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!