Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Terra -- Adjusting to Missionary Life

This day, tracting was just not working out...so we found a pond with a bridge and kind of went crazy.

Ah, goo lagoon. I love it when I get to email home. Today isn't a normal P-Day though. In fact, the only P-Dayish part about it is that we get to email. But the reason for that is we're going to the Columbus temple on Thursday, and so that is our P-Day this week. And I am very happy that we get to attend the temple!!!! That's going to be awesome. I love the temple. What a grand place. And what a grand way to spend our P-Day. Well, I cannot lie. When I first found out that we were not going to be able to have a normal P-Day I was . . . mmmm . . . slightly unhappy, haha, because driving up there takes out four hours by itself, but I came to realize something that I need to know for my entire mission. And really, for my entire life, but mostly just for the mission. And that is: attending to my own wants and needs is a priviledge, not a right. I think to myself that my lunch hour and dinner hour have to be exactly an hour for it to be fair, things like that. Let me tell you something, nothing is fair on the mission. And that's something you have to live with. It's something that I am having a difficult time living with, haha. Things really aren't "fair" for missionaries, but you know what, that doesn't matter. Because we're not here for ourselves. I have to remind myself that, oh about..every 2 seconds. And I have to remind myself that I made the choice to come out here. And I have to remind myself that I accepted the calling of "devoting all my time and attention to serving the Lord, leaving behind all other personal affairs." (p. 20 Missionary Handbook.) I read that handbook before I came, but didn't let those words sink in I guess. It's a very different lifestyle being a missionary, for me. Well, for me especially in the way that I have to be constantly and consistently devoting my time to the Lord and to His people here that I need to be serving. It's very hard switching from attending to my own wants and needs to attending to everyone elses. It's very hard switching from Terra to Sister Allen. I miss being called Terra. That's such a perfect name for me. But "me" can wait. Right now it's "their" time, or "them". These people.

Make sure Jackson and Emma see this picture, because my bangs aren't perfect in it. :]

I don't want to lie, yesterday was pretty difficult. But you know what, for some reason, Sundays are just difficult to me, and I'm not exactly sure why. But Sundays are when my heart is the most broken, and I feel the most lost, and hopeless. But because of that, I am able to take in a lot more because of my broken heart and contrite spirit. I wish it felt good to have a broken heart and a contrite spirit, but it doesn't. It hurts. It hurts and it aches and it's confusing and it's not fair and it's just all those things. But the outcome of how you learn to turn to the Savior in those times is crucial. As much as I hate feeling that broken-heartedness, I know the growth from it is needed. Much needed. But yesterday was a little bit harder. Because I felt that even from anything that was said I wouldn't be lifted up. I closed myself off from it. A million questions were running through my mind, and a million thoughts of confusion and discouragement, and I just really felt broken. But as the day went on, and as we started visiting with people and teaching people and loving people, I was able to be lifted out of this hole, this pit that Satan wanted me to stay in. But I wanted to get out. And so I did. But not by myself. I needed the Savior.

Yay for Dad's scriptures! I love using them.
I love the calling as a missionary. I LOVE being set apart as a missionary. I really do. And I really feel the difference of being set apart. I don't want to lose it!!! And I know that I will when my mission is over. That's one of the reasons why this time is so precious to me, because it's the only time in my life that I'll get to have this calling and this special power from God as a missionary. Being a missionary is so dang cool sometimes. Hahahaha, and it's really fun. Oh my goodness, my companion, Sister Ward, is SO funny. I laugh so hard with her everyday. SO HARD. We are laughing all the time (when appropriate of course), but really, oh my gosh. Tracting can be discouraging sometimes. It CAN be. But it never is with Sister Ward. We are always having fun and just having a blast. The other day while we were tracting we were laughing so hard, I had her drive me home because I was going to wet my pants. (well, skirt, but....the phrase works better with pants..) I actually think that's happened twice now. But I am so thankful for her making me laugh all the time, because sometimes my spirits get dampened, and laughing is something that I love to do, and so it helps a lot. And singing. Ahhhh singing. Of course that's good. I'm getting sick, so my voice is stuffy and stuff (hahaha, stuffy and stuff...) but I still sing.

Okay, so a few shoutouts before I forget:
-Cebre: Update me on Elder Hatch if you can! Ask Lex how he is, and tell her to tell him that I said hi and that I really hope he is doing well!
-Nathaniel: Okay, true story. You know that blue jacket you wore as a zombie this halloween? A lady in my ward was wearing that EXACT SAME jacket yesterday in church. I'm not kidding. It was EXACTLY the same. Ahahaha, I thought it was so funny, my goodness. I didn't tell her of course. But I had to tell you. :]
-Melody: Write me!!! I need to you write me so I can have your address!! :]
-Everyone: Everyone should write me. I love letters. :]

My time is up! I love you all! I'm wearing black and white stripes today, so I'm super happy. :]
Oh!!! Mom!! THANK YOU SO MUCH  FOR THE LETTERS AND PACKAGE!!!! Honestly, I'll have to explain next week in an email because I forgot to this week, but those were MUCH needed the day you sent them. You will be blessed for acting so quickly and sending them off so soon. Because I needed them.

I love you my sweet parents, and grandparents, cousins, and friends. And siblings. :] Life is grand. Make good choices.

Love, Terra

There was this fence that led into a creepy forest, and this tree was right on the other side of the fence. So my comp and I dared each other to go on the other side. My boots got SUPER muddy from it.

Monday, February 25, 2013

It's Drake's turn!

Five weeks have swiftly passed (and yet it seems like a year since I've seen Terra) and now it's time for Drake to begin his mission.  Drake will enter the MTC (Missionary Training Center) in two days!  He'll be there for 9 weeks (until April 30th) to learn the Polish language and to learn to be a full time missionary.

Today I was at Trader Joe's getting some final food items that Drake may want in Poland (we've heard they don't have peanut butter -- I'm pretty sure they don't have cheese puffs, too).  As always, I was talking to the cashier, telling him about what was going on in my life, or more accurately, what was going to be happening in Drake's life.  After briefly hearing why Drake was going to Poland for two years and what life in Poland may be like, the cashier said to me, "Your son must have a lot of courage."  So I pondered that statement as I left the store and realized this WAS quite a journey Drake was about to take.  It would take much courage and great faith.  I thought, that as a mother, I also must have that faith -- I'm not sure if I'm courageous or not, but I am relying on my faith in Jesus Christ to know that Drake will be okay while he's gone.  And like I told him when he first got his call, "Drake, you will never be the same and neither will Poland."  Farewell, my Drakeybake!

Everyone showing their love for Drake (and my HUGE eye peeking out in the background!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Terra's in Cincinnati!

There's a big pond behind our house and most of the time, it's frozen over the top!

Hi Mom!

Ahh, it's nice to sit down and write an email. This week has been pretty fun. Let me tell you it from the start.

Last Wednesday: We got up at 4am and flew to Ohio. The airplane rides were fun, I didn't get to sit by the window, and I was too scared to talk to anyone next to me. But I was flying above the clouds so I was happy. President Nilsen and Sister Nilsen picked us up (all 24 of us) and brought us to the mission home, where we ate BURGERS (yum!!!!!) and stayed the night. The bed I slept in was SO SOFT. I slept so well that night.

Thursday: We got up, ate breakfast, went to the transfer meeting, learned some new things, including who our new companions were and left straight for our area! My companion is Sister Ward. She is absolutely wonderful. She's been out for a little over a year, is from L.A. and is super smiley and has taught me so much. I seriously could not have asked for a better trainer. My area is Eastgate, Cincinnati. We live at a member's house, and I LOVE it. I LOOOOVE it. Our room is painted with bright colors and they are the nicest most welcoming people on the planet. 

Anyways, missionary work started as soon as we got in the car to drive to eastgate. And once we got to the area, we went straight to an appointment with an investigator. Strangely, I wasn't nervous. I felt comfortable everywhere that I was that day. Seriously, the Lord can work wonders. I extended baptism to this investigator, who agreed that if she came to feel it was true, that she would get baptized. We've tried meeting with her a few more times since, but it hasn't worked out. So we'll see how that goes. We had dinner at our ward missionary leader's house that night, where I ate fish for the first time in my life. And I had to eat it really fast because we were running late to a meeting. But Mom, I ATE FISH. There's no room for picky eaters on a mission. Dang it.

This is my side of the room! :]  Like my shoes, mom? :]

Friday: missionary work.

Saturday: missionary work.

Sunday: church and missionary work.

Twins in our ward.  We went to their house for dinner.  I'm wearing my Mary Poppins skirt!

Monday: We played DODGEBALL with the bishops kids (he has seven girls and one boy) and some other members of the ward and the elders. I never thought that I would ever enjoy playing dodgeball. Ever. But after a week of missionary work, I have learned that any interactive physical activity is fun. And besides, they play dodgeball in a very different and more intense way. But more fun as well. Our P-day ends at 5pm instead of 6pm. I could definitely feel the lack of that last hour, but it's okay. Time flies way too fast within those 5-6ish hours of P-day. I only got the chance to write one letter!! There was too much else to do.

Tuesday: And now here I am. :]
I am so tired, hahaha.

Truthfully though, I could not have asked for a better beginning to my mission. It is so wonderful here in Eastgate. It is beautiful!! There are tons of trees here. None of them have leaves on them, so they all look very winterish and halloweenish and eery, which of course, I love. So I love seeing all the empty trees. There are lots of beautiful big ponds here, and the snow doesn't fall in one direction, it kind of just flies wherever it wants. It's fun to watch through a window, but not as much fun to be in. It is cold here, but it's okay. It's really cold when it's windy. And it tends to be windy when we go tracting. But the other night I realized that it doesn't matter how cold the wind is on my face, I'm just happy that I can feel it! The houses here are also beautiful. There are a lot of brick houses, that seems to be the popular style. Similar to Delia Draycott's house (ask Lexie about that).

Beautiful Ohio.  And the beautiful dead trees that I love so much!

I got the valentines package on valentines day and loved it. The brownie from Lexie was DELICIOUS. Thanks Wompers. :] And I got the Doc Martens!!! LOVE THEM! I wore them the next day. I'll try to attach pictures. We're at the library, and I'm not sure if that's a possibility.

Truthfully though, I'm doing great. I have a much better attitude about being here then I thought I would be. Sure, there are moments where I think, "Ah, I'd just rather be at home right now....I miss this..I miss that..." But really, none of that would actually make me want to really go home. I've had no freak out/break down moments. And really, the only times I ever think that are the second I wake up in the morning (And I've thought that every single morning) and when I get a song stuck in my head, or when I wash my hands with our soap (but that's a long story...). So yes, there are things that I miss. There are a lot of things that I miss, but they are worth giving up for the time being. And my companion is a great example because she is giving up even more than I am, and she is more happy to be here. But I'm happy to be here too. For a year and a half? Well, we'll see about that. It's a work in progress.

So, I'm hoping that I'll be able to write more than one letter each P-day from now on. There's just no time. But I'll try to see how I can get it to work. I love getting letters, LOVE THEM. And I wish I could send more back, but there's just not enough time for it. Tell my little lovely Lainie that I would especially love a letter from her. :] I'm sure that once I send this email I will think of tons more that I wanted to say. There already is tons more that I want to say!! I wish I could elaborate more, but it's time to go!!! I've really learned so much. It's so cool. It's very cool being a missionary.You get to meet all kinds of people and teach them about the gospel. Thanks for letting me have this opportunity Mom and Dad. It's pretty incredible. I love you all so much. SO SO much. Keep praying, STUDY the scriptures, and you will find answers and blessings in your life.

I love you! Send letters!! :]

Love, Terra

Tell Mitch we went to Skyline Chili!!!

Also, I can receive emails from anyone!!!  So tell everyone to email me!! (terra.allen@myldsmail.net).  
I can just only email direct family.  And I can only send one email. (well, the pictures don't count, because they're too big to send all together.)  So yes, tell everyone to email me! :]

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mail time! Last letter from Terra in the MTC

I just wanted you to see my cute outfit in this one mom. :] LOVE THE DRESS YOU GAVE ME

Dear Mom and everyone else who loves me enough to read my blog,

I'll be leaving in 13 hours for Ohio. Well, actually first Atlanta, Georgia, and then Ohio. (Tell the Winters family to meet me at the airport there!! Haha, just kidding. :] ) I'm so excited!!! And honestly, I'm not as nervous as I thought I would be. But maybe that's because I'm still here. Things may change once I get on the plane. In fact, they probably will. 

I have looked DAY AND NIGHT for John Winfield. Tell Jake that he is impossible to find. But I did run into Mark Standring!! (As the picture (below) proves). And I also got to see my dear "Tim Burton loving" friend Elder Ky Burton. I'm excited to leave the cafeteria. It's a lot like the cannon center. Every morning I get a plain bagel with plain cream cheese (I like things plain and simple) and a glass of chocolate milk and a glass of ice water. The chocolate milk is a new addition as of this week. I've been trying it out, but it's been giving me a stomach ache, so I think I'll quit that. Although, it's pointless now, I have no more breakfast meals here. HALLELUJAH!! I always end up putting too much cream cheese on my bagel and end up wiping off a ton on my plate. And then I play with it because it's squishy. And no one is there to tell me not to play with it, which is the best part of my day.

Look who I ran into!!   (Mark , a good friend from Crescent City -- he's going to Germany in 5 weeks)

Today I met an elder from Italy who is going on his mission to Madegascar. He was super friendly and talkative. When Sister McDougle and I told him that we are from California he flipped. He said he LOVES San Fransisco. When I told him I live about an hour away he threw back his head in disbelief. He described that the walls of his room at home in Italy are covered with pictures of San Fransisco and California. Isn't that kind of funny? All of us here dream of going to exotic places in Europe like Italy, and he dreams of coming to where we live. He's never been to California. Poor guy. I've never been to Italy. Poor me. I've also never been to Ohio. BUT I'M GOING TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!

I listened to a talk by Elder Bednar this Sunday. The talk was called "the Character of Christ." This talk, changed my life. It was the BEST and most WONDERFUL talk I have ever heard in my life. I took three and a half pages of notes. I wish I could describe all that he said, but the basis was that we naturally turn inward towards ourselves (the natural man) but Christ always turned outwards towards others. Even when it was expected or accepted or natural for someone to turn inwards, He would still turn outwards. Even when he was being crucified, He turned outwards. He never thought of Himself. It was such an amazing talk. Our first concern should ALWAYS be for the welfare of others. Always. When we get discouraged (especially missionaries) we should TURN OUT. Because it's not about ourselves!! It's not about what we want! Selfishness is not of Christ. It never was and it never will be. We should never use it as an excuse to hold us back. We should never tell ourselves that that is just the way we are. We should constantly be trying to change. Especially when we become aware that it is affecting others. Gosh I love it here.

Me and Sister Drake. She's in my district and my roomie. Her favorite color is also orange and she loves Halloween too. :] I love her.
Here's something cool. Today I wrote all 50 states in cursive. How is that cool you may ask? I wrote it with my right hand! AND I'M LEFT HANDED. And if I do say so myself, it all looked good. I am going to become ambidextrous. I'm going to work on it my whole mission. That way, if my left hand gets cut off or stops working someday, I can still draw and write with my right hand. 

Something uncool--I sleep on the bottom bunk. Well, that part is cool, but the uncool part is that when I woke up the other morning, I hit my face on the ladder and cut up my lip. It's not too bad. It was just fat for a day. I hope that is the extent of my injuries while I am on my mission.

I got an email from the Ohio Columbus Mission. Apparently, our P-Days there have been changed to Wednesday. So I won't be writing you on Monday. :/ Oh well. 

Also, I bought two phone cards. I can call home at the Salt Lake Airport (at like....6am..) and at the Atlanta Airport (sometime later in the day..) SO HAVE A PHONE WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES!!!! AT ALL TIMES!!!!!! The cards are confusing so...I hope it works. 

This work is amazing. My most favorite moments are when I get the feeling that I'm supposed to be here. Those are my favorite. Because at those moments I remember my purpose and am filled with love for all those people who I'm going to go find and teach. I want to tell everyone about the gospel. You should tell everyone about the gospel. I can't believe how much there was that I didn't know about it. And how much I did know about it. It's just all so amazing. 

I got to see Hiram one last time last night. That was special. I love Hiram. Truly, I think it was perfect for me to see Hiram, rather than anyone else. He was just the perfect person for me to see while I've been here. Cebre made the right choice. Well actually, I made the right choice since it was me praying for them to get married. I almost cried when I was talking to him last night, but I held it back. No more crying. I got a TON of letters yesterday. Almost too much, it sort of made me homesick. My favorite part is hearing updates on people. So keep doing that. Except, that is also the part that makes me homesick, haha. So...I have mixed feelings about that. :]

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!! :] I'm so excited to go to Ohio. It's just fun being a part of such a moving and inspired work. There are SO MANY missionaries here. SO many. It's very fun. I'm going to miss gym. I was actually getting semi-not-as-bad at volleyball. So, I hope that gets to continue. Something kind of awkward though, is someone asked me on a date...for when we get home from our missions. Super awkward....

I need to get off now. People want the computer. You're all fantastic. Thanks for your prayers. :]

AND JENNA!! THANKS FOR YOUR PACKAGES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D I love EVERYTHING!!!! Especially the skittles, haha. It reminded me of the valentines day you heart attacked the inside of my car and gave me a giant bag of skittles. I loved that. I love you.

Okay, I wish I could write more, but I can't!! Keep updating me about Bryce!!! I hope his tooth is okay!!!!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Love, Terra

Our district with one of our teachers

Another Video from Terra!

Hiram saw Terra again at the MTC last night -- probably the last time before she leaves for Ohio (which is tomorrow!!  Woo hoo!)

Before you watch this video, PROMISE not to be sad if Terra didn't mention your name in it.  Knowing Terra, she was well aware that she had to be quick with the video and quiet so she wasn't disruptive to her surroundings in any way.  So she probably just listed some loved ones, but had ALL OF YOU in her mind as she said, "and everyone!"  She misses you all!

Okay, now you can watch it!  :)


If the video doesn't work for you for whatever reason, just click here to watch it.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Terra's 2nd Week in the MTC -- Lots of Pictures!

Terra's District -- Nice to know she isn't shy around them!

I love seeing her drawings!

Terra and her beloved companion!

And yet another of Sister Allen and Sister McDougle

See the little drawing on Terra's spiral notebook?

Sister Missionaries out in front of the Provo Temple

Temple Day!

I hope all of those pictures sent well. It would only let me send one at a time...super lame. But I was like, "whatever! that's okay!!"  I said that to the email.  Cause I hacked the system by just sending a bunch of emails with each one picture rather than sending one email with lots of pictures. :]  Who's awesome.  I am awesome.

As you can see, I'm working on my pride.  It's a work in progress.  Haha, I'm just kidding.  Sort of.  This place is INCREDIBLY humbling.  There are so many areas where I thought I wasn't prideful, but it turns out I am.  It's all a great learning experience. Actually, last Wednesday night, after I sent you an email saying how much I love it here, I had a huuuuuge breakdown. Huge. Huge huge huge. I cried for two hours straight.  I already wrote to you about it in a letter, so you've either gotten it or not.(I did!)  But this place works you hard.  I wanted to go home. But then people said wonderful uplifting things and I got better. :] 

Ah, I don't have much time to type today!!  Cause I've been sending the pictures and talking to people, so I'm kind of using my time unwisely on the computer.  These people are just too fun, and we never really get to talk except on P-Day.  Ahhhh----we're talking too much!

I bought a mini hymn book!!!  My district loves to sing, so I bought a little hymn book.

AHHHH, so little time!!! 

Oh gosh, this is going to be a lame blog post for my blog.  I'm sorry blog. 

I love these people though. It's too bad that we can't really talk.  We all love each other, and we're pretty sure we knew each other in the pre-existence.  These people are fantastic.  Hahahaha  Elder Hatch (one of the elders in my district, who Cebre knows his sister) put a $20 in the coin machine.....and got $20 worth of coins.  And now they're all in my purse.  I'M RICH!!!!!!! :]

I'll try to see Hiram again before I leave, so he can take another video.  And I'll try not to be as camera shy. hahaha. 

I love it here.  I'm leaving in a week and IT'S CRAZY!!

Tell Jake Winfield I'm looking for John today and this week.  I'll keep him under my wing. 

I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Terra Bella  

Cebre -- Terra says to tell you this is your friend's brother, Elder Hatch!
Doing laundry alongside Elder Lemmon

Sister Drake (cool name!) peeking from behind Elder Lemmon and Elder Strong

Monday, February 4, 2013

A video? Wow!!!

Hiram ran into Terra at the MTC tonight and took a quick video with his phone. Wonderful to hear her voice!

Oh, you may need to turn your head clockwise to properly view the whole thing :).


If you can't get it to play, just click on the YouTube logo on the bottom right and it will take you right to the video on YouTube (or click here ).