Monday, May 5, 2014

It’s the Hair, It’s Always the Hair!

 Hello (seriously the most stressful part of my week is deciding which greeting I will use to open my email home...I only have so many creative ways to do this and 78ish weeks is a long time)!

 I'll start this email with transfer news!  I am staying in the same area but I am getting a new companion.  I don't know much about her and everything I know is hearsay, so I'll tell you more about her next week when I have learned things about her first hand.  I do know that she is waiting for her visa to go through so she can go to Brazil where she is really supposed to be serving, but she has been in Mesa for at least 6 months.  Technically she could get her visa any day and then leave shortly thereafter, so I may have a new companion at any point during this transfer.  A couple of other sisters told me she is funny and kind of loud.  I'm not sure what president was thinking, I'm sensing that there may be too much personality for one companionship.  This is either going to be hilarious or a complete disaster resulting in more damage than Hurricane Sandy.

This week I had the opportunity to lead a training session during our district meeting.  It was on asking inspired questions and listening.  Those two things are my favorite aspects of missionary work and the only things I'm really exceptional at so I loved giving the training.  I started everything out by playing a game of 20 questions.  When we finished I used that object lesson to outline my key points.  I told the group that teaching lessons is a lot like the game we played.  I pointed out that a few times some people asked me questions that had already been asked and related that to working with your companion during lessons.  If your companion asks your investigator a question you better listen to the answer because you can't ask something they already did or it will show that you weren't listening and don't care.  I also pointed out that when someone asked me if I was a mouse (I was actually a burrito) they didn't try and force me to be a mouse, they moved on and asked questions until they found out what I was.  When we teach people we need to focus on them, not on what we want to share with them or who we want them to be.  Though the people asking the questions may have wanted me to be a mouse, I wasn't one and preaching to me the merits of being a mouse instead of a burrito isn't going to make me want to change.  We can't just throw doctrine at people and expect them to want to change.  We have to get to know them and find out what their needs are and then we can help them.  After this introduction I gave more training on asking inspired questions and facilitated role playing exercises to practice.  It was a good experience for me to teach my district and I really enjoyed it.

Hermione's baptism was on Saturday and it was beautiful!  President Jenkins and his wife came and they enjoyed the service.  President said that our talks on baptism and the Holy Ghost were the best he has ever heard at a baptism because they were short, centered on core church doctrine, and meaningful.  I took that as a huge compliment because I'm still not entirely convinced that president likes me.  He also enjoyed the meaningful presentation we gave while Hermione was changing.  We showed the Because of Him video the church released and then we had taken pictures of people holding up their own Because of Him... signs and had a slide show.  We then shared brief testimonies of Christ.  Hermione's sister-in-law got really emotional and told us she should have been getting baptized that day too.  We're going to work on her a little bit more and hope that she decides to take the lessons.  
                        Hermione and I right before she was baptized!
This random old lady talked to me for a long time and hopes that I get sent to her ward.  That's super flattering and all, but the lady doesn't know me!  How can she know that she wants me in her ward?  It's the hair.  It's always the hair.  I have gotten more compliments on my beauty since I've been on my mission than ever before and I think my hair just fools them into thinking I am beautiful or something.  There is a Glee episode about hairography in which they say that if you whip your hair around enough people will think you're a good performer.  I take the time to do my hair each day and people assume that I am beautiful and an amazing missionary.  EH, it works for me! I am so sneaky.

Remember that one time I referenced My Milkshake in correlation meeting?  Well that is never going to die.  My ward mission leader still thinks it is the most hilarious thing.  Somehow I think he likes me more after that incident than he did before.  I would be a little worried about the missionary work in my ward if my missionary was quoting scandalous rap songs in my living room, but he doesn't seem to mind.  He also said that he talked to the men in priesthood about how they need to be more supportive to the missionaries and he said he almost ended by saying, "And I just told you guys this in a way less colorful way than Sister Poppe would have, so you better shape up".  I'm relieved he didn't; I don't need the ward members knowing that I am as sassy as I really am!

One of the elders kept bothering me to take this energy supplement.  So one morning I finally did.  It's called C4.  I was straight up crazy for like half of the day...and my arms are still sore from the intense lifting I did.  The elders incorporate me in their workouts now and I get so many dirty looks from the other sisters in the gym...they have a different interpretation of what an inappropriate relationship is than the Elder’s do I guess.  We're just doing squats!  We aren't whispering sweet nothings. #sweetheartsquats

Because people love us they give us's kind of made #totesfit815 turn in to #fatty4lyfe

Remember when that lady told me that dogs can read auras?  I'm still on the fence about that, but I do seem to have a dog fan club.  It is becoming outrageous the number of dogs that love me.  Dogs in Mesa revere me; I think my name has gotten out among the barking chains.  Hermione's brother-in-law and sister-in-law live in her house and they have a dog that is usually in the backyard when I am over.  Well one day this week she was waiting in the living room for us.  The dog greeted me cordially enough, but then decided that she needed more love than I was offering, so she knocked me onto the couch, sprawled across my lap, and started licking me from forehead to chin!  This is no small dog either, mind you.  My fan club now consists of many loyal K9 followers, though Lysie the beagle is the president because she follows me around when I'm over and sits by me at the dinner table.  Other members include (listed in no particular order): Paco, Mercedes (newest member, inducted 5/1/14), Perdy, and Toby.  There are other dogs that are trying to join, but these are the most common purveyors of doggy love.
         Lysie.  President of the K9 charter of the Sister Poppe Fan club.  
         She is off to  Washington for the summer but will be back when
           snowbird season starts up again.  Until then she will preside
                                                    from afar.
I think they need to get orchestras for fast and testimony meetings like they do for the Oscars.  Some testimonies just need to end and I think a tactful way to encourage that would be to play a lovely hymn on some strings.  It works for the celebs so it will work for us!

We had a really awesome experience yesterday at church.  A lady walked in and said that she was looking for another church but couldn't find it so God sent her to ours.  We ended up talking to her for half an hour and then invited her to follow us to our other ward for sacrament meeting.  She did and really enjoyed it.  Unfortunately she doesn't live in our area so we referred her to the missionaries in her ward boundaries.  I think she will end up being baptized...she is really prepared.

We went to a fireside presented by the architect of the Gilbert Temple last night (who is actually Michael's uncle) and it was a really wonderful experience.  I took a lot away from the fireside that I needed to hear.  The architectural information was interesting and such, but I liked the personal story he shared of how he became an architect.  I really have spent a lot of time thinking about the way in which the Lord shapes us to become who we are and I think more often than not we are shaped in ways that we don't realize until later.  I had another opportunity to think about that while we were in the temple this week.  I was pondering the people I have been blessed to know in life and how I was really worried about going on a mission because I was afraid that no one would be around when I get home.  I was convinced that I would have no friends and that no one would care about me anymore.  I realized though that I have a small group of people who faithfully write me and that I am actually becoming closer with though I am away and only hear from them 2-4 times a month.  Heavenly Father knows our needs.  If we are doing what he wants us to do then we will be blessed in a way that is important to us.  Relationships have always been important to me and I have a hard time letting go of people I care about, so Heavenly Father has blessed me with meaningful relationships with people I care about even though I am far away and restricted in my means of communication.  It is amazing how we are always blessed for living according to His will.

Hopefully I will continue to have meaningful insights and will become a better person each week.


Sister Poppe
We had a lesson with a youth in one of our wards this week and we were teaching the ten commandments.  I decided to make the lesson more interactive, so I took the towel that was hanging up in her bedroom off the wall and put it on my head to make me look more like Moses...instead I just kind of looked like the Virgin Mary.
We went to the temple as a zone!  It was crazy windy and my skirt kept trying to fly up and do other scandalous things.  It was a wonderful morning, as temple mornings always are.