Yes mom i received yours and dads packages. i have named my giraffe Clint because i am such a nerd and its ok :)
Glad you had an awesome Vday! Those Elders sound soooooooooo fun! i wish i could know them haha, have fun at volleyball today
And yes, i am the senior comp, but S.Bulson is actually a transfer older than me. And yes, lol, her tics are...interesting. They become more and more frequent the longer we're together, and they change and evolve too. i think she has something like 50 normal tics that she cycles through. It's a learning experience for sure!
Have fun this week with all your activities and such! yall are awesome :)
S. Kafu is from Sacramento, and E. Tui'fua sounds so funny!
Monday, we didn't really do much for pday. Sister Bulson isn't athletically inclined, and I can't play bball if I don't have a sister to play as well, and were the only sisters nearby cuz the rest in our zone are 45min south...so we basically sat around the apartment alllllllll day. I was going stir crazy! Lol I just wanted to get out and run around, but I should get used to it since I got 6 more pdays at least with her.
Monday night we had dinner with Bishop Lindeman and his wife at Chilis. They are seriously so great, I love them so much! I feel so blessed being here in the Eatontown ward. I've learned so much just in the 9 weeks I've been here, so I can't wait to learn more from here in the next 6!
That night we also learned some startling news. One of the members, Br. Cabrera, passed away that morning from a sudden and fatal heart attack. It was so sad. I'd only known him for a month and a half, but he was so welcoming and kind. One of the memories I'll cherish is that S. Kafus last Sunday we had to get some more dying stuff done on her iPad. So we went to the FHC at the church thinking it'd be empty, but found it full of members! So we went in and chatted and laughed with them all and had a great time. As we were all leaving, s. Kafu was getting hugs from all the women as they were saying goodbye. Well, as you know, men can't hug sister missionaries, but Br. Cabrera laughed, said "what will they do, send you home?" And wrapped her up in a huge bear hug and said he'd miss her a lot. Idk, it was just such a warm moment, and now it's extra special. I'll talk more about him later.
To the miraculous parts of the week:
Tuesday we had a great Zone Meeting down in Toms River! Afterwards we had an appt with our investigator Carmel. She's such an amazing lady! With us was Sister Lindeman who did SUCH an amazing job at explaining and teaching Carmel. And we committed her to meeting with us twice a week now! It was a very wonderful experience. And Carmel says she wants to come to church! We just gotta wait till March when she stops working on Sunday's...
Wednesday, the service at the food pantry was beautiful! Hahaha my favorite person was there, so we got to talk to her for a long time as we served. And the guy that always talked with us about stealing, and hustling, and all his many ferraris and blah blah blah, got fired for legitimately stealing from the pantry. So that was kinda nice for my ears lol. Ms. Annie gave us like 5 lbs of food at the end for helping out- so now we have bread and dessert and lasagna and chicken! Just beautiful.
Afterwards we went and knocked an apartment complex for a couple hours. Most people weren't home, or weren't nice. And we knocked into one guy who immediately told us we can't "solicit" here and that we should leave before we get caught. But we had the feeling we shouldn't listen to him, cuz we're rebels like that haha. But holy moly is God great! We knocked just a couple more doors before we did get caught (more on that later, it's kinda hilarious). We first met a guy and his 1 yr old son, and he was sooooooooooo nice. He immediately opened up and talked to us like we're actual human beings and it was just so nice of him I wanted to cry. Getting treated like less than dirt all day kinda gets old sometimes lol! So we talked with him, he opened up about how he has faith because his mom had a lot of mini strokes but she survived and is recovering and still good. Said he's not religious, but he knows God was watching out for her. We talked with him about the Book of Mormon and how it strengthens our faith and how it will help him with his family- especially in raising his kid in this crazy world. We testified of how it brings peace and happiness into our lives, homes, and families. And that families that abide by its principles are happier and more connected with each other and God. He gladly took it and said it'd give him something to read in his off time at work. Gave him our number and he said he'd call us for when we can come over next! So then We went and knocked a few more doors. And we get to another apartment where a real nice lady named Immacula opens the door and starts talking to us. Well as we're trying to talk with her, the apartment supervisor walks up the steps behind us. Now on that day (we couldn't have picked a worse day honestly lol) they were doing mandatory apartment checks, so he was out and about doing that and could see us knocking doors. Well he interrupts us talking with Immacula and tells us that we can't solicit here and we have to get a permit from the police, permission from the complex supervisor, and then permission from him. That we need to leave as were rudely knocking on the doors of people who have "young children, who sleep during the day, and who need it quiet".....uhhhh, ok, sorry to "disturb" all the people who are kind and just tell us they're not interested...only one man had a real problem with us sooooooo...I was rolling my eyes internally so hard lol! But this is the hilarious part- as he's telling us we can't do that, Immacula starts interrogating him about "why not"? She's like defending us and everything we're doing and basically tells him to shove it, and then SHE INVITES US INSIDE! What?! She just turns to us and is like "cmon girls, inside, let's talk." So we go inside and we teach her and her husband (who just had open heart surgery in Dec), and then she asks us to pray for him. So we pray for Beloné and the Spirit is SO strong in the room. It was amazing. We taught them about the Book of Mormon and it's healing power, left them with a copy, and our number and then left. It was beautiful! (More on them later)
THEN, we had an apt with our new investigator Patricia who was a Bible referral from Mormon.org. We had Sister Abraham with us and we taught her the Restoration. S. Abraham could not have been a more perfect team up for Patricia. Literally everything she said clicked with her, and they just connected SO well. Patricia agreed to all our commitments and we're going to see her this week again :)
Thursday we just did weekly planning and knocked for hours in the freezing cold wind. It sunk straight to the bones. The mix of the cold, wind, and dampness was just not fun. But work is work and it's got to get done! (Lol I just realized I unintentionally rhymed as I read through my email again;)
Friday we started off with a great coordination meeting with our WML Br. Murch. Then we went and had a great lesson with Sister Barnes about reading the Book of Mormon- after which she gave us her whole house as a gift. We got 2 boxes of pop tarts, a dozen eggs, angel food cake, Nutella, 2 cans of pillsbury biscuits, cereal, 3 cans of tuna, mashed potatoes, trail mix, cranberry juice, etc etc. You get the picture lol. Shes so sweet, we're just trying so hard to help her understand the importance of reading the scriptures. Then that night we had dinner with an awesome lady, Sister Bruchez. We actually found out her bday is the 18th, so we're going back over on the 23rd to celebrate both our bdays :)
Then we went from there to the Viewing for Br. Cabrera. Yikes. There was so many people there and it was in an actual funeral home and all these nonmembers were there being super somber and morose, and i was just awkwardly there. But it was good to be there for S. Cabrera. It was pretty sad, and i mean, being honest. Super creepy. You know how much i dont like the...viewing... of the person. I didnt even go up and look at Granddaddy for goodness sake, but i bucked up my spirit and went through the line. I just, dont like it, because its not them. Its so disturbing because thats NOT them. Anyways, thats my 2 cents on that. At the end of the viewing, his daughter gave a powerful prayer. I dont even think shes an active member, or wanting to be, but it brought me to tears and everyone else in the room too. The Spirit was so strong. And she was really just pleading with God in front of all of us- it made me realize how route my prayers are sometimes. Her desperation and sincerity and broken heart and just everything was amazing. She truly inspired me to pray more sincerely and just better. My empathy was on high alert that night- feeling the pain of all those ppl was kinda overwhelming- my blessing is sometimes a struggle haha, but Im grateful that i could know and feel just how much those people loved him.
Saturday we had an All-Mission Conference at which Brother Clayton Christensen (author of "Everyday Missionary", Harvard professor, former Area Seventy) spoke. His stories are awe-inspiring and wonderful! I would encourage each of you to read his book! I know i left behind a copy of it in my room somewhere, the book is just so great! It really shows just how much power and influence and capability we have to share this gospel with all those around us! its SO awesome!
Church itself is a whole nother story about the Spirit and the power I felt there- i could write like 20 more paragraphs all about it, but alas, im running out of time!
All i know, is that adversity is for our good!
I love you all! thanks for making my Vday the best! Im so blessed to know all of you!
Stay Jersey Strong!
Love, Sister McAllister
Barbershop Quartet came to church to sing to the ladies
Her new companion...S. Bulson
creation from the play-doh she got for VDay
Vday cards from Marah
flowers from her dad
Valentine's from home