Tuesday, August 19, 2014

It is amazing!

Wow, last post was December from my mission, and since I've been married for 2 years now, that means that this blog hasn't been updated for almost 3 years.
So, a little update about me, my life and what is going on.
I married my best friend, J, September 2012, after our journey through all the hoops that are our very broken immigration system (if you disagree, try the painfully slow and paperwork laden process), J finally got his visa, we moved to the US to be closer to my family, and to be able to take advantage of the more advanced civilization that is the US. Then 6 months later he finally got his green card and started to work. About that same time work finally came through for me, and I was offered a part time-which transitioned to full time- job at the regional hospital. J started the education process and got his CNA, and has since been employed between part-time and full time. He also has some money making hobbies that have been surprisingly productive.
So its just the two of us, and our friendly border collie.

We've set some goals, which we hope will make our lives more meaningful. Mostly financial, because honestly money is such an interesting topic to me. I'm not saying that it means everything, but once you understand the power of compounding interest, and decide to put it to work for you, instead of against you, well the results are amazing!
But to put it out there our financial goal this year (we're going year based on our housing contract, not calendar year) 1. To save $3000 a month for a future down payment on a house. 2. To put 25% of the bigger paycheck into 401K. and 3. Decrease all other spending to enable the above two goals. We also are working on other revenue streams, like J's hobbies, and my dabbling in the world of investments, but we aren't counting those into out revenue streams, as they aren't as certain.

Some other goals we have, J and I would like to start a family, and we hope that this coming year brings pregnancy, and an addition to our family.
We have dedicated every other week to serving in the temple as spanish temple workers. We can do that until we have a baby, then we will be dedicating our time and talents more to our family.
We have big plans to go on a vacation to visit J's family in Central America toward the start of the calendar year,  and have invited my parents to come with us. My dad won't be able to due to some health issues with his business partner/brother, but my mom is planning to join us for our adventure.
J has been working on figuring out how to continue with his education. At first we thought he'd have to take the GED, but after speaking with some advisors, we discovered a company that may validate his "high school" education. We've got the transcripts, and the diploma, now we just have to translate, send and pay for the validation. We hope it all works out, and that he'll be able to start taking some general classes this fall/winter.
I think that about sums us up!

Friday, December 30, 2011

¡Feliz año nuevo!

Hey Y'all
I hope you had a very merry christmas and that new year will be great. I hope everyone has put a few goals and a few other plans to achieve your goals for this year.
My week has been interesting as all weeks are for me. We are preparing for 10 new missionaries the first part of this change and in the course of the change we are preparing for another 5 the 3rd week and another 9 the 6th week and then the next group will be another 9 the first week of next change. Strange, but that is what we are preparing for. So changes are next week, 2 hnas go home from belice so we'll be sending 2 hnas, and we also will be sending at least 3 elders because 3 elders go home from belice this change as well. I think it will be more than 3, but we'll see next monday. Lets see tuesday we worked a mas o menos normal day, a little rough, all our citas fell, all of our plans fell, and contacting didn't pan out with anything. pero asi es de vez en cuando. Wed we had meetings and then we worked more (yeay) Thurs I went to San Salvador to be with one of the nurses from the other mission to learn more about the hospitals that they use there in San Salvador. We were there for all of the morning, and came back to santa ana about 3 and we went to the office so I could look at the ingrown toenail of an Elder who was there for training. We got back to the area about 530 and of course we worked some more. I got a calendar for the next change so I can know when things are and where and not put apointments when there are other things.
Well, thats about it for my week, love y'all,
Hna Allen

Friday, December 23, 2011

Feliz Navidad!

Hola familia!
Feliz navidad y prospero año nuevo.
This week has flown by, we've been working in trio in both my area and the area of Hna Montalvan. The hard part is my investigators aren't in the house much before 5 and Hna Montalvan's aren't either. We managed to do divisions a few times so we could both teach our investigators, but it isn't the same as working in your area all day. We have found some very positive investigators this week. It has been a great time to contact because people are in the house, they are also a little more stressed so they are more willing to accept help. Last night when we got back from doing divisions all day we didn't have electricity, so we planned, and ate by candle light, and we went to bed early. This morning we cleaned the house, and while we were cleaning Elder Molina(one of the assistants) called me to tell me that today Hna Martinez(the Hna who had dengue) was going to go to Juayua to be with Hna Ellis, where my companion Hna Salazar was, and Hna Salazar was coming back and Hna de Leon was coming back and 2 sisters were coming from belice, and one was going to where Hna de Leon was and the other to a different area. So we got ready for the day, and headed to Rio Zarco to pack Hna Martinez' bags and then Elder Beaton(other assistant) and one of the Zone leaders in Juayua took us(the tree of us) to Juayua to take Hna Martinez and bring back Hna Salazar. Now we are in the office waiting for The Hnas from belice so Hna Montalvan can go and bring back her comp to her area. Whew what a day, but it has been fun.
This week I have been studying in the Liahona from General conference, I loved the talk by Elder Uchtdorf about that we are so small and insignificant in comparison to all the creations of the universe, but that we are so important to our Heavenly Father. I also have been reading in Alma, I started into the war chapters, but it is a liitle slow, because I keep having to pause to look up words. The words are very different than what we use talking everyday.
Love ya
Hna Allen

Thursday, December 15, 2011

¡Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad de Santa Ana!
THis week has been packed with crazyness and adventure. Last thurs one of the Hna started having a headache and fever, we treated as we would a normal flu, and she rested and slept and drank water and gatorade and took tylenol until sunday when she suddenly got a bloody nose, poor thing, we became concerned that it could progress to be hemoragic dengue, and we took her to the hospital where they ran tests and she was diagnosed with dengue clasico, so she has been in the hospital since sunday and all day yesterday and last night I was with her there in the hospital so her comp could go get clean clothes and a few other things that they need, and also be freed from the square of a hospital room for a while. Today her platelets started to increase finally and she'll leave the hospital to come and stay with me for a few more days. In addition to her a few other sick elders and sisters has made this a very complicated week. Sunday night another compañerismo came to stay in my house and we wound up having to do a lot of arranging and yesterday one of the Hnas and My comp hna Salazar went to Juayua to the area, and the sick one stayed in the house with Hna Montalvan and Hna Villatoro(comp of the one who has dengue) went and did all the things she had to do with hna De Leon(comp of hna Montalvan) and the mess continues today. We'll see what happens with that, also another elder went to San Salvador for toe surgery(ingrown toenail) and another for follow up after his scope, and whew what a week for the nurse and all who have the (mis)fortune to live with her.
But Tuesday we had capacitacion again, and I learned a lot, and then I stayed in the house with the sick hna and read and read and read, and then yesterday in the hospital again I read and read and read and read. I think if this continues I'll finish Alma before the end of the week. I have enjoyed the time to read, but it is hard to be inside all day when you know there is so much to do outside.
Tomorrow is our multizona navideña and I will be singing :D and we'll play games and it will be great. I hope that all goes well and in the end I'll be able to go(AKA that I don't have to stay here in modelo with the sick ones)
I have loved reading the stories about themissionaries in Alma and (after 3 days of the fundamentals) being able to see, yes this is this fundamental, this is how you teach tal principio, what inspired questions, teaching lesson 2 because that is what they need, etc.
I've been learning a lot and I have been enjoying the holidays here. It is deffinately different, just like everything else. I thought at first that things being so different would make me homesick, but things are so different that they don't even remind me of home, so at times I find it difficult to believe that it is december(my mind goes DECEMBER? WHERE IS THE SNOW?) that it is christmas time(I am in short sleeves and quite comfortable) etc. I have been enjoying the more traditional foods that they make for christmas, which againare nothing like home.
My time is up love y'all tons
Hna Allen

Friday, December 9, 2011


Hey Y'all,
Greetings from El Salvador, This week has flown by, we almost haven't worked with all the meetings we've had this week. Monday of course I was in the office, Then we came back, and made baliaras with a less active family( the tortillas were excellent and I made them thank you) tuesday we had fundamentals of preach my gospel which is training to help us be better teachers, to work more effectively, and to see where we need to be better. I love the capacitaciones, because I learn so much, and we practice too so you put in practice how to teach people. In the begining(my first few) I felt a little weird, but now I love them because I always learn so much from the other missionaries, they might use different scriptures to address a problem, or they might teach a principle with a different object lesson, or just the way they teach that helps me learn so much, not to mention then I get to practice applying what we are learning and I become a better missionary for it. After Fundamentals we came back to the area, and made baliaras again, with a different family from the ward, we were supposed to have FHE and recieve references, butthe last moment the references couldn't make it, so we made baliaras with the family and taught the family about how they can prepare other people to hear the gospel. Wednesday we had our district and zone meetings. President changed the schedule a little so now we'll have training with our zone and district every week in addition to the normal meetings and anouncements. So we finished our meetings went back to the house, ate made the dough for baliaras (again) and went to work. Then in the night we had another FHE with a less active family and had baliaras again. Thursday we had Fundamentos de predicad mi evangelio again, and when we came back to the area, we didn't eat or make baliaras, we just taught investigators and less active families that we are working with. And now it is friday. We came to the Stake center early to practice because next friday we have a multizona navideña and all of the zones are going to sing a hymn, also on sunday after that is the fireside for the stake, and the missionaries are singing for that as well. I have been asigned to sing soprano because no one else can reach the notes (and sound marginally pretty) for Joy to the World.
Next friday, because it will be the multizona navideña we'll probably write on thursday.
I hope you got the package that I sent with Hna Woods, and I hope as well that it makes sense.
I got the christmas package. Thankyou for the christmas music. I guessed that I shouldn't open the other things because they are wrapped in christmas paper. If I guessed wrong please correct me. My companions are very very curious to see what is inside these packages. They are the only presents under our little tree. and I think that adds the the curiosity. I think one of them is a rewrapper(opens the presents to see what is inside and then rewraps them to put them under the tree) if I had my guess with her 'just open them what is inside?'
This week in one of the capacitactiones president showed us a video on LDS.org of the dedication of the Temple in El Salvador. It is a great glimps of the culture and way of life of those who live in the city. Not so much for those del campo.
Hey mom, Do you work the 24th or the 25th? When would be the time/day that I could find the most people in the house Christmas day is sunday I get out of church at 12, andI could call after that, or I can call in the night on the 24th after 830 here.
My time is about up but Just real fast This week I have learned about how to work better with the members. President put the example that now is the time of the harvest, and we as missionaries if we aren't working with the members we are just cutting by hand, which isn't as effective, he said the members are like combines, and sometimes we work with them but not in the way that is most effective, like we are feeding the grain to the machine to thresh, but we aren't using the combine to cut. Then he said, if we work more effectively with the members we can triple our results. He said we need to help them, teach them, train them like we've been trained and help them work with us. When we do this it is like now we let the combine do its job to cut the grain. The harvest is mucho mucho mas eficaz. Family, work with the missionaries.
Here is a game we've been playing with our members to help them see that they have friends and family that the lord has prepared for the gospel. Make a list of names of people you know.
Members, non members family friends etc the more names on the list the better and the one who has the most names on their list wins. (for us when we ask for the list we just write the names down ourselves becaus many people can't read or write) Then we sing a hymn, pray, read some scriptures about missionary work, and then invite the head of the family to pray to know which of the people who's names are written on this list to kneel and pray to know who the lord has prepared to hear the gospel. We say the prayer, and they mark the names then we put a plan for how we will invite them to hear the message(invite them to FHE one night Dinner with the missionaries etc) and practice with the member what they will say, how they will invite these friends, and help them feel more confident to invite their friends to their house, to learn about the gospel.
We're working for a white christmas ;D
Love ya
Hna Allen

Friday, December 2, 2011

Ya estamos en Deciembre

Greetings from El Salvador
This week has passed by rather quickly. Saturday we worked like normal. Sunday church, and bastante comida as usual. Monday in the office, Tuesday we worked like normal, Wednesday district meeting and worked like normal, wednesday in the afternoon I started feeling not so good, and went to bed early, even though enfermos called me up until 10:30, so I didn't get to sleep, I just got to lay down. Thursday I woke up in the middle of the night sick. With fever, my body hurt, etc. Don't worry I consulted the nurse and I'll get better(LOL). Today yay no fever, but I feel weak, and a little dizzy, and my head, back, arms and legs still hurt but I am getting better.
To clarify, here in El Salvador(and all of central america) they don't celebrate thanksgiving. We celebrated thanksgiving because Hna and president Cordon decided to have thanksgiving multizonas and we ate thanksgiving dinner. Were it not for that Thanksgiving would have passed without comment.
I con't really think of to much to write today. Sorry.
Con mucho cariño
Hna Allen

Friday, November 25, 2011

Feliz Dia de accion de Gracias!(un dia tarde)

Hello y'all. Happy late thanksgiving!
This week was changes Sat we we worked (yeay) we sent Hna Estrada wih the other Hnas and we went and worked with one of the young men. He likes to accompany us. Sunday we knocked a ton of doors to remind people of church, but unfortunately all of our investigators 'had conflicts that came up suddenly' and couldn't come, and a few Recent converts and Less actives that we have been working with also said the same thing. Sunday afternoon worked some more-in trio, which is not the most effective if you want to know the truth. and Sunday night surprise surprise Hna Estrada had changes, Hna Salazar stayed with me, and Hna Sierra had changes and Hna Montalvan is training.
Monday we went to the office after lunch( Pres asked me last mon if I could change my horario to accomodate the other responsabilities of the elders in the office on mondays so now it is 2 until I am done on mondays which is fine, it is a little less crazy in the pm and won't be eating fast food with the frequencia that I was before yeay for my arteries). The news came and I did their health interviews and all the things that I needed to do with them before we went back to the house. But fortunately we were in divisions so even though I didn't work, Hna Estrada and a member were working. Whoot!
Tuesday was the new people meeting, we left before noon, and got to work all the afternoon. Tuesday night Hna Woods came and Slept in the house, and she took a small collection of stuff for my family(I hope it makes it through customs) she's going to mail it to you.
Wednesdaywe worked all day and in the night two other ex companions came and slept in the house Hna Fuentes and Hna Bermudez before they left on thursday. Thursday we planned in the AM and in the PM we were supposed to have a thanksgiving multizona, but Hna Salazar and I had to take a misionary to the hospital for xrays, and we got back just in time to eat yay! we got back to our area and worked for an hour, and now it is P-day. Oh and midst all of this Wednesday night we sent an elder with severe abdominal and back pain to the hospital and he was passing a kidney stone. He was treated for that, and they did some exams to see if he had more, and yes he did, so he's coming back today to finish passing them in his house here in santa ana.

In my cleaning of the house I came across a great talk by President Benson-beware of pride(it was in spanish so it was called cuidaos del orgullo) wich was a great talk. I learned a lot, and as I shared what I was learning with my companion she also wanted to read it. It really helped me see that pride such a huge weakness, for everyone and I am definately not an exception.
Look it up it is from one of the conferences 1989 I don't remember which one.

Thats All I have time for.
Love ya
Hna Allen