Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You STRONGER!!!

HEY EVERYBODY!!! WOW!!! What a week! This past week has been jam-packed full of ups and downs galore! Haha! First off, last Monday night, Sis. Akin and I went with a member in our ward named Mary and visited one of the Less-Active members who we've been working with named Rick! It was really good! I love Rick! He's really a great guy! Tuesday we went on exchanges with the Sister Trainer Leaders in our area, who just-so-happen to be my very own trainer, Sister Woodbury, and her new companion, Sister Goates! Sister Akin went with Sister Woodbury and Sister Goates came to me. But it was still really fun! I love Sister Goates, too! And I was still able to see Sister Woodbury for a few minutes, which is always wonderful! I sure do love her! :-) Also on Tuesday night when I was with Sister Goates, we had a wonderful lesson/dinner with our wonderful Chinese investigators, Jody and Chenj! I love them SO much! Jody has been reading the Book of Mormon, and Chenj... we're still workin' on him. Haha. But it's ok! He'll come around soon enough! :-) Wednesday we exchanged back, and that that afternoon was the beginning of a HUGE humbling experience for me. I've been sick for nearly three whole weeks now, and by this point it had been just over two weeks, and it had gotten to the point where I had SOOOO much desire to work, but barley any strength to do it. It was (and continued to be throughout the week) EXTREMELY frustrating. It finally came to the point where I had to admit that I physically could not handle the work at this time, and we had to do a mini member exchange that night. So that night, I went over to Mary's apartment and her roommate, Jen, who's actually in the singles ward, babysat me while Sister Akin went out and worked with Rebecca. Although, again, this was an EXTREMELY difficult thing for me to humble myself and make this decision, it turned out to be EXACTLY what not only I, or Sister Akin, but also what the sweet members who helped us needed at that time as well! The Lord truly works in mysterious ways. This pattern continued on Thursday and Friday with me being babysat at night by a member in the ward, and Sister Akin going out and working with another member in the ward. Thursday night I stayed with a sweet girl in the Singles ward who just moved into our complex and is in the building right next door, while Sister Akin went out and worked with a girl in our ward named Nate' (pronounced Na-tay). Friday night, sweet Sister Stouder came to our apartment and watched me while Sis. Akin went out and worked with sweet Sister Stiemle. Saturday I actually got out and worked the whole day - BAD idea. I did not have the strength or energy to do that, but that's ok. I was being stubborn and I had gone totally stir crazy, so I told myself that I didn't care how crappy I was feeling that day, I was going to go out and work and preach the gospel, and I was going to have a great day, dang it! I did alright at the beginning of the day, but then as the day went on, my body continued to get more and more frustrated with me. We went to a ward luau that night, which was really fun. I just didn't feel like myself, so I wasn't being nearly as social as I usually am, which was WEIRD. After the luau, we went and visited with a member - Tati - and that was really good! It was exactly what I needed (and I hope what SHE needed as well) at that time. Sunday my body was NOT happy with me - I was falling asleep during church (Sunday School and Relief Society), and even during personal study after church back at the apartment. I knew that I had pushed myself FAR more than my body was able to go the day before, so I was sure payin for it that day! Haha... So that night, I realized that I couldn't go out and work again, so I figured out another babysitter for me - Sister Metts (her and her husband are WONDERFUL!!!) - while Sister Akin went out and worked with Sister Roberts. Seriously, every single one of these members who have helped us out over this past week deserve a round of applause and pat on the back, or something! No - they all deserve MUCH more than that! If it was up to me, I would give them one of the best prizes I could think of! I would buy them each a package of OREOS!!! Seriously - how much better can ya get?? Haha! Seriously, though! Oh! And speaking of Oreos, since I've been out here in DC, I've discovered a WONDERFUL gluten-free invention called Joe-Joe's! They're gluten-free Oreos! Since realizing that I could no longer have my wonderful glutenous oreos anymore, I was having a really rough time with that, so I've been REALLY excited about Joe-Joe's! They're about the closest thing to an oreo that I've ever tried! I LOVE them! Haha. :-) But anyways, enough about oreos. These past few weeks - particularly this past week - has really taught me A LOT! I've never had to lean on my Savior on my mission more than I have been right now! I've received a couple of priesthood blessings recently since I've been sick, and they were both beautiful blessings, and they both told me something along the lines of, "The Lord knows that you are having a hard time going through this trial of health right now. However, He is allowing you to go through this trial for your benefit and learning. He wants you to learn and grow from this experience." "...Well that's SUPER. Can you just tell me what you want me to learn, so that I can just learn it right now and be done with this already??" I thought this to myself, and I've continued to think this to myself throughout this whole experience; until over the past five days or so, it dawned on me that the Lord doesn't work that way. I already knew this, of course, but this was just a reality check that I needed to get. Haha. He's not going to just tell us what we need to learn to quit going through a trial. If He did that, then there would be no purpose in having free agency - the greatest gift that the Lord has bestowed upon us. We need to have these experiences in life - experience the ups and the downs, the bitter and the sweet; for if life was all puppy-dogs and rainbows and daisies (as wonderful as that would be, let's be honest), there would be no learning, and therefore, no progression. I have been SO incredibly grateful to have these experiences - no matter how difficult - for exactly the purpose that the Lord himself has prepared for me; for my benefit and learning, and for me to grow in this life. We all have those times in life - and maybe some of you who are reading this might be going through something right now, but I promise you that, as I have seen in my own life over the past three weeks, the Lord truly is mindful of all of you. He loves us all and he knows what's best for us. I love you all SOOOOOOO much and I cannot wait to hear from you all SOON!!! :D Love always, Sister Aubrie Anne Orrock P.S. I'm calling the following people to repentance right now! Kat Stebbins and Heather Lindsay!!! I love you both, mi hermanas! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE write me ASAP!!! It's been WAAAY too long since I've heard from either of you! I hope y'all know how much I love you and I think about and pray for y'all each and every day! I really wish that I had enough time in the day to write every single one of you every week, but I don't unfortunately. So just know that I love you and I'll write you as soon as I can! :-) Thank you all for all of the letters and e-mails that y'all continue to send me!!! I really do appreciate it all! Y'all are the best!!! :-)

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