How is it going? I want to know where the month of June went? In some ways it went fast and in other ways it went very slow. We are getting anxious and excited to return home to Mesa. Yet at the same time we are not excited to leave the mission field. We truly loved the missionaries and the people we have met. You learn to love the people you serve and they had become a big part of my life. This week I tried to look for the tender mercies along the way and that is what I'm sharing with you.
I guess you could call this my family history week. On Tuesday I had Phil Lobley come visit me. He lives in a town called Grays which is down near London. He was up in Buxton on holiday with his buddies. He is a gentleman that I have corresponded with for a few years. We share a common surname "Lobley". My great great grandmother's name was Sarah Lobley. She married Frances Monk and lived in Horforth, West Yorkshire. This is where our mission office is located. Although Phil and I have not made tree connections to the Lobley surname we have become good friends. It was fun to finally meet somebody that I corresponded with. I pictured him to be this tall nerdy looking man with glasses. Instead he was this short pleasant man and very adventurous. Elder Allen said we had to be related because he was very short like me. LOL. We visited for about three hours. I served him some good old American banana bread and we had some good laughs. He suggested some changes to my family tree which became very beneficial. I was able to make the corrections and clear more names for temple work. He is not LDS but we got along just great. It's funny how the Lord brings about his work. I forgot to take a picture with him. I can't believe I forgot to do this as I document everything.
Thursday was specialized training with the mission president. We talked about helping investigators to attend church. Be friendly to members. Tell members what a great talk or lesson they gave. Compliment them on how good they are in church and you will make progress with them. Success --------> Success. Don't let people know if you have a bad day. Be bold, happy and you will have success. There has to be opposition in all thing. Build them up. Tell them the miracle in teaching these people. Once we get the members on board they will want to fellowship our investigators. So on Sunday that is what I did. I complemented a member on her talk in church and asked her to send me her talk via email. I just may use some of those ideas in a talk someday.
Friday was a wonderful experience at the family history center. Lisa came back for me to help her more with her family lines. Lisa is a lady that Elder McGinnis helped track out on transfer day. I would say she's 40 years old and a single mom of two. She got a little more information from her mother on her father side of the family but not much. We played around with her information about 2-3 hours. She said at one point that she had chills and got teary-eyed. She was so excited to make progress on her father side of the family. I explained to her that what she was feeling is the Holy Ghost and I read this quote to her.
Roots author Alex Haley once said: “In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning…emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness.”
Our Father in Heaven has given us families. He wants us to know our family both living and dead. When doing family history research we are feeling the spirit of Elijah. Elder Russell M. Nelson has taught that the Spirit of Elijah is “a manifestation of the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the divine nature of the family” (“A New Harvest Time,” Ensign, May 1998, 34). This distinctive influence of the Holy Ghost draws people to identify, document, and cherish their ancestors and family members—both past and present. I wanted her to feel this and I wanted her to know what she was feeling. She had a meeting later that day with the elders in Sheffield 2. On Sunday she made it to church and loved it. I hope there is a happy ending to this story.
Saturday we went with Michael and Jan over to Cleethrorpe to Armed Forces Day. Jan insisted that I dress-up in 1940s attire. You know me, I love Halloween and love to dress up. It was fun because people wanted to take our pictures. We handed out a few pass along cards and of course ran into the missionaries. Elder Kearney we knew already. He is from Southern Ireland but doesn't have a very strong accent. His companion goes home in four weeks and he is from southern England. We ate strawberries and cream and of course fish and chips. I found a few more plates switch irritated Elder Allen. I just couldn't pass up a good deal. Charity shops and antique shops are my favorite over here. We rode the train there and back and had a fabulous day.
Yesterday at church Jan and Michael taught the gospel principles class lesson 16. I can't believe in such a short four or five months that they have gone from investigators to teachers. They did a fabulous job. We had an investigator Nick there who had lots of questions. Michael handled the lesson and questions very well. Sometimes I think the teacher learns more than the students.
The Tolman's and Ostler's have gone to the MTC and are now out in the mission field. The missionaries in Samoa and the Philippines will be truly blessed by their presence and knowledge.
I love the picture that the Peterson's sent of Sister Summer Allen at the visitor center. When people I know run into her at the visitor center it makes me smile. That's why I take lots of pictures of missionaries and send them to their families. It makes them smile too.
Well that about sums it up. We missed Rylie's wedding this week in Utah. There was lots of family there. You know me, I hate to miss a party but I wouldn't have traded this weekend for anything. We only have 42 days left. August 13th is when we fly home. Today we feed the missionaries pancakes for P-day. I love serving with them. I will miss that day to day contact with the Lord servants. Keep Ashley Harris and Brooke Beus Ahlander in your prayers. Cancer is a terrible disease.
Until next week
aka Sister Debbie Allen (the other Sister Allen)
Tolmans and Ostlers serving as mission presidents.