Monday, December 30, 2013

Dec 30,2013

This week was a great week. A baptism, food and family.

Monday we had P-day then we the interviews of Dale and Sean Siddons. This was a great time to see them ready for baptism the next day. 

Tuesday there were 8 baptisms in Topeka. There was a baptism at 12 and 5 at the stake center and one at the Jewell building at 6:30pm. The baptism of Dale and Sean was at 5 pm. The meeting started late because a family was late and people were slow changing into the jumpsuits. This baptism was nice because the Stake President and the Mission President we able to make it. The mission president was able to drive from Wichita to make to the baptism. There were 4 people baptized at the 5 pm session. After the baptism we were able to have dinner at the Scerbo house. Sister Scerbo is a great cook and loves to cook for us because she was a chef once in her life. This was a great day for us. 
Dale and Sean

Wednesday we had time with Brother Homewood opening gifts. Then we elders went over to the Scerbo house to Skype with Benjamin and my family at 11 Am. This was nice to see them and see how they had changed and the things that are happening with them. This was the best time to see my family and also Benjamin at the same time. Then at 2 pm we went over to the Bradfields house. The sisters Skyped their parents at this house. Then at 2 we ate a Dinner / Lunch. Then we played games, opened a few gifts and talked. They had us write a letter to our self of what we were grateful for this last year. This was nice to reflect of the things that have happened in my life. They told us that when we are done with our mission that we had to come back to visit them and then we can get the letter from them. Then we went with all of the other missionaries to go caroling to members in Topeka. 

Thursday we had weekly planning and saw several members in the ward. We visited the Kubie family. The Kubie family is one of the largest family in Topeka. They have had several children serve missions and one, Joanna Kubie leaving at the first of the year. We had a great lesson with them about missionaries work with their friends. They are a great family and have several people that they are working with. Then we had dinner with the Clark family. The Sisters were 20 min late. The Clark family was great having us over at the last second.  The family that was going to feed just the elders could not have us over so the Clark feed us. Then we followed the sisters out to the ghetto part of town to make sure that they made it safe to their appointment and back home. 

Friday we had district meeting. We then saw less actives and former investigators. We were able to see several people and invited them to church. Then we had dinner with the Fisher family and the sisters. We were able to talk about several family that the elders quorum wants us to talk to and help get to the temple. This was nice to see some members wanting help from us to help their friends in the church. 

Saturday we did service for the Davis family. They had us over to fix some of their siding on their house. We were able to talk to them about their friends and who would be interested to have us talk to them. Then we had correlation meeting with brother Scerbo and the sisters. 

Sunday we had lots of things to do. Our ward missionary leader was not at our ward so we did several tasks that he would of done before the confirmation of our new members. I was able to confirm Sean Siddons and Elder Arend confirmed Dale Siddons. Then we had dinner with the Ramsey family. There was lots of people at the Ramsey family, the sisters and their married children all came. Then we went to the youth fireside that a return missionary was speaking at. It was nice to see how his mission was different in London then here. 

This week I hope all of you can reflect on the different things that you are grateful for and things you can do to help you this next year. Hope you all have a great New Years and are all having fun. 

Elder Andrew Allen

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23, 2013

This week has been cold

Monday we shopped and emailed.

Tuesday we had Zoo service and work with less active people. At the zoo some of us were painting Santa snow sled. The zoo was doing a fundraiser with pictures with Santa and need their sled painted red and black.  Then we help feed the animals in the rain forest with Rick.  After this we then went out to visit less actives in the ward. The ward is doing a big thing about working with the less actives in the ward.

Wednesday we had Bishop Storehouse, transfers and a ward move.
The Bishop Storehouse is held in our church building. They bring the food from Kansas City to Topeka. In Topeka the members and missionaries help fill the food orders. This took about 4 hours. It was lots of fun with the members. After the food order we went to visit Brother Shovar.  Brother Shovar is a member that is having a difficult time in life so we keep in touch with him a lot. Then we had dinner at 4:30 because of transfers. Dinner was with the Landrum family in our ward. There were 3 sisters and 2 elders and then the family. Sister Call got transferred from our ward to another ward in Topeka. The new sister arrived in Topeka about 6 PM. The new sister in the ward is Sister Macovichuk. She is from California and Alberta Canada. After dinner the Ward asked us elders to help move a family. This family was moving down to Texas. They rented a big truck and we filled it up with all of their stuff. They had lots of stuff and could not fit it all in before 9 pm. so we had to come over on Thursday. 

Thursday we help move more and also did weekly planning. We went back over to the Batmain’s to finish the move. Then we had weekly planning and studies. Then Brother Homewood took us out to try on Elder Arend’s new suit that Brother Homewood gave him for Christmas.  Then we went to dinner with the Thompson family. They had us over we ate and talked and had a good time. After dinner we had a lesson with the Downs family. They are ready for baptism on the 24th. 

Friday we had district meeting and I went with one of the zone leaders for the day.  I went with Elder Moyle. We had a full day of work. It started out with a baptism interview and then a doctor’s appointment with an EMT, then delivering ward baskets of food to less active ward members and then cleaning house before the APs came to visit. 

Saturday we had a snow day. We went over and had a lesson with the Downs family and then with Brother Scerbo. Then after lunch the cars in the mission got parked because of a storm that came to Topeka. This storm had rain, then frozen rain, then snow. 

Sunday we had no church and lots of service. We had 3 inches of snow when we got up. There was no church and no meetings. We ended up helping members shovel their driveways. We did 7 driveways. We were at the Thompson house shoveling their driveway when we were invited to have lunch. We had lunch with the Thompson family and also the Scerbo family came over also.  When we got home there was 3 packages for me on my bed. Lots of fun opening them but every thing was wrapped inside.  Then we got a voicemail telling us that we could now drive our cars. Then we had dinner with the Lamb family. After This Elder Arend and I went over to the Wright house to do a baptismal interview. Amila Wright is a member’s daughter that Elder Pack and I taught but gave her over to the sisters. She is going to be baptized on the 24th. 

I can’t wait to see you in two days. Love you all. Hope you are a having a fun time. Thanks for every thing.

Love Elder Andrew Allen

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dec 16, 2013

I am staying in the Lake Shawnee ward for another 7 weeks.

This week has been very long and lots of meeting and ward events.

Monday we had good time with the missionaries in the area. We did a $5 gift party. I took a box of band-aids and in the end got a pair of gloves. This was fun to see what people found in their apartments or at the store.
Mars Plant

Tuesday we to the zoo and helped in the rain forest. Then we had several lessons and went down south with Brother Scerbo. One of the members we saw on Tuesday had not come to church for about 2 weeks because she was sick. When we got there she thanked us for coming because she needing a blessing before her operation on Thursday. This was nice to see how us missionaries felt that we need to visit her and she was wanting someone to come to give her a blessing. 

Wednesday we traveled to Manhattan for a meeting and lunch with our mission president.  This meeting started at 1 pm for all the zones. The Saline zone had interviews before the meeting. The drive from Topeka to Manhattan is about an hour.  Brother Broz from our ward drove a 15-passenger van down with us missionaries in it. It was nice that he would take time out of his day to drive us and stay to take us back. In this meeting we had a testimony meeting and lunch and a few games. One game was to act out an event from the Book of Mormon or missionary life and get you district leader to get it right. After all this we finally got to the church building at 6 pm 

Thursday we had interviews for the Topeka zone.  The Lake Shawnee district and other missionaries that live in Topeka had interviews after 12 pm. President Bell was ruining late on the interviews and we did not leave the church building until 5 pm. My interview with President Bell was nice. He talked about the area and how I was doing and the things I can do to help the investigators in the area. After interviews one of the assistants took Elder Arend and me to Walmart. Elder de Leon needed to get an anniversary card and flowers for President Bell because his anniversary was on Thursday. This was fun to see 3 elders in suits getting flowers. Then we had a lesson with Dale and Shawn. They are learning lots. Their mother and grandmother read with them every night. They also study out of Preach my Gospel a few times a week.   
Topeka Zone - November

Friday we had a ward party. This ward party was nice because lots of less active members came to the party. There was lots of food and tons of desserts. It was nice to get to see the ward members fellowship the less active members of the ward. 

Saturday was the day of service. First we helped the Paz family fix the gutter and trim boards outside of their house. Then Matt Davis picked us up to help him with his outside siding. About year ago they found that their roof was not shingled properly.  They then had to redo the siding and 2 by 4s and the roof. This was a big problem. They are finally getting it all done. He needed help and ideas to fix the outside. So we talked and got one board up and the siding started for him. This was nice for us to have time to help people in our ward. Then before we went home Katie Davis gave us some jerky from the buck. Then we got to see the buck’s rib cage. See picture. They then feed it to their pigs. 

Sunday we had church. Our investigators did come to church. Elder Arend gave a talk and we had great time at our dinner. Our dinner lives down south about an hour. This was the second time going that far south in our ward. 

This week has been cold and snow last Sunday and Monday. I am staying warm with the jacket. Thanks Brother Phelps. We can us Skype to call home. Thanks for the gifts from all of the family. 

I love you all.
Elder Andrew J Allen. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dec 9, 2013

This week has been very cold. There has been snow and rain and below freezing temps.

Monday we had a fun p-day at the stake center. Brother Homewood took the sisters and us out to breakfast. This was nice to eat at Cracker Barrel.  Brother Homewood like this because this was the first time he was able to meet the sisters. The last couple of Sundays he was in Mesa so he was not at church. Then we had dinner with the Clark family, dinner was at 6 pm. The sisters in the Lake Shawnee ward did not get to the Clark house until about 6:40 pm. They got lost on the way from the stake center, but they made it to dinner.

Tuesday we went to the zoo. Rick had us missionaries moving thing from one building to another building. The zoo was getting ride of a building that was old and never used. They were removing all of the small things they wanted out so on Thursday they could start remove it. This was fun because the missionaries moved animal tanks and cages and food containers and even wood. Then after the zoo we went and helped a family in our ward move couches and also get ride of them. This took a long time because both members can't hear and talk a lot. Lots of fun. Then we had dinner at Brother Homewood’s son house. After dinner we put 2 boys on date for the 24th. Dale and Shawn are grandsons of a member that has been less active for years. They loved our lessons and are happy and want baptism.

Wednesday we helped with the bishop food truck. This was a big event this week because the bishop’s store house in Kansas City has been closed for the Thanksgiving. This made this order for the family large. There was lots of family there to collect but most of them did not help with sorting the food for the family. Then after that we went out to lunch with the Spanish Elders in Topeka. Then Elder Arend and I went out to try several less active family and also some referrals. Lots of these people were not home but we tried to contact them. We were able to get in with a few members all day.  Then we had dinner with the Gifford family.  

Thursday we had weekly planning and also had time to call our investigators and members for the next week.  Then Brother Scerbo took the sisters and us out to dinner at a pats pig BBQ place. We went with the sisters to one of their investigators to give her a blessing with Brother Scerbo. 

Friday we had Zone Training. This was from 9 am to about 2 pm. Then we had lunch and went back to the stake center for their nativity display. At zone training on Friday, President sent out a fake voicemail to the whole mission about a letter from the First Presidency, saying that all of our missions were going to be reduced by six months due to the huge influx of missionaries. There would be a lot of missionary that would of gone home at the first of the year. Then the zone leaders finally revealed to us that it was a joke and the letter was fake. President Bell had done this as an object lesson, to have us feel what it would be like if we were suddenly at the end of our missions. This somehow even made it onto Facebook through a member somewhere in the mission, so President had to go out and do some damage control.  This was a good example of how our time on our mission is short and we don't have time to waste on our missions.

Saturday it was very cold.  We went out in the morning and had breakfast with a member in our ward. Then we went out to work and had a great experience with members of other faiths and how we still believe in same thing. Then for dinner we had dinner at the Washburns and Davis house. They live in the country. That day at 4 pm Brother Washburn and one of Davis children shot a buck. During dinner the buck was out in the truck and after dinner they went over  and gutted it and skinned it. This was fun to watch. 

Sunday we had church and lots of snow. There was about 3 inches of snow at or house at the end of the night. Elder Arend had a fun time driving from dinner to our house in the snow. Church was good but we did not have any investigators at church. 

This week was good, lots of fun. Hope all of are doing good. Love you all. Thanks for all the mail and packages. 

Love Elder Andrew Allen

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dec 1, 2013

This week has been very fun. 

Monday we had a wonderful p-day. We played basketball and volleyball. Then we ate at the Thompson’s for dinner. They had all four of us over and also 2 friends that are not members. Then for the lesson we were talking about what we were grateful for in our lives.  The parents then told us that they are grateful for the plan of salvation. They then went on to tell us how they lost a daughter. This has truly helped them see the big picture of life and how a family can be forever. It was very nice to hear their testimony on family and how they will be able to be with their daughter again. 

Tuesday Elder Arend was sick all day. This was a very slow day of sleeping and watching movies with Elder Arend. But by dinner Elder Arend was doing better. We then went to dinner with the Scerbo Family.

Wednesday we went with a member of our ward and went down south to try different members and a few referrals. Brother Nasca has received his mission call and going to Utah.  So he is trying to go out with us to learn some teaching skills. The first person we visited was Amanda she was a referral from She has gone to church and also has several friends that are members. Her friend in Missouri told her that she would send over some missionaries and have them teach her so she could be baptized.  The first thing she told us is that she wants to be baptized into the church. We had a wonderful lesson with her. Amanda is now on date for the first of the year.  Then we were able to the visit less active in Burlingame, Kansas 

Thursday was Thanksgiving. Lots of food. We first went over to the Paz family for a Thanksgiving lunch. There were 4 elders and then 2 sisters there plus 12 children and 6 adults. This was wonderful to talk the children and grandchildren of the Paz's.  This was at 12:00 and we left at 3:00 PM. Then we went over to Travis’s house at 5:00 PM. Travis had his parents and also his aunt and grandmother there. Travis and all of his family are not members but they had a great time talking to the sisters and us. They also had a lot of food and pie also. Travis really liked us coming over and talking with his parents about what us missionaries do and what we teach people. Travis knows a lot about the church and should be baptized shortly.

Friday was district meeting. This was the first district meeting since transfers in November. The last 2 weeks here has been zone meeting and also other mission meetings. Our district is the elders and sisters in Lake Shawnee and the elders in Kaw Valley Ward. Our district has 10 people on date and also several others that will be on date later this next week. Then after District meeting we went out and visited several members that are up in the ghetto part of Topeka. Then we had dinner with the Downs family. Sister Downs has two grandsons that are now ready to be baptized and we started to teach them. This is nice to see a family that is coming back to church and having children that are over 8 taught the gospel. 

Saturday we had a service day. We also had lots of lessons with members in our ward. We also had a meeting with Brother Scerbo. The sisters were very late to the meeting. Then we had dinner with the Wright family which is coming back to church. They have now come for 3 Sundays.

Sunday we had church then a meeting. The fast and testimony meeting was very wonderful. We had lots of us missionary and those planning on missions bear our testimony. There was us 4 missionary in our ward and also a recent missionary, Brad and also his sister, which leaves on the first of the year. This was a great testimony meeting. Then we were asked to go to the youth fireside. This fireside was Brad Kubie, a returned missionary from Pocatello Idaho mission.  He talked about the things he learned on his mission and how the youth can prepare for missions and how they can invite their friends to hear the lessons from us elder and sisters in the ward. This was very nice to see how he changed and the things he did that I can apply to my mission.  In our ward we have 4 that are working to go on missions. Joanna and Gerard both have their call and 2 other have their papers in.

This week we had lots of food and many great lessons. 

Hope you all are doing good and staying warm. I am doing great and loving the people I meet out here in Topeka. 
Elder Andrew J Allen

PS the dog is my new friend.  Thanks for the cookies and the tie.