Monday, Dec. 2, 2013

(Can you believe it? Already December???)

Dearest Family and Friends who I am so grateful for,

I would like to dedicate this email to what I am THANKFUL for in honor of Thanksgiving:
1. My family. I've been thinking a lot about how the gospel of Jesus Christ has impacted every single big decision my family has made, and I am extremely grateful for that. I am where I am today because of the parents I have, and I love them. AND I'm obsessed with all my brothers and sisters, because they are so awesome. 
2. Missionary work! Nuff said.
3. The holidays. We went to the institute for a potluck with a bunch of students and had a blast. We played around the world ping pong which I was pretty horrible at, but luckily I have a companion who made it to the final 2 every time, so she represents us well! 
4. Music and harmonies. On Thanksgiving we spent hours singing and harmonizing around the piano with incredibly gifted students studying opera at IU. That is something I could do all day long. I love singing!!! I love that we can honor God by singing praises to Him, and I am excited for the day when we welcome Christ at His Second Coming by singing with the choirs of angels!! 
5. Asian people >_< We are currently teaching 7 people from China, 4 of which have baptismal dates. It has been incredible to watch students from China have a real desire to learn about God, and to see them start to recognize the Holy Ghost and understand how Christ can help them. It's crazy! I absolutely love it.
6. My companion, Sis. McKendrick. She is so much fun, so laid back, and just happy to be here! She is such a tender mercy to me. We focus on the little miracles every day. She is never offended or too hard on herself, and she is just fun to be with!
7. Bloomington! I will probably stay here at IU til the end of my mission...yay!! That's 7 1/2 months in one area...Only my 3rd area...crazy. I have absolutely loved my mission, and I love serving around people my own age. They are incredible, and I will be in touch with them for the rest of my life. My mission has and will continue to change my life forever. 
8. Trials. A big theme that people have been talking about lately is how we are humbled so that our faith can be increased. God gives us trials so that we remember that He is in charge, and we are humbled so we will turn to Him, and when we turn to Him that is when our faith is increased. I know that God gives us trials for a reason, and we usually don't understand the reason until we look back and realize why, but the mission has really helped me be able to endure trials better because I know they don't last forever and God always gives us the strength we need to get through anything. He is so good and so wise. He gently pushes us in the right direction, and He patiently waits for us to learn the lessons we need to learn. He is so loving, and I love Him so much.
9. Laughing. It's one of my favorite things. I'm not very I need people who make me laugh, because I'm pretty good at laughing.
10. Prayer. It's the best thing in the world. God knows everything, and we get to talk to Him. I love recognizing answers to prayers, it blows my mind every time.

Well I love you all. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Stay warm!!

Love, Sister Allen

1. Potluck at the institute!
2. Me and my new companion Sis. McKendrick :) She is wonderful.

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