Monday, April 18, 2016

That one time that an Apostle made fun of me..:)

So, Elder Christofferson and Elder Martino of the 70 came to our mission this week. It was probably the coolest thing ever to happen to me. 
On Friday (we're jumping ahead in the week, here) the whole mission gathered for a conference with the apostles. This is a big deal, because our mission is huge and so it never ever happens that the whole mission is gathered together all at once. So anywho, he did a Q&A session with us and I stood up and asked my question: "How do you discern when the Spirit's not there because of something you did or failed to do, versus it just simply not being there for reasons beyond your control?" He said without hesitation in front of the entire Canada Calgary Mission, "It's always your fault." And then everyone laughed for a solid minute, and he laughed, and then his face turned bright red and it was probably the greatest thing ever. Who else can say they've been made fun of by an apostle? He then, after composing himself, actually answered my question. I don't remember what he said exactly because I was still basking in the event that that just happened. :D

Ok, on to the rest of the week. 

Tuesday: We had interviews with President Miles. He's just a wonderfully inspired man. It's always such a treat to be able to talk with him and feel the Spirit that he brings. He always has great advice, and he's funny. Like, he fist bumped me during my interview. Coolest thing. 
We spent a good chunk of time with one of our returning less-actives. She just returned from her mission reunion in Utah and general conference and so she shared all the spiritually uplifting experiences she'd had and we discussed how to implement them into her life so she can continue to feel the Spirit. She then felt really inspired to go tracting with us, so we picked a street and went at it. We didn't have any success of the teaching and baptizing kind, but we did talk to quite a few amazing people who were very kind and had amazing stories, however not interested in our message. 
She then fed us supper and came with us to a lesson we had. She was able to add her testimony to what was being taught and how the principle had blessed her life and shown her the love that the Lord has for her. 

Wednesday: Was BSD. Bermuda Shorts Day. That's the last day of classes for the students on campus, and our institute/church building is right off campus. Basically, lots of people running around half naked drunk out of their minds. So that was interesting. We mostly stayed inside the institute building and helped out with the Mormon version of BSD, where we just had hotdogs and one of the teachers did a magic show. He was actually really good, he does it on the weekends as a side job. 
We made a gift for one of the girls in our ward. Every time we ask if we can do anything for her, she says she'd like a box of kittens. So... we made her a box of kittens. Her reaction was probably the best thing ever. 
We had a lesson with J.R. and taught him the first half of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He says some pretty powerful things that totally bring the Spirit. It's amazing. He's just soaking up everything we teach him and he's recognized things that need to change in his life, even though we haven't taught him any of those lessons yet! He's stellar. 

Thursday: We had lunch at this amazing burger drive-in with Andrea before she left for Utah to enter the MTC this weekend. Saddest/happiest thing ever. She's probably one of my favorite people and it's been a blast having her. But she'll be a stellar missionary. Anywho, sentimental things aside, we took some dope photos. Those burgers were so good. And then we took some cool photos on the outlook over the city. Soooo pretty. Ahh. 
After lunch, we met with a recent convert and got ice cream with her at Wendy's and talked about priesthood power and how it can bless our lives. I joked that women are already really good at serving, so men need the priesthood to teach them how to serve. She laughed, which was a highlight because she never thinks I'm funny. Haha! While at Wendy's, we saw this guy bring a homeless man into Wendy's and buy him a meal and sit and talk with him. The homeless guy was pretty out of it, but I was so touched by this guy's act of kindness, I went up and talked to him. Tried to give him our card and he was all, "Yeah, I'm born-again Christian. Thanks but no thanks." Ahh.... uhh... hehe ok. But then he was nice and talked to us about other things. Yay for random acts of kindness(:

Friday: The guys in charge of the service we do at the gardens threw a BBQ for us for all our help. It was fun to talk with them about all the work that's gone into the gardens. They gave us some of the calendars that they make with the gardens in full bloom. There's even a bench in the garden dedicated to the missionaries because they've been going for years helping out. 
We finished teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to J.R. and emphasized on why it's important to have the Holy Ghost with us. He's so awesome, he was like, "I can feel the Holy Ghost right now." AAAAHHHHH.
We had a few other lessons that night, one at a froyo place and another in the temple parking lot. Soooo cool. Love it. This area is awesome. Who else gets to have lessons at the temple on the daily? :D

Saturday: Was the big day that Elders Martino and Christofferson came. I was asked to conduct the music for the meeting and when I saw how many missionaries there were, I thought I was going to puke all over the back of Elder Christofferson's head. Luckily, that didn't happen. It was fine. And they decided to go without the intermediate hymn so I only had to do it twice. Phew. It was amazing to see so many missionaries I'd served around previously. Like, talk about spiritual high around a bunch of 18-20something year old spiritual giants and a few apostles. So amazing. 
After the meeting, we had lunch with the sisters in our zone and then a lesson with one of our less-actives who's actually doing really great. We're super proud of him. His girlfriend was there when we taught, so maybe she'll want to learn more about the church, too(; 
And then, becasue we're in YSA, we got to go listen to Elder Christofferson speak again. He held an evening fireside for the YSA in Calgary and we got to go. J.R. came and afterwards he says,"Did you guys, like, have a meeting with him before and tell him all the things I needed to hear and have him speak on them? Did you plan this? Because he answered just about all of my questions." AAAAAAHHHHHHHH APOSTLES ARE SO INSPIRED AND AMAZING YAY YAY YAY. He did a Q&A with the YSA, too, and some guy literally asked if Elder Christofferson would give him a blessing. And he said yes. So that happened. 

Sunday: The STL's passed their investigator, Robert, off to us because he's YSA aged. He's pretty cool, he just needs help understanding who Christ is and why He's important. We're working on it:D But during our lesson, his mom made us these flippin' professional lookin/tasting crepes and I about died from excitement. Crepes are so good. These crepes were so good. Aaaaahhhhh *sugar coma*. 
It was quite the day of food, we had a linger longer after church, crepes at Robert's, and supper after that. All of the boom boom boom back to back. Whoo. That was quite the day. But it's awesome, because it means the people like us(: That's what I tell myself, anyways.

So, my mom asked me what my favorite part of being a missionary is, and I thought I'd share what I said. 
The best part about being a missionary... There's so many great and amazing things. I think the hardest part about being home will be that when I see someone struggling with their testimony or needing to be reached out to, it's not really socially acceptable for anyone but missionaries to just drop by, chat for a bit, and then share a spiritual message specific to their needs and talk about how we can help them. I love love love getting to know and love people on that level and missionaries get away with the awkwardness of it because we leave every six weeks and, well... it's our job. 
I love the feeling of belonging with all these missionaries, in my mission and across the world. We all have this relationship that's unlike any other because we're all going through the same things, doing the Lord's work together. Once I'm no longer a missionary, I'll see missionaries walking down the street and freak out because I used to be one of them and they'll be like, "what's wrong with this lady" instead of, "hey another missionary!"
I love being able to be spiritually poured upon every zone conference, interview, district meeting, zone training meeting. Reminded of the love the Lord has for His servants and that we're not alone in this work. 
I love the whole hour set aside for personal study and that nothing comes in the way of that precious time to feast upon the words of Christ and be strengthened for the day.
I love p-day. lol.
I love being out walking and members saying, "Hi sisters!" or, "it's the sister missionaries!" or thanking us for what we do, because heaven knows this isn't easy. 
I love being able to bare my testimony all the time. All the time. People come to us, the confide in us, they trust us, and it's amazing to be able to focus on them instead of myself. 

I know this gospel is true. I'm grateful for it every day. Every day, I pray and say, "I'm grateful for this gospel" and Heavenly Father's probably like, "Yeah yeah you say that every time." But really. Without this restored gospel, I don't know where I'd be. I don't know where my family would be or what purpose we would even have in this life. There wouldn't be a purpose. This gospel is everything. We need it more than we need air. Don't ever think you can do this life without it. I've tried, and it just doesn't work that way. 

Love you all so much! Thanks for all you do(: Hope your week is amazing! 

Sister Pipkin 

1) The amazing crepes
2) Mommy Pipkin with her two little babies(:
3) The cat box we made Aleena. Ft. her actual cat
4,5,6) Us with Andrea at the city outlook. 
7,8) The bench dedicated to missionaires
9) the sisters of the zone after lunch
11) Us with Alicia, one of our amazing members(:

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