Monday, September 16, 2013

Letter 9: The one where Tessa tightropes across Manhattan

This week was so blessed. Absolutely loved it. A great turn around from last week, but such is the life!

I'm happy for the ups and the downs though. There are parts of not only missionary work, but life in general that are completely joyous, and you feel like you could tightrope across Manhattan! Other days, you're knocked to your knees and feel like you can barely brush your teeth. But it's the parts that make up the whole, and consequently--make us whole! The not-so-good weeks helps us grow and make you appreciate the great times that much more. Trials are an incredible blessing. How lucky are we to be pulled and stretched and have our faith tested, always knowing that God is patient with us and we will come out stronger and wiser and closer to Him.

--This last Tuesday, 2 planes of missionaries landed in Burbank. FIFTY missionaries. Holy smokes. The work is hastening! We have quite a few new missionaries in our zone. Our two Granada Hills Elders are Elders Hyde and Miller who were in my MTC district! Love it! So they're basically training each other haha. We have 4 missionaries in our ward, 3 of which have been out for one transfer....our Mama Rhoades keeps us in line (: Giving up half of our area was surprisingly felt like giving up a child! I wrote about 5 pages of notes for them, things to remember and what to do with each person we were working with...I mean business.

--Sister Redner is in my zone, one of my good friends from before the mission! Or should I say cyber-friend...thank you Facebook! We found each other online and talked a whole bunch and have been writing each other, and now she's in my zone, woo! Real-life friends now haha. Also, Elder Smith just arrived to our district from Draper, Utah! Happy to have someone who knows what the 'whisper dome' is, silly as that sounds. Feels like I have a piece of home here now (:

--We got TWO new investigators this week. Rosie is amazing, she is about 30, married, and has a Catholic background. She is super in-tune with the spirit, she felt it during our first lesson with her. She's happy and smart and really wants to follow God's will. Such a promising investigator! Love her tons already.

Investigator number two is named Myra! She's 19 and muslim. We taught her the restoration, and she was hanging on the edge of her seat wondering what we'd say next (: She just marvels how there's a modern-day prophet (can't blame her!) and wants to learn more. She is also super happy and loving. 

--We were knocking one day and a man answered who told us He just moved here 2 weeks ago from Syria! We ordered an Arabic Book of Mormon for him and took it by his house a couple days later. He wasn't home, but his daughter answered and let us inside. The whole family gathered, brought out cupcakes and drinks for us, and were SO excited about the Book of Mormon. Luckily his daughter spoke English, so she translated for us as we taught the Restoration! We had no idea half of what was going on haha with all the Arabic flying around, but their excitement was so genuine. It was incredible! 

--Driving by a park, we saw a man and woman sitting with their dog. So we stop, walk the 200 feet straight to them while they stare at us (awkward), and talk to them about the Book of Mormon. Turns out they were Jewish, his mom was here from Israel for the week. He was so funny, telling us "I can't touch anything that's not Jewish! See, I can touch my mom, she's Jewish. I can touch this newspaper, it's Hebrew. I can touch..." He just kept going on and on haha. I have loved meeting soo many cultures here though! It truly is a melting pot.

--Basically, if you couldn't tell by now...we've been going CRAZY with the Book of Mormon. I could go on and on with stories of the people we met and the experiences we've had using it in finding. We found TONS of incredible people last week! Which means this week, we will get to follow up and teach them...yay! 
Unfortunately...our mission is now in a "Book of Mormon Drought." haha the whole mission has run out of them! We only have 7 left for each companionship for the whole month...yikes! We hand out that many in one day. This will be interesting!

--Glenn was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints yesterday in Sacrament meeting. Oh, happy day! I don't have the words to express my joy and love for him. Hearing him get a blessing from the Lord was incredible as well, God loves him soo much and so do I (:

--We had told Magda we wouldn't be in her area anymore and that the elders would be teaching her, and she was super bummed. But then we found out we actually would be teaching her, so we call her:
"Magda, we are in your area!"
"Oh my goodness!! Prayers really work!!!"
hahah yes, yes they do (:

--Rosie during our lesson: "I love talking with you guys because if I say 'I got goosebumps from the Holy Spirit,' you won't think I'm crazy!!"

--We had our 6-week follow up meeting this week, and while talking about Companionship Inventory, President Hall asked for definitions of what comp inventory is. One Elder raises his hand and says it's, "petting all of the elephants in the room." haha true that! All the 'elephants' in the room that you don't acknowledge, you go 'pet' and talk about each of them with your companion. It was pretty funny, and true.

--Also at the follow up training, one elder says, "When we're angry at our companion, we can serve them and it will make us love them. Service is like a sick irony!" haha true that.

--Elder Smith introducing himself, "I'm from Draper, Utah, and I brought the fanny-pack back." hahah he's the greatest

--The 6-week follow up meeting on Thursday was awe-inspiring. President and Sister Hall are truly the best. Sister Hall posed a question that I have really taken to heart. She asked, "what is the conversation you're having in your head?" It's all about bridling our negative thoughts. When we control our negative thinking and instead, always be thinking about blessings, God, the good in others, the work, loving ourselves, etc.--everything changes! Our words and deeds are more positive. We are happier. It seriously all starts with the conversation you're having in your head. Easier said than done, but I'm working on it (:

--I read a talk by Marvin J. Ashton called, "The Tongue Can be a Sharp Sword." It was all about charity and loving others. A prime quote from it: "The best and most clear indicator that we are progressing spiritually and coming unto Christ is the way we treat other people." Such a great talk, read it! (:

--If you are a future missionary, you must do this. 
Gather a bunch of amazing quotes from general authorities and write them in a little book. Quotes that apply to anyone and everyone, such as this one:
"I do not believe in a God who would set up rules and commandments only to wait for us to fail so He could punish us. I believe in a God who is loving and caring and who rejoices in our every effort to stand tall and walk toward Him. Even when we stumble, He urges us not to be discouraged--never to give up or flee our allotted field of service--but to take courage, find our faith, and keep trying."
Then, write the quotes on post-it notes and put them in your Preach My Gospel. When meeting with people, you have a pool of good quotes to choose from, and I PROMISE you will find a quote that will touch their hearts. You give them the post-it note to keep, and then you can go home and re-write the quote later. A little tedious, and yes I go through a packs of post-it notes, but it is SO worth it. I have had incredible success with this. People love it. Do it, and you'll thank me. (;

I love you all! Pray for missionary opportunities. Don't be afraid to open your mouth and share the gospel--just DO IT. Make time to read your scriptures, make time to have heartfelt conversations with God, and you'll reap the blessings. Life's hard, but it's easier with Christ in it. This gospel is amazing!!

Sister Bishop

Our penguin friend:

Caught chocolate-handed! Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with Nutella on top...sinfully delicious:

Finally got to see Sister Reese again at the training. Love her (: :

The beautiful sky...get's me every night. I love it!:

I really really really <3 LA. (: :

p-day picture with Glenn's baptismal record!:

One last picture! With the San Fernando Mission street sign (: Happy p-day to all, and to all a good night! 

No comments:

Post a Comment