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