Letter Aug. 26

Hola Familia y Amigos!!!
Como estan??? Se amo muchisimo!!!
Thank you Jake Fornelli for your dearelder. Thank you to Sister Reeve, Emily Gates, Tiffany, Brittany and Sammy for the emails this week.
Well, I am here in CO. After, getting up at 1am last monday morning, driving an hour to the Mexico City airport, trying to get through customs without knowing any of the spanish vocab except for gospel related stuff, giving the book of mormon to a Mexican in the airport at 4am, then flying the Dallas and being very surprised to hear so much english, then flying to Denver. Seeing the Mission president as we excited the airport, taking a picture with essentially having no sleep, then driving an hour, have 4 hours of training, meeting my companion, visiting an inactive member, and then coming home to the apartment to find out we were locked out and sitting on the lawn in front of the apartment for an hour with our zone leaders as we tried to fanagle our way in. Finally, 10 minutes before lights out, we got it and I am here and I love it!!!
I am in Greeley CO, in the only official spanish branch in the entire mission. My companion’s name is Hermana Vargha, she has only been in the field for 6 weeks longer than I have but she is amazing!! I love her. She is a 2nd year nursing student at BYU. I think she is just what I needed to start my mission out on a good foot. Neither of us have perfect spanish yet but the branch is super nice and helpful.
So, we have a few investigators and we found one new one while tracking this week. Her name is Dolores and I think she is great! She seemed really ready to her the Gospel and I hope that as we continue teaching her she will remain receptive and open.
We also visit with a lot of less actives. Our branch could totally be a ward if everyone was active. We have a 7 page ward directory but only enough people come to church each sunday to fill the relief society room for sacrament. Anyway, we have visited a lot of less-actives and all of them love the missionaries. We have 4 hermanas serving in our branch and so we try to all visit at least one less active each day. All of them love having the missionaries over and I hope that we can help them become more active. I love them all. I feel God’s love for people so much! It is so powerful. One cool experience was when we were visiting a less active sister. She had been going to church for a couple weeks and seemed to be doing pretty well. We talked to her this week and she just started sobbing. She said she didn’t want to go to church anymore because she felt like the people at church rejected her. She just didn’t want that in her life and wanted to go to a different church. (keep in mind, this was all in spanish and she was crying so i am pretty sure that this is accurate but I am not 100% positive). Anyway, I started to cry too because I just felt such love for her. I felt God’s love for her so strong, I had known her for 15 minutes but I really wanted to just sit with her and let her cry and talk to her all night. God’s love for people is so strong. I know I cannot even fathom it really but I hope that I can continue to have a little taste of it as I meet and teach more people.
The members in the branch are AMAZING!! They are seriously some of the most humble and kind and faithful people I know. We are in a very poor area, most of our members live in trailer park type homes. Some are in and out of work a lot and yet all 4 of the sisters in the ward get fed EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! Every night a family will feed us, they will cook some amazing mexican food and desert and drinks and everything. They will spend hours sometimes cooking food to feed us. The craziest thing is, we have 2 elders that live near by but are assigned to the singles ward so they hardly ever get fed, so the women in our ward invite them to eat too. They are some of the most wonderful and most generous people I have ever met. When we eat, we do not eat with the family. We come to their houses and they serve and feed us first. Their families do not leave until after we leave. Typically, they feed us and just sit and talk to us. They always thank us for coming and say it is such a blessing for us to be in their home. I feel so humbled when I am with anyone from our ward. They are truly some celestial people. I cannot even fully undertstand it. They just love God so much and want to serve His missionaries. Anyway, if you read this, go feed the missionaries in your area, or give them a water bottle when you see them.
 
I went to church for the first time this week. I didnt really understand any of the messages shared but I did catch at least a theme in each so that is good. I know the spanish will come in time. We are also part of a really cool program called Just serve where we do 10 hours of service to local projects in the area. We are not allowed to proselyte during these times but I love serving! It is so fun and I feel so much love for the Savior when I do so. We work at a catholic shelter, Habitat restore (like DI but only furniture), and Clothing Bank, a Food bank, We teach english classes, and we adopted a street. All of the service is awesome and sometimes very entertaining. Most of the regular volunteers are criminals working off their crimes. They always seemed surprised when we tell them we are there just to serve. A lot of them are really nice people and don’t worry Glenbron, violent criminals are not allowed at most of the establishements. I love serving and I just feel such love for all the people I serve, even when I cannot share anything about the Gospel. I know that God loves them and I know that He wants them to feel that love and I feel so blessed to be able to share in that.
 
Anyway, I haven’t gotten any mail from anyway yet but I know you are all very busy people. With mail, there are some things that need to happen. If you are going to send a package, send it priority or 1st class mail only. If you do not, I may not get it for weeks because they cannot forward those to my apt. If you are sending letters send them to:
 
Sister Allyson Mehner
Coloardo Fort Collins Mission
5285 McWhinney Blvd. Suite 100
Fort Collins, Colorado 80538
 
This is the mission home and they will forward letters to me as I move from area to area.
 
Also, Listen to the song “Homeward Bound” It is a pioneer hymn that I heard the CCM and I loved it!
 
Oh, one of the highlights of my week was seeing the groundbreaking for the Fort Collins CO temple. We didn’t get to actually be there but it was broadcasted and that was really cool.
 
One of the Hermanas serving in my branch is from Southbend, Indiana. When I asked her if she was familiar with Muncie, she said she grew up there. When I asked her if she knew the Roush family, her jaw dropped. She said she attended Matt’s funeral in indiana and that her mom and Tiffany Roush were good friends. Her name is Makall Smith. I love how small the world is. She is an awesome sister and I love her! that was really cool.
 
Also, Didi and Shannon and Everyone please read the ensign article from April 2013 called “Equal Partnership in Marriage.” I read it this morning and I loved it. It will be onlds.org
Some of my favorite scriptures from this week were:
Alma 37:6-7
D&C 54:10
Alma 7:11-13
3 Nephi 27:21
Galations 5:22-25
You should read them. They are golden scriptures. These are the ones that we have been sharing with people a lot this week.
 
Please also tell Grandma Mehner and Aunt Betty and Sharon’s Mom and Nancy from Montana that I am praying for them. I am praying for them all the time.
 
Well Family and friends, I love you. I will write in a week. I don’t mean to sound needy but please please please write letters. They are my favorite thing in the world
Be strong. Pray Hard. Be a useful engine for the Lord.
 
Hermana Mehner

this week’s letter!

Hello everyone,
first shout out to sammy and to grandpa mehner for there birthdays this week. Also, shout out to Haylie, SHaron, Dad and Tiff for writing me this week. I loved it and you are amazing!!! I am getting your emails but I only get to respond on tuesday so it might be a bit delayed. Anyway, This week has been awesome. It has been challenging but it has been awesome. WE taught our last lesson to Jazmin (a teacher being an investigator) and it went really well. We didnt to focus on preparing and gainging knowledge about the subject we were going to teach instead of memorizeing spanish phrases. This sounds simple but it is really terrifying going into a lesson and only knowing a little spanish and not everything anything specific prepared. WE decided though that we needed to demonstrate our faith in Heavenly Father and so we did that and it went soo well!!! I have learned a lot that teaching lessons isnt about spewing information out to people, it is about listening to people and learning about them and showing them hwo the gospel can apply to their lives. It was a really powerful lesson and I feel like I am learnign to rely on God and Christ and the Holy Spirit so much more. It becomes less and less terrifying as I have been learning more and more. We have 2 new investigators this week, which means much more preparation because we have to tailor the lessons to fit thier individual needs, which i know is what we will have to do on the actual mission too. anyway, the lessons are going really well. I learn more and more each day.
The spanish is a little more difficult but I am fairly amazed at how much I can speak in just 2 weeks. I feeel like I have been studying spanish for forever now. hahaha but seriously, my companion and my goal is to speak only spanish today, and we do that most of everyday. We try to speak as much as possible because it is really helpful for retainign new vocab.
What else?  we had this amazing devotional with Elder Holland, well it was recorded from th eprovo MTC from about a year ago but it was soo awesome! Seriously, he was all fired up and preactically yelling at the missionaries but the spirit was so strong. He said that the church expects a lot from their missionaries and they are not sorry that they do. They are not apologetic for it. He said that we are apart of a nearly 200 year old tradition and we need to do everything in our power to protect and honor that tradition. He talked about how we need to promise ourselves and our family and the church that we will have at least one convert on our missions, and that convert is ourselves. We need to be forever changed for the better by our missions. Oh my it was so powerful. I feel like I have already changed so much being here and I can really understand how people are totally different. better, when they get home. I want to be even better when I get home. I really do. I hope I will more fully convert myself while I am a mission.
The food here is still a guessing game. hahah most of the time we do not know what we are eating so we just pray over the food real hard. Most of the time is it good, sometimes it is a little too spicy for me. haha there is lots of fruit with chilli powder on it. I laughed when I saw it because it reminded me of the zarates. We did get french fries last night and I have never been so happy to see french fries in my life. It was a great night.
It rains a lot here, and that is fun and sometimes not. Most of the time it is great. Every afternoon for about 2 or 3 hours it will be raining. It adds some spice to our lives as missionaries though.
I play lots of sports here. hahah that is a miracle in itself, isnt it Glenbron? some basketball, soccer, volleyball and pingpong occasionally.
I wish I could convey in words how happy I am to be here. Dont get me wrong, it is a challenge every day. We would from 630 am to 1030 pm every day and we work hard but the spirit of God has really consistently lifted my spirits. I feel so blessed to be able to represent Jesus Christ and be one of His missionaries. It is such an honor and such a humbling experience.
I feel like I cannot even express some of the spirirtual experiences I have had here. One little one I will share. A few days ago, I went to bed kind of homesick. I was missing my mom and wanted especially to feel closer to her. I prayed to God that I would be more aware of her presence here with me. Then, yesterday, we all were singing a hymn, in spanish, and I really felt like I heard more than just our voices. I swear I could hear the voices of angels singing with me. I knew then that my mom was in that room with me and she was singing with me. It was such a neat simple experience.
This week we have also studied the doctrines of Christ a lot, especially 2 nephi 31 I think. It is sooo cool!!! The book of mormon itself really is so amazing!! I feel so so blessed to have it here and to be encouraged to study it every day. I feeel like I am finally really discovering the scriptures and gaining such a love for them. Anyway, read 2 nephi 31 when you get a chance. It is sooo good!!
Also, Shout out to Sharon for my Thomas the train. I will pull that thing out when me or the other sisters in my district get discouraged. It has become somewhat of a motto for me. My favorite phrase it says is, “I am a very useful engine” and I have really taken that to heart. Whenever any of us has a rough time, we pull out Thomas to remind us that we are the engines of the Lord and He can make us very useful to Him if we have faith. It really has been a fun little reminder that we can do it and that we are instruments of the Lord.
Oh, I wanted to tell you. I encourage and ask you to use dearelder.com. I dont know exactly how it works and I know once I get in the states then it is like 35 cents a letter but I think while I am in mexico it is free. I am sure Didi knows how to use it. That is a great way to send me letters and then they can be long and I will have more time to read them because they print them out and give them to me.
I love you all so much!! I don´t really have any pictures to send this week but I will try to send more next week. I love you all and seriously, I feel your prayers strengthening me every day and I hope you all know that I pray for you too. I love you
 
I know now more than than ever that Jesus Christ lives and really did perform the atonement. I know I am supposed to be here. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and I know I am getting closer to the spirit by reading from it each day. I know God knows each of us personally and that He knows what we need in our lives better than we do. I know I know I know that families are FOREVER!!! I know that angels minister to us all, whether through mortal beings or through the holy spirit, it doesnt matter. I know that God lives! I feel it in my bones and my soul and my whole heart. I wish I could express it better. I know I am supposed to be here. I dont know if I will have an impact on a single soul in Fort Collins Colorado, but i KNOW I am supposed to be here because it has already changed my life and it has been two weeks. I love you! I love you! I love you!!
Hermana Mehner