Ben

Ben

Week 89 - Texas Crayfish Day!

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Week 89 - 4/3/17 - 4/9/17



This week was General Conference and as always, very edifying and uplifting. I hope that all yall were able to watch it or listen to it or had some other way of tuning in to hear it. I hope that yall all got answers to your questions and desires. I certainly did.

Other than that. Updates. Sorry for not emailing last week. We were super busy with Transfers and such. Keep it down! I didn't get transferred and that is ok. I did get a new companion though! His Name is Elder Brinkerhoff from Mesa, Arizona. He is a super cool guy! We are going to slay it this transfer here in Cleveland.

Luke went to the temple. But I wasn't able to go with them:( 

We were able to go to the temple another time though! This time with the mission. 




We had lots of meat. This is what Texas is known for people. And there is no better place than Cleveland to get your fair share of meat. 


Then a few pics of the old District all together!


And then a pic of Elder Brinkerhoff and I!


Love Yall!

--

-Elder Allen

Week 88 - 3/38/17 - 4/2/17

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Week 87 - 3/20/17 - 3/27/17



The blue bonnets are out in full swing and they are pretty.

I guess that means spring time, the time of year where we can make more new years resolutions! We can turn over a new life and forget about what's in the past and move forward.

Springtime also means allergies. Everything that can possibly bloom does in Texas.

The Sisters tried to beat my cookies this week. They didn't and everyone agrees that mine are better. So that's 10 points for the Elders.

We painted a fence. And I painted my name.


I played the paint again for another baptism this week.... I guess these things are catching on and I'm a decent piano player.

The baptism was super spiritual. It was for a man named Luke. He is in the Ward and we used to teach him, but he moved and now the sisters get to teach him. But he got baptized his last weekend. 

Tammy told us that she doesn't want to get baptized this week, but that it to for sure be within the next few weeks, which is an improvement! She has been sort of on the fence, but that's changed over the last few days.
We are super excited for her. She came to Lukes baptism and that's what convinced her that she needed this in her life! Cody didn't make it to church this week, but is still super set on getting baptized.

Well, going to keep it pretty short and simple this week. Here's a Spiritual Thought!

"A morning prayer and an early search in the scriptures to know what we should do for the Lord can set the course of a day. We can know which task, of all those we might choose, matters most to God and therefore to us. I have learned such a prayer is always answered if we ask and ponder with childlike submission, ready to act without delay to perform even the most humble service."

- President Henry B Eyring.

Think about it!

Love yall, bye!

--

-Elder Allen

Week 86 - 3/13/17 - 3/19/17

Hey Fam and Friends!

This week was a week of first time events. Lemme go through and I will see if I can list a few of them!



1. First time I have played the piano in sacrament Meeting 2. First time I have played the piano with other people singing...
3. First time I passed the sacrament to the Bishop.
4. First time I've had a snake around my neck.
5. First time I've been to a scrap metal place.
6. First time I've had a cat in my hood.
7. First time the Elders Meal calendar has been full for the next two weeks straight.

We had a super cool experience with me playing the piano and everything. The Sisters in the Ward had a baptism on Saturday and they were asked to sing Our Saviors Love. So naturally they decided to ask me, cause I'm pretty much the best piano player ever and I've been playing for my entire life. For those who don't me, that entire last sentence is a lie. Just about everything I've learned I've learned on my mission. So they pulled out the sheet music and told me to play it, which I semi reluctantly agreed to. It's Wednesday and the baptism is on Saturday and I am supposed to learn how to play a song that I've never played before right? So I do. When we practice Thursday, they say that the key is too high and that I need to learn a new key. So I do that too. Then they say that he music is a little interesting and I need to spice it up a little bit... so I do. Long story short, I write my own accompaniment to Our Saviors Love in about a half hour and spend the next half hour practicing. The baptism rolls around and we perform it and the spirit that it brought is incredible. It was awesome! I only messed up a few times;)

But apparently it was good enough to get an invite back. Bishop called us later that night and asked to perform tomorrow for Sacrament meeting. So we did.

I got to pass the sacrament and I forgot how much I love to do that. I got to pass it to Bishop and as ironic as it sounds, I think that it was the first time I have ever passed the Sacrament to Bishop.

We got rid of the washer. And the dryer that decided it wanted to tag along as well.

Our meal calendar has filled up. I guess people are starting to like us.

Love y'all! Have a good week!

--

-Elder Allen

Week 85 - 3/7/17 - 3/13/17


Fish, Sheep, & Goats




Good Morning!

Highlights of the week.

We went fishing today.

Tammy is getting baptized soon.

Cody is getting baptized soon as well!

I herded sheep.

We got to hold a baby goat at our Ward Mission Leaders house.

We had pizza for 5 meals this week.

Trying to figure out how to multiply matrices on our white board.

Exchanges! I lead out the English area with a Spanish elder with me. Fun!

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More Exchanges tonight. I get to go to Spanishland.

We played basketball with the Spanish branch Friday night.

We played chair soccer for workouts in the morning with the Spanish elders.

Jack in the Box wrecked my insides.

Waffles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is life.

Taco Bell can wreck your insides too.

I buried another elder.

So he buried me.

Bananas and orange juice is always a good snack.

So is apple sauce.

Always put ice in you milk. It tastes better.

I made a quesadilla.

It rained. A lot.

Pollen is out in full force! Everything is coated with a thin layer of the stuff.

I didn't catch a fish today.

But I think I caught a turtle. 4 times.

Then the line snapped. 4 times.

Then I started thinking it wasn't a turtle.

Until another Elder caught it too.

And his line snapped, too.

We moved a washing machine in the back of our truck.

Pulled the axles off of a single wide trailer in our white shirts.

Only got a little bit dirty:)

--

-Elder Allen


Week 84 - 2/28/17 - 3/6/2917

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Week 83 - 2/20/2017-2/27/2017

Hey Fam and Friends!
Well, fun stories from the week. We mowed someones lawn and got on their good side. I got to ride the riding lawnmower. I figured wasn't'
disobedient because it says nothing about riding lawnmowers in the white handbook. We cranked out that yard real quick. I think we should start a lawnmowing business.

Today we are going to hunt squirrels. Not with firearms because we can't do that. We bought slingshots. We were going to buy blowguns, but couldnt figure out where to get them.

A black family gave us Popeyes yesterday. We helped them get their brand new basketball hoop put together. they wanted to pay us, but we wouldnt take the money. So they gave us some fried chicken instead.

Elder Taylor left his ipad at Walmart today. We went back when we realized it was gone and walked in and they handed it right to us.

We watched Up this last Saturday. It was at a Ward Party and we got special permission from President. Its a really cute movie and shares a good message! However, I decided that movies are a waste of my time.
I dont think I will be watching any more movies for a good minute. I felt so tired and unproductive while watching it. We had investigators there and it was good for them. They really enjoyed it and got to fellowship with the members. We played basketball with them afterwards too!

The Hardys from Vidor got sealed on Saturday. I got to talk to them briefly over the phone and they were super happy that they were going to the Temple. Super happy that they were able to be sealed!

New haircut.

--

-Elder Allen



Week 82 - blip

blip.....

Week 80 - Transfers

Week 79 - 1/25/2017-2/1/2017

Hey Fam and friends!
We went to Chucks this week! Twice. It is good food, but it's not good for your digestive system. I'll send some pictures of us with Chuck and his food.

The missionary broadcast was good this week! It was a world wide broadcast and we had training from some Members of the 12 Apostles.
They've changed our daily schedule and they've changed the key indicators that we report. President Drake says that neither of them go into effect until after transfers. So all of us are very excited to get to sleep early now. For those of you that don't know, they took our nightly planning session and stuck it in the morning. Now we get home and go straight to bed after we say our prayers and write in our journals.

We took a family (district) picture. We've decided that we are each someone in the family. We have named ourselves the Williamsons after the name of each of the wards in Vidor. We've labeled each person in the district and how old they are. Enjoy!


--

-Elder Allen

Week 78 - 1/17/2017-1/24/2017

Hey fam!

Its me again. Sorry to bore yall with these weekly emails. I feel like sometimes I just send the same email over and over every single week. Hopefully this one and the events of this week make up for the rest!

We had interview training this Wednesday. That's what started the rest of our eventful week. 

Friday we went on exchanges after district meeting. I left the area and went down the road.  It started to rain lightly. Then it started to rain a little bit more. Then we went to dinner at a members house. We came back out side and it was dark. We got in the car and had to go pick up some other stuff from my apartment. On the way to the apartment, the lightning started. The rain slowed down a little bit. The sky started flashing blue, which it did for the next 6 hours. 

We got to the apartment and got out to video the lightning. A lightning bolt hit the light pole down the street as we got out of the car. Scared us to death. Then a second one hit the street in the opposite direction. We got back in the car for about 30 second to wait and see what would happen. Nothing else happened except for the continuing blue flashes of light. 

We got back out of the car and proceeded to film a video. I'll try to send it out, but no promises. 

The rain comes. We run inside real quick. Then the rain turned to hail. And the lights flicker. The hail is so loud that we can barely hear each other talk inside the house. 

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We stop videoing for about a minute. In that minute, we get a call from our beloved district leader saying that we need to get inside as soon as we possibly can cause a tornado touched down able a mile down the road. And it was headed for us. We were super scared, so we laid on the floor. And nothing happened for about 15 minutes, but we laid on the floor for about that long. 

Then we got up and drove home.

This week I ate a habanero pepper. And a mealworm. It was fun!

--
-Elder Allen


Week - 77 - 1/9/2017 - 1/16/2017

Hey Fam!
I love all yall!

Everything is awesome! We had a good week this week. We found a bunch of new people to teach and we are excited to see where everything goes with  them.

The temperature has jumped back up to what it was three week ago and I'm thoroughly convinced that another winter has come and gone. We are back to mid 70s to low 80s. I miss the snow, so we eat ice a lot.

I wrestled another missionary today and lost pretty bad... Come to find out, he was an all American wrestler in high school. Fun stuff:)

We went to Chucks Bar B Que again. Redneck nachos. Those things are fantastic. It's a great food and one of the best inventions I've seen down here. And lemme tell you, I see some pretty great inventions.
Mobile toilets. Blue Bell Ice Cream. Gumbo. Oh, so good.

We play a lot of chair soccer down here on pdays. It's fun.

We've started helming out at the Christian Care center every Tuesday and it's a blast! The people that we serve with are great!

Pictures!
1. Self explanatory.
2. Us at Chucks after District Meeting
3. Us and two guys we contacted. They were very under the influence and were extremely happy to see us:) they got picked up by the popo later that night...

--

-Elder Allen


Week 76 - 1/2/17 - 1/8/17

This week was good. We did a lot of working with the members. We are trying to teach them how to be missionaries in their own lives. It's going decent!

This is how we are doing it with them:
We will go in and being the Spirit through sharing the Joseph Smith story of some other lesson that we feel prompted to share. I've seen people in tears after we recite some of the Joseph Smith story. The spirit is super strong in the room and you can feel it. For those of you who don't know, US missionaries down here in South East Texas memorize pay off the Joseph Smith story and can and will recite it to everyone that we can. After this, we will ask them how's this knowledge of the truthfulness of the gospel has helped them in their lives. We listen to them and their experiences. That's key to them feeling the Spirit. We will ask them who they know that can use a message about this or who could use this in their lives and then we will get a few names from them and keep track of them over the next little while. We then tell them this: we aren't going to visit them.
We want them to be the ones to do something with them, whether it's praying for them, giving them a pass along card, or inviting them to church or something else among those lines. We will role play with them about what they are going to do to give them confidence that they can actually do this. Then we will follow up with them whenever we see them next.

Members in the Ward are at different stages in their missionary work.
There are 4 main stages to their missionary work.
1. Pray and fast for investigators to have spiritual experiences and for members to have missionary opportunities.
2. Provider acts of kindness to people
3. Teach their friends doctrine.
4. Invite them to act.

Every single member is at a different point in this little scale. It's our job to help them get to the next step.

It froze this week! I'll send a picture of us (My district leader, Elder Ludlow and I on exchanges) with a frozen puddle. We were super excited!


Love yall verty much! Have a great week and remember to stick to your new years resolutions!


Week 75 - 12/26/2016 - 01/01/17

W1 of T13 12/26/16 - 1/1/17

Hey fam!

This is my 3rd transfer in Vidor Texas and I am loving every minute of it! My 3rd companion in Vidor is Elder Kelland from Coos Bay Oregon.
He's been out for 4 1/2 months. We are doing good!

Happy New Years y'all! New year, new me, right? That's how it always goes. I would invite y'all to set some goals for the coming year and then make some super awesome plans to accomplish those goals!

We had a good week, lots of rain and then some sunshine, but overall it was good. The weather changes have just about everyone down here sick, which makes it difficult for us, especially among member families. We shake hands with a ton of people everyday and spread sickness from one family to the next. Germ x is our favorite friend right now.

Overall it was a pretty typical week this week. Nothing too exciting and nothing too boring to include in this email.

Ohhhhh! Christmas! Thanks to all of you who sent things down to this little town in Southeast Texas! They were very much appreciated! It was good to talk to my family and it was good to celebrate the birth of our Savior!

Love y'all! Have a good week!


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-Elder Allen