Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Weekly e-mail #3 First Week in the San Diego Mission. Lots of firsts and getting to know.

Well, the wind just got knocked out of my sails. I was so excited to use a computer that wasn't at the MTC so that I could send you pictures, but the computers at the library don't have the software to plug the camera straight into the computer. I'd have to have a flash drive. But even if I had a flash drive, how would I get the pictures onto the flash drive from my camera? I'd have to use the computer, which I can't. BUM! I'm so annoyed. Man....... (Mom, especially because I'm wearing my companions cardigan and it's animal print and I wanted to show you a picture. Oh well, I guess.)
So, I'm in the field! That's a crazy thought. I've been here a week. The day we got here was relaxing, except that we had to get up at 3 am to get here. But that's okay. I got to take a nap, which was HEAVENLY! We met President Clayton and his wife and got some orientation done from the assistants. It was cool. Most of the 15 sisters that came (15 sisters and 9 elders came into the mission this transfer. Cool, huh?!) stayed with the sisters from the Mormon Battalion. They all live in this one apartment complex together. I stayed with a Sister Riggs and Sister Rasmussen. The next morning all of the new missionaries were given a tour of the Mormon Battalion and then we went off to the church building where transfer meeting was.
Transfer meeting was so exciting! Before all the transfers were announced and people started moving around all of the new missionaries stood up and introduced ourselves. When it was my turn I stood up, turned around (because we were in the front two rows) and said "My name is Sister Bishop and I'm from Austin, Texas". There was a little bit of excitement from the fellow Texans in the crowd, but most of the excitement was from Elder Gavin Brown! He's Bishop Monzingo's grandson. He was flipping out! He said " I KNOW HER!" and everyone laughed. That was really cool. I was going to write him a letter  to tell him that I got called to the same mission, but I forgot. Oops. It was a fun surprise. I met Sister Sorensen, the daughter of the Sorensen's that just moved into your ward. I didn't really get to talk to her much, but she was so excited to see me and she was really nice and she gives really big, tight hugs. =]
My companion is Sister Brown from Midway, Utah. She has been out for about 8 months. She was called as a Mormon Batallion sister, but was taken out just to train me! She'll probably be out here for two transfers. She is way cute and really funny. But the best part is that she's a good missionary. She follows all the rules. She's obedient, which is great to have as an example. I am obedient, too, and I wanted a trainer that was really good. I got one! Opa!
Our area is the Chula Vista 3rd ward. We're white washing it. The elders that were in the ward before us were serving in Chula 2nd, too. They didn't have a lot figured out in 3rd, so Sister Brown and I are having to do a lot of work to get appointments. We have a car, by the way. I think all the sisters have a car. It's nice because we don't live in our area. We live in an apartment complex where a ton of other missionaries live. That's cool because we can get things when we need them and we play morning sports during our exercise time. Not always, though, because Sis Brown and I actually want to exercise. Which is needed a lot, because gaining weight is really easy on a mission.
So, The District, from the church is a mission training tool done by the church. The first one was in San Antonio, TX and the second (The District 2) is in San Diego, CA. I'm from TX and was living in the first mission and now I'm serving in the 2nd! Cool, huh? That's not all. For all those that know The District 2, I LIVE IN THE DISTRICT!!! Legit. I see the names of missionaries that were filmed in my area book frequently. Alejandra from the film is in my area and she's still not baptized. Jynx is in the stake and apparently she's moving to Chula 3rd which means she'll be mine and Sis Brown's investigator. There's this one clip we watch a lot about her being invited to read the Book of Mormon from Elders Moreno and Christensen. She still hasn't read it. Bum.
 So, a couple of cool things that I've seen/learned since I've been out:
I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON! President Clayton gave us all a Book of Mormon with topics and colors for each time we read it. So I'm reading it looking for all of the references to Jesus Christ. I highlight them in yellow. I started from the introduction and read all of the testimonies. It was so cool. As I was reading I was being taught what a miracle  it is that we even have the Book of Mormon. I am so grateful for it! I just want to tell everyone I know that it is the BEST BOOK EVER and they will want to read it because it will change their life.
Miracles happen every day when I expect it and look tot he Lord for help. This one time Sister Brown and I were trying to know what to do. We were trying tovisit some inactives/former investigators. Long story short, we waved at a man on a bike. He came over to see who was waving and he saw our tags and knew we were mormon missionaries! His brother is a member and has been since 1968 or something like that. He has a son that we met. I gave his son, Taylor, a Book of Mormon with a challenge to read Joseph Smith's testimony so that we can talk about it after the dinner we're supposed to have with him on Wednesday. We were really hoping that we could teach Bro Davies (that's his name) and his son, but we think that they live outside of our area, so we can only teach them once. Bummer.
Another time, we were trying to find this ladies apartment. We found a potential investigator in the process. We were buckling down to find her apartment again when we saw her and her husband walking away. We didn't know it was her, though. Sis Brown said "maybe that's her!" so we called her name and she turned around! The Spirit told us to call after her. She's a less active and her husband isn't a member, but he was really nice. We're going there tomorrow to give a lesson. We're definitely seeing the Spirit help us as we go about trying to build up the kingdom of God in Chula Vista 3rd ward. Sometimes we have to make an extra effort, and that's good.
Hey, I want Todd to tell Thatcher that on March 23rd I was wishing Thatcher a happy birthday. I also thought about his baptism and Tate's blessing. I saw some adorable pictures. How was it? Completely awesome!?
Brindie, I hope you heard that I said happy birthday. I was thinking about you on the 19th.
And once again, Happy Birthday, Kelsey!!! I hope you got my letter!
HEY EVERYONE! YOU CAN EMAIL ME NOW! Please, email me? At least a little bit. It's exciting for me to get email. =D Letters are fun, too. But we only get them on P-days. So, once a week I get to hear from all the people I love. Help make it count? Hee hee.
Well, I love you, Mom and Dad! I'm excited to hear more about what's going on in your life. =]
-Sister Audrey Bishop

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I have arrived in San DIego! Me, My mission president and his wife!

              I have arrived in San Diego! My Mission President and his wife already love me.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekly email #2 I leave the MTC tomorrow!

I leave the MTC tomorrow! I can hardly believe it! And I can't wait. Seriously. I'm glad I didn't have to learn a language so I'd have to be here forever and ever and ever and etc... This week was still emotionally draining, but I made it through. I had lots of ups. Sister Memmott and I have taught about 11 times, and I think that each time we get better. It's exciting to testify to someone that I know the Book of Mormon is true and that God wrote it because they love them. And then sometimes they cry because they feel the Spirit, too. It's an exciting thing. I'm gaining a testimony of obedience, too. I love that. I read something yesterday that I really loved. It's in Jacob 4, verses 6-7 and part of 12. I love that it says that as we study the scriptures we will be blessed with revelation and our faith will become unshakable and we can do all things in the name of Christ, whatever it is that He needs us to do. And then in verse 7 it says that we can do it by His grace. In verse 12 there is one part that says "for why not speak of the atonement of Christ". I LOVE that!!!! I mean, why wouldn't we speak of the atonement of Christ to all people? All the time? It's the reason we can come back to live with our Heavenly Father and it's the best thing EVER! 
Mom and Dad, thanks for the Dear Elders! They are such blessings. Oh, and MOM! Thank you for including what people commented about my email. I love reading their responses. A few things about things I read :
CONGRATULATIONS to Sarah Phelps for getting her mission call to Brazil! She is going to be one amazing Hermana! 

CONGRATULATIONS to Kelsey Marie Edwards for getting her mission call to Alabama Birmingham. 4 sisters in my district are going to that EXACT mission. They're all great, and one of them is from Texas! I'm going to try to write letters to these lucky people, but it's not that likely today because we have to pack because we're leaving at 5 am.
Mom, please try to include the picture Natalie posted on my wall. And tell her to write me. And I love her. And I miss her. Could you tell Andrew Zimmerman to write me? He should. And Emilie Aitken. 
I don't think I have anything else to write. I can only send you pictures if I buy some kind of transfer thing from the bookstore, I think. Which is annoying. So you'll probably have to wait until next week. I'll keep trying, though. 
Just for information, even though they block out 8 hours for us to sleep every night, it takes me a little while to fall asleep and then once I am sleep it's not very restful and I always feel like I'm awake by the time my alarm goes off. I cannot wait until I'm FINALLY exhausted enough that I just fall asleep when my head hits my pillow. 
p.s. Happy Birthday to Mckenzie Moline on the 16th. And Happy upcoming birthday to Kelsey Marie on the 26th. 
I love you, Mom and Dad! I can't wait to hear from you again! I'm almost in San Diego!!!!! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekly email #1 I'M A MISSIONARY!!!! I can hardly believe it!

Dear family and all else who reads this email, I'M A MISSIONARY!!!! I can hardly believe it! It's amazing and crazy and hard and wonderful and mind-blowing. I've been in the MTC for 5-ish days. Almost a week. I got here on Wednesday and I got my travel itinerary on Friday. That was weird. We just got here and they're already shipping us out. I'm the travel leader for all of the missionaries going to San Diego from the MTC on March19th. Basically it means I assign people companions if their compaion isn't already going and make sure we get there safely. I was feeling special until I realized my name was first in alphabetical order. Oh well. I'll make sure everyone gets there safely.
Thank you, Mom and Sis Balley for the Dear Elder letters! Those are awesome! They are just as good as a regular letter in the MTC. So, keep it up as long as I'm here. Sis Balley, thanks for the counsel and reminder that hard things are good for me and that I can do it.
So, about the MTC and my district and stuff: My district is made up of 6 elders and 6 sisters. That is AWESOME! There are so many sisters here right now. Apparently, this Sunday we had 1,154 sisters at Relief Society. I love my district. (Mom, PLEASE tell Neil (or at least make sure he reads this email) that my district/branch is 47. Please. It will make his day.) Of us six sisters, five are 19 and one is 20. We all get along. One of them, Sis Woomer is from McKinney, so I'm like "whoo! Texas!". But reverently, because I'm a missionary now. My companion's name is Sis Memmott. She's from Farmington, UT and we get along great! Our branch pres, President Whetton, assigned senior companions by last name alphabetically, so I'm the senior companion this week and starting Thursday Sis Memmott will be the senior companion. Oh, all of the sisters in my district are in the same room, which is cool, except it was made for 4 people, not 6. They just stuck an extra bunk bed in there. That's okay, but there's not enough room for all of our stuff. We just have suitcases all over the place. It's great. Ha.
More about the MTC this time: We wake up at 6:30 and then have 30 minutes to get ready before being in the classroom for companionship study/inventory. Can I just tell you that 30 minutes is NOT ENOUGH TIME to do EVERYTHING THEY ASK US TO! They tell us to bathe daily, wash our hair frequently, shave our legs, wear make-up, do our hair etc etc. I barely have time to wash my face, brush my teeth and get dressed! And then we get back at 9:30 and we have to have companionship inventory and then get ready for bed all before 10:15 when we have quiet time to reflect and write in our journals, pray etc. There is just no time to do everything they tell us to. It's frustrating because I'm trying to obey with exact obedience, but I can't because they don't give us enough time! Yesterday after Relief Society they had a new sister meeting where they went over dressing rules. They also talked about grooming. I felt like I spent half an hour being chastised on something I'm trying to do but can't because they DON'T GIVE US ENOUGH TIME. It was so hard. I had a breakdown and cried and cried at the beginning of personal study. The sisters in my district patted my back and talked about how hard it was, validating my feelings. Today is P-day, s I've had ample time to FINALLY DO EVERYTHING THEY WANT ME TO, and it feels so good.
My teachers are AWESOME! It's funny because they all work at BYU and I've seen people I know/recognize. One of my zone teachers was in my Math 110 class last year. And he remembered me, too. That was awesome. Sis Hardy and Bro Lyman are my classroom teachers. Theya re both so full of great ideas and information and they teach with the Spirit like crazy good. Sis Hardy pretends to be an investigator she met on her mission, Kristine, that Sis Memmott and I have taught twice. Our first lesson was pretty bad. We have to work on teaching simply and with the spirit. The second lesson went a LOT better. This one time in class she was pretending to be the missionary and I was role-playing Kristine. She did such an amazing job of teaching with the spirit and relating it to "me", that I was crying so hard! I even got her to cry, which apparently she doesn't do very often. It was so touching. I felt that the church is true, the BOM is true, and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. If I were an investigator, I would have committed to baptism, for sure. OH! This was cool, another teacher, Brother Starkie, that everyone loves, told us that the only reason we wouldn't invite someone to commit to baptism on the very first lesson is because we care more about ourselves than them. WOW. Also, he said that as soon as we stop teaching hte gospel simply and start adding on with our knowledge we stop teaching the gospel of Christ and start teaching the philosophies of men mingled with scripture. It was crazy inspiring.
We went to the temple this morning. The session was FULL of missionaries. There were about 10 people there that weren't missionaries, which was good because we need them.It was awesome being at the temple as a missionary. I've only been to the Provo temple to do baptisms for the dead, so it was a really neat experience. We took a district picture yesterday on our temple walk. I hope to have more time next week to send pictures. I don't have time to take very many. We can't take pictures in our classroom, which is where we spend most of our time.
I've seen Dakota Barber a few times! We got a picture in the laundry room today. It is SO COOL seeing him. I never thought I would see him in the MTC. Never thought I would be on a mission the same time as him. I've seen a few more people I know. It's great. Go missionaries!
My time is dangerously close to being up. I can't wait to email you again next week, this time hopefully with pictures! I love you! -Sister Bishop

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

 Here I am taking off at the airport and saying goodbye to my mom
 and Dad. Parting was such sweet sorrow.
 Here I am not looking back. I am so excited for my mission.
Another photo with Mom. As it turned out, I spent more than 5 hours in the airport. My plane wasn't working and they had to get another one, but, I am not sad about it at all because I was taken under the wing of a former mission president taking my same flight and he took me around the airport, introducing me to various people telling them that I was on my way out to serve a mission for my church and I could tell them about the gospel. In this way I was able to give away a copy of the Book of Mormon to a young lady that lives in my parent's neighborhood. They will be contacting her and sharing more with her.

Friday, March 1, 2013

It's the Friday before I leave on my mission! And those of you who have been on a mission know that means I have my MTC PO box number now. So I'm posting the address that anybody can write me at until March 19th.

Sister Audrey Michelle Bishop
MTC Mailbox # 117
CA-SD 0319
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

After March 19th I'll receive letters at this address:

Sister Audrey Michelle Bishop
California San Diego Mission
7404 Armstrong Pl
San Diego, CA 92111-4912

Also, I love sticking photos in my posts, so here's a picture Natalie took during my mission photo shoot. Natalie takes wonderful pictures!