Monday, January 16, 2017

Travel for zone training meeting.
Hello po! 

I have had an excellent week!  It was so busy.  We had two companion exchanges, zone training meeting, and lots of missionary work.  I'll give you the highlights.

My favorite thing that happened this week was this morning.  We were doing our laundry when the transfer list came through text....and Sister Delinila is staying!  I was so happy!  I was jumping around and laughing and freaking out when we read the text.  I wearied God with my prayers to let her stay, and I'm sure I wearied President Hiatt too with my requests to keep us together.  I am so happy that she's staying!  She will "kill me."  That's what you say when a missionary will be your last companion before you go home.  YAY!

The fact that I am so close to going home has begun to sink in a little bit.  Although I am excited to see all of you, the idea makes my stomach clench.  I am not looking forward to saying goodbye to this beautiful place.  Of course, I try to not think about it and I try to really focus on the people and the work.  But one morning this week, I was feeling a little down and a little stressed.  I was wondering if I had really done my best and wondering if my best could measure up to the work that others had done.  I was just having a little weak moment.  In my prayer to open my personal study, I asked Heavenly Father to help me feel okay and to help me know - really know - how He thinks I have been doing.  This is what I read during my studies that morning, and I know it was an answer to my prayer.  It's from a talk by Elder J. Devn Cornish.  He said: 

"We must stop comparing ourselves to others. We torture ourselves needlessly by competing and comparing. We falsely judge our self-worth by the things we do or don’t have and by the opinions of others. If we must compare, let us compare how we were in the past to how we are today—and even to how we want to be in the future. The only opinion of us that matters is what our Heavenly Father thinks of us. Please sincerely ask Him what He thinks of you. He will love and correct but never discourage us..."

It lifted my heart so much when I read that!  Sister Delinila also talked to me and helped me (because she's my companion, of course she could tell I was feeling down).  She shared with me this quote by President Uchtdorf from his talk, "Forget Me Not."

"Forget not to be patient with yourself.  I want to tell you something that I hope you will take in the right way: God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect.  Let me add: God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not.  And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others—usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does.  Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. It’s wonderful that you have strengths.  And it is part of your mortal experience that you do have weaknesses.  God wants to help us to eventually turn all of our weaknesses into strengths, but He knows that this is a long-term goal. He wants us to become perfect, and if we stay on the path of discipleship, one day we will. It’s OK that you’re not quite there yet. Keep working on it, but stop punishing yourself."

I am grateful for a Heavenly Father that comforts me when I need it, and I'm grateful for a companion who knows what I need to hear.  

I love you all so much!  I hope you all have a joyful week.  Forget not to be patient with yourself; forget not that Heavenly Father loves you.  

M A H A L  K O  K A Y O

xo Sister Allen

“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.”  Psalms 31:24

The Burgundy couple (the ones who got baptized a few weeks ago) invited us to their daughter's 4th birthday this past week, so we got her a gift.  It's a stuffed animal backpack.  She loved it!

Candies that we gave out at zone training meeting.  Yummy!

After my first time teaching at a zone training meeting.  I survived!

A mix of Santiago South and Santiago North missionaries.  

This is Tatay and Nanay Dominggo.  They are ward missionaries.  We worked with them this past Thursday, and it was amazing.  Tatay Dominggo reminds me of dad for some reason, I don't know why. Hahaha!

Sab's fourth birthday!  We couldn't get Sab to sit still.

Some kids playing in the ditch.  Like the ditch in our backyard!

Walking in the rain.

Our dinner appointment on Sunday night was at a member's birthday party. Fun!

Doing our laundry this morning! We bought taho from a street vendor that walked by our house.  Taho is this warm soy yogurt kind of stuff with sugar and sago.  It's goooooood. 

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