Monday, May 30, 2016

Russian Jews with Ginger Beards, Humidity, and Alcohol...May 30, 2016

Uggggghhhhh. Why are the weeks in this transfer SO long!?! I feel like
it's been at least a year since I've emailed you, there's no way all
that I've experienced this week happened in 7 days...

Well, to begin, Monday we played volleyball for the first time in
about 7 months for me. I was terrible haha! Oh goodness, those poor
missionaries that had to watch me play were probably scarred for life
at my antics.
And that night we had a pretty cool lesson with these 2 teens that we
saw sitting on their porch. I honestly thought they were in their 20s,
but they were 15&18 lol! But I really enjoy teaching young people
anyways, cuz then I can be myself and I don't have to act like a
little posh missionary haha

Tuesday we went on exchanges and it was sweeeeeeeeet. We had a laurel
come out and knock doors with us, and she's basically a boss haha, and
we met a new investigator! He's a Russian Jew with a ginger beard. No
joke. Doesn't it sound like the first line of a cheesy joke?? Yup. But
Simon's awesome. He actually believes in Christ because his mom is a
Russian Orthodox back in Israel, and the only thing he does that's
Jewish is keep kosher. But he said if we can make it possible to let
him have bacon, then he's down for listening hahahahaha. He's
seriously so cool. I'm so grateful we found him! Oh! And get this: he
had just moved into the apartment. That day.    Miracles!!!!

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we were caught up in our STL
duties. We have a sister thats struggling pretty bad, and her
companion is also trying to help her, and we've just been trying to
help them and love them to the best of our abilities. It's been pretty
exhausting, and it's taken up a lot of time, but it's so worth it.
We've had a lot of powwows in the past couple days, a lot of tears, a
lot of word vomit, a lot of confusion, and a lot of Spirit. It's still
bizarre to me to be in a position where I can help people. Like I've
been thinking, if I hadn't been called as an STL this transfer, I
wouldn't know ANY of the stuff I know now. I'm talking skills,
important habits, how to love and serve, how to rely on the Spirit
(cuz I have no idea what I'm doing 95% of the time), how to trust, and
how to communicate- just to name a few.
TANGENT: Did you know that communication is actually an eternal
principle? Ya, I had that revelation as we were helping the sisters.
And it's more than just praying and communicating that way, it's
communication between leaders and the people they have stewardship
over, it's communication between couples, families, friends, etc etc.
God and Jesus Christ don't just tell the prophets or anyone else to do
something and that's it, they tell them to return and report.
Communication is key in every relationship and in every facet of work.
Also, God commanded Christ to create the earth, and in every phase of
the work, Christ had to report back that He had done it. God already
knew. He knows everything, but it gave Christ responsibility for his
actions, and it created a sense of accomplishment when He could come
back and say "I did it." Yeah, when the Spirit whammed that revelation
into me I was blown away. I hate communicating haha. My opinion is
never valid, and how I feel doesn't matter, so I was kinda called to
repentance on that one. I need to communicate better lol.

Also had a pretty sketchy experience this week that involved us being
up til 2am and on the phone with one of our sisters for 1.5 hours. I
read her scriptures over the phone for 45 minutes to get the Spirit
with her, and we laughed as I basically was super sacrilegious and
debased the scriptures by reading King Noah in a sassy voice and
telling her to imagine him snapping in a Z-formation. But it's fine
cuz he's wicked, right? Haha. But ya, not a pleasant experience. Some
day youll hear stories and stuff, I have at least 4 now anyways lol!
Flip. That's a lot :/

Saturday was the worst day of my mission. Hands down. It was
soooooooooooooooo hard. It was 90 degrees and 90% humid, and we were
outside from 12-8 trying to talk to people. Every door we knocked on?
No one home. Every park we came across? No one there. Every person we
tried to stop? No time to talk. Every thing we tried- failed. And we
were sweating from the second we walked outside. And we were out for 8
hours. I really thought I was going to pass out from heat exhaustion,
but we pushed through. (Probably didn't help that all I had had to eat
that day was 4 pancakes...but in my defense, my companion doesn't like
to stop for meals.) I hear all these stories about how people knock
and talk and walk til the last minute of the night and then they find
a "golden" family that invites them right in and gets baptized 4 weeks
later. That didn't happen. Didn't even get someone to look at us
twice. But, it taught me hard work, and to not give up. Even if we had
no recognizable success and we sweat a gallon.

What a lame thing to end on. I'll tell a story so it's not so morose
as I close haha! Wednesday we helped one of our less actives Wendy
clean up her apartment a little bit. Part of that, was alcohol. So, we
took her alcohol bottles with us as we left, and we dumped em out and
threw them in the dumpster. But, outside? There was like 10 people,
and a bunch of they saw 2 missionaries carrying alcohol and
then dumping it down a storm drain and throwing the bottles away. Can
you say awkward. Man they were looking at us soooo weirdly. I think
that's the first time I've ever held a bottle of alcohol. It was just
a weird experience. And the things smelt terrible. Blech.

Random Jersey fact: the Passaic River was the site of the first
submarine ride by inventor John P. Holland.
Love you all!
Stay Jersey Strong.
Love, Sister McAllister

Monday, May 23, 2016

JUMBALYA!...May 23, 2016

Aye ya yie. It seems like every week last soooooooooo long these days
haha. I can hardly remember what happened anymore! But I'll try my
best to recollect.

It all started on a day much like today. In fact, it was named the
exact same thing! Imagine that, so weird. Anyways, so on Monday: we
played volleyball as a zone and just had a jolly good time. And then,
at 5:50 as we're about to throw a granola bar in our bags and head out
for the night, we get a call from a member that I've spoken with maybe
once. She invited us over for dinner, that night! So we were able to
eat dinner on a Pday "for the first time in forever"! We had
minestrone soup- so goooooooood.

Tuesday we were on exchanges with another set of sisters. I was with
Sister Shaffer from Preston,ID. She's such an awesome person. I was so
grateful I got to be with her, I was a little apprehensive at first
because I literally didn't know a thing about her, but we clicked
really well I think! She's such an awesome example of pushing throw
tough stuff, and of being herself. I think she's one of the only
people I've ever met that has ever been completely, 100% herself, no
matter who she's with! Gosh, I love her so much!

And then randomly on Wednesday night, we got called from another
member to have us over for dinner. Guys. I seriously, SERIOUSLY, think
the apocalypse is coming. Like whut?? 2 dinner appointments? In 3
days????? In Plainsboro???? Craaaaaaaaaazy! Ah, but guess what we had!
JUMBALYA!!!! (Idk if that's how you spell it...but who cares!) IT WAS
SOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD!!!!! It reminded me of my French speaking days
*sniff* such fond memories. They put a lot of Cajun spice in it, so my
face was on fire, but it was so worth it. I'd do anything for

Tacos! Nah jk hahahahahah, WE WENT TO THE TEMPLE!
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay hurraaaaaaaaaay! It was
sooooooooooooooooooooooooo mindblowingly revelatory-ily Spirit-filled
and peaceful and super and awesome and wonderful and I think I want to
sleep in the temple but they'd probably kick me out and I think I
could probably hide behind a plant but I bet the Spirit would give me
away which is fine cuz it's just guarding the sacred awesomeness of
the temple but I really would like to feel the peace and happiness and
stress-freeness of the temple always and I also made a promise to
myself that I would go to the temple at least once a week when I get
back so sorry mom and dad but I'm going to be stealing a car on
Saturday or any day that I can basically and it's ok cuz I've learned
how to drive in jersey so I'll be able to make it to Denver no
problemo it's ok and I'm doing it all just so I can feel the Spirit at
the magnitude that you can feel it in the temple that to me is worth
like $593383949404 and like 0 hours of sleep and basically anything
else I could give up in the world cuz it's the TEMPLE. *pants* whew.
Glad I got all that out. But yes. 'Twas a wonderful time in NYC.

Oh an another thing I've realized this week: I'm still a scared lil
chicken when it comes to talking to people. Which is so frustrating.
I've been out here for stinkin 11 months now and I'm still an
anti-social shy person. I can't initiate anything. Ughhh
Also something else I know: I've got the best friends and family a
person could ask for. 😍

Random fact about Jersey: Jersey tomatoes are known for being the best
tomatoes money can buy. (Too bad I hate tomatoes hahahaha)
Love you all!
Stay Jersey Strong.
Love, Sister McAllister
 NYC...Temple trip
 Driving through Jersey City
Driving through Plainsboro

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Exchanges with Hermana Paharo ....May 16, 2016

This week was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
long. Aye ya yie. I feel like I've been Sister Baine's comp for a
month already, and it's only been 2 weeks!

Monday we had the easiest lesson I've ever taught on my mission
happen. We have a family of investigators that we were able to pick up
this last week! Alfred we've been trying since I got to this area, but
we were finally able to get a hold of him, and we also met his wife
Aisha. They're from Africa, and are some of the kindest people I've
met. We were able to sit down with the both of them and teach them the
entire Restoration. They had a lot of amazing questions and it all
just flowed right along perfectly. We invited them to be baptized and
they said yes! We talked all about the Book of Mormon and how, if you
know it is true- then you know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, Jesus
Christ is our Savior, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints is God's kingdom once again established on the earth. They
accepted it all and said they would begin studying the Book of Mormon!
They we concerned about the need to be baptized again, but we set up
another appointment with them for Wednesday.

Tuesday we had zone meeting. Where Sister Baine and I had to give a 25
minute training on being consecrated, with only 1 day of a heads up.
So that was pretty stressful...oh, and to top it off, I've been
ragingly sick all week. I'm talking chest and head congestion, hacking
up my lungs, bleeding from my sinuses, etc etc etc. So my mind was
pretty scattered in the training, I felt bad for S.Baine haha
That night we had an appointment at McDonalds with a less active, but
he juked us. But we saw some of the Spanish members there, and they
bought us dinner and chatted with us for a while! It was so nice! Juan
is actually the guy in charge of the food pantry that we work at, so
it was cool to meet his wife and kids.

Wednesday was a hot mess.   We tried to meet with Alfred and Aisha,
and we tried to have a member come teach with us who is from Liberia
herself. And none of it worked out... We had the apt scheduled for
8pm, and we were actually in front of their apartment at 7:30pm
contacting a man out playing with his kids. While that's happening, I
DRIVE AWAAAAAAAAAAY!! I made eye contact with all 4 of them, and they
were acting really skittish/embarrassed to be caught leaving before
out apt time. I should have gone over and talked to them, but I didn't
want to leave my companion, and I'm generally scared to talk to people
in general, so I didn't. Ugh, I'm regretting that soooo much right
now. We had our member drive allllllll the way from Trenton where she
lives to come and teach this family. And she brought her 5 year old
daughter along so she could be entertained with Alfred's kids! *sigh*
learned my lesson on that one. :/

Thursday, Friday and Saturday I was able to go on my first ever
exchange as an STL! I went with Hermana Bird, we were Spanglish for
those days! It was soooooooooo fun! I absolutely ADORE this sister!
She's basically exactly like me, and we just had a party for 3 days
really haha, it felt so natural! I want to be Spanish so I can be her
companion now lol, but alas, they must keep our awesomeness'
separated. I must say that I did feel a bit of pressure though during
the whole thing, because she's training a new missionary who's
struggling pretty bad- I didn't know how to help her. I felt so
helpless, and like I was just throwing out random advice because I
didn't know how to help. I tried to tune into the Spirit, but I'm just
so nervous as a leader. I've had all these district and zone leaders
calling us, President and Sister Taggart have been calling us for our
advice/input and yikes...I'm not prepared for that! I don't know
what's going on haha, and I'm always pretty sure that my opinion isn't
valid. Blah, it's so stressful!

One thing I learned about miracles this week: "Miracles. They come big
and small. They come when we least expect them and when we desperately
need them. And sometimes we pray and pray until our knees are sore for
the miracle we want, but then God gives us the miracle we need."

Hope y'all have a great week!
Random fact about Jersey: New Jersey is home to the original Taylor
Ham or Pork Roll. 😍
Love you!
Stay Jersey Strong.
Love, Sister McAllister
 Hermana Bird
 creepy farm in the dark
Sister Baine didn't want to smile

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Lobster Got Your Tongue?.....May 9, 2016

Well well well. Here we are again my friends. One more milestone in
the mission down, only got one of those skype calls left man 😳 super

This week has been a doozy, and boy am I begging to take a nap right
now! Since Monday its just been endless craziness!
 Tuesday was transfers, and my beloved companion S.Charles was sent to
Sparta :(  although, I'm sure she's happy about this development
considering there's horses up there haha!
Wednesday we went to district meeting and met our new districts, and
then my new companion S. Baine and I went knocking all day. (She's
from Alamo, Nevada, went to a year at BYU-I, and is the oldest sibling
in her family.) we were able to find some really cool people to talk
to, even if none of them became new investigators. There was one house
we knocked, where a 14ish year old opened the door with a softball
shirt on. So I struck up a convo about softball and she was such a
sweet girl! We started talking about our message and all that, and her
dad yelled down the stairs that he's on a conference call, and can we
come back in 30 minutes? We think he's just wanting to get rid of us,
but we say yes, and come back in 30 minutes. Well, they were both so
excited to talk with us, and they wanted to hear more about Jesus
Christ and our faith! We had a good 20 minute convo with them- he
didn't want to blow us off after all!

Thursday I went to my 6 hour long New Leader Training in Morristown.
I'm really glad they have that haha, cuz it's made me feel a whole lot
better about everything! One of the things that stood out to me the
most in it, is that President said "leaders don't wait for the storm
to pass. They learn how to dance in the rain, and they're the first
ones out there doing it!" And then he showed a picture of an elder,
thigh-deep in a flood, majestically and happily holding an ineffective
umbrella over his soaked self haha. I've been working on my positivity
for the past couple years now, and I know I've gotten a lot better,
but I still have so much further to go! Especially about missionary
work. So I really enjoyed that bit. I want to be like that Elder!!!
But I don't think it'll rain enough to flood like that here... ;)

Friday we then had our 6 hour long Mission Leadership Council, where
all the leaders in the mission meet together in Morristown. President
gave an awesome training, based on a meeting he and several other
mission presidents had with Elder Oaks recently, all about the power
of faith and obedience. One thing that stood out to me is he said: "a
lot of the time we think Satans plan was forced obedience. But Satan
only said he would guarantee salvation for the spirits. He promised
salvation without excellence, which means there would be no obedience
to celestial laws. It's a shortcut to salvation which captured the
lazy spirits. There's no such thing as a free lunch.  It would have
been a system of rewards without effort. Obedience is not necessary
when 'anything goes'! Understanding Satan's plan, helps us appreciates
God's more. We would grow and progress, understand and learn, know and
live and love the principles of the gospel." (Those are some of the
notes I took on it, hopefully it makes sense haha) But I really loved
it! Obedience is power, and it's the way to become exalted! :)

Saturday we spent allllllll day running from appointment to
appointment. It was an amazing day!
Sunday we had Mothers Day dinner with the McCready's: steak and
lobster! It was soooooooo good! They had some family in town with
them, so they got all the Italian family together and it was CRAZY. So
much yelling and loudness and the Italian accents just got thicker and
thicker and the food was sooooooooooo good haha, I have no way to
describe the organized chaos, but it was fun!
And then ya know, I talked to some of y'all. So I guess it was a good day ;)
Oh, and right before we came back to skype yesterday, we were walking
and saw these 3 women sitting on their steps with their dog, teaching
a little girl how to ride her bike. So we stopped and shared a Mothers
Day message with them from Alma 56:47-48 about the stripling warriors.
They loved it! And we ended up talking to them for about 25 minutes,
gave them BoMs and pamphlets, and exchanged info! They gave us hugs
too. Like whut??? That NEVER happens. They were SO happy we had
stopped and that we were so kind about our message and not trying to
shove it down their throats, 2 of them are from Albuquerque and said
they would read the book on their drive back! Such a cool experience.

I still can't believe it's May. But you know what else I can't
believe? This random fact about Jersey: Jersey has more Cubans in
Union City per square mile, than Havana, Cuba. Yup. Melting pot fo
sho. (Sorry I've been so bad at sending these lol! I keep forgetting)

I love y'all!
Stay Jersey Strong.
Love, Sister McAllister
Goodbye Sister Charles
 Hello Sister Baine
 New STLs

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Rain, FroYo, and STL calls....May 2, 2016


I hope this last week of April treated all y'all very well, it was
sure fun for Sister Charles and I!

Let me set the mood of the week: it starts at a beautiful, breezy 70
degrees on Monday, and proceeds to be that calm and wonderful until
Thursday, and Sunday where it begins to downpour all day. The sky is
gray, there's puddles everywhere. The rain doesn't let up for a
moment. The humidity is insane. The temperature stays around the
50s...And I honestly could not be a more happy person. Holy flip man!
I loooooooooooooooooved this week. It was perfect everything!!!

Monday we went to the park and played football and basketball again,
and we also got FroYo because we got a coupon in the mail! It was the
perfect way to cool off!! I also realized I still have a $10 gift card
to Yoyogurt that I gotta use when I get home- ain't got none of those
out here!

Awesome thing about this week is that we actually got fed! We got fed.
By people. For like the first time since I've been here. Members fed
us. I think the zombie apocalypse might have just broken out really,
or the world needs to spontaneously combust right now- the members
actually know we exist!!?? So weird.  But ya, we got fed Tuesday
(salmon- way better than Dads and Ty's version of slapping some lemon
on it and calling it good haha), Wednesday by our investigator (ham
and mac n cheese and key lime pie), Thursday (tomato and tortilla
soup), and Saturday we went to a RS activity where we made frozen
meals. To say we're drowning in leftovers is an understatement! My
stomach couldn't handle this normal amount of food hahahahaha, it's
shrunk since my Emerson days! But it's all soooooooooooo good.

We also got to help out at the Food Pantry twice this week! On
Wednesday we took a journey down to Trenton to pick up the elders, and
then went to the pantry- I got to see PA! And the Delaware! And now I
can say I've been in Trenton haha, pretty awesomely sketch place. But
ya, we took some bomb pics with the elders and hermanas after, and had
Chinese food together both times haha. Wednesday and Friday party!!! I
love the 6 of us together, it's stinkin hilarious each time!

As for my transfers IM FLIPPING FLIPPING OUT MAN!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, had to get the crash cart to come in and resuscitate me.
Anyways. Yes. Transfers. So, you are looking at (or rather, looking at
the text of) the newest Sister Training Leader in NJMM. *casually
flips the remaining patch of hair on bald head* it's no biggie.

Sorry. Had to breathe into a paper bag there for a minute. I'm back
now! Yes so. My life will be a LOT more interesting this transfer. I'm
going to go to ALL the leadership meetings, and I'll have stewardship
over at least 4 other sisters if not more, and I'll be going on
exchanges, and basically drowning. I can't be a leader. I don't even
know how to missionary yet and they want me to teach others how to
missionary! That seems backwards to me. I want to abdicate. I hereby
refuse to lead. I want to be a follower. It's so much easier 😭😰

That's all I can think of right now! Lol my mind is just racing with
this new call....I couldn't fall asleep last night til 12:30 cuz of
it. Soooooo yeah, haha, hope all of your weeks are great!!!

Love you!
Stay Jersey Strong.
Love, Sister McAllister
 The Super 6