Monday, December 29, 2014

12/29/14 Letter

Happy Birthday Dad!  I think you're turning 46 this Saturday?  Have a good one! And HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!  So fun. Mom you are so stinking adorable with your candlelit surprises and such.

Thanks for praying for my investigators, I need it. Haha. Maybe if you pray for them it will help me teach better :)   They are so stinkin' awesome.  You should pray for Chelsey and Lee and Jurparis as well. They don't have baptism dates yet but they all totally could!  You wanted to hear one of their stories? One of my investigators is named Chelsey and she works at like a truck stop. One day this really awesome guy in our ward named Kenny walked in and started talking to her about the gospel and invited her to church.  She had grown up going to church and seminary a bunch with her friends so she was familiar and still pretty interested in the church .  She dosen't actually live in our ward boundaries but we are allowed to teach where the fellowship is technically. The missionaries where she lives should really do the teaching so we tried to hook her up with them (I wasn't actually around for this part) but they just couldn't make it work or something. So by the time we just decided to teach her, she had already been to church like 6 times and knows basically everything. we have only been able to teach her the one time before she went out of town for Christmas. But at that time she told us she had already decided that she was going to make her decision to be baptized or not by the end of the month which is in like 3 days!  SO hopefully we get to meet with her tonight before FHE,  And if not well see her there anyways.  So excited to here what she says!

For the spiritual notes of life you should read the talk " I Stand All Amazed" by Elder Holland. It is the actual bomb! 

And yes I am SO grateful for the Washington winter as opposed to any other winter I've ever experienced. It is so nice and green. Not warm. But not cold. 

Have a quality birthday dad!


Seester Erin Orr

Thursday, December 25, 2014

This Week's Letter and Christmas Skyping :)

Monday, December 22nd

I'm so excited to talk with y'all on Thursday! I think we decided on 4:00 my time so I don't know what that is Utah time but figure it out and plan on me facetiming ya! Unfortunately I don't have much information on what I'll be facetiming you from so it could be a computer or a phone and I'm not sure what to do about that situation so I might just have the people I'm eating with set it up and have em call you to do that or something. But yes 4:00 is the time :) and, Dad, you should probably send me some Chicago style popcorn when you're up there next week, that would be the Christ-like thing to do:) And I love that Tad R. Callister talk. Actually I love all his talks. He is the actual bomb.  I'm sure you've watched that "He is the Gift" video right?  I'm pretty sure its like everywhere but that just might be because I watch it around 14 billion times a day.  But it is honestly awesome and its been making me think about Jesus's condescension a lot and how he was humble enough to go from God-like to baby born in a barn as a gift to of all the rest of the world. He truly is the greatest gift ever given, but its our job to receive the gift.  Have a fun Christmas week with everyone together it will be so fun! (especially when you get to talk to me).
LOVE, Sister Erin Orr

Thursday, December 25th 

Today we were able to skype with Erin for about 40 minutes.  40 minutes of us all being together for Christmas.  It was the best part of the day.  She looked WONDERFUL!  Pretty and happy and full of joy!!  We talked about just about everything.  It was THE BEST!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wisdom Teeth Anesthesia Awesomeness

So, I'm finally figuring out how to upload a video.  Don't judge.  Anyways, here's a short clip from one of the favorite hours of my life: the hour that I spent visiting with Erin post-wisdom teeth removal.  

Disclaimer: she is under anesthesia and this in no way reflects her actual life experiences!! :)

My Monday Oxygen...or...Sunshine from the Rainy State

Holy Smokes your letters make me so happy! And yeah the first couple of days I could see how seasonal depression could become quite the problem around here!  It was so rainy and cloudy and I was in some serious need of vitamin D but for the past few days its been beautiful and cloud free and I saw Mt. Rainier yesterday for the first time!  And I met someone who knows Jared! the Nalers? I don't know if I spelled that right either but when I introduced myself they acted like they had been expecting to meet "Elder Orr's Sister"  I'm so excited for Ben!  He's going to LOVE the MTC. I had so much fun.

That Papaleo Party sound fun and crazy. we need to do that when I get back but I'm so glad y'all got to catch up!  This week has been hecka crazy and awesome.  We taught so many lessons!  And I only feared for my life like three times:) 

In the YSA (young single adult) ward we don't get fed a lot just because YSA's either live with their families who invite their own ward missionaries over or they live in an apartment and probably cant afford to feed us too much.  But we did have dinner at one of the bishops councilors once this week and one girl in the ward lives with her family and we get along with her really well so we went up with them for dinner.  They happen to live in like the back woods though and we happened to park a really long ways away so when we got outside after dinner it was pitch black.  So that was terrifying but the stars were really pretty so me and my companion linked arms and looked up at the stars as we walked down their super long driveway. we thought we should make a parable about that story, like "if you're wandering through darkness, look to the heavens and you will find your way out" something like that.

Also this week I've seen quite a few miracles and I can't wait for all that I have still waiting over the next 18 months.

Also I burned my hair off this morning which was awful! I was reading my scriptures while straightening my hair when I realized that I forgot to pray first so I kind of just stopped what I was doing and ended up saying a really long prayer not realizing somehow, that my straightener was still clamped on a chunk of hair! Just the ends though so don't freak out.  But i felt my hair and it was BURNT and it just fell off straight into my hand.  So that was great.  Sorry this is so frantic but the library computers are timed and its making writing this email seem really intense.

I love you all so DANG much!  Sorry for the crazy letter..

Love, Sister Erin Orr

Haha. And yes I was going for 1 John: 19.  But I have no husband so really either scripture could work:)   (This was in response to my question to her:  "Oh! PS!  Your missionary plaque scripture --  I'm still a bit confused.  Did you mean 1 John 4:17-19 "There is no fear in love....We love him, because he first loved us"?  Which is great.  OR, did you mean John 4:17  "The woman answered and said, "I have no husband..."?  Which is hilarious.  Anyways, could you please clarify?? :)"

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Eagle Has Landed

Before the letters:  I received this great picture of Erin's....I mean Sister Orr's....district at the MTC from a friend who's son is also in this district.  Thanks LeAnn Ostler for posting and Elder Ostler for sharing!

Hey Mamma:)

just real quick i get to email ya, so im here!! i got to the mission home yesterday and we had lunch and took a nap (which was so cute). After a little devotional all the new missionaries just took different spot around the house and slept for like an hour or two. we needed it though cause we had to wake up at 2 am to make the plane. then we went over to the church and met our companions and got our areas. so my companions name is sister Halford and she is super pretty and a great missionary and from Gilbert Arizona.  we are over the James Hill YSA ward. so idk if that was one of the wards Jared was in to but i dont remember hearing him say anything about it. its definitely dark and rainy here. so dark and so rainy. also i lost my ability to type so sorry about this, i feel kind of pathetic (as a typer, i mean)
also yesterday i was freaking out a little and i cried for the first time since i got to the MTC so when we got to the Mission Home and wrote quick letters home mine was pretty negative so don't worry when you get it. i was just having a freak out day. talking on the phone yesterday made me so happy cant wait for three more weeks to do it again! i'm glad everyone's doin so good!

love you a bunch

Sister Erin Orr

Erin meeting President and Sister Eaton

Hey Dad

thanks for the email! i wish i got to talk to you on the phone yesterday! unfortunately at the airport all the payphones were taken and my and my companion had to divie up our time on some nice ladies cell phone so we didn't get very long. moral of the story is the salt lake airport needs more payphones so every missionary can spend a respectable amount of time talking to la familias. i told mom all bout my arrival but i didnt tell her about that day. so i went home and unpacked a little and then we went out and talked to a few people we had lessons with. the first was a guy named Findley. he's like 24 and a less active member and hes pretty quiet but cool and his mom is so excited for us to talk with him. and then we talked to these two Kenyan ladies that we didn't actually have an appointment with but we wanted to meet with one of their daughters so we stopped by. she wasn't home but these two kenyan ladies invited us in a spoke at us for like ever about martin luther and how our faiths can't mix. it was great. any ways for dinner i just ate some steamed veggies in the car on the way to those appointments. so great. we had one earlier today and then three more tonight! jumpin right in!

LOVE you and can feel your prayers!

love, Sister Erin Orr

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Off to Washington...Airport Phone Calls

No pics or letter today, just a terrific early morning phone call from a very happy missionary.  She called from the SLC airport while waiting for her flight to Washington to officially "get her boots on the ground" there.  She and her companion couldn't find an open pay phone, so a sweet lady loaned them her cell phone to call home.

She told me that there are 9 missionaries on her flight heading to the Federal Way Mission.  She and her companion are the only sister missionaries -- the rest are elders.  She absolutely LOVED her experience in the MTC and everything that went into it.  She is excited to get to Washington and to get to work there. She was also anxious to get updates from home and to hear how everyone is doing.

She's still trying to figure out how to get her pics from her camera onto a computer to send them home.  Hopefully she'll have time to figure it out soon!! *anxious mama*

Today, when she arrives she will meet her Mission President and his wife.  She will also get assigned her first companion there as well as find out what part of her mission she'll start off in.  I can't wait to hear about it! :)

I don't anticipate that we'll get our first email from her until next Monday.  

Love that girl!!!!  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thanksgiving at the MTC and such...

Here's some excerpts from two letters home today...

Hello my mom! 

The MTC Thanksgiving week was so stinking cool. On Tuesday, Elder Dallin H. Oaks came and spoke to us. Amazing. Then Thursday Elder Bednar came and spoke to us. So amazing. Then Sunday Sheri Dew came for relief society and Vocal Point came for devotional. So basically it was amazing. 

My favorite was Elder Bednar cause he came and this was broadcast to all the other mtc's and he had us do a Q&A with him but instead of having us talking into a microphone he sent out like 200 cell phones into the audience and had us text questions in to his iPad. So stinking cool. And he gave the other mtc's his email so they could send in questions as well. ( I'm 84% sure he did it like that so he didn't have to answer stupid questions). But it was so cool to be there for a world wide Q&A with an apostle. 

For Thanksgiving we did a bunch of stuff like watch Meet the Mormons, and did a service project where we made over 350000 meals for all those starving kids in Utah. Then we ate sack lunches for Thanksgiving dinner in our classrooms with our district and we went around and talked about what we are thankful for. It was probably my favorite thanksgiving ever. Nuh offense. 

Thanks for sending me those letters from Sam and Tyler. Loved them. 

Oh and I'm not sure what scripture I want on my plaque yet. I was thinking 1 John 4: 17-18 but I'm rethinking it...

Sorry about that picture I cannot figure out for the life of me how to 
get pictures from my camera onto an email but I am determined to find 
out so you just for now get that selfie of me:) 

Love ya again and I might get to talk to you Tuesday:) On Tuesday Erin leaves the Provo MTC and flies out to Washington!!

Hey dad! 

So it's going great here with all the teaching and such and I LOVE my teachers they are so great.  I'm not sure if you did this in the MTC, but we do this progressing investigator thing where our teachers act like a person they've come close with who needs the gospel or someone they converted on their mission and we get to "teach them" and our lessons have been going great. Then we also get to teach other people that aren't MTC employees and we don't know if they're actors or investigators but it's hard to tell. I love our girl. She's Korean and named Yesol Lee. She's so much fun to talk to!

I always think of questions to ask on Pday but I can't think of them now... I should prolly be a good missionary and start writing things down:)

Here's a pic of me and my companion today... 

Love ya!!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Surprise Pic of Erin and her companion

I received a short but GREAT text from Kenzie Ogletree this morning.  She ran into Erin at the MTC and snapped this picture of her and her companion.  Kenzie says she is doing awesome and loves her companion.  What a fantastic way to start the day! :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Another letter this week -- and it's my favorite

Erin wrote a separate email to Garret and it includes a pretty sweet experience.  

Hey Dad:)

Hey sorry I'm running out of email time so this ones gonna be quick.
But I love it here at the MTC so so so sooo much. The first day was
hard for me cause I still hadn't felt like I got that spiritual
confirmation that I was supposed to be here or go on a mission. (something she'd been seeking for MONTHS)  So that night I like BEGGED Heavenly Father to give me that conformation or to let me off the hook. Then later the next day in the middle of class, I don't even remember what we were talking about but I got it! And I was so happy because I've been looking for it for months and
have not recognized any kind of answer. But this one was so clear that
I am in the right place. So since then all my worries have been gone
and I have enjoyed every minute of my time here

Love and miss ya


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Yay! Her first letter!!

Hello my family! 
Today is a great day:):):) 
The MTC has been so amazing. Like super. I love it so much!! 
I don't know if you've got my first letter (she sent a short hand-written note the day after she arrived) but my Pday is normally on 
Thursday but this week we have a thanksgiving program and won't have time. so i get a quick one this morning. I love my district and my 
roommates so much. They are so great. They are like all from Utah. 
So... That's great. The spirit is so strong here and we are so busy. 
Seriously- minute to minute schedule. And then they give us like a 
thousand things to do in our "free time"? Like What is free time? What 
the even heck. But other than that me and my companion and two elders in my district are all going to federal way and my roommates are all going to temple square. I found out that we were supposed to come in the week of thanksgiving but they had us come in a week early and leave when we normally would. So that's why we're here for 3 weeks. But I'm kind of glad cause we can go more intodepth on all the righteousness.  plus also WE GET IPADS:)  What what! But I don't know how to get my pictures from my camera onto this thing so l'll figure it out later today hopefully and send that over to ya. 
And I love getting your letters everyday and I LOVE those pictures of 
addey. She's so cute. I'm glad she had a good birthday!! Tell her I 
sang happy birthday to her in my prayers:) 
Love you so much 
 A A Ron (the name is a joke we have)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sweet Goodbyes...Exciting Beginnings

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Since Erin's check in time wasn't until 1:45 we had some time to take things slow that morning.  Erin woke up at 6:30 -- standard missionary time -- since she had been set apart the night before.  We packed her last things in her big suitcases, wrote a few notes, had prayer together and loaded the car.  We picked up Aubri and Addey from school, then Garret from work, and headed to Provo.  We needed a few more items that we hadn't been able to find, but knew we could get in Provo.  After a few stops, she was ready and it was time.  

As we neared the Missionary Training Center, Erin (and all of us) wanted to have a chance for some final hugs and goodbyes and to not be rushed at the MTC drop off so we found a place to park the car and each one of us got a wonderful LONG hug from Erin.  It was a tender time for all of us.

Then, it was drop off time.  As we pulled up to the curb, we were greeted by a cute, smiling sister missionary who helped Erin with her bags. Another round of quick, last minute hugs -- all of us trying to keep our emotions under control and she was off with a smile and a wave.  *sigh*

Finally it got the best of Garret and I and we drove away with lumps in our throats and tears streaming down our faces.  We couldn't be more proud of her or love her more.  Today she joins over 88,000 missionary world-wide who are dedicating their lives to the God they love and his children.  

Get Ready...Get Set...

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Erin receives her mission call to the Washington Federal Way Mission!!  She is scheduled to report at the Provo Missionary Training Center on November 19th -- just over 5 weeks away!  The call was such a surprise, because just six months ago, Jared returned from the same mission.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Our family moved from our heart-land, McKinney, Texas to Morgan, Utah.  Erin and Aubri left the day after we arrived to go to Rexburg, Idaho to visit Jared and Emily there for a few days.

last night as a family in Mckinney

Erin and Jared in Rexburg

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Erin got her wisdom teeth removed and reacted hilariously to the anesthesia.  (I'll post the videos separately).  After a few days of recovery, we had a couple of shopping days left before she was to report -- we worked hard and fast and got it done!

Trying on some mission clothes

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Banner family (those in Utah) gathered for an early Thanksgiving dinner.  At the last minute, Jared and Emily were able to come down and join us.  It was so fun!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Erin is set apart as a full-time missionary by President Skinner of the Morgan, Utah Stake.  It was such a sweet experience.  Just outside of the Stake President's office, there is a wall of all of the missionaries serving from the Morgan Stake.  There is over 100!   Erin has the privilege of sharing the wall with her Grandma Banner -- serving a mission in Birmingham England.