Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Arlington National Cemetery

Sisters Natkatsuka, Bullock, and Robertson

November 4, 2013

Hello, my dearest friends!
I don't even know where to begin this letter! So much has happened, and yet I feel like I have nothing to report! I will try my best, but you'll have to forgive me if this is kind of a wimpy letter :)
·     Naka and Robert's Son: Heavenly Father truly blesses me in the way of companions each and every transfer! And that definitely includes this transfer! I love my dear companions so much! Sister Nakatsuka is coming out and working more and more every day, and Sister Robertson is growing and helping me grow! Even though she's so young, she is such a great example for me to follow! I feel like the mama bear in this companionship :) It's kind of funny.  We never, ever stop laughing and that's what I love the most! As Charlie Chaplin says, "A day without laughter is a day wasted." We do not waste any day!
·     Cold: How cow! (That was supposed to be 'holy cow' but I'm too lazy to change it... And I thought it was kind of funny) It is so cold out here all of the sudden! Our days have been up in the 60's, or high 50's... And then today -BOOM- We're in the 40's and high 30's! We did sunrise pictures this morning... I just about died! Way too cold for my liking! But, I guess I can live with it :)
·     Night of Music and Inspiration: So my dearest Naka is in charge of this months Night of Music! She is pretty much perfect for this calling and she has come up with something super great! She invited me to sing in her Night, and the music is super cool! It's I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go, but the arrangement is beautiful!! I'll send the music home later so you can see! I don't know why they keep asking me to sing (I don't sing), but I can't ever say no!
·     The crazy life of a Trainer: Life for us trainers is crazy this transfer. I feel so disorganized and so out of my mind! We are trying to fit so much into our training meetings before Festival starts and we have no time to do anything. And there are a lot of extra things we have to do for Festival this year... Like make a completely new schedule because we'll now be in companionship's at the Visitors' Center! No more teaching solo! So that has to be reworked, and we also need new training on Ambassador's Night and Diplomat Night because that's changing also... And Brother Brewer is coming again this year! It will be his 34th Christmas working with us :) He is truly amazing :) I'm so excited for him to come and share his miracles with us! But, it has us trainers running around like crazy women trying to organize things... It will all work out! (Somehow)
·     Thanksgiving: It is that time of year! We should soon be having our Annual service day, and then we will stuff our faces with some sort of food! Last year, I have super salty ham, turkey pizza, and some stuffing. It was delicious! The fun fact, though, is that Thanksgiving is the day after transfers! But no fears, we will be taken care of. If we aren't eating with members, we'll eat with a senior couple. I love Thanksgiving as a missionary! It's a time to really reflect on all the blessings we receive on a daily basis, and as a missionary, I feel like I notice these blessings even more! Something that I have started doing has really helped me see even more beauty in life: a gratitude journal! You should give it a try :) Every night, write 10 things you're grateful for. Tell me what happens :)
·     Trees: This kind of has 2 parts. 1) The trees this fall are absolutely gorgeous! I love all the colors and varieties that are all over! But I think the prettiest trees,and the most colorful trees are those around the temple grounds! 2) The Christmas trees are up in the Visitors Center! They aren't decorated yet, but they are up! Ah! It just makes me so happy every time I come to work here :) My favorite time is coming, and it's coming fast!
·     Speaking of Festival: It's almost here!!!!!! I cannot wait for it to come! this year, it starts kind of late! Ambassador's Night is the 4th of December, and then we open to the public on the 6th! I can't even begin to tell you just how excited I am for festival! It's going to be so much fun! The trees, the lights, the people, the concerts, the food, having all the sisters in the building all at once and working together, the stress and high energy, and just the atmosphere! I love everything about Festival! I wish you all could be here to experience this with me! I wish you could experience it as a sister missionary! Ha! It is the best thing of my life, and I'm so grateful I get to have it twice on my mission! I am so blessed!
·     Arlington: Arlington was completely amazing! It was everything I had hoped it would be and more! There's a lot I want to tell you, but I don't know how to put it all into words! We started the day by going to the Mall and taking sunrise pictures! It was a perfect day for this! It was clear, and the sun was beautiful... It was freezing but it as perfect! after pictures and breakfast, we went down to Arlington National Cemetery! It was weird to be outside of my mission boundaries! I felt somewhat disobedient, and then I remembered that this was put on by my mission president, haha. We first gathered in the cemetery visitors' center, and President Cooke talked to us a little bit about how sacred this ground was and what we would be doing that day. It was really sweet. Our first stop was the tomb of the Unknown. This was probably my favorite part of the day! We watched the Old Guard walk his 21 steps back and forth in front of the Tomb, and at the top of the hour, we were able to watch the changing of the guard! it was really cool! Then! We were also able to watch the changing of the wreath at the Tomb, which has it's own ceremony! So that was awesome. then we went down below the tomb to the barracks where the Old Guards live! There, we learned all about the centennials that guard the Tomb and what they have to do to earn such a high position and the honor of guarding the Tomb. It sounds pretty hard core. It was so cool :) After that, we took pictures in the groups we'll be leaving in. My group is surprisingly large! From there, we went over to the Arlington house, which is the Lee's property. It was so cool to be there and to see the house that they lived in and to hear their stories. Knowing that I'm somehow related to General Lee made it even cooler! Then we went over to President Kennedy's grave with the eternal flame. Can you believe that was 50 years ago? It seems like it's so fresh in every ones mind still! And I wasn't even thought of when it happened! It's just amazing how history can stay in our hearts and minds no matter the length of time. After this, and a lot of walking, we took one last group photo on top of the Women in Military building. And then it hit me just what this trip meant. I have just over 3 months left as a missionary. It's just so weird that soon, all of this will be coming to an end! It feels like just yesterday I was opening my call, or being set apart, or driving down to Provo. I feel like I just met Sister Jarrett and my district in the MTC! I feel like I just go here. I can't be leaving in 3 months! But I wouldn't trade the experiences I've had for anything. This was the best decision I've ever made in my life. I'm so grateful I've had the opportunity to serve my Lord full-time. I am so blessed to be able to work and give everything I have to His work. And those 3 months might fly, but I'll make them the best of my mission. I promise to work harder than I ever have.
Okay, this email turned into a rant. I didn't mean for that to happen... Sorry about that. BUT! It's been an eventful week and day. I love my mission, and I love you all. thank you for all your love and support. Thank you for just being awesome! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love you all! Please have wonderful weeks, and know that Heavenly father is mindful of you and He hears your prayers :)

 Love, Sister Bullock
Sunrise on the Mall


Metro station

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The group of missionaries leaving in Feb 2014

The sisters leaving in the next 6 months

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