Week 4

Hi! These week has been something else. So first of all for the weather. When it rains it pours. Like heavy warm raindrops and then it turns into some hail and then its like full on hurricane. And then the theres so ligheting and GUESS WHAT and saw lighting strike a tree. That was pretty exciting. I dont know what it is with me but I have the worst luck with housing. This week we have 20 bees fly in through the ventilation, I have no idea how and they came into our room! I prayed SO hard that we wouldnt get stung. Direct blessing: I didnt get stung. but yeah major stress. when they fly in they die cause their wings are broken. They have all been terminated. Bees better not mess with me for a while. 
I'm not gonna lie, this week was hard. People are quick so say yes and then over time they just totally lose interest and then totally start to avoid us! I dont like people avoiding me! So we went from 8 baptismal dates to 2 and about 5 other progressing to 2. Its really hard for me to drop people because, I guess its because Im a fresh and naive missionary, I just want everyone to embrace and love this gospel the way I do right now! But I know that there are people out there that the Lord has prepared to accept and act on this message, all we have to do it find them. So we have our english class and thats really good for finding people! We get a good amount of people coming to our class and its so fun. We taught about how to talk about your family and I know I say this every time, but I just love my family!! I brought a picture of my family to show as I talked about them. Fun fact: I had the smallest family in the whole class! All of them are from guatamala and have like 8-12 siblings! One of the funniest things to teach is "its nice to meet you!" thats one of the hardest things for them to say! I must agree that mucho gusto is much easier. 
Okay so heres for some awesome experiences this week. On tuesday we went to visit with an investagador and she was still struggling with stopping coffee. We were teaching and teaching and she was telling us a lot about everything shes going through right now and how its really hard to answer all her daughters questions like "why do people kill themselves" or "why does that man have one arm". Shes a  Single mom, and twin 7 year old daughters with special needs. As we were teaching I kept feeling impressed to promise her that if she stops drinking coffee, the spriit will help her know exactly what to say to her daughters and help her to be a better mom. I kept thinking, well let me think about how to say it in spanish first and this impression just kept coming. So i just opened my mouth and I promised her this promise as a representative of Jesus Christ. I felt like the Savior himself could have been in the room. The look on her face when I promised that was so awesome. She let our a big gasp of air like a weight was lifted off her shoulders. I testified that I know that the spirit has directed my own parents in times when I had questions or my testimony was failing. Then my companion told her that President Bagley (he is the branch president and our member present in the lesson) could give her a preisthood blessing to give her the strength she needs to over come. That was also so powerful so be in that room as she recieved her first preisthood blessing. She told us she was going to fast this sunday to know that she should be baptized on the 27th and we told her that we would join her in this fast. Then she came to church on sunday and guess what our lesson was on during Relief Society... BAPTISM. and why we need baptism to return to live with god and almost all the women in our little branch our converts and as they testified of how baptism has changed and blessed their lives forever the spirit was so strong. so so so so exciting. Miracles like this happen all the time!
Something else happened this week that has kinda been on my mind. So we ran into one of the guys from our english class walking home from work and we were talking to him about what we were up to. He was telling us that he thought it was great that we are teaching the word of god. We asked him more about his religious beliefs and he told us that hes catholic. We were asking him some questions and testified that our message would bless his life forever. And our church is the very same as the church that christ established when we was on the earth. We invited him to take  a Book of Mormon and read it. He declined. Which was a first. We asked why and he said that he didnt wanna play games and just test it out. he kept repeating the phrase "I dont wanna play games I dont wanna play games" This caused me to question why I was serving a mission. Was it just some sort of game? Was I just doing this to say I did it? Then the confirmation came to me quickly. I testified to him with the book of mormon in my hands that this is not a game to me. This is everything to me. I did not leave my family, my friends, my studies behind for a year and a half to play some game. I bore my simple testimony and we invited him to call us when we is ready to find out the truth of his message for himself.  
Everyday I am so grateful for the many opprotunites I have to testify of the truthfulness of this gospel. Every time I do my testimony is strengthened. 
hermana arruguren! Shes from Venezula and we try to visit her once a week. She calls us her angels and she is the only member in her family. She never wants us to leave. And she always wants us to take pictures with her. This week she taught us how to make colombian hot chocolate to delay our stay a little longer hahah last time she took our phone. the look on her face when we asked her were our phone was was like a 5 year old who got her hand caught in the cookie jar hahah so priceless.

HEY! church is this way (to da left to da left) it looks like we are in country town huh? so much green and no houses for quite a ways. 

my little nook! this is were studying goes down. 

Week 3

So many things are happening over here in good ole New Jersey. Okay so back story: I was in New Jersey last summer to visit one of my best and dearest friends ever, Vanessa! and then I get assigned to the area that she lives in!! We got permission from the mission president and I WENT AND SAW HER!! It was the most powerful experience for me to be able to share with someone who I love and know so well about why this gospel is so important to me and why I am serving a mission. The Spirit was so strong and I know the God puts people into our life so that we can learn and so that they can shape who we are. I am so bummed because we forgot to take a picture!! but we will just "run into each other" some other time :)  

Serving a mission is the best because I am learning so much about God's love. When I talk to people and how we can return to live with God again, I can feel just the tiniest amount of the love that he has for them and the urgency of our message! I dont know how I have been so lucky to have this knowledge my whole life. 

This week we had an awesome zone conference about making spiritual connections. I'm not gonna like, when I just talk to people, its easy to just be really social and surface level and then casual bring up the gospel. Then it can sound like im selling a product. Thats no good. We have been talking about asking people questions that lead into making spiritual connections. the Best way to do this is asking questions! Heres a little experience. 
So we were going over to this lady's house that we have been teaching and wanted to help her clean because it was seriously soooo messy. But when we came her mom and some ministers from their church were there and were really excited to see us and told us about some of their beliefs. They were talking about their beliefs and how they believe that god is all powerful and all churches are from god and have the power of god and sharing very sincere testimonies. I asked them that since there is one God, and God is not a God of confusion, why are there so many churches on the earth? If there is one god, shouldnt there just be one church? They didnt really know how to answer that. They started to say that church isnt important but God is. I agreed that God is very important. We talked about how when Christ was on the earth he established his church and called apostoles. Then I asked, "Would you like to know that there are people on the earth today that hold this same power and authority that the apostoles held?" It got really quite and the spirit was so strong in the room. We testified of the power of the preisthood and how it can only be found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and how there is a prophet and aposotles on the earth today and that Jesus Christ is the head of this church. I learn more about the truthfulness of this church everyday as I testify! 
Now heres for the comic relief:
Then the rest of the lesson just got kinda weird. Like all the sudden the mom started doing this weird singing and dancing thing. It was kinda terrifying. Then sister boudesocque started to pray and all of them started standing up and waving their hands in the air and saying their own prayers as loud as they could and i just started laughing. Like I was trying so hard not too. And then hermana boudesocque started laughing so it was game over. Then she prayed again and it was all quite and good. it was easily one of the most bizarre things that has ever happened to me. ever. hahahaha im laughing right now

On Wednesday we had our first english class! We told a couple of our investagadores about it and they brought friends... And guess what SEVEN PEOPLE CAME. I was so excited. And they are all so awesome. and fun fact: I am so much taller than all of them. gotta love those little guatamalan men. There seriously dont know a word of english! I didnt know that existed in the states but i guess it does! 

Also three of our investigadores came to church this sunday too! I was so happy to see how well the members fellowship them. They run up to them to meet them and get their numbers and are just such good friends to them. The members are so much more important than the missionaries, cause we are only here for a few months.

I love hearing from everyone back at home! 
And the best part is.... its all true folks. 
with president taggart

sister boudesocque made me pancakes for breakfast today because its my 2 month mark! 

with some of our zone and this legit pizza place after meeting president and his fam! 


Week 2

oh my word I dont even know where to being with this week! 
We finally met our new mission president!! President Taggart and his wife and family are seriously so amazing! They came to our area and both of their daughters bore there testimonies and out of no where I just started crying because I couldnt help but think about my cute siblings who all moved to Texas and are being so brave by having to go to a new school and all of that. But then the spirit just confirmed to me again that they are on the Lord's errand. So great to meet them. Something that President Taggart said really suck out to me. He said that our fear is stemmed from our pride. That had never occurred to me before. Every time we feel like we dont wanna do something because we are worried about what other people will think, or afraid of an outcome we cannot see, that is our pride!! That hit me like a ton of bricks. I have been working so hard to try to humble myself to the point where I am willing to submit to the will of the Lord without even a second glance. Im quite a work in progress but im working hard hahaha. 
So many things happened this week! We met with so many people and so many of them have accepted baptism! The more and more I teach the gospel, the less scary it is to ask people to be baptized. Because as soon as i really understand what the gospel is and how important it is that we live in a way so that we can return to live with our heavenly father, baptism is the greatest thing. 
I really dont even know what to say about this week! I am slowly accepting the fact that people are going to avoid me thats just how it goes hahah but its all good i dont take it personally ;) Its so funny the difference between talking to white people and talking to hispanics. So the hispanic people ALWAYS stop and let us talk to them. always. maybe because they are trying to figure out why this blonde chick is speaking spanish hahah the American people just roll their eyes and ask us if we have better things to do. Wanna know the answer to that? NO i dont have better things to do!! This is the best thing I could possibly be doing right now! 
Funny Experience: so we saw this guy we had met before and he was talking to his friend so we went up to them and were talking to them. Well I was talking to the friend and he was like(in spanish) "I wanna change religions" and I was like "well thats perfect! We can teach you about yours! and he said "only because God sent me an angel. I have seen you in a dream" and kept saying other strange things and then I was like woah thats crazy that hes seen me in a dream! but then I was like wait a second this is the most uncomfortable thing that has ever happened to me hahah seriously hermana boudesocque and i laugh about it all the time. 
Spiritual Experience: Okay so we were talking to this guy Edgar. He is guatamaelan and he cant read and is a really slow learner. Which is hard because he cant read the book of mormon on his own and he has a really hard time understanding! So I was feeling kinda frustrated inside and I know that Hma Boudesocque was too. We finally asked him why he thinks we are here. And he said he didnt know! So i testified to him that I am here because i know that God loves him. And Because i know this, I also know that God wants him to return back to live with him again. That is why i am serving a mission.
I know that this is the Lord's work! Whether I'm tired, sad, frustrated, happy, whatever emotion, I have a responsibility to get over myself and go do the Lords work. What a blessing! I am learning so much about myself and my relationship with my Heavenly Father. 


Week 1 in the mission field

one week down in the mission field. I cannot believe this is real life. What in the world. So many things have happened this week and I dont really even know what to say so if this email doesnt make any sens i am terribly sorry. Okay. So I LOVE my companion. Seriously love her. Her name is Hermana Boudesocque and she is so great. The whole mission came to the transfer conference because it was the last one before President Jeppson left so I got to see all the missionaries!! Literally all of the missionaries I talked to told me that Heremana Boudesocque is the best and that she is going to put me to work. They were so right. hahaha she is so awesome. She goes home this August and I hope that I am the kind of missionary she is. She is so bold and we are so similar is so many things!! Except the spanish part. Her mom is Colombian so she could understand spanish perfectly before the mission but couldnt speak it super fluently. Now her spanish is so beautiful so im hoping that rubs off onto me.  You will not believe this. I have been assigned to the Princeton area!! When President Jeppson announced that I could not believe it. This is the SAME area that I visited when I came to New Jersey last summer (and no President Jeppson did not know that). Hermana Boudesocque couldnt believe that either because she has never been in an area so south before. Which leads me to my next point. my comp and i were doubled in, which means that both of us are new to the area. It was very overwhelming at first cause we just had a big binder of names and didnt know anyone or where anything was. Its so funny cause ill be driving and then I will recognize certain places like "oh I got my nails done there!" or "Oh yeah definitely got a smoothing there" or "I remember shopping in that J.Crew and Vanessa left her keys in that Urban Outfitters" the fact that I am here is so crazy. The Lord truly does work in mysterious ways. 

I CANNOT believe how many hispanic people there are. I laugh every time i think about when i was worried that i wouldnt pick up spanish since I was state side hahaha literally everyone we teach and contact speaks spanish. There are areas were we go and just walk around and talk to people on the streets and they all speak spanish. They are mostly from Guatemala and I feel like a giant around here because these guatamalan men maybe make it to my shoulder. We have also taught people from Mexico, the Dominican Republic (WOW they are so hard to understand hahah), Peruivans, Colombians, just so many people. 

In our mission, we have to get at least 10 contacts a day. That scared me to death because going and talking to random people, espicially in Spanish is so nerve-wracking. But now its just super fun because 1) Hermana Boudesocque and I run into the craziest people (thanks to mexico losing in the World Cup last night, and can say that i am on my way to mastering drunken spanish) and 2) They actually want to talk to us and wonder why the heck this blonde chick is running to catch up with them while talking in Spanish  

I have found that before teaching appts, on the way there, I feel such a nice calm. Thank heavens, because Mallory before the mission would be so freaking out. I am surprised that I am able to understand almost everything during the lessons. I know for a fact its not me though. Its all with the help of the Spirit. I have felt the Spirit work through me every time I testify of something. Every where we go we have un Libro de Mormon in our hand and every time i start to feel awkward because of how many people are staring at me, the words of Peter pop into my mind. "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ". And guess what. If i repeat that in my head enough, I comes true!! 

We are missionaries in a Branch. We have enough members to be a ward, but there are so many inactive members. I didnt realize how many there were until we went to church and the attendance was so low!! We have a lot of work to do here and I'm so excited about it. Oh and from the pulpit the branch president asked us to come up and bear our testimonies. So that was super cool and it was so strange to be up there as a missionary for that branch. I feel such a responsibility in helping the members and strengthening them! 

So many things and its only the first week. Everyday is a rollercoaster but the ups are never far from the low points. I love you all and I know this church is true. I couldnt be more grateful for the opprotunity I have to be on the Lords errand everyday all day.  

New Jersey yay!

oh my gosh i am in mission field. I feel like a fish out of water but at the same time, i know this is home. Today started at 2 in mexico, many hours in the mexico city airport with people seeing my nametag and immediatley avoiding all eye contact with me (cant blame them really cause who wants to talk at right?) and then gave out a book of mormon to my my new friend Jesus and then getting to call my momma in atlanta and then finally arriving in new jersey to be greeted by my mission presdient! I love him because i can feel how much President and Sister Jeppson love me. I'm already sad that they are leaving in 5 days but so excited to meet the new mission presidents. Then we need so great street contacting in the middle of ghetto newark (i will explain more about that later haha so crazy) and such a delicious dinner with all the new missionaries here at the mission home. Oh how i missed ole fashioned american food. There is so much i wanna say but i just dont have time!! I know i am suppose to be here. I had never felt it so strong until in my interview with President Jeppson, he grabbed my hand, looked me straight in the eyes and told me that i made the right decision to come on this mission and that i am in the best place. I couldnt be happier and more excited and anxious about what lies ahead. I wish i had more time to write you all right now but know that i love you all and i love this Lords work.