Hermana Millington - Notes from New Jersy

Thursday, October 13, 2016

"As If It Were a Dream" - October 3, 2016

Hey family!! How is everyone?  I hope good! I've had an eventful morning so far here in New Jersey--we taught a lady we found in the laundromat, and shortly thereafter witnessed the murder of a chipmunk by a cat. I also bought a basil plant and a ton of tomatoes, and we went to the mall :) It's been great so far!

This week is crazy! I feel like it's passed by like Jacob said in the Book of Mormon: "as if it were a dream." Time just flies out here! I can't believe it's already p-day again. 

On Tuesday we had district meeting, which all went well! We had a fun zone meeting at the beginning where we had some trainings on obedience and then went around the room and each person talked about something they liked about someone else. It was adorable. Really boosting our family moral. Then we went on exchange with our STL's! That was such a blast! I was with Sister Pace (as you probably saw from our Facebook video!) and we had a great time. We talked in Spanish for a lot of it, which was super good for both of us. I just love Spanish. We were going to teach the Law of Chastity to one of our investigators who's living with his girlfriend (yikes), but he ended up bringing a friend to the lesson. And let me just tell you about that. This man. His name is Hans, and he grew up here in New Jersey, so his English is perfect. But oh man. He was telling us about how he has "so much faith" literally for like an hour. He was telling us "you'll never meet another guy like me. You'll see this guy again, you'll see another guy again, but you'll never see me. I have so much faith, man. I could walk out in the street and get hit by a car, and I would rise again. I have so much faith, man. Aint nothin gonna stop me and my faith." ... Hahaha we didn't really know what to do.. But then he was telling us about how he's struggling right now and he needs more God in his life. He kept saying "like, where do we go?" And we were like "like... after this life?" And he was like "no! I mean, we fight and we fight and we fight, but where do we go? What are we doing it all for?" And we were like "like, you feel like you're fighting and you don't know what the end goal is?" And he was like "NO! I mean, why am I still here? Why haven't I died yet??" hahaha oh man. So we promised we could help him find a stronger connection to his Heavenly Father through learning about and acting on our message. And at one point, he was standing up and acting out Christ pulling Peter back into the boat when he started drowning. It was pretty hilarious. We aren't sure if he was totally there or not, but either way, he was crazy. But he kept interrupting us and the investigator and the member we had there! But luckily we had another appointment we had to get to pretty quick, so we closed with a prayer and headed out. He offered to say the prayer, but I said "no that's okay, I can say it!" and I'm glad I did. We later got to experience a Hans prayer. (*see Friday)  Sister Pace and I were laughing pretty hard on the way out of that lesson, though. That night we taught a couple other lessons, and we contacted the Vega family! It was fun to talk to them over the phone. We also sent them a video of us saying hi and singing their favorite song. It was so cute! Yay technology! Then we sat in our pajamas (my chewbaca, her giraffe) and talked for a long time. I love that girl so much.

On Wednesday we had a good time in the morning visiting a less-active, Guillermina. She's a really kind little lady. It was fun to teach with Sister Pace, we already had our comp unity down! Woo! Then we had some evaluation and talked about all the things I need to improve ---there's always lots. But I'm working on it! Working on being more diligent, more obedient, more patient, more humble and kind, more everything. It's a process. Good thing I've got a few more months out here :) Then we met with Fabian and Imelda Hernandez at the church. That was a little rough, they're passing through some tough things right now. But we tried to do what we could to encourage them to read and pray as a family, and to look for the good in everything. I love them so much as well. That night after we'd exchanged back, Sister Gibson and I had the best lesson with Silverio. We went in and followed-up on how he's doing with the Word of Wisdom, and he said "good! I've been eating more fruit and drinking more water. I'm really trying to be good." Haha what?! He's the best. Then we taught the ten commandments with all those hand-signals we used in that video (we've had that song stuck in our head all week, BTW), and that was pretty funny. At the end he prayed that he would be able to remember what they are. He's pretty awesome. 

On Thursday we did lots of planning! We also served at Habitat for Humanity in the morning and went to tacos for lunch. YUM! I actually really haven't had as many tacos out here as I thought I would.. They're just a Mexican thing.. We also made our little ten commandments video that day, and that was fun. We went to the chapel that night to help open the doors for some members that forgot their keys, and we had a good comp inventory there. There's just so much to improve all the time! Ugh! But I'm taking it step-by-step and working on the little things I can control :)

On Friday we were going to help build a house, but it was raining pretty hard.. So we went and talked to the site manager and he told us they weren't going to be doing much today. But we met a nice member there from New York! Then we went out to Blackwell Street and passed out some fliers for an upcoming party--una Noche de Hispanidad! That was pretty fun. Then we had a lesson with a really awesome recent-convert, Noe. He's really trying hard to do the right thing and improve himself. He's actually going to baptize Alexis this Sunday! Woo! Then we had another lesson with HANS. Man. We invited just our investigator and a member again, but he just happened to show up. Oh heavens. This time he was less funny and more disrespectful, though. It was so frustrating! I don't think I've ever been so frustrated in a lesson like that. He was ridiculous! I'm sure it was pretty funny to watch, though. Haha but I got a little sassier than I maybe should have been. But this is what went down. He started by offering to give the opening prayer, so we let him. He started in Spanish, and then switched to English and gave the Lord's Prayer in the Bible. He finished with "amen," so we all said "amen" and started looking up. But he was definitely not done. He launched into a probably five-minute-long prayer telling God what a sinner he was and how he just couldn't stop. Sister Gibson and I had to hold ourselves together after the first "amen" because we were caught so off-guard. Then he finally closed, and we went pretty quick into a video. We shared it and then started talking about faith is good, but we have to be obedient to the laws of God to receive all the blessings He has for us. Then he started talking about "Christ flipping tables" in the temple...??? We tried to bring it back and talked about how the people were being disobedient and Christ was angry with them, but he just kept saying "no, they weren't being disobedient! Christ wasn't mad!!" And then he got up again and started acting out flipping tables. Hahaha! But then we were trying to talk and he just kept interrupting. At one point he started talking about how hard his life was, and was like "I bet you've never had the police put a gun to your back." And we were like "umm nope.." and he was like "I bet you've never had a boyfriend." And I was really prideful for a second and was like "yep, I have!" And he was like "Oh really? I bet he wasn't as cute as me." WHAT?!? Hahaha oh my heck this man. Anyway, long story short, he's crazy. So we quickly testified and got out of there.

Then Saturday we had GENERAL CONFERENCE!!! WOO!!!! Oh man, I loved Conference this weekend. We watched the Saturday conferences in English in the primary room of the chapel. Then after the second session, they had a little birthday party for one of the RS sisters! Then on Sunday we watched the first session in Spanish because we had Alexis, Edwin, and Silverio all there. And Edwin brought his little 2-year old son, Santi, and he was SO CUTE. I think they all enjoyed it! Then between the sessions a few members had brought food so we all sat and ate together. It was a good time for our investigators to get to know some of our members!  Then the second session we watched in English again, and then we went to the Hernandez family Sunday night. The Elders helped us out and we gave a good lesson about trials and how the adversary fights us when he knows we're on the right path.
So in conclusion, all our investigators are doing awesome, Hans is crazy. That's the Dover life, I guess. It's crazy to think we only have a couple weeks left in this transfer! It feels like I just got here yesterday, but also like I've been here forever. But it's almost been three months! I hope they'll keep me here for a while, though, I feel like I'm beginning to get my bearings and work with the members better. The ward is amazing! 

We were so blessed to have General Conference this weekend. I loved all the talks! I took like 10 pages of notes in my little notebook. (side note, I think I have like 6 different journals/notebooks I've gone through so far. I'll probably send some home in a few months) There were talks given that spoke directly to me and what I needed, and directly to some of the people we're working with. I loved Elder Rasband's talk about remembering. That's something I learned a lot about in the Book of Mormon the last time I read it, and something I see a lot in the Bible right now as well. We're taught all the things we need to know, so why are we disobedient? Why do we fall away? Why do our testimonies falter? Because we forget! The natural man is forgetful and lazy. But we can overcome those tendencies as we WRITE things down. Spiritual experiences, awesome talks, happy moments, how you see the Lord's hand in your life, etc. The little miracles because so much more visible and important as we pay attention to them and make note of them. As I've gone through my mission I've been so glad to have all my journals to look back through. I especially love the one of when I was at the MTC! That was a rollercoaster for sure, but I'm learning so much, and I can see it in myself and the things I write. I'm very far from perfect, but the Lord is so patient and so kind. His hands are always outstretched to us as we just turn to Him. Something the lady in the laundromat said this morning is so true-- sometimes we just forget to look up. He's always there, always waiting, always loving, always forgiving. All He asks is that we come with a broken heart and contrite spirit, and that we give up our sins to know him. That was another talk I loved--from Elder Bednar about really KNOWING our Savior. 
Anyways, I love you guys. This life is the best, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm blessed to be out here!! 

I love you and pray for you all the time. But I know like it says in Doctrine and Covenants, you're in the Lord's hands :)

Hermana Millington

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