Monday, July 31, 2017

"Leave everything behind and follow me."


Today we went to a city that was 2 hours north of Tamatave named Foul Pointe.  It was a way cool place.  The ocean water was clear, warm and calm.  Lunch there was  good.  We went to a wooden shack on the beach where a rasta guy and his wife made us rice and fish curry.

We had a good week even though it rained every day and we were walking through flooded water to our ankles.  Two of our investigators (Seta Pier and his wife) are working on getting legally married which is way awesome.  But they are having problems because this time of year everyone is on vacation.  It makes it hard for them to get their papers in order.  So, we have to wait 2 weeks longer than anticipated.  It is all good.  We are just excited and happy that they are working so hard to get it done.

Lately, we have started working in some new parts of our area clear out around the edges to find new people to share the gospel with.  We have been finding a ton of success and hoping for more.

As I have been studying about sacrifice lately, I have realized, God has placed something here for us that can give us the most joy we could ever imagine and that is the fruits of the Gospel. In order to grab a hold of the Gospel it requires us to let go of those other things.  It is like the story of the man who came up to Jesus and asked him, "Why am I not happy? I keep the commandments, I am a good person, and I have all of the things I could desire. Why am I still not happy?" Jesus says to him, "Leave everything behind and follow me." That was hard for the man to do.  That is what I think is required of us at some point. This is the kind of stuff I like to think about. God wants what is best for us. He hopes for us to become the best we can be.  We will have an eternity to progress and become better.  We will be so happy that it won't even feel like it is a sacrifice to us anymore.  That is what has been going on in my crazy brain lately.

Have a good week!
Elder Allen

"singing Let it Be by the Beatles while a drunk Malagasy plays guitar." 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Awesome Weird Happenings


This past week went by pretty good. We found a couple of new people and are now teaching a lot more.

While we were tracting the other day we saw a chicken with all of her chicks walking in front of us. As we got closer the mother chicken turned to us and then started attacking Elder Beeson. It became pretty mean so he had to start kicking it in order for it to stop. A little after that we were taking a nice stroll down a quiet sand path when we saw a cat run out from under a gate and then bolt into the closest opening in the neighboring fence. Following that, was a women who opened her front gate very abruptly and then threw a block of wood at the place where the cat had just barely jumped to hide. The women looked at us as we were standing there after just witnessing her trying to destroy that feline. We started to laugh and it made her smile as she was embarrassed and went back into her gate. Those are some of the awesome weird happenings during our tracting moments this week.

During my personal study time I thought of a new topic to start studying. The principle of sacrifice. I already understand the importance of giving up certain things  in order to show God our obedience, but I was more curious about how we can gain more happiness by giving up things that make us happy. Why is it that we have to give up some things that we may enjoy in order to gain a higher form of happiness? I am just starting to study this aspect of sacrifice. While I was reading the Ensign, this concept came to my mind.  My mind was wandering and I was not really comprehending my reading, but right when I thought about that question I read a quote that said, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son."  I think that was a form of God telling me that he also sacrifices things, sometimes for a greater cause or for a bigger purpose. I still want to study more about this. Let me know what you guys think.

Elder Allen

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Gospel Changes Lives


This week went by pretty fast because we had Zone Conference. The Conference was great and I learn a lot every time we have one. The mission has started to have one every transfer now. 

I just had an interview with my Mission President and it sounds like I will be training new missionaries pretty soon. Not this next transfer but probably the one after that. The plan changes all the time though so we will have to wait and see. 

Last week my companion, Elder Beeson, was sick for two days so I had to stay home with him. I cleaned the entire house, baked, played the guitar, worked out, killed two mice, and studied the gospel while my comp. was asleep. Staying home kind of sucks but you get a lot of things done with all the free time. I have realized that when I get home I will never waste time. I will always have things to do.

This is a quote I read this last week and find very good.
"Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others of a more serious nature. There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such challenges, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required." -Thomas S. Monson

We need to have more trust in the timing of our Heavenly Father. We should remember that as long as we keep our covenants and follow him than he is bound. Blessings are given to those who are prepared for them. The Gospel changes lives and perspectives. I know that those who apply the Gospel into their lives will be more happy and blessed. One thing I have learned as I have applied it more in my life here as a missionary,  is that it does not change who you are. It only enhances your God-like qualities and shrinks the natural man in us.

Elder Allen

Monday, July 10, 2017

She Was the Lord of the House.

This past week was a pretty good one. We visited a lot of members the week before and told them we were looking for people to teach. So this week we returned to see if they had anyone for us and they all did. So we taught a lot of friends and family of the members. They were all really good lessons. I have taught the message of the Restoration of the Gospel more times then I could even count, just this last week. We still only had 2 out of 10 people come to church yesterday who said they would but I think next week will be better.

In a lesson the other day we were teaching this really nice man about Christ's Church when in the middle of the lesson he felt the need to tell us that the Bible says we should drink alcohol because it can help us be hard workers. He said that you should not get drunk but the human body needs alcohol every once in a while to stay healthy. As visitors in his home we did not feel good about just shutting down his belief so in a very nice way I just said, "Hmmm, I am not too sure that is quite true. I actually think we should try our best to not drink because it is harmful to our bodies." He was pretty confused about my answer but we just returned to the lesson. My companion was not talking too much in that lesson so the man looked at him and said, "if you had some alcohol in you then you would not be so tired and could work harder." He was a really funny man and it was an enjoyable lesson. As we were leaving his wife was entering the home and stopped us to thank us for all we do but to please come to her first before entering into her home because she was the lord of the house. She was actually pretty plastered. The word of wisdom might be a hard lesson for them if we get to that point.

Have a good week.
Elder Allen

Sam's Companion Elder Beeson and Sam's great cooking.  

Bike Parts in Sam's backyard.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Feel More Abundantly Heavenly Father's Love

The new transfer actually starts today. I have already worked a week with my new comp, Elder Beeson in Ambolomadinika.

Last Sunday,  only one Investigator came to church even though over ten promised us that they would. That is the way things usually go so it is okay. We are working pretty hard to find some new people at the moment. We have been tracting a lot lately. I can not even count how many times we were stopped by groups of drunk people on the road just to talk with them about their problems. That does not feel very rewarding though because I do not think they will remember the things that I told them.

I have been reading the scriptures a lot lately. I have come to find that scripture study is one of the most calming, mind settling things that we can do. The scriptures are God's loving advice and wisdom for us as his children. I am convinced that those who read from the Book of Mormon everyday will gain a better understanding of their purpose, the direction they should take, and will feel more abundantly Heavenly Father's love for them.

Elder Allen