Christmas at the MTC was so great! We woke up to a white Christmas.
We prayed for it and it happened. Soo magical!
We heard from an apostle- Russell M. Nelson and it was such a privilege. He talked about the Doctrine of Christ. Such an "increasingly rewarding pattern of living."
We quoted Christmas movies all day and opened presents in the morning. I cried because I was so grateful.
Me and Sister Leland made a gingerbread house on Christmas
I got to call home for 30 minutes. It was so nice to talk with family and hear their voices. Best Christmas present. We all got so much candy and treats from home.. I think we all have diabetes now. haha
Sunday night, we got to hear David Archuleta and Richard Elliott (organist for Mo Tab.). It was amazing!!! I cried! David sang "Come Come Ye Saints" and it was so powerful! It was more meaningful because of the story he told. When his grandma was investigating the church.. one sunday morning she heard Angels singing that song. She went to church that day and that song was played during sacrament meeting. She said that Angels sang this song to me this morning. So powerful.
The rest of the week was dead. We didn't have Norsk Teachers for three days. We all felt really stressed out for not hearing the language for that long. haha
We said goodbye to Sister Mandla.. We miss her! She is in Denmark and is going to kill it out there! She is an exceptional missionary and person.
Last week I finally memorized the 1st vision in Norsk. Our Norsk Teachers finally came back Monday night. It was sooo great to have them again. Brother Williams cracked his head from skiing on Saturday and then showed up on Tuesday to teach us. What a guy! haha
I saw Kash Johnson the other day. He teaches in my building. I thought it was pretty cool.
Tonight for New Years Eve.. we aren't really doing anything. We have Izzy Water to drink at midnight. haha so that will will fun.
I am just preparing to leave the MTC. My experience here is coming to an end. I am really nervous to leave, but I know it's time and time to put my learning into action! Anyone out in the world can CHANGE and through the grace of God it is possible. I love being a missionary. It is the best "job" in the world. It brings me so much happiness and fulfillment. Be happy! Be Bold! Testify of the Christ! and Work! Repentance = Change. It shouldn't be a negative thing! Repentance means turning to God. What a glorious thing. Satan wants us to feel hopeless. Christ always provides hope. I know that this message is true and is the only way to ETERNAL happiness.
Pray and read the Scriptures. There is soo much power when acting upon those gifts from God. To feel the power of the Holy Ghost in your life is so comforting and motivating.
I hope you all have a Happy New Year! 2015 is going to be awesome!
Love you all!
He is part of the leadership in the presidency for our zone. He served in Denmark
Last Sunday with Sister Mandla and the Icelandics. Our whole zone.
Us and the Icelandics
We all got Norge shirts
Note from Jenn:
Some bad news. Jessica emailed me in a panic on Monday to let me know they didn't have her or her companion's visa for Norway. She asked Scott and I to join her in fasting and prayer that she would receive a miracle. If she could get her visa by Wed. (today) she could go to Norway, if not they would reassign her to Houston, Texas for 6 weeks. She asked us to keep it quiet until she knew for sure. Well, she knows now for sure, she is going to Houston, Texas for 6 weeks to wait for her visa. She is not happy!!! She is trying to stay positive, but she is worried about losing the language that she has worked so hard over these last 6 weeks to learn. But, there must be a reason she needs to go to Houston.
She flies out early Monday morning, Jan. 5 at 7:00 am. I will talk to her that morning on the phone so I will keep you posted. Once again, please keep her in your prayers. They will be separating her and her companion, but she is hoping to be able to call her everyday for language study. It's a bummer, but part of life. Obviously her Heavenly Father needs her there for 6 weeks. The positives, much warmer than Norway right now. She can have an experience of teaching in English. Her letters will get to her quicker. She will get to call again in 6 weeks when she is on her way to Norway. She really appreciates your support, love, and prayers and so do I. She sent some really cute pictures today. We will get them up on the blog later on.
So I have set time that I get to call you. 3:15pm to 3:45pm, so be ready! I have 30 minutes to talk with you all. I am excited! You asked me what I love about the MTC.. well it hard to explain, but I guess I love it because the only focus is the gospel and learning a language. Everyone is here for one purpose and you feel that support from everyone. I LOVE my district. They have become my family here. I will be soo sad to leave them in two weeks. I LEAVE IN TWO WEEKS, PEOPLE! It is really happening... I am so excited and nervous! It's like I got my mission call all over again. It is feeling more real.
How's home and your Christmas Eve? Thanks for the cookies. I still haven't opened the first triscuits you sent me.. I don't need anymore food. I will probably have to give it away before I go. Thank you though! Geoff said he will take my stuff that I want to send home and bring it to your guys. I don't need anything. We packed good, Mom! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and I will tell you about it on the phone tomorrow. I am happy to hear that you got my package!
Funny things that happened this week..
SÃ¸ster Horner slept talked in norsk the other night. SOO morsom! haha
SÃ¸ster Leland accidentally hugged an Elder during gym. They told her she couldn't be on that elder's team anymore. ha!
So since it is Christmas tomorrow I want to share my testimony of the Savior and how it has grown since I have been here.
I read a talk about Grace yesterday and was so moved by the Love our Savior has for us. Grace is there for us right now! It is the enabling power and love of God. We cannot get through life without it. Instead of focusing on Christ's birth during this time of year, we should focus on His life and what He did for us. If we are not taking advantage of Christ's Atonement than he did it in vain. Think about that... He suffered for all. He suffered for you and me. Christ knows you better than anyone else. We can be made whole through Christ. Yesterday, we had a devotional and I sang in the choir "While Shepard Lately Knelt" and I was so moved by it. I cried when singing these lyrics: (highlighted red is my favorite part)
"Where shepherds lately knelt
and kept the angel's word,
I come in half belief,
a pilgrim strangely stirred,
but there is room and welcome there for me,
but there is room and welcome there for me.
In that unlikely place
I find him as they said:
sweet newborn babe, how frail!
and in a manger bed,
a still, small voice to cry one day for me,
a still, small voice to cry one day for me.
How should I not have known
Isaiah would be there,
his prophecies fulfilled?
With pounding heart I stare:
a child, a son, the Prince of Peace for me,
a child, a son, the Prince of Peace for me. Can I, will I forget how love was born, and burned its way into my heart unasked, unforced, unearned,
to die, to live, and not alone for me,
to die, to live, and not alone for me?
How beautiful is that! A Child! He came to earth as a child and did everything for me! Jesus Christ lives! He is our Redeemer and Savior!
Please take advantage of His Atonement.
I love you all!
Taken December 23rd!
Christmas tree with their gifts
Christmas Card Door.
Jess - Sis. Leland & Sis. Randall
Sister Leland & Jess
Teacher.... with Norway Distric
Bro. Smith and Bro. Bartholomew... Teachers
Jess - Teacher - Sister Horner
Investigator - Leah
Sister Leland wearing my new Norsk coat for the first time.
This week has been great! I still don't know a ton of Norwegian, but I have felt a lot of peace and comfort. A lot of love this week from family and friends! I don't want people to worry about me though. I seriously love it here and the people.
So I leave January 5th. I still don't have my flight plans.. I think I get them a week before I leave. We had to move to a different building today. It was annoying. I will be sending some stuff home. I don't need it.
Sister Peterson was here when I got here and left that first weekend. Super cute missionary. It is cool to hear about what they are doing over in Norway! It kind of stresses me out too. I am not living in the real world right now.. haha It kind of made it seem all real.. I am actually going to Norway. The hard part about the language is the grammar and sentence structure. It is sooo different from English. With time.. :)
Geoff brought me Cafe Rio last Friday! It was soo awesome! What a guy!
I love the pictures you sent!! Send more!! Dad looks so young with a shaved beard. The boys hair looks good... Tanner and Mom look like twins. So fun.
We are working hard here at the MTC. I seriously love my teachers! They will come in and say we were inspired to talk about this today.. so we talk about it and it's amazing! They really care and meet our needs!
We watched a clip from David A. Bednar from a past MTC devotional and he talked about the question we always ask ourselves... Is it me or the spirit?? He says, "stop fussing about it!" Just keep being the good girl or boy you are, keep your covenants, follow the commandments! He says that many times he couldn't tell you if it was the spirit. It may be 20 years down the road until we realize it was revelation from the Lord. I love hearing that. It was liberating to hear. I always thought you would know what the lord would have you say before you say it, but most of the time that is not how it works.
We had an awesome devotional last night from a Elder from the 70. He talked about missionary work and how we shouldn't limit ourselves. We need to labor with all our mights and not waste our time. As missionaries we have the convincing power through diligent study and having a desire. We shouldn't run faster than what the investigators are able to absorb. We shouldn't be shy to invite people to baptism because it enables them to be freed from sin. What a gift! We need to read the BOM with investigators. The Book of Mormon is the tool for conversion! It is our priority to sit and read with them. Lastly, ACT on the impressions that come to mind ALWAYS. Ah! This place is so great!
Why am I on a mission?? Because I love Jesus Christ. The gospel brings me the most joy and I want to share that LOVE with others.
Jeg elsker deg! Har en god dag!
I get to call home for Christmas!!!
I am calling between 3:15-5:15pm. I only get 30 mintues, but it is the first Christmas in the MTC where we get to call home! So great huh? I figure I will just call mom's phone... I just wanted to get the word out..
I will be sending another email shortly...
So hopefully you got the other email about calling home. :) I also heard about Taylor's mission call to Arkansas! I had an overwhelming feeling inside when I found out! I am so excited for Taylor!! She will be soo great! Spanish speaking will be awesome as well! Ah!!! so great!I
There is a magic in Christmas. Hearts are opened to a new measure of kindness. Love speaks with increased power. Tensions are eased...
"Of all things of heaven and earth of which we bear testimony, none is so important as our witness that Jesus, the Christmas child, condescended to come to earth from the realms of His Eternal Father, here to work among men as healer and teacher, our Great Exemplar. And further, and most important, He suffered on Calvary's cross as an atoning sacrifice for all mankind.
"At this time of Christmas, this season when gifts are given, let us not forget that God gave His Son, and His Son gave His life, that each of us might have the gift of eternal life"
President Gordon B. Hinckley
Note from Aunt Dawn:
Anyone that would like to wish Sister Jessica Allen a Merry Christmas... her address is to the right! :)
If you have ever been away from home during the holidays then you know how nice it is to receive mail and well wishes. I know Jess would LOVE to hear from you as she is away from family this holiday season preparing to share the gift of the gospel with the people of Norway.
Hello! I just wrote you all letters today, so you will be getting more info later. I did receive your package. Thank you! I wish I could talk to you on the phone too. It has been a hard week. I explained more in my letter.
The language is not coming along as much as I want it to. I struggle in lessons and feel so inadequate. Help! My faith has been lacking this week. Oh I would like the Dorius Heritage book, so I can read about Norway and can you send my piano music "I know that my redeemer lives" Takk!
I don't know what I want to say in the group email, so you can share whatever you feel needs to be shared. I had a blessing by one of the Elders.. 20 year old and it was really good. He said, "Heavenly Father wants you to know He loves you. You are a daughter of Kings put here at this time to act as a shepherd. Through your influence and knowledge will others come unto Christ. If you put faith in the Lord he will always be at your side. The gift of the Holy Ghost will always be with you. Remember this. He is your friend who gives comfort that no one else can give. As you serve you will be lifted by those around you and vise versa, you will see miracles. Bless you with Christ's spirit. Follow these promptings. Follow without delay and you and your family will be blessed for what you are doing now." It was very inspired.
On Saturday, I had a break down with one of my teachers. She said that I need to pray for faith and to pray for faith to receive the gift of tongues. I was struck by how much faith she had in me. I said I probably won't get it for a long time and she said no if you have faith you can have it today and the Lord needs you to find his children. It hard to believe in miracles sometimes.
Yesterday, we had an awesome devotional by one of the 70 (craig Zwick) and his wife. The wife's talk was just for me. She said, "hard is not bad, it is just hard. You can let fear and doubt control you or have faith. The lord Jesus Christ will be your companion in the work." She also showed a video of her 4 year old granddaughter baring simple testimony and it made me cry. How powerful a child's testimony can be. All she said is that Jesus loves you and sometimes we can get grumpy and sad, but when you come to Jesus he will come to you. So beautiful! Then!!! Lexi Walker, that way talented 12 year old, came to sing. She sang my favorite hymn, "I know that my Redeemer lives." She has a voice of an angel. I felt last night that through the small and simple tender mercies of the Lord our faith can be fulfilled. I felt like God loved me and he knew how I am was feeling. He is really in the details of our lives!
My mission hasn't even begun.. I am just in preparation. I have so much more ahead of me and I am terrified. I feel like Enoch and Moses. I need a lot of faith right now. It is going by really fast and I feel very overwhelmed. I still have soo much more Norwegian to learn.
Can you please send pictures!!! I have none. Takk shal du ha!
I love you all! Sorry I don't have much to say.. some things just don't matter. I miss you.
Have a good day!
Sister Horner's step mom made them all pillows
Sunday Temple Walk
Jeg vet at Gud elsker oss og han forstå var prøvelser. vi kan stole i herren og har tror det han vil hjelpe oss. jeg vet at evangelium of jesu kristi er sann og gjennom frelser eksempel vi kan være lykkelig. i jesu kristi navn amen.
Note from Jenn:
HI friends and family, Jess is having a hard week. The language is very hard for her. I was able to chat back and forth with her today after she sent this email. She's ok, but says she really just needs lots of love and prayers. She loves letters. If you could keep her in your prayers and send some love her way (letters). I think the stress finally caught up with her this week.
Sister Jessica Ann Allen JAN06 NOR-OSL 2009 N. 900 E. Unit #157 Provo, UT 84602
Sister Horner: From Heber, UT. She is the most caring, charitable person ever. I love her.
Sister Mandla: She is from Australia and is a WISE soul for a 19 year old. (going to Denmark)
Sister Leland & Sister Allen
Sister Leland, Jessica, & Sister Randall
Other Sisters in my district:
Sister Randall: She is from SLC and we have a lot in common. We talk about movies and pop culture all day.
Sister Leland: The most energetic and loving person. She is from Portland and always gives me the biggest hugs.
Sister Mandla on Sister Randall's back
Sister Horner & Jess
Sister Landry: Never speaks in English.. Always in Norsk! So hard to understand her, but she is nice.
Brother Bartholomew, (can't spell his name): energetic teacher and is good at teaching us how to teach the gospel.
Brother Smith: Teaches A lot of Norsk and grammar.. some gospel too. He is really cute...
Brother Williams: Super nice and helpful teacher. One of my favorites! Very personable.
Hey! Hvordan gar det?
The MTC is pretty great! Sometimes I wish we could leave and go see the temple lights.. but oh well! A lot of learning and preparing going here.
I am teaching lesson everyday in Norsk. It is difficult, but I like the challenge. All day, I just focus on how I can help my investigator see the need for the gospel in their life. We get in a lesson and sometimes all we can do is give simple testimonies. Because that is all we know how to do in Norsk. We just discovered yesterday that we were using mattress pads as blankets for two weeks! hahaha We found some legit blankets. We were thinking wow the MTC is brutal with their prison blankets.. duh haha
We had Sheri Dew come speak to us on Sunday. I was so inspired by her talk. She talked about the importance of asking questions. It leads to growth, enlightenment, and revelation. She asked us if we are willing to engage in a spiritual wrestle with God. Most revelation comes when we are in a spiritual wrestle with God. We understand and become better. It increases our faith. We need to do our part to receive an answer. When we wrestle with God we come to know him better. It is truly up to us to know the truth. I am so grateful for the continuing wrestle I have had with God. That is what life is about.
I have come to know that we are never alone, especially in hard times. Like Ether 12:6: "faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I am grateful for trials because "the greater our sorrow the greater our capacity to feel joy." I know that the atonement is real. It not only covers sin, but our pains and afflictions. The Lord loves us and wants us to be happy.. remember this is a plan of happiness! The church is true. I have experienced the Holy Ghost testify to me the truth many times. I love you all! Thanks for the support!
Love, Sister Allen
P-day schedule: Get up, print off emails, laundry, write emails, go to the temple!!... then 6:30 we have to get in missionary clothes and do study until 9:30pm. Wow, I can't believe you are already done with your SLCC class. That will be a nice break. I think you will be an amazing gospel doctrine teacher. You will make it actually interesting and people will actually feel the spirit during it.. haha You are practicing your missionary skills. Yes, I finally saw Jordan. Did you get the picture? I probably looked terrible that. I never have time to get ready for the day. I run at gym.. I do sit ups, push ups, leg lifts.. pretty much all that you have taught me. My arms are sore today. Exercise is so important as a missionary. I am so happy to hear Taylor's mission papers are in!! Keep me updated! How exciting. What is Grandma Jeanne's address? Thanks for praying for me. I can definitely feel your prayers. I love you! We do a lot of the same thing here in the MTC so my emails aren't going to be that exciting for the next five week. I am sure it will get interesting once I am in Norway.
Oh ya! I have been called to be the District Sister Training Leader.
Note from Jenn:
Hi family, I thought both of these letters were awesome so I decided to send even the personal family one to all of you. I love that she was made a District Sister Leader and I love how she describes her companions and teachers. I will also forward a few pictures to you too that I thought were cute. She is doing so great and she is soooo happy!!! I love it! Thanks for supporting her she really appreciates it and so do I. She has specifically asked us to pray for her to have the "gift of tongues".The more prayers the merrier. Thanks again. Jenn
I have so much to tell you all and so little time.
First, I want to thank those that sent emails and letters!! They are just the best thing here!
Being in the MTC for a week feels like a year.. haha.
I will be honest the first couple of days were so hard. Some of the hardest days I have ever experienced, but I made it to Sunday and now I love it here! :) I lost my 1st companion on the second day. She went home for anxiety and depression. I tried to keep her here, but I know everything happens for a reason.
Now I am in a threesome companionship with Sister Horner (from Heber, UT) going to Norway and Sister Mandla (from Australia) going to Denmark. I LOVE my companions! They are so sweet and strong! We are in a district with two other sisters.. Sister Randall and Sister Leland (both going to Norway). I love them too. We all share a room. No Elders in our fab 5 District.
I love my Norsk teachers! They are so helpful, understanding, and kind. Learning Norwegian is hard. I have had a few break downs because of the language barrier, but on Sunday we heard from Sister Neil F Marriott and it brought peace and comfort to my soul. She said even if you don't know the language very well or hardly at all.. Just say all you can and do your best. The Lord will do the rest. The people you teach will see that you were willing to look foolish to testify of the Savior.LOVE that! I felt so much better after hearing that. It all made more sense to me. Even though the language is a barrier, my goal in the lessons is to bring the Spirit and say all I know in Norsk and say it with all my heart.
We began teaching an "investigator" on the third day and it is very difficult.. all I want to do is teach in English and pour my heart out to him, but I love the challenge. I am here to learn. I also need to remember to be patient. I want the gift of tongues now! I want! I want! I am learning that I need to wait on the Lord's timing and not be selfish. This mission is not about me. It's about the Lord and the people I find and teach.
I love being here. It gives me purpose and I carry this joy in my heart to be a representative of Jesus Christ. This is my life now and I am excited for the adventures ahead. I have a lot of work to do and A TON of Norwegian to learn, but little by little it will come. I am so blessed to be with such an awesome group of Sisters. The spirit is so strong here. I have never experienced something like this before.
I am so full of Life! I haven't felt like this in such a long time.
Thank you all again for your support and love!
Mom (and family),
Thank you for your email. I love hearing about everything and all the details. All the sisters here are 19 yrs. old, but very mature and fun. The food is alright... please send me snacks from home!! Anything! You know what I like. Can you send my bigger curling iron and some skirt hangers? Oh! I would also like some pictures of you guys! I want to see pictures. Will you send the picture of me, Alissa, and Amelia that was taken at my farewell? Takk! Dry shampoo would be awesome as well! My schedule is jam packed with stuff. We got to hear from Elder Dallin H. Oaks yesterday and I think on Thanksgiving we get to hear from the prophet.. but I am not totally sure. I see Geoff Canaan a lot because he works in the cafeteria. haha It is way funny. I haven't seen Jordan yet. I want to see your calendar! how cool. I want to see pictures of Emilie's wedding as wel.. Ashley is so sweet! She sent donuts on the 2nd day here. Really I would love anything anyone sent me. I LOVE YOU ALL FAMILY!!!! Have a great Thanksgiving! Has Tanner or Sam taken my room yet? rude..