Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Last Zone Conference and Last goodbyes (for now!)

This week we had zone conference, and I, along with three other sisters I came out with and am now serving with, realized that it would be our last one. So that was sad. I played the guilt trip card with them during the testimony meeting and made them all go up and bare testimony after me because it's our last one. They'll thank me later(: 
But at the close of the conference, I had to say a lot of final goodbyes, at least for the next year or so. A lot of missionaries I've become friends with won't be home for another year, so I did the best I could with a good handshake for "K, see you next year!" Rough. That was rough. 


Monday: Was another day of goodbyes. We went into Lethbridge for shopping because everything in Raymond was closed for the Long Weekend, and I ran into a bunch of other missionary friends, that while it was good to see them, goodbyes sucked. Again. Gosh dang it. 
As we were walking into WalMart, a member walked up to us and handed us a $50 and said, "Here, Sisters, it's all I've got!" 
Oh my heck, so sweet. I can't believe the kindness of the members. 
And it was such a blessing because as we're checking out, Sister Brignone turns to me and goes, "I forgot my wallet." So that really saved us!

Tuesday: We helped Sister steed harvest and process some garden produce, carrots, and beets. Everyone here is so into gardens. It almost makes me want to have a garden when I go home. Almost. 
We got lunch with our district, and then visited the Ackroyd's. Their 9-year-old daughter has a friend that apparently wants to be baptized, so we went over to talk about how we can start working with her and her parents. Our ideal goal is to teach the whole family instead of just the daughter. It makes retention so much easier when they have the support of their whole family. 
We had a lesson with Kendra and talked about setting goals to help her go to the temple, and then we started walking to another appointment we'd set up. Our route took us past the school, but we didn't know everyone was letting out of school at that exact moment. It took us 20 minutes to get around the block because of all the little kids running up and hugging us and yelling out their bus window at us. I felt like I was on the Red Carpet or something! Missionaries are like celebrities in this town, I just love it. I'll definitely miss that. 

Wednesday: We had a meeting with Brother Bridge, our stake mission leader, and talked about how all the missionary work is going in the stake. He's so awesome and dedicated to helping the work progress. Plus, he and his wife have us over for lunch every other Wednesday. :D 
We then spent a while practicing music for zone conference and for a musical number on Sunday. I was asked to put together a number with the sisters from our zone, and we did Come Thou Fount, so we worked on parts. And then Sister Brignone and I were asked to do a musical number in church on Sunday, so we practiced for that. That was actually a pretty cool story. I've been thinking for weeks now about doing a musical number, but we cover four wards and I just wasn't sure how to make it work or who could play piano or anything like that. And then the other night, Sister Smith in the 10th ward who's the music coordinator calls us and says, "Sisters, I feel weird asking you this, and it's okay if you say no, but do either of you sing? Can you sing on Sunday? I'll play the piano and I can play anything you want, but will you sing on Sunday? I just feel like I needed to ask you." HECK YEAH WE SING!!! So we put together a piece and started working on it with her Wednesday evening. 
We had a ward BBQ for 4th ward, and one of our less-actives came! We were pretty excited about that because she hasn't been out for a while. Slow and steady(: 

Thursday: Was our zone conference. Oh my goodness, I wish I could copy and paste the notes I took because it was just so amazing. I love zone conference. I love President and Sister Miles. I love other missionaries and feeling the Spirit and sharing testimony one with another. I just love it. 
Our musical number went well. Kind of.... Our practices that morning went really well, and we had 10 sisters singing 4 parts, and I was super stoked. But I didn't think we'd be able to get the key changes without someone playing our parts, so we got the Senior Sister to play for us, but she didn't get there early enough to practice with us. So we just got up and sang our song, and she was missing half of the music! So part of it was a train wreck, but part of it was really good. It went pretty well. :D 

Friday: Was grandparent's day at Good Sam's, so we played some games with them about grandparents and families, and then had banana cream pie cake. Mmmm. 
There's a couple in our stake called as LDS Services missionaries that run the Addiction Recovery Program, and they invited all the missionaries over for a brief seminar on it to better learn how to teach our investigators about using the Atonement, not just in overcoming addictions, but for everything we are to overcome in life that we're faced with. That was really neat to learn more about and realize that any challenge we've been given in this life is for our learning, but we can't do it all on our own. We have to accept Christ and allow Him to help us. 

Saturday: Was a little bit crazy. We started out trying to help a family side their house, but there was a bit of miscommunication, and the dad wasn't there to tell us what to do, so we couldn't really do much. His wife gave us cupcakes for our trouble, though. It was pretty funny because a set of elders rode their bikes to Raymond from Magrath. That's a good 15-minute car ride. And it was windy. Sucks to be them. 
We got lunch and then Sister Scoville called and asked if we could come help in their garden. We were already in service clothes, and we've been trying to work with their less-active son, so this proved to be a good opportunity. And then they fed us after. 
It might sound like I'm getting fed really well here. That's because I am. Don't be surprised when you see them roll me off the plane when I come home. #Fatty4Lyfe #SorryNotSorry 
We rehearsed one last time with Sister Smith for our musical number, and then we weekly planned, since we didn't get to do that on Thursday. Then we got asked to come help move a piano. And by that, I mean we supervised. We got there and they still had to go get the piano, and the husband jokingly said, "You can stay behind and clean our kitchen if you want." Now, I hate weekly planning, so I used that as an excuse to take a break from it. We cleaned their kitchen. :D

Sunday: We had way too many meetings to be at, so we went on splits. We got the Tatlow girls to come with us, I went with Shayla for the day, and Emma went with Sister Brignone. I should've taken a photo... dang. Anyways, those girls are troopers. 7 1/2 hours of church is not for the faint of heart, especially on your first time going on splits with the sisters. Bless their souls. 
Our musical number went really well. I got a video of us practicing a few days ago, I'll try to send it. 
We had supper with the Cahoons in the 4th ward, and their 10-year-old girl was quite the connoisseur of bad jokes. Funny jokes, but only if you understood the punchline, which I didn't half of the time. 
We attended a YSA broadcast that Elder and Sister Cook spoke at, broadcasted from Washington D.C. there were a few things that I loved from their talks that I felt I can apply to these last few weeks of missionary work, but also to my next life when I go home, the After-Mission Life. :P
1) The best medicine for loneliness is work and service on behalf of others. How true is that! Every time I serve someone, I feel SO GOOD! After helping that family clean their kitchen the other day, I was ready to go out and clean the whole world's kitchens!
2) "Being sincerely Christlike is an even more worthy goal than being authentic." -Quentin L. Cook. He applied this to social media and how we interact with others on it, but I think it applies to every aspect of our interaction with others, especially with those who know and identify us as members of the Church. 
2) Focusing on the temple will help you achieve worthy and righteous goals you have set for yourself. 'Nuff said. 

And that's my spiritual thought for the week. It's been so good seeing the Lord bless my life. I love being a missionary. It's so amazing. 
Love you all!

<3 Sister Pipkin 

1) All the sisters at zone conference, including Sister Miles! 
2) Elder Robbins and. We're BFF's and he just got transferred to B.C. Ignore Elder Mahoney photobombing us. 
3) Sister Romney and I. No goodbyes here, yet, I just love her a lot
4) Elder Jones complained that I'd taken a photo of everyone else but him (even though we already have a photo) so I took one. He makes me look short. Really short...
5) My MTC trio reunited, Sister Anthian, Sister Trimble, and I 
6) The beauty of Southern Alberta
7) The ARP couple that we met with, their last name is Karren. Pronounced Karen. They have a little African doll that said, Karen. #Goals

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