Monday, December 12, 2016

Saying goodbye to the members in Penablanca.

Hello po! 

I have had a great week!  I have been assigned to SANTIAGO SOUTH ZONE!  This will be my last area.  Santiago City is about an hour away from the mission home in Cauayan City.  Our area here is half city, half farm land, and it is filled with many wonderful people who are ready to hear the gospel.  My trainer, Sister Maroket, and my trainer's trainer, Sister Acosta were also both assigned as STLs in this area.  Haha!  I guess it runs in the family.  My companion is Sister Delinila.  She's the best!  She is from Cebu, which is in the southern part of the PH.  She is 22 years old and graduated college in accounting.  We have a lot in common!  We like all of the same things.  She's very proper and serious about the work.  She's fun to talk to and she's a great companion.  I really like her a lot!  

This week has been a week of growth.  I am doing my best to build myself into the person my Heavenly Father wants me to be.  This week, I have felt at moments inadequacy, fear, and doubt, but all of that was washed away by an overwhelming peaceful assurance from the Spirit that as long as the Savior is by my side, I can do all things.  My companion and I are assigned as sister training leaders.  We lead, teach, and help all of the sisters in the Santiago North, Santiago South, and Alicia zones.  We also are part of the missionary leadership committee with other zone leaders and the assistants to the president.  As STL's, we help direct the work to carry out the plans that our mission president has for our mission.  We go on exchanges with the sisters in our assigned zones, teach the missionaries at zone training meetings, and help the missionaries to become the best missionaries that they can be!  It's a great opportunity for me and my companion to be a good example and guide for the other missionaries.  A lot of the sisters in our assigned zones are training, so there are many new missionaries that we will have to help out with.  I am excited (still a little nervous) about this calling.  It is an opportunity to serve the Lord with all my heart, might, mind, and strength.

Here in Santiago, I also have some housemates again!  I am glad I have housemates.  They are Sister Ruyeras and Sister Montandon.  This is the third time that I have been housemates with Sister Ruyeras, so I know her well!  She's a Filipina from Tacloban, PH.  Sister Montandon is from Las Vegas, NV, and just got to the mission on Wednesday.  She's brand new.  It's fun to watch her and remember the things that I experienced when I was new too.  Our house is pretty nice.  It's a lot nicer now, because I cleaned it really good this morning. :)  The only thing I don't like is my bed, because it's a bunk bed and I'm on top.  I don't like climbing up and down, but it's okay.  It's comfy, and I sleep good. 

This week was a great week.  We taught just over 30 lessons this week.  We have been busy!  It's a good kind of busy; the kind that makes my day happy and makes me feel like I'm doing something worthwhile.  Time flies when you're busy!  Each day has seemed so short for this whole week.  Christmas is so close!  Christmas really is the best time to be a missionary.  It's fun to teach about Christ at this time of the year.  Everyone is much happier, much more giving, and much kinder at this time of year.  Even though I have only been in Santiago for a few days, I have met many amazing people. 

Two of those people are Harold and Iza.  They are a young couple with a cute four-year-old daughter.  They are getting baptized this weekend!  I didn't do much of the missionary work to help them get to the baptism (because I just got here!), but I am honored to know them and to be able to witness their baptism this week.  They are amazing.  They are so ready for the gospel.  Sister Iza is SO excited for her baptism.  She kept asking us if she could get baptized sooner than Saturday.  She's cute!  They are a great little family, and they will thrive as members of the church.

Another amazing person I met is Nanay Rhodora.  She is an older woman, and was baptized a few months ago.  She's also blind, but she wasn't always that way.  She told us she went blind because of her diabetes.  She is so sweet as has such a strong testimony.  When I met her, she smiled and held her arms open and said, "Come here Allen!  I will kiss you!"  Which she did.  She kissed me on the cheek and gave me a tight hug.  Then she asked me all about myself, including what color hair I have and what color eyes.  She just calls me "Allen" and calls all the other sisters by their last names too.  "I call you 'Allen,'" she told me, "because I know you are my daughter, not just a sister."  She's so cute.  When we visit her, we read the Book of Mormon to her.  She always hugs and kisses us and feeds us hot chocolate. 

I am excited to explore this area more and to meet more amazing people.  I am so excited to be here in Santiago! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week.  Keep sharing the light!  I love you all so much.

xo Sister Allen

Saying goodbye!

Saying goodbye to my companion. 

Saying goodbye to housemates, my companion and Bishop Tumaliuan.

My new house!

Some scripture verses I drew and gave out for #LIGHTtheWORLD

My desk with all the new cute new decorations you sent! :) thank you!

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