Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter is coming! Weekly email #58

Hey family! Easter is coming, as my subject line says. I'm excited for Sunday. I like how people have Christ on their minds this time of year. And at Christmas, too. But Easter is great because that's when we celebrate the atonement of Christ. We remember that everything is Because of Him, and we will be resurrected like He was. Please, watch this video and share it with ALL YOUR FRIENDS on FB and other social media sites.
It's wonderful. The Spirit is definitely there when you watch this movie. I promise you it will be worth the 2 1/2 minutes of your time. 

This week Sister Sheperd invited 2 people to be baptized!!! It's something that she's supposed to do right from the get-go as part of her training. She is doing awesome! I'm learning that I have to make sure I don't take over every situation when she's learning how to do it. That can be hard for me, but it's good for both of us in the end. Sister Sheperd and I have been having a good time with one another. We laugh a lot and have a good time. =] I feel blessed to have her as my companion. 

Last night we contacted a referral which actually turned out to be a guy who wanted to teach us about his church. He goes to a prominent church in this area. But his dad came out and they kind of attacked us and wanted to know why we didn't believe Jesus was God and why we believe in something that's obviously not the word of God. Sister Sheperd, bless her heart, was doing her best to defend the Book of Mormon and what we know about the nature of God and Jesus Christ. If either one of us tried to back each other up he would get upset and say "we're trying to have an adult conversation! Wait your turn!" But then he wouldn't even let us get a word in. His son was a little nicer and tried to get his dad to let us talk. But man, it was ugly. He (the dad) eventually asked us to pray with him, which we agreed, and it was not a reverent prayer at all. Sister Sheperd and I both were praying in our hearts for him and for the strength to do the right thing. When we finally were able to leave, doing our best to say we know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that Christ is the Son of God, Sister Sheperd was so shaken up she cried all the way home. I sang primary songs to try and calm her down. I think I feel a lot like a parent feels. I don't want her to feel sad or experience this hardship, but I know that it will strengthen her testimony. I remember when someone tried to bible bash with me and Sister Brown a long time ago, and I cried just like Sister Sheperd did. It's hard to hear someone diss the gospel that we hold so dear to our hearts. Anyway, I was able to show love to Sister Sheperd. I realized that probably training is helping me practice charity!!! Heavenly Father is answering my prayers.
The whole experience reminded me of something from Acts 5, after Peter and John are saved from execution and the Pharisees beat them up and tell them not to preach in the name of Christ anymore. But the following verses show their faith and the that they know the importance of their calling:
41 ¶And they departed from the presence of the council, arejoicing that they were counted worthy to bsuffer cshame for his dname.
42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and apreach Jesus Christ.
I am grateful that I am counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus Christ. I feel like I am receiving the best training for the rest of my earthly life and eternity by serving a mission. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live! I know that the gospel has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith and that the way to live with God again is to have faith in Christ, repent, and after entering in the way by baptism, to continue on by making more covenants in the temple and keeping them. I think I've said this before, but I'll say it again: My biggest anti-peeve (instead of a pet peeve it's something that I love) about coming on my mission is that I'm learning that I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ more than anyone else. As hard as it may seem, even more than you, Mom and Dad. But that's good, right? =]
On a less spiritual note, EXACTLY ONE WEEK UNTIL MY 21st BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! I am SO excited to go to the temple on my 21st birthday on my mission. I know I said it last week, but it's still super exciting. Also, if you hurry and send cards/packages or anything wishing me a happy birthday I'll get it ON my birthday because that's the day we get mail! Whoo-hoo! And if it comes a week late then I can celebrate even longer. I love you, family!
The gospel is true, the book is blue. I love Jesus Christ, and so do you! I hope you all have a wonderful Easter Sundayremembering Jesus Christ and His wonderful atonement. I wouldn't be without it.
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE, Sister Audrey Michelle Bishop
I forgot to let everyone know that MY BEST FRIEND, Sarah Markle, got her mission call! She's going to the Mexico Pachuca mission and reporting to the Provo MTC on July 23rd. I am super proud of her. ^_^

This is a good story that I wanted to share with you because sometimes life feels this way. Love you all!
Pushing Against The Rock

Author Unknown

There once was a man who was asleep one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared to him.
The Lord told him He had a work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin, explaining that he was to pushagainst the rock with all his might. This the man did, and for many weeks he toiled from sunup to sundown, his shoulder set squarely against the cold massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling his whole day had been spent in vain.
Seeing that the man showed signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture - placing thoughts in the man's mind, such as “Boy, you've been at it a long time and you're never going to move it!” or “Why kill yourself over this? Just put in a minimum effort, that will be enough,” giving the man the impression the task was impossible and the man was an unworthy servant because he wasn't moving the massive stone.
These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man and he considered easing up in his efforts, until, one day, he decided to take his troubles to the Lord in prayer.
“Lord,” he said, “I have labored hard and long in Your service, putting forth all my strength to do that which You have asked of me. Yet after all this time, I have not budged that rock, not even half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”
The Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, when long ago I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you your task was to push against the rock with all your strength. That you have done. But never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me, your strength spent, ready to quit, thinking that you have failed. But is this really so?
“Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewed and brown. Your hands are calloused from constant pressure and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your ability now far surpasses that which you used to have. True, you haven't succeeded in moving the rock. But your calling was to be obedient andpush, and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. That you have done.
“Now, my friend, I will move the rock.”

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