Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sweet Potato Smash Fries Have Natural Healing Powers

Sister Dumas and I were in charge of dropping the shirts we tie-dyed last week off at the screen printer's shop so I offered to just wash everybody's shirts so we would have them in one place and we wouldn't have to round them up. One district tie-dyed socks as well as shirts and put them in the pile to be washed. If anyone knows me well they know how much of a Christlike act of service it was for me to remove the rubber bands from those disgusting cotton contraptions and wash them. Even reminiscing about it makes me want to hurl.
                                  Our hands after preparing 23 tie-dyed shirts
                                    (and those wretched socks) for washing

When Sister D or I are having a rough day we console ourselves with food, naturally. She wasn't really digging life on Tuesday so we hit up our favorite joint, Smashburger for a pick me up. Their sweet potato smash fries have natural healing powers and understand in a way that no human can. While we were there I gained a new male admirer. I was having a good hair day so I guess it wasn't entirely unwarranted, but it was still awkward, unsolicited attention.

Speaking of admirers and awkwardness, one of the boys from Bryce's Platoon asked if I was single and okay looking. He went on to say that if I am he would love a letter. #classy Unfortunately, I am currently occupied and not open to dating, OH YEAH, AND HE IS 17 SO IT WOULD BE ILLEGAL. WHO IS THIS KID? Some of the letters I've received have been entertaining, most are pretty basic, and one was downright rude. I'm writing all of the boys back, but the rude kid's response addressed his apathy and the bleak future he has if he continues to "not really care" about literally everything. He also insulted Bryce to me, so he will get an angry scribble about that. I still threw in a "Your Heavenly Father" loves you at the end and a, "Thanks for serving," but he didn't get any pleasantries like the rest of the soldiers.

I was asked to share a "10%" training at our district meeting on anything of my choosing. I gave a presentation about creating a resume. People loved my knowledge and tips. Everybody took notes and one elder even recorded me. It was a little strange. People said it was so useful and they were grateful I picked that topic.

We are to a point with the Hobbit Hole Family that we are supposed to be teaching them different commandments, but at our lesson I felt like we needed to really focus on something that would invite the Spirit because we wanted to nail down a definite baptismal date with them and unfortunately, the 10 commandments and chastity don't usually rouse tender emotions within individuals. We watched the shorter Restoration movie and had a discussion about what the Spirit feels like and about knowing if something is good by its fruits. I asked what fruits they've noticed since they've been investigating and it lead to a really good heart to heart. I brought up baptism and Sister D extended the invitation and without hesitating, the wife said September 27th.  She said it came to her in that instant and she knew that was the day.  Conveniently it is a Saturday and we all could feel that it was the right day for them. We are so excited for them! It was also a great testimony builder for the importance of members being at all investigator lessons with us. After the movie was over, the member we took along jumped in and shared something that enabled me to easily ask my question about the good fruits of the church and subsequently lead me to bring up baptism and Sister D to invite them to be baptized. Sister Dumas and I both didn't know what to say after the movie to get us to baptism, we just knew that we were inspired to watch the movie and invite them to be baptized. The member was inspired to speak though when we were not and that allowed us to reach our goal.

Oh my goodness. Grab a Kleenex because this story is hilarious and will have you spouting tears of laughter from your eyes. The Spanish elders over our stake were given a truck to drive and we feel that is unfair because our area is the most rural of the areas in the stake. There are a lot of gravel desert roads that are uneven and not maintained that our Toyota Corolla struggles with. We saw their truck in the church parking lot as we were leaving for dinner on Thursday and I wanted a closer look at it so we walked over to peek in it. In the bed of the truck, amongst a Finding Faith in Christ DVD and some other proselyting materials, was a Pizza Hut sign for a delivery car.  Without hesitating I grabbed it, justified my actions by claiming that they had an undeserved truck, they didn't need a Pizza Hut sign, and started walking toward our car. Behind me Sister Dumas was dying and shouting about how she was going to wet herself, this was going to be so funny. I plopped the 3-D magnetic triangle on the top of our car and we got in to head to dinner (after we took a selfie of course). As we left the parking lot two other elders walked out of the church and were staring at us with a combination of bewilderment, entertainment, and shock across their faces. A few minutes later we got a text from two other elders who were in the church that just said, "TROLLS!!!"  That is Elder Owens' favorite insult. So we knew they had found out about us taking the sign and that even though they don't drive the truck, they were somehow linked to this sign. We drove around with it for a few hours; Harry loved the story at his lesson and enjoyed looking at our missionary car turned pizza delivery vehicle. We ran into the other sisters in the stake and they were laughing and told us that actually someone had pranked the elders and put it on their car.  So we laughed even harder at that because they were acting all hurt that we stole their sign and they didn't even earn it by stealing it (we don't know how it ended up in the Spanish truck and in a later discussion with them we found out they didn't even know it was there)!  We kept it on our car for our ward correlation meeting and the ward members at the meeting died laughing about it too. Our ward mission leader and his wife already think Sister D and I are the most hilarious young women, but this topped it all. As we drove home for the night we saw a Papa Murphy's delivery man and I said, "Look! It is one of our fellow brethren, a brother in arms!" Sister D told me to slow down so she could look at him and when he peered into our car he looked so confused; we weren't in delivery clothes, there were two of us in the car, and we didn't have pizza in our back seat. We laughed some more at ourselves and then we texted the elders who called us trolls and asked if they wanted pizza. We also said about 17 times throughout the evening, "I can't even handle us! Why are we so funny?"  Man, it sure brightened our evening. This was all so fitting because I had just divulged a few days previously to Sister Dumas my lawn ornament and political sign stealing career in high school. It was like the good ole' days. A real #throwbackthursday

                                 Pizza Huts newest delivery girls. Every pizza
                                          comes with a free pass along card!

We try really hard to have at least one set lesson every night and Friday was the first night in months that we didn't have any concrete plans. We came up with a lengthy list of people to visit and just prayed that we would be able to productively use our time and not get discouraged. Friday turned out to be full of blessings and wonderful experiences!


1. Dinner was a lot of fun with a lady we didn't know very well in the ward. She was a riot and invited us over to answer some of her deep doctrine questions whenever we have a night that someone cancels.

2. We were going to talk to a family in the ward about fellowshipping the Hobbit Family because they live one street over. We saw them in their neighbor's driveway and decided to approach them there. Her neighbor has a son that joined the church and has been asking a lot of questions. We didn't know this, but we got to meet her and hopefully left a good taste in her mouth. Their 13 year old son also asked if we wanted cool survival bracelets and we said yes and he made us each one and gave it to us on Sunday. #youthfanclub

3. We stopped by a potential investigator's house and talked to him on his doorstep for a bit. We testified of families being together forever and set a return appointment. His mom just passed away so we will teach him the Plan of Salvation.

4. We stopped by a less active couple's house and they let us in and talked to us for an hour! They own a Hawaiian catering and dinner show business and they invited us to a dinner and dance show they are doing on Saturday as a political fundraiser for one of the men in the stake that is running for the Arizona State Senate. We can actually make it and we are super excited to see their business in action and to support them!

5. It rained! Which was good because I was beginning to think that monsoon season was a myth. It still has been a bit of a letdown, but at least we got some moisture.

We watched 17 Miracles with Harry and it was so good. Man was it depressing though! He enjoyed it. Mainly he liked that we stayed with him for two whole hours, but he also enjoyed the film. He likes pioneer things.

I'm staying in my current area for another six weeks! Sister Dumas is staying as well. I'm beginning to think I may actually never be transferred out of here. I don't want to overstay my welcome and have people get tired of me. Luckily a lot of people expressed excitement when they found out I was staying. A few said they'd even keep me my entire mission. Harry told me his prayers were answered because he had been praying all week that I'd stay. The ward mission leader in Thunder Mountain said he had been praying I would stay too. He also had to call our mission president about something this week and while he was on the phone with him I'm pretty sure he requested that I stay in his ward. He didn't tell me that, but he did say that he told my mission president exactly what he thinks of me and that it was positive and that he let him know what he wanted.

I was groped by a mentally challenged middle aged man three times at the assisted living home on Saturday and had to help Sue take off and put back on her compression sock. Again. More sock service. It was so disgusting. That act alone will qualify me for exaltation.

The young woman who asked me about my pet dinosaur at our missionary YW activity a few weeks ago was making faces at Sister Dumas and I throughout sacrament meeting yesterday. We were making them back and then I started digging things out of my purse to one up her faces with. I waved my little American flag, made my Batman do action moves for her, showed her a picture of Jesus and mouthed, "He is watching you", and showed her my screwdriver in a threatening way. After sacrament meeting we tracked her down in the bathroom and had a good laugh. I also ended up giving her my Twitter name and she is following me and probably mocking me as I type this letter. She is a funny, funny kid.

We had dinner with the Cheesecake Factory family on Sunday. That was fun of course.

My studies are continuing to go well. I've been dedicating time every day to studying my patriarchal blessing like scripture by looking up more information on the individual promises and information listed in my blessing. It's super cool and is making me appreciate things more.

For example, Joseph's posterity (as in the one with the fashionable coat) was promised the inheritance of the American continents, thus many people in North and South America are in the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. I don't hate being a boring Ephraim as much now because I understand why I am one! I am part of the promise given to Joseph.

Okay. I've written a ton so I'm calling it quits!


Sister Poppe

                                                          Library volunteers!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It Was Most Definitely a Dinosaur Raised From the Dead

We went on a little hike with the Memorial Day Gun family for FHE on Monday. There's a little mountain hill thing that is only like a quarter of a mile hike that the husband has been wanting to climb, so we went with them and got froyo after. 'Twas a good evening for building member trust.

Post Mini-Mountain Hike

Some quotes from the week:

"Sister Poppe has the voice of an angel. When she sits next to me and sings in our pew I cry."-The middle Tony Hawk son

That boy competed in the X-Games and he likes to hear me sing, what is this? I'm not cool enough for sk8ers to like me.

"Did you hear that?"-Sister Dumas
"Yeah, I think it was a chicken."-Sister Poppe
(In the most serious voice I have ever heard in my life)"It was most definitely a dinosaur raised from the dead."-Sister Dumas

So apparently Bryce had to read a postcard I sent him in front of his entire platoon. I don't even remember what I wrote, but I received five letters in the mail on the same day from random boys in Bryce's platoon thanking me for my entertaining postcard that brightened their day. I'm assuming the same drill sergeant that made Bryce read the postcard made the boys write me thank you notes. My companion and I had a good laugh at my plethora of letters from the army that day. 
(Mom’s note:   Amanda should be getting 46 more letters as Bryce’s drill sergeant did make the whole platoon write her letters.  I suggested she divvy up all the letters amongst all the missionaries in her zone so all the boys will get a response.)

I had an exchange this week with my sister training leader, Sister Avanesjan, in her area. It was a super short exchange, not a normal 24 hour one. She is German and a visitor center sister. I really like her. We had a good street contact. The guy wasn't interested, but we talked to him for 15 minutes. I told her at the beginning of our exchange that I'm awful at street contacting and that in our wards we don't have the opportunity to do them very often because it's illegal in the gated communities to proselyte and our other community’s people are never in their driveways or front yards. I said I needed to work on it and I got the opportunity after dinner. She said I'm not awful at it; in fact I'm good at it because I'm not awkward and I can talk about anything. I just get really nervous, so I take that as being awful at it. We also had a really good lesson with an investigator about the priesthood and his concerns. I enjoyed teaching him and answering his questions with Sister A. She said that most sisters don't jump in and teach on exchanges that aren't in their areas because they're too nervous so she was grateful that I actually opened my mouth.

While I was on my exchange, Sister Avanesjan asked if I am a clean person because the sisters we live with called the mission president's wife to complain about Sister Dumas and I and our cleaning habits. I was infuriated! I told Sister A about our apartment and the note we left and everything. I explained that the sisters probably called to complain about my note, not about my cleanliness but that Sister Jenkins may have been confused.  Sister A said, "I told Sister Jenkins that given your personality I would assume that you are actually the cleanest sister in the mission but I would watch you during our exchange to see if you were clean. I've watched you and you seem tidy, but I've never seen your apartment so I figured I would just ask if you're clean and I'm glad I did. I'll call her tomorrow and set the story straight." So she must have called her, because Sister Jenkins called us and asked about our apartment and I just told her how gross it is and that we have talked to the sisters about it more than once.  She called the other sisters and then called us back and said the most beautiful words I've ever heard, "Sister Poppe, I talked to your roommates and I think things are going to be clean from now on. I know it's hard when people have different ideas of what clean is, but from what I've gathered they aren't following the mission guidelines for cleanliness so I talked to them about that and told them they need to follow the cleaning rules. They said they were hurt by the note you left them, but I said that you had talked to them and that in my opinion a note was just the next logical step to try and solve the problem. I sure do appreciate you and your companion's cleanliness and overall hard work, I love you two. Have a great day!" I didn't even get reprimanded for my note! But seriously, is this 4th grade? Who calls the mission president's wife to tattle on another sister because she left a "hurtful note"? It all backfired on them and I am further affirmed in my correctness.  I AM ALWAYS RIGHT.   #owned.  The other sisters have been overly nice since the phone call.

We had a relief society craft night this week that we took an investigator to. The Tony Hawk mom is in charge of activities, so she told us that we could make one of the necklaces for free (they cost 8 dollars). We decided we were going to make missionary necklaces to remember our missions by. Mine turned out super cute! I included a picture, but in case you can't read it, one charm says "sister", another says "AZMM '14-'15", and the last one says "3 Nephi 5:13", which is our mission's scripture.

We had a tense lesson with the Hobbit Hole Family about the Word of Wisdom. The father is all about drugs being used for their natural purposes and went on this rant about pharmaceutical companies using drug extracts to get people addicted to prescriptions so they can make money and how pure coca leaves are better for you than prescription pain killers and on and on and on. At one point in time the AZ and US Constitutions were getting thrown around and I about lost it. I quoted part of the 4th article of the Constitution about states' rights to make laws as justification for states having laws prohibiting drugs and then I had to stop myself because missionaries aren't allowed to enter into political discussions.  I would have gone into the rights of the government to create federal laws as well under the interstate trade and commerce clauses but I didn't. Oh man.  Their incorrect interpretations of the Constitution were really grinding my gears.

Things ended on a positive note though. The family said that they do love us and that they are grateful that we enlighten them and listen to their concerns even when they go on rants. The grandpa also asked for a blessing to help him quit drinking and we took a male member with us so he gave him a blessing right then and there in the living room.

We got adventurous and taught some of the ladies at the nursing home how to play Mexican Train. Hazel was being sassy with me because I won two times in a row and she couldn't see the colors on her dominos. The lady is hilarious I love her. Sue tried to run away and said "If I try hard enough I can get into that room they won't let me in (that room being outside; she was trying to get out the front door). If you keep trying you have to make it through! Now let's go. Let's take turns."  She was more impassioned in her delivery than Martin Luther King Jr.

in any of his speeches. It was actually kind of sad; I never want to get old.  Ever.  Just twinkle me like the 3 Nephites.

One of our 18 year old male friends invited us to mission prep. We went and it was actually a great experience. The mission prep class in this stake is crazy awesome! The kids who go regularly are so prepared.  They have a different RM teach a chapter of Preach My Gospel each week; it is a well-run class.

Reese's Puffs were on sale 2 for $5 so that was a little tender mercy #treatyoself.

I baked some Nutella chocolate chip cookies. Baking without a Kitchenaid is so medieval. #spoiledkidcantuseawoodenspoon

Tony Hawk fam is doing well. Harry is getting a little discouraged; he thought he would be baptized by now. I pray for him every day and one of these days both of our prayers will be answered!

I've been studying up on the second coming and it is really interesting, the institute manuals provide good information; check 'em out!


Sister Poppe

                                                    Beautiful Arizona sunset

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

If We Get Bugs I Will Literally Put Them on Your Beds.

So I knocked over a Pringles display at Walmart on accident and that was kind of mortifying. Don't worry, I cleaned up my mess with the assistance of a kind employee named Shelly, another set of sisters that happened to be walking by, and my companion. If there is a spiritual gift to become less clumsy I have definitely not been blessed with it yet.

Sister Poppe's screwdriver strikes for the third time! A screw fell out of a chair at dinner the other night and I whipped out my trusty floral tool and fixed that stool in a jiffy.  I'd like to see people continue to mock me for bringing a screwdriver on a mission.
After I fixed the stool at our dinner appointment the family tried to force us to take left over waffles. We literally ran out of the house as the husband chased us with waffles and proceeded to put one under our windshield wiper. We drove to our next appointment with it securely in place and continued throughout our evening with our portable windshield snack. I left it on our windshield overnight in case a squirrel wanted it (now that I think of it, I don't even know if there are squirrels in Arizona, but maybe a roadrunner could have eaten it). No animals even nibbled on it, so I threw the rock hard carbohydrate on top of a bush before we drove off the next day; it was still uneaten that evening. The animals in our apartment complex are clearly snobs who don't appreciate breakfast food.
We were asked to plan a day in the life of a missionary activity for the Mia Maids and Beehives for Wednesday's mutual, so we did that and it was fun. We had the girls read the first lesson in Preach My Gospel and then they gave us a 10 minute lesson. It was an absolute train wreck, but they have a solid 4-7 years before they are old enough to serve so they'll figure it out. We then talked about the importance of companionship and unity, and talked about things we do to become closer. We played 2 truths and a lie with them as an example of what we do to get to know each other better. We had fun getting to know them and showing them that we are real people. I got a little sassy with them and I think they enjoyed it. One girl was mocking my age and said something about my pet dinosaur and so I asked if she had her training wheels taken off of her bike yet. Two can play that game!

Every other transfer we have one on one interviews with our mission president and his wife. As you may recall, I voluntarily forfeited mine last time we had them scheduled due to a time crunch. I haven't had an interview with president since the day I disembarked the plane in Phoenix, so I didn't really know what to expect. Naturally I was nervous, as I always am when I have to stare people of authority in the eye and talk about my performance, but my nerves were unwarranted.  We had a really good conversation. I realized he knows a lot more of what goes on in the mission than I originally believed. I figured I was lost in the crowd of 250 or so missionaries he is over, but I am not. He told me he is so proud of the missionary I am and he is so pleased with how much I have matured spiritually. He said there is a marked difference in the person I am now and that he hopes I have noticed that change in myself and am proud of it as well. When I came into the mission I had a high level of social maturity and I was just going through the mission, now he said the mission is going through me and I am socially and spiritually mature. I am not one of the missionaries that goes above and beyond to try and impress him when he is in my presence, and I don't suck up to him either, so I was shocked that he had noticed commendable qualities about me. It just goes to show that if you do what is expected of you for the right reasons and don't seek approval, you will still get positively affirmed and you won't annoy people with your brown nosing. We were instructed to read a 2006 BYU devotional called "Your Refined Heavenly Home" in preparation for our interview with Sister Jenkins. President and Sister Jenkins do something really cool that they call 10%. Basically 10% of all instruction they give us is dedicated to information that will be useful after our missions. This devotional was our 10% for interviews and we were going to talk about it with Sister J. I absolutely loved the devotional because it talked about the importance of refinement in appearance, educating ourselves in classical music and literature, using intelligent language, being well rounded and educated, being clean, and living true to the potential we have as spirit children of God by surrounding ourselves with wholesome things.  Basically the talk validated every tendency I have that Brandon and Bryce call snobby! When president asked me about it in passing I told him I loved it because a church official was telling us that we had to be classy. When Sister Jenkins asked if I liked the talk I told her I loved it and she responded with, "I figured you would like this one."  I'm glad that people know I appreciate class. You should read it! It's actually kind of interesting that we were asked to read it because just the day before we were given the assignment I told my companion that I don't want to marry someone that won't take me to the symphony and then we read this talk that told us that we shouldn't settle for spouses who won't do cultural things with us.

The Tony Hawk boys are finally home after their month away for the X-Games and a trip to Utah. We were so excited to see them and they were actually really excited to see us too. We showed up to their house before they did for our lesson because they were running late so we waited on their doorstep. When their car pulled in the youngest boy didn't even wait for it to fully stop before he jumped out and ran over and hugged us. We just really love them. They're growing so much too; they are much more involved in our lessons now and are gaining testimonies of basic gospel principles.

As you saw on Facebook, we went to Rubio's on Tuesday and it filled a hole in my heart that only gourmet chicken tacos could fill. It is the biggest tender mercy that the only area of our mission that dips across the 60 includes a Rubio's. I literally got teary-eyed I was so happy. It was such a stupid little thing, but it really did make me aware of Heavenly Father's love. Plus it was nice to socialize with some of our new friends. Sister Simmons and Moreton are as sassy as Sister D and I and we just really enjoy each other. We created a club called the Sassy Sisters Club and we are getting shirts made. We are quite literally the bluntest sisters in the mission and I'm still unsure how we were all four put in the same zone, but we love it!

Gourmet chicken tacos
                              Sassy Sisters Club                                  
In accordance with the Twin Knolls Ward Mission Plan goal, I finished indexing my 500 names this week!

We spent 3.5 hours at the Thunder Mountain Relief Society president's house on Saturday talking through a list of inactive people she had that she knew nothing about. As we sat there and I shared everything I knew I felt like a huge creeper. Simultaneously though, I realized how many people I've talked to in the last five months and it was nice to feel like I had valuable information to share. My companion was bored out of her mind, but it's good that she knows these things so that when I leave some of the information is with her.  #workingwithwardleadership

I couldn't handle the uncleanliness of our kitchen any longer and I am tired of doing the other sisters' dishes, so I wrote a long note encouraging them to clean up after themselves. The phrases "If we get bugs I will literally put them on your beds. Do not cross me," "I could care less if your bedroom looks like a hot mess hoarder disaster, but please keep the common areas clean" and my favorite, "The Spirit won't be here if the kitchen looks like an African slum," made an appearance. I also quoted scripture and posted the mission's standard for cleanliness to help support my case. I then took a leaf from Martin Luther's book and hung my letter and evidence on the outside of our front door so it would greet them when they got home; then it looked like rain so I moved it to the less dramatic refrigerator door.

Sacrament meeting ended a little early so we were called up to talk about being better member missionaries! How fitting since I just wrote a blog post about it.

The Hobbit Family and Harry are still doing well and progressing! We helped Harry with more indexing this week and it was just as comical as the first time. I don't think he will ever be tech savvy. He did surprise us with some Sonic shakes at our lesson on Thursday. If we were a church that gave salvation in exchange for bribes, Harry would be exalted already. He is always being so generous to us!

Generous amounts of love,

Sister Poppe
                                         Sister Simmons and I were matching

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

If You Hear Howling Around 4:00 PM Arizona Time…..

Happy Post America Birthday Week!

I will start with my 4th of July festivities being as that was the focal point of the week.  We were told that we couldn't go anywhere without a specific appointment or invitation, so it was like a half day off.  We had breakfast at our ward mission leader's home in the Twin Knolls ward and then we had a lesson with Hermoine.  We did our normal weekly planning that we do on Fridays as well.  My companion and I hosted a district luncheon at our apartment complex that was a lot of fun.  We provided the meat being as we still had a bunch of steak to eat from the members in Thunder Mountain that gave us some (Tammy's sister and her husband, actually). As we were getting the grill ready to go I turned the gas up a bit too high and as I was hitting the ignite button I asked my companion to open the lid for some stupid reason; I clearly wasn't thinking.  As she opened the lid the build-up of propane ignited and launched a ball of fire in our general direction.  We both screamed and jumped back.  The only casualty was a patch of my right arm hair.  We had a good laugh about it after the fact though.  In the evening we went to another ward's bishop's house and hung out there.  He invited all of the missionaries in the stake over because he knew we weren't allowed to be out in the evening if we weren't invited somewhere.  We ended up singing songs around the piano for the last hour we were there and it was a really spiritual experience.  All in all it was a pretty good 4th. We didn't see any fireworks because we had to be home by 9, so that was a little disappointing, but at least we got to spend the 4th of July in America!  A lot of missionaries don't even get to do that.

We had our weekly visit with the Hobbit Family and as we were leaving the wife stopped us to tell us that she had written a letter to God earlier in the year and told him that she wanted her house to be centered on him by the end of 2014 and He needed to help her with that.  She said that she believes we were sent to her to help her get her family focused on God and that we are the answer to her letter prayer.  How cool!

I had another cool experience happen just today at Wal-Mart.  We were in the parking lot and at the same time my companion and I were like, "Hey!  We know that girl!"  My companion was like, "I served in her ward a few transfers ago, how in the world do you know her?" I knew her from my BYU ward 2nd semester junior year.  We parked fast and approached her and her mother in the parking lot and the girl remembered me and we chatted for a few minutes before we went inside to get our groceries.  She only stayed at BYU the one semester I knew her and then she moved back to Mesa so I figured I would never see her again.  Anyway, as we got online today she messaged me on Facebook and told me that she has been struggling, but wants to serve a mission and that she wants to talk to me about serving.  I'm so glad we ran into her at Wal-Mart, because I know she wouldn't have messaged me if we wouldn't have reconnected after almost two and a half years.

Our new ward mission leader in Thunder Mountain called our dinner appointment on Saturday night and told them to tell us that he needed to talk to us so we had to swing by his house on our way home from dinner.  We had an appointment right after dinner, so we went by an hour later and showed up to his house during his son's mission farewell party.  We found him and asked what he wanted to talk to us about, and he said, "Nothing.  I just wanted you guys to come to James' party and have a break and relax for a little bit.  I'm the ward mission leader; I'm allowed to do that.  I knew that if I told you I needed to talk to you, you would actually come and enjoy yourselves a take a break for a bit.  You guys deserve a break; here have some sweets!" It was so funny of him to stage this entire fake important meeting so we would come to his son's party!  We just love that family though!  If you saw the picture that was tagged of us on Facebook where we are laughing in a circle of recent high school graduates, it was from that party.  We have an oddly good relationship with a lot of the boys who are about to leave on missions; I'm slightly embarrassed at how well we can connect with 18 year old boys.

Speaking of getting along with teenage boys, Neville told me he deleted his Facebook so we needed another place to connect so that I don't forget about him after my mission.  I told him about my Twitter and Instagram and he followed me on there and then told me I should be honored because he is still famous in the social media world and he only follows 17 people on Instagram and Twitter and he has over 7000 followers on both.  Seriously, who is this kid? I told him about my idea to write a book after my mission and asked if he would endorse it if he is still famous.  He said he definitely would, especially if he is mentioned in it.  He also said he will give me a Twitter shout out sometime this week; I know I won't see it for a year, but I'm excited that a teen social media celebrity is giving me a Twitter shout out.  #fangirling Also people started hash tags with his name in it.  #nevillesnumberonefan

I've been studying gifts of the Spirit lately and then we had a lesson on them in Sunday school this week so that was convenient!  I loved it.  Today when I was reading in the Book of Mormon I read some really cool verses that pertained to gifts of the Spirit!  So we talked about how one gift of the Spirit is to receive a witness of Christ and another is to believe the words of those who have received a witness of Christ.  In 1st Nephi chapter 2, verse 16 Nephi receives a witness of Christ and then in verse 17 he tells Sam about his experience and it says that Sam believed his words, so Sam received the gift to believe Nephi's words!  I was so excited to find that little gem.  I am really getting better at picking out information from the scriptures; I hope this isn't just a mission talent that will leave me when I'm home, because I am getting more out of scripture study than I ever have and I love it.

I finished the Book of Mormon earlier this week and as I was in Ether I was struck by how wonderful chapter 12 is.  I think everyone should re-read it at least once every six months because it is a wonderful reminder of the power of faith and the way it can bless our lives.  You should all read it!

My companion and I are on another healthy kick. We gave a member some money to go to Costco and buy us these protein shakes we are going to start having instead of lunch.  When you can't control the fatty things people feed you for dinner you have to resort to skipping lunch. If you hear howling around 4pm Arizona time every day, it is just my companion threatening to eat her hand if we don't get food soon.  She is moodier than me when she doesn't get to eat. Things may get dicey as we attempt to cut back on the calories. #prayforus #andthoseweinteractwith

I think that about covers my week!


Sister Poppe
patriotic companions

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ever Heard a Dragon Burp?

Hello from Arizona!

***Heat Advisory Warning*** It's hot here. 110+ from here on out rumor has it; I already want to just die.

On a more positive note, the new family we are teaching is enjoying all that we are teaching to them!  We'll call them the Hobbit Family because a lot of people live in one little house; like a hobbit hole.  So the grandpa of the Hobbit Family was telling us that he had a massive heart attack earlier this year and that the doctors said it was so bad that 99% of people die when they have a similar strength heart attack.  He said he has asked God many times why he was saved and he is starting to believe he was saved so he could learn the gospel from us!  To make the story even more interesting, he had the heart attack on February 11th, the day I landed in Mesa.  My companion said I am not allowed to say I don't know why I was sent to Mesa anymore because it was clearly for this family.  I still don't believe that; they are so receptive that anyone could teach them I am sure, though they do like me.

We had our temple trip for the transfer on Tuesday.  It was nice and peaceful; just what I needed.

We taught a deaf man how to index. Not only is he deaf, he doesn't know sign language because he became deaf in adulthood and never learned, and he is old so he doesn't know computers real well.  It was easily the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life!  I would type out instructions in a Word doc for him to read and then Sister Dumas would pull up the indexing software and demonstrate what I typed.  It took about an hour and I'm still sure he doesn't really know what is going on, but we will go back for a refresher! He was able to do it by himself when we left, but he told us that his brain isn't sticky enough to remember things so we would have to come back and show him some more.  Though it was challenging, it was also one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.  The guy is really sweet and lonely; he lives alone.  He is funny though.  He talks out loud to us and we just type our answers to him; he is amazed at how fast I can type.

Sister D thought it would be funny to dump cold water on me in the shower on Friday night. In her haste to be un-Christlike, she jammed her finger on the bathroom door. #karma Serves her right! On top of that, I dodged all of the cold water and her prank was foiled.

We volunteer at a swanky assisted living home two hours every Wednesday and Saturday now.  The old women are so sassy I can never keep a straight face for very long.  We played BINGO with them on Saturday and the most put together of the elderly women was making the funniest comments!  The other women were all at varying levels of dementia so they weren't really sure what was going on.  Hazel is definitely the queen bee of that joint.

I gave a training on the line between being bold and not bold enough at our district meeting this week.

Here are some entertaining quotes from this week:

"Thanks for picking up the points of the lesson I forgot. I totally forgot we were going to cover temple marriage too. You remember everything; you have the memory of a nomad!"-SD

"A nomad? You literally only made that comparison because we just talked about the three Nephites being nomads this morning...what does having the memory of a nomad even mean?"-SP

"Well. Yeah. I don't know! It's just the first thing that came to my mind! YOU JUST HAVE A GOOD MEMORY."-SD

"What was that noise?"-SD

"I think it was someone dropping the dumpster lid outside."-SP
"Oh. I thought it was a dragon burping."-SD

"...yes, Sister Dumas. It was definitely a dragon burping. I think that is not only highly reasonable, but also extremely likely"-SP

"Well, I mean it was just the first thing that came to my mind when I heard that noise..it just made the most logical sense!"-SD

We stopped by to see Neville this week and he was telling us about his new found popularity.  Apparently there is this app called Mobly that is a social networking app and he and his friends somehow had a picture get a ton of likes on there so they are featured on the popular page.  He has 20,000 followers (probably more by now) and Twitter fan account and stuff now.  It is hilarious.  While we were there he had 4 girls try to Facetime him so we had him answer one of the calls and we were in on it; the girl was so confused.  I told Sister D that we are going to have teenage girls threatening to kill us now because they've seen us with Neville and they are all going to be jealous.  On Sunday Sister D and I wore patriotic attire and Neville's mom did too so she said we needed a picture together. I told her she should post it on Neville's Mobly account and she thought that would be hilarious.  She takes his phone away every night so she said she might consider doing it!
We took Harry to the VC this week to see the movie The Testaments and he loved it.  I had never seen the movie either and I loved it!  It is almost as bad as Twilight; it's so great I could watch it a million times.  It could also be that I've been deprived of entertainment for five months (I hit my five month mark yesterday!).  He took us to DQ afterward; it was a lovely treat.  We have a new ward missionary who went with us too.  She is an RM who has been home for a year and refuses to go to the singles ward.  She is hilarious.  We really enjoyed taking her to lessons with us and riding in her car.

Harry with the sisters at the Mesa visitors center
We are really looking forward to the 4th of July here! We bought some matching accessories for the holiday; I can't wait for you to see the pics!

Have a blessed week!

Sister Poppe

Selfie with Harry

Members sent us a pizza!

At the park