Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fiesta and Father's Day

Hello, lovelies! Before I do ANYTHING else, let me just say...


To all of my favorite father figures in my life, but most importantly to....

I just want the world to know that my DAD is the VERY best one out there. THE VERY BEST! Pops, I hope you know just how much I love and adore you. Thank you for being my example and my light. Thank you for being the funniest person alive and charming me to death with your intelligent, unique sense of humor. I love you forever and cannot WAIT to get my papa bear hug from you in just a few more weeks. Thank you for your wisdom and for your good soul. I am one blessed daughter. :) Happy Fathers Day!

So the week that was.... Sister Orozco's birthday! We had a good, good time. To be honest, it was just a crazy week. We were entirely depleted of energy by Sunday, but we had some positive experiences and happy times. Just TIRED as all get out! On Tuesday we went and did a blitz with some sisters in their area and went around finding people. It was fun! I went up to this incredibly handsome man sitting in the shade outside the hospital. He was on his break, which in my opinion is the perfect time for people to chat with missionaries. He was SO cool. And dreamy. And super atheist. But, like the majority of atheists that I've preached to out here, he was incredibly kind to us. The best part of all was that the next lady we talked to patted us on the shoulder before we could even speak and said, "Um, no thank you. I'm Catholic." AND TURNED AROUND AND WALKED AWAY! Ahhhh.... love me them true Christians. ;)

On Thursday we had Sister Rios and Sister Gonzalez come in to spend the night before zone conference the next day. SLEEPOVER!!! We stayed up WAAAAAAAAY too late... (shhhhh...). 10:31...ish? ;) Sure, we'll leave it at that. It was so nice to have my chicas over and be able to chat and laugh and have a good time. Missions are a non-stop party, in my opinion.

On Friday we had zone conference! My last one, too! :( Sister Orozco and I gave a training on finding people, and how we need to talk WITH people rather than TO them. FANCY THAT! In our mission we used to go around blurting out the name of the church as fast as we could so that we could have fifty contacts a day, and then usually people would run away and not want to talk to us. Well, I never liked being pushy with my beliefs, so I always felt like a bad missionary when I would chat people up and get to know them BEFORE bringing up what I was doing here. WHAT?! The result was that a lot of missionaries are afraid of talking with people because they think they need to teach them the restoration in five minutes and be weird. Forget that! So President Patrick had us give a training about our purpose as missionaries, and how everyone is a child of God, and how we need to discern how to talk with people instead of just showing up and yapping at them. It was an AMAZING training. Yes, I'm bragging, but I think it helped a lot of missionaries see that it's okay to... well, be yourself? There was this moment in our training where we had everyone take off their badge and look at it. Everyone was bawling! Well, many were bawling. But me especially. I can't tell you how much it means to me to wear that badge. When I have to take it off for good I don't know what I'm going to do with myself. Gaaahhh. TRUNKY! Sister missions should be longer. Anyway, I digress. During our training we also did a role play about how to talk with people rather than to them. I was the person being contacted, and somehow I ended up acting out my true Sylvia, non-missionary self throughout the whole thing. It was interesting to see how Sylvia would react to missionaries. When they approached me I was jamming to Firework by Katy Perry (is that song even cool anymore?), and I started ranting to them about my Ophelia obsession, mostly just confusing everyone, but it was fun. Then those sly sister missionaries asked me for my digits after they had buttered me up, and I told them that my number was 867-5309. President Patrick was crying he was laughing so hard! El oh el. The role play was supposed to be spiritual, but I pretty much turned it into the Sylvia Show. Whoops. Then when I told the sisters that my name was Sylvia, the whole crowd of missionaries gasped. Indeed, I had been impersonating myself the entire time! It felt so good to be me!!!  Ha ha not sure where I was going with that story, but it was one of my greatest mission moments. The greatest/saddest moment of all though was when I got up at the end of the zone conference to bear my final testimony. In our mission its a tradition that the missionaries who are going home bear their testimony at their last zone conference. It was bittersweet to say the least, and I never, EVER thought that moment would come. Ugh. It really put things into perspective for me. It was special because our zone conference was held in Montreal ward's chapel, where I bore my first testimony as a missionary over a year ago on a cold, Canadian winter's day in February. It was heart-warming and heart-wrenching to see how far that frightened little girl had come, the experiences I had been blessed with, and how much I'd grown since that first Sunday in the mission field. Wow, I'm getting emotional just thinking about it. I stood up there and cried and cried. I am amazed at what has become of my testimony because of serving a mission. When I bore testimony that I know Christ lives, I felt for the first time just how true and meaningful those words were to me. Truly, it was a day and an experience I will never forget. 

After seven hours of zone conference we got roped into this super complicated move. The ward kind of dropped the ball about getting people to come help this woman move from her apartment, so us and the elders got stuck in a very complicated, stressful situation. No one from the ward came to help! We were dying! And crying! So I had to put on my big girl pants and call up leaders and ask for help because the elders were too afraid. Surprise! No one else came to help, so I ended up arranging all of the moving details and getting that dang thing underway myself. I'm invincible! And a power. It was fun to hang out with the elders, but I was pretty mad that the situation got dumped on the missionaries. We had to cancel teaching appointments and everything! Grrrr. Whatever, I'm over it. We were super blessed afterward though to have a lesson with one of our investigators, and it went exceptionally well. She is so cool! We went to her beautiful home and listened to the rain outside while discussing the gospel. My kind of Friday night! It all turned out well, but I can tell you that that day was one of the most stressful days of my mission. 

THEN on Saturday it was Sister Orozco's BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!! What a special treat that was. I have been her companion on BOTH of her birthdays. Lucky her! Ha ha. It was a super great day. We didn't go knocking on her birthday like we did last year. ;) The whole ward rolled out the red carpet and tons of people invited us over to celebrate! It was totally fun. We did some Zumba in the morning and all of the Latinas were making fun of me because I can't move my hips. What e're! I can't help it that I'm CLASSICALLY TRAINED! It was super fun though. We didn't have time to shower because of all of the birthday plans, so we walked around like sweaty, sexy beasts the entire day. Our sweet, kind, ADORABLE Sri Lankan family that I talked about last week invited us over for lunch! Gosh, the two little girls in that family are the sweetest. And Sri Lankan food is DIVINE! So there we are enjoying a nice, lovely visit with this cute family, when, just as we're about to open up the Book of Mormon to share a spiritual thought, IN WALK THE TWO SRI LANKAN BIBLE BASHERS! What are two young sista sistas supposed to do?! I could not BELIEVE what was happening! Haha. So I handed Sister Orozco my Bible and she shared her favorite Bible scripture instead. She talked about authority, but I think the message was lost on them. The women were so overjoyed by our Bible message though that one of them wanted to give Sister Orozco a birthday prayer. She says, "I give you birthday prayer now." And Sister Orozco's like, "Okay!" So we all are about to kneel, and she says, "Stay where you are!" And walks over and lays her hand upon her head and gives her a blessing in Sri Lankan! Ha ha ha. I was able to pick out, "Shabatneee humuna humna namasta HALLELUJAH OROZCO! HALLELUJAH CUTLER!" or something like that. Ha ha. SO funny. The sweet little girls also gave her a little statue of the Virgin Mary for her birthday present, which is now proudly displayed in our kitchen window for idol worship. Uh oh. Ha ha. It was a super crazy experience, but we loved every dang minute of it. After boppping around from house to house that day we ended our night in the East end of Montreal because one of the sister missionaries was sick. East end of Montreal = Italians. Italians had just won in the World Cup. Can you say PANDEMONIUM?!?!? We almost DIED! World Cup in Montreal is quite possibly the BEST thing ever because of the melange of cultures. Every single time there's a game sirens are going off and people are going crazy, depending on which neighborhood you're in. I can't get enough of this place! Pray that I stay safe during the World Cup, please. :)

Alright, so that's the week that was. There were a million other things that happened but this letter is getting ridiculously long and I'm sure you're all bored. I'm just having such a great time! What can I say? Gotta make every moment count! Well, the biggest news of all is that I love you all and miss you TERRIBLY. Hold on tight, spider monkeys! You'll be seeing me soon enough. Until then, love yous forever and ever. Have a fabulous summer week! Smooooch!


Sister Syl

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