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!

Love,

Sister Poppe
patriotic companions