Dear Family and others,
Well, I'm glad you all remembered my birthday this year haha!
Another year has come and gone, which is so crazy to think about. This time last year I was sick, tired and totally overwhelmed with everything. I remember my birthday very clearly. The night before we had come home a little early because of a fever. I told my trainer that I would take a half hour-ish nap while he made dinner and then I would clean it up and we would be out the door. So of course I woke up at 9, hungry but nauseous, with my trainer sheepishly calling potentials. I love that guy so much. He took good care of me. The next morning I was feeling even worse. I was contemplating not going to church, but as a missionary, I felt that only giving up my internal organs in a violent manner would be a skip-church worthy. So church was cold, hot, really cold, really hot. I am not sure what happened, except that one of the members said something about my birthday and how we need to remember less actives birthdays, and then he says "not that you understand anything I am saying right now". Well, I caught that part. As we left church, the sisters gave me some very sad looking cookies that they had made and a Dr. pepper (oh snap, I haven't had one of those in forever!). I was really grateful that they had remembered my birthday and would make cookies. Walking home was so painful. AH! I just remembered that it was also a fast Sunday and I decided that I needed the blessings, so on top of being sick, I was super hungry and weak. Anyways, walking home was so painful because I was so tired and it was misting. Now misting normally doesn't hurt, but please remember that my face was on fire and it felt like small daggers were attacking all my pores. Think needles, lots and lots of needles (I know I just freaked one of you out). As we are walking home, Elder H turns and reminds me that all we have back home is Lipie (large tortilla, but better) and some peanut butter. He apologizes as he tells me that we don't have anything for a cake either! He kept that up for a while making me feel worse and worse. I had been working really hard at being positive, so I turned and said that I was with a great companion, in a great district, in one of the best cities in the mission, in ROMANIA and that this was enough for me. Exhausted, we approached the door of our block when Elder Harrison stops. "Please open the door, Elder H". "I am so sorry, I forgot that I promised Sora Hunt that we would go and show her how to *blank* (I forgot what it was)" "Does it have to be right now?" "Ya, I promised her..." Sigh. Off we go, in the other direction. I was trying so hard to see the good, so hard to keep positive, and I was so close to my bed. Bless Elder Harrison, he contacted people on the way there, and I am sad to say that my love was wearing very thin by that point haha. We finally come to the Hunts block and he walks past the darn thing. Yup, definitely on the verge of something bad. In the elevator we go and when we arrive on the H's floor, I saw some people. The glass is warped and colored so my first fevered thought was "Oh, the H's are having some "get to know your neighbor" activity." Close, it was my entire district. They had set up a surprise party for me. They had made some tunnel thing with their arms and I walked straight through them, in the door, past the kitchen and onto the couch. Sora H came in and told me to sleep while they finished dinner and then we could eat. They had tried to make my favorite meal, Pot roast. They tried so hard to find beef, but only could get pork. It was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for me, especially in such a sneaky conniving way haha.
Now, we arrive to a new year. It astounds me to think of all the experiences that I have had, all in one year. I have learned a new language. Lived in another country half way around the world from home. I have made almost every single meal, every day (exclude all the days we went out to eat and the comps that knew how to cook). I have met crazy people and made amazing friends. Most important, I have come closer to my Savior. So much frustration, and anger and despair have been made easier through His hands. Every time that I have turned to Him, I have felt peace. I really like the scripture found in Matthew 14:28-33. Peter walks out on the water and then becomes afraid. As he fears the winds and the waves he begins to sink. Crying out with fear he reached his hand toward Christ and asked for his help. Immediately, Christ reached out and caught Peter. I love that word. Immediately. Not in five minutes, not when Christ was less busy. No, immediately.
Thank you for your birthday wishes and for the videos. Its pretty early over there and I know you have stuff to do today. Have a good celebration.
Love Elder Ormsby