Sunday, January 24, 2016

Why do people live here?

This weekend was seriously so cold, why do people live here. Like, the short walk from our car to people's homes is brutal. Takes our breath away. Literally, I can't breathe it's so cold. But it looks pretty, so that kind of makes up for it. 
We had a pretty sweet week. It felt pretty long, but it was also really awesome. 

Monday: We spent most of our day at Cosco with the elders. They somehow got a membership, so we tagged along and bought what we needed and then ate our hearts out at the cafeteria. Cosco is the best for food. Super cheap and bad for you, but sooooo good. Mmmm. Then we went to the stake center and played basketball and stuff. We had supper with our ward mission leader and his family and then played Uno with them for family home evening. Let's just say, Brother Crook gets pretty intense when it comes to card games. It was a blast. 

Tuesday: Our friend, Sarah, spent the day with us. She's trying to decide if she wants to go on a mission or not or what to do next, so she's been hanging out with us, coming to our appointments, and it's been really awesome. It's sweet to have a member with us to add their testimony and add to the Spirit that's there while we're teaching. We had supper with a family in our ward who has a couple of daughters all around the same age. They're so fun to be around. We were having a birthday supper for her, and her mom made Cost Vida imitation. You guys, I seriously love tacos and burritos and such so much, it's not even funny. It was like it was for my birthday or something. Mmmm. Anywho. We love that family. Their 12 year-old son is such a good missionary. He gave a Book of Mormon to his friend this week at school and he does a TON of family history. What a champ. 

Thursday: We did our weekly planning at Menchie's. It's kind of like Orange Leaf, but not as good. But the music there is good, and the froyo is ok, so we go on Thursdays while we plan the next week. It's pretty relaxing, mostly because no one ever goes there but us so it's super quiet. We went and visited our friend, Fred, and helped him clean his home. His wife is in the hospital because she had a heart attack last week, and it was just the saddest thing. He kept crying and we just felt really bad for him because there's not much we can do for him besides just be his friend. But we've definitely seen his heart soften in the time that we've been here and been serving him. We're pretty confident he'll accept the gospel in the next life. 

Friday: We found a new investigator. He is the ex of a less-active lady that we've been teaching as well. We had supper with them and we'd prepared to teach the Restoration to the less-active lady to help her remember why she originally joined the church. And then her ex started asking a ton of questions and becoming interested in what we were talking about. It was so awesome! We even downloaded the GospelLibrary app on his phone for him and he's going to listen to the Book of Mormon on it. We're so excited! 

Saturday: We went to the hospital in Calgary to visit Fred's wife and another lady we used to visit at the old folk's home here in Airdrie and we brought Sarah with us. It was a good visit. Fred's wife was asleep the whole time we were there, so we sang some hymns really quietly and then left. When we visited our friend from the old folk's home, she hadn't changed a bit. Feisty as ever, that lady. We just love her, though. She had us doing all sorts of tasks for her, including taking her down to the cafeteria and back to her room and finishing a coloring page for her. She's so funny. And then Sister Durrant bumped her tea cup and spilled tea all over the bed. The nurse had to come in and help remake the bed, but it was a really funny situation all around. We went to Sister Clark's with the elders to help move some furniture around in preparation for her son coming home from his mission soon. We found some cool toys, thus the really weird photo of Elder Sondrup and I. You're welcome. 

I am so grateful for my family and the blessing it is to be sealed to them for time and all eternity. Last night, we had a lesson with a less-active family, the two sons aren't baptized because their dad is no longer active and won't let them. They also haven't been sealed, and as we were teaching the Plan of Salvation, the mom got really emotional and sad because they hadn't had that yet. It was such an eye opener for me that my family is so blessed to be able to have that. It's impacted my life so much and I can't even express how grateful I am for it. 

Well. We're headed to Banff for the day with our friend Sarah. It's a national park. Google it. I've heard it's gorgeous. I'll be sure to take lots of photos for those of you who won't actually Google it. 
Hope you all have a blessed week! I love you all so much!!

<3 Sister Pipkin 

1)Sondrup and I with our finds at the Clark's
2)Yes, those are lawn chairs on the frozen canal. Canadians. 

No clever title this week, sorry guys

The Clever & Witty portion of my brain is out of service today, so sorry about that. This will basically be one big long journal entry because I am SO TIRED. #LOAM (Life of a missionary)
 (Our Zone)

Tuesday was pretty sweet. We had a zone training meeting about the new Standard of Excellence for our mission. That's just basically a standard that our mission president has set specifically for the missionaries he has stewardship over, a.k.a, the best missionaries in the world.  So this week, Sister Durrant and I have been implementing it into our missionary work and we've seen lots of blessings from it! It's been sweet. After our meeting, we went to lunch with a bunch of sisters and the Spanish elders. Later that night, we tracted a street and got a couple of people who said we could come back! It was really awesome. One guy recognized us because we'd seen him putting up his Christmas lights and offered to help. (Not Richard the Baptist preacher, a different guy. We offered to help a lot of people and none of them took us up on the offer lol) I also had donair pizza for the first time. It's yummy. 

On Wednesday, we had cleaning inspections on our apartment and we got a 10/10. Woo hoo! That's what you get for having lots of siblings and having to learn how to clean up after them(; 

Thursday, we visited our investigator, Lisa. It had been a long time since we'd seen her because of the holidays and such, and the thought we had been transferred and not told her! So that was sad, because we would never leave without saying goodbye. We taught her a lesson on prayer and how praying and coming to church will bless her life SO MUCH. We're waiting for the acting part now(: Later that night, we had supper with the Martins, and Sister Martin made me this super intense/delicious chocolate cherry cake! Oh my word it was to die for. So good. And they sang happy birthday to me(: Then we stopped by a former investigator, and she agreed to letting us start teaching her again! Just one of the blessings from our obedience to the Standard. We tracted a street and had some weird people answer the door. One guy spoke gibberish. Another guy's pants were unzipped. 
(Sister Martin and my birthday cake..)
Friday, we had a few lessons with less-active members and then we volunteered at the senior's home. They do a tea every Friday and it's always so fun to sit with the seniors and get to know them and enjoy whatever entertainment is going on. Usually local performing artists. Then, we got two new investigators! We had a lesson with a part member family, and the mom and daughter agreed to take the lessons! Woo hoo! We are so excited for them. The gospel brings such blessings into families, we're excited to see what the Lord has in store for them! 

Saturday, we were practicing our musical number for sacrament at the Taylor's, and the kids got this new game called Pie Face for Christmas. Of course, the elders roped us into playing. I didn't get any pie to the face (it's just whipped cream) but Sister Durrant did and so did both of the elders!

Sunday, I was asked to play the piano for primary, and it was really fun. I love playing the piano and I love primary, so it was just sweet. Primary always reminds us of the simple, basic truths of the gospel and the simple, basic things the Lord asks of us. It's sweet. Then I sang in the elders' ward in sacrament. We sang I Believe In Christ and it was so cool! The Spirit was so strong. We rocked it, if I do say so myself. We got to watch the CES devotional with our friend Sarah and her family. It was really neat the things Elder and Sister Nelson had to share with us. They talked a lot about seeking inspiration from the Lord, and then acting upon the promptings the Spirit gives you. It's so true! Why would the Lord give us instructions if He knows we won't follow them? We have to be willing to act. 

So this week, I learned the importance of following what is asked of us. I saw how by following the new Standard of Excellence, we were blessed in our missionary work. By doing the things that are asked of us, we were able to do more of the Lord's work. He will trust us the more we are obedient. The more He trusts us, the more blessings we get! It's just this continuous cycle of awesome blessings that we will never be able to repay the Lord for. Isn't that the coolest? 

Anywho. I love you all so much. Thank you for all the support and love and birthday wishes. I hope everyone's families are safe and happy! I love you all!


1&2) Our zone
3) Sister Martin and I and their little girl and that delicious cake that made me fat
4,5,6) Pie Face 
7) Our windshield froze...on the inside???
8) I got these little sticky rubber chicken things for my birthday from a member and Sister Durrant and I spent the morning flinging them at each other...(:
9) The frost this week. Looks like something out of Chronicles of Narnia
<3 Sister Pipkin

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

One year older and wiser (maybe) too

Happy Karen Day, everyone!!! I hope it was great for everyone, I know Sister Durrant and I had a great Karen Day!(;

Lol, but for real, Happy New Year(:

This week was preeeettttyyyyy slow, as the week after Christmas normally is for missionaries. But we kept busy and had heaps of fun. 
Wednesday, we were at the food bank like we normally are. I was wiping down door handles, when I hear all this whispering behind me. I turn around and everything goes quiet. One of the ladies made eye contact with me and she looked like a deer in the headlights -- guilty! She  quickly fumbled for words and then said, 
"Uh... Sister Pipkin! Come here, I need your help!"
Ok... seems sketchy to me. 
She walks me around this huge shelf and looks at this tiny pile of cans, like six of them, and goes,
"Uh... I need your help putting these cans away."
Still seems sketchy. 
But I helped put the cans away. And then out of nowhere came this chorus of "Happy Birthday" complete with a birthday cake and an entourage of the volunteers at the food bank. It was seriously the sweetest thing ever. I couldn't figure out how they knew about my birthday, I must have been talking about it weeks in advance, but that just doesn't sound like something I would do... (; 
Anywho, the cake was delicious and I just love everyone we work with at the food bank. They're awesome. 

Thursday evening, we had to be in by 6, but luckily we live in the basement of members, so we didn't have to hang out by ourselves for hours and hours on end. They invited us upstairs for hors d'oeuvres and "special juice" as so called by their 4 year-old, or sparkling grape juice. It was fun to be with their family for New Year's Eve. 

Friday was my birthday. Obviously. And it was super sweet. Sister Durrant decorated our mirror and brought me a huge chocolate muffin with a candle to blow out. My trainer, Sister Layton, called and sang me happy birthday, and Sister Durrant wrote me this cute note about how much she loves me. Aww. 
And then the elders called and asked if we could unlock the church library for them so they could make a copy of their progress record. So we went to the church to meet them and no one was there. Sooooo I thought we'd just wait in the warm car, but for whatever reason, Sister Durrant wanted to go inside. So we did. She wanted to play the piano in the Relief Society room, which is electric, and she goes, 
"Sister Pipkin, I need help turning on the piano."
"Is it plugged in?"
"Yeah, I just can't figure it out."
"You just push the ON button."
"I know but it's not working, will you please come help me?" 

So we're walking down the hallway to the Relief Society room and I smell burning. I'm all,
"What the crap is burning?"
"What? I don't smell anything. Come on, just help me turn the piano on."

We walkin the room and 


Somehow, and I don't know how they pulled it off, but the elders in my district and Sister Durrant planned a surprise party for me. They got me THE most hilarious birthday card, and they even baked me a cake! So sweet of them. Then one of the elders sang happy birthday to me. It was great. We went to lunch afterwards and had a great time. Then, we had supper at our ward mission leader's home with his family. We had savory fondu and it was soooooooo good. I don't even know how to explain it, but it was delicious. They got me some cute little gifts, and it was just a really awesome birthday. 

Saturday, we spent the day helping one of our friends move. She had everything ready to go and super organized, but everything beyond her control that could've gone wrong did. Poor thing. But through it all, she was a trooper. Her daughter and ex were coming from B.C. with the trailer, but they left later than they'd planned, so they wouldn't be here on time for the elevator that she'd had to pay to reserve for moving. So that was stinky. And then the highway was closed for a few hours because of an accident, so they would be even more late than that. And then, they lady in charge of reserving the elevator was there THE WHOLE TIME we were moving her in and she was awful and terrible and if I wasn't wearing a nametag I would've told her where to shove it. And then, we had to go back the next morning to finish moving everything in that came in the trailer that finally got there. It was so crazy! But it all worked out. And she fed us pizza, which was sweet. Luckily, our friend is super awesome and was positive throughout the whole thing. She's a trooper. And we had fun anyways. 

So that was our week. It's been good. We're looking forward to what this next week will bring. We're trying new ways of finding people to teach, people who are ready to hear the gospel and do the things that Christ asks them. Reading scriptures, saying prayers, going to church, all those things don't sound like huge things to do. But when we do them, they make a huge difference. When we don't do them, they make a huge difference. The Lord has so many blessings He wants to give us, but we need to be willing to do what He asks. And sometimes (actually, most of the time) that's harder than it sounds. But "...I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save He shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the things which He commandeth them." (1Nephi 3:7)
K, rant over. 
But. I love you guys so much. Thanks for all your support. It means so so so much to me. I am so grateful for this gospel. For the Plan of Salvation that our father has laid out before us. Sometimes, life sucker-punches us in the gut and it sucks. But the Lord has a plan for us. He wants us to be happy. He will provide. 

<3 Sister Pipkin 

Oh, also, that terrifying photo is of Sister Durrant and I. We got these really cool face masks from a member for Christmas that we decided to use. I think we kind of look like the art freaks from Mean Girls, or something off of Nightmare on Elm's Street, but that's just me.