Friday, December 5, 2014

And a Poppe in a Pear Tree


I had such a wonderful last full week in Twin Knolls and Thunder Mountain! I am being transferred to the Kimball East Stake which isn't too far from where I already am.  It is like 5-10 miles south west I believe. I have two wards again, the Aspen and Brimhall Wards.  I am going to be companions with a sister named Sister Rasheed! She is really neat and I am excited to get to know more about her. She is from Pakistan and entered the MTC the same day as her twin sister who is serving in the Temple Square mission. When I was asked to train originally I met Sister Rasheed because she came out with Sister Dawson. I had the distinct impression that Sister Rasheed was going to be my companion, and then I was called to be Sister Dawson's trainer and not Sister Rasheed's. I forgot about that and just went about life and figured it wasn't a prompting and was just a strange notion I had. I realize now that I was supposed to be Sister Rasheed companion, just not when she was being trained. The prompting just came 3 months before it was actually going to happen.  Anyway, she doesn't know much English, so we will work a lot on that, but she has a tremendous testimony. She is from Islamabad and lives with her family in a Christian area. Due to her circumstances, she doesn't get mail, so I would encourage you all to write her a simple note sometime and send it to her. Her name is Sister Maria Rasheed and her address is the same as mine. I was also called to be a sister district leader! It's a relatively new calling in our mission.  Two transfers ago the mission president created the first all sisters districts in the Arizona Mesa Mission's history and called the first sister district leaders. I will have five other sisters in my district and will be in charge of preparing our weekly training meetings, dealing with any drama that occurs, following up on their goals, doing companion exchanges with all of them once a transfer, and other things that I don't know about yet because I haven't received my handbook. I am really excited for the unique opportunity to be with only sisters and to tailor our trainings to their needs. I read through my patriarchal blessing and have been studying Christlike leadership since PKJ called me on Saturday to ask if I would accept this position. I've really learned a lot by the Spirit on what I need to do to help these sisters in life, not just as missionaries.  It's really cool how much of my patriarchal blessing talks about me helping sisters in the church and how I am able to understand better why that was put in my blessing now.

We had some spot on Thanksgiving feasts this week. Last Sunday was our first dinner and it was with a family in Thunder Mountain. They're some really funny people. I'm telling you, it was basically a Martha Stewart Thanksgiving Extravaganza.  I was so sad that we had two dinners scheduled that night because I could have stayed at that house and gorged on the many delicious options for dayyyyyyyyz. Additionally, they had Diet Dr. Pepper. 10,000 points for Gryffindor! On Tuesday we had Thanksgiving dinner with Hermione's family and that was a lot of fun as well. Of all the people I have met, I will be most sad to leave their family behind. I did learn though that I like yams!  Who knew? On Thanksgiving Day we had a TON of invites and we really didn't commit to any of them except for the one extended by Nug Nug's family. Every one else was like, "sisters! Just drop on by during the day if you have some time!" We planned to stop by everyone’s who invited us, but then we just stayed at Nug Nug's all day. Her mom had planned activities for us and everything! It was so sweet. We made crafts out of pallets (I am not sending a picture because the thing I made is a gift for a member of the family and I don't want it to be spoiled before Christmas!), helped make dinner, and played a three hour long game of Phase 10. I ALMOST WON. We were exhausted because we woke up at 5:15 (more on that later) so after we left their house we just stopped by Kyle and Tammy's briefly and then went home and went to bed. I was in bed and asleep all before 9:00 and it was the thing I was most grateful for that day I think.

During our district meeting the day before Thanksgiving I had this idea come into my mind via the Holy Ghost (we're pretty tight...He is always giving me bomb ideas now).  The church released a Christmas video about Christ that is quite breathtaking. We have been given pass along cards with information about the video (the same ones that were mailed out in the Ensign this month) with the clear instruction from the First Presidency to hand out ten a day. As we were talking about the unique challenges that face us in this area of Mesa an elder was saying that we need to focus on giving ten cards out a day to members and asking them to give them to their friends, which is a valid idea. Well, during this, I thought that we should gift wrap the pass along cards and add bows so they really look like a gift and then hand them out with hot chocolate. I shared this and every one was like WOW YEAH GREAT WOOOHOOO THE CHURCH IS TRUE AND STUFF. Then an elder pointed out that the Turkey Trot was taking place the next day so we should set up a booth there. I didn't think we would be allowed to set up a booth at the actual event with such last notice, but I found out that the route ran right by the stake center and that people were going to be parking at the stake center for the run so we set up shop there.  We woke up at 5:15 to start boiling water and then we set up at 7:30 on the church lawn. We didn't have a ton of success early on, but there was a lot of traffic and I think a ton of people probably read our sign that said #ShareTheGift. Also, when the elder relieved us at 10:00 the race had ended and people were walking back and driving by and they handed out quite a few of our free gifts during that time.  They started just walking up to cars in traffic and giving out the gifts. Overall, I think it had a great impact! Also, our bishop ran by and saw us and LOVED it.  He also said that the 10K was awful and at about mile 4 he thought, "Sister Poppe is right. This is awful. This is Satan's 10K."

Wrapping pass along cards to look like gifts and watching the life
story of Thomas S. Monson and Johnny Lingo
We had Sister Tony Hawk mom's wedding on Friday and it was a lot of fun, but also kind of sad because it was the last time I will see the boys. It was really small and simple.
Sister Tony Hawk mom said we should get one last pic together so the boys
 wanted one where they were pointing at me and saying, "The Popsta"

It was supposed to be a nice picture with the Tony Hawk Boys,
but one of them had a different agenda...
One of the sisters in our district wrote a song about our district to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas. The best part is "and a Poppe in a pear tree!" We die every time! 

We were asked to fill in, in Gospel Principles yesterday in Twin Knolls.  The lesson was on the Law of Chastity. I prefaced the lesson with, "I'm sure you've all always wanted to have a lesson about sex and God given to you by a 23 and 19 year old. Buckle up!" It was actually really good. I did most of the talking, partially because we had such late notice we didn't have time to prepare and I'm better at the off the cuff teaching, and partially because it was an awkward topic. What a way to leave a ward though. I went out with a bang!

Saying goodbye in my wards was really hard. On a positive note, everyone wants to see me one last time, so we have 6 lessons scheduled for tonight and 5 for tomorrow! 

The flamingos in Thunder Mountain are a huge success! People LOVE them and think they're hilarious. I hope that I did all I could do to create some good programs in this area before I left and to leave this area better than I found it.

I'm running low on time though, so this will have to do for the week!


Sister Poppe

 Salt River District album cover pic...I'm not sure why the sisters
  struggled so much with it and why the elders KILLED it so well.

Salt River District

I don't even know
 I wasn't paying attention when we parked at the assisted living
 home and drove a little too far forward...the curb will always
bear my mark #markofthepoppebeast

I had mentioned that I wanted hot chocolate in passing one day
during ward council and so our ward mission leader had a fire and
hot chocolate waiting for us when we arrived to our weekly
 meeting with him. How great is he?

Hahahaha Paco hates when we ask Harry to
dress him in his costumes