It was pretty great, after emails last week I got home and recieved four letters! Brad Elly Melissa and Sister Robinson. So tell them thank you and I'll try to respond to them as soon as I can.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to buy new tennis shoes because my have got dry wall and poopy water all over them. :) I love doing service!!
So now to the events of this week. It's been pretty choatic. We've been having some of the sisters stay at our apartment on and off because of service and everything. Monday was P-day and we had a rehearsal for our Christmas program so I went to that while Sister Dicou went to her departing missionary trip. After our practice we played ball at the church for a little bit. We had a couple of lessons that night. Tuesday I already told you about in the last weeks email, but that night we went and taught our new investigator Cary and we had cheesy broccoli soup and talked about the gospel. She's incredible. I didn't get pictures of her quilts because she gives them all away but she did say she was making beanie's for the young ones so I'm very excited about that. She's so awesome! Wednesday Sister Dicou had her Temple trip so we went on exchanges and Sister Swann and Roper came with me and we went out during the day until they were back. Then we had another exchange with the Paterson sisters so I went up there and stayed the night. Paterson is crazy. The sister was a spanish sister so I barely said anything all day because I couldn't speak-a da spanish. But I was really trying to focus on things that they said and picked out a few things. It was interesting and very cool. We exchanged back the next day. Friday was probably one of the craziest days I've had out on my mission. We were trying to get so many things done and so little time before Sister Dicou left. I had my interview with President Jeppson and then one with Sister Jeppson and it pumped me right up. It was so comforting talking to them. They seriously are incredible people and I love them so much! They are so much fun and so close to the spirit. I love it!
This is where is gets pretty exciting and why I love being a missionary. We got a call on Friday and our zone leaders told us we were going to be staying over night down South because we were doing service and it was about 2 hrs away from us. So they told us we'd be doing service all day Saturday and Sunday. It's not typical in the mission to be doing things like this so I can definitely say this has been my craziest transfer on the mission! So we woke up on Saturday and met the Assistants at the Chapel and we all rode down in the big 12 passenger van. It was so much fun! We became so close during this past weekend. We got down to the chapel where we were meeting and broke off into our groups to go do service. We were in East Brunswick and had an assignment to go clean a house. We got to the house and it was this old old lady that lost everything. We took our her kitchen and cleaned the garage out. She was so sweet and so hip! We all worked really hard in trying to get the place clean. As we were finishing up we sang "called to serve" and she said she got the goosebumps as we were singing it. I know that it was the spirit bearing testimony to her that we are called of God to serve. I'm so grateful for that opportunity I have everyday to put on my badge saying that I am a witness of Jesus Christ and I know he lives. It was really cool and I'm so grateful for that. We had a couple more hours before we had to head back to the chapel and so we decided to go knock on doors and see if anyone else needed help. We were walking down a street and a couple of the missionaries found a house that two old (81 and 83) were living there from the hurricane. They had orders to be exacuated from their house but they didn't. Mary and Ziggy were there names and they were so sweet. We asked if they needed any help and they said they hadn't touched their basement. So we all went down there to see that the mold on the walls was so bad and the foundation was not good at all. Their neighbors house had fallen in. I'll send pictures of it. The smell in their basement was horrible. It was not safe that they were still living there but they had no where to go. The old clothes they had were the ones on their back because all their other clothes were downstairs. They said that the water level filled up their whole basement and came up a couple inches on their main floor. Just imagine. All of our basement flooded and so much personal items down there. It's just so sad. We started cleaning up as much as we could before it got dark. We had to leave but we felt it would be good to sing to them and say a prayer with them. So we got them together and sang and prayed with them as they were crying. Ziggy was an ex-marine and told us to stop making him cry. Mary burst into tears at the end of the song. It was so spiritual and emotional because they couldn't have cleaned out the basement on their own. They were so sweet. (They had a bar downstairs to that they wouldn't let us touch, we got orders from Mary, "do not touch the liquor") It was pretty funny. They were cool old people. We got back to the chapel and ate pizza and then had a little training/fireside and then went to some elders aparments to sleep (don't worry they were not there too.) All of the sisters, 13 of us, stayed there while all the elders slept in the church.
Sunday we all woke up ready to work. We got to the church and quickly ate breakfast and had the sacrament and then went back to Ziggy and Mary's house. Mary thought we weren't going to come back but of course we were! We started cleaning everything out from their basement before the demolition. They had so many personal belongings down there, clothes, records, magazines, everything and worth so much money. We started going at it. We had 12 people in that house cleaning it all up and were making some good time. We had a quick lunch break, pizza provided by them, and then back to work. We finished lunch around 12:45 and I did not come out of that basement until it was all cleaned up. That was around 5. My back was so sore but I couldn't stop working, I needed to do that for them. It was hard hard work but President Jeppson said the closing prayer in sacrament meeting and blessed us with safety and with the power to continue working. It was an amazing prayer and I know it was answered because even though I was dead, I kept going. I learned something, when you want to stop, think about the Savior and all he did for us. He's there to lift us up and get us back on our feet. I think we can all do a better job at remembering the Savior. That's my commitment to you guys this week. Think about the Savior and all He's done for us. He's given us EVERYTHING!!! We got everything done and started cleaning up. We got Mary back out and talked to her for a little and asked her, what's one thing we need to remember for our lives. And she replied "Don't keep anything!" It was pretty funny and I might need to take that to heart. I have a lot a possessions that don't really matter. I think I have some cleaning up to do when I get home. :/ haha We sang to her again and took a couple pictures with her and were off back to our apartments.
It was such a good day and I know we're doing the Lord's work. I'm so excited to continue on and see where the mission takes me. I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to serve and become better. I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way we can return to live with God again. I'm so grateful for everything I've learned and I know God answers our prayers. I'm so grateful for this chance I have and can't wait to bless more lives in New Jersey. I'm here for a reason and I know it. I love you all and can't wait to see how you're all doing. :) Much love
Sister Christine Taylor