Week 4 8/24/15 - 8/30/15

Week 4 8/24/15 - 8/30/15

Pday again! We went to the church but didn't have a basketball. But someone ended up bringing a soccer ball and we played chair soccer. Fun stuff. We sat and emailed and took online surveys and messed around on a piano. That's about it for pday. 

After pday, we went on exchanges. I'm with Elder Udall, my DL. Super cool guy and a great missionary.

We spent the day biking around. Like all day. Right after we left, the rain hit... Texas rainstorm. Crazy downpour. And we got caught in it. We kept going for a little while on our bikes, but ultimately decided to stop after the road flooded. We pulled off to the side and sought shelter under a couple of trees. After a few minutes, something told us to go to the other side of the street, so we did. We waited under some trees for a few minutes, just trying to wait out the storm. After a few minutes a car pulled up and the lady rolled her window down and asked us what we were doing, so we told her that we were trying to wait out the storm... She told us to follow her to her house and get dry. So we did. We got to her house and she brought out towels and water bottles and everything for us to be comfortable with. Super nice lady. Never got her name though. She told us that we could hang out on her back porch with her dog for the remainder of the storm and so that's what we did. We didn't have anything to write our thanks on cause all of our papers had gotten soaked, everything but one BoM that had somehow managed to stay dry. Go figure. So Elder Udall and I pulled that out and wrote our thanks inside the front cover saying that all our other paper wasn't paper anymore. We also might've added our testimonies and an invitation to read it along with our number saying that if she ever needed anything to give us a call. Honestly goes to show that there really are good people out there. You never know who they are or what walk of life they come from, but no matter what happens if you are out doing the Lords errand, the Lord will watch out for you and take care of you. That's our miracle for the day.

We also realized today that missionary work without the members help is extremely tough, basically impossible. I hope that all yall pray for missionary opportunities everyday with the intent of loving and sharing the Gospel with them. The Lord will provide situations. All you have to do is to recognize an opportunity to do good then have the courage to open you mouth and share you testimony. No one was ever hurt because they were trying to bring someone else to the light and truth that the Gospel brings. If you aren't praying for opportunities to help someone, more often than not you won't get those opportunities. So pray! The missionaries can't effectively do what they're supposed to do without the members! Without the help of the members, missionaries get discouraged, they knock doors all day trying to find someone to teach. David A Bednar said that missionaries are supposed to be full time teachers, not full time finders! Try to help them. Anyway, that's enough preaching.

We were able to contact quite a few people today. It was a good day! We set up appointments for almost everyday this week. We will see how many of them hold up. Today was all about contacting members, investigators, and former investigators to see if any of them have been stuff! Goodnight and sorry that was long, but I had to say it. Not really, but I wanted to.

Today was new missionary training. It's where all the new people come together with their trainers and get taught by President and the APs. It was actually really good! I,was able to learn a lot. The overarching principle that was taught was that our investigators ability to feel the Spirit hinges on our personal worthiness and preparation. As long as we are prepared and worthy to conduct the Spirit, they will feel the Spirit. It doesn't really matter what you say, cause they'll feel the difference about you. 

3 Nephi 7:18 "And it came to pass that they were angry with him, even because he had greater power than they, for it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words, for so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ that angels did minister unto him daily."

This scripture is talking about Nephi's faith and how it was so great that there were none who didn't feel the Spirit about him. Through sheer faith, he was able to make them believe, yet they still had agency of whether or not they wanted to act on that knowledge or not. Faith is amazing!

We had a lesson with a fellow named R. He's completely Cajun and has been coming to the church for a while. He grew up boxing and his entire family also boxed. He's such a cool guy! He's going to cook some Cajun food for us sometime. Tonight was our first lesson with him and when we came and sat down in the living room with us, the first thing he asked is "what do I need to do to be baptized?" My comp and I looked at each other and the surprise on Elder Leftwich's face was priceless! R married the daughter of the first counselor in the mission presidency about 2 months ago and has been wanting to take the discussions ever since. He wants to learn, but he says that there is so much info on Gospel Library that he doesn't know where to start learning! So we pulled out a paper copy of the BoM and gave it to him. Told him to start reading at the very beginning. So yep, he's getting baptized on September 12. 

I woke up today. I can't hear out of my right ear and I hurt all over. I don't even know why! But it isn't too bad, it just another trial that I have to overcome. 

Christopher! The other day I met somebody down here who is 7 but is turning 8 on September 17th! He's your exact same age! 

We spent the afternoon helping one of our neighbors move about a mile down the road. His name is B and he and his wife are both music majors here at Lamar University. Most YSA age people are in college at Lamar right now. So that's what we spent our afternoon doing till about 4. Then we came back and had dinner.

After dinner, we spent a few hours transferring the paper area book onto our iPads. It's a pain and we just found out that it has to be done by this transfer. All the former investigators have to be put into the iPad. Each former takes 10 minutes or so on average, depending on how many times the missionaries taught them before they were dropped. We have to put records of every single visit into the iPad. It's crazy.

While we were sitting doing the area book, we got the feeling that we needed to go out. So we got ready and left. That was about 6:30 or so. We looked at a map and picked a general area to knock doors. We rode our bikes there and finally found a street that felt right. We started knocking doors. As we've been knocking over the last few weeks, the JWs leave their pamphlets on the porch. We've been collecting them. The less Jehovah's Witness stuff out there, the better... My comp calls it Proselyting Warfare. Anyway, the second house we knocked on, a nice older lady came to the door. Her name is R. She looked at us and stepped out onto the porch to talk to us. Come to find out, 14 years ago she had moved to another house. While moving, one of the workers become sick so everybody took him to the hospital. Like EVERYONE. All her boxes were on her lawn and here's this 60 year old woman wondering what the heck she's going to do, cause she needs to be out of the house by that night. Long story short, two missionaries ride past her on bikes, wave to her, and keep riding. But she watches them go down the street, flip a u-turn and come back and ask if she needs help. So 14 years ago, these two missionaries loaded up all of her belongings into the back of the moving truck by themselves and R said that she is forever grateful for those two young boys dressed in white shirts. They stopped, they helped, and changed somebody's life forever. As a result, she started wondering what SHE could do to help people. She's goes to a Baptist church and is a home realtor. So she buys old houses and fixes them up then sells them again. So she knows how to fix windows. (By the way, she is totally still fixing up homes and she's now 68) In her church there's a lot of poor people with run down houses, so she became the Window Lady in Beaumont! She's been fixing up windows of these houses for years and so many people know that she's the Window Lady who fixed their windows! Super cool lady. And this came as a side result of two missionaries stopping by to help. That's all. You never know how much good you can do in the world. Because of these two missionaries 14 years ago, we were able to have a lesson with her. Because of these two missionaries, countless people and families have had their windows fixed. Follow every prompting. Every single one.

Woke up with a full blown cold today. I don't know what it is, but I've got a sore throat, stuffy nose, runny nose, I hurt all over, and have half a voice. And I can't hear out of my right ear. Good thing my job has benefits like eternal life and exaltation! And compassion, and a bettering of myself, and a better understanding of the Savior's love for everybody and why He did what He did for us. Good thing this job has awesome benefits like having Angels watch out for me, a loving Father who I can turn to with anything, a power that enables us to do anything, the power to heal, awesome people who love everything that we as missionaries are doing, not to mention the miracles that happen every single day! Oh and did I mention the fire insurance at the last days for only 10% of my $$$ and 100% of my ego? Yep this job is pretty great:) I love it!

We've spent all afternoon contacting and teaching lessons. We met an awesome guy! He's a WWII vet. Go figure. He's 92 and his name is T. He was a mechanic on a B-24 and he has some awesome stories! Definitely the highlight of the day. His family is consisted of Mormons. His granddaughter is on a mission in California and she's the one that sent to referral in to us. We called him and he was wondering how we got his number... I tried explaining it to him for a few minutes then handed the phone to my companion. After he was profoundly confused like I was, he told T that we were going to show up at his door in about a half hour. T said that was ok. So we did and half an hour later we knocked on his door. He let us in and he was a completely different guy than the guy we talked to on the phone. At least we thought he was. But it was the same guy! We talked to him, sorry, listened to stories, for an hour or so. There were some really interesting and cool stories! He is the sweetest, kindest, guy! After we left, we were sitting in the car and he comes walking out and starts mowing the lawn. Remember, he's 92... Can't hardly walk to the mower and it took him a few tries to get up onto the riding mower, but he did! He told us he goes to the gym 3 times a week. Last week he was in a car accident and ruined his favorite car. He's 92. And still driving. But he has to have glasses...:) definitely one of my heroes here in Beaumont.

Church was good! R, the Cajun, was there with his entire family and they thoroughly enjoyed it! T, the Vivent guy, wasn't there:( we got a text from him later in the afternoon saying that he didn't want to rush into baptism and he cancelled our lesson for this evening. Kind of a bummer. But he's coming back to Utah and going to Weber State! He says he's going to continue with the lessons and get baptized up there. So that's a good thing!

We went out biking about 3:00. We started talking to this kid, about 20 yrs old, in this kind of ghetto neighborhood right? His friends start coming out of the house and we start talking to them. After a few minutes, a car pulls up and these kids all hop in the back seat. The exchange of $$$ takes place... Anyway, my comp and I look at each other and realize that we are talking to these kids while their friends are getting drugs. Crazy. So Mom, that my first drug deal! I promise it's only the first and not everything down here is too crazy. Speaking of crazy, there are more fire trucks, ambulances, and police here that I've seen, than any other place. Every 10 minutes, I kid you not, the sirens come down the street. Without fail.

Well we just went to a mission call opening for one of our YSA friends named I. I is from the Philippines and is going to be a stud missionary. One of those that just knows everything is true and will convert everyone he sees, just cause they are around him. Anyway, he's going to Hong Kong. He's pretty stoked about it. So yep. That's my week. Oh and we are out of food and $$$ and just found out that our cards probably won't be reloaded before this pday... We are getting creative with top ramen;)

-Elder Allen

Ps. I actually got money, so I'm good.

Week 3 8/17/15-8/23/15

Week 3 8/17/15-8/23/15
Today was zone pday. This morning we went to Wal-mart and picked up some things that we needed. We spent most the day playing basketball and indoor soccer in the gym at the church. It was way fun! Then we spent the rest of the day cleaning and fixing my companions bike. He's at his year mark and has done no repairs or tuned it up at all. So we fixed his bike up a little bit. We are sitting in the local Sonic right now getting shakes cause we can...;)

It rained most of the day and made it super difficult to ride bikes and knock doors and meet people. It was a complete downpour. Texas rainstorm. Lot of water... So we didn't get out much today.

Tonight we were able to go take part in a charity event called A Tasting For Some Other Place. Look it up, I don't know what you'll find, but it's held in Beaumont every year. Basically all the churches and community organizations come together and prepare little samples of some sort of food. Then people from the community come and partake of these wonderful delicacies. Our ward here in Beaumont (I know!
There's only one!) decided to advertise the Church Welfare Program. So they served peanut butter from the cannery here in Houston with apple slices or pretzels. It was so much fun! We had all 4 of us missionaries that cover the ward standing outside the booth serving peanut butter and apples and pretzels and Books of Mormons and pictures of Jesus:) it was really interesting to see how many people came up to us and told us that they had a copy of the Book of Mormon and that they had friends that were LDS. We placed so many Books and cards that I'm honestly amazed. We stood with the peanut butter trays in the middle and the trays with the religious materials on the sides.
"Would you like some peanut butter? Here. Now I'm going to send you over to my companion so you can get a dish of salvation to go with your wonderful peanut butter!" Good times;) and the best part? We actually said that to people.

We are supposed to have a baptism on September 5th or 6th. We don't know who is going to get baptized that day yet, but my comp and I both feel that there is someone who is ready. I'll keep you updated with all of that... We prayed about it on Friday last week and on Sunday we met a guy who's been coming to church for about a year now. He works for Vivent here in Beaumont and he's ready to be baptized. So we think that it might be him that's our September 5th or 6th baptism. He straight up told us that he was going to get baptized, it was just a question of when for him. He's super cool and he has a lot of questions about the Church and the Gospel. He was introduced to the Church when attending Weber State. He's from Connecticut and has never heard of Mormons till he started attending college in Utah... Go figure.

Really not much happened today. It was a big thunderstorm today... And it rained all day. Again. We rode our bikes around a little bit trying to meet members, but it was hard cause nobody was home. And we couldnt contact outside cause everyone wasn't outside in the rain... Go figure. Had dinner with a nice couple not to far from our Apt. The wife found some baby kittens 3-4 days ago. I'll try to send some pictures home. She's been nursing them with a bottle.

Today we get to go to the temple! I can't wait. We get to go to the temple 4 times a year with President even though it's outside our mission boundaries. Last night was pretty cool cause we left the blinds on the window open, but it was so humid that the window just stayed fogged the entire night. But there was lightning all last night and the sky was turning blue every 7 seconds or so. And our window was fogged up so we couldn't see the bolts of lightning; it just painted the entire bedroom blue and white. It was way cool. I stayed up most of the night cause I figured that I could sleep the hour and a half on the way to the temple, but here I am typing stuff up... Go figure.

Holy cow! The temple was amazing! I was able to learn so much from it all! The church is true. The temple just reaffirmed that fact. The Houston temple is a smaller temple than other temples, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in beauty. It is an absolutely magnificent temple, as are all of them. The Spirit contained inside of them is the same. It is still the House of the Lord. And it's still beautiful. And it's still amazing.

Woke up this morning and had a district meeting after studies. Super good. We talked a lot about the importance of the Book of Mormon.
Truly a man can come closer to God by abiding by its precepts than any other book. That statement is true. The BoM combined with the Spirit is the single most powerful tool that we as missionaries and members can use in teaching. It's amazing! The power contained within is different than any other book. That is because the BoM is pure and divine and inspired. There is a reason that it has been revealed to this world in this time. That's cause the world needs it now more than ever.

We did our Hour of Power tonight instead of yesterday cause we didn't have time yesterday with the temple trip and such. Essentially it's when we tract for an hour. And every house we knocked on tonight, somebody was willing to talk to us about what we know and what we are doing out here knocking on doors. It really was amazing. We placed a few Books of Mormon and we set up an appointment with an older gentleman for next week! Way cool! Let you know how it goes.

Today we are supposed to have meetings all day. Yes I know it's Saturday, but it feels like Sunday... Up early and get to meetings

We had a mission conference in Baytown this morning. That went from 9:00am till noon. Then there was a leadership conference that our ride (remember, cause we don't have a car) went to. So we were stuck in the church till bout 1:30 or 2:00. But it was awesome! There was a member of the 70 there. And his talk was amazing! Then we had stake conference later that night. Or at least the adult session. It was way good! There were two of the 70 there cause they are reorganizing the stake presidency. Two different ones than the one we saw in the morning. The talks were amazing. President and Sister Drake spoke at the adult session on how to get involved with missionary work. The entire theme of the meeting was the importance of Councils. Counseling is how the Lord brings to pass His will on Earth. Read about Councils.
It's cool to just see how many councils there are in the Church.

We woke up and wanted pancakes. So we made pancakes. The weren't bad, but they couldn't have held a torch to Moms... I miss those;)

Stake Conference was amazing! They reorganized the stake presidency today. Elder Dan Jones and Elder Larry EchoHawk were the two general authorities there today. I know that they were acting in the behalf of the First Presidency. I know that they were doing the will of the Lord. It was amazing. The testimonies borne by the incoming Presidency brought the Spirit so strongly. As a missionary, it seems like I have an increased capacity to feel the Spirit than I did as a High School student and I feel that it comes not only because I'm called of God to serve, but also because I'm living the way I am. I know that if I had read my scriptures and actually tried to get something out of it every day back home, I would have been a completely different person. That's one of the regrets that I have about pre-mission life. If I had known what I know now, life would've been different for me. I would have been happier. I would've looked forward to the sacrament and church and seminary with so much anticipation and eagerness. I wish I had taken time to notice the actual important things in life. I would've feasted on the words of Christ, not only the BoM, but the Bible, the D&C, the PoGP, conference talks, new and old, sacrament meetings, etc.
There is so much information at our fingertips. Now I feel like an hour of personal study is not even close enough the the time I want to spend. There is so much out there that I want to learn and so little time to do it. I just want everything out there to be in my head so that I can comprehend it all.

Remember how I said we are teaching the guy the works for Vivent?
Anyway, his name is T. He's way cool. We have another appt with him tonight and we are basically going to sit down and cover everything we can in a few hours... He's been reading everyday from the BoM. We've been texting him various scriptures and chapters to read each day and he's super excited to meet tonight! He truly is an answer to our prayers. He is a miracle find. I forgot to mention that the night before he talked to us, we had prayed for someone to teach and baptize... My bad. Sorry for neglecting that info. We are going now, so I'll tell y'all about what happens!

And he's totally going to get baptized! It's way cool! We had an hour and a half lesson with him. All of his friends were there helping us reach him and it was a way cool experience! We started a lesson off with a blessing. One of the guys in the apt has a brain hernia and it causes him pain. We were able to bless him. Super super cool experience and T had so many questions about the priesthood and such! We committed him to be baptized on September 6th, cause he works on Saturdays. For the rest of you, remember when I,said that we had prayed that we would find someone to teach and baptize? Well we actually chose a date and the day we chose was the 5th of September...
We had picked out every Saturday left in the transfer. And we chose the 5th. But the Lord took us as close to His will as we would let Him take us. Make sense? We didn't even consider the 6th till we were in the lesson tonight. But He took us close enough to recognize that this was the person that has been prepared for that weekend. The Lord does answer prayers, but sometimes they aren't in the way that we are looking for. And He will take us only as high as we want to go. But if we want to fly, He will help us soar higher than we ever imagined.
Amazing isn't it? Alright, I'll bring you more word of T next week! Love y'all! Ive gotta go to bed now. Elder Leftwich and I are trying to be exactly obedient nowadays...;)

-Elder Allen

Thanks Mom

From: Ben Allen <>
Date: August 17, 2015 at 2:43:42 PM MDT
To: Emily <>
Subject: Re: Be Happy
It's been a good week, definitely had its ups and downs though. 

I can't tell you how much I appreciate the way that you've raised me. Since we've been down here I've seen so many broken houses where the parents are pretty much nonexistent. And I've seen the toll that it takes on boys and girls my age. And I've only been here 2 weeks. We've knocked on so many doors where these parents haven't been a part of the kids lives and you can just tell. Thank you so much for allowing me to have the Gospel in my life. I've seen the difference that it makes to have just even some sort of religion in the house. But LDS families are completely different. Every house has a Spirit about it. And you notice it the second that you walk in. It's amazing. And it's different and I want it in my house when I get older. 

I love you.
-Elder Allen

Arrival in Beaumont

Subject: Texas

Hey yall!

So I just finished my first week here in Texas! It was fantastic! But
it was kinda slow. My and my new comp, Elder Leftwich were assigned to
the Beaumont North area. The previous missionaries didn't leave us
anything to go off of... So we spent this last week trying to find
some new investigators. On top of that, our apartment was just barely
refurbished, and everything was in boxes. So we spent Tuesday
unpacking and getting settled in. Just crazy stuff.

Let me back up a little bit. I'll start from the beginning. We woke up
in the MTC at about 1:20am to catch our flight at 5:40. As we were
leaving the MTC, it was pouring down rain, like major rainstorm. The
bus took extra long to get us to the airport for "safety". When we got
to the airport, we had to stand around and wait, cause the ticket
kiosks weren't even open yet, that's how early it was. As the ticket
kiosks opened and we all got our tickets, one elder decided that he
couldn't do this, and me, as the travel "supervisor" and my companion
had to wait with him for the next bus to take him back to the MTC.
This bus wasn't supposed to be arriving at the airport until 5:15. Now
remember how our flight is at 5:40? Ya. We had a half hour to clear
security, find the gate, make sure everyone was accounted for, and get
on the plane. My comp and I were sprinting to,the gate, which happened
to be the furthest one down at the very end. Fun stuff. No reason to
not start the mission with an adventure! But long story short, we made
it to the flight and got into the air. Fast forward an hour and a half
or so. We land in Denver and we have about a half hour layover or so.
Come to find out, our flight was leaving from the other side of the
airport. So here we are again, running through the airport to catch
another flight... All 28 of us. We catch the flight and make it to
Houston. First thought off the plane, I'm drowning. I was looking
around for the lifeguard... Came down the store and President Drake
was standing there! He's a super cool guy! I'm excited for it all.

He and the APs took us to the church in Kingwood. We were fed pulled
pork sandwiches, which were amazing, and other Texas foods. Come to
find out, Sister Drake made it all! It was way good. All of our bikes
were lined up in the gym. It wasn't too hard to find mine, seeing as
it was the only bright red one in the entire line of 32 bikes...
Thanks dad:) after pictures and everything else was taken (too many of
them...) we were each interviewed by President. Short interview, but
effective. As we are doing all of this, the other missionaries are
showing up. After we get everything that we need to get, ie iPads,
bikes, helmets, etc, we are taken into the chapel. And they start
reading off names, I'm assigned to be trained by Elder Leftwich. He's
a way cool guy! Anyway come to find out, we don't get keys to our
apartment, cause it's been refurbished and we need to get them from
the landlady. So we hitch a ride to Beaumont (did I mention it's a
biking area!?) and we try to get into our apartment. And guess what!?
The front desk is closed cause it's like 9:00. Go figure. So we can't
get into our apartment. Luckily, we only had to wait about an hour for
the Elders that live across the street to show up... So we ended
up,spending the night at their place, with just a few sheets and
stuff... Crazy. So that's my first night.

The rest of the week basically has been the same... Lots of fun stuff.
Setting up iPads and getting together with other missionaries that
were just here to find out who we were teaching and when. They didn't
leave us any notes or anything. So yep... We spent the last week
contacting and such. That's it for me!

Love yall!

-Elder Allen

Week 2 - Reality

Mon 8/17/2015 1:45 PM
Post on the blog that I don't have too much time for emails today and just help everyone understand. I'm going to try to get one to mom and Matthew and Michelle here soon. But this will be basically the only update for now.

Week 2 8/10/15-8/16/15
Monday/ Tuesday
There was a shooting Monday night in our apt complex. Supposedly. Beat Bro Hall (ward mission leader, way cool guy!) in ping pong Tuesday night. Contacted a lot of people Monday night, it was way good.
Received quite a few referrals from a southern baptist lady. None of them wanted to hear the Gospel though. Pday Monday was good. Went the the institute building at Lamar University and played pool and ping pong and piano. And we emailed home. Tuesday was kinda slow, our only appt had to cancel on us, but we rescheduled for Wednesday night. We will see how it goes, her name is Natalie. Our district leader, Elder Udall, has been really emphasizing being exactly obedient and I've been trying my best. I've decided that I'm just going to log everyday and send the log home in an email... No one says I can't update my notes at meal times and just send it home on pdays.

Woke up, hard to get up this morning. It was a rough day yesterday.
Can't stop thinking about home, I hate it! But it's all good. I'm still dedicated and willing to,give everything that I have to the Lord. Reading Jesus the Christ by James E Talmage, it's really good and I would recommend it to almost anyone who is willing to read it with a dictionary by their side.

The priesthood has been restored, we have that binding power here on the earth. Behold, a marvelous work and wonder shall come forth among the children of men. This scripture is referring to the restoration of the church and priesthood. However, it also pertains to missionary work.

Just helped the Daily's move. The Daily's are a nice old couple that live about a mile away from us, we were in the area yesterday and decided to go visit cause we felt that we needed to. Lo and behold, they were trying to move everything in their house by themselves, so we told them to save it for today when we could actually go over to their house and help in pday clothes. And we ended up getting a heck of a ton of furniture for our empty apt. I have my own desk now. And we got a dresser and a bunch of end tables. Going to help put a roof on a shed now... Crazy stuff

The roof was crazy, I have pics. We raised the thing 14 1/2 ft off the ground with 2x4s... Too much fun! Lots of hard work and heavy lifting.
We've had pizza from members 3 nights in a row and I'm sick of it. But I'm glad that we get to hang out with members every night for a few minutes. It's good to get to know the members; I never realized how important the members are to missionary work. Got back to the apartment and decided that the light switch is too far away. So we took some thread and some duct tape, cause that's all we had, and attached the thread to the light switch and ran it across the ceiling then down and let it dangle above our desks. Then I tied a pencil onto my "light switch" and it looks like there is a pencil floating in the air. Now we can turn the lights on without getting up and walking across the entire room:)

Natalie is legit. She's amazing! She is a single mom caring for 4 children by working 2 jobs, one in the,day and the other at night. While running them around everywhere to their various activities. Her 16 year old son plays the trumpet in the band. Natalie is super receptive to everything that we are saying and teaching her.
That's it for me! I'm going to bed

Last night there was a major thunderstorm... It rained all night long.
And thundered even longer than that. There was a lightning bolt that must have hit in our backyard cause it woke me and my comp up at the same time. About 1:00 in the morning... Shook the entire complex.
After we had gone back to bed, my comp woke me up at 3:00 and told me to get out of bed and get ready for the day. After a few minutes of convincing, I convinced him that it was still nighttime and that we are supposed to be sleeping when the sun is sleeping... Funny stuff right there. It was an eventful night, I didn't sleep to much more after that cause the thunder was still going crazy.

We spent the better part of the day in weekly planning and trying to set up appointments. We didn't get out of our apartment until 3:30.
And then we were on bikes until now, 8:00. We came back to eat before an appointment at 8:30. She just called and canceled on us... That's the fourth time we've had appointments cancel on us since Tuesday.
That's why we went tracting. We've been knocking doors and contacting people in parks and other public places on our bikes. Crazy stuff. And crazy people, but they're so nice! Everybody wants to get us some water or something. Then they tell us they're catholic or some form of baptist... Southern Baptists are Mormons without realizing it. It's great! Other Baptists aren't so nice to Mormons, but they are great people, make sense? Making hash browns for dinner tonight, then drying off. Biking in the rain isn't any different than biking not in the rain, either way you are soaking wet and feel like you're drowning. We have a nightly come-home-find-food-and-lay-on-the-floor-cause-we-don't-have-furniture-and-dry-out-party.
Fun stuff:)

Slept well last night... Elder Leftwich is super sore from yesterday though, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't hurt. We rode for a long time yesterday. We have a district meeting here in a few minutes, it'll be our first real meeting. These are supposed to be good for the

District meeting was fantastic. Everything we talked about in meeting today Elder Leftwich and I talked about yesterday in comp study. Truly inspired stuff. We are "in charge" of the ward game-night tonight. Each of us have to give a 2-3 minute lesson or so in each room. My topic is temples. I'm going to talk a little bit about eternal families. Should be pretty good!

Game night went great! We had a lot of inactive or non members there!
We were able to introduce ourselves and bear our testimonies, as well as interact with the members. I never realized how much missionaries rely on the members and their referrals. Not just the referrals, but we are trying to take a member with us to almost every lesson that we have and their testimonies are such a powerful tool in conversion!
It's like the Spirit is instantly brought into the room. It honestly feels like a Spiritual Overflow! Way cool.

As we were on our way inside, there were some guys outside, waiting for the people in the apartment above ours to show up. Apparently it was to be a big party. But they all thought Mormons were way cool!
They've all got their alcohol and such (not drunk yet, they were saving it for later...) apparently they have a friend that is an Ex-Mormon and they like him and they've gone to church once or twice with him back in the day. They said everybody was way nice to them and that they would protect us missionaries! They also said that we really needed to go inside, cause it was 9:00 at night and Beaumont gets kinda scary and they wanted us to be safe. Then they started talking about how they aren't interested in the church, but they do think it's members are awesome! You don't get that very much, it's usually all either hate or anti or indifference to us. They said they admired us for having the courage to knock on doors all day long;) then they said that we could,go to,their party if we wanted! We kindly told them no but thanks anyways! So they got pictures with us and sent it to their ex Mormon friend! Nice guys, but didn't know anything about us. Kept saying we were xoxox cool guys... No matter how much they admired us, they didn't learn too much from their friend...;)

Well last night was eventful. Not really... But neither of us could sleep very well last night night. So yep. We spent all morning this morning trying to plan what we want to teach today. But we keep getting interrupted by sirens. We've heard more police cars and fire trucks go by the complex this morning than we've heard in the last two weeks combined. Friday is definitely the party night in Beaumont...

We spent all afternoon contracting in the rain and such. Knocking on doors, talking to people on the streets.just meeting people.

Found a single mom named xoxox. She's the one we've been praying to find. She had a baptismal date last year and called the missionaries the day before and told them that her grandmother was not approving.
Her grandmother raised her so it makes sense that she would want to save that relationship. We believe that she is somebody we were sent here to find this transfer. It's crazy. We sat down and had an hour and a half lesson earlier tonight. She just kept asking questions after questions. Super cool. And we lined up an appointment to meet with her grandmother too. We will see how that goes. I'll keep you updated though!

Had to get up extra early today to catch a 7:00 meeting at the church.
Should be an interesting meeting. I don't know what it's going to be about, but it's a meeting. We don't have any investigators coming to church today that we know of. All of them have commitments or are out of town and such like that... Sad day.

Busy day today. We've got an appointment later tonight. And we have dinner later tonight too. The appointment later tonight is a guy that came to church today and has been going for a few months now. Hasn't ever met with the missionaries, but he wants to take the discussions.
Just came straight up to us today and said when can I start!? So crazy huh!? We are going to meet with him tonight. His name is xoxox and with him it's not a question of if he will be baptized but a question of when. He's an awesome guy! He works for Vivent down here and he's crazy busy everyday. So we can't meet with him till next Sunday again.
But we did set up an appointment to spend a few hours with him next Sunday to answer all his questions! He also said that he's going to read the entire BoM... Not by next Sunday, but sometime in the future.

Just finished the book of Genesis! I've started to read the Bible.
Just to say that I've read it. I started it Friday.

-Elder Allen

Day 1 - In The Field

From: Dennis Drake
Date: August 4, 2015 at 1:20:41 PM MDT
To: Benjamin Allen
Subject: Your Missionary Has Arrived!
Your Missionary has arrived safely to T.H.E. Mission! Upon arrival we met your missionary at the airport.  They went to the church, had lunch and focused on training and interviews were conducted by President Drake. After which they met their new companion and were transported to their area of service. 
Elder Allen (Trainee) / Elder Leftwich from American Fork (Trainer)

They are now out diligently searching for our Heavenly Father's children and doing the work of the Lord. Thank you for sending your daughters and sons to us, they have added great strength to our small army here in the Texas Houston East Mission. We love them and are so grateful to have them with us. 
29 new missionaries on one day.

You will find attached a picture of your newly arrived missionary with Sister Drake and myself as well as their arriving group and Trainer.

We are writing to confirm your e-mail address. We use this method to keep you informed in case of hurricanes or in getting you other important information concerning T.H.E. Mission.

We are delighted that your Missionary is here and look forward to working with them.


President and Sister Drake    

1st Real P-day

Date: August 1, 2015 at 10:32:27 AM MDT
Subject: Re: Hello
Just got a haircut... Got to look good for the mission president. I dont have my camera with me, so I'll send a picture next Pday, whenever that is. Elder Malm and I have been playing bball for a while. We are trying to decide if we really want to pack up or not. 

Tell everyone hi for me!!

-Elder Allen

On Sat, Aug 1, 2015 at 7:47 AM, Ben Allen wrote:
District at the Temple. And round one of Donuts. The other ones that I sent earlier are round two. Bathroom pics getting ready for the temple last saturday. And We have pushup contests in the lobby every night. Its hilarious. The record is 53 1/2. Set by a big Tongan guy.

Ps I dont know if I am going to send an email to everyone. Just post pics to blog. I have a super busy day trying to pack up before Monday. Tomorrow we have Fast Sunday and about 6 extra sunday meetings... See ya. 

On Sat, Aug 1, 2015 at 7:34 AM, Ben Allen wrote:
The district on Wednesday. Volley ball.

On Sat, Aug 1, 2015 at 7:32 AM, Ben Allen wrote:
Harrison Piper and I. Then the other one is me with a few friends from Camp Loll. The one on the left is Ike Burton and the one on the right is a friend named Matt Phillips. Spencer came on Wednesday, ive seen him around a few times. Connor Bird is still here. Cayden Christensen. Chase Bennett. A few band people. And a bunch from Davis.

On Sat, Aug 1, 2015 at 7:29 AM, Ben Allen  wrote:
Did I mention that we share a floor with the international missionaries that are here to learn English? The big Tongans grabbed like two or three donuts when I offered them:) It was hilarious. The Korean in the picture is hilarious. He is always asking us if his sentences are good or bad. And he does 10 pushups a night. He walks around with his sleeves up yelling "Three Weeks! Look at them!". He is very proud of his stick arms.

On Sat, Aug 1, 2015 at 7:26 AM, Ben Allen wrote:
Well its pday... The donuts were a big hit! I made lots of new friends with them... Ill send pics.

I am ready to just get out into the field. It feels like I am trapped inside of a box right now. Let me give you my daily schedule...

6:15 Wake up and shower.
7:00 Study
7:30 Breakfast
8:00 Personal Study
8:30 Comp Study
9:30 TRC Teaching - Teaching Resource Center. Basically you get to go and teach real people that have signed up for the job. This one was about a half hour
10:15 Exercise. ie basketball, volleyball etc.
11:30 More Study
12:30 Lunch
1:15 TRC Teaching. This was usually a fellow named Stephen. He was awesome. And it was usually a 45 minute lesson.
2:00 Classroom until Dinner
5:30 Dinner
6:15 More Classroom 
9:30 back to residence, hang out with everyone, write in journal.
10:30 Lights out

Anyway, super busy. Stuck in a room most of the day. I have decided that I'm not going to get a job like that...

Sounds like fun at home!

I know that I am supposed to be here. Its fantastic:)

Our flight leaves SLC at about 5:30 AM. We have a 45 minute layover in Denver. We are supposed to be in Houston at 11-11:30... Super early. We report to the travel office here at the MTC at 2:30AM. We are all looking forward to it. So, if you want to be up that early, Ill call either at like 4:00AM when we are in SLC, or about 7:00 when we get to Denver. Im not looking at the schedule right now, so it might be slightly different. Im going to go ahead and call, so answer if you want.
(At the Airport)

Wish I was at the Dunes with them! That would be fantastic. (it was fun! -Dad)

We have been playing a lot of zone volleyball. We head over to the field and play sand volleyball with everyone. Its great fun! I'll send a few pics of that too. We had a few good devotionals this week that were a blast! They were way cool. My comp and I went to choir and sang. The song this week was A Childs Prayer. One of my absolute favorites. Another coincidence that wasn't a coincidence... Well, I'm trying to think of more to write, Oh, we had a Sister in our district tear her ACL and had to go home Thursday night. They did an MRI and everything a deemed it very broken... So yep. We gave her a priesthood blessing and it was way cool. 

The Lord knows what's best. He does, I promise that. And you can rely on Him whenever you need him. He will be there for you. 

-Elder Allen