Wednesday, September 30, 2015

There's a Sun & a Moon & a Coconut Cream Pie, but There Are No Bananas in the Sky (in the Sky)...September 28, 2015

Holy moly, my sisters are little bosses at life! How'd y'all get so much cooler than I ever was?! Y'all need to calm down and stop being so fantastic! Singin the anthem at homecoming game? Killin it at vball in middle school? Being drop dead gorgeous the both of you? Y'all are too much.
Also. We have the cutest dog on the face of the earth and holy cow I miss him soooooo much. Do you think you can fly him over to Jersey? I'll take good care of him I promise! ๐Ÿ˜ญ
How did the moon look through the telescope????? Amazing, wonderful, everything you've ever hoped and dreamed of??? I love space so much. God is so fantastic. He made everything so perfect and amazing. Gah. I can't. I have too much love.

My week was not bleak, nor chic, but slightly on fleek. ;)

So Sister Brown and I are putting together a journal for the Taggarts to show our appreciation for them. They feel slightly underdemiciated (bedtime stories voice) becuz a lot of the missionaries judged them when they first started their missions becuz they weren't the same as the prev mission president and wife.  But hey, those missionaries got the Jeppsons in their prime as they're leaving, the Taggarts had just gotten here. Aren't we all a little green when we get here? Don't we all make rookie decisions and things? Anyways, that was last year in July, and ever since it just seems like the missionaries are always doggin on PT and S. Tag. Not all of us, but enough that they notice and hear about it either directly or through the grapevine. So S. Brown and I decided we would get them a journal like we missionaries have for people to sign, but that we would collect a whole bunch of the missionaries' entries and put them in ourselves. We had almost 100 of the missionaries email us their stuff in the past 2 weeks! The journal's really cute, and I hope it lets them know how much we do care and do love them. They're seriously the best. It's crazy how inspired and powerful they are. I feel like I came here and gained a Mission Mom and Dad (and siblings) in the Taggart family :) We're going to give it to them tomorrow at transfer conference.

Attention everyone. A very important announcement is about to be made. Turn all your cellular devices and gizmos and gadgets off and sit down, because S.McAllister is going to rock your world: *ahem* I HIT MY 3 MONTH MARK LAST THURSDAY!!! Where did the time go? Did it fly out the window? Did on the wind it blow? Or down the river flow? Or fade with the fireflies glow? I don't even know, oh where, oh where, did my time go?   Annnyyywwaaayyyyyssss, that's enough rhyming for me (at the moment ๐Ÿ˜). Time flies so fast out here. It's super weird. On one hand I feel like I've been here forever and it's time to go, but on the other it feels like I'm never gonna leave. Everyone says that it goes faster and faster til you make it to your 6 month mark, and then at your 9 month mark its like you've only been here a day and the rest of your mission lasts about a week....(too be sung in a glorious manner) :crrraaazzzziznnnneeeesssss!

Thursday was fantastic. We had the opportunity to go to Ellis Island again!!! I seriously love that place. If I ever move out to the East Coast, I would love to be able to work there in the history center. The people are great, workers and foreigners, and the view is awesome. I can't get enough. Then S. Brown and I went and saw a lady from our ward who's in a rehab center recovering from a sudden onset of seizures. Shes super sweet, and we were able to walk with her around the lawn outside the facility. We love her, she's too sweet. Then S. Brown and I had dinner with the Bonhards. They're one stinkin awesome family. I can't say enough about them. They really make me feel welcome whenever I have the chance to talk with them. We had cheese-stuffed burgers! They were really good. Plus it was my 3 month mark, AND I DIDNT GET A TRAINERS CALL! HALLELUJAH PRAISE AMEN. that was a huge load off my back, and I didn't have a heart attack, and I don't have to teach what I lack, and do something for which I have no knack. Bam. *drops mic and wal- no...And bounds joyfully- away.* 

Also, Sister Brown got an STL call, so she's leaving and I'm staying here, I'll just get a new comp. she's heading to the bug infested aprt, so ya....she's um, ecstatic? *cough* sure, we'll go with that... But cool part is, is that she's still in my zone! So all the zone activities every week we'll see each other, and she can go on exchanges with me too! Super cool :) transfer conf should be pretty insane though too, half my zone is getting transferred, and it seems like the world is being tilted on its head from everything that we've I'll let ya know if I survive tues haha

I got your cinnamon rolls! Thank you thank you thank you! It's so fun to taste home.

We didn't get a chance to watch the moon fully :( We have to be home by 9:30 and in bed by 10:30, so we left S.Cardoso as it was half eclipsed, and then when we got home it was fully gone, but hadn't turned red yet. We waited around to see it, but the clouds were blocking the whole thing anyways, so we only saw a glimpse of orange. Darn Jersey, trying to crush my astronomy dreams ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿš€

So idk if I'm adapting to the weather or what, but it's been 60s-70s for the past week with 50% humidity and its felt like home. Hopefully it really isn't that humid here, so that when I come home in 15 months I'm not looking like The Thing from Fantastic 4...
I don't think I'll ever eat more chicken and rice in the rest of my life than I eat out here. Practically every meal is chicken and rice, done a different way each time, but it's still basically the same. I love rice, but sometimes I really just crave mashed potatoes or green beans- but then my members always get us Boston Market if they can't feed us, so I get my craving sated at least a little bit ;)
Also I am telling you now, you have not had pizza til you've had Jersey pizza. It might be the closest thing to heaven on earth- outside the temple, the home, and church of course. My goodness, I'll never be able to enjoy dominos, little caesars, or Costco again. So it's a mighty good thing I'll be here for another 15 months.

Mission lingo in case I use it ever in an email:
Born- when you started your mish
Die- when you end your mish
Kill- when your comp dies, and you were their last comp
Flip- exclamation of frustration, excitement, overwhelmedness, etc
Mom/Dad-  your trainer
All other familial terms- related to above
Ex: I was born in Emerson. I'll die in Dec next year. Idk who will kill me, but flip. Also, my Mom is wonderful and Sister Anderson is my aunt.

Anyways, that's it for me. I love you all! Keep rocking it in the most bestest state in the nation!
Stay Jersey Strong.
Love, Sister McAllister
Watching the lunar eclipse

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Apostles, Mission Calls, and Dogs...September 21, 2015

Sweet Colorado- with the wonderful altitude, and mountains, and skies, and people, and open air. I love it, but I also love Jersey. It's my 2nd home.

I'm feeling alright now, just had sinus stuff for a few days! 
Yes, the weather has been wonderful. Only 40% humidity and around 70-80 degrees!
Oooooooooo Jenna! Girl, why don't you email me??? It's so much faster than leterrrrssss and I'm impatient and want to know noooowwwww. I don't wike it.

Man, pday is such a blast! I love my zone soooooooo much! Monday we played 2hrs straight of basketball and then an hour of vball. To say we were pooped would be an understatement. But it was really fun, the elders are bosses at bball! S. Brown and I were pretty good too! I had some solid passes (all I'm good for since I can't screen the elders) and a couple post ups.   I think it really helped open the elders up to us too. They see us more as buddies now then "those" sisters that don't/can't play sports. It's sweet. They laugh and talk with us a lot more since Monday- it's been fantastic because I see them all as brothers anyways. They all remind me of Ty, so that's been pretty sweet. I don't want our zone to break up in 2 weeks ๐Ÿ˜ญ

So we teach a member (who is classified as less active but really isn't) every week. He lives in an assisted living home, and I don't know what disability he has, but he's stinkin cute. His name is Richard and he's a riot. We usually just read the BoM with him and sing a couple hymns as well, and then we pray and leave. He's super cool and he loves the gospel, even though he doesn't need it because as we know, he's already saved. He's one of God's most valiant children who didn't need to be tested on earth.  Anyways, the workers there all know us and love to talk to us, and some of the other guests there do as well. One of them being a man named Larry. Idk how old he is, or who he is, or what he has- but he's stinkin cute as well. He just wandered into our lesson one day and he's done that ever since. He always talks about the karate classes they take and is super proud that he can say "I know karate. Ask Rich. I know karate!" They're both adorable, and their friendship is as well. Also, Larry looks a LOT like older Spock, so I kinda flip out every time I see him. It's soooooo coooooollll๐Ÿš€

Transfers. The number one most dreaded or loved word in the mission. Loved by those who gotta get a new comp, and hated by those who love their comp and area. 1 week รดI may be called as a trainer. I wanna cry. I can't do that! I've only been here 3 months myself, I can't tell a new missionary how to do anything!!! There's still so much I don't know, I'm still learning- I need a greeniebuster before I can do that! My goodness. We were talking to the STLs on tues and they were telling us that there's like no options for English trainers, they have to pick some young ones. Our mission has been losing English areas and missionaries super quick lately. Before I got here, there was 12 zones and now there's only 9. They said there was 250 missionaries and now there's only 180ish. Our mission is shrinking, and especially the English areas. So ya....I may be a trainer RIGHT after I was trained. Please pray for me. ๐Ÿ™

FUN FACT FOR YOU: Mercedes Benz are $10,000 and gas is $1.95, but a darn watermelon is $8 and a thing of covergirl mascara is $11....does Jersey make sense? No. Are the mosquitos polite in not biting you 50 times on each leg in the span of 10min? No. Is it super weird and sometimes sketch and always polluted? Yes. Do I love it?? Yup. So much. I'm so glad I still have another 15 months here!!

FUNNER FACT: So, ahem: I am now dependent on drugs for sleep.........Yup. This sister right here has to take melatonin to sleep at night. ๐Ÿ˜ฐ *insert cheesy flashback music* it all started on a beautiful, 70 degree, 40% humidity, partly cloudy Thursday. We woke up, got a call from a member in the RS pres that she wanted to "twalk" with us. We walk and talk for an hr and then she buys us breakfast. We then go home and shower, and then go to an apt with a less active at a Italian place since he's a single man. We eat and talk and have a good time! We spend the rest of the afternoon trying former and less actives, and then we eat dinner with the Madariagas. Chicken bacon ranch Jersey pizza is life. We go home and plan, and get ready for bed. I'm exhausted, my body is so tired my arms sag and it's hard to move. As I lay in bed waiting to fall asleep, I keep waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Eventually I look at the clock and realize it's midnight. I think "ok, that's fine, I can still get plenty of sleep if I fall asleep right now."   .... Sleep never comes that night. The clock isn't very different every time I look at it. My mind won't shut off, and I don't get a wink of sleep. That night, Thursday September 17, 2015, is the night my insomnia started. That night my world changed forever. *insert dramatic turn to look into the distance* so ya, haha. I didn't sleep Thursday or Friday or last night, and the only reason I slept Sat night is because I took melatonin. I figured that's probably better than going 86hrs without sleep... So we'll see how this goes! You know, I mean, I'd rather NOT be dependent on drugs to sleep- but I have to not sleep for 4 days for the mission doctor to be sure there's something wrong with me- I don't really want to go without sleep for that long. So we'll see haha. On a fun note, I now have not one, but two bags under each eye! Yaaaaaay for progression.๐Ÿ˜”
FUNNEST FACT: Also, haha, ahem, sorry. I forgot to mention something pretty critical in the past few surprise! Elder Christofferson was here yesterday! We had a multi stake conference in the Newark Symphony Hall, and that place was packed! He was here with Elder Sinclair of the Seventy to divide and redo boundaries. New Jersey is growing!!! It's so exciting! We just went from 2 stakes and 1 district, to 3 stakes!!!!!! It's so amazing to see the growth of the church here where it's so small. Jersey is in last place of all the states for population of members, in case you didn't know. So this was pretty special. Especially because Elder Christofferson is from Jersey! He grew up as a teen in Somerset. It was really good to hear him talk, and he did a little shout out to President and Sister Taggart on the stand and had all of us full-time missionaries stand up. it was so sweet, PT started crying as Elder Christofferson told the congregation to look at this "army of God". It was a super spiritual meeting. Gosh. I love the gospel. Isnt it so great? It brings so much peace and happiness to everyone's lives.
I also happened to get a selfie with Elder Christofferson, it's NBD.

Anyways, that's pretty much my week, or at least the highlights of it! I hope you all have a great week!

I love you!
Stay Jersey Strong.
Sister McAllister

 mission call for this sweet sister....Oakland CA

Monday, September 14, 2015

Bed Bugs, Hospitals, Allergies, and Ferraries...Sept 14, 2015

my goodness, it doesn't even feel like I'm in the east coast with all the amazing weather we've had the past few days. its been 70 degrees and raining for the past while, and I LOVE IT!

yay for vball tournaments. i miss those days :(
Way for jenna to be a baller and play on her ankle, so proud.
i loved the pics, thanks so much for them! its great to see my sisters being lil bosses on the court. they're fantastic.
also, how have y'all grown up so much in just 3 months???? my sisters look so old!!! when did this haaaappppeeeennnnn?!?!?!?!
STLs are Sister Training Leaders, they go on exchanges with the sisters like DLs do with the elders. they also help out S.Tag with anything she needs
Transfers are Sept 29 and I'm trying not to think about them becuz every time i do i just want to cry becuz s. brown and i are besties/basically sisters IRL and i dont want her to leave and i dont want a new comp i only want to stay with her 5ever :'(  

my week went a lil like this:

Monday- pig out at the International Buffet and eat alllll the shrimp and crab and sushi with our fav Jamaican.
Tues- have district meeting and chill with all the awesome elders in our zone.  find a credit card in the parking lot belonging to our member, go to their house and have his mom give us alllll the food in their fridge as thanks. Have a car accident happen right in front of the aprt and then have members drop off Boston Market for you. basically start your day off with little food, and then end with a full fridge.
Wed- go to our black families house and help Alex pack for BYUI. shes awesome and we wish her all the luck
Thurs- wish the STLs well as they leave to go stay at a different aprt. have a super empty aprt now that their stuff isn't everywhere. check for bugs obsessively just to make sure they haven't come to infest our aprt as well. flip out that a little speck of lint IS a bug, but then breathe a HUGE sigh of relief when you realize it isn't. 
Fri- have 6.5 hr leadership conference, with lots of role plays and lots of awesome stuff from the APs and PT. look around at the packed gym and realize just how much you love your mission, the missionaries, and everyone else there. Bask in the knowledge of this army of missionaries in NJ. Love it. Cherish it.   Then go to sports night and play with the cutest lil kids ever who speak Spanish and not a lot of English so they're adorably saying "que" about everything you say <3
Sat- get super sick and want to die because your head hurts and your body aches and you just want to sleep for 21312 days because the past week you've had hardly any sleep and now you're sick and want to dddiiiiiieeeeeee. go out and teach anyways. have everyone, literally everyone, say you look like death. fall asleep in the car in between appts as s. brown drives. take a power nap during lunch time at home. teach a LOT of lessons that day anyways because God is real and He will help and make you feel fine in lessons, and then the second you're in the car again- feel like death. God is amazing. He is real.
Sun- have an awesome church where everyone you want to show up to church does! a lot of our LAs and Inves. were there! it was great :)  do more fam Hist work, eat lunch at the RS Pres home with her and her husband who are just the cutest lil things.  Go to the baptism for the bishops daughter. love it. feel the Spirit super strong when they sing "I like to look for rainbows". go outside and play in the rain afterwards.

So that's basically my week. It's been crazy hectic and hard, but super awesome as well! The members here are fantastic, they take care of us so well!! I love them all so much, they're truly my mission families out here. i want to take pics with them all so that you can see them, and so i have that memento <3  

We went to the hospital today to see S. Stout (one of the STLs with bugs) because shes been there for a while. we stopped by and saw how she and s. cobb were doing. They're both so wonderful. i really love em. it makes me sad they're dying the next 2 transfers.
also, there was a Ferrari in the hospital parking lot when we got out today, so we had to take ballin pics by it. its a cherry red one ("for freeeeeeeeee"). so yup. it was cool.

i loved this week despite the hardness- here's to next week!

love you all!
Stay Jersey Strong
Sister McAllister
 hospital visit
 and they are still besties?????

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

LABOR DAY SWAG...Sep 7, 2015

Oh my dear, wonderful, fantastic Coloradans - how i miss you.

Aw I'm so glad y'all got to go see the balloons and have that awesome family time! I miss hanging with y'all!!!
The weather was great over there? The weather has been FANTASTIC over here. The past 3 days have been 75 degrees with no humidity and I literally feel like I am in heaven and the Lord is blessing me SO much right now. I love Him.
I'm glad you've had so many jobs! The Lord is so wonderful in His blessings.
Yay for KK! And seriously. I'm about to walk to CO and kick some bootays. This is ridiculous. #IWontTellJennaYouToldMeIfYouDont
Aw man, KC. Maybe I should resend it. It might be the iPad formatting or something that's messing it up. PLEASE TELL HER HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I SENT HER AN EMAIL BUT SHE NEEDS TO KNOW I LOVE HER STILL AND THAT I REMEMBERED BECUZ I ACTUALLY DID. *ahem* wow, my throat hurts from that yelling...
People are telling me I need to go into communications or journalism because of how I write....but idk. I mean, I feel like I write better than I talk and sometimes I really wish I could just write my investigators their lessons- but idk about a major.
Kelsey is always pretty. #LeaveSomeForTheRestOfUs
Bro Nash was telling me about the BYU game at church yesterday (My fellow Coloradans get me). That's crazy cool! And I am SO done with Hill RN. Seriously. He keeps doing this and it's annoying. My goodness.
Thanks for telling me the lil tidbits. I love world/national news and I love being kept in the loop on some things.
AND- y'all are too gorgeous for words. My lil sisters aint lil anymore and my family is so adorable I wanna cry. I can't handle it.
I LOVE your pics from this morning! I miss that sunrise. #Homesick #ButItsNotATerminalSickness

My week was fantastic and draining and loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggggggggggg. I just want to collapse and sleep for the next decade, but alas- I am a missionary for the next 15 months (well... not alas, but you get my point). 

We've been helping this Jamaican lady in our ward find her family. On Monday we found 3 people, and yesterday we found 4 more! She's so excited! She always gets up and starts crying and yelling and shaking and basically spazzing out with joy- it's adorable. She literally cannot control herself she's so full of happiness, and Monday night she didn't sleep because she kept thinking about her ancestors. :)   She took us out to lunch today- we went to the International Buffet. I loooooooovvvvveeeeeee shrimp and sushi and crab soooooooooooo much! It was so great to eat it again. Man, that was some good food; and some great company too. Every meeting with her is so funny/interesting: she has a lot of stories of Jamaica and her childhood, and her accent makes everything so much better! S. Brown and I are trying to convince her to move out to Utah so she can open her dream Jamaican restaurant "Grandma Dawn's". I'd go there every day for her food, so it has to happen.

Friday we had Leadership Training from 9-3pm. It's for all the new missionaries in the past 3 months, so my group was the oldest there (besides our trainers) which is really weird cuz i am such a newbie still. The meeting was really good! The trainings from PT and Sis Taggart and the APs were awesome an super spiritual, and the role plays were totally inspired. It didn't seem like it was a 6hr long meeting...i kinda wanted to stay there longer lol.    And every time I'm in a big setting like that with a lot of our missionaries, I can't help but think how awesome they all are. I love our mission!!
Friday we also had sports night- so that was super chill. The Nash"s came out and played and we got a lot of less actives and investigators there too! It was fun to play and we had a lil spiritual msg on the side too :)

Saturday we did service for like 4 hrs. We helped set up for a court of honor (the ppl here need the smallest excuse for a party, and they have to throw extravagant ones too), and then we had some appointments and came back for the party later so we could talk to the LAs there. 
We actually had a lot of lessons this week! And a lot of member presents! Our numbers are looking up :D

We've had several super strong families move into the ward recently! And yesterday night the Chavez family fed us! She fed us chiles rellenos (which is basically fried peppers stuffed with cheese) and banana splits. They're from Alaska and they have 3 sons with another kid on the way. And this lady is suuuuuper pretty. I'm talking like model status- she's so cute and her boys are so cute and her husband is adorable and all of them together make them my fav couple/family. it was a good night :)

We have been back to the squirrel guy's house, but we just taught his cute wife becuz he was out back. She's super cute, and she struggles a lot. She has Parkinson's disease and is really shriveled up and almost immobile- but she has this super strong desire to be sealed to her parents in the temple and to do family history work! She's amazing!  

BUG NEWS! (hahahahahaha that's a typo, but I'm keeping it because it totally works with what I'm going to tell you all about) Soooooooo. Friday, we were coming home from a fantastic day of 6 lessons, 2 hours of sports, and 6 hours of leadership training when we get a call from the STLs......yeah. They have bed bugs. And no members would take them in. So guess who is? yaaaaaaaaaaaaay for 4 people trying to cram on 3 beds but you cant snuggle/touch each other because it's against mission rules....Dont worry, we made sure they were bug free before they even stepped foot in our apartment. They decontaminated all their stuff and themselves, and they've been staying in our little one room apartment with us for 3 days now. We're running out of food, space, sanity, and patience- but all is well. The exterminator is supposed to come tomorrow, so who knows how much longer they are going to be staying with us..#PatienceIsAVirtueThatI'mStillWorkingOn

Funny story for the day:
We were trying to be sly last night and heart attack/ding-dong ditch the Nash's house...yup, basically everything that could go wrong went wrong. We went under the cover of darkness, but the problem is that they keep their curtains open and their porch light on. So we were sitting in the car coming up with a plan of attack ("I have a plan. Attack." #NameThatMovieJenna) when a man walks out of the blackness right next to our car with his MASSIVE dog. Holy moly we had a stinking heart attack (ironic i know). He came outta no where! So we sat there waiting for him to leave, and we get out of the car and decide to go through the neighbors front yard from the side. Whelp, that neighbor decided he needs a motion sensor floodlight. What the flip?! So we flip out and try to hide behind the bushes, but they're stinking twigs so S.Brown starts running back to the car when she falls in a hole in the yard and twists her ankle. So I don't see this until she's already on the ground, and I'm like shoot. AND THEN, she fell on the car keys SO THE FLIPPIN CAR ALARM GOES OFF!  So we're like "flipper dip, sister" and we book it back to the car in the safe darkness of the night. We get back in and S.Brown's like "we gotta go, I can't do it with my ankle" and I'm like "nah, I got this. sight and sound sister." So I get out and leave the door open- meanwhile we can still see all of them sitting in their living room watching tv/movies- so I go from the other side where their house borders a fence to the railroad. It's pitch black and all I can hear are the stinkin leaves crunching under my feet. So I just casually walk along the street straight past the front of their house until I can get to the fence. Then I follow it along the tree/bush line until I can get to their front porch. I'm in the light and they are like 5 ft away- I'm literally in plain sight and I can see them clearly through the window. SO I just casually place the sign and hearts on their wall by their door, and walk away back into the dark. My heart was literally going a mile a minute. I swore they were gonna turn their heads any second and see me...or that a scary wolf or something was gonna burst from the woods and eat me. Same difference...   Whew, so that was that. We pealed outta there so fast. I was gonna knock and run, but i felt that would be pushin our luck even more cuz I probs would have biffed it and then been found on their lawn face planted.... so ya. That's our fun story for the week. :)

With that bombshell I bid you adieu. 
Stay Jersey Strong!
Sister McAllister
 Jamaican they are helping find her ancestors
 Bed bugs create a new foursome
 sports night
 New Jersey Strong