given us the most referrals out of all of the members and others, many of whom who are now preparing for their own baptisms. She works with us and isn't afraid to share her testimony. This week, she told me that she will prepare to serve a mission in her future. It makes me cry as I write this. It seems like a small miracle, but to me, it's big. When I met her, she barely spoke. During all those silent, almost awkward lessons, the Spirit was teaching her and changing her heart from a heart of fear to a heart full of love and faith. This silent young girl has changed into a powerful, beautiful daughter of God who spreads light to all around her.
I love you all so much! You are always in my thoughts and prayers. I think of you always! I hope you have an amazing week and that you are all always finding the joy in everything. Let your lights so shine!
mahal ko po kayong lahat
xo Sister Allen
They're stinky and rough, but I like them.
From our CSP this week, we helped Bro. Roland's restaurant. He asked me to make this menu! It's not my best work, but it was fun to make.
This was on Wednesday when we had companion exchanges with the Sister Training leaders in Ilagan. We ate dinner at a little restaurant with some members from their ward. Yum!