The zone I'm in is called Paterson, but the area I'm actually serving in is just south of there and the little city our apartment is in is called Garfield. As far as I can tell it seems like most of the population of Paterson is people who work in NYC but can't afford to live there. There are tons and tons of people, everyone lives in apartment buildings, and it's just noisy all the time! Drivers are absolutely crazy and the roads are so narrow plus there is parking on both sides of the street everywhere. No such thing as peace and quiet here. So basically...I'm adjusting haha hopefully I will learn to love it, but so far living here is solidifying my resolve to never live in a city like this. I hear not all of NJ is like this though and there actually are rural areas and smallish beach towns so I'm holding out hope! The people here are great, haha loads of diversity. Basically everyone is either super nice and will chat your ear off even though they don't want to hear our message, or they are a bit rude and absolutely ignore you. But it's all good. Most likely I will be here for the 2 transfers of training and then at least 1 transfer after that, so 4 1/2+ months.
My companion's name is Sister Kafu, she is Tongan and from Sacramento CA. She is great, always singing and thinks everything is absolutely hilarious! It's just the two of us living in our apartment, so that takes some getting used to. It's hard only having one person that you know and talk to 24/7. But, once again, I'm sure I will adapt.
Friday was amazing, we had 5 appointments and we taught 5 lessons! That means no one "juked" us which is pretty remarkable considering all our appointments juked us before and since then. The branch is cool, VERY different from Utah wards, basically if you are active then you have a leadership position in the branch, but it is inspiring to see how they make due with what they have. I'm sure there must be wealthy people somewhere in this area, but we haven't run into them so far! Everyone we have met and everyone in the branch's standard of living is lower than the way I was blessed to be raised and for many it is significantly lower. Basically everyone works and many work multiple jobs at crazy hours. Not many stay-at-home moms or retired people, so when anyone in the branch needs something during the day they pretty much contact one of the 3 sets of missionaries in the branch. There is a great need for the light of the gospel out here and the hope that it brings.
Thank you all for your support and prayers!
Love yous (that's how they say it here)
Sister M. McConkie
A week ago we were supposed to get a record breaking blizzard, schools and businesses were closed in anticipation of it, but it never came! I guess Connecticut still got hit pretty hard but I guess it moved away from us so we actually only got a couple inches! We got a good storm yesterday though I would guess that we got over a foot of snow Sunday night and then it kept snowing most of the day. That's why I didn't email yesterday, all the libraries were closed! Last email I talked about how crazy and narrow the roads are, but now I have a whole new perspective! Everyone parks on the sides of the road because basically no one has driveways here. That means when it snows the plows just get the middle of the road and push all that snow over on the cars on the sides of the road! That makes roads even narrower, and makes it so you really have to dig your car out of a snow bank in order to get to it! Plus in NJ it's illegal to drive with any snow on your car so you can't just clear off your windows and leave snow on the roof and hood like you would in Utah! Basically it took us about 45 minutes to get our car ready to go yesterday :) But we are so grateful to have a car! There are walking areas in our mission, but most areas have cars and there are no English-speaking Sister areas that are walking so I should have a car my whole mission.
This week we didn't have a single lesson with investigators. Everyone said they were busy and that next week would be better so hopefully that means we will have lots of lessons this week! We did meet with quite a few less actives though and from my perspective that is just as good! It doesn't look as good on our teaching record or numbers and we can't baptize them, but lost sheep are lost sheep and I am grateful for the opportunity to remind them of God's love and invite them to come back. We are especially making a push to reach out to less active men. The branch (and the whole mission area) is really lacking in priesthood leadership and there are a lot of families that would come if their father went, so our invitation to them is to use the atonement of Jesus Christ, come and partake of the blessings of the sacrament, and use their talents and abilities to build the Kingdom of God. We met a family called the Galoti's who I am really excited about, (I will attach a voice recording talking about them) but the first time we went it was only Sis Galoti and one of her daughters. In their case it seems to be the father who is the big stumbling block to their wanting to go to church. We went back on Sunday night and Bro Galoti was there so we got to meet him, but the SuperBowl was on so it wasn't a good time to teach them. Fingers crossed though, they are a wonderful family!
Saturday we went to Ellis Island! It was a lot of fun! We went with the other Sisters in our zone, Hermanas Becker (from Tennessee) and Jensen (from Provo). It wasn't very busy there because the weather was bad, super cold and windy, but that gave us time to explore the museum, so that was very cool! Every week we get to volunteer at a women's shelter in Paterson called Oasis. I think they think we are nuns haha but it's all good! Last week we went one day to help with the afterschool program and another to serve lunch. The afterschool program is so fun! They have kids come and feed them a hot meal and then work on homework and play games. They have us help with the kindergarteners and I am amazed at the stuff these kids are learning in kindergarten! 95% of the kids there are Hispanic and so sometimes there is a language barrier, but for the most part they speak better English than a lot of the adults we come in contact with! The lady that works with the kindergarteners is named Bilma and she totally reminds me of a Mexican version of Julie! Haha she even looks like her! But she is a total saint keeping all those crazy kiddos on track and helping them with their homework! Helping with lunch was fun too, but a totally different experience. They serve lunch once a week to all the women in the area plus their little kids who aren't in school. There a quite a few who are homeless and lots of others who just can really use a free meal so they can save their food stamps. It definitely makes me grateful for everything I've been blessed with all my life.
Love you all!
Sister M. McConkie
This last week we saw some good progress and potential with our investigators and I'm pretty stoked about it! I think this last week I made a lot of progress with being fully invested in the work and it definitely has made a difference! Not to bore you all, but I want to tell you a bit about our investigators so that you can understand why I am so excited and know a little about these people I already love so much!
Tara: I think they had been teaching her for about a month and a half before I got here, but she is super amazing! She has always been a devout Catholic (along with the rest of NJ) but everything we teach her she is totally on board with and even bears her testimony of a lot of the things to us! Blows my mind. And this last week she even said casually "I know I'm probably going to end up getting baptized" and then just went on with her train of thought! She doesn't go to our branch because there aren't really any YSA's but she goes to the Caldwell ward every Sunday :)
Barbara: She is also Catholic, has an adult handicapped daughter, and a lot of hard things going on in her life right now. She has been meeting for the missionaries for a while, but when I first met her last week and we started teacher her about living prophets, I realized she wasn't at the same level of understanding that we thought she was and we needed to start back at the beginning. She has a hard time understanding why one church isn't just as good and true as any other.
Karen: Another person who has been meeting with the missionaries for a little while, but I first met her this week. She was born Catholic but hasn't really been at all religious for most of her life even though she does believe in God. She smokes and drinks tea by the barrel, but she seems super interested and sincere. She is going out of town for two weeks but said when she gets back she wants to start meeting with us 3 times a week! She has an 8 year old daughter who is really smart and really against religion though so it's going to be hard to get them going to church. She loves playing with us, but leaves the room as soon as we start praying and talking about the gospel.
Rose: My favorite ;) She is an 84 year old woman from Armenia. 4 feet 10 inches tall, and absolutely amazing! She totally reminds me of my grandma McConkie so of course she has a special place in my heart. Every time we visit her she calls us "my angels, my babies" in her cute accent. She was showing us pictures of Sister Missionaries that have met with her in the past and she has nicknames for all of them, I don't think she remembers their name because she just calls us all her angels. But there is "my professor", "nightclub angel", and "the teenager". She has dreams/visions all the time that are truly amazing. The first time missionaries showed her a picture of Joseph Smith she said that man came to me in a dream with my son (who passed away). When she saw a picture of the sacred grove in the back of the Book of Mormon(BoM) she said that's where they were and her son was holding a blue book and telling her she needed to read it. She has terrible vision so she can't really read much, and her health is too poor to go to church, but she is determined that she needs to finish reading the BoM before she can be baptized. We were getting a little frustrated with that and trying to figure out what we could to when I came up with the idea of getting her granddaughter's phone number. Her granddaughter served a mission and is now going to college in NY and Rose talks about her all the time and calls her when she doesn't understand things and needs someone to explain it in Armenian. We talked to Shuesik on the phone last night and came up with a plan to visit Rose at least twice a week and read the BoM with her and we will let Shuesik know where we are at so she can call and read with her at night! I am so excited to have this plan in place and hopefully we can really get her progressing!
We also do a lot of work with less-active members, but that will have to be a story for another email :) Time is passing by faster already and it makes it so much easier!
Love you all!
Sister M. McConkie
PS the pic is Sister Kafu making us dinner in our apartment. Usually we only have one dinner appointment a week, but this week we have 4!
Super quick summary of the week! We got a new investigator referred to us, his name is Howard and he seems super legit, but we have to make sure he is sincere because he is a branch member's ex-husband so we want to make sure he isn't using seeing us as a way to manipulate her. Last Wednesday we went shopping for a less active lady in the branch who can't really get out of the house, she had us buy like a million things and then when we got to the cash register she didn't have quite enough money...she had us get some coffee and tea at the store, we don't know if it was for her or for her daughter but either way guess what went back when we couldn't afford everything..sorry-not-sorry! We had specialized training for all the new missionaries and trainers, it was a lot of fun and our Mission President and his wife are amazing! It was fun to see the people I was with in the MTC :) We also got invited to a non-denominational bible church's event on Wednesday night haha we went with a member and hopefully can use it as a missionary tool, kinda like "we went to your thing, now will you come to ours?" It was very interesting...lots of good sincere people just missing some important truths of the restored gospel. It was good though to get perspective of how our investigators must feel coming to our church for the first time and not really knowing what's going on!
Tara agreed to be baptized sometime in March! She is praying about the exact date! So we are obviously stoked about that, but when we told our Branch President he kinda rained on our parade... she has been going to another ward because they have a YSA program, and our mission president had said that was fine, but it is not fine with President Bria...so now we have to break it to her that she has to attend our branch at least 3 times before she can be baptized and then ideally we want her to keep going to our branch. Hopefully that will go ok?
Today we are going on exchanges with the sister training leaders, so I am excited about that, but it will be kinda scary leading the area for the day.
Love you all! I love missionary work and seeing the gospel change lives!
Sister M. McConkie
Highlight of this week was exchanges for 24 hours, I was with a Sister Training Leader named Sister Taylor and it was awesome, we connected super well and as different as me and sis Kafu are, that's how similar Sister Taylor and I are. I learned a lot from her and got good counsel on dealing with some difficulties I've been trying to figure out. It also helped me to see my potential as a missionary, gave me hope that I really can become the powerful missionary I long to be!
Tara is still progressing well, we are hoping to set a baptismal date for her this week for some time in March. Our investigator Rose is determined that she has to read the Book of Mormon before she gets baptized but we feel really strongly that we need to help her realize the blessings of baptism and that she doesn't need to read the whole BoM before she gets baptized. At the rate she is reading it will take her like a year and a half to read it and based on her health she doesn't have that long! And she definitely isn't planning on sticking around that long! Oh well, I know the Lord can soften people's hearts.
It's still flipping cold and we got a couple inches of snow Saturday, but it warmed up Sunday and it seems like there is maybe a light at the end of the tunnel and that spring may someday come! It seems like February has just flown by!
Life is good, I'm loving the work and loving all the people we work with! Sorry for the short email! I will strive to do better next week!
Sister M. McConkie
t's crazy to think I've already finished 1 transfer! Those 6 weeks definitely went by faster than expected! Since I'm still in training, Sister Kafu and I will be in our same area for another 6 weeks, but other people in our zone are getting switched around! We will have a new zone leader, a new district leader, and a new sister training leader, so that will be interesting. I'm definitely considering it a tender mercy that the Hermanas in our zone are both staying, my friend group is very limited out here so I'm glad they aren't leaving me yet! Just to give an idea of the demographics of our zone, we have us and two sets of English Elders in our branch, and the rest of the zone covers two Spanish branches and consists of 5 sets of Spanish elders and one companionship of Hermanas. The sister training leaders are English sisters and aren't in our zone but they cover the sisters in their zone as well as ours.
Tara has a baptismal date set for March 28th! We are super excited for her and she is amazingly prepared. She will be the first baptism in our area in almost a year and a half so it's a great blessing to have that success.
Funny story of the week/best one of the transfer: One of our investigators (who still wants to meet with us by the way) told me that every time I say the word "fullness" as in "the fullness of the Gospel" she gets super irritated and wants to come across the room and slap me! She was totally serious...she admitted that she knows it is unreasonable and she isn't sure why it bothers her so much, she just feels like that word doesn't describe what we are trying to convey. When we asked what better word she would have us use she didn't have any suggestions. I just sat there quiet for a bit not knowing what to say and not wanting her to slap me haha! I guess I will have to work on synonyms to use! Afterward though, the member we had with us (Sister Abdul, she is Jamaican) gave me a good pep talk about how I should NEVER stop using that word! The fact that Satan makes her so uncomfortable with it shows how powerful it is. She's the best :) Sister Kafu was worried that I would be offended, but I just can't help laughing every time I think about it! Hahaha oh man you better believe I wrote about it in my journal as soon as I got home! It's going to be a bit awkward next time we see her though, I don't really know how to act around someone who gives me a hug one minute and then the next is seriously threatening to slap me! #missionlife
Love you all!
Sister M. McConkie
Sorry I have been negligent on sending out pictures! I couldn't figure out how to load them on this computer but don't worry I used my mad computer skillz and I think I figured it out this time! (Maybe not so great skillz I'll have to send the pictures in a second email).
The first picture is a Filipino lady in our branch, her name is Sister Perocho and she knew Grandpa McConkie in the Philippines! He was the temple president when she received her endowment prior to going on her mission, and he also gave her her patriarchal blessing! Such a small world! Her main memory of him was that "he seemed so fatherly".
The second picture is my favorite investigator Rose Bakalian! She made me and sister Kafu matching hats so that we wouldn't have to fight over them ;) We are hoping to meet with her while her granddaughter Shushik is in town and hopefully get her progressing toward baptism again, but her health is going downhill at the moment so obviously that is the first obstacle. I love that woman so much!
The third picture is Frank and Lynda Barber, they have been investigating the church for a lot of years. They lost respect for missionaries years ago because the elders that were teaching them apparently forgot that they were missionaries and would go to their house just to hangout and watch football games with Frank. They stopped meeting with missionaries after that but then years later the sister missionaries in the area found them. They didn't even know the church had sister missionaries and let them in to teach them again. They go through times of searching for different religions but for now they seem fairly content going to the local Catholic church even though they still feed us and read whatever scriptures we ask them to from the Book of Mormon. This picture was actually them at a music night our branch was having, so we were happy that they came to that! The branch members did a good job of making them feel welcome, so hopefully that is a step in the right direction!
Last week was a little rough as far as getting in to see investigators and teach them, but it's ok that will come as long as we keep working hard! We were able to see Sister Galoti and her daughter last night. The last few weeks when we have gone to see them they haven't been home, so we were glad to get in and catch up with her! Me just being my nosy self straight up asked her why she and her family stopped going to church and guess what? It worked! She told us about how they had gone through a really rough patch as a family years ago and stopped going to church during that and then when they got through that and tried to go back to church they found that their records had been moved to a different branch, and some other little offenses happened and that was pretty much that! She says for her husband she knows it goes deeper, he was raised in the church and served a mission, but he won't talk about the deeper reasons. But she is a convert, and for her it seems to be as simple as that. In her words she doesn't really know how they got to where they are at now with regards to being so distant from the church. She plans on someday going back, she wants her 2 youngest daughters (17&20) to eventually get baptized, but it doesn't seem to be a priority right now, and she doesn't know if her husband will ever go back. So sad. But at least we know the situation now and can help them on their journey!
The food is great! I've even eaten pizza twice and liked it once! Haha miracles do happen! They have awesome deli's on like every corner, I will be very sad to go back to eating Subway in Utah! We get fed once a week by our Relief Society president and her family. She is an amazing cook and they have 4 little kiddos that are adorable! Some times we get fed another time during the week by random branch members or Frank and Lynda :) When we eat at home Sister Kafu pretty much always cooks and so our two meals are either chicken alfredo or chicken and rice. No complaints from me!
Love you all! Thanks for your love and support!
Sister M. McConkie
This week was amazing! We had a specialized training/mission conference with the northern half of the mission last week in Morristown specifically about how the baptismal ordinance is not complete without having a baptism with fire and the Holy Ghost. That is when hearts truly receive that mighty change and we receive a remission of our sins. The senior missionary that was giving the training, Elder Stroud, defined remission as not only justifying our sins before God but healing our souls. Making us both whole and holy. He quoted Elder Benar's talk "Receive the Holy Ghost" saying "these 4 words 'receive the Holy Ghost' are not a passive pronouncement; rather, they constitute a priesthood injunction--an authoritative admonition to act and not simply to be acted upon. The Holy Ghost does not become operative in our lives merely because hands are placed upon our heads and those four important words are spoken. As we receive this ordinance, each of us accepts a sacred and ongoing responsibility to desire, to seek, to work, and to so live that we indeed 'receive the Holy Ghost' and its attendant spiritual gifts." Cool stuff.
Best quote of the meeting though has to be President Taggart saying "some days you just feel lower than a whale turd on the bottom of the ocean". Hahaha I bet more people wrote that down than any other notes on the things we were taught! He is so funny!
We picked up a new investigator this week! And...by Saturday we had to drop him :( We were so excited because we had someone call us and say he wanted to meet with us! That never happens! He had read an article about the church written by someone outside the church and he wanted to know if it was true. We gladly met with him (at a Dunkin Donuts because it was Monday night and so we couldn't find a team up) and he seemed super legit! His name is Louis and he had good questions and seemed sincere in wanting to know if it was true! We taught him and tried to focus on actual doctrine instead of the bogus in the article, but he wanted to just focus on that. He scheduled again with us the next day, we taught him again, it went about the same, he just wanted to focus on things he saw as contradictions and the things that bothered him seemed super random and irrelevant to us. By the 3rd lesson on saturday we straight out asked him what his religious background was and what his expectations were in meeting with us. He didn't want to answer straight out but he eventually admitted that he is a Jehovah's Witness and that he wanted to help us recognize the errors in our doctrine compared with the Bible. So I got to have my first experience dropping an investigator..so sad! Oh well, we just explained to him that our purpose as missionaries is specifically to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel and that if he wasn't interested in that then we needed to spend our time with those who were more prepared. Hopefully someday that will be him!
Rose is planning to get baptized in May!!! We had an amazing lesson with her and her RM granddaughter Shushik and before we left she admitted that she knew she needed to be baptized and then after we left Shushik texted us to tell us she was planning on May! Woot woot! Fingers crossed that I will still be in this area by then, but I think I will be :) Poor Sister Kafu probably won't, but we are so excited because we know it is all about her and not about us!
Tara's baptismal plans are coming along nicely she passed her baptismal interview Friday and so her baptism seems good to go on the 28th at 10:00 am!
Sorry no pictures this week, I'll try to send a couple next week!
Shout out to Lizzy! Happy 10th Birthday today! Love you sis!
Sister M. McConkie
As you can see by the subject of this week's email, TARA IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS WEEK AND I"M KINDA REALLY EXCITED ABOUT IT!!!!! Eh-hem...sorry...yeah I'm pretty stoked though, she is so prepared and so excited about starting this new phase in her life. She chose this week to get baptized because it is so close to easter and she loves the symbolism of a rebirth ordinance right before a holiday all about rebirth. Thank goodness for companions and ward mission leaders and branch mission leaders and other missionaries because my organizational skills are not up to organizing something like this! I don't know if I explained this in any previous emails, but even though Tara lives in our branch, she got special permission from our mission president to be baptized in a different ward because even though it is a family ward they have a good YSA program and President Taggart feels like she would have the most support and fellowship in that ward. So we have been trying to coordinate this baptism with a ward mission leader whom we have never met, in a building we don't attend and it has been quite the headache! But it is all good because it's all coming together and the most important part is that Tara is getting baptized this week!
We had another training this week in Morristown, this one was for missionaries that have entered the mission in the last 6 months and their trainers. We did lots of role plays and received an amazing training by president taggart's son and his friend who are some of the top salesmen for Vivent. They taught us some good strategies for getting people to be willing to talk to us for a minute instead of automatically shutting the door in our face :)
I am now 3/4 of the way through my training, time is definitely picking up speed and 18 months doesn't seem so long now as long as instead of focusing on it as time away from home I think about it as cool areas and companions I will be serving in/with. I got to teach relief society again yesterday so that was really fun, haha it was a crazy sunday because Sis Kafu gave a talk, we ended up filling in last minute to teach primary, and then I taught RS! And then on our way home from church a homeless lady asked us to stop and pray for her, so of course we did! #missionlife
I don't really have any good new pictures, next week I will for sure from the baptism! But here is a picture of my turkey sandwich from a nearby diner :) I love my turkey sandwiches! And fries...how I love fries... And here is an old picture from the exchange I went on over a month ago with Sister Taylor! Sister Kafu and Sister Harvey were comps for the day and this is us exchanging back, I should have an exchange with Sister Harvey in about a week.
Missionary work is the best! I know this is the Lord's work and I see His hand in my life everyday! It is a privilege to be an instrument in His hands and I am grateful for the person He is helping me to become.
Love yous! Thanks for all the support! ll Julie and Bonnie I got both of their letter please! And thank them for me, it means so much! Hopefully Lizzy got my card, I'll try to attach a recording of me and sis kafu singing happy birthday boom boom to her, I meant to send it last week but forgot to bring the cord to upload it to the computer! I also got Dad's letter with the chirp and the story about grandpa, I had never heard that and it was cool to hear! If you can manage it I would love if you could send me a picture of grandma and grandpa mcconkie and I would love a pic of me and grandma if you can find one! Love you all, so sad to hear about abby :(
This last week was quite the range of missionary experiences and emotions! The first part of the week was rough, we hardly got to meet with anyone because all our appoinments were canceling. It was frustrating because for whatever reason it felt like we were busy all the time but not really getting anything done! Friday we went to Ellis Island again which was a lot of fun and we actually helped an elderly lady find the record of herself coming to the country through Ellis Island in the 50's! So that was quite amazing. Saturday was Tara's baptism and of course that was amazing! I'm so happy for her courage in making the decision to break from her previous way of life in an act of faith by being baptized and following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ. Saturday night was great, we got to go to a district dinner and then watch the broadcast. It was a potluck style dinner which is very interesting with all the diversity our district has. It's so funny singing hymns when about 2/3 of the group is singing in spanish and the rest are trying to hold their own in english! A member of the district presidency tried to share a message with us before the broadcast and it was hillarious because the lady translating kept getting caught up just listening and forgot she was supposed to be translating!
Sunday we went to the Caldwell ward for Tara's confirmation so that was cool to see the difference between a ward and a branch that are both in NJ. And then yesterday we had a thing in Morristown called Sister's Specialized Training. AKA have some trainings on comp unity and then party! It was a luau theme and some of the poly sisters tried to teach us to hula dance hahaha man I was next to Sister Jensen who happens to be a dancer...she was dying laughing at me! Through her hysterical laughter she told me "Sister McConkie, I love you...but you are a dancer's worse nightmare!" That was not news to me haha but it's ok I'm sure there are sisters (and elders) who feel the same way when we are playing sports on pdays so I can handle my share of uncoordination. Because missionaries are technically not allowed to dance our mission president's wife tactfully called the hula dancing "cultural movements" ;) Love that lady with all my heart! It was so fun to see the sisters that I have come be be friends with already in the mission and to meet some others that are also amazing!
Overall there were some wonderful highs and some frustrating lows, but hey that's life and especially missionary life! But things are going well, I'm almost done with training and soon I will be getting "greenie busted" with a new companion :) I know this is the Lord's work and I am grateful everyday to be a part of it.
Sister M. McConkie
Today marks the beginning of my third transfer meaning I am no longer a greenie! Haha I'm getting old ;) We found out last night that I'll be staying in this area for at least another transfer and Sister Kafu will be getting transferred. Tomorrow is transfer conference so that is when everyone gets their new companion and those who are being transferred find out where they are going. So Sis Kafu gets to pack tonight and tomorrow morning, load up her stuff in the car, and then after transfer conference she will switch her stuff to her new companion's car, we will put my new companions stuff in our car, and then off we go our separate ways! For someone who dislikes change and unpredictability as much as I do, it's quite a stressful arrangement! People keep asking if I'm nervous about leading out the area but in my mind that's way less scary than moving to a new area! I know I will have to cross that bridge in the next transfer or two, but let's just say last night I was thrilled to find out I'm staying here for the time being!
Saturday we had an amazing lesson on the Word of Wisdom with our investigator Karen. We had been worrying about it because she smokes quite a lot and drinks tea while she smokes. She actually decided about two weeks ago on her own to quit smoking. The medication she is taking to help with that has made her super nauseated so we weren't able to see her for almost a month, but when we saw her yesterday she looked good and happy! She was happy to learn that quitting smoking was something that is God's will and she can count on His help. Not drinking tea was harder for her to understand because she doesn't see the same obvious health problems with it like smoking has, but miraculously we were able to help her understand that it comes down to finding out for herself if the Word of Wisdom is revelation from God to a prophet or not, and she is willing to switch to herbal tea! The Spirit was so strong during the lesson. Normally she gets hung up on little details she doesn't understand, so it was a miracle that she is willing to act on faith with something she doesn't understand and struggles with!
I'm looking forward to this next transfer here in Paterson. Somehow this area and our soap opera of a branch have worked their way deeply into my heart. These pictures are of Sis Kafu with people because I was taking pictures for her before she leaves. The first is Karen and her daughter, and the second is the Oliphant family. They feed us dinner every Saturday night and I love their cute little kiddos with all my heart! It's so hard not to be allowed to hold their adorable little baby!
Funny experience of the week: We were in our car praying as we started a fast when we hear a knock on our window. It was some lady asking us if we happen to smoke! Nope sorry we don't! Unfortunately she hurried off so we couldn't talk to her more, and it's very sad that addictions can make people that desperate, but Sister Kafu and I were just dying with laughter at how bizarre the whole situation was! #missionlife