I cant believe Christmas is over already, boy that went fast!
This week was packed and crazy amazing because of the holiday, so bear with me while I try to recap it all haha
Tuesday we went on exchanges with the Morristown Hermanas, and you guessed it, I went to the Spanish area haha! I swear, I never stay in my area anymore. But it was good, I was with Hermana Allen and Hermana Villanueva (they're in a trio)! We found lots of success knocking and trying the people we had planned, that was all pretty foreign to me haha, but exchange miracles are real! I learned more Spanish, and I can understand a conversation when it's small talk or about the gospel- pretty cool that I've picked that up! And God is definitely the reason, I know He helps me understand what's going on, even if I can't contribute myself. Although, I did bear my testimony in Spanish for the first time!!! With what little Spanish I know I pieced together a sentence, and as I was thinking about it I felt the need to share it with this man named Walter we were teaching. Right after one the Hermanas taught something I said "No hablo espanol y no se todos, pero se que estas cosas son verderdas." (I don't speak Spanish and I don't know everything, but I know these thing are true.) It was pretty cool to me anyway, I felt the Spirit testify to me that no matter what language, country, or background we come from, the gospel is still true and it's still the same. It never changes! It doesn't matter if I couldn't understand some of the things being said, the Spirit was still there, it still testified of truth to me. And I know it did the same thing for Walter. God is so good to us.
Wednesday we went to dinner at the Trunk's house and 2 other families were there too, the Jackson's and the Walker's. They're all in their 20s and it was kinda cool to see the different places God needed them to be at in their lives. One has 4 kids and a house, the other has 1 kid with 1 on the way and an apartment, and the last is newly married with an apartment- but they're all within years of each other. I don't know, call me crazy, but I just thought it was so cool how God needed them in different places for different things at the same point in their lives. He has an individual plan for us, FOR us. It was cool! And it was a party with them all hahahahah! I stinkin love all of them so much! One of them actually just moved into the apartment in our building. Which means 3/4 apartments now belong to members haha! Aka we basically have our own church building ;)
Friday we had interviews with President Taggart in the morning (though i didn't have one since I'm going home) and then we were running from place to place all day. One of the coolest things that happened that day was at the Teets house. They're a family of less actives that we've been trying to work with this transfer. This time we sat down and decided to share #LIGHTtheWORLD again, even though we had already showed it to the grandma and mom before. We wanted to ask them to share it with others, but as we were talking before we showed the video, the son and his girlfriend showed up and started talking with us. We showed the video, and the Spirit was palpable. We asked them who they knew that needed to see that video, and everyone in the room basically pointed at Morgana (the girlfriend). She just slowly nodded her head in agreement and told us that the video made her feel "warm and peaceful". Now this girl is normally pretty loud and outgoing but for the next 10 minutes she sat their in silence absorbing everything we talked about. The mom and grandmas actually brought up baptism and repentance themselves, talking about the peace and joy you feel afterward. And they both described how repentance is such that God forgives your sins and remembers them no more. Morgana perked up and talked about how she's more spiritual than religious because so many church gave her flak for her choices and different personality. She's a really sweet girl, and we're looking forward to teaching her! Miracles happen! There are people everywhere who are searching for the truth and the only reason they don't have it, is because they don't know where to find it. Now, not only does this less active family have someone to love and teach about the gospel, this woman also has a family to help her and support her in her decisions and trials. God is amazing.
Friday night we got invited over to the Boyle's for dinner, but there was going to be dinner at a special Christmas lesson at the Bible study class at the church. So we went there, and proceeded to have our minds blown with the historically and biblically accurate version of the nativity. Man, I learned so much about Mary and Joseph and the angel, and especially about the shepherds and where the birth of Jesus would have actually taken place. We learned about the wise men and Herod and and and and and and and! Lol, I took lots of notes, so maybe one day I'll share it with you all- there's too many to include here. But let's just say, the symbolism in His birth is so much greater to me now, and it all makes a lot more sense! I'm so grateful for Sister Izquierdo's knowledge of the Bible. That definitely something I need to get better at.
Saturday we went and did service at Homestead, playing bingo with the residents, and it was fun to see everyone so happy and decked out for Christmas! S.Hall also reminded me about halfway through the day that it was my 18 month mark...I was just too focused on Christmas Eve ok! Haha, I completely forgot, it was the weirdest thing. Its weird to look back on, it was too short haha! To celebrate (Christmas Eve, that is lol) we went over to Bishop Jensen's house and had chicken cordon-bleu for dinner. Ok, I have to say they were way better than Swann's frozen cordon-bleus haha! And after dinner we put on a live nativity with all the kids. We had filled all the parts, but the shepherds had no sheep...so you guessed it, I filled in lol! It was pretty fun, and afterwards we watched the real Bible video "Nativity" online. I love those videos, I can't wait for the Book of Mormon ones to come out!
And yesterday was wonderful, beautiful Christmas!!! We had breakfast with the Stevensons, cinnamon rolls and eggs, and then we had a musical Christmas sacrament meeting where we sung O Little Town of Bethlehem. It was a really spiritual meeting! I've noticed more and more on my mission how we can truly worship through song- hymns are one of the quickest ways to bring the Spirit! After being laden with gifts and cookies and other such things, we went to our investigators' house! Lisa, April, Nicoletta, and Michael had us over for ham and Panera Bread mac n' cheese! Wow, they have just opened their arms and welcomed us right in. If I weren't a missionary I'd think it really bizarre and weird how they've opened up so much to us in such a short time. It was a great time! LOL they even gave us our 1st ever lotto tickets...yeah that was a funny one to explain XD
Then we went over to the Cooks house right after that! It was a blast and they had lots of good food too. We rooks pics, colored with the kids, had some good caramel apple cider, and then came home and Skyped.
Overall it was a fantastic Christmas weekend and I'm so grateful for everyone that made it so!!! Gosh, I love you all.
See ya in 2!
Stay Jersey Strong.
Love, Sister McAllister