Another week has come and gone and I'm here to tell you all about it!
We contacted an older gentleman about a month ago who, when we asked if there was anything we could do for him, said, "oh no. I just need to weed my yard, but you young girls can't do that." We had some open time this week and decided to just go over and weed his yard without even asking him. He may never know that we did that for him, but it was still really fulfilling!
The Cheesecake Factory Family took us to dinner at a Mexican place on Tuesday and it was delightful to be with them, as always. Some of my favorite parts of the evening included:
When we arrived at his house Noah sprinted out the door and yelled, SSISSSSSSSSTTTTTTERRRRRRRRRRRSSSSSSS," and then latched onto my leg with both arms and started stroking the bird on my skirt and grabbed my hand and said, "okay, now just come on inside!" It was the cutest most welcoming tone; I felt like he was the little toddler bell hop at a hotel. We settled for the garage while we waited for Brother CF to change so we could head to the restaurant. This is the conversation when we arrived and saw Maya's new haircut, keep in mind Maya is way too smart for her own good and quite the little sassy pants. Kind of like another small girl you all may remember from approximately 18 years ago:
"I love your hair! It's just about as sassy as you are now."-Me
"I am NOT sassy! (Said with her hand on her hip and with a little head shake...contradictory? Yes.)"-Maya
"Sister Poppe is sassy."-Sister D2
From behind her hand, in a whisper to Sister D2, "I bet she is!" -Maya
Sister CF told us about a conversation she had with Noah as she was telling him about the story time we are going to do next week about Jesus:
"Is Jesus going to be there?"-Noah
"No, sorry."-Sister CF
"Ahhhhh, but I haven't even ever got to meet him yet!"-Noah
At one point in the evening Noah wanted me to share with him his joy over his root beer so he legitimately took his cup and shoved the straw in my mouth after he wasn't fooled by my fake drinking and yummy noises. The germs were already shared, so I took a sip as per his demand.
We had an all day zone conference on Thursday. My group presented our training on planning and it was so legit. I wrote a play the incorporated scriptures from the parable of the vineyard in Jacob 5. The script followed the evening of two missionaries. They were in a dead area and weren't sure what to do. We had three "pop out" trainings in which the play stopped and trainings were given on accountability and taking ownership of your area, setting goals, and how weekly planning funnels into daily planning which funnels into lesson planning. We compared different trees to less active members, recent converts, active members, part member families, and nonmembers. The audience watched as the different pop outs slowly gave the missionaries direction and they eventually developed a desire to focus on the needs of individuals as well as their goals. I feel like I'm not giving it justice; it was way cooler than I'm describing it to be!
It was by far the most creative training of the day. As the narrator opened the play he did mention that it was written by "the one and only Sister Poppe." He wasn't supposed to announce that, in case people thought it was stupid. We had a practice for our Christmas choir as well. This year all of the mission is required to participate in a choir that sings on Christmas evening on the temple grounds. I get to play a bell in the song that needs a bell choir accompaniment! I jumped at the opportunity when they asked if anyone could sight read music and played an instrument in high school. I cover the A flat; I'm kind of a big deal.
We had dinner with a middle aged couple with older children who don't live at home one evening this week. Their dogs have become their children and we were introduced to each one of them one by one. Two are pugs. The dad started telling us about how pugs do this thing where they run in circles and are crazy. He kept calling it a pug run, so I finally asked if that was the official term, or his term. He said, "Well, it's probably mine, BUT if you ever go to a pug party and use the term people know what you're talking about." So then I had to ask what a pug party is and he went on to tell us about this one time that he went to a party for pug owners and there were about 35 pugs with their owners in one place at the same time. He then started describing the pug run to us from that night and we were dying imagining 35 pugs running in a circle together like maniacs. That's the first thing I'm going to Youtube when I get home.
On Friday evening we stopped by a new family's home in TK. The four year old daughter prayed before we left and her prayer, in its entirety, was, "Dear Heavenly Father, please bless that these two moms will come over again. Jesus Christ. Amen."
The stake I'm serving in does an annual event every November called Night of Classics. They find talented (like actually talented, not mediocre) people in the area (they're usually members, though there were a few nonmembers and a handful of inactive people this year) to showcase many varieties of fine art. The first hour was fancy finger desserts and a walk through art gallery that was amazing, followed by an hour and a half program of musical talents. I got a little teary-eyed when a lady played the 2nd Movement of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto because it was the same song I played for contest my senior year of high school. I haven't played the clarinet in almost 2 years! I bet I'm nowhere near as good as I once was; which makes me sad. Two women sang Pie Jesu, which was another song I performed at contest in high school. It was actually the highest scoring piece I ever did. It was the one Kalyn Schroeder and I sang together that lead to me singing at a Lutheran church on a random Sunday with her. Anyway, we got a 39/40; a near perfect score. So it was a beautiful evening that made me a little sad that I don't do much with music anymore. But the positive is that Lavender Brown and her husband came with us! They really enjoyed the evening. Lavender is one of those really talented black lady singers, so she loved it and was excited that someone already asked her if she would perform in the show next year. They're really trying to make this a community event to help expose people to normal Mormon activities.
Us with Lavender Brown after the Night of Classics.
The Phoenix Temple dedication was yesterday and it was a really great dedication. A lot was mentioned about not taking the temple for granted and going repeatedly. I love that. I wish everyone made the temple a priority in their lives. The majority of members in the US have a temple within an hour of where they live. There is no better way to protect yourself from Satan than by going to the temple. Really, people should go more often!
People have started inviting us over for Thanksgiving and we are so excited because so far, they're all some of our very favorite families. I feel like I'm in high school again and people are getting asked to prom and at first it's nerve wracking because I could get asked by someone I don't want to go with, but I'd have to say yes because I don't have a date yet, but now I can breathe, because I just got asked to prom by someone I really want to go with. I'm relieved that we have plans for Thanksgiving and that they're with such wonderful families. We already have three dinners on Thanksgiving Day, one the Sunday before, and one on Tuesday of that week already penciled in.
Sister D2 is trying to topple my dynasty. As we left mutual she said, "I'm never going to be able to get as many people to love me and be my best friend in these wards as you've been able to." I told her to give it 7 more months and it may happen; you can't create a band of admirers overnight. She told me she wouldn't need that long to steal all my friends. As if. May the odds be ever in her favor. These are Poppe's peeps. But, Harry's dog, Paco lovesssssss her. So she is making headway in her attempt to steal all the members of my fan club.
I had an idea this week that I am so excited about! You know how people do fundraisers in which they will put flamingos in people's yards and then require them to make a donation before the flamingos are removed? Well I decided we will do that and instead of money, we will require members to do one of the following to get the flamingos out of their yard: invite us to give them a family home evening lesson, teach them one of the investigator discussions, do an hour of service for them, help them create a family mission plan, or present a gospel lesson on any topic. Hopefully this will not only increase our teaching hours, but will also generate conversations about the church between neighbors. "Hey, why do you have flamingos in your yard? That's an HOA violation waiting to happen." "Oh, just the obnoxious missionaries in our ward. They put them there and now we are having them come over for a family night to give us a lesson as payment to get them out of our yard. They're actually pretty fun girls. You want to join us on Monday evening?" BAM. BAPTISM IN THE WORKS.
I've yet to receive any Christmas music selections, so get on it people! I need some festive tunes!
Tony Hawk Fam and us (and one of their skater friends).
I'm starting to slowly get pictures with families so that I don't
have to take a million pictures the Sunday before I'm transferred.
Selfie with Ron to document another successful indexing session.
His pointer finger chicken peck is getting faster week by week!
Happy sharks make for a happy sleeper.
Companionship unity blankets. Aren't we so cute?