Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mission life has never been so good! Weekly email #67


The first thing I want to say today is that I really respect Job. I haven't studied him, but I've contemplated a lot on something he said. It's from Job 1:21. He said " Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." I am just so struck by his absolute faith in Christ, and knowing that He exists and is just and merciful, no matter the trials that came Job's way. I love that scripture. No matter what, blessed be the name of the Lord. 

Last Tuesday we went to La Jolla shores/coves and saw the ocean and some seals! And got a cool picture of Sister Sheperd and I. (refer to pic one) But it was a hectic day. We had a special sisters meeting earlier that day so we got permission to use 2 hours to go grocery shopping a different day, which we did on Thursday. Sister Sheperd was trying on hats and scarves while I was printing some pictures, and then I joined her and we got a super great picture! (see pic 2) 

Last Wednesday we had zone conference and it was my last training with President Clayton!!! I am so sad he's leaving! But it was a wonderful zone conference and it made me pumped up to go and preach the restored gospel to everyone!!!!!! I LOVE THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST!!!! We talked about the missionary purpose which is to "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end" and making it our own personal purposes. I want this to be my personal mission statement my whole life!!! Anyway, it helped me realize that if that really is my purpose it doesn't matter if I'm a full time missionary or a member missionary, but that I'm still helping others come to Christ. Sister Clayton talked about communication skills which has been helpful. President Morgan (member of the mission presidency) talked about asking questions and being better teachers. I have so much to learn to become a wonderful teacher. But I've come a long way! And then President Clayton taught us how to teach the restoration in one minute. I remembered how to do it from a previous training, so it wasn't hard. But then he helped us expand it and it was pretty fun! I know we have to refer to the restoration when we're talking about our church, because otherwise our church is the same as other Christian churches. So, it was great. We took a zone picture (see pic 3) with President and Sister Clayton. After all 3 zones got pictures Sister Clayton started giving hugs to the elders!!! I got excited because that meant I would probably get to hug President Clayton!!!! And I did!!!! It was so cool! I have such a respect and love for President Clayton, so it was like a dream come true being able to give him a hug. After he gave me a hug he said "Thank you for being so marvelous". Oh man. I feel so complimented. It was a great moment. =D 

Also on Wednesday Sister Sheperd and I taught a 15 min workshop class as part of the Relief Society activity. The theme of the activity was "B.O.O.T." which stood for "building our own testimonies". We  had the topic of "building strength and endurance", which was like your basic go to church, pray, read your scriptures. Or in other words, CPR. It's our own spiritual rescue going on. Church, Pray, Read. CPR. Use it. Remember it. Anyway, it was a blast and I think it helped us to gain member trust with the Relief Society, which is important because we need members! That's the  best way to find people who will stay active. 

On Thursday ALL 6 teaching appointments fell through, so we ended up weekly planning that day instead of Saturday, and after our dinner appointment we were led to go talk to a lady we street contacted about a month ago. Her name is Unique, and she is interested in learning more! We added her as an investigator. I hope she progresses. 

On Friday we had district meeting and Elder Lucero talked about using members to find! I had a revelation when I realized that I need to have extraordinary faith in the members that they can find someone for us to teach. But more importantly, that they can bring a brother or sister to the gospel of Christ. There is a woman in our ward that has been going through a hard time with losing a job and her husband losing his job and she's just been wondering what to do, and Heavenly Father led her to be part of the member missionary class that Brother Tills (our ward mission leader) puts on. She just blossomed as a missionary! She felt prompted to open her mouth and talk to a lady who works at Vons (a grocery store) and invited her over to a family game night and let her know that people from her church would be there (us! The missionaries!) to share a spiritual message before they play Uno. And she invited her dog's groomer, too!!!! Sister Pescar (this amazing missionary) is really feeling her testimony grow and she is led to invite people to learn about the gospel. Also, I attached a picture of my district. It's pretty great. Check it out below. 

On Saturday we helped out with a community thing. It was called "El Cajon's America on Main Street". It was a cultural fair, basically, and us missionaries came for the last 3 hours of the day to help. We volunteered at a craft booth and then helped take those craft booths down. I wasn't expecting too much, but then we had a lot of fun working with the staff and we even saw other missionaries (I love seeing other missionaries!) and then they gave us free t-shirts at the end! (see my next email of pictures for a picture of these t-shirts) 

Sunday was awesome! Mostly because of the mission presidents fireside that was that evening. On Friday night I got a call from President Hunt (member of the mission presidency that I was pretty close to from Chula Vista) asking me if I knew Heather Fugate's phone number. (my last convert from Poway) I said I didn't, but that he could get it from the sisters in Mt. Woodson. The reason why he needed it was because there was a cancellation of a testimony from a recent convert for the Mission Presidents fireside,  so he wanted to ask Heather. I already knew I'd be there to sing in the choir so I got so excited!!!!! Heather was indeed there along with Ashley (the convert from South Africa who got baptized the week before Heather), and Kadi, the amazing fellowshipper for both of them!!! AND Sister Palmer was also singing at the fireside, and we sat next to each other in the choir seats so I held her hand as Heather was bearing her testimony/telling her conversion story. It was very tender. I feel so blessed that Sister Palmer and I both got to hear/see Heather give her testimony TOGETHER. And I hugged all 3 of those women that I love before the fireside and got a picture. It's beautiful. Look at my next email for it. 

It was also a sad fireside because it was President Clayton's last fireside. That was kind of sad. =[ Not going to lie....I cried. We sang "I Am A Child of God" for the opening song, and each verse and chorus was a different language until the 4th verse when we all sang in English with the ASL elders signing. The languages were English, Spanish, Laotion (no idea how to spell that), Tagolic, Arabic, and Mandarin Chinese. It was so cool. And then the closing prayer was our mission song, that I love dearly. And President and Sister Clayton stood with us and sang to the audience for that one, and it was all I took to not break down crying. I just have so many wonderful memories!!!! I don't want them to end. I'm excited for President Schmitt to come and be my mission president, but at this moment it seems hard to let President and Sister Clayton go. It was a powerful evening, and I'm SO GRATEFUL I could be there. 

Right after the fireside we started exchanges. Our sister training leaders are Sister Pond and Sister Garlow. I went with Sister Pond (we were in the same district in Chula Vista for 3 transfers and I love her a ton!) and Sister Garlow went with Sister Sheperd. I was nervous for Sister Sheperd because it was her first time taking over the area, but not that nervous because Sister Garlow served here for a little less than 8 months! She said they had a good day. I sure had a good day with Sister Pond. We invited someone to be baptized on a specific date, and he's thinking about it. Then a member we were going to see after dinner called and asked if he could bring his non-member friend so she could learn about the restoration, we said yes and she was added as an investigator! It was also fun to work in a YSA ward again. I miss it, but it's alright. Good things are happening in the Fuerte ward! Anyway, the exchange with Sister Pond was exactly what I needed to keep me going for the next few months of hard work! She was very loving and listened to me and gave me encouragement. I'm grateful for the exchange. I also realized that for one transfer I was her sister training leader (that was my first transfer as a sister training leader and it was so long ago!) and now she's my sister training leader! I love how in the church there aren't leadership ladders. We just do what the Lord has asked us to do and every calling helps us move forward. But I know I needed Sister Pond, and we had a blast. 

Wow. That was quite an email, wasn't it? Well, it was a great week! Thus the email subject "mission life has never been so good". 

Keep moving forward in the gospel! Love, -Sister Bishop 

pic 1 - Sister Sheperd and I by the ocean! 

pic 2 - me and my companion at Target looking like ladies 

pic 3 - El Cajon zone with President and Sister Clayton 

pic 4 - my district plus the zone leaders 
pic 5 - American on Main Street t-shirts

pic 6 - myself, Heather (recent convert from Poway), Ashley (same), Sister Palmer, and Kadi Baggett (amazing RM that I'm so going to be friends with always) 

pic 7 - Myself and Sister Pond on our exchange yesterday
pic 8 - Heather! 

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