Sunday, February 23, 2014

so here I am in Virginia wondering what in the hails bells i have gotten myself into.  This is the weirdest thing in the world but it's cool.  They say the first transfer is way weird but after that things start getting normal.  So yeah I'M HERE IN VIRGINIA my area is called Manchester it's in this place called Midlothian i don't even know but
4612 Valley Overlook Drive #207
Midlothian, VA
Okay now that's out of the way my trainer's name is Sister Newell.  She's from alpine and has been out for about a year.  She's a Nauvoo sister on an outbound assignment.  She is wonderful wow i'm kind of shocked that i like her.  haha not in a bad way but i just thought me and my trainer wouldn't get along and i just feel so blessed that we do!  She's such a good teacher and she helps me learn things by example and not by making me feel dumb.  Fun fact: we do tract.  and I tracted for the first time on Sunday and i felt so awkward it was almost unbearable.  one lady let us in out of like 20 houses and she was a black lady named genieveve and she was dooooope haha we taught her the first lesson (my first real lesson!) and it was really cool.  I'm not sure if she was really interested but she told us to come back friday but one lesson about the mish is that i've already learned is that appointments always falls through but maybe gen with follow through and we'll have another lesson. 
My mission president and his wife are so sweet.  like they say i love you when we talk on the phone and they are seriously just so cute i love them.  So funny story my trainer's last area was this place called bristow, it used to be in the DC south mission but now it's part of the richmond mission.  So she had this baptism yesterday for a family that her and her old companion taught and she reallllllly wanted to be there.  So she got permission from the mission pres for us to go to bristow yesterday, go to the baptism, then spend the night here in the house the sisters in bristow live in and now we are headed back to machester later today.  It was really cool to see a baptism, i can't imagine what it would be like to see someone i taught the gospel to get baptized.  The hard thing about that thought is that I really don't think i have a testimony of missionary work.  I feel like so many missionaries just teach to get the baptism, and the person they baptize isn't really converted so they just end up falling away.  I don't know if this is making any sense but it's just something that's been weighing on my mind a lot while being here (for the past what 3 weeks hehe).  I just wanna make sure that if i were teaching someone it would be for real.  Not just a caught up in the moment let's get baptized, but like they really know the gospels true and have a desire to follow christ, so they choose to be baptized.
So sad story of the week mom my favorite face wash, the one we order from fran, exploded in my suit case.  luckily it was inside a ziplock bag so it didn't get all over my stuff but still.  there's not much left.  I was a very sad human.  So maybe you could get in touch with fran and see if she could order me some more.  Okay also thanks for the package, it was totally here when i got here and ya know my companion thinks i am so cool with my looney toons comforter.  haha  okay and one more thing, actually two.  could you mail me a copy of the insurance card so i can get my perscription filled?  and are my shoes waterproof?  we never sprayed them with that stuff so i've been having anxiety.
moving on.... my apartment is SO NICE.  we live with another set of sisters but we each have our own bathroom and THERE'S A GYM  haha holy crap heavenly father is just really lookin out for me.  what a guy. 
So mom I FINALLY GOT TO TALK TO KELL like right before we boarded the plane to richmond i tried calling one last time and she FINALLY answered but we only got to talk for like 5 mins but still it was good.  I don't really know what else to say..... the members here are freakin nuts like they are SO NICE TO US and they feed us like every night which is good and bad.  The bishop here is way cool too.  Sister newell and I are pretty lost though cause she's new to area too but we are learning.  I'll only get to be comps with her until the beginning of april cause that's when she's goes back to nauvoo so that's pretty sad.  I'll have to get a new trainer and that'll be way awkward.  well yeah have a good week you people i hope you are enjoying the warmth of vegas while i'm freezing my butt off in virginia.  (i was about to say freezing my A off but then i imagined G&G VO reading it and i decided that would be awkard hahaha)
GOOD LUCK TO THE SWAGGIN FAM ON THE DOGTOWN HALF i hope you all kill it i'm so depressed i won't be there ugh seriously that sounds so fun.  but i'm havin fun kinda here so it's okay.  i think haden will beat everyone so my money's on him.  My P day is monday but everything was closed yesterday cause of presidents day so yeah.  talk to ya next week latttterrrsssss

Sunday, February 16, 2014

i hope you all are counting your blessings that I exercised my faith and didn't bomb the MTC today.  I definitely thought about it. 
I'd like to tell you a story that will probably bring a tear to your eye.
So, here's Sister Van Orden.  She enters the MTC two weeks ago, keeping her heart set on the fact that all she had to do was survive for two weeks and she was home free, done with the food that does her SO WRONG and into the rolling green hills and raunchy ghettos of Richmond, Virgina.  She not only endures, but endures well her two weeks at the MTC.  She learns all she can and now can confidently say she can role play with the best of them.  The day finally comes to leave and BOOM!  Flight is canceled and she has to do the walk of shame back to mtc to stay for two more days until her plane leaves Friday.  
Isn't that so sad.  
It's okay though, cause God and I have decided that he is teaching me that I need to not be a boob and complain so it's okay.  I got to go to the temple today and am going again tomorrow and I THINK i may survive and make it to VA friday.  The guy at the airport promised me so... that's gotta mean something.
ANYWAY i'll end my sob story i hope you aren't bawling too hard.
So flight plans......... i left them in my room hhehehe.  but we leave SLC around 9:45 i think and then we go to DETROIT (what up bring on the detroit ghetto) and then leave for richmond from detriot around 5, then get to richmond around 7.  I'd say i'll probably call in the morning but who knows.  I will call though.  pinky swear.  I'm thinkin i'll probably call in the morning.  cause we leave the mtc at 4:30 and our plane doesn't leave till 9, but we'll see.
There's 19 of us traveling together all the Richmond which is swaggy cause we'll probably convert the entire plane.  idk, i have faith.  I was thinking just barely how weird grandma and grandpa probably think i am cause I talk like a freaking wangster in my letters but i mean i gotta express my self somehow.  
Dad, i think that'd be DOPE if you did the half iron man.  That would be so hard but that would be so cool.  I believe dad!  I BELIEVE!  I set the goal that will help keep me from getting fat that i wanna run the STG marathon the october after i come home and my companion's gonna do it with me so that's sweet.  I refuse to come home fat.  I will not.  i cannot.  
I'm really doing good i hope you realize that my whole story at the beginning is sarcastic in a very real sense LOL.  I think the senior missionaries in richmond call you guys on friday night once i get there to let you know i'm safe so be alert for that.  maybe ill yank the phone from their hands and talk to you guys again.  I dunno just a thought.  
okay i don't know what else to say other than i am experiencing anxiety over the fact that I left my flight plans in the room so i can't give you exact times.  SORRY BOUT IT.
have a good week mi familia i love ya!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

so hey errybody,
dad told me to write the family email to mom's email now so this is me being obedient.  cause that's all my life is about now....obedience.  hehe.  This week was literally the weirdest week of my life.  Lots of downs with some really blessed ups.  The mtc sucks cause it makes you feel like you don't even have a testimony and then you are depressed and then something happens and you realize your testimony is stronger than ever.  I got real blessed here with the best zone, the elders are so nice to us and they have become some of my best pals.  The sisters in my district are amazing, one of them has been sick this week and it's been really frustrating because she just wants to lay in bed, but her companion has to stay with her and it just stresses me out cause I can't just like scream at her like i scream at cole haha i am learning patience.  Like i love her and i feel so bad that she doesn't feel good, but sometimes you just have to put on your big girl pants and be strong.  She's doing better today though.  It's a blessing the be a sister training leader though, i figured out that's kind of my element.  I don't like to be ministered to... haha i like it much more when i can minister to people.  Sister Ketchum and I are alike in that.  We are really twins and I love her so much.
I cried real tears when i got your package i cry every time i get mail.... I think I've cried more this week at the MTC than i ever have in my whole life.  I don't know why.  It's so awkward.  BUT YEAH THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE PACKAGE IT WAS THE BEST and all the sisters in my district were freaking their freak about the cake.  Like we loved it.  You guys are da besssst.  I also sent my camera home, it hasn't been focusing at all so i sent it home and i figured you could just take it back to costco and it'd be okay.  There's so pics on there so check em out, i don't even look fat cause all i eat here is salad and cereal and bananas.  
I have really gained a real testimony that god listens to my prayers this week... last weekend was pretty hard for me and I was able to talk to my branch president and he helped me feel a lot of peace and I just never knew how much other people can help you in this life.  We need to let other people help us which is a lesson i think i'll be learning forever but God gives us people in our lives so we can bless then, but they really can bless us too.  I've learned to place my trust in God and in the people he's given me, because if it's just me against satan i'll never win.  I just really feel like that was a blessing.  God teaches me a lot everyday and learning to teach by the spirit is pretty hard but you know someday i'll get the hang of it.
I think it's awkward that you'll post these to a blog but whatever i feel like my letters are kinda weird haha hopefully people don't think i'm a psycho.  
SO MOM YOUR NEW CALLING waaadddup counselor in the primary!!  that's awesome seriously that is your element and probably so fun, i'm pumped for you.  I'm proud of Haden for stepping up and driving you around, tell him to chill, he won't get in a wreck cause everyday here i pray that you guys wont get in car wrecks and i'm a missionary so it's like.... it's a done deal.  haha but seriously proud of haden keep killin it in vball so when i come home i can watch you wreck shiz on the court.  And also proud of my man cole keep ballin on the court and just make those kids know who's the boss around this town (you).  
I leave the MTCizzle wednesday morning at 3:30 am and I'M ONLY A LITTLE EXCITED.  We leave SLC at 7:10 and then go to Atlanta.... then fly to VA.  I think i get to call you, which I'm way pumped about but i don't really know what time i'll call you.  Either wayyyyyy early in the morning or when i get to atlanta.  I'll call mom's phone... i'll just assume you want to talk to me hehe so plan on a call.  This week was just a growing experience for me, which is good.  I need those.  We learn in the hard times.  My teachers teach me a lot but I really am ready to go i think i'm going to flip out if i have to do another roll play but I know i will so i might as well learn to love it.  I'm pumped to freakin go to Virginia but i'm really freakin scared but it's gonna be okay.  I'll get the hang of the mission someday i think.  OH i wanted to tell you guys I want you to check up with me every week on my BOM reading.  My branch president talked to me about how he read the book of mormon every month for a year and I wanna do that.  so i read 18 pages a day and every week in your email check up on me and i will report.  It'll be good motivation for me.  
That'll be fun to have drew and karly in vegas have fun and eat some good food for me i miss that ish.  so bad.  We're goin to the temple today and I INSISTED on eating in the temply cafeteria to escape my nightmare MTC food.  I always think of things i wanna say to you guys in emails throughout the week but i always forget... so i'll need to start writing those down.  anyway, love you cats, make sure mom doesn't murder tiffy and remember that i think you guys are some pretty cool peeps.  Tell the grandparents i love them as well.  okay that's all.  Thanks for all the letter love, it was nice to have a little taste of real life this week ha.  tell haden and cole to write me letters and cole thank you for the snowman i will keep it forever.  and your note is still on the front of my journal and i look at it every night and it makes my day.
ps. dad. your dear elder couldn't have come on a better day.  luv u.
best regards,
sister van orden

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Abby's first email

what up fam!  
So yeah here I am emailing you on a Friday...which will be my pday for all my time  at the mtcizzle.  Ummm I don't really know what to say.... cause we all were supposed to write our fams yesterday a real letter so i said a bunch of stuff in there and i don't wanna be a story repeater....the mtc is weird cause i don't even hate it!  It's crazy.  I am always busy and tired but it's cool cause i feel like I am already starting to learn how to teach like a missionary should teach.  The food here really does suck hardcore and I may have an eating disorder once I leave haha JUST KIDDING but seriously I do eat a lot of salad and cereal and not much else.  yesterday i decided to eat a fajita, the first real food i ever ate that the mtc made me and i ate a couple bites then looked at the chicken and it had that repulsive membrane inside of it and i almost hurled so yeah that's my life.  It's good though i'm eating HEALTHY hehe.  I would send you guys pics i have taken but funny story i didn't know i had to charge my camera so it just died like ten minutes ago.  sorry bout it. 
So me and my companion Sister Ketchum who is like the greatest just got called as something I can't remember but it's like we are in charge of the girls in our district....?  I don't even know I'm just supposed to go to a bunch of meetings and then next week we take all the new missionaries in our branch on a tour of the campus and stuff which makes me nervous cause I have no idea how to navigate this place.  So yeah it's fun here I love the girls in my district (we have an all girls district) and our teachers are friggin dope.  I just can't believe it doesn't suck here.  we just got back from going to the temple and i may have been fighting for my life to stay awake during the session.   I AM SO TIRED i wake up at 5:45 to go to work out classes with my companion until 6:30 and then we go go go all day until 9:3 0 and then lights out at 10:30.  
Hope you guys aren't too depressed that your favorite child and sibling is now gone but don't worry my branch president promised all of us we are the safest we can be on a mission and that the Lord will take care of us and you.  We had a meeting with our branch president last night and met him and all that jazz so that was cool, his last name is Stice, he's dope.  The stuff I am learning here is so different than i expected, it's hard to learn how to just teach by the spirit but  I'm STARTING to get the hang of it.  Today we teach our first investigator and i am freakin my freak also today we have a service project at 3:30 and everyone says they suck so yeah super stokkkked.  We also have 6 hours of class everyday and it kinda goes by a lot faster than school but still.  it's a completely different life I've just stepped in to and most of the time i double take and i'm like "what the freak am i doing here" ha but it's okay.  someday i'll get used to the fact that i'm on a mission.
I feel like i have so much more to say but I can't really remember anything else..... I do miss you guys but i just have learned that i can't really think about my life before my mission began and that makes being here seem great.  Except sometimes the mind can be a hard one to control so if i ever catch myself wandering i have to life punch myself in the face and then maybe one day i will train myself well enough so i can have full control of my weird mind.  One of my teachers knows mason so thats awkward she's like in his ward.... and she always talks to me about him but she's awesome and a great teacher ha.  maybe mason could marry her except she has kinda weird hair.  well i hope you all have a happy week and go 100% all the time don't be 90%ers HAHA I'll go 100% here too.  I love all ya very muchly and I will talk to you next week!  DAD i would appreciate you sending me your personal email cause yeah and anyway TTYL
OH MOM in my letter i sent it has a note from joyce jensen  that i forgot to give you so pls send her my address.  thanks youre a gem 
It would be evil of me to say see you in eighteen haha so i won't say that!  Welp okay bye now!