What do I say? One word says it all..... Just kidding there is no way
I could say everything in one word.... Other than SOUTH! We are so far
away from everything that it takes a 2 hour drive to get to the
mission meetings. But as Uncle Alex says, that is really not that far
to how it was for him in Australia.... But it seems far when my
companion can't drive. Yeah, so guess who has to drive 24/7? THIS BAD
DRIVER! She has literally feared for her life she says.... -_-
Anyways, yes, we are down south now. We are at the JERSEY SHORE! I
haven't been to it yet, but apparently there is a boardwalk and beach
and the whole shabang down at the end of our area, only it has been a
little chilly this week, so we haven't gone yet. I am really surprised
at how country it feels here... There are quiet beach towns, and long
stretches of road that go on forever. It is really pretty here, and a
really large part of all the residences here are OLD PEOPLE. I love
the aged and experienced though... And there are a lot of retirement
We are working with a lot of recent converts and less actives here
too.... It is really hard to find, because besides the retirement
neighborhoods, there is really just a lot of highways, so the main
streets here aren't very main, and there aren't very many people
walking around. BUT!!! That means we have to get creative and use our
recourses and finding tools to our advantage.... We have to be
Other than exploring and feeling very very lost and wondering what I
am doing.... There hasn't been a lot of exciting things that have been
going on.... So I will tell you the wonderful things that I am
learning by the power of the Holy Ghost.
I have had it made manifest to me that families are the center of
everything. Families are most important. Baptism is not the end goal,
it is going to the temple. Why? Because it is in the temple where we
make covenants that bind us to our heavenly families, and allow our
family relationships to remain the same forever. That is why we do
everything in the gospel and work in the Kingdom.... It is for
families. Because the Holy Ghost taught me this, I know that it is
true, because the Spirit only testifies of things that are true.
Also, I know that obedience is the most important thing! When we are
obedient, we have the spirit and are happy. When we are disobedient,
the spirit cannot be with us, and we can not experience the full joy
and blessings that have the potential to claim. Exact obedience to the
commandments and rules that we are given by the scriptures, prophets,
inspired leaders, parents, will give us PEACE! And we will be SAFE! 😊
we will be confident and everything good will come. :)
I love this! God is so good! And I hope that all these old people are
ready to get spirit slapped with some super sweet scriptures! I love
you alllll!!!!! 😘
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Ok. So here it is. I don't have a lot of time today, because CRAZY THINGS ARE HAPPENING! But I will give you the highlights.
And this last ugly picture is when we got pies on my birthday for pie day haha oh yes. My birthday is a national nerd holiday. :D
This whole week was a miracle. On Wednesday we went out to get in our car... and it was dead. Totally kaput. So we were like, well I guess we are taking an extra walking day, and ended up walking like 10 miles that day. But Heavenly Father did that on purpose, because we met SO many wonderful people on the streets that day! It was amazing, and it was a blessing that it was so nice outside too. And then when we got back home our car started right up. WHAT?! Yup. God needed us to walk that day.
Then on Saturday Sister Taggart (the mission presidents wife) came out with Sister Hale and I for 5 hours! It was so cool! She literally spent all day with us going to our appointments and teaching and serving with us! It was amazing! She is such an example to me of how to love EVERYONE unconditional of anything on their outward appearance. She took so much time to give everyone we passed by a touch of God's love for them. It was wonderful to have her there with us.
A while ago we met a guy on the street, and found out that he was a pastor for another church. WE said how cool that was and he invited us to go. We said we would go to his if he would come to ours, and he agreed. So Saturday night we went to this guys church, and it was SO CRAZY!!!! It was called the Casa de Gloria, and everything was in Spanish. I will spare you some of the crazy details, but lets just say that IT WAS SO SO SO LOUD!!! They had like 4 huge speakers and they had everything turned up all the way, and they were just screaming in Spanish and singing at the top of their lungs!!! Haha it was ridiculous. BUT he did end up coming to Sacrament meeting on Sunday, and said that we could talk about what he thought later! Haha I am excited about that, because Sacrament meeting is SO different from what they were doing in their church!
Sunday was wonderful though. The other sister companionship in the ward had a baptism, and afterwards there was a little linger longer.... only everyone expect for two people forgot to bring food for it. So what do the wonderful missionaries do? They bust it home during the last hour of church, and in a half an hour make delicious chicken alfredo, chicken salad sandwiches, dip to go with a fancy loaf of bread, and some potatoes and sausage and onions... We were SO proud of ourselves. Literally, it was like a loaves and fishes miracle.... only we found out later that the potatoes weren't cooked very much... which I wash my hands of, because I didn't touch them crunchy potatoes. But everything else turned out great.
Anyways. I just have one last thing to tell you all people. So Sister Hale got a call the other day saying that she will be training a new missionary!!!!!! We were stressing all weekend to find who is staying and who is going. because it is totally possible that either one of us could leave, because she has spent her whole mission here in Plainfield. So we got a call this morning..... Sister Hale is going to stay here and train her new missionary, and I am going to be transferred to Manchester, New Jersey and be a Sister Training Leader. WHAT?! Manchester is like 2 hours away from all the people that I love here!!! But it is ok, I will have a wonderful companion named Sister McConkie (I don't know if that is how you spell it)! I am super nervous to be going somewhere so different and have different responsibilities, but I know that as long as I am obedient to what The Lord commands me to do, all will be well.
I love you all! Thank you so much for your love and prayers and support! HAPPY EASTERS!
Our district and ward mission leader in the blue at the end of ward coordination... And yes the super tall one in the back is our district leader haha.
This is my last day teaching at English class.
And this last ugly picture is when we got pies on my birthday for pie day haha oh yes. My birthday is a national nerd holiday. :D
Monday, March 14, 2016
SO. WELL. This week. This week though. This week has been super duper insane.
Lets see how this all played out. So Monday I TRIPPED over FLAT GROUND while we were playing sports and totally busted up my ankle. (But don't worry, I'm 95% sure it isn't broken). And we also met with this awesome family that we found last week. Tuesday we had to go to an early breakfast meeting with one of the leaders of our mission, and learn how to help our ward better by changing our mindset and using the Temple Progress Report that we keep. Then after that we went to district meeting, had lunch and then had another training meeting. We also had a lesson with this AWESOME lady named Dawn, and she is on date to be baptized April 14! She is a wonderful miracle.
Actually lets talk about Dawn for a minute. She had heard about Mormons like a year ago and requested missionaries and a Book of Mormon and stuff like that. But then stuff happened and she moved or something and the elders in our district met her and started teaching her. But then she said that she wanted to meet with Sister missionaries instead of elders, so they sent her to us. So we kept calling and attempting to set up an appointment with her, but she seemed like she wasn't really interested, but then we dropped by unexpectedly one Sunday, and she is so awesome! She let us in, and we got to know her, and she is a hilarious, beautiful, black lady with some kids that hopefully we will be able to teach soon, and so the second time we met with her, we set her on date for April 14th! So anyways, we are SUPER excited about this blessing Heavenly Father has given us.
ANYWAYS! So that was Tuesday. On Wednesday, Sister Hale had a mission training meeting and went with another sister in our district. So I went on exchange with the Sister Wood. She is the sweetest missionary in the history of missionaries. So that lasted until like 4:30, then right after Sister Hale got back, we drove to go on ANOTHER exchange with the Sister Training Leaders.
BUT! So here is a funny story. We had called our district leader the night before to ask him who was staying in the area, and who was going to the other area for exchange, and he said, "I don't remember. I wrote it on a piece of paper somewhere, but then I think I lost the piece of paper... So I don't quote me on this, but I think it was Sister Hale who is staying, and Sister Baine who is going. -_- So cool, I thought I was going to go speak Spanish for a day. But when we were nearly there, I realized that I had forgotten all of the stuff for my exchange because we hadn't had time to go back to the house. I had no clothes to take, no makeup, no deodorant, nothing hahhaha. Just kidding it is not funny. So we texted the STLs, and they called us and were really confused, and said that they thought that it was Sister Hale who was supposed to be going and me who was supposed to be staying. And we were like what? So we called our district leader, and he said that he had accidentally told us wrong, and that it was switched. So neither of us had anything to go on exchange. But it all worked out. Sister Hale just smelled kind of bad the next day. Just kidding.
ANYWAYS! The next day we met with a guy who we found out was Muslim.... We are not allowed to officially teach people who are Muslim because of the complications that they have with changing into the Christian religion. The member that we brought with us was like what...? So that was kind of awkward, but really cool, because he wasn't defensive at all and we were able to have a really good discussion about the Restoration and the similarities we have. When we gave him a Book of Mormon at the end and told him to read the introduction though, he gave us a copy of the Quaran (I don't know if that is how you spell it.) and told us to read the first section.... So that was awkward too, so when we got out of the lesson, we just let the member keep it haha.
Then that evening we had another appointment with a lady named Maria who had requested a Bible, but when we went to drop it off said she already had one. We were super confused, so we met with her later and found out that she was a former investigator who was taught EVERYTHING but had never gotten baptized! She is awesome, and we told her that we knew that God had sent us to her again because He wants her to start working towards baptism again, and she said that she believed that. She has some concerns and fears, but we helped her to see that she had faith in Jesus Christ, and that He was strong enough to help her with those. We are meeting with her again tonight, and I am so excited!
So our mission has been doing something called the Consecration Challenge, where each zone has to be perfectly obedient to these rules that President Taggart lines out for a month, and the zone who makes it through the month without any companionship messing up more than once gets to go to the temple. Well guess who made it to the temple!!! It was actually really easy, because we were already doing all those things to be obedient anyways. So on Friday our zone got to take an extra trip to the Manhattan temple, and it was SO WONDERFUL!!!! I am so thankful for that blessing, because I really needed that. Heavenly Father really has blessed me with a stronger testimony of the Plan of Salvation.
Saturday we did a lot of planning and following up with people, and then on Sunday we spent from 8am to nearly 2pm in church meetings and councils and everything, so that was fun. But then we realized that we had forgotten on Saturday to put more gas in the car, so we walked like 2 miles to try to get to a dinner appointment, but then it was still like 6 miles away, so we had the other sister companionship pick us up... So that was fun. Plus my ankle is still swollen. But I'm not complaining because thats the fun of missionary life!!!!!
Well, I think I have about written a novel. I am so thankful for all of you, and the wonderful examples that you are to me. Heavenly Father has blessed me to be born into the covenant and into this loving family that is working together to be eternal. I love you all so much, and Ican never thank God enough for blessing me so much. Easter is approaching, and President Taggart has given all of New Jersey a challenge. He said that he wants us to get every single member of the church in NJ to share the new Easter Video that the Church made with 20 people with a personal note attatched. It doesn't matter if you use the cards, or facebook or anything. But I invite you to at least watch the new Easter video and share it with anyone that comes to mind. I love you all SO mucho.
SO. This week has been jam packed with crazy experiences. ARE YOU READDYYYY????
The first one happened last Monday night. We were walking down the street talking to people about the Gospel like we always do, and we met these cool guys and had some good mini lessons (one was with a preacher!)... and THEN! This guy was walking across the street, and called out to us. WE immediately discovered that he was VERY drunk, but he was like "HEY! You are church people right? You know God?" so we started talking, and even though he could barely even walk straight, he said that he wanted to change his life and stop drinking and everything and be closer to God so he could be there for his kids. He barely even knew English, so we told him that we could bring the Spanish missionaries to meet with him the next day. So we prayed with him, and he was crying and everything, but then his drunk friend came over and the guy we prayed with started getting really crazy hahah he was like saying that he kept tying to run away from his friend but he kept following him, and then he would start laughing.... it was funny and spiritual at the same time?
BUT! Then the next day we actually did see him again! And we think he was sober... (he still seemed a little weird) and the Spanish elders came and taught him, and it was great! Anyways.
The NEXT Miracle happened on Friday.... we were driving down the road, and pulled up next to this car, and you know how you look over sometimes and make that awkward eye contact with the other car, and then look away and pretend like nothing happened? Well that happened. I looked over and the other guy looked over, and so I smiled and waved, and he smiled and waved too! Then I was like, I gotta make this not awkward. So what did I do? I bust out the Book of Mormon, and point to it to show him! He started laughing and rolled down his window, and I was like "oh, we about to get a baptism." Just kidding I didn't really say that. But Sister Hale was SO embarrassed and was saying a prayer for the light to turn green. So I rolled down the window, and the guy said "I am already a member!" WHAT???? "WHAT YOU ARE?!?!?!" "Yeah! I was baptized in Ghana and came here!" Then the light turned green, and we started going, but we were flipping out, so he pulled into a gas station to get gas, and we like crazy Jersey Drivers park in a random place that we probably weren't supposed to, and ran over to the gas station. We found out the guy had been baptized in Ghana and now lived in Pennsylvania. He had been inactive for a long time, but he said that he would go back to church, and start reading the Book of Mormon again. Just then, he looked behind us, and a cop had pulled close to the gas station and shouted "HEY! Dont listen to those girls!!!" It was our cop friend, Officer Nick! He was just playing, but we all started laughing, and then we went home.
THEN!!!!!! The next miracle was that we were door knocking like a week ago in this random area, and found a house where a girl answered the door. No one else was home at her house, so we just left her a card with our number on it, and said that she could call it if she watched the video and wanted to learn more. So last night we were knocking in a completely opposite area, and knocked on this door where a different girl answered the door, and she let us in to show the Easter video to her and her friends, and guess who was inside? The first random girl that we met a week ago! Apparently they are best friends, and hang out all the time. So we showed them the Easter video, and they said it was really powerful and that they loved it. Then their grandma came down and was talking to us, and then their Aunt came home who was a preacher in a different church and we talked to her for a few minuites... so yes, it was pretty cool.
TTHHEENN!! We kept knocking down that same street and this lady came out from one of the houses and said that she wished she could invite us in, but her living room wasn't ready. So we asked if we could show her the video, and she looked really confused and was like, "I am already a member." What. She said that she was a member and had been requesting home and visiting teachers for a long time... But we looked at her records, and realized that she was one of the members who we had been trying to find for a long time, but her address was all messed up. It was such a miracle!
Anyways, We have been very blessed this week, and I am so thankful that even though it may seem like we are having NO success AT ALL, that He blesses us with these little miracles and simple pleasures that keep our spirits up. THE GOSPEL IS TTRRUUUEEE!!!! And the Word is good. Love you all and I am so thankful for your prayers!