Monday, December 19, 2016

The Whip, Lady Liberty, and Public Singing....December 19, 2016

Whew. This week was a doozy! I'm glad we made it out alive with all our sanity intact...barely. Haha!

The craziness really started on Thursday, and we haven't had much of a break until now. We're exhausted lol. So on Thursday we were running all day from appointment to appointment trying to fit weekly planning into the middle of it all. We luckily got everything done that we needed too, but let's just say my pillow never felt so good before haha!
That night we were able to meet with our new investigators that came to the Ward Christmas Brunch last Saturday! Lisa and her girls are so awesome! We brought Sister Roberts, the YW president, with us and the 2 daughters want to start coming on Wednesday's now! The family is so nice, and we're becoming good friends with all of them. We even met all of their boyfriends and everything lol, that was kinda awkward, but still cool. We also spent a little while that night serving them by helping them make stuff for a bake sale they're doing. We made these strawberry milkshake cookies from Pinterest and I fell in love. They are my new favorite cookie! They're just melt-in-your-mouth goodness wrapped in a pink and white cookie haha. And then, Lisa took us downstairs because she wanted to show us her Christmas tree and all the decorations. Or at least, that's what she said- but when we got down there she went to the tree and pulled out 2 presents and gave them to us! My heart just melted right along with those cookies we were eating! It was sooooooo sweet. I just know I'm going to talk with this family forever, whether or not they get baptized haha :)

Friday was the All-Mission Christmas Conference! It was so exciting to see all my friend again!!! I was Picture-Happy all day that day haha. We started off the conference listening to Bart Oats of the NY Giants and SF 49ers talk to us about winning 3 Super Bowls and how we need to live our mission like a "2 minute drill". He actually used a clip from the Giants beating the Patriots in a super bowl a couple years ago to demonstrate a lot of principles, so that got my hyped for this years super bowl haha! Some of my favorite one-liners from him are: "One wrong choice, one mistake, does not define who I am. One of the very few things I control on a mission is my effort. Give my best, doesn't matter if it's better or worse than anyone else. and Always fight. Never give up!" He passed around 2 of his bowl rings too, and man, those are a piece of hardware haha! They're huge! And one of the things he told us is that the team gets to pick the style and everything on their rings when they win! I thought that was cool.
Then President and Sister Taggart talked with us, and I loved some of the things they said too. President talked about how this is their 3rd and last Christmas here in NJ, and I loved the chance I got to spend it with them. I'm so grateful my mission got pushed back those 2 weeks, so glad I got to be here for this wonderful season and holiday. I can't imagine it any other way! 18.5 months in a state I now consider my 2nd home! And Sister Taggart was just amazing too, she talked about how she's been looking at the weather constantly the past week and just watching the number sink lower and lower and the snow raise higher and higher. She said that she just sits there and prays for us. She knows we have to go through trials and hardships, but (she was in tears relaying this all) she pleads that it doesn't have to be THIS cold, THIS windy, THIS snowy. They both just brought me to tears while they talked. You can't help but feel the love they have for us, they truly do have 180+ children to watch over and love out here- and they've been parents to like 300 others! I just love these 2.
Then we had lunch and hung out all together as a mission. There was song, raps, dancing, the whip, laughter, a slideshow, pictures, presents, letters, good food, the price is right, minute to win it games, and just lots and lots of fun! I said goodbye to all my Spanish friends, because unless they come to transfers, I won't see them again :(  that was rough. I've been feeling both raw and overwhelmingly full these past few days! I said bye to Elders Mendoza and Justice, and Sisters Pace, Virgin, Holguin, and lots of others but I'm starting to get sad listing these names so I'm gonna stop lol! Gosh, endings are so hard. And I know I'll get to chill with them later, but that's months down the line! For some of them it's almost a year away haha
But yes, it was a fun day! And I got your package and letters family! Thank you!

Then on Saturday we got to go to Ellis Island!!! It started snowing at midnight and continued through the morning. We had to scrape off a couple inches of snow from our car, and then navigate the roads that hadn't been plowed haha! I drove 30mph on the highway in a single file line, slipping and sliding all over the place for 2.5 hours to get to Ellis Island lol! It was an adventure. But now I can say that I know how to drive in the snow, and I have in fact done it. Boom. It was actually not too bad. And it was technically S.Hall's day to drive, but she didn't want to, so I'm glad we survived lol! But Ellis Island was super fun! Not too many people were there, so the staff let us walk around the museum for a little while. I've done it before, but I got to see the exhibits that I hadn't before. That was pretty cool! It was a fun day.

Sunday was the English Missionary Christmas Fireside where yours truly sang in a small group in front of 500+ people...yikes! I was suuuuuuuuuper nervous all day. But it ended up going pretty well I think. I have a video of it, so you guys can be the judge lol! The music was amazing last night. I love how we truly can worship Him with song, and it's one of the quickest ways to bring the Spirit in to your heart too! It was a real fun evening! And I got to see the Murch's and S.Abraham from Eatontown, the Alkemas from Princeton, the Russell's from Emerson, and S.Williams and Monique and Br.Peña from Scotch Plains! I'm sad more people weren't there, but it was nice to get to say bye to them all and catch up for a bit! I also got to say goodbye to my English friends too. Elders Oakley, Hicks, Adams, Koo, Jessop, and Sisters Llana, Flinders, Burk (basically I'm naming people for my own benefit of looking back on this lol). It was a good night, sad as well, but good. I've become real good friends with one of the elders, and he lives all the way across the Atlantic Ocean, so we were both pretty bummed out that that was probably our last time ever hanging out. Lame. One day I'll go to the U.K., I have to find Hogwarts! Haha

But yup, Christmas is in 6 days, it snuck up way quick on us! We started a countdown on our whiteboard on Dec 1st! It's already Dec 19th!!! Gah, time slow down!!! I'm excited for it though, we already have 2 members having us over on Christmas Eve, and one on Christmas! Woohoo! Party! 

I love you all!
Stay Jersey Strong.
Love, Sister McAllister
 Driving to Ellis Island in the snow
 Ellis Island
 Ready for Christmas
 The Taggart's....Mission President and his wife

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