Please give the gparents all my love! Gah I just wanna hug them so bad!!! and UGH! I heard about the Martian and it sounds soooooooo gooooooooood!!!! :'( I got your package! thank you thank you thank you- "now i can see"! :) hahahahahaahaha Jenna, you have to give a talk next week? You'll be fine. It gets better the more you do it- and it really helps in life, so be grateful! And at least you haven't had to talk in Stake Conference yet ;) I'm so glad that my letter sparked a conversation! I had hoped it would, because I know how much y'all like talking about the gospel :)Monday we had a sweeeet zone activity! We all went on a hike to Tripod Rock in Kinnelon (basically a huge rock on 3 "little small rocks";) and then we played softballlllllll!!!!!!!! It was basically the best day ever and I loved it and this zone is stinkin amazing and everyone loves and gets along with everyone and there's no contention or judgement we are all just friends and these elders are straight up my brothers and I'm so comfortable bein myself around them and the sisters are sweet and everyone is a stinkin boss missionary and it's wonderful. This is my favorite zone ever (ok I've only had 3, but cmon)- the way we are all so tight knit is awesome, I'm really gonna miss this zone in 2 weeks. (Btw transfers are on Nov 10 and idk whether I will stay or go until Nov 8 at 10pm soooooooo ya) I'm hoping I can stay cuz then I get thanksgiving here, the zone temple trip and Turkey Bowl here and the Christmas Traditions with the Taggarts here In this zone. That would be stinkin awesome, specially because S.Brown is staying here till she dies in March.
Tuesday was an interesting day. Our weekly district meetings were moved from 11:30 to 2 because the author of the "Ricciardi Letter" was going to be in town and speaking to us in Newark. It was amazing.
Seriously Dan Humphrey is wonderful and it's great how the Church makes the world so small. The only reason Dan went on a mission (making this letter possible) is because of his neighbor across the
street- who not only urged him to go, but paid for the entire thing, even though he was going through rough times. That neighbor is one Charlie Taggart, President's dad's cousin whom he was super close with
when he was alive. AND Br. Humphrey knows 2 of the missionaries here and he told one of them, he said, "Sister Ivie, I just talked with your dad yesterday. He says he's proud of you." Holy moly, when he
said that you could just feel the Spirit slam into the room. It was an amazing meeting, he has a way with words that I can only hope to have one day. I just want to be him- he's so cool. Anyways, so we were in
Newark til about 7 so we didn't get home till about 8:15 but then We hadn't had dinner yet and we were supposed to have a dinner apt with the super amazing Chavez family at 6, but she gave us money instead
cuz she's seriously what I want to be when I grow up, so we went to Wendy's and we didn't actually get home home until 9pm. Whew. Ya, so to say we didn't get to see anyone or teach any lessons that day is
Wednesday we had lunch with the awesome Br. M. He's so great, and I could just listen to his stories alllllll day. Which, ok, one of them is pretty hilarious so I gotta tell you! So this happened like 15 years ago, but Br. M likes architecture and he especially likes the Brooklyn bridge because that's where he grew up and he just loves that bridge. So he took a GPS suction cup thing and gerry rigged a camera onto it, then he popped that on the top of his car or the hood or something and took pics as he was going across the bridge one day.
Didn't think anything of it. He gets home and there's a card stuck in his door.... "Special Agent So and So, FBI" hahaha, so he's like huh that's weird. He gives the guy a call and doesn't get an answer so he throws the card away. The next day he gets another card , same thing, except it says "call. Me." On it. So he does and the FBI agent asks him what he was taking pics of going across the bridge, so Br. M explains and all and offers to have the film developed and sent to the agent so he can verify what he's saying is true. But anyways, long story short, Br. M is from the Caribbean but he looks Middle Eastern so the people were concerned he was looking at the structure of the bridge, so the FBI got called on him hahaha. He's super cool about it though and says that they should be doing that because what if they didn't? They're just doing their job trying to keep us all safe! Also side note, Br. M was also in the Navy with the Cuban Missile Crisis, and he was working construction a block away from the Towers when they fell. He's had a crazy life, and I really want him to write a book or something, cuz this stuff is great! I feel like I could talk to him for the next 20 years and still not know it all :) Wednesday we also got completely soaked while out tracting. It was down pouring the whole day, and S. Carlson doesn't have an umbrella so we were trying to share one the whole time walking, and it didn't look like it was gonna rain that morning so I didn't bring my raincoat or boots....so ya haha. We looked like drowned rats within 5 minutes of being outside. It was great! I love the rain, but for some reason no one wanted to let us into their house. Odd huh? ;)
Thursday we had a chuck full day of appointment after appointment after appointment. It went by suuuuper fast! We got to see a lot of the awesome people in the ward who are less active and just love them. It's one of the greatest things, to try and love people back into the gospel- cuz that's really all you can do. Forcing and pushing and being real nagggy about it doesn't work, but loving them? They eat it up, and you feel so much better as well.
Friday we spent the whole day at Ellis Island and then were inside by 6pm because it's Mischief Night here in Jersey. Ellis was awesome, and I got most y'alls Christmas presents #PlanAhead. (Also, is Ty coming
home for Christmas??) We got there and there was 5 workers plus us, and no one was using the history center, so we asked if we could poke around the museum for a few hours. It's a pretty sweet place. The
exhibits are awesome, and the Registry Room is huge and very pretty- they restored it to its 1920 appearance! And there's "graffiti" on the walls from the many immigrants that had to wait there. It's all in
their different languages so you have no idea what it is, but they were doing graffiti before it was cool (Jenna ;) so it's nbd. We had a pretty chill day and my 30% off discount is a life saver, especially when buying presents and lunch for myself. #Praise We spent Mischief Night TPing and vandalizing everything in reach, we were real terrors....hahaha jk, we just weekly planned that night. We had to be in by 6pm becuz this is the night that ppl get initiated into gangs, so they're out attacking ppl, vandalizing stuff, and running ppl off the roads. The sirens were going all night up here, and we're not even in the hood or nothing- I can't imagine what JC or Newark was like. Sketchy stufffff.
Saturday was Halloweeeeeeeeennnnn! Guess what I dressed up as??? Guess. Seriously. Go on......c'mon! Imma wait till you do.....ok ok. Ready? I was a ------------------------ missionary!!! Sweet right?
First Halloween as one :D The fall festival was great, some peoples costumes were crazy awesome! Br.M was papa smurf, Jo was a king, etc etc. they were great! It's kinda crazy just how big Halloween is here- the people spend $300+ on a costume, per kid, per year. It's flippin insane is what it is. I'm like, save yer dang money people! Buy food, or put that in savings! Your kids will live if they go without those costumes! Haha oh east coast attitude. So different from home.
Also, i realized i said i would send you my new poem last week and i never did...so here it is!! :)
Oh my aching child-
I see the vast burdens upon you piled,
The taunting temptations
That sneak you slowly from exaltation.
I see the endless waves crashing,
The sore slights and sights bashing.
I hear your pleading cries
And watch your tear-filled eyes.
My heart breaks as you ache;
Wanting only your load to take,
Your eyes to dry,
And your spirit to soar high.
Oh my blinded child-
How fully the devil hath beguiled!
Remember I sent my Only Begotten?
How soon in the world you have forgotten:
He took upon Him pain and sin-
Over and over, and again and again-
Till every single soul was felt
As in that sacred Garden He knelt.
The pain and agony wasn't lulled-
His pores shed blood that down His skin rolled.
But still He drank the bitter cup
So He could lever and lift your spirit up.
Oh my beloved child-
He can make your agonizing pain mild,
Wash you clean as freshly-fallen snow,
And block Satan's billowing blows.
He can heal your bruised and wounded soul,
His love and help requires no toll.
All He and I ask of you, my child,
Is to accept the way my Plan is styled.
I sent Him to suffer and die- for you.
So perfectly your pains He'd know too.
So He can hear and help and hold
All those lost from my Fold.
Oh my doubting child-
Though the world around you has riled-
We are always here,
Day after day, year after year.
We love you with an infinite love;
It will never diminish from Above.
And oh how it stings
To not have your problems to us bring.
Please just give us your trust,
And we will do all that we must
To lift you and guide you home:
No longer on wayward paths will you roam.
My child, just seek and ask.
I don't think it's too hard a task.
I will give you all you lack,
Including a lightening of the load on your back.
We will lift you from the dark
And remember no more your soul's marks.
You will have light radiant and bright,
And be able to do all within your might.
If your turn to us
No longer you'll be tangled and trussed.
My child, how we love you-
Let us help you make your life anew.
We are only here to guide and do
All that we can to forgive and renew.
Turn to us, and ask too
And you'll feel our overwhelming joy ring true,
As we say: I love you.
I love you all SOOOO MUCH!
Stay Jersey Strong.