Tuesday, November 26, 2013

You're in for a long one. Weekly email #38

Family! It's the beginning of a new transfer, and guess what! Sister Palmer and I are staying together in Mt. Woodson for at least another 6 weeks! A lot of other crazy things are happening, though. I didn't sleep well last night (I never sleep well the night before transfer calls) and then we had to get up at 5:45 this morning because we had to take Sister Buenning to the airport. She went home early for health reasons. That's the second premature death I've taken part in. Sad. It was really weird to see some of my friends go home. You might remember me saying Elder Wallentine's name when I was serving in Chula Vista? Well, he flew home this morning. I got to shake his hand at the airport. Anyway, it just made me realize that the time really does go by on a mission. At the beginning it felt like I'd never be at 9 months, but I'll be there on the6th of December. That's next week! I'm entering in my "hump" transfer. I have 13 transfers, and I'm at the beginning of my 7th. It's just absolutely crazy! I love all the things I've learned thus far, one of them being that the restoration is so important! This week I did a cool personal study suggestion from Preach My Gospel where I write the restoration like a newspaper article. I really liked it, so I'm sending it home! Here it is!

 God Loves His Children: Then and Now

God loves you. Simple as that. Hopefully it's not a huge surprise. He has always loved His children. Think back to Abraham and how God made a promise that all of the earth would be blessed by his seed. Some promise, right? Well, God gave Abraham, and other prophets like him the authority to act in His name in order to save His children. (in this context, save means to be with Heavenly Father for the rest of forever). God loves His children, so He would tell His prophets to tell people to repent (*to change to be more like God or Christ). Sadly, sometimes people wouldn't listen, so He would take His authority away until people were more likely to listen. We can see that pattern in the Holy Bible (and the Book of Mormon). When Jesus Christ started His teaching on earth He called 12 apostles (men called of God with His authority to help lead the church) and taught all mankind about God's love and what we are commanded to do in order to be saved. Thankfully, we have hope because* we know what Christ taught: have faith in Christ, repent (or change), be baptized by someone with God's authority (or priesthood), keep the Holy Ghost with us (it's a messenger for God that helps in life as long as we make right choices), and endure to the end (or keep moving forward). Christ also suffered for our sins, died on the cross and was resurrected sot hat you and I could change in live in our bodies again! How cool! What a man, eh? Unfortunately, after Christ went to heaven, the church He established only lasted about 100 years until people who didn't understand God and His love killed Christ's apostles. Oops! No more priesthood! Have you ever been in a really dark room and you're just trying to find any light you can? Well that's what it was like for a long time. Almost 2000 years, in fact.A lot of people wanted what Christ had put on the earth so they did their best, but just like any knock off brand, it just wasn't the same. But remember how God loves you so much? Well, because He loves you so very much He called Joseph Smith to be a prophet and restore Christ's church. When he was 14 he wanted to know what church to join, and after reading James 1:5 (see King James Version of the Holy Bible) and a lot of thought, he prayed about it. God and Jesus came and told him that the truth wasn't on the earth but in due time he would restore it back to the way Jesus had set up. Joseph Smith also translated another book of scripture, called The Book of Mormon. Christ came to see God's children in ancient America (SO COOL!) because God loves ALL His children, and told them to have faith and repent......(*see above reference to the gospel). Don't believe me? I dare you to read the Book of Mormon, sincerely pray to know if it's true, and then to tell me God doesn't love you enough to give you a prophet today. His name is Thomas S. Monson, by the way. I know that God loves His children. I have felt it and God's messenger (or Holy Ghost) has told me that the Book of Mormon truly testifies of Jesus Christ. God loves you, and I know you can feel His love in greater abundance when you read the Book of Mormon and live the way Jesus taught. THE END

Now about my week........

Last week emails were really hard. I was so tired from doing MTE exchanges and then no one in the family had emailed me when I got on and then when I did get emails I saw pictures of Julianne trying on wedding dresses and Mom told me that she's getting married on March 8th. Oh my goodness, I cried SO MUCH. All day long, I was an emotional wreck. We went to eat dinner at the Brundage's (he's in the bishopric), and I had a big headache. When we got out of dinner I told Sister Palmer I didn't feel well and then I just started bawling again. I went to bed early that night but I still woke up with a headache on Wednesday morning. After personal study on Wednesday Sister Palmer just looked at me and said "you're not okay", and then she held my hands while I cried. Oh man, I must have been a mess. I admitted to her I was homesick and I didn't want Julianne to get married without me when I was supposed to be her maid of honor and etc etc. . . She suggested that I get a blessing, and after I prayed about it I knew that I should and who should be voice. So we called up our district leader and his companion and they met us at the church to give me a blessing. I asked Elder Arntsen to give me a blessing because that's who I felt should, and Elder Arntsen and Elder Nestoryak both knew I was going to ask Elder Arntsen. The spirit is awesome! Anyway, Elder Arntsen had to know my full name, which I didn't mind telling him because I love my name and it always reminds me of when Dad gave me blessings I would look up at him and say "my name is Audrey Michelle Bishop", and he would love and say "I know!" Miss you, Dad! Anyway, I was given a blessing that was so completely perfect. I feel like it was a sacred experience. I was told that as Julianne gets married I will be blessed to KNOW, not just think, that my family remembers me. I was also told that I should keep Jesus Christ at the front of my mind. Other things were said, but anyway, I was a lot better after receiving that blessing. I'm happy just remembering it! 

Then later on Wednesday I was on an MTE exchange with two sisters (one was Sister Memmott, my MTC companion) and we were helping their ward mission leader pack because he's moving, and he had MoTab Christmas playing. He offered to burn us CD's and we all jumped at the chance. So we've been listening to Christmas music this whole week and it's been AWESOME! I even pulled out my silver bell earrings and my snow flake earrings. Whoo-hoo! 

On Saturday night we got to help the Tengberg's decorate for Christmas! I sent a picture of that. Mom and Dad, don't be too jealous. They could never replace you. =P It was really great, though. 

This week I have been trying to keep Jesus at the front of my mind, like my blessing said, and it has really helped me feel close to Him. I also feel like I can do harder things. I know that I'm being watched over while I'm on my mission. I really love Jesus Christ. I know that because of His atonement, I can keep going on my mission, even though a week ago I was almost ready to head home so my best friend wouldn't get married without her maid of honor. I had a really weird dream where I was inside of a whale on a vacation because Mom and Dad asked for me to go because it was a special occasion, and I was crying because I missed my mission and I wanted to go back. So, even my subconscious knows I love my mission. No biggie. =] 

Mom, do you know where my flashdrive is? Do you think you could send it, por favor? Along with the purple shirt Julianne gave me for Christmas 3 or so years ago? 

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you about our new investigator! Her name is Ashley. She is from South Africa! We got a referral from another singles ward and we went over there with our EQP to give her a blessing on Friday morning. Her fiance back in South Africa passed away on Thursday. She grew up in the church because her dad is a less-active member. And somehow she hasn't been baptized yet! She keeps running. Like the runaway bride, except she was the runaway investigator. Those poor missionaries! Anyway, she's super cool and the ward loves her. We have her with a date for January 4th. Apparently that's the 3rd time January 4th has been her baptismal date. 4th times the charm? 

Anyway, fam bam, I love you all! I am so thankful for you all. I really love being part of the Bishop family, even though people just keep asking me if my dad is/was a bishop. Haha, like I haven't heard that one before! Anyway, life is great! Another transfer with one of my favorite companions! And we get to spend Christmas together! Whoo-hoo! 

-Sister Bishop 

pic 1 - Sister Palmer, Elder Laxton, and myself. Elder Laxton went home this morning. These were our "Goodbye" pictures. hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil 

pic 2 - BACK - Sister Palmer, myself, Elder Nestoryak (who is getting transferred! SO SAD!), Elder Arntsen FRONT Elder Casey, Elder Eppich (he went home this morning. Sad day) 

pic 3 - Myself and Brother and Sister Tengberg (and their dog, Harley. He is the only dog I will pet or play with) Brother Tengberg is in the bishopric. We ate dinner at their house on Saturday and they put us to work decorating their home. And then they gave us a nativity to put in our apartment! 

pic 4 - District finding activity - Honk if you love Jesus! At first a lot of people didn't honk. Then a ton of people did. 

pic 5 - I LIKE ELEPHANTS! - part of the nativity we set up. Super beautiful


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A picture email. Weekly email #37

Hey Family! I am so tired today. I'm going to try and be exciting, but I'm pretty sure this is going to be a short email. I have 7 pictures, though, so I think I'll just tell my week with pictures

pic 1 - most of my zone at Sunset cliffs as the sun is setting. Perfecto!

We went to Sunset Cliffs last p-day. It was fun. Kind of cool. I should have brought a sweater. We played signs. Oh, it was such a good game. Sister Elyse Mims was in the center one time and we were getting super good at passing the sign quickly and she was getting so upset. It was a blast.

pic 2 - I LOVE YOU, FAMILY! 

I took this picture just for you, family, because I love you so much. 

pic 3 - the zone leaders and the sister training leaders! Also, they are our friends. 

Just Elder Casey, Sister Palmer, Elder Eppich (said epic) and myself. Elder Eppich is going to go home in a week. We'll miss him. I just thought this picture looked cool. 

pic 4 - Sister Bauro, myself, and Sister Twitchell on MTE's (missionary training exchange) 

I went to La Jolla with Sister Bauro and Sister Twitchell for MTE's. We talked to so many people on the street! They went back and taught one of them this last Saturday. It was a fun day. I have been on 3 MTE's this month (maybe 4?) and I have one more. They can be tiring! 

pic 5 - the last time I saw Sister Kober before she goes home next week. I loved being her companion! I'll sure miss her. 

K, really fast, not about Sister Kober,  but it made me think about it. Sister Palmer went down to Chula Vista, my first zone/area, for an MTE. We took Sister Mims out of her trio for the day and we dropped Sister Palmer off at the Chula Vista stake center on Friday morning. I was flipping out the whole time we were going into town. The Chula Vista stake center is where CV3rd ward met. That's my birth place! I was hoping I'd see someone I knew, but I didn't. Sister Mims and I had a great day. She ate a whole pumpkin pie by herself. I would've helped her, but I'm not eating treats until Thanksgiving. I'll have gone a whole transfer by the time I eat that delicious pie next week. Anyway, we went down to Chula Vista to pick Sister Palmer up on Saturday morning (it's like a 40 min drive) and there were people from 3rd ward cleaning the church!!!!!!! I saw Bishop Moulton, his wife, and their cute daughter, Bro Humiston (the doctor  you talked with, mom), the relief society president, Sis Firth and her adorable 2 year old, Audrey. Oh, it just made. my. day. I hope I get to serve there again someday. 

pic 6 - I borrowed Hermana Diaz's shirt and I thought I looked so good I had Sister Palmer take a picture. Sister Palmer's mom sent me the necklace in a package. 

This was on Sunday. I just thought I looked awesome. You can't see the back of my head, but I did a waterfall braid on myself. Haha, but other than that, Sunday was a great day. No investigators came to church (we have two now!) but this less-active we visited once came. Let me just tell that story really fast. His name is Matt W. We were just trying to visit people who have their records in the home ward and reactivate the less-active ones into the YSA ward, and we stopped by his house and he wasn't there. His step-mom told us to come back in 3 days (on a Thursday). We didn't havce time to go back on that Thursday, but a week and a half later on a Sundaywe went back to Matt's house and he let us in. He was SO SO SO SO less-active. Super into all kinds of drugs I've never heard of, and we just had a crazy meeting with him. We shared a scripture from the Book of Mormon. He liked it. He said he was interested in investigating the church. He wouldn't let us set up a time to meet with him or give us his phone number, but he said he'd be at church the next Sunday. Well, true to his word, he showed up at church and he hasn't missed church or an activity since! We met with him on Sunday night and he has changed since he's come back to church. And he has friends and he's probably going to take his earrings out soon. Whoo-hoo! The Gospel is true! 

pic 7 - I went to the Imperial Valley for MTE's yesterday and this picture was taken THIS MORNING with Hermana Hansen, a Spanish Sister Training Leader (IV stands for Imperial Valley) 

More pictures of rocks! I really enjoyed it in El Centro yesterday. 


Anyway, family. I love being a missionary, even if it's hard when sisters get married. Love, -Sister Bishop 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I am so emotional right now! Weekly email #36

Wow. Julianne is home from her mission! I am crying so much I had to go get tissues. Sister Mims is sitting next to me and I'm apologizing for my boo-hooing and she's being very understanding. I guess it's just been a long time that she's been gone and I miss her and she's finally home and she saw Tim and she was sad to be released and....and......yeah. I'm really happy for you, Julianne. So happy. I appreciate you telling me how much you loved your mission and how you're sad to be home. It makes me not feel as trucky. I still have 10 months to go. 

Well, this week has been pretty good. We did a zone car wash and open house at a church on Saturday. We had this set up where they had to get out of their car to be vacuumed first, so we offered them some cookies that were next to the church. Then we would offer a tour of the church and some took it, some didn't. Some asked if they could see inside our building. Of course we said yes! Right inside the door we had the 20 minute restoration video playing and copies of the Book of Mormon and some pass-along cards. Also, this church (and all the churches in Poway) have some beautiful pictures of Christ! There was this spot in the church where there was a picture of Joseph Smith and the first vision and we taught the restoration there! A lot of people felt the spirit, and I think about 5 are going to be meeting with missionaries now. 

I sang in sacrament meeting on Sunday. I sang "He Sent His Son". It was a Sally Deford arrangement. It went really well, and a lot of people complimented me on it. I like singing, so it was no biggie. 

Dad, remember one time you emailed the pictures of our family at Grandpa Merrill's funeral? I asked if you could send me some hard copies. Do you still think that's possible? 

I don't know if I have a whole lot more to say. I'm like......emotionally drained from crying when I saw the pictures of Julianne at the house on Flashpan Cove. =] But it's good. Not too much happened this week....... Just some more great missionary work. I love you all! Being a missionary is super great! 

-Sister Bishop 

pic- Sister Anderson, Sister Marmol, and myself after MTE's. I like that Jesus is in the picture. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What a week! Weekly email #35

Dear Dad, Mom, Eddie, Brindie, Todd, Rachael, Don (and Laila, but I don't have her email address), Mark (if you even read my emails! It's like you don't even like me! and Kristin, but I don't have her email), and Julianne (I think? I don't have her civilian email. Mom, could you show this email to her and have her email me from her normal email?). 

I love you all! This week has been pretty great! The first thing I have to say is that I did an exchange on Halloween. We had Sister Garlow and Sister Sorensen come to our area and we double covered it on Halloween. It was really fun the night before because all 4 of us were sleeping in one room. It was a sleepover! Except we just went to bed at 10:30. Haha, anyway. Sister Garlow told me she was going to be a cat for Halloween by wearing all black and a leopard print scarf. I thought about it, and I was like "hey, I can match you!" So we did! picture attached - We had a fun day. =] 

On Friday morning our district leader, Elder Nestoryak (Don, he was trained by Elder Geier and Elder Koerner, and Elder Koerner is still in your ward. Also, Elder Cena and Elder Walker said they see you every week. They're supposed to tell you two things) called us and asked for us to bring our mileage to him because the zone leaders were going to pick it up. He's usually super excited for things and he loves talking to us, but he just hadn't been himself lately. So Sister Palmer and I made him a trophy out of toilet paper rolls really fast to take to him. We had been saving the rolls for a few weeks to get ready for his trophy. We stuffed it full of candy and rice krispie treats. Oh, did I say that Sister Palmer and I aren't eating any treats until Thanksgiving? We're doing it just because we can. =] So all that candy was in our apartment, and it was safe from us. Anyway, it helped him a little. I attached a picture. 

And of course, Boone got baptized, so that was amazing! WHOO-HOO! We did it in the Ramona building, and the font is attached to the gym and it looks like a big bathtub. Tacky, but it's okay. The important thing is that he got baptized. He was really excited, his girlfriend's mom (his girlfriend is at BYU-I) and his fellowshippers mom brought treats, so that was taken care of. Anyway, the turn out was pretty great. Lots of people came to support him, including his parents and his older brother! They were so nice! His older brother is a potential we're hoping to teach. Anyway, pictures are also attached of Boone's baptism. The baptism went well. Thomas only had to do it once. After the baptism Boone bore his testimony. It was a really good testimony. They we closed and talked with people. His mom gave us hugs and his dad gave us a nice firm handshake. We found out more of Boone's story from his girlfriends mom after the baptism. It's really quite amazing, so here it is:

Nikki (the girlfriend) is at BYU-I, and she had a prompting to ask Boone to go to church. She was scared, but she did it and he agreed to go with an open heart. So she called up Thomas to see if he'd take Boone to church. (we had never met Thomas until he brought Boone) He normally has to work, but he didn't have work onSeptember 29th! So they came to church and it just so happened to be bring your friend to church Sunday! Boone says he really liked the Plan of Salvation lesson we had in Sunday school. Anyway, after that we asked if we could meet with him and he said yes, and the rest is history! Okay, not really. Nikki found out when he was going to set a date for baptism, and she was freaking out. She's like "don't do this for me! Do it for yourself!" And he was! Thomas assured her the Spirit was there when we were meeting with him. Anyway, Boone apparently doesn't like to drive but now he was driving all over Poway to come to church and activities (being from Ramona, that kind of is a big deal. You have to come down this twisty highway and go down a big hill and it's like 20-30 minutes away) and he would never speak in public, but he bore a powerful testimony after he was baptized! The spirit has the power to change people! He loves the Book of Mormon and knows it's true. Wow, it was an amazing story. The gospel is true! Share it with everyone! 

Boone was confirmed on Sunday. The chapel was pretty full this Sunday! It was so awesome! =D =D =D Matt, a less-active we visited last Sunday kept his word and came to church! Then he came to FHE last night. Oh boy, it's so cool. Another kind of less-active guy came to church yesterday with his parents. He has bad social anxiety, like a lot of the people in our ward. His name is Brenden, he's convert of about 5 years. We went and visited them yesterday, and got his mom with a baptismal date for December 7th. We sat down and she pretty much said she was ready to be baptized. What else were we to do? Obviously she's not our investigator. We handed her off to the family ward. (Green Valley needs it badly! We were so happy to give the referral to those sisters!) Also, our bishop, Bishop Meacham, says we're the best missionaries he's ever seen, and he's been in Mt. Woodson bishopric for 10 years. It really is the nicest compliment I've received on my mission. Our whole bishopric is just so on fire with missionary work. It's the best bishopric Sister Palmer or I have ever seen. I really hope I'm here for Christmas. Not to mention, I love this ward. It almost feels like I'm home. It'll be hard to leave, whenever that time comes. There's not a possibility of it for another 3 weeks anyway. 

Guess what, everyone! Tomorrow will be 8 months on my mission! I can hardly believe. Julianne just went home, so it'll only be 10 months until I get to see her. =] 

Does anyone know Natalie Flaten's mission address of email? I really want it. And if you don't know, could you ask?

I am so happy! Missions are the greatest ever!!!!!!!!!!!!! =D =D =D 

Love, THE Sister Bishop 

Sister Garlow and I as cats on Halloween.

Myself, Elder Nestoryak with his AWESOME trophy (the flag says "best dristict leader ever". It says dristict because one time Sister Palmer spelled it wrong, so now it's a joke) and Sister Palmer

Myself, Sister Palmer, Boone, and Thomas (who baptized him) before their white jumpsuits got there with the zone leaders.

the table we worked so hard on to make pretty

Myself, Thomas, Boone, and Sister Palmer.

My district after the baptism! - Elders Nestoryak and Arntsen, the sisters, and Elders Casey and Eppich.