Thursday, October 31, 2013

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! ...almost!

HEY EVERYBODY!!! Another week has quickly come and gone! It is seriously SO amazing to me just how quickly time really DOES fly by out here! So, here's what happened this past week! Monday night Sister Schramm and I had a really ...interesting... lesson with our investigator, Derek, and his brother, Desmond. It started out really good and we were talking about the Book of Mormon and having a really great lesson on that, when someone knocked on the door. There were other people (including women, don't worry, they were just busy making dinner in the kitchen right next to us) in the house, but nobody was getting the door; so Derek got off the couch and walked over to the door to see who was there. Now, this wouldn't have been a problem (aside from it being a slight interruption from our lesson), except for the fact that he didn't have any pants on... Yep. He was in a tank top and boxers. So Sister Schramm and I immediately looked away as soon as we saw he was getting off of the couch cause we guessed that he wasn't wearing any pants cause he just had a blanket wrapped around his legs. Can you say AWKWARD?!?! ESPECIALLY as a missionary! Also - we realized shortly after he stood up that Sister Schramm was sitting on his pants on the couch that we were sitting on. Don't worry, he quickly got pants on after that and it was fine, but it was just SO awkward!!! Anyways, after that, it was time to go home to our apartment. When we got home, we got talking about a wonderful rewards program for ourselves to give us positive reinforcement for us to do better work as missionaries (cause that's the way that I work best), and Heavenly Father inspired us with this BRILLIANT idea of a points system! Some of these things we were already pretty good at, like we always get up on time, but since I'm not really a morning person, it still feels good to know that if nothing else, we get to give ourselves one point by getting out of bed in the morning! :) Here's how it works: There are 13 possibilities of points that we can get per day, and they are as follows: 1. Be up by 6:30 AM 2. Be out the door of our apartment to go to the gym by 6:42 AM 3. Begin prayer for personal study by 8:00 4. Every new investigator 5. Get into a home on initial contact of meeting someone tracting 6. Practice teach 7. Be 1-7 minutes early to meetings (such as church, missionary meetings, lessons, etc.) 8. Pray for names twice a day (we have a list of names of all of the progressing investigators in the mission and we update it every week and each companionship prays for each individual investigator by name. It's really cool! We're supposed to do it twice a day - morning and night - but it takes about ten minutes to do it, so we've been slackin' on that and doin' it once a day, but it's ok! We'll get that point!) 9. No dishes in the sink from end of dinner to breakfast the next day 10. Be out of dinner by the hour 11. Use the word "light" in every initial contact - whether street contacting or tracting. Example: "Jesus Christ is the light of the world"; "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven", etc. This keeps things interesting and fun and causes us to think more! 12. Be done with nightly planning by 9:45 PM 13. Kneeling for nightly prayers by 10:30 PM Anyways, we told our District Leader, Elder Stone, about our points program, and he really loved the idea! We even joked with him and said that he could give us a reward if he wanted to, and he said that he will! So, we need to earn a total of 48 points per week (and you can't subtract points, you can only add them), and then Elder Stone will give us a prize! We weren't very good at keeping track of our points earlier last week, and our exchange threw us off, so we started officially keeping track on Saturday. So that's what we'll do. Saturday to Saturday we'll keep track of points and then cash them in to Elder Stone! It's been really fun, actually! And the best part is, it causes us to both be equally accountable for things, but eliminates the negative-ness of expectations. For example, if one of us is kneeling for bedtime prayers by 10:30, but the other one doesn't kneel til 10:31, we miss the point. But it's ok! We've actually had a lot of fun with it! And we've even both had times where we've said to each other, "I'm sorry I made us miss a point." Anyways, we talked to our Sister Training Leaders about it more on Saturday, and they LOVE it, too! They even asked us to e-mail it to President Riggs! So who knows?? This could go viral throughout the mission - at least with Sisters! :) Anyways! Wow! So sorry that took me forever to tell you all about that! I hope that y'all had as much fun reading about the points system as I had writing about it! Haha! Anyways, Tuesday was really good! We went on exchanges and I went with Sister Roper and Sister Schramm went with Sister Stones, and it was SO good! Seriously, it helped me out SO much! I felt like by the time I woke up on Wednesday that I was finally able to get out of that funk I was in of feeling homesick, and just not like myself, and I finally was able to honestly say to myself, "I think I'm gonna like it here in Kingstowne. I think this is gonna be another home away from home for me!" And I LOVE it here! And it IS a home away from home! Wednesday was wonderful! We had dinner with the wonderful Sheng family! I love them! Then that night we had a miracle tracting/street contacting (I'm not sure which it would count for since we were about to go to her house, but we met her getting out of her car) that night! We met a woman named Tisa, who fairly warmly invited us into her home. We had a great Q&A lesson with her, AND a return appointment - FOR THE NEXT DAY!!! Plus we invited her to be baptized, which she politely declined... but it's ok. It's the nature of it all! :) Thursday we did a lot of weekly planning since we didn't have time for it Friday, so that took most of the afternoon. Then that evening we had dinner with the Anderson family, and they're super great! And then that night, we had another lesson with Tisa AND her husband, AJ, who's blind! It was really cool! They're wonderful people! I love them both! :) Friday we had a Sister's Conference with all of the Sisters in the mission, and that was SOOOOOO good, and SOOOOOOOOOOO fun! I got to see Sister Lochridge, Sister Woodbury, Sister Akin and her tall trainee, Sister McBride, and all of the other wonderful Sisters who I LOVE! I am SO grateful that we had that time! It was wonderful! President and Sister Riggs talked a lot to us about modesty, but even more than that, about the Priesthood. They talked about the sad chain of events that have been going on in SLC recently with the "women for the priesthood" act. It really just makes me SO sad to see women from our own church rallying against us. I mean, really. God gave men the power to administer the priesthood through giving blessings, etc., and women are nurturers. All faithful members of the church (women included) can access the POWER of the priesthood through faithfully reading the scriptures, praying, attending church, obeying the commandments, etc. However, only men can ADMINISTER the priesthood. Personally, I am very saddened that this has even been an issue in our church at all. We all just need to have faith and realize that there's no way that we'll ever know everything or understand everything in the church. However, the important thing is that we recognize that we don't understand everything, but instead of starting a rally, pray and ask in faith; or if it's a really big deal to you, privately speak with a church leader. But there's no need for anyone's personal views or opinions of the way that our church is run to influence others not of our faith, or of our faith through big, public acts and displays that end up on the news and in the newspaper. This is not the way that God would have things addressed. Saturday was SO great! We had Stake Conference that night, which was WONDERFUL! I was able to see some people from the wonderful Crystal City ward, which made me SO happy! :) I also was able to see my wonderful President and Sister Riggs and talk with President for a minute and just say "hi" to him! I really love President Riggs SO much! He's like my earthly Heavenly Father! :) Sunday was pretty good, too! We had the other session of Stake Conference, which was really great! :) I was able to see Sister Lopez from the Crystal City ward! She saw me and came running up to me, and gave me a big hug, which really made me feel loved and missed in that ward! I love her SO much! :) Anyways, I gotta run, but I love you all SO much! Just so you know, y'all CAN e-mail me now if you want, cause I can print out e-mails for free at the club house of my apartment and read them later! I really would LOVE some mail! :) THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!! LOVE ALWAYS, Sister Aubrie Orrock P.S. I get to watch a couple of real movies with the missionaries in my zone on Halloween! We're having a big Halloween party together cause we can't be out proselyting from 5:00 to the end of the night! I'm excited! I hope that y'all are safe on this Holiday week! I love you all!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Lord Blesses Us - Even in Times of Trial and Strife! :)

HEY EVERYBODY!!! This past week has been CRAZY!!! Oh! And really quick - I almost forgot to mention a little detail from the week before in my last e-mail! So, one day about a week and a half ago, Sister Schramm and I visited a less-active member of the ward and had lunch with her. This woman is very sweet and I love her to pieces, but she has THE WORST, stinkiest horder appartment I have EVER seen/been in! It was AWFUL! Honestly, I didn't realize just how good I had it in SO many ways in the wonderful City of Crystals (Crystal City), but I really DID have it SOOOOO good! Everybody there (or, at least 99 percent of the people I met there) is very clean and mostly high class - even the homeless people are so clean that you can't even tell that most of them are homeless until you start talking with them. True story. So, after coming from that to here in Kingstowne where there are some really nice, ritzy places, but there are also some REALLY ghetto and awful smelling apartment complexes. Really, it can be pretty bad. So, basically, that was it. We had lunch over there and I was struggling to choke down my Subway soup and salad (we buy our own food and bring it there to eat cause it's so dirty and smells like cat urine). But anyways, it just makes me sad more than anything when I see people living like this poor, sweet woman. I really just wish that I could help her! And I suppose that we are helping her in our own way through bringing light into her life through the gospel of Jesus Christ. :) Ok! Now onto this past week! I was really sick with a terrible virus cold that has been going around here lately. Seriously, SO many missionaries have been sick/are sick lately, it's crazy. So anyways, I've been taking TONS of cold medicine and amping up my vitamins every single day to try to fight this thing! Thankfully I only had one REALLY sick day, though. I ended up staying in all day on Wednesday and just sleeping for literally most of the day. It was really nice to finally get the rest that I know my body so desperately needed. As I mentioned in my e-mail last week, I started feeling kinda sick that Saturday before, then it was a lot worse when I woke up on Sunday, and it just got progressively worse each day since then. So Monday I wasn't feeling too great, but I still made myself go out and work HARD that night! We went and visited Sister K., and she was in quite the mood - she kinda scared me a little bit, to be quite honest with you. But it's all good. I ended up just mostly sitting on her recliner and Sister Schramm helped her clean and unpack some things for about two hours or so (since Sis. K. had just moved into a new apartment). Anyways, that was pretty much Monday. Not too terribly exciting. Tuesday we went to District Meeting, which was fun, as always! Seriously, I LOVE District Meeting! :) And my District Leader, Elder Stone is WONDERFUL!!! :) After District Meeting, we all went out to lunch at Panda Express (pretty much as with the other District in our zone), and that was really fun! I just LOVE any time that I get to spend with a group of other missionaries! It really is SO fun! :) That night, we went and visited a little family in the ward named the Mele's. They're really great! :) After that, we went to our Gospel Principles class, which was taught by the Elders this week - Elder Stone and another Elder who he was on exchanges with. It was a really great class! After the class, we went to visit former investigators and people on the Bishop's List (people who the Bishop has asked that we check on. They're usually people who want nothing to do with the church anymore, so they can reject us quite harshly). We actually found a woman on the Bishop's list who gave us the nicest rejection I think I have ever had on my mission! She told us that she's not really a part of the church anymore; however, when we asked if we could stop by another time, she welcomed us to come back! It was truly a mircale night - that's for sure! :) Wednesday was my all-day sick day. So I really just slept for most of the day and watched Legacy. Then that night, one of the Sister Training Leaders (Sister Roper), and my dear, sweet, Sister Butts, who Sis. Roper was on exchanges with, stopped by to visit and see how I was doing since they heard that I was sick! So they stayed over for a little bit and chatted, and then eventually Sister Butts and Sister Schramm went on a mini exchange together to go visit some members who we had scheduled to visit that night, and Sister Roper stayed in with me until they came back. It was really sweet! I love them both! I'm actually going to be going on exchanges with Sister Roper TOMORROW! I'm excited! She's SUPER sweet and I know that I can and will learn a LOT from her! :) Thursday we did our volunteer work at the local food bank. Then that afternoon, we tried doing some street contacting in a part of our area where Sis. Schramm had never been before, but it didn't work out very well cause it was all neighborhoods and houses, so granted there weren't many people out and about walking around at 3:00 in the afternoon. However, we did have some fun finding a butt tree! HAHA! Seriously! We found a tree that has a part of it at the bottom of it that's literally shaped like a butt! Don't worry, we both took pictures by it, so I'll be sure to send you some! :) Also, after that, we went to check on another person on the Bishop's List since we had so much luck with it the day before, and this time we had some luck as well! We met a sweet girl who looks like she's about in her early 20's, and her name's Kaitlyn. She was very welcoming to us and said that she was the only one home at the moment and she was getting ready to go somewhere, but invited us to come back some other time! We will reactivate these families and bring them back to Christ! I am SO excited for this! :) I really do feel like this is a big part of my mission - not only to bring souls unto Christ who don't know who he is, but to strenghthen the faith of those who already believe, and who may have already been baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This, I feel, is my main mission out here. Maybe it's because I feel such a strong connection with so many of the less-active members, but I really feel like a big part of what I was sent here to do is to bring people back to the loving arms of our Savior. Late that afternoon, we left and headed to the temple with the ward for a youth temple trip with our recent convert, Jenny! Jenny was baptized about two weeks or so before I came into Kingstowne and she is amazing! The temple was great! We didn't actually do baptisms or anything, we were just there as support for Jenny. But it was funny cause since they were a little short on temple workers that night, they didn't have enough to have a female temple worker be in the baptistry and confirmation room, so they actually split up Sister Schramm and I and called us - the Sister Missionaries, who have their own rules about being alone with the opposite gender - as the official ones to make sure that there was always a female in there with the other females. So needless to say, I just made sure that whenever the last girl was done being confirmed, I just went out of the room with her and then sat and waited in the chapel area until I was needed again. It was really interesting. So, I guess we were needed there for a lot more than just supporting Jenny. :) After the temple, we went out to dinner at Chille's with Jenny as a little celebratory event. It was SOOOO yummy! I LOVE their chips - and their salsa's pretty good, too. But if I had to choose between Chille's or Los Hermanos, it would be Los Hermanos; they win the best chips AND salsa! Haha. But anyways, Jenny was SO sweet and she even bought our meals! I just love her! :) Friday was crazy! We had a million different things going on! We finished a little bit of weekly planning, then we went and tried having a lesson with Fasaad (one of our investigators who Sis. Schramm and her last companiero met shortly before I joined the area), but he was busy, so we scheduled another time to see him. Then we visited Sister Nixon, our Stake President's wife. After that, we saw (and I met) Katy and Abby - a mother and daughter. Katy also has a son named Auggie (short for August) they are SOOOOO cute and sweet and I just LOVE them! They immediately threw their arms around me and just welcomed me into the area and made me feel SO loved! :) They seriously should be members already, but they're barley even investigating the church. They're just really amazing potentials, actually. Haha! But we set up a time to see them this week and we will actually have a lesson with them! I am SOOOO excited!!! :) That night, we let Elder Stone and Elder Harper take our car for a bit cause they had a dinner appointment kinda far away and they were walking, plus Elder Stone was getting the same thing I had that whole week, so he was NOT feeling good. So while they borrowed the car, we did some street contacting for a little while, and it actually turned into a miracle night! We met a guy and his son in the parking lot of their apartment, and we started talking with them. We told them that we're representatives of Jesus Christ and that we invite others to come closer to Jesus Christ and told them a bit about the restoration of the gospel and asked if we could talk with them about this very important message sometime - like right now. The dad looked down at his son and said, "What do you think?" the son smiled and said, "Ya," and the dad said, "Ok. Wanna come in?" We said, "Yes!" and followed them into their apartment, where the man's wife was sitting on the couch. They're a latino family from Honduras, so they are VERY kind and listened to all that we had to say! We taught them the whole restoration and most of the Book of Mormon lessons! By the end of the lesson, however, the parents weren't too interested, although they were still kind to us. But the son (who's probably about ten years old or so) spoke up and said, "Well, if it's alright with you, Papi, I would like to read The Book of Mormon and see what it's all about because I really enjoy reading the Bible." His dad said that he could keep the Book of Mormon and read it. It was AMAZING! We tried and tried to get a return appointment, however, the parents wouldn't go for it. But at least we planted a really good seed in their son's heart, if nothing else! And right before we left, the wife asked us if we could accept gifts, and we told her that we can. So she went into the kitchen and brought out a wooden napkin holder that says "HONDURAS" on it and looked as though it had been hand crafted, and GAVE IT TO US!!! It's really beautiful! I just LOVE latino and hispanic people! Why couldn't I have served a spanish speaking mission?? Haha. It's ok. I get it enough here in VA anyways, so it all works out! :) Saturday was AMAZING!!! We finished weekly planning that morning. Then that afternoon we went to Ashby Heights to try to do some street contacting, which turned out to not be a good idea cause it was another really cute neighborhood, so there was nobody out to street contact. But it was a cute area to look around. :) Later that afternoon, we had an INCREDIBLE lesson with Fasaad and PUT HIM ON DATE FOR BAPTISM!!! ...This is yet to be determined if he wants to be baptized more for us, or for the gospel. Haha... It's rough being a Sister Missionary sometimes! That night we visited a cute family in the ward named the Fitzgeralds really quick, just long enough for me to say hi and for all of us to introduce ourselves, but I already love them! They are wonderful! After the Fitzgeralds, we went over to Bobbi's house and visited with her a bit and then watched Legacy with her! It was SO much fun! :) Sunday was crazy! We barley had a lunch break, and we didn't get a full dinner break! We had two really great member visits - first with the Carver's, then with the Sheng's! I love both of them! I'm slowly but surely starting to fall in love with Kingstowne; however, I'm not gonna lie, it has been a REALLY hard adjustment for me since I left Crystal City. But Heavenly Father has been showing me SO many tender mercies this week - especially yesterday! It was the Primary Program at church (SOOOO adorable!!!), and right after Sacrament Meeting, I saw a woman from the Crystal City ward standing there, so I went over and said hi and gave her a hug and talked to her for a minute! I told her how much I love and miss Crystal City and the ward and she told me how much her and the ward love and miss me! It was very much needed right then, so I am thankful for a Father in Heaven who is so mindful of us and our needs! :) After church (we have church from 3:00 to 6:00 pm), we didn't even have dinner and we went straight to a lesson... who wasn't even there... but it was ok. Cause then I was MUCH happier when we actually were able to go home and have a bit of a real dinner break! :) After that, we went over to the Grigg's home and had a lesson with our wonderful investigator, Kayla... AND her athiest dad! It was INTENSE! The lesson went really well cause he just sat and listened to us and what we had to say. However, after the lesson when we were trying to sneakily remind Kayla of her baptism date and re-invite her to baptism, that's when her dad piped up and we had about a twenty minute discussion about it. However, what it all amounted out to is that once he feels that Kayla has proved how much she wants to be baptized, then she can be. So hopefully he'll see how badly she wants this sooner than later! :) I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! Through the ups and the downs, the sour and the sweet, the good and the bad - it's all wonderful in the end! I love you all! :) PLEASE write me!!! :) Thank you SO much to all y'all who have been writing me! LOVE ALWAYS, Sister Aubrie Orrock P.S. Read Moroni chapter 7. I LOVE IT! :D

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Me and Sister Akin prepared to take down the millipead!
Me and Elder Travis Ker!
Sister Schramm, Diana, and me
Pictures of me in the hallway area outside of my apartment in
Kingstowne! It was POURING rain this day!

Me and the Behnke's from the Crystal City ward!

Me and the Behnke's from the Crystal City ward! I love them and
miss them terribly!

Are you guys Mormon?" :-)

HEY EVERYBODY!!! SO SO sorry that I was so rushed last week so I wasn't able to finish updating y'all on the rest of my week! It was CRAZY!!! So here it is: (Here's the rest of the week from 10/03/13 - 10/06/13: Thursday (October 3rd) was transfer day, and I was SOOOO nervous the entire night and day (and even DAYS) before because I just didn't know what to expect! This was my very first time not either being trained or training, so I just didn't know how it was gonna go! Well, after days and days of being terrified and nervous and feelings of nausea, my fears were gone as soon as President announced who my new companion is! Sister Schramm is WONDERFUL! I love her SOOOO much!!! She was in the MTC and in the same District with my dear, sweet, Sister Akin! So it's been quite the adjustment here in Kingstowne, but it's been great at the same time! I'm senior companion - which is kinda crazy to me since I just came to a brand new area where I don't know ANYONE or ANYTHING, and Sister Schramm was "born" here (she's been here from the beginning). I mean, I know that I have been out for two transfers longer than her, so I guess it makes sense that I'm senior companion; however, I have been struggling MAJORLY with feelings of inadequacy as far as not knowing the area and the people. But it's ok. Little by little, I'm learning the ropes of Kingstowne, and it's really great! And I'm sure that soon enough, I'll grow to love it here in Kingstowne just as much as I loved Crystal City! :) Friday (Oct. 4th) was insanely wonderful! We started the day out by going to Launching Leaders and being spiritually and intellectually fed! Then that night, we were on our way to visit a less-active woman in our ward named Sister Trinh; we were walking through the parking lot when all of a sudden a woman who was pulling out of a parking space nearby yelled over to us, "Hey! Are you guys Mormon??" We reluctantly walked over to her, as we were sure that she wanted to bash, and we said, "Yes." What happened next surprised us SO much, I'm still not over it! She smiled and said, "Do you want to come over to my place for dinner tonight in about an hour? I used to feed the Mormons all the time - they were usually the guys on bikes, but you'll do." We were absolutely SHOCKED and smiled and said that we would LOVE to come over for dinner! So, long story short, we went over for dinner and talked a little bit with her (and her name's Danielle, but she goes by Dani), but mostly with her seven-year-old daughter, Kaitlin, about Church, and specifically Sunday School. Kaitlin is currently attending a Bible Study Sunday School class, but she was very excited to hear about ours and is planning on coming to church with her mom this Sunday! They both also came to almost half of a session of conference on Sunday! They would've stayed for the whole thing, but they had to leave early so that Dani could pick up her husband from work. It was AWESOME! Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 5th and 6th) was mainly General Conference, which was AMAZING, as I'm sure you all know! And SOOOO many talks were geared towards missionary work! I LOVE it! :) Also, we had an investigator at every single session of General Conference! It was AWESOME!!! :) So that finally finishes summing up the rest of that last week! Now onto this actual past week! 10/07/13 - 10/13/13: Monday was CRAZY!!! - as I'm sure y'all already figured from my quick e-mail last week! So, to start out the day, my dear, sweet companion, Sister Schramm, took off her jacket and threw it in the dirty laundry pile after we got back from the gym at our apartment complex. Well, what she didn't realize when she loaded all of her clothes in the washing machine - INCLUDING her jacket - was that our cell phone was in her jacket pocket... Yes. It's true. She accidentally washed our cell phone. However, I feel somewhat accountable for this as well because I had been having a prompting to ask her where our phone was so that I could call Sister Akin and coordinate when we could stop by and pick up some things that I left over there. However, I kept ignoring that because I was finishing getting ready for the day. Well, if I had listened the that prompting, our cell phone would've just missed being thrown in the wash. But on the other side, we wouldn't have gotten a new cell phone, so I guess we both learned our lessons, and it ended up better that way! :) Later that day, we stopped by and visited sweet Sister Akin and her new companion, Sister McBride. It was SO fun and great to see my dear Sister Akin again (even though it had only been a few days since we'd seen each other, I still missed her!). That night, we visited a less-active in the ward named Sister K. She's a sweet older woman, and I just love her already! :) Tuesday we went to District Meeting, which was great, as always! And guess what I've been forgetting to mention for the past several months! Do any of you know Elder Travis Ker?? I know for a fact that Makani Fisher and at least one or two others of y'all know him from back home in Orem/Provo! Well, anyways, we're in the same District now! We had been in the same zone for the past three transfers before this, and now we're in the same District! It's SO fun! I love Elder Ker! He's great! I have a picture of us together at a bowling activity for zone sports a couple of months ago! Although we had been in the same zone for all those months before that, neither of us had put two and two together until then and realized that it turns out we knew each other before our missions! He went to my 18th birthday party at Lagoon, and I've hung out at his house! SMALL WORLD!!! Anyways, I'll attach the picture of us to this e-mail! :) After District Meeting, we went out for lunch at Cafe Rio (it turns out that Cafe Rio is not very well-known out East. It's one of those West-coast things that I so desperately miss! However, thankfully I've been fortunate enough to be in areas close enough to a Cafe Rio, so it hasn't been an issue), which was of course amazing! Then that night, we taught a Gospel Principles class for recent converts and less-active members, and we taught it on the Creation. It was SOOOO fun! I was kinda nervous at first, but it ended up being great! :) Wednesday was crazy! We started out the morning right after studies with going over to the Saas home and assembling a grill for Sister Saas! Yep! You read that right! Me. Aubrie Anne Orrock, assembled a grill with my companion. Yes. I know. Maybe that's what it meant on that aptitude test in High School when it said that I'd be a good lumberjack or fire-fighter! I figure grill assembler is close enough, right?? Haha! It was actually really fun! And we learned a new word! Fascia! Apparently it's a part of the grill. Anyways, after that, later that afternoon, we stopped by and visited a potential investigator named Amy and had a lesson with her! It was awesome! Then we stopped by to say hi (...and use their bathroom...) to a member named Sister Romrell, who is AWESOME! She ended up inviting us to stay over for dinner, so we did! I think I'm gonna like it here in Kingstowne! :) After that, we stopped by and visited an investigator named Fasaad and scheduled a time to meet with him since he was busy right then. Then we stopped by to visit Patience and Ielee (a couple of investigators who are related to each other), and ended up seeing and having a quick lesson with their nephew Derek. It was a really good day! :) Thursday we went and did service at the local food bank (it's called Koinonia), which was really rewarding! :) The rest of the day wasn't too eventful, so I honestly don't remember much else about it (mostly cause I need to improve at writing in my journal, but it's ok. Haha). Friday was CRAZY!!! We spent a good portion of the morning/early afternoon weekly planning, then we stopped by and visited a WONDERFUL less-active woman named Lauren! I LOVE her! From the moment I met her, I felt like she's one of the people who I was supposed to meet out here! She's great! :) After visiting with Lauren, we had dinner. Then after dinner, we had a pass-off lesson to us (meaning we gained two new investigators cause they were in our area and not the other Sisters who met them), and it was AWESOME!!! It was seriously like the Pharisees and the Sadducees from the Bible! Honestly! At first I was SUUUPER intimidated cause they (it's a couple, and the husband's sister is a member) kept on asking all of these questions, just trying to catch us in something and prove us wrong; this, of course made things very difficult and stressful when it came to answering questions at times. We had to REALLY think before we spoke. What made things even more stressful was that out of the three of us (one of the other Sisters who actually met them came with us), I was the oldest (as far as being out in the field time goes), and then Sister Schramm, and then the other Sister is just barley into her second transfer! But it was ok. It all went well and they seemed to like us! They fed us dinner (which we had no idea of ahead of time), and they even had flower-less chocolate cake because they knew somehow that a gluten-free Sister would be coming over! It was amazing! I love them! :) We even got a return appointment for this Friday night that THEY initiated! :) The church is true! Saturday... wasn't so great... It was hard. We got dropped by our GOLDEN investigator, Diana! She's SO sweet and wonderful, and she agrees with pretty much everything in the church, it's just her parents... She's 18 years old, but she really doesn't want to step on her parent's toes at all, and so since she talked with her parents and they told her to stop meeting with us, she's going by what they said. So, needless to say, we were sad and needed a little pick-me-up. So, since we were already planning on going to get frozen yogurt with Diana, we went and got some ourselves really quick. It was a very much needed pick-me-up for both of us! That night, we had dinner with a family in the ward named the Grigg's, and then right after dinner, we had a lesson with our cute, sweet, 14-year-old investigator named Kayla (she's friends with the Grigg's). It was a really great lesson! Kayla's already on date for baptism for November 16th - she's just still waiting for the official stamp of approval from her parents. I love Kayla! She really reminds me A LOT of my wonderful (basically) little sister, Andrea Allen! :) Sunday (yesterday) was pretty good - minus the fact that over the past couple of days, I've accumulated a horrible cold. But it's ok. I know that there's something that God wants me to learn from this, so I'm just sleeping as much as I can (which isn't enough as a missionary), and taking naps during lunch and dinner breaks, and just praying that I'll learn whatever God wants me to learn from this experience sooner than later! :) Anyways, Last night was really great cause we found a completely inactive member from what we call the "Bishop's List" (a list that the Bishop has given us of people who he wants us to check on), who, despite telling us that she is in no way interested in the church at all anymore, was very kind and welcomed us to come back some other time! :) Anyways, That's it for now! I love you all! The church is true! And although the work and the life of a missionary isn't always easy (HA. FAR from easy), it's ALWAYS WELL-worth it! I am SO grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary and serving our Father in Heaven and our Brother and Savior, Jesus Christ. I wouldn't want to do anything else in my life right now! :) I love you all SOOOOOOO much! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep writing me! I am well-aware that I am terrible at responding in a timely manner, but I PROMISE I always love and appreciate hearing from all of you! :) THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!! :D LOVE ALWAYS, Sister Aubrie Orrock P.S. I am SO sorry that I have neglected to mention Sofi and Ashley in my shout-outs for quite some time now! I guess that I mentioned y'all in my mind, and so I thought that I had in the actual e-mail! I am SO sorry again! I did get the letters and the adorable, sweet package with the picture and the sweet letter from Ashey! Thank you both SO SO much! I PROMISE that I have cherished every single e-mail, letter and package that y'all have sent to me! I LOVE YOU SOOOO MUCH!!! Y'all are the best! :) Also - Thank you SOOOO much to everyone else who has written me/e-mailed me/sent me a package recently! I promise I love and appreciate every single one of you and y'all are in my constant thoughts and prayers! :)

Monday, October 7, 2013


HEY EVERYBODY!!! Soooo... This past week has been... CRAZY - to say the least! I just left Crystal City on Thursday, and that was seriously one of the hardest things that I've had to do since entering the MTC... and... well, of course, actually coming out here to Northern Virginia. Crystal City had become my home away from home. I knew most everybody there in my little area. There was Mary (you talked to her on the phone, Mom! She's a receptionist at the club house of my apartment complex in Crystal City!), and Ron and his dog Nelson! And, of course, SO many other people! I literally cried for days when I was saying goodbye to people! ESPECIALLY when I had to say goodbye to my sweet Keren! She's our Jewish investigator from Israel. I LOVE LOVE LOVE her! She is SOOOO much more than an investigator to me! She is literally one of my best friends! Some of y'all may have even noticed that she added me as a friend on facebook, so y'all can see what she looks like! She is WONDERFUL!!! Anyways, it has been a SUUUPER hard adjustment leaving Crystal City and coming to Kingstowne, to say the least; even though Kingstowne is only in Alexandria, which is right next to Arlington, which is where Crystal City is. So I'm literally just about fifteen minutes south of where I just was. But it's still been an adjustment. But it's ok. Change is good. Change is necessary. Change makes you grow. And I know that I had grown SOOOO comfortable in Crystal City that I knew that it was getting time for me to head somewhere else pretty quickly because I needed to get out of my comfort zone again. It's funny how that's necessary for you to grow. Anyways, today has been a CRAZY P-day, so I REALLY don't have much time to tell you about my week, so I'll quickly tell you the main highlights! Last Monday I said goodbye to sweet Negeset and sweet Alma. That was hard. I started crying pretty hard when I was saying goodbye to Alma. I LOVE her! Then we visited Melissa (a new potential) and kinda had a lesson with her. Tuesday we had our last District Meeting and it was sad, but good. Sister Akin and I gave the spiritual thought and it was really nice. After that, we went on a mini exchange while Sister Akin went to a trainers meeting (oh ya, did I mention that my little baby is TRAINING now??) and I went with Sister Steadman. We visited Sister Palkki in the ward and it was really great to say goodbye to her! Later, we went to dinner with the sweet Chambers! That was great, but really hard to say goodbye to them! Later, we stopped by and saw Rick and the Behnke's and said goodbye to all of them. Wednesday was a CRAZY day! Sister Akin and I started the morning off by running up 23rd St! That was CRAZY!!! We had made this goal to run up this street - which consists of two major hills - because we had always seen people running up it, and they NEVER looked happy. They always look like they hate their lives a little bit. So, Sister Akin and I decided that we were going to change that! We were going to run up 23rd and smile all the way! Well, I don't know if I smiled the WHOLE way, but I did do my best to smile more than frown! Haha! It was HARD, though! Right after that, we stopped by the clubhouse and said goodbye to Mary, Ron and Nelson, and the shuttle bus driver, and got pictures with all of them! Later we went to the Temple Visitors Center with Keren, which was AMAZING!!! We watched the Joseph Smith movie and it was AMAZING!!! After that, we went out to lunch with her, then got ice-cream. After that, Keren was even asking us if she could come to a lesson with us sometime! Then she even said that she wanted to go street contacting with us! It was AMAZING! So we did a tiny bit of street contacting with her on our way to her apartment afterwards. It was SO fun! She didn't say anything, she just stood back and watched us work; however, she would clear her throat and make sure that we talked to everyone! I LOVE HER!!! Later, we said goodbye to Jacob, which was hard and sad for me, but it was good. He's wonderful! After that, we had dinner with the Lopez's, then right after that, we had ANOTHER dinner with Sandra and Ignacio! I was SOOOO full that I thought I was going to throw up ALL over! It was bad, but the food was good! I just felt bad that I barley ate anything! Anyways, after that, I visited the Stouders and said goodbye to them, then visited and said goodbye to the Babitz! Annnd... I am out of time now, so I will give you a quick update on the rest of my week next week! I love you all! I hope that you watched conference! It was amazing! THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!! If you haven't already seen it, watch Elder Holland's talk on depression! He's amazing! Also - I LOVE my new companion! Her name's Sister Schramm, and we are SOOOO much alike! I'll tell you more about her next week when I have more time! I LOVE YOU ALL!!! Thank you SO much for all of your love and support! :) LOVE ALWAYS, Sister Aubrie Orrock

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Farewell Crystal City, HELLO (New Area)!!!

HEY EVERYBODY!!! Man! This past week has just FLOWN by, just as all of the weeks before! I cannot believe that in just a few short days (on the 3rd of October) I will reach my 6 month mark of entering the MTC!!! CRAZY!!! Anyways, onto this past week: Monday was a crazy hair cutting day, but SOOOO much fun!!! I cut hair for three Sisters - Sister Call, Sister Mckee, and Sister Lamborn. I seriously had a BLAST!!! I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty positive that I've cut hair more (at least girl's hair) since I've been on my mission than I did in the past a lil' over a year between when I graduated from hair school and when I left on my mission! CRAZY! I've seriously cut pretty much all of the girl's hair in our district/zone! It started out with me just cutting Sister Woodbury's hair, and then people saw her hair and loved it, and then it just traveled and caught on like wild fire through word of mouth. This is the best advertising technique in the world! If I wasn't a missionary, I would be making BANK right now! But it's ok. It's also good to do service. :) Anyways, towards the end of our P-day, we went to the Pentagon City Mall and had dinner with Sister Pierre and her sweet adorable lil' boy Hudson, and our wonderful investigator/friend, Keren! It was SO fun!!! I love all of them!!! After dinner, Sis. Akin and I walked Keren home and talked with her. After that, we did some street contacting, then we stopped by and visited our friend Negeset. She's a sweetheart! She always gives us hugs and kisses on the cheek whenever she sees us! I love her! After that, we visited a sweet member in the ward named Sister Stevenson. GOOD DAY!!! :) Tuesday was... interesting to say the least. Haha! First we had district meeting, which was really great, as always. Then we went home and had lunch and did our companionship study. After that, we had a REALLY weird power hour. We went to the park by Pentagon City Mall where we usually go, and we met a cab driver who was doing Thai Chi on the grass, so naturally we talked to him. ...About fifteen minutes later, we wished that we had continued wondering what this man was doing in the park instead of asking about the Thai Chi because he ended up trying to bash with us for a good, long while, and it took about half an hour or so for us to finally get away from him. Fun. Then after that, we thought that we were done with the weirdos for the day, but nope! Why would we think that?? The weirdos had just begun! Right after that - literally the NEXT person we stopped and talked to was an interesting physics guy who took about fifteen minutes and several physics jokes that Sister Akin and I didn't really understand and just pretended to laugh at (which got to be REALLY awkward, by the way, when he called me out and asked if I actually got it, and I said "I think so..." cause I thought that I really maybe did, before he started explaining it. Then he asked me to explain what I understood and proceeded to tell me that I didn't understand it at all... Well darn it all! I KNEW I should've taken Physics in High School!), just to tell us that he really wasn't interested in what we had to say, nor would he ever be. Nice guy. Haha! Oh, the life of a missionary! Then right before we were done street contacting before we took our dinner break, we stopped one of the last people, and his name is Jason. He didn't seem to be interested in the least of what we had to say, although he continued listening to us. We still gave him a card on it with our names and phone number, and he actually ended up texting us a couple of hours later! He told us that he had some questions for us and was wondering if we'd like to go out to dinner with him sometime! ...HUH?? How did THAT happen?? ALL I was talking about was the gospel with him, and he did NOT seem to be interested in that in the least! Oh well. Well, we found out a couple of days later what his TRUE motive was behind contacting us after we had run into him again and talked some small talk with him a bit and got to know him better. He thinks that Sister Akin has beautiful eyes! Seriously. He texted us that. HAHAHAHA!!! Sister Akin felt SOOOO bad, but I was just relieved that for once I wasn't the one who was being flirted with! (I promise that I don't mean to say that in a cocky way at all, I'm just stating the fact). Haha. Anyways, the rest of the night was pretty good. We tracted a little bit (my first time tracting in who knows how long, so we were both kinda nervous), and we met a sweet high-school-age girl named Melanie. She told us that we could come back and talk with her family tomorrow night since her parents weren't home right then! What a tender mercy! Then shortly after that, we stopped by to see a potential investigator, and he wasn't available to see us at that time, but we talked with his roommate, Melissa, for a few minutes. She's really sweet! She invited us to come back over! :) Wednesday was really great! We visited sweet Alma at the Nursing Center, which is always great! Then we had a lesson with Edwin - a man who we met in the park last week or the week before. It went really great! He's wonderful! He accepted the soft baptism invite! :) That night, we had a lesson with Sandra, and it was SUUUPER scattered. Her and her husband are so cute and sweet and love to talk, but it's just impossible to keep them on topic sometimes! At least they DEFINITELY understand eternal families and that God is our loving Heavenly Father VERY WELL! We went over that part REALLY thoroughly! Haha. Thursday we did weekly planning for a little bit, then we stopped partway though to have a lesson with Keren! The lesson was WONDERFUL! We watched a TON of Mormon Messages and a conference talk, and she LOVED every single part of it! I just love her SOOOOOOOO much!!! :) After our wonderful lesson with sweet Keren, we did more weekly planning until dinner. Then we had dinner with the Mori's - a Japanese-American elderly couple in our ward. They're really good friends with Elder Holland and they call him and talk with him once in a while. No big deal. Also - Brother Mori has worked very closely to the President and even went to the White House for a Christmas party! I'm just telling you this so that you can get an idea of the typical lifestyle of most of the people who live in Crystal City and close to DC. About 90% of my ward works on the Hill. It's fine. Haha. Anyways, after dinner at the Mori's, we had a power hour. Then we visited our sweet Chinese investigator, Pei, and his roommate, Nan. I love them! They had no idea we were coming over cause we just felt like we should stop by, and they were just finishing making dinner (home-made REAL Chinese food!), and they offered for us to have some! We weren't too hungry since we had just had dinner, but we did have a little bit, and it was really good! :) After we were done eating, we read a chapter out of the Book of Mormon with them and they seemed to really enjoy it! :) When we extended the soft baptism invite to both of them, they both accepted! :) Friday was jam-packed with meetings! First we had Launching Leaders, which was AMAZING!!! Then we had a half mission conference!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE those!!! It's always SO fun to see so many other missionaries! After that, we had dinner with a new couple in the ward named the Redd's. They're really great! They even gave us TONS of left-overs after dinner to take home with us, which ended up being EXACTLY what we needed since we were already almost out of food cause we hadn't bought a ton of groceries on Monday. The Lord is ALWAYS watching out for us and gives us EXACTLY what we need - even when we don't directly ask for it at times! God is GOOD! :) After dinner, we visited Melissa again and she introduced us to their other roommate, who was nice, but didn't seem as excited to get to know us or talk to us. But Melissa was SUPER excited to talk to us and even told us to come back on Monday night so that we could have a lesson with her AND Phil (the potential investigator who's her other roommate)! AMAZING!!! After that, we visited our dear less-active friend, Rob. I love Rob! He's wonderful! Towards the end of our visit with him, Sister Akin pointed out that there was a slug slithering on the lip of his open beer can on his porch. He's really into analogies and ended up calling us later that night and left a message describing the slug and how fitting it was for it to be on his beer can. He went on to describe how the slug was a metaphor for what alcohol does to him - and anybody. It slows you down. It was SO good to hear that! Saturday and Sunday were the biggest days as far as things happening with our investigators this week! First of all, we went to the Relief Society General Broadcast on Saturday night with our investigator, Keren, and she LOVED it! We rode up with a ward member who has friendshipped her and we went to a dinner that they had right before the broadcast started, and Keren loved that, too! There were a lot of women in the ward who approached her and talked to her, which she really liked! She even exchanged phone numbers with a couple of them and is planning on hanging out with them this week! This is WONDERFUL!!! Our ward is truly reaching out in love to Keren all the time! And her faith continues to grow! I love her SO much! She has truly become MUCH MUCH more than just an investigator to me! She's become a dear friend who I genuinely love and care about, which makes me work even harder to get her into the waters of baptism! :) Don't get me wrong - I have a deep and genuine love for all of our investigators, but since I've seen her progress from the very beginning, it's been really neat! :) Also - Sunday was AMAZING and packed full of miracles!!! Church was AMAZING - AND our military investigator, Jacob, CAME TO CHURCH!!! It was truly incredible!!! He also was quickly fellowshipped by several men in the ward, including Brother Babitz (who I've been dreaming of them being BFF's forevs!) and he seemed to feel very welcomed and comfortable as he talked with them! :) He's really amazing! He hasn't really been progressing lately, but after he went to church yesterday, I might start calling him that! :) Also, there was a New Member Fireside, which was really wonderful! Wu Biao spoke about his conversion, and it was SO sweet and sincere! I was SO proud watching him up there! It made me feel SO good to think back that I was partly his missionary at the end for the last lil' over two months or so before he got baptized! :) He's wonderful! Anyways, I'm about outta time, but I love you all SOOOOOO much!!! Please continue to write me! And if you're not writing me, please DO!!! :) THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!! One last quick note: I've been reading the book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon over the past week, and it is a FANTASTIC book! Especially Chapters 4, 5 (yes, even when you're in the vineyard), and 7! I strongly encourage y'all to read those! :) And pay attention in chapter 5 when the Lord of the vineyard tells the servant "counsel me not". The entire chapter is a really wonderful and powerful analogy of life! I've never appreciated it so much until now that I'm on my mission! LOVE ALWAYS, Sister Aubrie Anne Orrock P.S. Since I'll be leaving my area, please DO NOT send any mail to my current address from now on! If you must send me a letter, you can send it to the mission home, and I'll be able to pick it up when the zone leaders go to the mission office next week at district meeting (or at transfers on Thursday). But it might just make things easier if you wait until I write you later and tell you my new address! Thank you SO much! Shout-Outs! Kobbi: THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH FOR FIXING MY MEDALLION!!! That really means A LOT to me!!! You're SO sweet and amazing! Thank you SO much for all that you do!!! :) Cory: Thank you SO much for ALWAYS sending me a weekly e-mail! You are WONDERFUL!!! I cannot even tell you how much it means to me to read your e-mails each week! I love you! :) Mom: Thank you SO much for your e-mails and letters! You are SO sweet! It's funny how I've been realizing more and more since I've been out here just how similar we really are! Haha. Don't worry, it's a good thing! I'm proud to be like my mama! :) Daddy: I LOVE YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH!!! Thank you SO much for your weekly letters to me! They always brighten my day! You are SO sweet! :) Aubs: Thank you SO much for being such a wonderful friend and being so faithful in writing me! I LOVE YOU SOOOOOO MUCH!!! :) Kat: Thank you SO much for you and Justin's sweet and funny letters! I love you both! :) I miss you!