Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Who's on the Lord's side? Who...? Weekly email #29

Hello family! (and loved ones)

I use the caption of the song "Who's on the Lord's Side?" as the subject of this email because MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK IS SO IMPORTANT! The number of missionaries and missions has increased, but the number of baptisms hasn't. The only -  the ONLY way more people will be baptized is by members INVITING their friends to learn! Being in a singles ward, it's becoming more apparent that members HAVE GOT to be inviting! I'm excited to be a bomb member missionary when I get home. In the mean time, enjoy a story from this week about member missionary work: 

We had a member that is preparing for a mission (Caesar) bring his non-member friend (Nancy) to church! She thought it was different, but good. We have an appointment with her for this Friday at 3, with him there. We are really excited!!!!! This will probably be our first real investigator. We're trying. It's difficult in a young single adult area. And there are'nt that many people out on the streets, so it makes street contacting hard. 

This Sunday is the day people are inviting their non-member friends to come to church, with talks from recent converts, a Plan of Salvation Sunday School, and a panel for answering questions about the gospel in the 3rd hour. We're talking to people about who they're bringing, and it sounds like it's going to be good. It's really helping us get missionary work going, since we don't know where to find YSA aged people in Poway. 

We thought we had a really solid referral from a member, but he lives in the stake beneath us. =[ His name is Matt, he's 26 and has been through a lot in life. He just recently found Christ during a really hard time in his life, and he wants to quit smoking. It's his last crutch before he is addiction free. Anyway, we started this really cool stop smoking program with him yesterday. We are praying that he'll be able to do it. He's supposed to be smoke free by next Monday. Well, he threw his cigarettes away already, but he's supposed to make it 7 days without smoking. It's pretty exciting. 

There is a guy in our ward, his name is Paul, that just recently got the Melchizedek priesthood. He was baptized a few years ago, and then he went less-active, and now he's back. Anyway, he has a lot of questions that have been holding him back. We talked to him last week (pre-advancement in the priesthood) He saw in D&C 84 that is a man has the Melchizedek priesthood and he turns away from it, he cannot be forgiven in this life or the next. I showed him a verse in D&C 58 where Christ says that if we repent He will forgive us. We also pointed out people that go less-active and come back and they have the same blessings as people who didn't go less-active. Anyway, we think that helped him. Men just wouldn't be forgiven if they didn't repent from turning away from the Melchizedek priesthood. 

Anywho...... Paul was waiting outside of the RS room for us on Sunday. He says "Sisters, can you come sit in while I get the priesthood?" He was practically beaming! So we went. It was really neat. He hugged everyone in the room except us. And us, he gave us really good handshakes and looked us right in the eye and said "Thank you SO much for coming!" It was really tender. 

Also, about 2 weeks ago, Rob, my convert in Chula Vista, got the Aaronic priesthood!!!!! Whoo-hoo!!!! I was so happy, I hugged my companion. =P 

I've been picking up speed reading the Book of Mormon lately. I'm still in my 2nd time through on my mission, still using orange to highlight all the words Christ speaks. I'm right in the middle of his ministry among the Nephites.  I was really touched by 3 Nephi 19:2-3, where it says that people traveled all night long in order to hear Christ when he came to speak the next day. 

And it was noised abroad among the people immediately, before it was yet dark, that the multitude had seen Jesus, and that he had ministered unto them, and that he would also show himself on the morrow unto the multitude.
 Yea, and even all the night it was noised abroad concerning Jesus; and insomuch did they send forth unto the people that there were many, yea, an exceedingly great number, did labor exceedingly all that night, that they might be on the morrow in the place where Jesus should show himself unto the multitude.

As I was talking about it in companion study this morning, I started to tear up because of their love of Christ, their desire to see Him, and their testimonies. I love Jesus Christ. The longer I'm on my mission the more I love Him, and I hope that when Christ were here, I would travel all night long to see him. It really would be worth it. 

Ummm.....I don't know if I have anything else to say. I love being a missionary! =D =D =D 

I love you all! -Sister Audrey Bishop

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My first talk in Sacrament meeting. Weekly email #28

Dear Family,

This week has been pretty good. We went on exchanges Wednesday night to Thursday night. I went to Del Norte with Sister Romine. It was a good exchange. Not a whole lot has happened this week, though. Sister Palmer and I got to give talks in sacrament meeting two days ago. It was my first time on my mission! Whoo-hoo! I talked about faith, Sister Palmer talked about faith. It was really good. A lot of people said they felt the spirit. 

I don't really want to write...............and I don't have much to say. I'm excited about general conference coming up. It will be one year since they made the age change! Whoa! Also, I'll get to go to the temple again in October because Sister Palmer can go. It will be neat to go right after general conference. It'll probably remind me of a year ago when I went to the temple right before general conference. 

This morning we went on a hike with Sister Sorensen and Sister Buenning. It was so fun! It felt really good. It took up a lot of time, though. So, that's why it's short. But, I love you all! And I have a testimony! We don't have investigators yet, which is why I haven't told you about any. But we're working on it with "Bring Your Friend To Church" on September 29th

I love being a missionary. This work is the Lord's. =] 

-Sister Bishop 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

YSA work, here I am! Weekly email # 27


I'm at the start of my 5th transfer, and last Friday on September 6th I hit 6 months on a mission! Can anybody believe it? Mom and Dad, you might be able to believe it, seeing as you probably miss me so much. =P But the time is just going by, and I'm loving it! It's so good to be on a mission, I just can't imagine what my life would be like if I hadn't. 

Mom, I met Elder Rowbury. It was really brief. But he said he had heard of my name from his mom. So, that was fun. Also, Mom and Dad, you got the picture of me and my companion last week, right? Elder and Sister Van Alfen are serving in the Mt. Woodson YSA ward helping people get jobs. Anyway, they had us over for lunch and they wanted to get your emails so that they could email you, and I was so excited because you didn't know who my new companion was yet. I hope you enjoyed the picture. =]

My new companion is Sister Palmer, from Farmington, Utah. She is 19, and completely wonderful! She's also a sister training leader, so it's really nice. We just go to work, we don't deal with a companion who is struggling with something, as happens a lot. (I never realized Sister missionaries could have so many problems. But they do.) That's the plan now, to put sister training leaders together. So in my old area, Sister Kober was joined by Sister Engebretsen, the other sister training leader. There are 4 English, full-proselyting sister training leaders in our mission. It's pretty great. =] Anyway, Sister Palmer and I laugh so hard every day. It's a party. She's my friend. =D 

And I'm in a young single adult ward now! What?! It's different. Like, we have to go to FHE to make appointments and meet people. It's different. We had one investigator when I got here, and now we have two. We're trying to pick the work up. The bishop here, Bishop Meacham, is SO GREAT! He is on fire when it comes to missionary work. His counselors are great, too. When I got here I brought up this thing, called "Invite Your Friend To Church", where you set a date that you want all the members to invite their friend to church on. Our date is September 29th, and the week before on the 22nd we're going to have a ward fast that it will work and that the members will have the courage/faith to invite their friend to church. We made flyers and everything. The bishop sent out a personalized text to all the active members of the ward (about 73) inviting them to think of who they could invite before we meet with them. It is going to be so awesome. And get this, two days ago we had stake conference. And it was all on.....MISSIONARY WORK!!!! Oh my gosh, the stake presidency in Poway is ON FIRE for missionary work! A lady talked about doing missionary work and how it blesses her whole family, and then a recent convert got up and bore his testimony about how all the members need to do missionary work, and then President and Sister Clayton got up and talked about how it is the members job to do missionary work, and then two members of the stake presidency talked about INVITING! That really was the big theme: inviting. President Romeny (Mitt Romney's son) had some youth come up and talk about how they invited their friend to some activity. One 12 year old he had up brought her friend to church, and then her friend, WHO IS A NON-MEMBER, said how very thankful she was she got invited to activity days so that she could read the Book of Mormon. She cried. It was so moving and inspiring. So, if you're not inviting people to come to things, get excited about it! Invite! It was SO cool. 

Being in YSA work is different because I see couples that are dating all the time. And because I've been a missionary for a while now, I don't notice when people who don't know who missionaries are, use a pick up line. For instance: 

Sister Palmer and I saw a guy that was moving cooking-type things from a house to a car. We stopped to talk to him for a second because that's what we do: talk to everyone. Anyway, Sister Palmer asked him if he was a chef (since he had all these cooking-type things) and he said, "More like a chef's assistant. But I'd cook you two breakfast or dinner anytime!" It took me a second to realize he was trying to make a move, and then once it registered, I said "oh, well, we're missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints........" etc. And we got his number so we could talk to him about the gospel! When we got back in the car, we just laughed because we are going to be so awkward when we go home. We'll just talk about the gospel to everyone. It'll be great! 

Quick funny story: The first night in the new apartment, I noticed it was really bright in our room. I could tell what the pictures were on my wall! There was too much light coming in. So when our district leader, Elder Nestoryak, asked if he could do anything for us, I told him I wanted drapes, or a thick sheet. I've been telling people that for a few days. Then last night, Elder Hinrichsen and Elder Harrison (in our zone) asked if they could do anything for us. I told them about how I desperately needed a blanket to put over the window. They had this old deer blanket in their apartment that some other missionary left. Anyway, they gave it to us with some pins so we  could block the light. It really helps. So now we have this huge deer in our bedroom. And because the deer part is lighter than the rest of the blanket, it kind of glows at night. XD It's really funny. I attached a picture with it and myself. 

I'm off to a great start in Poway! I love it.=] I love the gospel. It is sooooo true! And the power of the atonement that allows us to change is real! I hope to use it a lot on my mission. I already have, and I'll keep doing so. 

-Sister Audrey Bishop 

pic 1 - Sister Palmer and I, looking normal 
pic 2 We took some pictures upside down on our couch. This is one of them. It looks like we're on a roller coaster! We were laughing SO HARD.
pic 3 - We kind of look like we're constipated. XD This one was one of our favorites. 
pic 4 - the deer blanket

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Miracles happen! Weekly email #26

Hey family!
Lots to say today! Well, at least I have exciting things to say.  First off, I'm getting transfered. I'm sad because I love Chula Vista 3rd ward so much. And my companion, Sister Kober. It was soooo good being her companion for this transfer. We'll probably be friends after the mission. =] I'll miss her. Also, because I've never been transfered before I'm a little nervous. I might get to be companions with another sister training leader again. That's what they're trying to do, so we'll see. If I am, it'll be another delightful transfer, I'm sure. Next week you'll get to hear about my new companion and my new area. It'll be exciting.
The next thing, and probably the best thing I could tell you, is that we had a miracle baptism on Saturday! Do you remember me telling you all that Elder Ballard promised the leaders of the mission that we could have a baptism before the end of August? Well, Sister Kober and I had faith in that promise. We fasted and prayed for that baptism. When we were weekly planning for week 6 of the transfer, we planned to have 1 baptism and 1 confirmation, even though no one had a date for baptism. Anyway, on Monday morning we met with Rob, an investigator we were trying to get baptized on August 31st. He was 85% sure he was ready for baptism the week before. Anyway, we read from the Book of Mormon with him to get him reading (he wasn't reading.) . He really liked it! He got excited, and then on Thursday morning we woke up to a text from Rob saying he'd been reading a lot and that he couldn't put the book down. He said he felt like he was breathing menthol or peppermint. (that's how he feels the spirit) And he asked if we could have a "study session" that day. We said yes and arranged to meet him at the temple. Now, this whole time Sister Kober is sick. We were inside the whole day until then. Anyway, we were preparing a lesson, and we thought we'd better teach him word of wisdom and law of chastity just in case he was going to get baptized on Saturday. We prayed about it and we both felt it was right, so that's what we taught him!
We taught Rob the word of wisdom and the law of chastity in the waiting room of the temple. It was SO COOL. (Have I ever told you how beautiful the temple is? SUPER BEAUTIFUL!) We could feel the spirit strong. We talked about keeping our bodies clean so we could enter the temple, and then we taught word of wisdom and then chastity. He accepted them both, and then we asked him about  being baptized and he said he had prayed about it the night before and God told him to be baptized! I was so excited my face got red and Rob pointed it out! That was probably my favorite part of my mission so far. He received revelation that he needed to be baptized!!!! And then Sister Kober said "now....when is the question". We knew we wanted him to be baptized on the 31st, but we wanted him to choose. And he did! So, we threw together a baptism. A good amount of people in the ward showed up and Rob really felt loved. It was great because he doesn't have any family in the US except for a brother in Pennsylvania. (he's from Dominican Republic) Anyway, it was really, really good. It was SUCH a faith builder to see a promise fulfilled by an apostle of Jesus Christ. Miracles happen. I testify of it.
Julianne, people talk about President Donaldson all  the time. He was the mission president when the district was being filmed. Crazy that you met him. And it's crazy you have ipads!
Mom, have you ever heard the music to The Lamb of God? We're borrowing the CD from a zone leader, and it is SO BEAUTIFUL, it makes me want to cry. It has Daniel Beck in it. Look it up! You will be amazed!
 That's all I really have to say today. Except for.....does anyone have a picture of our family at Grandpa Merrill's funeral? Could I get a picture of us? I'd really love to have one of my family. Love you all!!!! -Sister Bishop
pic 1 - Sister Kober and I at the temple with Rob on Thursday before baptism
pic 2 and 3 - us with Rob at his baptism!!!! YAY!
pic 4 We're trying to take a picture with the little girl in the middle Her name is Audrey. She is SO adorable. (obviously. With a name like that, who wouldn't be?)