Monday, October 24, 2016

Missionary Work Brings Blessings.

              It has been 3 months that I’ve been home now! Crazy! Time is flying so fast! Honestly though it was a struggle for a while for me to adjust to normal life. Something was missing in my life and I had no idea what it was, life was really difficult for a while after I stepped off the plane. It was hard for me to find happiness and I didn’t really know why. Then one day as I was looking for the answer, these scriptures in Alma 36 gave me the answer I needed!

11 And the angel spake more things unto me, which were heard by my brethren, but I did not hear them; for when I heard the words—If thou wilt be destroyed of thyself, seek no more to destroy the church of God—I was struck with such great fear and amazement lest perhaps I should be destroyed, that I fell to the earth and I did hear no more.

 12 But I was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins.

 13 Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God, and that I had not kept his holy commandments.

 14 Yea, and I had murdered many of his children, or rather led them away unto destruction; yea, and in fine so great had been my iniquities, that the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror.

 15 Oh, thought I, that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my deeds.

 16 And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul.

 17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

 18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

 19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

 20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!

 21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.

 22 Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there.

 23 But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God.

 24 Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

I realized that I wasn’t doing what Alma did after his conversion, he went out and served the Lord. I realized that I had been self-absorbed and hadn’t been serving others “without ceasing” like I had been doing on my mission every day, so of course I wasn’t adjusting well! I had gone from doing missionary work and serving people every day to doing none of that.

President Hinckley said this on the blessings of missionary work “I can promise you that you will grow as you have never grown in a similar period during your entire lives. I can promise you a happiness that will be unique and wonderful and lasting.” ( And that is what I was missing!

                  I can promise all those who are contemplating serving mission that there is not a better experience on earth! I honestly never felt happier with my life than when I was on my mission or when I’m just helping people, so do it!!

Remember what Ammon!

 1 And now, these are the words of Ammon to his brethren, which say thus: My brothers and my brethren, behold I say unto you, how great reason have we to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?

 2 And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?

 3 Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.

                  Missionary work and service to others will bless your life immensely, I know it and Ammon knew it! Go out and share your example and testimony to everybody!

Monday, July 18, 2016

See you in a Week!!!!!!

I'll be seeing y'all in like a week... I don't know what to say.... things have started to become real! Yesterday I had to say to goodbye to a family that we visit every Sunday night... I said goodbye to my trusty bike because I gave it to the same family because he needed it... I don't know why, but it was super hard even though I've been in a car for most of my mission... #Blessing I still had an attachment to that bike for some reason...

I guess I'll just end this thing with my testimony, that I know that this work is true, I know we have a living prophet on the earth who leads and guides this church through our living Savior Jesus Christ. I know that Joseph Smith was truly a prophet of God and that through him God has restored his church and his gospel to it's fullness! I know God and Jesus Christ know us better than we know our-self, they know our strengths and weaknesses, they know what we go through each and every day on a personal level, because Jesus Christ went through everything that we go through every day. The Atonement is real and it works for anyone! It doesn't matter who you are or were, the Atonement of Christ is more powerful than anything you are or have been, it can heal you, it can clean you, it can change you, but only if you let it! I know this because he has done it for me! I hope to come home and be a different person, than I was before! I was scared of that, coming home and having people telling me that I've changed, I don't know why, but it was a fear of mine a little after the beginning of my mission. And it was the worst time I ever had, I felt no progression in myself, I was happy, but I didn't have joy. Finally one day somthing changed and I finally knelt down and asked God to change me, and that is when I truly started to be converted to the work, this gospel, the importance of obedience and the miracles that come with it, the atonement, everything really just started falling into place, and I found true peace and joy! It is hard to accept the will of the Lord sometimes, but when we finally allow him to mold us, that is when we will truly take shape into the child of God we were made to be! We are the noble and great ones! Don't get blinded by the lies out there that will tell you otherwise! Most of all I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book. As my testimony has been tried I always seem to come back to the fact that I know the Book of Mormon is true! That is what has kept me out, that is part of the reason I am who I am! I love my Father in heaven and his son Jesus Christ! I love my family!

 That is all.

Elder Allen

 A lot of awkward selfies...   




Monday, July 11, 2016

Two to go!

The closer I get to going home the less motivated I am to write anything.... sorry... haha! Plus if I forget anything I'll just tell you about it in exactly two weeks!

Not to many pictures from this week... But we did have a baptism!!
This past week was full of meetings because of the new mission president, plus the fourth of July pday/lockdown plus preparation for the baptism took a lot of time from work, but we still found the time to get out and get a lot of things done and saw so many miracles! The baptism went super well! It was the best one I've ever been to! BJ came out of the water laughing super hard haha! He was so excited for it! You can already see how being baptized and receiving the Holy Ghost has blessed and changed his life already! BJ has really taught me that this gospel is for everyone, it doesn't matter who you are or where you're from, Jesus Christ, gospel, and the peace and joy that comes from following it is for everybody!

The new mission president!
And yes we recently saw Cristian Guzman, he was the one we met in the driveway! We re-taught him the restoration and he remembered and understood a lot of it! He didn't come to church last Sunday, but we did invite him to baptism and he said yes, if he found out it was true! He seemed excited to read the Book of Mormon, he lost his last one!

I hope you know that I'm finishing strong! ]

I love you! I also will be sending my flash drive soon and there will be a video on it that I want you to show at the 24th Dr. Suess festival at the cabin!

Elder Allen



Elder Godinez sent me this with the caption "Soon...." metaphorically representing my death as a missionary, haha! 


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Our Tire went out on us on the way to church...
I had a great 4th of July! Even if the day before our tire went flat so we put on the spare and then the spare went flat right before we were going to go down to the museum on base so we had to borrow the zl's extra wheel... But for reals it was super fun! We also had to stay in our apartments after 6:00 so I just jammed and drew the rest of the night.


This past week yet again has been one of many miracles! BJ came to church for the 3rd time on Sunday and then had his baptismal interview the same day! He Passed with flying colors! He did for get what the word of wisdom was... not the rules, just the name threw him off even though we told him time and time again what it was haha! He is super ready for this Saturday when he will get baptized!! I'm so stoked! Good way to go if you know what I mean! ;)



I still can't believe how fast time has been flying! And I know it is because me and Elder Gardner are staying focused and working hard! He has been a real blessing to me my last transfer! I've just been so blessed this last bit of my mission, well really just my whole mission! I've come a long way you could say! haha! 


I love you!


Elder Allen


Earlier in the day our doughnut went flat too....







and one from to day while we waited forever for them just to put a new tire on the car...

And our reward!

From last P-day


4th of July Festivities on the base!

Later During Lock-down

Monday, June 27, 2016

George peach ice cream!!!!

Fresh Georgia peach Ice cream it was incredible  

Well, it has been the hottest, most sweatiest week in a long time! But I loved it!!! (at least looking back on the moment it was getting pretty nasty... so much sweat...) Something I've had to learn is just to accept that I'm going to sweat whether I like it or not so just embrace it!
some photos first! It has probably been the most hot and humid week of the entire year and of course that is the week when we are out tracting the most....

Someone let us borrow there telescope as long as we put it together! It's super nice!

My spirits are high! P-day always wipes away everything that was hard so that you only remember the good stuff, just to prepare you for the week to come, it's amazing! We had a lot of success and a ton of miracles this past week! 

First off we were driving around this neighborhood in search for Hispanics, after awhile you can kinda learn what a Hispanic house looks like, and after a longer while you can even smell them out... it's not a bad smell, it hard to explain, it has this musk about it... it's weird.. Anyways it also helps to see Hispanic kids playing out side and that is what we saw! So we said a quick prayer and went to go contact the house, but we saw the guy walk out side and get into his car about to leave, so we were feeling a little awkward about going up the house now because the guy living there was in the car about leave, but as missionaries that is kinda what we signed up for I guess, being awkward... so we approached his car and when he saw us he turned off the car got out and invited us in the house! His name is Cristian Guzman and he is Honduran, my favorite type of Hispanic! It turns out that he was being taught by missionaries a while back, but moved and changed phones so he didn't have our number and we didn't have his, he was lost and we found him! We are pretty excited about him!

BJ is super ready to be baptized! His planned date is on the 9th of July so not this Saturday, but the next! We are stoked for it! He is so ready! We officially have taught him every lesson since yesterday! Oh man he's just awesome!

Life is still amazing! I'm going to finish this thing strong! I had a sweet experience this morning that helped build my testimony on eternal families, I won't go into to much detail, but I was reading one of the new pamphlets about temples and family that the church recently put out and it brought a lot of peace, I know that God cares about your desires for your family and he wants us all to live together forever! It was a good experience to say the least!

Much Love,
Elder Raleigh Allen 

Some oldies I finally got a hold of!


My boy Anderson!




Your average 2016 missionary.....

More from the painting service! 



Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Father's Day!

Transfers are only good for one reason!

One more reason!

Happy Fathers Day!!!

That video goes out to all the  father figures in my life!! Thank you for who you are and who've you made me become! I love and always will love you for it! 
Oh I'm also finally taller than one of my companions!

My new comps. name is Elder Gardner and he is super chill! He is from Oregon, not really sure what city, but somewhere on the coast and the border of Washington! It has been quite the adjustment because he is nothing like my last comp. but still just as good!


This whole week has kinda been an adjustment. At first there was a lot of stress because this is a giant area and I'm still learning how to get around, we also had a couple of solid people cancel on us (for good reasons) at the last second, both times we had members with us... kinda embarrassing... But as I looked back on the week, we saw so many miracles that, at the time, I hadn't realized had happened! It is so important to trust in God, this is his work and he is in control! That is something I already knew, but it was emphasized a lot this past week! Also Nelson came to church and stayed for all 3 hours even though the last class is in English! We also had a bomb lesson with him on Friday! That was probably the only solid lesson this week with a member because the rest fell through...  


 Goodbye to President and Sister Cottle... :'(
We saw president and sister Cottle for the last time this week :'( I'm really going to miss them a bunch! President Cottle is included when is said "all the father figures in my life", he has truely helped and changed me into the person I am today! So if I come home and you see a difference, thank him, and God of course!


Life is good! Still LIVING THE DREAM! 

I love you guys a bunch! 

Elder Allen

Service for the week!  




Trailer Park finds!
I realize that this isn't the best picture as a missionary because obedience to God is how we find true happiness, but think off it as breaking the rules of the world, not the laws, but the rules...think about it.... deep huh.

Sometimes you gotta find the fun in tracting!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Finishing in Columbus

Our reactions to transfer calls..... :(
It's official, my last transfer will be spent here in Columbus!!! I'm super stoked about that, but I'm bummed because elder Marshall is leaving... I'm going to miss that guy much!!! We've had such a good time, we worked hard, and we saw so many miracles! Definitely one of the fastest transfers in my life!
This past week was especially fast! We were so busy running from place to place! I don't even think we tracted once!! Woot! I LOVE THOSE WEEKS! We had a lot of great lessons too! We taught BJ about temples and temple work because we talked about baptisms for the dead last Sunday and he looked super confused we felt like we should explain that as soon as possible! haha! It was an incredible lesson! Once we started talking about how once he got baptized that he could go do it for his family, he did something I never thought he would do, he broke down into tears and told us about his grandfather who had pretty much raised him, but never got baptized.  I may have even started getting some water in my eyes as well..... We had to move back his baptismal date to the 9th of July, but he is soooo ready!
More service!!!
sorry not the longest letter of all times, but I do love you!

Elder Allen

Oh also I've been really studying my Patriarchal Blessing by praying first, reading, and then writing what comes to my head in a journal, you should try it some time it really opens your eyes to who you were, who you are, and who God sees you becoming! 
Early Fathers day shout out!!! Plus the sign has my name on it!


Service at the food bank!
Sunday night selfie...


Monday, June 6, 2016

Hey Hey Hey!!!!

One last tracting selfie!!!
Santa Maria meet El Libro De Mormon!!!
Just a quick update on BJ. He finally got work off and came to church and he loved it! BJ has this ability to make these crazy analogies that relate the gospel to normal things (mostly cars) and when he begins these analogies me and elder Marshall get kinda scared/embarrassed because we have no idea where is going with them and we usually have a member with us and we don't want the member to think that BJ is some weird guy, but by the end of the analogy, not only does it make sense, but if you think about them, they can get super deep.... BJ never fails to amaze us with his philosophies... haha! He was giving more input during the elders quorum class than any of the actual members haha! He's probably my favorite person.

It's the last week of this transfer!!! It's gone by super fast!!! I also don't have a lot of time to email today.... But it was yet another week full of miracles and fun! Elder Marshall is a stud!

Another Car Selfie....
Our meeting with Goeffry was pretty fun to be honest! He is this guy who loves the missionaries, but he doesn't progress at all and he also isn't all there, so we'll visit him with a couple other companionships just to brighten his day a little! It's more of a service type deal, but he makes it fun by asking us some super random questions and having interesting thoughts about bible passages. He also got up and sang us a song. We had a prayer circle. he is super baptist. I love it. Y'all just need to come to the south sometime and then you'll get the real baptist experience! 

In other good news Celia is currently trying to get her Sundays off so that she can come to church!! She is super interested and has this super big desire to find the truth! She'll find it I just don't know when! Like almost every Hispanic her family is very much rooted in the catholic church, but she is not shy to carry a Book of Mormon around the house! She is awesome!  


Also it turns out that Atlanta is getting a MLS team, so... I was a fan before everyone else was... just so you know that...

Sunday afternoon tracting in the heat and humidity, it's a struggle....

Our fabulous district!!!

I love y'all!!


Elder Raleigh Allen

My Boy Goeffry


We visit him as more of a service type deal, because he's super lonely and loves talking to us, but he's not really all there... We don't do it too often, but when we do it is always a good time!

The new member of the Columbus Spanish household!!!

Fruit Ninja!!!!

and more from the museum!