Thursday, November 17, 2016

Cookie Miracles...November 14, 2016

This is a story all about how cookies spread the gospel through our town, I'd like to take a minute just sit down your buns, and I'll tell you how we became queens of a place called Newton. West side of America born and raised, on the mountains is where we spent most of our days- chillin out, relaxing, acting all cool, playing in the snow while they cancelled school. When a couple of guys who were up to some good, started calling us on missions using the priesthood. I got on one little plane, and my mom had fears, she said "what will I do without you for one and a half years?"

Anyways, lol! Yes. Cookies are a beautiful way to spread the gospel and get into people's houses- that was my original point, but then I got too absorbed in the rap. What can I say? I'm a prime rhymer.....I'm so lame *facepalms* 
COOKIES work miracles! With the mission focus on less actives lately, we've been being stiffed by a bunch of them as we've tried to make return appointments, and first appointments, etc. But, when you tell them you want to drop off cookies, they want you to come over that day. We were able to meet with 2 new less actives, and see 3 others that have been tricky, all because of cookies! The way to anyones heart, is through their sweet tooth haha! And no, it doesn't technically count as trickery- it's service. Yup. Totally service.

Speaking of service, this week we had a blast on Wednesday at the nursing home. I can't remember what I've told all of you about it before- sorry if this is a repeat! We go to Bristol Glen in the memory wing and do puzzles/play games with the folks there. What's special is that even though they ask you the same question 50 times in an hour, they also have a vague recollection of who you are! Helen is the lady we work with most, and she is hilarious! We were playing a card game with her and the Elders, and each one of us were crying from laughter. She's a hoot. Then, we got a huge group of them together and helped them exercise. The trainer would throw a beach ball to each of them and having them throw it back as part of the exercising- well, he skipped over me naturally, and Helen goes "hey! Don't skip people. That's not nice." So he had to come back and throw it to me lol! It was a fun time though, it really uplifted my spirit that day.

We were also able to see Sis Morse this week. She's an elderly, mentally and physically handicapped, woman who lives in a nursing home. She got to go to the temple Saturday and get sealed to her family! She was so excited! She couldn't stop talking about it, and we were so glad she would be able to make it. It's been amazing to have the opportunity to serve her. I was there when we went over to help her fill out her My Family booklet, and now 2 months later she's been to the temple to be sealed to them all! She's such a sweet soul, and I'm grateful I got to be a part of the process.
Speaking of temples: LAURA IS GOING TO THE TEMPLE IN 2 WEEKS WITH ME AND SIS BULSON AND IM SOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!! Please please please please please pray for her that she'll be able to stay out of the hospital!!! She's been looking forward to it ever since August, but her health has been too rough. I've been looking forward to this ever since I met her in April in Plainsboro! This is gonna be amazing!!

This week we had lots of miracles. One being that we were fed a record 5 times this week!!!!!!!! We are so blessed! It ranged from lobster tails, to a quaint French cafe, to steak, to chicken, to hot dogs over a fire and some chili- and I loved every single one of them. Yes mom, even the hot dogs. I know, I know, but please stop staring at the screen in shock, you'll scare the children haha ;)
Another miracle was that President didn't send me home! Haha just kidding, we just had interviews with him on Friday. I love President Taggart! He's such an amazing man. Their family is wonderful. I feel so blessed to have gotten to know them all and to have served around/with them here in NJ! 
But the biggest miracle this week is Leonard. It was 8pm and super dark, and we were going to find another less active. The address we had didn't have an apartment number, and we pulled up to a house with 2 doors on it. One door was dark and silent, while the other had lights and people laughing inside. I knew we needed to knock the one with the lights, but as I stood
on the porch, I felt that we should also knock the dark one, just to give our full effort. Down the stairs came a Hispanic man a little older than us. He didn't speak much English, but he did confirm that the man we were looking for lived next door. As we fumbled through what little Spanish we know, we asked him if we could show him a video in Spanish. We pulled out "Gracias A Él" and afterwards all he said was "Jesus, si." All I could says is "Sé que estas cosas son verdades." (I know these things are true.) Don't ask me how, but we were able to get his phone number, and give him the Hermanas number. We went away from it thinking that he wouldn't be too interested, and it would probably be just another random contact. Wrong! The Hermanas texted us that night and said they had just gotten off the phone with him and had an appointment for Friday! Then, on Friday, they talked to us and said that Leonard is golden! He is so prepared and he's been looking for the church ever since he moved here from a Mexico a month ago. Oh my goodness!!! Sister Hall and I started jumping around we were SO happy! God seriously takes our small efforts and makes them grand and amazing. I had no idea I was even listening to the Spirit, but now looking back, I know He guided us to Leonard. I would have knocked on that door otherwise. I'm so grateful He's directing this work, and that I get to be a part of it. Leonard is now a progressing investigator!

Alma 37:6-7 "Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls."

I love you all!!!
Stay Jersey Strong.
Love, Sister McAllister
 mission life
 treats from home
 sister activity

Monday, November 7, 2016

Horace the Deer....November 7, 2016

A couple awesome and a couple crazy things happened this week! 
First of all- we got to go to the TEMPLE!!!!! Ah sweet relief. Best day of the past 6 months haha! I love the temple so much- the second I walked in I felt peace and joy and a sense of calm serenity. I wanted to just fall asleep and spend my whole day in there. I'm glad I got to go with this zone too, so many of my friends are here! We also got lost trying to get out of the we ended up walking for an hour trying to find our bus terminal that would take us out. We walked past some signs that said Times Square on them, but we didn't go to the Square itself- so close! Haha   And then we got in line for a bus and learned it doesn't take cash, you have to buy tickets, so we rand back downstairs to buy them, and then came back up to only have a 40 minute wait until the next bus showed up. Let's just say we all got to know one another really well! And we got lots of pics of Manhattan.
On Thursday we had the chance to help 2 different people move. One of them being a nonmember, and the other a less active. We were able to establish a connection with the nonmember, and she was so grateful for our help. We were able to uplift her and her boxes lol, I'm a regular comedian, I know. But anyways, we got our workout in that day, she lived on the 2nd floor! I was so sore the next couple days.
A funny thing happened Friday morning: we had to run to WalMart to pick up some medicine for S.Hall, and in the process we bumped into a less active. We started chatting and then out of NO where I feel an arm sling around the back of my neck across my shoulders....the less actives face got SO scary lol! It turned out to just be my pal Billy, and don't worry, he took his arm off right away. The less active looked at us and was like, "I was gonna deck him in the face!" Ah. It's nice to know I've got some friends who got my back if anything ever happens haha! But Billy's so cool! I love that kid a lot. I want him to come back so bad, it kills me that he's going through such a rough time right now. He reminds me a lot of some people I know from college, gosh, I just want to be his friend and I want him to come out west. Super cool kid.
Saturday we went to Ellis Island and had a blast! I love going there so much!
Sunday we literally came within a foot of hitting a deer. And the craziest thing is that we had talked about it 5 minutes before it actually happened. It was SO scary! I thought for sure I was either going to kill the deer, or it was going to kill us! It popped up out of the dark, like daisies! Also, some really creepy things have been happening with our apartment lately, and let's just say I'm super grateful for the hope and happiness of the gospel. And I'm also glad nothing worse has happened to me, but it's still been suuuuuuuper creepy.
I have to go, it's almost 6, but I love you all! Sorry my email was kinda lame, we did zone sports and even did a sister activity beforehand. Also, we played gator ball for the first time in a beautiful!

Stay Jersey Strong.
Love, Sister McAllister

For Scotland!!!....October 31, 2016

This week has been amazing! We've seen so much progress with the area, and we've been having lots of fun adventures along the way. :)
 So first the fun awesome stuff, and then I'll finish with the fun spiritual stuff!

On Saturday we had the trunk or treat/chili cook-off for the ward. It was SO fun! The chili was awesome, and the people hilarious. Some of those costumes were just too good haha! We passed out pass along cards with candy taped to them, and you know, the kids go around 10 bazillion times, so they should have a nice stack to hand out later lol
Last night and tonight we have a curfew at 6pm, because only here in Jersey would they create something called Mischief Night and let everyone run rampant through the streets...I love this state haha! Last night we had dinner at a Members house, and to get there you have to drive through a backwoods road for a few miles. Well, we drove back in the dark, after it had rained, and even with the brights on you could hardly see anywhere. Let's just say I almost hit a deer and 3 baby raccoons while I was driving haha! But don't worry, I missed them all. Later, S.Hall and I painted our faces while we went through area lists and tried contacting our people on the phone or through FB. I tried making mine look like the Scottish flag, but also look tribal and war paintish- yeah, looks nothing like either, but whatever lol! And S.Hall was a tiger. It was a pretty fun night :)
Oh! Saturday we were running around helping the members get ready for the cook-off, while also running to appointments, when we saw that our street was covered in tents and cool merchandise. We stopped to try and talk to a few people, see if we could get anywhere with them, and we met a lady selling LuLaRoe. Now, idk if any of you know what this is, but it's literally the cutest clothes I have ever seen in my life! I was so excited to see she was selling them!!!! But they're also the most expensive clothes of my no bueno for cheapo me haha. But we talked with the lady and got to know her a bit- she was so sweet. She's truly awesome! And after we got done talking she grabbed some leggings and gave them to us for free! And maaaaaaaan are they comfy and soft and they actually fit me and it was just beautiful! We've been wearing them every night right before bed because that's the only time we can haha- it pays to be a missionary!

Ok, spiritual missionary awesomeness time!
Lately there's been a focus in the mission to go and find the less actives and bring them back. President Taggart was inspired with a way to go about doing this called "the Invite". We show the video "Because of Him" and then go through the process of the Invite. Each time it brings the Spirit so powerfully, they really feel of God's love for them! So S.Hall and I have been going around doing this on all the less actives we can find. This week we found 6 of them, of those we have 3 part member families, and 2 people that want to come back and want to get back to the temple!!!!!!!! We've met some truly amazing people, and I feel successful in a way I haven't for a while! It's been so exciting to see them feel the Spirit and have that desire to come back.
Also on Friday we were able to have dinner with the Cook family in Blairstown. We don't go there too often because it's a good 35 minute drive away, but we decided to block out a whole day to go there and find less actives and others that we can teach. We ended the night at the Cook's house, and they invited their neighbors over! Mary is a sweet old lady who lost her husband last year and is taking care of her autistic son Josh. We talked a lot with them, and they've actually been taught by Elder and Sister Dunn (senior missionaries) last year, so they have a BoM and she knows that families,can be together forever. Super awesome! She wants to meet with us regularly now!!! It was so cool to see what good comes out of doing service. The Cooks have been splitting Mary's wood for the past few years, and then this happened! Nothing you do is ever wasted guys!
Ok, last thing, I don't want this to be super long for you all. On Tuesday we had our normal roleplay class at 10, district meeting at 11:30, and then afterwards we had fundamentals with President at 2. Such a long day haha! He was training us on the Invite and how to do it successfully. Well, the time came to roleplay it, and he was going to pick 2 missionaries to come up, and ROLEPLAY IT IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE ZONE.....ya. You've probably already guessed where I'm going... the second he started describing what he was going to do I started thinking "oh man, please please please please please please please PLEASE do NOT pick me not me not me not me please" etc etc etc.  K well, as I'm thinking that i think "the fact that I totally dont want to do it probably means he's definitely going to pick me. President can smell fear, I bet he can hear my thoughts right now...don't make eye contact! No wait. What if he picks the ones who avoid eye contact??? Ok. Look at him. But not excessively, just normally? C'mon act innocent! Don't be overly confident, but don't look like a wiener either! What if.....aaaaaaaaand he picked me...... *internal screaming*" I was literally sweating SO hard. I was nervous and I had to go to the bathroom and I was sweating and I was jittery and I wanted to pass out and fall through the floor and do ANYTHING to make it so I didn't have to be standing there in front of the whole zone and my leaders and President! Ugh. I wanted to cry.......aaaaaaaaaaand you guessed it. I did. *facepalms* I literally cried my eyes out, lips quivering, unable to talk, in front of EVERYONE. Blah. But in my defense, it wasn't from nerves, it's because the Spirit was epically strong in the roleplay. These 2-3 minute videos the Church has produced are spot on and beautiful. It hit me so hard watching it, and then as we talked to "Mitch and Marvin" (aka our zone leaders) I didn't have to wonder what to say, I wasn't worried about all the missionaries looking at me and judging my lack of skills, I was focused on the Spirit and on what the two of them needed. It was an awesome experience, one I hope to remember forever- even if it did give me a heart attack haha! So in other words, I'm grateful for President picking me to do a slightly humiliating and embarrassing, but building and strengthening roleplay. In front of 20 other boss missionaries. 

Ok ok! I'm done for now, sorry for the long email haha!
Love you all!!!
 Stay Jersey Strong.
Love, Sister McAllister