• Sister Allen

A Great Collection of Miscellanies

TLDR: The lice are gone, we're friends with Sean, and today's a great day to have a great day!

Good morning! What a merry little week this turned out to be! On Monday our Pday was cut a wee bit short (hence me writing about lice and nothing else) because we went to a quaint little pub on the harbourside called The Ship Inn that has been open since 1754! The fish and chips (and also haggis?!!) did not disappoint, obviously because they've had literal centuries to perfect their recipes. 

On Tuesday I woke up beyond excited to for our lesson with Karin, our friend from the Netherlands that we brought a Dutch Book of Mormon to last week! Our previous lesson with her left us all in tears. It was the first Dutch book she'd seen in 30 years and she said she could feel the power resonating from it just by holding it close to her heart. However, just as we got off at her bus stop on Tuesday morning she gave us a ring letting us know that her carer won't let us come over for the time being until her health improves. Please pray for her!  

It left us QUITE dejected-like, and we dragged ourselves from closed door to closed door for a bit until lunch time. We decided to take matters into our own hands because we have agency and the sun was shining and we have every reason in the world to be joyful because we have the gospel and second chances and eternities of growth and delight stretching out before us so we decided we should start taking advantage of all that. Sister Wood dragged me into a wee corner store and told me to buy whatever food makes me happiest, so for those of you that know me well, I bought a wee carton of blueberries and a giant kitkat (Sidenote: There are MANYMANYMANY more flavors of kitkats in the UK than in the States. Just sayin. Ones even better than peanut butter @youknowwhoyouare) 

We went and sat in the abbey graveyard and as I ate each blueberry I thought of one thing I'm looking forward to. It was hard, and then it got harder, and then it slowly became the easiest thing in the world as I reconditioned my mind to look for the positive! Sister Wood kept trying to throw the blueberries into my mouth but I was standing on a low stone wall so I kept falling off. But I eventually was victorious, and by the time we left we were laughing and skipping about and set off on our merry little way. 4.5 minutes later we ran into our new friend Sean as he was leaving his night shift at the nursing home he works at. Our high spirits and enthusiasm for the message woke him up sufficiently enough for him to agree to meet with us Sunday Afternoon, even though he was an athiest. Although we got a call from the mission home shortly after that landed us back in the flat under lice-induced quarantine once again for the rest of Tuesday, we were overjoyed to have found Sean and knew the Lord was pleased with the effort we were able to put in. 

Now, you might be asking yourselves why I'm expounding so much on this when I'm paragraphs in and have only covered Tuesday morning! That morning was a turning point for me. We took the time to step back from the work and renew our spirits. We made laughing and joy and taking care of ourselves and miracles happened as a result. If we hadn't done so, I am confident we would have walked straight past Sean and his red/black dyed hair and earbuds and tired look and not thought anything of it! But we didn't. We stopped him and we talked to him and yesterday in the very graveyard that we ate those blueberries we invited him to baptism and he accepted with his whole heart. The Lord works in mysterious ways. In HIS ways. And they don't always make sense to two dejected little girls drudging onward through rows and rows houses that all share the same grey shade of paint. But as Jeffery R Holland put it, you keep walking. You keep going. Heaven is cheering you on yesterday, today, and forever! 

One more thing.

Yesterday was Remembrance Sunday! Sister Wood and I had the privilege of participating in a parade (lead by a bagpipe band) with other church and community leaders and laying a wreath at the cenotaph in behalf of all those who have given their lives in the service of their country. Standing unified with the people of Irvine, despite differences in religious views and trivial matters, brought so much peace to my heart and understanding to my thoughts. 

"What a great collection of miscellanies we are," noted one church leader, standing beside us in the blazing sun.

(It got up to 34 degrees farenheit!) 

And so we were. 

"O God, our help in ages past!

Our hope for years to come!

Our shelter from the stormy blast,

and our eternal home."

Scotland is an old country. I had a doorstep conversation with someone who was renovating a house hundreds of years old that had a spiral staircase in it. We couldn't go in, but apparently it was a sight to see! BUT, God has watched over and protected Scotland, and England, and Ireland, and America for that matter whenever they've turned to Him in years past. And so the pattern continues today! I'm sure you've seen the very same in your own life. 

Today at 11:11 on the 11th of November we held a moment of silence for those who have died. I was on the high street in Glasgow at the time, and all at once time stood still as the music and bagpipes silenced, the people stopped their chattering, and together we've reflected on how far we've come. 

I'd like to invite you to do the same. Look how far you've come! Look at all the sacrifices you've made to be where you are and doing what you're doing RIGHT NOW! Think back to November 2018, then November 2017, then 2016 and perhaps even 2006 or 1956 if you're lucky enough and just marvel at the hills you've climbed! The views you've seen! Remember how God has sheltered you from your stormy blasts in the past. Remember that he's still there, he still wants to help, and he's still your very best friend. 

In Sean's first prayer yesterday, he thanked God for helping him become a better "him". That's God's work and glory. To help his children grow up to be the version of themselves they're the very most happiest with. He's come along way in five days. So have you. Smile. Relax. Thank God, eat your favorite food, and rejoice!  After all, “why joice once when you can REjoice?“

-Brian Allen

Yeah! That's all!

Oh yeah I also ate deep fried pizza today. 

Lest we forget,

Sister Allen


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