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

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