Thursday, June 27, 2013

Weekly email #16 The Broadcast

This week has been pretty good. A few weeks ago in zone meeting we were talking about setting a date for someone to meet with the missionaries. Sister Pond, a sister in my district, saw success at setting a date and praying for someone to accept the invitation to be baptized. So she callenged Sister Greathouse and I to do it. So we did. We picked out July 7th as the day that someone would accept the invitation to be baptized. Well, two people did! One has a date and one doesn't yet. The one that doesn't have a date is Alexis Fehoko and her husband and in-laws are less-active. She is really sweet and she's only 20! She has a son that is about 8 months old. Imagine if I was married and had a baby!  I can't even imagine it. I feel much, much too young. Plus, I wouldn't be on a mission. Anyway, she was the first one we found. The next one, with a date, is Alejandra Tavera. Some people reading this might recognize/realize she is from The District 2. Elder Murray and Elder Tuituu were the elders teaching her about the Book of Mormon in the district videos. Anyway........we tried to teach her about 2 months ago and she was in the middle of something crazy and she could not focus on the gospel! But her boyfriend that was holding her up all these years has been kicked out (and found to be  a criminal) and she is so excited to be baptized! She has to quit smoking and kick a boy roommate out of the house. She is set on being baptized onJuly 20th. We taught her last night and she was so fun! She was excited and talkative and much, much better than before! I really love her and I have faith she will be  baptized this time.
 Hey, the broadcast on Sunday was AWESOME! Missionaries giving church tours and using FB to proselyte. Sounds like the work is indeed hastening. I love the scripture in D&C that Julianne shared in her email this week. It is so exciting to be part of the hastening and be a full-time missionary at this time. Sometimes I imagine telling my children someday that I was alive when sister missionaries had to be 21, and I was 19 when they changed the age to 19! I bet it'll be a really good story someday. Anyway, I was really touched and I loved hearing about how members and missionaries can work together to do the rescue and inviting people to come to Christ. Everyone, do as much missionary work as you can! 
Speaking of missionary work...Sometime this past week I was watching the Mormon Message that has to do with Elder Christofferson's talk about seeking the Lord's correction. The phrase that he says "Thank you, God, for cutting me down. Thank you for loving me enough to hurt me." I thought about me and the dreams and aspirations I had before coming on my mission and mostly still have that God told me to put on hold to go serve a mission. I was making a lot of progress in ballet, and I had chose to stop for 2 years because that is what God wanted me to do. I feel like saying, like Elder Christoffersons aid, "Thank you, God, for cutting me down. Thank you for loving me enough to hurt me." I LOVE being a missionary! Sometimes it's hard, but it is so rewarding. I learn a ton of things from studying for investigators. And like it says in John 15:2, the people that are doing good are going to be "purged". We get trials so we can grow. Sarah Markle reminded me in an email that one time on a thankful turkey I made in freshman year I wrote that I was thankful for "opportunities to grow". Heavenly Father sure has given me a lot of them! And not just me, He gives them to His children. He loves us.
Last night we went to dinner at the Keeler's. We had helped them move into a new house in the ward a few weeks ago. They had us over, the Lewis' and the Eynon's. We shared a message about "Why trials" based off of John 15:2 and 4 and we had a really good discussion about how we're blessed from these "opportunities to grow", or "qualifications" as one of our memebers says. Then after the lesson they asked what I was going to sing. They might have been joking, but I said I would sing if they really wanted me to. So we went into their beautiful room with a piano and Sister Eynon played "When He Comes Again" and I sang along. It was wonderful to sing! And kind of fun to perform. =P I have really, really, really enjoyed singing lately, and I think I realized why I enjoy it more now than I did before my mission. I used to dance all the time, but I can't really do that now. But I can sing! I still loved it before my mission, but now that dancing, the other thing I love and probably even more than singing, is not an option, I put more into singing. It's really fun. =D Anyway, that's about all I have today. I love being a missionary! I am so grateful for this opportunity to grow and invite others to come unto Christ. The gospel is so, so true. I love that I know that. It has blessed me life immensely and will continue to do so.
Love, -Sister Bishop
Hey Mom, can you see if you can subscribe to Kelsey's blog emails or something like that? She said it's possible. Maybe you can ask Sister Edwards how to get my email subscribed. I heard from her. I'm SO excited for her. And mom, I'm SUPER glad you got to have lunch with Sister Edwards! Tell her I love her!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Weekly email #15 More- list of blessings

I had some more time, so I thought I'd write you a little bit more. Sometimes I miss BYU a lot. And you. I don't miss the snow, though. I know it's not snowing there, but I still don't miss it. We taught a lesson yesterday off of Alma 37:6-7 and tied in small blessings that bring great things. We challenged the family to count their blessings right then, and I had to name 10. Here's my list of 10 blessings from Heavenly Father:
1. My testimony. The things that I know to be true.
2. The temple. It is the best thing ever. In the Preparing To Enter The Temple pamphlet, it says that we organize everything in the church in the church buildings, except for families. We organize those in temples, because they are sacred. (and I get to go next week!)
3. Being able to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep. I've been sleeping pretty darn great since I got here, and since Sister Greathouse has a hard time sleeping at night, I've realized it's a big blessing.
4. Health and strength. I may have gained weight, but I can still exercise in the morning and I don't need naps during the day.
5. My family. The more I'm away from my family the more I appreciate and love my family.
6. My friends. I love the friends I've made through the years, especially when I stay in touch with them. (namely you)
7. DANCE. I miss it so much. But I do some interprative dance sometimes during lunch hour when my food is heating up. I don't dream about dancing anymore, but I used to. I feel so blessed to be able to move in a way that provides beauty and meaning. Not to mention that I feel close to Heavenly Father when I do it.
8. That I was called on a mission. Heavenly Father has trusted me to preach His gospel! Wow!
9. Going to BYU and majoring in dance. I've always wanted to go to BYU and be a dance major, and as I worked toward it Heavenly Father blessed me immensely.
10. Emotions. I really am grateful that when I'm happy I'm SUPER happy and that I cry sometimes. I don't mind it at all.
I hope you can tell I fell blessed. Maybe make your own blessing list. It feels good. I love you so much. -Sister Audrey Michelle Bishop

Weekly email #15 Learning Experiences

Last week on Wednesday we had transfers. Sister Brown went back to the MoBat, and she had to be there at 8 for the Battalion transfer meeting, so we didn't get to exercise that morning. Anyway, she left and got her new companion, and I was just worried what it was going to be like with just Sister Greathouse and I. I said good-bye to Sister Brown/my trainer, and my emotions were so mixed up. It was hard to be trained, probably because I was so proud (not that I'm the most humble person now or anything, but I'm getting better) and so my relationship with Sister Brown was strained. We had good times, and I especially loved her when I served her, but as far as missing her, I don't really. That could be a good thing. She was a good trainer. I learned to be obedient, which is what I wanted my trainer to teach me.
After the MoBat transfers Sister Greathouse and I drove some of the new sister missionaries over to the church building where we transfers were held. Before that though, President Clayton saw me and asked me how I was, and I told him I was scared. He asked why, and I told him it was because two newly trained missionaries were going to be together in an area, and he told me that Heavenly Father knows what he's doing and there's a reason I'm still in Chula 3rd with Sister Greathouse. I started crying because I needed to hear that, and Sister Greathouse gave me a hug. President Clayton said he would give me a hug, but he has to wait for the airport. Apparently he hugs the Sister missionaries at the airport on their way home. Except his mission will end before mine, so that will never happen. Anyway, it was a nice thought.
Being with Sister Greathouse has been a little challenging. Mostly I want to talk more than she does in lessons so I have to make sure to let her take her turn. It was weird because with Sister Brown she was the talkative one, and now I am. I think I just fill in the holes depending on what kind of companion I have. Also, Sister Greathouse didn't feel well on Thursday AND Sunday, so we didn't teach any lessons both days. We still got 20 lessons in last week, so that's good. We don't have any investigators with a baptismal date, and the ones we do have will probably take awhile.
Hey loved ones,
First off, next week I get to go to the temple again! We get to go every 90 days. I CANNOT WAIT. So I'll be emailing later in the day. That's all. 
We had zone conference on Friday. Elder Nichols, an elder serving in Don's ward, gave me two pictures Don had printed out, one of them signed by Don, Laila, and Rose saying "We love you, Audrey!" Don, I cannot tell you how happy I was to get those. It made my day and I showed everyone. Thanks for having the foresight to give those to Elder Nichols to give to me. It was SO GREAT!
  Also at zone conference we were doing a role play and I was pretending to be an investigater we had just barely added, when Sister Pond (a sister in my district) mentioned baptism as part of Heavenly Father's plan of salvation, and I was so happy! It felt like Alexis wanted to be baptized, even though she didn't know what it was. It reminded me of when I was in the MTC practicing the baptismal invitation for the first time and I felt the Spirit so strong and I cried just a tiny bit. (I don't mean to equate feeling the Spirit with crying. I know I don't have to cry to feel the Spirit. But I'm so emotional that usually I cry when I feel the Spirit really strongly) There is such a spirit that comes with the invitation to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized! If people truly understood what it means to be baptized (that we are keeping God's commandments and allowing ourselves to be on the road to live with Heavenly Father again) and the blessings that come from it, I think they would all join. But the spirit has to teach them, and sometimes they're not ready to feel/listen to it. It makes me sad, but I just have to move on and keep working.
Mom, you sent me the words that are from some youtube video when I was in the MTC. Something like "Dear Elder". I finally read it this week. It was so good. It helped me get excited to find more people to share the gospel with.
Does anyone know if Landon Swalberg is in the MTC yet? I think he is. And if so, is he in the Brazil one? Yesterday (June 17th) was Zach Swalberg's birthday. Mom, would you please call Sister Swalberg and ask her to tell Zach that I was thinking about him on his birthday? I even sang him happy birthday, not that he could hear it. I really hope he had a happy 20th birthday. Does anyone know if Ben Hathcock got his mission call yet? If so, where to?
Mom, is there anyway you could find Jenny (or Jeniffer) Kellis's facebook on my account and ask her to tell her mom my address? Or ask Jenny for theirs. I really want to write a letter to Sister Kellis, but I don't have her address. I think it's 9 Appaloosa Way, in Carlisle PA, but I don't know the zip code. Starts with a 0, I think. Anyway.......
Dad, did Brother Carlseen call you and wish you a happy father's day for me? I told him that I started crying when the primary children went up to sing for fathers day because I missed you, and he offered to call our dads. I was thinking about what a great dad you are, all the father's blessings you given me, the way you always pop my back when I give you a hug, how you like to saute mushrooms and poblanos and listen to funky old guy music when you do it. =P I was thinking good things. I love you, Pops. I hope you got my card.
Mom, could you google Australian Perth (Pirth) mission and the song "My Lord My God"? You know, the song that I love singing where the female does the alto part during some of it? I'm pretty sure you can download the song for free. If you want to print it off and send it to me, I'll do it for one of our mission president firesides. It'll be sweet.
We took Robert, one of our investigators to the MoBat on Saturday. He really liked it because he likes facts and history, but he also liked it because it's fun and way cute. He was smiling and laughing the whole time. There was this one time when a 5 year old dressed up like a soldier and her name was Annie. Sister Harris, the missionary that took us on the tour, was trying to hand Annie the guy to hold and she wasn't looking, so she said "Annie, get your gun", and it was SO FUNNY! Love musical references. Robert is still having a hard time feeling the Spirit and learning because it's essential to his salvation instead of just interesting. But we're praying how to help him.
I think I'm just about done with my email. It's longer than last time, so I hope you liked it.
I love you, family!
-Sister Bishop
p.s. Sister Greathouse found me reading the Ensign with the root beer in my hand and she wanted to take a picture, so I let her. I thougth it was funny.
The second picture was taken behind the MoBat at a missionary/investigator gathering thing. Most of the missionaries in the picture are from the Spanish Chula Vista zone, but my district leader, Elder Anderson, is in there somewhere.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Weekly email #14 No More Training

Well, I've made it through the 12 week training program. We finished on Sunday. I am now officially "trained". Transfers are tomorrow. We know that Sister Brown is leaving and going back to the battalion. Sister Greathouse and I are staying here. To be honest, I'm nervous/scared. We just barely finished training, and we're going to stay together? It just sounds difficult. We don't have any exciting news this week. Sorry. Sister Brown and I went on exchanges with Sister Mims yesterday. That was fun. It's funny because Sister Mims has such a strong accent, and I don't have an accent at all, so I feel like a fake Texan when I'm with her. But I'm not a fake Texan. I'm a real Texan. Promise. Anyway, it was just a bunch of fun.
Dad, are we related to a Clarence Bishop from Bountiful? Someone in the ward down here knows him and wanted to know if we were related. Also, just for kicks and giggles, I found out that the ward Don is in borders the ward I'm serving in. Crazy, right?
And. just wondering, was my mission plaque made yet? I just want to see a picture of it.
I'm really sorry I don't have much to say right now. I'm still worried about how this next transfer is going to go and nothing amazing happened this week. I'll write again if I remember anything. Love you all! -Sister Bishop
This is a picture of Audrey with her companion, Sister Brown and our Sister Mims from our own Dallas Stake!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Weekly email #13 Suprise Baptism, Say What?!?!?!

I had my first baptism this Saturday!!!!!!! Rachael Schacht, the 19 year old we've been teaching for about 2 and 1/2 weeks was scheduled to be baptized on June 8th. She graduates on June 6th. She was going to move like 2 hours away a little after her baptism to live with her mom and step dad, but as it turns out she was getting picked up the DAY OF graudation. So she asks to meet at her house (which we've never done. We always met at her fellowshippers house) and she asks if there's any way she can get baptized sooner. She had been to church 3 times in a row, so we said "yep! Ready to get baptized on Satuday?" (It was Wednesday, the 28th). She said yes, and it was full speed ahead. We taught her the gospel, word of wisdom, chastity, tithing, and fast offering all in 3 days. And she was interviewed for baptism and baptized on Satuday!!! I tell you what, it was exciting! We were waiting right on the steps for her after she got baptized and after she got baptized and was about to change, we did a group hug and Rachael said (choking up) "I finally did it!". It was motivating,  that's for sure.
The first two pictures and me and my companions with Rachael before her baptism. The 3rd picture is her and Nathan Humiston, her friend that invited her to church just 4 weeks ago and did the baptizing. The 4th is a picture of me and Mariela Macias. She's 16 and she has a sister serving a mission, called to be in Russia. She's still in the MTC, I think. We met her when we got here. Anyway, I can identify with Mariela because I have a sister on a mission and I also miss her a bunch. So basically, we're good friends. 5th picture is me last night at this girls grad party and I had just spilled homemade BBQ sauce all over my skirt. I was going to make a funny face but then someone said something that made me laugh, so I'm smiling in the picture. And last of all, I got my hair cut today. Sister Klein is in our ward and is amazing at hair and does it for free for missionaries. So that was cool. We were there for like 4 hours because Sister Brown and Sister Greathouse got their hair highlighted. I passed because I don't want to up keep it and I don't want to grow it out again.
I don't have much else this week. I am so happy to hear Hank was born!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cried, I was so happy. Congratulations to Mark and Kristin on their brand new son.
Love, -Sister Audrey Bishop