I’m Allen. I’m a versatile kind of guy. Where do I begin?
I’m 21. I was born and raised in Appleton, WI. It’s a medium sized city of about 74,000 residents. If you ask me, that’s a perfect sized city. It’s not too small where you know everyone, but it’s not too big where you feel lost in all the hustle and bustle. I’ve thought about running for mayor in the future, but no plans are in place.
I’ve been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or the Mormon Church) all of my life. I know it, I live it, I love it. I love being a member of this church. I don’t even want to know where I’d be without the church in my life. However, it’s more than justchurch, it’s about what the church is about, it’s about our Father in Heaven (God) and His son, Jesus Christ. We, as members of the church, are Christians. We believe in Jesus Christ as our elder brother and our savior. Heavenly Father sent Jesus Christ to this Earth to help us return to live with our Father in Heaven again. He was crucified on the cross and was resurrected so that we could overcome our sins, because if we live forever in our sins, we will never return to live with our Father in Heaven. Knowing this and all the other things that come from being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is what brings me joy in my life.
Something that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do to spread the joy that we receive from being members is to go on missions. As missionaries they go out and teach others the gospel. When these people accept the gospel, they become converted and are baptized members of the Church. This is something that I have wanted to do all my life and will be doing so soon.
This mission that I have been writing about was not possible just one year ago. Because of the physical demands that missionaries go through by being on a mission, I was disqualified because of my weight. Several months ago, I made the decision that I needed to lose weight. At first, I just wanted to lose weight for my overall health. Then, when I began to see the blessings I was receiving by overcoming what my body wanted, I began to turn to the Lord for strength and help in my journey. Not only did I receive blessings physically, but I began to be blessed spiritually. I was coming closer to Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. I began to read the scriptures more and more. It was being more in tune with the Holy Ghost that I realized I needed to serve a mission for the Church.
During the time I was losing weight, I served a different type of mission for the Church. This mission is called a service mission. I served at Church Headquarters in various positions. I served in the accounting department, reconciling lost checks; gave tours at the Conference Center; and was on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s stage crew. Looking back now, I know that without this service mission, the weight loss that I achieved would have been impossible.
I am only a week away from saying that my mission papers are submitted. The last step I have is to meet with my stake president (he’s like a bishop over a catholic diocese) and then I wait with baited breath to know where I’ll be serving.
I’ve been playing the piano almost all of my life. Since about 9th grade, I’ve taken up a serious interest in playing the organ. I enjoy doing this and it has been a very rewarding and satisfying hobby. Before my mission, I played in my congregation almost every Sunday. Right now I am in the same ward as Tabernacle Organist Richard Elliott, so it’s safe to say I’m not needed. My favorite memory of playing any organ would be the opportunities I’ve had to play the Conference Center organ. I’m grateful the auditorium was empty, or I would have freaked out. I used to sing in the MacDowell Male Chorus of Appleton, WI. I sing first tenor, something I have been doing since puberty. I love to sing the high notes.
In my spare time, I like to tweet, use technology, and eat bacon.