Thursday, June 4, 2015

M.I.A. continued

Monday 18 May 2015: Even though it was a Pday we had a lesson in the
morning with our progressing investigator, Marisel. She loves the
gospel. She is golden. After the lesson with Marisel, we went to Hermana Realpe's house where
we were going to get our nails done. We had originally planned on
being there for 1-2 hours because we were both going to get our nails
done, but when we arrived, Hermana Realpe said that she likes to take
her time. She also said that because she wasn't a professional it
would take a little longer. So planning on 1-2 hours turned into
planning on 3-4. Well, long story short, it our whole Pday, 7 hours to
finish our nails. Haha on the plus side, our nails look very pretty,
but I don't know if I'll ever get my nails done again. ;) For that
reason I didn't get to email that week.

Tuesday 19 May 2015: All Mission Conference where we got iPads!!!!! It
was an all day training that was more focused on the spiritual side of
using the iPads than on how to actually use the iPads. We were so
excited to use them. Later that day after traveling back from the All Mission Conference we
stopped by to visit Juan Castillo who was at the ward family night at
the church. After talking to him and on our way out we ran into the
Elders Quorum President, Hermano Corzo. When I told him that I might
be leaving the area, his usually smiley face straightened out a bit.
He said, "I hope the President doesn't take you away. You are a really
excellent missionary. You love the area of Elizabeth more than any
missionary that I have seen. The president's will might not be the
same as mine, but I know that wherever you go, you will be blessing
the lives of all that you encounter." I smiled. I am so grateful for
these people. They have changed me. He was right. I love these people,
probably more than I should. The people of Elizabeth might be the most
loved in all of the New Jersey Morristown Mission.

When Hermana Grande, the wife of Juan Castillo overheard that, she
came and hugged me and said that she hoped it was not so. She said she
would cry if I had to leave. I knew I would too.

Wednesday the 20th: was my last day serving at Ellis Island with
Hermana Palmer. It was so fun. The wind was crazy that day. While
driving back from Ellis Island, I also got to call some of the less
actives that I reactivated in Jersey City: Enrique Chavez, Hermano
Maquilon, Fernando Mendoza, and la Familia Carrera. Oh how wonderful
it was to talk to them! Our relationship is as though I had never

Friday 22 May 2015: I had my last lesson with the Sosa family. I had
just been feeling that is was going to be my last with them. We had
one of the most powerful lessons ever with them, which is saying a lot
because I have always felt the spirit so strongly in the lessons with
them. We had felt impressed to teach them about the Sabbath Day. After
they had fed us, the kids started squealing and contention started up
in the room that we were in - even Satan knew of the power of the
lesson that was coming. We sang a song, prayed, and started the lesson
even though the contention was still present. As we continued through
the lesson, the spirit took over and the kids settled down. Their
family isn't keeping the Sabbath day holy. Soccer and rugby games have
become priority on Sunday mornings. They know better, so we taught
them with love...and boldness. As we spoke to them I literally felt
like we were speaking with the tongue of angels. The words flowed off
my tongue while the tears rolled down my checks. I love this family. I
feel like I had a connection with them before in the premortal world
and that's why I'm here. And in the lesson I could feel how torn they
were between their natural man and the things of God. I could tell it
was a huge sacrifice for them to say "we'll make church a priority".
They were in tears as was I. The spirit was so strong. I know that we
were in the presence of angels.

In the morning of Saturday the 23rd I received the greatest text
message from one of the families I used to teach in Jersey City, la
Familia Castellanos. They wanted to notify me that they had finally
made it to the temple. They had just finished doing baptisms for the
dead in the Manhattan temple. While I was there in Jersey City, we
worked hard with them to be able to go to the temple. We are now
seeing the fruits of all of our labors. They have plans to be sealed
before I leave the mission and have told me firmly that I have to be
present in their sealing. I love them :)

Also, another miracle that happened on Saturday was that the bishop
had asked all of the missionaries in the ward to go through the ward
list and divide it into our own areas, then to go through the list and
visit all of the members and less actives and find out who still lived
there and who had moved. Well, at the beginning of our day, we had a
full day with set appointments in every hour except maybe one or two.
We had to have the list finished before the following morning to turn
into the bishop and we weren't sure exactly how we were going to be
able to teach all our lessons, leave on time, and contact all of the
less actives. So, before leaving our house we prayed for a miracle,
that somehow we would be able to contact every single less active on
our list (our area was the biggest so we had the most members). During
the course of the day, either our appointments cancelled on us, or
they weren't home...all of them. So, we finished just in time at 9
o'clock contacting all of the members except for 3. We were amazed.
It's kind of a funny miracle because we didn't get to teach any of the
lessons that we had planned, but we know that we did what He Wanted us
to do.

Sunday 24 May 2015: This was the anticipated day of the week. It was
the last day of the transfer and we were all anxious to get the
transfer text. I couldn't wait though, so I went and talked to the
assistants. Haha (they go to the same building, but are in the English
branch). Usually they don't tell you if you are leaving or staying,
but surprisingly they said something this time. I talked to Elder
Maddox, he knows how much I love Elizabeth, and in response to my
question of if I was leaving or not he said, "All you have to know is
that your next companion needs you a lot. She needs your example of
hard dedicated missionary service. We know that you are the one that can
help her." I felt punched in the chest...for two reasons. One, because
I now knew the answer that I had been assuming since my interview with
the president, but this time it was for sure and my heart had broken.
And the second reason was that I felt a new responsibility, to help my
next companion...but I only had 6 weeks.

My feelings were mixed. I was grateful to know a little in advance so
that I could take pictures with the ones I loved, but on the other
hand I was sad knowing that it'd be a little while before I'd see them
again. (I say that because eventually one day I'll have to come to New

The next two days were spent reminding everyone how much I love them,
even though they didn't need a reminder. I went to see Juan Castillo
and his family. That was a hard lesson for me. I told them at I was
going to be leaving for a little bit, and at first they thought
that I was going to be on an exchange, but when they told them that
I'd be getting transferred we all started to cry. I love this family.
They asked me to return on Monday because they had something that they
wanted to get for me.

Monday the 25th was Memorial Day, so again the libraries were closed and I
couldn't email, but it gave me more time to visit. We passed by the
Castillo's as promised and they had bought me some gifts. They were so
cute :) Hermano Castillo wasn't there because he had to work, so we
passed by his work and he fed us even though we were headed off to our
Zone Memorial Day picnic. Even though I will be getting transferred,
I'm not worried about seeing their family again. We'll be taking him
to the temple soon enough.

Monday night we were called to go to the Fear Buster, an activity
where the new missionaries come fresh off the plane and we take them
out to go contact people in Newark, New Jersey. Well, all of Monday I
was feeling pretty ill. I claim it was my body rejecting the fact that
I was leaving Elizabeth, but we weren't able to go to the fear
buster because of that. By the end of the night, I was super ill. I
didn't think I was going to make it to transfer conference the next
day (which was kind of ok with me. I didn't want to go anyways). So, I
went to bed early, woke up the next morning, was still super ill and
slept for a little longer.  Then around 8:30 some of the sisters we
cover called us and needed our help getting ready for transfer
conference. So, I pulled on a skirt, and hopped in the car, still
super sick with a fever. We helped them out, came home, and I still
had to finish packing. I was praying that I'd be able to make it to
transfer conference in one piece. We pretty much threw everything in
my suitcases and then got in the car and took off.

All of transfer conference I was so sick, but forgot it all when I
found out who my new companion was..... Hermana Stone!!! I love her

I am now in my new area of Red Bank. The people here are incredible.
I'm back where the grass and trees are. It's different after serving
in the city for a year. EVERYTHING is green. It reminds me of when I
was back in Princeton, but now I'm farther south. Red Bank is very
different though. Red Bank has a lot of money, the people here are
very wealthy...even the Hispanics are pretty well off. They don't have
a ton of money, but they are much better off than anyone in Elizabeth,
Jersey City, or Princeton.

I know the reason that I got sent here is inspired, that the people
need me here, but I know that my companion does too. She has many many
strengths that the Lord can use. I'm just here to help her realize
them and become a dedicated servant of the lord.

Six weeks is short. Really short. The way I feel as I come to the end
of my mission is as though I am running out of air. I keep breathing
and my body gets more tense as I try to breathe more, but the air gets
thinner and thinner. I am trying to be prepared for what comes
next...Utah, but I can’t even force myself to think about it. My body
and mind are so in sync with missionary work that I can't take them
out. I've prayed for help to be able to prepare myself, but to be
honest, my prayers have lacked "real intent" and a "sincere heart", as
Moroni instructs, and it's probably because it's not a real desire of
my heart.

I'm down to 6 weeks. I'm just going to say it straight: I don't like that fact.

The mission is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.
I LOVE being a missionary.

Hermana Childs

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