Wednesday, August 28, 2013

;) Weekly email #25

Hello, all!
I don't have a whole bunch to say this week........... Nothing super exciting happened. We've been teaching people and asking for referrals and getting some (but not 31! Good grief, Julianne!) and contacting them. We didn't add any referrals last week, which was a bummer. But we'll get some new ones.
Our investigator, Rob Ramirez, is a 32 year old single guy that is border patrol and army reserve. He's neat. Anyway, yesterday we met with him in the morning and read Alma 47-48 with him. We were trying to get him to be excited about reading the Book of Mormon. He liked it, we think. He asked if we were going to read the next chapter, which we didn't, but at least it piqued his interest. We're really hoping to set a baptismal date with him soon. Problem is, he's only 85% sure this is right, but he won't get the spirit telling him to join unless he reads the Book of Mormon. So, yeah. He's a good guy.
We're also teaching Martha, a mom and school teacher. She's asking wonderful questions and is impressed that we're able to answer them. As we were teaching her the plan of salvation last night I felt that we really needed to invite her to be baptized, so we did. She said she wants to make sure it's right, which is understandable. We want her to know that, too. Her son that is 19-ish had come home from work and kept turning on the radio  and the TV and stuff. When the radio had been on for a minute or two, I asked Martha if we could ask him to turn off the radio, which he did. (It is SO HARD to concentrate when music is playing.) Then he turned on some violent movie that was playing the rest of the time we were there. It was hard to feel the spirit when the f-bomb is being dropped in the background. No wonder Martha didn't say yes to being baptized. ........Maybe that wasn't the reason. But it certainly didn't help.
I really don't have much else to say......... it's the last week of our transfer! Next Tuesday morning we'll find out if either of us is moving. I've been here for 4 transfers, so I might get transfered. Except that missionary headquarters people in Salt Lake wants sister training leaders to be together, which would mean that I might stay with Sister Kober another transfer. But, maybe not. I could get transferred. I'm a little nervous. =/
Mission life is great! I love you all!
-Sister Audrey Bishop

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Families Are Forever! Weekly email #24

Hello (mostly) family!
Last week we went to the zoo!!!! It was so fun! I'm including a picture of me by an elephant, and a picture of me and Sister Kober by a San Diego Zoo sign. I think we made it through the whole zoo in about 2 1/2 hours. We were booking it! We were speed walking and we even broke a sweat. I was sore the next day. Multi-purpose trip to the zoo! Haha. It was a lot of fun.
This week we had more MTE's. I went on two more exchanges and I'm going on another one tomorrow. MTE's are exhausting. I'm a little ready for them to be over. But it's okay. It's completely self-less to go into another area and help them and coach them on what we just learned. I'm learning a ton just from doing it. On Friday I was supposed to go with two sisters into their area but one of those sisters was sick, so I'm going with them tomorrow and instead brought one of the sisters in my district into my area and Sis Kober went with Sister Pond in their area. We hadn't planned anything for our area that day since we were supposed to be gone, so it was tricky finding thigns to do. But find we did! We even added one new investigator! Her name is Diana. We met her because of a referral from a former investigator. I had talked to her sons and her husband before and they never set up a time for us to come by, but Diana let us teach her and set up a time to come back on Monday night, which we did. This is the best part of my whole mission so far, I think.
 So, Sister Kober and I had to do splits last night because we had an appointment at 6:30 and at 7. I went with Sister Larson from the ward to Diana and Guy's house and Sister Kober went with Sister Wash (also from the ward) to Martha's house. We met back up at the church afterwards and we both had great lessons! Let me tell you about mine. First a tiny back story....
Yesterday morning I was studying for this lesson and I was reading about how the gospel blesses families from Preach My Gospel. I also had just looked at a picture Natalie took of me and mom the day I left home. I attached it. Anyway, this picture really makes me happy. So I was thinking about how Mom is SUCH an example of a faithful disciple of Christ and I learned to love the Lord from her example. Then I studied the gospel blesses families and I was really touched knowing that although our family has difficulties, through repentance, forgiveness, and faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ, our family can be better than ever before. So....on with my story.
I taught Guy, Diana and their sons, Oscar, Guy, and Joseph that God is our loving Heavenly Father and that the message we bring blesses families. They were into it. Then I briefly explained the restoration, quoting Joseph Smith's first prayer, and Diana's eyes lit up! She was feeling the spirit, for sure, and I'm pretty sure her family was, too. We talked about how we can know families can be together forever (and all the other things I said) were true because we have the Book of Mormon. We taught them that they can ask God specific questions, and that He would answer them. Guy (the dad) was unfamiliar with that idea, but liked it. He didn't want to say the closing prayer, so I had Diana do it. (Preach My Gospel says to have the head of the household say a closing prayer at the end of the first lesson. Usually I am so good at insisting people say the prayer, but I could tell he wasn't going to budge this time, so we had his wife pray) I told her she could ask God if the missionaries (me in this case) were true messengers from Him. She said that she'd feel bad praying for that because she already believed it! It was so cool! I've never taught a family before, and there seems to be more of the spirit there. It was the neatest experience ever. I went to bed the happiest I've been my whole mission. It reminded me of the call packet, saying that more happiness than we've experienced awaits us. I believe it. Families are forever. That's why I'm on a mission.
THIS WORK IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. I love it. I love Heavenly Father. =D And I love my family. =]
-Sister Bishop

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Spiritual thoughts Weekly email #23

Hello wonderful people!
I don't have a whole lot to say this week. Last p-day was fine. On Friday no missionaries were in our area because we were on exchanges for what we call MTE's, or missionary training experience (or exchange). Since Sister Kober and I are both sister training leaders (or sister trainers), we both went on exchanges. I went with Sister Blair (one transfer behind me), and Sister Romine (two transfers behind me). We had a good time. They were teaching this 14-year-old girl, Carlotta, who was an exchange student from Italy. She was only here for 6 weeks (a transfer!) and she gained a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true and she wants to get baptized, whether or not her parents like it! She was the cutest thing ever! She had the light of Christ about her, and I loved hearing her say the closing prayer. The 4 young women from the local ward that were there for the lesson and to say good-bye were blown away by her sincere, heartfelt prayer. It was pretty neat.
That night I didn't sleep very well, thus resulting in a very tired and slightly emotional Sister Bishop on Saturday. Who says all days are great? Haha. It was still a good day, but I was struggling. I'm all better, though. No worries. I just don't want people out there to think missions are all easy. They're not, but they're worth it. I LOVE serving a mission. I can't even imagine not having come. I'm learning so many valuable things. My testimony is a lot stronger than it once was. It's the best, basically.
Last Wednesday, Kathleen Shaeffer, a less-active we found--------back up. Let me give the back story. Sis. Greathouse and I knocked on her door one time and she invited us back the next week for lunch. So we came back and she asked to be taught about the Book of Mormon. So we gladly acquiesced to her request. We've been going every week now for a few weeks, and she's been progressing! She has a brother in Tennessee (they're both older,so he has grandkids she thinks the world of! And they're homeschooled. Boo-yah! =P ) that is a faithful member and she loves him. Anyway, good things happening. She came to a Relief Society activity last Wednesday! And then.........SHE CAME TO SACRAMENT MEETING!!! She hasn't been to church is like, 40 years or more. An old visiting teacher of hers saw her there and cried, she was so happy. Then when Sister Norris thanked us later for getting her to church and she was crying. But really, we didn't do anything. We were just there at the right time. Her heart as been prepared. We went to the Mobat with her and a less-active friend from another ward yesterday. They really liked that. It was neat. =]
Last night Sister Kober and I taught a lesson to Martha, an investigator we added with a front porch lesson a while back. This was our first lesson since then, and she was asking all the questions that are answered with the restoration!! We were trying to talk about the Book of Mormon, which we did, but then she kept asking questions and we had to go because we had another appointment.
Missionary work is the best! Mom, way to go for loving that less-active lady at Wal*Mart!!! You're the bomb!
Dad, I'm sorry you were under the weather. I also sent you a birthday letter, but it might not get to you until Thurdsday....=[ Sorry. But HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW!!!!! Love you like crazy!
Mark, thanks for the pictures of your handsome son! They were so fun to get. =D
The work is good, the church is true.
I love Heavenly Father.
In Alma 2, the Nephites are going to battle against the Amlicites who joined with the Lamanites. It said that they were as numerous,as it would seem, as the sands of the sea. Can you imagine that?! And in the next verse (I don't remember the number...sorry!) it says that the Nephites were strengthened by the Lord and they began to slay the Amlicites/Lamanites, so that they were driven back. It just makes me think of Phillipians 4:13, and how we really can do all things through Christ. We can. I know it.
Keep reading the Book of Mormon! It's the best book EVERRRRR!!!!!!!
-Sister Bishop the younger(est)
p.s. the first picture is of Sister Romine, Sister Blair, and myself.
the second picture is of Sister Shaeffer getting dressed up at the Mobat
the last picture is of me and Sister Mary Wells, who I know from my modern class last fall!!!! She's a dance major, too, so it was really super fun to see her. She and one other sister are the new mandarin speaking missionaries in this mission. They're the only ones so far.
p.p.s I get to go to the zoo today!
Sister Romine, Sister Blair, and myself

Sister Shaeffer getting dressed up at the Mobat
Sister Mary Wells and me

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Weekly email # 22 Elder Ballard came!

As you can tell from the subject line, Elder Ballard came this week! He came on Wednesday and we got to hear from him for about an hour and a half as a whole mission. Can I tell you it was amazing?! Because it absolutely was! He told us a bunch of things, but here's a list of things that I remember right now without having my notes:
1. We can do more than we are. (in essence, work smarter and harder)
2. We have the power to call down help from heaven.
3. When it turned to Q&A someone asked how we be exactly obedient without being rude and over bearing. He replied "just be good! Have fun!" That was awesome. It is fun to be a missionary. We follow the white handbook exactly so we can remember Christ always (like the law of Moses), but if we get so caught up on being exactly obedient we miss a lot of things. Not to mention we won't have fun if we're worrying.
He also came to mission leadership council (which I go to now because I'm a sister trainer leader. It's awesome!) and talked to the 36 of us. He said a lot of the same things, but he said a few more.
1. He promised that each and every one of us could find, teach, baptized in the month of August. He talked about how our areas need to be examples to other missionaries to show them that people can get baptized.
2. I think he said that we could all have a baptism a month for the rest of our missions. Of course, that is if we just go work!
Okay, he said a ton more, but I don't remember it. Just know that I'm really excited to go do more missionary work. Sister Kober and I taught 34 lessons this week, added 4 new investigators and had 4 at sacrament meeting! It was insane! We really loved working that hard and we saw that Heavenly Father was blessing us. Not to mention we received 8 referrals in one day. We saw that we could do that much work by ourselves, so we told our ward council to help us! It's kind of hard to get ward councils on the band wagon, but when done properly it is super powerful! Anyway, we are being so super blessed here, it's kind of ridiculous.
I love you all!