Holy smokes I have so much to tell you, where to begin?
Well my lovely companion, Sister Reese, is THE BEST. I just love her, and we are like the same person--same style (we match on accident like every day!), same strengths, same weaknesses, same sense of humor...we are best friends. I love it. We grow closer every day, and work really well together teaching and everything. Such a testiment that companions are not random! They are meant to be. One thing I love is how heartfelt and amazing her prayers are. She's helped me grow in that aspect. On Thursday night, the Elders gave each of us blessings, and it was incredible! Priesthood blessings are amazing, it bonded our district so much.
Friday was a hard day for Sister Reese and I...and the other 2 sisters in our district as well actually! The Elders are so funny, they could tell we were bummed out and Elder Hyde says, "Oh no! If the Sisters aren't doing well, we're all done for!" Haha.I think it finally just sank in and caught up to me and Sister Reese how exhausted we were and how dissappointing it can be sometimes. Our expectations for ourselves were way too high. It kind of bummed us out big time, and then our brains felt like mush in class and we didn't have the will power or desire to go on! If that makes any sense at all. It's just hard. But we worked through it, and made plans for how to avoid that next time. Basically we both just need more patience, with ourselves and with the Lord. Emotions are definitely amplified on the mish! Highs are really high, lows are really low. BUT do not fear, all is well and only went up from there!
Saturday was easier than Friday, still hard. Heavenly Father just needed to humble me (: It's an adjustment coming here, but a great one! And it's SO true what I heard a million times--make it to Sunday and you're golden! We had a break from studying and went to the bookstore to buy Sister Reese her first shade shirt ever! She put it on and was FREAKING OUT. She was ecstatic. So funny! So all you Utah people, appreciate your shade shirts.
Sunday was incredible, as to be expected. We finally got out of the classroom a bit, and had some great experiences. I loved walking to the temple! There were protestors out, which I thought was odd, but we just ignored them. It was cool to see the swarm of missionaries everwhere! Loved it. The best was at night, we watched a video of a devotional Elder Bednar gave at the MTC a while back. It was on how to know if it's a prompting from the Holy Ghost, or just your own thoughts. He basically said don't worry about it! Just be a good girl or boy, keep your covenants, be obedient, and get up and GO. Get on your feet, open your mouths, do what you believe to be best, and we cannot fail! Heavenly Father doesn't need to 'slap us with the Holy Ghost' to be able to trust us. We won't know a lot of the times if it's a prompting or not, but for all we know we could be performing a miracle! I was furiously scribbling down notes the whole time haha so I can remember it all! I'm not exaggerating when I say this talk changed my life, and definitely turned around my experience at the MTC. After the talk we got more blessings of comfort from the Elders, and the spirit was so incredibly strong. Our district is so close, love them all.
Oh, almost forgot! I'm sister training leader!!! Ahhh I was so happy when they pulled me aside to ask if I would do it (: Uhh YES! So for those of you who don't know, Sister Training Leader is the equivelant of being the zone leader. I'm the only one for our district of 30. I get to help out all the sisters, and specifically the new group of sister missionaries in our district that came in yesterday! It's a lot of work on top of the amount of work I already have, but I wouldn't want it any other way. Plus, it's only a week long calling haha so I'm making the most of it!
Teaching has only gotten better and better. The MTC prepares you so well! I really feel the spirit when I'm teaching and it's getting SO much easier to be able to simplify the gospel, really testify to people, and relate it to their lives. Makes me so pumped to get out in San Fernando! Even though I know I still have so much to learn (: Me and Sister Reese have been teaching our progressing investigator, Ebony, a whole bunch. She is incredible! After 2 lessons, we invited her to be baptised, and she said yes, yay! We feel the spirit so strong teaching her. And seeing the teaching paying off makes it so worth it. She just has to start living the law of chastity now (: Every time we teach her is the highlight of our day.
Elder Hyde always does funny things, like dancing to "wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle with it." Or his catch phrase that he repeats alllll the time, "Just keep calm and ask the Sisters!" Haha the Elders in my district are great, sometimes it feels like we are their moms cause we're all older than them haha but we love them. The rules at the MTC are an adjustment as well! Mainly just calling everyone 'elders and sisters' not 'guys' or something. Then in gym I've high-fived guys a couple times--not allowed! Whoops! Better than almost hugging though, right? I'm getting better (; Speaking of gym time, Sister Reese has gotten me to run with her. That's a miracle in and of itself, I hate running! haha it's getting easier. In return, I make her play volleyball with me. All about compromise (:
Did I mention who my teachers were? They're Brother Green and Sister Grenfell. They are incredible! Seriously I'm so blessed, I learn SO much from them. It almost seems impossible how much I've learned and grown in 8 short days. One time in class before role-plaing, I found out I'd be the one teaching, so I said, "Holla! I get to preach the gospel!" and I turn around and Brother Green is behind me just chuckling and giving me a look. So I'm like, "uhh...I didn't mean that! No slang words!" haha things are 10 times funnier when you're sitting in a classroom all day. Man I sound like I'm just breaking the rules all the time because I've shared the 5 times I've slipped up. Haha I promise I'm a good little obedient sister missionary!
I've seen a ton of friends here at the MTC! Everywhere I go it seems like there is a friendly face from highschool or BYU. What a blessing! Everyone teases me, "point out someone you DON'T know" haha.
Any ways, I SO appreciate all the letters. It honestly has gotten me through a lot. I love hearing about your lives and basically just anything!! Keep it up, and I'll try my best to write you all back individually! (: To those of you who wrote me the funniest letters ever, thank you!! My roomies thought I was crazy just giggling away up on my bunk haha. I shared some of the letters with them though so they could have a good laugh too (: And my cute family hiding notes and pictures in my things--ah! So nice! Made me tear up a couple times, mostly happy tears though because I love you all. I leave early Monday morning (crazy!) so if you want to write me on Dearelder.com, do it before then!
Sorry this is like a GINORMOUS email!! There is so much to tell! I hope you didn't fall asleep half way when you were reading it. Moral of the story: THE MTC IS AMAZING! I love it so much, and more importantly I love this gospel. It is incredible and it is true. I've adjusted well and every day is just lovely, so don't worry about me (: Just keep praying and writing me! Love you all. And I can't figure out how to upload pictures...I think I have to switch computers...uhhh haha I'll work on that cause I've got a bunch of course, I love pictures! Stay tuned!
July 17, 2013
Hello, hello! So sorry, I seriously have NO time to write, which is so sad, because I have so much to tell! But today was seriously amazing! I love it so much. But I've heard it gets bad the next couple days, then gets good again...so we'll see! Pray for me please!
Things got better after the drop-off. I was all sad and scared outta my mind, but then so much was going on I didn't have time to think about myself! My teachers are the best ever. And oh my goodness I love my companion! Her name is Sister Reese and she is from Georgia! Honestly the cutest nicest girl ever. Things going fantastic. I've been taking pictures, so look forward to those next Thursday which is my p-day! We don't get a p-day this week because there's too much to do and we just got here.
Basically I've seen everyone I know at the MTC! Seriously, everyone. My companion has to put up with it haha. Jordyn Arndt is in my district. Also saw Carson Lund, Mitch Dom, Summer Osborne, Jean Bingham, Kyle Welburn (FHE) and that's just to name a few. It was so funny, right as I had just barely gotten to the MTC and was still all flustered, I run into Elder Dom & go to hug him. He freaks out like "DON'T HUG ME!" while backing away. Haha, it was great. Close call! I'm also having a hard time calling everyone elder and sister, mostly my friends I run into.
There are 4 girls in my room, love them all. We had a teaching experience today with like 50 missionaries to on investigator. It was incredible though! The spirit was so strong. Also had my first experience singing Called to Serve; gave me chills.
Well, that's basically the jist of it all! There's an amazing spirit here. I'm just praying the next couple days go well.
Love you guys and miss you so much already!
Alright, this little bloggy is getting handed over to my mother to post my weekly emails home! This is the last post from yours truly.
But first, I though I'd share a little about my farewell.
It was WAY more stressful than I thought it would be, so a tip for you sisters with a farewell in your future: start early! The list of things to do for it just piles up, and then all of a sudden the day is there and you're just running around all crazy-like!
Luckily, though the stress was intense for a moment, it all went swimmingly and turned out perfect. My talk went better than I had hoped for, the spirit was so strong! That's probably the most important part. Bring the spirit to the meeting, and it will carry the message into the hearts of the people (and make them cry so you're not the only one (; ).
My topic was Finding Joy in Living the Gospel and Serving Others. A bit of a broad topic if you ask me, but it was fun to work with and something I whole-heartedly believe in! The gospel is meant to bring us joy, and sometimes we overlook that and get caught up in the little day to day things in life. Don't forget how to have true JOY in living the gospel! Plus, serving others is just the best. It brings you more happiness than the people you are serving.
I'm so so thankful for everyone who came, I appreciate the love and support!
Sorry this is a short post, I only have 1 hour left on the computer and lots to do. (: I love you all, don't hesitate to write me!
Here's my MTC address until the 29th:
Sister Tessa Marie Bishop
2011 N 900 E Unit 245 Provo, UT 84062
Holy smokes, guys! This girl is going to officially be Sister Bishop in just 8 short days!
We scheduled a time for me to get set apart as a missionary, and it has just been hitting me over and over again just how close my mission really is. Wow!
Well a lot has happened since I got my call. I've gone through the temple, visited my roommates in Arizona, moved to California, gone on splits a few times with some amazing sister missionaries, moved back to Utah, gone to two family reunions, gotten a job, spent so much time with friends and loved ones, and studied my little heart out in the scriptures and Preach My Gospel.
All of this has felt like sort of a floating period before my mission, ya know? I just go from place to place, activity to activity, just waiting for my mission to begin! Now that it's almost here the nerves have set in, but my faith has grown so much as well.
I'm grateful for the personal revelation I receive daily and the spirit I feel as I prepare for this great journey. My testimony has grown ten-fold, and so has my excitement! It's scary putting total faith in the Lord, but at the same time, it's so wonderfully amazing. I don't have to stress, because I know as long as I'm trying, the Lord will make up my shortcomings and truly completes me, making every single thing alright.
I can not wait to wear Christ's name right next to mine and right over my heart. I'm thrilled to know I'll have the spirit as my constant companion, and that this journey is exactly what I need to be doing right now. I'm very much so aware that it will be unbearable difficult at times, but that is alright! Bring it on. (; I'll have overwhelming joy as well, and isn't that worth it in the end? I can't wait to be more fully personally converted to the Lord and this Church. It will also be so amazing to share a message that means the whole world to me with people who have been waiting and searching and yearning for this exact thing. It'll be so humbling to see people change their lives to be part of the Church, something I take for granted is that I grew up with the gospel in my life and supportive parents!
I know God is so aware of me--my struggles, concerns, insecurities--and He knows exactly what I need to make me the person He knows I can become. I can't wait to be shaped by this experience and devote my life to this amazing gospel.
Bottom line is, I love this Church with my whole heart and know that it is true. I'm so grateful that it just leaves me a mess of tears every time I start to talk about it! Thanks for reading, and your support <3
Now I just have to go study some more, write my farewell talk, buy lots of food for the open house, make decorations, clean everything until it's sparkling, say goodbyes, work my last few days at my job, gather the last minute mission supplies, pack....
and the list goes on.
Deep breaths. What matters most is not what happens this next week or next Sunday at my farewell, but what happens Tuesday night at 6 when I'm set apart (: Can't wait!