Friday, February 28, 2014

NEW COMPANION!!!! Weekly email #51

Hey family!!!! The biggest news I have was given away by the title, and that's that I have a new companion! Sister Palmer was transferred to another YSA ward, which she was happy about, and I now get to be companions with Sister Landeen! I have been on one exchange with her way back in September or October, but I knew I liked her then and I said I hoped we would get to serve together one day. And now we're companions

Sister Landeen is 21 and she's from Riverton, Utah. She is going to go to the U when she gets home. (I have a beef with her pajama bottoms) She likes sports (basketball in particular) and can play the piano and guitar. She has her guitar with her and this morning we both sang "I Need Thee Every Hour" while she played the guitar! And she can harmonize, so basically, it was the best. I love Sister Landeen! She's new to being a sister training leader, so it's fun to see her grow as she helps other sisters. 

Remember how Ashley got her patriarchal blessing last week? Well this SundayHeather got it! She's glowing! I love seeing people progress. I've been here long enough. heh. I've only been transferred once in my whole mission and I hit one year next week. Crazy! I wonder what the rest of my mission will be like. But I know that I'll visit Chula Vista and Poway when I come back to visit one day. 

I don't have too much else to talk about my area. We're trying to get newinvestigators and it's been a mostly smooth transition with Sister Landeen coming in. I have to tell her stuff about everyone, so I'm talking a lot. But she's a great listener, so it works out. The ward is still amazing at doing missionary work. I love that about this area. =] 

So.....yesterday I was focusing on following the spirit, and I had the prompting to apologize to someone for not being as kind as I could be. So I made the phone call and then I prayed and asked God to forgive me. After that I was able to continue studying. I'm learning a lot about repenting and following the spirit. I'm trying to be able to feel the promptings of the Spirit all the time. I know I have a lot of work to do and it'll be a life long pursuit. But hey, I need some mountains to climb to be stronger and more like Christ, so it's okay. I did read a cool verse in 2 Nephi 10: 23-24

23 Therefore, acheer up your hearts, and remember that ye arebfree to cact for yourselves—to dchoose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.
 24 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, areconcile yourselves to thebwill of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the cgrace of God that ye are dsaved.

I liked it because I was still feeling a little bit down about how I had not been as kind as I could have, but then I read that and realized that I could choose to be happy because I had repented and because of Christ's grace I was forgiven. It's amazing at how much I get to learn about the gospel of Christ. I know it's true!!! Family and friends, if there is anything I could tell you it's that I know that the gospel of Christ is true! Faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, endure to the end. I know that it's all centered on Jesus Christ and that because of Him I can change and become a better disciple of Him. I love that I am given this opportunity to serve Jesus Christ with my whole heart. Today I was telling Sister Landeen about when I decided I wanted to go to BYU and Heavenly Father helped me get there. He helped me go to BYU and got me to dance so that I could fall in love with it again because He knew what I would need to be happy. I feel like that's how it is coming on a mission. It wasn't my favorite decision at the time, but Heavenly Father knew I would be happy. Missions are hard, but I have been happier here than any other time on my mission, and I'm not dancing. That's saying a lot! So, life is good! I love you all!

-Sister Bishop 

pic 1 - Sister Landeen!!!

pic 2 - Sister Landeen and myself again

pic 3 - Sister Lopez and I yesterday on an exchange

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Transfer #9 Weekly email #50

Well family, it's the beginning of my ninth transfer. Guess what happens this transfer is about 2 weeks? My YEAR MARK! So, that's exciting. 

Sister Palmer is getting transferred. We have been together for 4 transfers, or about 5 1/2 months. It's been a while. It hasn't been completely perfect, but I would be lying if I didn't say we were a powerhouse companionship. We have seen so many miracles together in Mt. Woodson. We had 4 people get baptized while we were companions and all of them have been to the temple to do baptisms for the dead, they all have callings, 3 of them have patriarchal blessing recommends, Ashley got her patriarchal blessingon Sunday, and Boone has the Aaronic priesthood. Our ward is AWESOME! 

The last MTE was this week, and picture 4 is of me with the sisters I went with. I have been so tired this transfer. I went on 12 exchanges. Count them. one two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve. TWELVE. So I'm excited to go back to normal exchanges this transfer. Exchanges are fun, but they get really tiring. 

Friday was Valentine's Day. We had district meeting that day. So that's what pictures 1 and 2 are on. It was a fun day. I love our district, so it was really fun to have it on Valentine's day. It was also the last one of the transfer, so we knew something was going to change. And Sister Palmer is leaving. Elder Casey and Elder Bittner are staying, and I don't know about Elder Arntsen and Elder Hill. They won't tell us.....

On Sunday we had another Bring Your Friend To Church day. Guess how many non-members were there this time?! 9!!!! We had 9 non-members there! Patrick didn't come to church again, and Carlos DID come again! And he brought 2 of the non-members. We're meeting with one of them on Friday. Her name is Miriam. And we met with a girl that is a member of the RLDS church last night over dinner at our Relief Society's presidents house. (Nicole, is the RS pres) Sarah, the girl, is nice. She's not quite sure if she wants to meet yet, but we think she will. And props to Nicole for having a non-member in her home with us over!!! MT. WOODSON ROCKS!!!!! We also have an appointment this week with a guy named Ben, who was brought by his member friend, Paul. Miracles are in abundance in Poway, everyone. 

This morning Dave walked by as we were talking to the Elders that would teach him, and they asked if they could come by and read the Book of Mormon with him, and he said yes! Also, Dave's daughter, Emma, is setting up an email account for Brooke so that we can email the mormon dog when we get transferred.  hahaha. They're awesome., I think that's about it. It's been a good week! Transfer number 9, here I come! 

Love, -Sister Audrey Michelle Bishop 

pic 1 - district meeting on Valentine's Day 

pic 2 - myself and Elder Hill, my district leader. Glasses sponsored by Sister Palmer's mom 

pic 3 - myself and Kristi Krause. She's leaving on her mission to Lubbock Texas on March 26th

pic 4 - Sisters Thaler, Ellis, and myself after MTE's.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

1 Nephi 18:16 Weekly email #49

Happy 34th anniversary, Mom and Dad! I know it's coming up at the end of the week. =] 

Mom, one time when I was little, you told me that church should be part of every aspect of my life. I know that you were talking about having a Christ centered life, and I just wanted to let you know that I still remember those wise words. =] 

Oh, and happy Valentines Day, everyone! 

I don't have very much to say this email. So sorry! Carlos, one of our investigators, came to church! That was super exciting! We were hoping to see 3 investigators there, so it was a little sad, but then I was grateful that we even had Carlos because we haven't had an investigator at church since Heather got baptized. We did start teaching Heather's friend, Lisa. We taught her 3 times and yesterday she dropped us. =/ We were really sad. Even though we parted ways in good spirits, it still felt like a bad breakup. Being dropped is always hard. Bum. Anyway.....

Yesterday Sister Palmer and Hermana Hess (a Spanish sister training leader) went to the Imperial Valley for MTE's, so I hung out with Hermana Hansen yesterday and did Spanish work! I said a few things in lessons. If I could testify in Spanish, I did. I could do that a little bit. And then sometimes I'd just say something in English and Hermana Hansen would translate for me. My favorite part of the lesson was when we read from El Libro De Mormon, because I can read Spanish. haha. It was super fun. We helped make dinner. We had chili rellanos! They were SO GOOD! With rice and beans. You can only imagine I was ecstatic. I attached a picture. =] But I think that's all I have to say today...... I love you all!!!! 

pic 1 - we made Elder Hill (district leader) a trophy. Him and Elder Arntsen made us the flower I'm holding. 

pic 2 - bad picture of some of my zone at the end of last p-day. I ran around playing soccer and frisbee. It was fun. 

pic 3 - Sister Bishop, Sister Solis (member in Santee Spanish branch) and Hermana Hansen. We made chili rellanos! 

pic 4 - up-close of my dinner last night. I helped make these chili rellanos! 

Ocean Beach peir and Sister Sorenson and Sister Mims, again! Weekly email #48

Pues, (well in Espanol), this week was pretty great. Last p-day I got to go to a pier in Ocean Beach. (see pic 1) It was really beautiful. I recommend coming to pick me up when my mission ends so you can see all the beautiful things. Or you can come back with me soon afterwards. It's super beautiful here. Anyway, let me tell you why this week was awesome:

Austin is a member in our ward and he's preparing to serve a mission. Him and Kyler (Recent Convert) have a mutual friend, Patrick, that has been to church for farewells and various things. I think he was at Bring Your Friend to Church in September, too. Anyway, he's been leery of learning about the LDS church because Austin and Kyler always  joke that they're going to baptized him and he was getting sick of it. But last Sunday Patrick was at church and we were setting up an appointment with Austin. I said "Patrick, do you want to come?" He said probably and we totally made it work for him. Last Wednesday night Patrick went to Austin's house at 8, 15 minutes before we went there, so that Austin could apologize for being silly and ask him to listen to us with an open heart. When we got there Austin gave us a sign letting us know that it was okay, and we could talk to Patrick openly. We had a pretty good lesson! We taught him on Saturday, too, and invited him to be baptized. He didn't say yes or no. But he's keeping commitments. He's praying and reading his scriptures. We're meeting with him next on Friday night and he should be coming to church on Sunday! Whoo-hoo! 

Fast Sunday was awesome. We were fasting for rain and for Bring Your Friend To Church on February 16th. Ashley Pretorius, my recent convert that is from South Africa, bore her testimony in Afrikaans. It was SO COOL! I could feel the spirit and she seemed a lot more comfortable up there speaking her native language than speaking English. Heather also bore her testimony. Speaking of Heather, she was called to be a ward missionary and she's already doing a fantastic job. She got us a referral of a friend named Lisa. She's about 20 and she's in our area!!!!! We're teaching her tonight at 7:30 with Heather there. Wow wow wow wow wow. Our ward is really catching the missionary fire. I LOVE IT. 

As you can tell from pictures #3 I went on an exchange with Sister Sorensen and Sister Mims. It was a good exchange. We taught a Muslim family. It was just the first lesson. If they want to be taught again they have to be interviewed by our mission president. I also got 2 free dictionaries which was an answer to prayer. I'm starting to read Jesus The Christ and I don't know what half the words that James E. Talmage uses mean. So it was a big blessing. =] 

Mom and Dad, there should be a California San Diego mission blog. You should look it up. I'm  pretty sure you'll see a picture of me somewhere. Probably in a group. 

Hey Family, is there anything you want me to include in emails? Like....I dunno. Anything? 

That's all I really have for this week. I love you everyone!!!!!! -Sister Bishop 

pic 1 - Sisters from my zone at the pier in Ocean Beach left to right: Sister Ellis, Sister Thaler, Sister Castillo, Sister Huang, Sister Wells, myself, Sister Palmer, Sister Wang, and Sister Strasser

pic 2 - Elder Arntsen and myself. He is my district leaders companion. I was doing that thing you see with my hands and he copied me and then we took this silly picture. XD 

pic 3 - Sister Sorensen, Sister Mims, and myself. I went on MTE's with them in UC 2nd. 

pic 4 - Vikki is the mom of a returning less-active. She got baptized on Saturday! Sister Palmer taught her her first lesson and invited her to be baptized. She said yes and then we passed her off to Green Valley. =D 

pic 5 - Sister Palmer and I TODAY celebrating 5 months as companions.

The temple was super awesome! Weekly email #47

Hey Family! The temple was super awesome! I loved being able to go. If I don't get a new companion that can go before my 90 days are up, the next time I'll be able to go will be on my birthday!!! I'd love to go before then, but if I have to wait, I'm totes going onApril 22nd. What a super great way to spend my 21st birthday. We'll see. I did 3 exchanges this week! I don't have pictures with all of them, but I did exchanges with Sister Ellis, Sister Garlow, and Sister Claflan. They were all super fun. With Sister Ellis we were on bikes. (see picture below) She's waiting for her visa to go to Brazil and she has a super great attitude about it. My next exchange was with Sister Garlow. We had a busy day and it was a lot of fun. I like her a lot. And then yesterday I did an exchange with Sister Claflan. She's being trained by Sister Memmott, my MTC companion. She's only been out 3 weeks. She told me she was super nervous for our exchange, but we had a great time. She's totes def going to be my friend from now on. On one of the exchanges the lady member was asking what I'm doing for school. I told her I was a dance major at BYU. She asked what I wanted to do with it, and I said "I want to be a mom", and she said "good for you!". That made me smile. 

Another funny thing that happened this week was when I was on exchanges with Sister Garlow. We were doing work up in Ramona and we were in an awkward time when we only have 10 minutes before an appointment and there's not enough time to go try and see someone, so we were sitting in the car in the church parking lot making phone calls when a car full of teenage-looking boys and girls drives through. They look at us kind of funny, and then  in a minute they come back around. The kid that was driving yells out his window "Oh wait, are you Mormons?" We said yes, and then he said "Oh, shoot, I was going to ask for your numbers". And then he drives off. Except he didn't say such a nice word as shoot. It was funny. Too bad he didn't want our number, or we  could've invited him to the singles ward! 

Update on Dave. We saw him one night when we were coming home and we asked him how he was. He wasn't doing so well because his Dad had just had a heart attack. I felt prompted to go ahead and ask if he had read the Plan of Salvation pamphlet. He said he finished reading all of it 4 hours before he found out his dad (who is his best friend) had a heart attack. He said that he liked a lot of it, so we offered more reading from Alma 40-41. He now has a Book of Mormon. A different day we went by and met his wife and found out his dad still isn't doing well. (pic 4 was taken that day) So now we're praying for him. 

I don't think I have much more to say. Love you all! I pray for you.

-Sister Bishop 

pic 1 - English Sister Training Leaders! me, Sister Pond (I'm hoping we'll get to be companions one day), Sister Engebretsen (Sister Palmer's trainer), and Sister Palmer. Please ignore my pit stains. Other than that, it's a lovely picture. 

pic 2 - Sister Ellis and I on an exchange last Wednesday. We rode bikes all day long, so this picture is trying to show you our bikes. 

pic 3 - This is Brooke, the Mormon dog! And those are Dave's legs. haha 

pic 4 - Sister Claflan and myself yesterday

pic 5 - Spring in January! San Diego is beautiful! 

Ups and Downs and Turn Arounds Weekly email #46

Family!!! I'm going to the temple today!!!! I haven't been since October 8th, so I'm pretty much bouncing up and down right now. WHOO-HOO! It's cloudy today. It's always cloudy when I go to the temple. Someday I'll get a nice picture. 

This week I had a hard day. Elder Casey (zone leader) says he's only had one hard day on his mission and that's because he let himself think it was a hard day and he's all about positive thinking. I'l about positive thinking, too, but when I've been struggling for a few weeks about feeling inadequate and not seeing the progress I feel like I should be making, I had a hard day when, in Sister Palmer's words, I just broke. I got a blessing from Elder Casey (same zone leader as mentioned above) and it was perfect. It was everything I needed to hear and Heavenly Father let me know He knows me. He even let me know that He knows how weary I am and told me to take care of my body. But all in all, it was a very spiritual experience and I'm grateful for the priesthood. (Dad, every single time I get a blessing I think about you. =D  ) 

My mid-mission crisis ended after the blessing. We had stake conference this weekend. It was a broadcast one from SLC. But the Saturday night session the missionaries were invited and so were the youth. So it was a big session. It was SUPER good. All about missionary work. Boone gave a small talk on his conversion. His girlfriend, Nikki, Sister Palmer and I were all sitting together and we were all nervous for him. He did fantastic, though. President Clyde, the stake president, had 6 people come up in the middle of his take and answer questions about missionary work. Sister Palmer and I went up there and briefly talked about Bring Your Friend To Church that we did, which is where Boone resulted from, so it was a success. We're hoping we inspired people to get involved with the missionaries. Hey, did I ever tell you that Mitt Romney's son is in the stake presidency? I feel like we have a celebrity. 

HEY! Mom and Dad! There are 3 months and 1 day until I turn 21. Just a heads up. 

Update on Dave and Brooke the dog. On Saturday morning I was doing comp study with Sister Castillo (exchanges again.) and we were practicing street contacting .We had some good practice in when I heard Dave outside our apartment. I said "Sister Castillo we're doing missionary work with this man, let's go out and talk to him!" We went out there and after talking to him a little bit we asked him if we could practice street contacting. We basically taught him a small restoration and then he broke character and said we did a good job. Then we asked if we could send missionaries to his house. He said his wife probably isn't ready but that he was open and he'd ask her. We gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and asked him to read it. He said he would. Whoo-hoo! Missionary work is great! 

Julianne didn't email me again. Please nag her. 

Also, missions change people a lot. Or at least, they can if we're fully invested. I haven't really seen as much change as I want to see, but I bet when I get home you'll all see a slightly more grown up Audrey. Also my testimony is a lot stronger. I love that about missions. But sometimes I feel like I'm trying to drink out of a fire hose and I can't get it all! I  have a lot of opportunities to change and be better but I don't think I'm getting it all. Wish me luck. 

I didn't take a lot of pictures this week, but I'll send one I took with my companion while we were waiting for a member. 

The opportunity to be on a mission is one of a kind. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father called me on a mission. He knew I needed it and I would love it 

God bless you, family!!! I love you all! -Sister Bishop