Sunday, August 17, 2014


Yeah, we are home. Our flight from Philadelphia to Phoenix was the longest flight ever. Manchester to Philadelphia wasn't so bad because we could watch movies. It was hard to sleep because we were so excited but we needed to sleep because we need to sleep. By time we got home we been up 24 hours. It was fun to walk out and greet our families with the Wilson's. Sister Wilson in her talk today said you would've thought the queen of England had arrived because there were so many people to greet us. It was fun. All our kids were there plus Leigh Root, my brother Sam and his wife Carolyn, my brother Joe and my dad were there. Our friends Jan and Steve were late but they did show up at the airport. Grandpa Allen missed the whole thing because our plane was late and he got the times mixed up. We came straight to my house and had root beer floats. We met with our stake pres. at 8:30 to be released. Our Interview with him was about an hour. Uncle Bob and Aunt Sue and Eli showed up at our house but left before we got back so we haven't seen them yet. Thursday night we had to report to the stake high counsel. Four other missionaries reported with us, Jeff Kerr, Maklee Owens, Brooke Hatfield and Elmer Reyna. All we need to do is report next week to our ward and we are done. It was really hard when the stake president asked us to take off our name tags. I guess all good things have to come to an end.

I've already started walking with my friends again. Friday I went to lunch with some girl friends. When I got home from lunch Courtney, one of daughter friends, was at our house. She just returned from her mission the day after us. It was so good to see her because she got home from her mission to Washington on the 14th. She had a "get together" at her house on Saturday night and I totally forgot. It would have been nice to see all of summers friends. Friday night was Jacob Sorenson's wedding reception. He is in our ward and a close friend of Cole Mosley. I really wanted to go but this was the first night that our family could really all be together. I really feel bad that we didn't go cause I really wanted to say hello to all of our friends. There will be another time. It is so fun to catch up with everybody and what they're doing.

We went to the Wilson's homecoming today. My nieces Mary and Tiffany showed up to church with Jolene their mother. I scored by going to church at The Wilson's ward because they were there. If I hadn't of ran into Mary I probably wouldn't not have seen her  as she was only in town for a few days. The Wilson's to the fabulous job on their talk. I Suspect that they will be gone on another Mission within six months.

Well that about sums everything up. Life is boring now that were not missionaries. I found that we don't need all this "stuff" in our lives. We are going to go through and D-junk our home. We Have closets full of clothes that we will never wear. I figure I will go through this house from head to toe and get rid of stuff we don't need. If there is anything I learned on my mission it is we need to simplify our lives. We live this way for a whole year and were happy. By time I get to the garage and clean it, the weather will be cooler. Yes, it is HOT HERE.

Five more weeks until our darling daughter Summer comes home but who is counting. I love our missionaries so much and miss them tons.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Venice, Switzerlan​d and Paris

How is it going? We have left the mission but not left for home yet. The Wilson's are traveling with us before we all head home. We flew to Venice which was totally amazing. I would go there again in a heart beat. It was a fun city to be in with all the canals. Our hotel was so nice we felt like royalty. We took a Gondola and boat ride up the canals. We saw the building that was in a James Bond movie and the also the Tourist. That was cool and I thought of my sons who love James Bond. We went to a glass factory and lace factory. Elder Allen loved it...Not. He is a good sport.

Switzerland was so beautiful. We went to a waterfall and of course another castle. We drove by the temple in Berne and talked to the temple recorder. He served his mission in Leeds way back in 1974. It was fun talking to him.

You can keep Paris. Don't care for it at all. Elder Wilson had his backpack pinched on the train the first day we got here. The funniest thing we did was go tour a castle and it rained while we were standing in line for two hours. It didn't just rain, it poured buckets. It was warm like a shower and we all got soaked. I loved it! By time the tour was over we were all dry.

Trying to figure out the train and metro has been interesting to say the least here in Paris. Using a GPS in a car is different then using it while you walk down the street. It took us two hours to find our hotel. It is amazing we lived to tell about it.

We went to church today and ran into a couple named the White's. They are from Tremonton, Utah and neighbors to our Elder Brown. It is a small world in the gospel of Christ. Elaine Dayton, former general YW president, was at church today also. So fun to go to church in Paris and make connections with people. So fun to see missionaries walking down the street. We miss all our missionaries so much and meeting these missionaries made us miss them even more. The branch was small like Sheffield 4 branch. Another reminder of our mission.

At this point we just want to go home. The mission is over, we have said our goodbyes and we are done. We miss our missionaries and think of them all the time. What are they doing and can they live with out us? All good things must come to an end so now we just want to go home and see our family.

Tawni and Brian tease us by saying they have our cars and home ready for us. Wednesday can't come soon enough. We love you all and can't wait to met our two new grand-babies in three days. Have a great week because I know I will.

Love Debbie aka Sister Allen

Friday, August 1, 2014


Are you alright? (English greeting) tomorrow is our final day here in Sheffield. This week has been hard. It is like a toothache that doesn't away. We scheduled with the missionaries this week and visited members in the Slovak branch. We needed interpreters to go with us so we can talk to the Slovak people. Each family we visited we had to explain to them this it was our last visit to their home. Most of them travel back-and-forth from Slovakia to England by bus. Their perspective is that you can get anywhere in this world by bus. They really don't understand where America is so they would ask us how far of a bus ride is it. This is their concept of the world. Everything is just a bus ride away. In some ways they are very childlike and innocent. In other ways they are very mature and spiritual people. Respond very well to the Gospel. Sheffield 4 branch is the largest Slovakian congregation in the church in the world. It is been a great blessing to serve among them.

On Thursday night we went teaching with Elder Williams and Elder Frahm. They took us to a young families homes that have four young sons. They show them the restoration DVD in the Slovak language. I couldn't understand the language but I understood the music and knew the story line. When the movie was over the father said "I feel like I'm not in my body." I've never heard somebody describe the spirit like that before I thought it was very good. They are so good and will definitely be baptized after we leave.

On Wednesday we went to transfer meeting up in Leeds. Three busloads of missionaries are brought into a ward building. They are either get transferred to a new area, becoming new district or zone leaders, or new sister leader trainers training or new missionaries, going home or coming from the MTC or just need to talk to the president. They all assemble here for transfer meeting. We have never been to a transfer meeting and this would be our last chance. We drove up to the transfer meeting in a car but rode home on the coach. I saw so many missionaries that I wouldn't have been able to see before going home. If I had known this was an option I think I would've gone to every transfer meeting since we've been out. They had the new missionaries coming in and those going home all give their testimonies. It was amazing. I thought we were off the hook and then president asked us to get up and give our testimony along with the Wilson's. The Wilson's are from Mesa and are going home at the same time as us on the same plane. It's going to be great. It was so hard to give our last testimonies and as I looked out at the missionaries I could feel the love. But believe it or not I didn't cry that much. I didn't get personal and I just gave a strong testimony. I'm sure going to miss sharing my testimony as a missionary.

After the meeting we road the coach back to Sheffield. Elder Sindylek (our favorite Czech   Republic missionary) brought back his new companion Elder Polecsky. Elder Polecsky is from the Czech Republic also. They knew each other before their missions. Elder Polecsky has been dating Elder Sindylek sister. Watching the two of them was like watching to bear cubs. Elder Sindylek has been our zone leader and was released from that responsibilities so he could be a trainer his last transfer. He has been so tired and never stops. When we got back to Sheffield, they got in our car and took them to their flat in Rotherham. That was at 4 o'clock. They did not stop until 9:30. We went with them and I was exhausted. He does this day in and day out and never stops. Sheffield 4 will truly miss him when he goes home. And I believe he's new companion will carry-on just as he did. They are truly remarkable young men.

In Sheffield 1 we went and said goodbye to the Stanton's, Vicky, Arnie, the Nettleships and the Burrows this week. There are also many others we said goodbye too. This is the toothache I've been talking about. The goodbyes never and it's so painful. I hate dragging this out to the bitter end. The problem is I'm going to miss all of them so much. It's almost harder to go home then it was to come out. I know I would see my family again and I miss them a ton but I don't know when I will come back to England again. When I do come back I won't be a missionary and the missionary will have moved on. It just will never be the same again. Elder Allen and I would just like to get all the missionaries and take them home with us in our suitcases. We have already been on Skype with those missionaries that have returned home. They need counseling and Elder Allen is good at that. Being a young adult is so hard and being an RM Young adult is even harder. I know this because I've been a parent of seven young adults. Forget the terrible twos and the teenage years. No one ever says how hard it is to be a parent of a young adult. It's probably so painful but nobody ever talks about that. Return missionaries have to make so many decisions about their lives. Where am I going to live? What am I going to do for a job, and am I going to school. blah blah blah blah. Decisions decisions decisions. It is so hard for them. Some of these return missionaries go back to countries where the church is not strong and there's no young adult program. How do they find spouses that are strong in the church like they are? It is a big dilemma but hopefully their mission has given them a good base.

Sure going to miss all the missionaries, people we teach and people we love. We are not sure what our future holds but we are excited to come home and prepare for Summer's return the 1st of October. This mission has been a wonderful ride. I wouldn't change a thing.

Mark and Debbie