Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December 16 Letter

I thought I would start this on a happy note! This is a Christmas card that I found at Wal Mart today that I thought was hilarious... but I didn't really know who to send it to. So I found a picture of it online and just sent it to all of you!

Haha, anyways, this week is quite the downer in comparison to last week... Haha Stephen is confirmed and doing well, though, so that's great! But aside from that, we really don't have a ton of work going on. Everyone here is students. So we couldn't meet last week because of finals. We couldn't meet the week before that because people were studying for finals. And now we can't meet the next three weeks because people are home for Christmas! Yayyy!!

So, the logical alternative? Tracting in a 12 degree windy snowstorm!! YES!!! You know, you would think people would be compassionate on us during such weather... Actaully, they were!!! We would knock, they'd come to the door, look stunned, and say, "What the heck are you guys doing out in weather like this!?" "Well, we're missionaries! What better time to share a message about Jesus Christ than right around Christmas, right?" "Well, I sure admire your dedication to be outside right now..." And only then would they shut the door :) Isn't that sweet of them?? Haha I have found that people are much more willing to have a casual conversation outside their door when simply opening the door doesn't instantaneously drop the temperature of the far corner of the house 50 degrees... 

I've decided there was a reason Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Yeah, there's all the City of David prophecies and the whole Israel-is-the-promised-land stuff. But even more than that, it is warm there! If Christ had had only a three year ministry in Buffalo, there wouldn't have been a lady laying in the road with an issue of blood, the Pool at Bethsaida would have been frozen over, everyone could have been walking on the water since it was solid, and he would have to amputate his frozen toes because of His sandals! Good thing Bethlehem/Nazareth/Judea/All over that way was warm!!

However, we did meet some kind of promising people when we weren't tracting. One day it started snowing at night, and probably had snowed 7 or 8 inches by morning. So, at 7 in the morning, we just went down the street perpendicular to our apartment (phew! good thing I still remember my good mathy terms!) and shoveled all the sidewalks and driveways there. We didn't really meet anyone too promising doing that, but there is a lady we have met with a few times on that street, and her boyfriend came out while we were halfway done with his driveway. He finished it up with us and we were able to have a pretty good conversation about the logistics of missionary work which I think opened him up to our coming over a lot.

The night before, we just went on a walk since it was 8:15 and we had nothing to do and tracting at 8:15 infuriates people. While we were walking, we ran into a 70-something-year-old lady out shoveling the sidewalk. We hurried over and helped her out. Really, I shoveled while Elder Christensen talked with her. In the end, we were able to set up an appointment to come watch Mr. Kruger's Christmas with her! Haha not exactly ground breaking progress, but it's something!

Hahaha oh, and I've become a wedding planner! Guo Jian is getting married on the 28th, and last week decided he should start getting things together for it. Well... apparently the missionaries are his go-to sources for help! Luckily Elder Christensen knows something about weddings. Pretty much I knew that he needed cake and should talk to the Relief Society for more help. Haha but yeah, that was two of our nights. Planning weddings haha. He asked me to be the announcer for the wedding... whatever that means. It makes me sound important, though, so I'm down.

Man... I am trying to think if we did anything more productive than freeze and plan a wedding... but not much is coming to mind! 

I guess last night was kind of cool. We just got a new warm mission leader, and so he asked me (since I'm district leader) to come over to his house and sort through some papers and ideas that he has. Well, we're getting some sweet stuff rolling! Probably the most exciting in my mind is his vision for what ward missionaries will do. Lately, their job has pretty much been to be our go-to source for members to come to lessons with us. Wellll, not anymore! Now he wants them to be going to lessons without us! He says especially with less active members and investigators who have been investigating for a long time, there is no reason we need a full time missionary there every time. So he's going to start assigning them someone to visit every couple weeks. I'm excited to see how that plays out!

It's cool to see Stephen at church. Already he's one of the most involved participants in Elders Quorum, which really doesn't surprise me since from day one he's had almost all the same beliefs as us. I'm really hoping that over Christmas break that we can start teaching his sons so he can baptize them in the next few weeks. That would be way cool!

Wellll I am sorry that this is such a lame email. But that's about all I got for you!

I love you, but I don't miss you!!
Elder Allen

P.S..... Sorry Mom... all the rest are still wrapped, I promise... but I got excited

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