Monday, March 24, 2014

Pour Some Salt On Me

Season's Greetings! (Why do people only use that at Christmas.  We're technically always in a season?)

This week welcomed a hodge podge of experiences.  At this point in time I don't hide anything from my companion; I'm just my normal kind of weird self. I think that's why weirder things are happening now.  She enjoys it though.  She actually told me that I am her favorite companion ever and that I make missionary work fun.  That was my goal all along and we know how much I love making and accomplishing goals!  The other night there was a cat in this neighborhood and we just started meowing at it and it was meowing back.  We realized what we were doing and stopped because we sounded ridiculous.  I'm still not even sure how that happened.  

On Tuesday we went to the temple and it was such a nice experience.  I didn't realize how much pent up stress I had until we were there though.  We were there just a few minutes before I realized it was the first time in a month and a half that I was thinking about myself instead of the entire population of Mesa.  It was nice to focus on the 99 problems I got that ain't about investigators.  It was a very peaceful and spiritual experience.  Everyone, go to your neighborhood temple!

Remember when we had dinner with the family that took us to Cheesecake Factory?  We had dinner with them again on Tuesday at their home.  They have the sweetest kids.  They're five, three, and six(?) months.  Their three year old took an immediate and extreme liking to me.  I'm not sure what I did to earn his friendship, but we bonded.  While dinner was still cooking I was playing with the kids while my companion was talking to their dad.  The little boy was climbing on the couch behind me and then was lying behind me and touching me with his feet (thankfully there were no socks on them) so I turned around and was tickling him and then said, "Noah!  I heard that we are eating you for dinner! I bet you are yummy.  Let me put some salt and pepper on you!"  I acted like I was putting salt and pepper on him and then like I was cooking him and he loved it.  So then his sister wanted to be my friend so she came and lay behind me too (how we all fit on that couch I am not sure) and she said, "YOU HAVE TO PUT THE SALT ON ME TOO."  So I did it again.  When we were getting ready to eat their mom told them to go wash their hands and Noah straight up refused to unless I would go with him.  I'm not allowed to be alone with children so I grabbed my companion and we went with the kids to wash their hands.  We all four fit in the little bathroom by magical means I am sure #engorgiocharm #youprobablydidn'tunderstandthatharrypotterreference. He then insisted that I sit next to him at the table, I obliged. When we got to the table Noah wouldn't put his bib thing on so I told him he had to because it was like a superhero cape and then I agreed to wear one if he would.  So he put it on and then I ate with an apron as well.  He talked to me the entire meal about Frozen, the Lego Movie, and everything else under the sun.  He attempted to share his mashed potatoes with me, but I wasn't having that.  After the meal his mom took a picture of all of us and she said she was going to text it to you.  

                                          The cheesecake factory family

Let me tell you, jeopardy was a success!  We made a kids version and an adult version and our investigators loved it.  

We are still trying to drink 125 ounces of water a day and eat healthy for Hermione.  We started working out with her a few mornings a week as well.  We take our roommates and another set of sisters.  My legs were sore most of this week from our crazy moves.  We don't know how much longer it will last though, because she wants to meet at 5:30 instead of 5:45 in the morning now that spring break is over and she has to get her kids ready.  We told her that 5:45 is already killing us and we can't do 5:30.  We think we will start working out without her but get together with the other sisters a few mornings a week still.  Hermione is hilarious though.  She's sassy and will get on me about doing the moves right and stuff.  She will say things like, "POPPE!  You need to have a wider stance so you get a better work out," and I'll be like, "HERMIONE!  YOU NEED TO READ YOUR SCRIPTURES SO YOU DON'T GO TO THE TELESTIAL KINGDOM."  It's actually a very loving relationship.  This is why we're taught to teach people, not lessons.  She responds best to threats about the Telestial Kingdom.
I found myself saying the same thing in every prayer I said one day and have decided to make it my mission motto.  I always ask that I will be able to focus, enjoy, learn, and grow so those are my only goals now.  To focus on my mission, enjoy the time I am here, learn from everything, and grow both spiritually and temporally.  

We had a district meeting the other day and we were studying faith.  We watched a clip from an Elder Holland talk that ends with Elder Holland re-telling the story of Christ asking Peter if he loves Him three times.  We did an activity with our companions afterward where one of us acted like Christ and asked our companion if he/she loves us (Christ) three times.  Then at the end of that we were instructed to tell our companion whatever the Spirit prompted us to tell them so we could practice deciphering other's needs.  It was the coolest experience.  Honestly, it was probably the closest to giving a blessing that I will ever get.  I mean that in a completely non-blasphemous way.  It was an amazing experience.  My companion told me there were times I quoted her patriarchal blessing and that I told her exactly what she needed to hear.  When my companion did it to me I cried because it was such a spiritual experience.  It really helped build my confidence in my ability to help others.

Okay.  Now here is the best story.  I saved it for the end so we can reward all of those that actually read my entire blog.  The other night we were in the sketchier part of our area.  There weren't any street lights and it was already dark.  We had parked our car a few houses away from where we ended up.  We had a member with us and we had just visited a less active family and were walking to our car when this exuberant blonde kid asked if we were selling something. We told him who we were and he got really excited and started telling us about how he read part of the Book of Mormon in prison and how the Holy Ghost is, and I quote, "better than heroine.  Seriously.  That's the most powerful drug and it is better than that!"  I asked if he had a Book of Mormon and he didn't so I gave him one that I had on me to which he exclaimed, "SISTER.  I LOVE YOU!"  Then he hugged me.  Let me tell you, getting hugged by a skinny stoned kid with elbows like Chinese ninja stars was not a pleasant experience.  At this point a random kid came up to us and asked for a Book of Mormon too so we gave him one.  He left.  We continued to talk to the over the top high kid about the books he was out selling (though he didn't have an order form with him or any books...I think he was just trying to con people out of drug money).  We decided to get his contact info because he was really excited about everything.  He told us he doesn't have a phone and is living in a hotel but that he would give us his Facebook name and email addresses.  Okay, one of them contains the words dopest and king next to each other.  Seriously.  I am not making this stuff up.  We were kind of entertained by him up until this point, but the instant he gave us his contact information I had the distinct impression that we needed to wrap this party up and get back to our car, another person's house, or at least on a street that was being lit by something more than the glow of our ever expensive and enticing iPads.  My companion asked if we could share a scripture with him and then asked if we could pray.  He said that he wanted all of us to pray.  Okay at this point I am like, we need to go and the member with us was also extremely uncomfortable.  But we oblige.  I didn't shut my eyes through the entire prayer and I had my hand in my purse ready to grab my pepper spray and/or my screw driver.  After we all prayed individually he asked if he could walk us to our car.  Again we said yes but I was working out all the scenarios in my head.  I was ready for him to pull a knife or gun out, for a van to drive up to kidnap up into the sex slave trade, or for him to try and steal our car.  He didn't try anything; luckily for him because he was maybe 120 pounds and my companion and I are both a little thicker.  After we dropped the member off I said, "I hate to break it to you Sister Gillespie, but I don't think we should contact that kid.  I got the distinct impression partway through our conversation that we needed to leave and never talk to him again.  I know he seemed promising because he was excited about the Book of Mormon, knew about the Holy Ghost, and had a good knowledge of Mormonism, but the Spirit straight up told me to leave him on the road."  She was relieved because she had the exact same impression at the exact same time that I did during our conversation.  After finding him on Facebook and seeing the creepy stuff he has on there we were further affirmed in our decision to leave him to his own devices.  We found out from some members in that neighborhood that he had stopped by their homes trying to sell books to them as well and that they all had a bad feeling about him.  For a drug addict he was actually clean cut and looked like a nice kid.  It was just another testament to the fact that Satan will present nine truths to get you to believe one lie.  I don't doubt that he knew what he needed to know to sound impressive to us so that we would hopefully try and communicate with him again so that he could then do something bad to us or to try and con us.  

Well, that is all of the excitement for this week!  When you have some time, read Mosiah 18:10-11.  Alma is talking about baptism and he says that the people clapped and shouted for joy when they were told that they could be baptized because it was the deepest desire of their hearts to serve others and follow Christ.  I think I often take my baptismal covenant for granted. I should clap my hands and shout for joy more often because I have been given the opportunity to follow Christ.  Sometimes we forget how much we have to be grateful for.
Thanks to everyone who has read my blog posts and liked and shared them on Facebook! It means a lot to me. I can't believe the positive response I've received on my last blogpost and am in shock at the number of people who have shared it. Imagine all of the people who learned something about Jesus Christ, Mormonism, Joseph Smith, etc. just from the people who have shared my post! I love it. Keep sharing it. Not because I want people to adore me, but because I want people to learn more about the church!

Sister Poppe

    This is my first district here in the field!  We all get along really
      well and Sister G and I love being the only sisters in our district.
We get the treatment that we should and the elders love our sassyness.
                  L to R:  Elders England, Webb, and Call, Sister Gillespie and I, and Elders McCown,
                                                                   Couch, and Erickson.

  My entire zone at the temple!  We're the Saguaro Zone.

Me and my shadow
Arizona Sunset