Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Heavenly Father's Approved Blessings List

Our sister training leaders this transfer are Spanish sisters, so instead of doing an all day exchange (because one of us would have to spend a day doing Spanish work then), we did an evening with them in our area. We did a blitz, which is just when you try and visit as many people as possible who aren't members. We already had a lesson scheduled, so I went to that for part of the evening and Sister D2 spent her whole evening finding people to teach in Twin Knolls. She found 3 investigators, and I found 3 in Thunder Mountain as well! To be counted as a new investigator, you just have to have been taught a principle, commit to an invitation (read the Book of Mormon, come to church, etc.), and schedule a return appointment. So while we had 6 new investigators in one evening, they didn't all pan out. People weren't home when we went back, but that is pretty normal. To get 1 baptism a month you're supposed to aim for 16 new investigators. We've never had that many in a month, but things are looking better already for November! It's amazing how much more you can get done when you split up and cover twice as much area in just 2.5 hours. I was so proud of Sister D2. Her personality is such that she is better at finding than other things in missionary work, and I didn't realize that until Monday evening. She gets down to business, whereas I talk a lot. I only made it to 2 houses beyond my one hour lesson that night, but she hit up 7 houses and a few street contacts. She's so good at it! If I had my way, I would outsource all my finding and just teach people 24/7. Oh yeah, that's also the Lord's way too...but somehow it never happens.

I was asked by an elderly lady this week if Sister Dawson was my sister or my baby. (Insert Emoji face with slanty eyes and lowered eyebrows).  *mom's note:  Sorry, I don't have emoji's on my computer, only my phone.  You will just have to imagine it.

There's a less active lady that we have been asked to visit on and off my entire mission and we are never able to contact her because she won't answer her door.  We were asked to stop by again this week and I was annoyed but then felt like we should try so I could be a good example to my companion.  I was kind of negative and made the comment that it was a waste of time because she wouldn't answer the door on our way to dinner that night. We were eating across the street from her so we were going to just give it a shot after dinner because it was close and wouldn't take any of our miles. At dinner the wife mentioned that if you ever wanted to visited the less active lady you just had to go around to their backyard and knock on the back door because they answer that one because they figure only friends know to go to that one.  So after dinner we tried the front door and she didn't answer. I was like whatever!  Let's just be creepers and let ourselves into her back yard and do this.  So we did and she answered and talked to us for about ten minutes! I knew her whole back story, but acted dumb and she talked to us about all of her drama (of all the people I've met she is the first one who I can understand why she wants to avoid our ward). I invited her to attend the ward that meets at 1:00 in our building so that she wouldn't see the people she doesn't want to see. She also asked about what she could do to save her brother who died. We told her we could come back and teach her about the Plan of Salvation and baptisms for the dead.  She took our number and said she'd call us.  I prayed for her before we left and it was actually a really good little meeting. #miracle

I don't know if you remember Ron Weasley, but he was my very first lesson out in the field. We taught him my first night in my area. He goes to Montana for the summer, and he was finally back last week so we stopped by.  He remembered me and even gave me a hug.  We shared a message and talked with him outside for about half an hour and invited him to church.  I know he still isn't ready for a commitment, but it was good to stop by and check in with him. He said he was going to see Meet the Mormons that weekend. He's a nice guy; I hope he comes around eventually.  He did say that he read my Facebook posts all summer.

The women at the nursing home were sure on something on Saturday.  There were two fights while we were there and a lot of sass.  I had four women trying to talk to me at the same time while Sister D2 was at the piano and all of them would get mad if I diverted my attention to someone else.  I've come to learn more and more that volunteering at the assisted living home is a lot like working with the six year olds at camp.

We were taken care of pretty well this week as far as meals go. We were taken to Smashburger one evening just because the family feeding us remembered that I loved it. Another night we had Barro's pizza and then on Saturday a sweet single sister took us to a great place called Red, White, and Brew. Dad also randomly mailed me a crisp Hamilton so I treated myself to Pete's Fish and Chips after the temple on Thursday.

Some friendly advice: never feed missionaries lasagna. They'll lie and say they love it and eat it and want to die. They just really don't want it. I can promise you that I will never eat lasagna, spaghetti, or goulash ever again in my life. I already didn't like those things and now I despise them. Heaven help me when I get sent to a poor area and have it more than I already do.

We had a fun ward progressive dinner on Friday night.  It was amazing how many people actually came!  It was only for adults, and every one was assigned a home to eat dinner at, and then every one met at the RS president's house for dessert. I really enjoyed the opportunity to be around the members and talk about real things. They enjoyed it too.  They finally understand that we will be real people around nonmembers!  It was amazing to realize how close I've actually become with these people.  So many couples approached me just to talk at the dessert party. Who ever wants to talk to missionaries? But so many people felt the need to come up and talk with us; it made us feel really loved.

While I was sitting in the most useless ward council meeting of my life, I had a wonderful thought. Bishopric's should wear matching ties every Sunday. Not super matchy matchy, but at least ties from the same family of colors. Think of how that would automatically invite the Spirit! #GQbishopric

I am starting an official competition that will run from today until December 1st. I am asking for Christmas music! You can send complete albums or create a customized mix. Whoever sends me the best Christmas CD will be rewarded with an AZ postcard, a certificate, the pride of winning, an official announcement in my letter home, and one blessing from Heavenly Father's approved blessings list*. Entries will be judged based on my musical taste, and my musical taste alone, so think Sister Poppe when you start burning! Bonus points will be given for creative mix names. Please send all entries to:
Sister Amanda Poppe
2525 N 32nd St.
Mesa, AZ 85213.
Bonus points will also be given if you include Reese's Christmas Trees in the parcel. Every participant will receive a gratitude shoutout and, as customary, general blessings from Heav'.


Sister P

*Heavenly Father's Approved Blessings List has actually never been published, though it is likely that blessings could include one, or any combination of the following:

1. An extraordinarily wonderful day
2. The opportunity to star on a game show  
3. A new puppy (Betsy, this one is for you) 
4. A Get Out of Ebola Free Card
 5. A wink from a handsome stranger
6: A vacation
7. An onion ring in your French fries (this blessing brought to you by Sister Krueger)  
8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio twice in one day  
9. A five dollar bill on the ground  
10. A new friend
We made a pizookie to celebrate.
The sun shone down upon us gloriously as we left the temple; 
the heavens smiled at our service.
Target had their hats 20% off today so we were trying them on in preparation
for Christmas lights.  Unfortunately we both settled for a more conservative
and professional look.
My companion gets a kick out of my "laughing" pictures. 

I just think they're so great.