Hermana Millington - Notes from New Jersy

Monday, April 18, 2016

Chicken Sighting and Birthday Party - April 19, 2016

Eat a Pita
Birthday party for Hermana Pace
April 2016

Note from Momma Millington: I just wanted to share the memo line from Lexi's email today because it was funny and you'll need to see it to understand why she started the note like she did:

Why did the chickens cross the road?

BECAUSE SISTER MILLINGTON WAS DRIVING. But don't worry, I slowed down so I didn't hit them :) But it's true!! And it totally made my day to see these two little chickens crossing the road! Haha one of my goals this week is to celebrate the little victories. So that was a good one. Hahaha Sister Pace thinks I'm crazy, but I just really love chickens. Also there's a restaurant called Chicken Town that I really want to visit, but I just don't know if Sister Pace would understand. Maybe someday. I wonder what they serve there..
So this week! Oh man. SO many things. But I started a new journal! I filled up the one I got before I left! And so far I'm 100% on my goal to journal every day :) It's funny to look back and see what happened two months ago at the MTC. It seems like forever ago, and it also seems like just yesterday! Funny how time works. 
So here's what went down in the city: 
After emailing and everything down here in Tom's River, we went up to Perth Amboy to go on exchange with Sister Keys and Sister Jenkins (because of the temple trip Sister Pace and Jenkins took on Saturday). So Sister Keys and I had a few hours of Pday in Perth Amboy! It was sweet! I love that sister so much. We went to Target (which was super rad) because her mom sent a package there for her to pick up! I dunno, I guess she ordered stuff online for her to pick up or something.. But anyway, it was great! At one point we were looking at some skirts and this funny lady near us was looking at swimming suits and was like "oh I like that one, it's sexy." then she turned to Sister Keys and asked if she worked there (because of her nametag I guess?). When she said "no, I'm actually a missionary!" the lady was all "oh no, I am so sorry! I just said sexy! Oh, I am so sorry!!" hahaha I love Target. Then we grabbed dinner and  Sister Pace and I raced back to Tom's River for our appointment with the Vegas! Today's miracle: They said they'd come to church this coming Sunday!! Woo!! Last sunday was stake conference far away so they didn't, but they're totally coming this Sunday!! I am SO excited!
We went way South for lunch with the Guerra family on Tuesday! It was so sweet. They made us some yummy rice and some sweet beans and some funky plantain thing from Cuba! Sister Guerra is from Cuba and Brother Guerra is from.. El Salvador? Way cool. We had a little lesson with them, but it really ended up being just them telling us about charity. But it was sweet! What a nice couple. And the have a recent-convert, Max, living with them, so we taught him too and it was awesome! Our other appointments fell through, but we went contacting and found a guy with 5 chihuahuas and "enough faith," a woman from our English class, and a lady that cut us off and closed the door. My first door slam! Now I'm a real missionary! After dinner we had a pump-up talk to get us going and Sister Pace tried to teach me how to whistle, but I still can't.. Anyway, we tried to visit a member family, but they weren't home. But then we got a media referral! We never get those! But unfortunately, after racing over and trying to find his house, his address doesn't exist.. So that's a huge bummer. Poor Mario. Someday we'll find him.
We had a great lesson with Argentina today and committed her to live the Word of Wisdom! She is so fuerte. I love that woman. We're really hoping to see her at church this Sunday too! Then we cleaned our car and ran all over the place, including having dinner at some little Jewish restaurant-- Eat A Pita-- on Clifton. I had a shwarma pita and it was WAY good. Hahaha oh schwarma. How in the world do you spell that word? But it was delicious! I'll send pictures :) We had a good lesson with Angelica this night, too, talking about the Plan of Salvation. We totally put her on date and it was awesome! I love that lady. She said the closing prayer, and she's already at General Conference length prayers! Oh man, it was great. She was saying like "Jesus of Nazareth" and all this stuff right in the middle. She's got lots of faith :) We went to the Family History Center this night, but ended up just talking with our Sister Training Leaders. We're so lucky to have them here, they live in our apartment complex and are just the best. We're blessed. 
This day I was reading in Alma 17 about the Sons of Mosiah (requested by President Taggart for all the missionaries). I love that chapter. One part that really stuck out to me was when it said "they became instruments in the hands of the Lord to bring, if it were possible, their brethren, the Lamanites" unto a knowledge of the gospel. And I guess I just decided that I have to accept the Lord's will and the people's agency. I'm doing my best to be an instrument in His hands--to be obedient, to be working hard, to be committed--but I can't control everything. But that doesn't mean that I'm failing by any means! I'm doing my best, and if it's the will of the Lord and if the people are ready they'll accept the gospel. As long as I'm doing everything I can, I can't fail. Good stuff. I love that Book of Mormon.
So this was a fun day for sure! We had to drive an hour up and back so we didn't really do much else this day, but zone conference was sweet! Sister Pace and I sang "A Believer's Prayer" (I think...) and um. It could have been better. Haha but it's okay! We had a good time :) We talked to Sister Taggart after the conference and she gave us some great advice. She's such a wonderful lady. I came to realize that I am where I am with Sister Pace for a reason. Nothing is an accident! I have so many things to learn and this is the best place for me to be. I'm definitely learning humility down here, and that's what I need to learn. I might not be down in Tom's River to find a lot of people to teach, but I'm down here to find the Savior. I'm building my trust in Him and His trust in me. I'll be a better missionary for the time I'm spending down here. And I love it here :) 
We started the morning getting juked (ouch), but then we had a great lesson with Sister Ortega as Sister Guerra's VT companions! It was so lovely. She just had a baby a few weeks ago and it is SO tiny and cute!!  We then went down and had a lesson with Gerardo which was really awesome! And they fed us again, which was too sweet. His manager lady at that restaurant is the BEST. We love her a lot. And the lesson was super great with Gerardo, he's got lots of faith! And he said he'll be coming back to church soon when his grandma comes to stay the summer with them and he can get Sundays off! So yay! We then went home and finished our studies, and then zoomed over to a woman's house from our english class. It was alright, but she dropped us. But ya know, she was so stinkin' nice about it, I wasn't even mad! She's very Catholic. So I'm glad she's got her faith! It was a little bit of a downer, but she was really nice and it was okay :) We got juked our last couple appointments that night, but a sweet girl who just got back from her mission in France had us over for dinner! We talked to her about what she's going to do down at BYU (she leaves this week to go over!!) and about missionary things. She's the sweetest! It was so nice of her to have us over.
Oh man. So we had our English class at the library this morning and that was LOCO! We'd told them two weeks before that it was Sister Pace's birthday, and they felt bad they didn't have cake or anything! But we weren't going to have class the next week, so they said they'd bring cake in two weeks. Well, miraculously, they remembered!! So everyone walked in the door with cake and plates and cups and Coca Cola and water bottles and utensils and all kinds of things! Oh man, it just kept coming! Sister Pace and I could not stop laughing! And this sweet little short lady gave Sister Pace this darling little giraffe coin purse that we named Kevin and are using for our laundry quarters :) And then we all gathered around and took a picture (I'll send it) and sang happy birthday while one little candle burned on the cake. But they totally forgot her name right in the middle!! Oh man, it was too funny. I got a sweet video of it for Sister Pace, it's awesome. I love that little class! We then went to our branch president's house to look through some music with his sweet wife! I got asked during zone conference if I would put together a musical number with a few elders from the zone for this fireside we have on Sunday. Haha nothing like last-minute musical numbers! So we found some music we'll try to do, but the piano part might be a little rough for me :) We had a great lesson with Angelica, accompanied by Hermana Esteban! It was way awesome! We sprinted over to iHop and met Alex to talk about his temple experience and give him the last temple-prep class. He bought us some pancakes and crepes to go :) Then we went to the elder's apartment and they drove with us up to stake conference in East Brunswick. It was so lovely! Saturday was definitely the busiest day. It was so awesome. 
Today's miracle: we drove 3.8 miles! Woo! Just to the church and back :) The Guerra's (they are angels) came and picked us up there and took us back up to East Brunswick for stake conference. It was great! We're all getting excited for the Philadelphia temple opening soon! I don't think we'll get to go over for the open house or anything really, but it's great for our members! And oh man, the car rides there and back were LOCO. Hermana and Hermano Guerra just don't really agree with the GPS, so they kind of did their own thing. And the thing about driving in Jersey is that if you miss an exit or take a wrong turn, it takes FOREVER and a day to get back on track! Haha but we arrived on time and everything was good! Just minor car-headaches on the way back :) After some study that afternoon, we went to a nearby apartment complex to talk with people! We knocked on a bunch of doors intending to sing for them, and we only talked to like three people. But we got a return appointment with one! Another one opened his upstairs window and said we couldn't sing to him because he was in the bathroom.. Awkward. We also knocked on a door that had a sticker on the window saying "this property protected by Jesus Christ," which we definitely took a picture of. But we did sing for a couple little girls that were painting and talked to them for a bit :) Then we had dinner and walked to the church for correlation meeting with our branch mission leader. 
Oh man, this week was a good one. Not super great for all our numbers, but we're definitely trying! And I'm not sure what we're going to do without being able to really use our car for the next two weeks, but we'll totally figure something out! It's a great opportunity to try the dusty bikes in the corner of our apartment and get some good exercise! And we plan on taking a couple free hours to hop on a bus and see where it takes us! We'll sing and talk to people, whatever we have to do! 
Things aren't too easy out here, but it's great! The life of a missionary. Oh man. And I'm just getting started :) 
In other news, I finished third Nephi this morning! The chapters where Christ is visiting the Nephites are so beautiful. We are so blessed to have the knowledge and record of that amazing event. I just love the Book of Mormon. Go read it :)
Todo de mi amor!
Hermana Millington

Nerf War and Chickens - April 22, 2016

Nerf War/Zone Conference
April 2016
I heard some chickens this week! I didn't see any.. But it's become my new mission goal to baptize a family with chickens. Totally going to do it.
Well this week was crazy! So many things happened! But check it out: have you guys looked at the iwasastranger.org thing yet? And are you being member missionaries? Did you read Doctrine and Covenants 107 and throw Seth a party? Did you feed the missionaries mashed potatoes? Do all of it! Also, we drove down Clover street the other day, so shout out to her :) 
So this week! 
It was a fun Pday! We spent most of it here at the church, emailing and whatnot, and we also had a Nerf War with our zone! Hahaha that was so funny. Our zone leaders are crazy. But we love them! We had the gym all set up with chalkboards and chairs and tables flipped-over and it was super rad! I think we ended up winning.. But it was so fun :) 
On Tuesday we had zone meeting up in Eatontown! That was awesome! We drove up with our stellar STL's whom we love. We talked a lot about working with members and the law of sacrifice and decided as a zone we'd wake up at 6 and spend our extra half-hour doing something awesome, like reading the Book of Mormon or role-playing or something great. We went contacting on Lucy Street after and had one guy poke his head out his window and tell us he wasn't interested.. That was a little strange. But ya know! His loss! We visited a less -active, Judith, who lives way South, and that was AWESOME. After she was baptized she only came to church like three weeks and then had a super long trip to Florida and came back and just kind of fell away.. But she loves reading the Bible and is a fashion designer and we built a great relationship with her from the start! We're going back to visit on Tuesday to eat Venezuelan food and talk about Mosiah 4! We'll get her back to church for sure. What a great lady. 
This day we were gone pretty much all day! We had a new missionary training up in Morristown (a two hour drive). It was way fun to see my MTC friends again, and this time I got to see the Elders too! They're all doing great! They're all up North, though, I'm all alone down here. Boo. But this place is great :) We learned lots about lots! It was awesome! And also, I LEARNED HOW TO SOLVE A RUBIX CUBE. so that was super rad. That's what four hours in the car will do for ya. We volunteered at the family history center that night and I learned that we actually have a lot of work to do! The lady that runs this place was getting on my case about how our work is never done.. But it's actually true! So I did some work with some Millington ancestors, attaching files and pictures of headstones and all that good stuff. It was awesome! 
This day we had a lesson with Argentina! Woo!! That was a miracle. She's working on becoming a citizen right now, so that's a huge process and takes a ton of time. But once she's done (hopefully at the end of this month) she said she'll have the mental capacity to come unto Christ and stuff. So we have hope! We had our studies and lunch and a TON of weekly planning, and then it was 7 pm! Wow! So we went up to Clifton and got some Mexican corn for dinner and talked to a few people. It was alright! It was time out with people and it was good. But that corn was the bomb. 
We had some good lessons with Gloria and Gerardo in the morning-ish, and then Sergio cancelled our appointment at 2 because he had a doctor's appointment. And we haven't heard from him since.. So we're not sure what happened to that guy, but we're praying for him and trying to keep calling him! But we were sitting in a parking lot by Sergio's apartment and a new investigator, Angelica, texted us and said she had an emergency and needed us! So we asked her where she was, and we took off. She told us the emergency was that she needed help translating something.. So us two little white girls with our 2 and 5 months of Spanish were going to save the day. But then she said she wasn't home and we should meet her at her house in an hour.. So we went contacting a little bit and found a nice lady from our English class! We gave her a Book of Mormon and we have an appointment later this week! On our way back to our car, we passed a woman and said "buenos tardes" (good afternoon) and she was so surprised we knew Spanish! So we stopped and talked to her on a street corner for a few minutes about how we're missionaries and what we're doing, and we got her number! We were going to visit her on Saturday, but she canceled on us.. So fingers crossed we get to see her sometime this week! She was a very nice little lady :) Anyway, then we went back to Angelica's apartment and waited in the parking lot for like 20 minutes, but she texted and said she was still 15 minutes away! And we had an appointment! So we said we'd come back tomorrow, and then we had a lovely little visit with the Aparicios, a fuerte little family. It was great! I also got a family calendar from Nana in the mail this day, it was so sweet! I'm happy to have it :) 
So late Friday night Sister Jenkins and Keys drove down from Perth Amboy and slept at our apartment. Early Saturday morning we dropped them off at Alex's house to go to the temple with him and the branch president and another sweet lady from the ward. So Sister Keys and I had Tom's River for the day! So we went to our appointment with Angelica, and it was LOCO. She needed help translating some complaint she was filing at work, but it was so hard to understand the story she was trying to tell us! She'd talk and talk and then say "me entiendes?" and I'd say "I think so, you said...." and she'd get all frustrated and say "no. ustedes no pueden entender." (you can't understand). So I'd try again and again (Sister Keys' Spanish is alright, but she was more lost than I was) and eventually she pretty much gave up on us. And after like an hour I was understanding the story and everything (she'd told it like three times by then), but she'd decided she was just going to ask her daughter to help translate. Which is probably for the best. I understood, but I don't want to write something that isn't exactly right, and we don't need to get involved in work problems and filing complaints and things.. Anyway, then we did some How to Begin Teaching points (this message can help bring you peace, we want to help you find answers, etc.) and dove right in with the Restoration! The lesson went great, Sister Keys and I worked really well together, and she accepted our invitation to be baptized! It was a soft invite (without a date, just "when you know these things are true,..."), but there's hope! And two and a half hours later we left. And my head. It hurt so bad. Then Sister Keys and I got a cute picture by the water where Angelica lives (I'll send it in a little bit!) and headed back to pick up Sister Pace and Jenkins. After the other sisters left, Sister Pace and I knocked some doors and met a sweet lady we're going to see tomorrow! We also tried singing in the street, but there weren't a lot of people out.. So we knocked two doors before going home... and one of them belonged to a Jew. Oh my word, his face was priceless. So much fear. Poor guy. And the other was this nice guy that goes to a baptist church! Hahaha, good contacting time. 
Sunday was lovely! Our little branch is adorable. I love them mucho. We knocked some doors after church, one of which belonged to this lady that answered the door without any pants on... HAHAHA it was too funny. So she closed the door and returned shortly thereafter with some sweats on. Good stuff. The other door belonged to Enrique, a really nice man from Mexico! He let us in and we showed a video about Christ and it was awesome! He's trying to raise his kids right and teaching them about Jesus and everything, but he doesn't have a lot of time for church and thinks all religions are good. So we talked about how lots of churches have good things, but when Christ was on the earth He established His church with His authority, and we have that on the earth again today! We're going back to see him on Sunday, that's the only day he has work off. 
Sister Pace and I were talking the other day about the unique challenges of serving state-side Spanish. I think it's different from lots of other missions because of the humble situations we find people in. Lots of them work every day of the week and that makes it tough to come to church. They have little, sweet homes, and are very loving. It's different, and it's great! Our Spanish is coming along nicely (except with work complaints, apparently), and all is well over here :) 
I hope everything is good at home, you're in my thoughts and prayers! 
Go read the Book of Mormon!!
Remember how I said I was reading through looking for Characteristics of Christ? Well I've almost finished Helaman today and it's amazing. The Book of Mormon is incredible. I thought I had a testimony of it before my mission, but I didn't know anything. It's such a beautiful book, with so much we can learn. I love the Book of Mormon so much. It's just the best!! 

Todo de mi amorrrrr,
Hermana Millington

Training at Ellis Island - April 4, 2016

Hermana Pace and Lady Liberty
March 2016

New Jersey is crazy. It's so awesome! SO different from Idaho, though. I drove for the first time yesterday (I was finally authorized to) and that was something else.. We only almost got hit twice, it's fine. And one was a school bus, but it's casual. We're still alive, no worries :) But you can't really take any left turns on the big intersections here, so we end up driving in circles around jug-handles and all kinds of funky stuff.
It's super nice of the Jews to have those scroll things on their doors because then we know that we probably ought to not knock that door! How kind of them :) It's pretty easy to tell the Jewish v Hispanic v who-knows-what homes here, it's a blessing when we're knocking doors! We've been doing lots of that lately. We're looking for new ways and trying to get creative, but we're both still pretty new and inexperienced and it's a little tough. but it's all good! We'll get there :) 
Monday: We went to Hermana Dircio's for dinner (the RS president here ) and then zoomed out to a great lesson with the Vega family! They are so darling. we love them MUCHO. We then had a little FHE with the Saavedras, a family that was baptized kind of recently. They have a bunch of little crazy kids, it was fun! 
Tuesday: We had a great lesson with Sergio we invited him to be baptized! He accepted, but we've got lots of work to do. He's got great faith, though. And his health is improving, little by little!
Wednesday: We made cookies! Woo! We took them to some families that we hadn't seen at church and heart-attacked their doors. It was cute :) We're trying to show as much love as we can for our members and less-actives and bring them in! We had dinner at Hermana Salazar's and that was lovely as well. She's the only member in her family and she's so strong. What a kind woman. On Wednesday nights we help out at our little Family History Center at the church! It's cool to see all the work that gets done! 
Also today we met some very passionate safety advocates on the streets in Clifton.. They were yelling and going on about how we need to put our phones down when we cross the street. It's a good message, but they were really fired up about it! hahaha too funny.
Thursday:Thursday was CRAZY this week. We went to Ellis Island and got trained on how to serve there! I won't go back while I'm here in the South, but someday I hope to when I got up North! It was so cool though! It was about a two-hour trip up, but we got to see New York and the Statue of Liberty and everything! And I got to see my little MTC hermanas again, which was so fun! It was funny, I was talking with Hermana Davis about our areas and she was like "yeah we have a pretty little branch.. it's got like 300 people, but only about 150 actually come to church." and Hermana Pace and I were laughing because we have about 60 members and 33 were in church that last Sunday. Haha different areas, different people, different challenges :) it's all good!
When we came back down to Lakewood, we drove about 30 minutes farther and had a lesson with Gerardo, a less-active. He's got lots of faith, but he works on Sundays and can't make it to church. But he works in his uncle's restaurant (where we visited him) and they fed us! It was great, we'd been eating nasty car snacks all day. But we had yummy, fresh shrimp and fruit wraps. So kind of them to feed us. 
This night we went to Norma's house (a less-active lady) and brought our elders and tried to help her figure out her cable.. We weren't successful.. but we had a good time talking with her. We listened very patiently while she told us about her religious views and why she doesn't come to church and all that. Poor lady, she doesn't really have anyone in her life she can talk to or spend time with. So we're showing her all the love we can! And she was very touched that we came and we listened. We bore testimony of the goodness of the church and the blessings it brings. I know it didn't change her mind or her heart, but she needs love, and we've got plenty to give!
Friday: This morning we met with Gloria (who is recently re-activated) and read from the Book of Mormon. She told us about how she wants to get her patriarchal blessing and prepare to serve a mission and all that stuff and it was GREAT! We are so happy for her. She's awesome. 
After a crazy morning of calling pretty much everyone in the branch, we got Hermana Bolanos (she's an angel) to go with us to visit Sergio. We taught the ten commandments using cute hand signs and it went well! We then went contacting on Lucy Street and met Drunk (but very nice) Joe. Good stuff. We went to the Vega's later and taught about the Holy Ghost. Man, they have so much faith. We've just got to get that faith into action! 
We drove through a CRAZY rainstorm (Hermana Pace drove, thank heavens) and met with Ramon (a recent convert) at the church. We talked about the Word of Wisdom, and he said that's the reason he really joined the church. He's so great. He's actually Argentina's son! We didn't get the chance to see her this week, she's working on her citizenship and it's a tough process. But we WILL meet with her and it WILL be great! We love her lots. 
Saturday: HERMANA PACE'S BIRTHDAY  Saturday was a great day! On Saturday mornings we volunteer at a 3-hour English class in the library. It's fun! The people there are really nice and we're happy to help! After that we went to Panera and I bought Hna Pace lunch for her birthday. She turned twenty! She's like a grandma, pretty much. 
The first session of conference was great! I LOVED the first talk by President Eyring. Unfortunately I left that notebook at home so I can't write you all the things I loved, but know I have pages and pages! We then went to Alex's house and he'd bought a cake and cupcakes for Hermana Pace! It was so sweet! So we had a lovely little lesson and ate some cake, and then went back to the chapel and watched more Conference. We watched in the chapel in English, but on Sunday they had Spanish in the RS room. We still watched in English, though, so we could really take it all in :) But oh man, this second session was rough. The talks were great and everything, but this lady near me was snoring the WHOLE TIME. REALLY LOUD. Oh man. Good stuff. hahaha
We contacted a little bit that night and found a nice guy, Krystian, that let us in and we taught about the Restoration! It was super great! Hopefully we'll continue to meet with him. 
Sunday:We had our full four hours of study this morning and then went to watch Conference! Between sessions the Spanish branch had some pizza and chips and stuff, so we joined them for a little bit, and then we went contacting and talked to a nice guy, Jose, and showed him a video. This is when we almost got hit twice. But we DIDN'T and it's fine! 
After the second session we met with a nice lady, Angelica Fernandez. She's met the missionaries at People's Pantry, and wanted to meet with them, but they would never get in touch with her. But we found her again and she was so happy to see us! We taught a little about the restoration and it was really great. She's got a lot of faith and she loves us a lot already! She really loves to talk, though, so it might be a struggle to get some doctrine in.. haha but we're excited to meet with her again! I'm hopeful about it! 
Anywayz, life is good :) Go love on the missionaries. They need it. Have them over for dinner and let them take the left-overs plus some granola bars or something. 
Que mas... well I'm playing the piano a lot! Every Relief Society and District Meeting! And I'm singing in Zone Conference next week, that'll hopefully be okay! Pray for me!

Anyways, I think that's about all! The gospel is a beautiful thing and I can't wait to really watch it change lives. I'm still pretty new here, but I know we'll see lots of miracles in this area. This church is the kingdom of God on the earth and I'm so happy to be here helping others find the light and truth and joy that we have. Thank you all for your love and your prayers, I know they strengthen me every day! You're in my prayers as well and I know you're being watched over and blessed. 

I love you to the moon and back!

Hermana Millington
Images by Freepik