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 water...it 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!!

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