Monday, September 23, 2013

Letter 10: The one where Tessa builds her calf muscles

Family and friends,

Holy smokes I've been out 2 months! Time needs to slooooow down. For real.

Ok, so it was an awesome week! Ready? Here we go. Also, I swear I try my best to make my weekly-report short...but it always ends up being a novel...sorry

--We went to see Edward, one of our investigators, and he's like "Walk to the store with me!" So we walk with him and are talking about the gospel, things are going good. We get to the store and it's a liquor store...uhh..."we'll stay outside!" haha we'll be having a little Word of Wisdom chat soon with him (;

--Our car went into the shop to get fixed, so we were on BIKE for half the week! I also accidentally gave the car shop all of our we were locked out haha. My bad.
But biking was great! It was a whole new ball game of missionary work. As Sister Rhoades said, "a new form of awkward to embrace!" Amen to that. We were so used to our car! Biking in a skirt was interesting; we got it down after a few days, we had our mechanisms and made it work.
Considering we don't even live in our area, and our whole area is made up of hills, we definitely got a work out! 10 minute bike ride to get into our area, then pure hills all day. Built up some leg muscle! Loved it though.
The side walks here are seriously so bad...they are all torn up and if you aren't paying close attention you'll get thrown off your bike by all the bumps. Haha it's either the rocky sidewalks, or the crazy traffic filled streets...pick your poison!
I got a flat tire day 2 of biking...whoops! On a borrowed bike. Once again, my bad. Our members came to the rescue though and the Granada Hills elders let us use one of their bikes!

--It was Glenn's mom, Virginia's, birthday Thursday! She's the sweetest lady. Sister Rhoades taught her a little handshake including "pounding it" and wiggling your fingers... hahah it was the cutest thing.

--Basically this week, we knocked and knocked and knocked some more, with some street contacting thrown in there too. We're working on building up our area and finding new investigators, and that just takes hard work, no way around it! Knocking can be discouraging, but also very interesting. You just never know what's going to be on the other side of the door! One man we met started talking about how giant humans that lived on the earth, how he has pictures of them and the Bible talks about it....don't know what Bible he's reading! Haha so funny.

--We meet a lot of Spanish speakers...and I try and fail at using my Spanish! Sorry Senor James, I should have paid more attention in class haha. Sister Rhoades accidentally starts speaking Japanese sometimes too, so no one knows what's going on haha it's a good time.

--Out of no where, we got FOUR new investigators!! We worked so hard all week, just kept being diligent though we didn't see much success, and then bam--four investigators. We're so blessed

ILIANA- Sweetest lady from El Salvador. She honestly is so kind and happy, she's an amazing mom and even mothers us (: She always insists "My home is your home!" We love her to death. Our lesson with her was incredible. I invited her to be baptized, and I thought something was going to burst inside of me, the spirit was that strong. She's not quite ready, but wants to work towards it (: Ahh she's the best.
JAMIE and JASON--A brother and sister in their 30's. They're the former investigators from a couple years back, and now they are ready to learn more! Very strong Christians, and amazing people. It's people like these where I honestly think I learn more from them than they learn from me!
PRISCILLA--She's in her 20's, and is truly a truth seeker; she has been searching out different religions and wants to follow God. We are so happy to promise her that she will get answers as she reads and prays about the Book of Mormon and the things we teach her. Love her!

--After a long day of finding, we were walking around a strip mall trying and failing at street contacting. Then we see a guy sitting in his car, and we go talk to him--and he is AMAZING. So prepared!! Definitely a miracle. Can hardly wait to see where things go with him. His name is Adrian! As we're walking away, Sister Rhoades is like, "Moses just parted the Red Sea." AKA--miracle! Haha so now that's our joke. "Code Red-Sea! Code Red-Sea!" anytime we see a miracle (which seriously is like, daily).

--"Watch out for Beavers."
Ok, Elder Smith says this every time someone leaves... "Have a good night, watch out for beavers!" hahah no one knows why. But it's hilarious. The first time he said it to us, we're like "what? Did he just say beaver?" haha I love it

--After riding our bikes on the sidewalk, Sister Rhoades says, "Now we know why ET made their bike fly!! It all makes sense!!!" hahah

--Magda, our cute 77 year old investigator: "Tell me your first names or you're never getting out of here!!" So funny. She was threatening us so bad and pounding her fist on the table, she's a feisty one! So yes, we told her our first names, and then she forgot the next day. (:

--We cleared up another of Magda's concerns about baptism, so now she's all set to go! She's like, "Oh I have to think of another excuse..." haha but she knows she's going to get baptized (: Hoping for mid-October!!

--"Are you guys nuns?" Says everyone and their dog. Do I look like a nun to you? haha (;

Alright, each week I swear this section gets bigger and bigger. Which is amazing! Keep it that way!

--When we were out knocking, we had a pretty bad door experience and I was a little bummed. So we walk away, and I look down and see a branch on the ground in a circle, and it looked exactly like a crown of thorns, I kid you not. This honestly hit me so hard...I was just slapped with the spirit. How could I forget that I was out working for Jesus Christ, and he suffered way more than I could ever experience? John 16:33--"In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." 

Honestly, that is the reason I'm here. It doesn't matter what happens to me, not at all! I am here as a representative of Jesus Christ. I'm not here to make friends (even though I do--that's a cherry on top (: ) I'm here to proclaim the truth, lift others, and change lives! Make people happy!! Give them the gospel!!
The gospel seriously is incredible. It's not some fairy-tale thing, this is REAL and it's TRUE. People desperately need the message that we have to share with them. So who cares if I get some doors slammed in my face? Jesus Christ is by my side every step of the way, and he's been through it ALL. No one said it would be easy, they just said it'd be worth it. (: I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!

--Luke 14:27 "And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple."
Matthew 16:24 "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
Matthew 10:38-39 "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."
I'm bearing the cross. I'm following Jesus Christ. I'm consecrating myself, and losing my life for him. Ahh I just love it. I challenge you all to do the same! Lose yourself for Jesus Christ!

Thanks for all your support. I'm happy and doing so well! Moving forward with faith, always anchored by hope. I'm learning so much it's incredible, if you're thinking about going on a mission, just DO IT. Love you all!!

Sister Bishop


Our legs seriously looked awful every night. Haha between tire marks and scratches from the wasn't pretty

Watch out for beavers!

I totally have a tan line from my watch! It's faint...but I swear it's there. (:

Had a birthday party for Sister Redner!

Birthday Sister and I...sorry for the poor quality and my helmet hair haha. In other news, a new skirt showed up on my doorstep and I was so happy! I love polka dots (:

I spoiled myself and got SUSHI! (: happy day.

Our zone leaders brought us Nutella and marshmallow crème...add that in with bananas and peanut butter and you've got yourself a sinfully delicious sandwich.

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