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 . 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 morning. After personal study 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 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!
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 morning. Her fiance back in South Africa passed away . 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 . Apparently that's the 3rd time 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!
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 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