Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hold the Ccino


Okay. Wow. I decided this will probably be long because it is my last one. I'm not exactly sure how I feel. It's weird. It hasn't even hit me yet. This time tomorrow I'll be home. I've broken down my last week by day. It was a miracle week though. We found more investigators this week than I've ever found in a week my entire mission. We found 10 and met our goal to find 10 of them. I feel good leaving this area now. Preach My Gospel says to leave an area better than you found it. I came into this area when it was doing so well that I was afraid that I would never be able to leave it better than I found it. I don't know if it is better, but it definitely isn't worse and there is work to do for the sisters who will be here. Sister Childs is staying and she is training a new missionary! I'm so excited for her.

Monday: We went shopping last P-day so I could buy a few normal human clothes and some Birkenstock's. I can't wait to have a pedicure and some sandals on my feet! I had lunch with a member from my first area as well. We then had the Cheesecake Factory for dinner with the mission nurse and her husband. She said we're besties. So sweet! They even said that we HAD to get a piece of cheesecake. Dream come true. We had a lesson at Legacy with our elderly friends. Our following is quickly growing! We were able to teach them the first lesson. We prayed that there would be a way and I was able to bridge from the Revolutionary War into the Restoration. It went well and they all commented on the beauty of the message and how they felt. Though we may never get them on this side, they'll be primed and prepped for baptism in the Spirit World. We had one last lesson with the Oreo Mouth Family. Then we had a miracle on our way out of their home. We street contacted a woman with so much potential! I am so excited for the sisters to work with her when I leave. She loves Christ and definitely has His light in her countenance. She will be wonderful for the new trainee to teach. 
The cute old people who come and listen to our 
FHE messages on Monday evenings.

Tuesday: We were supposed to help the Bohemian move out of the complex on Tuesday. We showed up with a whole crew of missionaries and she wouldn't answer the door (she was in denial that she had been evicted). We went in anyway and just started packing stuff. We could only do so much before we had to leave. This will all come back into play on Friday/Saturday. We continued with our finding goal and found a few new investigators! We had dinner at Nando's with one of my favorite families, and then went to the VC to watch Meet the Mormons with Diva and her family. That night I was praying about some doctrine that I had questions about and I was a little riled up. I literally fell asleep during my prayer and was out for an hour. I woke up on my knees an hour later and wasn't upset anymore. I think that Heavenly Father put me to sleep so I would stop talking to him and so that I would just wake up and feel peace and know that my question and confusion wasn't that big of a deal after all.

Wednesday: I had my last ZTM and it went well. We did service that day for the United Way's Read on Mesa program again. We helped them sort their storage and organize it better. It was a lot of fun! It was the first day that I started having weird feelings about going home though too. Sister Child's had some cross contamination gluten at dinner that night and I was worried we would have to go home before we met our goal of finding a new investigator that day. I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to lead us directly to someone. A part-member family came to mind and we contacted them and they invited us back. BAM! 3 new investigators! We had a lesson at 8 with the woman we found on Monday. She couldn't meet with us, but we shared a brief doorstep lesson with her. She was so kind. We had two people with us that are leaving on missions in the next month. We told her that and she softened even more and said we could come in for a minute. I testified of the Living Christ, gave it to her and invited her to read it. I had prayed all day that the Spirit would be working on her. I used to pray that the Spirit would help me and a few weeks ago I remembered that President said he started praying that the Spirit would soften people's hearts and prepare them instead of praying that the Spirit would help him teach well. So I started doing that. My last week. Wow. Where was that 18 months ago?  But it worked. Her heart was definitely prepared. It was a warm moment in her home. We went home half an hour early that night and Sister Childs took medicine and went straight to bed. I planned the next day while she was asleep and it was FULL. 
 Last ZTM

2 cool coyote’s man!

Thursday: At 3 am on Thursday morning I woke Sister Childs up by sharing important shark facts in my sleep. Apparently I sat up and said something along the lines of, "You need to know this about sharks..." and then she couldn't remember what I actually shared. But I had a sense of urgency in my voice. I helped that elder with his college essays.
Sister Childs bought me this sweet shark that swims. 
We filled up the bathtub and took him for a spin.

We had lunch at Cafe 8 with some members. My notes aren't as great for Thursday. I went to leave a parking lot and realized I missed the entrance. I thought there was another one at the end of the lot. There wasn't. I was going to have Sister Childs get out of the car to back me up. She told me just to drive off the curb. So I did. YOLO. Then I was paranoid all night that something would fall off the bottom of our car. I will never drive off another curb. I promise. I had been struggling with eating on and off for a week and a half because of nerves. Sister Childs finally convinced me to get a blessing. One of my favorite members gave me one. He is so sweet. He started the blessing by saying, "....I give you a father's blessing," instead of a blessing of counsel and comfort. It was sweet and good for me. I felt more peace throughout the rest of the week. Though I did have my breakdown that night. I don't even know what came over me. Satan was just super strong in my head after that blessing. When we got home that night I started crying at the sight of a screenshot I took of a FB post announcing that Blue Bell is coming back on the market finally.
 The FB post that put me into tears.

My roommates knew that I wouldn't cry tears of joy over that, so they pried and I just started crying and sharing. Basically I started having all these fears that I hadn't served hard enough and that the Lord wouldn't be pleased with my work and that I was a failure. We talked for quite a bit and then they sent me to bed at 11:45. I woke up the next day feeling fine and realized that I was completely listening to Satan the night before. I have been far from perfect as a missionary, but I do think I at least met some of Heavenly Father's expectations. I'm glad the breakdown is out of the way. Hopefully I don't cry when I'm home now.

Friday: We helped the Citrus Heights stake prepare for their annual clothing exchange. I found a brand new shirt with the $55 tag still on it and snagged it. I'm currently wearing it and look quite fancy. I found some great things for Swaggy B and a few other things I am bringing home for the real world. We had lunch at the Iowa cafe!
 Iowa Cafe!

Our pool party was cancelled and we were sad because we invited a lot of nonmembers. I was frustrated because I was convinced that was how we would find new investigators that night. I wanted to cry again, but didn't. I prayed and just asked for strength. Any other day it would have been fine, but after 18 months I just couldn't handle that. It worked out and we actually had some good miracles because of the cancelled party. We met a new girl and the Spirit really was strong. It might be a hard long road, but I really feel that she will be baptized. We lit a shirt on fire that night. Sister Childs' last bishop hates the U of A so he said that he would buy her an ASU shirt to replace it if she would burn it. So we burned it with him and he replaced it. We ran into the Bohemian in the parking lot that night and she begged for more help moving the next day. We told her we were booked but we could send elders.

Saturday: We served at a funeral Saturday morning which made it impossible for us to help the Bohemian move. During our service we got a million texts from her and the elders. Basically she left to get a truck and never came back and after two hours they left her stuff on the curb because they didn't know what to do. She was furious that they left her stuff. I was furious that it wasn't planned better and that she didn't have a truck after she promised she would. Basically after a few more hours I just called the Elder's Quorum President and got him involved. There were a lot of un-Christ like thoughts I had and a lot of anger and frustration I had to mask but it ended up being taken care of. Luckily all of our appointments cancelled in the afternoon, including dinner. So we helped with this fiasco from 1:30 until 6:30. Then we showered and ran to the VC to have a lesson with Diva and her family. That was a calming, peaceful experience after my day of annoyance. It was definitely not the way I thought I would spend my last full proselyting day as a missionary. I learned a lot though. Really, I did. Like that I am not as patient as I thought I had become. I also learned that I really have been blessed with common sense and problem solving abilities and because of that I am used to help others. I can't be as frustrated with them. The Bohemian told us two times she was completely at a loss for what to do that day and she prayed and within minutes I called and resolved her problems. So it was stressful for me, but I definitely think I was placed there to help her. She would probably still be lost and have all her stuff on the curb if we wouldn't have helped her.

Moving disaster pics

Sunday: I was called up to give a short 5 minute testimony about my mission in Fairway Groves. It was a good day. I received a lot of love. A few families in the FG Ward threw me a going away party. It was so sweet. I love them so much. People complimented me all day and were far more generous with their words than I have earned.

Today: I took a cactus pic. Finished packing. Now I'm emailing. At 3:00 I report to the mission office and then we leave for the mission home at 3:30 for our farewell testimony meeting and dinner. We sleep at a member's home and then tomorrow morning bright and early we are picked up to make our flights. I leave at 7:15 AM. It's still hard to grasp. Like when Grandma Kelly died and I didn't cry until the funeral because I couldn't wrap my head around it until it was literally happening. 
Selfie in front of our spirit cacti. They look like missionary cacti. 
Also we had been caught in a Monsoon previously, 
that's why my hair is a disaster.

I should probably include some sentimental thoughts about my mission, but I did those on my blog already. Read that post if you want more details! http://poppesplates.blogspot.com/2015/08/6-things-i-learned-in-azmm.html

Unrelated to my week, but very much related to my almost status as an RM is my desire to hold literally all of the babies. Either hide your babies or embrace it, because I'm coming off a very long dry spell.
 Jayden and I are tight. He is adorable.


Sister Poppe

PS:  2 things to add before I sign off for the day.

1: Sister Smith is having a ward added to the two she is over and guess which ward it is....GRANDMA'S. SHE WILL BE THE MISSIONARY IN THE WARD I AM MOVING INTO. I am literally SOOOO happy I could die. 

2: Funny story from a few minutes ago. We stopped by Walmart so I could get a jump drive super-fast to get all the pictures off of my iPad with. We decided to hit up Starbucks on our way home to get some Frappe's. Swaggy B was ordering and was just repeating what I said word for word so it went like this:

"Two chocolaty chocolate chip Frappuccino’s. Hold the ccino."-me

"Two chocolaty chocolate chip Frappuccino’s. Hold the ccino...(with a weird look at me that said, "what does that even mean?"). -Swaggy B

…long pause

"Hahahahahaha"-lady doing the drive thru


"I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have laughed like that. But what does that mean? Hold the ccino?"-lady doing the drive thru

"Ummm...it just means no coffee."-Swaggy B

"Thanks ladies, you made my day. That was hilarious. I'm going to use that from now on. Hold the ccino."-lady at the drive thru.

WOW. Could we have been more Mormon?

 My re-enactment of this historic pop culture moment.

Swaggy B and I. I picked that shirt out for her and she wore
it in memory of me today. It reminds her of the Soppe Hit,
Panting Bird.

Another casual conversation between KJ and I. I think sometimes
that he worries that I need more love or something because he has
responded to more of my emails in the last six months than he ever
responds to anybody's. I try to not be needy, but maybe I am.
Who knows. Or he just likes to harass me via email occasionally.

President always includes something about the departing
missionaries in his weekly email to the mission. Usually it
happens the Monday after they leave, but I had the pleasure
of reading it before I left because it was earlier than normal.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Fancy Sock Club


Two times this week JJ texted me and terrified me. The first was early on in the week. She basically just said, "Sisters. I would like to go out teaching with the two of you this week sometime. Let me know when works. I just..." and we never got the second page. So we were freaking out. I was like, "great! She's going to come and evaluate me and see if I was worthwhile the 18 months I was here." After we responded and said that we had good lessons on Tuesday or Thursday we got the second page that just said, "...want to go out with the infamous Sister Poppe before she dies :)". Heart attack for nothing! But then I was nervous because clearly I've been built up to more than I am if I am infamous. She came out with us Thursday evening and we had a great lesson with diva. We were supposed to have a lesson with a less active woman after that with the RS president, but the woman cancelled on our way over. She had had a rough week. It was the anniversary of her divorce and her mother is dying. I said we would stop by anyway just to share our love. So we all went by and sang her a quick song and said we loved her. The RS president left and Sister Jenkins stayed with us for our last hour. We tried to contact a few people but no one was home. We had about 25 minutes left of the night and I said a prayer in my heart that went like this, "Heavenly Father. Look. I can't let this woman think that I'm an awful missionary. I can't help that our appointment fell through and all of our back-ups weren't home. I need you to place someone in my path to talk to so she doesn't think I'm bad at this." Then I just started walking aimlessly, but with confidence. We were still in the apartment complex, so I just acted like we were walking to another door. We were talking and after about 5 minutes I saw a guy with some wording on his shirt, so I called out, "Hey! What does your shirt say?" He answered, "If it don't touch my soul I don't listen to it." I said, "That's pretty good. Can I tell you about something that touches my soul?"  By this point we were already right next to him. He agreed and we spent 25 minutes talking to him. We invited him to church and he agreed to come (but he didn't actually end up coming). It was a really productive conversation. It was, hands down, my best street contact of my mission. As we walked back to JJ's car I prayed in my heart a prayer of gratitude. She thanked us for the fun evening and complimented our teaching skills and such. She was impressed with our street contact. Sister Childs asked me after JJ left what my plan was when I was just walking so I told her. She said that she just kept thinking, "I have no clue where she is going, but she seems to know what she is doing, so I'll just follow." Clearly I didn't. But it worked out. The Lord hears our prayers! Even if they're based on our vain desires to be appreciated by our mission president's wife.

The second time JJ texted me she just said, "Sister P. Please call me when you can." WOW. THAT IS WORSE THAN A BOY SAYING, "We need to talk." So I called and she just asked if I would help another elder leaving with me next week to write his college admission essays. So I have a time set up on Tuesday to meet with him and edit his work and help him construct good answers.

Birds are still dumb here. I hit another one this week. Sister Childs has consigned me to hell for murder.

Our baptism went so well! We were able to get a lot of ward involvement and we did nothing. That is a successful baptism. When the missionaries don't do anything. Our mission president hates it when missionaries conduct or give a talk or sing at their own baptism. The only thing we did was teach the message while Diva was changing, but that is required. That is the only part in the program missionaries should do. JJ and KJ came and they complimented us more than once for our spot on service. We even had a primary choir sing the special musical number. There were about 10 kids. That was an answer to prayer too. Diva really wanted us to sing, so we said we would and then last minute we decided we shouldn't. Good thing too, because the primary kids brought the Spirit and KJ and JJ came and thought it was so wonderful we had no part in the program. They said our teaching about the Book of Mormon while she was changing was so wonderful and the Mormon Message we showed was exactly perfect. They compliment me too much. Seriously. It makes me uncomfortable. They were even complimenting Sister Childs and I to the family after the baptism. Diva's dad was telling them how great we are and KJ was telling him how great we were and I was glad I wasn't actually standing there, I could only hear them from across the room where I was putting the hymn books away at. This weeks goal from Sister Childs is for me to accept compliments better. In particular any of them that have to do with complimenting my appearance. 

The bishop of VP has a son with Down's Syndrome. He is 14 and he is just so funny! Every time he sees me he says, "you're cute," with a flirty face and a wink and sometimes a little finger gun point. Well this week he came up to me and told me I'm cute and then said, "you're tense," and then rubbed my shoulders! It was hilarious. He has a 16 year old brother who was laughing and I had to tell him thanks, but no thanks because I'm a missionary. Then on Sunday he tried to do it again. His mom is always like, "this kid is the biggest flirt we have!" He's a sweet kid though.

"I see you as General Young Women's president...maybe Relief Society president. Never Primary though."-Swaggy B

"What does that mean? I could totally be Primary president. Watch me!"-Me

"I know you could be. You could be president of literally anything. You're president of our apartment. In fact, I'm going to start calling you President Poppe instead of Sister Poppe."-Swaggy B

She then went on to tell me why I would be perfect in the role of YW president and only wonderful at the Primary president gig.


Sister Poppe

18 months baby!

Shark week party dinner was a success. A less active, nonmember, and a 
daughter of a part member family were all in attendance. Now if only 
everyone did that when they invited the missionaries over real missionary 
work might actually happen!

 Diva saw her outfit at the store and said, "Mom that is a Sister Poppe 
outfit! I want it." So her mom bought it for her and she happened to 
wear it the same day I wore something very similar. Her mom said 
that she was also looking at the boat shoes because she wanted 
some like mine but they didn't have any in her size. Imitation 
really is the highest form of flattery.

We played gospel jeopardy with diva and her cousin and then two 
other girls we are teaching. The one doesn't live in our boundaries,
but she's been at a few lessons. So we're not really teaching her, but 
we kind of are just because she doesn't have the best home life and 
she is always at this member’s house hanging out with the other girl 
we are teaching. She can't be baptized because her parents aren't 
together and the dad is active and the mom isn't a member and she 
won't allow her to be baptized. So we do some good lessons with 
them to try and help them keep the faith until they're old enough 
to make their own decisions.

We made a cupcake Mesa temple for diva's family. No missionary time 
was wasted, don't worry. We did it during our free time in the evening
and such. I painted the grass and the sky and did the palm trees.
I also baked the cupcakes. Sister Childs did the temple. 
She's more artistic than I am.


Diva's baptism! 
Her brother was blessed the next day in sacrament meeting as well.

 The men of the Fairway Groves Ward Council always wear 
fancy socks and we decided to wear fancy socks as well on 
Sunday. Brother Eagleston got away before we got a picture, 
but here are the rest of the fancy sock club.

 I was using my iPad camera as a mirror during Sunday school to 
fix my hair and Sister Childs kept acting like we were taking selfies. 
So when I fixed my hair we finally took a selfie. A member leaned 
over and was like, "Sunday School Selfies....niiiiiiice." I thought we 
were pretty sly, but she saw us. She thought it was funny though.