Monday, September 14, 2015

The week that nothing happened....

Sorry, guys, nothing cool happened this week. 
By the end of this transfer, I will have been in this same area for six months. After a while, exciting things stop happening. It's so sad. I mean, we have basically the same schedule every week, so nothing too exciting happens. 
Except for yesterday, we dubbed as #WhatTheWhatSunday. 
We had so many of our less-actives that we haven't seen at church (ever) show up. On their own! It was crazy. And then Dave and Michelle, our long lost investigators, showed up too! They have been away for a couple of weeks and dealing with Word of Wisdom issues,  so we kind of just put them on the back burner for now. But we stopped by the other day to say hi, and Dave wasn't doing too well. He said they'd be at church on Sunday, but we took that with a grain of salt. And then they came! We were so excited to see them. 
We also spent most of the week helping a gymnastics studio move buildings. It was way fun. One of the crazy things we did was help them move their huge foam block pit, which entailed us playing in the huge foam block pit. So fun. 
It rained a lot this week, so we were grateful it was our turn to have the car. Those poor other sisters(; 
Here is a photo of me and a little girl in our ward that I just absolutely adore. Her name is Keltye (Kel-tee) and I'm bringing her home with me in my suitcase. (:And here is a photo of our zone at zone conference last week. 
I love you all! Hope things are going well!
And mom, I got the package. Thanks SO MUCH for my stuff(: 
Love you!

General Authorities and the guy that died

This week, we had the amazing privilege of having Elder Martino of the
Seventy come and speak at our mission conference.
Basically, he's awesome. He's from Texas, so he has this cute southern
drawl and he is just so sincere and honest and speaks with the Spirit.
It was such a treat to hear from him. I was asked by President Miles
to arrange the music for the meeting a few weeks ago, and that was
quite the task. I was expected to arrange a choir and another musical
number. You guys, that was so hard. So for the last couple of weeks,
I've been coordinating practices with our zone and the East Lethbridge
zone, trying to make some beautiful music for Elder Martino. It was
extremely stressful, especially when the elders outnumber the sisters
by... well, a ton. But things eventually came together and it sounded
just fine. We sang the EFY Medley and I was able to conduct it and it
was so much fun! Hard, and definitely challenging, but way fun.
I also was able sing a duet with another sister in our zone, Sister
Brown. Her companion Sister Merkley played the piano, and we sang My
Kindness Shall Not Depart From Thee. It was so neat! My companion got
a photo of us during our practice. After we sang, Elder Martino shook
our hands and told us that we should sing in our lessons. The Spirit
is so strong in music, especially in children's primary songs. And
then he teared up a little bit, so I felt pretty cool making a general
authority cry by singing(; *toots my horn*

Also, this week, we did a power hour. When we do a power hour, we
teach a lesson to a member family, normally the Restoration, and then
we go out to their neighborhood and contact people for an hour while
the family prays missionary minded for our efforts to be fruitful. And
we had such a cool thing happen! We met this guy named Mike.Mike had a
cardiac arrest last year and was pronounced dead for a short period of
time, but they were able to bring him back. When we talked to him, we
asked him if he'd ever had any questions about where he came from, why
he's here, or where he's going. He said yes, actually, those have been
huge questions on his mind! We gave him a Book of Mormon, got his
information, and we're going to see him this week! We're very excited
about that.
This little girl, her name is Marreah, and she is obsessed with
wearing our shoes. She's seriously adorable and she calls Sister
McDonald, "Uhm, excuse me, Old Mc Sister McDonald?" It's hilarious.

Especially because Sister McDonald is 24 and she feels super old
around us 19-year-olds(; She's a great sport about it, though.
And then this other photo is just a photo of me driving. Idk, just for
proof that they trust me to drive on the mission...? Haha.

Hey, I want you all to know that I love you so much!!!! I'm so
grateful for this gospel and for the blessings that it brings me and
my family. The last couple of days, I have felt like I am not doing a
great job at teaching. I almost feel like I don't even know what I'm
talking about or testifying of. But then I read my scriptures and I
feel so secure in my purpose here as a missionary, to help bring
others to Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel! And then
I think of how far I've come in the past almost six months and I'm so
grateful for this gospel and what it has done for me in my life. I
know this church is true!
Love you all! (;
-Sister Pipkin

Monday, September 7, 2015

Chicken coops and the temple

So this week has been way crazy, but it's also been really great. 
We'll start off with
Monday: Was obviously p-day. But after all the grocery shopping and emailing and watching the elders play basketball because that's all we ever do, we had a lesson with a little girl in our ward who is preparing to be baptized. Her parents are divorced and it's been a battle to get permission from the father for her to be baptized. He finally consented. And she could not be happier, she invites everyone she sees to her baptism and it's seriously adorable. So we had a lesson with her and her mom and sister on baptism and she knew all the answers to the questions and it was just precious. I will most likely be transferred before she is baptized, which absolutely breaks my heart, but that's ok. There's always email. 
On Tuesday, we helped a member do some canning and it was yummy and delicious and no, I couldn't do it on my own so don't ask, but it was definitely a learning experience. I've done so many things on my mission that I never thought I would have, like building a chicken coop. But we'll get to that. After canning, we stopped by some less-active members and then we had a service project with the zone. We helped set up about a million tables for a clothing drive. They let us take whatever we liked, and I got some sweet finds. Thank goodness for free clothes!(;
Wednesday was zone conference. I absolutely love zone conference! It's such a neat experience. President and his wife come and meet with a couple zones at a time and we get to have some training on how to be better missionaries. Learning from other missionaries is really neat because we're all in this together! President and Sister Miles always have really neat things to share with us as well. Our zone did a musical number and asked me to accompany, so that was fun. After zone conference, the member who was feeding us supper wasn't feeling well, so she packed the food she'd prepared for us and Sister McDonald and I took it to a nearby park and had a cute little picnic. Aww, we're so cute (;
And then on Wednesday, we built a chicken coop. A biiiig chicken coop. Actually, we didn't really build it, we just helped put up the chicken wire and it was such a huge task. The elders were there too, and we worked basically all day on it and didn't even get half way finished. Idk, putting up chicken wire doesn't sound like such a huge thing, but it was. It was quite the job. We had ward council after that, and let me tell you what a blessing it is to have an awesome ward council. Ours rocks and it's great because the more missionary minded the ward is, the easier the work is. So if you're reading this email and you have the opportunity to be involved with ward council, use that to bless the lives of your ward's missionaries. They need you (:
Friday, we did a huge service project. A lady called and asked if we could help her friend pack her apartment because the movers were coming that weekend and she was not ready. Emphasis on the not ready part. I've never seen so much stuff in one tiny apartment. We had to make multiple trips to get more boxes. Hence the photo of me climbing a dumpster. Poor lady. After that we did another service project, helping a family in our ward pack their house. That was devastating. This family, the Harper's, have eight children, with one on the way, and they've become like my family away from home. And they're moving. And it's sad. And when we had to say our goodbyes yesterday, their kids cried and I almost cried and I'm just so sad that I have to be emotionally attached to people. Geez. 
Saturday we went to the temple! What a blessing it is to have a temple in my mission and members willing to take us. The temple is seriously the greatest thing ever. I encourage all of you to go as often as you can! Later that evening, we had a lesson with our investigator, Liz, on the Plan of Salvation. It was so awesome! She absorbs everything we teach her like a sponge(: 

On Sunday, a lot of our less active members came to church that don't normally come, so we were excited about that. Liz came as well, and said she wants to bring her boyfriend next week! Yay! We said goodbye to the Harper's and that was sad. And then we had supper and did some other stop byes and that was that!
I love you all so much, sorry this has such an abrupt ending, I'm out of time! Love you all!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tummy troubles and being asked out

So I've been having some tummy troubles the last couple of months. Nothing too serious, just some pain when I eat, no big deal. Because of that, they've been doing some tests and this week they drew some blood. And if you know me very well at all, you know that I HATE needles and I HATE blood. So it was a bit of a traumatic experience and yes I cried, ok. But to justify my tears, the lady that took my blood was so mean! 
And that's all I have to say about that. 

The other day, we were contacting some less-active members in our ward when this moving truck pulls up next to one of the houses we were stopping by. Out pops this guy named Charles who we know from the other ward. He and his work partner, Tim, were moving some furniture for a guy, who just so happened to be a referral we were going to contact next! So that was two birds with one stone and we were able to set up an appointment for later this week. But the really funny part is Tim. Tim is not a member and had never seen missionaries before, much less, sister missionaries. He was enamored by our skirts and great personalities. Lol, I'm totally joking and being vain. But he did try to ask us both out. At the same time. Real smooth, Tim, real smooth. Of course, we told him no, but that didn't stop him from trying different ways of wording things for a good 15 minutes haha. Poor thing. 

The elders in our ward have this thing where they like to prank us. Normally, they flip our windshield wipers up and turn our mirrors in and open our gas tank, and we get them back and it just continues. But this time, the got creative. We'd left our bikes in the back yard of a member, and they decided they'd put them on the roof. We pull up to said member's house and Sister McDonald goes, "Why are there bikes on the Leavitt's roof?" And I looked and then shouted, "THOSE ARE OUR BIKES!" Stinkin' elders. 

We got a new investigator this week! Her name is Karolee and she is awesome. She's an aesthetician and she paints her puppy great dane's toe nails pink and she's awesome. She was a referral form the zone leaders that they tracted into in our area and the first thing she said to us when we had our lesson with her this last week was, "So tell me why I should be baptized." Uh... hahaha well, we will most definitely tell you! She's great. We feel like her intent is real and that there's something missing in her life that she's looking for and we can help! So exciting(:
I read a scripture this morning during my studies that rocked my world. It's in Alma 17: 11, and it's the Lord speaking to the sons of Mosiah as they go out to teach the Lamanites the gospel. 
"And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls. " 
This was literally a slap in the face. 

We also found one of our pass-along cards in the middle of the road having been tossed out the car window and it made me sad :(       

love SIster Pipkin