Monday, February 22, 2016

The time that the Elders tried to make chocolate chip cookies and they turned into chocolate chip puddles

Which is probably the most exciting thing that has happened this week, to be honest. We decided to make cookies and give them to less-active members as part of district finding. Mind you, I know how to make good cookies and so does my companion, but we figured that the pre-made cookie mix the elders bought would be fine. Not true. Somehow, those mixes don't have enough flour in them, so our cookies literally turned into puddles that filled the whole cookie sheet. There was definitely no way we were giving those to members, so we took one for the team and ate the ourselves. They were pretty good puddles, but... they were puddles.

Tuesday: We gave the training in District Meeting that we totally forgot about until, like, right before. So we winged it. And it was awesome. I don't know how we pulled that off. Someone fed us under-cooked ribs for supper. (Not her fault, she was really a busy that day) And that was about as exciting as it got because that put my companion and I out of commission for Wednesday. 

Thursday: We cleaned the stake center in preparation for stake conference. When they gave us the assignment, they said with the number of missionaries that were helping, we should be done pretty quickly. Not. We took like three and a half hours. But it was actually really fun. Cleaning always feels good, especially in the church. We had a lesson that night with Scott and just talked some more about preparation for his baptism on Saturday. Brother LaPlante came and it was really awesome. Except his puppy kept biting us. Little fart. 

Friday: We had a lesson with Kelsey at a member's house. We taught her about the Tree of Life and how she is partaking of that fruit! She's so excited and adorable and we just love her. We also got to go to the temple that night! Some members from my last area were meeting us there and we almost didn't make it in time for our session haha. Luckily, we changed really fast and they waited for us because we're sister missionaries and everyone loves sister missionaries(: After our session, we went to Smashburger with the members and it was such a blast to be able to say hi and catch up. Plus, the food was good. Too bad they don't have Smashburger in the States. 

Saturday & Sunday: We made those chocolate-chip puddles and then we went to the retirement center to sing for the seniors. When they asked us to come, we figured we'd just sing some songs with them and leave after like twenty minutes. But we got there and they'd made posters and they had a huge crowd of seniors there and a nice piano and mike. It was pretty sweet. So we did some numbers and some sing-a-long hymns. It was a blast. One of our zone leaders is really great at singing and the piano so he did some numbers and it was a great time. I was quickly reminded that my performance skills are quite rusty haha so I'll definitely be working on that. We had the adult session of stake conference that night and it was really awesome and uplifting. President and Sister Miles came and spoke to us. It's always a treat to hear from them. 
Sunday morning was the other session of conference and after that, Scott and Kelsey had their baptism interviews and tried on their baptism clothes. It's so exciting!!!! That night, we attended a regional YSA fireside that talked a lot about focusing on the things we know and not being discouraged by our doubts. It's okay to have doubts and questions and concerns, it doesn't  mean that we've lost our testimony. It was pretty cool to hear that. And then they had Costco cookies and juice boxes after, so that was a plus. 

Well, Canada is probably a ton warmer than Idaho and Utah right now. Suckas. Haha but for real, it's great here. I love being able to work with the YSA who are gung-ho about doing missionary work and helping others know their Saviour. It's such a neat blessing. 
Love you all so much! Have a great week!

<3 Sister Pipkin 

1) the posters they made for our "performance"
2) the making of the chocolate-chip puddles 
3) Sister Dean and I on the C-Train

Monday, February 15, 2016

If I told you I got to clean the Celestial Room would you be jealous?

Well, I hope you're jealous, because guess what.

I got to clean the celestial room. 

But for real, though, it was the coolest thing ever. 
The temple was closed for two weeks for cleaning and they always get the missionaries to come and help. So we get there, expecting to be wiping down lockers or something (which we did, don't worry, we did actually work) but instead, they took us up to the celestial room, handed us some rags and special cleaning spray, and left us to our own devices. Let's just say, the celestial room isn't dirty at all. Ever. They just clean it periodically to keep it from getting dirty. Regardless, we spent like an hour wiping down the same spots because we didn't want to leave. It was seriously such a neat experience to be able to do that. When we told the other missionaries we got to do that, they got jealous because they were assigned the bathrooms. Hahaha. Although, I bet those were the cleanest bathrooms they'd ever done. 

Anywho. On to the rest of my week. 

Monday: We learned about Chinese culture in FHE. One of the members in our ward lived in China for a few years for his dad's work, and so his mom came in and taught us some cool stuff. She taught us how to make ginger tea (which I'm not a fan of, but that's ok) and she showed us a bunch of photos and shared experiences from living there. The Mandarin elders also told us how to say some phrases that I don't remember at all, but it was pretty cool. I also bought a new shirt with elephants on it. Sickest find of the thrift shop we went to. 

Tuesday: We cleaned the temple. For more information, refer to the beginning of this email and prepare to be jealous all over again. We also did some other stuff that I can't really remember because I left my planner at home again. You'd think I'd learn from my mistakes about the 6th or 7th time, but no.... 

Wednesday: We did Waffle Wednesday. I don't know if I've already talked about this, but my companion and I go to the institute building and make waffles for the students from like 1-2 in hopes that people will come eat free waffles and maybe bring their non-member friends and then catch an institute class. It's a lot of fun and I'm a bomb waffle maker, just saying. Also, during Waffle Wednesday, I saw a familiar face from Lethbridge! I was standing in the kitchen and I hear this voice behind me go, "Pipkin?" and then I saw Carly! Yeah, I squealed, but I totally wasn't expecting to see her. Like, ever. I forgot she goes to U of C which is like, across the street from the institute building. Her sister, was in my first area, and it was really sweet to see her again. 
We had a lesson with our investigators, Brent and Tim. We were there for literally 2 1/2 hours while Brent talked about faith vs. works. This is the theology major, remember. I straight up almost fell asleep like 4298347203984 times. Sister Dean had to keep kicking me under the table, which I felt bad about, but honestly, he has the most monotone voice ever AND he didn't really let us talk. So... we haven't set up a return appointment yet. 
We also had an appointment with our investigator, Scott, and we prepared him for the baptismal interview questions. The members we had come were so awesome, answering questions we didn't know the answers to, and bearing testimony where needed. You guys, I can't even stress how awesome it is to have the members involved in the work. It's seriously the best way to do missionary work. Also, Scott's solid. We're seriously so stoked for him to be baptized next week. 

Thursday: I cut my hair. Sorry, dad. 

Friday: We went to Friday Forum, which is a thing the institute does. They have a guest speaker and lunch, this time it was chili and a guy who is a professional boxer/RM. He talked about the similarities between the gospel and boxing and it was actually really cool, the importance of wearing protective gear in the ring and the importance of wearing the full armour of God in everyday combat against Satan. The importance of getting back up after you've been hit, physically and spiritually. We also had cleaning inspections and got a perfect score. Whoot whoot. 
We had a lesson with our other investigator, Kelsey, who is also getting baptized on the 27th. She's pretty solid, too, and we went over the baptismal questions with her. She's just glowing with excitement, she's so ready for this next step in her life!

Saturday: We got mail! And I got some pretty sweet packages from my family and friends for Valentine's Day. So sweet, I felt so loved(: We also did some street contacting at the train station by the university. I had this epiphany to give out our cards with chocolate kisses that my mom had sent me for Valentine's Day. Our excuse to give people our card was, "Hey, we're sister missionaries blah blah blah and we're giving out these chocolate kisses for Valentine's Day blah blah blah." The elders were jealous they hadn't thought of that. What can I say, sister missionaries just have a way(; 

So, yeah, this week has been pretty sweet. I love seeing how the gospel changes people's lives and how it blesses their families. It's so awesome to see how the Lord loves us all so individually. I love you all so much! Thanks for your love and support(:

chocolate milk shakes and a warrant out for our arrest


This week has been super crazy. 

Monday: We had supper with a girl in our ward and her mom made these divine chocolate milk shakes. We had to run because we had correlation and Sister Dean brought her milkshake with her. We run out to the car and she opens her door and as she goes to gt in, she slips on a patch of ice -- but luckily catches herself. Not so luckily, the milkshake in her hand went flying all over her seat. So she sat in the backseat the rest of the night until we were able to clean it out. Which took forever, by the way. Our car now reeks of OxyClean and the seat is STILL kind of wet.

Tuesday: We met with these two guys, Brent and Tim, who are roommates. Sister Dean and her last companion had tracted into them and had given them their card, when one day, Tim called and said they'd like to learn more about the gospel. So we went over on Tuesday and taught them the first discussion, which went really well. And then Brent had about a gazillion questions. He's a theology major, so it was a really interesting discussion. Very knowledgeable, but still interesting. The cool part wast that they wanted to learn more! So that was exciting. As missionaries in the YSA ward, we've been invited to attend institute once a week. It's seriously so awesome, I love it. And my friend Sarah, from Airdrie, was there! I love her so much and was so happy to see her(: We also had a lesson with our investigator, Scott, about tithing. He's so golden. We also had like four members there because everyone is just so awesome and wants to be a part of his lessons! YSA rocks. 

Wednesday: We were in a hurry, and didn't purchase a train ticket. "They never check, it'll be fine," we told ourselves. We're about halfway to our stop, and we hear from the other end of the train, "Alberta Peace Officers, collecting tickets!" We thought, oooooooooooohhhh craaaaaaaaaaaaap. We tried to get off because we were SO GUILTY but the train started moving and we were trapped.... So we sat and waited for our demise. I honestly had no idea how it all works, but apparently, if you get caught without at ticket, you can get a $250 fine and if you don't pay it, there will be a warrant out for your arrest if you ever come back to Alberta. We learned all of this after I tried to give the officer an American $5 in hopes that would pay for our absence of tickets. He let us go on the fact that we're stupid Americans who have no idea how to be adults. I'll take it. But that was terrifying. Our ongoing joke is now, "Hey, remember that time we almost got arrested?" Once we got to where we were going, we were in charge of making the waffles for Waffle Wednesday at the institute building. I have to say, I'm a bomb waffle maker. Later that night, we taught Kelsey about the Law of Chastity, Tithing, and the Word of Wisdom all in one. SHE IS SO SOLID I LOVE IT. We just are working with the best people ever. 

Saturday: We got to help out with the stake Relief Society conference. We helped with set up and  take down and got to attend a few of the workshops. It was seriously such an awesome spiritual experience. I loved it. Later that night, we had a lesson with a recent convert and helped her with some insecurities. Sometimes, people feel like they're not doing enough as a new member. Let me tell you guys. You all rock, whether you were born in the gospel or you've been a member for a week. The gospel is true and it blesses your life no matter the stage you're in. Just keep doing the things you know are right and the Lord will be there. 

And that's all I for right now, because the computer is about to kick me off. WHERE DOES TWO HOURS GO I HAVE NO IDEA!!! But I started knitting again. Sister Dean re-taught me and I'm hooked. Lol, that would be funnier if I'd started crocheting again. I'm so punny. But this week, I knitted a tie and a cat dishcloth. So that was fun. 

Love you all so much! Hope this week is a great one! 

Sister Pipkin 

1) Sarah and I at institute (I'm so short)
2) A jewelry store named after me. NBD
3) Celebrating our one week aneversary with the bae, featuring hot chocolate 
4) Sister Dean and I at the Relief Society conference 
5) We have no salt and pepper shakers. So we collect salt and pepper packets. And at the conference, I collected like 130948039 and am super proud of my contribution to our taste buds

Monday, February 1, 2016

I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello!

The week I almost killed a man

So, this week was pretty sweet. Except for this one experience with this one guy. But I'll talk about that here in a bit. 

Monday, we went to Banff! It was so pretty. The Louders took us and it was so much fun! Enjoy the bajillion photos we took. 

Tuesday, we helped a family move. All I'm going to say is that missions really teach people how to move. Like, no joke. It's crazy. We went on splits in our area with our STLs and it was really sweet. We were able to visit with a family who we haven't been able to get in with our whole time in Airdrie. We also visited our investigators. They talked about some more concerns that they have, and it was actually really cool because on Wednesday, we got to watch a broadcast that answered so many questions they have! So that was a really neat experience. 

Wednesday, like I said, we went to that broadcast. It was a worldwide missionary broadcast and a few of the apostles and other general authorities spoke. They talked a lot about how important the Spirit is in teaching situations. It was really neat to reevaluate how to teach and how to help people feel the Spirit. Because that's what is most important, is when they feel the Spirit. He's the teacher, not us!

Thursday, we had a couple lessons with some less active members. It's neat to see how the Lord works. We studied some talks and scriptures that we were able to use in our lessons that totally applied to these people's personal situations. Probably one of my favorite things about being a missionary is being able to get to know people and help them rely on their Saviour, to help them grow their faith. IT'S SO MUCH FUN. We also had supper with this cute family of six boys. I just love them to pieces. One of them drew a picture of he and I on Sunday, we're passing out copies of the Book of Mormon together. Naturally, I had to get a photo with all of them. Bunch of cuties. 

Friday, we went to the mission home for a meeting. Sister Durrant is going to be training next transfer! So we had a meeting for that, and even though I'm not training, a lot of the things that were talked about are so applicable to just being a missionary in general. It was a really uplifting meeting. Even though the fact that Sister Durrant is training means that I am most likely going to be transferred, and that makes me sad. But it was a sweet meeting. Then we went to the senior's center, and they asked me to play the piano for the entertainment. Seriously, being able to play the piano has been such a blessing on my mission. I literally use it like all the time. 

And now for the big story.
On Thursday, we received a call from a guy who got a card a while back. He seemed so interested in our church and asked us to meet him at Tim Horton's that night so we could talk more about it. We were so excited. This never happens! So we got our ward mission leader to come with us, and we set up a time to meet him that night. Let's just say his name is John, for the sake of this email. We get to Timmy's and we see that John has brought a friend with him. John and his friend had brought their big bibles, their articles that they had researched, and their own copies of the Book of Mormon. It looked more like an ambush than a discussion to me. We figured we'd start out by explaining that as missionaries, we invite people to learn more about Christ and His restored gospel, but only if they want to. We don't like wasting our time bashing. So anyways. He threw down and we tried to just calmly explain what we actually believed. It didn't really work. Luckily our ward mission leader has had lots of experience with people who like to bash, so he helped us get out of that situation pretty fast. But after that happened, I was pretty upset. Not because anything he said had shaken my testimony, but who the heck did he think he was, coming in and telling me what I believer? No. That didn't fly. If anything, the things he said made my testimony stronger. It made me more determined to let people know that this gospel is true, and nothing Satan can come up with will ever change that. 

You guys, I love this gospel with all my heart. Yesterday in relief society, the teacher shared a quote that talked about how our sacrament meeting attendance is directly related to our personal conversion. And then I thought about how every Sunday, my whole life, my parents always went to church. and they always made us go, too. And I was like, wow. My parents are awesome. I am so blessed. But it's so true. As we do the things the Lord asks us, we are SO blessed. Gah. It's awesome. 

Hope everyone has a great week! I love you all!!

<3 Sister Pipkin