Sunday, June 22, 2014

LETTER 45: The one where Tessa sings her way into hearts


A lovely week, the usual. Sometimes it's hard for me to differentiate between what's worth sharing and what's not. A lot of the times, the days just blur together and it all seems the same to me haha--it's missionary work! So I'm doing the work. Teaching and knocking doors. We've tried out singing hymns a lot this week which has been fun. Sis Turley has a strong Soprano, and I'm able to sing Alto along with her. We've sung to people at their doors, before lessons, and at service projects. It's been a popular request now, so we've kept doing it! That's been fun (:

Speaking of music, I read a talk this week called "On Dealing with Uncertainty" by Bruce C. Hafen. AMAZING talk, I highly recommend it. But one thing he points out at the end is the lyrics to 'Lead Kindly Light:'

'Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom;
lead thou me on. …
I do not ask to see
the distant scene—one step enough for me.'

These lyrics really hit me, they're so profound. Do we sometimes focus too much on the encircling gloom and forget the light? And how often do we want to see the whole picture before we follow the light? I know I do that. There's sometimes a bad connotation about 'blind obedience.' In this talk, he points out some things I like. Here's some exerpts:

"My experience has taught me always to give the Lord and his church the benefit of any doubts I may have when some such case seems too close to call. I stress that the willingness to be believing and accepting in these cases is a very different matter from blind obedience. It is rather, a loving and knowing kind of obedience. ...
All I ask, then, is that we may be honest enough and courageous enough to face whatever uncertainties we may encounter, try to understand them, and then do something about them. Perhaps then we will not be living on borrowed light. 'Love is not blind; that is the last thing that it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind.'"

When we are bound to the gospel, and bound to the church, following the teachings even in the midst of uncertainty is not about blind obedience. It's out of love and dedication. The uncertainties that come make us uncomfortable, but this very discomfort is needed in order to help us grow and sink our roots deeper into the gospel soil.

I love being able to wake up in the morning and know I am right where I need to be and doing exactly what God wants me to be doing. I love being in Southern California, representing the Lord and sharing His love with everyone. Sometimes I just look around and am in awe about how blessed I am. There's nothing better! Loving every minute.
--Sister Bishop

Another Universal Studios trip!

Just a slight difference between our desks (; can you guess which is mine?

On a rooftop!

this sums up our area--apartment complexes and palm trees, love it. (:

LETTER 44: The one where Tessa is anxiously engaged


We had a good week, lotsa finding and a TON of service out of no where! I think I fit my whole 18 months worth of service into the past two weeks. Haha moving and cleaning...there's been a lot of that.

We had a big miracle. Last Sunday, we had about 45 mins left for the night and were going to work on organizing an assignment ward council gave us. But we only had 6 contacts left to hit our weekly goal of 171, so we decided to go out and contact instead. The first guy we talked to was a man named Raymond, he's actually our neighbor and he set a return appointment with us for Tuesday. So we go over Tuesday, and he's told us he studied with missionaries about 30 years ago in Tennessee. He said he knows the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and our church is different. On Sunday, all he could think about was baptism but he didn't know why or what to do about it--then we met him! So right in our first lesson, we invited him to be baptized and set a date for June 29. CRAZY!! We invited him to pray about the date before we left, and his prayer was "Dear God, I'm getting baptized June 29. No questions asked." haha it was wild. He's way prepared! But we might move the date, because we want to make sure he really is ready for the commitment. We'll see how it goes, but it was super cool to say the least!

This week a scripture took on a lot more meaning to me. D&C 58:27--"Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness."
I was thinking about being "anxiously engaged in a good cause" and how that can mean many things--family, education, work, service, church, etc. It's all about using our agency to do things that invite the spirit. It's the idle time that gets us, when the blessings of the spirit leave and sinful or depressing thoughts creep in. Even just in down time, we should strive to keep our thoughts engaged in a good cause, actively pursuing wholesome and productive things.

That's a wrap for this week, until next Monday--
Sister Bishop

Service, I'll miss the Hubbard fam!

Giant Book of Mormon!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

LETTER 43: The one where Tessa does lots of service


This past week was great (: 

Sorry if my emails are boring...the weeks blur together. We have been finding lots and lots. Trying to help the investigators we have progress to baptism. Finding new investigators. Doing lots of service. Basically--doing missionary work. Nothing new (:

I'm learning about how much God loves us. It's a simple concept, but so deep and incomprehensible all at the same time. I have a strong testimony that God views us for all the good we are. Often, we measure ourselves as the gap between us and perfection. But God sees us for all the good! He doesn't look at how many times we didn't pray to Him, but He loves and praises us for the one time we did pray. This love never lessens. It never fades. It's not contingent upon anything else. It's simply always there. He desires our happiness. He wants to give us truth. He joys in our joys and sorrows in our sorrows, even just in the day to day monotony--He's there.

Greater purpose and peace comes from turning to God. There is a prophet on the earth today. Someone we can look to and trust as the mouthpiece for God. Even though God and Christ aren't physically here right now, they've given us a prophet and the Priesthood. They are real, and the gospel is pure. It's fullness is here. So partake in it!! Learn grow, and strengthen your testimony. Change. And then share it with your friends (: 

Sending my love and thanks. Until next week!

--Sister Bishop

Being goofballs doing service. Moving and cleaning!

LETTER 42: The one where Tessa wanders around and BAM!...


With not a whole lot of teaching appointments or other meetings taking up our time, we talked with soo many people about the gospel this week. Seriously everyone! And with that of course, comes many miracles and funny stories. (: 

It's cool how sometimes you just feel like you're wandering around, and then all of a sudden--BAM. You find your purpose for being there. A miracle happens. We had quite a few instances of that this week, where we just went where we felt good and had no real destination, but ended up finding people who are truly prepared to hear the gospel at this time. I love it! Learning to follow promptings and rely on the spirit really is a process. A rewarding one!

I'm learning lots about developing Christlike attributes. It's so liberating to think about how our purpose in life is to make choices. And it truly, 100%, for real does not matter what other people do. What matters is the choices that we make--how we choose to respond. And refining the way we act and react is a huge part of developing Christlike attributes, and becoming more like our Savior. Because of Jesus Christ, we are able to change our very natures. We never have to say, "that's just the way I am." No. We are here to learn and grow, and God is eager to forgive and help us. He wants us to be our perfect selves, and he's giving us every opportunity to become just that--perfect. 

I love this gospel. I love and cherish the things I'm experiencing down here in SoCal. There is nothing that compares to it! It's so wonderfully challenging and rewarding. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers! 

--Sister Bishop

I was pulling a card out of my bag to give to someone, and I got a huge paper cut in the process which bled a surprising amount! I told the person, "see the things I do for you?" haha they laughed and walked away. No call back from them yet. Stay tuned. (;

Went to see the Hollywood sign again, this time with all the sisters in our zone. So touristy. 

My squirrel friends. 

Memorial day burgers!

LETTER 41: The one where Tessa speaks only in pictures


San Fernando (:

Tan line is back (;

Temple trip! We went to the visitor's center with an investigator, Aaron