Hermana Millington - Notes from New Jersy

Friday, January 13, 2017

The craziest week in the history of crazy weeks - January 9, 2017

Sis. Holguin
 This week was insane, friends.

I went on exchange with Sister Kramer who was an STL and served in Englewood not too long ago! She helped me out a lot with some info about the members and STL things. She's awesome! We taught a LOT Tuesday night and Wednesday all day. 

On Wednesday we went to meet a new investigator. She's the saddest situation. She used to be 400 lbs and after some surgeries she now weighs 98 and can't eat anything or do anything. She just sits in bed all day because she's literally skin and bones. And she throws up everything she eats. And she did while we were there. And I don't know if you guys remember but I am SO BAD with that stuff. I freaked out a little bit. I couldn't stop shaking, it was rough. But we're going to be teaching her now, so that's probably not the last time that'll happen. But then at our next appointment their daughter also threw up. But luckily she was behind this curtain in this bed and we didn't have to see anything. It was so rough. But listen. I know the Lord loves me because he gave me this little trial. It's not anything huge and really, really hard, but it was hard for me. But He knows I need to grow a little bit, so he made a couple people really sick on Wednesday. Haha!

Thursday we had TAC and cleaned our apartment SO DEEP. It took so long, but it was so worth it.  Then we had dinner with the Torres and that was way too much food, but they're sweet. They're crazy, they feed us SO MUCH FOOD and like twice a week. And they're out of work right now and really struggling! But they have a lot of faith that if they give us everything they have they'll receive the blessings they need. SO much faith. 
Friday we had a good day, I went to Jersey City on exchange with Sister Freestone! She's super awesome. She just finished training, she's about 4 months old on the mission. We spent four hours walking around the city looking for people and didn't really find anyone. That was a little bit of a bummer, but it was all good! She kept a really good attitude, she's adorable :) We also had correlation with their ward mission leader at this Columbian restaurant and that was pretty funny. Then we had a lesson over Facebook with one of their investigators, it went super well! He's totally going to get baptized soon. 

Saturday was the craziest. I didn't stop snowing all day. We had a little table stand on Bergenline. We gave out some Christmas wrapped Book of Mormons and it went well! We gave out a lot :) then we were going up to Hackensack (about 20 minutes away) for some appointments, but we decided to stop at Pep Boys because our windshield wipers weren't working very well and it was really hard to see. Also Sister Holguin doesn't drive, so that was all me. But long story short, on the way there we almost got in a wreck three times. We were going down this hill toward a busy street and the brakes were locking up and I couldn't stop. I was already pretty nervous, and then I panicked just a little bit. I said "sister, I can't stop. The breaks aren't working, the car isn't going to stop." So she said a prayer that everything would be okay and I tried pumping the breaks all the way down this ridiculously big hill. Miraculously the car stopped before we reached the intersection and there was no one coming the other way so we made it through okay! That was a relief. Then we kept sliding all over the place and made it closer to Hackensack. As we were driving along, this car pulled out this other street and slid into our lane and turned a couple times. We didn't have a lot of traction, but we found some and drove around them safely on the side of the road. We almost hit a pole as we drove into the parking lot of Pep Boys and I was just so over it. It was really scary. I don't know if I've every prayed so much in my life, honestly. But after it all, Sister Holguin and I knew that angels were surrounding our car the whole way. It was a miracle we made it there and back without any accidents. I really know that our ancestors were with us watching over us. It was really amazing. 
We spend the evening in Hackensack because it took them three hours to get windshield wipers put on our car. But we got some food downtown and walked around in the snow and were the only ones out there! Then we made it back home eventually and had dinner with the Torres again. They're too good! 
Anyways, this week was really crazy and really blessed. I was really watched over, for sure. I know the Lord loves me. And I don't really know how to tell people that. I don't know how to express His love and His mercy and infinite atonement and grace. But as my wise companion told me last night, it's not something I can teach or tell, it's something they have to feel. So I'm figuring out how to best help others feel that.
 Time is going way too fast, I'm getting to be one of the older kids out here. It's really too crazy.

Have an awesome week! Stay safe in the snow!
Hermana Lexi

Feliz Año Nuevo 2017 wooo!! (and Lexi's 21st Birthday) - January 2, 2017

Jersey pizza for Birthday lunch!!!

Sweet Sis. Holguin decorated for Lexi!

party with Mendoza's

cake #2 with Mendoza's
cake #3 with Nora, Jared & David
This week has been CRAZY TOWN. On Tuesday we went on exchange and I went to an area in Union City! That was cool. Did you know Union City is the most populated city in the country? That's what they say. Anyway, we met some cool people and taught a little bit! It was super fun to walk all over the place and talk to people in English! I know that language! Woo! And the sister I was with was super awesome! Sister Flinders :) she's way sweet. So good times all around. 

Wednesday I became legal! Woo!! It was a super good day :) full of love and kindness and cake :) we exchanged back in the early afternoon and went to pizza for lunch with the other sisters! That was yummy Jersey pizza. Then sister Holguin and I had a great day together!! We had some bom's that had been wrapped up like Christmas presents that we took to a table stand on Bergenline and they went fast! It was fun. Then we went to see Pola, but she wasn't home, so we went to see her daughter, Pola (haha) who lives close by. We had a little lesson with her and her daughter and then showed them pictures of our families. Then Sister Holguin told them it was my birthday so she said she had a piece of cake for us!! And then came back and told us it had liquor in it.. haha so we stuck a match in it and light it on fire and they sang happy birthday and then we left. No liquor cake for me! Haha. We then went to see the Mendoza family, where we went for Christmas. They were so cute! Their daughter's birthday was the day before so they had all the cute owl decorations everywhere! They got me a cute cake and they sang! And then my beloved companion smooshed my face in the cake. Haha so I'm officially Mexican now! Woo! We ate a little with them too, it was good. Then we went to see Nora and Jared and David and they got me a cake too! Haha it said "Happy Birthday Hermana Lexi Millington." So cute!! They didn't smash my face in it though, that was nice :) then we came home super stuffed and pretty late, so I didn't get to finish opening my birthday presents haha sad.
The rest of the week was pretty crazy! Thursday we spent the day with the sisters in Passaic and that went well! Then Friday we had mission leadership council, and that was crazy. Then Saturday we had interviews with President in the morning and then Ellis Island that afternoon! We taught a ton of lessons this weekend together and that was super nice! We have 7 people on date right now, and we're really excited! Pray for them, okay? There's David and Brenda and Jorge and other Brenda, and Francy, and Alejandro and Noah. We're really hopeful we get some baptisms this month :) 

Anyway, life is good out here!! Things are really busy and crazy. But super awesome :) I'm learning about how I need to do what I'm asked, being obedient and planning like a boss, and then let go and let God (: the atonement is so real!! 

Also I just learned I might actually be coming home August 3rd instead of 10th! And whole extra week wooo!!! But I'm not sure yet.. so we'll see.. :) 

I think about you and pray for you all the time!! Feliz Año Nuevo :) 

Hermana Millington 

The BEST Christmas EVER!!! - December 25, 2016

The BEST Christmas gift EVER
This post is from me, the momma, Gayla.
Okay, so this is one of my favorite photos of my life, so far. All of us on Christmas day talking to each other on Skype. Seth from Renaico, Chile and Lexi in Lakewood, New Jersey and Matt, Chloe, Lance and I in Lance's office in the basement.
I had been looking forward to these calls for weeks (okay, months) leading up to Christmas, but on Christmas day, before they called, I was so excited I could hardly think straight! I thought I was going to burst with emotion, in fact, managing all the emotions literally gave a bad headache.

We talked with Seth first. The appointed time was to be 2:00. At 1:50 we were all perched and ready staring at the computer screen. At 2:00 there was nothing. At 2:05 nothing. My emotions were getting closer to the surface and almost boiled over when FINALLY at 2:10 we heard the connecting signal of Skpe, and then his handsome face popped up on the screen. There he was Elder Millington in his suit and tie. At that point my tears surfaced and boiled over. He looked SO GOOD!
He was in a member's home using their computer and throughout our conversation a little 2-ish year old little guy kept climbing on him giving him stuff, and tried to have a conversations with him. Seth was patient with him, and at one point when the little guy told him something, Seth looked at us and shook his head and said, "I have no idea what telling me." It was funny.
Seth's Spanish is coming along, but it's very different from the Spanish they learned in the MTC, so he's just smiling and acting like he knows what's going on, until he really does. That is his plan. I think it's a good one. He decided that his companion will most likely not lead him astray, so he'll just follow him and fake it till he makes it.

Christmas in Chile celebrated on Christmas Eve more than on Christmas Day. The branch there had the elders (there are four elders assigned to Renaico) help construct a Santa sleigh to be pulled on a trailer behind a four-wheeler. Then on the night of Christmas Eve the branch does a parade of sorts with Santa and his "elves" (the missionaries) and members of the branch in their cars following them. The parade goes down every street and the elders pass out candy to all the little kids in town. Seth said it took hours and they weren't back to their apartment until 1:20 a.m. He loved it!

So, we spoke with Seth for 45 minutes. It was awesome. He looked and sounded great! He was still his funny self.
Then, Lexi joined us!!!! She immediately lit up the screen!!! She absolutely sparkled!
She talked with Seth in Spanish for a little bit and they sang part of a little Christmas song about a Christmas donkey (which Seth thought was about a Christmas burrito until his companion set him straight- haha). It was really fun watching them connect like that. When Seth talked to us in Spanish Lexi looked at him like she was so proud, she hung on every word, just like mom's do when their little kids give a talk in Primary. It was fantastic.
I honestly thought my heart was going to burst at the sight of BOTH of them on the screen in front of me.
Seth singed off after 15 minutes or so with Lexi, and then we talked with Lexi alone. It was sad saying goodbye to Seth. He's SO far away! He will be fine. He's in the Lord's hands. I'm confident that he is, it's just that he's not here.

Lexi GLOWED!!! She looked and sounded amazing!  I could tell that she is totally immersed in her work as a missionary and the Lord has been blessing her with experiences that have refined and strengthened her. She was just bubbling with positive energy - the screen lit up with her laugh and sweetness. It was awesome.
What I think is so unique about her mission experience is the opportunity she has to learn about lots of different cultures. She said that in the past 24 hours she had had food from El Salvador, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Mexico and was going to have Korean food that night. It's so COOL! She's going to have quite the eclectic Spanish accent when she gets home. 
She has had great companions and wonderful experiences with the members. I can imagine that they love her and she has expressed over and over again how much she loves them.
It was hard to say goodbye to her. I was a total emotional mess by this point. I was just filled and brimming over with joy, love, gratitude, love, happiness, love, thankfulness, love, and love. For her and for Seth and for every single blessing that I have ever had bestowed upon me from my loving Father in Heaven.
This Christmas will definitely be a memorable one for all of us.

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