Wednesday, January 29, 2014

LETTER 27: The one where Tessa asks "How?"

It's been a good week! Just a short report today, I need to learn how to better manage my emailing time (;

We saw many miracles this week. Tashanna is a lady we found knocking in our complex, we started teaching her and her boyfriend Ederick, and her 2 kids. They are the most amazing family!! We also started teaching Brian, he's the guy who ran after us on the street last week. I love seeing people accept the gospel. It's extremely rewarding being able to be the messenger of this great news, and having people just love it and recognize it as the amazing truth it is! 

Mallory will no longer be getting baptized on her scheduled date due to family complications. It's sad, but she will have an opportunity some day and we will keep trying with her. She loves the gospel but is being prevented from moving forward at this point ):

The simple testimony I'd like to share today is that repentance is real. We all have feelings of guilt and shame that come from mistakes, but the main message of the gospel is repentance. We can all change and have this guilt taken away from us. We can be made clean and new persons. Because of the restored gospel, we can make promises and covenants with God that are bound on earth and in Heaven. That's what it's all about. That's why we're here on this earth, to learn and to grow--to align our will with God's will. It's easy to ask "why me?" in times of trouble, but we need to turn our questions instead to "how?" How can I get through this? God is always there for us. ALWAYS. It's so amazing, and this gospel is true (:

Sister Bishop

Exchanges with Sister Ha

Game night with the Korean branch (:

This morning playing werewolf with the zone

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

LETTER 26: The one where Tessa plays missionary matchmaker

(From 1/14/2014) Sorry for my tardiness! A day late--this week was crazy transfer week. Well since I'm sure you're dying to know, drum roll please....

I'm staying! And so is Sister Naylor! haha no changes for us, but we are really happy about that (: We'll be together at least 4 1/2 months in all, I wouldn't have it any other way! We've got work to do here, so I'm happy we don't have to start over on anything quite yet. Just keep moving forward (:

--This last week, we taught the most lessons we have ever taught! It was amazing, we love teaching. Adeline is coming right along, she blows us away with her diligence in studying the Book of Mormon and her growing testimony. She has amazing insights about how she is learning to change her ways to God's ways, instead of trying to change God's ways to hers.
--Chad and Mallory are doing well, we brought them friends (: you kind of feel like a matchmaker sometimes, setting up investigators with members to fellowship them. Eva and Lalo are two people who got baptized a few months ago, and just moved into our ward! They have rock solid testimonies and are now really good friends with Chad and Mallory, helping them move forward. Mallory is doing great, Chad is approaching these changes slowly but surely (:

--We went on exchanges with the Young Single Adult ward sisters this week! I was with Sister Hacker in Wiley Canyon, she is fantastic. We actually got two new investigators on our exchange! A lady named Jessica and her mother-in-law, Tommy, who has the cutest Spanish accent (: They are amazing, we had such a great lesson with them and are seeing them again soon

--Yesterday 5 new English sisters came into the mission! It was the smallest transfer yet, only 6 missionaries came in, and only 2 are going home. Teeny compared to the 40 missionaries that came in with me! We got to go out contacting with the sisters for their very first day in the field, it was awesome. 

COOL STORY (unlike these other boring ones (; ) 
There was a guy named Moses that I met on my very first day in the field in North Hollywood. Well long story short, me and Sister Hancock got to see him again yesterday, 6 months later!! It was amazing, he totally remembered me and said he had been waiting for me to come back all that time haha. Miracle!! Set up a return appointment for the No. Hollywood missionaries to go teach him.

Not much else to share, except a simple testimony that I know this Church is God's church on the earth today, I know it with my whole heart and I love it. There's nothing better than the pure joy I feel from having the spirit of the Lord with me, guiding me and helping me bring others to Him. This gospel really is simple and true. It changes lives, all we have to do is be humble and willing to ask God, then act. Simple as that. I love being a missionary!!

Really dark--but I found "Bishop Ct." (:

Last week training the Korean Sisters! Don't mind the lurking shadow...


Exchanges with the lovely Sister Hacker!

Gingerbread house building...a lady we met on the street randomly gave a kit to us haha

Almost better than building it is eating it (:

Me and Sister Reese

Elder Stucki showing off his cat shirt.


Beach Volleyball with the Valencia Zone

English Sister Training Leaders!

Had a sleepover at our apartment last night with the new sisters. They're all amazing!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

LETTER 25: The one where Tessa breaks from tradition

What an amazing week this was! 

I'm breaking out of tradition and just writing a quick email without separating it into categories...I know, a little crazy. I hope you can make it. (;

I can hardly contain my excitement, so first things first: Mallory committed to be baptized on February 1st!!! :D I'm so excited! We taught her the Plan of Salvation and extended the baptismal invitation, it was amazing. She is coming right along--loving the Book of Mormon and gaining a testimony for herself of the truthfulness of these things. Chad wasn't able to join us the past two lessons, so we are hoping to see him again, catch him up to speed, and invite him to join Mallory on the first and be baptized as well (:

We've been meeting with Steve regularly, we are blessed to have such strong amazing relationships with the people we teach. Steve is still an amazing example to us and is showing his faith in trying to break some old habits. 

We met with quite a few less-active members this week. It's a faith-builder for me to see them coming back to church, fanning the flame of their testimonies once again. 

Adeline is doing amazingly well, we are continuing to meet with her and have started seeing her more times each week. She knows it's true and desires so badly to be baptized, but we are working to help her have more support from her family as well. We've got plans, and once that gets going--she'll be baptized soon, we all know it.

I don't think I've ever been happier. I seriously don't have words to express the joy I feel being able to be an instrument in God's hands, reaching out to His children and bringing them home to their Father. God is good. The core of the message is simple. We have a Heavenly Father who loves us and everything after that is but a result of that love. The first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord thy God--the rest are just teaching us how to love. I am so grateful for the love God has for His children. Miracles are seen everyday to confirm that statement.

Love from So Cal,

Sister Bishop

Learning by trial and error that liquid dishwasher soap does NOT do well in a dishwasher...woops!

Ate dinner with Cara and Matt, they made us each a mini was pretty cool.

After realizing I had NO pictures to send home this week, we took a selfie.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

LETTER 24: The one where Tessa carols with the angels

Belated Christmas wishes to you all, and happy new year (: It was the best week ever, I loooooove Christmas on the mission!! Here's a recap of the week...


--Basically our Christmas Eve day consisted of taking around tons of cookies to tons of lucky recipients... it was a great reason to check up on potential investigators and other investigators and spread Christmas cheer (: Cookies do the job.

--We went caroling a lot this past week! It was one of my favorite things in the world. Christmas Eve we went as a district to carol outside of Walmart to all the last-minute Christmas shoppers. People were so kind to us, it was touching. They bought us water, clementines, candy canes, etc. and took videos and pictures of us. It was really neat, and felt great singing as the angels did, proclaiming Christ's birth

--Christmas day was simply amazing. We had brunch with the Matthews family, along with a Christmas program. Next we skyped our families and the Gardner's home, loved it! It was such a blessing and a joy to be able to see the people I love and hear their voices again. I cherished every second with them! Time flew by. Next we ate dinner with the Gardner's, they totally spoiled us. We went caroling again as a district at the movie theater for the rest of the night. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

--We went on exchanges with the Seco Canyon sisters on Friday, I was with Sister Camargo in Wiley Canyon. We worked hard an saw miracles for sure, had a few golden people who said we could come back (:

--Mallory and Chad are so amazing, we were able to meet with them again this week. They are incredibly kind and we love them to death. Just moving right along with them! 

--We talked in Sacrament meeting at church yesterday, that was nerve-wracking! But it went really well (: I spoke on finding joy in living the gospel...same topic as my farewell talk, I wasn't creative enough to think of another one haha (;

--Elder Kim was cracking us up. While we were caroling, he handed out pictures of Christ to everyone. He would run after them and stuff, it was hilarious--he got really into it (:

--There's been a Nurf-gun craze spreading through the mission. Everyone's in nurf gun wars, it's never safe! We walked in to the sisters apartment and they thought we were the Elders and almost shot our eyes out! haha

--We decided to carol by ourselves at some people's doors. So the first door we knock on, the lady says we can sing a song--but we started like an octave too high haha and totally messed up the song. It was hilarious and embarrassing, so we decided to restart the song and after the first verse, she's like "one verse is enough..." haha whoops. (:


--I've really just been working hard and growing in my knowledge and appreciation for Christ's sacrifice for us, the Atonement. I know the atonement is real. I know that because of His sacrifice for us, we can find strength in our lives, and most importantly--we can change! We can be made clean, made whole persons and return to live with God and our brother Jesus Christ. Christ has a perfect love for us, and He felt each of our pains because He loves us. The Atonement is just incredible and the bottom line is, it's real. We are never too far gone from God, He is always waiting for us with open arms. The atonement can and should be our main source of strength in our lives. We each need to learn to humble ourselves and accept and use the atonement in our lives. I don't think I'll ever be able to fully appreciate this sacrifice, but I know that I will work my hardest to express my love back to Christ by sharing the atonement with others. Sharing this hope and joy with them. I love it with my whole heart, and I love this gospel.

Hope you all have an amazing week celebrating the new year!! Thank you all for everything <3

-Sister Bishop


Brother Smith and his Christmas village! So fun. (:

Adrienne sitting, eating her chicken, and watching cartoons while we met with Bri. Haha she's so cute. 

Just a few of the plates of Christmas cookies we delivered...

The bike Elders!

Christmas Eve we put our couch on the porch and I wore my awesome Christmas nightgown, courtesy of my mom (: We read Luke 2, the real Christmas story!

Drank hot chocolate and put out our Christmas lights too. Perfect night.

Skyping my two amazing families!

Our Christmas dinner! Such a gorgeous house.

Presents from my mom, just admire the amazing wrapping...I was in love with it.

With some presents, including the skirt I'm wearing. Thank you family! 

On exchanges with Sister Camargo, and with the Korean sisters for studies