Tuesday, June 24, 2014

7 Dayz of Blessin's

Hey all!
We shall heretofore call this week "7 Dayz of Blessin's". Seriously though, Heavenly Father was really good to us this week. There is a saying in our mission that obedience in the morning and diligence in the afternoon leads to miracles in the evening. I want to modify that to be obedience in your first transfer and diligence in your second and third lead to huge miracles in your fourth. After months of work and prayer, we saw some beautiful miracles this week.
The biggest blessing of the week was the new family we are teaching in Twin Knolls that I mentioned came to church last week with a member from Apache Junction.  The husband, wife, their three kids, and the husband's dad and brother all live in the same house, and they all sat in on the first lesson! The three kids and parents were the only ones at church yesterday, but we think the whole family will be on board eventually.  The whole time we taught them the Spirit was so strong! They said multiple times that what we were teaching were things they have always believed but they never had been able to find a church that taught those principles before. They have been so prepared by The Lord for us that it is amazing. I cried as we left their house because I was so happy that we have been blessed to be placed in their path. They are so humble and kind. They have Duck Dynasty beards too, so that is great. #7dayzofblessins
Remember the elder who is basically Uncle Si? Well he was just made my district leader at the new transfer this week, so this is going to be potentially the most entertaining six weeks of my life. We had some boundaries within our mission realigned so we are a part of a brand new zone called Sky River. I hate the name; it sounds like the name of a bad Japanese Anime show.
A family in our ward was supposed to feed us on Thursday night and they couldn't so they gave us a gift card to Smashburger. We were super pumped. Our excitement was increased when we found out that there was enough money on the gift card for shakes in addition to our meal! As we completed our order and handed over our gift card we were informed that someone in the restaurant had already paid for our meal! So we still have our gift card to use when we have an exceptionally frustrating or disappointing day. It was like a, call in the next ten minutes and get two Smashburger meals for the price of none kind of deal! #7dayzofblessins I do feel guilty a lot of the time about how spoiled we are here in Mesa.
Smashburger gift card!

Enough for shakes!
Someone picked up our tab!
We helped with an indexing relief society activity in Twin Knolls. We had a lot of fun; one lady even said that she wishes we had a later curfew so we could go with them to get pazookies on their girl's nights. These middle aged women just love us for some reason! I think we help them feel young.
We got new roommates; the days of a spotless apartment are over. A tripanionship moved in so there are FIVE of us in one apartment. We requested bunk beds so we could move our couch into our bedroom along with our desks so we can just bunker down in our room. It has worked out quite nicely! It's like a secret club house. I want to hang beads in our doorway.
We decided that we wanted to spice up Harry's lessons this week, so for one of them we did my cookie dough creation lesson (I'm going to have to trademark this lesson or something because word is getting out in the mission and people want to learn how to do it). Oh he just ate that lesson up! His fiancé even called us the next morning to tell us that he was still talking about it and that they sure do love us as their missionaries. The fiancé is finally starting to come out of a dark patch in her life and we feel like she is ready to take some steps in a more positive direction. We are really excited for her!  They also requested longer lessons because they feel gypped when they only get 50 minutes. We scheduled them a special super lesson on Saturday that lasted 75 minutes and they enjoyed that. I just really love them; they're such sweet people. They also gave me an American flag apron because I saw it in their kitchen and complimented it. They never use it and said I probably love America more than them so they insisted that I take it. I bet Barrack Obama himself doesn't even have an American flag apron! #7dayzofblessins
Whenever people ask me what kind of career I want to start after my mission I always say that I am interested in teaching, city administration, or writing but I'm not sure where the wind will take me yet. Sometimes I mention my desire to take over the world. My companion has started to end all career discussions that involve my political ambitions with #poppeforpresident. This really is going to be a grassroots campaign. She is starting about 25 years too early, but it's good to get the ball rolling I guess.
A family in the Thunder Mountain Ward asked us if we would teach the two children they have left at home the missionary discussions because they know we need people to teach and their son is Bryce's age and is gearing up to leave in a year for his mission. They're good kids and they're normal and fun to teach.
A member asked us to stop by the assisted living home her mom lives in occasionally just to visit her so she has some visitors other than family. We stopped by this week and chatted with her. She was kind of quiet until I told her about Sister Dumas tripping when she got off the top bunk of our bed the other night and at that point she lost it.  I've never seen a 96 year old woman laugh so hard! We also set up an appointment with the manager to talk about service opportunities there. He said there is definitely stuff we can do, and we are super excited for a few hours of each week to be filled with something meaningful! #7dayzofblessins.  We are getting better at finding creative ways to fill every hour of every day.
The custody battle rages on with the investigator the elders stole. We kind of backed down, a la the Bible story where the two women are fighting over the baby so the king is just going to cut it in half. We are the true mother so we handed over the baby and washed our hands of the whole issue. Our mission president called us in to talk everything threw with us and said we are doing the right thing and that it is a bad situation, but it will work out. Our bishop said that he still wants our ward to do the new member lessons with her, but we told him that he will have to initiate that because we feel strongly that we, as missionaries, need to sit back and let everything unfold so we don't seem pushy or overly eager for more lessons to increase our numbers (because the elders accused us of that already and told the investigator that that was all we were trying to do, though the bishop in their ward defended us and told the investigator that he didn't get that impression at all and that we were just caring girls who wanted to help her progress in the gospel...those elders are literally the scum of the earth. I have never met such rude and manipulative "servants of The Lord" in my life).
We met with a less active guy this week. By some miracle his daughter was over when we dropped by and she gave us the entire scoop on her dad.  She is active and she has a daughter on a mission right now so she knows all too well why we were visiting him. She was hilarious about the whole situation. He was embarrassed at how much she was sharing, so he just went inside and grabbed us some homemade frozen burritos to avoid the awkwardness! He is very kind. He and his wife own a Hawaiian reception business run out of their backyard so he invited us to an anniversary party next weekend so we can see their performances and what exactly they do. We are excited! The daughter is the lady who texted you a picture of Sister Dumas and I this week, mom.
Sometimes getting close to members is hard because they open up to you. We had three different women tell us this week about their marital problems and it is just so sad to hear. I'm grateful that they trust us and that we have a good relationship with them (and that all three women have become more active in the church since we have been meeting with them), but it breaks my heart to see such wonderful women struggling. It's hard too that we can't really offer advice, though I think just us letting them vent to us helps a great deal. It has also heightened my already high fear of marriage. If my mission has taught me anything, it is that you have to marry someone on the same level as you. If your spirituality, general life expectations, or important habits (such as work ethic, scripture study, church attendance, etc.) greatly differ, you will have problems. It's so sad how many people go inactive in the church because a spouse drags them down. Remind me of this if I ever start to fall for a scrub (cue 90's song by TLC..."Scrub, I don't want no scrub, scrub is a guy that can't get no love from me..." Until I typed that out I didn't realize how horrific the grammar was in that song #ebonics)
We went shopping today and we are getting our hair cut and eyebrows waxed later. We dubbed today personal grooming day. I found some great things at TJ Maxx. It is the best one I have ever shopped in! My biggest find was a Calvin Klein skirt for $15. I got a couple Michael Kors shirts as well for a good price! I love name brand steals!
This week has really been a faith building week for me. I've been able to recognize the blessings that come from diligence in The Lord's timing. For The first time I really believe that The Lord placed me in this exact area for a reason. It has been such a blessing to feel like a useful servant.
Peace and Blessin's,
Sister Poppe
Me, Sister Dumas, and my awesome cousin Jessica
who took us to lunch last week!

No Sisters Left Behind, and Other Stupid Things


I'll start out with transfer news; Sister Dumas and I are both staying in this area! It's crazy to think that by the end of the upcoming transfer I will have served 1/3 of my mission; and in the same area nonetheless. Sister D found out that no missionary visas have been processed through the Chicago consulate since February due to the World Cup, but in July they will start processing them again. It is likely that this could be her last transfer in the US.

We meet with the Memorial Day Gun family once a week to help them progress toward the temple and we are really growing to love that family. The wife has a daughter from a previous marriage who is turning 8 next month and will be baptized. I knew that they were both on the younger end of life but was never quite sure how young. The husband is always mentioning things from his childhood that were also a part of mine, so I finally asked him how old he is. He is only 24!  So that explains why we basically are the same person.  He wants to start a business with me after my mission and his wife legitimately offered me their spare bedroom to live in.  They're funny people; I really like them.

We stopped by some homes on Friday night to follow up on family mission plans that we created with some families because our investigator's appointment fell through.  The first home is of a family that I know but not very intimately.  Their three year old son was excited that we stopped by and as we left he hugged us and said, "I just love them so, so much!" It's funny how some kids love us because of who we are--missionaries--even though they don't know us very well.  We stopped by the Cheesecake Factory Family's home and as usual were greeted by pomp and circumstance.  The mom told us that after nursery the week before Noah was running through the halls yelling, "MISSIONARIES!!!! MISSIONARIES!!!" We had already left at that point and he was sorely disappointed that he missed us. The mom was baking cookies for Father's Day and her husband was gone so she told us to stay 20 more minutes until her first batch was done so we could have some before we went.  While we were waiting I read a book to the kids and then Maya gave me a dance recital.  The kids in our wards really make us feel loved when we need a pick me up.

Me breaking the rules by holding Noah on my lap. 
He loves selfies!

We are in an intense custody battle over an investigator that is giving me an ulcer.  I'm about to call up Maury and ask him to have us on his show to solve the dilemma.  We got a call last week from our district leader telling us that there was a 17 year old that was being taught in the Citrus Height Stake that is actually living in our ward boundaries and that she has a baptism date set already.  It is a huge no-no to teach people outside of your area so we were a little bothered that she was poached from us by some other elders in a stake in a completely different area of Mesa.  We found out that her boyfriend is in the stake she is being taught in and that is why she is being taught there, but now that she's getting baptized she has to get baptized in her appropriate ward.  We were told that there was going to be a transition lesson this week in which we would all be at a lesson and then from there just Sister Dumas and I would teach her.  We were so excited because her dad is actually a less active member in the Thunder Mountain ward and because that ward is completely dead!  This is the answer to our 40 day fast!  A baptism and the potential to re-activate her dad and baptize her mom!  Well after our transition lesson we had another one and at that one the boyfriend's family basically told us that she’s going to be baptized in the Citrus Heights Stake and that boundaries don't actually matter and that she is too shy to go to a new ward at this point.  That's the short version of that.  So we called our ward mission leader who called some people to set things straight and at this point she is going to have her records in our ward but be baptized over there and then we were told we are teaching her the new member discussions and she will move over to our ward slowly but the other ward is still clinging on to her!  Okay, let's just baptize this girl and tell her she can go to whatever ward she wants to the rest of her life!  That sounds smart!  The elder accused us of just wanting another notch to add to our belts and we were irate.  All we want is to help this girl understand the way the church functions and the opportunity to re-activate her dad!  It is so out of hand. The elders should never have let this go on as long as it did...they've been teaching her since DECEMBER. Really?  It took them 6 months to track down her real ward? So that has been a mess.  Mainly it is frustrating that we have found a handful of people since I've been out that were interested and we immediately turned them over to the appropriate elders or sisters when we found out their addresses.

As a form of good karma though, we did actually have a guy on Sunday from Apache Junction bring two people to our ward who are interested in learning more.  He brought them to the appropriate missionaries, like all good human beings should do!  We are really excited, they are really prepared and we think they will be receptive to the gospel.  We talked to them and set up an appointment for this Wednesday!  #blessings #karma #obediencebringsblessings #New investigator

We went on a wild goose chase to find a referral this week. We got one with an address and went and were told that the person we were looking for lives 2 houses down so we went there and he said that it is actually his brother that is interested, not him, but he is out of town until Wednesday.  So we will go back later this week.

We helped a family from one of the elders' wards move this weekend.  It was a good service opportunity, but frustrating because people were trying to just throw stuff in the moving van.  I set every one straight though, and told them we had to do everything in a logical order.  Elder Webb and I then just had people bring us stuff and we loaded it for a while.  One of the elders whined about his sore elbow the whole time and didn't actually help. As if.

We had a Zone Training Meeting (ZTM) this week and I was asked to give a talk on faith.  I'm always asked to speak or give training at these things now. Some people haven't done anything all transfer long!   I guess it just must mean I have a lot to learn. We had to pick a Christ like attribute to work on for the month and I selected hope because I need to be better and having perfect faith and hoping for the best instead of just planning for the worst.  I'm just really good at planning for the worst!  I had a really good week though full of answered prayers, direction, and spiritual insights.  I am always a little surprised at how much I am growing as a person on my mission yet how much I stay the same, which is good.  I was worried my mission would change me to the point that I was unrecognizable.

 We went on this awful hike this morning as a zone up to the wind caves.  I was getting so mad at the elders who wouldn't just hike on without us; I'm a slow hiker, but I'm not a child I can do things alone.  They were like, "No sisters left behind," and other stupid things.  Okay.  When I'm doing something humbling I prefer to be left alone, okay, thank you.  We finally made it to the stopping point and one of my zone leaders was getting a kick out of my bitter sarcasm and asked if I would write a blog post about the experience.  I told him I wasn't to a point of spiritual clarity yet about the situation, so probably not.  He said something else and I was like, "The last thing I want to do on a P-day is hike up a freaking mountain with a bunch of skinny girls.  I'm having flash backs to running the 600 in third grade; people offer encouragement and you don't want it!  I never encouraged the stupid kids who did awful on their spelling tests during the middle of those.  When you're doing something you're bad at you don't want attention drawn to yourself!" He laughed and told me I'm something else and said he is looking forward to the blog post. It was cool at the top and my anger dissipated almost immediately, but I still hate hiking up mountains.  I only hike when I'm super angry (like the one time I hiked the Y) or when Ryan Gosling takes me on hiking dates (which is still yet to actually happen). At one point during the hike I told my friend Elder Webb that our friendship was over because he was being outrageous (clearly I wasn't being outrageous, just he was).  He started talking to me like five minutes later and I was like, "ELDER WEBB.  Are we friends again?" He assured me that we were because he is a boy and doesn't hold on to anger.  I wasn't ready to be his friend again, but I am also the worst at holding grudges so I told him we could be friends again. Hikes bring out the worst in me...men should hike with me before they decide they want to marry me because it will never get worse than hiking with me.

Sister Dumas and I at the summit

Well, I'm sure I forgot things, but that is about it!


Sister Poppe 
I was saving this large Resse's egg for a bad day
Sister Dumas turned 20!!!
Birthday decorations

On Wednesdays we wear pink.

A girl during sacrament meeting drew me this picture.
 It originally said, "Sopr Poope" but she
was able to salvage my last name, though super will just have to stay sopr.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Master Booshizzle, meet L-Shizzle.


I was reading in Alma this week and noticed that Alma does a lot of less active work. It makes me feel validated. He isn't always just preaching and baptizing!  He goes out and re-teaches people and re-commits them to live the word of God.  I never caught on to that before, but early on in the book of Alma, he gives up his judgment seat and goes out to the people to re-activate them in the church.  I absolutely love that.  Less active work is so important and it is done in the Book of Mormon!

Sister Dumas had her exchange with our Sister Training Leader, Sister Dunlop, on Thursday, so I was with Sister Dunlop's companion, Sister Taumawara. Sister T has been out nine months and is from an island off of Fiji called Kiribati. She is a Visitor Center sister currently doing her full field outbound, so she is not only still learning English, but she is learning the ropes of being a full time proselyting missionary. She is so funny. She says "for real" in her funny accent whenever something disappointing happens. During companionship study she wanted to practice teaching for the four lessons we had planned during the day so I told her I would be the investigator and she could be herself. She was struggling through the law of chastity and finally asked if I would just practice teaching so she could observe what I do. This launched us into a two hour long companionship study in which she wrote down what I said verbatim for the law of chastity, word of wisdom, and half of the plan of salvation lessons. She was so cute. I think she hasn't had the opportunity to really learn the lessons in English very well and that a lot of words haven't been defined for her. Like intimacy. She had no clue what that meant. I enjoyed the experience a lot, I have really come to absolutely love teaching in any way, even to other missionaries.

You know you're a missionary when you close your voicemails in the name of Jesus Christ.  I wish I could say that I was on the receiving end of that, but I most definitely left a voice mail that went like this, "Hey!  This is Sister Poppe.  I have your stuff in our car.  We're in the parking lot by the VC, but we're getting ready to head out to lunch, so if you're not here in two minutes we'll have to arrange another time to meet because we're starving.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Ch---oh my gosh.  I am so embarrassed that I just started to close this voicemail like a prayer.  Okay, just call us.  Bye." #realmissionary

We had a temple excursion this week.  That just means that we had a short chapel session with the mission president before our session and that our session had 4 zones in it instead of 1.  We had about 80 missionaries there the day we went.  The other two days there were about 60-70.  It was nice to have peace for a few hours and to see other missionaries.  I ran into my friend Elder Sweeten and we talked about how the people we came out with are dropping like flies!  My best friends, Sisters Clift and Adams, are both home for medical reasons right now.  Sister Adams is going through some pretty serious stuff and may not be able to return, and Sister Clift is losing motivation to return the longer she's home, so that makes me very sad.

There is a man that lives in our apartment complex that has become friends with some of the missionaries.  He likes to talk to Sister Dumas and I while we online proselyte each day.  His last name is Bouchet and he is a substitute teacher.  He told us that he tells his students that his name is Master Booshizzle.  I think he should be friends with L-Shizzle.  He brings Sister Dumas and I a piece of hard candy each day.  I think we're his favorite...mainly because he is a history teacher and I love America, so I'll talk to him about D-Day and stuff.

We think Harry Potter has started smoking again, which is disappointing because he hasn't smoked for almost 6 months.  We are going to talk to him about it on Tuesday.  On a funnier note though, he told us about an experience he had at the grocery store this weekend that was hilarious.  He said that the lady at the cash register got all huffy at him because he came to the express lane and he had more than 15 items.  She said that his pack of water bottles was 32 items alone and that he should learn to read signs...because we all know that water bottles attached by cellophane count as 32 items and not 1.  She complained to him the entire time she rang up his items and then called him a sinner.  Before he paid he said, "You know, you're right.  I am a sinner.  So I should probably repent and I should do it now because if I get hit on the way to my car I would go straight to hell for not repenting." So he proceeded to pray at the cash register out loud and ask for forgiveness and for The Lord to bless the cashier with more patience.  He also went all out and blessed the missionaries, his family, and prayed for a few more things and then ended.  When he was done the other cashiers and people in line all said Amen!  A few people approached him and said that was the best thing they've ever seen and that they couldn't believe how rude that cashier was. We were dying! We also taught him how to index this week and that was entertaining.  He knows nothing about computers.  He was frustrated because he said he was typing numbers and they wouldn't show up...we looked over and he was hitting F2 and F7.  We let him know that those aren't number keys. #babyboomersandcomputers

I don't know if you remember me telling you about the fireside we had set up with the bishop in the Thunder Mountain Ward a few months ago or not, but we had it on Sunday night and it was a success!  The bishop had forgotten about it even though we had mentioned it in ward council and emailed him about it so he was kind of dragging his feet, and the ward publicist didn't do a good job of getting the word out, so on Wednesday we made small fliers and found the addresses of every family in the ward that has at least one active member (I decided that that meant someone with a calling in the home) and posted fliers on their doors.  We had 66 families written down and we ended up getting them on 60 or 61 doors.  It was good practice for my upcoming political career.  We had about 35-40 people come to the fireside and they generated a lot of good ideas.  We opened with a clip about missionary work and then I addressed the audience and kindly told them that we were looking for ideas to move missionary work forward, not for excuses, we know them already.  The bishop then did a good job of facilitating a good discussion. It was a good ending to my week because I had been struggling all week long.  I was feeling like I wasn't making enough of a difference and wondering why I was even out here on a mission because we aren't teaching very many people and I was worried that I was a disappointment to The Lord.  But to see so many people want to do better missionary work was so good.

After the fireside the ward mission leader's wife was talking to me and said that this ward has never been fired up about missionary work and that she knows the only reason people came is because I insisted on a meeting with the bishop and I insisted on the ward members being held accountable and I continued to plan this fireside even though people weren't on board, and then we put up fliers and advertised on our own.  She said that I may not think I am saving souls, but I am because I may have motivated a ward of people to do their part and down the road people will be taught in this area because of my diligence. Her husband also said that he talks to ward members and they respect us and have the highest opinions of us as missionaries and that they recognize that we are working hard even though our numbers don't show that.  Our bishop in our other ward said the same thing to us.  As I was having a discouraged moment this week my companion told me that she is continually amazed at the relationships I have developed in the wards I am in and the way in which I lift the people up.  She quoted something I said in ward council that morning as evidence and said that The Lord knows I can handle not having success and that some people can't handle that.  There is a reason I am in these wards and it is for the members.  I still struggle with everything because at the end of the day we don't have high numbers and I worry that that means I'm not doing my job, but at least the members like me.  I get discouraged because there are sisters in this mission that people associate with being selfless and loving and generous and kind and trusting and I will never be looked at as that type of missionary.  I'm always classified as a go-getter, a problem solver, entertaining, and someone who gets stuff done. One of our ward mission leaders even told me that he pities the man that ever tries to cross me because he will never win. Those are nice characteristics, but I'm also loving and kind and trusting of The Lord, and selfless but no one ever acknowledges those characteristics. Basically there are sisters that are candidates for future general relief society president and are wife material and I'm just a candidate for future president of the world and our culture tells us that it is more desirable to be one of the women that is future general relief society president and wife material than who I am. It's been a rough week.

We also had two really productive ward council meetings yesterday in which names were discussed, assignments were given, and both bishops told the ward councils that they need to fulfill their responsibilities that were assigned so we can do our work as missionaries.  I pray I'm here at least one more transfer so that we can continue to work with these ward councils and help them establish a habit of missionary work.  Transfer planning is this week and we find out if we're being transferred on Saturday.  The OCD part of me wants to stay another transfer because that will mean I served six months in these wards and I like the roundness of that number.  

Sister Dumas' birthday week was fun!  I took her to lunch to get a Chicago hotdog on Saturday and a Sonic shake for her birthday and on Sunday we made lemon bars when we got home because those are her favorite and her mom mailed us a mix.  She is officially not a teenager anymore, so I told her I'm holding her to a higher level of accountability.  Hopefully her driving skills improve exponentially.  Her mom also mailed us money to go and get birthday pedicures today, so I am excited to do that!

While we had exchanges, Sister Dumas found two new people to teach!  We are really excited and hope that everything works out, though at this point I know better than to get my hopes up!  At least I'd like to think I do, but secretly they're already up.

Good luck to Bryce at Basic Training!

That about does it!


Sister Poppe

Sorry, no pictures this week.

What Would Katniss Do?

You're in France (we'll talk about the fact that your travel email stated that if you die on this trip Brandon gets to raise Bryce instead of me later #what #itisbecauseheismarried #singlechoppedliveroverhere)! I am not even going to hint around. I want a cool postcard sent to me. I told Betsy the same thing for when she is in Africa this summer. In fact, I'm going to extend a blanket invitation to everyone who will be anywhere thrilling during my mission. Really this is more of a blanket expectation than invitation; I expect a postcard from all exciting destinations anyone travels to between now and August 11’ish, 2015. If I don't receive one I will assume you don't love me and you will subsequently be dead to me without the option of resurrection. You can expect a sensational postcard from me in return with desert landscapes, jackalopes, or other desert flora, fauna, or feisty animals (I had to make that start with an F somehow). Blessings from Heav' are also still available for all mail delivered to me. That offer is always redeemable and stackable with other coupons.

I had my exchange for the transfer with Sister Dunlop on Tuesday. She served in my area for seven and a half months and was Sister Gillespie's trainer. We had a good exchange and she told me at the end of the day that it was a blessing to work with me and that I'm one of her favorite sisters in the mission now. I don't know what kind of genetics you and dad contributed to my makeup or how you raised me, but for some reason people really like me here. So thanks for raising me to be me. Maybe I'll never leave AZ because my approval rating is higher here than anywhere else I've lived. Harry Potter's fiancé even told me this week that J-Lo released a new song called I Love Poppy and that it was probably written about me. I have a lot of undeserved admiration and love from people in this mission; even on bad hair days. I'm not used to being "cool", it's kind of awkward. We worked on street contacting during my exchange because I hate it and think I am awful at it (though Sister Dunlop said the awkwardness is only in my head, I'm a natural talker.  Surprise, surprise, eh?). I was bothered for a while that I wasn't sent on a foreign speaking mission because I thought I was smart enough to learn a new language and figured Heavenly Father was doubting my ability to quickly learn a new tongue.  In hindsight I don't think my intelligence was ever a factor in that decision. My only talent in missionary work is connecting with people and talking and that would have been severely hindered if I was trying to converse with people in a language I'm not fluent in; I'm more grateful every day that I am in an English speaking assignment.  We didn't have any immediate success with our talking, but I do believe that we had a miracle with a member's neighbor and that she will be interested eventually. She used to manage a property that missionaries rented when she was in California, and a lot of her friends are members. We will stop by occasionally and talk to her until she solicits our salvation saving services (I don't know why my letter is so alliteration heavy today). We were also invited by some elders to team teach a girl they're meeting with who they are having a hard time connecting with because she's 11 and they're older and weird. She was such an amazing young woman with a great love for God and a strong desire to learn more. I loved her and wish she was ours to always teach.

My missionary portal hasn't been letting me log in for two weeks now.  We use that website to facilitate correspondence with the mission president on a weekly basis. Some techies in SLC are looking into it.  I was beginning to believe I was being sent home and hadn't been informed yet. I know I lit some scarecrows on fire, but I'm not an extremist! I've done nothing to warrant a dishonorable release! I told president last week at zone conference why I didn't email him and just figured I would send a double email the next week. Well last Monday it was still not allowing me to enter, and I've yet to be sent home, so I decided I would hand write my weekly letter and mail it to the mission office. I used a stamp with Dumbledore on it and added a note on the envelope that said, "If the AZMM was Hogwarts, you'd clearly be Dumbledore," with an arrow pointing to the stamp. I really hope he appreciates that as much as he should.

It was my companion's hump day on Wednesday and my four month mark on Thursday, so we went and got Froyo with the gift card her aunt in Gilbert gave us. The employee gave us half off and an extra stamp on our stamp card. I'm going to miss the benefits associated with the black badge when I'm home.

It is getting so hot! The days of double digit temps are over and we've been launched into summer. Along with the double digits, good hair days have flown out the window. My hair is going to remain off my neck indefinitely. In an attempt to stray from my bun and pony tail comfort zone and simultaneously spice up this long summer of drab hairdos, I'm practicing my braiding techniques. Essentially I ask myself every day, What Would Katniss Do? #wwkd And then I do it. Unless it involves killing people with archery equipment, because then my ability to access my missionary portal will be permanently unauthorized and replaced with access to The Arizona State Penitentiary's inmate mail service. Who knows, maybe I'll get so good at braids and fancy up-dos that I'll be qualified to be Mary Crawley's lady's maid by the end of my mission.

Investigators are a lot like men you're interested in. You just want them to like you and marry you and let you have their babies and build you a house and take you to Disneyland (really, is that too much to ask) and just when you think you have their attention and that just maybe they will ask you out, they get distracted by something prettier. We have had two people express a lot of interest and meet with us and then either cancel a lesson and not re-schedule, or ignore our calls this week. C'mon people! I thought I was at least worth the dollar theater and the Taco Bell drive thru by now! I'm going to be all ready for dating when I get home because rejection is practically a prescription I take a daily dose of at this point.

We did some hardcore leg workouts on Wednesday and we were dying on Thursday. We were walking funny; it was like we had a little twerk in our step. We had a lesson with Harry Potter and he mocked us as we walked up to his house and then proceeded to pray that our sore legs would feel better and heal so that we could have strength to work our legs out again the next day. He got too much enjoyment out of watching us get off his couch after the lesson too. We didn't tell them that we felt like Miley when we walked but before we left Harry's fiancé said something about us twerking when we walked and we were like WE KNOW, RIGHT! We had also told Harry he should consider bearing his testimony on Sunday and he had said no but then he said he would get up there and tell everybody about the missionaries who come over and teach him how to twerk and how that is his testimony.  As another visual for our walking, I will share a quote from my companion, "I think this is how they get the zombies to walk this way. They make them work out! I'm serious." We really did look like twerking Walking Dead cast members.

We have a lot of gated communities in our area and we struggle to remember all of the gate codes. We have one subdivision that has a lot of smaller subdivisions in it that doesn't have a ton of members. We have some of the gate codes, but one of the neighborhoods has an inactive family we have been trying to contact and we don't know the gate code there. It is pretty small, so traffic in and out is minimal, but every time we need to go there someone is going in and we piggyback them in, or someone is leaving and we illegally go in the out.  We kind of look like creepers, but Heavenly Father provides every time! It's a never ending tender mercy. #miraclegate

So, I think I must be doing this missionary email thing wrong or something. Every time I get another missionary's letters forwarded to me they're short and all about personal growth and the gospel and touching tales and stuff. I like my letters to be all encompassing, so sorry they're long, worldy, and not quite holy enough. Maybe by my one year mark I will write home letters of a higher spiritual quality.  Just so you know I really am a good missionary when it comes to being spiritual, and we do work hard, it's just more fun to tell you about Froyo and puppies than about unsuccessful door knocks and street rejections. You can just read my journal when I get home or something if you want the spiritual details.

Line of the week comes from Harry Potter. We read through one of the Priesthood Session talks from last conference with him and he asked why we read it. We told him that a lot of the messages apply to women too and because we have to know what to tell our husbands to keep them in line. He reminded us that we need to look for hard workers and guys who aren't into video games when we get home and start the husband hunt. Because when you marry guys who play video games you support them and they call you at work and say (here comes Harry's gem), "What's for dinner? Hurry home so I can go to my friend's house and play the...the EBay show." Hahahaha what? The man cracks us up. He also couldn't remember Sister Dumas' name the same night and he called her Sister Douchener. We laughed so hard that Harry and I were crying.

We also had a little girl (5 or 6 years old) tell us you have to pay your tithing so you don't get fired. She was 1007% serious. That was a contender for quote of the week.

I asked Sister Dumas the other day if she ever used MSN Messenger, to which she responded, "Sister. Of course I never used MSN Messenger in my life! You have to remember we practically grew up in different generations." Excuse me! When did 23 become the new 40? Well we were talking to a teenager we met at the home of an inactive lady and he asked how old we were and we told him. He said something about the three year age difference and I said that Sister D acts like it's so huge but it isn't--even though she never used MSN Messenger. He proceeded to say, "I don't know MSN messenger, but I do like older bands like that...new music is awful." HE THOUGHT MSN MESSENGER WAS A BAND. OKAY, LET ME JUST GO CRAWL IN A HOLE WITH MY WALKMAN AND ALL THE OTHER OLD LADIES IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD WHO WERE BORN BEFORE CLINTON WAS PRESIDENT. #kidsthesedays

We are giving Hermione the new member lessons and this week's was on Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity.  She imparted some of her own knowledge about intimacy during the lesson. Let's just say we all learned some new things that lesson...

It's Sister Dumas' birthday week! She turns 20 on Sunday! I'm going to do something special each day this week and I am excited to make her only birthday in the mission memorable.

We ran into Tammy in the foyer at church and they gave us left over Mexican food from her birthday for lunch! It was absolutely delicious.

                                            Lunch at Kyle and Tammy's

We gave a short message in jr. and sr. primary and it was so fun. We talked to them for a few minutes about being a missionary and then asked them what they thought they could do to prepare to be one someday. After that we challenged the jr.'s to memorize the Articles of Faith and the sr.'s to study the scriptures by themselves each day.  We were welcomed with lots of excitement. It's amazing the kids that remember you even though the only interaction you've had with them is one meal in their home. It was humbling and a good reminder that kids are always looking to us as an example and they truly idolize missionaries.

Today while we were driving to meet Sister Dumas' aunt for her birthday lunch we had quite the small adventure.  We were stopped at a red light and a Schwan's man turned left from the perpendicular street and one of his doors flung open and a bunch of meet flew out right in the middle of the intersection! The guy stopped a few yards up the road and we jumped out of our car and helped him pick up his products.  There were a bunch of cars stopped while the clean-up was taking place and no one else jumped out to help!  We were shocked.  We got it all picked up really quickly and ran back to our car so traffic could continue to flow.

I have to tell you, I love my companion, but she is an absolutely terrible driver.  She didn't get her license until she was 18 and then promptly went to college and didn't drive there and then came on her mission at 19 and hasn't driven until this transfer.  It's like being the passenger in the car of a teenage girl with her learner's permit.  I have empathy for you now, mom.  I'm going to get an ulcer.  "Are you going to stop at this red light," and "We should probably pick a lane instead of taking up two," are the most common phrases out of my mouth while in the car. Oi.  "Turn your headlights on," is another frequent request.

I'm currently in Alma and it is interesting comparing the evil that was abounding before Christ's birth with the evil that is abounding in the world now as we lead up to the second coming of Christ.

Enjoy your trip!  Send me a postcard!


Sister Poppe
Sisters with the cheesecake kids!
Our favorites!  Noah and Maya.  Noah finally calls me Sister Poppe
instead of sister missionaries.  He also always asks if he can come to
my house whenever I see him now.  I always tell him my house is boring
but maybe I'll come to his again sometime.

We asked a member to take a picture of
us in our Memorial Day outfits and he asked if we wanted him to hang a
flag up and we were so excited that he did and then he asked if we
wanted to hold guns!  I guess it's a violation of the white handbook
to handle firearms, but we found that out after the fact.
The Memorial Day gun family has one daughter and she drew
the picture for us.  It's of her with us and her parents.  I enjoy the
fact that she included my companions bump that she always has in her
hair.  My companion and I were arguing about my hair color the other
day and then we received this picture in which I am a blond.  My
companion took that as enough evidence that she wins and that I am a
blond.  We all know I'm a brunette, but I have to let her win
sometimes because she said the other day "You're the only companion
I've had that I'm not always right with.  I NEVER BEAT YOU IN