Monday, August 13, 2012

A Miraculous Week!

Hello Dear Family!

I don't have a lot of time, but I'll write what I can. I loved reading all of your letters, and hearing about Casey and Brayton. Casey is amazing and I can tell he learned a ton! Wow! I hope I can learn half as much. Thank you so much Mom for the letter from Laurel :) I will write her today and thank her for her support and example... I was really glad to get Laurel's letter and so glad she and I are experiencing the same thing...together!

I haven't yet got the letters from the Beehives, but I got a letter from Grandma Parker, which was so great. I hope you got the email with my address. With the slip, you can send it right to the address in Fontana, or should I say "Fountain" :) Hopefully Dad got the letter to Annie. So glad Kiley picked hers up. If Annie wasn't there, text her on my phone and ask what her new address is, and I can write her again. Yes, you can turn off my phone. I've got to let go of life back home, ha ha.

I am so tired all the time, but I am also very happy. There are days that are really hard and some days I really don't want to work, but I know that the Lord has helped way too much and been giving far too many miracles to give up on Him. I've been asked more about my past in Riverside, and I realize that I need to completely forgive those times when I was hurt. I've been praying a lot and really focusing on accounting to the Lord and finding out what he wants for me. I'm seeing the Atonement in action in my own life, in the life of Sister Stacey, and in my investigators... Thank you for all the prayers, we really do feel them. The Savior was truly helping... and I am grateful He allowed me to see that others' problems are way bigger than my own. I am still learning to be more humble, but I am learning a lot.

Another way the Atonement is working is through Angela, a miracle investigator. On Tuesday we got a media referral and Angela wrote that she wanted to join the Church, but didn't know how. WOW!! This was exactly perfect for a hot, anxious week. We have taught her twice, and she is reading the Book of Mormon and praying every day! Her one struggle is with the word of wisdom, but she had enough faith to ask for a priesthood blessing (some of her family are members) and she threw away her cigarettes, and she is improving so much! Yesterday at Church she told us that she doesn't feel like a smoker anymore, and that she knows the Lord is helping her and the Book of Mormon is true, because anytime she is anxious she reads and feels calm. Also, at church the Sunday School lesson was on the word of wisdom! Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need! She is progressing and is going to be baptized on September 1st! Your anniversary will be marvelous Mom and Dad, and I am so glad you are all going to New York, but I really am not jealous. This baptism is so much greater :) I'm so excited and I can see Angela's faith increasing. I will think of you often that day, and I hope you are all super safe and have a wonderful, and spiritually uplifting time as you remember those who died in behalf of our country. I'm excited Mom for England in 2014, for sure.

We were also able to have a miracle while tracting on Saturday. We decided to beat the heat (well, it was still 98, but before it was 110) and tract at 11 am. It was no mistake. Sister Stacey and I both had the feeling we needed to do that, and then we both thought of the same street to contact... After tracting most of the houses, and not finding any success, Sister Stacey told me we should go back and talk with a man sitting out in his garage. We did and realized he could only speak Spanish (wish I knew more!!), and just as we were about to leave, another man came out to the garage and introduced himself as Freddy. He listened and then when we asked him if he wanted to learn more, he said, "Sure, why not?" Oh my gosh!!! I was shocked, because that hadn't happened before while tracting. He told us to come any weekday before noon, so we are going to do that hopefully on Thursday (there are meetings Tuesday and Wednesday). I'm so excited to see him again. Sister Stacey and I left with a stronger testimony of listening to the promptings of the Spirit.

I'm learning a lot more about being patient with myself, especially that I do need breaks at times. I'm doing all I can to be 100% obedient, and some days I do fail, and I am so glad for repentance. I can do more. The doctrine of Christ is real, and I know it is for everyone. I am glad that on this mission I am learning it more and being able to teach it, because with each new teaching, my knowledge of it grows. I'm learning that when we don't forgive, including ourselves, we have a burden and can't be a true disciple. Also, that people's agency is real, and some are not ready for the gospel at this time, but you need to still share your beliefs and testimony. I'm learning what conversion is...acting on the belief that you have and then turning to others and sharing that belief and doing all you can to help them. Love is the motive for this work, and I am so glad it is the Lord's work. I wouldn't be able to do it if I didn't know it was the Lord's work. But every fiber of my being testifies it is, and it is through the atonement of Christ that I can know and heal.

Like Hermana Burrup said, the Lord will give us miracles, like He did this week (we taught 5 other lessons, without a member present, met our goal, and exceeded our goal of new investiagtors, with Angela, Chris Carillo--9 year-old boy who is going to be baptized on September 8th, the Pintor family, who have been investigating for years, and then Freddy hopefully), but we got to get out there and work, work, work. I love you all. Hope Jason's sunburn went down, but I am so proud of him!! YES JASON, YOU ROCK, for getting out there and swimming at the Ostler's. How was it? I brag about you all the time and how you are doing Pathway in the fall (lots of youth here are doing it too, including a recently returned missionary, Will Hansen, who served in the Kennewick Mission Spanish speaking).

Thank you for the emails, I really love them. I love this mission and the Lord. I'm so thankful for Sister Stacey and all that she teaches me.

Sister Allison Mills

(And here are a few tidbits from a second letter to me)

...I like the analogy you gave about how we as the Lord's missionaries are the spiritual Olympians. That makes me have a greater desire to work harder. I'm definitely being humbled, realizing I have got a lot to learn, and also, learning patience with myself and investigators who have a hard time accepting a gospel truth or principle...

I know the Lord is there for me in those times of doubt. I feel that this battle of doubt is far from over, but I feel everyone's prayers, and I feel the Spirit so strong. He is blessing my investigator's lives, He is blessing mine. I am so glad He is blessing yours, Dad's, and Jason's.

...Thank you for your support every week. We are being truly blessed out here. We have been visiting Rosemary and helping her sort out her stuff (she has a lot of stuff)! Sister Stacey and I both feel that she just needs to talk, and that giving her the lessons isn't the right thing right now, but I'll keep praying and maybe we can teach her. At least she feels peace when she is with us. I don't know for sure if she is from Italy, but she grew up in Europe somewhere. I'll have to ask her for sure where.

Thank you for the scripture, I'll keep doing the work that needs to be done. Faith will increase as I study and pray. I did get Braden's picture, and Casey's looks great as well. I'm proud of both of them.

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