current weather for West Bakersfield, california

Monday, March 28, 2016

March 29, 2016

Ahh this week was another trying one, but the harder it gets the stronger I get! I think that’s how it works. That’s what I’m telling myself at least. Being spring break and Easter, not many people were home and not many people wanted anything to do with what we were saying, but we still had a MIRACLE!

The last few baptisms in the area have been through part-member families who have fallen into the laps of the missionaries. We've been working hard and finding a lot, but haven't been able to keep those we find. But this week we go see the “M” family, who just got their records moved into our ward from the Spanish ward in the stake and sure enough, the Dad goes, "I need my daughter baptized, could you help?" Of COURSE we can! It's yet another Hispanic family who wants to be taught in English and go to and English ward, so there is a slight barrier like with the “B” family, but never fear! The spirit is real! And so is the blessing of having their 13 year-old be fluent in both. We told Anna, the 11 year-old, that for every chapter she reads of the Book of Mormon in English we'll read it in Spanish. She got really excited, but we took her up on the challenge this morning and it truly is the struggle. El Libro de Mormon, man, it makes NO SENSE.

We had exchanges with the La Cresta Sisters! They serve in Arvin, a tiny town in the mountains, and there isn’t even a branch there, just a group. I went out with Hermana Badger who is only in her second transfer. We had a blast! It was crazy to see how far I’ve come in my 8 months out. It's like 
I'm not even the same person. Missions are the best! They make you feel comfortable walking up to strangers and inviting them to be baptized! At least I've changed in that sense. Maybe it's a good thing that that part of me came out in THIS portion of my life.

So.... Sister Bryan and I........ are now..... MOVIE STARS!!! sorta. We filmed a video for the next zone conference on cleaning with our WML on Friday. So we're like one step away from an Oscar, so stay tuned! That was actually tons of fun. We went to the east side of town to film and it had HILLS and TREES and it didn’t even look like Bakersfield. T’was a bit scary though. All in good fun.

Also, we ran into a friend from a few months back! She moved to Fresno, which explains why we could never get in contact with her again, but we knocked at her grandma’s and she happened to be visiting for Easter. She said she wanted to meet with the missionaries up in Fresno, so we're all grateful God somehow put us all on the same porch, haha. She's so cute, she says she wants to be baptized because the restoration "Makes sense, so why wouldn’t I?"

We went to the Women's Broadcast on Saturday and I can't believe it's already been 6 months since the last one! I was still in training during the last one, and my trainee was in the MTC. Time flies. But I LOVED IT!! For all else who watched it, did anyone feel like they had to house a refugee family? Because those stories were intense. I feel like I'm not doing enough to serve the Lord, even while serving a mission. So inspiring!

But the crowning event was, of course, EASTER!!! I love how the Spirit was extra strong and our bellies were extra full. I think I had 5 pounds of cheesy potatoes. But celebrating holidays like that are way cool on the mission because we ONLY focus on the Savior, no other distractions.

I've been pondering Isaiah Chapter 53: 
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:  the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Hope it's familiar, it's in the Easter video the church came out with! But every time I feel like I've done some hard thing for Christ, I'm humbled to remember that he's done even more for me individually. When I stand at a door with someone slamming it in my face, I know I don't stand alone. I'm with Him, who was rejected by all, yet loved us perfectly. Loved us enough to suffer and die for us so that we can find new life! He did this so we can be healed from the heartaches that are a part of life, and THAT is what gets me up and keeps me going on days when I feel like my legs can't carry me anymore. I remember Him, and I can never thank Him enough, through my words or deeds. Let’s all give a gift to the Savior, let’s all pray a little harder and do a little more every day to help others. I am so thankful for this gospel and all the support I've gotten. I hope EVERY day can be as great as Easter!

Sister Bryan, Sister King
March 2016
Bakersfield, CA

Eating Oreo Cookies the right way!
Sister Bryan, Sister King

March 2016
Bakersfield, CA


Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016


This week started off with GARDENING!! Which is crazy because it was actually nice outside so I actually really enjoyed it, first time for everything! Sister Bryan told me about "surprise service" where you just show up somewhere and tell them you’ll help them with something. It's awesome; I highly recommend it in weekly life. 

Sister Bryan, Sister King, and the
Sisters in Wilson.
March, 2016
We had exchanges with the Wilson Sisters and people were even MORE busy that usual, so we became ever more pro at teaching the restoration in 60 seconds and inviting them to be baptized anyway. There is no shame as a missionary, I'm surprised how many drastic and strange things I do, like invite strangers to come unto Christ and to be baptized. I wonder how this will carry over when I'm home.... But we're in a cycle of finding people, having them commit to a date, then dropping them 2 days later because they don’t do anything and won’t meet with us. The struggle is real, BUT, we're just weeding out some folks so we can find the elect! 

We have no idea what transfers will bring, but we have this week and next week since it’s a 7 week transfer. Fingers crossed we stay together, I love Sister Bryan!!!

We don’t have plans for Easter yet, hopefully we'll convince a ward member to invite us over ;)

There's an awesome event coming up for ALL TO WATCH! The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is singing Handel'sMessiah and starting at 6:30 Friday it'll be streaming online. ( www.mormontabernaclechoir.org/messiah.html ). So our ward activity will be viewing that together with an open house before and we're inviting the community. 

Sister King, Sister Wilson, and
Sister Bryan
March 2016
Soooo Sister Bryan and I go to one of the churches in the area to give them a flyer for the broadcast and OUR FAVORITE PASTOR AND HIS WIFE ARE THERE!! Background story, we knocked into them and they gave us a rundown on their conversion and life and we chatted for like 45 minutes and they were the coolest people ever and we happen to find THEIR CHURCH!! They gave us a tour and told us to go back to their house for dinner sometime. It was awesome. Other churches were not as friendly unfortunately.... But Tim and Lisa man, sent from above!

We've been meeting with a woman who’s been going through some tough times at work. But she told us that she knows the Book of Mormon will bring her peace, and we started reading it together and she COULDN'T STOP!! It was awesome; it's crazy how strong the spirit is when we let it into our lives. 

If you haven't seen the video on followhim.mormon.org YOU MUST IMMEDIATELY!! Post it to social media and flood the internet with it!

I’ve been thinking a lot about Christ and his sacrifice for us this Easter season. The lyrics from “I Stand All Amazed” come to mind. "I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me, confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me, I tremble to know that for ME he was crucified, that for me, a SINNER, he suffered, he bled and died... oh it is wonderful, that he should CARE FOR ME, enough to DIE FOR ME, oh it is wonderful!  Wonderful to me!"  ( https://www.lds.org/music/library/hymns/i-stand-all-amazed?lang=eng )

I'm striving to keep Christ in my heart and to remember all that he's done for me. Even giving up 18 months to serve Him isn’t enough, but I can honestly say it’s the most rewarding thing in the world! I love this gospel and all the joy it brings me! Through Jesus Christ, I HAVE found new life.


video





Teaching Girls Camp Songs to the next generation
Sister King, Sister Bryan


Happy St. Patrick's Day
Sister Bryan, Sister King
Happy St. Patrick's Day
Sister Bryan, Sister King



Monday, March 14, 2016

March 14, 2016

Welp, it's one of those weeks where you're just glad it's over ;) BUT, it actually rained so we saw the mountains and didn't choke on the smog!! It's the little things in life, like clean air, that matter most <3
Rain, which leads to clean air!
Bakersfield, CA, March 2016

We had exchanges this week with Hermana's Pincock and Martineau!! A majority of the people we ran into spoke exclusively Spanish so I was no help, but it was lovely nevertheless!!

There's a major road, Hosking, that leads straight to our area. It's been closed since I've gotten here, so we have to drive an extra 10 minutes out of the way to get there but THIS WEEK IT OPENED and it saves 4 MILES EVERY TIME WE TRAVEL!!! It's so awesome, we almost cried. I bet the roads on the moon ain’t that smooth.

We also had interviews with President! Unfortunately they weren’t as exciting as they were in Bishop because I see and talk to president alllll the time. But I just love him and Sister Wilson. They leave in June </3    

AND, our tire had a big old hole. BUT, we took it in and they patched it and we left in 1 minute!! A new record!! So my car curse may be lifting!! 

The snails here have been out and about constantly. Many have lost their lives to our shoes, but they’re accidents, I swear.

We had a miracle lesson with Larry and Teri this week (husband and wife, I kid you not, those are their names and they’re epic).  The member was running late so by the time we pulled up Teri and her kids were leaving. So we're depressed and writing a note for them when Larry pulls up and calls them to have them come back. SO, if we were on time then they probably would have said to come back later since Larry wasn’t home, and if we had given up hope we could have missed Larry, and the EPIC LESSON WE HAD!! They said they’re looking for a church with a strong youth program. I almost laughed, as if they could find a better one anywhere else!!

Pizza Rev, it's like
Pizza Studio on Steroids!
Bakersfield, CA, March 2016
Olga and Fabian are doing well. We reviewed the Restoration and they remembered it all and basically taught us. It’s insane, the spirit has been sooo much stronger there since they’ve been baptized. The gift of the Holy Ghost is REAL!!

A few weeks ago these dog-coyote mixes were waiting for us at out car and only left when hosed down with water.  Then when we were IN the car they still came after us, and didn’t move when we tried to run them over. So, it was funny in hindsight!

We got a new investigator because our church doesn’t endorse and political candidate :D

For my NCAA Basketball Tourney picks, make my final four Weber State, Maryland, Cal State Bakersfield, and Cal, with Cal State Bakersfield winning it all!

I love it here so much, we're still trudging along but everyone must go watch the new Easter video the church came out with!! Click HERE to go to followhim.mormon.org,  I can testify, along with others, that through Jesus Christ, I HAVE FOUND NEW LIFE!!! This church is true and our Savior lives! I love you all so much :D


Sister King and Sister Bryan, finding joy
in serving the Lord
Bakerfield, CA, March 2016




Monday, March 7, 2016

March 7, 2016

This week seriously felt like a million years. I looked at pictures on my camera trying to remember if I sent them home last Monday only to realize they were taken 5 days earlier....

Unfortunately we had to drop some people who weren't progressing and who weren't ready to make changes in their life. Sometimes I just want to shake them and scream, "CAN'T YOU SEE HOW THIS WILL BLESS YOU?!" But I don’t. The Lord will just keep preparing them; they'll be ready for the gospel someday.

Three Generations
Sister Wheeler (Left) was trained by Sister King (Middle),
who was trained by Sister Liebelt (Right)
Tehachapi, California, March 2016
We had Mission Leadership Conference on Wednesday in Tehachapi, which will always remind me of Roscoe, Pennsylvania, with all the trains and tiny stores in a tiny town. It was extremely intense this month, but awesome! We COMPLETELY changed our mission’s action plan and focus, and the spirit was so strong when we were counseling that I know for a fact we'll see miracles! I've already seen a difference; we're teaching better and finding the elect! Plus all my companions but one were there, so it was like a party!
  



Four of Allie's Five Companions, All Together!
MLC, Tehachapi, California, March 2016
 We had exchanged with Hermana's Williamson and Perry, which was interesting. This is the first time we've been on exchanges with Spanish speakers and it was SO NICE because we got to teach everyone :D . Never before have I been able to go confidently up to someone speaking Spanish and walk away knowing they got to hear the restoration. And Sister Williamson is from MARYLAND! And it was her 20th BIRTHDAY! And she went to BYU!!! It was a blast, we found some really cool people :D .





The baptism of Olga and Fabian
Bakersfield, CA, March 2016
But the best thing of all was the fact that OLGA AND FABIAN GOT BAPTIZED!! They’ve been patiently waiting forever to get baptized and they were glowing afterwards. Their dad is a non-member who only speaks Spanish, but went up to the members who could actually talk to them and told them how he wanted to be baptized. He was crying when we sang "I am a Child of God" even though he didn't fully understand the words. For some reason, lots of Spanish speakers want to come to English wards to learn the language and that’s the case here. So we're a bit confused as to what to do, but it’s exciting! We know that they can all be a family forever.

The baptism of Olga and Fabian
Bakersfield, CA, March 2016
The baptismal font leaked so they got baptized in like a foot of water, they literally had to lay down on the bottom of the font and then brought back up, it’s a good thing they’re skinny little kids.

It’s funny, South Bakersfield, where I live, smells like cow manure, and the rest of Bakersfield smells like onions.


Fast and testimony meeting was freaking fantastic. We got a new Relief Society presidency and everyone was bawling the whole time about how the gospel changes lives, it was pretty intense. But it's just another testament to the truthfulness of the gospel!


Things are going great in the Shire, I love you're all, and loving it here as well!! 

3 Lbs of Cookie Dough,
a gift from a member
Bakersfield, CA, March 2016