Hermana Millington - Notes from New Jersy

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Day after the BEST Mother's Day EVER - May 9, 2016

Best Mother's Day gift EVER!!
(Matt was on the speaker phone with us)
May 2016
Well, you sillies, I don't really have a lot to say! I feel like I said it all yesterday and not much happened this week anyway!! Haha but it was a good one :)

I don't have too many great stories from this week, but the highlight was definitely skyping y'all yesterday! What a blessing. I don't even know how to put into words how happy it made me!! And thank you for giving me the opportunity to have a family prayer in spanish with you. My Spanish wasn't perfect, but I hope you felt my love and the love of our Heavenly Father. I definitely did. I could have talked to you forever and ever, I had so many things to say and so many things to ask! But good news: in 15 short months, we'll be able to talk FOREVER. I don't worry to much about you guys, I know you're in the Lord's hands. And we've got eternity to be together, so I'm happy to be away for a little while on the Lord's errand. Missionary life is the best life. Fully of day-old tamales and smelly shoes :) 

There was one awesome lesson we had with a sweet sister, Mina, this week. It was on Tuesday. This was the first time meeting with her, but we decided to talk about the  Plan of Salvation! We were teaching and everything was great, but she was being a little shy. She's never studied the Bible, but her parents were Catholic. So she believes in Christ and everything, but didn't really have answers to any of our questions (who is Christ to you? What do you think the purpose of life is? etc.). Anyway, we helped her out and taught and it was awesome. And I don't remember how we started talking about it, but we were talking about how the only way to know something is true is through the Spirit. We were explaining the fruits of the spirit (peace, joy, love, etc.), but how it's kind of hard to describe, but really real. And she was like "yeah, like right now!!" YES!! So we confirmed that it was the Spirit that was helping her feel "tranquilidad" and everything. It was so awesome. And she was really excited about reading the Book of Mormon and a pamphlet we left with her so she could know more and answer our questions better next time. So hopefully we'll go back and see her soon, I think we have an appointment set for sometime the next couple days! 

So the branch Mother's Day party was awesome yesterday!! I love our darling branch. Oscar "played guitar" (just strumming without any real chords..) and they sang this Spanish song that I guess is like "Happy Birthday" for us! It was a wreck, it was so funny!! And then Oscar tried to kiss me. That was really something. Haha it was so embarrassing, but I'm not sure who all from the branch saw.. Anyway, good stuff. What a funny little branch we have :)

But other than that, life just keeps on keepin' on! We have a new sister here, Sister Wood, and a new Elder, Elder Nickerl. They both seem super cool so far, I think they'll do great things for the English ward here. We were going to go to the beach today, but we kind of ran out of time.. So I think we'll go next week! Hopefully the weather stays nice and it can be good for us! I heard the best Jersey Pizza can be found at the beach. And I haven't had any real Jersey pizza yet.. But I will!! 

Anywayzzzzz, yeah. That's all. I just talked to you guys yesterday :) I love you sillies!! 

Hermana Millington

Bird Dropping - May 2, 2016

Meeting Israel and "Prayers of A Wounded Warrior" - April 25, 2016

April 2016

So I saw some more chickens this week, but they weren't crossing the road..

Oh man, this week was CRAZY loco. I don't even know where to begin! But yo, it was awesome. So many miracles. I'm not exactly sure where to start with all of it, but I have my journal right here so I'll just do a little day-by-day and add some other things at the end probably :)
So Monday:
After emails here at the church the other missionaries (our STL's and the Spanglish Elders) and us tossed a football around in the parking lot for funsies. We then went to an appointment with the Saavedras, which was so lovely. Their daughter, Maggie, was baptized over a year ago, but the parents were baptized last December! Super sweet family. So we had some dinner and then we had a cute little lesson about the temple and doing family history. They ended up coming to the Family History Center on Wednesday when we were there and got some names to take on the branch temple trip last Saturday for their FIRST time!! It was so cool. We love them. Then after some  contemplating and prayer, we went out knocking doors in their apartment complex, High Point. We had a couple other lessons that went well! The Lord surely blessed us with happy hearts. 
Haha I have written in my journal "I surely earned my pillow today." Both our appointments this day cancelled, so after a great district meeting we spent like four hours knocking doors! Because we don't have a lot of miles left for the month (thank goodness the month is almost over), we had to just go to one place and walk around there. But it was good! We had some great little door-step lessons with some really nice people!  After that, we did some comp study outside in the middle of High Point and that was lovely! That's a crazy place. People just drive through the complex all over the sidewalks and kids jump curbs on their bikes and stuff. It's so much fun! We then got a ride to the church with Gloria (our branch music coordinator) and we practiced some hymns with her because she wants to learn them better. She's the BEST. She's recently re-activated and she's on FIRE! She's going up to girls camp this summer and she went to the temple on Saturday and she's just awesome. I also got a darling picture from Lindsey Tolman in the mail on Tuesday that was AWESOME. Totally made my day (:
"Today was a hard day." Haha it was. All our appointment cancelled (again), so we tried some mall contacting to do something new. That wasn't very successful, but I really felt the strength of the Lord helping me to just open my mouth and talk to all the people that walked by. I'm not super great at it, but with His help we talked to quite a few people! No one interested, but that's okay. BUT the first guy we talked to was hilarious! We were just asking people a few questions (What is the purpose of our life on earth? Who is Jesus Christ to you?) and his answers were GOLDEN. So he said that he didn't know what the purpose of life was, but that if he wasn't here he'd be in Sagitarious... And then he was like "you guys don't know where that is, do you. It's the black hole in the middle of the Milky Way. That's my hobby--I study the 'other place.'" Hahahaha and then we started talking about the Bible and he said he wasn't sure if it was true because it said that Eve didn't have a belly button and that didn't make any sense to him. Oh man. Then we went and had the most AWKWARD lesson with this girl, Mary Lou. She was super nice, but I don't think that she was expecting us to actually teach a lesson and stuff.. Oh man it was awkward. But it's okay! We went and knocked doors in another apartment complex near us (miles, ugh) and talked to a couple people! Then we were trying to make rice pudding for dinner and it boiled over and put out the pilot light. So that was fun. THEN! We went and volunteered at the Family History Center! And it was so cool, so many people from the branch came to get names for the temple trip this week! That was definitely this day's miracle. We were so happy to have so many people here with us (:
We did LOTS of weekly planning this day! But it was a lovely time, nonetheless (: We had a great lesson with a little less-active family, the mom of which just had a baby! It's the cutest little thing. Oh man. But her kids were super darling and great at participating and it was awesome! But her son, Alfredo, just wanted "queso de mozarela" the whole time.. Haha funny kid. We then contacted around her for a little over two hours and met some really sweet people! Max, the second guy we talked to, talked to us all about God and how he prays all the time for like half an hour on his porch! Haha we just sat there and nodded and agreed that prayer is awesome! He kept saying "Solamente Dios" and pointing at the sky. He's got a lot of faith :) Then we found this funny house that had a doorstep leading up to a wall.. Hahaha so we took pictures of course! I'll send them in another email! It was way funny. That night we finished weekly planning and didn't put out the pilot light on the stove making dinner. We also saw a TON of HUGE turkeys on the side of the road this day and that was pretty rad.
Oh my HEAVENS what a day this was!! So we went on exchange with our Sister Training Leaders--me with Sister Baine and Sister Pace with Sister McConkie. They're the English sisters in our area right now and they're the BEST. I had such a wonderful time with Sister Baine and learned so much from her example! We talked to everyone and it was great! It was the beginning of a Jewish holiday, so all the hispanics that work for the Jews had the night off and everyone was outside walking around! It was sweet! We had 8 other lessons, which was so crazy! Sister Baine helped teach a couple, but she doesn't speak any Spanish so that was pretty funny! But she was great at saying hi to everyone and starting conversations for me to take off! Man. It was just so good. I don't even know how to explain everything that happened! But we saw so many miracles and met so many amazing people. We spent literally all day just walking around talking to people, we only had one planned lesson that didn't fall through. And that lesson was awesome! Leticia is a brand new investigator and I have a lot of faith that we can stick with her. She's really sweet. We also talked to these guys in front of their house that were a little bit under the influence, but really excited to hear about the gospel! They said they'd met the elders before and that they were looking for a church where people don't just take selfies the whole time.. So we told them to come to ours! The biggest problem we have, I've begun to notice, is that a lot of the Hispanics work for the Jews and they have to work every Sunday because Saturday is the Jew's sabbath. So getting anyone to church is a struggle and a half. We also went to Taco Loco for dinner, this sweet little taco truck I've driven past like twenty times! We met like 3 Jesus's, one of which said he had been looking for a church and then went on and on about the violence in El Salvador.. He was loco. But very kind! And then we walked down the street and I talked to a guy named Israel, who didn't seem super interested.. But at one point I was finally like "Israel, I promise you, as a representative of Jesus Christ, that if you pray tonight you WILL feel the love that your Heavenly Father has for you." And it was cool. I felt like the Spirit was really working through me the whole time we were talking, but I wasn't really expecting anything to come of it. But then on our walk back to our car, this guy who'd seen us give him a card asked for one too! So we really enthusiastically gave him one! His name was Pedro and he was AWESOME. He's totally going to be a branch president someday. Haha and Sister Baine even told him that! Anyway, he was super awesome, and Sister Baine was super awesome. Friday was definitely the best day I've had since I've been here! I felt so exhausted and so happy.
This day was pretty rad too! We woke up to a text from a number we didn't have in our phone our our iPad that said "I want you to teach me about the word of God like we agreed yesterday" (in Spanish, of course), so I texted back and was like "We're so happy you texted us! We don't have your number, remind us your name?" and we didn't get a text back! We were triste. But then we went and had our cute English class and the library and that was just lovely. We're happy to be there and helping!  We had a good lesson with the Vegas about the sacrament and were pulling SO hard for them to come to church on Sunday! They are a wonderful little family and we know this is the next step they need to take. They totally know it's true, they've told us, but there's just something keeping them from taking the action they need to. So we're gonna have to get real with them in our next appointment. But with love, of course :) And OH MAN one golden moment of this day: we were knocking doors on Cherry Street and this very intoxicated man answered the door and we said we were just sharing a video about Jesus Christ, it's just about two minutes, and we asked if we could share it with him. He said, "oh wait, I've got her right here." So he walked away for a second and I got SO excited to see what he would come back with. And sure enough, he walked back and showed us a CD called "Prayers of a Wounded Warrior" and said "tell me this isn't enough? I'm good. I don't need to watch your video." Hahahahaha and he was really nice about it! But we walked away and I could NOT stop laughing!! Oh. Prayers of a Wounded Warrior. I'm definitely looking that up in 18 months when I get home. Hahahahaha. Then we had a really awesome lesson with Alex, our recently re-activated guy, about the temple. He's so awesome. He is so close to the Spirit and so kind to us missionaries. It had been a little bit of a hard day, but the Lord knew what I needed to hear and Alex was in-tune enough to be able to say it. It was way awesome. Oh and THEN! Later this night, we got a text from the same number that texted us that morning and said he needed us to pray for him! So we texted back and said we would and that we knew he could feel God's love and comfort if he prayed too. He said thanks and that he wanted us to come over to his house, but we were asleep by the time we got it... 
So it turns out the mystery text was from Israel!! Isn't that crazy? I NEVER would have expected to hear from him again! But he said he wanted us to come meet with him, but we didn't have any time! So I said we could come on Monday or Tuesday and that he should come to church! He didn't end up coming, but we're really hopeful we get to see him in the next couple days! Anyway, it was a miracle. Like, that never happens. I was so surprised and so happy (: Not too much happened this day, and we didn't end up getting to see the Vegas, or any of our other investigators, at church. BUT we had a ton of less-actives there! It was so cool! So we made sure to go talk to all of them and we got a dinner appointment with a cute little family we've been trying to see for a long time! We're really excited :) We had a fireside last night up in New Brunswick, so we just went home for a quick lunch and then had to drive up to practice before the fireside. And lo and behold, I have become the mission pianist. Haha not sure how that happened, but it's okay! I pretty much just played piano for three hours straight but it was awesome! I played for four musical numbers and also some prelude. And THANK YOU for that awesome book mom, it was so fun to play through a little!! But anyway, yeah. I just played piano forever. But I'm happy to help and serve however I can :) I talked a lot to the Taggart's daughter, Sofie, who is SO cute. She reminds me a lot of Chloe and it makes me so happy to hug her and love her :) 

The work really isn't getting any easier for us here, but I'm still working on knowing who I am and what my purpose is and it's all good. I know that I'm doing my best and opening my mouth and that somehow or another we'll find the people the Lord has prepared. They'll show up and we'll be so happy to see them! But if not, it's okay. I'm doing my best and leaving the rest up to the Lord. And that's all I really can do :) But I'm happy! I'm tired, but I'm happy. Life is so good :)
Les Amoooo!
Hermana Millington
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