Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Scooby Doo and TLC


I am in love with my new area. It reminds me a lot of my first area, but with less children. The wards are very similar though and I am so happy to be here. I didn't realize how stressed out I was in my last area until I looked down the other day and realized I hadn't bit my nails in almost a week. There is so much work here and the members are generous and loving. We have already seen many miracles in the short time we have been companions. I love Sister Smith! She is a best
friend companion. I have loved all of my companions, but Sister Smith is on my level. We have an identical taste in music and a love for hipsters, culture, and Reese's. We have the same level of love for intellectual conversations and are both sassy. We both already fear that this will be our only transfer together; it's just too good to be true! Here is a brief overview of SOME of the work here and the miracles. There is so much that I am sure I will forget things.
 Engagement photo...that I wasn't ready for. 
Now I just look like the man.

Work here:

1) My first transfer out we had an exchange in the area I am in now and we visited a couple on their doorstep that night. It was pouring rain and the couple wasn't overly interested. I had been out 3 weeks, my companion had been out 4 months and the other sisters had only been out 2 months. We were all inexperienced, but for some reason that couple stuck in my mind my entire mission, maybe because it was a night that I actually felt competent. They weren't overly interested, but I shared a scripture and felt really good when we left. Well, now that I'm in this area, I went back! We visited with them and they actually remembered me. The wife said, "I think you have a look alike in Mesa." At which point I fessed up and told them I had been there over a year ago but I didn't want to sound creepy so I didn't bring it up. We went back a few nights later and weren't able to teach them, but we taught their two friends in their yard. The one actually accepted a Book of Mormon and seemed genuine when he said that he would read it. The other guy was friendly and listened and enjoyed discussing stuff, but he prefers to be non-denominational (and we all know what is said about lukewarm people...). The couple had to leave to pick something up but they invited us back on another evening. So we will go back! I'm going to call them the Scooby Doo couple, because they remind me of Scooby Doo for some reason.

2) We contacted a referral that had only been contacted once before and the wife has never been open to the church. The husband is, but he wasn't home, so we talked to the wife. She started to thaw out a bit and eventually even warmed up. We asked if we could come back the next day and serve her and she agreed. We got a crew of 12 missionaries together and cleaned her yard and house. Her husband just had neck surgery and she is the only one working so things have gotten a little overgrown. It was like a TLC show! So we'll call them the TLC family. We will go back this week and talk with them. Their daughters are really interested and they have a love of Christ and are active in their church. 
                                         Service for TLC Family

3) Miracle! A random man that was contacted over a month ago never called the sisters back when they called. Sister Smith felt inspired to stop back, but she couldn't remember which house it was. We parked in the general area with the member we took with us (she is 19 and just put in mission papers...super cute girl) and were talking when a car pulled into a driveway. We prayed and as we did I saw the guy get out of the car. I kept peeking my eyes open to see what he was doing and he started walking toward the member's truck. I was starting to get nervous because he was getting really close! I couldn't find the lock on the door and the prayer was never ending and I was convinced we were going to die! He came up to our window just as the prayer ended and said that he had been waiting for us to come for four weeks. Sister Smith explained that they had called him to confirm their appointment and a woman answered and said he couldn't meet with them and every time they called back that woman answered and said she'd pass along the message and she never did! He invited us over on Tuesday and said that he is 50% Mormon. 50% less work!

4) There are SEVEN recent converts between our two wards, but they're all moving within the month. They had SEVEN baptisms in March! Crazy!

5) We're teaching a lady that is getting baptized in May and that is so exciting!

6) We went on a hike with an investigator this morning and she really enjoyed it. It was good getting to know her and establishing a relationship with her. Hopefully we can teach her as well. Her boyfriend is a less active member. She has good beliefs and just needs to feel the Spirit.
                                         Hike with our investigator

7) One of the employees from the assisted living home I volunteered in, in my first area lives in my new area! I loved that lady! We were at dinner and the family was talking about the neighbor they are working with and as they described her it sounded like the employee I know. I put it together and asked them questions and sure enough it is! We went to her house right after dinner and she couldn't answer the door because there were 1000 dogs at the door. I don't think she recognized me through the frosted glass either. We'll go back. This is no coincidence! This is a part of a greater plan.

8) There are a million more things I could tell you, but I am beyond tired of typing. Just know that I am busy and I am very happy!

We do cross fit two mornings a week in a member's backyard and it's good because it makes me feel like I would rather die or go on a road trip with 12 Chihuahuas or something equally as awful. I was so sore all week.

I met a million crazy people on exchanges this week.

I'm taking this time as Sister Smith's companion to learn to be a follower. I've never really been one, but she is so capable and such an amazing missionary that I don't feel the need to lead. I trust her enough that I can take a step back. Plus she is my sister training leader and the senior companion. I figure this is good practice for marriage.


Sister Poppe
Last lunch with MP and one of her sweet old lady friends we were meeting 
with.   She is 92 and we rode in her car, and took this selfie. 

This is the box Sister Merrell cut the baby face out of to put on my mirror. 
We found it when we were moving out and I decided it should be a 
hole in face photo shoot thing.

My ward mission leader in the Brimhall Ward promised me cupcakes for 
my birthday in February (he is enthralled with the fact that I wrote my 
senior capstone paper on cupcakes) so he surprised me with cupcakes 
from Sweet Tooth Fairy my last night in the area.

I don't even know how this fish turned up in the church parking lot. 
We're in a desert.

Monday, April 13, 2015

If You Yell, “Robin’s Daughter,” at me, I Will Respond

This transfer has just been six weeks of ups and downs. This week was no exception! We woke up Thursday morning and had no water in our apartment. We called and woke up our ward mission leader's wife and asked if we could use her shower. She said we could, but said that her whole family had already showered so she didn't know how hot the water would be. We ran over there and the freezing cold water coupled with the fact that I had a 7:45 am meeting to get to deterred me from washing my hair. THANK YOU DRY SHAMPOO FOR BEING INVENTED. But I still feel like I looked disgusting the majority of the day. As it turned out, Sister Merrell had hot water in the upstairs shower, I was the only one that bathed in a stream of chilly water straight from the upper regions of the Canadian Tundra. We went on to have a stake service project cancelled and no water for the majority of the day. At least we had the Easter Pageant to go to that night to help brighten our day!


 Easter Pageant Extravaganza!

The Easter Pageant was great this week. We went every night and had eventful things happen each day. I ran into so many people from my first area and it was wonderful. I will always love those people...and they still love me! It really helped cheer me up. Seeing different people every night was such a tender mercy. I ran into the Memorial Day Gun Family and they were so happy to see me. It made me glad, because the last night we saw them they were upset about something and I was a little sad that I left them on a bad night. We also saw Al Fox Carraway one night! I didn't approach her because I'm sure she gets tired of people doing that, but it was cool to see her in real life!  On Friday we went down and saved seats all day because we only do weekly planning on Friday afternoons anyway. We rescheduled some things to fill the morning and then did our studies and planning and lunch break on the temple grounds so we could have awesome seats for the show that night. We all got the worst sunburns though because we weren't quite ready for the full force summer sun to be out in April.  At this point in my life I'm already about 98% guaranteed I'll have skin cancer so I just embrace it. We did see the Larsen family one night as well and they recognized me right away because I look just like you, mom! I'm always taken slightly aback when people just shout at me, "ROBIN'S DAUGHTER!" I always respond though, so I guess it works.

Birthday Month started this week!!!!! Sister Moreton treated me to Smashburger to kick it off. When our food was brought to us the waiter said, "and I know which one is yours....I always recognize your order.  A cheeseburger with only cheddar cheese and an egg, and sweet potato Smashfries. I remember my regulars." So that was embarrassing. I only go like twice a month! I've really scaled it back since Dumas left!
 Kick off to birthday month at Smashburger!

At dinner the other night I saw a lady crying outside of the restaurant and I really felt like we needed to comfort her. We went out there and talked with her and gave her an Easter pass along card.  She is from Brazil and is sad because she is alone here in America.  She said there was nothing we could do for her to help so I offered her a hug and she said that would be great. My mission has turned me into a hugger. I literally hug every one that is female all the time.  I don't even know who I am anymore. At least hugs aren't awkward for me anymore! Look how much I've grown.

Sister Moreton has given me a new nickname that she is rather proud of; Scandala Amandala because I'm so scandalous. I hardly think I'm scandalous because I'm not on par with Li-Lo, Miley, or the Kardashians, but I guess by missionary standards I have a slightly elevated scandal level. I mean if we're talking about scandalous Amanda's, Amanda Bynes should take the cake for that one, not innocent sister missionary me. It did remind me of a nickname dad would make up for me though.

I was impressed during conference that I have truly been blessed with the truth on Earth and how much peace that brings. Nothing of the future should ever concern me or trouble me because everything will always be alright. I will always know how to make myself happy because I have been given the principles that lead to joy. Even in the troubling times that will inevitably arise I know that in the eternal scheme of things everything will be happy if I just do the simple things I've been asked to do. It's so simple and yet we all make it hard sometimes. I don't know why that hit me so hard, probably because I tend to worry too much about the things in the future I can't plan for or control, but it was a simple truth that I know but that was brought to my remembrance rather strongly this weekend.

Our mission has shrunk from 255 missionaries to about 200 and will stay around 200 for as long as possible. Now that the initial boom of missionaries has come and gone our mission has stabilized. As such, a lot of areas were added to or split up with transfers. Our wards were separated and added to two other areas (we actually suggested that because our area has so many snowbirds that the already slow work will slow even more in the next week and a half). Sister Merrell and I were so excited to find out we are being transferred! I'm headed to the Alta Mesa Stake to be companions with a sister named Sister Smith. I was also released as sister district leader because all sistrics were disbanded. Sister Smith has been out about 9 months and is a sister training leader so it will be an adjustment to go back to being junior companion, but it will be so good for me. I didn't realize how worn down I had become in this area until this week when I was looking at pictures of Sister Dumas and I in my first area and I realized I looked so happy and that I hadn't been that happy in a while. I have slowly died in this area and I'm ready for a fresh start and for the opportunity to only have to focus on me. I only have three transfers left and I want them to be the best of my mission! A lot of sisters were released from their leadership callings and many of us were placed with new or newer sister leaders, so I'm not surprised I was put with Sister Smith. I'm sure there is a lot we can learn from one another. I can't emphasize how excited I am. I really gave it my all in my current area and things just always seemed to fall apart shortly after we got them going and I don't know that I could have handled much more of that. Im sure when I look back on my mission I will be grateful for the hard lessons I learned in this area, but for now I'm happy to just be able to walk away and heal a little bit. I'm also moving back to the first apartment complex I lived in! The first shall be last, and the last shall be first because I'll probably die in my new area.
 The death of Sistrict 1085.

I look forward to telling you of the new adventures in my new area!


Sister Poppe

After a strenuous afternoon of weeding in the heat MP demanded that we 
come inside and take a break. She is working on her art skills so she wanted 
to see how we could draw. I insisted that I can't draw and she insisted that I try. 
This "Ghost Baby Alice" was born. Sister Merrell on the other hand is really good!

My French toast from no shower water morning. 
My 7:45 meeting was cancelled last minute. Thus I had
to make my own breakfast. They were delicious!

Sister Moreton bought me consolation Reese's Puffs on 
no water day to help ease my first world problem pain.

The granddaughter we are teaching went to the Easter Pageant with us 
and the family that introduced her to the church. It was so fun! 
I love those girls so much! In the first picture Laina Lou was 
"fixing my hair"

The finished product.

No water. Hot mess hair. No clean bowls. 
Reese's Puffs in a Mason Jar.