Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Seeing old friends from the CCM and more



I hope you all have an outstanding Christmas! If you haven't already, go check out the He is the Gift video. We use it a lot, because it's so good. I've seen it probably a bajillion and one times, but I love it every time!

This week was pretty good. I appreciate the letters and cards that come in! I don't think you all realize how loved I feel when I get something! YOU'RE ALL AWESOME. People are also always giving us money or paying for our food. I appreciate that so much. One man walked up to us and handed us $4... it wasn't much, but it was so nice. There are good people in the world, that's for sure :)

Saturday morning we went to the Mission Office, where we met up with other Spanish speaking missionaries. We did a service project where we helped families go through a store to find gifts for their kids or even themselves. They need the Spanish missionaries to help those that did not speak English.... uh. PANIC. I don't know enough Spanish to help other families! However, both families I helped knew English. That was a relief. :)

We have been planning on taking a boy to the temple FOR QUITE A WHILE NOW. When the moment arrived, we got a text saying he left his temple recommend (which is NEEDED to get through the temple!) in his friend's car and his friend went to California! AH. We were totally bummed, but we will be making other plans SOON.

This past week we had the awesome opportunity to go CHRISTMAS CAROLING. We met up with quite a few people from our branch and visited a couple of people. We also had our branch Christmas party on Saturday. We have been inviting people for a couple of weeks now, but we were really hoping more people would show up. It was a little disappointing, but we still had a really good time.

Yesterday we had a conference for all the Spanish speaking missionaries! Definitely needed! I learned a lot and I thought it was a lot of fun. I saw Sister Ferguson (from the MTC) and that totally made my whole week.

FUNNY STORY. Every Friday, we have weekly planning. We went to the church building to plan and after doing some planning, we were talking about how our hands were pretty dry. We ran out to the car to get some lotion and as we did, I said, "Oh, I'm glad I left the car unlocked because I forgot the keys...." As I said that, Hermana Nava and I turn around and yell as we watch the door LOCK SHUT. I forgot the car keys... as well as the key to let us back in!!!! NOO. It was hilarious and frustrating, because we didn't have our iPads or our phone or anything. We found someone with a key, but it was such a funny situation.

It was definitely an interesting week.
I miss you all so very much! I am way too excited to Skype my family in a couple of days.
I wish you all a VERY Merry Christmas! Remember what CHRISTmas is all about :)
I love you! Praying for you!
Hermana Katherine Orchard

Jumping for..joy? 
Hermana Ferguson from the CCM!

Companion selfie

Young Women at the Branch Christmas Party

Hermana Winks and Hermana Ferguson with Hermana Orchard.. together again :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Missionary Christmas Party, and watching miracles take place!


If anyone tells you a mission is easy, they're lying. However, I kinda sorta love it. ;) I hit my two month mark yesterday and WOW. I can't believe it's been TWO MONTHS.

This week was a good week. It's getting closer to CHRISTMAS and I am stoked! At the beginning of this week, we had an awesome zone conference. The district leaders in our zones had the opportunity to go up and talk about why they came on a mission... And why they stayed. Something our district leader said was that he stayed on a mission because the cause is bigger than himself. Also that, "the mission is supposed to be hard, but it's supposed to be enriching" and "endure your missions cheerfully and happily." I love that! All three of their talks were amazing.

Powerful words coming from 18 or 19 year old guys.

One thing I know for sure is that miracles do happen and FASTING WORKS. Since last Sunday was fast Sunday, we fasted for two meals to find people to teach because we don't have very many. Let's just say, we've gotten a couple miracle phone calls from people that have a family member or that found someone that wants to be taught. There is a family in the english Ward and their daughter is dating a nonmember that wants to be taught in his native language-Spanish. We had our first lesson with him on Sunday and it went so well. I recited the first vision and asked him to be baptized! He said yes to baptism, but no to the date we invited him to be baptized on, but we will continue teaching him every Sunday.

We are also taking one of our less active members to the temple this Saturday! He will be able to do baptisms and WE ARE SO EXCITED. We will be going with him, so we are super happy. I love teaching him and I can't wait until Saturday.

Yesterday was such a great day. Why? MISSIONARY CHRISTMAS PARTY. We started the party off with a devotional sort of thing. We listened to a few of our leaders speak and a couple music numbers. My companion actually played her clarinet for everyone. After, we watch the animated version of the grinch, ate lunch and dessert (so.many.desserts.), and had the talent portion of our party. It was so awesome and I had a blast. It's always fun meeting other missionaries, too.

We also got our presents! YAY. I felt so loved seeing the packages and cards that came in for me. Besides the gifts from my family, I also got three packages from people I don't know. Many people donated Christmas gifts and there was a lot. It was so nice and I can't believe how generous some people are. One of my boxes includes 15 individually wrapped presents, so I'm saving those for Christmas. The other included food and candy and socks and gloves and gift cards! The last was a stocking full of treats and stuff I could really use.  Wow. It was insane. I wish they included their name so I could thank them.. I couldn't wait to open these gifts, but I am waiting until Christmas to open the rest. :p

It has been a great week. The language is still tough, but it's definitely better. I love the people we teach and their desire to learn more. I also love being a missionary, no matter how hard it can be.

I love you all!

Hermana Orchard

Big pile of presents!

VERY disappointed in Bob's Burgers :(

Jumping is the new thing...

and again...lol

of course one more.. :)

Kids in the mission!

After a member recieved her Patriarchial Blessing

Beautiful Utah skies, and a pretty missionary too!

Bumped into Hermana Winks from the CCM

Making Bunuelos and visiting Salt Lake City for Light of Nations

What a WEEK. I can honestly say it was 10x better than the first week out. The language is tough, but I was never expecting it to be easy!
Earlier this week, we visited with a less active. We made bunuelos (kinda tastes like a churro... Or so my comp says...) and the woman we visited kept joking about how I am "not American.." because, let's be honest, I'm a BEAST at rolling out tortillas. They were awesome and we took a bunch home. We are fed quite often- every night for dinner, so it's always nice to rely on that. Sometimes we are just given money to go out to eat.
Friday was a BLAST. We took an investigator to Salt Lake for Luz de Las Naciones (Light of the Nations). It's a Hispanic Cultural event and although I didn't understand all the words that were being sung, the songs were beautiful and the dancing was so interesting! I had a ton of fun and it's always nice to see the Salt Lake Temple, as well as the lights at Temple Square. Lulu (the person that took us to SLC) bought us dinner and hot chocolate, too! I saw Hermana Winks (from my district in the CCM), as well as the Mission President, his counselors, and their wives. One of the counselors calls me Hermana Huerta (Orchard en Espanol) and he's trying to get me to respond to it.
We have done A LOT of tracting (knocking on doors and finding people to teach) this week. We run into some.. Interesting people... Some people are so rude (yes, in UTAH. Haha just kidding) and so strange..
However, there are a ton of nice people. I'm meeting so many different kinds of people and I kinda sorta love it.  I learn a lot from them.
We don't have very many people we are teaching, so my companion is a bit stressed. I don't know anything different, so I'm okay for now. A couple of our investigators told us to stop coming, so that was heartbreaking. It's getting easier to understand the language... But Istill have a long way to go.  :)
There is a FABULOUS talk called His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox. I read it a couple months ago and I read it again yesterday and I love it.
Also, some of you may have seen, but I posted a video on Facebook called He is the Gift. It's a video the church released and I LOVE IT. We share it pretty often with a bunch of different people. It's so important to remember that Christmas isn't about the gifts... It's about Christ. If you haven't seen it, please go watch it.  ;)
I love you all! Sorry I don't have any pictures this week!
Have an AWESOME week,
Hermana Orchard

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

First week in Utah, Thanksgiving and Reindeer? :)

Hello family and friends!
I can honestly say this has been the hardest week of my life... Hopefully things get better this next week!
We landed in Salt Lake and we got a ton of "Welcome Homes." Also, as we walked in, there was a huge Welcome Home sign and balloons and it was so intense. They cheered so loud for us, even when it wasn't for us! I WASNT EVEN COMING HOME, but I could've cried haha.
We saw our ride holding the Utah Ogden Mission sign and we were off to the mission office. We had a few training meetings, which are pretty difficult when you're running on only a couple hours of sleep, an interview with the mission president, dinner, and a testimony meeting before heading to a members house to sleep. Hermana Ferguson and I stayed in the same home and we talked for a while before going to sleep and hour and a half earlier than usual (which was AWESOME).
After breakfast in the morning, we had a meeting and then our Trainer Reveal Meeting. These missionaries are crazy! It was intimidating how loud and insane they were as each missionary was assigned their trainers. I was originally assigned not one, but TWO trainers. However, there was an issue, so I switched and my new trainer was Hermana Nava. She has been out 13 months and is from California. We get along, so that's good.

We were also given our iPads! I'm a facebook mission, but I haven't posted yet because I'm STILL trying to clean it up. So annoying. However, I can't message anyone outside of my mission, but I can see posts from friends on facebook!

My first area consists of Roy.. West Haven.. And Hooper.  We are the only Spanish speaking missionaries this area, so we cover a lot. Attending the Spanish branch on Sunday was so weird! I couldn't understand a thing and it's so frustrating!

This week has been interesting. I've met a lot of new people, members and nonmembers. Our thanksgiving was spent with a really funny family. They are wonderful, as well as many of the people I have met. My trainer has pulled a couple pranks on me, but they're innocent and funny. We've actually had a couple lessons in English and I really enjoy them. When we teach in Spanish, I sit there and don't say much because I can't understand anything. I'm having a tough time with the language, as well as some other things so any extra prayers are insanely appreciated.
I love and miss you all. I pray for you all.

Hermana Orchard

Welcome Home from companion

Ogden, Utah Temple


Treats after a prank that went awry..lol

Thanksgiving! Looks like a great group of people to be with!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Angels among us :)

While at the Dallas airport during their layover (with Hermana's Winks and Ferguson, and Elder Mihu) a wonderful missionary mom came up to Kathy's table and talked to them for a few minutes, took their picture and said she'd email their picture to their parents. Her email I recieved a little bit ago follows. (LOVE awesome members who understand how we want to see our beautiful childrens faces!)

Hello Missionary Parents,
My name is Jenette. I had the privilege of meeting your 4 beautiful Missionaries this morning at the DFW Airport where I work. I am a Missionary Mom and have loved the pics that have been sent to me by members where our daughters are serving, so I had to snap a picture to send of your children. Our 4 children have served Missions and our two youngest daughters will be returning home in just a few weeks.
I want you to know that your son and daughters look great and are in very high spirits as they embark on this magnificent journey. Enjoy the pic, I will keep your Missionaries in my prayers.

Saying goodbye at the CCM

The only reason I am on today is because I leave at 230 tonight!!! AH! I am freaking OUT. Ogden, HERE I COME. I feel pretty unprepared, but I know (deep, deep down) that it will all be okay! I am totally dreading the COLD. I am so used to Mexico weather and I do not want to leave!
Also! HAPPY THANKSGIVING. It doesnt feel real that this week is Thanksgiving! I am so excited to be back in the states for the holiday!
Friday was a long and interesting day. We had in field workshops ALL DAY. These workshops were to prepare us for leaving the CCM. I learned a lot and I will surely use what I learned.
Yesterday was a pretty emotional day! During Sacrament Meeting, my district got up and sang Come Thou Fount as our special musical number. We sang the first two verses in Spanish and the last in English. It was awesome. My district had the opportunity to bear our testimonies. Throughout the day, we took a bajillion pictures and attended different meeting. We watched a couple of videos, as we always do, and we also ended the meeting with a farewell video. I sat next to Elder Reynolds and my awesome comp. They were KILLING me. They are hilarious.
I cannot believe we are the ones leaving this week. The past couple weeks, we have been dreading being the ones up there on the screen. UGH. I love my district SO MUCH. A few of us have been writing letters to one another to read on the plane and saying goodbye to them is like, the hardest thing I have had to do so far. I am going to have a tough time if I get this attached to everyone I meet!!!!!!!
I have LOVED my experience here, and although I will miss Mexico, I know I am needed in Utah. LOVE YOU ALL. So incredibly grateful for your prayers and support!
Praying for you all!
Hermana Orchard

**We heard from Hermana Orchard after she landed in Dallas, and I will tell you, it was WONDERFUL to hear her voice! I had Maddy call Paul on her phone and had both phones on speaker phones so we could all talk together. She is doing great, nervous, excited, anxious.. you name it, but who wouldn't be? She flew in with two other sisters and an elder, and will continue on to Utah with atleast two of them. We should get an email from her mission president letting us know she arrived, so will post something once we hear from him ~Angie**

Branch presidency with district
With Zone leaders



In the TALL Lab

With teacher Hermano Candia

The entire zone

Hermana Ferguson

with Elder Mihu

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Last week at the CCM!

Good Morning Family & Friends!

Time is going by WAY TOO FAST. I hit my one month mark a couple days ago! WHAT. I have exactly one week left here in the CCM. I actually just found out I leave real early next Tuesday (230am), but if I think about leaving too much, I get pretty sad. Anyway, I will not have a Pday next week, so if ya write me, I will answer in a couple weeks FROM UTAH.

This week has been pretty great, of course. We have been practicing teaching a lot this week. My companion and I started teaching "Jguan (yes, that is spelled right...)" aka Elder Reynolds. It has been pretty interesting.... The Elders started teaching "LuLu" aka ME. I love being on the other side of the lessons and they are pretty great teachers.

I guess I am doing a lot better at this whole teaching in another language than I thought. We have been told our Spanish is pretty good by different people. That makes me feel better, but I am still pretty worried about leaving the CCM and heading out into the REAL world.

FUNNY language story! We were teaching Andres the 10 commandments and we asked if he had statues or emblems he worshipped or prayed to (because, you know, that isnt good...). Well, we asked if he had any "antepasados" and when he said yes, we told him he couldnt have those and we asked if he prayed to them...
He said no, but I am am glad we didnt tell him to get rid of them because ANTEPASADOS MEANS ANCESTORS. We told him he couldnt have ANCESTORS. Awkward.

I do feel as if I am doing pretty well here. Better than I thought I would... It could be a lot better, though. We dont use our time as wisely as we should and we actually talked about it in a meeting as a district on Sunday. We are going to work pretty dang hard this week and come closer as a district at the same time.

Today will be pretty boring. I hope to spend a lot of time as a district because this is our last Pday. I love my district so much. I love being in the CCM and I love being a missionary. I am already freaking out about getting out in the real world, but I know it'll be okay.

"When you don´t think you can do this, you´re right, but with the Lord´s help, you can." David A Bednar. He was talking to the missionaries, but I think this applies to everyone :)

Love you all

Hermana Orchard

         Trying to escape the CCM??  

It's a district RAINBOW!

Hermana Ferguson and Orchard

Johnson and Orchard

Finally some rain!

Singing in the rain?

Hermana Dietze and Hermana Orchard