Monday, January 28, 2013

Don't Know What You've Got 'til It's Gone


After talking to you on Skype at Christmas, I decided to start trying to write more letters.  I usually sit down to write a letter and cannot think of anything to say.  That is something I feel I have come to learn about myself on my mission so far; I am not good at communicating through letters or emails or texts or anything like that, but I’ve gotten pretty good at talking to people face to face.  I need some interaction .  I think that’s something I’ve developed and I hope it’s something you notice as well, when I get home.   

I’m sorry I won’t be home until the end of October.  I feel bad for ruining any plans, but I hope we can still go on a family trip then.  I really want to go do something with my family when I get home.  I really want to do what you had planned in October and I feel kinda stupid for messing it up.   Can we still do it if we just push it back a little?  I’m sorry.

I can’t wait to get home and do things with you all and go places with you all like we used to.  I always loved family trips, but looking back now, I don’t feel like I appreciated the family part of those trips enough.  There is not a moment in my head that I remember being more happy or having more fun than I was with one, or some, or all of my family.  I oove you all so much, and I can shamelessly admit the truthfulness in the words, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone,” because I didn’t.  But instead of regretting what I wasted before, I promise to treasure each one of you that much more.  I promise to be a better brother and son. 
Football for Elders of the Cauayan Zone,  before Elder
Hufstatler  (with football) goes home.

I love and miss you all. 

Mahal ko kayo,

Elder Allen

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Difficult Decisions

The missionaries from my zone all sang
Christmas Carols at the local prison.
I just dropped almost all of our investigators. It was a difficult decision, but sometimes it just needs to be done, and missionaries usually don’t want to do it.  So, I get to deal with it and I just happen to be the type of person who can let them go if they don’t want to come closer to Christ and keep any commitments.  Other missionaries can follow up in a few months to see if they’ve had a change of heart.  That may make me sound heartless. The APs told President Carlos that I had dropped almost all of our many, many investigators.  President Carlos pointed out that it’s a hard thing to do, but sometimes just needs to be done. Now we have time to seek out more lost sheep who may be ready for the Good Shepherd. 
Another inspirationl sign at the entrance of a neighborhood.
The typo "I'll" is a hint that English is not the local language.

We only have one real investigator right now, but it’s a family of 7; the Gumaru (Goo-ma-roo) family.  I still have a hard time saying that name right so don’t fell bad if you can’t.  While we are constantly looking for new people to teach, (usually by asking everybody for referrals, that always seem to wind up being in the APs area.)    We have changed the main focus of our work from teaching everyone who will hold still, and switched to seeking out the unfortunate less-actives that have been forgotten about through the years. The branch presidency kept telling us that there were only a few less-actives in our area and kept giving us the same five names we've always been going to, so we started seeking out the active members, and asking who of their neighbors were members. This way we have found tons and tons of members that have obviously been completely forgotten about.  So our job is to help them want to come back to the fold of Christ.  It’s the member’s job to befriend them again. Thats what we have been up to the last few weeks.

I hear it’s extremely cold in Utah, but is there any snow?  The worst is when its freezing and it won’t snow.  It’s hot here,  but it’s not a nice hot. I’m a long way from manila and it’s generally hotter up here than down there.  It was great talking to you after Christmas.  I’m not good at sitting down and typing messages to people.  I’d rather just talk to people. I love you so much Mom.  Have a great week, and enjoy the cold for me.

Mahal ko kayo,
I love you All

The APs get a car.  Sometimes Elder 
Samar and me get to ride in the back. 
Elder Allen