Friday, October 17, 2014

Super Totes Mormon!

After we emailed last P-Day we had a great baking session with Tony Hawk mom. We made pumpkin bread. It was one of my signature stress baking sessions...except they aren't as meaningful when you're allowed to be baking and aren't avoiding a major homework assignment at the same time. Nonetheless it helped me relieve some stress and womanly emotions and stuff.
We had exchanges this week with our sister training leader and things went really well! Since it is my companion's first transfer out, we didn't actually split up, our STL just came with us for the day.  She said that my 12 week training hour is the most productive she has ever seen her entire mission.  She told me that I am doing everything perfectly (they keep telling me that, yet I know that I can still improve) and that she can tell we are working very hard in our area and that it will be blessed down the road because of our efforts.  It was a good exchange and good for me to know that I am training correctly, because I had no clue if I was going about things the right way or not.

We had interviews with President and Sister Jenkins as well this week.  I met with Sister Jenkins first and the first thing she said to me was, "Sister Poppe, you are just so fun!  We love having you in our mission. We know you are trying your hardest in everything you do.  Thank you for being here." It was the best thing she could have told me. I don't care what my numbers are or if I baptize a single person while I'm here; I just want to know that I am working as hard as I can.  I don't even care if President and Sister Jenkins recognize that because I know that I am working as hard as I can.  It was nice though to know that despite my low baptismal record, my mission president and his wife know that I am giving it my all and that my numbers aren't a reflection of my work ethic. President Jenkins talked to me about what I want to accomplish on my mission and how I want to achieve my goals.  He said that my goal of setting a good example for my children is wonderful.  He said it makes him sad when people were bad missionaries and then subsequently don't ever talk to their children about their missions.  He said he looks forward to the thought of me telling my children how to be missionaries while they're on missions as I communicate with them once a week. He said I am definitely on the right track to being a good example to my future family (as well as my current one). The fact that I've been in my area for six transfers came up and he asked me to think about if I should stay another transfer or not.  He wants me to think about how well Sister D2 would do without me and how the area would do if I left such a new missionary here to be the "seasoned" one. I've given it a lot of thought and think that I should stay another transfer, which was a hard decision for me.  Ultimately I know that I'm just giving my input and that he may decide differently.  We find out transfers on Saturday, so I'll let you know next week what happens!  I can't believe how quickly this transfer has gone; I'm almost halfway done training Sister D2!

Hobbit Hole Grandpa has had some concerns about the church that he has come across on the internet that are frustrating.  He mentioned a false prophecy about Joseph Smith and a temple in Missouri.  I couldn't find it anywhere, partly because I didn't have the time to really look and partly because he didn't give me a lot of information to work with.  I was praying that I would be able to find what he was talking about so I could read it and interpret it.  Then on Thursday Brandon messaged me and said he needed help answering a question about a false prophecy in Doctrine and Covenants 84:1-5 and that was HHG’s prophecy!  I was so excited! It was an answer to my prayer.  I was able to read it and study it and explain to HHG that it isn't a false prophecy, just one that hasn't been fulfilled yet.  He said he can see how it would be interpreted that way, but that he still doesn't believe it is a true prophecy.  Even though he didn't get out of it what I wanted him to, I still learned from the experience that my prayers are answered!

We were given a referral from the bishop in the Twin Knoll's ward for a couple and we taught them for the first time on Saturday.  There is a slight language barrier, but I don't think their English is so bad that we need to hand them over to the Spanish missionaries (I do too much of that already!), so we will continue to teach them.

We did some service at Lavender Brown's house this weekend and it was so fulfilling!  We got so much done in their yard and their Arizona Porch (or as we call them in the rest of the world, three season porches). She was pretty caught up in something else while we were in her backyard, so I just took charge and told people what to do.  It was nice to have some organization and structure to our service.  We got so much done in the two hours we were there!

Disclaimer: don't read the next paragraph if you don't want to read a rant about sister drama and mission politics.

As you have seen, I changed my profile picture for the whole "I'm a Mormon" profile picture event thing. I saw someone else post a picture that said "super totes Mormon" and naturally I loved it. I think I love abbreviations so much because they juxtapose my normal vocabulary in such a comical and ironic way. Anyway, I changed my picture, and as per the instructions, mentioned the real name of the church. I decided it would be funny to say that hipsters call the church by the full name, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because it is so not mainstream to use that instead of Mormon. Pretty witty, eh? Well I received a Facebook message from another sister telling me that I should consider removing my comment as it was not dignified and change my profile picture to the appropriate "I am a Mormon" template. Okay, I can take correction when I need to. But here is the thing that killed me, this sister isn't my sister training leader, my district leader, my zone leader, an assistant to the president, the mission president or his wife, a member of the leadership of either of the wards I'm serving in, my mother, or my companion. She is a "co-district leader" in another area of the mission, but she doesn't have any stewardship over my soul. She has no direct authority over me and isn't called by the Lord to be my companion at this time. She literally had no right to message me. On top of everything, she said everything in a tone that implied that I would roll over because she told me to. If it concerned her, she should have taken it to my district leader and he could have corrected me. I stewed about this and debated about whether I would take it down and decided I would ask my district leader for his opinion and that I would respect whatever he said. Because when appropriate, and when guided by the Spirit, I can, and will take correction humbly. I asked him about it and he said that he didn't see a problem with what I posted (he had actually liked my picture already) and that if it didn't bother me or feel inappropriate to me that I could keep it up. Boom! Win for the priesthood! And me. So I kept it up and sent a short polite, yet firm, response letting her know that I saw her message but after discussing the situation with my district leader I decided I was going to stick with what I wrote and keep everything the same. Remember that one time President Monson called Amanda Poppe on a mission and not Amanda Poppe but only if she changed herself and became someone that is not Amanda Poppe? Yeah I remember that time too because it happened exactly a year ago on October 9th. How fitting that I read her message on that day. It strengthened my resolve to continue to be myself and spread the gospel in the ways I know how to best. I am a champion for uniquely obedient missionaries everywhere! For Zion! And Aslan!

To infinity and beyond!

Sister Poppe

*Mom's note.  Two funny stories that Sister Poppe sent me later.  I thought it would include them in the blog because, as I mentioned, they are funny.

1)      Elder Kennard and I are both going for the last little bit of Martinelli's sparkling juice and I snag it.

     "Sister Poppe! I was going to get that."-Elder K
     "You get the priesthood, I get the Martinelli's"-me

2)      Sister D2 HATES it when boys wear sweaters.  We all know how I feel about sweaters and their amazingness.  I love them so much. 
      "I bought a sweater last winter because all the elders does get cold on a
       bike and a sweater looks nicer than a jacket."-Elder Young

      "I HATE men in sweaters; I just hate it!"-Sister D2
      "Sister!  It's a blessing.  Imagine how easy it will be to lock your heart when you
        despise everything about all the elders' winter wardrobes. I, on the other hand,
        will have a really hard time locking my heart with all those sweater clad elders
        running around! I can't get enough of that kind of thing!"-me

        The elders about died; they thought it was hilarious.

We had another ZTM this week.  Sometimes the calendar works out kind of weird and we have two in one transfer.  You'll never guess who was asked to give a training...yep, Sister Dawson and I.  We gave one on having the faith to find.  We focused on using the ward council to help you find instead of aimlessly wandering around.  It went well and people loved it.  I gave them Reese's pumpkins too, so that is probably why.
Time for a new profile picture. To the cactus garden on Hawes!

My little craft!  Sister H was getting rid of some scrapbooking paper so I took it and made cute little things that I am going to frame when I get home and put in my living room someday when I actually have a living room to call my own.

Maya learned how to braid hair so she wanted to braid a piece of mine.  Naturally we had to get a picture, and Noah wanted to jump in. We had our dinner cancel on Sunday and I hate asking people to feed us, but an opportunity presented itself after church when Sister Bowman said, "Why hasn't anyone texted me to feed you guys lately! It's been awhile since we have had you sisters over!" So I asked if she wanted the opportunity that night and thus our dinner was saved.