Monday, December 4, 2017

Assume Good Intent

Hi!


There is not much new here. We found a couple of interesting people this week that hopefully will continue wanting to learn. We have been helping the Bishop in our ward a lot lately by visiting less active members and families that need service and love.

It has been great visiting people that are touched by the things others do for them. I really am grateful for people who are polite. Not just polite to their neighbors and friends, but polite to everyone. Even to the two young missionaries that knock on their door once a month. Most people don't take the time to understand others situations. We all need to assume Good Intent. That goes for everyone and every situation. We need to assume that others at least believe that they have a good reason for the things that they do. If it is something we don't agree with or feel is right then that is fine, however we should first learn their perspective and outlook on it before accusing them of trying to do harm or annoyance. Those are my thoughts on people skills.

Sincerely,
Elder Allen

Sam deep in thought

Sam with Elder Joshua Scott from Draper. 
(Friends from Middle School.  Elder Scott went to Corner Canyon) 

 Christmas decorations from mom

with Elder Peters outside the church. 




Monday, November 27, 2017

"Freely Ye Have Received, Freely Give."


Hello,

Things here are going well. We have been working with the members a lot lately and getting referrals. One thing I love about this area are the members. They take care of us here.

We went on an exchange with the District Leader this past week and I had the chance to go work in the Spanish Elder's area. It was really cool and reminded me of Madagascar because of the culture based life style and different language. A Spanish family fed us a traditional Mexican dish just because they wanted to. It was very polite of them.

Something we have been sharing with everyone lately is the #lighttheworld video on Mormon.org. I have been thinking and teaching a lot about service lately. It truly is the greatest thing and can change people's lives. "Freely ye have received, freely give." Matthew 10:8

Good quote I heard from this past week was, "Our happiness might not be so dependent on how many of our prayers were answered, but more of how many prayers that we answered."

Sincerely,
Elder Allen












Monday, November 20, 2017

A Better Week

Hello,

The work here has been getting better over time. We have been getting a lot of referrals from people and teaching those who are actually interested and give us the time to begin and end with a prayer.

We had an Investigator come to church this Sunday. She is the mother of members that are actually becoming Mission Presidents in Russia. So we have been teaching their grandmother and she is actually a pretty awesome lady. They told us that she has been reading the Book of Mormon that we gave her at night in her room.

Another person we are now teaching is a younger girl that met the missionaries when she wanted a place to pray one day, so she went to a church near by here and started praying on the grass outside the building. That is when two missionaries walked out and talked to her. She lives in our area so we stopped by and we teach her now.

Something cool that happened this week is that we were eating at a families home one night and the husband was talking to us about what he did for work. It so happened that he made films, as he put it. He has worked on a lot of good movies that I love like Watchmen and even worked on some classics like WaterWorld. I had so many questions for him about what it is like working in the film Industry, because that is what I want to go into in the future. I love finding people that have a background in the movie business.

Good Quote about not judging others: "Don't judge me because I sin differently than you." We all have weaknesses and hard commandments to follow so we should not judge someone else that sins differently than us. Worry about yourself. "You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Sincerely,
Elder Allen


Zone Conference




Monday, November 13, 2017

"Hard is Good"

Hello,

This was an interesting week. I am taking lead in a new area for me and also training a new missionary. My companions name is Elder Peters. He is from Layton, Utah and is waiting for his visa to India. We are both in a weird situation at the moment, but we are just trying to do our best and build a good program for the area we are in.

Last Sunday, was a little crazy because we both gave a talk in first hour, then taught the Gospel Principles class in second hour, and then I was asked to sub for the lesson in Elders Quorum. We had to do something for each hour at church. It all went well though. My talk was about how my mission has strengthened my faith. At the end of it, I bore my testimony in Malagasy.  It almost felt like I was giving my homecoming talk. I hope my Malagasy does not get worse before I have the chance to bare my testimony in Malagasy for the real last time.

My mission feels a little hard at the moment. Whenever I have hard times or selfish thoughts I am reminded of things I have read or heard before. Today it is a talk from the latest General Conference entitled "Hard is Good". Hard things happen in our lives to strengthen us and make us better. We do not want to have hard times because they suck. But when they are over you are grateful for it and you are better for it. Our Heavenly Father loves us enough to cut us down, or "prune us when we are flourishing", so that we can grow stronger. I know that i will become a better person from the hard things I experience.  Thanks for your prayers.

Sincerely,
Elder Allen




parking lot transfers.

Monday, November 6, 2017

I will be Staying to Lead and Train

Hello,

This is the end of transfers for us here in California. I have been trying really hard to learn how to do things here in this mission and to learn the area. I just got transfer news that my two companions will be leaving the area but I will be staying to lead and train a new missionary here. It feels a little soon to me but I am hoping that it turns out good. I am also the designated driver now so that will be cool. Hopefully I don't crash and kill my new baby boy. My new companion is a "visa waiter" so I will train him until he is able to go.

Halloween was pretty fun. We ate pizza and watched Meet the Mormons at one of the Churches with all the missionaries.

Something I found pretty funny last week was when we visited a former investigator named Rose. When we got there her husband answered the door and told us that Rose was at the market. As we were leaving the house and walking down the street my companion noticed that she had driven passed us. We decided to turn around and go see her since she was just getting home. As soon as we turned, around her car swerved out of its main course up towards her driveway in order to keep driving straight. We went and sat in our car until she returned from the loop she made around the neighborhood just to avoid us. The things people will do to not talk about religion.

Here is a cool story that my sweet mom sent to me this week that I really liked.  It was in a talk given by Pres. Packer called The Candle of the Lord:

What Does Salt Taste Like?
I will tell you of an experience I had before I was a General Authority which affected me profoundly. I sat on a plane next to a professed atheist who pressed his disbelief in God so urgently that I bore my testimony to him. “You are wrong,” I said, “there is a God. I know He lives!”
He protested, “You don’t know. Nobody knows that! You can’t know it!” When I would not yield, the atheist, who was an attorney, asked perhaps the ultimate question on the subject of testimony. “All right,” he said in a sneering, condescending way, “you say you know. Tell me how you know.”
When I attempted to answer, even though I held advanced academic degrees, I was helpless to communicate.
Sometimes in your youth, you young missionaries are embarrassed when the cynic, the skeptic, treat you with contempt because you do not have ready answers for everything. Before such ridicule, some turn away in shame. (Remember the iron rod, the spacious building, and the mocking? See 1 Ne. 8:28.)
When I used the words Spirit and witness, the atheist responded, “I don’t know what you are talking about.” The words prayer, discernment, and faith, were equally meaningless to him. “You see,” he said, “you don’t really know. If you did, you would be able to tell me how you know.”
I felt, perhaps, that I had borne my testimony to him unwisely and was at a loss as to what to do. Then came the experience! Something came into my mind. And I mention here a statement of the Prophet Joseph Smith: “A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas … and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977, p. 151.)
Such an idea came into my mind and I said to the atheist, “Let me ask if you know what salt tastes like.”
“Of course I do,” was his reply.
“When did you taste salt last?”
“I just had dinner on the plane.”
“You just think you know what salt tastes like,” I said.
He insisted, “I know what salt tastes like as well as I know anything.”
“If I gave you a cup of salt and a cup of sugar and let you taste them both, could you tell the salt from the sugar?”
“Now you are getting juvenile,” was his reply. “Of course I could tell the difference. I know what salt tastes like. It is an everyday experience—I know it as well as I know anything.”
“Then,” I said, “assuming that I have never tasted salt, explain to me just what it tastes like.”
After some thought, he ventured, “Well-I-uh, it is not sweet and it is not sour.”
“You’ve told me what it isn’t, not what it is.”
After several attempts, of course, he could not do it. He could not convey, in words alone, so ordinary an experience as tasting salt. I bore testimony to him once again and said, “I know there is a God. You ridiculed that testimony and said that if I did know, I would be able to tell you exactly how I know. My friend, spiritually speaking, I have tasted salt. I am no more able to convey to you in words how this knowledge has come than you are to tell me what salt tastes like. But I say to you again, there is a God! He does live! And just because you don’t know, don’t try to tell me that I don’t know, for I do!”
As we parted, I heard him mutter, “I don’t need your religion for a crutch! I don’t need it.”
From that experience forward, I have never been embarrassed or ashamed that I could not explain in words alone everything I know spiritually. The Apostle Paul said it this way:
“We speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor. 2:13–14.)

I have been asked to give a talk in Church next week about Madagascar. No topic, they just want to hear about Madagascar. I will  try and talk about the spiritual stuff that happened. I will probably bare my testimony in Malagasy at the end.  That will be cool.

Love,
Elder Allen







"The typical Californian Rabbit"





Thursday, November 2, 2017

A Thank You from President Foote

November 2, 2017

Dear Parents,

We have witnessed many miracles in the past few weeks during the transfer of our missionaries to their new assignments.  We have to admit our heartstrings were being stretched as we bid farewell to these tremendous missionaries.  They will certainly be a blessing where ever they go.

We were directed to have the missionaries out of Madagascar in just four short days. This made it difficult for them as they were asked to follow specific instructions, such as not calling investigators or members to tell them they were leaving. We are grateful for their obedience and it helped to ensure their safe transfer.  We felt of your support and prayers as we moved forward with the departures.

We look forward to the day we will be back in Madagascar.  Please keep the wonderful people of Madagascar in your prayers as well as these devoted missionaries.  This will be an adjustment for them as they work to build and grow the gospel in other parts of the vineyard.

Thank you for sharing your sons and daughters with us. They have changed our lives.

May God bless your family and this marvelous missionary effort.

President Raymon D. Foote         Sister Foote

Madagascar Antananarivo Mission

Monday, October 30, 2017

Getting the Swing of Things but Still Hope to Go Back

Leaving Madagascar because of the Plague:
Warning sign about symptoms of the Plague

Goodbye lunch with Mada Missionaries.  



Saying goodbye to Elder Blatter. (MTC group)

Saying goodbye to Elder McCormick - good friend from MTC group

Elder Wilson at the mission home

Saying Goodbye to Elder Wilson, a very dear friend and companion



Last Day in Mada in the mission home

Plane in Mada

Getting on the plane in Mada

sitting alone in the Paris airport

Hello,

The mission here in California is very different but I am slowly getting in the swing of things. I still have a hope to get sent back to Madagascar though. I write my old mission President often and that is the goal as soon as it is possible.

The work here goes a lot different . Knocking doors is a whole new experience. American Culture is a little rude when it comes to visitors. People in Madagascar are a lot friendlier and enjoy talking to visitors.

Also, a lot of people do not understand what "No Soliciting" really means. We walked up to an open garage the other day and as soon as the man saw us he just says, "Oh don't bother me with that crap!" and then he walked inside. Another time we met a guy who did not believe in a God at all so I gave him a pamphlet and then encouraged him to try praying to God. He then asked me if I would try praying to Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. I just told him that I would try if he would try praying
to God. He refused and then called me stupid... i am just trying to have fun with it.

1 Samuel 16:7 King James Version (KJV)
7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

Some cool things about working in California are the members. We are fed almost every night. Also a lot of people in the ward have cool jobs. My Bishop is one of the four original animators that works for Disney. He still does the old style drawing animation for them when it is used. He worked on Aladdin and Hercules. One of his kids as a baby was what he based baby Hercules off of. Another guy is an artist for shows like King of the Hill and Futurama. It was fun chatting with them about those things. I am still meeting the ward and hope to find more people with cool jobs and stories like that.

Sincerely,
Elder Allen




New Apartment and companions in California - Elder House and Bergeron

New apartment in California

dinner the first night in California with some members in the ward.  (This just so happened to be a friend of our cousin Taylor, so she sent Jenn this picture that night. One Jenn considers a TENDER MERCY!)


Trying on new clothes in California ???

Trunk of Treat with members - he looks very handsome in his new clothes