Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Obama is Gay and Michelle is Actually a Man?

Hello!

I forgot to tell you guys a funny Sue story!  Before she broke her hip we were there one day and I was playing the piano and looked over and saw Sue rummaging through my purse.  I saw her shaking my mints and I went over and took them from her and took my purse and put it up higher.  She started motioning at me and told the nurse to chase after me because I took her stuff!  It was hilarious! She was so worked up about it that she wouldn't let anyone talk to her.  She forgot about it pretty quickly though and we were friends again.

We had a ZTM this week and I was asked to give a training (again...I keep thinking they'll stop asking me because my presentations are always borderline inappropriate, but somehow I think that is the reason I am asked back again each month to train on some missionary topic).  I talked on what to do when there's nothing to do, and how to effectively online proselyte (because according to my zone leader I am the queen of online pros). I basically told the other missionaries that we have to be ourselves when we are online.  No one is going to join the church because we just put a scripture, quote, or nice message on our pages.  Our personalities have to shine through!  I shared a couple examples from my Facebook and told them how many likes I got.  This lead to a question and answer session where I gave advice (that was unplanned and also lead me to going over my time limit). It was so nice to see a few people from my zone post some really great stuff on Facebook after my training though.  I hope they continue to post uplifting thoughts with a little bit of themselves embedded in them.  The Lord didn't call robots to serve him, he called us, and I am going to continue to be Amanda Poppe the missionary.  Not Molly Mormon the sister with bad style and no personality who is good at smiling and quoting Nephi.  I also made a word find for them to do with ideas to kill time with in the afternoon when appointments are hard to come by.

Sky-River Zone after ZTM

The Women's Broadcast was really great!  Neill F. Marriott's talk really spoke to me; I can relate to her a lot.  I have a lot of pride as well that I am actively trying to remove from my life, but it is hard to be humble!  I am becoming better at it though and will continue to acknowledge The Lord's hand in my life and the talents that Heavenly Father has given me.  I enjoyed the whole conference because it was a little more hard core than normal.  There was less love and more accountability expected of the women of the church.  There are too many weak women in this religion and I am glad that they are finally starting to tell us what we need to do to be better.  I loved that they told us to go to the temple regularly.  Too many girls only go to the temple to get married and don't really understand the importance of what they are doing and then they still wear their immodest clothes and don't ever go back again after their wedding.  YOU GO GENERAL RELIEF SOCIETY BOARD.  TELL THOSE WOMEN TO KEEP THEIR COVENANTS! #bringdownthehammer

A member of the Twin Knolls Ward hosted a social after the Women's Broadcast on Saturday and Sister D2 and I made Oreo balls!  I made some with birthday cake Oreos and Sister D2 made some with mint Oreos.  People loved them. And us. But they always love us.
At one of our Visitor Center trainings, the sisters showed us a demo of a story they share with kids when they come in.  They said they did a test run of a story time and had a lot of success, but they don't want it to be too large so they're not advertising it. I was a little bitter that yet again, the VC sisters get to do fun things and I have to actually work so I decided that I was going to establish story time in our stake because it is far from the VC and because I want to tell kids cute Bible stories.  I brought it up to my ward mission leader and he loved the idea and he passed it along to Bishop as well and he approved and loved it too.  I talked to the other sisters in our stake and we are moving forward with a stake wide children's story hour hopefully to take place in the next few weeks!  The idea behind it is actually that stay at home mom's will invite their non-member mom friends to go and that we will be able to use this as a solid proselyting tool.

Updates on the investis:

Lavender Brown: We had a wonderful lesson with her last week.  She is really chatty so we always have a hard time getting a word in, so at the end of one of her long stories I asked if we could just take a few minutes to each bear testimony of our belief in Heavenly Father's love for us.  She agreed so my companion and I, as well as Nug Nug who we took with us to the lesson, all shared our feelings about Heavenly Father's love.  We all cried like a bunch of wimps and it was a powerful experience!  We asked Nug Nug's mom to offer Lavender a ride to the Women's Broadcast on Saturday and she did and Lavender came and really enjoyed it.  I know that we have a long way to go with her, as she is pretty non-commital, but we are really working hard to get her friends in the ward so that she will have an incentive to learn more.

Harry: He is doing well!  He told me that he has changed his prayers to include me not just staying another transfer, but for my entire 18 months mission. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if I never make it out of this area.

Hobbit Hole Family: The grandpa hasn't had alcohol in about a month!  He said that he knows that the blessing he had is the reason he doesn't have a desire to drink anymore.  We are still having a hard time meeting with them on a regular basis, but we had a good conversation with the grandpa and committed him to start reading the Book of Mormon again.  He said he has taken a step back from religion the last few weeks but feels that we are right and that it is time he starts to study again.  PROGRESS! While we were there, the grandpa shared with us all of his conspiracies and it was all I could do to hold back my laughter.  He is convinced that Obama is gay and that Michelle is actually a man and that there will be the first gay marriage at the white house soon that Obama is going to preside over.  He also believes that he is the anti-Christ.  I guess "In God We Trust" is being taken off of our money in accordance with Obama's orders as well (this one I'm actually sure could be true, someone will have to confirm or deny it for me).
 
Tony Hawk Boys: Those little bandits are still just lovin' life.  They're doing well and were all at church on Sunday for the first time in a long time.

Love,

Sister Poppe
 
Kool temple rock.

I have been in love with that lion ever since Jeff's wedding in
December and finally got a selfie with it!

 Temple Trip
                    
       One of our ward missionaries surprised us with Sonic Drinks when she
             showed up for Harry's lesson on Thursday. I love these people.

THIS IS WHAT THIRTY SIX REESE'S PUMPKINS LOOK LIKE! 
 Only one person has been kind enough to mail them to me, but I
 know that she will be blessed for her sacrifice.

Our ghetto apartment has a leaky window; this was my solution as we don't have maintenance's number and I was not about to run to the office in the torrential downpour and ruin my hair.
          We had a lesson with a family in the Thunder Mountain Ward last night
                                                         and they have an 
                                                      INDOOR PET PIG!
                                                      INDOOR, PEOPLE. 
          They said he is more house broken than the dogs and more well behaved
           as well.  Sure enough while we were there he had to go to the bathroom
              and he went to the door and snorted!  I loved it. His name is Cletus.

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Training for Satan's 5K

As the temperatures have started to decline I have come to learn that I am officially a pansy. The pansifacation process has been happening since my freshman year of college, but I believe it has finally concluded and I am a full blown disgrace to the Midwest. I wore a cardigan on Tuesday because it was only in the 80's, and I sleep and study in a sweatshirt because the 78 degree AC in our apartment is just a little too cold (meanwhile my companion sleeps with a sheet covering half her T-shirt and basketball short clad body). Despite the chill factor, I still refuse to wear pants to bed though so I guess I'm not as near to frost bite as I think I am. Seriously, something is wrong with me. Heaven help me during my first winter back in Minnesota. There will be no need for you to shout, "close the door, it is winter," anymore mom, because I will probably beat you to it.

Hermione's kids haven't been transitioning into family scripture study and FHE very well, so I asked if she wanted us to do an FHE lesson with her family last Monday evening. She basically said good luck and accepted our invitation. Her kids were pretty cold at first, but by the end of the hour they were all enjoying themselves and participating in gospel jeopardy. That night Hermione texted and said, "Thank you both for just being you!! You have helped us have fun as a family! Can we do this again on next Monday too?? And think of a different game to play? I will make something sweet for you both!! Yes I am bribing you both completely. Haha. :)" When I read that text I truly believed for the first time on my mission that I was sent to Mesa to help someone specific. I have become really close with Hermione's family and believe that my entire mission will be worthwhile if they make it to the temple. Hermione told me two weeks ago that whenever and wherever I get married she is making the trip for the big event. I told her she could hasten the process by just finding someone for me to marry. I just love her so much!

We didn't meet with the Tony Hawk fam the week before last because the boys were out of town, so I was excited to see them this week. When we got there the middle boy said, "Now the party has finally arrived," and the oldest boy said, "Poppe! I've missed you." It warmed my heart.  I forgot to tell you guys something awesome! The middle boy filmed an episode of Ridiculousness a few weeks ago with Rob Dyrdek that will air on MTV sometime. I think he also filmed an episode of Fantasy Factory while he was there. He said something about an episode airing in October and one in January he thought. You guys have to DVR the episodes so I can watch them when I'm home! Tony Hawk boy said that in one of the episodes Rob told him that when he retires the Tony Hawk boy gets to take over his shows. I asked if I get to be on them when that happens and Tony Hawk boy said that I can be his Channel Westcoast (with a less obnoxious laugh, clearly)!

Our ox was in the mire so we went to Target on Friday night and purchased a stupid $6.17 plunger. When sister missionaries are in Target on a Friday evening and they only buy a plunger, everyone knows what's up. It was super embarrassing, but I just owned it. I walked with my head held high and looked all the judgers in the face as I swiped my card at the checkout. Haters gonna hate. Judgers gonna judge. Poppe's gonna pop (those clogs out of the pipes). Our toilet has been having problems, so I think there was some buildup or something going on; it took above and beyond normal plunging efforts to fix it. #selfsufficient #preparingforlifelongloneliness
                   

My biggest triumph of the week.

I miss Sister D. It was so easy to have fun with her and be myself. I hope she is enjoying Brazil.

Sue broke her hip and is in the hospital, so the assisted living home was operating at a less entertaining level this week. We still had a good time serving there though. The residents are just so appreciative of the company we provide.

Update on training for Satan's 5K: it is still awful. I try to be positive about it, but by about minute three I already hate everything in the entire world. Mainly I just hate how much of a hindrance I am. We run outside and someone always has to be the slow one with me so I'm not alone. I really despise feeling inadequate and I get to feel that way every morning for half an hour while I bring up the rear of the sister missionary herd. I'm always glad I ran by the end of my work out because it feels good to start my morning that way, but while I'm puttering down University I want to shoot lasers of hate out of my eyes that are strong enough to slice Hummers in half.

Elder Nelson came to speak to our mission with the Scottsdale Mission on Saturday.  We had approximately 500 missionaries in one stake center!  My roommates and I carpooled to the event and arrived two and a half hours early so we could get good seats in the chapel and not in the overflow.  We ended up in the third row!  I swear to you, Elder Nelson peered into my soul no less than three times.   He was accompanied by Elder Foster of the second quorum of the 70 and Elder Hansen and area 70 in the sixth quorum (who also lives in the stake I am serving in).  They gave such wonderful talks.  When Elder Nelson walked in the room was filled with the Spirit and there was no way I could deny that he is an apostle of Jesus Christ.  It was such an unforgettable experience.  We all got to shake his hand before the meeting officially started.  All three men spoke to us about missionary work.  They talked a lot about training a new missionary and how it is the most important calling in a mission and the one in which the most trust is involved.  It was a unique experience for me since I am actually training this transfer and the words he said applied to me.  He motivated me to be the best trainer I can be so that my mission legacy will be in the missionary I train and down through the ones she trains.  I also felt inspired during the meeting that I need to be better at using the scriptures in my teaching.  I have been told so many times that I am such a wonderful teacher that I rely on my own abilities and don't use the scriptures when I teach.  In every lesson we have had in the past few days I have used at least 2 scriptural passages and it has really enhanced my teaching ability.  Elder Nelson invoked a blessing upon us that we will be hard working, obedient, good member missionaries when we get home, safe, and many other things.  It was a powerful meeting.  Our mission president was asked to tell us one thing and he said, "We love you Arizona Mesa Missionaries.  We love you more than you love us." It was so sincere, I will never doubt that my mission president and his wife love me. It made for a wonderful end to our good week.

Love,

Sister Poppe

Because Nug Nug and J-Fizzle have been featured on my blog, MJ wanted to be as well.  She found me after sacrament meeting so we could get a pic for the blog. I love her whole family; they're a family that I will always remember fondly from my mission.
 
I take all of my training duties seriously; especially the ones that involve me introducing my trainee to AZ cuisine. Our first P-Day included a trip to Backyard Taco and Bahama Bucks. No one can accuse me of not teaching Sister D2 what is important!
I finally used part of my Cheesecake Factory gift card to take Sister D2 out for dessert to celebrate her one week anniversary of being in the mission field.


 

 

 

 

Monday, September 15, 2014

There is an Exspecially Pandemic

Hello!

I had four different companions last week, so that was a little exciting! I was with Sister Dumas until she left on Monday at 4, at which point I spent the next 24 hours with the sisters I live with. We did some service in their area and taught a few member families. The people in their wards liked me, so that was nice. On Tuesday the new missionaries arrived and I was asked to host one of them until Wednesday when transfers were. I spent the evening with Sister Harris from St George.  She knows Brooke! She is a really cool girl. The next morning we went to transfer meeting and I was assigned my new companion, Sister Dawson. She is from Cuna, Idaho which is close to Boise (which I learned is pronounced Boy-see, NOT Boy-zee, like I have always said it.  Who knew?). She is 19 and is pretty quiet, but her goal is to become more outspoken and less shy.  We are definitely going to solve that problem while we are together.  She is very nice and sweet though--kind of what I imagine Kourtney Nyberg is like as a missionary.



I decorated Sister Dawson's desk with green things to welcome her to the mission!

               Sister Dawson and I; I forced her to wear green her entire first week
              because she is a greenie. That's a lie, but it would have been hilarious!

When I went to pick up Sister Harris for our evening together, I met a sister who has been out one or two transfers who said, "Oh my gosh!  You're Sister Poppe!  I'm literally fan-girling right now!  I LOVE YOU SO MUCH." I was like, "ah....ha...ha...um, what? Okay, why?"  Apparently she loves my blog.  I LITERALLY HAVE A ONE MEMBER FAN CLUB.  It was the most flattering moment of my life.

There was a record breaking amount of rain last Monday which left a lot of destruction in West Mesa.  My area wasn't affected; we just had full retention basins for a few days. They had missionaries serve with the clean-up and sand bagging all week.  We got to help on Saturday, but there wasn't much for us to do.  They let us loose in a neighborhood and then told us to just knock on every door and see if people needed help.  We were only able to stay for two hours which was too bad, because right when we were leaving they said that they were going to move us to another neighborhood that was hit really hard.  I wish we could have helped people knock out drywall and stuff! The city administration has been very impressed with our efforts though and people in the community have been too.  It has definitely shed a positive light on missionaries and the church in this area.

We had a new inactive family move into the Twin Knolls ward and we went over to visit them on Saturday.  It turns out that the husband actually served a mission. He also graduated from high school with Uncle Kyle.  I told him that Kyle lives in this stake and he had no clue that he wasn't in Queen Creek anymore.  He said the last time he saw him was at their last class reunion and that they talked quite a bit then.  We invited them to church, but they didn't come. His wife isn't a member, so naturally we would love the opportunity to re-activate the husband and baptize the wife. We won't be too pushy though or anything, so we will see what happens.  I'm hoping they get some good home teachers and that that helps the situation.

Let me tell you. The Thunder Mountain Relief Society knows how to do a Super Saturday lunch right!  We had the most delicious food and Costco desserts. Our one investigator in that ward, Lavender Brown, went to the activity with a member so that was good! She is still pretty non-committal, but at least she is making friends in the ward.

Okay, we have a pandemic in this nation and it is not Ebola. It is the ex-specially pandemic.  I did not know until my mission that so many people in this world say the word especially wrong!  It is especially!  Not exspecially!  THERE IS NO X IN THE WORD ANYWHERE.  Even educated people say it wrong.  Seriously.  It is starting to get to me. I just have to love the people though and hope that somehow they come across my blog and realize that they are saying the word wrong and correct their ways, because I can't correct them or they will think I am that one mean, stuck up, grammar Nazi missionary.

We started a new fitness challenge this transfer and I hate my life every morning now.  We are doing the Couch to 5K app as modified by the mission president's wife. It is awful.  I think it should be inhumane to make people run without music.  Running is already my least favorite activity in the world.  I am out of shape, overweight, and lack in the self-confidence category.  When you add in the fact that my heavy breathing and self-loathing thoughts aren't drowned out by Selena Gomez anymore it makes the whole thing even worse.  We are training for a 5K in November.  As if.  I will not be able to run an entire 5K in that short amount of time.  I did decide though that this is probably a necessary life change for me and I will run 6 days a week the rest of my mission and prepare to run a 5K when I get home.  I think 11 months is adequate time to get my (nonexistent) butt into gear.

XOXO,

Sister Poppe

Nug Nug's sister, J-Fizzle and I on her last Sunday before she heads to France to be a nanny for ten months. Also, my new fab dress that I got on sale for $7.50.


Monday, September 8, 2014

A Reese's a Day Keeps Satan Away! Part II

Huzzah for Israel!

Sister D and I hit up Smashburger on Tuesday to celebrate her last week in America. While we were there we ran into a potential investigator, Nug Nug and her sister, and had a random stranger pay for our lunch. I do believe we were meant to be in that restaurant that afternoon. We went back on Thursday to celebrate for real with our district. The elders beat us there and had someone pay for their lunch, but we were about 10 minutes behind them and didn't have the same luck.
                                                         Smashburger!
Our lessons went well again this week. We are killing it here! The best lesson we had all week was with Harry and his fiancĂ© on Saturday night. She opened up to us and is finally ready to take the bull by the horns and get active in the church again! She cried through the entire lesson. I told her that she has enough time to work everything out so she and Harry can go through the temple at the same time a year after he is baptized. This area is thriving and I am excited to announce that I will be staying for another transfer! I was asked to train one of the five new sisters coming into the mission and I am so honored and excited!  I cannot wait to build her up and make her awesome! Camp counselor me is already coming out and I am ready to just love this girl like it ain't nobody's business. Hopefully she likes me. Tony Hawk mom told me it was an answer to her prayers that I am staying and Harry said that he prayed and told Heavenly Father he was going to stop investigating the church if I left. I thought he was joking at first, but he opened up and said that on top of everything else, the thought of getting two new missionaries was unbearable and he really needed me to stay. His fiancĂ© hugged me when we left and whispered, "I'm so glad you're staying, I knew you would, because you're the strong one." Then she told me she loves me. She also gave me a scarf and one to Sister Dumas as well and said they are for us to remember them by (they gave me mine early since I'm apparently never getting transferred). They're supposed to remind us of hugging them when we wrap them around us.  I almost cried. I am starting to get paranoid that people are going to get tired of me though. By the end of this transfer I will be halfway through my mission and will have spent six of my twelve transfers here. Training a new missionary is a two transfer job in most situations as well, so it is even likely that I may stay here for ANOTHER transfer after my sixth. I'm not letting the horse get ahead of the cart though. We will just have to wait and see what happens.

Sister Dumas and I are going to be in a music video! Our TM ward mission leader wrote a missionary song that has been approved by the church and now he is shooting a music video. He took some footage of us teaching Harry and of us knocking on his door. #celebstatus #redcarpet #whenismyinterviewwithellen

I remember grandma telling us the story, Little Black Sambo when I was a kid, and I always thought she just made it up. Well, we were at a family's home the other night and they had a little match book that said "Sambo's Pancakes" with a (white) boy, some tigers, and pancakes on it and I was like, "HOLD THE PHONE WHERE DID YOU GET THIS? MY GRANDMA USED TO TELL ME A STORY ABOUT A BLACK BOY NAMED SAMBO WHO MADE TIGERS RUN IN A CIRCLE TO MAKE BUTTER FOR HIS PANCAKES." They told me about the restaurant and then brought out a children's book with the same story! And here I thought for 23 years that Grandma Margie made the story up. The restaurant made the match packet kid white and took the adjective "black" out of the restaurant name so it was a little more PC. Because white kids are more likely to have confrontations in the jungle with tigers and have mothers who make pancakes. #obvi

So I did your 10 books challenge, mom. I have to point out that I really did list 10 books that "shaped who I am". These aren't necessarily my favorite books, just ones that have shaped my ideology and perspective in some way. Too many people doing this challenge are just listing favorite books.

Top 10 Books (or Book Series) That Have Shaped My Life:

1. The Standard Works---assorted prophets of God (Truly though, these books have had more of an impact on my lifestyle than anything else I've read. They're not always my favorite to peruse, but they're the most influential.) 2. Harry Potter Series---J.K. Rowling 3. Among the Hidden Series---Margaret Haddox(?) (and thus my fear of big government began at a young age) 4. Cabeza de Vaca's Adventures in the Unknown Interior of America (or something like that)---Cabeza de Vaca (you don't truly understand early Native American/European relations until you've read the journal of this struggling Spanish explorer from the 1600's.) 5. All of Jane Austen's novels 6. Barbarian Nurseries (don't remember the author) 7. Ender's Game Books---Orson Scott Card 8. The Things They Carried---Tim O'Brien (this book has taught me more about being a writer than almost anything else I've read. People love it for the history, which I do too, but really O'Brien's writing style is the thing from this novel that changed me.) 9. American Girl Books (my love for American history stemmed from my veracious reading of these novels in kindergarten and first grade) 10. Night---Elie Weissel (I think I just butchered the spelling of his name...life without Google is hard!)

I was asked to sing in a quartet for a fireside on Sunday. Each month there is one fireside that is intended to uplift investigators. The fireside changes locations each month and all missionaries in the mission are encouraged to bring someone to it. I had never been to one because we always had something else going on the evening it was being presented. I loved the three people I sang with. They were all really talented. Quartets are my favorite groups to sing in because it isn't a solo, but everyone is on their own part so people can still hear each individual. I sang alto. I also made the other missionaries color coordinate their outfits with mine so we would look classy like the MoTab. We looked sharp! We took Harry with us and he really enjoyed it. The stake that hosted the event is the one that my friend Peri moved to after she left the mission so I got to see her too. She said that she and the family she is staying with have been praying that I get transferred to their ward. Best case scenario will be that I finish my tenure in the Salt River Stake and then serve the rest of my mission in their ward. Start praying, people!

Spiritual thought: I started the Book of Mormon again last week, and as I was reading in 1st Nephi 17 I had a thought. Nephi and his family just arrived in Bountiful and they are excited because it is beautiful and has an abundance of food. The Lord has blessed them with a comfortable place to rest and prepare for their journey to the America's. I can't imagine how tempting it was to just stay there; they had everything they needed and more. How often do we make the mistake of making a comfortable pit stop permanent? How often do we shortchange the blessings Heavenly Father wants to give us because we believe we have already been given enough and we don't want to work harder to receive the prize He truly wants to give us? I'm sure I have done it before and at times I'm still tempted to do it. A mission really has blessed my life, but there are days I think, "Eh, seven months of experience is enough. I've received a lot of blessings. I just want to pack up and go home and take a nap. Peace out, Mesa." But there are hidden blessings waiting for me at the finish line of 18 months if only I remember this was never where Heavenly Father intended for me to stop.

In the Reese's world, we all know that the larger holiday shaped candies are more delicious than the average cup (I even wrote a blogpost on this my freshman year of college...it is a valid scientific fact--the ratio of peanut butter to chocolate is higher, resulting in a natural increase of joy experienced by your taste buds ). You have your Halloween pumpkins, Christmas trees, Valentine hearts, and Easter eggs; all delicious, but the eggs more so than the rest. As you probably noticed, half the year is jam packed with Reese's friendly holidays, the other half is dead. Its feast or famine mode, and we are about to leave the six months of nothing for the six months of plenty! We are mere weeks away from Reese's pumpkins being released! October until April--six months of heaven sent abundance. I know that you think this has nothing to do with missionary work, but quite the contrary is true; it has everything to do with missionary work. By mailing me, a servant of The Lord, Reese's special edition holiday treats, you are helping The Lord hasten His work! It's also a fact that white chocolate Reese's don't help with hastening the work, they actually slow missionary work, so don't mail those. I think there is going to be a General Conference talk on this in October, so I will have some apostolic backing shortly. And remember, a Reese's a day keeps Satan away!

I bid you adieu,

Sister Poppe
 
Sharks!
 
Hipster sisters 
 
We had a great week at our many wonderful dinner appointments.  One of the highlights was finally getting a waffle and a dirty Diet Dr. Pepper from the Waffle Love truck!

                                          We helped set up for the wedding.
                            Sister D and I weaved the flowers through the arch.

                               Photo booth pics from the wedding in our ward


 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Twenty Abnormally Small Teeth

We had an amazing week of good lessons, experiences, and random happenings. For this letter, I'm going to organize it by people, because I think that will be easier.

A Portrait of Mesa: A Week's Journey Told Through Her Citizenry

1. Harry and the Tony Hawk Boys: We teach these guys on the same night each week. It just so happened that this week we felt that they all needed to hear the same thing--how to recognize personal revelation as revelation. We planned two similar lessons on the topic and they were both spot on. The lessons were spiritual and lead to each person making their own personal insights. Since all of these guys can't be baptized for one reason or another, their progress has slowed lately.  I know that the lessons we shared with them jump started them again and helped them slog a little further through the mud.

2. Sister M and Professor Trelawny:  One of the members in Thunder Mountain talked to a random stranger about the church and then invited the stranger to church on Sunday. We were so shocked! Seriously, we never would have pegged this member as a go get 'em missionary type.  She said she just felt prompted to talk to her and it worked! We taught Professor Trelawny a lesson and had dinner with her with Sister and Brother M on Wednesday and it went well. She was very open and got teary-eyed when I explained and testified of the atonement.

3. Sister W: A sister in Twin Knolls was talking to her downtrodden neighbor and shared the gospel and the neighbor is interested. We set up an appointment with her for this week! We are so excited.  #membermissionariesarethebest

4. Lavender Brown: We keep records of individuals who have been taught by missionaries before and sometimes we review those records and try to identify people who are ready to hear the gospel again. One name stuck out to me a few weeks ago and we finally had the time to stop by this week. We were invited in and the wife proceeded to talk to us for over an hour. It was so surreal. Sometimes I realize that I'm sitting on a perfect stranger's couch and am hearing all about their life. It really is crazy sometimes how open people are! This lady didn't know us from Eve and she didn't hesitate to let us into her living room and into her heart all in the same hour. We set up a return appointment for this week.

5 Brother Meal Coordinator: I had a conversation with the Twin Knolls missionary meal coordinator's wife last Sunday about Sister Dumas getting her visa and leaving and about how I could very well be transferred too because I've been here for 5 transfers. This conversation evolved and somehow became Sisters Dumas and Poppe are for sure both leaving in a week. Our meal coordinator asked us who our favorite families to eat with are and we figured he just wanted to know for future reference. We told him and he proceeded to text all of them and tell them our last week in the area had arrived and that we have requested to eat our last week of dinners with them. It was very kind of him to schedule all of that. He said he has never had the meal calendar filled so quickly because everyone was eager to feed us one last time. This is all great, except we don't know if I'm actually being transferred or not yet! People are planning to take us out to eat, and are asking what our favorite desserts are, and are telling us to block out a little extra time for dinner because they have something special planned, and all this crazy stuff.  I'm a little afraid I won't be transferred and that this will be one of those awkward situations, like when a couple calls off their wedding two days before it's supposed to happen and they already have all these Williams-Sonoma gift cards and pottery barn bins and stuff. It will definitely be an amazing week though!

6. Piano Kid: One of the employees of the assisted living home has a teenage son who pops in to see her at the end of her shift sometimes.  The boy plays the piano and is very quiet. I was playing on Saturday and he sat next to me and asked if I would teach him to play the song I was playing. He plays by ear and is really very good. He has never had lessons and knows nothing about music theory. It breaks my heart that he has never had lessons. I don't think he has the most stable home life. I sat with him for about 20 minutes and showed him how to play the first four measures and talked to him about school, my mission, and music. At the end of our conversation he said, "Thanks for showing me that, I really like talking to you. You're really nice."  It made me so sad; I don't think he gets talked to very much. I gave him a few more piano tips and told him about the piano tutorials on YouTube for that song that I've seen before.

7: Assisted Living Friends: I don't even know how it happened, but we got some of the assisted living home residents to hiss with us like cats on Wednesday. They even made claws with their hands.  It was hilarious.

8: Sister D and J-Money (aka Jeff, my friend, who is white, who I have never called J-Money until today. It just felt right #thuglyfe):  Through a series of events Sister Dumas saw Jeff on my Facebook and was like, "I know that kid." We ended up figuring out that they were in the same social dance class at BYU and that he was companions with her cousin on his mission. It's crazy how small the Mormon world is!

9. President and Sister Jenkins: Prezzy J and Sister J Jenks came to speak in Thunder Mountain's sacrament meeting yesterday. President Jenkins ended his talk by saying that he doesn't believe the members of that ward don't know how to do missionary work because a vast majority of them are RM's or have sent children on missions. He loving encouraged them to get their act together. He told them he knows that Sister Dumas and I love the ward and are working hard so they should figure out a way to resurrect within themselves the skills to be missionaries. It was so spot on.

10: Charlie Weasley: A family in the ward recently had the wife's brother move in with them. He has come to church pretty regularly for 6 weeks or so. We have talked to the family a few times about where Charlie is at and such and on Sunday they invited us over to teach Charlie! He has already expressed interest in baptism! I don't even know where all these people keep coming from! So many blessings! It's probably because we have transfers in a week; all these amazing things are happening just in time for me to leave.
11: Nug Nug and the Favorite: The two young women in our ward that I mentioned joined our fan club last week are affectionately called Nug Nug and the Favorite (as per their individual requests). They took us out for 50 cent corn dogs at Sonic to celebrate Sister Dumas' one year mark. I ate 6 corn dogs and a small shake as a challenge. I literally thought I was going to die after corn dog number 3, but the champion inside of me wouldn't let me give up and I completed the challenge.  Sister Dumas is a pansy and didn't win like I did. She did tell me how proud of me she was though for finishing. That's true companionship love right there.
(l-r) The Favorite, Sis. Poppe, Sis. Dumas, Nug Nug
On a random note, August 27th marked 11 years since braces were put on my teeth. I'm still grateful that you, dad, and two dental insurance agencies loved me enough to contribute thousands of dollars to the perfecting of my 20 abnormally small teeth. Seriously though, my teeth are beautiful. Thank you.

The Church is True!

Sister Poppe

We baked cookies on our dashboard on Sunday during church.  7 hours later they were just a little doughy in the middle and quite delicious. #112degrees