Friday, January 30, 2015

"State of Emergency"

Sorry I haven't written and this is short. Library was closed due to the storm. I went on exchanges and it has been a crazy week of sorts.I have been ill. I think from some food that was bad.  Well, we got so much snow (lots for these parts) this past week that NJ was in a "state of emergency". EVERYTHING was closed. Trains, buses, stores, gas stations, you name it. We got about....2 feet of snow. It's crazy!We were told to stay home and so we had fun with some of the Christmas gifts that we got sent from our parents and friends. I will write more on Monday! Love you all.

Hermana Childs

Making Empanadas
Snowed In
Start of the Storm

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Completely Synchronized

Well....I can proudly say that Hermana Stevens and I have perfect comp unity. We are completely synchronized. In lessons we know exactly when to trade off teaching. In fact, we have gotten so good at it that it is affecting who gets sick next.

From the end of last transfer into this transfer it has been a volley of sickness. Hermana Stevens will be ill one day, and then the next it's my turn, the following day it's back to Hermana Stevens. We are so perfectly synched it's kind of comical :)

I'm actually not feeling too good right now, so I'm going to try to keep it brief.

This last week has not only been one to learn how to be synched with my companion, but also the Savior. I feel, as a Sister Training Leader, that I need to use the Atonement more and more in my life. I use it to give me energy to wake up, to help me study, to recognize the spirit's promptings during lessons, to invest my whole heart into the work, to love, to forgive, and to keep me going throughout the day...all the way up the stairs to our apartment until my head hits the pillow. As I have learned to do so, my desire to repent and "be one" with my Savior has naturally followed.

The word "Atonement" defines itself in the spelling. It's a process of "at-one-ment". At-one-ment with yourself and also an "at-one-ment" with God. As we repent, we begin the process of "at-one-ment".

That has been one of my favorite parts about my mission is learning about repentance. Understanding that it doesn't just apply to the people that I teach. It applies to me too. I love the feeling of repenting and feeling clean. I know that a result of doing so, is becoming completely synchronized with our Savior.  

I am, and forever will be, grateful for that. For the understanding of the Atonement, the opportunity to use it, and pleasure to testify of it.

We had a bit of a crazy week. The weather here in New Jersey has been nothing like I have ever seen before. We have had freezing rain so bad that we couldn't drive and that they cancelled church.

Sunday morning we got a text from the zone leaders saying that we could only drive to our church services, but the after that we weren't allowed to drive. Not too long after receiving that text, another text was sent saying that church was cancelled for all missionaries. It was just too dangerous to drive. Well, Hermana Stevens and I were already on our way to the church building, so we kept driving until we got there. Sacrament was still held for our ward, but just after sacrament meeting had ended, the rest of our services were cancelled. The missionaries, however, were still not allowed to use their cars. We were stuck. At least until the president said otherwise. We waited at the church for 5 hours after sacrament meeting had ended. The roads were too dangerous that we couldn't even walk home. I had never experienced weather like that before, but the time after church was well spent, we got to talk with our investigators a little bit more, get to know the members, and then talk about spiritual experiences with the missionaries when all of the members had left. It was great.

Our District
 This week we ended a transfer. Many of the missionaries I look up to were transferred from our zone and many changes were made in the mission. Due to the decrease in number of missionaries coming in, we are having to shrink our zone sizes and expand others. It makes me sad to know that less missionaries are coming out to the mission. I have seen the change in myself, and I desire it for others. I would encourage any and all to go on a mission. You won't regret it.

We will be having a baptism this Sunday! Danny and his son, Isaac are getting baptized! I'm so excited! I'll tell you more about it next week when I feel better ;)

Sorry this email has been kind of all over the place, but I sure love being a missionary. I love being a Sister Training Leader because it allows me to learn and reminds me to be humble. I love my companion. She helps me grow every day. I love my Savior. I love that I can repent. I love that Heavenly Father has a plan for us.

AND I sure love you all!

Love, Hermana Childs

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sick but Surviving

This week has been so crazy and amazing. God not only works miracles in the lives of our investigators, but our lives too. Sometimes we forget that.

We have been busy busy busy here in New Jersey Jersey Jersey. Hermana Stevens and I have been running around doing so many things trying to help the zone leaders or the President or the Sisters we serve. Whooo, and boy have we been knocked out at the end of the day. haha  I love it. It's the best kind of tired there is.

You could say that we have been "hastening the work" ;)

Well, to cut to the chase, because even now we're pressed on time, this week we had zone conference. It was super awesome! It has a different twist from the Sister Training Leader perspective. I was leading most of the stations and role-plays instead of just participating and listening to them. Tuesday night, the zone leaders called us and asked us if we would be able to help them. Sure! Not even a question. We'd love to help. They needed a poster of our Zone goals drawn by the next day. Awesome! We'd get started right then. Well, it was 9:30 when they called and they needed it by 6:30 in the morning (when we wake up). Minor details, right? haha Well, though tired and feeling the pressure of time on our backs we came up with a really cool zone poster and finished it by exactly 6:30 in the morning. That alone was a miracle.

Next miracle. We had a double exchange. Meaning that we would be going from one exchange to the next. Back to back! Thursday afternoon I was with sweet Sister Cooper from Bountiful, Utah. We had a blast teaching lessons together. After a couple of lessons, we came home, had dinner, and were back out teaching. By the time we had sat down in our next appointment, my stomach wasn't feeling so good. The flu had been floating around our zone, but I didn't think that I had it, so I pushed it off. Well, by the time we stepped into our house at the end of the day, things were a little more evident that I probably had the flu.

The night was rough.

I prayed with all my heart to be better by the next morning so that I could finish the exchange and go to the next one. We had no other options. The sisters needed our help, and we're almost at the end of the transfer which means that President needs our reports on how the sisters are doing.

The morning came, and even though my tummy was sore, and my body was tired, I felt well enough to continue with our exchanges. I know that Heavenly Father was carrying me through the rest of the exchange with Sister Cooper.

From Sister Cooper's exchange to Hermana Mortensen's exchange, we had about  45 minutes to talk about how the sisters were doing while we drove to the next exchange. There I picked up my other temporary companion, Hermana Mortensen and headed back to Elizabeth. There, we taught the most powerful lesson I have ever had on my mission. We taught a man named Jorge. It was the first actual lesson we have had with him, but he has already come to church 3 times. We felt the spirit all the way through the lesson, even though he had his differences of doctrine. At the end of the lesson, he told us that he feels something when he's here (we taught him at the church). He has explored other churches and he says it's different. That was enough. We invited him to be baptized on the 25th of January.

What an adventure it has been.

It's crazy, but I love it. I wouldn't have it any other way. I KNOW that heavenly Father has been helping us this whole week. After two exchanges plus pillow talk we still had just enough energy to make it through a ward Blitz and teach all of our lessons before falling into bed Sunday night.

This work is true. The gospel is powerful. The Atonement is infinite.

I love being a missionary!

Hermana Childs
BBQ Chicken hearts, Chorizo (sausage), shrimp, steak. Doin' it the Hispanic way!!
Exchange with Sister Cooper
Exchange with Hermana Mortensen

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


There's nothing like a new year to make you want to restart, freshen up, and feel NEW again.

NEW hair cut, NEW wardrobe, NEW number when you step on the scale, all can make you feel NEW for NOW, but there's a better kind of NEW that will last.

This week we have been so blessed to have people come up to us and ask to feel NEW again. They want their soul to feel NEW.

Thursday was a huge miracle day. We were weekly planning and thinking about our investigators. Many of them aren't progressing and so we decided to start NEW and find a NEW teaching pool, but as we were dropping our investigators, we felt inclined to keep one, Danny. He hadn't been progressing in a while. It was hard to visit him and he seemed more occupied with the frivolous things instead of the doctrine. When inviting him to be baptized before, he would tell us that he wanted to, but it probably wouldn't be for a little while. He wanted to know everything about the church first. He is very intelligent and has already read The Book of Mormon all the way through. Well, Heavenly Father knows better than we do, He has a perfect plan, and all we can do is follow His promptings. And so we did; we kept Danny. Well, this same day, we had set a daily goal to put an investigator on date and seeing that our schedule was full of teaching less actives for the day, the likelihood of that happening looked dim. We had prayed before leaving the house and read the scripture Moroni 7:33  "And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me." to help us with our faith. We left our house filled with faith and determination to accomplish this goal. We went out throughout the day, teaching our lessons and pretty soon, it started to get dark and we needed to head home. On our way home after the last appointment, our investigator, Danny, texted us saying that he was ready to be baptized.

We were...."struck dumb" as the scriptures would say. We couldn't believe it...but we could because we had faith that Heavenly Father would complete his promise to us. We responded to his text and put him on baptismal date for the 25th of January.

I would have never thought to invite someone to be baptized over a text message, but Heavenly Father provides the means for us to invited others to come into his kingdom.

Friday was also full of small miracles. Too many to count.

Saturday, our recent convert Miguel, began his family history work and is preparing to go to the temple on the 24th of January.

Our less actives, the Mendez family, usually denies the invite to come back to church from the missionaries. They said that they don't like it and usually push the missionaries right back out the door. When we knocked, they let us in. We offered a warm welcome, which was returned with and invitation to stay for dinner. Over an awesome Mexican dinner, we shared our message and invited them to come back to partake of the sacrament and use their talents in the kingdom of God. They willingly accepted.

Our other investigator Francis, who we hadn't seen in a while and almost dropped, hadn't been answering our phone calls or the door when we would pass by. We were so determined to find her that we walked around to her back door and knocked on the door. She was hesitant to open the door, thinking it might be dangerous, but when seeing us and a member she was a little less hesitant. She didn't really want to let us in, but did anyways, and we ended up having a really good lesson and got a return appointment.

Sunday, the most amazing day of the week. Always. But this week was so incredible. We stopped by the house of a referral, and as we were explaining who we were, he told us, "I know who you are. I want to be baptized." Another jaw dropper.   

At church, there has been a man who has attended the last 2 Sundays in a row. The first  Sunday, we got to know him, and created a really good relationship. He even stayed for our baptism. But when we tried to set an appointment, he was pretty elusive. Well, when he came to church yesterday, we were waiting to talk to him afterwards and ask him again to meet with us. Instead, he walked straight up to us and asked us to meet with him. He has this light in his eyes when he learns about the church. I can tell it intrigues him. I have no doubt that he will be on baptismal date very soon.

Baptism is wonderful. The NEWness you feel. It's the best way to start your NEW year and a NEW life.

I love being a missionary. There is no greater joy than inviting someone to start over NEW by being baptized. I am taking every opportunity to do so. I only have 6 months left.

I love my mission. I love this gospel. It is a gospel of NEWness and I have felt it for myself.

Hermana Childs

Hot cocoa and a NEW haircut, I cut myself!

Cow Stomach Soup

Hermana Stevens and me

Hermana Kloeppel and me on exchanges