Friday, May 8, 2015

Hermana Guapa


We have been meeting with our ward mission leader's neighbor (who we will call Rose, just for the simple reason that I'm down to half an hour to write this letter and I don't have the time to think of anything more creative!) and things are going well. She is interested in the church for purely historic curiosity at this point, but she did commit to read the Book of Mormon this week so her secular interest is about to become a lot more spiritual. We also took her to the VC to see JSPR this week and we invited her to the missionary fireside we sang at last night. She enjoyed the fireside quite a bit. We also formally invited her to take the lessons this week and she agreed. Though again, for only the sake of understanding those around her better. Yeah. Whatever. We'll see what happens. We don't get to tell the Spirit no! She said that she likes discussing ideas with us so it will probably go really well.

We had exchanges this week and I was with Sister Whitney Smith for the day and we found a new investigator in the Springs together. It was like a Preach My Gospel moment. Seriously. We were walking to knock on a potential's door and we saw a lady on her porch. I had the impression that we should talk to her, but she was on her phone so we just smiled and walked by. As we got just out of eyesight we heard, "Girls! Come back!" We turned around and as we approached her she looked at me straight in the eyes and said, "Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?" I responded, "Yes, we do. And in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father." She went on to tell us about the struggles she's had since moving to Mesa six months ago and said, "I just don't think I'm feeling the Holy Spirit in my life. How do you feel the Holy Spirit? I need to feel it in my life!" I asked if we could come in and talk with her and she let us in. We spent half an hour talking to her about baptism, priesthood authority, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the great apostasy. It was a jumbled first lesson without the first two points and without the Book of Mormon. She said she has been baptized into three different churches in her life and just wants to feel the Spirit. She invited us back and we are so excited! Everything that morning had been crazy and nothing went as planned and truly everything leading up to that point prepared us for that moment. We needed to be in front of her porch exactly when we were and it lead to the most miraculous finding experience of my mission. We are going back this week and I fully intend her to accept what we share with her. The only problem is that she lives with her daughter and wants to move out, so it is likely she could move out of the area. Her daughter is also pretty anti, so that isn't good!
Remember that one time I told you about that sister who loves my
blog and has always wanted to be my companion? Well we were for
a day! We went on an exchange. I'm afraid she probably realizes now
that I'm not as amazing as she originally thought.

We also spent some time at the assisted living center in our area during exchanges and Sister W. Smith and I had a great time visiting the members in there. They're so sweet and so grateful when we come by. I really don't want to get old! We met an old Catholic lady who was convinced we were nuns because we go by "sister". She told the Mormons at dinner that she met some nice nuns and even they tried to tell her that the sisters that came were Mormons. She didn't believe them. She told us, "Go out and make every one Catholic in this place, sisters! Some other people (most likely the Mormon) share their beliefs in here and we need 'em all to be Catholic!" 

I was really struck with the importance of the work I am doing this week. I've always known it was important, but I just felt differently about it this week than I ever have. Maybe it's because I hit 15 months on the 29th or something. I just really love what I'm doing and know how valued missionary service is. We often do things (like visit the assisted living home) that no one else has a lot of time for. Honestly, teaching nonmembers about the gospel is sometimes the least effective part of my day. Really uplifting people is what is important and what Christ did the most of.

We set a date for our 8 year old to be baptized on the 16th! Woo! We have another baptism this Saturday! My record is increasing by 200% in the next two weeks. #holllaaa #blessings

On Friday we had zone conference and it was my favorite zone conference of my mission. We talked about having a change of heart and making permanent changes to our natures. I love it. I am so grateful for the lessons I've learned on my mission and for the way my nature has changed. I feel like such a better human being now than I did before I came out. I am excited to always serve selflessly and to be an instrument in the Lord's hands for eternity. During the conference Sister Smith and I both had to give two one minute lessons without prep time. It was kind of fun and President Jenkins thanked us after the meeting for our good comments. He also said that he will possibly consider keeping us together for another transfer because we keep working on him! We still think it is a slim possibility though, so pray for us! The best part of the day was when President Jenkins turned the meeting over to Sister Jenkins and introduced her as Hermana Guapa, which translated is Sister Hottie or Sister Babe. They're so cute!

Saturday was a day of moving! We helped two families move and it was crazy! 

There were other great experiences, but I'm out of time! As always, excuse the typos and general lack of awesomeness that comes with penning something in a brief period of time.


Sister Poppe

Cat wrapping paper. I still stand by my statement that cats in real
life are awful, but cats on things and in YouTube videos are hilarious.
And with this package, birthday month is officially over. Until next year,
birthday month. Get ready, because next birthday month will be huge.
I will be celebrating a quarter of a century of life after all.

We have a problem.
Dos de Mayo lunch celebration...
because we won't have time on Cinco de Mayo

 Bike swagger
Just doing missionary work on a bike.

Funny story! We had a mission fireside last night for nonmembers and Sister Smith and I were asked to sing in a small group of sisters. They have these monthly and I've sang at a few. They have recent converts share their stories and have a few musical numbers and then the mission president speaks and sometimes Sister Jenkins does. They're intended for nonmembers and they're great! We had two investigators come and after the program we were talking with them as the chapel cleared out. We found ourselves as the last people there other than President and Sister Jenkins and a counselor in the mission presidency. They were talking with us and then it became 10 minutes to 9:00 and we started leaving because of our curfew. As we were leaving President Jenkins said he would walk us out. When we got out front our car was on the opposite side of the parking lot (it wasn't a huge parking lot, but decent sized) so he told us to get in the car and he and Sister Jenkins would give us a ride to our car. We protested, I said, "President, this is why sisters gain 30 pounds in Mesa," and he just laughed and made us get in his car. We ended up talking to Sister Jenkins for 10 minutes while he talked outside the car and it was fun. This was made all the better because at zone conference a few days before as they shook our hands President pulled Sister Smith in and said, "How is one of my favorite missionaries doing," a few minutes later as I shook their hands Sister Jenkins pulled me in and whispered, "You are my favorite person, Sister Poppe." Neither of us heard this but as we told each other later we thought it was funny that neither of them are supposed to have favorites and somehow their two favorites ended up in the same companionship. So as we sat in the back of their car we felt like their children. But it also kind of felt like we were in the back of a cop car. He drove us to our car and thanked us for all that we do for the mission and then awkwardly waited until we started our car and drove off. The best part is that we took this picture, which we have entitled, "Backseat with Mom and Dad," without them even knowing.

No caption provided, but aren't they cute?