Monday, August 12, 2013

Letter 4: The one where Tessa rolls down the window

Hello everybody! (:

I swear I can't start off a letter without saying thank you. I'm overwhelmed each p-day as I get to read all of your letters/emails, and I appreciate them more than you know. Keep them coming! I've felt your prayers working, there's been ups and downs, but things are really looking up! THANK YOU (:

So much has happened this past week. We've had quite a few meetings, so that's kept us busy--zone meeting, district meeting, new missionary training meeting...the list goes on. Haha but each one I learn so much and I love it. At the new missionary training, Sister Hall (mission president's wife) said something I love and am trying to work on! "We don't need missionaries who beat themselves up for not being perfect. We need missionaries who laugh, shake it off, and turn to the Lord for help." AMEN. That's my motto for this week. President Hall also said that his favorite scripture used to be 3 Nephi 12:48--"Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." But he's adapted so his new favorite scripture is Moroni 10:32--"Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him..." It is ONLY through Christ that we can overcome our weaknesses. We try our best, and He makes up the rest. It's really helped me out, helped me realize that the adversary wants us to think that we are on our own, trying to be perfect. When we have that view though, our weaknesses will overwhelm us and leave us feeling helpless. However, when we rely on Christ we are never alone, and all things are possible.

Well, first off I'll share some of my favorite quotes from this week:
In our goodnight prayer (for lack of a better name...) Sister Rhoades was praying and said "May we rest in peace...oh wait, we don't want to die!"
Sister Rhoades-- "I really need to go to over-eaters anonymous."
Sister Rhoades-- "Wait, are Shamu and Free Willy related?!" Yes, she was dead serious. I died laughing.
Denny (investigator)-- "Dear Heavenly Father, please changes the rules so that I can hug my girls." 

Hahah so speaking of Denny, we taught him a couple of lessons this last week, but tomorrow we have to hand him over to the other elders (sad day!!!). But he is a crack up, he ALWAYS tries to hug us. It is so hard for him not to. So he prays that we'll be able to hug him. He just does not understand that rule. Also, he gets off topic so easily. We're talking about prayer, and he'll say "Wait, do you guys believe in exorcisms? What about angels, I've heard that they're like giants?!" Bless his heart. It's always a struggle trying to keep on track haha.

Soo the bed bugs have hit!! I got a bed-bug bite!! Ahh. So we had to go through this whoooole process trying to de-bug our beds. It was awful, I was so freaked out. And I have dreams that things are crawling on me. Haha all those years saying "don't let the bed bugs bite!" Now that phrase is dead serious. So appreciate your clean beds (:

I got to baking this week! We made pumpkin chocolate chips cookies twice, which reminded me so much of BYU and our pumpkin-kick last fall when we used that recipe a billion times haha. I love baking though, and it was great to take cookies to investigators and ward members! They really appreciated it. Also, we made postcards and sent them to ward council members. We're working hard to become the wards favorite missionaries and get them excited and involved in missionary work!

We found out at one of our meetings that our area is being split at the next transfer!! In 4 short weeks, we're getting elders!!! BUT we have to find housing for we went around apartment shopping, and have discovered that there's only one apartment complex in their area. And that apartment has one room possibly available...haha so we're praying hard it will work out! Once the elders come, I'm going onBIKE! Woo! I'm actually way excited about it. Hopefully it won't be as hot in 4 weeks...but I'm ready to embrace the helmet hair everyday and build up some nice calf muscles (; Bring it on.

Are you ready for a great story? We had a MIRACLE!!!  Wednesday night, we had been driving around...stalking people, trying to find them, chasing down people on the streets, knocking...haha and it wasn't going so hot! We were sitting in our car and I was a little bummed. Sister Rhoades was typing in an address on the GPS. A guy was walking his dog on the sidewalk towards us...I hesitated...but I rolled down the window and said hi. Why not get rejected one more time, right? Wrong. He was super nice!! So we got out and just talked with him, talked about his dog, his family, etc. Eventually it turned to church talk, and we set up an appointment for the next day. He said to us that he felt "excited, or something weird!" inside of him. The spirit, duh! 

So we went back Thursday. He is like a clean slate! He received the restoration so well. Oh, his name is Glen. He's in his 60's, and stays home and takes care of his mother who is pretty sick. Anyways, the lesson went great! We taught him about prayer, and he prayed for us and started crying during it. He said "I'm ready to accept all of you God, I want you in my life." He is GOLDEN I'm tellin ya! We went back Saturday and taught Plan of Salvation. The spirit was so strong and all of the sudden I found myself inviting him to be baptised. "If you come to know these things are true, would you prepare yourself to follow Christ and be baptised by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God?" And he says, "Well, yes!" AHhhhhh happy day. There's still a long ways to go, and he needs to have certain experiences and keep growing in order to have that testimony, but he is well on his way! He came to church yesterday, ALL 3 HOURS. Who does that? Haha but he loved it, and we're going back tomorrow to teach more.


That is the question. It has been a learning experience, that's for sure. Heavenly Father sends a lot of unprepared people to see what I'll do with them, before he'll trust me enough to send me a prepared person...aka GLEN. So I'm overwhelmingly grateful that He trusted me enough to send Glen my way, and I'm glad I had the faith the roll down the window and open my mouth.

I beg you with my whole heart to please pray for Glen, that he will continue to grow and have faith. That's all I ask of you! Please and thank you (:

Well, that's about all for this week. Things are looking up. I'm doing so well, and working my hardest. It's encouraging to see my work paying off. I love developing relationships with the ward members, they're all so great. I love representing Christ and just being nice to people! Even if that means a lot of people just stare at me like I'm crazy. I'm learning to realize that I'm a good interruption in people's lives. I'm trying to get over feeling like I bug everyone, but instead thinking "when else will they get to talk to a representative of Christ?"

Love you all, thanks again for the support, prayers, and letters. 

xoxo Sister Bishop

With their investigator, Denny (the hugger):

The wicked bed bug bite:

Tessa and Sister Cottrell, Sister Rhoades, and Sister Scrivner:

The Plan of Salvation kit she bought before her mission:

Celebrating their miracle investigator with pumpkin choco chip cookies and ice cream:

Sister Rhoades taking a closer look at Tessa:

The mission office parking lot. Everyone parks crazy and tries to block the others in.

Zone Ultimate Frisbee:

With Sister Cotrell:

A house with an expansive figurine collection:

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