Why Do We Fall, Mr. Bruce?
My first update: Cadbury sells “Out of the Blueberry” BLUEBERRY CHOCOLATE. Two of my favorite things in one purple wrapper.
My second update: Baptisms are illegal again and my bonnie Dublin is back under lockdown!
We love our red floral couch though, so we're not even mad about it! It reminds me of my grandpa's furniture at the cabin, and there's a drawer of chocolate like 10 feet away sponsored by Babs. We're fine, no need to fear. I was going to ask you to pray for us to not go under lockdown, but then it happened real lickety-split-like before a Monday even rolled around.
Our friends are doing great though, can I share a few stories with you real quick?
Picture this, every night in Dublin we hear fireworks. They sound like gunshots, but it turns out they're just chavs in Adidas tracksuits trying to impress 14 year old girls. They get closer and closer every night, and on Saturday night we called our friend Igor for the first time. Immediately fireworks started going on outside RIGHT BELOW OUR WINDOW and we couldn't hear anything! I swear there were enough fireworks to make up for being out of the country on the 4th of July for the past 3 years. So instead of teaching we went onto the balcony and showed Igor the firework show until it ended. Then we went inside and he told us that two weeks before we “randomly” called him, he watched the new Imagine Dragons movie and has had the church on his mind ever since!!! (So THAT'S why the fireworks were going off...) He even came to church on Zoom yesterday and loved it!
We also met with our friends Alex and Lee this week! We keep inviting them to do things but it hasn't gotten very far. So when Sister Wilson and I met them at Pheonix Park on exchanges, I pulled out a bar of chocolate in the middle of the lesson and started eating it in front of them. Then I gave some to Sister Wilson, who just held it and wouldn't eat it. THEN after 5 gruesome minutes (for them not for me) I said, Alex and Lee, talking about all the blessings of baptism and coming to church is like eating the yummiest chocolate in the world in front of your face and not offering you any. That's why we invite you to do these things. But if you don't come, it's like being given the bar of chocolate but not eating it. We've given you so much chocolate, are you ready to eat it? And then I pulled out chocolate for them (also sponsored by Babs) and gave it to them and guess what? They're STILL not on date. But I tried my best, ya know?
One more. I “randomly“ messaged someone named Juan on FB a few weeks ago (yes, I'm still obsessed with finding Juan by Juan in case you've forgotten) and as we were sitting in the grass talking about finding the true church I said, “Juan, you know how there are lots of three leaf clovers in the grass? Thousands! They're cool, but it's the fourth leaf that makes it special. There's only one 4 leaf clover in this patch of grass. Likewise, there's only one church on Earth that is special enough to have that 4th leaf -- God's priesthood authority. And we want to give it to you.” And then I found and picked a 4 leaf clover that was “randomly” growing right next to my knee, and handed it to him, and guess what he said?? “Wow amazing can I get baptized?“ NO. HE SAID, “WHY'D YOU PICK IT?” And HE'S still not on date either! Anywho. On Thursday we went to Babs' house for probably the last time in a while, and we laughed so hard we cried for reason we don't need to discuss here, and she sent us home with a watermelon (a literal answer to my prayers) aaaand more chocolate and then we drove to Clondalkin to pick up the sisters for our last non-virtual exchange for a hot minute! Can I share one more crazy thing from this week? I went on exchanges with the one and only Sister Ambler from Colorado City Colorado (not to be confused with Colorado City, Arizona) and as we were walking to the store to buy flour during lunch we figured out we're third cousins once removed!! Via polygamy!! So we're literally Sister Cousins if you catch my drift!! As it turns out we're pretty much the same person, except she had a 4.0 and is much better at Ab Ripper X than me. She has only been on her mission for 1 month and her greenie fire is as fiery as her hair. I don't remember what I was going to tell you that was so crazy about her, other than the general statement that we have SO much in common. Weird stuff. Like, that a major reason we're on missions is because of spiritual moments that happened during the women's pull at trek on top of a mountain in Wyoming, and that our childhood BFF's are both named Lindsey, and we're both obsessed with the song Flares by The Script (shoutouts to Samantha Binns) Oh yeah. This brings me back to the subject line of my email, a question. “Why do we fall, Mr. Bruce?” Now, I don't know who Mr. Bruce is. And I don't know what kind of fall they're talking about, but I saw that written in a “random” person's WhatsApp description and thought it was really profound. Sister Ambler and I were talking about the lyrics “Everyday, every hour, turn the pain into power” from another song by the Script. I've come to realize lately, just how grateful I am for my struggles. For my weaknesses, and for my pain. One of the members of the area presidency said yesterday, “Brokenness mended is more valuable than perfection” and I want you to think about that. This is a lesson we learn, of course, from the Saviour himself. I haven't been able to take the sacrament for about a month now, but I find a lot of peace in the sacrament hymns every Sunday! In the hymn “In humility, our Saviour” we sing the words “When thy heart was stilled and broken on the cross at Calvary.” He lived a perfect life, and yet even he needed to go through a state of brokenness to be perfected. So, we might ask ourselves, why DO we fall, Mr. Bruce? We fall so we can fly. We fall, so we know what it's like to trust not in the arm of flesh (my arms certainly aren't wings no matter what I do) but trust in that very God who gave us life. Who gave us THIS life, this chance to fly. To become perfect. Now, I've used the word “random” a lot in this email” but you know what I've learned recently? NOTHING. is random. Not the good, not the bad, and not anything in between. We're in this fallen world for a reason, and everything we experience here is part of a perfectly orchestrated plan provided by a perfect father in heaven who loves you (yes, you!) VERY much. That's why we fall, that's why we fly, that's why chocolate exists! It's a pattern! Apologies for NOT living any sort of pattern, for NOT having any method to my madness, and for NOT being perfect. But hey! I'm trying my best right here on this red floral couch, and peace isn't found in perfection, it's found in a perfect effort. (shrug) At least in this life. God bless you all, let me know what's up! Oíche mhaith, Sister Allen PS. Sorry this was so long, I'll probably use it as leverage to not write a decent weekly for a while. Sorry in advance. PPS. Enjoy these screenshots of our sad faces when our friends don't answer video lessons, and also a gif of me messing up on the 500th take of a video me and Sister Wilson made. PPPS. I! LOVE! SISTER! YATES! SO! MUCH. <3 PPPPS. It was 11:11 when I sent this, make a wish!!!
***Sorry Sister Allen didn't send any pictures this week....