Week 41 - 6/20/16 - 6/26/16

W4 of T8 6/20/16 - 6/26/16
Bike Stats
Total: 987.10miles
Week: 58.544miles
MaxSpd: 28.1mph
AvgSpd: 10.7mph
Time: 5hrs 27min 22sec

Well hey friends and family! It was a good week!

We had exchanges this Friday and Saturday and it was really cool to see the miracles that come from these exchanges! It seemed that there were a lot more people outside that actually cared what we had to say.

We had a bunch of investigators come to church! Some exciting things are happening here in Summerwood and it is super cool to see. 

I wanna tell a story about some seagulls. Don't tune out cause this is a really good story!

*proofreads entire email and adds following* (editors note)
But before you read this whole thing, here's a quick summary for those of you that don't have time: Just do it. Don't wait to be asked. Be proactive in things and be accountable to yourself, your church, and your Heavenly Father. Decide to act now. Don't wait. Alright: Y'all can be done with this email. That's the gist of it. 

And for those of you that have nothing going off because of #summer:

There were some seagulls that saved some starving pioneers from an infestation of locusts. That's a lot of locusts. But because they saved this band of people, they became the State Bird of the Glorious State of Utah, henceforth making it illegal to shoot em. As a result, the Glorious State of Utah is no longer infested with locusts, but with seagulls. Here's the problem. Locusts are small. Seagulls are a little bit bigger. The Seagulls take up quite a bit more room than the locusts do. They are also very very annoying. In my humble opinion, they are more annoying than locusts. How many times have you walked outside Walmart or some other store with a bag of food or chewing down on a hotdog from RC Willey and the seagulls swarm you? One too many times, right? Bottom line, no one likes seagulls and though we appreciate what they did for the early Mormon Pioneers, they shouldn't be classified as the state bird. We should petition. But if they say that we should keep it, we petition to let us shoot em or something. Just have an open range for a day. Another point that I just thought of. These modern day seagulls are descendants of the Pioneer Seagulls, right? Which means that they are being honored for something that their ancestors did, right? What if seagulls did family history? Can you imagine the pics of their ancestors? They'd probably all look the same for the most part. Seriously though, no one likes seagulls. But ask them about family history sometime. Wait, they can't talk. So don't ask them. Cause they're birds. We will probably never know if seagulls do family history work.

Just kidding. Here's the real story. But that one was pretty good right? Sorry, got carried away. I look back and realize that I typed way too much and that most of you will never read this anyway.

There were 2 seagulls sitting on a log. 1 of them decides to fly away. How many seagulls are left perched on the log?

Now you might be saying to yourself that there is only 1 left, right? But look at the wording. The seagull DECIDED to fly away. He didn't actually fly away. Sneaky right? 

Our President told us that story the other day in his email a few weeks ago. Just because we decide to do something and we believe that it is the right thing to do doesn't mean that we actually do it. Nike has a saying: Just Do It. Do is an action word. It isn't a passive word. It's the action of putting effort into something, taking time to actually accomplish what you set out to accomplish. Now, that's some wisdom right there. 

Lesson learned: Act on the impressions you receive. Don't just think about it and talk about it and decide to do it but never do it. Actually do it. It's a lot harder than it sounds right? But the sooner that you learn this simple concept and apply it, the better off you'll be. It's taken me almost a year to learn this and I am not even close to perfect at it, so start now to become the person that you want to be. Cause no matter what happens in your life, no matter how much experience you gain, you aren't going to be better until you act. 

Alright, done preaching. Sorry for the really long email. But it makes up for last week! Y'all have a blessed day! Happy America day a week early!
-Elder Allen
Ps. Funny story. We sang America the Beautiful in Sacrament meeting this week. My companion is from Canada. His face was priceless!! I made sure to sing extra loud cause he wasn't; he was too busy stifling laughter. He thinks America Pride is hilarious. 

Week 40 - 6/13/16 - 6/19/16

W3 of T8 6/13/16 - 6/19/16
Bike Stats
Total: 928.56 miles 
Weekly: 57.362 miles
MaxSpd: 30.5 mph
AvgSpd: 11.1 mph
Time: 5hrs 6min 48sec

Well, this week was really good! We had a lot of investigators at church and we have taught a lot of people this week! Love all you much!

-Elder Allen

Week 39 - 6/6/16 - 6/12/16

W2 of T8 6/6/16 - 6/12/16
Bike Stats
Total: 871.20 miles
Week: 40.753 miles
MaxSpd: 30.0mph*
AvgSpd: 10.8mph
Time: 3hrs 44min 48sec

*finally hit 30! I was biking on the feeder road to Beltway 8 with a slight tail wind and the cars passing me at 60mph created a sort of draft! I was able to slide in and bounce right up there to 30:) Shhhhhhh, don't tell Mom I was biking on the highway

But hey, there's this thing that our mission is referring to as the Gold Mine.

Gold Mine - Part Member families, unbaptized children, prospective elders, and less active or inactive families.

The mission is making a big ol' push to achieve success through the Gold Mine. This is what we spent the last week doing; finding investigators and families interested in coming back to church through the gold mine. So far, we have had a bunch of success!

We finally have a new Ward Mission Leader and he is super cool! He is a dentist right here in Summerwood, so he is always close. He loves doing missionary work and has some fantastic ideas for the Ward! It'll be super duper good to work with him. He loves to come out with us and visit either less actives or investigators that we have. He has come out with us 4 or so times this last week and it is truly amazing to see the difference that members make in the work. When it's just missionaries, they can't do a whole lot, but when you add the members, that's when the miracles happen.

If you think back to the story of Alma and Amulek, Alma couldn't do it on his own. When he went to Ammonihah, he was spit upon and cast out.
He had just come from Melek, where they had baptized just about everyone and this change of events was a shocker to him. But, the Lord told him to go back. So he did, but he went by another way. He met Amulek and asked for dinner. Amulek said yes and so they went to Amulek's house and Alma shared a spiritual thought. Amulek liked it so much that they stayed for an entire week! Alma was like, 'this is awesome! Let's go teach some people!' So they went back outside and Alma started talking. The people spit on him and ridiculed him, same result, right? Then Amulek starts talking. One of the people of Ammonihah was telling his neighbors about the Gospel, and they actually started to listen! They ended up having a bunch of success and most of it ended up happily ever after.

Stake conference was this weekend! It was super good!

But that's about it! Love y'all very much!

-Elder Allen

Week 38 - 5/30/16 - 6/5/16

W1 of T8 5/30/16 - 6/5/16
Bike Stats
Total: 830.44 Miles
Week: 22.786 Miles
MaxSpd: 27.4 mph
AvgSpd: 9.7 mph
Time: 2hrs 20min 00sec

Thursday Night
Well, this week we have been pretty rained inside... The rain just keeps on coming down. It has come down for a long time now and it is not scheduled to stop till Sunday Night. That's crazy to me, that it can rain enough to cover a city. Most of Houston is already underwater and the rest isn't too far behind it...

The flooding in Houston has been crazy. Supposedly Kingwood is underwater and so is half the mission. We in Summerwood have been pretty much untouched, cept for when the rain overwhelms the drainage system. It's done that 2wice in the last week. I can't believe that it rains that much. 40 days of this would surely do the Earth in and I can now understand when Noah says that the floods came after 40 days.
That 40 days and the Earth was underwater. Some people don't believe that, and to them I say this: Come to Houston, Texas and you will see that it is possible to baptize the Earth with water. Then wait till the summer and the Baptism by fire will also be here.

Sunday Night
Hey Howdy Hey y'all! We had a good day today! It didn't rain at all today except for light sprinkles here and there, which makes it nice cause it's just kind of refreshing instead of drenching us.

We found a turtle! We named him Eugene and we tried to feed him Ham.

Eugene didn't eat the ham. But, we kept him in the bathtub for a few hours while we tried to figure out what to do with him.

Earlier that day, (Saturday) some other missionaries had come over and when they left, one of them left his backpack. So when they came to pick it up that night, we tossed Eugene into the backpack... They took him home and didn't know about him. So we called and told them to look for the surprise that we left inside the backpack. Haha, it was hilarious!

They still have him tonight and on Monday they are gonna get nail polish to write their names on his shell before they turn him loose.
So. That's the end of Eugene!

I was able to answer a lot of questions I've had by studying these last few days. 1) Y'all should study up on the Prodigal Son Parable told by the Savior in Luke 15. It's super good and amazing and has so many different life lessons inside of it. But bottom line, no matter what you've done and who you've been, Heavenly Father will always rejoice when you come home and start back down the straight and narrow. 2) John 14:15. Keep the Commandments, not because you have to, but because you love the Savior. Your obedience to the laws and commandments established by Heaven is a direct expression of your love and appreciation for the Savior and His Atonement. Really brings to light the importance of keeping the commandments, don't it? But it's true! By being obedient, we are coming closer and closer to our Father in Heaven and if we choose to be disobedient, we distance ourselves from Heaven. So exercise your agency and choose the right!

3)“Life offers you two precious gifts--one is time, the other freedom of choice, the freedom to buy with your time what you will. You are free to exchange your allotment of time for thrills. You may trade it for base desires. You may invest it in greed. …
      “Yours is the freedom to choose. But these are no bargains, for in them you find no lasting satisfaction.
      “Every day, every hour, every minute of your span of mortal years must sometime be accounted for. And it is in this life that you walk by faith and prove yourself able to choose good over evil, right over wrong, enduring happiness over mere amusement. And your eternal reward will be according to your choosing.
      “A prophet of God has said: ‘Men are that they might have joy’--a joy that includes a fullness of life, a life dedicated to service, to love and harmony in the home, and the fruits of honest toil--an acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ--of its requirements and commandments.
      “Only in these will you find true happiness, the happiness which doesn’t fade with the lights and the music and the crowds.”

Wow, that's so true! Make sure that you are making the most of every moment of every day. Because it's something that you will never get back. But spend your time doing the important things, not just menial tasks or chores. But do that which has eternal significance and will bring lasting happiness.

Keep being awesome! Thanks for the support and the prayers! Love you all!

-Elder Allen

I've attached a pic of the usual forecast down here! Seriously, that's all we have seen for the last month and a half...

Stormy Update - 1 Week

Stormy seems to be a normal everyday kitten with plenty of spunk and energy. 1 week after surgery things seem to be well. 

The Elders had dinner with the McPhie's and took a few more pictures of their rescued furry friend.