Monday, February 25, 2013


Dear Family,
Okay, whew, this week went slow and fast at the same time. We have been doing a lot more tracting, and there haven't been as many lessons, but there were miracles everyday. So for this letter I'm going to share a miracle per day, starting from Tuesday of last week:
Tuesday, February 19, 2013: It was getting near the end of the day, and no one we had planned for was home, and we were getting really tired. We had a wonderful dinner and got a semi-referral, and were looking at which less actives to go visit. Well, Lindsey Shepherd came into my mind, and after mentioning it to Sister Laalaai, we decided to check on her. This time, she was home, and we were able to have a nice visit with her and her husband, Bryan. Though no prayers were said and no spiritual message given, there was trust built, and memories talked about. Lindsey is wonderful. I can tell she doesn't want to talk about Woodcrest or what happened there, so we just talked about the future plans they had and what life was like for them. She told us that we could come back. That was our miracle. I don't know if Lindsey would have let other missionaries in, but I think because she knew me and we just talked about random stuff, hearts were softened. So grateful to end a long day a great way.

(Snow makes me happy!)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013: It snowed!! We got to enjoy it for a little bit up in our mountainous Devore, but by the afternoon it melted :( The Lord just knew we needed to be out and warm that day. Ha ha. Today we read 2 Nephi 26 with Teresa Curtiss Gonzalez, and this time she was super excited to read with us. She can only read basic 2-3 letter words, but she does a great job enunciating those words she can read. It was a special experience. Then after we said our goodbyes, we had a wonderful conversation with her dad, Harry. He doesn't talk much, but we found that by talking with him about something he loved--cars and mechanics--we didn't have to do any talking. It was so great being of service and getting to know the members of our ward even more.

(Transfer Goals)

Thursday, February 21, 2013: We had a lesson with Marcus (more details down in President's letter) and I learned a few things. I learned from him that God doesn't want us to be comfortable. When we are comfortable we aren't growing or progressing, which totally goes against his plan of happiness. Therefore, we have to feel uncomfortable most of the time. However, it is when we overcome those times that we are stronger and happier than ever before. I am grateful for the struggles I am having because it is teaching me to rely more on the Lord and to grow. Then later that night we had a wonderful lesson with Sister Christy Andrews, and she committed to learn more about tithing and to think about paying it and how it would work with her finances.

(Graffiti Art in the neighborhood)

Friday, February 22, 2013: On Monday we had received a referral from headquarters from a Deborah Collins who looked at and wanted missionaries to come by. We had been trying her all week, but finally at 6 pm tonight we got her! She talked with us through her door, so we actually haven't met with her yet, but we set an appt. for Tuesday! What is amazing about this referral is that we tracted that street she lives on earlier last week. We left a card in her door since no one answered, and look what came of it! That never happens! AND then that night we got some incredible news....effective July 1st, the California San Bernardino Mission will no longer be...instead there will be the California Redlands Mission and the California Rancho Cucamonga Mission. So depending where I am serving July 1st, I could be in either mission. The Desert, Upland, Chino, Rancho, and Ontario are part of the Rancho Cucamonga Mission, and San Bernardino, Redlands, Yucaipa, Fontana, Big Bear, Mountains, and I think one other area are all part of the Redlands Mission. It is so crazy!! I won't be going home with some friends I met out here anymore potentially. However, I felt the Spirit so strong confirming to me this is the Lord's will and all will work out for each missionary's good. It is so wonderful to be part of history!

(How about something sweet to celebrate?)

Saturday, February 23, 2013: We had another lesson with Hector, and Brother Villarruel was there with us. We talked about the Book of Mormon some more. Hector read 1 Nephi 1-10! We then read chapters 11-12 with him to answer some of the questions he had about the tree of life (1 Nephi 8). It was so wonderful and Spirit-led. He excitedly asked us to come back the next week to read with him. It is so funny how the one person we thought who was going to drop us actually wants us to come back each week. He is determined to read the whole Book of Mormon, and he told us if he ever gets a nudge, he'll let us know it. I firmly believe that Brother Villarruel was the key. They have really hit it off, and Hector just seems so much more open.
Sunday, February 24, 2013: Had dinner with a new couple in the ward, and had a fun time eating and playing the "Game of Sacrifice" with them and their two roommates, a couple who live together (not Mormon). Ashley (the girlfriend) definitely felt something while Brother Sterrett read from D&C 122, and she and her boyfriend said if they had questions or wanted to learn more they would let us know. Don't know if they will ever convert, but the seed planting is a start. Feeling the Spirit is a wonderful start.
So overall, though we did a lot of tracting, had a lot of "No's," and couldn't seem to get a hold of our investigators with baptismal dates, we were blessed every day in so many ways. It was a fabulous week!

(Working into the evening)

Letter to the President:
Dear President,

It was a better ending to the week than beginning. We finally met with Marcus Stocklin, and though we had a lesson plan all figured out, the Spirit totally led us in a different direction. I understand better what it means to teach people, not lessons after that lesson. We just started talking with Marcus and as we caught up, answered questions and talked about his son, Caden, we knew that this lesson was just going to be a sharing of testimony. Marcus has a beautiful testimony. He taught us that the Lord doesn't want us ever to be comfortable, and that it is through faith in him that we can hope for a better day. We talked a lot more about faith and the importance of the gospel. What is so cool is that Marcus said that the Bible has so many interpretations, and that is why there are so many different churches. He knows the church is true. Work is getting in the way of him being baptized right now, and he still likes to attend his own church, but I know someday he will be baptized. He longs for his family to all be united in a church. We just need to build a relationship with the Mom so that her kids can see the good that can come from learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I really enjoyed that lesson and was humbled by how much I learned from someone not of our faith. Marcus is a special soul.

Another miracle we experienced started that night in our lesson with Christy Andrews, a less active woman we are helping to reactivate. We taught about tithing and its importance. She understands the what and how, but not the why. She committed to talk with her brother more about tithing and how it would fit with her finances, which is something she would not have done even 4 weeks ago. And, she said that she is willing to try it eventually! Her brother who is in the stake presidency would be so happy! Then, she even surprised us more when on Sunday she stayed for all 3 hours. Usually she leaves after gospel principles, but lately she has felt she is missing something Sunday and goes home hungry. Well, she stayed and loved all 3 hours! It was such a miracle. Though we had no investigators at church, her being there made the day so wonderful. My joy is full as this one soul is being brought back to Christ. I know one day she will recieve her endowments and progress. She is starting to see it too.

It was also a joy to see one of our investigators loving reading the Book of Mormon, and that he actually requested us to come back and read with him weekly. He told us if he ever gets a nudging to do more than read, like go to church, he will let us know. I pray he will :)

I'm doing much better President. Every night I am praying for investigators, our WML, the work, my family, and it is making a difference. The less I focus on me, the better my days go. And Sister Ball is so wonderful. She called me last week just to see how I was. What an answer to prayer, one that I didn't even know I was asking. Just to know someone cares is enough. Heavenly Father does look out for us, but it is usually through other people. I pray I can be a better vessel.

Sister Allison Mills

Monday, February 18, 2013

Some Disappointments

Dearest Mom,
I am so glad Enok is home and happy :) He was so tiny, but so beautiful! Oh wow. I just love that little guy. I'm so jealous you get to hold him... Can't believe Mandy and Emily are pregnant! Amazing. That's wonderful about Lacey and James, they will be incredible.
Our investigators are sadly not doing too well. We haven't been able to get hold of Juanita, though we dropped notes off and called. We worry she is avoiding us or we said something wrong. Desirae also had a tragedy. On February 11th, her baby Isaiah died--SIDS. She told us she didn't want to see us again. Then a few days later she called and asked for our help with a car wash to help raise money for the funeral. I admire how she has stayed so strong, considering. A lot of people came, and the Elders helped out a ton, so there were quite a lot of donations they got. Right now we are just grateful she wants us to still be a part of her life. Maybe down the road her heart will open again to the gospel, but at least she knows we are here and the ward is supportive.
It was a slower past couple weeks, and these tragedies put a damper on things, but there were still miracles. Two Sundays ago we got two new investigators, Marcus Jr, and his brother Jalen (Marcus Stocklin's biological sons). They went to Church and after learning about the priesthood, got super excited to recieve it. They have a baptismal date for March 16th, and the ward is really excited to fellowship them. We haven't been able to see them since last Sunday, but with a will, there is a way. Their dad isn't progressing right now; he got a new job and is going to be out of town for 16 weeks, so the ward is going to be their main sources of support. We hope we can have a lesson with them this week.
Yes, transfers are this week. 7 sisters are coming in and about 20+ elders. The influx is starting! Sister Lalaai and I are still staying in Hallmark ward, and I'm still junior companion. 
Please be safe in Mesa, and have a lot of fun. Mom, you are incredible. I think about how I want to grow up and be like you.
Can't wait to hear how the Whitney's go! Yay!! And Academy of the Ancients sounds so cool :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Love You!

Dear Family,
This letter is going to be short because I need to let Sister Laalaai on soon. Speaking of her, here are some of the funny things and interesting facts about my companion:
  • She loves sewing and back at home sews wedding dresses and many other clothing items
  • Her family lives in Samoa, Australia, and New Zealand
  • She is the 7th of 10 children (8 girls and 2 boys)
  • If someone is rude to anyone she loves, watch out, she defends her own
  • One of her favorite ways to relax is to watch the moon and stars at night (a favorite pastime with her mom back at home). So glad we have a good view of the stars here in Devore. Sadly, some cloudy days happened this week. But today is nice and clear!
  • She does amazing tribal art
  • Like me, she says sorry for everything, even when we have made a mistake to an inanimate object. It's been really funny to see a quirk you have in someone else :)
  • She converted to the gospel when she was 13! Her conversion story is so cool! She was taught by the missionaries for a week straight, accepted everything really quickly (thanks to good member friends) and was baptized that weekend! Due to the changes her parents saw in her after 2 and 4 years, her mom and dad converted too! Other than her parents, and 3 younger sisters, no one else in her family is LDS.
I'll write more about her next letter too--I'm still learning about her, and our relationship is building. 

We had some great success this week, even with the flu bug that visited Sister Laalaai. She is feeling much better after a day and a half of sleep. 

One of our successes was on Friday. We had no planned lessons, but by listening to the promptings of the Spirit, we were led to a street where we taught one boy the message of the restoration. He didn't want to be taught anymore, but we gave him a Book of Mormon, and we honestly believe one day he will call the missionaries. Later that same day, we went to visit Juanita, an investigator we haven't been able to see this whole transfer. She was home and welcomed us in, and she and her son listened to the lesson on the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Spirit was so strong, and she made a strong commitment to come to church with her son. And on Sunday she and her son, David, came! They were unfamiliar with a lot of the service, and I didn't explain the sacrament as well as I could have, but amidst my weakness of trying to be perfect on my own, the Spirit still touched Juanita. She told us she felt good afterward, and that next week she wants to come again and stay for all 3 hours! David didn't seem as excited, but I think once he goes to Mutual he will feel differently. He was such a good listener though, and he really liked the picture of Samuel the Lamanite on the wall. I told him the chapters to read to go along with the picture, and he started peeking through right then. I felt bad I did that during Sacrament Meeting, especially during the testimonies. Sometimes I get so excited I don't think about when would be the best time to do things. That's why we are here though, to learn and become better.
We hope to see more of our investigators, and like you said, Dad, those that we did drop will be picked up by future missionaries. I also like what you said, Mom, about how when we drop them, Satan does too, so that when they are feeling stronger the missionaries can come back and invite them again to make covenants. And, I really liked that quote at the end by Kathy. 

The week was longer, and slower, but the experience Friday night for example, made the week really great. And, we had a wonderful zone conference! the best part of that day was when President told me in our interview that I was glowing, and that he has never seen me so happy. It made me realize that I can glow and be my best self. It's in the smile, as you say, Dad. I still have a lot to improve on, and I am trying to see that as a postive thing. Can you pray for me that I will be okay with making mistakes and learning from them? You're in my prayers as well :)