I prayed before transfers that I would be given a low maintenance companion that would be easy to work with. Having trained Sister Dawson and then immediately being Sister Rasheed's companion made me quite exhausted and dangerously close to being burnt out. I just need a breather transfer where I can take a step back and not feel the weight of responsibility that comes with being asked to mold a missionary into someone more like you. My prayers were answered and I have been given a companion that is so chill and ready to just be a missionary. I love Sister Merrell! She reminds me of a good friend from camp, Kaity Brien. She can do an AMAZING Smeagol impersonation. Literally, I think she actually starred in the Hobbit. She is also the only person I've ever met who has an evil laugh that can rival mine. We laugh together and it is the creepiest thing ever. We also teach the gospel and stuff too...
We are going to focus on building the wards up (much like I did in my first area), and doing more service in addition to our normal proselyting efforts. I had a great idea this week, but I'll wait to tell you about it when I know if it will pan out or not.
I had my first situation in which I had to turn someone in to the mission president for misconduct. It wasn't fun, but it was necessary. I knew a sister wasn't using her iPad appropriately and I found out I have the authority to do random iPad checks, so I did one! Sure enough there was incriminating evidence so I confiscated the iPad and had a conversation with my zone leaders and President Jenkins. When all was said and done there were no hard feelings and President Jenkins called and said that my correction and subsequent information I passed along to him helped him have a conversation with the individual that lead to repentance and a greater desire to serve the Lord. To quote him, he said, "you saved her mission...leadership is a thankless position, Sister Poppe, but you did what is required of you as a district leader and I appreciate that. You were aware enough to know there was a problem and then you actually dealt with it instead of avoiding it. I am proud of you for making the hard decision to do something that was needed even though it was uncomfortable and required you to put your friendship on the line. I don't think your relationship will be endangered either. Thank you again." It was hard, but so worth it because two missionaries are more focused and better examples now. The sister and I hugged it out after she was talked to by PKJ and all is well!
We created a sticker chart about a month ago to track health related goals on. We have a column for water consumption and one for fruit and veggies as well. We tally mark for each water bottle and serving of fruits and vegetables we ingest, and then if we meet our goal, we get a sticker for the day in each column! This is in accordance with Sister Moreton's and my goal to leave this mission in better physical condition than we currently are. We came up with motivational weight loss program names for each month of our mission we have left. They are six months to sexy, five months to foxy, four months to flirty, three months to thriving, two months to trippin', one month to womanacious (I decided it was better to replicate the "w" sound than the o of one). No "w" words could quite encapsulate what I want to be when I get home, so I made one up. After I said it, it took Sister Casey about five minutes to fess up that she didn't know that word and asked what it meant. I laughed and said I made it up and she said, "here I thought it was another one of your big words! You have all this education so I thought I was dumb and didn't know the word and you just made it up!" It reminded me of when I would make words up in high school and people always assumed they were real so I just got away with saying whatever and people just thought I was super smart.
I know you're wondering what exactly womanacious means. I consulted the 2015 AP Dictionary and was given the following definition:
Womanacious: Adjective. Denotes a strong, beautiful woman. Best female version of yourself. Synonyms: shebeast and diva with class.
I'm trademarking womanacious so Beyoncé can't steal it to write a song. It sounds like something she would do. "My divas with class be so womanacious. Shebeast for days in every single nation. Wa-wa-wa-wa! Wa-wa-wa-wa! womanacious." I'm on to you, B!
Our zone did service for the United Way on Saturday. We helped clean up used books to give to children in 5 at risk elementary schools in Mesa. AZ has some of the lowest reading test scores in the nation, so a few programs have abounded to help kids from low income districts have books in their homes so they practice reading outside of class. It has helped and the kids love that they have books to call their own. It was rewarding because I feel so passionately about children's literacy. We had stations and the lady put me in charge of quality control. I think everyone wished they would have put someone less OCD in charge of approving the final product. I was always on the sticker removal team...they weren't up to par! By the middle of the service though their abilities were improved and I complimented their advances.
United Way book cleaning and packaging.
MP invited us over to help her with her latest missionary endeavor. She framed the pictures from her old Greg Olson calendars of Christ and wanted us to find scriptures to accompany each picture. She is going to give them to her neighbors with our phone number. We met one of her neighbors and he was appreciative and nice. MP is a little over the top, but she is an amazing missionary! Seriously. I love working with her because she actually does missionary work and is helping so many people learn line upon line. I am excited to see what this leads to.
When I gave my sacrament meeting talk in Aspen in January I said something along the lines of, "I don't know why Heavenly Father assigned me to labor in this mission. With all of the personal connections I have it is the least logical place I could have been sent, but I know there is a reason I am here." A member who had us over for dinner said that she has been meaning to tell me for weeks that when I said that I was sent here for a reason she felt so strongly that it was true and Heavenly Father has a clear purpose for me here in Mesa. She said that typically people say things and she can feel of their spirit, but she has never felt the spirit so strongly testify of truth in sacrament meeting like that. So that was cool! Now if only I could figure out why I am here!
We had a chili cook off in Aspen and it was a success! We talked with so many members and just had a great time. We did Minute to Win it games and I actually won the one I was called up to participate in! So did Sister Merrell. Probably because the Lord is on our side. It was kind of cute, one of the priests came up to us after the meal and asked how we fight homesickness on our missions. He is putting his papers in and is worried. In talking with him I finally asked, "are you worried about leaving a girl or a family?" He finally fessed up to being concerned about the girlfriend, not his mom. I can read 18 year old male brains better than my own.
Sister Rasheed is cute. She has called me once and messaged me another time. She won't admit it, but I think she misses me :)
Sister Simmons left for home last week. The Sassy Sisters Club
will be dropping like flies from here until August.
Gillespie leaves in April, Moreton in June,
and me in August. #tear
Sassy Sisters Club with a sassy pose.
Sister Andes, our ward mission leader's wife,
saying goodbye to Sister Rasheed.