We went out with MP again this week a few times. She and her nonmember friend that we love took us to Applebee's. We also taught her other friend and she wasn't feeling well and this lead to a lengthy and far too detailed conversation about being constipated! I'm telling you, these 55 plussers are another breed. We met two new contacts as well. If we just had four more MP's, we would be the busiest stateside missionaries in the church. She made us sing a few times and it was actually beautiful. I finally have a companion that can sing! We made people tear up with our song three times that day and we are scheduled to sing in sacrament meeting next week.
Our ZTM for the month was really great. I was asked to give a training on the balance between following the Spirit, being ourselves, and being dignified. It's something I feel very passionately about because too many missionaries conform to some unwritten standard that no one actually likes! I compared us to temples. We are all different and beautiful and we help people perform saving ordinances, but we all look different. Some of us have laundry facilities, some have cafeterias, and some have the bare necessities. But we can all help people and we are all loved by those who we help. So everyone just needs to stop trying to be the San Diego Temple and embrace that they're the Chicago Temple or the St. Paul Temple! I do like to fancy myself the San Diego Temple though....I also told them that they need to think of a three circle Venn Diagram that overlaps. In that magical place is where we are allowed to be ourselves while following the Spirit and being dignified. It is our job to find the sweet spot (and it changes depending on who you are talking to) and then people will respect us and love us.
I had my exchange with Sister Casey this week and during the process I realized that she had goals but no real plans to accomplish them. I helped her go through and study and learn her Area Book so we knew who we could contact. We spent most of the day trying to contact referrals and potential investigators. We also went to their Relief Society birthday dinner and it was cool! They had a throwback theme and Costa Vida style pork salads (which are quickly becoming my favorite food). After dinner they said that there were props hidden under each table with a decade theme that we had to make a skit for. We did a skit during the depression where a coon dog and his owner are on a coon hunt. It was pretty funny. We got the "most original" award. I felt strongly that Sisters Casey and Moreton needed help with their weekly planning session because I had the sense during the exchange that they were floundering a bit. I asked if I could plan with them on Friday and they agreed. I spent three hours walking them through every step in Preach My Gospel for weekly planning and helping them know what and how we plan. It was mentally exhausting but worth it! THEY KNOW HOW TO PLAN NOW! Sister Moreton was a little bothered that she has been out 14.5 months and finally learned how to plan. I always thought it was self-explanatory, but I'm learning that planning actually isn't an innate skill that everyone is born with.
Sister Merrell thinks a little bit too much like me. She has the craziest ideas. This week we got a box of bread from a member to give to people (long story...basically when this bread company has overstock they give it away...we get some each time and give it to nonmembers, LA's, and other missionaries). The box was a huge diaper box, so Sister M got the idea to cut out this baby's head and taped into the bathroom mirror. I was like what the heck is this. Now the baby head keeps popping up in random places; my food cupboard, the microwave, the medicine cabinet, etc. It's kind of hilarious.
We had to drop a lot of people this week and that is not something I am good at. But Sister Merrell convinced me that they aren't progressing and that they seem to be more attached to missionaries than the gospel. It's true. We dropped Cho Chang and her family and Jamie Lee Curtis. They've all cancelled multiple appointments as well, but I still struggle with it because I worry that their lack of progress is due to a lack of effort or ability on our part. I don't want to be responsible for people not being saved because I'm not good enough at my job. On the other hand though, we had the most productive correlation meeting I've had in this area and I presented our goals and vision for the Aspen ward. Our ward mission leader is on board and got the ward council fired up on Sunday. We have members committed to throw block parties multiple times in the next three weeks, priests signed up to take the lessons from us as they put their papers in, a gospel principles class will be taught in someone's home during the week, the YW are going to use us more often, and we have more service opportunities. Just in this upcoming week we have appointments and hours of service from this one simple meeting! Brother Andes is great! We are moving along! Work will come I am sure! Unfortunately, I think it's my calling in life to help members and move on before the nonmember work picks up. So I wouldn't be surprised if this is my last transfer in this area.
Quotes of the week:
"I don't care if you're the president of Canada, England, or the Queen Mother's brother! You don't treat a woman that way."-Sassy Elderly Sister Friend
"What is the district leader sister assistant to the mission president doing in such short skirts two days in a row? I can add six inches to that skirt!"-SESF. First of all, I am just the district leader; I'm not that important enough to warrant that fake but regal sounding title. Second, my skirts are past the knee, but not mid-calf, so she thinks I'm trying to get fresh. She went on to say, "Just because you have those fabulous legs doesn't mean you have to show them! Save 'em for your husband, then you can go boom boom (complete with a demonstrative hip swing)." Ha! Good legs. As if.
"My brother thought RIP meant resurrection in progress."-Sister Merrell
Creepy Roommate hand from last week