Christmas 2011

Hello!
It can’t actually be Christmas yet. I remember receiving that chocolate advent calender in the mail from you and thinking I had all the time in the world until Christmas, and now it’s very quickly approaching. We had a Christmas Conference in Warsaw last week. We had to wake up really early and catch a train in and then come home that evening. It was held in the Warsaw II chapel meaning I got to go back and see it one last time. We had messages from President and Sister Nielson, watched the First Presidency Fireside, sang carols on the streets, and had a delicious meal with our Zone. It was a really nice opportunity to remember the meaning of Christmas. I guess because I’m always talking about Christ, the Christmas season wasn’t feeling special to me. But listening to the words of our prophet and of our mission president was a needed reminder.

I’ve felt really grateful to be busy this past week. In addition to the missionary Christmas Conference, the Branch had their Christmas party as well. There were many many people and we were exhausted by the end trying to talk to everyone. My little choir is preparing for the program. We did a run through yesterday and even though it wasn’t all smooth, I think it’ll go quite well. And then we’ve been teaching a couple of people. We were really hoping all week that one or both of them would be preparing for baptism at the end of the month, but now it’s looking like neither one of them will be ready that quickly. Definitely a disappointment, but they are both great and I hope and pray that they will continue learning about the gospel and preparing themselves. As a missionary, it’s difficult to not see your investigators progress as quickly as you would like, but over the last 18 months I’ve learned that people have to make their own choices. As I’m trying to do my best in teaching the doctrine of Jesus Christ and doing that after the manner of the Spirit, then I am a successful missionary whether or not I’m teaching 10 progressing investigators or none. It’s learning to trust that God knows you and your heart, whether or not there is outward evidence of what you think and feel and believe and love. You don’t have to prove anything to God. He knows and loves you as you are.

Response to your questions:
Yes we do get counsel about depression etc. Our mission president has told us that we are allowed to by disappointed, but never discouraged. Discouragement allows Satan to wear away your faith.
Tell Scott to try and put some structure into his life. The two months before going into the MTC were the hardest things I’ve ever done. Satan is working so hard on you and I was frustrated by being in limbo. That’s part of the reason that I’m grateful to be going right into school, even though, it’s a little bit stressful.
I don’t have your packages yet, but mail in Poland is slower around the holidays.

Love you, talk to you on Christmas.
Sister Allen

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