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 , 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.