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!

FRIDAY NIGHT MIRACLES:

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!

Love,

Sister Poppe

                                                          Library volunteers!