Tuesday, March 18, 2014
BAPTISM in the POTOMAC!!!
HELLO EVERYBODY!!! This week has been quite the roller-coaster ride, but over-all in a good way! :) Before I go on telling y'all about my week, I want to let you all know how extremely grateful I am for this incredible opportunity that I have to be a missionary and serve our Father in Heaven by serving His children! This really IS such an incredible part of my life, and even ESPECIALLY through the ups and downs, I am SO grateful to be out here where I am, and there is NO WHERE ELSE I'd rather be! I LOVE being able to witness miracles each and every day, no matter how big or small! Every little movement that someone makes to change their lives for the better and to draw nearer to our Father in Heaven is truly an incredible thing! I really feel SO blessed to be a part of such an incredible work! :) Monday was a great day! And especially that night was incredible! We started out the night by having a wonderful Family Fun Night with the. Titus family, which was fun! After that, we had a wonderful lesson with Renette and Ashley, and they both really opened up to us, and we shared exactly what we felt needed to be shared! The spirit was SO strong! I LOVE when I can witness the power of the spirit working through me and my companion, as well as those we teach! It's a truly remarkable feeling unlike anything else, and I LOVE it! I wish that I could feel that feeling every single second! :) ...well, I suppose that I already feel the spirit much stronger in general on a daily basis by being a missionary, but it's when it's REALLY strong and powerful during lessons when I just wish that I could have that feeling with me FOREVER!!! :) Tuesday morning we had Zone Training, which was really wonderful! Honestly, it was SO powerful! Literally EVERYTHING that was said in that meeting spoke to me. It was incredible! It reminded me how much of a blessing it really is for me to be out here right now! I mean, I knew that already, but I felt like I had gotten to a point where I knew it, but I didn't KNOW it, if that makes sense at all. I had been struggling A LOT with the health (or the lack thereof) of my ankle, as well as my overall health in general. Of course, it's no secret that I have been sick on and off throughout my entire mission; and I'm not gonna lie, this aspect had started to wear on me emotionally. I had begun to feel quite discouraged and feel as though I am physically incapable of doing all of the work that The Lord sent me here to do. This had begun to cause me to feel like a bad missionary, which, I of course know that I am NOT. Anyways, after experiencing this roller-coaster of emotions for quite some time, I quickly began to come to the realization that I AM, in fact, doing all that The Lord sent me out here to do. Missionaries are NOT out of a cookie-cutter. We are all different, and therefore, we all have different challenges. What's challenging for me (my health) may not be challenging for someone else. However, what has been fairly easy for me throughout my mission, such as talking to random strangers, may be quite a challenge to others. It has taken me some time to fully realize and accept this, and through realizing and accepting this, I have also come to realize that that we are not all meant to be that stereo-typical missionary who goes out and knocks doors all day long. We are all here for a specific reason and purpose, and as long as I'm following the spirit and doing the Lord's will, I am doing exactly what He sent me out here to do, and I am blessing (and will continue to bless) lives! :) Anyways, sorry, I'll get off my soap box now. Haha. I'm not trying to preach or anything, that was FAR MORE for me than for anyone else! :) It was just SO cool for me to feel that and to recognize that even though I haven't always been doing what I imagined I would be doing on my mission, and my mission hasn't quite gone as I had expected in a lot of ways, I am SO grateful for all of the many lessons that I have learned, and continue to learn, as I'm out here on my mission! It is truly SUCH a growing experience that is unlike anything else! But I LOVE every second of it! :) Anyways, I'll quickly tell you about the rest of Tuesday, then I'll get on with the rest of the week! After Zone Training, we had lunch, then we met with Sister Salisbury to talk about Jason, and what we might discuss in our lesson with him that night. After that, we did online proselyting via fb, and then some area book time. Then we had dinner with the Olsen's (LOVE THEM!!!). After dinner, we had our lesson with Jason, which went... Alright... Sis. Salisbury was sick, so we had Sis. Olsen come with us at the last minute. He just has some concerns, but he's not ready to open up to us about them... Oh well... I guess we can't really force that. It'll all come in due time. After Jason, we visited Jessica and her husband, Glenn. It was a really great visit! I love them! I always have so much fun talking about Harry Potter with Jessica! Haha. I can really "nerd out" with her! Haha! :) Wednesday we went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders, which was WONDERFUL, and EXACTLY what I needed and exactly when I needed it! :) It's sure funny how The Lord does that for us. :) Actually, it's sure wonderful and PERFECT and amazing how God truly knows us SO well - even better than we know ourselves - that He does things, or causes things to happen in His perfect orchestration of our lives that is EXACTLY what we need, and EXACTLY when we needed it, even (and in some ways, ESPECIALLY) when we don't even realize that we needed it! WOW!!! That was a HUGE run-on sentence! Haha! I hope y'all followed what I was trying to say there! :) Sister Olson came here to Great Falls to be with me, and Sister Christensen went to their area with Sister Olson's companion, Sister Lindmier. Sister Olson and I went to the Alternative House and did our usual weekly service there, then we went home and did some training. After that, we went out to lunch with Sister Fisher and her son at Chipotle! It was SOOOO yummy!!! :) After dinner while Sister Olson and I were driving around from place to place, we saw the most BEAUTIFUL sunset - a true gift from God to me at that moment (at least, that's what I felt that it was)! I seriously felt as if it was God's way of reaching out a hand and showing me how much He loves me and letting me know that it's ok that I've been struggling and having a rough time with certain things; because His son, Jesus Christ, truly knows all that I've experienced, and all that I'm going through, and He's right there to help me through it! :) And probably the most beautiful and incredible part of this sunset that spoke to me the most was the way there were half storm clouds, but then in parts of the sky you could see the sun breaking through. If y'all have seen the two pictures that I posted on Facebook of the storm clouds, those were taken that night. :) Of course the pictures didn't even do the real thing justice, but you can get a general idea from looking at those! :) That night, we had a wonderful MIRACLE lesson with our investigator, Bruce, AND his family!!! His niece and nephew, as well as his cousin and his cousin's daughter were there, too! We taught them the Restoration, as well as parts of just about all of the other lessons, too! It was WONDERFUL!!! We originally we're not intending to go beyond the Restoration at that time, but they all just had SO many questions - about everything - including the Restoration, that that's just how the lesson went! :) At the end of the lesson, Bruce's cousin's daughter accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and added us both as friends of Facebook! It was wonderful!!! Thursday we exchanged back, but hen right after that, went on another mini-exchange and I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon in the Mission Office again! I love spending time with the Senior couples there! :) That night, we had dinner with Coralee and her husband Zack, which was wonderful! They're wonderful! I love Coralee! :) Then we finished the night off by having a lesson with a little nine-year-old girl in our ward to prepare her for baptism on Saturday!!! Although both of her parents are active, and she's been coming to church her whole life, because she didn't get baptized when she was 8 years old, she had to go through us. It was all good, though! I mean, after all, not that numbers really matter (cause they DON'T), but it counted as a convert baptism for us! Haha. We really just thought that it was SUUUPER funny! So we texted it in to our Zone Leaders as a "miracle" saying that we had an INCREDIBLE lesson with our investigator (cause she technically was counted as an investigator for a few days), and now she's getting baptized on SATURDAY!!! The next morning they sent it out to everyone in our Zone, and everyone really thought it was incredible! HAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh man! Sister Christensen and I STILL think we're SO HILARIOUS for that! :D Friday we had a Sister's Conference, so we got to see all of the Sisters in the Mission!!! It was SOOOO wonderful!!! I got to see all of my past companions from the field! It was WONDERFUL! :) After the Sister's Conference, we went straight to the Doctor! I went to an orthopedic doctor so that I could find out once and for all what is wrong with my ankle, and if it's more than just a sprain, cause it just wasn't really getting much better. Anyways, the Doc. told me that it's a second-degree high-ankle sprain, and that it will probably take closer to six to ten weeks for it to heal all the way! He also told me to stop using the crutches right then cause my ankle and foot needed to be walked on in order to stretch out the muscles properly and in order to heal... Let's just say that it's been a painful past couple of days; however, it did come as a relief to know that I wasn't just being a baby because it really will take longer to heal than l had originally been told. But it's fine. I'm just happy to finally have more information on that and have more information on exactly what I need to do in order for me to go back to my full level of health in my foot and ankle! :) After the doctor, we did our weekly planning, then we went and had dinner with Sister Parker and her sweet friend, Fedelis! I love them SO much! They are WONDERFUL!!! After that, we had a lesson with Jean Pierre, and the Johnson's came with us to that! It was... Interesting... Haha. But it was overall a really good lesson! :) Saturday we finished weekly planning that morning. After that, we went straight over to the Olsen's home and has lunch with them before we went with them to their daughter's baptism in the POTOMAC RIVER!!! Yep! You read that right! She got baptized in the Potomac river because her mom's family isn't LDS, so they won't go into an LDS church building. But it really was SUCH a wonderful and beautiful experience, and I am SO grateful that we were able to be a part of it! We did have to hike about ten minutes or so down to the river, and then another ten to fifteen back, and although it was painful (for my foot and ankle), I am SO grateful that I was able to be there for it! I mean, after all, it's not everyday you get to see someone be baptized in a literal river! SO cool! :) After e baptism, we went to the bishop's home for her confirmation. It was an absolutely beautiful thing! After the confirmation was over, the Bishop asked if anyone wanted to say anything, and her little sister (who can't be more than 4 years old) said that she wanted to say something. So she went up in front of everyone and basically bore her testimony of God and that He is our Loving Heavenly Father. It was the sweetest, most pure testimony I have ever heard. I almost cried. So sweet! :) After that, we did Facebook for a little bit, and that night we had dinner with the McConaughey's, which was WONDERFUL and hilarious! I LOVE them! :) After dinner that night, we went to Stake Conference, which was all about missionary work, so it was WONDERFUL!!! :) Sunday we had Stake Conference agin, then that afternoon we saw Renette and Ashley and had another incredible lesson with them! :) Renette even made us African fried rice! It was SO good, and it was so sweet of her to make it for us that we couldn't refuse, even though we had a dinner appointment fifteen minutes later. Haha. But it's fine. After that, we went and had a wonderful (second) dinner with the Taggart's! I love them! :) After the Taggarts, we finished the night off by visiting the Beard family, which was WONDERFUL!!! They are SOOOOO fun and funny!!! We LOVED visiting with them! And we even had a member lesson with them (it's a new thing that President Riggs wants us to to to get members pumped about sharing the gospel. We teach them a lesson just like we would an investigator! It's AWESOME!!!), and by the end of it, they told us that they WANTED to find us someone to teach! :) Anyways, I love you all SOOOO much! Thank you SOOOOO much for all of your constant prayers and love and support! :) The church is true!!! LOVE ALWAYS, Sister Aubrie Orrock