Monday, July 28, 2014

It's just not work

These past 2 weeks have been, Go! Go! Go!
From exchanges, to splits, to another exchange, farewell trips for my companion, and serving at Liberty Island, the work never stops. And so it is as servants of the Lord. 

But there is joy in the work, and MUCH of it. Amongst the hustle and bustle of preparing my companion to go home, each moment has been accompanied by much laughter. 

Last Monday I thought I'd take advantage of Hermana Jane's Hispanic background and learn how to make real Hispanic salsa.
Making Salsa

Tuesday I was blessed to go on an exchange with one of the Sister Training Leaders, Hermana Jordan! She was my first companion in N.J.  I missed her so much! We spent the whole time catching up and having so much fun as we spread the gospel.

On our exchange it POURED rain. I didn't come prepared with my rain jacket or umbrella and she didn't have one either, so by the end of the day, we were SOAKED.
Once back in the house for the night we couldn't stop laughing. There aren't words for how much I love her. She is one of my very best friends. Even today she is a blessing in my life. Although we aren't companions, I continue to learn from her stalwart example of dedicated missionary service. 
Hermana Jordan and I
The same week I was on another exchange with the Spanish Sisters in Union City. Hermana Jane was at the temple with all of the other departing missionaries. There in Union City I was in a trio with Hermana Galvan and Sister Dorrough (all three of our companions will be leaving). We hadn't been having any success. We had been walking for 5 hours, trying to contact some of the potential investigators, contacting formers, and updating the records, but no one would let us in. It was really hot, and we were all really tired and having a hard time staying motivated. At that time, we just happened to be walking by "Noches de Columbia", a famous Columbian Restaurant. We all agreed that we needed a break and I treated the sisters to a pandebono. Mmmmhmmm. 
Eating Pandebono at Noches do Columbia
Together we laughed off all of the discouragement. 

Last Saturday Hermana Jane and I volunteered our time to serve at Liberty Island. We were asked to work in the "Family Historical" Section of the Museum. There we helped people from every country find their family who had emigrated to America. We weren't allowed to proselyte while working there, but the work we were doing was family history work. We saw miracles with people who had been looking for their great-great-great relative for 3 years, but hadn't found anything. Through going there, and digging through the files, we found all of their information! It was such an amazing feeling to help them find their family!

-Side note- Ellis Island got the majority of their information from
Serving at Ellis Island
This week, we were both back in our area working harder than we ever have. We have walked, and talked, and taught, and in the middle of it all, there has been joy. 

I have had some of the greatest/funniest contacts in my whole mission. For example: We contacted a guy who was sitting on the sidewalk and had a rat on his shoulder. He made me pet it. haha

We always pass by a bunch of kids who play badminton on the sidewalk outside, so we took a few minutes to play with them. 

We played Dominos with a group of ladies on the sidewalk, and got stuck in the rain. 
Hermana Jane and I soaked after a rainstorm

We found a door that had a "Nephite" on it. We contacted him for that reason! :)
Ready for the Nephite

We have had tender experiences with the elderly in our area as we brought the spirit to them through music. 

This work, isn't just work. There is joy that can be found. I know it because I have experienced it. I am happy. Truly happy. And it's because I know this gospel is true. 

Hermana Childs

Monday, July 14, 2014

Where my heart is...

I have been loving the work, living the life, and burning out my shoes working in this area. I LOVE JERSEY CITY! 

Missionary Work is the best.

My companion and I have seen so many miracles this week. We have started sending out a daily scripture text to all of the members, investigators and potentials, and already the blessings are being made manifest. A potential investigator named Alfredo, responded to our texts one day and told us that he couldn't read Spanish. He could speak it, but just couldn't read it, so we began to send him the same scripture text, but in English. His response was, "Every day for the past 2 weeks you have been sending me scriptures that I have needed. I need to meet with you. I need this in my life. When can you come over?" Sadly, he isn't in our area, but he is in the area of the Sister Training Leaders (my last two companions). I know he is in good hands with them. Although I won't personally see him grow in the gospel and experience the  joy that it brings, I know Heavenly Father was preparing him for this message. He just needed a tool to contact him. He is prepared. I know it.

Also, we've been able to contact and teach many of the previous investigators from the sisters before us. We had been trying to contact each one of them for 2 weeks, but hadn't seen any sign of interest from them. They never responded or answered the phone, and with 'tristeza' (sadness) we dropped them. Heavenly Father still had a plan for them and with almost every case, the investigator that we had dropped would call us back within a day or two and set an appointment. One of  those, was Jesus. He is a 33 year old man from Mexico, who has a strong desire to follow God. In our lesson, although my Spanish wasn't very good, he felt the Spirit. He is ready to be baptized.

Jorge and Lorenzo are still progressing towards baptism. They continue to come to church and meet with us. They are amazing!!

This last week, we had "Meet the Taggarts" to meet our new mission president and his family. President Taggart is as loving and powerful as President Jeppson. President Jeppson changed my mission. He helped show me how to be more like Christ. I will always remember him. Meeting the Taggart family was so special. I'm so glad we had the opportunity. They are still a relatively young family, with the youngest child who is 10 years old, but bring....spunk...into the mission. I know he has been called of God to lead this mission. Already I have learned so much from him.

I love my mission. I love being a missionary. I love this gospel. I love my Father in Heaven who sent His Son to die for me. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know He loves me.

This is where my heart is; in this gospel.

Hermana Childs

 Hermana Jane let me cut her hair!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Something Special

There is something special about this area. Yes, it's dirty, and not exactly the ideal place to live, but I don't think I've ever felt the Spirit so strongly.
This week, Hermana Jane and I have felt so many impressions of the spirit as we have sought for revelation for our investigators, walked home at night, taught long time investigators, and even contacted! There has not been one day this week when I have not seen the Lord's hand in my day.

Last Sunday, when I walked into the church building, I felt something incredible. The Spirit was there. So strongly. I hadn't even talked to the members yet, but as I walked into the chapel, I was overwhelmed with such a peaceful feeling. I know that the Lord dwells in the church buildings. It is His house. After walking in, it only got better from there. The members are incredible. Many of them are converts and have firm testimonies of the restored gospel. Not only that, but they have an incredible excitement to do missionary work! It's the best!

Later on in the week, Hurricane Arthur hit. We had no idea. We had walked to the very tip of our area for an appointment we had with a less active, when we got there she cancelled on us because she wanted to watch her favorite soap opera instead. Haha. So we rescheduled and left. It had just starting raining just a little and we didn't think much of it. On our way home, it down poured. The rain seemed to come out of no where, and we were still 2 miles away from our house! It was raining so hard that we couldn't open our eyes to see where we were running. When we got to our street there were ambulances, fire trucks and cops that were blocking the whole street. Someone had gotten shot. So we had to take the long way home. When finally inside, we were SOAKED! I have never seen rain like that before. Not until the next day did we find out that it was because of the hurricane ;) I know that Heavenly Father protected us.

The Fourth of July was another really special experience this week. We had permission to watch the fireworks at Liberty Island on the evening of the fourth of July. So, together with all of the missionaries we gathered and enjoyed the most spectacular firework show I have ever seen. We were sitting on the edge of NJ, the Hudson River, and NY. At the same time New Jersey was doing their firework show, New York was doing theirs. The whole sky was filled with fireworks! It was beautiful.
Once again, on the way home, we saw the hand of the Lord. The firework show was a typical party site for many who do not follow the word of wisdom. We were very blessed to be there with the Elders.

New York is beautiful at night. I love it.

Fireworks on Liberty Island. 

New York and New Jersey 4th of July Fireworks

Hermana Jane and I watching fireworks on Liberty Island

I hope you all had a wonderful week and can feel the Spirit of the Lord in your lives every day like I can.

I love being a missionary....with all of my heart!

Hermana Childs