Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Happy Birthday to America

Hello,

Starting your last transfer is kind of a weird feeling. Everyone asks you how you're feeling and such. I don't know how to answer because I legitimately don't know how I'm feeling. It doesn't feel real. It's like when I was a kid and you told me that someday we would go to Disneyland. Someday I'll go home. Except someday is actually in 5 weeks and it still feels like someday.

Sister Smith and I had a sad goodbye. At least 68 times our last few days together we said, "How can I get a new companion," or "What am I going to do with someone else?" I remembered the last of our only/greatest hits:

Quail
Little Grill
Eyeballs

I do love Sister Childs though. She is wonderful and the kind of companion I need my last transfer. She is a sister training leader so I will still go on quite a few exchanges with the sisters she is over.  She said that she believes that the sisters she is over are hers because they need to learn something from me as well this transfer.  That is an interesting thought. It's interesting that she remembers so much of what I said when I was her district leader. She's openly shared things that I taught in district meeting or on exchanges with the sisters she is over and has told them they are things she learned with me. I don't even remember saying some of the things she remembers. She is a hard worker and will be such a blessing to the area when I leave (she is now too, but I feel good about her being here without me down the road.

Our 4th of July was pretty good! Last year it was a day off, but this year were expected to be missionaries all day. We went into the day with a positive attitude and knew that if we were happy then we would find things to do. That's the way the Lord works. If you do his bidding without complaining then he gives you things to do. We did service for our ward mission leader's neighbor and she fed us lunch. We were asked by someone we are working with to feed their dog while they were out of town for the weekend. We stopped by there a few times during the day to feed the dog and give her more water. We played with her a bit and loved her too. She was a sweet little thing. Then we met with Sister Childs' sisters and had the beginning of the transfer goal setting meeting you have with your sister training leader. We didn't have a dinner appointment, so we went out to eat with our roommates on our way to downtown Mesa where we helped with the Celebrate Freedom Festival. On Friday when we found out that we were expected to work on the 4th I remembered seeing an opportunity to volunteer with them, so I called the lady and asked if they still needed volunteers with the event being 24 hours away. She said they did and we went down and had a good time manning the blow up water slides all evening.
We loved the Freedom Festival. It was so fun and patriotic.
Elder Renel and Sister Buduuan's first 4th of July
and first sparklers ever.
 
The best part of the day was in the morning though. The sisters I live with decided that they had to make the day special because I love America so much. Sister Childs and Brinkerhoff woke up early and went to IHOP and picked up breakfast with American themed berries on top. While they were doing that Sister Buduuan made a list of a bunch of phrases about America from the Book of Mormon on a white board. When I woke up I walked out into the living room and they sang Happy Birthday to America/me and presented me with breakfast. Wow! Why do people love me so much? I don't even know! I'm so lucky to have such great roommates. I asked how Sister Childs woke up without waking me up and she said that she prayed the night before that she would wake up at 5:30 and she did. Right on the nose! It was a testimony builder for me on how much Heavenly Father loves us. He loved me enough to enable my companion to wake up to surprise me and he loved her enough to answer her prayer. AND HE LOVES AMERICA #promiseland

 
We met with Polly at the assisted living home last night and actually shared with her a lot of the Restoration lesson finally. I don't know if we'll teach her everything in this life, but in the very least we are doing service for her. We also stopped by a couple in the facility that is a part member couple. The wife is a member and the husband isn't. In all the years that missionaries have taught him he's never read the Book of Mormon I guess. I asked him why he always says, "I'll join when I decide to," and he didn't have a good answer. So I asked if he had ever read the Book of Mormon and he said no. So we spent quite a while talking with him about that and committed him to start reading it. Crazy people anyway.

We actually had someone approach us yesterday after sacrament meeting who wants to be baptized. Literally out of nowhere this lady pulled me aside and said, "I just got married to a member and took the lessons a year ago. I want to be baptized. How do I do that?"  I almost died!  I've always wanted that to happen. And then we found out she isn't in our ward boundaries...

We're working with a couple who has an 11 year old daughter who isn't baptized right now. It's been a challenge getting in to see them the last few weeks but they finally came to church and are finally open to us. We've had a few good contacts on their doorstep and they approached us about setting up a time to meet on Sunday and they specifically said that they're ready to have their daughter baptized.  They really seem to like us. The husband loved my testimony from sacrament meeting. We made them cookies on a whim for the wife's birthday and they love that too because they celebrate birthday week.  Obviously that gave us something big to connect on. We're excited to work with them and get the daughter baptized and help them go through the temple.

Our week was busy, but other than that nothing too eventful seemed to happen. Just normal soul saving stuff.

A good quote from the week:

"Sister Poppe. I just like you. You bring me solace. I don't even know what that means, but it's true."-Swaggy B

Love,

Sister Poppe
 

Day 1 of American clothing week. I actually forgot to take my picture
a lot of days, but I will send the ones I actually took. This is also a
picture of running into a family member at church!
And Sister Smith and I matching all cute like.
  Day 2: I lack red in my wardrobe, so I celebrated with a
lot of blue and white and my hard to see red headband
  Day3: Swaggy B and I unintentionally matched.
Day 4: The Red Solo Cup really upped my patriotism.
Day 5: Sister Smith's last night with the Eagleston fam.
They're one of a kind. I love them so much.