Beyond the Bus Route v.1.1
'Sometimes you just need a walk in the fresh air around the ancient stomping grounds of Robert The Bruce to remind you that the world is inherently good. We got our boots good and muddied today and went on a wholesome adventure with our friend, Lorna! She loves apple pie like any true American and doesn't need no photoshop because her photography skills are just too good. She is a ward member we've been working with a lot lately and spent a large portion of her life in America and is simply the best. She laminated us some maps of Eglinton Park and we set off on our merry little way! There was a truer than true little plaque about 2/3 of the way along our walk around the Loch (that sentence rhymed in case any of you were wondering) and read as follows:
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And so it goes. Allow me to expound! Mosiah 18. A great read and beautiful passage about baptism. After the people of Alma were converted to Christ and baptized, verse 30 states that “This was done in the water of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon, yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who came to a knowledge of their Redeemer; yes, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever." And I say to myself, (very quietly, because I don't want to startle the migratory Scandinavian ducks dotting the Loch): WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD!! Just kidding. I'm not quiet at all. I'm shouting it from the rooftops of the 19th century mining communities and running down the cobble stone streets telling people to look up! Look UP! God created this beautiful world and you're living in it! He loves you and knows what you need! You know that peace you're desperately searching for? HE'S HOLDING IT. The comfort you need after going through what you just did? It's in the verses of the book people have been showing up on your doorstep with for AGES! You don't have to be sad! You don't have to be anything but joyful. Really truly. Here, just take a seat on this sopping wet bus stop bench! I'll show you! In the words of Austin's favorite picture book (or at least mine, as I have the entire thing memorized): Smile pout pout fish, you look so down! With your glum glum face and your pout pout frown. No need to be worried, no need to be sad. no need to be scared, no need to be mad. So how about a kiss! And a cheer up wish! Now you look happy, what a smile, mister fish! I'll have to exchange the word “kiss” with “firm handshake” for now, but it's as simple as that. Just like in days of old, people are missing out on joy because of the simpleness of the way. It frustrated Moses, Nephi, and I know Jesus Christ himself because of it. I'm guilty for adding to their frustration. God wants us to be happy and it's at our fingertips if we'll do the smallest and simplest things. It's almost 2020, folks! I'm so grateful to have an entire year ahead of me to focus my sights entirely on Jesus Christ. 2020 is the year of 20/20 vision. Look to God and live, as they say! I'm going to do my very best not to fall away because of the "easiness of the way." My invitation to each of you is to steadfastly and consistently participate in Come follow Me this upcoming year. Take it or leave it, I wasn't the best example of doing it this past year so I certainly am not worthy of expecting you to. However, the first presidency, Jesus Christ's apostolic leaders of his restored church, have promised mightly things if you should take up the challenge. It's so simple it's almost too good to be true!!!!! Lasting conversion and guidance for anybody willing to put in a few minutes every day! In the words of Brother Newton, for every action there is an equal and opposite distraction. We talked with Jordan about that this week! You can know you're about to do something really important because Satan is going to step it up too! WOWWWW ok I had some really cool Christmas related thoughts but it's already been like 400000 words and I want to talk to my family so I'm going to leave it at this: Jesus Christ was born in a stable. He lived a perfect life. He loves you and reaches out to you one by one. I was on both the giving and receiving ends of so many One By One miracles this week and my heart is just so full. I survived eating moldy ham. My dad made me a laser cut flower press for Christmas and I have just sat there smelling it all week long. The gospel is true and Jesus loves you. Cheers! Here's to making 2020 the best one yet. Sister Allen, who's just happy yet surprised she hasn't been fired yet. PS.The best explanation for the title of my email would be that we got a call from our mission president on Thursday morning saying that we're getting a car!! That call came indeed and we anxiously awaited (most of the anxiety was on my part as the designated driver) picking it up on Saturday. But alas, nothing good lasts in this Telestial world and we got a followup call 24 hours later saying the car currently makes funny noises every time it turns right, so we are stuck to the busses for at least another week. ("But Elder! We promise to get from point A to point B by only making left handed turns!") But the next best explanation is that Lorna has taken us off the beaten path a lot lately and we've been able to see so many wonderful things that we couldn't see from a double decker bus. Don't be afraid to break the norm and see what's out there! The world is out there and just waiting for YOU!!!