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.