Monday, July 27, 2015

Drug Busts and Bird Poop...July 27, 2015

This week has been a fantastic week! But first, lemme take a....minute to answer your email. You thought I was gonna say selfie huh? aha tricky, tricky ;)

That stinks! You already have to go back to school- I totally forgot about that lol. Time just seems to fly----Jenna's a JUNIOR?!? and KK's in 8th grade?!?! What in the world. Stop growing, my goodness. Y'all should still be sucking your thumbs in preschool right now. Didn't your mom ever tell you to not grow up? Shouldn't you be obeying your mother? Ya, that's what I thought. Bunch of rebels up in here. Mom, ya better put your foot down real quick, otherwise KK's gonna be in HS soon...and we all know we're not gonna survive that craziness.
Walmart is my life here- it's a very lovely cheapness. Wanna know how much a watermelon is at the nearest grocery store to us? $8. Yup. I could buy a whole meal at ANY fast food place for as much as ONE watermelon is. Talk about working to survive over here.

Jenna, I'm jealous you get to go to imagine Dragons...but I'm the first one to NYC, so who's really the coolest person here? Ya, stick that one in your lunchbox and eat it #ClaireQuote (Claire is amazing). 
Mormon night is bomb at Sky Sox. I love baseball so much! And yay for Colorado weather- I love it!

I DID NOT GET YOUR PACKAGE BECAUSE I HAVE TO WAIT A MONTH TO GET THEM IF YOU SEND THEM TO THE MISSION HOME. Like for real. They hand them out at the beginning of the month, and that's if the zone leaders even remember to give them out. Sis Brown just got some letters that were sent 3 months ago because the ZLs kept forgetting about them. If it's something that's like food or that I need right away- just send them to the apartment. They really only instituted that rule for the people living in the hood, cuz those get stolen a lot.

I can't believe so many people are putting their papers in! I can't believe Zach is going to Iowa! Man, what's with everyone growing up all of a sudden- I've only been gone a month people!

SO. My week. Lemme just tell ya. It was fantastic.

MONDAY- Pday is a very bless-ed day. I got to wear pants!! AND I'm wearing pants now!! Can you tell how excited I am??? Pants are wonderful.   We played Gator Ball, which is a mix of football and soccer. It's sooo fun! Even if the elders are like "don't touch the sisters" "oh let the sisters have this one kick" "oh nice try sisters" and Sis Brown and I are like *man voice* "LETS. DO. THIS." I mean I get it, some sisters are just girls, but Sis. Brown played rugby, and I'm me- soooo. ya. haha  It was a lot of fun, and we went and printed out pics at CVS too, so now my desk is all nice and pretty now with pics of my face everywhere! well I guess some of your faces are there too...meh, small details.
TUESDAY- was zone conference so that was 6 hours of sitting and listening to the Taggart's and APs talk. It was pretty long, but they're all amazing so I could have stayed longer haha  I also now know how to say: "We are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" in Spanish. Whaddup bilingualism.
WEDNESDAY- Ellis Island!!! It was soooo fun! We got to help all the tourists from foreign lands (Canada?) with their family history work! It was amazing to see the spirit of Elijah come over all of them. They all go SO excited when they found someone, several people cried, a few cheered, and several just stared and stared at the screen in awe. I loved it! It was a pretty long 5 hours on my feet (man were they killin me) but so worth it! i met people from: France, England, Brazil, Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, and Spain to name a few. AND I saw......THE STATUE OF LIBERTY AND NYC SKYLINE! My gosh. They're fantastic. I legit can't wait till I can go in the city on August 8th to the temple. I'm in love I swear. #WeFinishEachOthersSandwiches  it's so big and loud and beautiful. I can't even describe it accurately in words...which is a first for me, lemme tell ya. And I love the atmosphere out here! Everything is so urban here it's ridiculous. I mean there's trees covering every inch of earth, but there's also random smokestacks and factories and railroads and steel structure things that just pop up outta no daisies! ;)  and the cities are ridiculously hood, and street life, ya know? Talk about culture shock. I love it. I might not be able to live there for a year or so (I want to kinda) because I'll miss the mountains and open air too much, but it's just plain cool.

Tangent-----My ward is amazing. I love them all!  They're all so humble, it's great. They are predominately S. American or Asian. There's some from: Colombia, Cuba, Brazil, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Korea, the Philippines and Venezuela- but I'm sure I missed a few. They all kiss on the cheek too when they greet you, so that's taken some getting used too! It was so weird the first time, I was like "oh hug!" And she was comin for my face and I had no idea what to do, but I didn't want to offend anyone so I just kinda stood there all frozen and she bumped cheeks with me and I was like ooohhhhh. Gave me a darn heart attack. I was like here on my 1st day in the field and someone was gonna kiss me?! But hey, now I'm used to it cuz literally everyone does it. Even the few white people here cuz they've gotten used to it too. Crazies- I love em.

THURSDAY-  We found a new investigator!!!!!!!!! He's a member referral from NY and he's 89 and is in an assisted living home. He's amazing. My goodness, just the story of his life and what he's lived through and everything. I've missed being able to talk with Grandpa and Grandma every Sunday and hearing all of their stories- so it's nice to hear his even if it's not quite the same. He's golden. Sis. Brown and I walked out of that first meeting with him and were like- he's getting baptized! So we'll see how our next visit goes this week :)
FRIDAY- My One Month-iversary!!!! Yay for one month down and still got 17 left- sweetness! Went to Applebee's for the first time, super good. Our members are the best! Also got to give a BoM to a media referral- he's an atheist and is just wanting to know everything about every religion so that he's not listening to what others who know nothing say. So he's reading the Torah, Koran (?), and the Astheece (? that's how it's pronounced, no idea haha). Anyways, he's a nice guy, but he's not really interested about learning more- so that's that!
SATURDAY- Met my first anti-. Ya that was pretty interesting. She wouldn't listen to a word we said and kept bringing up all these random things to like trip us up or make us feel bad or something. She brought up church history a lot and was like *Filipina accent* "I haf books, I haf books. Come, see: they say Joseph Smith did dis...." And we're like yaaaaaaaa, no. It doesn't say that- we have those same books. Or ya, he did do that, but it doesn't matter because God is real and Joseph is a fallen man living in a fallen world- he doesn't have to be perfect... But believe what ya like. She was very contentious and wanting to Bible bash, but we just kept bearing our testimonies and then left because you could tell it wasn't gonna go anywhere. Pretty sad. Just soften your hearts people!!!! Please be saaaaaved! That's all we waaaant! That's all God waaaaants!
Also, the ward BBQ was that day! We played volleyball and soccer in our skirts haha. It was really fun! You just have to be really self-conscience about what your skirt is doing, so we can just say that we weren't playing our best that day and leave it at that lol. I know a lot of ppl took pics of us, so maybe we'll get to see those someday!
SUNDAY-  Went to my fav family ever's house. Seriously the best family. The dad has really opened up to us too! He sits in on conversations and had a lot of questions about the temple. Getting reactivated members to the temple is just as good as a baptism, fyi. I'm super excited for this family- and I really want to get them to the temple in the next 17 months! 
We had dinner at the Park's house- they're both from Korea, and the whole family is so nice! Their culture is SO cool! You take off your shoes and wear slippers in the house, and they ultra filter the water so it's in filtered water bottles in the fridge, you eat with chopsticks (I wasn't too bad), and they walk out with you and make sure the guests leave alright. There's a million other little things, and their language is cool. I know how to say hi! This is how you pronounce it roughly: ahn ee ah say oh. Yup. Before you know it I'll be bilingual. Also, I had kimchi and miso soup and this fish on rice stuff- all super good. Koreans make awesome food.

I love it here so much! Emerson is fantastic and Jersey is great and America is cool. Oh BTW, what's up with all the flags being half-mast for a week??? I'm so cut off from everything out here, I have no idea what's going on in the world- so if you can keep me updated a bit that'd be awesome!

I hope you all have a wonderful week! I'm gonna keep on praying for you, cuz yes, I love you that much :)

Adios Amigos
Permanece Jersey Fuerte!
Sister McAllister

PS I blame google translate if that's wrong.
PPS My subject line will now be explained- did I keep you in suspense long enough? ;)   SOOO, driving through Jersey City to Ellis Island we were stopped at a red light and then all the sudden 2 cop cars with their lights on come tearin round the corner and then we see this guy pushed up on the wall. A cop pats him down and the GF's just like ?? and then the cops just walk away. And the man just goes on his way--I was like what in the world??  And, we park under a tree (surprise surprise #TooManyTrees) at our apartment, so our windshield always has bird poop on it. Yay. So there's that subject line explained :)

Monday, July 20, 2015

My Mission Will NOT Be Normal. I'm Calling It Now...July 20, 2015

Wow. Lemme tell ya. This letter will be pretty short comparatively, or at least not go into a lot of detail. A LOT went down this week, and we've had some pretty interesting experiences. I can't tell you really anything about it other than: starting on Wednesday night at 10pm we spent 3 days with the Sister Training Leaders on a Double Exchange in S. Brown and I's area because it wasn't safe for them in their area/ apartment. It's been a pretty scary week all around with some very...interesting... experiences. I've never felt so scared , but I also don't think I've ever felt more close to my Savior. It was amazing to have this opportunity to come closer to Him through prayer and through scriptures and through hymns. I think I prayed more and sang more hymns in the course of those 3 days than I have my whole life! (good thing my voice is so amazing, am I right, or am I right?) I know He was watching over us, and that we were all safe because of Him and the power of the Holy Ghost. I've never been more grateful to have the Spirit with me, and I truly love this gospel and the strength, peace, comfort, love, and courage it brings to all of us. 

I'm glad so many people are asking about me! I mean, it's completely natural to want to know how I'm doing- it's rather an honor and privilege, I think, to be blessed with myself! Shall I do a royal wave through the screen as I bow profusely? ;)

I'm glad Jenna is getting all that service done! Service is truly amazing! I love helping people so much, so it's awesome that I get to do it 24/7 here. It truly does bless the people you serve, and yourself too!  I am glad you're finally getting around to that bathroom...the half peeled off fish were getting a leeettle old ;)  I'm sure KK will enjoy the brand-newness of her own bathroom. #BabyStatus

My goodness ward campout- I wish I could have gone!!! I love the people in our ward so much! We're truly blessed with one of the best wards ever! They're ALL so COOL!

MOM. YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO CRY AT EVERY LETTER YOU GET! I mean seriously, get a hold of yourself- I can see the flood from Jersey! Nah, but seriously, you're the best mom in the world. You're such an awesome example, and you really are wonderful. Keep on doing what you're doing, cuz heaven knows Jenna and KK need it (and Ty especially, wherever he's at ;)

S. Cardoso is simply amazing. We had dinner at their house last night and all I can say is- Brazilian empanadas. Best food I think I have ever tasted. I wanted to eat them allllll day long! She is the best. I love her so much. She is truly a disciple of Christ, and one of the few people I have had the honor of meeting in my life that possess true Christlike love. She is so charitable it's insane. She helps out anyone and everyone who needs it, and she doesn't necessarily have the means to do so herself, but she does it anyway. The Lord is continuously pouring down blessings on her, and she continues to be an "instrument in the hands of God" as an answer to others' prayers. I can't get enough of her and her family. Her son is the cutest lil man. He's the main man in my life right now, and I love him (don't worry mom, he's 5 :)

So in the news this week: I accidently had some really gross rum cake, ya, only a bite of that sucker #gross.  I went to a steak house with a member who is a massage therapist. A new family moved into the ward from....COLORADO! Highlands Ranch, but they still understand my pain of being on the East Coast :)   The All-Mission Conference last Monday was bomb. It was super fun, and our skit was hilarious! I have it on video, so y'all can see it in 17 months. The Taggart's are the best as I've already said- but seriously...I want them to adopt me as their grandchild or something, cuz they're sooo chill! (I love you grandparents :) I get to go to Ellis Island on Wednesday! And I might get to go to the temple on August 8th, we'll just have to see if I get the OK to go with S. Brown. So that's basically my week!

Sorry I can't write much about my week this letter, not much happened before all the craziness that I can't write about- but here's some inspirational/ spiritual stuff for y'all!

So in my studies this week I have gone into every single Jeffrey R. Holland talk given back to the Oct. 2007 conference. He is seriously one amazing speaker. I've loved every single one, and I can pull out so many different things in each talk! This last conference's was Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet. It was the one about the 2 boys and how when one leaped the other caught him. My favorite part is: 
"So today we celebrate the gift of victory over every fall we have ever experienced, every sorrow we have ever known, every discouragement we have ever had, every fear we have ever faced—to say nothing of our resurrection from death and forgiveness for our sins.That victory is available to us because of events that transpired on a weekend precisely like this nearly two millennia ago in Jerusalem...That first Easter sequence of Atonement and Resurrection constitutes the most consequential moment, the most generous gift, the most excruciating pain, and the most majestic manifestation of pure love ever to be demonstrated in the history of this world. Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, suffered,died, and rose from death in order that He could, like lightning in a summer storm, grasp us as we fall, hold us with His might, and through our obedience to His commandments, lift us to eternal life. This Easter I thank Him and the Father, who gave Him to us, that Jesus still stands triumphant over death,although He stands on wounded feet. This Easter I thank Him and the Father, who gave Him to us, that He still extends unending grace, although He extends it with pierced palms and scarred wrists. This Easter I thank Him and the Father, who gave Him to us, that we can sing before a sweat-stained garden, a nail-driven cross, and a gloriously empty tomb:

How great, how glorious, how complete
Redemption’s grand design,
Where justice, love, and mercy meet
In harmony divine!"

I can't wait for conference out here- I want it every week! I love the privilege and opportunity we have to hear Apostles and a Prophet of the Lord speak to us. To hear the doctrines and messages that God Himself wants us to hear. To hear of the love and compassion that Christ has for us. Our older brother loves us, and I know He is always there for us. I love this gospel with my whole heart, and I'm so grateful to be here in Jersey spreading His word and His love to those that need to hear it. I'm so grateful for all of you! For my family and my friends that constantly support me and love me and keep me happy. Y'all are the best.

I don't think I will have a normal mission. The past 3 weeks of my mission (um my 1 Month-iversary is on friday!?!?) have been crazy, chaotic, and a whirlwind- so I'm thinkin the next 17 months will be pretty interesting as well haha

But whatever happens, I am glad to be here, and I'm happy for every experience I get.
 I Love you all!

Stay Jersey Strong.
Sister McAllister
 They found some Chinese, Hindu and Russian items when they cleaned out their apartment from the elders living there.  What?
 weekly planning
 cool in their shades
 They love this man
Her main squeeze and his mom

Here are some MTC pics ......
 Her district
 the famous map...that Tyler said they couldn't take pictures in front of anymore
 sent her some yummy treats
on the way to the airport to go to Jersey at 4AM

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015


So I think I'll start off this email responding to your email? K good, glad you agreed. Cuz I was gonna do it anyways. ;)  
I am glad you are enjoying MY weather over there. It has been a lovely 80, with humidity, so in all actuality it's like 100. Yay for sweating! 
I do in fact remember Megan, she was a pretty cool girl and it kinda broke my heart to hear what happened to her. I hope Jenna is doing ok, because I know she knew her a lot better than me. This is a lesson kids, don't do drugs 1. cuz hello, they're bad for you 2. because you don't always know what's in them and if the maker is telling the truth when he sells him. Real sad stuff. But I do know that God has a plan for each of us. That He has all of us in His sights, ALL the time. He knows our pain better than anyone. And He loves us.
Crazy cool that Ty is going to Washington!!! I feel so bad, I didn't acknowledge the date of his birth. I went to send him a letter and then realized the folly of my plan when I remembered I didn't know his address...yup. SO he got an email today haha :)
Congrats on your clean closets! We cleaned out our apartment (cuz ew it used to be an elders') and came up with 6 bags of random stuff. So holla for summer cleaning!

OK. Letter time now! Wait til you hear about my week folks. And yes, I am sending a LOT of pics, but that's because I'm a girl and I enjoy them so don't hate cuz you aint and all that jazz.

     We got to Newark (which, ok, awesome! In the plane my window had the view of the NYC skyline and the Statue of Liberty! SO COOL) and were immediately taken to the middle of the city. We got there and there was a bunch of missionaries that have been out for a while. We got companioned up and started to sing Called to Serve in the middle of this busy courtyard we were singing the APs yelled GO! Oh my goodness, you have to stay with your comp. and mine was halfway down the street before I caught up to her! I am sure ppl thought we were crazy running through the streets in our skirts and suits. We contacted as I told you, and that was our Fearbuster as it's called! Pretty cool right??? (Which ok, IDK if I'm allowed to send you the video, becuz the white handbook says no videos...but the APs took it on my camera, so IDK. Maybe next week?)
     We slept over in the mission home- the Taggert's are AMAZING! Seriously. They are. I love them so much. AND THEIR KIDS! Just fantastic! AND their grandkids. Just adorable. I can't say enough good things about them- they're so chill, but so focused it's awesome.
Tuesday morning we got our trainers. Mine is Sister Brown. She's 1/2 Tongan 1/2 Samoan and she's from Lehi. She is literally cousins with everyone Polynesian. Her cousins sing and dance with everyone professional, and her uncles were all NFL players. Anyways, she's super chill and exactly what I need. Coming from my experience at the MTC, I am seriously loving her. She is so laid back, and we have the same humor, and the same joke/quotes. It's wonderful. AND craziness: she's basically a Poly Mallory from Studio C- no joke! All her gestures and expressions and everything is the same as Mal! I lucked out hardcore.
     Emerson is a fantastic first area. It's been a bit of a culture shock, as I had only met one white person until church where I met 5 more (more on the one later). I've met a Jamaican, a Dominican, a Brazilian, 2 Cubans, and an Indian. And those are just the Less Actives (LAs) I've met with- this week! They're all so cool! The food has been soooo good. Like please, take me to the Dominican or to Brazil, because shoot- it's amazing. The Lord has blessed me with tastebuds that appreciate out here: I've had mussels and stromboli, and Dominican chicken&rice, etc. But it's ALL so good!  And the people here as so humble and sweet. It costs SO much to live out here- everything is at least 30% more expensive than out West. Out apartment costs $1400 a month and it's a 1 bedroom, and pretty ghetto, but it works! (Um sorry my email sent here? I have no idea what happened haha)
     SO. The white man I met. Super funny! He's a really sweet guy and I really like him. He's a bit, um...wildly inclined? He feeds squirrels. In his house. Like he opens his back door and invites them in to chill with him. Ya, he's named them all. And he's filmed a lot of videos of them, so I got to watch all 45min of that...yay! Also, he has every copy of the BoM EVER made. Literally. NO joke. EVERY. COPY. The old ones were super cool to hold and look at, and he had a lot of other books that reference the 10 Tribes from back in the early 1800s. He's not a member and doesn't want to be baptized- but he knows the BoM is true. He's put every copy through a word processor multiple times and has marked every change (all grammar and spelling), and he's checked the literacy of each book in the BoM. Says it's true and no man could have wrote it without God. But he won't get baptized. Stubborn old man, my goodness :)
   Church was interesting yesterday. There's only like 50 people, 1/3 of them are kids. The chapel is 6 pews I think? Pretty crazy stuff, but they're all real nice. I love them. I never knew that I could come to love people so fast, it's only been a week for goodness sake! But I do. And it's wonderful.
   I get to go to Ellis Island on the 22nd and again the first few weeks of August- I'm super excited! I've heard great things, and I'm told the view is amazing! I also might get to go to the temple with Sister Brown and her Recent Converts (RCs) sometime this month! Fingers and toes and arms and legs and errthang crossed please!!!
     So my zone is a Brozone which is awesome as well. There is only 4 sisters but 12 elders. Super sweet, cuz they're the best to play sports with and they're normally super chill (sorry sisters). In my zone is Sister Cobb (who is amazing, ok, amazing) who is the writer of the letters of the blog that I obsessively stalked before I came out here...ya, so I know basically everything about her mission but I've only talked to her once. Awko Taco.
   Sorry these paragraph things are so short and that I'm so all over the place and jumping from subject to subject but these letter are actually a lot harder than you'd think to type. Like I have no idea what to write and then I think of something and just spit it out onto the page (no I'm not spitting on the computer mom, I'm not that crazy yet).
    I am definitely coming to love Jersey. Even if I can't pump my own gas, and groceries cost an arm and a leg, and the humidity might actually kill me one day, or the drivers might kill us one day, or the thugs might, or the bugs might, or the lack of mountains might, or the lack of altitude might, or the amount of food eaten might, or Sister Brown might because I'm too cool for her...but despite that- I LOVE IT! Actually, because of that, I love it. I've only been here a week and I absolutely positively do NOT want to leave anytime soon. I can't imagine what this love will be like in 18 months.
    But I do know that it isn't even a fraction of the love that God has for us. He knows us each individually. He knows our pain and our suffering and our trials. He knows when we want to give up. But He also is waiting to pour down blessings upon us, if we but ask for them. "Ask and ye shall receive." We ask first, and He answers. He is giving us tender mercies and miracles EVERYDAY. We just need to recognize the hand of the Lord in our lives. If you want something cool to read, open up my poems and read em- you'll probably find something in there that will help you! I know the Lord has blessed me with that talent, I KNOW I wouldn't be able to write those poems so quickly or so well without His help.  

Sorry my letter is so spastic! A lot has happened today- we had an all mission conference! We went to the park and played sports for a few hours, had Cafe Rio for lunch (the Taggert's man), and then did skits in the gym. So I'm basically beat right now haha.
   I love my mission. It's truly the greatest! It's the right place at the right time with the right people for me! I'm so glad to be here! I love you all so much! You are the greatest examples to me. Keep on keeping on you beautiful people!

Stay Jersey Strong.
 Sister McAllister

P.S. I have a mini pday on Fridays because the Taggert's are awesome. It's 1.5 hrs long, but it's beautiful and much needed.
P.P.S I have my iPad, so I can read all your emails you send throughout the week at anytime, I just can't respond til Mondays
 assuming view from their apartment
 Her Trainer....Sister Brown

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 6, 2015

     Alright alright alright! I am safe and sound in NJ y'all! It is very humid here, like the house has to have dehumidifiers on 24/7 and mildew grows in the bathroom without the fan on...craaazy stuff!
     So we got here and they immediately took us to downtown Newark to start contacting ppl. I'll have to send you the video they took of us running in our nice clothes through the ghetto, it's pretty hilarious. :)   We went and just handed out pass along cards and contacted for 30 min. Gotta start running before we can walk, ya know? But I actually loved it. My skin was a minority for once in my life, and there was some sketch ppl out and about at 6pm, BUT the ppl I talked to were actually pretty nice. They listened to what we had to say and took our cards, so there's something! Also, got whistled at by some construction workers, so we shared the gospel with them as well! Here's Jesus folks ;)
Anyways, I'm safe here in the mission home. Stay awesome all you wonderful people. I love you!
 Sister McAllister
MOM NOTE:  Got to talk to her on the phone for about 20 minutes before she boarded her flight to Newark. It was great to hear her voice and the enthusiasm that she has. She was excited but a bit nervous to get out into the field. She informed us that her MTC companion had messed up her knee last Friday and had to return home for surgery and would come back out in about 4 months....kind of crazy.  She was sad to be leaving the MTC and her District. It was a good learning and growing experience for her and she had a great group of people she was with and will miss it, but she was anxious to get on to the next thing.  She was not looking forward to the heat and especially the humidity, but it was suppose to be raining when she got there so maybe that would not be so bad....maybe. :) Yea right! I can already see (hear) a change in her ....she is still the same crazy fun loving Megan as you can tell from her few letters she has written so far, but she has grown in ways only this experience could give her, and maybe only a mother can see. But she would love to hear from all of you either by email (text me or PM on FB) or by snail mail (which she does not have an apartment address to me as of yet). Keep her in your prayers and know that she loves you all.