Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 13

Amigosss! Como le van?? I hope you've all had a great week of work, school, finals and everything else! Union City has been busy as ever and not too cold either! This email will probably be a little random because I don't have much time, but still an update!
For all my Anacortes friends or anyone who knows about our lovely Fidalgo Island, You will know who Willy Webster is. He is great! And even better we have an investigator here in Union City who is basically the same person, but Cubano and not baptized yet. He in jail for 3 more days but he texts us all the time asking about Book of Mormon and Bible stories. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a blessing to everyone! No matter what situation you are in, you can find peace and happiness in the scriptures. I have a huge testimony of this!
Question of the week: "If they don't care where you are and what you're doing on aFriday night...Why do they care so much about a Sunday morning????" That's all. But shout out to our 16 year old investigator who always ends up at the church on Fridays and Saturdays. Baby steps. Someday his parents will understand how important the gospel is to him and will hopefully soften their hearts and let him come to church and be baptized. He just wants to follow Christ's example.
Yesterday in Relief Society, we smelled amazing comida Dominicana the whole time and they finished the lesson early and served us all a Christmas Lunch! The UC building knows what's up and there is a door connecting the Kitchen to the Relief Society room! Also, they gave each of the women a gift bag full of makeup gifts. I was in dire need of purple and bright pink lipstick so this was a life saver ;) Haha I don't think it's very appropriate for gringa missionaries to wear, but maybe Hermana and I will play dress up with it on p days...
Christmas Week! Vamos al templooooooooooooooooo! I could not be more excited to go to the Temple! And in Manhattan too! It will be Hermana Harris' first time in New York and she's super jazzed about it! We also have All Mission Conference (aka Huge Christmas party) and Traditions with the Taggarts this week! Each Zone in the mission takes a turn going to the Mission Home in Morristown to spend a few hours doing family Christmas things like games, stories, and sharing testimony of our love and gratitude for our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. El es la Dadiva! He is the Gift! There is a really beautiful video on that is 2 minutes about it! Please please please check it out! It's a great way to get into the Spirit of Christmas and if nothing else a break from the cares of the world.
I love you all and pray for you always!
Hermana Stone

pic of the lovely Hermana Lara and Campusano! We love Dominicans!

Week 12

Wowowow! This week was super! First transfer in the field was a success! I had my first dream in Spanish, our apartment is sparkling clean, and we contacted 252 people in 5 days! We are told that's a record in NJMM! So that's pretty neat! Even neater is that 3 of those contacts came to church!!!!!!!! People here love their day of rest so when they sacrifice those 3 hours to worship and feel the Spirit and keep the commandment we are super pumped for them! When we contacted Carlos and his 2 sons (the ones who came to church) they were in a rush but they told us they knew we were angels sent from God to make their lives better! It was definitely nice to hear after a long day in heavy rain! Carlos is super golden! He has already started reading the Book of Mormon and he asks relevant questions about our lessons. It's so exciting to see people who love God and are doing their best to follow Him, but just need something more because we can offer them that! We can wait to see the progress He makes!
Other cool things that happened this week include receiving a Happy Thanksgiving cake from 2 lovely Puerto Rican ladies we talked to walking to an appointment, the statewide Spanish Christmas program in Newark with every Spanish speaking missionary in New Jersey, and a muchacho who rapped his understanding of the purpose of life to us on a street corner. We gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet to describe more in depth what he understands and that there's even more than he thought! Also, he's really into meditating so that's great! In Spanish the word "to ponder" is "meditar" and I love that because the invitation of the Book of Mormon is to Read it, Ponder it, and then in prayer Ask to know whether it is true or not. Reading and Asking are pretty self-explanatory, but pondering can be done in different ways like staring at a white wall in a yoga position, deep thoughts in the shower, sitting wrapped up in a blanket, anywhere really, but it does require devoted time and attention to the subject. It takes effort and is a sacrifice, as any good thing is, but it's so worth it. And you feel enlightened after. Aren't we all trying to reach some kind of Enlightenment? I guess my invitation to you is to ponder this week. Maybe a decision that you've been needing to make or a concept that you just can't wrap your mind around. I promise it will be a meaningful experience :)
I hope finals and everything else in life goes well for all of you this week!
Go Cougars!
Con amor,
Hermana Stone

 new transfer = new planner! We are going to the Manhattan temple this month so I had to put a picture of the temple on my planner!
We love Sister Taggart! (Mission President's Wife)
The cake and a view of the nice townhouses in our area :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Week 11

I hope everyone had a perfect Thanksgiving! Ours was absolutely perfect here in Union City! We went to a family that is a mixture of Ecuadorian and New York so we ate American food! Then we also had a Dominicana Thanksgiving and another Ecuador. Lots of food but we were so happy because food is love! We started the day off playing football for 3 hours in snow! Probably the most fun we've had so far! 3 of the 12 zones met and we divided into 6 teams of 12 or so and had a tournament. (See pic below of the fabulous 3 after the tournament!) Pretty sure BYU's  next quarterback and running back are in our zone.
This week we stayed super busy teaching 23 lessons! and we were just absolutely amazed at the circumstances people live in and the miracles all around. Last night a lesson fell through so we decided to visit an inactive member who lived a couple streets away. When she opened the door she told us that she needed our help and the Ward's help. She had just brought a young mother of 26 and her 3 hijitas (6,3, and 1) into her home. They are homeless and malnourished. She doesn't have much herself but her heart is so big and she was doing everything she can to feed them and get them socks and shoes. We are helping her get in touch with ward leaders who can supply them with their needs and a more permanent living situation.
Our favorite scripture to share this week was Alma 34:38 about living every day in Thanksgiving for the mercies and blessings of the Lord. It's awesome that we celebrate what we are thankful for, but it is not enough. Every day is a gift and it's so important to recognize that and give thanks where thanks is due.
Praying with faith. Faith is a principle of power and action. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ, we have faith in Him. Faith that because of Him we can be forgiven and made more perfect spiritually or physically.
Out of time, but I love you all!
Look for the miracles always
Hermana Stone

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 10

Today, and everyday, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I think Union City streets 26-37 (my area) has more latinos than the entire west coast combined! Which is totally possible because it is the most densely populated city in America. The buildings are 6 inches up to 4 feet apart and just filled past capacity. Finding is never a problem. And even if people aren't interested, they are 98% nice in turning us down. So that's just one little note of thankfulness.
Also I'm soooo grateful for my companera! She is the most pure hearted person I've ever met. I would compare her to Giselle in the movie Enchanted. She's una muneca for sure (doll). Favorite quote from her this week was "It was such a crazy weekend! We watched General Conference AND got a new kitten." She parties real hard. But really I'm learning so much from her how to be kind and gentle.
Well this week we dropped below 30 degrees. Wow it's pretty chilly here and dropping fast. Snow is coming in 48 hours! So we bought these Jazzy New Jersey beanies (see below)
Crazy story was about a man named Jose. He was an awesome street contact when we met him, but it turns out he just wants to bash us with Anti stuff and he is super contentious. Our phone broke last week and we didn't have a phone for 4 days then we got a temporary extra phone with a new number which turned out to be a huge blessing because he couldn't harass us on the phone anymore. Then on Saturday night we were teaching a less active member who comes to play futbol in the Church and Jose just comes running in and pulls up a chair and joined our lesson! Not cool. Hermana and I both just about peed our pants. We pretended like we weren't bothered at all, but we were both just praying our guts out that Hugo could feel the spirit. Jose began to bash and kept us there for 2 hours, we had another appointment that we ended up missing, and over all just not a good experience, but Hugo rose to the occasion and was defending and pointing out his logical fallacies. So if nothing else I think his testimony grew.
Fiesta de Accion De Gracias con mi companera!
I have no time left but I would say everything I'm grateful for! Family, BYU, warm blankets, mountains, Washington, and food are just a few.  Most importantly, and if you know nothing else about me know this. I know that my Redeemer lives. I know that because of Jesus Christ we can have eternal families. I know that I can be forgiven or my wrongdoings and that I am not alone in my struggles or times of rejoicing.
I love you all and hope your testimony of Jesus Christ grows a little bit more this week!
Miracles are everywhere!
Con todo el amor en mi Corazon,
Hermana Stone