Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Coyote Swear is Like a Pinky Promise


First of all, I can't believe I forgot to share with you one of the best stories from last week! We were heading to dinner Saturday night and the road we were supposed to turn down had a car sitting just out of the intersection sideways. It was blocking both lanes, but it looked untouched. I told Sister Dumas to just drive around it, and as she did I looked inside and saw a man slumped over the steering wheel.  We immediately pulled over and jumped out of our car. As we did another car with two ladies stopped and they jumped out. I called 911 and Sister Dumas and one of the ladies went over and began to assess the situation. They tapped on the windows and he didn't respond. The lady declared that she believed he was having a seizure. This happened while 911 was still ringing so when they picked up I told them where we were and what was happening. They transferred me to the rural unit since we technically weren't in Mesa but instead in the county island.  As I was transferred and told the new guy what was going on the lady told her niece to call the lady's husband because he used to have seizures so she thought he could help. The man told us to get into the car and shut it off, so we did, and to make sure the driver didn't move because he would be disoriented. The car was a manual so it was only in neutral and was rolling, so we moved it slightly out of the way and then I braced my body against it so it would stop inching forward (I told the lady she should put the emergency brake on but she didn't listen). The man came to at this point and threw up so we made sure he didn't aspirate anything and then we kept him in the driver's seat. He was incoherent and confused throughout all of this. I stayed on the phone for about 10 minutes while we waited for the ambulance and fire truck to arrive. They got there and put him in an ambulance and moved the car and we went off to dinner! We are pretty sure the guy will be fine. He was young. He had college books in his car and a name tag from Sprouts Marketplace. We were 20 minutes late for dinner, but they clearly understood!

I also forgot to tell you about the Women's Appreciation Dinner we went to in one of our wards.  On the Friday before Mother's Day, the Thunder Mountain ward had a dinner for all the women aged 18 and up.  The young men, elder's quorum, and high priests served the women a catered Italian meal while one of the young men played beautiful piano music. They gave a short presentation about the power of women and mothers and then served us cheesecake. It was delicious and provided us with a good opportunity to get to know ward members even better.

I've always wished that we walked around more because we would get more exercise and we would talk to more people on the streets.  On Tuesday we parked our car and then spent almost two hours weaving in and out of part of our ward.  We were knocking on less active peoples' doors and would wave and talk to individuals that we passed.  We didn't see a ton of people because it was hot and the middle of a weekday afternoon, but we talked to two more people than we would have if we had been in our car.  One man was an intriguing individual that we will call Jeff on a bike.  Jeff stopped us and asked if we were Mormon girls to which we responded in the affirmative.  He said, "I knew you were.  You're so pretty.  I always said if I could get me one of them pretty Mormon girls and have a dozen babies that would be the life.  Even if you can get a half dozen of them pretty Mormon girl babies you're lucky." We thanked him as every good sister missionary does when she receives a kind compliment hidden in a basket of creepy and talked to him about the church before we went on our way.  We had a lady stop us in her car and gave us a referral (though it was for Spanish missionaries...so we had to pass the information along).  These were dubbed walking miracles and we hope to see many more of them as we have intentionally scheduled time to walk instead of drive.  After our adventures we drove to visit a referral we received from church headquarters.  Normally these don't yield any success in our area, but this kid has promise!  He is a senior in high school and received a Book of Mormon from missionaries in Pine.  They talked to him a little bit and he is really interested in learning more.  We set up a lesson with him for this Tuesday and we are very excited!  #walkingmiracles

We had an eventful week with the wildlife.  We found some quail eggs at a members home (we have put the husband in charge of being in charge of the quail watch 2014...we expect an immediate text when the chicks emerge from their shells).  We also saw a coyote!  I wanted so badly to get a picture of it but it slinked away before I got my iPad out of my purse.

Quail Eggs
Shortly after we saw the coyote we ran into Neville at mutual (he was skipping and hiding in the hallways as per usual).  He actually spotted us and hobbled over on his crutches (he just had knee surgery to correct a recent hockey injury).  It was really wonderful that he approached us to talk; it makes us feel like our lessons are meaningful to him.  In the very least he likes us and he doesn't like
most members of the church because they are fake in his opinion.  We decided that we needed to come up with a secret handshake and I still had coyotes on the mind so Sister Dumas, Neville, and I created what we call, the coyote handshake and the coyote swear.  You make your hand into a coyote and then make it run and touch noses with the other two individuals.  A coyote swear is like a pinky promise but more binding in which your coyote ears touch.  I can sense your jealousy already. Everyone wants to be included in a handshake featuring Arizona wildlife.

I have really been striving to figure out what it means to be humble.  I have always struggled with accepting compliments because I'm afraid that acknowledging my gifts will make me look pompous. As I've been on my mission I have been frequently complimented on some of my finer qualities and it has been hard knowing how to handle that. I think I have a lot of flaws and I could name many of them at the drop of a hat and I used to think that to counter-balance a compliment I had to bring up a flaw so people would think I was humble. Sometimes that annoyed people and they would say things like, "just take the compliment! You really are good at (fill in the blank)." I had a boss tell me once that I am the hardest person to compliment because I get awkward and start to deny it. I've realized since I have been on a mission that being humble isn't denying or downplaying your strengths as much as it is acknowledging that they are gifts from Heavenly Father. Yes I have spent a lot of hours practicing the skills required to be a talented musician and I have continually used and polished my teaching and leadership skills in various capacities in classes, jobs, and extra-curricular activities, but I was given those abilities to serve others with. As long as we give thanks to God, recognize His hand in our lives, and serve others with our talents we are being humble. So the next time someone tells me I am a good pianist I will try and smile (though that is the hardest compliment for me to believe) and thank Heavenly Father for the miracle that my chubby hands can gracefully slide across the keys. It is a struggle for me to be humble because I have been blessed far beyond what I deserve with really valuable and marketable abilities and personality traits that I take for granted. I get frustrated when people can't keep up with me and I need to work on that too because that is another aspect of being humble--accepting others the way that they are. I need a nap from all this soul searching, pondering, and internal stretching. It's exhausting!

This is getting long and people are starting to lose focus and not care; I know.  So I'm going to finish up with some short sentences/paragraphs that aren't very descriptive.

As an attempt to woo the older women in the ward into loving us we attended an enrichment activity on bread making.  #trophywifeskillz

I think the ground squirrels here are the most adorable creatures God created.

Someone cancelled dinner this week and just gave us cash.  We hit up Smashburger.

We are giving Hermione new member lessons and wanted a member to go with us to help in the fellowshipping process.  I really felt prompted to invite a less active lady down the street to help with these lessons.  After I persuaded our ward mission leader that she was a better option than the individual he selected to go we invited her and she has been coming.  At our last lesson she said that these lessons are exactly what she needed because they help her realize the testimony she has and help her realize how strong she is and that she needs to make a better effort to read her scriptures and go to church regularly.  We were so excited that she said this and then she went on to share her concerns and opened up to us all!  We had dinner in her home that night and it was wonderful as well.  We are grateful for the direction of The Spirit!

I gave another training this week.  This time it was at a zone function and my companion co-taught with me.  It was on effective planning.

George W. Bush's dog died. #sadfacebookfind #rip #heprobablywouldhavebeeninmyk9fanclub

We went to Hermione's sister-in-law's baby shower to support her and fellowship her.  She is kind of taking the lessons from us.  She is.  But she won't commit to anything.

A member told me that the white supremacist gang in Apache Junction would probably recruit me if I served there because I'm so white.  I did point out that they do have a lot of the foreign missionaries there.  It's probably so missionaries don't get hauled into a modern KKK ring.  He also said I would probably end up heading one of them because I am such a fair shade.  Then he pointed out the ever so slight natural red undertones of my hair and said I probably don't have a soul so I would be a great addition to their group. I'M NOT EVEN A GINGER AND HE MADE ME THE BUTT OF A GINGER JOKE.  #haircoloridentitycrisis

Last night the two of the Tony Hawk kids greeted us at dinner with Nerf guns.  After we ate we had a Nerf war with them.  It was a lot of fun!

How we pass the time before bed.

Cheesecake Factory Family's son ran to my pew to greet me yesterday at church and talked to me for a bit and then church was about to start so I sent him back to his mom.  Halfway through sacrament meeting he threw a fit because his mom wouldn't let him come over to talk to the missionaries (he calls me the missionaries...just me.  Not my companion and I together.  I alone am the missionaries).  After sacrament meeting I went over to talk to their daughter and the mom and I sat down behind them in a pew and the little boy hurdled the pew to sit by me.  He snuggled in and said "Missionaries...what is in your purse?" My normal Batman toy wasn't in there or my Nanobug, so I showed him my screwdriver.  He actually really liked that.  I will really be sad to leave behind my three year old bestie when my time in this area is done.

Things are going really well here in Mesa.  My companion and I are in a completely platonic and straight love affair with one another and are already dreading the day we aren't companions anymore.  The members seem to like our dynamics together and I feel that with our similar personalities we are getting a lot closer to our investigators and members alike because we're both pretty personable and friendly.

Love to all,

Sister Poppe
                         Poor quality desert shoot, we need Jessica @Wonderland Photography!