Monday, August 26, 2013

First PDay in Tampa

So in her eagerness to get as many photos emailed to us; it took almost all of her internet time!  BUT  the good news is there are lots of photos... it's a bit of an ordeal getting them from my email to the blog, so I'll take a few days to get them all posted :)  And once all the photos are up I'll share her wonderful email too! 

Sister Ormsby and her companion in the MTC

The sisters in her residence at the MTC

The missionaries of Sister Ormsby's MTC district

Meal time in the MTC cafeteria with her district

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Day One in Tampa

Okay - Day One!

Got up at 6:30 am (which was really 4:30 with the time change) I wanted to cry, I was sooooooo happy.  IT'S HOT

Sister U and I got to sleep on queen beds last night at the hotel.  Best night's sleep EVER.  I swear!  We didn't want to get up - but exact obedience! :)

Then we had orientations and more rules.  Pretty routine. (P.S - I need a copy of my motor vehicle record sent to the mission home before I can drive here, so can you please figure that out for me? I LOVE YOU!)

So after that, random missionaries started trickling into the chapel. AND - I saw Layne!  It was awesome!!

We (the newbies) sat in on the meeting for the trainers - all the while not knowing who would train who.  Then came lunch.  After that ... I got my trainer!

Sister L!  She is super cute!  She turned 21 last week and has been out 5 months.  AND - we are opening a new area together!  Apollo Beach B.  So excited to get into all of this.  But it turns out our apartment isn't ready yet - so we won't move in until next week.  For now we are staying with sisters P & R in an area 20 miles north of ours, Valrico.  It's all so weird & new - we are still sorting it all out.

But there are Elders in Apollo Beach -A that have been there a while.  Basically we have a share car with them, but they drove us around a bit & showed us the area - it is HUGE!!!  No wonder they split it, we still cover so much! 

It's incredibly green here & the weather is so bi-polar!  BUT - I love the rain! It is SO warm & nice!  The Elders drove us by the place we will be moving into & it is so incredibly cool.  We didn't believe them at first.  It looks like a concrete dome COVERED in awesome murals.  Okay, I can't even explain it - but we took a photo & I'll send that on Monday when I email.

We are still figuring it all out.  But is is cool!  I am so happy!  And I love you all!

See you in a week   -- Love Sister Ormsby

P.S. I didn't have the address for our new place yet.  But I'll email it on Monday.
P.P.S. The area we cover is all of Hillborough County (google it!)  It's pretty massive :)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

First letter from Tampa

I made it!!  Florida is fantastic! :)

Here are the "Top Ten" things my mission president & his wife told us that our parents would want to know.

1. First impression as I flew into Tampa:

Freaking beautiful!! Honestly, I can't get over how it all looks EXACTLY like Brisbane! For real, the airport, the skyline, the heat - everyone is just driving on the wrong side of the road.  Otherwise, spitting image! I LOVE IT 

2. Who met you at the airport?

President & Sister Cusick - they are so great!!! Our AP's which I have been told to tell you are the most awesome AP's ever - really are :)   (*AP's are assistants to the president, they are also missionaries)

3. How did you feel about the people you met the first day?

They are all so nice, I haven't been here long, but I can still see this feeling like home.

4. What happened the first day and evening?

Once we landed President & Sister Cusick drove Sister U and I to the hotel.  We just had a quick 5 minutes to drop our bags off. (We are staying at La Quinta on Dale Mabry Rd if ya wanna google it! :) )  (she knows me so well!) Now we are at the mission home!  We had a delicious dinner & some quick interviews.  And after we all finish our letters, we'll have training tonight. 

5. What is making me feel happy right now.

EVERYTHING. The spirit, the excitement, the reality of it all! I am so happy & so sure that this is where I am meant to be! :)

6. What do you especially appreciate about your family or those supporting you?

Uhm, everything!! Your letters mean so much!! And absolutely your PRAYERS!! I love you all!

7. What advice that you received before leaving is turning out to be the most valuable?

Write it all down.  Everything really is flying by!  Work hard & love it! Kia Kaha.

8. What is going well so far?

I feel ready.  I feel happier.  I'm so good!

9. Florida seems...

So wonderful. Pretty. HOT :)


I have a testimony of this work.  Our message comes from Christ.  This is such an incredible opportunity to serve & love others. This church is true & I am grateful to help others come to Christ!

- see you in a week, Love Sister Ormsby

Thursday, August 22, 2013

She's in Tampa!

This arrived in our email today!

Dear Ormsbys:

Just a short note to inform you your missionary arrived in Tampa safe and in good spirits. We enjoyed a good meal together and a personal interview. She spent the night at the La Quinta Inn. The following morning an orientation meeting was held at the local chapel where the arriving missionaries met their new companions and were given further training.

Sister Ormsby's companion is Sister Lee. They will be serving in the Apollo Beach B Area.
Sister Cusick and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to serve alongside your missionary. May the Lord bless you and your family as your missionary serves in this portion of the Lord's vineyard.
Best Wishes,

Mark D. Cusick
President Florida Tampa Mission

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Letter Two (day 2 in the MTC)

Here's Sister Ormsby's second letter:

I know you really want details, but the fact of the matter is I basically have NO free time here.  Our open study time is spent studying lessons for our investigators & the short hour I have at night is usually showering time & get ready for bed.  I always have the best of intentions of writing you guys letters & writing in my journal but the time never fits!  (This was written day two, letter two!!  Love this girl!!!)  So..... AH! I am going to try my very best to summarize & detail the important stuff: 
Day Two: a really fantastic workshop to start our day! Called "People & your purpose workshop". It all reminded me of dad because we watched different clips from that project "1 in 8 million" the one about people in New York .. I'm not sure if he'll remember.  I have mainly been learning to see everyone as Christ sees them, which is a beautiful & amazing experience.  Favorite thing I realized from that workshop: "This is NOT about you! You have a front row seat to the greatest miracle that happens on earth.  Watch God reach down and pull His children back to Him". WOW! Right?!!?
My perception of this work has really changed.  I know that my purpose is to help others develop a relationship with Christ, to love Him & to learn of Him, not about Him but of Him.
We had additional study time where we studied as a district.  I am really blessed to be a part of my district, we have grown so close so quickly & I really value the insightful studying we accomplish together.  Their testimonies strengthen mine so much.
We were also blessed to have Zone teaching with Brother D.  We learned to focus on loving our investigators first, than letting the rest follow.  Also, did you know that 75% of accomplishing our missionary purpose comes from the preparation? We plan by the Spirit, have personal & companion study & only then are we able to teach by the spirit.  We put a lot into preparing.  Current motto: "The power of your teaching comes through preparation". Psst: Jeffrey R. Holland: "Your First Convert".. So Great!!  What I learned: Everything in the conversion process must happen to you before it can happen the them - EVERYTHING!   I will be my first convert!! :)
One of my goals is to see individuals not as they are, but as what they can become through Christ. I'm beginning to understand that when I have the right vision of them, I will be given the courage to teach effectively.  So basically, This Work is Amazing!!!!
In class we have begun studying the fundamentals. The difference between unskilled and skilled is fundamentals! Setting up a good foundation will begin our conversion to the Lord!
Okay - next awesome thing is: we have an investigator!!! His name is Shawn & Sister U & I have taught him 3 lessons now!  It is hard but incredible!!!  I am really beginning to see how much the Lord wants His children back so bad! Because as we have taught our investigator I really feel that love Christ has for His children is so much magnified then the love I have gained. DID THAT MAKE ANY SENSE? Let me try again, I already love those we teach - it really opens my eyes to the love Christ must have for them & how much more magnified it must be!  It is truly incredible to be a part of this work! :)
Other news is Thursday night we met with our Branch Presidency. They are seriously the best! We all had interviews & S. U. and I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve our zone as Sister Training Leaders.
We feel the weight of this responsibility to lead the new sisters that will arrive on Wednesday.  We already love them!  
Love you!  See you in a week! - Sister Ormsby

Monday, August 12, 2013

Day One ... and counting

I love this picture taken the Sunday of Whitney's farewell... it was an amazing day.  So full of the support, love and spirit!  She was glowing, and buoyed up by all the complete love she felt from everyone.

Fast forward to her drop off at the MTC, she was ready!!  There were no tears, just joyful anticipation :)

Whitney surprised me by turning up at my office the very next day!  I was so happy to see her... she looked stunning!  She was radiant, so happy and going strong.

This is her sweet companion in the MTC.. Sister U.   Whitney loves her so much, she says they are so similar

Her first letter arrived in the mail today; here it is:

First day: LLLLLOOOOONNNNGGGG  But also, amazing, terrifying & wonderful too!  It seems like such a blur now, but I know you want details so I'll try to recount what I can! (FYI: I've told her I'm always telling the missionaries "mom's like details!")

It started off all rushed - I had to get ID, books & my nametag!! :)  Then my host showed me to my room, dropped off my bags & took me to my classroom in 11M (but you already knew that!) (Yes, it's true I do have access to all the missionaries schedules as part of my job)
I got to meet my teacher, Bro.C (he is from Lehi!) Then I did an orientation on the computer. When I went back to class I got to meet my district!
Sister A. is a 21 y.o convert, so we are the mothers of the group! She is so sweet.  Her companion is Sister M. she is a cutie 19 y.o & they are both going to Houston TX. All our Elders are awesome too!  They are all 18 & all from Utah! haha, but seriously valiant men! :)  We have all grown so close in such a short time.  We all keep each other on track spiritually. But we know how to have fun too!
Sister U. (my companion) is such a caring, beautiful sweet sister!  I really love her!  We are so similar & we have a lot of fun.  But it's mostly great having a companion that is always on the same level as you - we really connect.  I know we were meant to be companions!
We had a MTC presidency welcome that was amazing.  I was the only missionary from Australia & I had to stand up - about 200 heads snap back to see me!  It was so awkward! haha.  Oh, and when they called for the Utahns to stand the sisters & I just about died laughing - it was more than 95%!!!  So hilarious.
Oh and here we have sung "we are as the army of Helaman... a lot!!  That first afternoon it really hit me that this was really real - because they changed the words from "and we will be the Lord's missionaries" to "and we are now the Lord's missionaries, & we'll bring the world His truth"/  The Spirit was thick in the air & it really struck me.  I am the Lord's missionary! I was filled with warmth at the realization that this IS real & this is NOW.  After and early dinner we had a small break to unpack a bit - it is just us 4 sisters in our residence.
Then we had our 'Teaching Experience' & boy was it!  I'm learning to to see everyone as What they can become, through Christ.  I'm trying to remember that we are in the same position as those we will teach - we are responsible for each other in this life.
I am getting so excited to be able to serve. I have been learning the real power behind the word SERVE.
Later that night we met our zone leaders & the sister training leaders.  They are all great though!  Sister D & Sister N came over & we all had spiritual girl talk - which for the record - is WAY  better than gabbing about make up & boys.
So, like I said:-  LLLLOOOONNNNGGGG!
I loved your letter so much! It was beautiful!  I love you! I want to send this now, but I promise to write more soon!!
Love you.. see you in a week!
Sister Ormsby

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

About to Embark...

Well Folks.... THE DAY IS HERE

Tonight at 7pm I will be set apart as a Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!

I feel so blessed to be given the opportunity to serve the people in Tampa, Florida. I have knelt in prayer to God and I know this call is from Him and for me.
The responsibility to help children of God find their way back to their Father and gain eternal salvation is one I reverently accept with my whole heart. I will give myself to the Lord's work for the full 18 months and the chance to teach others of the Savior is a gift I will be eternally grateful for.
I have a testimony that my Savior knows and loves me. He watches out for me and guides my life. I know that this is His true church.
I am grateful for my temple covenants. I have been blessed greatly to have entered The Lord's Holy House and make sacred promises with Him. Through God's plan for us, I know of a surety that there is more than this earth life. The Lord wants us to find happiness while here, through His Son Jesus Christ. And I know that our families can be together forever.
I have really learned for myself that The Lord has everything already planned out. He has a better path than each of us can dream of.
Doctrine and Covenants 6:36 reads:  

"Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not."


With Christ, we have no need to suffer, fear, or doubt. I believe in Christ. I know He lives. I will serve Him with all my heart. In the Holy name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

HONEST TIME: Of course I am nervous of the unknown. But with Christ I know I can handle anything (and with some lovely letters from you fantastic people). Everyone says the time will fly by, it already seems to have. 18 months could seem like a week; so..

I'll see you in a week! 
Love, Sister Ormsby.