Monday, July 6, 2015

Departing pics of my last week before heading home!

Lunch in Central Park.

Guess who? American Heritage school choir on tour from my home town.

Tempe Trip with the Castellanos. They received their
endownments and will be sealed soon!

Ellis Island. We actually hiked the statue and toured
rather than worked there. 

Ferry Ride to Liberty Island

The Ladies of Liberty!

Lady Liberty and me! Spreading Spiritual
Liberty to all that Come.

HaHa. We're twins!

The Basilica in Newark. 

Eromar from Elizabeth took us to dinner.

4th of July at a Members Beach House.

Me Despedi. Luz Maria Santamaria her son Adam. 

Rual's Baptism. He was a miracle for us!

I love this guy. He is so prepared. 

Lovely Ladies!

These men from Elizabeth came
to help with our lesson. Most Spiritual lesson
ever.   Miguel Jose, Loren and Henry.

Transferred from Jersey to Utah

Thursday July 2, 2015

It was weekly planning day and also TAC (apartment cleaning) day. Part
of TAC is packing up a few of your things and getting ready for
transfers. Well, I started packing for the biggest transfer that I'll
have since January of 2014. It was a weird feeling. I took a few
minutes to reflect on everything that I had done over the past year
and a half as I found some of my memoirs from funny contacts or things
that members had given me. Haha I've had a good mission.

We also taught Jose Benitez. A few weeks ago we taught him a about the
law of chastity. It has been something he's really had a hard time
with. He wants to get married to his girlfriend, but she doesn't want
to have anything to do with the church. We talked to him about moving
out. That idea broke his heart. Instead, a couple of days later his
girlfriend, Marianna, kicked him out of their house after she found
that he had done some pretty bad things. Well, that whole situation
tore him apart. You could see that the law of chastity was something
so important to him; he didn't want to break one of god's
commandments, but at the same tinker he was torn between the two
things that he loved the most. We talked to him about praying and
seeking an answer. Well, he must have been praying really hard because
on Thursday, for the very first time, Marianna joined in the lesson.

We had just shown up with our member who was going to be accompanying
us for the appointment and before knocking on the door, we bowed our
heads to say a prayer. When we finished the prayer, we looked up and
saw a small woman get out of a car. From a distance, it didn't look
like Marianna, but Hermana Stone has met her a lot more times than I
have and she was convinced that it was her. We weren't sure what she
was doing, so we proceeded to knock on the door. Jose shortly answered
it and we went to go sit at our usual spot at a table in his backyard.
This time Jose was dressed super nice, in nice jeans, a button up
shirt, and his church shoes. Something was up. When we asked. Him why
he had dressed up he said, "oh, I don't know. I just got dressed when
I got back from work and said to myself 'why not wear this'?" We
smiled. :) It was cute. Just before starting he lesson, Hermana Stone
leaned over to ask if we should tell him that Marianna was out front.
When we let Jose know, his face lit up and in English he said, "Oh
Really?? I'm going to get her." Now, there are only two times when
Jose speaks English: when he is under the influence, or when he's
super excited. He was most definitely excited because right after
saying that to us, leapt off the stool he was sitting on and ran
towards the front of his house. When he came back, his face was
nothing but teeth. He was smiling so big that you could barely see his
eyes. Haha. He said, once again in English, "God answer my prayers. I
have prayed that she will come to the lesson with me and now she is
here!!" We couldn't help but smile with him. :) Jose is so awesome.
Pretty soon we saw Marianna walk around the corner and we were sure to
give her the warmest welcome. I'm sure it must have been very humbling
to be in her position to finally accept the idea of listening to he
missionaries after resisting for so long. We didn't want her to feel
bad, so we just loved her :)

The lesson went GREAT. Jose, thought the whole thing just kept saying,
"Thanks, God" in English over and over. Haha. I love that guy. We
taught the restoration and Jose has the BIGGEST testimony of the
restoration, so he chimed in whenever he wanted to and personally
testified to Marianna that the things that we were teaching were true.
It was so incredible go watch. I am so proud of him. I know that both
of them were edified in the process. The restoration is real, and look
what it does to people! It makes them so happy, especially when they
share it with their families. Ah, I love this gospel. :)

Friday July 3, 2015

By far, the hardest day of my entire mission, but also I feel like it
was one of the most rewarding. 

Saturday July 4, 2015

Saturday felt great. It felt like everything was how it was supposed
to be; I was preparing to go home.

Later that day we had an appointment with Raul, our last
before he was going to get baptized the following day. It was a great
lesson, but had a rocky start. Before we had even really started the
lesson their dog, Melly, kept sneezing. Once, earlier in my mission, I
had learned what the word for sneeze was and to try to practice my
spanish, I attempted to recall the word I had once known, but had
accidentally changed it for a word that meant something much
different. The word for sneeze is "estornudar" but I said "desnudar"
meaning...well.... It doesn't really matter what it means. After I
said it our investigator looked at me and said, "what??". I had no
idea what I just did so I just said, "sneeze? (In English)" and he
just shook his head laughing. Well, there you go folks, I've been out
for 18 months and I'm still not perfect at Spanish. Haha. Even the
best of us still make mistakes. Trust me, the rest of the lesson went
a whole lot better. It was actually one of the most spiritual lessons
I've had in my whole mission. We all left splotchy faced and puffy
eyed because of the tears of gratitude for the blessing of the gospel
in our lives. It was such a wonderful feeling to know that Raul was
well prepared for baptism and that the gospel meant so much to him. He
said he closing prayer and while expressing his feelings, his tears
welled up and choked on his words because hey we're not enough to
express how he felt.

Even though we had other plans for the night I did not want to leave,
but there was a member that was waiting for us. So, we left and headed
towards Long Branch where one of the members from the English ward
lives. This member had called President Taggart and asked that all of
the missionaries in his ward and the Spanish branch could come to his
house for the Fourth of July to see the fireworks from his balcony.
President Taggart said yes and gave all of the missionaries permission
to stay for the whole show, but leave right after and be back in our
apartments at 11:00pm. Well, it was one of the coolest firework shows
that I have been to. The member's house was right on the shore,
literally, and the fireworks were being launched almost directly in
front of where we were. It was amazing. Watching them was really
peaceful. I just felt like it was where I was supposed to be and that
the conclusion of my mission was supposed to be happening right now.
The whole day was incredible. It just felt right.
We got home and we were completely exhausted. Delightfully
exhausted. :)

Sunday July 5, 2015

Well, Sunday was one of the greatest days that I have had in a while.
We arrived to church early to prepare the baptismal program and got to
sit and talk with Raul for a few minutes before sacrament started. The
pianist was gone, so I was asked to play the piano. That was a tender
mercy for me. I have missed that since I moved from Elizabeth. The
Branch president also had me start testimony meeting by inviting me to
share my testimony. What a great blessing to be invited to share my
testimony. Haha, I felt like Moroni getting up there and giving my
last testimony to the people. There was a returned missionary who was
visiting from Utah who followed me. I met with him after and asked for
advice in the transition back home. All he said was, "good luck". Haha
During class we snuck out to print off all of the programs and prepare
for the baptismal service and I heard my favorite sound, the loud thud
as gallons of water filled a baptismal font. I stopped by the font,
opened the doors, and smiled. What a huge privilege it has been to
extend the baptismal invite so many times in my mission and to also
see that font be filled so many times; filled with water, but then
also filled with my brothers and sisters who then are filled with the
The baptism was incredible. We started out by me playing the wrong
hymn. Yes, two awkward moments in the same weekend, but we went with
it. Haha. I just smiled, laughed, and said, "oops".
The spirit carried the rest of the service and brought tears to many
people's eyes. It was wonderful. When Raul came out of the water, he
was so smiley. :) His smile was so big that he was nothing but teeth
as he walked around for the rest of the afternoon. His happiness was
contagious. I'm going to miss that little 5 foot tall Mexican.

There was a lunch at Raul's family's house after the baptism. He is
related to almost everyone in the branch in one way or another, so it
was almost like a family reunion at the baptism. We know that he'll
have plenty of support when we leave.

Our last appointment of he day on Sunday night was with Jose Benitez.
When we were weekly planning last week we were thinking of someone who
would really be able to connect with Jose and give him the support he
needs and while praying about it an idea popped into my head. Loren,
one of the members in Elizabeth, would be perfect. So, I gave him a
call and he said that he would be glad to come down and help with the

We had been in contact with him during the week to make sure that he
could still come out with us. Sunday after church he called and said
that he had a surprise for me. When he showed up to the appointment I
saw him and was super excited, but when I looked in his back seat I
saw Miguel Chico and Henry Romero, two of my recent converts. I don't
know if there was more shock or joy written on my face in that moment. I
hopped out of the car and ran to greet them. Man, I love those guys!
Loren just laughed as he watched my reaction to seeing Miguel and
Henry. I had gotten transferred just before Henry got baptized. Seeing him now was like seeing a whole different person. He had cut his hair, shaved, and was wearing church attire. He just sparkled.
I was so happy that they were all there to help support Jose in this lesson. When we all sat down for the lesson, the things that we had planned didn’t feel right, so we thought to have a testimony meeting. We started with Miguel and circled around until we ended with Henry. Even Jose bore his testimony of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon! It was so incredible. I loved it. The spirit was so strong and afterwards, Jose thanked each member from Elizabeth for coming down. He said that he had felt the spirit so strongly and knew that he could rely on them for support. It was an INCREDIBLE lesson. We all left with huge smiles on our faces. I’d say that it was a pretty incredible day!
Well, that’s all from Red Bank. I’ll be flying out of New Jersey on Wednesday destined for Utah. I am heartbroken to leave the mission. Missionary work means everything to me. The gospel has become who I am. I live it and I love it.
Even though leaving New Jersey is probably one of the heardest things that I have had to do this far, I have had a reassuring peace confirm that now is my time to go home (even though I have fought my hardest to stay). I feel like Heavenly Father has something else planned for me, and just like I tried to be willing enough to listen to the spirit and be in the right place at the right time on the mission, I know that Utah is the right place and now is the right time for me to be there.
So, I’d like to bear my testimony one last time as a missionary:
Yo se que la Iglesia de Jesucristo de Los Santos de Los Ultimos Dias es la iglesia de Dios establecida aqui en la tierra. Es necesario que seamos parte de ella porque no hay otro modo en como podemos usar la expiacion de Jesucristo. Yo se que necesitamos vivir con fe, y al hacerlo nuestras vidas se enriqueceran, nuestro testimonio se convertira en la conversion, actuaremos en acuerdo con los otros principios del evangelio y convenios que hemos hecho, y que sentiremos de que Jesucristo y Dios nos conocen a nosotros. Yo se de que el arrepentimiento es como alineamos nuestras vidas con la de jesucristo. Yo se que el arrepentimiento sea duro, pero vale la pena. El bautismo no solamente es un ceremonio, es un acto de nuestra fe y que tambien es cuando hacemos un convenio con nuestro padre celestial. Yo se que nuestro padre celestial es fiel a su lado del convenio y que siempre nos bendecira si guardamos los mandamientos. Yo se que es crucial que nos sentamos el espiritu santo porque al sentirlo somos purificados. Es el papel del espiritu para guiarnos, consolarnos, y purificarnos, y por eso lo necesitamos sentir todo los dias. El perserverar hasta el fin podria parecer como una tarea, pero si seguimos fieles y sentir el espiritu, sera mas facil y cuando llegamos al fin, nos diremos, “era de valor”.
Yo se de que un dia nos pararemos en frente de Dios para rendir cuentas de lo que hicimos con nuestros dias en la tierra. Yo quiero que el Senor me diga “Bien hecho, hija mia. Te amo. Ven y descansa conmigo en mi reino.” Yo hare todo lo necesario para merecer esas palabras y para estar siempre con mi padre celestial.
Yo le amo a mi padre celestial. Yo se que el vive y que con su hijo jesucristo él reina la tierra y los cielos. Yo le extrano y no puedo esperar a verle. 
Ha sido una bendicion para servirle en la mission de New Jersey Morristown. Que gozo me dio para representar a su hijo, jesucristo, y caminar en sus zapatos por 18 meces. Ahora que Dios me ha mandado para otro lugar, me quedare fiel y hare lo que el quisiera que haga yo. 
Les comparto estas cosas en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.  

Hermana Childs