Week 25 Cont'd

Well, I have now seen almost everything you can possibly imagine... Such is life in the city I suppose. It's crazy. I am learning some about what to do with my life and a whole ton more about what not to do with it. It seems to me that drugs, alcohol, and Law of Chastity problems have pretty much destroyed this entire city; it's sad to see so many people that are in such poor circumstances. It's sad to see how parents treat their kids down here; it's almost like they don't even want them and that they are stopping the parents from doing what they want to do and it's sad. I think that is one of the biggest things down here that bothers me the most is seeing children treated like they are by parents, people and just everything. These children are innocent and shouldn't have to worry about their parents not coming home cause they are drunk or high or off with the neighbor or something like that. It is super sad!

Other than that, the mission life is pretty good! We have had our struggles like every companionship and area, but other than that, life is good! We are teaching quite a few people and we are working pretty hard to harvest this field. This transfer has pretty much flown right by without even stopping to say hello... Or goodby for that matter. Rumor has it that our area is getting shut down this transfer so that means I might be transferred out of here. There are 4 companion ships in one struggling Ward right now and there is only one car that has to pick all of us up for Sunday, pday, district mtg, etc. We are just kind of the oddball area in the Ward. 

That's about how Broadway is! We bike, we talk to people and we waste time with other missionaries. It gets old after a while when we don't have any set appointments and the ones we do have always cancel 2 hours beforehand. We have had more success not even making appointments and just stopping by to teach them. We have a lot of media referrals who request a free Bible online so we spend lots of time trying to give these people their free Bible. It's almost as if they don't want it or something. Some of our most solid investigators have come from media referrals who want free bibles and then we end up teaching them the Resto and then they invite us back! I got told I could be a really good salesperson the other day cause I was "teaching very well". I took that as a compliment:) 

I can't believe the Sadie died! That is so sad! I got a call from President and I was on exchanges in another area so he had to hunt me down. When he finally found me, he asked if I knew what had happened and I did cause I got your forwarded email Wednesday morning and he asked if I needed to talk or anything. I told him I would let him know. And that's about how that went down.

A lot of the people down here are praying for the Wells family cause it made it all over the news down here. We have had a lot of people tell us to be careful, Brother Aragon being one of them. We were in the car with him on Thursday and he told me that you called him. He also told us that he said a long prayer and shed a few tears for the Wells family. 

We ate dinner over at the Aragons last night and he pulled us outside for a little while and sat and gave us life advice. I love Brother Aragon so much! 

What else to write about? I don't know. I haven't heard a lot about Beaumont, but I do know that the missionaries over there dropped John. He won't get baptized for a while, I don't think. It made me sad, but I know it was probably the right call on their part. It is sad when someone has such an inspired meeting with the the missionaries and can feel the Spirit and knows what they are teaching is true, then decides to not act on it. "For I pray continually for them by day and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them, and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that He will hear my cry." What else can you do after you have exhausted all resources? Pray. That's what I do.

I am totally jealous of the skiing that y'all do. I wanna be up there. Maybe one of these day we will get all of us on the lift together. That'd be awesome, wouldn't it?

-Elder Allen

Week 25

Hey y'all! This about sums up my week!

Bike Stats
Total: 412.96 Miles
Week: 47.785 Miles
MaxSpd: 28.4 MPH
AvgSpd: 10.8 MPH
TimeMoving: 4 hrs, 24 min, and 53 sec

We taught a drunk guy this last Friday and told him he shouldn't be drinking! He took it pretty well, but then again I think he was dulled a little bit... We could've told him he was going straight to heaven and he wouldn't have been more excited than he was when we told him that he shouldn't be drinking. But then again, we could've told him that he was going to be thrust down straight to hell and he would've had about the same reaction... I'm not sure he understood what we were trying to say. He told us he only drinks a little bit and that it is ok cause it's not a lot and he puts it away when we come over... So we gave him an analogy: (Elder Allen's commentary in the quotation marks) Keep in mind he is in his late 50s...

"Fred, (some names may have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the person(s) involved) if we made you some cookies, would you eat them?"


"Well, what if we told you that we only put a little bit of dog poop in them? Would you still eat them?"

"Ewwwwwwww! That gross! Why would you put dog poop in cookies?!"

"Fred, that's not important, would you still eat them?"

"No, there's dog poop in them."

"But Fred, it's only a little bit!"

"It's still Dog Poop!! That's gross! --------- Hey, look at my new chair! I got it today. Do you like it? It's soft and comfy and I got it today. It's my new chair. I got it today cause I had a friend that had it and didn't wanna have it anymore and so I got it today and it's my new chair."

"Fred, that's a very nice chair, I am glad that you have a new chair.
(I actually was, cause I didn't have to sit on the chair with my comp) Now pay attention! Fred, it's only a little bit of alcohol. That's not good and you shouldn't be drinking it!"

"But it's only a little bit and I put it away when you come over to respect you and I am very respectful!"

"Thank you for being respectful Fred, but there is only a little bit of Dog Poop in the cookies."

"What cookies?"

"Remember how we were going to make you cookies and put some dog poop in them?"

"That's mean and you should show respect like I show respect!"

At this point we basically gave up trying to connect multiple ideas together with symbology. So, we tried a different tactic.

"Fred, there are two types of instigators in this life. There is faith and there is fear. We cannot have one and have the other. So do you believe that Jesus can heal you?"

"Yes! Jesus can heal me. I pray for it everyday"

"So why do you need alcohol?"

"Because it numbs the pain while I am waiting for Jesus!"

*Door opens* *Lady walks in playing a bunch of Gangsta rap*

Fred: "Hey Lashanda! (Remember how I said names have been changed?
Hers might not have been... I'm not trying to be racist here I promise. I know it might come across that way, but I promise that I am not trying to be racist. ) We are trying to talk about Jesus and God here. You need to leave!! Go out right now and take your radio-phone with you."

*Lady looks at us and backs up slowly* *doors slams* (Ironic huh?
Usually we are on the other side of the door!)

Fred: "See?! (He was very proud of this) I showed you respect right now by making her go away with her radio-phone!

"Yes, thank you Fred! So do you have faith that Jesus can heal you?"

"YES!!! I have lots of faith! I believe very much in Jesus Christ and what He teaches!"

"Fred! That is super good! So by drinking, are you showing Jesus Christ that you have faith that He can heal you or are you showing fear and uncertainty by masking the pain with alcohol?"

"Oh! I am showing faith! I believe that He can heal me!"

(How could he have gotten that one wrong? I don't understand. If you do, please help me.)

"No Fred, you are showing fear. If you were showing faith, then you would stop drinking alcohol right now and you would start reading the Book of Mormon"

"Oh, I am not ready to stop drinking yet. I need it to keep my twitches down!"

"Ok Fred, can we set a date with you of when you need to quit by?"

"Nope. I'm not ready yet!"

At this point we gave up and tried to read and pray about the Book of Mormon with about the same amount of success that we had trying to get him to give up alcohol. Such is trying to call drunk people to repentance.

Don't drink! It's bad! Stay away from all of that. The Word of Wisdom is there for a reason.

That about sums up our week! Love y'all! Happy Day after Valentines Day!

-Elder Allen

Week 25 Pictures

Ward Scroll



Week 24 - Update

My week in Houston has actually been pretty good! It is very different from Beaumont. In Beaumont you can actually ride a bike on the street, here is all sidewalk unless we are on back roads. And the side walks are terrible. We are hopping curbs and riding in grass and riding in dirt and jumping curbs and then hopping up cracks and ducking under trees and stuff. You need a mountain bike to bike around the city, it's that bad. 

I like our apartment a lot! We watched our neighbor get arrested yesterday morning! I feel safe for the most part, but walking around ghetto complexes at 8:00 in the dark is always an adventure. You always got to keep that eye out and don't walk with your hands in your pockets. 

He and I get along pretty well! We have argued a little bit, but nothing too bad.  He is a jock and I am not and jocks and I don't get along too well because of it. My last two companions have been almost the exact same. Maybe the Lord is trying to teach me something.

We had a baptism yesterday. We taught her and Elder Tapusoa baptized her cause the other three couldn't... Not strong enough, make sense?

Well, we get fed quite a bit! I have put on quite a bit of muscle and am up to 132 now! I broke 130! And now I have some fat too...

We do our laundry for free now at some other missionaries apartment not too far from us. My clothes are holding up very well! 

It should be pretty safe to send packages, it ain't too ghetto. So you should be fine. Obviously, if it's something super nice, then don't send it here. but you should be fine either way. 

Miss you! We don't have wifi in our apt, so I only get to check maybe twice a week. Does anyone have xfinity or Comcast that would be willing to give me a password? That would make life 10 times easier to have wifi in the apt. 

Love you! I'll talk to you later!

-Elder Allen

Week 24 1/25/16 - 1/31/15

Week 2 of Transfer 5
Bike stats
Total Mileage: 326.02
Miles on the Week: 59.148
Max Spd: 28.5 mph
AvgSpd: 10.8 mph
Time Moving: 5 hrs. 25 min. 31 sec.

Hey y'all!

W2 of T5 1/25/16 - 1/31/15
I still can't get over the whole transfer #5 and everything.

Monday thought
We just taught a really cool guy named Eric! He is super cool and I wish all of you could meet him. Today was pday and we did our laundry at the other missionaries apt down the road cause they have a washer and dryer and we didn't want to pay $5 to do it. We had to leave before my clothes were done, so I asked them to bring it to pday, cause it had all of my pday clothes in it. That happened.

So I played bball and soccer and volleyball in pros, which is missionary slang for a white shirt and tie and slacks. I didn't have shoes, so I played in socks and now, as of 9:59 at night, my feet and ankles hurt REALLY bad. So I am trying to decide if it was worth it or not, but I am pretty sure it was.

We had to fix Elder McDonald's bike today cause he got hit by a car last Saturday, sorry, I neglected that in last weeks email... Anyway, his back rim was bent up pretty bad, so he blew a bunch of $$$ to fix it.

Tuesday Thoughts and Feelings and Stuff that happens.
Well, it's raining today. WE found a few people this morning! There were quite a few people that were obviously prepared to receive The Lord's message. it is amazing to talk to so many people and see how Heavenly Father has worked on each one of them for a long time. All the events leading up to them meeting with us is amazing. It is amazing to see what happens when we are able to teach with power and authority that is given to us. I have been thinking a lot about how we can prepare for opposition and questions that will come up and what it comes down to is this: Fasting and Prayer will build your testimony.
Build you testimony before you need to stand up on your wall of faith.
Prepare now for the future that will question your faith. You can't stand up in the moment if you have nothing to stand on.

Build your testimony. I wish that I had had a better testimony before I came out on a mission. But I have since learned why scripture study is so important and that is because we can apply the scriptures when dealing with opposition throughout the day. Study. Pray. Ponder.
Apply. And then see what happens.

So a few days ago, we were stopped by a lady who spoke only Spanish.
We were biking down the road and she honked at us and motioned us over to her car. She didn't speak any English but we were able to talk to her a little bit. She asked if we would go over to her house and talk to here. We couldn't, cause we don't speak Spanish, ya know? So we gave the referral to the Hermanas. This was last Saturday. Tonight we got a call from the Hermanas saying that they had stories for us. Come to find out, the lady was ALREADY a member, but she was inactive.
Lately, before she met us, she kept having these promptings to go back to Church. She kept pushing them aside until one night when she had a dream that she would see two Elders on the side of the road and talk to them. They would take her info and tell her where the church was.
The very next day, she was driving down the road that she had dreamt about and saw the two elders that she had seen in her dream... Us. She knew it was a sign from God that she needed to go back to church. So she is coming to church this weekend after being inactive for the last
9 years! Kinda a cool story!

We got rained on a lot today. There was a lot of mud and water and we just got soaked and dirty. We finally threw all caution to the wind and hightailed it home after dark. We got home and we each had mud all over our backpacks, pants, crotch, etc. All over. Love it.

I finally feel like I've moved into the apt here in the Broadway 1 Hobby area. I have everything pretty much organized and I have a lot of my food now. I am still kinda down on food, but it's all pretty much there.

Wednesday Stuffs
Well today was pretty good! We had a few lessons and actually felt like we were working. We biked about 25 or 30 miles today trying a bunch of potentials and such. It was a lot of fun to actually get out and talk to people about the Gospel!

Then we biked some more.

I studied Preach My Gospel this morning. PMG is amazing and I love it so much! There is so much good stuff in there. The entire Gospel has been condensed to 2 or so chapters. How to teach it is in the remaining of the 13 chapters in the book. Coupled with the Book of Mormon and the Bible, there is no clearer way to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have been learning about the responsibility of a missionary and of a leader in the Church and it's been cool to come to realize the true nature and responsibility of the nature of our calling. I love it! I have also recently been taught about the importance of prayerful preparation for the times to come. Temptation and opposition will always come and we need to be ready. WE can't just expect to suit up for the Savior if we haven't developed the armor to withstand the Devil. Always remember to suit up. Every morning.
Develop that armor. Then live your life in such a way that you are worthy to be on the Lord's Calvary.

Well today was weekly planning. We had a lot of just planning this morning.

Today is a beautiful day! It feels like Utah on a cool and crisp spring morning. It was just that clear, wonderful day! I love it.

I just found some old Mexican powdered lemonade in the cabinet and I made it up. But it has a very bad after taste.

Elder McDonald just made us up a big can of of Chef Boyardee beef ravioli and I tried to eat it using a fork, but then Elder McD made me change it out with a spoon, but when I took it to the sink, I spilt on the floor... So I had to use a rag to clean it up with.

We just got back from a lesson with a lady named Mickey; we took Brother Aragon with us! He is a super cool guy and is truly hilarious.
He made a lot of jokes about Eggo Waffles and me getting hit by cars.
I don't even know what it was about. Haven't been hit yet.

We had a lesson with Eric tonight. It was a good lesson! He is a retired professional DJ and it's really cool! he has the whole thing set up in his living room and everything.

This morning we had a District Meeting! It was my first one outside of Beaumont and it was different, but it was a really good meeting! We had a very good discussion about missionary work and how to be more effective teachers. We have a straight Elders district and it gets fun sometimes!

We spent the rest of the day helping S get ready for her baptism on Sunday! She is super solid and is basically golden! She got the green light in her interview and she is super excited for her baptism!
We had a lesson with Bishop today and he gave her some really good advice.

Tomorrow we get to see President Nelson! He is coming to a tri mission conference held outside our mission boundaries. It's gonna be great! I get to shake hands with an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ! If President Monson dies, President Nelson will be the next prophet. I am super excited for tomorrow morning. I'm gonna go to bed now so I don't fall asleep while he is talking to us tomorrow.

We woke up early this morning and went to the chapel at 1101 Bering St. in Houston to meet with 3 other missions. There were over 700 missionaries in one chapel. We had 20 Stake Presidents there from all the different stakes covered by T.H.E Mission, Texas Houston South Mission, and the Texas Houston mission. The Houston Temple President, Marshall Hayes from Beaumont was there also along with the 3 Mission Presidents and their wives. There were a lot of people. Oh, and Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge and President Russell M. Nelson were there also.
It was definitely a day to remember.

We got there in the morning bright and early and were seated by 7:30.
It started at 8:00 and went for 3 hours. President Nelson and Elder Corbridge were conducting interviews in the stake offices that morning. They didn't show up till about 8:30 or so, so we had an extra half hour to study and prepare for the upcoming experience.

President Nelson and Elder Corbridge came walking into the chapel very fast. I thought he was moving extremely well for a man that old...
They stood at the front and all the missionaries, 700 strong, filed up to the front to shake their hands. It was honestly one of the neatest experiences of my life and as I am reflecting on it, I wish I could've said something like 'Hi President' or something like that, but I was too busy trying to keep my head screwed on right. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Elder Allen, it's very good to meet you!" I never thought a simple greeting could have so much meaning behind it. I never thought that you could feel the Spirit by just a simple handshake. He had a surprisingly firm handshake for someone that looks so frail and I can honestly say that God preserves His servants for the work that they are doing. One more thing, President Nelson and Elder Corbridge both conveyed so much love as we were able to shake their hands. The Pure Love of Christ, Charity, has so much power.  I understand what Moroni was talking about in Moroni 7:46-47 "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail. But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him."

Charity is everything in this world. We must have charity towards everyone; it is the driving force behind the missionary effort and everything really. Without charity, nothing would be able to exist. If you don't have charity, you are nothing. So get some charity so you can do something. Without charity, we aren't able to do anything, so get some and start changing the world. It is within us to do so.

Anyway, Elder Corbridge got up and gave us a nice talk recapping the missionary broadcast this last week. It was very good to remind ourselves about what our purpose truly is. This is the second time that we have had the opportunity to listen to him speak to us as missionaries. He is the author of the Fourth Missionary, which is fantastic, by the way.

President Nelson got up and spoke to us for about 2 hours. It was amazing. I think he touched on just about every aspect of the Gospel... The main theme was the Gathering of Israel and such. He read scriptures to us from every single one of the Standard Works. He taught us and instructed us and expounded the scriptures to each one of us. He had the mission presidents speak to us for a few minutes. He cracked joke after joke and also gave us the rest of the story that he told in General conference. The one about the operation on the daughters of this couple who ended up dying? Remember that? Well that isn't even the half of the story. He is truly an amazing man who understands the Gospel very well. The Gospel is really simple.

Last thing, we played basketball with some black kids tonight! They were dang good and schooled us big time cause we are not so good...
They were like 14 and beat us pretty soundly. They have been playing bball their entire lives and that's all they do, all day, everyday.
Kinda crazy if you ask me.

We got to church today and it was a missionary Sunday! That means that the missionaries put on Sacrament. We had one of the missionaries speak about missionary work. Elder Asay. He went until the close of the meeting at noon... We still had a special musical number and another speaker to get through. We decided to still sing and it was amazing. We had a lot of people come up to us afterwards and commend us for our amazing voices. Then President Rascon spoke. He is in the mission presidency and he is also a newscaster for ABC News. Channel 13. He is a really neat guy! He is also very good at speaking cause that's what he does for a living, ya know? It was really cool.

After church we had a baptism! SW is pretty much the golden investigator. She has had contact with other Mormons in the past and has had questions in the past. The missionaries that were here before me were the ones that found and taught her. I basically came in and just dunked her. The Spirit was super strong in the program! It is truly amazing what happens when the members get involved in the conversion of someone.

-Elder Allen

Week 23

Week 1 of Transfer 5
Hey y'all!

New address:
7950 Bellfort St Apt #147
Houston, TX 77061

Yep! I ain't in no Beaumont anymore!

I'm in Houston! We have an airport right in the middle of our area! So any one of you could come and visit me and I wouldn't even have to leave my area. Or I could just come home. But I'm not gonna do that cause I like it here way too much. But you could come visit, and I might come say hi. Or I might just bike really fast in the other direction.

That brings me to my next point. I am still in a bike area.

My comps name is Elder McDonald! He is 5'5''. He is a cool guy from Kansas. He has been out for 14 months! So that makes him smart in the Art of Missionary Work.

He served in Beaumont too!

We have bunk beds! I like them!

There is a member here named Moroni Aragon. He is the coolest guy ever! He speaks pretty good English. He is in the Bishopric. I think you will be hearing more about him later cause he's awesome and likes missionaries.

Love it here!

-Elder Allen


Subject: Re: Happy 6 Revision

It's good to get out of Beaumont! I am in basically downtown Houston
now. The Ward is called the Broadway 1st Ward and I like it very much.
There are a lot of Mexicans that speak Spanish here and I have had to
use my Spanish 'skills' a few times already. I only understand a
little bit about what they are saying, but it's enough to get by
without speaking too much. I can understand enough to get what they
are saying, but not enough to formulate my own sentences.

We have an investigator who is getting baptized next Sunday night. She
is super solid! And John from Beaumont might be getting baptized here
in the next little while, so I might get to go back and see him and
the rest of Beaumont.

Oh! Something I neglected in the big email. We get to see President
Nelson this Saturday! He is coming to visit us... I'm excited!

We have another few investigators lined up on date here in the next
little while. WE should be getting a few this transfer! And it is
super easy to find people here cause they are all outside. There is a
street called Broadway St in our area. There are so many Apt
Complexes. Look it up. Some complexes have over a thousand apts in
them. It is crazy big and extremely difficult to navigate. Gonna be

-Elder Allen