Thursday, August 7, 2014

I Carry a Batman and a Screwdriver in my Purse, of Course I'm Winning.

Last Monday we went with a couple on a drive to Canyon Lake for FHE.  The wife asked us a few weeks ago if they could take us on a scenic drive around sunset to see the beauty of the desert outside of the city and we finally went!  I had never thought the desert was beautiful until we took that drive. We stopped to take pictures of the lake and they turned out stunningly. I also got car sick and was dizzy for three days after the trip whenever I stood up after sitting for extended periods of time, but it was worth it. Also, the lake looked familiar; I think we may have gone boating there with Kim and Dean years ago.
                                             Sunset at Canyon Lake

One of our appointments fell through on Wednesday evening, so we helped the YW help an older lady in the ward pack up her home to move.  There were way too many people in her tiny trailer, so I stayed outside and helped a few of the girls trim a Mesquite tree.  Our loppers didn't work very well, so I started just ripping the thin branches off the tree and the girls helped me.  I had a good time talking to them and getting to know them better. One of the girls was Harry's soon to be step daughter. We actually had a really good conversation about their home and different things. She also said that I'm her favorite missionary and it will be weird when I'm eventually transferred and won't be on their couch three times a week. She said I'm her favorite because she actually respects me because I am intelligent. It made me feel good, because we all know that sometimes I struggle with being labeled as "intelligent" instead of "spiritual".  After the service, we had Italian sodas at the YW president’s house and were attacked with water.  Once we were wet we decided to just join in and have a water fight because we were already wet and we weren't technically swimming or taking part in water sports.
The assisted living home we serve at got a piano!  There was a hymnbook and a children's song book and a few other books with songs from the 50's and such there. I decided to just play a hymn on a whim and one of the residents, Phil, asked me to keep playing. I played for an hour and toward the end I started singing the hymns I was playing because he started singing. His father-in-law is the man who owns this particular assisted living home and the piano is actually Phil's late wife’s. It was actually a very tender moment; he was so glad someone was playing his wife's piano and enjoyed hearing the hymns.  I played all the hymns I can play, some of the children's songbook songs, and a few pieces I have memorized that aren't church related. You'll have to mail me my pink binder of sheet music, mom, so I can play some more for Phil. By the end of the hour there were 5-6 elderly people sitting in the room just listening. Hazel told me that I play wonderfully and then she told Sister Dumas and me that she loves us before we left. The sassy old women are starting to show affection for us! As we were leaving I realized that even though the residents are old, and many aren't fully there, playing hymns for them may be a seed that was planted that will be harvested on the other side. I know they felt the Spirit as I played; Phil teared up a few times, and they all were nicer to each other than they ever are.

Our new ward mission leader in Thunder Mountain is really magnifying his calling.  He has emailed a million families in the ward and has set up appointments with them. We're excited to start teaching in that area!  Even if it is active members of the church who already have the gospel.

We set up a family mission plan with a Hispanic family in our ward on Friday night.  While we were there we each received a drawing from their son, lots of hugs, ice cream, and an invitation to come back and teach them how to play the game of Life (they own it and don't know how to play). Their kids LOVE us. They run up and hug us every week and always want us to come over. It makes me wish I was serving in South America a little bit. Hispanic people are just so loving!

We were teaching Harry how to do family history the other night and some of the elders in our stake happened to be teaching an investigator in the family history center at the same time. We are supposed to be home at 9:00 every night, unless we're in a lesson, then we can get home at 9:30.  We wrapped up at 9:00 and told Harry goodbye and headed out to our car.  As we were approaching our car, we saw that the light was on in the elders' car and we decided to check to see if the doors were unlocked because if they were we were going to shut their dome light off.  We also decided to put the Pizza Hut sign on their car.  Their doors were unlocked and somehow we decided to just hide in their car to scare them when they came out. We knew that their lesson had to be almost done because it was already a few minutes after 9:00, so I hid in the backseat and Sister D hid in the front passenger seat. We ended up camping out in the car for FORTY FIVE minutes because they stayed in the church FOREVER. Every time we got close to just leaving we decided against it because we had already invested time in the hot, axe scented vehicle. Finally they came out and they had one of the YM with them that had been out with them all night and we scared them. Their reactions weren't as dramatic as we wanted, but it was still hilarious. We saw the YM at mission prep on Sunday and he was telling other YM about our scandalous exploit! We told him he had to stop or we would make him stop.

We really do enjoy mission prep on the Sundays we can make it! I love working with the youth in general and enjoy every opportunity we have to interact with them. We took two YM out with us to Harry's lesson on Saturday and had them teach the entire thing. One leaves in a few weeks for his mission and the other is a recent convert who is planning on serving next summer when he hits his year mark. It's kind of cool because when I first got into this area the youth never wanted to serve with us, now they all want to go out with us. There is a rivalry between a few of the YM in the Twin Knolls Ward and a few of the YM in the Thunder Mountain Ward about who we like more. They fight over who our favorite YM are, which is hilarious, because none of them wanted anything to do with us three months ago! The boy that is prepping to leave in a few weeks on his mission sat by me in Gospel Principles yesterday and Sister D got mad at him for not sitting by her, so now there is a rivalry between us about who the youth like more. Really it isn't a rivalry; it's a one sided competition in which Sister D tries to win. But I'm winning; I carry a Batman and a screwdriver in my purse, of course I'm winning.

We went to a political fundraiser for dinner on Saturday and it was fun! Our less active member invited us and even introduced us as missionaries during the program. We had dinner and then watched a performance of different island dances.

I don't know what it was about yesterday, but it was love the missionaries day or something. Everybody wanted to love us! We got so many hugs and compliments. The YW who is following me on Twitter that I mentioned last week told me we're now best friends and I told her to make a handshake to prove it, and she did! She is hilarious. She's only 13, but I want Bryce to marry her.

I have started studying from the beginning of the Old Testament Institute manual and it is so enlightening!  I really enjoy learning about basic doctrines in a deeper way. I think it has made my studying more productive and I am learning some really cool things about the pre-existence and stuff.

Things are still going well with our investigators.  We are excited that school starts this week because that means more people will be home more regularly.


Sister Poppe

We are teaching a family how to be missionaries.  The couple wants to leave when their daughter graduates in a year and the daughter wants to serve a mission after she graduates as well. We meet with them every Sunday night and give them a mini MTC experience. I mentioned last week that this is the first summer in at least 15 years I haven't made a S'more, so when we arrived yesterday they had everything for S'mores and we made some over the stove.  I was so excited!

                                                    WE ARE COUSINS!!!

    The Hobbit Hole Family let their desert tortoise inside for us to see this week.