Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Lady Liberty and Ellis Island...January 2, 2017

Hey All!
Today I went to Ellis island on my departing trip. Super mixed emotions about that, but I'll get to that later haha

This week was a "miracle, last-minute twist, hard work, and fun times"-filled week. Life seems to have just gone crazy since Christmas!

Monday we went to the Stevenson's house so S.Hall could make her pen on his lathe. We got some yummy homemade cinnamon rolls out of that too! They were supposed to have us over that night as well for dinner, but there was a delay in a flight from Utah and yadda yada they couldn't have us over- which I actually felt better about because I felt bad taking up their whole day! So they had us over the next night for dinner.

Tuesday we had my last ever district meeting...that was the beginning of the end haha! All my lasts are going to be coming up! Gah. But yeah, I love my district leader Elder Jordan, he's a super awesome leader! His trainings are great and he's really adapted his teaching to meet the needs of his district. It's cool to serve around him again too, because it was back in the beginning of my mission that we served around each other last. It's always cool to see how people change and yet are still the same goofballs they were in the beginning. They just become more of a spiritual giant :)  So anyway, I'm going to miss Tuesday meetings where you know you'll get spiritually fed weekly with new ideas and things you've forgotten or overlooked.
Tuesday we were double booked with dinners, so I made sure to wear my stretchy skirt, and boy was I stuffed after! We went over first to Sister Menendez's house and had yummy fried plantains with rice and pork. One funny thing about Spanish, is there's dozens of different dialects, so words mean different things in different countries. For instance, she's from Ecuador and plantains to her is "maduro", but to other people it's "plátanos". We were really confused when she first told us what she was cooking, but then she showed it to us and we got it haha! Then, we went straight from her house to the Stevenson's where we had authentic Chinese food made from authentic Chinese ingredients. Brother Stevenson served his mission in Taiwan (and sis Stevenson in Scotland), so they made us a bunch of stuff I can't dream of pronouncing. There was lots of rice, weird meat, and weird vegetables, but it was all pretty good! I also ate my entire meal with chopsticks, so I felt pretty proud of myself! And then we had homemade mango pudding for dessert- yum. I swear, just in these last 3 weeks I will have gained at least 10lbs from all the stuff we're getting fed.

Wednesday we were able to see a miracle of getting in to an inactive, part member house that we've been trying by for 3 months!!! The timing was right I guess, probably because of the holiday cheer, and we were able to share a short video with Dawn and George before they kicked us out haha! We talked about the poems he writes about God, and we shared our Christmas Day festivities with each other, before she got antsy and started ending the conversation. Woohoo! We took them brownies another night, just to build trust and friendship with them, so we're hoping that'll start going somewhere in the next month or so. Small and simple things! Little tender mercies lead to big miracles! Wednesday evening we also got a call from our district leader that the STL's were on there way to our apartment right that minute for an exchange....one we were not informed about til that very moment...And it would go til Friday. Surprise! We were a little frustrated at first, and felt a little judged by the whole situation, BUT God is good and I'm a prideful sack, so it ended up being perfect haha! We had Hna Higginbotham with us here, and we all learned a lot from each other. I learned to not judge a situation right away, but to step back and see the bigger picture. She was sent to us to learn something, and we were given plans that day to learn something as well! More on that later.  So Wednesday we went over to the Thompson house for dinner and guess what we had!? Chinese food! What in the world haha?? I've had it once in the past 2 transfers, and then all the sudden here it comes! It was good though, her egg rolls were to die for.

I'm realizing this letter is all about food...I guess it's easy to see what I love haha! I hope I'm not making y'all hungry. Thursday we still had the sister with us, but it was also weekly planning day, so we spent the majority of the morning and early afternoon planning while she studied Spanish and did other stuff. I learned some more Spanish with her too, so, maybe one day I'll actually know more than 20 words! Lol
That day we had lots of plans to go finding because we had no set appointments. Our mission is doing this thing where we try by a less Active, and if they're not home we knock 20 doors around them asking their neighbors if they know them, who are they, what's their schedule, etc etc. President has said that this is a beautiful way to knock down barriers and get in their houses, and I have seen it work before, but for some reason that day it was so not working. We got yelled at twice, scorned a couple times, and one man walking his dog was pretty rude, BUT we met a super nice guy named Jesse who had the most hipster, eccentric outfit and vibe going on and he took a card with our number on it! Woohoo! And we had another lady (who had had a leeeetle too much wine) who opened the door, called us pretty, started to close the door, and then without us saying anything said "alright, give me your stupid pamphlet" lol! We're so good we didn't even have to say anything haha ;)

Friday we had more Chinese food, and lots of other stuff happened this weekend, but I've run out of time! The Statue of Liberty is huge, and the inside was cool! My feet are killing me, and my hair is drenched, and my life is still a surreal mess. But I love you all and wish you well! Talk to you next week!!

Stay Jersey Strong.
Love, Sister McAllister

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