August 27, 2012

Ok I'm writing this email BEFORE I read all your emails because we have an hour total to do emails and I'm going to print all your emails and respond to your specific questions next time! There is so much to write!!!

First things first, my address here in Indiana is 

Sister Rebecca Allen
610 W Poplar Street #6
Zionsville, IN 46077
(Make sure you put my first name!)

I'm serving in Zionsville which is like 20 minutes away from Indianapolis! This is a cute community, and very rich actually. My companion, Sis. Carter, says it's a lot different than the rest of Indiana because most the people here have super nice homes. So if you've sent stuff to the mission home I might not get it for awhile cuz they have to forward it here.
We are staying in a tiny apartment with a kitchen, main area, bedroom, and bathroom, and...a walk-in closet!!! Everything else is really small haha. We haven't had a lot of member meals yet, but I think we'll have more this week. The other night Sis. Carter had animal crackers and cheese for dinner! Don't worry, we have food... :)

DAD - If you can find any other family history stories that'd be cool. And what is your new address in Virginia??? Are you all moved??? You probably told me all of that in your emails, and I'll read those in a second...but tell me everything!!!

MOM - THANK YOU for the Great Harvest stuff! Ah it saved us! I saved the bread til I got to Indiana, and that's seriously been like half of our meals. Sis. Carter loves the jam, and she really wants to find a Great Harvest out here so we can buy more haha. Oh another thing, I just have to say how grateful I am for your Sunday dinners because Sundays in the MTC were definitely the worst days to eat. They fed us really well there, but didn't have much going on on Sunday, so I am sooo grateful for family dinners! Remember that kids, enjoy mom's Sunday meals while you can!!

Could you send my winter stuff whenever you have time? I don't know when it's gonna get cold, but I'll be here for the next 3 months so it would be nice to have that stuff before it's too late. Also, packed away somewhere is a big red binder with game activity ideas. I got that at BYU. I know it's big and bulky, and it's ok if you can't find it, but we were trying to think of some activity ideas the other day and I couldn't think of anything cuz my brain is in that binder!

Btw, next week it's labor day so the library won't be open, so we won't do emails until Tuesday next week.

SARAH - That package was a complete surprise cuz I got it the night before we left for the airport! Seriously, seeing my teddy bear almost made me cry haha. And we had an orange roll party in my room that night. So good. Ah, thank youuuuu.

RACHEL - I'd love any recipe ideas you have! Also, if you do any sweet artwork, send me pics I wanna see! And when you and Andy move to Idaho this winter, look for the missionaries from my district in the MTC (Sis. Gardner, Elders Palfreyman, Yellowhair, Fischetti, Nielson, Moore, and Bebee). They're serving in Pocatello! Oh ya, how is Katie Palmer doing, have you heard from her? I keep thinking about her and how Haiti was! Tell her to write me!

JORDAN - I keep thinking about you going on a mission! I'm so excited to serve with you!!! Aren't you starting at BYU this week?? Tell me all about it, and tell me when you start your mission papers! You are going to be amazing.

CALEB, JOSH, LIZA, AND BRINA - How do you like DC? Caleb--have you started school there yet? Josh--HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Liza--HAPPY BIRTHDAY two days ago!! I got your letter and I will write you back! And don't worry Josh and Liza, you will get more than just an email birthday wish from me :) Sabrina--I saw you wrote me an email and I will write you!!! I just might not have time today!

I learned so much at the MTC and it's crazy how fast it went by. I had an awesome district, they were all super funny, sometimes too funny, but now they're all in Idaho! Sis. Memmott, Tagg, and I left for Indiana at 4am on Tuesday morning. Driving away from Provo was weird, cuz it finally felt like I was leaving on my mission. Pres. and Sis. Collins met us at the Indianapolis airport, and they are wonderful!!!!! They are so in love. Oh they are so great. They have less than a year left as mission president, so we'll be getting a new one after about a year.

When I was at the MTC I talked to a sister in the bathroom who said, "You know who's class you should take at BYU? Sister Black's! She knows everything about Joseph Smith, and everything I remember about him I learned in her class!" I told her I worked for her and I would tell her. So could someone tell Sister Black that she is helping missionaries testify of Joseph Smith?? :)

Ah I wish I could write everything I've written in my journal! But I have to download pictures and print all your emails! Some cool things about Indiana--lots of corn fields, trailer homes, everyone has a stone goose in their yard (don't ask), everyone has dogs and cats, people are either super friendly and want to talk for hours or they're not interested at all. I basically feel like a child here following my companion around everywhere and copying everything she does. I have no idea how to be a missionary. There are certain social skills they can't really teach you at the MTC. I am trying to learn how to talk to people normally as well as bring up the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and guide the conversation. This is hard!! I am trying to be patient, because it's hard to not really know what's going on logistics-wise, but I know over time I will be able to put names to faces and I will meet some amazing people. I already have. We have talked to a couple people who are very open to learning about the Book of Mormon, and they have said we came into their lives at just the right time. This is just the beginning, and there is lots to learn.

One funny story--Sis. Carter and I volunteered to help out at the library, and as we were leaving there was an automatic door. We thought it was just supposed to open, so we just stood there and waved our hands around. Someone came in from the opposite side and pulled open the door handle. That's when we realized it was only automatic if we pushed the button. So we felt dumb haha.

Last night we sat and talked with a woman and her son who live in a trailer home, and we talked for awhile with them about different churches they've gone to. They're pretty chill, and super happy to talk with us and feed us s'mores :) Some people don't really want a formal lesson, they just want someone to listen to them. A lot of people just need someone to listen. That is so true out here.

Ok well this is NOTHING of what has happened, but I'm going to upload some pictures and write you each individually hopefully soon! I wish we had more time!


Sister Allen

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