Tuesday, June 23, 2015

We Opened the Door to a Police Officer


We had a good week with Lost as we prepared for his baptism on Saturday! We had FHE with them on Monday and we asked him to prepare the lesson. On Sunday he joked that he was going to teach us the Law of Chastity. Well it wasn't a joke, he taught us the Law of Chastity without actually teaching us the Law of Chastity. He wouldn't talk about sex at all. It was so funny! He also taught us the Word of Wisdom. We asked him what his favorite treat was so we could bring the treat since he was doing the lesson and he said, "Two king sized Kit Kat bars from Circle K." I responded with, "We can make you something, it doesn't have to be from a store...we have P-day on Monday. Also, who do you think we are? TWO king sized Kit Kats? And what makes the ones from Circle K more special?" He laughed and said that if we were going to make something then he wanted brownies. We're going to pick him up two candy bars this week though as a congratulations for being baptized type thing. His baptism went really well. His extended family sang a hymn in Tongan as a special musical number. It was touching. He is a good kid; I'm excited for him to serve a mission someday.
 We wanted the boys to smile and they wouldn't and this 
candid shot was taken in our attempt to make them laugh

 Next to me is the cousin who baptized Lost and 
then it is Lost and Sister Smith

We loved their authentic Tongan outfits! They wanted to wear 
our tags, this was the cousin's explanation, "We're the missionaries 
and we baptized you two and this kid is the bishop." They're really 
                                 funny kids. I've enjoyed working with them.

On Monday evening we had members take us to DQ for FHE. They're one of my favorite families in this area. What is life coming to that people take us to DQ for a lesson? The downside of being loved is you are force fed delicious things that just contribute to your already expanded waist line!

The lady we took to, Meet the Mormon's (I'm going to call her Wisconsin, because she is from there) had us over for a lesson and it was great. She is progressing slowly, but very steadily. She is cautious and that is okay. She is really enjoying learning more though.

We had an activity at district meeting in which we were assigned another missionary a few weeks ago and we had to come up with a scripture that describes them. Elder Steward had me and he picked Proverbs 31:25-27. It's a good scripture. I was very flattered.

We met a LA who we don't even have the records for and his wife is a nonmember. They let us in and we had a great talk with them. She is hesitant to learn more because missionaries have been pushy in the past, but we set a good tone and she invited us back! We're hoping things begin to progress with them and that we can re-activate the husband and baptize the wife and get them to the temple. Speaking of temple, HERMIONE IS GETTING SEALED THIS UPCOMING SATURDAY AND I GET TO GO! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!

The TLC family dropped us. It was kind of sad. The wife isn't interested and the husband is taking a step back to keep peace. Whatever. We have the message that will bring the peace to your family! SATAN.

Sister Teddy is still going strong. We're really upping our game. It is so hilarious. I've realized how sad it makes me that no one will ever truly understanding the hilarity of much that has happened on my mission. Sister Smith and I are literally laughing all the time and no one even knows how funny we are. And we can't repeat what we say in the same way so we don't even try. Our roommates get it, because they observe it, but the world will never know how privileged we've been to be together for almost 3 months.

We had a temple trip this week and it was just amazing. I am starting to get answers to questions about my post mission life and it is a relief to have the skeleton of a plan.

So get this story. Thursday night we were sleeping away, like people do at 1:39 am, and we heard a knock on the door. Then a few doorbell rings and another set of loud knocks. Sister Smith and I got out of bed in a confused daze, each of us thinking about the most random of possibilities that was happening on the other side of our front door. As we approached the door (her in spandex and myself in a blanket to cover my lack of clothing) we hear the individual on the other side shout, "MESA PD!" We opened the door to a police officer on our porch with a host of other officers and paramedics on the ground below him. He asked if we knew the girl that was rolling around on the ground beneath our 2nd story porch. We said we didn't and then he explained that she was totally sloshed and had been knocking on our neighbor's door and they called the cops. They were checking the neighboring doors now to make sure that she wasn't just a couple of doors off. We apologized and said we had never met her before and then he thanked us and apologized for waking us before he left. We peered out the window by my bed as they handcuffed her and put her on a stretcher and strapped her down (she was being really violent) and then they loaded her in a fire truck and took her off. It was all really sad actually. It made me so grateful for the Word of Wisdom. That girl was so confused and drunk that she didn't even realize that the people around her were trying to help her. She could have been kidnapped, raped, killed, anything because she was so defenseless. It was eventful to say the least.

Man it is just so hot here now. May was beautiful and June has come out with a fiery vengeance. 118+ people.

Our WML had us over for dinner and his wife was out of town so he had his nonmember neighbor eat with us as our third female. He's so sneaky. He planned it that way so that she would feel obligated to come over. She enjoyed our message and loves us (we've met her once before). She's a sweet older lady. We also had Costa Vida pork salads, so that was a miracle.

We have a new PMF that moved in and their 11 year old daughter wants to be baptized! We are so excited to work with her. Some elders had been and it wasn't going really well, but we already have a good relationship with them after one doorstep approach. We think it's because we're sisters. Hopefully there's more on that front next week to share.


Sister Poppe

We were locked out of our apartment after the gym the other
morning and I had to break in to the kitchen window.

We had a family history training this week and during the process
I found this census record with great, great aunts Elsa and Anna Poppe.
Just like Frozen.

We showed up to service 10 minutes before everyone else and
killed time like any other iPad missionary would...by taking selfies

Roommate night time bonding

Sister Brinkerhoff (also known as Swaggy B, Sister Swaggerhoff,
or Brinkerbell) loves VW buses and the people we did service
 for had one, and she about died!

Our new matching Baja sweaters with our guns.

Monday, June 22, 2015

What's the Point?

Hey family!

This week was busy again. I am grateful every week that is busy because it is such a blessing to actually be doing things. 

We had an FHE with Oreo Mouth family last week and it went so well. They are an example of people who kind of got out of the habit of going to church but don't have bitter feelings. They are progressing nicely and are actively changing. We had dinner with them last night and what they were planning to make didn't really work out so they bought us Little Caesar's on the Sabbath. Hahaha. The husband was super embarrassed and the wife (the convert of a few years) was like whatever. It was really endearing. We're going over there tonight and they volunteered to do the lesson this time. We're excited to see them do their first FHE lesson ever.

We went to Meet the Mormons at the Visitors' Center with two of our investigators on Tuesday. One of them was Lost and the other was a lady we are working with. She is sweet and quiet and progressing slowly, which is probably why I haven't ever talked about her yet. She really enjoyed it and wants to talk about it in detail tomorrow night. It was Lost's cousin's birthday the next day so our ward mission leader asked if we wanted to go get some ice cream to celebrate or if the boys wanted a late dinner. Lost wanted ice cream but didn't want to say it so he was trying to get me to. I wouldn't because it wasn't my birthday. So he said, "Sister Poppe just said she really wants gelato." We all knew he was lying because that kid loves gelato more than anyone in the world. We didn't get gelato though because that stuff is pricey; instead we just went to the DQ by the temple. It was fun. While we were there Lost said, "Sisters you point a lot (which we do; it is a bad habit we picked up). Sister Smith you always point and say serious things. Sister Poppe points when she is excited and she's like ' OH YEAH AND THIS. YEAH THIS (he is pointing the whole time).' You guys just point." It's true and it is something we have been trying to stop. We need to stop if our investigators are noticing. He is doing really well though. His baptism is this upcoming Saturday and he is excited. We were trying to track him down on Friday to have a lesson with him and we couldn't find him, but in the process we found two new investigators. There are always a million Poly cousins at that house and some of them aren't members. We connected well with the daughter who is a member (but she is LA) and with Lost's brother and their cousin. The brother and cousin aren't members, but we taught them a lesson and set up a return appointment to have FHE with them tonight, so they're new investigators! It was definitely the working of the Lord.

There is a family we have been trying to work with for forever in the Vista Peaks ward. The wife is a member but has been inactive since she was a teenager. The husband had a baptism date but it fell through and the kids aren't baptized either. We FINALLY had a powerful lesson with the parents and they are now actively working toward baptism/the temple. We are so excited! The ward has done so much to soften their hearts. Seriously, all the success we have with finding people to get baptized is always through members. So you all better be doing your jobs!

We have a recent convert who joined the church because of his hunting buddies. His wife isn't super interested, but she has been warming up to us and sits in on lessons and comes to church sometimes. We're to the point now that we can joke about, "when you're a Mormon..." Her husband reminds me of dad a lot. Just a normal guy who likes his truck and his plain pocket t-shirts and doesn't like fancy things, but he is so sweet. He told us the other day when we were talking to him without his wife that he prays for her every day. He prays that they will get to go to the temple together. It was so sweet! He is truly humble.

We've taken to putting Sister Teddy in creepy places to scare our roommates. It is so funny. We'll hide it in their shower or in their beds or other places and they'll scream and it is the most entertaining part of our evening. Well the other night while they were planning in their room we strapped Sister Teddy to the ceiling fan and turned it on and waited for them to come out of their room. When they came out they were like, "what the heck, why are you so weird." And then we shot them with our Nerf guns. I know that you sent out a 22 year old and were expecting a 24 year old to return home, but in a lot of ways I've regressed. It's these 18 and 19 year olds I spend all my time with! My vocabulary has also drastically fallen. There is the residue of intelligence left in me, but overall I am not someone who is prepared to get a real job in a few months. I told my companion today that I have to spend the next 8 weeks re-training myself to use strong vocabulary (luckily my grammar hasn't really left me).

I really wanted Pork Salad the other day and I prayed for it and we had it. It was a tender mercy. Then we had Thai food for a sister's birthday and I didn't really love it and someone came in and paid for us. Miracle again. Nothing is worse than paying for food you don't even like. Then we had Panda Express the next night for dinner and I had to act like I loved it. When will Asian food not be a thing anymore?

The lady that is in my area right now from the nursing home in my first area is officially a new investigator of ours! It is such a miracle and it makes me see how the Lord works in mysterious ways. Who knew that someone I had contact with 7 months ago in a different area would become an investigator now? Heavenly Father did, because he set it up. But no one else did!

We were on exchanges on Saturday and the sisters we were with had a funeral to go to. We decided to just go with them instead of meeting and exchanging back for an hour and then meeting up again to exchange to finish our actual exchange. Throughout the week we were trying to find a way to be productive and to not go to the funeral and to move the exchange and nothing was working. The funeral was at Central Christian--a church that is not super fond of Mormons--so we didn't anticipate seeing anyone we knew. It was for the son of the other sisters' investigator. When we arrived a family from my first area was greeting people. They lit up when they saw me and they all hugged me. It turns out that the mom of the family is the sister of the man that died. The mom that is the investigator in another area is a woman who I have actually taught. She came to my first area to church with her daughter a handful of times and would have dinner with us. We really hit it off, so she was so happy to see me too. As we were there Sister Smith leaned over and said, "I feel good knowing that there is a reason we are here and a reason nothing worked when we tried to reschedule this exchange. You needed to be at this funeral." It was another hand of the Lord moment in my week.

Our lessons with the prospective elder is going really well. I'll call him Tamale from now on because he has red hair like a hot tamale. But I can't call him Hot Tamale because then that sounds like a term of endearment and that would be inappropriate. So he is just Tamale. He cried twice during our lesson on Saturday and vocalized again that somehow we get him to open up and actually change. He is moving in a positive direction and really has his eyes set on the temple.

We were asked to give the lesson in combined YM/YW yesterday in Fairway Groves. They wanted it to be something about the Book of Mormon since the youth were challenged to read the Book of Mormon before school starts. We kind of forgot about it until Saturday night, so I said a prayer that we would be forgiven for not planning something and that the Lord would bless us with an idea that we would be able to pull off easily the next day. We ended up talking about the importance of likening the scriptures to our own lives and then we picked three scripture passages and split the kids into three groups and told them to read the verses and then create a skit in which they likened the scriptures to their lives today. The skits were funny and they really enjoyed it. The leaders thought it was great too. We let them know it was totally Heavenly Father guiding us and that we just did what we were told. I really hope I have a calling in the youth when I'm a real adult. I love the youth so much!

We have a busy Monday-Wednesday already planned and I'm sure the second half of the week will fill up as well. We have the temple on Thursday and it will be peaceful as always. Have a great week everyone!


Sister Poppe

Sa-RAWR-o zone (except no on other than Sister Smith and I will 
embrace the change from Saguaro to Sa-RAWR-o).
After dinner these little girls just started playing with my hair as
Sister Smith was talking to the mom about something. She snapped
a few candid shots and one of them actually turned out. The girls are
so sweet and love me purely because they think Poppe is a fun word
to say. Sister Smith decided she needs a new last name so that kids
love her as much at dinner as they do me.
Post ZTM watermelon feast.
The family resemblance is striking.
White girls! Frappe's and P-day email time. I love my roommates!