Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Death by Humidity and Other Such Happenstances....April 25, 2016

MOTHER DEAREST. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! How does it feel to be 29
finally!?!?!? I know it's taken a long time to get to this point, but
you're almost at the milestone of 30! One day you'll get there...but
probly not for the next 40 years ;)

Now that I've gotten the less important things out of the way- moving
on to ME! Haha

Monday was a STINKIN BLAST! We played football as a Zone at the park
all day! It was toooooooo much fun, and we finally broke through the
barriers of the zone! Now we're all zone unity and friends and all
that jazz, instead of awko ppl trying to ignore the more awko ppl
haha. It was a nice and breezy 65 outside, so I also got a nice tan as
well- the blessings just keep on coming! Oh, and we played Apples to
Apples together for a little while, that's always a riot. I was sore
for like 4 days after that, and not just from the 4 hours of football,
but also all the laughing gave me a nice set of abs hahaha

Tuesday we had District Mtg, and our new zone unity led us to take a
zone picture for the first time since Oct for me haha! So that's
awesome :)
Wednesday we do service at a food pantry with the Spanish Elders and
Sisters. That's always a fun time to hang out with them, and to serve.
I mean, serving mainly, but wearing pants is a close 2nd, and hanging
with them a veeeerrrry distant 3rd...hahaha jk, these missionaries are
my buddies! I stinkin love them! Between me, S. Charles, Hma Bird, Hma
Rhein, E. Justice, and E. Mendoza, people are lucky if we don't break
the roof of the place with all of our constant laughing! Aye ya yie, I
just want to hang with these guys 24/7 haha. It's the dream team!

Friday, actually all week, we went knocking all day. We were answered,
to name a few, by a shirtless Brit with a Star Wars tattoo, an
atheist, an agnostic, a hardcore Catholic, a lady who thought Mormons
were the "boys in suits with big blue eyes" (apt description really),
a girl we thought would be "Golden" but decided to just preach to us
and invite us to her Bible study, and a British woman who smelled of
wine and told us we had better leave before she set her "vicious dogs"
on us (her very scary chihuahuas that is). So all in all, a very
productive few hours haha! But really, it was soooooooooooo humid
outside I was dripping in sweat 5min into it...my sweat stains under
the arms extended to like 6inches down my side. Twas nasty. Blech,
humidity is the worst! I want to go back to where it's high and
dryyyyyyyyyyyyy lol

Saturday we spent the morning cleaning an apartment with 3 cats in it,
that hasn't had a human in it for 3 weeks....so to say there was cat
barf/hair/urine/other waste everywhere is an understatement. And most
things in the fridge had gone bad, and overall the place just smelled
foul. So we deep cleaned the snot out of that tiny apartment for 2.5
hours with 3 RS members, and got most of it at least habitable. The
smell just hung over me all day, and no matter how many times I
scrubbed my hands, I felt like I had cat barf under my nails...yeah,
not too pretty a picture haha! But all is well, because the ladies
took us to lunch at Smashburger after. It was Sis McCready (the family
who's garage we inhabit) and Sis Watkins who took us, and it was a
party haha. Sis Watkins reminds me a lot of you Mom, so that was kinda
Then we went out and we met a super awesome lady named Barbara. She's
got 4 super cute kids, and she herself is sooooo nice! We walked over
to her to ask if she knew the people who's house we were trying to
knock (turns out the members had moved to FL years ago, and the
directory was never fixed) and ended up chatting with her for 30ish
minutes about life and religion and God. She says missionaries had
talked to her before, but she wouldn't mind us coming again! We're
excited to go back over next week!

Sunday we both not only talked in Sacrament Meeting, but we also had
to teach the lesson in Gospel Principles haha. How's that for a double
whammy? Planning a lesson or talk will never be stressful for me again
lol! Especially because as missionaries you have so little time to
prepare for them- trying to fit time into your schedule is psycho, and
you end up just prepping during the time you have for lunch or dinner.
And then we ended the night last night with a few laps around a
hospital floor as we helped Laura gain some freedom as she walked for
the 1st time in 3 weeks. Ive spent so much time in a hospital the past
3 weeks, I think I'm going crazy haha! But it was good cuz we talked
about patriarchal blessings the whole time- do you realize what an
amazing gift they truly are??? Holy moly, as I explained them to her
more in depth, I gained a greater appreciation for my own. I realized
just how much I treasure the knowledge found within, and trying to
imagine my life the past 5 years without it is just impossible! I'd
probably be in China right now trying to figure out what the flip a
mongoose really is, instead of in Jersey figuring out what the flip
life really is! (But for real. What is a mongoose??)

So on that ridiculous bombshell that my exhausted brain just came up
with, I bid you adieu! But first, a random fact about Jersey: Jersey
has the most diners in the world and is sometimes referred to as the
Diner Capital of the World...(but really only by Jerseyites  hahaha)

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

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Run Ragged...April 18, 2016

This week has been pretty bland to be honest haha, so I'll try my best to spice it up a bit!

Tuesday was a fun day for me though! I got to go on exchange with S. McConkie again!!!!!! In Toms River again!!!! It was so fun to see all the people there and to get to know them better. With my memory, I have all their names and faces down pat, and none of them have any idea who I am! Lol, it's the funniest thing. The poor people are so confused about how in the world I know who they are and they got NO clue who I am. I enjoy it hahahahaha >:)  but most of all I enjoyed the time I spent with S. McConkie. She's such a boss. Man, and whenever I'm with her, everything is just so easy and simple. We get along real well, and I feel like we're the same person on most fronts! It was basically a party...a really mellow, chill party. Ya. Whoo! Haha. Oh! And I realized while I was with her that we both "killed" each other's "mom"s. I sent S. Kafu home, and she sent S. Brown home. Lol! So we got a kick outta that :)

Thursday we had a 7hour zone conference with President and Sister Taggart and the Assistants (one of which is now E. Adams, who I came out with! Stinkin awesome) and PT's training about the reason we're on this earth really hit me. We're here to learn how to do the will of the Father. Christ spent His whole life following God's plan and doing His will, and He was the only perfect man who has ever walked the earth! The Plan is only going to work, and agency is only going to as well if we are obedient. And I thought it was pretty cool to cuz PT talked a lot about space haha. He showed a picture of the Milky Way and talked about how it's 160,000 light years across, and light travels at about 180,000mi/sec. And he told us to just imagine how stinkin huge the universe is. He said it brings into perspective just how great are God's creations. A lot of people were shocked and like mindblowned, but cmon people!!! Why do you think I like space so much???? Why are the rest of you not studying it as much as me??? Haha, it was pretty funny to see their faces. But God's power and love and creations are truly awe inspiring. I love it so much.

Throughout the week we've spent a lot of time with a recent convert named Laura in the hospital. No one from the ward, outside of 2 people, have visited her the past 1.5 weeks she's been in. She's so grateful every time we come, because she just craves the company and the escape from the sadness the hospital gives her. I think it's sad how more people don't care...it's really shown me just how important a visit or a call is. I think when I get home, I'll be the designated "hospital visitor" in the ward! Haha, I'm gonna kill everyone with kindness and with my annoying face every minute I can spare ha hahahahaha it'll be awesome!

Oh! And Sunday was stake conference here- and guess who I saw????  Jarren. With his wife. In NJ. Where they now live. not in CO. Not a youngin in HS at SC. Weeeeiiiiird! I wanted to go up and say hi, maybe snap a pic for all y'all at home, but he and his wife dodged out suuuuuper fast after conference was over. Lame, but I did see him! Haha

Dats it for me!! Life is pretty crazy in this ward- they all expect us to do everything since the ward doesn't care...we right now have a Less active on the phone asking us to like wash her dog, take him to the vet, drive her car, etc etc allllllll of which we can't do...but no one else in the ward apparently will. Haha, so yay for being overwhelmed with non-missionary tasks. Like I'm also organizing a cleaning effort for Laura's aprt, by myself. She wants me to run it. But I'm a missionary. And should be out knocking doors. Not supervising cleaning for the 6 hrs that it will take...aye ya yie!

Anyways hahahahaha, I'm done now.  Love you all!
Stay Jersey Strong.
Love, Sister McAllister
 Not Colorado sunsets, but it will do she says
 Splits with Sister McConkie
 Her and comp visiting someone in the hospital
 Zone 7 and 8 sisters

Monday, April 11, 2016

Hospitals and Fried Chicken....April 11, 2016

'Twas an interesting and loooooooong week, so let's just get into it!

Monday was a super awko time for everyone so I'm not even going to
elaborate on that one...

Tuesday was AWESOME! We had zone meeting where the zone leaders pumped
us all up to go out and work! Ah, it was such an exciting meeting! We
had lunch and played games together as a zone, and then we had a
training by one of our members who sells Vivint. He came and shared
with us techniques on how to get into people's homes. He makes it look
so stinkin easy, but I know it's not haha. It's something to practice
for sure, and the ideas and things he gave us to do are going to be
pretty effective too- I can already tell! I'm excited to go knocking
After the meeting we had a lesson with our recent convert Kelly about
the temple. She's preparing to go on the 22nd! We can't wait to have
her go and do baptisms!! We're trying to find some of her family names
that she can take too, but it's a little harder because her family
comes from Hungary haha, but they can't hide forever from us! We'll
find the lil guys. #FamilySearchPros
Then we went and saw our MIA less active Wendy who likes to go missing
for days on end, but we finally saw her! And we were able to help her
commit to stop her Word of Wisdom issues!
Then we went back and saw our investigator Alex with Sister Vilaro
with us this time. Mom, she's basically a mix between you and me.
She's got your photography skills, but my sass level hahahahaha oh
gosh I love her so much! She makes learning so fun and simple- Alex
truly enjoyed himself haha, and he learned a lot! He has an instant
friend in her too :)

Wednesday we had a bumpin time at the food pantry where we serve. It
was mass chaos because so much food was coming in, and shelves were
trying to be put up, and people were still trying to get their food at
the same time, and there's only so many volunteers there...whew, we
were running all over the place lifting bags and throwing out the
garbage and taking extra shelf units into the creepy basement! But it
was soooooo fun too because Elder Justice and Elder Mendoza were there
with us. It was basically a party with those 2, gosh they just crack
me up nonstop! We ended up going to get Chinese food with them
afterwards for lunch, and just had a gloriously hilarious time. I
think we might have scared the owner with how loud our laughter was
haha (oh, and we were cracking up cuz the name of the place is Holy
Wong hahahahahahah #MissionaryHumor)
Then we went over to our new investigators house and HOLY COW she
cooked enough food to feed an army of elders, let alone 2 sisters! We
had homemade fried chicken, green beans and pork, mashed potatoes and
gravy, cornbread, and cheesecake. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, we're still eating
the food and it's been almost a week! We have a whole bag of fried
chicken left! And she gave us 8 of her homemade cinnamon buns so I'm
in heaven. So goooooooood. But anyways haha, Karen and Sonny are
awesome! And it turns out that her mom was a member and that she was
taught by missionaries for a while back in the 90s and early 2000s.
Maybe it's her time? Who knows, but it's cool to see the connections
that some people have with the church.

Our recent convert Laura has been in the hospital since Wednesday. She
hasn't really progressed since she's been in there so she's pretty
worried. She's been in and out of the hospital for years, because she
not only has gastro-paresis but she also has like every infection and
disease and possible health problem known to man. The poor woman is
just being put through the ringer for the past 15 years :(   So we've
been sure to visit her every day for a little while because no one in
the ward goes over besides the RS Pres and her home teacher- it's
kinda sad how cold and closed off this ward is. It's gonna be a huge
challenge to get them more involved just within ward functions itself,
let alone missionary work.  But I digress. Laura is awesome, she's a
psychologist, a NYC ballerina, and she worked with Mother Theresa- oh
and she helped cure kids of autism. True fact. You could probably look
her up and get all sorts of books that have been written about her,
she's so awesome! I love her so much.

That's probably about it for me, this whole weeks been a blur!
Hopefully I'll have more to say next week :)

Random Jersey fact: Jersey has the highest cost of living.  *looks
into empty pockets* yup. Accurate fact.

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

 How can it be April already?
15 pieces of fried chicken

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

German: The Celestial Language & Ice Cream After Conference....April 4, 2016

My dear wonderful family (yes that includes all of you not blood
related, sheesh) it has been another week! Holy cow, time just keeps
getting quicker and quicker! Is it just me, or has God made the
minutes years and the hours months and the weeks days?? Like for real,
I'm all discombobulated right now trying to think of last week and all
the crazy psycho things that happened... Oi vai, I got my work cut out
for me today! Type faster thumbs!!!

Monday I got to play sports for the first time in 4 months!!!!! It was
so great to play basketball again- even if it did take me like 1.5
hours to actually warm up and be good again (you will not believe the
number of layups I missed XD )  'twas a wonderfully sweaty time.
Anyone who says elders stink more than sisters has clearly never met
me after I've enjoyed a couple hours of kicking everyone's trash. It's
a condition. Called something like (now I'm paraphrasing here, I
forgot what the actual certified professional called it) Sweating Hard
Enough to Cover Your Tears of Shame. Ya. That sounds right actually.
"I remembered it again!"

Tuesday was God's day.
Enough said about that. Done deal. End of story. Walking away after
gently setting down the mic. Final credits rolling. Finished.
Nah haha, but for real it was an amazing day. We had an inspired
District Meeting from Elder Brown, and then spent lunch with our
hilarious zone. THEN we went to a media referral that we had called
and set an appointment with. Well guess, stinkin, what!!! Turns out
she's not an investigator....she's an inactive member who hasn't been
active in 4 years!! I was so blown away. We had NO idea going in that
she was a member. So she started using Mormon vernacular and throwing
out "ward" and "stake" and "missionary" and S. Charles and I were just
like...........what? Yup. She requested a Book of Mormon to share it
with her fiancé's mother- and she quoted "every member a missionary".
She's doing more than most active members in the ward right now
hahaha! But yeah, her testimony is suuuuuper strong. It's just a
bummer, because the whole reason she stopped going to church is
because of the people. She was getting hardcore judged for the things
she was doing when she was young (20 years ago now) and I guess she's
never gotten over it. We're excited though to see what happens this
week. She was a real sweet lady.  So ya, this is Miracle #1.
Miracle #2
We then go to another media referrals house. And walking up its a
huuuuuuge mansion, so we were a little worried it would be a person
wanting to bash (cuz hello) but it turned out to be a reeeaaaaalllllly
nice lady from Egypt/Qatar. She had been searching for a Catholic
Church close to home and somehow stumbled upon Mormon.org. Well she
talked to some missionaries over the phone, and then requested us to
come over and give her a Book of Mormon. It's actually really cool.
She grew up Muslim in Egypt, and she converted to Christianity when
she was in her 20s- but she had to hide it for 9 years because she
would be put to death otherwise. She then came here to America, and
has lived here for 14 years. So we told her all about the Book of
Mormon and why it's so important, and we explained a lot about the
functions of the ward itself. She said "I'm 51 years old now! Why have
I not learned of this before?" And she was super excited to read the
Book of Mormon. We set a return appointment for Friday.
Then, Miracle #3, we had an appointment that night with a Former
Investigator the sisters dropped 3 months ago. He's solid! Since then
a lot of crazy things have happened in his life, and he really wants
to repent and make things right, he says that he knows this is the
path God wants him to take, and that he wants to get baptized soon!
We're so excited to help him progress on his path towards our heavenly
home. He's so prepared!!
I have no clue why we were so blessed this day, maybe to make up for
the rest of the week, but it was truly amazing to see God's hand so
prevalent in our day. It just all worked out right from the beginning.

The rest of the week goes as follows: knock all day Wednesday, no
success. Go to ELLIS ISLAND Thursday for a training!!! Eat at a turkey
farm built in 1802 that night. Knock all day Friday, no success. See a
recent convert, Laura, that night and
Answer all her questions and just love her. She's so awesome. And then
it was GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!! I learned soooooooo much and the spirit
was so strong and President Uchtdorf cried after Elder Kearons talk
and Elder Holland is a crack up and it was just amazing, I'm so glad
we could hear President Monson talk too, he's so strong. My love for
all of them has grown so much out here- I truly adore each and every
one of them.
My favorite talks (I'll just say the name and then it's up to you to
go read their talks #Challenge): Elder Duncan, Elder Bednar, Elder
Waddell, Elder Cook, President Uchtdorf, Elder Kearon, Elder Oaks, and
Elder Holland. They were so great. I want them to be on Gospel Library
now so I can devour the text hahaha :)

But anyways, that was my week in a nutshell. Pretty great! I shall
leave you with a random fact about Jersey: Jersey has the most dense
system of highways and railways in the US.

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

P.S. Thanks KC for the graduation card, and thanks to the Colemans for
the postcard!!! I loved them both :D

Nothing Plain About Plainsboro....March 28, 2016

Basically my week has been upside down and all around and topsy turvy (I'm dying cuz that autocorrected to "tipsy turkey" hahahaha) and completely psycho! It's been just fantastic...and yes, thats being sarcastic- but also slightly serious lol!

My new comp is S.Charles. She hails from Chino,CA and loves all things horses and dragons. So we're getting along great lol! She's a huge bookworm like moi, and we adore the same movies/tv shows/basically everything in life....except for the fact that she's a major health nut. I've never seen so many organic things in one place before- I can hear my fat cells screaming for mercy... *cough* but it's ok this won't stop me, I like giving them more friends to hang out with and stay warm together ;)  She reminds me of an elf, but I haven't decided which kind yet- I'm currently bouncing between a Santas Elf, or a Keebler Elf, but either way she's a tiny little thing. Maybe Gods trying to tell me something from the size of my past 2 comps...            Nah. Can't be.

Anyways, I digress. Onto my week! Lol
Tuesday I said goodbye to the Land That Stole My Heart, and my Sister From Another Mister (but it's ok, cuz she's coming back next month! YAAAY!!!!) and moved my little self into my even tinier new apartment. We live in the garage of a members home. Yes, you read that right: the garage. So ya, haha, it's tiny and cramped and super fun. It makes cleaning quick tho, so that's a plus.
We also switched out the areas car for a new one that day- and the car they gave us is not only missing hubcaps and has a dent, but it's headlights weren't working either...thanks Elders... So we spent most of Thursday day out of our area in the nearest Pep Boys. On the plus side, it gave S. Charles and I a LOT of time to get to know one another! 
Wednesday we had District Meeting at the Princeton Chapel, and I'm suuuuuuuper excited for this zone! There's 6 elders here I already know, and a bunch of cool ones I'm excited to work with, and it's a BroZone!!!!!! Ah. God just continues to bless me with greatness. I could never do a SisTrict *shudders*
Friday I actually got to meet members from the ward! The first week is always the worst week because you literally know no one, so it was great meeting our 2 Recent Converts and a Less Active. We had some great lessons with them, and I've already grown to love them all.
Saturday we went knocking all day and found some pretty awesome people, none of them were really interested or willing to listen to us about the Gospel, but some we were able to just talk to and get to know besides that. They were kind and I learned a lot about India! (Our area is full of Indians) Did you know India has 28 states? And that each state has its own gods it worships? It's pretty amazing stuff. I love learning about the world :)
Sunday was church!!!! I actually got to meet some members! Yaaaaaay! But also, not really haha. The ward here is kinda full of antisocial/socially awkward people...so none of them really talk to us. Haha, were kinda the outcasts here- they aren't too missionary minded. So it'll be an interesting process trying to get them to like us! I'm calling it "Project: Missionaries Are People Too". I'm going to kill them with kindness, and they will suffocate in my love. Muhahahahaha! >;)

But here are some highlights from studies/the woman's broadcast/randomness of this week!

I found this super awesome talk/quote from President Benson from the Oct 1985 conference called "Born of God": "The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature." I never thought of it this way before. But it's so true! In the MTC I learned that "the what informs, but the why transforms". God doesn't just give us a fish so we can eat for that day, He gives us knowledge on how to fish so we can eat for a lifetime. He doesn't inform, He transforms- and we then become new creatures, willing to do His will. Mosiah 27:25-26

I loved loved loved loved LOVED the Woman's Broadcast on Saturday! Sister Esplin's analogy of looking into a mirror while trying to help others vs. looking through a window while trying to help others really illustrated the point that we all need to be engaged in selfless service. Selfish service gets us no where, and it really isn't worthy of being called service sometimes. When we focus on others, we know we are the Lord's hands. I loved when Sister Marriott said "BUILD BEDROCK FAITH"  the definition of bedrock, is a solid rock underlying loose deposits. It involves digging deep. We cannot build a shallow foundation on Christ, we can always dig deeper. But the whole night brought to mind the song that Sister Teeples composed the summer before my senior year "Go and Bring Them In". This song is still sunk deep into my heart because of the overwhelming Spirit I felt while singing that at the trek firesides and on trek itself. It really is our call to go and bring the struggling, the downtrodden, the weak and helpless, the failing hearts, the hopeless- our brothers and sisters- into our hearts and into our service and into our love. How great is our calling! We can give selfless service to everyone around us! And we can know we are the Lord's hands while doing so. God has given us so many blessings, but the greatest of all: is the ability to serve.

It's been a difficult, sad, wonderful, fun, and awesome week. I hope your weeks are awesomesauce this week!!!!
I love you all!
Stay Jersey Strong.
Love, Sister McAllister