Friday, December 27, 2013

LETTER 24: The one where Tessa has her 1st missionary Christmas!

Don't have a whole lot of time today to email, but basically the pictures tell all of what happened this week! Here's a brief re-cap


--We went on 3 exchanges! Crazy week. First with Sister Reese, then Sister Andersen, then Sister Taylor. Love working with these amazing sisters and learning from them!

--Got one new investigator this week named Andrew. He's amazing, and we had a powerful Restoration lesson with him. 

--Went on a temple trip as a mission! Best thing in the world, being in the temple with all these amazing missionaries I'm privileged to have as my friends.


--Elder Larman and Elder Stucki were trying to surprise us by taping snickers all over our door. I was sitting on the couch and heard weird noises outside our door and got all freaked out! So I told Sister Naylor, and she grabs a frying pan and opens the door. Haha she totally almost whacked them. Last time they try to surprise us! (;

--While contacting.
*knock knock*
Through the door: "I'm not interested!"
Sister Naylor: "Ok, have a Merry Christmas! We love you! I mean...uhh bye!"
haha she didn't mean to say I love you. We were laughing pretty hard.


--I've been learning a lot this week about the importance of listening. Listening is more important than talking! When we truly listen to people, it communicates love and concern. Also, I've been studying this week the life of the Savior. He is truly amazing, how grateful I am for Him and for His sacrifice for each of us. I love this season and having the focus be on Christ! Christmas as a missionary is the BEST (: 

Thank you all so much for your overwhelming love and support. I appreciate the Christmas cards and gifts, you all are so good to me! Have a very merry Christmas, and remember our Savior (: Love you!

-Sister Bishop

We had FHE with Dayna and Raquel this week, we had chocolate for the treat.

Dayna went to town!

And then she seriously went CRAZY haha she's wild.

Went out on an exchange with Sister Reese, my MTC companion! (:

It was our 5 month mark! Time is flyyyyying.

Exchange with Sister Andersen! More jumping pictures...they're too fun.

Me and Sister Andersen.

Exchange with Sister Taylor!

Taking "snow white" to a whole new level...So. White. haha

Sister Taylor, me, Sister Naylor, and Sister Wensel.

Abusing my companion...

Us again!

Found these sunglasses in the car, perfectly matched my shirt!

Got to go to the temple this week as a mission! Soo amazing.

Wiley Canyon Elders

Our lovely trainer, Sister Rhoades, and her "posterity"

Elder and Sister Arnold, our ride to the temple and mission medical experts! (:

Our Steve-o!

Friday, December 20, 2013

LETTER 23: The one where Tessa kills the robot missionary

Amazing week, nothing overly exciting to report, but at the same time--so much is happening and there truly are miracles every day.


--We had Zone Conference this last week, fun to have our whole mission together in one place and be with so many people I love to death. And of course, an amazing training from President and Sister Hall, as to be expected. 

--We've been meeting with Steve, he is the best. We love him to death, he is so funny. We are all best friends, no joke. We've been working with him to start changing some habits in his life and follow the Savior. Love talking about the Atonement with him, and the fact that we can all change and be forgiven. It's a special thing being able to see people change their lives, and all because of the Savior's sacrifice for us.

--Two days this week, we brought a Young Woman girl with us out working! So fun, and exciting to see them all have that desire to serve missions (: Seems like I was just in their shoes. 

--Friday we met with Adeline and had an incredible lesson. She came to church on Sunday, too, and loved it! Yayy! So happy. Things are going great with her.

--We went on exchanges with Sisters Young and Reese this week! Oh so fun. I was with Sister Young in Wiley Canyon area. We went out contacting a ton! Me and Sister Young set a goal to NOT use the phrase "we have a message about Jesus Christ!" We are cutting that out haha. That's our "robot missionary" phrase that we just blurt out when we get nervous and don't know what else to say. But everyone has a message about Jesus Christ! We have so much more than that!!! So we are serious now about sharing part of our unique message--the Restoration. We set a goal to testify right away, don't even ask if they want to hear it, just go (: It went super well. Found a TON of solid people and got a bunch of return appointments. Love it!! Our apartment complex has 20 buildings, it's a gold mine. We still have probably only contacted about half of them, if that. So much left to do, can't wait (:

--Saturday and Sunday night, our Stake put on a Christmas program called "This Holy Night." We got to be ushers at two of the Sunday night performances. Oh my goodness...words cannot express how amazing it was. I am blown away by it! They went all out. So many people are in the movie/production/show industry here, they can't just do a little show--nope. Go big or go home! So they had a full on orchestra and choir, with some of the most talented people. I felt the spirit so strongly, I was getting chills and fighting off tears the whole time! Hundreds and hundreds of people came. Simply amazing. I love the Christmas season!! 


--Sorry to skip out on the "funny" section this week, I can't remember anything for the life of me. BUT I did learn lots! (: I'm really learning to appreciate the true meaning of Christmas. I'm convinced that being a missionary during Christmas is the best thing ever. Sister Hall talked with us about the Christmas story, specifically about when the angel came to the Shepherds to tell them of Christ's birth. We are those messengers now! We have to be bold and talk with people about Christ! Most people know about Him, but do they know that His truths have been brought to the earth again? Do they know that we can be together forever as families? There's so much more we have to share with people. No one in this mission can receive exaltation without first talking to one of us. They NEED what we have!! The whole complete gospel! So we have to quit hiding behind our nerves. If we believe, then be bold! So I'm working on it and loving being that messenger for people (: 

That's about it for this week. Super great, everything is just too good. I'm beyond blessed. <3 Have an amazing holiday season, and go look up some of the "mormon messages" on when you have a chance, they have some great ones refocusing us on the real meaning of Christmas! Love you all (:

Sister Bishop

Me and Sister Naylor outside our complex. Haha so funny.

With Sister Dame and Sister Raty, our amazing sisters! Love them! (:

My mom gets mother of the year award, she sent me 15 cute little Santas--each storing a present and a scripture that I get to open each day until Christmas. So amazing! (:

My kind of December (:

Me and Sister Young! Love her! 

The best Christmas nightgown courtesy of my mom. Christmas lights courtesy of Chad, our investigator. Really getting into it this Christmas season. (:

We like each other.

Now we don't...

Now we do again. (:

That white blob you see is the famous Kirby Heyborne, as seen in many LDS movies such as "The Best Two Years," "Singles Ward," etc. He was the narrator at the Christmas performance! Haha me and Sister Naylor tried to hard to get a good picture of him, but still be sneaky about it.

Me and Sister Dame

The elders at volleyball this morning

Sister Dame, Sister Raty, and me!

Sister Camargo, and some photo-bombing elders in the back

Elder Stucki and his stache

Sister Ogilve and Sister Marsh stole my camera and took a bunch of selfies haha (: Love them.

Random snapshot of me playing volleyball...I love P-days being with the other missionaries! 

our zone at zone conference this last week!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

LETTER 22: The one where Tessa presses on through the "cold" weather

Hello hello! A normal P-day this week, so I'm happy about that (: Things have been so great, I'll give a quick recap of the past 2 weeks:


--Last week, I basically told everything that happened through the pictures I sent home...exchanges with Sister Olsen, Thanksgiving dinner with the Matthews, Dayna's baptism, temple trip with Adeline and Steve, and going out to work with the new missionaries! It was an exciting week, loved it. Haruka came to church, and we had some great lessons with investigators. Perfect week!

--One quick story about the baptism: the 93 year old grandma is the cutest thing in the world. She refused to plug her nose when she got baptized though, and she inhaled a bunch of seriously was a near-death experience! So crazy. She recovered after a few minutes, so we had no fatalities at this baptism. Phew! (:

--This week, things have been a little wild. We have spent a lot of time with our cute Korean sisters, Sister Dame and Sister Raty. They amaze us everyday! We've been with them a lot, teaching them the ropes a little bit and doing whatever we can for them to help them adjust. We will be their trainers for 5 weeks, then another Korean-speaking sister is coming to the mission. It's such an adventure though, super fun. We love it!!

--We had Mission Leadership Council all day Wednesday, which is so uplifting and amazing. We emphasized again the importance of contacting, and setting high goals each day to talk with as many people as we can. Got us all pumped to go out and talk to everyone!! Friday we had Zone Training Meeting, we trained the Santa Clarita Zone about what we discussed in MLC, it went really well! 

--Saturday we found a family of 4! We are teaching them on Thursday, the Perrez family. We're super excited about them, big blessing!

--Mallory and Chad came to church this week! We have been meeting with them regularly and they are amazing, we love them so much. They gave us Christmas decorations and are feeding us next week. Biggest miracle, love it!


--Dayna after getting baptized: "Can I do it again!?! That was awesome!!"

--While out knocking: "You must really believe this if you're out in this weather...."
Us: "Yes, yes we do!" 
haha we do get a lot of 'pitty-points' from people for being out in the cold. A guy even gave us gloves, and we get invited inside occasionally. (Yes, I know it's only 40 degrees...but I've been 'California-ized' and think it's freezing haha I've become a wimp!)

--We went to eat dinner at a members house and walk in to see the table all set with china and linen napkins, glass goblets etc. Then In-n-out burgers and fries on our plates. haha it was a funny contrast. She had a super nice Christmas dinner all planned and put the turkey in the oven...then forgot to turn the oven on. So she resorted to In-n-out, it was great. (:


--I read this amazing talk this past week by Elder Holland. It was a talk a friend sent to me, one he gave at the MTC called "Teach the Atonement." It was incredible! Here's a quote from it that I really love:
"We cannot guarantee heroic results, but every Elder and Sister can pledge heroic effort."
SO true! That really is what it's all about. We promise to do the very best we can, and God controls the outcome. 

--Elder Holland also talked about the importance of the first principles of the gospel--faith and repentance. We have to have faith, then repent, then be baptized. He also emphasized the importance of baptism for the remission of sins. We are not baptized simply to become members of the church. That's really not what it's all about. It's about being cleansed from our sins, becoming whole and complete. Lives that were shattered can be put back together, people can change, have their guilt swept away, and start fresh again! Baptism by someone holding the Priesthood gets us back to live with our Father! The blessings of being in the church organization come after, those are just secondary benefits. It's really all about being cleansed and becoming disciples of Christ. Then after baptism, repentance brings the same benefits and effects of baptism. We can be cleansed and forgiven over and over again, all because of the Atonement. 

--At Zone Training Meeting, I learned a lot from the Elders who taught with us. Elder Workman talked a lot about our purpose. Why are we really here, hundreds of miles from our families, knocking on doors? What is this really all about? It's about changing lives! It's about uniting families, getting people back to see their Father in Heaven. It's so much more than just handing out pictures of Jesus or pamphlets. It's much bigger than that. I am here to change lives, to teach about the Atonement, to tell people the amazing news that God's church is here again. To tell them that a young boy saw God the Father and Jesus Christ, and his fullness is on the earth again. It's all just so amazing, great to re-focus on what matters most. 

Well, I love you all! Thank you for your patience with me as I'm really slow at responding to letters. Your kindness means more than you'll ever know!

Sister Bishop

Sorry I totally spaced on taking any pictures this week, only have two. People are so sweet, giving us Christmas presents!

Me and Sister Naylor with a Christmas tree and Jesus. Can't get much better! (;


With Christmas coming on, I've been asked what Tessa would like to receive. The thing I think she'd like the most is Books of Mormon with a personal testimony and picture inside. She says that these are much easier (and fun!) to place. It seriously would make her so happy!

I thought I'd put her current address here too, in case you want to send her cards, packages, etc.

Sister Tessa Bishop

25399 The Old Road Bldg. 5 Apt. 308
Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381

Thank you!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

LETTER 21: The one where Tessa prepares to speak Korean

Sooo I have no time to write today, but I sent pictures so you have a little idea of what happened this past week. I'll explain more next week. Things were really awesome though! Haruka came to church and loved it, which was huge but wasn't in any of the pictures haha so I thought I'd make a little note of it. Love you all! Stay tuned next week for a big ol' report.

I'm gonna go start learning Korean. (; 


(Editor Mom)
Like Tessa said, she didn't have much time to write. They missed their Monday p-day altogether, because a group of new missionaries came in that day, and Tessa and Sister Naylor are responsible for taking the new sisters out for their first proselyting experience. Then on Tuesday, they had the transfer meeting and got a new assignment that put in motion a lot of busyness. She asked me to explain it here, but I think her words will say it better:

"Today was transfer meeting, this is where things get crazy. Me and Sister Naylor found out we are BOTH training two new sisters!! Confused? So am I. Haha we have 2 sisters who are Korean speaking, they are the first sisters ever to be assigned Korean speaking to serve in the mission. They are companions, fresh out of the MTC, in a brand new area, blonde haired from Utah with barely any knowledge on how to speak Korean. AHH! Makes for a little chaos, right? So Pres Hall assigned me and Sister Naylor to be their trainers. They live 20 minutes away from us, so we drive to their place every morning to do the 12-week training program with them. We also have to work with the Korean elders to get them all situated and everything. The korean elders will be doing language studies with them every morning as well. We will being doing role plays with them in Korean (so yes, I will be learning some Korean!!)"

Tired happy faces. (:

Exchanges with Sister Olsen, she's the best!!

Thanksgiving with the Matthews--me and Sister Naylor were good little helpers

Rocking our aprons

Brother and Sister Matthews--love them so much.

She caught me zoning out haha makes me laugh so much.

Dayna got BAPTIZED! (: She's the one next to Sis Naylor

The whole gang! 5 family members got baptized, it was beautiful.

Got to go to the temple (again) with our investigator Adeline, the Henao's from our ward, and Steve! Here we are in the visitor's center with the nativity's. We got to see the choir perform Christmas songs.

They covered the grounds with Christmas lights!