Hermana Millington - Notes from New Jersy

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

This Week Sister Millington Held A Chicken - October 24, 2016

Dreams DO come true!!
This week was epic, people. Yesterday I held a chicken. And a rooster. If you can dream it, you can do it!!!! But it really was a crazy, and super emotional week. We found ourselves in three different lessons where people were crying! We didn't always know what to do or say.. But we made it through!

On Monday we met with Alexiz and talked about the temple and family history! Woo! We're hoping we can get him to the temple soon. And Benjamin, our other new member! We also stopped by a house to see if another old investigator, Joel, was there. He wasn't when we got there, but Walter and Reina (a couple members) and their adorable daughter, Genesis, were! So we sat and talked to them for a little bit, and then Joel came home! woo! So we had a whole lesson with him about the sacrament, and then read in the Book of Mormon together. And Walter and Reina are AWESOME. They're so good and being straight up with people. They ask good questions and have good answers! They're awesome missionaries. 

Tuesday I was feeling kind of icky about things, so I asked our District Leader, Elder Mendoza, for a priesthood blessing. It was really awesome! I received some strength and council I was looking for. And we met his new companion, Elder Jacobs! He's a nice guy. We then went knocking for a little while, and were angrily waved away by some lady. Poor thing doesn't get it. And then we met this dead plant and named him Peter. Gotta have a little fun out there, right? oh man. We also found some really beautiful leaves and started collecting them! After we had dinner at home, we went and saw Ivan and Steven Cruz. Ivan is like 13 and was baptized when he was almost 9. He's the only member in his family, and now his little brother, Steven (who is 8), wants to be baptized too! Woo! So we're going to be visiting them pretty regularly, I hope! We talked with them and gave them childrens Book of Mormons, and then Steven sang me a song. He is SO CUTE. It was this darling rendition of "twinkle, twinkle little star." we were dying it was so cute!! Then we met with Salvador at the church and read in the Book of Mormon with him. He opened up a little bit about how he's facing some trials right now. He didn't tell us exactly what, but he got a little teary and said he's being humbled a lot. So that's why we were finally able to meet with him again! Yay trials! Anyway, it was good! And he told me I speak like a Mexican!! Woo!

Wednesday was a really hard day. It started out fine, we had our zone meeting and then district meeting, and we had lunch at the Sarmiento family home. Then we went to see a family we've been teaching and working with for a while. We started out by reading some scriptures in Ether 12 because they hadn't done their homework, and that went well. We talked about faith and hope and having an anchor in this crazy world. Then we read the verse that talked about having a witness after a trial of your faith, and we brought up how baptism can be a trial of our faith. We asked them what they were thinking and feeling about baptism lately, and the father said he's good right now, he doesn't feel the need to change. Which we were kind of expecting. It's okay. But then the mom got really emotional and talked about how she'd been thinking and praying a lot, and had received the answer that she needed to be honest with us: she's just not prepared. She's not ready yet. She talked about how she loves us and what we do, but that she's not ready to change her life and be baptized. As she was speaking I was thinking about things we could say to try to keep them with us, to try to tell them that we could help them be ready, but when I actually opened my mouth and spoke, none of that came out. We said it was okay. We said we understood and we loved them. We knew what we shared was true and that their Heavenly Father loves them so much. It was a little bit tough to say that and not get emotional as well, we knew this was the end. But she has so much faith that someday we'll see each other again. And she will have been baptized and everything! Just right now isn't her time. So we said our "goodbye" and "I love you" and headed out. (side note: while I was backing Sister Gibson out, I saw the hugest possum ever. So gross.) As we drove home, we spent the first 5 minutes crying silently to ourselves. I finally said "Sister, I'm really discouraged. I'm really frustrated." And she said "I know. Me too." We cried and cried, and eventually pulled over into a parking lot. We talked about how disappointed we were that this all happened. Sister Gibson suggested we say a prayer, so she said it. Which is probably good, I didn't have a lot of happy things to say in that moment. She asked that we would be at peace, and that the missionaries that find them again will be able to feel of our love and the love our Savior has for them. It was a hard drive home. I had a difficult time trying to piece together my feelings. It wasn't so much that I was sad about what they'd done, but I was frustrated that Heavenly Father had let us work so hard for them just to come to this end. After three months of planning and teaching and preparing and praying and doing all we could for them, they just weren't there yet. I felt like I had failed as a missionary. I was frustrated and said a lot of angry prayers. But through that day and the rest of this week pondering about what happened, I've come to a couple realizations. 1. I didn't fail. If I did all I can, that's all I can. It's not my fault that they weren't ready right now. 2. I can't control their preparedness. Their agency is in their hands. Even though I know they know it's true, I can't make them do anything. 3. It's okay for me to feel angry and frustrated. But at the same time, I came to realize a little bit about how the Savior feels sometimes. I'm sure he doesn't get angry, necessarily, but I'm sure it's hard for him to see us make such dumb decisions sometimes. I thought I did a lot for that family, but just think about what he's done for us! From creating this world to giving his own life for us, there's nothing more he can give us. But sometimes we just don't get it. And as much as it broke my heart to see this happen for this dear family, I'm sure it broke his, too. So while it was a really difficult day and a hard thing to swallow, I learned a lot, especially about love. And when those you love don't make the best decisions, it doesn't mean you stop loving them. You don't have to love everything they do to still love them :) Anyway, Wednesday was a crazy day.

On Friday morning we went to see Marlene, a referral we received from the Elders a little bit ago! She cried and cried as she told us about how her and her daughter are having a hard time right now. We shared a scripture with her and invited her to keep reading in the Book of Mormon. I know that no matter what we're going through, there's always strength to be found in the scriptures. We're so blessed! We then went to the Habitat for Humanity site and worked on a house! Woo! We worked up in the second story, taking down some support beams. We had our hard hats and hammers and everything. It was sweet :) Grandpa Hillam would be proud for sure! We spent the rest of the evening hunting for some less-actives. We have hundreds in our ward, and we're not sure how up-to-date a lot of their information is. Since President Taggart has asked us to focus on finding less-actives and finding investigators through them, we've been going through phone numbers and addresses like crazy! We also met with Salvador again this night, and read in 1 Nephi 12. He's understanding a lot, woo! We were really hopeful he would come to church Sunday. But alas, not quite yet. But we have faith! We'll get him there! :)

On Saturday morning we went to find this guy we had an appointment with, but when we knocked on his door he told us he couldn't see us right then. We were literally yelling through the door, it probably looked pretty funny. Haha jukedddd. But then we went to the church and had a little lesson with Edwin. He's doing pretty well! We taught him the ten commandments with our nifty hand signals and it went well I think. We went less-active hunting some more, and found three people had moved. Dang. But we had a little miracle--one of them who'd moved lived on a street where an old un-contactable referral lived! Every time we'd tried to knock her door she wasn't there, and we didn't have her number. Since we were in the area, we knocked on the door. And boom! She was there! We didn't have a ton of time, so we shared a quick message and got her phone number. But she's really sweet and I think we can find some success with her! Yay! Then we went to dinner with the Stone family. Their mom is from Argentina, but the dad is from Idaho! Woo! So we all spoke english and their house was really nice and American and it was sweet! It felt like home :) We had some delicious empanadas, but other than that everything was very English. It felt so good to be there. 

Sunday was nice and busy! After church we had a lesson with Edwin and we brought Walter and Reina, which was awesome! They helped out a ton, for sure. Then we had a couple dinners! And oh man. That was rough. We had dinner first with the Montenegro family, our RS president's family. They're awesome! They've been having us over every Sunday with the Elders. They have a really great spirit in their home as well. We had some good food and good times, and then we walked outside and I saw their neighbors had chickens! And their neighbors are the Sanchez family from the ward! Woo! So we went over there and they let us take lots of pictures with a chicken, a rooster, and some ducks. It was a dream come true. Hahah! It seriously was so awesome. Except I really need to wash my shoes. Ew. But then they invited us in for a second and we had some ice cream sandwiches on some mexican sweet bread. It was yummy! Then we went to Rigoberto Sanchez's home and had ANOTHER dinner. Oh man. I seriously felt so sick. That's the most amount of food I've ever left on a plate and I felt so bad  :( But they were super sweet! We drove home and I just laid down on the floor. I've never been that close to being sick on the mission before! But I held it together. No worries :) 

Anyways, all in all this week was crazy. So many ups and downs. But I'm giving a zone training tomorrow about how we emulate Christ through our manners, posture, etc. and I'm excited about that! So thanks for keeping our elbows off the table, mom :) Haha! 

I love you guys SO SO much!! I can't wait to hear about all the miracles Sether will see down in Mexico and then down in Chile :) I know he'll be a great missionary. He's incapable of being any less than extraordinary.

Have an awesome week!
Hermana Millington

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