Hermana Millington - Notes from New Jersy

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sister Smith takes Lakewood! - June 21, 2016

Hermana Millington
June 2016

this is Hermana Smith
June 2016
Hola familia!!
Holy cow, this week was CRAZY! On Tuesday morning, I drove Sister Pace
up to Short Hills and dropped her off with her new comp, Sister
Rogers. Then I met Smith! She's SO CUTE. I'll send mom pictures :) but
she's so awesome! It was a little bit sad to say goodbye to my momma,
but I know she's really happy to go have new experiences somewhere
else. She's doing well up there!
Anyway, on the drive back on Tuesday, we accidentally didn't turn ONE
TIME and ended up on a bridge to STATON ISLAND. Hahahaha definitely
outside the mission boundaries! And the worst part: it was $15 to go
across that dumb bridge! We were so bummed so spend that much on a 2
minute turn-around in New York, but we could not stop laughing. What a
start to this transfer. Hahaha! That night for dinner we got Gyros at
this deli place, but they didn't have the right bread, so he used
tortillas. So they were gyro burritos. But so good!! It was pretty
funny to drive through Lakewood with Smith, I forgot it was so weird
to see so many Jews! She took all kinds of pictures. It was way funny!
I love my Jew cousins :) and we talked a whole bunch and got to know
each other, and she's great! She's still working on her Spanish and everything, but she's so good
at being fearless and talking to people! It's way rad.
On Wednesday, we took literally 175 pictures. Hahaha! Smith had never
seen the ocean before, so when we went down to see Gerardo at his
ocean-side restaurant we had to take all kinds of pictures! We've
taken a picture every day so far, and plan to continue that all
transfer! So many memories! We then did some grocery shopping that
afternoon and attacked our kitchen. Oh man, we threw like half of
everything away! All the food we aren't going to eat, all the
Tupperware without lids, all the random lists on the walls, it was
great! And we found this weird kitchen tool. We have no idea what it
is or what it does, so we named it Kathy and hung it on a tack in our
apartment. Hahaha I'll send a picture and maybe you can help me figure
out what the heck it's for! Pasta maybe?

this is "Kathy"
 We also popped some helium
balloons we'd gotten and recorded a beautiful version of "I am a Childof God." Hahaha. We had a couple good lessons ft. real delicious horchata, and that night we attacked the room! We swept and mopped, moved the beds, everything! It feels SO nice to have the apartment so much cleaner!
Thursday we did weekly planning, which was fun! I got to tell her all about all our people! It's crazy to be in a position now where I actually know people and know what they need and have to help someone else meet and understand them. It's a little overwhelming! But it's great, Smith is so understanding and so eager to know and love everyone!
Friday was an awesome day! So many lessons! We had tomales and hot
chocolate at a members house for lunch (it was like 85 outside haha),
then visited some less-actives who's son drew us cute pictures :) we
had dinner at some member house (crackers, tuna dip, and watermelon
juice), and then had a lesson with Maria and Antonio and the Guerra's!
Man. They're BFFs for sure. We ended up leaving and they just stayed
and talked for a while! We don't even know how long!! But they get
along so great and Hna Guerra is so good at answering their questions
and helping them understand. We're so blessed to have them come with
us for those lessons! We then went to try to find a past investigator
that had just moved, but ended up finding this guy named Jose instead!
Come to find out he's had a bit of a tough life and could really
benefit from knowing about the Plan of Salvation! So we'll be back to
visit him and teach him all about it soon! He was super awesome. We
saw Norma this night as well, and that was good! She opened up about
her son and granddaughter and invited us back to help her go through a
ton of papers she has all over her house! We're looking forward to
going back to serve :)
On Saturday we had our cute English class at the library, where the
teacher lady gave us some cute gifts! Something for Sister Pace
because she left and something for Sister Smith because she's new! We had
some awesome Cuban sandwiches at a restaurant in Lakewood for lunch
and then saw the Vega's! We had a rough time fixing our tire pressure
at a Wawa's (a gas station), and then went to a branch Father's Day
party! That was super fun, it was great for Smith to meet a bunch of
our cute members! We then went to see a potential for a first lesson
and ended up walking through a Christening party. Book of Mormon in
hand and everything. So much judgment!! Haha but we got a funny video,
I'll have to send that too! So many things to send!:) I got the
package you sent this day, and that was awesome! I love getting things
from home, you guys are the best :)
Sunday was so great! So many miracles! After branch council, we went
into Sharing Time to teach about baptism! Then we went into gospel
doctrine because we didn't think we'd have any investigators there for
gospel principles. We walked in, and guess who was there. Sitting
right next to the Guerras. MARIA AND ANTONIO. WHAAAAT?! I don't even
know. But they were there!! It was so awesomely. I just wanted to cry.
They are so awesome. And the Guerra's stuck right by them and
everything, it was the cutest :) they said they had a good time! And
then after church we ran into Hna Guerra in the hall and she said that
they were both getting blessings! They're both pretty old and sick :/
but they have so much faith. They're totally getting healed. If it's
God's will, that is :) but how awesome is that?! And Eleazar came to
church too! He walked in right before the sacrament! He's a
less-active we've been trying to get to church for weeks! So that was
super awesome :)
Yesterday was crazy awesome. We had an all-mission summer conference
up in Morristown! We woke up at 5 so we could be up there by 8 and
drove up with Elders Rajahkumar and Ransom. We went to a park and
played sports with all the missionaries, and we totally owned at
softball. Hahaha not really, but it was way fun! President Taggart got
way competitive, it was super funny! And there were missionaries
playing football, volleyball, soccer, everything! Then we had a
delicious lunch back at the chapel, and had a cool training by
President Taggart's son, Spencer. Oh also, I did a musical number with
some other sisters and told a Bible joke. Hahahaha it was great! But
this training was all about the power of humility and prayer. It was
so awesome. I'm so excited to work hard at getting better at prayer.
It was really inspiring and totally what Smith and I needed to hear
yesterday. The ride home was crazy. Three hours, and we were all
DYING. We stopped to get water and some Wendy's, we were so tired and
so hungry!! And the elders were even more tired, and they were
hilarious! We got some pretty funny videos. Haha I love those guys! We
later had a frustrating contact with some drunk guy, and a porch
lesson with Erin who has 8 cats. Wow.

Anyway, life is so great!! I hope they keep my here in T-Riv for ever,
it's the place to be :) Sister Smith and I are having a BLAST! And
we're both staying focused on our purpose and on our goals. I know
we'll see miracles here :)

I love you all, you sillies! Have a great week!
Hermana Millington

Thursday, June 16, 2016

THE VEGAS CAME TO CHURCH!! - June 13, 2016

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Familia Mia! - June 6, 2016

The Hermanas
June 2016
Hola hola :)

So I totally forgot my journal like a noob today, but luckily I have a list of things I have to tell you about this week! It was really great! Nice and busy :) And oh man, we only had ONE person juke ALL WEEK. Isn't that incredible? It was amazing. Wow. So here's a few highlights from the week:

On Tuesday we taught Carlos, Carlitos, and Anthony. It was great! Anthony wasn't there the last time we taught, so we asked Carlitos if he would teach Anthony how to pray. He explained it, and Anthony was down to say the opening prayer if Carlitos would say the closing prayer. But they didn't quite understand what we meant.. Anthony opened "dear Heavenly Father... carlitos your turn" and Carlitos was like "thank you for this day... okay your turn" and on it went back and forth. Hahaha Sister Pace and I tried so hard to keep it together!! But it was adorable and really heart-felt, so we just told them when they were saying the closing prayer that usually one person says it.. But we taught about the Plan of Salvation and talked about baptism! They said they're all down to be baptized if they have to to be able to live with God in heaven. But then they said that this summer is going to be really busy for them.. So they might have to wait to get baptized until this fall.. NOOOOO. So we'll see what happens there. But we love them :)

On Thursday, we had dinner with an investigator!! It was awesome! Brenda and Pablo invited us over for enchiladas! But Brenda was still making them when we got there, so she brought out some juice and then turned on the television... And grabbed a movie from the other room... Sister Pace and I looked at each other with panic in our eyes and were like "umm... actually... we can't watch movies..." Hahaha it was a little awkward, but she was totally cool with it! But we spent like all of dinner talking about missionary life. Then they told us about their lives and their work and it was great. I love them a whole lot. They're reading and praying, but we aren't sure if they're really developing testimonies.. But we're able to meet with them pretty often, so we'll keep working with them! 

So we had been meeting with this really sweet lady, Norma, but the last time we saw her she told us she was going up to New York to get some second opinion on some operation because she was really sick. And then we never saw her again. No joke. We called all the time and visited like four times, and the note we wrote the first time was always still in its same place on her door. We thought for sure she died. But SHE CALLED US. Hahaha and the first thing she said was "I'm not dead yet!" And we were SO happy to hear it!! So we'll stop by sometime this week. But it was seriously such a miracle. A phone call from the spirit world.

On Saturday, we LEFT MISSION BOUNDARIES. But don't worry, President Taggart approved the trip :) And it was a matter of like going across the street. Haha! We went down to the Philidelphia mission for some service thing! Our district leader who serves down south invited us to come with and help! We had no idea what we were getting into.. But we drove down and were happy to be there! But we walked in and this guy walked up to Sister Pace and I and was like "hello, I'm going to eat my breakfast tomorrow." And we were like "oh! Good! Breakfast is good!" haha anyway, we ended up serving at some big place for adults who need 24-hour care. Mentally handicapped people live there, as well as some care-taker people and music therapy people. It was awesome! It was this little carnival thing and we worked the game with the mallets that hit a thing and a frog flies into the pond and if it lands on a lily pad you get a Frisbee! Or a hat. Or like five of each, whatever. But it was a really fun way to spend a few hours that afternoon! So many kind people. And they were blasting music, which was pretty tough.. It was like "Boogie Oogie Oogie" and some Stevie Wonder and some Michael Jackson. Oh man it was hard on my heart. But yeah! We got some fried chicken with the elders on the way home and it was great fun! 

And yesterday. Check it out. Last night we tried to see this guy Ramon at like 6, but he wasn't there. After going a couple other places and knocking some doors only to find rejection, we prayed to know if we should try to find Ramon again or go to another street to knock (it was about 8 at this point, we had an hour of work left). As we were praying, I got the impression that we should go see Ramon. So we went back to his house, but he STILL wasn't there. I was a little frustrated because I felt like I had actually received a spiritual prompting to go back to his house, and it didn't end up working out. So I prayed that the Lord would help me understand. But we decided to knock around his house. We walked across the street a little ways and saw a house with this grill out front that was smoking like crazy! It did not look safe! Haha but we knocked and found Juana! She said she didn't have time to watch a little video about Jesus with us because her family was all eating inside, but we got a return appointment for Saturday. We asked her what she was cooking, and she walked us over to the grill to show us! It looked and smelled AWESOME. And before we knew it, she'd invited us in for tacos! Haha so we walked in through their living room, and someone was watching a soccer game. We stopped to ask who was playing, said "woo go Mexico!!" and walked into the kitchen. There were like four people sitting at a table and like five kids running everywhere, and Juana brought chairs to the table for us! We got some meat, rice, and tortillas, and oh man. That meat. It was SO GOOD. There was also some cactus and some weird seed thing we ate. Haha the food was awesome! But the best part about it was that no one even second-guessed us being there. Her whole family was totally chill with a couple white chicks joining them for tacos! It was too funny. We talked a little bit about what we do as missionaries, gave them a pamphlet, and said we would be back Saturday! We were so bummed we hit curfew, we could have stayed and had an entire lesson with them so easily. Haha it was so awesome!! Such a miracle. The Lord is definitely looking out for us :) 

It's been a really awesome week! Nice and busy and productive. Sorry I don't really have any pictures to send home.. But I love you all and I think of you and pray for you all the time :)

All my love!
Hermana Millington

"wait but if we live on the sun... wouldn't we die again?" - May 30, 2016

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WOW! SO MANY THINGS! - May 23, 2016

Temple trip!!!

This week was CRAZY!! So many awesome things happened!! I'll do this one in a day-to-day format, or I'll lose my place.. So here's what happened :)

Monday: It was a pretty normal P-day! We learned how to make salsa with Hermana Salazar, though, and that was way fun! We also saw Jesse and Maria Vega when we were walking around High Point and talked to them for a while. We love them :)

Tuesday: today we went on exchange with the Sister Training Leaders! Sister Wood and I took our area in Spanish, but she doesn't speak any Spanish.. Haha we got juked for almost all our lessons, but we still had a great day! This is her first time being an STL, but she's been out for like 15 months and is a great missionary. I love her a lot.  We had an awesome Spanglish lesson with Carlos and Carlitos this day! It was so awesome! They'd done their Book of Mormon reading and we talked about all of the restoration! Carlos had lots of good questions. At one point we were talking about prayer and how we can know these things are true, and he said he had a question. This was it, word-for-word: "so one time I was at my grandma's house that lives like an hour away and they were all there and they were standing in a circle holding hands and they were all quiet except for one who was screaming cause she was talking to God.".... and we were like "so, what was your question?" and he said "yeah that was my question." Hahaha so we explained how we do prayer a little differently, a little more reverently. And then we asked him to say the closing prayer for us, and it was so cute! He's about ten years old, and I think this was his first time really praying, at least out loud. He kept saying "we bless you that..." instead of like "we thank you.." It was so cute. Carlos works all the time, though, so we can really only go see them Tuesday afternoons.. But we're going over tomorrow to teach the Plan of Salvation and I have high hopes for them!! 

Wednesday: Today we had interviews with President Taggart! This was my first time doing this. It was really cool! We went up to Eatontown (about an hour north) and received some training from the AP's, as well as a little chat with Sister Taggart and the other sisters in our zone. In my interview with the President we talked about things that are going well and things that I'm trying to improve. There are lots! But we talked about how I need to focus on the things I CAN control, and let the Lord work with the rest. I can control how many people I talk to, I can control how well I use the phone to make appointments, I can control lots of things! So I need to recognize them and do my best at them, and then not worry too much about the things outside my control. That creates extra stress I just don't need :) I also got my iPad today! Woo!!  Our miracle today was that we didn't get juked!!! That was the first time that's happened my whole mission!! We had two member-present lessons, too! It was awesome. We saw Argentina with Sister Regus, and the Vegas. We had dinner scheduled with Eriberta Esteban, and she invited her not-member sister-in-law to come eat with us! It was awesome! And in our lesson with the Vega's Maria said she totally knows our message is true! She knows the Book of Mormon is true. We've just got to get her to take some action now :) 

Thursday: Today was AWESOME. We woke up a little early and headed up to Newark with the STL's for our temple trip! When we got there, we rode the train into New York. On the train I sat next to this guy named Doug, who's a drummer! He works in sales for some music label in New York City. Pretty rad, right? We talked a lot about what we do as missionaries and how we help people find Christ. He was happy to hear that there are people here helping people learn the word of God, he seemed to think everyone in New Jersey is Atheist. Hahaha. When we got to Penn Station, we hopped on a subway to the Lincoln center. When we walked up to the street, the temple was right there!! It was so cool!! It was amazing to see it right in the middle of things! There were broadway show signs all over, people walking everywhere, and someone selling flowers across the street. It was lovely! Going into the temple was a cool experience. It was amazing to see the real difference between the world outside the temple and the world inside it. There was an amazing calm, peace, and quiet as we entered the temple. It was so clean and pure, so different from the subway under New York City. After taking pictures after and everything, we ended up late to the train station, which meant we missed our train.. That was a little bit stressful, but we ended up just having to wait for like 40 minutes for the next one! It was okay! So we got some Auntie Anne's pretzels and hung out there. On the train back to Newark I sat next to a girl, Teressa, who reminded me a lot of Katherine! She was awesome. Super nice girl, probably in her late twenties. She's just about to start an internship in New York City and just graduated from law school. She's interested in international business and seems super smart! It was cool to talk with her. Back in Newark, we went to lunch as a zone. We drove through the city (which was totally crazy) to Elm Street Barbeque. There they have like 5 choices of meat, all of which comes with fries and rice. And that's it. Hahaha dad, if you're in Newark you have to check it out sometime! Some of the best ribs and chicken I've ever had. Seriously amazing. As we backed out of the tiny parking garage, Sister Pace may or may not have slightly bumped our District Leader, Elder Rajakhumar with her car.. Haha oops. But everyone's okay! No worries! On the drive back we did a 25 question get-to-know-you-thing with the other sisters and that was fun! We learned lots about each other :) Also today we got a text from a referral we'd been trying to get in contact with.. His name is David and he's like 16. He finally got back to us in a message that said "Hello sorry weve been really busy and we have a lot going on so we won't be able to join your church so sorry for wasting your time" hahahaha oh David. It's okay. It's just your eternal salvation. 

Friday: Today I earned my pillow :) We had a lunch appointment with the Guerra's who live pretty far south. They have another guy living with them, Max, who isn't super active, but has a bien fuerte testimony. When we got there, Max had invited his friend, Ryan, to have lunch with us! It was way interesting, because Ryan doesn't speak any Spanish.. But the Guerra's don't speak a lot of english.. hahah but it was great! We had some good Mexican and Cuban food and a little lesson about prayer. Ryan said he's way down to come have lunch and a little lesson with us again! He was a cool guy. We visited Gerardo down south too, and that was great! He didn't have a ton of time to meet with us, but things are going well for him! They gave us sweet potato fries and warm syrup like they always do :) We love them there at that restaurant! We had a lesson with the Vegas that went well! We didn't have a ton of time to meet with them, but we talked about sacrifice. It went over well and I know they're progressing! Yay! We then sped over to Maria and Antonios and that was awesome! They're a couple that the elders found a few weeks ago that have known a lot of missionaries in the past, but are still investigating. AND GUYS. THEY HAVE CHICKENS. So I pretty much have to baptize them now. Haha but they're awesome! And their son-in-law, Jimmy, was there and had lots of great questions! We talked about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and I think we can really get somewhere with them. I think getting the branch involved will be the key there. And hopefully one of these weeks I'll have a picture with their chickens to send home. We met with the Saavedra's tonight too, and talked about Lucy's baptism! They were so excited :) We love their family!! Anyway, today was an awesome day. I went to bed nice and tired :) 

Saturday: I felt sufficiently tired today too!! We had our english class in the morning, and then went to a potential investigator's house. We were pleasantly surprised, she was actually there and expecting us!! And her husband was there and expecting us too! So we sat down with Adellia and Juan and talked about the restoration a little bit. We talked about what we do as missionaries and he told us all about how awesome Mexico is. Haha but it was great! They said they'd read and we set an appointment to come back next Saturday! So fingers crossed for them! They're pretty Catholic, but they're open to talking with us and learning more! Another great surprise today was our lunch! We were going to go to some sandwich place, but Raul (our GPS) took us to some little deli and grocery store thing.. But we got some AWESOME sandwiches! And then we got Rita's next door! And good news, the Rita's was "under kosher supervision by Rabbi Yoffe." Oh Lakewood. We did a lot of things at the church to get ready for Lucy's baptism and it was awesome! We then had a little FHE with the branch at Hermana Laura's house! We didn't have too great of a turn-out, but it was alright! Sister Pace and I shared a little message about the temple and families and we ate LOTS of food. And, bless their hearts, they gave us a TON to take home! Seriously, we could feed the whole district for days on the food they gave us! But we're having a district cook-off tomorrow, so we might bring some rice from that.. Haha so much rice. But way good guacamole too! Anyway, it was fun! We then went over to another potential's house and were pleasantly surprised there! We'd seen them a few weeks before, but didn't really know if anything was going to happen with them.. But they totally randomly texted us on like Thursday and said they'd read the pamphlet we'd left and wanted to talk with us and learn more! We were a little nervous going into it because we didn't know if they'd studied some things online about us too (and you never know how that ends up), but it turned out really well! They were super open to hearing the message and invited us back! Super nice little couple. 

Sunday: This day was great!! We went to church and everything was good, and we went into Young Women's the second hour to help with the lesson about patriarchal blessings! It gave me a cool opportunity to study mine that morning and remember how cool those are. After we took the sacrament, we started getting everything ready for the baptism right after church. We went to fill the font, and HOLY SPIDERS. There were like eight HUGE nasty spiders down there :( Haha that's what we get for not having any baptisms recently!! But our branch mission leader was kind enough to come kill them for us :) We got everything all prepared and ready in time, and the baptism turned out to be awesome! Her sister, Maggie, played the violin and her parents both spoke on baptism and the Holy Ghost. President Judson baptized her and Brother Regus confirmed her. She is so darling, she was totally glowing. It was such a happy day for their family :) and like we do, we had TONS of food after! It was great! And they gave us more food to take home.. oh man.. Haha but we love our little branch :) We had dinner with the senior couple here, the Ross', and the other sisters and that was lovely! Then we set out on a people hunt for Ramon and Hermano Esparza, and both of them were home! Miracles! So we had little lessons with them and set some return appointments, which was great! 

Today has been a good day so far! Some lady at wal-mart asked if we had multiple husbands.. But other than that it's been pretty uneventful :) We got some sweet New Jersey shirts though! And some awesome skirts! 

Some other random things from this week you might enjoy:
-lots of "honk for trump" signs on the side of the road. hahaha 
-we drove past a place called Muscle Maker Grill. Seth would probably like that.
-a collection of bumper stickers saying "RIP King of Pop" and different pictures of Michael Jackson. Hahaha

Anyway, life is good, folks! I'm a happy missionary :) I'm not perfect, but that's what the Atonement is for! The Lord is surely blessing us. We're happy today for sure :) 

I love you and think about you all the time!! Have a fun party tonight, take lots of pictures of everything and send them all to me! 

Les quiero con todo mi corazon!
Hermana Millington

"Wait... You're not Catholic?" - May 16, 2016

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