Elder Michaelis (the Uncle Si elder) went home last week because he honorably reached the end of his two year mission. He was the first real missionary friend I have had go home. Up until the end of last transfer, the people going home didn't mean much to me because I didn't know them well. He was in my district for three transfers, so we got pretty tight. He called me President Poppe instead of Sister Poppe at least 57% of the time. On Tuesday morning as we were walking up to the gym, he popped out of the door to greet us! All five of us sisters from my apartment stopped dead in our tracks. My hands leapt to my mouth and I covered my gaping expression as if the bus had just been moved from in front of my very own extreme home makeover. TLC should have been around to tape the moment; we were all so shocked and excited to see him! He brought his parents down from Utah to meet the families he served and taught. We all met his parents and talked with him. He worked out with us Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning.
After this week, I think I can fully relate to the story in which Ammon runs into the sons of Mosiah and Alma after they've been separated, preaching the gospel. He is so excited to see them that he loses his strength! I didn't do that, but I was more excited to see my missionary friends than I ever thought I would be. The people I've served with have come to occupy such a special place in my heart; even if the vast majority of my friends are twerpy elders who are 2-4.5 years younger than me.
One of the Thunder Mountain YW asked me to sing in church with her yesterday. We sang a beautiful medley of Called to Serve and Savior, Redeemer of My Soul. Her mom told me about a month ago that she heard me sing when they sat a row in front of me one Sunday and that I needed to sing in church. I thanked her for her compliments and didn't think much of it until her daughter asked me to sing a duet with her in Sacrament Meeting. The daughter said that she was thinking about what her mom told me and that she wondered if I would be more open to singing if it was a duet with her. She decided to be bold and ask the music coordinator if she could sing and the coordinator penciled her in. She then hunted me down and asked if I would join her and I agreed. The music coordinator told her later that she couldn't find anyone to sing a special musical number in the month of August and that she had prayed that somehow she would be able to find someone so she could fulfill her calling and then the YW approached her! The song was beautiful. I saw a few people in the congregation even tear up. It was an honor to sing with her; she is extremely talented. Her voice matched mine better than anyone else's I've ever sang with. "Sister Poppe! Why did you never tell us you can sing!?!" became the phrase of the day.
We have started teaching the families in Thunder Mountain and it is actually going very well. Between our two wards we already have 15 lessons scheduled for this week. With our community service, daily studies, and a zone training meeting this week, we literally have every hour Monday through Friday already booked solid. Our schedule is crazy; I am so pumped to be busy! We wrote out a four step plan for meeting with the families and our objective in teaching them. The ward mission leader loved it and instituted it as our ward mission plan.
We had a lot of lessons last week too and more already scheduled for next week. The lessons we have done so far have been really good. In every home someone has said that even though what we are teaching is something they know, they've learned something new from what we have taught. We leave every member lesson by praying with the family for missionary opportunities and then we encourage them to pray as a family again about specific people and for the faith to act on missionary opportunities. We also give them ideas for missionary opportunities; the last thing we want is for these people to just give their neighbors Books of Mormon. In the very least, the members seem to like having us in their homes so we feel loved and that is always nice. It really will be a challenge for me to leave this area; I love these people!
We had our first day volunteering at the library this week. It isn't that hard; it's just alphabetizing, but this girl who works at the library is super condescending and is always hovering "in case we do something wrong and need a little help." Puh-leaze. I have a college degree, I can handle the alphabet, and I don't need help. #Kthanxbye. I'm very Christlike to her on the outside though. She probably just wants to feel important so I let her.
All in all we had a busy, but pretty uneventful week, so I think this about covers it!
We received treat bags for no reason 2 days in a row.
I kind of feel like an Oscar nominee with my swag bags.
We invited one of our YM friends to go to a lesson with us and he
invited another boy from our other ward to come as well. Their third
friend invited himself when he found out what they were doing so we
had three boys from three different wards in the stake at one lesson.
Perdizzle and Sista P