Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 is Almost Over! :O....December 28, 2015

I'm glad your Christmas was awesome, and that everyone had so much fun this week!
It was one amazing week for me too!

Monday we went to see the Sandy Hook Lighthouse. Lol, that was something else. We thought it was gonna be crazy cool like the Barnegat lighthouse further south, but it was slightly....small. Lol! And we got there at 3:30pm cuz the Elders who did the research didn't do it very well- the last tour of the thing happened at 3:15pm. Sooo we took some pictures of the outside and all that, and then we went and poked around the deserted Fort Hancock army base that it was in. It was pretty cool, they had a walled off section titled "mortar battery" and there was a barracks in there too; we couldn't go too far in, but it was awesome. It reminded me of AFA where they have the missiles and planes on display as you drive in- there was artillery shells and missiles everywhere!  Then that night we had a powerful couple of lessons. We had dinner with a lady and her son for the first time, and then we took them as a team-up for the first time! It was amazing how well they clicked with the family we took them too. The kids were setting up play dates and the moms carpool by the time we were leaving haha. It was truly astounding to see the Spirit at work with the 2 families.

Tuesday we had district meeting in which I gave a training on Promised Blessings. And then I went on EXCHANGE WITH MY MOMMA SISTER BROWN!!!!!!! Gjgkdksjwnemdkedxvkd. It was SO beautiful. Oh my goodness, flippin best day of the past 11 weeks! We went caroling with the Elders for a few hours, and then we went to a dinner appointment and tried a referral and a few others. And we slipped right back into our teaching rhythm, and our jokes, and our silent communication skills, and our "looks", and and and and. AH! It was so amazingly wonderful and exactly what I needed to break me outta the box I put myself into the past 11 weeks! I'm slowly becoming myself again, and she helped tremendously! We stayed up that night pillow talking til about midnight lol, and then we spent the next day talking and like every spare moment talking.   It's kinda amazing how effortless it is with us. I compare it to me and Marah, I've never had friends like the 2 of them where we can literally talk for 6hrs and not fish for conversation starters or get bored. S. Brown is so stinkin amazing! Random thought I had: if I served my mission only to meet her, it was all worth it. Pretty sappy, but true nonetheless- she's too much and too cool and too awesome and too much of a boss. I want to be like her one day #OneDay

Thursday was our miracle day (and Christmas Eve!). We had weekly planned and we had put in a couple potentials or less actives that we could try afterwards. Well, we tried them all and were at a loss of what to do after we talked with them. So we were walking back to the car the first one we tried, and S. Kafu got the impression to knock a door. We walked up and knocked and a man opened the door. We said we'd like to share a Christmas message with him and he invited us right in! That never happens in Jersey!!! No one ever invites you right in! So he and his family had just gotten back from their church's mass, and they were out getting Chinese food, so we shared the "A Savior is Born" video with him and he loved it! He invited us back this week to share a message with his whole family!  Find #1.  Then we went and tried a less active, not home. So we knocked the neighbors door and a man opened the door. We did basically the above, except taught him on his doorstep. He was super open and loved us, he wants us to come back so we can teach him and his fiancé! Find #2.  Then we went to a less active's mom's house because we need to get his new address for the bishop since he moved away. Well he wasn't home, but she talked with us a lot on the doorstep and says that she really wants to read the Book of Mormon but due to a cataract in her eye she can't, so she asked if we could get a recording for her. She's not a member, and she invited us to meet with her this week! Find #3. And then for her, we were worried about being able to find a recording of the Book of Mormon for her to listen to. But never fear, the Lord always provides! We were going through the CDs in the car that night for some random reason, and we found a CD with Sister Allen's handwriting on it. We popped it in, and no joke it's a recording of the first half of the Book of Mormon. So now we can give that to her so she can listen to the scriptures!!! #MiraclesAllDayEveryDay

Friday. Not much to say, moving on....   Hahaha jk! Christmas was amazing!! So to start, about 8 of us missionaries went down to the Seaside Heights Boardwalk to take pictures at the shore. It was a beautiful morning, probably 60 degrees and foggy. I loved it! Then we went to the Toms River chapel and played sports and card games with our zone for a few hours. Then we headed back home and changed, and went to our first dinner apt at 2:30pm. It was with the ARP representatives in our ward, they're so nice! And the food was soooooo good! So we rolled outta there to go straight to our next apt. This one had invited the 3 sets of missionaries in the ward over, so all 6 of us were there. It was fun!  And then I skyped y'all, which was fantastic! Thanks for being so awesome! I'm so blessed to have a family as amazing as y'all are. Sorry if I was a little out of it, I was about ready to chop my head off my migraine was so bad. I wish I had been able to be normal haha, but oh well, there's always next time! :)

Saturday I went to the chiropractor with Sisters Brown and Jenkins. I'm pretty sure it was my neck causing my headaches for the past week, because now I feel fine haha! So that was a much needed trip. My neck literally cracks about 20 times each sides because of his magic hands, it feels so heavenly! :)

Sunday we had an awesome sacrament meeting. All of the new missionaries in the ward bore their testimonies and all that, so now I've not only conducted the Christmas program and sacrament meeting, I've also spoken in it too. Lol! What am I gonna do next week??  After church we went and saw our man on date who is moving to Manchester area this week :(  I'm sad to see him go, he's so close to getting in the water and changing his life for the better! He's literally gonna move and then get baptized into that ward, I'm so excited for him!!!

Something I read in my studies this morning:
"A third principle is this: we must counter the natural man’s tendency to procrastinate, to put off, or to give up.
As we progress along the covenant path, we will make mistakes, some multiple times. Some of us struggle with behaviors or addictions we feel powerless to overcome. But faith in Heavenly Father and in Jesus Christ is a principle of action and power. If we are willing to act, we will be blessed with the strength to repent and with the strength to change.
We fail only if we fail to take another faithful step forward. We will not, we cannot, fail if we are faithfully yoked to the Savior--He who has never failed and will never fail us!
I promise that each faith-filled step will be met with help from heaven. Guidance will come as we pray to our Heavenly Father, rely on our Savior and follow Him, and listen to the Holy Spirit. Strength will come because of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Healing and forgiveness will come because of God’s grace. Wisdom and patience will come by trusting in the Lord’s timing for us. Protection will come by following God’s living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson.
You were created “that [you] might have joy,” joy you will feel when you worthily return to your Heavenly Father and your Savior and step into Their warm embrace."  ~~Elder Randall K. Bennett
    I think it really speaks for itself. We shouldn't expect perfection from ourselves right now- God sure doesn't! All He wants is progression, not perfection. All we gotta do is keep trying! "Never give up! Never surrender!" :)  that just brought me a lot of peace this morning, and I hope it does for whoever reads this as well.

Love you all!!
Stay Jersey Strong.
Love, Sister McAllister

 Christmas Skype from her end
 Sandy Hook Lighthouse
 Back with Sister Brown for a day
 Christmas in Jersey
 Jersey Shore
 new companion .....Sister Kafu
 Christmas Day down the shore

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas.....December 21, 2015

Hola- from down the shore- me familia!!!

I'm so exctied to talk with y'all on FRIDAY!!!
Man, our family and Poly's tho, we cant get enough! Ilove em haha :)
I still cant believe Sci is gonna be in the MTC on the 30th. So crazy awesome!!

But anyways, lets talk about me here ;)

Holy cow, it is a whole new world down here, I feel like I just switched countries or something. The roads are crazy (the jughandles are everywhere), the area is sooooo cool (I finally have a township that's sketch!), and the members actually have ward council and do it effectively, like what? I was so shocked. And I met with the ward mission leader the first cpl days I was here!

Sooooo. Monday was a chillaxin pday, I packed and we got a lot of little stuff done. And then we had dinner with the Nash family one last time...I literally cried when I walked out of their house after saying goodbye to all of them. I couldn't handle it lol, I love them SO much, they're like family to me. And it was super hard cuz I wanted to give the boys hugs or at least something more than a high five or pound or handshake haha, but I just said bye for the next year at least and then we left. Emerson has left a huge hole in my heart. I never realized how much I would come to love the people here on my mission, but I was a hot mess that night as it sunk in that I wouldn't see these people for a loooooong time. S. Cardoso sent me a video and all it is is Joe sobbing his heart out and saying he'll miss me  oh my goodness my heart broke.  I can't wait to see all of those people I grew so close with again, I know I'll keep in touch with them after through FB or letters or something, but it hurts to know the rest of my mission I can't really. *sigh*

Tuesday was transfers, and I am soooooo far down south that it takes  1hr 45min to get home if there's only a little traffic. So we got back around 7pmthat night. I'm literally down in the boonies haha. But the south is soooooooo cool! Everything is so beach-ified and sandy and cute, and the people are cool, and there's so many black people down here! I. Love. It. I've been waiting to serve in an area like this for 6 months! I'm sooo excited.

Friday we had the all mission Christmas party with the Taggarts!! It was super fun! The food was great, the talks were awesome, the talent cool, the games fun, etc etc. I loved it! And then to my great surprise I had like 5 or 6 packages/letters waiting for me in the mail room! I feel so loved  but do you know how stinkin hard it has been to have those for 4 days now and NOT open them?? I'm literally dying of excitement and restraint. I should get a huge pat on the back for my sacrifice and struggle as I have patiently not opened them...and set the packages down and covered them with something so I didn't have to look at them anymore...*cough*. The temptation is so high haha, I've had my present from Marah for like years now and I haven't opened that one either. You should be proud. Can I get a badge for this? My "not-opening-the-present-early badge". I want it framed and shipped to me haha ;) although, I have gotten my present opening urge tampered by the fact that members here have given me 3 presents now---and I've opened all of them...they won't know! But I couldn't wait, I just had to! I swear I've degraded back to being a toddler when it comes to presents and things that come to me in the mission, I just have to open them the second I get them lol.  But don't worry, I'll open them at the appointed day, 4 DAYS FROM NOW!!! Where I get to spend the morning with the missionaries in my zone, which just so happens to include my fave ppl S. Brown and S. Clarke!!! Booyah.

Sunday was my first time meeting the ward, and guess what I had to do....s. Kang was transferred out of here and she has been directing the choir for the Christmas program today,but she's gone and I'm here now. Lol, so 5 min before sacrament I learn I'm supposed to conduct the whole thing, with a few choir songs I've never heard sung before. I wanted the ground to swallow me up and die. Flip. It was so terrible. Hahaah but hey, the whole ward got to know and see me for that hour- Silver lining! And they were all super nice about it as I uselessly waved my arm around and the organist shot me with his dagger eyes. :)
Random tidbits:
  1. Did you know McDonald's now has breakfast ALL DAY?!? This is the best thing since Wendy's 4 for $4 meals. Fast food is getting so much better each day. So beautiful. *sniff*
  2. My hair is visible to partially blind people. Yup. Take that Ariel! My hair is better than yours, muhahaha. #PrincessesGotNuthinOnMe    Ok so back story on this fact lol, when we were in NYC with S. Cardoso last Saturday an elderly man tapped me on the shoulder and asked which street he was on, so I looked for the street sign and told him he was on 65th street. To which he said "I just want you to know you have gorgeous hair, the color is so beautiful! You know, I'm partially blind and I can't see much, but I could see your hair! I was a Boy Scout when I was younger and my rabbi always told us to give one sincere compliment a day, so im being sincere. You have a wonderful day." And he then preceded to walk away. He was soooo nice! Lol it was super unexpected.
  3. I have an African soul. If I could have been born like as anything else, I would want to be from Africa. Those people are soooo stinkin amazing! I love them.
  4. The beach is not called the beach here. You don't say "I'm going to the beach." You say "I'm going down the shore."   Also, today will mark the 2nd time I have ever seen the ocean and I am SO EXCITED! I got to see the West coast first, and now I'm seeing the East coast for my 2nd time! So coooooool. Today we're planning on going to the Sandy Hook lighthouse. It's currently 50ish degrees, so it should be pretty fun :)
  5. I speak Creole.   Lol one of our investigators is from Haiti and he started saying some stuff in French, so I responded and interpreted for S. Kafu, and he was like "you speak creole?!" And I was like uuuuhhhhhhh no? But apparently "mange" means eat in both languages sooooo, haha. That was pretty funny

Thats it for me really! 
I'll talk to you in 4 days!
I Love you!

Stay Jersey Strong.
Love, Sister McAllister
 All her Christmas loot she received at the mission home
 Sister Brown, Sister Clarke
 Favorite family she had to say goodbye to this past week
 Sassy church vans....lol
 Mission Christmas party

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ellis, the Temple, a General Authority, Christmas Fireside, and Transfers...December 14, 2015

I am being transferred!!!!! I'm going DOWN TO THE SHORE! I'll be in Eatontown! AND. I WILL BE IN S. BROWNS ZONE. AGAIN! and I'll also have another Poly comp- her name is Sister Kafu. Lol, our family and the South Pacifics (E. Ketywan, and Lavalua something like that lol)

Oh my goodness Momma, thank you! I didn't realize I would be getting so much for Christmas! Marah sent me something, you sent me 2 boxes, Br. M gave me a gift, etc etc. I'm so blessed! I love you all sooooo much!!!!!1 :D

Wow, that did look cold for the tree! I mean normally theres lots of snow, but it isnt actually snowing when we go! Also, your weather is pretty crazy over there- we're still 50s and sunny. Everyone told me to prep for the gross, icy, 8ft of snow winters here, and its been beautiful! lol...... one sec, i gotta go find some wood to knock on.......ok, continuing:

SCI WENT TO THE TEMPLE AND YOUR PICS WERE SO CUTE AND NOW HES AN EAGLE AND HOLY MOLY ITS BEAUTIFUL AND I JUST WANT TO CRY IM SO PROUD OF HIM!!! Such a cute lil missionary <3   Also, tell Br. Call congrats! ( is it now Bishop Teeples, and Br. Smith and him, or what? i cant remember who the other counselor was... haha)

S. Cardoso is my favorite and im going to miss her sooooooo much! It was so wonderful to spend that day with her doing her family names and eating our street vendor food together. Shes definitely one I'll come back to see- I gotta go to Joe's baptism in June of 2017!

I'll be happy to just talk to you guys and gma and gpa and whoever else is there that day! only 11 more days mom!

My car's name will always be Phil- wherever I go. lol :)

Where to even begin with this week...it completely flew by and I have absolutely no idea what happened! I'll try to recall it as best I can in the short amount of time I have to email everyone.

Monday we had pday and we went indoor-glow-mini-golfing with part of the zone! It was super fun, and I won out of my little group (so our years of going mini-golfing as a family have paid off! #Success). Then we went to target and went grocery shopping and went home to shower and get ready for dinner with the Nash family! I love those people. The boys are like lil brothers to me, I want to adopt them! We should merge our families...Jenna just has to marry one of the boys, or KK- theres enough to go around haha. Nah, but they're super tight, I feel like y'all would get along with them real well!

Tuesday we weekly planned, helped a lady move into her house a bit, read the Book of Mormon with the cutest less active's daughter, and then cleaned our own apartment for transfers. It was a busy day, but a successful one as well!

Wednesday we had 5 set appointments back to back to back, so we were running like crazy trying to see and teach everyone! It was really our only full day in our area in which to do so. So we saw Br. P and talked about squirrels, we saw S. K and talked about her and her secret spy life, we saw Richard again, and ate lunch with Br. M again. Oh my goodness i'm going to miss all of these people sooooooo much! They've stolen my heart.

Thursday we went to Ellis for the day, and becuz the sun sets so early we got to see it! It was soooo pretty! Then we went and had dinner with our investigator Damaris. She's still recovering from surgery, but she went back to work last week becuz she's gotta pay the bills. She's so amazing. I really love her. I just want her to get stinkin baptized so bad! But it's ok, only when she's ready.

Friday we had an All Mission Tour with Elder David F. Evans, he just finished 6 yrs as the Missionary Department Executive thingy, idk. but he was super high up in the missionary dept- he counseled and talked with President Nelson every day! It was cool. He went around and changed a lot of procedures and traditions and really cracked down on all of us, but it was a great meeting. It's so important to follow our leaders- they truly are inspired of God. And no matter how hard it is to change, or how bitter some people are about it, it's always worth it.  Anyways, then we travelled home and helped prep for the Ward Christmas party that night. It was fun! We had a lot of LAs there, and we got to sit with them and have a good time. I love this ward so much! It's super frustrating at times and I feel like I'm just banging my head on a brick wall, but they are such good people. I'm going to miss them all for sure! This is what almost 6 months in an area does to you :'(

Saturday we went to the temple with S. Cardoso! But boy was it a whirlwind lol. She called us at midnight the night before, so we were like still half asleep talking to her- her ride had cancelled and so now she was wondering if we could meet at her house at 6:45am instead of 9am. Oh gosh lol, so we said sure we'll be there and went back to sleep. We woke up at 5:30am and got going, only to find her there with a bunch of the sisters from our ward that we love! Lol, they drove us to the temple, and then they went through a session while we went and did baptisms for S. Cardosos grandmas and grandpa and dad. The Spirit was so powerful! I've done probly like 100 baptisms by now, but I've never done or seen done a family name. Wow. It really brought it home for me seeing her baptized for her grandmas- these really are saving ordinances. We are doing the work for them so they have the opportunity to feel like we feel- to be saved as well- and to live with us for eternity! Think about it. Everyone who ever has lived or ever will has the amazing, blessed opportunity to be baptized at some point by proxy. We are literally saving souls when we go to the temple. I just want to cry right now lol, it's so beautiful. I constantly find myself thinking "O how great the plan of our God!" (2 Nephi 9:13) all the time. He is so amazing, and His plan is perfect.      Anyways, at the temple (which we didnt purposely set up *cough*) we saw S. Brown and her comp and a bunch of other missionaries, so we got to go through a session with them! It was so special, I loved it. Then we ate our lamb gyros (street vendors man)  with S. Cardoso- they're only $5 and they are heaven wrapped in tin foil- I wanted like 10 more after my first bite haha. We got home and then went to appointments the rest of the night.

Sunday we had church, my last Sunday in Emerson. Bittersweet. It was a great Sunday too.  After church we drove to Morristown for the Missionary Musical Christmas Fireside! We had been practicing for a while, and it was beautiful. The Spirit was so strong, and yes I cried during the last song when the whole congregation started singing. It's amazing the Spirit that can be brought by music.

And then this morning I got my transfer call. Eatontown here I come! I'm excited I'm going to the shore in the winter- cuz I could NOT stand the heat in the summer...can you imagine?? I would like literally melt and die haha. So I'm going from Zone 1 to Zone 8, from the very top north, to the very bottom south. Fun stuff! lol Im excited, so we'll see how this next transfer goes....which, ok mom, don't flip out. But the way things are looking now, I wont be home for Christmas next year- we got pushed back 2 weeks, so its looking like the first week of January for me. The next 2 transfers are going to be 7 weeks long instead of 6. haha, so sorry! I wish I coulda been, and I might still be- who knows!

Anyways, I love you all!!! I'll send you my address next week? Is that too close to Christmas to have them sent? If so, send em to the mission home.

Stay Jersey Strong!
Sister McAllister
 temple trip
 street vendor food
 She is 94
 Look who she met at the Temple? more missionaries

Monday, December 7, 2015

Miracles All Day Every Day In Emerson.....December 7, 2015

Mom. I'm going to tell you something, and then I'm going to tell you something else, ok? Ok. Prepare yourself- "Don't [flip] out!" (<--Tangled) Christmas is in 18 days! Pretty crazy right? Last I checked it was Halloween! haha  I'm super excited when y'all get to open my presents, I was sooooo happy when I found each one :)
Transfers are on the 15, so next Tuesday, and I will find out if I'm leaving or staying on Sunday night at 10pm. lol, so I'll email you next Monday and let ya know! Everyone says it would be crazy if I stayed another, but we'll see- cuz I dont really feel like I'm leaving, ironically.
AH! Liz and Maureen! tell them Hi for meeeeeeee!!! I love them soooo much :)
That's a stinkin awesome Nativity from the Waldo fire. I can't believe anything survived! That was one scary, huge fire.
YAY tree!!!! Pleeaaassseeee send me pics next week!
Idk about ornaments, just get me something nerdy like always lol!
SCI IS GOING TO THE TEMPLE AND GIVING HIS FAREWELL THIS WEEK?!?! WHEN DID HE GET SO OLD??? AHHHHHHHHHHHH thats soooooooo exciting!!!!! Please oh please oh please tell him I love and miss him!!! He's gonna slay in Arkansas!

Pday was pretty fun, we played soccer and gator ball again. A lot of people actually showed up this time! Then we had dinner with the Nashes that night, and went to an apt with a LA and her non member son. We got to teach them about the importance of reading the Book of Mormon and gave them a reading plan for this month to get them started :)

Tuesday was awesome! We had an all mission mtg in Short Hills! It was super fun to see everyone again, and they showed a rly cool video of transfer conference. We then practiced for 2 hrs after lunch as a mission our Christmas music that were doing for the huge fireside were putting on on the 13. And y'all know how much I love singing (in groups), so that was fun! And then we drove for 2.5 hours to get home cuz traffic. Lame.

Wednesday we drove down to Newark and back...twice. Oh goodness our miles are gonna be shot this month! Haha, but we picked up S. Cooper so she could come with us while her comp went to the temple. We had a great day of helping some members with health problems put up their Christmas decorations, and we met with Br. M. He's so awesome! He's gonna be Santa for the ward party this week haha. That night as we were coming back from Newark we got a call from the elders in the area above us- they were stranded! So we drove the 30 min to them and took them to their apartment since their car was in the shop. They gave us sushi as thanks, so I think we're pretty square haha #WayToAMissionarysHeart

Thursday we planned in the morning, and then in the afternoon we just went and tried literally everyone we had a name for in New Milford. And we talked to ALL 4!!! We taught 2 of them, touched base with the 3rd, and set up a return apt with the 4th! MIRACLES!!! (To be said like Josh says "spherical" #FlashbackToChildhood) And one of the two people we taught is super, weirdly prepared! She grew up in India in a non religious house, but she went to a missionary school. Whose parents do that? haha  She was taught to pray and about the importance of Sunday, etc. and she said that all the missionaries wore a white robe like thing with a blue sash, and that when we knocked on her door a cpl weeks ago, she recognized us and wanted to talk with us! (Which ok, we weren't wearing white or blue robe things, but we'll take it) super cool! And she straight up asked us if our church had a Christmas thing this season, and we pulled out 2 different flyers for a fireside and the ward party and gave them to her! So cooool!

Friday we had mini pday, in which I drew an Elder a Yoda, and also in which I got like 20 bazillion requests for drawing and holy moly I have absolutely NO time to draw on the mission! Presssssuuuuurrrrrreeeee. Anyways, then we went and saw a bunch of our less actives that day. Richard played us a bunch of songs on his keyboard, S. K gave us cookies...again..., Br. P showed us more squirrel videos he made- again, and S. B talked our ears off and had us crying from laughter- again. It was a beautiful day! Lol. And while we were at S. Ks home, the secretary lady stopped us and asked if we were church people, we said yup, and then she asked if our church ever went on missions. Haha! So we got to tell her all about our missions and the church, and she said that's stinkin awesome and she always wanted to go on a mission in her church, but never did. I was gonna tell her that we have senior missionaries too, if she wanted to go on a mission ;) but we ran out of time and had to leave to make it to our next apt. Pretty cool unplanned teaching stuff!! I love it!

Saturday weeeeeeeeeeeee- sat in a car shop for 5 hours...... Yup our poor little Phil (short for Philip---short for Philip J. Coulson #YesINamedHim) needed 2 new tires and they couldn't get a hold of our vehicle coordinator to have him authorize it and we were out of our area becuz that's the only Pep Boys near us so we couldn't even proselyte. So we sat. For 2 hrs. And then walked to get Chinese food. And then sat for 2 more hours. Yaaaaaay! But the mechanic was super nice and funny, so he talked with us a bit and he was cool. BUT, this is the cool part of this story: A light had been on in Phil for like at least a month if not longer, and we had just ignored it for a while, thinking nothing of it cuz it wasn't the engine light and it wasn't the oil light. Well, it turned out to be the tire light- and there was a gash in our tire leaking air....for a month...and our tire didn't go flat...and we drove all over Jersey that month...and we didn't die! #TenderMercy MIRACLES!!! Ya, it's pretty amazing how awesome the Lord is!    (And Phil's got our back #SecretAgentStatus ;)

Fast Sunday was a fantastic Sabbath!! All of the testimonies and lessons were part of my own testimony so everything was reaffirmed and I felt the Spirit super strong! I love the members here in Emerson, it's really my home away from home, and I dont think i would mind too terribly bad if i stayed for one more transfer- just for the holidays haha :)

That's about it for me haha, thanks for your letters each week! Can't wait to send you your presents! I LOVE YOU ALL! Please give Gma and Gpa an extra squeeze for me :)

Stay Jersey Strong.
Sister McAllister

 She is quite the artist, isn't she?

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas....November 30, 2015

Attention everyone. Attention. A very important announcement must be made... *ahem* TOMORROW IS DECEMBER!!!!! BUST OUT YOUR LIGHTS AND TREES AND ELVES AND SNOW SHOVELS CUZ WE BOUT TO BLAST THIS CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!! (thank you, that is all)     Have I ever told you how much I LOVE Christmas?!? Becuz this is hands down my favorite time of the year! I love literally everything about it! Oh gosh I wish it could stay this way for the whole year! We've been listening to Christmas music since the beginning of November.
Anyways, wow! It's snowed a lot/ been super cold in CO! We're still 30s-40s and they aren't expecting snow here til at least Dec 16.
send the Gparentals all my love! they are the best gparentals ever!!!!
Ah, missionary dinners. I would love to be a missionary in our home ward- that'd be super fun! lol
Yay Palmer Turkey day! aaaallllsssoooo, um, can i see the pics that all the peeps sent you? lol, literally everyone is telling me about them and how they were on FB and stuff- and I'm pretty sure S. Carlson and I were doing SUPER embarrassing stuff...soooooo ya haha
SCI! Tell him hi!! I email him every week, but you can still tell him hi for me :)  Give him a HUGE hug! :D

So, in my little mini-week since I last emailed you a whole 5 days ago, a LOT has happened! So crazy hahah, it's really been crunch time with the holidays! And December is even crazier, so I'm super excited for that :)

Wednesday we went to the park after we emailed and played football as a half zone ("again? Flippin again?!" *cough* Jenna) in preparation for the Turkey Bowl the next day. It was pretty fun! Football is definitely a sport I gotta work at a little, but I've watched Remember the Titans so I think I have all the technique and awesome sauce dance moves down- but it's so rigged becuz the elders are always QB and they never look at the sisters, so I never got passed to haha #TheirLoss *brushes off shoulders in a non prideful way and cues Ain't No Mountain High Enough*

Thursday was Turkey Day...full of Turkey Bowls...and actual turkey... which is suuuuuper ironic since I don't like turkey (#IronyTaught!) but anyways haha. Turkey Bowl was AWESOME! It was super fun! Even though the above paragraph says it all- I got a couple good passes in, and they realized that I can kick straight, so that was a plus haha. It was fun to destress and chill for 3 hours that morning! And then we went over to the Bonhard's house first for dinner. They are such an awesome family! I love them sooooo much, and sometimes I wish I wasn't a missionary that way I could just hang out with them all day- they're the BEST! I gotta take a picture with them and their awesomeness before I leave (if I leave...).  We were there for quite a long time, and then we went over to the Cardoso's house! She's so sweet and awesome! She made enough food for like 20 ppl, but there was only 5 or 6 of us i think, so we got a lot of leftovers haha! And we helped her set up her Christmas tree and decorate it! So that was fun- I've never put up a fake tree before, so S. Carlson was laughing at me becuz I didn't realize you had to...break the branches? or something like that lol, you have to like fluff them so it looks good... I didnt see the difference, but whatevs, i still like real trees better- so thanks mom and dad! Going up in the mtns each year to cut it down is the best :D   And suffice it to say: i was super major bloated that day with all the food I had eaten, my food baby was huge! But i figure the 3 hrs of football balances it out, so really- there was no calories eaten *cough*.

Friday we did service at the senior center again which was super fun. Then we had exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders for 24 hours. I was with Hermana Skelton from Washington (basically the Spanish version of me!) here in Emerson while S. Carlson went to Jersey City with Hermana Mortensen. It was an awesome exchange! We went and knocked doors all night and all morning, and found 2 people!!!!! It was a miracle! TWO PEOPLE! IN 6 HOURS OF KNOCKING!!!! Thats the most Ive ever gotten!!!! So know we have 2 return appointments for next week where we get to teach them the first lesson (the Restoration)! Exchange miracles are so real! Saturday we exchanged back in JC, and then saw Richard that night. 

Sunday was an interesting day haha. It started off with an...interesting... ward council in the morning, but we had an awesome Sacrament meeting with amazing talks on VT and HT! Really great stuff! Then Gospel Doctrine was interesting, and the 3rd hour was spent with a specialist lady from the stake coming in a reprimanding us to keep the church clean...ya lol. its a huge issue here in Jersey to have our meetinghouses be clean and nice...awko. Lol so it was a little tension filled during the morning and then in 3rd hour. But it's all good! After church we practiced singing a song with a cpl of the ladies from RS! And i was just the comedic relief for the ladies becuz i never took choir and idk if im alto or soprano so ya lol, it was kinda a trainwreck for me- but i got them all busting up #AllThatMatters THEN that night we went to the Cutler's house. theyre a young cpl with 3 hyper girls- it was super fun! They moved here from Korea 1.5 yrs ago (he served his mission there, and work moved them there) so they fed us Korean BBQ and "jopchow" (<-- thats how you pronounce it in english lol) We played with there kids for a while, and it was super fun! They're a younger cpl and super chill so we were all being sarcastic and witty together and it was beautiful.

When Hermana Skelton and I were knocking doors, we knocked into this Indian woman named Ahnsie. We shared the Christmas video with her and then talked with her a bit about Christ. Well, she doesnt speak very good english, but she started to relate how Christ has helped her in her life. Her daughter has cancer and its terminal, and her husband and family is in India working and sending money over here or something to that effect. She started crying really hard. And idk if you all know, but I'm empathetic, so I could feel her pain and her sadness- she was hurting so bad. But then she asked us to pray for Sarah and her family, so we did. And the Spirit was SO strong in that room. I could feel the peace enter into her and push out the pain. I could feel the lightening of her sadness. It was amazing. And though that was all that happened, and she's not interested in learning, it just reconfirmed my testimony that God is aware of each of us. He is no respecter of persons, and His love and peace can be felt by all of us, no matter who we are.

Well, that's all from me folks! I hope you have a very happy and warm first week of December! 
Love you!
Stay Jersey Strong.
Sister McAllister
 Turkey Bowl

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"My Week", a Novella by Sister McAllister....November 25, 2015

Aw my poor lil family is freezin and blizzarding in CO while I enjoy the 50 degree weather in the East... ;)
But man, thats stinkin sweet! 2 snow days, a day off work for dad, and now a WHOLE week for Thanksgiving?!? Y'all are spoiled my goodness (to be directed to Jenna & KK)
YAY Palmer family dinner!!! that's so fun! I love getting together with family :)
Uh, so Ty hasnt written me in a month, so I havent written him in a month soooo.... ya that was news to me lol! I'll write him today the lil flipper
I love reading your emails every day! Even if its a sentence I get super excited and happy! So thanks!! :)

My super awesome fantastic cool LONG week will be explained in this LOOOOOONG email (hahah "and Leons getting larger" <-- gotchu mom ;)

Monday was a super fun day! For Pday we played soccer...with about 1/2 the zone there (yay, zone one unity..... *facepalm*) Which ok, I'd much rather play basketball, but beggars can't be choosers here- and I was just super glad we played a sport in the 1st place cuz they started poppin out the Pokemon and I was like "nope. Not about that life." So soccer was great! And it was actually super hilarious becuz our zone leaders remind me so much of Ty it's ridiculous (except they're way more weird and awko soooooo ya haha), so it got comical. Then we went and had dinner with the Nashes. I love them so much- I feel like they're just an extension of you guys at home- like literally, these are our people. #CORepresent

Tuesday was THE BEST DAY OF MY MISSION LIFE (disclaimer: so far). We got to go to the temple!!!!!! And we rode the train and the subway to get there!!!! And then walked a couple blocks in Manhattan!!!! And then the Spirit was so strong in there, my goodness it was beautiful. So many things were confirmed and reconfirmed to me in there, and I picked up on a lot more nuances and little things in the gospel that I hadn't noticed before. Which idk if it's becuz I'm goin while out on a mission, or just becuz I've been a few times now- but I feel like being out here has really made me focus more and really pay attention to all the details/ importance of it all. One really ironic thing about being on a mission is that you sit there and you've just gotten your own endowments out and then you go a cpl more times; but then you can't anymore because you're only allowed to 3 times in the mission, and all you want to do is go to the temple... and you can't. When I get home I'm going to the temple at least once a week if not more. I love it sooooooooooooooooooooo much.  Also, funny story. We got on the wrong train heading back- so we still ended up in Newark, but about a 35min walk from the chapel. Hahahahah so here's a big group of missionaries walkin the streets of Newark in the dark. That was an adventure! There were a lotta guys that walked up to us sisters trying to talk to us- but our elders got us. It was beautiful weather, and a beautiful night, and even though it smelt funny and my feet hurt, it was a nice walk back. Then we all went and ate together at this Brazilian BBQ place. A+ in my book, for $11 you get a HUGE plate of chicken, rice, and fries! So split it between comps and it's $5.50 a person- just beautiful *sniff*. Also, Inca Kola and Guãrana sodas are very good as well and I might be addicted so y'all better find me a Hispanic/Brazilian grocery store in CO for when I come back. Hook a Sister up.

Wednesday was a cool day too! We had district meetings; which it's really weird cuz the old zone we all used to meet here and eat lunch together and hang out, but now it's just our district that does so- the rest of our zone meets in Paterson. So it's just us 6 that were in the old zone together that hang, while all the others that stayed together and just moved zones hang out. Super sad. But anyways, I'm digressing. We had a good meeting, I gave a training on How to Begin Teaching from PMG- which I hope was good, idk! Haha and then since the zone leaders were with us today, the 8 of us had lunch together. It was fun! E. Covington's mom sent him a "birthday" package since his year mark was Thursday, and in it were party poppers, those roll kazoo things, and a piñata! So we basically threw a party for the 8 of us and pigged out on candy! It was so funny smackin the piñata open. Good times good times!  We then went and had a few lessons with Br. M and the lady in the senior home. They were really good! I love them both so much! They really mean a lot to me, and I think I've gotten quite attached....this is what 5 months in 1 area will do to you. #NeverGonnaGiveYouUp. Then we decided to go try the referral we received last week for the 4th time, hoping we would finally catch him home. And we did! And oh my good glory is he golden and solid and so beautiful I want to cry because I may finally have a new investigator to teach because in this area I've only ever had 1 or 2 new ones and then they drop us in 2 seconds but he's sooooooooooooo coooooooooolllllll!!!!! He's a stereotypical Jersey man, without the accent, but his wife is a member in Idaho and he's here for some reason. He wants to learn more, and his neighbor is a special needs guys who has a friend in the church, so he was the one really egging our guy to get ahold of the missionaries. The Lord works in mysterious ways! So we gave our guy a Book of Mormon, a Finding Faith in Christ dvd, a Restoration pamphlet and our number to set up an appointment next week (which he all took super excitedly!), and we gave his neighbor a Book of Mormon too. All within the space of like 5 min. 5 min! Fjdkxncusiskxmcidhfheiej I AM SO HAPPY. Oh gosh, and as we were saying bye he turned and was like "I'm super excited to meet with you Sisters, and I feel like this is really what I need in my life right now. But just a warning, I'm sarcastic." ...HE'S MY PEOPLE! I HAVE FOUND A FELLOW MAN. THIS IS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL AND GLORIOUS DAY. HALLELUJAH. #GodNeverCeasesToBeAGodOfMiracles

Thursday we had weekly planning where our area book apps actually worked this week so we could get it done quick! So glorious. Much wow. (For you teenagerly folks, I gotchu) and then we had lunch, and went and saw our main man Richard Rac. He's so cute, it's adorable. You can really tell though that he's such a choice spirit, and it's amazing the people that work there- they have to be super patient and loving and just perfect to take of these precious souls. It's so amazing how the Lord works and how you can truly see the Light of Christ in everyone. Then we went and tried various people and knocked a lot of slam-in-the-face doors. Fun stuff here in good ole Emerson #ItsAHardKnockLifeForUs (haha #Punny) Then we had dinner at an interesting members house. Like the whole family is a lil bit peculiar, I mean that in the most loving way- just trying to describe em. Ya we ended up there forever becuz the mom finally decided to be chatty and enjoy having us over instead of tolerating us for dinner and then kicking us out. She's actually super awesome! Like I gained so much more respect and love for her and her family so fast in the lesson/convo! It's awesome what 5 months in an area can do for the closed-off people lol.

Friday we did service at a senior center! We spent the morning with the ladies there playing a word game. It's super fun each time, even if all we're doing is trying to make little words out of a big one- we got 112 4+ letter words out of the word "establishment" in an hour. Good stuff good stuff. Then we went to the church for an hour of Mormon.org time. Ok, advice time: go watch Two Brothers Two on mormonchannel.org. It's sooooooooooooo stinkin amazing! I love it so much and I just want to adopt the 4 brothers into our family cuz they're so adorable and everything about the series is beautiful. It was so cool to see just a part of their mission experiences in Chile, Cambodia, and Latvia- it really made me want to like tour all the missions in the world for a week at a time or something...but I also love it here in Jersey...#DreamProbs. Anyways, it's a super awesome series, and you should go watch it cuz I'm obsessed! Have a FHE around it or something :)

We spent Saturday helping sister Cardoso out (stellar lady. Gonna hang out with her and Jo alllllll the time when I come back). Sunday was super weird because Sister Villondos daughter came back from her mission in TX. So it was her homecoming, and it was super weird cuz I realized that would be me in 13 months and I don't want it to be! I want to be a missionary forever and I never want it to end. Ever. Also, it was exactly 3 months til my birthday and that's weird cuz I'll be 20....ya, just let that sink in for a moment. 20. What in the world?! I'm not old enough to to be out of my teen years!!! For goodness sake I'm still a child! (Except plz get rid of my horrible acne, no human wants to see this). Super crazy stuff! And it was 33 days til Christmas! Whoa it's goin fast!

Monday we had our quarterly interviews with PT. The Taggarts are amazing! Literally everything about them is awesome and I love em to death. A lot of people say you're called to an area and to the people you'll meet there, but I also feel like you're called to a mission president as well. They just fit so well with you, it really makes being a missionary easier when you really gel with your leader. It all works out! :)

Yesterday we had district meetings, and fundamentals training, and weekly planning becuz Thursday is chuck full of dinner appointments. We have 4! Holy moly I'm gonna have to roll out of those houses tomorrow, and I'll have to make sure and wear my elastic waist skirt, becuz it's goin to be craaaaazzzzy!  Also we had dinner with the Bonhard family (aka basically my faves) and she said she would text you tomorrow pics and everything of me haha, so be ready for that! She's so cool! She really cares SO much about the missionaries- she's our mission mom, she's gotten me a tshirt and always buys us or makes us dinner or lunch whenever we need it, she's gone on "twalks" with us, and she just genuinely cares so much about others- she's Wonder Woman. I can't say enough about her! And the rest of the family is the same way! I'm so excited we get to spend tomorrow with them :D

Lessee, in answer to your question- nope. I do not have any new investigators and I havent for quite some time now....I've been teaching the same people for 5 months now. We go out and knock doors for hours and get nothing. Like literally, we're lucky if we get 3 people to even say a word to before they slam the door. So ya, you know how my whole life I've hated rejection and its like the worst thing in the world to me? Wellll, i can safely say that I've sorta gotten over that now lol! Having your worst fear happen 24/7 everyday kinda numbs you to the pain of it- so sweeeeetness for learning experiences on the mission! I mean, I won't lie- its suuuupppeeer hard. But its a good kind of hurt, ya know? I'm stretchin, not breaking :)  AND I'm just plantin lil seeds for the next missionaries in this area. Who knows what'll happen here.

I mission is definitely a strange experience. Ya hate it and love it and it hurts but its so euphoric and you get super sad but you're always happy and you want to go home but you want to stay forever (hahah mulan "would you like to stay forever?") sooooo ya. lol, it's a cool thing for sure! Best 18 months of my life. I want to go on another and another and another, but alas- im must wait til i am a senior. #SeniorPower #SeniorDiscount? ;)

I love you SO STINKIN MUCH all you wonderful people in CO. My family is sweet, my ward is da bomb, my friends are outta this world, and everyone else is supa awesome! Miss ya lots, but hey- only 30 days til Christmas Mom *plugs ears prepping for the squeal*

Have a great thanksgiving! I'm so grateful for ALL OF YOU! Eat lots of food for me, cuz y'all know I'mma be eatin enough for all of you combined!

Love ya!
Stay Jersey Strong.
Sister McAllister
 city life
 Columbus Circle
 District Partay
 Temple Trip
first time on a subway