Ben

Ben

Week 72 - Piano Man

He can play anything......he is from Australia and doesn't read music.




Week 74 - Christmas

Christmas Day 2016



Week 72 - 12/5/16 - 12/11/16

W4 of T12 12/5/16 - 12/11/16

Hey Pham!

This is Elder Allen again. I'm still here in Texas! Still in Vidor and I'm still with Elder Spahr! Christmas is coming up and y'all should always remember what Christmas is truly about. It is about our Savior and about why He came into the world. Simply put, He came so we can all be redeemed and again enter the presence of our Father.

Alright, enough Spiritual stuff. Seriously though, don't forget that.

Moving on! C got baptized this week! It was a good baptism and a lot of fun:) He did have a concern though, he had been taught that baptism symbolized death and rebirth and he thought that he was literally going to die when he went under the water. Well we cleared that one up pretty quick by telling him that if we killed everyone who got baptized, our membership wouldn't be too big...:) He told us he was willing to get baptized either way.

We had New Missionary Training for all those missionaries that came out with Elder Spahr in Baytown, which is about and hour drive for us. Not too bad, but it was a lot of fun! I got to see some old friends there.

Christmas conference is this Wednesday, but it won't be the entire mission. They are splitting it up into two different conferences over 2 days. Apparently the Brethren told us that it has to be this way. I mean, it makes sense and all and I don't have any complaints about it.

Met a super cool member this week. His name is M and he plays the piano and photographs things for a living. He travels all around the world and is originally from Australia. He lives in Vidor now. He can't read any sheet music whatsoever and makes up accompaniments on the spot. Man, he's super good. He also plays the bagpipes and will be playing for us at Christmas conference, just like last year:)

That's about it for this week! Thanks y'all! Love ya!

--
-Elder Allen

Week 71 - Rain

Lot's of water......rain.

video

Week 71 - 11/28/16 - 12/4/16

Hey Fam! 

I forgot the bike stats at home this week, but we biked quite a bit. It rained a lot and this was Elder Spahrs first attempt at pedaling through 2 1/2 feet of water. I don't have a pic of us with the bikes in he water, but attached will be a video of us driving through some of the water from the rain.

It's been raining for the last 3 days straight; hasn't let up once. Like I was saying, in some places on the street, there are 2 1/2 feet of standing water. This happens because it rains so much that the drainage system gets backed up. And then the water has no better place to go, so it goes onto the street and into everybody's front yard... 

Cis set to get baptized this Saturday! Super excited for it:)

Requirements for Baptism (Candidate)
1. Pass the Interview
2. Come to church 2wice
3. Be living their lives in accordance to the commandments.

Requirements for Baptism (Missionary)
1. Make sure they have been taught everything.
2. Make sure they understand what they've been taught
3. Set up the interview.
4. Make sure they understand the interview questions and take care of any problems before they go in for the actual interview.
5. Help them come to church and explain why they need to come to church for the rest of their lives.
6. Schedule the building.
7. Plan the baptismal program.
8. Make the Baptismal program.
9. Find some white clothes that fit them just right.

I've run through a few of the things that a missionary has to do in order for the candidate to be baptized! There is a lot more to this than it seems. They just show up and get baptized and it's the happiest day of their lives to date. There is a lot of things that go on behind the scenes and in order for them all to go according to plan, there must be lots of prayer. 

Truly then, behind every baptism is a miracle story. 

I dunno what else to say. It was a good week? Rained a lot? Biked in the rain? Came home soaked through and through. 

I got an ab roller this week from one of the members. Trying to get back in shape. I named it Spartacus because it makes me hurt.

Well I think that about sums up this week! If you haven't seen the new initiative, go search #LIGHTtheWORLD.

--
-Elder Allen
#LIGHTtheWORLD




Week 70 - Redneck Nachos

Worst idea ever. Potato chips with BBQ sauce, onions, beef, and jalapeƱos. I almost threw up afterwards. It was a struggle to get it down. Tasted pretty good though until the end

--

-Elder Allen








Week 69 - 11/14/16 - 11/20/16

W1 of T12 11/14/16 - 11/20/16
Bike Stats
Total: ???
Weekly: ???
MaxSpd: ???
AvgSpd: ???
Time: ???

Hey Fam!

Well here I am this week! I'm still here in Vidor and things are going great! I have a new companion and his name is Elder Spahr. I got a call on Sunday night from President Drake saying that I was going to get a companion straight from the MTC and I thought that this was going to be an interesting week. Well we went to Transfers the next day and I got Elder Spahr. I talked to him and found out that he actually didn't even go to MTC. He showed up straight to the mission office from his house... I was like what the heck? That doesn't happen, but ok. 

Come to find out he's originally from Mesa, Arizona, but had moved to Spring TX a few years ago. He is a super good missionary, I guess that's the reason that hey figured that he didn't need to go to the MTC.

Well, that's a little bit about us and this week! Sorry, I don't have too much time.

But here's some pictures!

Me and Elder Spahr.


Me with green pancakes.


Dinner at Paul's Seafood Shack



Week 67 - 10/31/16 - 11/6/16

W5 of T11 10/31/16 - 11/6/16
Bike Stats
Total: ???
Weekly: ???
MaxSpd: ???
AvgSpd: ???
Time: ???

I forgot to write the Bike Stats down this week before we left the apt:( first time in a long time that I've done that. Sorry guys. We did bike more this week than last week though!

Last week y'all got that really really long email and this week I wanted to send more pictures. So that's what I'm going to do!





What humidity does to fans.
We got our car stuck. But luckily all the members down here have trucks!






Dinner. Golden Grahams and Dr Pepper.











Our teaching pool when I got here.

Our teaching pool after I went through and fixed all the addresses.

Outline of our boundaries and teaching pool. Blue are less actives. Light gray are people who have been taught before but are no longer being taught. Green are progressing investigators. Dark Gray are potential. Yellow are New Investigators. Red are those who would like to be green, but can't find it within the depths of their soul to start doing something right in their lives...:(

This month as a mission, we are focusing on Revelation Through Sacrament Meeting Attendance. Think about Christ on the Road to Emmaus. I think it's found in Luke 24. 2 Disciples were walking on this road, leaving Jerusalem. Christ appeared to them, but was withheld from their sight. It's says that he expounded all the scriptures concerning himself from Moses and all the prophets to them. As the night fell, they asked him to Abide with them cause the day was far gone, meaning the sun was going down. He did so. Later that night, Christ broke bread with them and vanished from their sight. The 2 disciples looked at each other and remembered that their hearts had burned within them as they had talked by the way. They had read scriptures together. They had been in the presence of their Savior and didn't know Him. It wasn't until they broke bread together, meaning the Sacrament, that they fully realized who their guest was. If we don't go to church, if we stray away from the things we've been taught, we will wander to and fro, seeking the truth and will not find it, for we are not going to church and Worshipping. Scriptures are good and all, talking about Christ is good and all, but worshipping at Church brings a culmination  and a realization of this Spirit that we feel when we read the scriptures and talk of Christ. Going to church truly then allows us to Rejoice in Christ and His glorious Atonement. I know that this is true.

Hopefully that brightened someone's day! 


Alright! That about sums it up for this week! Have a nice week and keep being magnificent!

--
-Elder Allen

Week 66 - 10/24/16 - 10/30/16

W4 of T11 10/24/16 - 10/30/16
Bike Stats
Total: 1631.7 miles
Weekly: 3.657miles
MaxSpd: 20.8mph
AvgSpd: 9.2mpg
Time: 23min 40sec

Hey Fam and Friends!

I've been getting lots of questions about the Mission, the people, and the food down here and let me see if I can enlighten you on these topics. So I decided to plagiarize Elder Carson Birds brilliant idea of writing a General Epistle about what we are doing out here on Missions in various parts of the world! 

I am Elder Ben Allen and I am serving the Texas Houston East Mission of the Church. It is known as THE Mission of the Church. The best one. That's all there is to it;) We have the name Houston in the name of the Mission, but we don't actually cover any of down town Houston. Houston is made up of a bunch of smaller cities that the bigger Houston Government has annexed into the City of Houston. Last I heard, Houston is the 4th Largest city in the United States, but I recently heard that it just passed Chicago as the 3rd. But I can't verify that, so I don't know completely. THE Mission extends from just outside Downtown Houston all the way to Crowley, Louisiana, which isn't too far from Lafayette. It runs along the Gulf Coast and goes as far North as Lake Livingston. Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros), NRG Stadium (Houston Texans), and BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston Dynamo), are all on the other side of the mission boundaries. I've attached a marked up screenshot of the map. Kennedy Space Center is on the other side of the Highway as well. All in all, we really don't have any Tourist Attractions in our Mission. The mission right now is split into 6 zones: Kingwood, Summerwood, Pine Trails, Houston East, Beaumont, and Orange. Houston East was recently formed from Broadway and Pasadena Zones. When I served in Broadway, it was its own zone. I have served in Beaumont, Broadway, Summerwood, and now Orange.

The People down here are all in the Gas and Oil Industry. Big companies such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron are mostly based out of Houston and surrounding areas. There are a lot of refineries and plants. All of Houston and the surrounding areas live off of these plants. The life cycle that we live revolves around the different seasons and shifts. Missionary work is also affected by these because the Spring and Summer are when a lot of the plants are rolling over trying to expand the plants and do repairs. This creates a lot of jobs and a lot of workers go back to work for a few months. They will work 7-12s for weeks on end. 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. They'll do this for 14 days, then get a break day. When workers are on 7-12s it makes missionary work quite hard...

I am stationed in Vidor, Texas assigned to the Williamson 2nd Ward. We cover parts of north and South Vidor and a little bit of Mauriceville. Vidor was originally founded way back when some missionaries came in about a 100 years ago and baptized a few big families, the Williamsons, the LaPrays, and the Odoms. Every member in Vidor or Beaumont thats not a transplant is a member of one of these families. They are all interconnected in some way, shape, or form. There are enough members here in Vidor  that everyone knows at least 1 or 2 of them. Every non member that we come in contact with has talked with members before. It makes missionary work a little bit different; we work a lot through the Less Actives on the rolls to find unbaptized children or spouses to teach. The Williamson 2nd Ward is part of the Orange Texas Stake. There are 4 Wards in Vidor: Williamson 1, 2, 3, and 4. We all meet in the same building on Sunday and it makes for an interesting Block. Church times are at 8:30, 10:30, 12:30, and 2:30. Right now we go to 12:30, but are going to be rolling over to 2:30 at the New Year. The 2nd Ward incorporates people from all the different families  as well as a few Utah or Idaho transplants, mostly those that married into these big families. Our Bishop is a man named Bishop Quirante and he is a very nice man. Our Ward Mission Leader is one of the best I've ever had, a man named Brother Hatton. He's a hard working, former Bishop who knows his stuff. He gets things done when they need to get done and he likes to be involved in all the missionary efforts around the Ward. 

The food down here is pretty good. There is a lot of Cajun Influence and that means spice and rice. The spice is amazing and the rice is pretty good too. I've ballooned in the last month or so since I've been here. Not necessarily a good thing, but having a car isn't helping either. Need I say more on that? Ok thought so.

Moving on to the more Spiritual side of things. We've been sharing 2 Nephi 25:26 with just about everyone that we come in contact with, members and no members alike. 

"26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."

Everything in this Church and what we believe revolves around Our Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement for our sins. Sometimes we get too caught up in the prophet Joseph Smith or the Restoration of the Gospel that we forget what the Gospel is. Gospel literally means 'good news.' When we share the Gospel, we are spreading the Good News, being that Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for us and that through Him, we can be forgiven and washed clean. We do this through being obedient to the Laws and Ordinances that have been set forth: Faith, Repentance, Baptism by Immersion, and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands by those holding the Priesthood Authority from God. 

Yes the Restoration was necessary. Yes the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. Why did the Gospel have to be restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Why do we need the Book of Mormon? For sake of time, I won't go into too much detail. The answer is simple: Through the Book of Mormon, we gain a greater understanding of the Divine role of our Savior and a witness that the Priesthood has been restored and because of this, a knowledge that we have the authority and power to be cleansed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

I know that this is true. I know that we have a Savior who loves us very much and wants the best for us. As we let Him work within our hearts, He can change them. I know this through prayerful study of the Book of Mormon and application of the principles contained within. 

I love y'all! Happy Halloween!

--
-Elder Allen


Week - 65 - 10/17/2016


W2 of T11
Bike Stats
Total: 1618.0 miles
Weekly: 9.400 miles
MaxSpd: 21.3 mph
AvgSpd: 10.3 mph
Time: 54 min 34 sec


Hey Fam! As you can see from the Bike Stats, we didn't go to far this week on bikes. All our appointments were on other ends of town from each other, so we blew through a whole bunch of miles this week... but it was good! We taught a whole bunch of people and whole bunch of lessons, so that was good!

Vidor just keeps getting better and better! We met a lady this week named Monique; she has taken the lessons for a while now and she doesn't really know how to transition everything to action. She has a pet raccoon. And 9 cats. And 5 birds. A rabbit. 30+ dogs. All small little chihuahua dogs... I stopped counting at 30 cause well, that's just too many. Very very loud house.

This week,was homecoming week! Everything in Vidor shuts down for homecoming, all the schools get out early, the businesses shut down. Everything closes. Main Street shuts down and there's a parade. The football game is later that night. The parade was good and we didn't get to go to the football game,  but Vidor won! So that's good. 

I had oysters for the first time... they were already shelled and on ice. Didn't taste bad necessarily and the texture is a little less than to be desired, but overall it wasn't bad! There was fried shrimp and fish and French fries. It was a little hole in the wall shack, but it was very good!:) 

It was a good week!

Address update. I sent the wrong one:(  
Elder Allen
255 E Courtland Apt B
Vidor, TX 77662


Don't worry too much! If you sent it to 265 E Courtland I'll still get it. But send it here now. This is ours.

Thanks Fam! Bye!

--
-Elder Allen




*******


Week 64 - 10/3/16 - 10/9/16



W1 of T11 10/3/16 - 10/9/16
Bikes Stats
Total: 1608.6miles
Weekly: 35.065miles
MaxSpd: 21.0mph
AvgSpd: 9.9mph
Time: 3hrs 31min 58sec

Hey Fam! It sure is nice to be in a car:) I'm gaining weight pretty fast. Lots of good food and not as much biking cause our area is massive. We still bike as much as we can, but its not as much as I did in any of my last areas. 

I love Vidor! There are so many cool people here! And they're all rednecks. Its insane. I think that I have seen more wacky things in the last few days than I have anywhere else. More Confederate flags than I've seen in my life. They are everywhere. In front yards. On trees. Cars. Trains. Painted on buildings. You name it, I'm sure we could find a Confederate flag somewhere around there. 

There is a semi active member that has two husbands right now. They all live in the same house and they all sleep in the same room. Go figure. Just Vidor.

We are teaching a fellow named Don. His dog bit a girl, so he disciplined it. He put a .38 hollow point through the back of its head. The dog got up and walked away. Jaw swelled up real bad, but nothing other than that... I saw the entrance wound. And the exit wound. They said that a few days after they shot it, the hollow point just dropped out of its head. I dunno if I believe that part, but hey, makes the story even better, right? They just dont make people the same up North:) I love it!

I've been reading a lot in the Book of Mormon and in the Doctrine and Covenants. Also, one of my old comps friends sent him a study guide that the California Anaheim Mission is doing on the Atonement and I have been doing that. Some of the things that it has you read gives you a completely different view on things. I've come to realize that the Atonement is actually quite simple to understand, we don't know exactly how it works, but we know that it does. Thats the way we know its true. The Atonement of Jesus Christ works because the Son was universally loved by all of Gods children. He was perfect. And because He is perfect, He is the only one that could've offered such a sacrifice. There are a few other things that go into more depth, but for sake of time, I'm not going to try to explain it all here. But the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants teach everything you need to know about what the Atonement is and how you can use it in your life. So read them!

On top of that, we had 2 baptisms this week! One was a 13 year old named Tanner and the other was a 9 year old named Allyssa. Both have been taught the lessons and we confirmed yesterday!:) I didn't really do anything other than make sure that it happened and that they got interviewed. Other than that, they were both good to go! 

We are seeing success here in Vidor! The field is white, already to harvest. And lo, he the thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store, the he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul. This is truth! 

Love y'all! Bye!

--
-Elder Allen



Week 63 - 9/26/16 - 10/2/16

W6 of T10 9/26/16 - 10/2/16
Bike Stats
Total: 1573.5 miles
Weekly: 56.986 miles
MaxSpd: 26.3 mph
AvgSpd:10.0 mph
Time: 5hrs 40min 62sec

Hey Fam and Friends! I have been transferred out of Summerwood! It was hard to say bye, but it was time and I know that I am where I need to be. I left lots of good friends and will continue to stay in touch with them.

As I said, I have been transferred!! My new comp is Elder Holladay from Lehi, UT. He has been out for 3 months now and just finished being trained by my old comp, Elder Biesinger from Beaumont. We have lots of good things going on right now and it will be good. I also have a car:) Elder Holladay made me drive home from transfers, about a 2 hour drive. First time in forever that I got to put my hands on the wheel of a car.

Oh wait, never told you where I got transferred, silly ol me. New Address!!:

Elder Ben Allen
265 E Courtland 
Vidor, TX 77662

Im in Vidor Texas in the Williamson 2nd Ward! Its about a half hour east of Beaumont. Not quite Louisiana yet, but getting there. Its a country area with Cajun influence. Also lots of Mormon influence! 

This is promising area with a lot of potential and I suspect that we will see some baptisms here soon. 

Love y'all very much! Have a great time doing whatever it is that normal people do!

--
-Elder Allen

Quick tour of the Apt. The locals call it Nelly's Cottage


video

Week 62 - 9/19/2016



W5 of T10 9/19/16 - 9/25/16
Bike Stats
Total: 1516.5 miles
Weekly: 34.106 miles
MaxSpd: 25.0 mph
AvgSpd: 11.5 mph
Time: 2hrs 56min 44sec

Hey Fam! How's life? I love you all.

This week was good. We had a good time and taught some people!

Ok, I'm getting lots of questions about D. Let me tell you the gist of it and where he is at right now. I can't go into too much detail because of media restrictions on what I can and can't send home, but I can tell you that he is confused about why God is doing this to him and about why the church keeps changing its mind on whether or not he can get baptized. Last week, I think I told y'all that we got the clearance from President Drake to go for it and baptize him and D has taken it kind of hard over why he is given permission now when he wasn't before. We wanted him to meet with Bishop and we weren't able to get him to this week before he left out of town. He will be out of town for about 2 weeks, weather dependent. If it's good weather, then they'll get back sooner, if not, they stay longer. So right now we are kind of in a limbo as to what is going on with him and what we are to do with him. We can't really do much without having him here, so that put a damper on things for the time being.

Conference is this weekend! So excited!

G bore his testimony yesterday in Testimony meeting and it is amazing to see how far he has come as a son of God. It's amazing that Jesus Christ can take someone that is searching for truth and mold them into a person for the eternities.

I love this Gospel and I know the scriptures contain the word of God. Heavenly Father answers prayers. Without setting goals in our lives, we will get no where. And if we aren't going anywhere, what are we doing here?

Bye!

--
-Elder Allen




The spider we saw this week! And the baked potato I ate Saturday night




--
-Elder Allen

Week 61 - 9/12/16 - 9/18/16

W4 of T10 9/12/16 - 9/18/16
Bike Stats
Total: 1482.4 miles
Weekly: 56.048 miles
MaxSpd: 24.8 mph
AvgSpd: 10.4 mph
Time: 5hrs 21min 24sec


We had a great week this week! School is back in. Fall is coming. And the people are not outside at all anymore:( We have to resort to other ways of contacting people.
We taught early morning Seminary this Thursday! We had a to be at the church at 5:15 to set everything up for the kids. Apparently we were pretty good teachers, cause they want us to come back to teach again! So maybe we will do that sometime, if we get the chance again.


See that knife?! Guess how much its worth. $50 or so. Maybe a $100. See the textured blade? If you know your steels, that tells you that this blade is made of a very high grade steel. Ok, that bumps the worth up a little bit. Take another guess. Maybe a $1000? Wrong. This knife that is in my hands is worth roughly $8500. Say what now? Yep. Read it again. Thats a lot of $$$.


We went on a 3 day, 2 night exchange with the other missionaries! I've never done an exchange for that long, and I probably never will again. It was a blast! I actually felt like I was doing something in the other area. It was nice.


I got a pull up bar! Found it in their apartment and jacked it. So now I can actually get some muscle back!


We made cookies yesterday.

The pamphlets are super inspired! Note to other missionary friends that actually get this far into the email: Use the pamphlets. Even if you are a great teacher, use the pamphlets. They are inspired like none other and if you can teach using the pictures, then the Spirit will be there. Ask a lot of questions such as, "What do you see in this picture?" If they say, "Jesus, holding a lamb." Then you know that they know who Jesus is and they have a religious background. If they say, "Jesus is the Good Shepard, and that lamb is us." Then you know that they know the Bible. See what I am saying? Follow up with them by saying something along the lines of, "How do you think that it would feel to be held by Jesus like that?" They will see the personal application of it and you can then build from there into other things. All the pamphlets can do that! Ok, thats my 2 cents.

We had interviews with President Drake this Saturday! I was the very last one to go in and we waited an hour after the training ended for me to go in. Felt a little rushed, but it was really good!
We got 15 lbs of Venison from a member this week! This same member is also a Chiropractor and he adjusted both of us. Felt amazing. 3 things that I have always wanted to do. 1) Go to a Chiropractor. 2) Get a massage. 3) Get acupuncture. This guy can give me acupuncture too, so Im set on those 2. I think that I might have to wait till I get home till I can get a massage.

I made Hot Chocolate and it was delicious. Elder Hobbs says that hes having me make him hot chocolate forever now. I realized that you can put a bunch of different stuff in with it to make it taste amazing.

That about sums it up for me! Goodluck and God Bless!

--
-Elder Allen





Week - 60 - 9/5/16 - 9/11/16

W3 of T10 9/5/16 - 9/11/16
Bike Stats
Total: 1426.3 miles
Weekly: 42.848 miles
MaxSpd: 23.6mph
AvgSpd: 11.1mph
Time: 3hrs 49min 14sec

This week was good! We were able to teach quite a few people and see a bunch of cool miracles. 

One thought that comes to mind is simply this: Do it. We got out Saturday morning before it rained and biked our little tails out to the far reaches of our area. Funny story about a bike race, but I'll get to that in a second. We stopped by a family that was dropped about this time last year after they almost got baptized. We knocked on the door and a little kid answered, but we didn't know what to say to him so we asked if his Mom or Dad was there, which they were. So he went to go get his Dad. Another guy named D, same name, different spelling, and a different person from the one that almost got baptized a few weeks ago. Anyway, we asked him if we could come in and he immediately said yes! So we went in and had an awesome lesson with D and his son, A. We were able to set them on date to be baptized here in about a month, but it's just a tentative date for now, until we can meet with the rest of the family for now. I'll keep all you people that actually read this updated on what happens!

Back to the bike race! We were about to turn onto this street and all of the sudden the Peloton from the race passed us. There was a biker that was falling off the back of the pack and he fell quite a ways back. We turned onto this road behind this lone biker falling off the back and followed him for about a half mile or so about a 100 yards back and gradually we began to catch him. We were cruising at about 21-22 mph and we caught this guy. I look back at Elder Hobbs and just smile and he told me later that he was thinking, "Oh crap, my companion likes to go fast and now he's following a race." So I ended up catching this guy and following him for a minute or two. Then I realized that he was struggling a little bit and his pace was slowing. So I pulled up along side of him and asked him if he needed a draft... He looked over super confused and then he smiled and said yes. I pulled in front of him and pulled him for about a mile and a half or two miles down this road at about 21-22 mph. He caught his breath for a couple of minutes and then pulled up next to me, said thank you and took off. We pulled into the neighborhood that we were biking down to and he disappeared off into the horizon. Made my day! I got to go fast, sweat a little bit, and help someone! All while wearing a white shirt and tie. I know it made for a sight because of the looks on the faces of the Hispanic construction workers on the side of the road. One of them looked at us, smiled real big and gave us the big ol thumbs up; another grabbed his camera and took a picture of us. It was pretty great!:)

Well those were the two highlights of the week! Have a great week! Love each and every one of you! 
--
-Elder Allen


Ok, seriously?! This made me mad. Think about it...





Wed 59 - 8/29/16 - 9/4/16

W2 of T10 8/29/16 - 9/4/16
Bike Stats
Total: 1383.5 miles
Week: 47.555 miles
MaxSpd: 25.6mph
AvgSpd: 11.4mph
Time: 4hrs 9min 32sec

Hey Fam! I'm taking a page out of Elder Ryker Johnsons book and saying this. A picture is worth a thousand words. So I figure that there are about 7000 words on this page.









Week 58 - 8/22/16 - 8/28/16

W1 of T10 8/22/16 - 8/28/16
Bike Stats
Total: 1335.9 miles
Weekly: 30.686 miles
MaxSpd: 27.3mph
AvgSpd: 11.1mph
Time: 2hrs 44min 56sec



Hey Fam! Sorry I didn't write last week! I have decided to compile a list of lessons that I learn this week, this being Tuesday evening. So, this list is a constant list of lessons that I learn.

Insert from Sunday Night! => Some of these are lessons I have learned already a few times, but I'm stubborn...

Things I learned this week:

1. *The Lord likes it a lot better when you get out, regardless of weather or how late it is.
2. Look for the miracles, cause you WILL see them
3. *Regardless of how good you teach or how strong the Spirit is, people still have their agency. No matter how bold you are with them, sometimes they will still choose their own way.
4. Miracle do happen. I heard that J from Beaumont is supposed to get baptized here in the next little while.
5. *Service and work can be fun!
6. I love Hot Wheels cars!
7. *When you do what is right, you feel a lot better about your life. When you read your scriptures, it makes all the difference. You don't know how much you need it until you don't do it for a day.
8. The Members love missionaries. And we love them!
9. Blessings are there to be given, no matter what time of day or for what.
10. *Soap is very very slick when you are barefoot.
11. Singing makes life a lot better and happier. Elder Hobbs and I have taken to singing all the time and I like it. 
12. *You choose to be happy. There ain't no problem to that. Just pick to be and you can be!:) If you are depressed, it will rub off on others. So be happy, it'll rub off too!
13. Ice Cream makes everything better.
14. People you don't know are watching exactly what you do, all the time.
15. 4 people teaching 1 lesson works sometimes. But sometimes 4 missionaries are too much for 1 person. But not this time!
16. Malt-o-Meal is good stuff. It's cheap, tastes good and fills you up. But they don't sell the Maple and Brown Sugar stuff down here, the original is just not as good. So put brown sugar and maple syrup in it and it's great!
17. God knows each and every single one of us personally and as we commit to live better, that's when we are forgiven.
18. *Bathroom doors don't come off very easily, but you can still run around the apartment regardless:)
19. I can still do a front flip. Working on a side flip now.
marketamerica Shop.com can make you a lot of $$$
20. *Mexican food for a few nights in a row will wreck your insides, but it tastes so dang good!

*I learned these ones the hard way

The big thing this week was this: Be happy. When life hits you, smile or eat some ice cream or find something fun to do, cause it makes life a heck of a lot easier and more fun and people around you notice that. If you aren't having fun, then you are doing something right. Even the hard work has fun things that you can tie in with it. This life is worth loving and being happy! Remember, Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy. The purpose of this life is to be happy. If you aren't happy doing the right thing, then fix something in your life because you aren't fulfilling the full measure of your creation.

Have a good week Fam! I love you all!

--

-Elder Allen 


Week 57 - 8/22/16 - 8/28/16

W1 of T10 8/22/16 - 8/28/16
Bike Stats
Total: 1335.9 miles
Weekly: 30.686 miles
MaxSpd: 27.3mph
AvgSpd: 11.1mph
Time: 2hrs 44min 56sec

Hey Fam! Sorry I didn't write last week! I have decided to compile a list of lessons that I learn this week, this being Tuesday evening. So, this list is a constant list of lessons that I learn.

Insert from Sunday Night! => Some of these are lessons I have learned already a few times, but I'm stubborn...

Things I learned this week:

1. *The Lord likes it a lot better when you get out, regardless of weather or how late it is.
2. Look for the miracles, cause you WILL see them
3. *Regardless of how good you teach or how strong the Spirit is, people still have their agency. No matter how bold you are with them, sometimes they will still choose their own way.
4. Miracle do happen. I heard that J from Beaumont is supposed to get baptized here in the next little while.
5. *Service and work can be fun!
6. I love Hot Wheels cars!
7. *When you do what is right, you feel a lot better about your life. When you read your scriptures, it makes all the difference. You don't know how much you need it until you don't do it for a day.
8. The Members love missionaries. And we love them!
9. Blessings are there to be given, no matter what time of day or for what.
10. *Soap is very very slick when you are barefoot.
11. Singing makes life a lot better and happier. Elder Hobbs and I have taken to singing all the time and I like it. 
12. *You choose to be happy. There ain't no problem to that. Just pick to be and you can be!:) If you are depressed, it will rub off on others. So be happy, it'll rub off too!
13. Ice Cream makes everything better.
14. People you don't know are watching exactly what you do, all the time.
15. 4 people teaching 1 lesson works sometimes. But sometimes 4 missionaries are too much for 1 person. But not this time!
16. Malt-o-Meal is good stuff. It's cheap, tastes good and fills you up. But they don't sell the Maple and Brown Sugar stuff down here, the original is just not as good. So put brown sugar and maple syrup in it and it's great!
17. God knows each and every single one of us personally and as we commit to live better, that's when we are forgiven.
18. *Bathroom doors don't come off very easily, but you can still run around the apartment regardless:)
19. I can still do a front flip. Working on a side flip now.
marketamerica Shop.com can make you a lot of $$$
20. *Mexican food for a few nights in a row will wreck your insides, but it tastes so dang good!

*I learned these ones the hard way

The big thing this week was this: Be happy. When life hits you, smile or eat some ice cream or find something fun to do, cause it makes life a heck of a lot easier and more fun and people around you notice that. If you aren't having fun, then you are doing something right. Even the hard work has fun things that you can tie in with it. This life is worth loving and being happy! Remember, Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy. The purpose of this life is to be happy. If you aren't happy doing the right thing, then fix something in your life because you aren't fulfilling the full measure of your creation.

Have a good week Fam! I love you all!

--

-Elder Allen 


Week 55 - 8/8/16 - 8/14/16



W5 of T9 8/8/16 - 8/14/16
Total: 1276.7 miles
Week: 14.535 miles
MaxSpd: 26.4 mph
AvgSpd: 12.1 mph
Time: 1hrs 11min 52sec


Hey Fam!


This week has been a ride, that's for sure. The church has policies that must be adhered to and those are for our protection. I learned this week that sometimes leadership in the church goes about telling you about it. But you have to be willing to accept the correction in whatever way it comes and while yes, it hurts, accept it and move on. I don't want to go into too much detail, but D was set to get baptized this last weekend and we were close. Leadership, both Mission, Ward, and stake pulled the entire thing out of our hands on Friday night and we had no idea. They changed and completely scrapped our plans and chastised us for doing what we thought was right. The sooner you accept that correction and change, the better off you'll be. The baptism got moved from Saturday to Sunday because of something that in our eyes was completely ridiculous. It was set for 5:00 on Sunday. D was set to show up to the church at 4:15 to get ready. We got a call at 4:00 telling us that the baptism was a no go.

D is taking it pretty well, but he is very very disappointed. He was looking forward to it and has been looking forward to it for quite a while now. He took work off this last weekend to get baptized and it ended up not happening.

This experience has opened our eyes. The Lord is truly in control and it will be His will that is done. It's our duty to accept it and move on. Which we are doing this week!

Love you guys! We went to the temple this week and it was truly wonderful, as it always is. I love the Houston Temple! It's beautiful.

Love ya fam!

We are still eating good out here!

--
-Elder Allen


Week 54 - 8/1/16 - 8/7/16

Aug 8, 2016

Our week was a little bit slower than all the other weeks, but it was still good. We still have some amazing investigators! They are all doing really well, and its really cool to see God's hand in our life and in the life of our investigators. this week seemed to be hotter than the last weeks, but I think its just the same. We can't get away from the head and I'm starting to think sub 50 temp is a myth.

"I" texted us earlier today and told us that her husband gave her an ultimatum. Pick between the church or him. We don't exactly know what to do right now with that whole situation. She doesn't have the money for a divorce and she definitely doesn't want one. But she doesn't want to leave the church either. We don't know.

thank you for sending the card! I appreciate it. 

I'll try to send more letters! These last few weeks have been very very rushed and its not to great. pdays have been crammed and we have to wait for everyone elses time schedule cause we don't have a car and have to be driven everywhere. It's a pain though.

I love you much! Thank you for everything!

--
-Elder Allen


********


W4 of T9 8/1/16 - 8/7/16 
Bike Stats
Total: 1262.1 miles
Weekly: 43.810 miles
MaxSpd: 25.8mph
AvgSpd; 11.3mph
Time: 3hrs 52min 0sec

Hey Family and Friends!

Its me. I am still here in Houston and its still super hot! We are still biking around a lot and still sweating our little tails off. We are still teaching people and testifying of Jesus Christ to everyone that we can. 

We had Zone meeting on Friday and that was a lot of fun. We were able to learn all about Atonement and missionary work and how they relate. It was super amazing to see and the application is truly wonderful. 

D is set to get baptized on Saturday if everything goes through and it sounds like it will! We are super duper excited for him and his family. It will be able to help a lot in his house. 

I am still alive! We are going to the temple tomorrow and we are having our recent convert driving us. It'll be a super sweet experience and we are super excited.

The power of the Priesthood is real. It is not to be used to bless only members, but to bless nonmembers too. We had the opportunity to give a few blessings this week and its truly amazing to see that the Spirit is the same. I never really thought about it until a little while ago, but God truly does love all of His children, not just the ones that are baptized members. 

I have to go, but I love all of you! Keep being awesome!

--
-Elder Allen

Check out the Wasp Nest we found. Luckily they were all dead. Thank goodness, I don't like things that fly and swarm around me with the possibly of stinging me.


Week 53 - 7/25/16 - 7/31/16

W3 of T9 7/25/16 - 7/31/16 


Bike Stats
Total: 1218.3 Miles
Week: 42.172 miles
MaxSpd: 33.5mph*
AvgSpd: 10.6mph
Time: 3hrs 57min 16sec

*We biked down an overpass on the Beltway and I got going pretty fast! New max speed ever.

Also, I have attached an audio recording of our week. I don't have time to write a full email this week, but I did record something early this morning! So listen to my nice pretty voice tell you about my week! Its guaranteed to be good! If you don't, so be it. I don't really blame you.

Its about 20 minutes long, I think. If you don't have time, then go do important things with your life, I won't blame you! 

Love you all very much and thank you for everything!

--
-Elder Allen



Week 52 - 7/18/16 - 7/24/16

W2 of T9 7/18/16 - 7/24/16
Bike Stats
Total: 1176.61 miles
Week: 52.349 miles
MaxSpd: 26.9 mph
AvgSpd: 11.8 mph
Time: 4hrs 24min 7sec


I'm running out of things to title these emails. Golly. I've sent a years worth of emails.


Thanks to all who wished me a Happy Year Mark! Those of you who didn't... Thank you for your love and support and prayers! I appreciate it a lot and the area deserves it!


This week seemed like it was a little slower than the last two week, but in all reality, it really wasn't. Just so much has happened in the last 2 weeks that this week was relatively uneventful! Ilo was able to be confirmed in Church this week! We were able to arrange for her to be confirmed in Portuguese too. Once again, we are seeing miracles here in Summerwood. We were sitting in Ward Council at 8:20 Sunday morning and church starts at 9:00. Right as we were discussing what needed to happen with Ivie, she texted us and told us that she had woken up with one of them dang eye infections and that she wasn't going to be able to make it to church today. We had had a great lesson with her on Friday and the Spirit was super strong! I was on splits with one of the priests here in the Ward and he was teaching the lesson. You could definitely see the change in her demeanor over the course of the lesson. The priest that was teaching totally was taken over by the Spirit and he became a tool in the Lords hands because he submitted to the Lord. As a result, when Sunday came, we merely texted back that we would leave it up to her, but that the Lord wanted her to have the Gift of the Holy Ghost and it was important enough to us and Him that if she wanted it, she was more than welcome to come with her eye infection and all. After expressing the importance of it both on Friday and early Sunday morning, we waited for a response and never got one. But, 20 minutes later, she walked into the chapel! So we were able to give her the Gift of the Holy Ghost! It was amazing!


We had a study with President Rascon on Wednesday and it was probably the most enlightening hour of our week. The Spirit was there and it was amazing and I was able to learn a lot! We talked a lot about relying on the Spirit and just getting out and doing it. Well, we got out and just did it! We were at a members house during the daytime and had the distinct prompting to go and visit another less active member down the road. He was a member that we have only seen once or twice since I have been here. We got to his house and he answered the door, which was more than he had done in the past... But he answered and before he even let us in he told us that he had been diagnosed with Liver Cancer. We were just kind of like what the heck? The Lord knows what's up, that's for sure. So we offered him a blessing, which he hadn't had in a long time. The blessing was amazing and it absolutely wasn't me talking, but it was the Spirit of God. I know that for sure. Something happens when you give blessings and that is this: When you put your hands on their head and call down the powers of heaven, you gain an understanding and an enlightenment about what they are feeling and about the pains and trials they are going through. For a split second, you are able to feel a love for them that is unmatched and we know that that is the Pure Love of Christ. We know that that love is unparalleled by any other type of love. We know that this love is not ours and when we are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of it, it possesses our entire being and soul. It feels like you are burning, because the pure love of Christ is an energy. It is the driving force behind the entire universe. It is wonderful and it is powerful. If we let it, this force will drive our lives. Whoso is found possessed of this love is saved. Whoso lets this energy and force drive our lives is saved. Moroni 7. It's all there, read it. We were able to give this kind Brother a blessing from God and we were all able to feel the Pure Love that Heavenly Father has for each and every one of us and it is marvelous.


On Saturday Elder Hobbs blew a tire. We pulled the tube out to look for what caused it and it was an inch long piece of metal... It completely shredded the tire from the inside out. I think we counted about 15 holes in the tire when it was all said and done. So we tried patching it once and pumped it up and found another 5 holes. So we patched it again. This went on for another 15 minutes of patching and pumping and finding holes. After a while the sun started to go down so we gave up and called some other missionaries to give us a ride home. Sunday we didn't touch the bikes cause we weren't able to get all of the holes patched with the number of patches we had... So we are going to Kingwood on Monday to grab a few patch kits.


It was a good week! Right now we are trying to turn over our teaching pool, but we have a few promising potentials right now!


Love you all! Thank you for all you do!


--

-Elder Allen


Kitty! She remembers me!


I got bored so I spun a bball on my finger and took a picture. You know how hard that is?! It took forever. Look at the concentration on my face. That should tell you how hard that is.


Us trying to fix a tube.


And the sunset right before we got picked up by the other Elders. 


Week 52 - Hump Day

Guess we missed a few weeks in the blog.....

Week 52

Hey fam and friends and everyone. It's my hump day today and I wanted to jot down a few thoughts concerning my mission and my goals and what has happened thus far in my mission. 

I think it's interesting how important timelines in life like this year mark cause us great and serious internal reflection. We look in the mirror and wonder who we truly are and what we can become. We look back in the past and see what we have accomplished. So this little note is going to be a reflection of the past year and how I have grown thus far.

With that being said I would like to go ahead and proceed to write down some of my mission history. This might take a while, so be patient!:)

I remember the MTC, I remember that I didn't exactly enjoy it. It was great and the Spirit was super duper strong, but it was difficult to me. I think that I knew that I needed to only be there for 10 days. I know that God sure knew that, any longer and I don't know if I could've made it. I think it's amazing that the friends that we make in the MTC become some of our greatest friends out here on a mission. Of the MTC District comprised of Elder Malm and I, Elders Blackburn and Goettsche, Elders Hilton and Nielsen, Elders Martinez and Quinones, and Sisters Cooper and Hobbes, from what I know, most of us are still out. Sister Hobbes, as far as I know, is the only one the is home now and she went home when we were in the MTC due to a torn ACL. Elders Hilton and Nielsen and Elders Martinez and Quinones went to OKCM. We don't hear much from them about what happens up there. Sister Cooper is an STL in Baytown right now, she goes home in 6 months. She has trained once, I believe and her greenie is super duper annoying. (Sorry Greenie!) Sister Hobbes never came back out like she said that she was going to, as far as I know. Elder Blackburn is currently training in Tidwell. He seems to be enjoying it, but I don't see or hear from him very much anymore. After Broadway, he kind of dropped off the face of the Earth, other than when an ET went down a while back and he was collateral damage to an Elder who didn't want to stay with his companion. Elder Goettsche is out in Crowley, Louisiana and he seems to enjoy it out there! He is probably the one that I am the closest to down here, I like him a lot. Elder Malm hasn't been seen or heard from in a long time; he seems to fly under the mission radar better than most people. There was another ET a while back, when he and his companion had to switch the Sisters area's and apt's cause the Sisters had someone threaten to do really bad things to them. Other than that, I really don't know too much about his mission. 

I on the other hand, haven't really amounted to anything more than just the average missionary, which I like very much! I haven't trained, I don't hold leadership, I am only on my 3rd area and that's just dandy! I have kind of flown under the radar thus far, but my time to open my wings and really give my all has finally surfaced and people are starting to notice, which I think is really dumb. This mission is all about numbers and there are a bunch of idiots here who can't get the numbers... But when you get one of them elite missionaries who isn't a weirdo who'll actually do some missionary work, then things go great! People start to notice and it's bad. We got a call from the APs the other day telling us that we were killing it in this area. This area hasn't baptized since November before I got here. I'm not trying to take credit or anything like that, but I want to point out that when you have faith and when you involve the Lord in stuff, He truly can do wonders. A great missionary decides to involve God. That's the only difference between a good and a great missionary. We have baptized the last two weeks and it's amazing! The Ward is on fire right now; Summerwood has so much potential, all it's needed was to have a missionary companionship who knew what they were doing and that's what Elder Lacusta and I did. 

So far on my mission, I have baptized 5 people on my mission. This mission, from what I understand and hear, doesn't baptize too many. It used to baptize all the time, but it's slowed down over the last few years. But it seems to be picking up this year and that's wonderful! 

I have had 5 companions to this point. Elder Leftwich was my trainer and I love him very much. I learnt so much from him and I have to give him credit for most of the stuff I have done out here. Without him, I don't know where I would be. Elder Biesinger taught me how to work really hard. I am indebted to him for that. Elder McDonald is probably my BFF on a mission right now. He and I are basically brothers. Elder Lacusta was an interesting one. But looking back on it, he taught me a lot! Next to Elder Leftwich, Elder Lacusta taught me the most. He taught me how to work with the Ward and how to work effectively and efficiently. Elder Hobbs is great! He and I are together right now as I am writing this. We have been working really well together so far. He is the DL and has been out as long as I have. I find that it's interesting that the Lord puts us with certain people depending on what we need. You may not realize it at first, but it's true. With all the companions I have had, I think that the Lord has been able to teach me just about everything that he needs me to know to be a truly effective missionary.

I have lived in 4 apt's and had 3 areas. I spent 6 months in Beaumont, TX and it was wonderful. We had a great time and were able to see results in the first transfer there. After that, things kind of slowed down for the remainder of my time there. We working diligently, but didn't know how to work smartly. Looking back on it, if we had been able to work diligently, we probably would've seen lots more results than we did. I just didn't have the knowledge that I currently have. When I left Beaumont, it felt like I was leaving home. I had learned to love the people and I had learned to love the area. That place still has a lot of my heart, I just wish I could've seen more success come from such a great area. We spent a lot of our time working by ourselves, not getting the members truly involved in the work. Yes, we took them out on lessons and stuff, but that is just the tip of what we can do with members. We spent nearly my entire 6 months there knocking doors and wasting time biking around. There were days when we would just go bike as far as we could, cause we didn't have anything going on. Also there, I met John. John changed my life. He changed the way that I view commitment. Oh, he was just wonderful to talk to and teach! He hasn't ever joined the Church to my knowledge, but he was so great! I taught him for a long time but he never did anything. He always said that he was going to do it, he always talked the talk, but he didn't walk the walk. Now, therein lies the problem with most of us! We don't do it. We try and try and try and we want to so badly, but how many of us just get out and do it? That's the lesson that John taught me. I want him to join the church so badly and keep in touch with him and want to see his conversion all the way through, because I know that he can do it. I know that all of us can do it. 

When I got transferred to Broadway, I didn't want to leave. And I sure as heck didn't want to go to Broadway, cause that's where ........ Well, I got transferred to Broadway And I honestly felt that I was leaving Heaven and going to Hell. My second week there we had a baptism. We then went the rest of the time without seeing success. I ended up spending 2 transfers there. My second transfer there, we had to move apartments down further south and that's when I got the only car I have had my entire mission. I had it for 6 weeks and that's when I put some pounds on. We drove around everywhere. We definitely could've been a lot more diligent in working, but we had a lot of fun down there. Some of my greatest friends have come out of Broadway, Elders Asay and Woodhouse, Elder McDonald, and Hermanas Francis and Rogers. I also met some really great people down there. The Ward was a struggling Ward and we, as missionaries, were the backbone of the Ward. We were the Elders Quorum and that was an interesting occurrence in this Mission. We worked, it was a step up from Beaumont in effectiveness, but we didn't work as hard as I had that last transfer in Beaumont. We went with a whole "No Knocking, Unless we Have to" attitude. We spent a lot of our time going through our AreaBook and grabbing names that looked promising to go out and try to get some more information on. So we stepped up from the whole Knocking Blindly focus and started Knocking with a Name in Mind. We saw more success in that than we did in the whole Knocking Blindly phase of my mission. That was pretty much the best that we could do with that struggling Ward. Member missionary work wasn't the best down there, sure we had lots and lots of names on the records, but most of them didn't live there anymore. Broadway is a bunch of Apt complexes and people come and go all the time. We never knew who is truly in the Ward and who doesn't exist anymore. it was good though! We did well. 

After two Transfers, Elder McDonald and I got flushed out of Broadway and our area got shutdown. 2 weeks after transfers, E decided to get baptized and I was able to go back for that. It was a very very sweet experience and she is one that I won't forget anytime soon. 

I got transferred to Summerwood for my 7th transfer on the mission and have been here ever since. When I got here, this area was basically in shambles. Elder Lacusta and his previous companion hadn't gotten along at all and it was evident. We ended up liking each other and we kicked off the start of 2 of the best transfers that I have had as a missionary. Yes, we had hard times on and off, but we took this area and brought it to the top. Right now, This area is doing better than it has in probably a year. I am in my 3rd transfer here and we have already baptized. And we have a bunch of promising people that are definitely going somewhere. I am not trying to take credit for any of it, cause I didn't do anything. But I do know that the Lord can help us and that is exactly what He has done. 

In Summerwood we tried taking a different approach to missionary work and that approach was this: We weren't going to knock doors at all. We were going to work through the members and through the Gold Mine. And I can honestly say that it truly is the best way to do missionary work. When the members come together, we see miracles and that is exactly what has happened here in Summerwood. I think that if every missionary truly would just open his mouth and follow PMG the way that it was supposed to followed, this mission and all the missionaries in it would be amazing, they would become one of the best missions in the world. This area and the members here have so much potential, all that needs to happen is for the missionary to harness that. And that is what we tried to do to the best of our abilities. Here I had a change of mindset and it's the best thing that could've happened to me or to this area. I have truly come to understand the importance of the work in which we are engaged and I have realized that this is Eternal Salvation! What we are doing here will impact us and those we come in contact with forever, really. This will echo throughout the generations. 

So I have described the work and I have described the different areas in some detail, not lots, but I want to switch gears a little bit and switch over to the Spiritual Side of things. 

President Rascon really knows the true importance of following the Spirit. It is something that over the last year, I have learned to a small degree and I obey with confidence knowing that He knows better than me and can help me magnify ourselves to my fullest potential. I have come to learn to rely on the Spirit when I find, teach, and invite. I have gained a light and an understanding of Christs Atonement even more so than I ever have before. I understand the little things and can wrap my head around the big things and continually give thanks to the Lord for the capacity to understand things that others can't. I'm not trying to say that I am better than others, but I recognize that the Lord has blessed me with a mind and a body that are amazing. I honestly believe that that is because He expects more out of me. He wants me to be better and to make the most of what He has given me. I have found that I am in tune with the Spirit, meaning that I have an increased capacity and understanding of the Spirit and His promptings. 

I have gained so much knowledge in the last year. I have learned so much, both Gospel related and life experience related. I have come to know that our Heavenly Father truly cares about us and is guiding our lives. I know the Jesus is the Christ and I am a living witness that He can take a 19 year old kid and make Him actually useful and give him some meaning in life. But on top of that, I know that this church is the true and living church on the Face of the Earth. I know that because of the good that it does in the world. It has brought forth good fruit and I know that Jesus Christ has told us that by their fruits we shall know them. But on top of that, I have the Gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift to continuous revelation, and that Gift has told me and confirmed to me in my heart that all of this is true. 100%. I know that the Priesthood is real and I have felt and seen its power through the me. I have given blessings of healing and seen the person be healed. I have given blessings of comfort for a situation that I had never heard before and I was able to tell them exactly what they needed to hear. I have seen the power, but on top of that, I have felt the Holy Ghost confirm to me in my heart and my mind that the Priesthood is the power of God here on Earth. 

I know without a doubt that I am the Living Jesus Christ's Servant. I am His emissary and bear His name And His Gospel. I love Him and He loves me. And with Him, anything is possible. 

I know that I am here and that the Lord is going to do continue to do wonders through me. I have felt His Spirit work through me and that makes me a successful missionary. I have done what the Lord needs me to do thus far and want to magnify that even further this next year. 

I love all of you and wish you all the best of times. See you next year! Sorry for the super duper long essay, but I decided to try to write down some of my mission history all on one page. 

I love you all very much! Be awesome and safe! Keep the Spirit with you at all times and you will find out where the Lord needs you to go.

--
-Elder Benjamin Allen of the Texas Houston East Mission




Week 44 - 7/11/16 - 7/17/16



W1 of T9 7/11/16 - 7/17/16
Bike Stats
Total: 1123.8 Miles
Week: 40.933
MaxSpd: 27.8mph
AvgSpd: 11.5mph
Time: 3hrs 32min 44sec


Hey fam! We had a great week! My new comp is Elder Hobbs from Wellington, Utah. The Lord truly is doing miracles here in Summerwood.

We had G's Baptism last week and that occurred through a series of miracles. I think that I told y'all about it last week. Ivie got baptized yesterday and she is amazing! We love her so much and she was on top of the world yesterday. She was found by missionaries, (actually by my old comp from Beaumont, Elder Biesinger) way back in late October, early November.She has been working with missionaries for over 6 months now and finally decided to get baptized. Truly this is the work of the Lord!

You know, I marvel everytime someone decides to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. It was said yesterday by President Rascon, that there are miracles associated with every baptism. And it is so true! Over the last month, I have taken a different mindset due to some slaps upside the head by Heavenly Father.  My mindset used to be kind of like this: We are out here and that is good. We are going to teach people and that is good. We will come in contact with people and that is good.

Well quit settling for good! Good is good and all, but there is sooooo much more for you to do out here. Start making things happen. These people don't have access to the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the only thing standing between them and their salvation is you. Kind of a sobering thought, isn't it? So that's why we are out here. We are out here to unlock the Atonement of Jesus Christ for them. Through us is the only way back to the Father, so you sure as heck had better be the kind of gatekeeper the Father wants you to be.


Quit standing in the way of Salvation and open your mouth.


Ok. That's my 2 cents for the week.


Y'all have a blessed week! Thanks for reading!


--

-Elder Allen


Ps. Can you believe that I have been out for an entire year?!  Haha, it only took me a year to figure all this out, that's amazing. I wish I had figured it out a lot sooner.