Friday, August 26, 2016

The Character of Christ


Nothings new has happened this week. I'm getting close to leaving to Madagascar though. I am getting really excited. I am not as far with the language as i would like to be by the time i leave. Hopefully i learn a crazy amount in the next two weeks.

Here i teach two role play lessons a day in Malagasy. I am not allowed to use notes anymore so i have been teaching them with the knowledge i have so far. I probably sound like a four year old teaching the Gospel. But that is okay because i know it is not me or my words that touch the hearts of the people in Madagascar, it is the Spirit. I hope i can be able to help the people there any way i can.

I watched a talk given by Elder Bednar called, The Character of Christ.
In this talk he tells a story about a mother. One night Elder Bednar received a phone call from a women that seemed distressed. She proceeds to tell him that there has been a very bad accident. Three young girls had been involved in a car accident, among those three girls was the daughter of the women on the phone.

She had called Elder Bednar to ask him if he would go to the Hospital to identify her daughter. Elder Bednar shortly realizes that this mother is talking to someone else along with him. She was holding two phones, one on each ear. On the other phone was a nurse at the Hospital treating the three girls. The mother finds out that one of the three girls is dead and the other two are very badly injured. After a couple of minutes of conversation the mother on the phone finds out that the identified girl who is deceased is that mother's daughter. When Elder Bednar heard the news he waited silently.

Some background on this women, she was a single mother with only one child and that child had just been taken from her. But without any hesitation this women says, Elder Bednar, we have to call those other mothers right now and let them know that their daughters are the ones that will be okay.

This is a representation of Christ like character. This mother who could have broken down and turned all the attention towards her in this time of heart break which would have been expected, instead looked outward and thought about the concerns of the other two mothers before herself.

Elder Bednar attended that girls funeral and when he talked to that mother the first thing she asks him is if he got enough sleep that night of the accident. Elder Bednar was amazed. Even at the funeral of her only child where she would have had all rights to the attention and every ones concern for her the only thing she thought in that moment was the well being of Elder Bednar and his rest. This sweet mother that has been through the hardest of times, trials, and heartbreak could very well think about herself and her own well being. But even in the hardest of times she only turned outward and cares for the concern and well being of others.

This is the true character of Christ. Christ was the only perfect being on this Earth. He lived a life commited to serving others. He took the sins of all man kind upon himself so that we may be saved in the last days. Even when man crucifies him he prays to God asking him to forgive us. We don't deserve the love from the Savior but he extends it out to us no matter the circumstance.  The love and charity of Christ might seem a little extreme for us to achieve, that is okay. He doesn't ask us to be perfect. He only asks that we try our best.

Elder Allen

I just want to go and be out there.

Hello Mom,

The MTC is going by so fast. I feel like I just got here, but I get my flight plans in a week. I am definetly not ready to talk to native Malagasy speakers, let alone my teacher even when he speaks slow. But I don't care. I just want to go and be out there.

I teach about 1-2, 20 min. lessons a day in Malagasy to fake investigators. I am not allowed to use my language notes so I just have to go in and piece sentences together. It is really hard and the investigators are hard on you. They think it is funny to make up the worst possible situations. It is not funny. It is really pushing me to get better though so I kind of like it.

When I teach, I can feel the spirit and what it wants me to say. But the spirit speaks to me in English so.... I have to teach really simple lessons with the vocabulary of a 4 year old. So asking effective questions and answering good questions the way I want to ends up not right and sometimes translated completely wrong. It is the most humbling part of the day.

For example, one day my companion and I were preparing a lesson for an investigator that we previously taught and had  asked her to read the Book of Mormon. We had the best lesson planned and had figured out all these different ways to teach it in Malagasy. We were going to ask her to commit to being baptized, that is how good we thought it was going to be. When we went in, we talked to her about her weekend and asked how her family was doing. After, we finished praying with her, we asked if she read the Book of Mormon at all and what she read. She said yes and I was stoked until she brought up Nephi killing Laban and how that is against the commandments so the book is bad and she doesn't like it. I knew what to do in this situation, and I could have answered her questions, but because of my lack of communication I could not share my thoughts.  I did not have the scriptures marked in my Malagasy version BOM so we were doomed. We fumbled with words desparetly trying to calm down this angry lady that just kept saying that the BOM was very bad. It was awful. If this lesson was filmed it would be considered the worst and funniest missionary lesson ever taught. There was a part where she put her hand on the BOM and just said, ny bokin i' Mormon ratsy be! (the book of mormon very bad) I impulsively put my hand on the BOM after her and waited for the words to come for what to say, it got silent and when I answered her, all I said was, ny bokin i' Mormon tsara be (the book of mormon very good). It was so dumb. I started laughing right after I said that. While I was just repeating what she was saying but turning it to positive my companion was playing charades with her. He didn't know how to respond to her in Malagasy so he stood up and started acting out what he wanted to say. I just busted a gut laughing again. He was pretending to be her and praying in a high girly voice. It was so funny. Then she actually kind of understood what he was saying during charades. It calmed back down and she asked us one last simple question. It was, "Who said this book is true?" I don't know much malagasy but I did know how to say The Holy Ghost so I just answered meekly, "Fanahy Masina".   She didn't like that answer, she stood up and told us to leave. It ended very poorly. The worst teaching experience ever.

Since then I have been studying so much harder so that I can know the scriptures better and in Malagasy. I hope that never happens in the field.

I love you and miss you mom. Hope you like that story about the two worst missionaries ever.

Elder Allen

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Good, the Bad, and the MTC

The good, the bad, and the MTC

The MTC drowns you in the gospel. I have been reading the Book of Mormon and am trying to finish it before i leave to Madagascar. It is full of life changing lessons and teachings.

A word that has been on my mind a lot lately is "humility". It is the key to receiving answers and direction. Pride is like a Dam that cuts off all access to revelation and spiritual guidance.

I watched a video called "The Will of God" the other day, i'm sure a lot of you have seen it. Go watch it again. It is the best analogy about trusting in God and his plan for each of us.

God is our father in heaven, he loves us and knows us all personally. I believe he has placed us all in families, situations, and places that he knows will lead us back to him. Sometimes things happen that make life seem hard and unfair. God always wants to help us but he cannot with out our consent. Any one that thinks they can do it on their own is just too proud and stuck in their ways to grab the rope when they are down in a pit.

In the video "The Will of God" a gardener cuts the branches off of this massive current bush, when he is finished he notices the bush is crying. When he asks the bush what is wrong the bush replies, "How could you do this to me, i was making such wonderful growth and you cut me down. The Gardener replies, "listen little current bush i know what i want you to be, not a big shade tree but an abundant fruit bush. And one day you will realize that i loved you enough to cut you down, so that you may grow into something better than before." This relates to us and our Father in Heaven. All he asks of us is to trust him and his plan. When we are having hard times just know that they wont last, this is because of the Atonement. Christ sacrificed everything so that we maybe able to have a rope to grab when we are stuck in a pit.

I have been humbled many times in the MTC, Malagasy is a hard language to learn. Sometimes i find myself getting frustrated and thinking that i could do so much better as a missionary if i could speak English. Then i remember that video. The Lord knows what he wants me to be and if i endure to the end i will see the fruits of my labor. I will understand the principle that my Father in Heaven cuts me down so that i may grow into something even better.

Elder Allen

This is a link to that video for anyone interested, it is fairly short and a beautiful message for everyone:
God uses love-inspired correction to guide us to a future we do not or cannot now envision but which He knows is the better way for us.

(click on picture to watch video)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Relating Sam Wise Gammgi to our Savior Jesus Christ

Note from mom:
I loved this email from Sam today!!!!  I will never watch The Lord of the Rings the same way ever again!!

Also, if you picked up a picture of Sam at his farewell, THE EMAIL ON THE BACK IS WRONG.  His email is  (not .com)

I feel terrible if you have tried to email him with the wrong email address.  I chatted online with him today.  He says he loves getting emails but he especially loves the Dear Elders because he gets them in his mailbox and loves to read them at night.  He begged me to write as often as I have time for, he loves to hear what is going on at home and doesn't make him homesick.  So please send him some love while he is still in Provo.

If you want to send him a dear elder, it is a free way to send a letter to him on the same day.  Go to  You will need to send it to Elder Samuel Allen, because there are 2 Elder Allens going to Madagascar.  His mission code is mad-ant, his departure date is Sep 14, and his MTC unit # is 123.  They will print your letter, stick it in an envelope and put it in his box that same day!

He sounded so good today and so happy!  Thanks to all of you for the support!



This has been a humbling week for me. I am already starting to get anxious and just want to go to Madagascar.

I thought of an analogy for the MTC the other day. The MTC relates to flying internationally. It is long, uncomfortable, the food is not that good, you are sitting next to a stranger, and your sleep schedule is not normal. The only hope you have is that small light you can see right in front of you. On a plane that light is a small Monitor with all the latest new releases. At the MTC it is the light of Christ... shining in your eye keeping you awake when you want to sleep. This life style is hard to adjust to, we are encouraged to give our all to others. The character of Christ is something i want to reflect in my own character as his representative. Being full of love, charity, and humility at all times and for all people.

I was thinking about the Lord of the Rings the other day. Specifically the Return of the King towards the end of the movie. It is crazy how much you can relate Sam Wise Gammgi to our Savior Jesus Christ. Frodo represents us. He carries a burden, a sin, a weight around his neck. Sam promises Frodo that he will never leave him, all he wants to do is help. There is a time when Frodo tells Sam to leave, go home. Frodo tries to face his trials on his own but Golem (Satan) leads him to almost utter destruction. Right when Frodo is almost lost forever Sam Comes right when he needs him. Bringing a light with him. He fends off the darkness and saves Frodo even though he turned his back on him. If we turn our backs on the Lord we can become lost and our burdens can become heavier. But the Savior will never break his promise. He wont leave you, his desire and will is to save and point out the light when you are blind to it. There is a part when Frodo and Sam are in Mordor and laying on the black rock. Sam points out a star in the sky and says, "Frodo look, even in the darkest of times and places you can always find light." When the sky is filled with smoke, black clouds, and you think all light in the world is lost, just look to the lord and he will point out the light. Frodo then goes on to climb the mountain with the intent to get rid of his burdens, and weights. It is too much for him and he is about to give up. Right then Sam says, "I cant carry it for you, but i can carry you!" he carries Frodo to the entrance of the volcano. Then they go on to lift Frodos weight off of his shoulders and getting rid of it, bringing light and happiness to Middle Earth once again.

I want to be like Sam Wise Gammgi. I want to find people in Madagascar that carry their burdens and trials around their necks. I want to point out the light. I want to carry them to the Atonement of Christ so that they may have the weight lifted from them. I know this Gospel is true and through it we can come to understand what is really important. To us and to our Heavenly Father.

My thoughts from this week,
Elder Allen

Friday, August 5, 2016

First Letter

HI everyone,
Sam's first p-day was today.  So his p-days will be on Fridays while he is in the MTC for the next 6 weeks.  If you want to email him, send it before next Thursday night so he will get it next Friday.  His email address is  

His mailing address for the MTC is:
Elder Samuel Allen
2005 N. 900 E. #123
Provo, Ut 84602

Also, there is a great service that I am sure many of you know about called  You can actually type a letter and send it through "dear elder" for stamp required.  If you send the letter before noon, they will print it off and actually deliver it to his mailbox that same day.  That way he will get your letter immediately and not have to wait for the mail or p-day to see your email. 

Missionaries love emails but they especially love getting actual mail in there mail box and this is an easy free way to give him love and encouragement while in the MTC.  Thanks for loving and supporting him.

Jenn (the momma)

Hello (manahoana)

I am actually a missionary. I never thought this day would ever come. The first day in the MTC was a huge lifestyle change for me. I was really overwhelmed and felt like i did not know enough about how to teach the gospel. The best advice i did know is that the spirit would help me know what to say when the time comes.

The first day a huge group of about 50 Elders were put in a room and had the opportunity to talk with an investigator about the gospel. My new companion, Elder Strongberg, being a really willing missionary looked at me and said, "I will stand and speak to her if you do." I agreed but didn't actually plan on doing it. He stood up instantly and shared his testimony about the gospel. I sat there for a while and tried to think of all these things to say but nothing came to mind. I thought the spirit was ignoring me. All of a sudden my companion raised his hand  for the microphone to be passed to him again. I was confused since he already spoke, but when he got the mic he instantly passed it to me. I was so caught off guard and when i stood up my mind was blank. I took a deep breath and just started to talk. At that moment when i needed the spirit most, it came to help. I stopped thinking and just started to talk, everything i said seemed like the perfect summary of the gospel and our missionary purpose. that was my first lesson on how we are just the mouth pieces for the lord.

First day in language class was ruff. The teacher spoke in Malagasy only and he still is today. I found out that he will never speak any English to us ever. So i just sit and listen very intently.

the MTC is hard, it isn't always fun. but i am coming to forget about myself and think more about others. My main goal is to help Gods children know how important they are and how much their Father in Heaven loves them, knows them, and understands their wants and desires. God sees our potential and wants us to live to our fullest. I am trying my best to see people the way he does so i can be a worthy representative of him.

These are some pictures of my language class, my Madagascar district,and my companion.

Mom i love you and miss you. Tell Dad, Jessy, and Tanner how much i miss them and love them.

Elder Allen

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

MTC Drop Off

He's ready

Elder Parkinson served with Jessica in Norway and found Sammy.  
A tender mercy for Jenn, a very sad mom right now.  
Her little boy is being well taken care of.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016