Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We have a loving Heavenly Father! Weekly email #54

Hey family! This week was pretty good. I didn't take a single picture this whole last week, so I'm including a picture that I made two weeks ago when Elder Casey went home. We got Elder Cardiff the day before Elder Casey went home and......anyway. The picture was from the district before, so I cut out Sister Palmer, carved in Sister Landeen (much like the Lord carved in natural branches into the wild olive trees), and added on stick figures Elder Cardiff and Elder Murdoch. And that was our district for a whole day until Elder Casey went home. Thus the title, "one day district". 

Speaking of Elder Cardiff, he can sing, and on March 30th there is a mission presidents fireside specifically for YSA, and I am going to audition to have a musical number in that fireside and Elder Cardiff is going to do it with me. The song is My Lord My God that I got from a CD Don gave me from his mission. Mom, I think you know the one. It has the lyrics "My Lord, My God. My Lord, my best friend", with the pretty boy and girl duet. Well, I hope it all works out. Keep your fingers crossed for that one! It's been my dream to sing that song in a mission presidents fireside since I got here.

This week we moved into a members home! The Quiggles are their name, and they are super awesome! They are very nice. Our room has two full beds in it, and they are comfortable, and we have a bathroom just for us. The best part about it is that because we aren't in an apartment anymore it's a bunch quieter at night. There aren't any next door neighbors watching scary movies or  being loud. AND it is SO DARK! Seriously. Last night I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and I had absolutely no idea where the door was. Couldn't see it the slightest bit. I was walking around with my hand out trying to feel anything, probably looking like a fool, when I finally felt what was probably Sister Landeen's bed post and knew I was headed the wrong way. It's a really nice set up. =D I really enjoy it. 

This Sunday church was so good! Ashley (recent convert from South Africa) shared her conversion story in sacrament meeting. It was really moving. I don't think it's an accident that she had to come to America to get baptized finally and I was called to the very ward she would be living in when she was ripe for baptism. I know I was supposed to know her. It is very evident that God's hand is in both of our lives. Then Kadi, a super boss returned missionary member gave a talk on missionary work. Then Kristi, who is leaving on her mission next Wednesday to Lubbock, Texas (woot! woot!) gave her farewell talk. She, like myself, did not want to serve a mission and ignored the promptings for a long time. Her brother helped her go on a mission, and it reminded me a lot of Mom helping me get on a mission. I remember so well that Tuesday after the age change when Mom spent the day with me on campus and we were going to go do baptism for the dead together in the Provo temple. Luckily for me, the line was super long and Mom and I decided to walk around the back of the temple. I knew I needed to pray about serving a mission. The promptings were there and I felt bad because I wasn't heeding them. So I asked Mom to add in her faith so that I could have the strength to ask Heavenly Father if He needed me to serve. Mom, thank you so much for following the Spirit and not asking me about it and just patiently waiting until I was ready to seek the answer on my own. I love that you were there to support me when Heavenly Father told me I needed to serve a mission and I didn't want to. I love that you support me in all my righteous decisions. I was reminded of all this as Kristi was talking and realized that I was exactly 6 months from going home. Wow. I really want to share this great message with as many people as I can, so family, could you please send me encourage things these next several months? Not that you don't, but my time is short and I need encouragement to keep working hard when I think I can't anymore. 

Oh, this was really sad. Our investigator Carlos, who we have taught for a few months, his parents got in a car accident on Saturday night and his mom passed away. His dad is alright. The Bishop in Ramona that Carlos is close to told us and asked us if we could get someone over there to see Carlos at the hospital. What a tender mercy it was that the hospital was in Sister Palmer's new area and she could go see him and Carlos knows her. She did see him and said he said he was ok. Our ward signed some cards for him, even though not very many of them know him. I have been praying that he remembers the plan of salvation and knows it's true. I hope this brings Carlos closer to Heavenly Father instead of away from Him. 

Also on Sunday in gospel principles we learned about the nature of God. I realized I needed to be much better at teaching God Is Our Loving Heavenly Father, the first principle we teach someone when we start teaching them. So yesterday and this morning I studied that and I was really filled with Heavenly Father's love for us. I realized I needed to be better at explaining that we are made in the image of God, that He wants us to communicate to Him through prayer, and that we show our love to Him through obedience. That was mostly yesterday, and then today I read a talk "The Grandeur of God" by Elder Holland. In it he talks about how everything Jesus Christ did taught us about the nature of our Father in Heaven. He said that some people can imagine themselves in the arms of Jesus but can't imagine themselves in the arms of God because of the wrath they hear about in the scriptures. I feel SO grateful that I know God IS our loving Heavenly Father. He is and I know it. I love knowing that He really does hear my prayers and He loves me enough to send me a Savior who only does His Father's will. I better understand a scripture I grew up with:

 John 3: 

 16 ¶For aGod so bloved the cworldthat he dgave his eonly begotten fSonthat whosoever gbelieveth in him should not perish, but have heverlasting ilife.
 17 For God asent not his Son into the world to bcondemn theworld; but that the world through him might be csaved.

I know that God loves us! His is our loving Heavenly Father and He wants us to live with Him again. 

I also love these verses from 1 John 4:

 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we mightlive through him.
 10 Herein is love, not that wloved God, but that he aloved us,and bsent his Son to be the cpropitiation for our sins.

Once again, I know that God loves me, and one evidence of that is in Jesus Christ, our Savior. Another evidence of that is that Heavenly Father trusts me with such a grand responsibility to preach the gospel. I hope that my offering is enough. 

I'm sorry I do'nt have more pictures this week. I didn't take a single picture this week. Not one. I have some catching up to do. But I love you, family! This work is the greatest!!!!! 

-Sister Audrey Michelle Bishop

One year gone, and a sister married. Weekly email #53

To all who care,
This week was good. On Wednesday we found a new investigator, Carlos (now we have two investigators named Carlos), that we found just outside of his apartment complex. We found him by talking to everyone! We're pretty sure he felt the spirit, but sad thing is that he wasn't there for our return appointment. =[ Big bumskies. We'll look for him again.
Thursday was my year mark!!! That was a really fun day. We had a district picnic at a park in Poway. It was really fun. Elder Bittner, one of my zone leaders, brought a hump day shirt and a camel so I took a picture with it, even though my hump day was 3 months ago. But it was fun.
We're teaching a good number of returning less-actives now, so we're hoping to find new investigators through them. It's always time to find new investigators!!! As one of my earlier zone leaders said, attitude is an attitude, not an activity. And that's so true. Maybe that will relate to my life after the mission when I'm looking for potential eternal marriage partners. haha. It's an attitude, not an activity! But seriously, we are trying to find.
We headed out to the Imperial Valley for exchanges on Friday night. I got to go on an exchange with Sister Romero. It was a good exchange. She's a really great missionary. The next morning was a little rough because it was the day Julianne was getting married. (Thanks for the pictures you sent to Sister Van Alfen! It was a real treat! Could I get a few more, por favor?) I received strength from Jesus to make it through the day, though. And I am not kidding. It was only because of Christ and His atonement I was able to do missionary work that day. Congratulations, Julianne and Tim! =]
We had zone conference yesterday. We were taught a lot about using the Book of Mormon in everything, because it is our most powerful resource in conversion. I love the Book of Mormon. It is so great. And true.  Yo se el Libro de Mormon es la verdad! And I want everyone to read it! People at home! Hearken to my voice! Share a copy of the Book of Mormon with someone this week. It's that great. And....that's about all. Sorry this email is so boring. I try to make up for it with pictures. Love you all!
-Sister Bishop
pic 1 - me at my year mark. That's what the one finger is signifying. And I'm wearing the same blouse, necklace, and earrings that I wore into the MTC.
pic 2 - happy hump day? Not really the hump day, but it was fun.
pic 3 - my district at Old Poway Park after a picnic on my year mark Left to right: Elder Murdoch, Elder Arntsen, Sister Landeen, myself, Elder Bittner, back left to right Elder Hill, Elder Cardiff.
pic 4 - Sister Romero and myself at the end of exchanges

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ONE YEAR!!!!!!!!!!! Weekly email #52

FAMILY!!!!! Guess what! I was set apart one year ago today. It's official. I'll be a missionary forever. I'm technically calling my year mark March 6th because that's the day I entered the MTC. Woot! Woot! Sister Landeen and I have sung together with her guitar a few times. Yesterday after mission leadership council we stopped by the mission office because our tiwi had been off all weekend and I had to check my own speed (TIWI is a monitor in our car that knows where we are and if we got 7 mph over the speed limit it says "check your speed" It's pretty nice because I don't have to worry about the speed limit. If I get yelled at I know I'm going too fast) so we tried to get the fleet coordinator to look at it. He wasn't sure what to do about it, but we found out for sure we're moving in with a member later this month. We heard the rumor first when we went to our apartment office and the lady said "Oh, you're moving out soon, right?" We said "what?!?!" haha. Then on Saturday I saw Elder Harrison (pic 1) in a different zone and he asked if we'd moved yet. He served in the ward that we're moving into......if that makes sense. Anyway, we clarified it yesterday with the housing coordinator, Elder Trotter. He told us it's going to be good. So....we'll see. I've never lived with a member. 

On the way to the baptism in another zone for Sister Landeen it was raining like crazy!!! It rained 4 days in a row this week. That's good because we've been in a drought. So, that's that. Yay for rain! (except I not-so-secretly dislike the rain because it makes me drowsy and I need to be energized to go do missionary work and I can't just take a nap because that would be disobedient.)

Sunday was a cool day. Sister Landeen and I were fasting to find new investigators. We only have one, and we are desirous to baptize many people, so we're working hard! Our testimony meeting was great. In the YSA ward people don't give thank-a-monies or travel logs. People just say things they know are true. So the Spirit is there really strongly. Anyway..........we had been trying to find all evening and we hadn't found anyone. Then we were in our apartment complex parking lot at about 8:57 and I saw a kid walking behind our car with beer in hand. He looked YSA age so I just said "Hey! Are you 18 to 30?" He said yes, so we invited him to FHE the next night and said as missionaries we like to talk to people about Jesus Christ. He was pretty  chill. We got his phone number and he didn't come to FHE, but he said he was still ok to meet. Miracle at 8:57 at night!!! 

Sad news from this week is that Elder Casey, one of my zone leaders and a good friend, had to go home this morning to have surgery on his knee. =[ He should be back in 3 months. (see pic 3) 

Sister Landeen and I went to the zoo today! The Brundages have passes where they can bring one guest with them, so they drove down to the zoo and let us in and then they bought us lunch and left. It was a beautiful day to go to the zoo! See attached pictures. 

This is the last email I'll send home before Julianne gets married. I had a hard time about missing the wedding on Thursday. Sister Landeen helped me feel better. I have an exchange planned for Saturday, so hopefully focusing on someone else's area will help me not focus on the fact that my only sister and best friend is getting married. I am really happy for Julianne and Tim! Congratulations! Love you! 

I love everyone else, also! Please remember me on Saturday as I preach the gospel in the San Diego Mission being out for one year and 2 days. 

-Sister Bishop 

pic 1 - Elder Harrison, myself, and Sister Ellis. Friends from Poway that got transferred. 

pic 2 - rain! 

pic 3 - Elder Casey and I yesterday after mission leadership council. We were both wearing purple. Whoo-hoo! The best color! 

pic 4 - San Diego Zoo! 

pic 5 - Po! haha Kung Fu Panda is awesome. 

pic 6 - Sister Landeen playing the guitar. =]