Thursday, May 29, 2014

Always in the Middle Weekly email #64

The subject of my email this week comes from an Ensign article by President Uchtdorf called "Always in the Middle". The link is here ---- >      
The reason why that's the title is because he says some things about missionary work, how whether there's a new missionary that just got there or an experienced missionary about to return home, they are always in the middle of their missions. I wish I had internalized this information this last week. The sun was hiding behind clouds (that never released rain) for 3 whole days! I love the sun! Sister Sheperd loved the cooler weather it brought, but frankly, I got a little cold and depressed because the sun was gone. Whatevs. The point is that I wasn't feeling as faithful and diligent as I have been in the past. I just need to remember that I'm always in the middle of my mission. Maybe I'll start telling people that when they ask how long I've been out. "oh, I'm in the middle right now". Sounds like a plan to me!
There was something sad that happened this week. Remember Kevin, the amazing potential investigator that came to church without us even teaching him a lesson! Well we taught him athe restoration this week (inside a frozen yogurt place. Probably THE ONLY fro yo place around. It's always packed) and he said he's not ready to changed and even prayed for us to find other people for us to teach in the closing prayer. I was kind of frustrated. I know people have agency, but DON'T THEY KNOW THIS IS THE BEST THING IN THE WHOLE WORLD AND NOT IN THE WORLD?! Anyway, that was kind of sad.
But something great happened yesterday! We taught a lady named Linda Trotter that the elders in our ward had contacted last week. It was the first time we met her, her first discussion (the restoration, of course!) and she accepted a baptism date for June 28th! We are super excited about it. She's 48 and is ready to go back to church and make changes in her life. Bring it! She's a sweet lady. =]
I'm almost done reading Jesus The Christ! I only have 2 chapters left! My goal to finish by June 9th will be SO REACHED! And beyond! haha. I love it, though. I really love how my testimony of Christ and my understanding of His character is expanding. Gotta love missionary work!
The picture I attached is a sign I saw in a members home. I loved it, so I took a picture so I could remember it always.
And......that's all. If people want to send stories from their missions or things they have learned in their scripture study that week, that would be mucho bueno. (or really awesome!)
Love you all! -Sister Bishop

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Weekly email #63


This week has been good. =] We saw a little miracle on Friday of last week. We were trying to find a potential investigator we had talked to, and he had given us his apartment number and pointed to a complex, but when we went back to look it wasn't the right complex so we were trying other complex's on the street. We went to the same number apartment in a different complex and the person wasn't there......sad. But as we were turning to walk down the steps we saw someone that was on his way up and asked if Troy lived there. He responded in the negative, but we went ahead and introduced ourselves and asked what his name was. His name is Kevin and he's 31 and does solar paneling and he was nice and gave us kool-aid and water (which was much appreciated because it was a bajillion degrees last week) and we invited him to church. He actually came to church! He only stayed for sacrament meeting but he was well greeted and lots of members asked us later how we met him. We have an appointment with him this Friday. We are so stoked about Kevin!!!! Miracles happen every day, people! 

Also this week we had MTE's, which stands for Missionary Training Exchange. We get instructed for 3 hours, then we go out and work with a coach all day and come back for 3 more hours of training the next day. Family, I have been a coach for 3 rounds of MTE's. (they happen every 3 months) and it was SO NICE not to be a coach for MTE's. Sister Pond and Sister Garlow are our new sister training leaders and Sister Pond came with us. We had a blast and saw miracles! In the training from President Clayton we were reminded that we can sing in lessons to bring the spirit, that we need to help members do their missionary work (and were given pointers on that) and how to keep from being stressed. At one point we were talking about inviting members to share the gospel with people they know and people they DON'T know, and that made me think of what a great missionary you are Mom. I love your stories! They motivate me so much! Anyway, President Clayton said he had identified 3 street contacting machines in the group, and he called up all 3 of them and I was one of them! I was so shocked! But I'll tell you what, it made me feel a lot more confident in street contacting the rest of the day. We went out and saw miracles! 

Family, are you doing missionary work? I know there's always something you can be doing, even if that something is getting to know your neighbors better. 

Back to the story: We street contacted a lady who speaks Arabic (we could barely communicate) and she invited us into her home. Luckily she has a grandson who lives with her that translated for us. We taught a really simple lesson about the restoration and had a prayer with them. They said they were catholic but that they'd give us a chance and now the Arabic elders are going to their house this Friday!!!! It's really exciting! 

We also went and saw a part member family at the request of the ward mission leader. We had the wife and the non-member husband and sang "Families Can Be Together Forever", and let me tell you, the spirit was there! The husband still said he'd rather not learn, but after that we talked to the wife about her missionary work and she gave us two referrals!!! We're excited about those. We've really been feeling like we need to work with more members to find people to teach who are ready to hear the gospel. 

That's about all, family. Keep up the hard work in following the gospel!!! I love the gospel and know it's true and I'm so happy I'm a missionary!!!! 

Love, -Sister Bishop 

pic 1 - a picture of my district from district lunch yesterday. Guess who's in my district again?! Elder Arntsen!!!! He's a good friend so I'm really happy about that. And then Elder Mason Lucero is not only in my district but we're serving in the same WARD now!!!! Small world! There are now 3 Texans serving in the Fuerte ward and one European. (Portugal)

pic 2 - MTE's! 

pic 3 - Sister Pond! LOVE HER!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Transfer #11 Weekly email #62

Hey family! I don't have a ton to say since I just talked to some of you on Sunday. And let me just say, I am so happy President Clayton let us do video chat this time. I'm not sure why now and not before, but it was really great to see you  Mom, Dad, Julianne, and Tim! Thanks for the advice for moving forward. I am excited for all of the time I have left to serve the Lord! 

To give you an idea of the kind of people I'm working with here.....

Right after talking to you guys on Sunday we went out and tried to see some people. We saw an investigator that had canceled the appointment we were supposed to have on Saturday. We tried talking to him to see if he knew how to get into an apartment complex and he would not slow down his walking and when we caught up he just asked us some frenzied questions about why we need the book of mormon (he'd been reading it) and how he doesn't need it and some crazy things. I don't know what got into me, but I stood right in front of him so he couldn't walk and I said "Brother Thomas, the Book of Mormon is true!" I probably said some other things that he didn't listen to, and he just walked away not listening to a single word we were saying. I guess we were broken up with. But I really wanted Brother Thomas to know the truth! He would be so blessed! HE NEEDS THE GOSPEL!!!!! gah! Agency is so frustrating sometimes. I don't know how Heavenly Father just watches us make bad choices. 

Also, on Saturday we were finding a spot to park our car on a crowded road, and the only spot was right next to a rough looking group of people. We decided to park there anyway and when we got out one of the men came up to us to be polite and listened to a few things we were saying. Somehow we actually talked to a different guy while in the background people were swearing and drinking and smoking. The police even came up and took them aside one by one to break the party up. They didn't bother us, though. We taught a lesson to Troy and said a prayer, all while that was happening. El Cajon is crazy! It's definitely not the same as my previous area where a lot of the stake was pretty wealthy. But not everyone in Poway was wealthy. That probably prepared me to help the people here. My love for them is growing. =] 

I've been reading Jesus The Christ off and on for the past 6 months of my mission, but recently set a goal to have it finished by June 9th, so I've been reading it with fervor. (is that the right word?) Anyway, as I read from it I'm noticing that Jesus says that people are healed because of their faith. It is so important to have faith in Christ so that we can be healed, or perform miracles, or change by using the atonement. No wonder the first principle of the gospel is faith in Jesus Christ! I'm also really struck by all of the miracles Jesus performs for these people! He is so loving! I see miracles happen in peoples lives while on my mission, and it's because of Christ. I am so grateful that He performed the atonement and we have the priesthood so that through priesthood ordinances and using the atonement to repent, we can truly be saved. I love my Savior!!!!!! Everyone! Read the Book of Mormon! Pray sincerely! Ask for opportunities to share your testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and GO FIND THEM!!!! People are perishing in unbelief, and they need to know what we have. (stepping down from my soap box now)

I love my Savior. There is probably nothing better I could have done for my testimony than come on a mission. I know He lives. And I will share that love. I invite you all to do the same. 

LOVE, -Sister Bishop 

pic 1 - my zone after zone meeting 

pic 2 - Sister Sheperd drawing part of the Plan of Salvation with chalk 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

14 months today!!!!!!! Weekly email #61

FAMILIA!!!! I think every week I get more and more excited to come email so I can hear from you all. I love my family!! The spirit of Elijah has hit me since I've been on my mission and I know that families are sacred!!! So I just love hearing from you all. (and wish I heard from more of you!)
Today also marks 14 months since the day I entered the MTC. Wow! Time hasn't exactly flown by, but I'm still amazed that I'm this far along on my mission. I think I'm just getting more and more tired, though. I'm always yawning and people ask me if I'm tired. I tell that I don't feel extra tired, but that I have the case of eternal yawns. And also someone told me on Sunday that I look tired. XD I can't help it!
I'm going to copy and paste a portion of my email to President Clayton to save time. But it's all good, I would have told you the same things:
"We are getting so busy! We're adding investigators often, and we're trying to help the ones we already have progress. We're also really focusing on getting investigators to church. I'm trying to remember the training you gave us on getting investigators to church. Also, we were so busy this past Friday that we did splits! Sister Sheperd was scared, but she did a fantastic job. And we added a new investigator! Sister Sheperd is super great. Once again we're noticing how the 12 week training program is so applicable to our investigators! This past week we watched all of District 1 about working with ward leaders and planning. It is helping us so much! We usually have super bomb plans for the day and we get stuff done. And this week, right after Elder Ballard talked about following the spirit, we're learning how to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to people and to follow the promptings of the spirit and teach our investigators what the spirit is. It never ceases to amaze us how the 12 week training program is inspired! I'm grateful for it. 

Following up with what Sister Barfuss and I worked on during exchanges, this week I have been thinking a lot about a quote President Uchdorf gave. It is " Love is the measure of our faith, the inspiration for our obedience, and the true altitude of our discipleship." The first line "love is the measure of our faith" really got me thinking! If I feel like I need more love for the area, Sister Sheperd, or myself, then I must need to work on my faith! If love is the measure of my faith, then my faith has been gradually increasing my whole mission. This week we're studying the gospel, which will help me learn more about faith. And I love the idea of teaching the need for faith to all of our investigators! God works by the power of faith, and they can't receive an answer from the spirit until they have faith. 

Little miracle to share with you: We have an investigator, Jesse, who passed his baptismal interview before we even got here and had a baptismal date but has been trying to drop us practically since we got here. We fasted for him on Sundaythat he'd realize the need for baptism. We met with him yesterday and shared 2 Nephi 32:8 which talks about the devil teaching a man not to pray. We asked Jesse if it was the devil or the spirit that was leading him in his decisions and we let the spirit teach him. We used silence a lot in this lesson. Jesse felt the spirit work on him and said after a long pause of thinking "I know I need to be baptized, sisters". His hang up is that his mom doesn't want him to join the church because of tithing and other reasons. But we think if we can get him to feel the spirit like that when we meet on Thursday that he will get baptized. Hopefully this month. It was a testimony builder on fasting and teaching by the spirit."
As you can tell from my email to President, Elder Ballard spoke to us this week! We heard from him just yesterday. Like last time he was here in July, he shook all our hands. A good portion of my mission friends are younger than me and haven't met him yet, so they were all excited. I also saw some of my friends from my last zone and Elder Arntsen from the valley! That was fun. Elder Ballard mostly talked about following the spirit. I know it's so important to follow the spirit. I'm working on it.
That's about all I've got. The work is good! We are so busy!!! The time from last Tuesday to this Tuesday seemed to go by so fast. We're already in week 6 of the transfer!
I LOVE THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST! I know it's true. Amen.
-Sister Audrey Michelle Bishop
p.s. LOTS OF LOVE! Happy mother's day to all the mothers. =]
pic 1 - my district (not in order, sorry) Elder Harrison, Elder Corum, Elder Nielsen, Elder Augusto, Sister Sheperd and myself.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

What a week! Weekly email #60

Things have been good! We are really busy here in the Fuerte ward! Before the week was even started we had about 15 set appointments, (I think), and that's a lot of appointments!!!! We are keeping busy. Probably one of the best things that happened just yesterday I will copy and past from President Clayton's email. (hope you don't mind)

This past week we were learning from 12 week and the district about working with members and the ward council. We heard that some past sisters didn't like our ward mission leaders tactics at missionary work, so they didn't have a very good relationship. So we've been praying to be able to establish trust with Brother Tills. Yesterday he gave us an opportunity to pull weeds for him, so we jumped at the chance. We had a pretty good time pulling weeds and we heard some of his conversion stories and told him why we each came on a mission. After that he came to a lesson with us that went really well. He found one of the two people we taught at that lesson. Brother Tills could not stop thanking us for our help at pulling weeds. It really was a great way to establish trust. I'm grateful for that service opportunity. 

I probably didn't make it sound like we had that good of a time pulling weeds, but trust me! We did! It was really super great. 

Along with building trust with our ward mission leader, we added 5 new investigators this week and we already added one yesterday for this week! We have a lot of of work in this ward. And there are two companionships here. Lots to do to save all the souls! 

We did an exchange this week. It was different because this time I wasn't the sistertraining  leader conducting the exchange. Sister Barfuss, who took my spot when I left Mt. Woodson, came to Fuerte with me. It was a good exchange! We had a lot of fun and she helped me have a better positive attitude. We had a good time. I was a little sad when we exchanged back because I missed Mt. Woodson andSister Landeen, but the tears were short. I do love Sister Sheperd and Fuerte. You know how I love hanging on to things and people I've connected to in the past. 

I'm not sure I have much else to say. It's been a good week. Life is great as a missionary! Love you all!!!!! 

-Sister Bishop 

I included a week of pictures. Hopefully you like them! I had to put them in 2 emails because I had so many!!!!

pic 1 & 2 - me blowing out all 21 purple birthday candles on 3 DELICIOUS smore's cupcakes that Sister Arrington made for me. It was fun! 

pic 3 - a picture of me inside this HUGE GARDEN of flowers. It was almost horder status of flowers. But beautiful! 
pic 4 - Sister Barfuss and myself on our exchange

pic 5 - AWESOME picture I found this week

pic 6 - Cow tongue tacos! Otherwise known as tacos de langua. I thought it was yummy! 

pic 7 - The little kid in this picture was born the day I entered the MTC. That's how old I am in mission age!!!! Whoo-hoo!