Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What the heck?! I've been in Chula Vista for 6 weeks already?!?! I can hardly believe it. We just got transfer calls. I'm staying, but
we got news that we will be getting another sister in our companionship. I'm a little nervous. I hope I can get excited.  Sister Brown thinks I might finish her training after she goes back to the battalion. Whatever happens, I'll keep working. I want to be a great missionary. 

We have been making sure great progress with the Gray family. When we first met Scott he said he wasn't ready for the discussions, and now he's keeping commitments. When the whole Gray family walked in to church this Sunday, dressed in their Sunday best, Sister Brown and I both couldn't help but feel Heavenly Father's love for them. I hope I get to attend their sealing one day. Their family is going to be eternal. It is in God's plan. 

Ana Defiori, our investigator with a date for May 25th, came to church this Sunday! We were super excited! We have been waiting for this for a few weeks. She brought her 4-year-old daughter that already has a friend in primary, and her 8-month-old daughter that the Relief Society president helped hold so that Ana could pay attention. The ward is reaching out to her, and it is awesome. Ana's husband, John, is anti-Mormon. He lets her meet with us, but she's really worried about what he'll say when she tells him she's going to get baptized. Sister Brown offered a priesthood blessing, and she wanted it. Our bishop and ward mission leader gave her a blessing. It was powerful and exactly what she needed! It is absolutely amazing to see her testimony grow. We taught her the Word of Wisdom yesterday and she had been a little nervous about giving up coffee, but she said she would do it. She knows that she needs to be baptized and is willing to do everything to get there. 

As I've been reading the Book of Mormon I have been noticing that the things they teach in the Book of Mormon are exactly what we teach as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!!! In Mosiah 18 they talk a lot about being in Christ's church, and how baptism is how they become a member. They have to be baptized by someone holding the authority of God or it isn't complete. Alma the elder tells all of the ordained priests and teaches to teach nothing but repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, which is exactly what we teach as missionaries. Also in a later chapter it talks about those that teach the people were given power to teach by Alma, who received it from the Lord. It is just so cool. Another thing I noticed is that when we are reading about king Noah and his wickedness, it doesn't mention Jesus Christ nearly as much. That's no coincidence. My testimony of the Book of Mormon increases each day. 

Mom and Dad, THANK YOU SO MUCH! My package was awesome! I've worn all the clothes you sent me already, some of the jewelry, listened to a lot of the CD's, and LOVED LOVED LOVED looking at my new pictures of you! Also, did I tell you that my birthday card was totes presh!? Because it is. I love the ballerina card. SO cute! Oh, and I painted my finger nails and toe nails already with the polish you sent. Basically, that whole package was a blessing. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Loved it all. And I love you, Mom and Dad. =D
Mom, will you forward this picture of me and Grandma and Kristin? In the card they sent for my birthday Grandma was a little bummed I didn't get one of her and me. But I did! Mind you, this picture is almost 2 months old. The 2nd picture is of my district that won't be the same anymore. Elder Sprage, our district leader, went home TODAY. Weird. Two of the sisters are leaving, and Sister Brown and I are going to be in a trio. Man, lots of changes.
The gospel is true and everybody needs it! Spread the love! -Sister Audrey Bishop
v The day I entere the MTC  pictured with Grandma Merril and Kristin Bishop and Hank v

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hello everyone!
As most of you know, I turned 20 this week. Can I just tell you that having a birthday on a mission is the best thing ever! We go to Milkshake Monday at Chick-fil-A every Monday with our district, and yesterday was no exception. It was super great. My district is so awesome. They brought me a card, cookies, and a cake, included with a happy birthday song. So fun. Love them all. <3 After that we went to work!

Felicia Gray is a new member, baptized about 2 months ago. Her family wasn't open to listening to us, but as we came over they listened anyway, and now the father, Scott, is even keeping commitments! On Sunday we talked to their family (including a daughter, Sarah who is 14, and a son, Kyle, who is probably 13) about family prayer and scripture study. Then when we taught them again on Monday night they had already had a family prayer together! There are big miracles happening. 

Monday (yesterday) was just the greatest day. It is week 6 in my training, which means we're learning about the importance of the Holy Ghost in teaching. During our companionship study we discussed ways we could be better at having the Holy Ghost with us, and it was with us all day! We went to the Mormon Battalion with Virginia Borjon, a woman whose husband is a less active and is currently deployed in the Navy. She felt the Spirit there. She really thought it was a neat story. We're hoping to set up more appointments with her to teach her. We have a goal for her to be baptized before her husband comes home in 6 months. Then they can work on going to the temple together! 

We taught Ana Defiori, our investigator that has a baptismal date. We had to move it from May 11th to May 25th because of church attendance and some vacations of hers, but she told us that she is excited to get baptized! We were still waiting on her to know that being baptized is what she needs to do, and she told us in this lesson that she had been thinking about being baptized. We're praying for her husband to come with her to church. He used to be really anti-Mormon, but now he lets her meet with us. 

We taught a less active family a lesson after dinner about the Holy Ghost. Because we had the Holy Ghost with us and were inspired to ask certain questions, they remembered times that were really special to them and they felt close to the Spirit. They agreed to meet with the bishop. 

Probably my favorite part of yesterday (which was my birthday, just as a side note) was the lesson we taught to the Gray's. We knew that we needed either Sarah (the daughter), or Scott (the dad) to pray after our lesson because they needed to know that's how they receive revelation. We showed them the 20 minute restoration video and talked about how the Holy Ghost feels. We invited them to be baptized. All 3 of the non-members there said they weren't ready yet. But the fact that they are investigating the church and are expecting to gain a testimony was a miracle! When Scott said the closing prayer I was praying so hard for him. I was also so excited and happy that he was praying, I couldn't contain the tears. It was such a beautiful thing. 

Missionary work is the Lord's work, of that I'm sure. I am so glad I get to be a part of this. I am becoming a better disciple of Christ as I learn about how to teach to our investigators what they need to know to gain a testimony and know they need to be baptized. The gospel of Jesus Christ is true.
Love everyone! -Sister Bishop

v  Sarah Grey  v
v  Audrey at the Mormon Battalion Visitor's Center v
v  Audrey and fellow mission sisters  v
v  Audrey and fellow mission sisters on P Day  v
v  Audery was well taken care of on her 20th birthday.  v

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Weekly email #6

Hello everyone!!! I hope all is well. I'm doing WONDERFUL!

First off, my birthday is in 6 days. And then I'll be 20. It's my last P-day as a teenager!!! Say what?!?! If people want to send me LETTERS, as opposed to email, go ahead. =D I have a lot of wonderful things planned for my birthday. Lots of work. =] It'll be so good. Last night we had dinner with Bishop Moulton and his family (they are so cool!) and then made me a pie! Like, for my birthday! How they introduced it was Sister Moulton asked me if I liked strawberries. I told her I was allergic. (It's a funny joke to Sister Brown and I to tell people we're allergic to everything when they ask. People ask a bunch. They're very considerate. =]) Then I started laughing because I was kidding, of course. She said, "oh! Because we made you a strawberry pie for your birthday, even though it's early." Wouldn't that have been so bad if I really was allergic to strawberries!? Yikes. They sang to me with a candle and everything. I almost cried, I was so touched. But I didn't. Sister Brown told me later that she said and she thought "baby". I keep telling her that when I cry all the time it's not because I'm a baby, but because I'm sensitive. Maybe one of these days she'll believe me. 

Sorry about the short email last time. I was so excited to send pictures. Also, we have 2 hours to email, but I don't like to take the whole time. I get tired of sitting in front of the computer typing as fast as I can. So...yeah. This week I'm making up for it, though. By the way, does anyone know why I didn't get an email from Julianne this week? Because I want one. 

On Thursday half of the mission took part of a mission conference (the other half did it on Friday) with Elder Scott D Whiting of the 70. That was cool. He taught us how to teach the restoration more effectively. We learned SO MUCH. Being a missionary is awesome, you know? We get to see general authorities all the time. =D As part of our 3 hours spent in the chapel with him, 5 of us were called on to give a talk on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Everyone was told before hand to prepare one. Anyway, I was called on. I definitely need to practice. XD But it was okay. Kind of exciting. Elder Whiting thanked me and said I did a great job, so I guess I'll believe him. 

Have I told you how much I love my district? 'Cause I really do. We have 5 sisters and 4 elders, and we are all awesome. Just sayin'. We had a really good district meeting sharing what we learned at the mission tour and then learning about prayer from our district leader, Elder Sprague. He's going home on April 30th. Too bad, 'cause he's cool. Chula Vista is the place to be. For reals. 

Remember Felicia Gray, the lady that called you? She came out with us on Friday night to try and contact some referrals and former investigators. She was nervous at first because she's brand new to the church, but she ended up having a blast. We didn't teach any lessons, which was a bit of a bummer. When we got back to her house her daughter, Sarah, who is 14 and not a member, asked if we taught any lessons. We said no. She was sorry/sad for us. I said "since we didn't get to teach any lessons, can we teach you?" She said "sure!" Sister Brown and I were so excited because we had asked her, her dad, and her brother, Kyle, if they wanted to get the lessons the Sunday before and they all said no, they weren't ready. But Sarah was totally open to it. Sister Brown, the inspired person that she is, asked what she wanted to learn about. She said "why do the Nephites and the Lamanites always fight?" Guess what! She's been reading the Book of Mormon on her own! She has good friends in YW's and went to a Book of Mormon readathon they had that Sister Brown and I went to a tiny bit of. They started in Alma, because they had read the first part previously, which confused Sarah because she doesn't know the stories. They challenged all the young women to finish the Book or Mormon before girls camp (in June). Sarah is going to girls camp and was trying to finish it. SO AWESOME, right?! Anyway, we answered her question by reading a bunch of scriptures and she thought it was dumb that they fight throughout 1000 years because they had a grudge against the first Nephi. Anyway......we showed her the promise in Moroni 10:3-5. SHE LOVED IT! She thought it was so cool. We committed her to praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true, and she said she would. It was a miracle. A BIG miracle.  So. Cool. 

Sister Brown and I walked one of our investigators dogs for a service. That was kind of fun. =] 

And some thoughts....

I want to love people. The thing I've been praying about is loving the people we serve. It's a lot easier for me to know God loves them than it is for me to feel my own love for them. While my love for them isn't as important as them knowing God's love for them I don't want people to think we're teaching them just because we want them to join the "Mormon" church. I want to be genuine. 

Because of inspiration received during General Conference I am starting to read the New Testament. I realized I didn't know Christ's life in Jerusalem really well, and I wanted to know what He taught. I have been reading it for about a week, and I love it! Yesterday in my personal study I read a lot of miracle that Jesus performed in Matthew. I used to have a hard time understanding Jesus' compassion because the New Testament is so .......dry. But the Spirit was with me as I read and my testimony as Jesus being our Savior and Redeemer, 
was strengthened. I was so grateful for the people that recorded His life so that we would be able to read it. I also read a lot of things from the end of 2 Nephi that had to do with the prophecies of Christ. I love that the people in America knew about Christ coming to the earth to perform the atonement. I love Jesus Christ. I want to be a worthy representative of Him so that people know I am doing His work. I am so grateful to be part of this marvelous work that is hastening. I pray that I can be an effective servant in the Lord's vineyard. 

The gospel of Jesus Christ is true! Love, -Sister Bishop

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Weekly e-mail #5 My first Baptismal challenge--Accepted! Also, squirted by a bedae.

So this week has been good. I asked one of our investigators to be baptized at the end of one of our lessons. She said yes and she has a date for May 11th. THAT is exciting. Sis Brown and I helped a less active lady in our ward, Guadalupe Gonzales, clean up her apartment. Pretty groddy. We were cleaning her bathroom when I accidentally turned on her bedae (I have no idea how to spell that) and water came spurting out of the toilet! It was a little scary. But funny. I didn't mind too much that my shirt was wet. Good thing it was just a t-shirt. We had to go home and shower afterwards.
Mom, Sister Grey called! Yay! She's one awesome lady! She converted after so much........you should ask her. I want to send pictures mostly.
My birthday is 13 days away! =P
Love you all!!!! -Sister Bishop

 Me with dance friends the day I entered the MTC.
 Look at us MTC district Sista's!
 This is my MTC district. They're awesome! Temple Day.
 This picture is awesome! This me and Elder Barber from my Dallas Texas Stake. Really good old friend!

 This is Jaclyn Olsen and I. We were in the MTC for about 5 days together. Conveniently, on the same floor of the same building. That's where our bedrooms were, I mean. Anyway, she was a college roommate from last year.

 This is my MTC companion and I pointing to San Diego! Great picture, hugh?
 Just for Mom. My first animal print willingly worn.

 This is me and Sister Brown on our second day together. I think it was our second day.
 This is most of my district on Milkshake Monday last week. There's the Chick-fil-A in our zone that gives out free chicken nuggets on Monday if you buy a milkshake. Cool, huh?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Weekly email #4 Honorary Member of the Mormon Battalion!

Hey everyone!
First off, Mom and Dad, I want to remind you that my birthday is this month. In 20 days, actually. =P I just don't want you to forget without me constantly nagging you. I'm glad you had a wonderful Easter and that the program went so well. I bet you rocked it, Mom! You sing beautifully! Wish I could've heard it.
Hey, I need box with a lot of things in it.
basketball shorts
black sequin skirt
EFY CD's and Liken CD's
picture of you and dad
This week I went on exchanges. The training sister went with my companion, and I went with Sister Kober's TWO companions. So I left my area. Which was hard, btw. I love being in Chula. But one of Sister Kober's companions was Sister Memmott, my MTC companion! That was awesome. They don't have a whole lot of people to teach in their area, so an hour of our day was dedicated to tracting. I DON'T LIKE TRACTING! It is hard! A born again Christian lady told us to read the last page of Revelations and that she'd pray for us to receive the truth. Yeah........Street contacting is easier.  
Easter was cool. Sister Warner, the RS secretary, had us over to her house for dinner. She had a nice family with some little kids that were into the Easter eggs. The food was yummy. We did resurrection eggs with them afterwards. So I had a good Easter.
 As I was reading through the Book of Mormon this past week, ready to highlight any mention of Christ, I was again impressed with how obedient Nephi is. I was reading, wishing that I could be just like him. Then during a companionship study that we were doing, we read D&C 33:8, which says that if we open our mouths to preach the gospel we can be like Nephi of old!!!! I was so excited!!! Sister Brown can testify to how excited I was. What great news. There's hope for me yet. 

The work is picking up here. We added 5 investigators, all of them formers. I used to be scared about testifying about the gospel so blatantly, but now it's becoming easy. Well, not easy. But I know that's my calling. I can feel some of Heavenly Father's love for His children, and I love it. I want to be as much like Christ as possible, showing God's love for His children, that when people see me and my companion, they know that we are messangers of Christ. I really want to do as much as I can to build up God's kingdom. 
Guess what I got to do today!!! I got to go to the San Diego temple! Can you say B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L?!?!?!?! Wow. Breathtakingly (is that one word?) beautiful. As I was sitting in the temple I realized that general conference is this weekend, which means that 6 months ago I was sitting in the temple waiting to do baptisms for the dead, and Heavenly Father told me to read D&C 4 which is all about missionary work. At the time I thought "that's interesting" and moved on. Little did I know that Heavenly Father was letting me know what was coming. President Monson announced that 19-year-olds could go on a mission and then Heavenly Father told me to go. So here I am, 6 months later, serving in the field. I wear my name and Jesus Christ's every day. I am a representative for our Savior. I can hardly believe it. A lot has happened in 6 months. BIG changes. I am so grateful for them. Never in my wildest dreams (meaning 6 months ago) would I have imagined I would have gone through the Salt Lake temple, have a mission call to one of the most beautiful places on earth,  and be in my first area. All that from one general conference to another. Dang, gina. Life is good.
I love you!!!! The work is hastening, and it is so exciting. -Sister Audrey Bishop