Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year! Letter dated December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!!
Just a tad early for that greeting, but I thought it would still be fitting :) Can you believe 2013 is over?? I still mes sup with writing 2012 on my papers! Tomorrow can't be the last day of 2013! It just can't! Well, it's been a great week and I can't wait to tell you about it!
·  12 days: So last week, I told you about how we did the 12-days-of-Christmas for a family in our ward, right? And I told you about the old man whistling? Welp, Monday after emails, we went and left another gift for that family... And I was the runner again. Guess who was outside sitting in his truck? The same old man, haha. This time he didn't whistle at me though. He just called out, "Hello again, sweetheart!" I just smiled, waved, and kept running. Also, I don't know if the family liked our gifts or not. We didn't reveal ourselves to them like we had planned. (But honestly, I like it better that way.) 'twas fun. Maybe a tradition that I'll keep up next Christmas?
·  Christmas Eve: SO MUCH FUN. This was the night of the sisters performance :) It was wonderful. The second performance was definitely better than the first, but that's normal. We had full houses on both shows which made us feel good :) haha. (And yes, it was recorded, but you probably won't see it until I get home! Sorry!) Then, after we closed the VC, we had a VC Sister party! We came, ate food, took lots of pictures, played a lot of games, and the senior couples told us Christmas stories, and Elder and Sister Eyring played wonderful music for us :) It was a great party! AND. The senior couples really spoiled us! They gave each of us a stocking that was filled to the brim, a gift card to Macy's, and gift card to Cafe Rio, and a beautiful bracelet! (And lot's of snacks and goodies of course.) It was wonderful. We didn't get home until close to 12:30am, but it was worth it. I'm really going to miss spending Christmas Eve with a bunch of missionaries like that. It will probably never happen again. Sad day!
·  Christmas day: EARLY morning, but it was totally worth it :) We met at the VC at 9, the sisters redid our performance for the Elders (Somewhat awkward to dance in front of your colleagues...), we gave President and Sister Cooke their gifts (a beautiful picture of the DC temple, and a Washington Nationals jersey with the number 13 on it that all of us had signed), and then we watched Monster University! It was so cute! Not very Christmas-y, but I loved it :) From there, we went over to the stake center to have our delicious lunch and the variety show!! THE ELDERS DID SO WELL WITH THEIR NUTCRACKER! It was hilarious!! People loved it :) I was so proud of them! The video will be up on facebook after my mission. Keep an eye out for it ;)
·  Festival: This week has been a great week for the Festival of Lights!  We have been averaging 19 referrals sent a night!! It has been packed every night and we've had multiple surprise 3rd shows! This week was not even close to this busy last year! This year is amazing!! I love Festival of Lights! Love it, love it, love it!! I love being a missionary! I love being a Sister missionary because I can work at the Festival of Lights! Life is just golden! I'm so sad that there are only 3 nights left :( tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday! Super sad :( But oh well, maybe I'll come visit next year? Or some year? I don't know.
·  New Year: (watch it!)
Sorry it's so short! I guess that's what happens when you cal your family on Christmas :) I love you all! I hope you have a wonderful week! catch you again on Monday :)

Love, Sister Bullock

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas! Letter dated December 23, 2013

Sister Bullock with the Brady's, friends of both sets of grandparents
Dec 23, 2013
Christmas is only 2 days way!!!! CAn you believe it??? I have so much to do before tomorrow and Wednesday... But all will be well :) No need to stress about it. What happens, happens. Right? It has been an amazing week and I can't wait to tell you about it! Let's start with last Monday...
·  12 days of Christmas: So the Elders in our ward had the brilliant idea  to do a 12days of Christmas for a family in the ward. We get them a present everyday, and then door-bell-ditch it. It's really fun and thoughtful and sweet and all that jazz. So last Monday, it was our turn to door-bell-ditch the gift. Sister holland can't run, and I have discovered a love for sprinting.... So I became the runner. She parked down the street, and I calmly walked to the house, dropped the gift, rang and took off running. But soon into my run, I found that my skirt was a little too restrictive to run in.... So I did what anyone in my situation would do: I hicked the skirt up just a tad. Knees were showing, but I didn't think anything of it because no one was around. Well, that helped alot! I ran faster! And then I heard someone whistling at me. Full on cat-call. I didn't stop running, but I looked over and saw their neighbor leaning against his shed, watching me run. I finally reached the car and just LAUGHED. Probably for a good 3 minutes. Sister Holland looked at me like I was crazy, but I was just dying. Apparently, my knees are cat-call worthy.
·  Miracle Friday: Friday was pretty much the best day ever in the VC. We had a HUGE crowd (5,000 people in the center) and a surprise third show! The first 2 shows were completely full. People were even standing in the back of the theater! It was madness! But it was also a night of miracles! Let me just share 3 of those with you! 1. Half way through the 1st show, our sound system cut out. Luckily you could still hear the bells (it was a bell choir), but after the show, Elder Burnham says that we can't have our 2nd performance without a sound system! We had a full house waiting up stairs with tickets!! We had to have this show! So Sister Aldridge, Sister Connelly, and I said a quick prayer asking Heavenly father to help the tech guys work it out. AND IT WORKED. The sound system came alive and we had our 2nd show. Miracle. 2. Same show. Preparing for the 2nd performance, I noticed 3 people sittiing in our front row. They had come in without tickets. One of them was the mother of a preformer who had been let in by a ticket lady... but then she brought 2 other people with her. Again, we had a full house upstairs waiting to come in. If they have a ticket, thay are gaurenteed a seat. So this was a problem. As I'm talking to the ticket ladies, trying to figure this out, a lady walks up to the table and says, "We were waiting for some friends, but they aren't going to make it," and hands me 3 tickets! Problem instantly solved. Miracle. 3. We had been trying all week to get into contact with our investigator Amy. She needed to be interviewed on Saturday so she could be baptized Sunday. We hadn't heard from her all week! Friday, we were a little worried. Then, as we were leaving the VC, I felt like we should call her (even though it as almost 10:30.) SHE ANSWERED. And we were able to schedule an appointment for Saturday. Miracle.
·  Christmas day variety show: The missionaries, every year, put on a variety show during Christmas lunch with the mission. It is done by the different zones, usually. Well, my zone leaders called me on Thursday and asked if I would (in all my spare time) choreograph a Nutcracker bllet on the Elders of the zone. All 24 of them. And for some dumb reason, i said yes! I had no time! But I did it. I put it on then on Saturday and it is GREAT. Seriously, I can't wait to record it and show you all. It is hilarious! But I'm actually very impressed with the Elders! They did such a good job!
·  Christmas Eve performance: Oh yeah, that's tomorrow. My dance doesn't look as good as the Elders dance does. But, at least it's only me, so no one will know that I have no idea what I am doing. Should be cool. I'll tryin to get it recorded for you!
·  Also: AMY GOT BAPTIZED! But, I was not there for it! Sweet Sister Mendenhall found and taught Amy for 6 months! That's her whole mission so far! So i felt it would be better for her to attend instead of me. So I went on exchanges yesterday! To the MoVille YSA group (they are trying to start a branch over there.) It was pretty awesome :) And Amy got baptized which is even cooler.
·  Christmas came early: We opened our presents this morning since we don't have anytime in the next couple of days. THANK YOU!!!! You all truly spoiled me this yaer :) Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I'm pretty sure that's all I have for you right now... Mostly becasue my time is up. But I love you and I'll see you sooooon! Thank you for all your love and support!
Love, Sister Bullock
Presents under the tree

The loot

Sister Bullock and Sister Holland enjoyed a huckleberry breakfast from Sister Holland's family

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Festival of Lights Letter dated Dec 16, 2013

Hi :)
I don't even know what to say in this email... Nothing has happened, yet so much has happened. It's so weird!
·  FESTIVAL: I LOVE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS! I love it so much! Last night was crazy! Jenny Oaks Baker performed 3 shows and brought almost 5,000 people (4,782 to be exact) into the Visitors' Center... And they were all there at the same time. Pretty much. I LOVED IT. I love nights where you can barely walk in the VC. It's so much fun! And the best part of it is how happy and nice people are!  They are all just trying to have the Christmas spirit with them, so they are much more patient and understanding... And they do what is asked of them :) I organized the lines last night (we had 3 ginormous lines going all night long). It was so fun. Seriously. I can't even tell you how much I loved last night. It was great. And the best part is, it's happening again tonight! Jenny is coming back to play 3 more shows tonight! YAY.
·  Sister Holland: We had a good talk last night on the long drive home about some different things. Mostly about her homesickness. I don't really know how to help her? I've never really been homesick, and I've never had a homesick companion before. So we're both figuring this out together. Hopefully I'm able to help her. Especially now that we're closer to Christmas... That's just going to make it worse. Please keep her in your prayers :) That would be much appreciated! Thank you!
·  Old: I refuse to tell anybody how long I've been out now. I hate hearing, "Oh, so you're just about done and ready to head home then!" It's the worst sentence in the world. So now I tell them that I've been out for "around a year". I'm now contemplating reciting "My Mission Commission" (a recitation we do here) any time someone asks me about home. I can't get distracted!!  I still have work to do!
·  Mother Nature: She must be having serious mood swings because our weather won't make up it's mind. One day it's 50 and the next it's 24. I don't like winter! Haha :)
·  Jessie: MY DEAREST, DARLING BESTEST FRIEND! Happy birthday, my love! Sister Holland and I ate some cake just for you last night :) I hope you had a wonderful birthday, and enjoyed having Conrad there to celebrate with you!! Love you!
·  Christmas Eve: My dance for Christmas Eve? Yeah, I still don't know what I'm doing. I'm seriously considering just going out there and improving. I'm only dancing a little bit anyway, not the whole song. So it could work. I'll let you know how that works out...
·  Christmas day: So I'm not quite sure yet how we are going to communicate this year. We ARE allowed to Skype, but we have to use our members to do it. Which is fine, but our area is quite far from the VC and so if we were to go home after the mission Christmas party to Skype, only one of us would get to talk before we had to go back to the VC. So we need to see if there is a member that has the equipment to have both of us Skyping at the same time. If not, I told Sister Holland that she would be the one to Skype (since she's the homesick one and I'll see you in like 9 weeks). But we'll figure it out and get the time to you on Monday. I hope that isn't too late for you. Ps. In case we can Skype, I need my Skype account info... And your info. Because I don't remember it at all. Thank you!
Well, that is a pretty lame letter.... But it's all I have for you this week. SORRY. I'll do better next week! Promise! I love you and miss you all! Thank you for your love and support! You're the best!!

Love, Sister Bullock
Sisters singing at the lighting of Festival of lights

Washington DC North Mission Dec 2013...Can you spot Sister Bullock?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Snow Day! Letter Dated December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013
Sister Loi Anne Eyring, Sister Bullock, and Elder Harden Eyring (Washington DC Temple Visitors' Center Director)

Hellooooo Idaho (and other parts of the world...)!
 The first week of Festival  is done! Holy cow, what a week it has been! Let me tell you a little bit about it!
·  New Carrollton: I pretty much like this area a lot. I haven't really been able to see much of it this week (still), but what I have seen, I've liked. I probably won't see all of it until January, but hopefully we are able to get out more and work in our area.
·  Sister Holland: She's pretty cool. (Mom and Dad, she says that if you really want to go back to McCall, all you have to do is talk to her dad and he'll set you up.) She's doing a lot better this week. She is starting to talk more about the visitors center instead of  home so it's good :) And she's growing a lot. I think she'll be okay.
·  Studies: I love having time to study my scriptures everyday! It seems that no matter how many times I read my scriptures, I always learn something new! I'm continually discovering more and more gospel principles that I can apply to my life or to the lives of my investigators, recent converts, or members! I LOVE the scriptures!
·  Church: Church was also cool this week. Part of our lesson in Gospel Principles was on grace and mercy. I really liked how our teacher defined these things: Grace is getting what we don't deserve, while mercy is not getting what we do deserve. Just an interesting thought, I guess. I never really thought about the difference between grace and mercy until I came on my mission, and I feel like that has been of the greatest lessons I've learned. An yesterday with church, it was like the finishing touch :)
·  Ward choir: mama, I'm back in ward choir :) I thought you'd be proud of me for that one. This wards Christmas program should be really fun! We have Joy to the World, Still, still, still, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and (the choir director was feeling adventurous this year) Unto Us a Child is Born. They are all really fun! Unto Us is SO challenging... Hopefully it will be ready to sing in 2 weeks.... But, 'tis fun. And I think of my dearest mother every time I sing in choir.
·  Sick day: Saturday was a sick day. Both my companion and I were down with something. Hers seems like a sinus infection, and mine seemed like the flu... But now it seems more like a cold. Either way. We slept all day until we had to go to the VC. Then we rocked it and taught everyone we saw that night! Combined, we handed out over 100 referral cards :)
·  Snow day: Yesterday, during church, we got a call from Assistants to the President, telling us that President Cooke wanted all of us to stay in our apartments all day. And we were not to leave until we were told we could. So after choir, Sister Holland and I carefully drove back to our apartment, and there we stayed... Kind of. We have a senior couple that lives in our complex, so we walked over to their place and watched the Christmas Broadcast with them :) Wasn't the broadcast wonderful?? It was a little bit of a different set up  this year, but it was fun. It was also fun to see a few people there that I had met just days before (Sister Wixom, and a member of the MoTab).
·  Ambassador and Diplomat night: Pretty much the coolest nights ever. This year, it was Elder Christofferson that came to help turn on the lights the first night, then Sister Wixom the second. Elder Christofferson surprised me that first night! There I was, standing on the floor, and he walks up behind me and asks, "How are you this evening?" As I'm turning I say, "I'm well, how are you?" By the end of my words, I'm looking at him, and I realize who I'm talking to. I would pay good money to see the look on my face! He kindly smiled, shook my hand, and went to greet the other sisters. I felt so dumb. Oh well. Meeting Sister Wixom went a little smoother. She and her husband are so cute together! I loved spending time with them! Also, during diplomat night, there was a camera crew from Salt Lake there... My Visitors' Center might be part of a Mormon Message soon. I don't think I'm in any of the shots, but I know I was right behind them while they were filming some of their shots :) Should be cool to eventually see.
·  FESTIVAL: It's here. It's underway. We're done with week one. It's insane! We have had bigger crowds than we've expected every night this week! And we're thrilled about it! This year, we're all working in companionship's in the Visitors' Center as opposed to last year where we worked solo. It is wonderful! I love looking around and seeing all the sisters 2-by-2 talking to so many people! I LOVE it. And I love festival.  It's a completely different experience from last year though! Last year my head was up in the clouds and I just enjoyed the experience. This year, I'm still enjoying everything, but I'm also in the position to make sure everything that needs to happen, is happening. It's weird. But I secretly love it. Mostly, I just love teaching those that come into the Visitors' Center :) People are wonderful.
Alright, well that is it for me this week :) I'll catch you all next week (if I survive this week)! I love you! And don't forget to catch the Spirit of Christ(mas).
Love, Sister Bullock

Monday, December 9, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

It's Time for The Festival of Lights! Letter dated December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013

Oh hey.
This week has been... A week. Not good, not bad. I'm stressing out a little this morning, but it's all good. The rest of the month will be a lot of stress too. There are just not enough hours in a day!! But let me tell you about my week! (Sorry if it is short... again, not enough time in a day!)
·  Welcome home: My first night in the area was pretty eventful. It was kind of a stormy day, lots of wind and rain. It was about 8:30 or so and Sister Holland and I had just finished making the turkey cookies. I got up and started walking towards the kitchen window when there was a large crack and smack! The wind snapped a tree and it fell on our apartment building! We were safe, but it was crazy! So eventually, our building was swarmed with firemen... One came banging down our door, so we let him in and he ran to the patio door... but couldn't figure out how to open it... It was kind of a comical moment for all of us. Then, Sister Holland and I wrapped up in blankets and stood out on our patio watching all the action happen. While we were standing there, 2 firemen came over and started asking us about the tree and if we saw it and such. I told them we heard it while making cookies. One firemen stopped and said, "Are any of those cookies ready?" Of course we said yes and immediately drooped them both a turkey cookie, and also a Festival of Lights pass-a-long card. It was kind of an odd, but cool way to start in a new area.

·  Thanksgiving: It was cool. We ate turkey and too much of everything else with our ward mission leader, his wife, their 1 year old son, a senior couple in our ward, and a less-active member and her son! It was quite the party. And the food was soooo good. Mom, Sister Moore made rolls that are just like yours! It made me think of you :) A little piece of home!
·  Sister Holland: She's pretty cool. Still super young, but cool. She's pretty homesick, which is sad, but hopefully Festival will just make her too tired to think about anything but sleep. We have fun and laugh a lot together. :) I'm excited to be with her this transfer. Also, I remembered where she's from! McCall, Idaho. 2 hours away from Boise. Liiiiitle town. Also, also, she sounds like an Idahoan. She drops the g's off off any 'ing', and she repeatedly says, "oh my heck". I think she will help prepare me to go back to Idaho...
·  New Carrollton: I like this area. It's very much like White Oak. Lots of Africans, and a lot of members that need help! I LOVE wards like this :) I feel like I can actually do something and make a difference. So that will be cool. It is going to take some adjusting though... It's so different from DC2. So many screaming babies during Sacrament meeting! Ha!
·  iPads: Sadly, we just found out we won't be getting our iPads until January :( Something about the customized program not working... So we'll see about Skype for Christmas... (Which by the way is only 23 days away!!!!)
·  Festival: IT'S HERE. It is literally hours away. Pray for me please, haha. I have so much to do! (And I love every second of it!)

Sisters Holland and Bullock with the Christmas tree and ornaments that the Crestwood Primary children
(Sister Bullock's home ward)  sent to them

Okay, that's it for today. Sorry again that it is short. But I love you and I miss you all! Happy December! (how is it December already???) Be safe, happy and healthy! Don't forget the Reason for the Season!
Love you all!!!
Love, Sister Bullock

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Transfer Week and Happy Thanksgiving! Letter dated November 25, 2013

Oh, hey there :)
This week has been pretty good. Lots of time in the Visitors Center and some awesome opportunities! Let me tell you about it! (Again, these are never in any particular order...)
·  I love serving in DC: So last Tuesday night, we were invited to accompany President Cooke to a forum down at Georgetown University (a campus we are required to stay FAR away from)! The forum was on scriptural authority, and they invited a Protestant minister, a Rabbi, and President Cooke. So you had a Catholic (because it's Georgetown), a Methodist, a Jew, and a Mormon talking about scriptural authority! So cool! And a once in a lifetime opportunity! Sadly though, I fell ill that evening right before we were supposed to go, so I spent my evening in the Visitors Center while my companions went with President. They said it was really cool though! I wish I could have been there!
·  Second chances: Back on Thursday, we got a call from a member in the Chevy Chase ward, inviting us to come to the Georgetown Law campus for yet another forum. This one was more in the style of Why I Believe (Law School style). There was a panel of 3 members from different backgrounds, but all law students or Georgetown Law alums. Super cool. We started the meeting off by teaching both the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation in 5 minutes, then the panelists told their conversion stories, and then it was opened up to the audience for questions! It was so cool to witness (I was able to be there, hence the title of this paragraph). I LOVE people :) And I love when the Spirit is teaching someone. It's so cool to watch!
·  Tory: I love Tory so much! I have loved meeting with her and working with her. Sister J and I met her at the endish of last transfer, and we've been meeting with her ever since. The thing I love most about Tory, is her ability to think deeply. She asks the best questions! And yet, she doesn't let her thoughts get in the way of what her heart (and the spirit) are telling her! It's so cool! I love hearing her thoughts or her perspective. I love how she interprets some scriptures that I've read all my life, but she opens my understanding more! She's basically the coolest person ever.
·  Weather report: So last week, it was 68 outside while I was emailing you. Now it's 30. Not cool, DC, not cool. (No pun intended.)
·  Detroit?: I felt like I was in Detroit again! Only because I watched a guy get arrested the other day. Took a good number of cops to do it. It was just kind of awkward to watch really... But I must admit, I did laugh a little bit. Don't really know why, but I did :)
·  Sister J: AH! My heart! It's a little broken today. I thought I told you this but she got her visa about 2 weeks ago. It came to the Visitors Center and I sat there and stared at it for probably 15 minutes. I despised the mailbox that day. But she left today. Like, 30 minutes ago. It's so sad! I loved (and still love) her so much! The mission and the Visitors Center just won't be the same without her! I miss her so much already! :( I guess Brazil needs her or something like that...
·  Thanksgiving: It's this Thursday. The day after transfers. Should be cool. I'll be working at the Visitors Center starting at 3:30, but don't worry, I will still be taken care of. I'm making the turkey cookies for the sisters and senior couple that have to be on shift with me, and Sister Petramalo (the senior sister) is bringing pumpkin pie! So it will still be a party :)
·  Festival: It starts a week from today!!!!!!!! I'm so excited. My dance is not even close to being choreographed. I don't have the music for it. It's Silent Night, but it's a unique arrangement... That makes choreographing a little harder. But that's okay. We'll figure it out. I'm more excited about festival itself though :) Bring on the crowds! Bring on the concerts! Bring on the lights, the trees, and the nativity! Ah! I'm so excited!!
·  Current companions: I love them so much! They brighten my day, everyday! I am so lucky to have them! Sister Naka is doing better. She gets stronger everyday, and I hope that continues to be true from here on out. Sister Robert is wonderful. She sings like an angel :) They both work so hard and I'm just amazed by them! I have so much to learn from the Sisters around me! I am so blessed!
·  Deep thinking: So yesterday, during church, I enjoyed some deep thinking. I thought about 2 things mostly. One was inspired by a talk, and the other was part of our Sunday school lesson. The one from Sacrament meeting, I would love to share with you, but it takes a TON of explaining and it creates a very long conversation! So if you want to hear my thoughts on "true happiness", message me and I'll tell you. But I will tell you my other thought. I titled it "I am who I am who I am". I am who I am and I can choose who I am. Therefore, I should never not like myself, because I can CHOOSE who I am. Or, if I don't like myself, I can change because I have the ability to choose who I am. This is kind of like, "duh!", but it blew my mind yesterday! I have struggled off and on my whole life with not liking myself or feeling inadequate or just wanting to change, and now I finally realize that I CAN change. I have had 2 gifts given to me: agency, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If I'm truly applying these things in my life, and using the correctly, how can I not change? How can I not become the person I want to be? Ah! I just love thinking about this! It's so empowering :) Anyway, I'm just in a thinking mood still, so I could go on forever. But I'll leave it at that for now. (But seriously, hit me up about "true happiness".)
·  Transfers: Oh, by the way, we got transfer call outs last night. They told us if we were staying or going, where we were going, and who our companion(s) would be. JUST so we could tell you :) Isn't that nice? So are you ready for it?
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·  Okay. I'm leaving DC2nd. I'm not quite over this yet. For the first time n my WHOLE mission, I'm not excited to go to a new area. I'm not ready to leave! DC2 is THE best area, and my favorite ward so far! I've made so many friends, and had so much fun working with people my age, but I guess the Lord has other plans for me. But I'm still really sad about it :( Sister Leben (from Germany) will be my replacement. Sister Naka and Robert are staying here. I don't want to go :( Ha, both my converts in this ward left before I did, so I guess it's my turn.... But! I'm going to New Carrolton. It's out towards Bowie, so that will be fun. I'll be companions with Sister Holland (from a little town in Idaho. I don't remember where, but I know it's in the middle of no where). This will be her 2nd transfer, so I'll be finishing her training. She just BARELY turned 19 right before she entered the MTC. But I don't really know much else about her. I'll have more for you next week, I'm sure.
Sister Holland
Alright, I think that just about sums up my week! Next time I email you, it'll be just hours before the first night of Festival! I'm so excited! Thank you so much for all that you do! For all your love and support! I'll see you soooon! Love you all!

Love, Sister Bullock
Photos from Arlington visit November 2013

The group going home in Feb 2014

Sisters Bullock and Clement

The sisters that will go home in the next 6 months