Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Synogog, Baptisms, and Firesides!!! :D

Another week has quickly come and gone! WOW! So - I don't have much time to write today cause Sis. Woodbury and I went to zone sports today (she played soccer while I cut hair) and we just got back shortly after 5:00 and we still need to eat dinner and such!
So anyways, this past week has been SO jam-packed full of all sorts of different fun things! On Monday last week while we were street contacting, I was talking to a guy and he wasn't really responding to me after I had been talking to him for a minute, just saying things like, "Hi! How are you?" and "What role has religion played in your life?" and then he said, with his head down, "Please leave me alone." and I apologized and said ok and left him alone. Well, within about ten seconds or so, he just walked into oncoming traffic - didn't even wait fo a signal or anything. Apparently religion hasn't been a very positive thing in his life, he'd rather put himself in danger before discussing it... Well, don't worry. He made it across the road safely. But that's not the first time that someone has walked into oncoming traffic to avoid us. One time a couple holding their baby walked almost right in front of a car to avoid us. We were just talking about how through the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can be with our families forever and how much it blesses families. I guess they either wanted to put that to the test, or really didn't wanna hear about it. Oh well. They're just not ready to hear the wonderful, important message that we have to share. Hopefully one day they'll be ready. :)
On Tuesday we went on exchanges with Sister Berg and Sister Goates and I went with Sister Berg! (By the way - Jake Titensor - YOU KNOW HER!!! She served in Mongolia with you for a few months before she got kicked out and came to DC!!! And she met Britt right as she got here and right before she left to Argentina! SUUUPER small world! I LOVE it! It makes me feel more connected with home!!!) I LOVE Sister Berg! She is WONDERFUL! While I was with her, we witnessed SO many miracles happen, it was UNBELIEVABLE!!! One of our investigators, Diane, FINALLY accepted the soft baptism invite!!! Sister Woodbury and I have been giving her that for WEEKS now, and she hasn't accepted it yet. I think Sister Berg just has the right touch or something. Anyways, probably one of the BIGGEST miracles that we witnessed was during our power hour! We met a guy named Justin and started talking to him and ended up going all the way to outside his apartment complex. He sat down on the steps outside and we continued talking for a good twenty minutes or so. Within that time, he told us that he wanted to share a very personal experience with us that he wouldn't normally share with anyone - especially two strangers. He went on to tell us that he was on his way to the park to smoke weed, but when he got there and saw all the kids playing and the other people walking their dogs, he didn't want to do that around them. So he turned around and headed home, and as soon as he crossed the street from the park, he met us! He said that he doesn't think that that was a cooincidence; he KNOWS that he was meant to meet us, and at that particular time! It was INCREDIBLE! Shortly after that, Sister Berg and I went through the whole restoration pamphlet with him and even ended with a prayer! We had a lesson right there next to the sidewalk! And then he asked where our church is and what time we meet, so we gave him all that information and then got his information and gave it to the sisters over the single's ward. I am SO incredible grateful for that experience!
But the excitement for that day doesn't end there! That night around 10:45ish, shortly after we went to bed, we heard a LOUD knock on the door! It kinda scared me for a second - first of all cause we're not used to other people knocking on our door. So we ignored it the first time. Then about thirty seconds later, we heard it again! It seriously sounded like someone was trying to break down the door - like it was the police or someone trying to break in! By this time, we knew that it was really for us and not someone knocking loudly at the neighbor's door, so Sister Berg jumped out of bed to see who it was. When she peeked through the peep hole, she ran back to the bedroom and said, "It's the Elders!!!" I was like, "What?!?! What are THEY doing here?? And at THIS time of night!!!" So I jumped out of bed and got dressed really quick, then went to the door to see what all the commotion was about. When I got to the door, Elder Brown (who also happens to be our district leader and who we share the ward with now) said, "Your companion's worried about you cause she had a bad feeling and you haven't answered any of her phone calls and she wanted to make sure you were ok." Aw!!! My sweet mission "mom" loves me! So we told them that we were obviously ok, and we said goodnight to the Elders and then called Sister Woodbury and Sister Goates. It was pretty hilarious! The reason why she was so concerned is because of Michael - the spanish-speaking guy who I briefly told you about who called us last week and wanted to meet. Apparently he was very distraught and Sister Woodbury was worried about us meeting with a distraught man alone in a park - especially just two young girls. Well, luckily Michael ended up standing us up, so we were ok. :)
Wedensday was Zone Conference! SOOOOOOOOO good!!! It was pretty hilarious, though, cause President had all of the Sisters come into a room and gave us the "lock your heart" talk. I felt like it was mostly directed at me. ESPECIALLY since President asked us, "Does anybody know what President Hinkley told his granddaughter when she went on her mission?" I immediately raised my hand since he had JUST BARLEY told me this in his e-mail to me like a week or two before. So I said, "He told them not to smile at the Elders." Sister Woodbury started laughing hysterically, although she tried to hide it, because she knew it was at least partly directed at me. Ya, I'm still working on the whole NOT flirting thing. Sister Woodbury reminds me every day. Haha!
Thursday we met an ADORABLE family in our ward named the Jolley's and they have the CUTEST little 2 and a half year old boy named Reo! He sang us SO many songs and even hugged us! It was the most precious little thing! It totally made my entire day! :)
Friday, Sister Woodbury and I had our own little miracle happen! We went to the Potomac nursing home and ended up meeting a sweet older lady who just needs a friend and got her back into playing the piano and singing. After she played several songs and sang for us, she thanked us and told us how much she's missed doing that and she's glad that we convinced her to play. :) That night we went to Synogog with two of our investigators - Bobby and Keren, since Keren's Jewish. It was really interesting to see what other churches believe. They had wine and coffee and all sorts of gluteny goodies afterwards. Don't worry - we didn't have any gluten. ...OR anything else, really. Haha. The only thing that they had there that we could really eat was fresh fruit, so we had a little bit of that. It was yummy. :)
Saturday we had a BAPTISM!!! Our investigator (now Recent Convert) Wu Biao got baptized!!! It was SOOOOO special to witness that!!!
Yesterday we went to church - which was wonderful, as always! Then that night we went to a fireside all about missionary work! Guess what?? Starting very soon, missionaries are going to be able to use computers and e-mail and facebook and all sorts of electronics to find people and share things with investigators! It's AMAZING! We could not believe it when we heard it!
Life is wonderful! I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a missionary!!! :D The Church is true!!!
Read 1 Nephi 14 - especially verse 14!

Love always,
Sister Aubrie Orrock

-Maurie and Heather in May!
-Shaila on June 7th!

Monday, June 17, 2013

HOLY DOG POOP!!! And Happy Father's Day!!!

Another week has quickly come and gone! It's sure crazy to think how quickly time flies! I've been out here for two and a half months now! (Even though sometimes it feels like I've been out for almost FOUR months, that's not quite the case. Sorry Mom. Haha!)
Monday was a rough day - (I was feeling a bit homesick (the homesickness has gotten better - meaning MUCH less often, but I'm still working on it not being there at all anymore. Any suggestions from RM's??) but Heavenly Father ALWAYS ALWAYS blesses us with tender mercies - ESPECIALLY when we're doing our best to serve him despite our challenges in life. Sister Woodbury and I BOTH got mail on Monday night after we got home that night! As silly as that sounds, getting mail as a missionary really IS like a five year old on Christmas day! And we really should never get mail on Mondays - we never have, either. That was the very first time that we had gotten mail on a Monday since I've been out here. The reason for that is because they have to forward all our mail to us, and the office Elders take their P-day on Saturday, so any mail that they would've forwarded on Friday should get to us by Saturday. Anyways, I don't know what happened on Monday with getting mail, but we didn't even get any junk mail - just mail from our family and friends! THANK YOU, DADDY!!! That really helped out A LOT!!! :D
Tuesday we had to have a little DTR (determine the relationship) talk with Reacha because she's been standing us up every single time we'd schedule an appointment and then go over there. So we told her that we love her and we want to be here for here, but she can call us when she's ready to see us for reals. It really felt like a break up. It was HARD. But I know that that's what we needed to do, otherwise she'll keep on taking us for granted and never learn. But on the bright side, that night we had dinner with a part-member couple in our ward (the wife's a member), and we talked with her husband a lot and he seems to really like us! He even kept on saying things like "the next time you come over" all night long! And he even wants to talk about the guidance of the spirit in our lives and other gospel topics! We hope to get him baptized some day! :D
Wednesday we went to Launching Leaders (a seminar class that they have about once a month that an adorable elderly couple in our mission teaches), which we always absolutely LOVE!!! Elder and Sister Richie are HILARIOUS!!! And, of course, we always learn lots of great things from them!!! Later that day, we street contacted and EVERY SINGLE PERSON we met was SUUUPER mean to us... I experienced being a missionary... Haha - Until we met this WONDERFUL man named Dan who talked to us for about fifteen minutes or so and he seemed REALLY interested in talking with us! We're going to hopefully meet with him SOON!
On Thursday we went to check on a Chinese guy named Chang who we met street contacting about two and a half weeks before that and he happened to be home with his wife and invited us in! We sat there and talked with his wife (Jody) while he finished cooking dinner, then he INSISTED that we join them for dinner, so we did! :) We weren't able to stay long cause we got there around 8:30, but we made a return appointment for this week when we'll get to have an actual lesson with them! The church is SOOOO true!!!
Friday we visited with a funny guy named Al (I think I've mentioned him before - "Alligator Al"), and saw his alligators that he made out of pipes and such. He's a hilarious old guy! I love him! After we were done visiting with Al, we got back to the car and right before I opened to car door, I felt myself step in something squishy... Yep. You guessed it. DOG POOP. And not just a little bit - it was HUGE!!! A great big pile of it and it didn't just get on the bottom of my shoe, but it got on the side of it, too! :( So Sister Woodbury and I walked over to a nearby member's house and went in their backyard and used their hose to wash all of the poop off of my shoe. YUM. Haha! It's ok. As disgusting and smelly as it was, I must admit it was pretty darn hilarious, too, and I'm not sorry it happened because it made for a great mission story! HAHAHA! And don't worry - Sister Woodbury took pictures of that exciting poopy moment and took some video of me washing off my shoe, which I will send to you! :) Anyways, later that day
we had a couple of investigators (Bobby and Keren - Bobby's Christian and Keren's Jewish and they're married) come over to a member's house with us and we had tacos for dinner and listened to a talk called "17 Steps" - or something like that. It's about 17 things that the true church has, and of course most other Christian churches have some of them, cause they all have a piece of truth, but none of them have all of them! It was really interesting and nice to listen to, and our investigators seemed to enjoy it! :)
Saturday was also really good cause we started the day out by going to the church and helping make pizzas for a fundraiser for the young men and young women in the ward to go to scout camp and girl's camp this summer! It was REALLY fun! After that and our studies, we street contacted for most of the day at the park and most everyone was SUUUPER nice to us and talked to us! We got 20 AR's in that one day! :) We talked to A TON of hispanic and latino people and they ALL listened to us and said that they'd come to church on Sunday and that they wanna learn more! ...unfortunately none of them ended up coming to church, and I think that they all just liked the fact that I'm a blue-eyed blonde white girl more than the gospel, which is a bummer. But that's why I wasn't called spanish speaking! Haha! Seriously though!
Anyways, Bobby and Keren came to church yesterday seemed to enjoy church, but Bobby has a lot of deep questions of the soul that Sister Woodbury and I have a hard time answering sometimes. Keren said they'll come back to church - if not next week, then for sure sometime in the next week or two after that! Sunday night we saw the Chambers and wished them a Happy Father's Day (they're former investigators, but they're SO sweet and we love them SO much and they still feed us every month)! They always give us a big paper bag filled with food every time we go over there! I LOVE THEM!!! :D Then last night we finished the night off by visiting a less-active member of our ward named Rick and he just so happened to be on the phone with the Elder's in our ward right as we knocked on his door; so what did he do? He told them he had to go, and hung up on them and talked with us! He even asked us to come by another time with another female so that we could come in his house and visit more! He definitely like us WAY more than he likes the Elders! But who can really blame him? Haha. Just kidding. :)

P.S. I forgot to tell you something awesome!!!
While I was writing my last e-mail (the big main one), Sister Woodbury was on the phone for a few minutes with a guy named Michael who we met street contacting in the park about three weeks ago. Anyways, he's having a really hard time in life right now and has been reading the Book of Mormon that we gave him and is having a hard time understanding it and wants to meet with us! So we're going to meet with him TOMORROW!!! I am SOOOOOOO excited!!! He's a hispanic guy and his english isn't very good, (but my spanish has improved significantly since I've been out here and talking to so many spanish speakers - I LOVE IT!!!), so hopefully between my broken spanish and his broken english, we'll be able to communicate efficiently enough to have a good lesson! I'll be praying A LOT and hopefully the spirit will take over and put spanish words in my mouth that I didn't even know - since I don't really know any gospel terms in spanish right now. But once in a while I study some spanish during my personal study! One time I studied a whole chapter in the Book of Mormon in spanish! I LOVE IT!!! I'm secretly hoping that President will be inspired to have me speak english AND spanish one day! The spanish people (particularly the guys) LOVE me and listen to me WAY better than they listen to most of the Elders! So we'll see! Fingers crossed! ;)

Love, Sister Aubrie Anne Orrock

I ALMOST FORGOT!!! Ashley and Shawn had their beautiful baby Mason!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! Sophie sent me the picture! I am SOOOO happy for you two!!! :D I can't wait to see him when I get home!!! I love you both! Especially you, Ashey!!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rain, Rain, and what was that?? Oh ya - MORE RAIN!!!

How are y'all doing?? It's been SO great getting letters and e-mails from those of you who have written me in the past week or two! So thank you SO much for that! It really DOES mean THE WORLD to me to hear from you all!!! :-)
This past week has been a bit of a roller-coaster with investigators, but overall, it's been SO good! Mondaywe were supposed to see Reacha, but she cancelled on us, yet again. Later in the week we saw her niece, Sabrina, who told us that she wants to start meeting with us again, so we made an appointment with her forSunday at 2:00 pm. We went there and she wasn't there. However, Reacha was there, but they were busy getting ready for a birthday party for Reacha's grand-daughter... I'm starting to feel like Reacha and Sabrina are just playing us and they don't really wanna see us, so we might need to stop visiting them - at least until they finally make up their minds. However, on the bright side, we have a new investigator as of Friday! Her name's Stephanie and she's SUPER funny and awesome! We met her street contacting a couple of weeks before and I really do feel like she's been made SO prepared to hear the gospel now! She accepted the soft baptism invite and we have a return appointment with her!
Tuesday we had District Meeting, then later we saw our Athiest friend, Nan, for a little bit.
Wednesday we had dinner with a sweet member of our ward named Amanda, and the food was really good! However, even more memorable than the food was this guy who we met right before we went into Amanda's apartment complex! We talked to him and he was really nice and seemed genuinely interested in learning more about the gospel and we gave him our card and a Book of Mormon and got a return appointment with him forTHIS THURSDAY!!! Now I'm just praying that it doesn't fall through and we actually meet with him!
Thursday was an interesting day! First we went to the Potomac (the local nursing home) and read in the Book of Mormon with one of our recent converts in our ward named Alma. She's a super spunky, funny elderly black woman. Although she can be pretty bossy, she is hilarious and really a sweet heart and I love her! :-) Anyways, later Thursday night when we were getting ready for bed, one of our former investigators named Huget drunk-dialed us. It was pretty funny, actually. She was going on and on about how much she loves Sister Woodbury! ...As for Sister Orrock, I got nothin' but a "Sister Orrock! So nice to hear your voice! I've missed you!" And that's nice, too. But she just kept on saying things like, "Sister Woodbury! I've missed you, baby! I love you!" ...I wonder if she misses us enough to obey the word of wisdom and listen to our message? Haha. But seriously, though. She's a nice lady, but I never knew how much she loved us until that moment. It could just be the alcohol talking, but I'll take it as she meant it. :-)
Friday we had another lesson with Wu Biao and he is doing AMAZING, as usual! He's keeping all of the committments we give him and he's still on date to be baptized on June 22!!! YAY!!! Friday was also the day that we had our lesson with Stephanie, which I already kinda told you about. But really though, I LOVE HER!!! She's probably in her mid-forties and she is SO crazy and spunky and HILARIOUS!!! We just laugh together! Personality-wise, she kinda reminds me of a cross between Tammy Hall and my BFF Heather Lindsay! So, yes. We get along WONDERFULLY!!! :-) It also rained a bit on Friday. I'm pretty sure that it's been raining at least a little bit almost every day this past week. I hear it rains a LOT in June. It must be the humidity or something. But ya. They weren't kidding about the rain here. It was POURING earlier today. But don't worry - about two hours or so later, it was bright and hot and sunny outside.
Saturday I went on a mini exchange for a few hours with Sister Schooley - a BRAND NEW missionary who's only been out about a week and a half, while Sister Woodbury and her old companion, Sister Olson, went to meet with an investigator who was supposedly in our area, but Sister Olson and her companion found him. So anyways, the exchange was really good! I learned A LOT about training and I think I'll be ok if I'm asked to train next transfer! :-)
Sunday (yesterday) was interesting, to say the least. We street contacted most of the night from about 6:00 to 9:00, and we met A LOT of new people, and got a TON of AR's, however, unfortunately most of them ended up being straight up R's. Yep. REJECTED. That's fine. The funny thing - and I guess good thing - is that even though we kept on being rejected, I wasn't sad or mad or even really frustrated. In fact, I was HAPPY. Why was I happy, you may ask? Because I felt GOOD. I felt like I had put forth all of the effort that I possibly could to give them the message of the gospel in the 30 to 60 seconds that I had, and I testified and shared my testimony and put my whole heart and soul into it. So I figured - if I'm just getting rejected tonight, it doesn't really matter cause I felt REALLY good about the effort I had put in. Do your best and God will take care of the rest!
The work is moving forward! I LOVE this gospel and I LOVE LOVE LOVE missionary work and being a missionary!!!
Read D&C 133 - specifically verses 5, 14&15, 37, 52, and 62 are some of my favorites! I love you all! Have a wonderful week! :-)
Love always,
Sister Aubrie Orrock

Monday, June 3, 2013

Marriage Proposals, Thunder Storms, and Preachin' His word!

I'm SO sorry in advance, but I don't have a lot of time to write today, so I'll update you on this last week as best and as quickly as I can! First things first: Y'all are probably wondering about the title of this - "Marriage Proposals"?? Yep. It's true. This last week had its ups and downs, but overall, it was very interesting and just funny! Last Monday night - on Memorial Day - we were walking around the park by the library, and we had people coming over to US to talk to US. This NEVER happens. Seriously. People like to run away from us. I don't know why, but they literally treat us like we're the black plague or something like that. ...Kinda like how girls avoid boys right before they leave on their missions. Haha! Anyways, but that night it WASN'T like that! First a former military guy talked to us for about 45 minutes and was border-line Bible Bashing us. That was fun. Then we talked to some other people, and then there was this guy from Islam who saw us walking and called us over. We were REALLY confused and thought that he was talking about someone else at first, so we looked around and kept walking. He called us over again, so we finally went over to him. When we got talking to us, he basically tried to "save us" and convince us that Mormons are wrong and why the Bible is the word of God. We did our best to calmly explain to him that we definitely believe in the Bible, too, we just ALSO believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. Well, after talking to us for about fifteen minutes or so about that, he asked us if we were married. We of course said, "No." and explained that while we're on our mission we don't date or anything like that, and we CERTAINLY don't get married. Marriage waits til AFTER the mission. So he told us that he'd marry both of us, but I think that he took more of a fancy to Sister Woodbury. First we told him that we don't believe in polygamy anymore - that's a different church. We then told him that that was very nice of him, but that's not what we're about right now. Well, if nothing else, I guess it was a bit of a self-esteem booster. ...or something like that... Haha.
Anyways, shortly after we rejected the marriage proposal, we ended the night with meeting a SUPER nice Chinese man who is EXTREMELY open-minded and wants to learn more about the gospel!!! He even told us exactly where he lives, wrote down his name and phone number and address without us hardly asking, and then even told us that he'd love for us to meet his wife and for us to come over for dinner - he's a really good cook, he says!!! Um... OK!!! That was just ABOVE AND BEYOND an answer to our prayers! Cause as entertaining and funny the military political guy and the marriage proposal guy were, we were just half-way laughing to ourselves, and halfway asking God if we could meet a for reals person tonight. Well, now we not only know that God sure has a good sense of humor, but he also pours out tremendous blessings to us and shows us the light at the end of the tunnel after he's "punked us", or so we called it. Haha.
Tuesday broke out into a HUGE thunderstorm - I swear it was almost a hurricane or something! It was raining BUCKETS and there was lots of thunder and lightening and it was SUUUPER windy! But that didn't stop Sister Woodbury and I from being out and working! Yep! That's right. We were still knocking doors. We thought for a second that people might take pitty on us and let us in. Nope. Not so much. Don't worry - I took a picture of Sis. Woodbury and I after we had only been in the rain for about thirty seconds - just long enough to run from our car to the front door. We were DRENCHED! But it was SOOOOOOO cool! Now I know that the raincoat and rainboots weren't just a friendly suggestion to bring. Nope. Here in Northern Virginia, when it rains, it POURS!!!
The rest of the week was really good! Thursday we got 37 NEW MISSIONARIES at transfers!!! Yep! And 18 of them are Sisters! That's right! Sisters are taking over the mission! YAYA!!!
Friday we FINALLY saw Reacha - our investigator who I met when I very first got here who we hadn't seen in about six weeks. She's been having phone problems and lots of family troubles, but we SAW HER!!! We both hugged her SO tightly and told her how much we've missed her! We're meeting with her tonight cause she didn't have time to meet right when we saw her on Friday. I can't wait to finally have another lesson with her and get her BAPTIZED!!! I love her SO much!!!
Funny thing of the week: At transfers, Crystal City got a set of Elders, and they're living in The Park (apartment complex) with us. I guess that somehow President got ear of my accidental flirty-ness. Here was his weekly e-mail to me this week:
"I'm so pleased you learned so much being with Sister McKee. With Elders now serving in Crystal City, I ask that you please be very careful to not let them flirt with you. Though they are missionaries, they are still young men. Please know that members are watching and will base their trust in you on how you act when you are around them. The Elders and the members may not be able to distinguish between you being kind and vivacious around the Elders from flirting. So, please turn off your charm when you are around the Elders. President Hinckley instructed his grand-daughter to not smile when she was talking with the Elders while she served her mission. He knew the Elders might mistake her kindness for feelings for them. So, watch yourself carefully around the Elders. I love you!"
Anyways, of course I have a spiritual thought for y'all as well! Yesterday I studied in Omni, and I really love verse 26! I also just so happened to have a quote from seminary glued in there that goes right along with it and I took a picture and I'm sending that to you, too! Also read Mosiah chapters 2 and 4! SOOOO good! I almost didn't wanna stop studying this morning!
The church is true! I pray for you all ALWAYS! Thank you SOOOO much for all of your prayers! I can feel them every day! And thanks SO much for all the graduation pictures, Mom! I LOVE it! It sure looks like y'all had fun! SOOOO good to see Grandma smiling and doing so well! I love you!!! I love you, Mal! I love you, Lance! I love you, Daddy! I love you, Mom! I love you, Cory! I love you ALL!!! Thank you for your letters! And thank you for your letter, too, Steve and Amanda! I forgot to mention that last week! I love y'all, too!
Love always,
Sister Aubrie Orrock

Sis. Woodbury and I in the middle of the thunder storm!

Omni 1:26 and quote! READ THIS!!! :D