We had a long week. Not in a bad way, just in a, we did a lot of a variety of things kind of way.
We're still working closely with a few less active individuals in the Fairway Groves Ward. One is progressing more than the other inwardly. You can tell he is going through the pains of repentance and that it is having a positive impact on his life. He thoroughly enjoys our Book of Mormon reading we do once a week and is making progress for the first time in years. The others we are working with aren't as committed. They're still learning and feeling the Spirit though, so we'll work with them.
Sister Childs has celiac disease. Did I mention that? So she can't have any gluten at all. She can't even have cross contamination. So she didn't have gluten in food, but she had something that must have touched it and got pretty sick, so we spent a few evenings inside last week. We talked about America and politics for 3 hours one night and it was wonderful. I forgot how much I knew about America and how much I enjoy discussing history and things. It was fun because she enjoyed it and kept asking me questions that I actually knew the answers to. I'm glad those thousands of dollars I spent on college actually gave me knowledge.
We are meeting weekly now with a girl that put in her mission papers in the Vista Peaks Ward. Her family is the same family that took us to DQ a few weeks ago for FHE. They've quickly become some of my favorite people. We're helping her understand the Book of Mormon so she feels more prepared when she leaves. She reminds me of me. I knew a lot about the stories in the Book of Mormon before I left, but I didn't know any references. She's been a part of baptizing two of her friends and is super down to Earth. She'll be a great missionary even if she struggles with the scriptures a bit.
We had two exchanges this week. The first was in my area with Sister Duran. The second was in another area with Sister Casey. She was in my district when I was the sistrict leader. It was such a wonderful experience being on exchanges with her. She and her companion struggled quite a bit so I felt like I was just always solving their problems when I was over them. So I didn't have as much time to help them develop teaching skills or anything because I was always putting out fires. I always regretted that we didn't have a better exchange when I was her leader. Even though I'm not her leader anymore (Sister Childs is) it was so nice to have a great exchange with her and to help her with some things anyway. I helped her organize her notes in an apartment complex and then we went to knock on a bunch of doors. We ended up meeting a lady on the sidewalk and she invited them back (so that was one new investigator) and then we talked to a man on a balcony for 45 minutes from the ground. We were pretty sore after that, but we have such a good feeling about him. I just feel like something good will come of that and he will desire to learn more. When we were done Sister Casey thanked me for a great day and for helping her, and I told her that I felt redeemed from our exchange almost 6 months ago. She said that that exchange wasn't bad at all. I mean it wasn't, but I knew it could have been better. We also helped shovel gravel for a few hours that day so I was so sore on Sunday. They do something cool in that ward with a less active woman and her nonmember husband. He is in his 50's and was diagnosed with dementia. He is so young and it has hit him hard. The sisters had the idea a few months ago to start playing basketball with him because he loved it before his health went downhill. In the months they've been playing his memory has really improved and his speech and motor skills have too. They're meeting with new doctors now to have his diagnosis changed because his improvement is unheard of so they think that he was misdiagnosed and that he is actually just having short seizures or something. It is so amazing! He gets confused really easily and is hilarious! He hugged me (which is abnormal) and said, "You're a nice lady. Good shot. You're beautiful. Nice lady. Beautiful." It was a sweet experience.
We're not meeting with the Bohemian anymore. She just isn't getting her life together and the bishop said that he is done supporting her and her interest magically dropped off at that point. It's sad. She is still our friend though and actually genuinely thanked us for helping her develop a relationship with Christ. At least we know that we helped her spiritually even if she was kind of just going through the motions for support.
I had my last zone conference of my mission on Friday. It was odd. It wasn't real to me that I am going home until Friday. I had to bear my testimony like all departing missionaries do at zone conference and it just all kind of hit me. We focused a lot on the basics of the Book of Mormon and returning to them in our work. It was a good meeting. A lot of the principles were things that I can use in my post mission life. Our 10% lesson was on marriage which was weird. Mainly because it felt so real to me because I go home so soon and that is my next goal in life. Other missionaries were like whatever I go home in 8 months. But I was like, man! I need to take notes on this business! This is more pertinent than how to introduce the Book of Mormon in a street contact at this point in my life. Then I had my My Plan interview with President Jenkins after zone conference and it went really well. He said that my plan was very typical of me; meticulous, well thought out and perfect. He said my plans even have plans. To be honest I thought I did it too quickly and with not enough detail, but I guess of the ones he's received it is the most well thought out. He said that he was going through it with his red pen and he just kept writing, "Good! Great! Wonderful goal!" He didn't have much counsel for me other than to follow what I had written and to go home and marry a man who is worthy of me. He doesn't expect that I will settle, but he just wanted to remind me that I am worthy of every quality I expect in a husband and that I shouldn't look for someone who doesn't have everything I want because my desires aren't outlandish and my desires reflect the person I am. He thanked me for my friendship and said he valued the relationship we have developed. He is excited to keep in contact with me and watch me progress through life. I love that I have a relationship with him. I'm sad that every missionary doesn't. He thanked me for my hard work and said he knows I'll work hard the last three weeks. I'm excited for my exit interview with him in a few weeks. He gives us a blessing there and I am so excited for that!
We met a prophetess and a man who sees angels last night during our street contacting in the apartment complex we live in. So yeah. That's a thing. We're going back to see Angel Man this week.
So let's talk about tortillas for a minute. Tortillas. More specifically, raw tortillas. WHY HAS NO ONE EVER TOLD ME ABOUT THESE UNTIL MY MISSION. I literally have been eating 5-10 quesadillas a week for the past three months because I learned about how delicious raw tortillas are. They're so much more delicious than already cooked ones. Sister Brinkerhoff and I buy them and shredded cheese and then we just share with each other and take turns buying the stuff. You want to talk about the law of consecration? That's the law of consecration right there.
Sister Brinkerhoff has moved a lot in her life. She said she's never really had a friend longer than a year and a half so her mission has been great because she's made real friends and not kind of friends. She's so hilarious! It makes me so sad she hasn't had real friends until her mission. I'm glad we're real friends and that I've been roommates with her for so long. She is already panicking that the transfer is half over. She's excited that I'm moving back to Arizona after my mission. Which brings me to my next point; I'M OFFICIALLY MOVING BACK TO MESA A FEW WEEKS AFTER I GET HOME. I know that you already know this mom and dad, but for the rest of you that read this, that is my announcement.
Sister Childs and I just decided to adopt Sister Smith and my relationship name. So I'm now a part of Choppe instead of Soppe. Our companionship motto is also can't stop; won't stop a la Miley Cyrus. I was kind of worried that I had become an old washed up missionary that didn't have anything worth sharing anymore because I'm old now. Last night out of nowhere Sister Childs thanked me for teaching her so much this transfer already. She was a lot like me; she was trained and then spent the next many months of her mission with less diligent companions she had to help or in leadership positions. She said this is the first time since she has been trained that she isn't the one in charge and it has helped her learn so much. She just emulated her trainer and didn't do anything different because she didn't really have companions with skills she wanted to emulate. I was honored that she has liked so much of what I do. I was also relieved that I am not as bad at missionary work as I sometimes think I am. It's been a lot of fun working with her and getting to know her better. We have a good time and laugh a lot. President Jenkins told me on Friday that she is really enjoying our companionship.
Wow. Only a few more of these obnoxiously long emails to go.
We had our 11 year olds meet and they were instant BFF's.
Sister Duran was on exchanges with me that day as well.
This was after the lesson we taught them on tithing and
fast offerings with M&M's.
The parents just put the Book of Mormon there so they didn't
have to carry it and he cozied up with it. So cute.
Even the children know it is true.
Sister Childs has been introduced to the joys of caffeine.
Mustache hair! My hair is so short I can't even make a mustache
anymore without using my hand to hold it in place.
We had lunch with the Frost family from my first area today.
Nug Nug is still my bestie. Love that girl.
The Frost girls with Dawson and I. I told Sister Dawson
we were meeting there for lunch if she wanted to come.
It was so nice to be back in that neighborhood.
I miss that area so much still.