Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Birthday Week and TRAINING!!! :D
HEY EVERYBODY!!! This past week has definitely been filled with its ups and downs, but overall, it's been a wonderful growing experience - AND, of course, MI CUMPLEANOS (MY BIRTHDAY)!!! First things first - unfortunately I didn't get any letters or packages on, or right before my actual birthday (although I DID get a few unofficial birthday letters that had been held onto until transfers the Thursday before my birthday, so I got them at Transfer meeting). But I DID get my first birthday package from Mom the day after my birthday (it's ok, Mom! I know you REALLY tried! And your package was ADORABLE! It just made my birthday prolong and last throughout the week, so I didn't really mind too much!), and then my second birthday package on Saturday! And then I got a couple of letters throughout the week, so THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOO much to those of you who wrote me and who have been writing me!!! You really have NO idea how much it means to me to receive letters! :) Anyways, back to my birthday! Haha! My cute lil' trainee, Sister Akin, baked me gluten-free brownies that morning out of a mix that we had in the apartment! Then we did our laundry and grocery shopping and e-mailed (got all of the necessities out of the way), then we PAR-TAYED it up for my 21st in DC!!! ...and by partied it up, I mean we hung out with my mission "mom", Sister Woodbury and her new companion, Sister Goates, and went to a few art galleries there and looked around. Maybe not the most exciting thing in the world, but I didn't care what we did, I just wanted to hang out with Sister Woodbury in DC! So I am SOOOOO happy that we did that! And we also went and got some frozen yogurt and even a snow-cone while we were still in DC after we finished looking at the art galleries! It was SOOOO fun! After that, we went straight to dinner at the Chambers house, and they treated us (and me especially) like PRINCESSES!!! Seriously! They sang happy birthday to me while they carried out a fruit-tart with a birthday candle in it and I made a wish and blew out the candle! They also have a chair to help them go up the stairs, so they let us ride that up and down the stairs once! That was SO fun! Plus, on top of all that, they gave us our usual "goodie bag" and the other half of the fruit tart to go, plus they gave me a birthday card! They are truly incredible people! I am going to miss them whenever I am forced to leave Crystal City! I LOVE this area SOOOOOO much!!! After dinner, we headed straight over to Jan's house (one of our investigators), and she COMPLETELY spoiled me with giving me a whole gluten-free chocolate cake that even said, "Happy Birthday 21" on it, a helium balloon that says "21", cherry blossom hand lotion and shower gel, a pink stationery set, and a pink stuffed bunny! And on top of all that, she gave us some gluten-free pasta and pasta sauce! And then to top it all off, to go with the cake, we had Martinelli's (apple flavor) and drank that in fancy glasses. It was SUCH a wonderful birthday!!! But then the birthday just kept on going on! A cute couple in the ward baked me gluten-free brownies and left them on a plate with a card and a present in front of our apartment door! The present turned out to be gluten-free brownie mix just in case the brownies didn't turn out good, but they were DELICIOUS!!! I also got a birthday card from President and Sister Riggs (my mission president and his wife) that day! It was definitely the PERFECT birthday! :D ...but if anybody still wanted to send me a lil' birthday card or letter, I wouldn't mind! Cause a lot y'all have been slackin' lately on writing me! Haha! Seriously though! I miss y'all and I wanna hear from you!!! :) Tuesday we went to District Meeting that morning and I got my birthday package (as I already said before)! Then right after that, Sister Akin went to a new missionary expectations meeting, so we did a mini exchange and she went with another new Sister, and then I went with the other Sister's companion, who's name is Sister Steadman. She's great! I love her! It was SUCH an interesting day! NOTHING worked out like I had planned! First of all, since Sister Akin took our car to go to the meeting, I had forgotten to take the apartment key off of it, so the plans of Sis. Steadman and I staying in my area for the afternoon and working there and eating lunch there didn't really end up working out. So we went to her apartment to eat lunch, and luckily she's still pretty close by, so it worked out. ...until we wanted to call someone and we realized that her companion had her phone (which was in the original plans), but Sister Akin ALSO had our phone. ...so we had sent our "babies" out there, with virtually NO WAY to contact us, and we had no way to contact them - or anyone else, for that matter. We ended up just doing some street contacting, but then my feet started KILLING me since I was wearing my cute flatts since we were just at a meeting, and I didn't have my good working shoes on. So eventually I had the idea come to me to go to the club house of my apartment building and get a spare key from them until our companions came back. Luckily we're really good friends with most of the front desk people there, and our favorite lady, Mary, was working at that time, so she immediately gave us a spare AND let us use her cell phone for a minute to call and at least leave a message for our companions to tell them where to meet us since we didn't have a steady way of communication. ...Yep... ONLY on a mission would ANY of this happen - or even matter, really. Funny. Later we visited Alma and that was really good! I love that woman! She's wonderful! Anyways, everything ended up working out and Sister Akin and Sis. Steadman's companion got back safely and got our message and met us back at Sis. Akin and my apartment. It was just funny! That night was REALLY good! We got two SOLID AR's, and even have an appointment with one of them for this Friday at 3:00 pm! WOO HOO! :D Anyways, unfortunately I'm about outta time now, so I guess I'll hurry and wrap up and just give you the high-lights of the rest of the week, but at least I've told you the main important and good stories now for the week! Wednesday was really good! It started off where I was just feeling kinda off and having a hard day, but then we street contacted into a REALLY great lady who helped me to feel like I'm doing a great job and fulfilling my purpose out here as a missionary! It was just what I needed! :) Later that day, we visited with Sister Kuang at Tati's home (a member of the ward), and Sister Kuang told us that she just recently had a great idea come to her to come back to the U.S. (specifically Crystal City and the Crystal City ward) in two years once they are able to get a visa to come out here again, and her son, Shun-Fan (who's six and will be seven in September) will be baptized out here, and she'll go through the temple!!! That made me SOOOOOOOO happy!!! I told her that I'll do all that I can to come back here after my mission and BE THERE WITH HER!!! We hugged and cried with happiness a little bit! :) Sister Woodbury called me that night and ended up stopping by to pick up some things that she forgot cause she was in the area on an exchange! I sure love Sister Woodbury! :) That night while Sister Akin and I finished off the night street contacting in the park, we met a LOT of interesting people! One lady actually yelled at me just cause I was trying to hand her a pass-along card! She had her nose stuck up in the air and had her head turned from the time she was about a quarter-mile away and she saw us coming, then as I tried to hand her the card, she said, "No," So, of course I still persisted and encouraged her to check out the website mormon.org and told her it's about Jesus. Again, she said, "No!" a little bit louder this time. I still wasn't about to give up, so I said again, "It'll bless your life!" and she screamed, "NOOOO!!!" ...Seriously??? And she was like in her mid-forties or something. Honestly, she was treating the pass-along card as if I was asking her, "Hey! Can I please give you cancer? It'll be really fun! Are you sure you don't want it?" Seriously. That's how people treat us sometimes, and you just have to smile and not let it bother you, as hard as it may be at times. So after that lady reacted that way the third time, I just let her go and loudly said after her, "God bless!" and did my best to just smile! But it's ok cause we finished the night right! We met a really nice, funny lady - not at all religious or interested in religion, but she was nice to talk to. She looked at our name-tags and said, "What's with the name tags? Is that, like, Jesus' business card or something??" HAHAHAHA! I LOVE that! I thought that was absolutely BRILLIANT!!! :) The rest I'll just give you the high-lights and (hopefully) fill you in on the main details later! Thursday we saw Jody and Chenj and brought a Chinese Book of Mormon over to them and then had a mini lesson with them about the Book of Mormon! It was really good! Chenj's a professor at George Washington University and he even told me (without me asking, I will add) that he could give me a really good referral, and probably even get me into that school, if I wanted to go there after my mission! Cool, huh? :) We had dinner with the Fishers that night, which was really good! I love them! (and I still love the Fishers back home in Utah, too!) Then that night we went to part of the ward Relief Society activity and both Jan and Keren came! It was AWESOME! We couldn't stay the whole time cause we had to go to ward corillation meeting and it was at the same time. Friday we had a lesson with Reacha, which was really good, then we visited with Jan, then finished the night off by having a REALLY powerful lesson with Keren! :) Saturday we went to Launching Leaders that morning - SO good! Then after that, we spent most of the afternoon writing nice notes to investigators and less-actives who we felt prompted to write notes to, and then dropped them off at their houses! It made me feel REALLY good to do that! :) That night, we had dinner with the Babitz - a cute, fun couple in the ward! I LOVE Sister Babitz! She LOVES Harry Potter, too, so we bonded over that! :) Then we topped the night off by seeing Keren for the THIRD NIGHT IN A ROW and going to the temple visitors center with her and a couple of other members! It was a concert for Pioneer Day, and it was SOOOOOO good! Right after the concert, we got a tour for Keren from a Sister in the Visitors Center (we called ahead and scheduled that), and it was INCREDIBLE!!! SOOOOOO powerful!!! She's amazing! I LOVE HER!!! Sunday (yesterday) was REALLY good! Church was great! After church we did our usual routine and studied, then got our other things done that we didn't have time to do on Friday or Saturday (such as our progress record for the week). Then we stopped by the Behnke's (an AWESOME couple in our ward! I LOVE them! And they DEFINITELY love us! We're their favorites FOR SURE over the Elders!) and picked up a bunch of kitchen supplies that they just wanted to give to us! They're great! I LOVE MY WARD!!! After that, we went to dinner at a member's house, her name's Nate' (pronounced Naw-tay), and she's awesome! Then we went to a stake fireside, and Bobby and Keren BOTH came to that!!! And a member of our ward - Sister Lopez - brought them, and she called us and told us after she took them home that both Bobby and Keren told her that out of any Christian church, the Mormon church is the most true and they agree with it the most! So now they're just deciding between Mormonism and Judaism! AH! I LOVE THEM!!! I LOVE THIS WORK!!! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!! THIS IS AWESOME!!! :D I love you all!!! PLEASE write me! I'll write you back as soon as I can, I promise! Love always, Sister Aubrie Orrock P.S. Aunt Gaylynne - there's an Elder Skyler Heiner in my mission. Are we related to him?? Haha! Small world!