Tuesday, July 22, 2014

LETTER 48: The one where Tessa is re-united with Glenn


Sorry I don't have any time to write today! Things are going well, busy busy busy. We found out we are over 28 companionships of missionaries' areas haha. We've got amazing things happening here, just trying to get it all organized! loving every minute.

until next week,
sister bishop

YES--that is Glenn, my recent convert!! I got to go back to Granada Hills for a day on exchanges and we visited him (: best. ever.

My family left notes for me at my apartment while vacationing here...crazy!!!

I had 7 different companions this week. Craziest week of my life. 

Dinner with some ward members--got to use my ice-cream cone making skills again (:

Went to some Asian gardens today for district activity!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

LETTER 47: The one where Tessa moves on, gets a Goettsche, and sees Leo get baptized

JULY 6, 2014

Drumroll please...

I am in the Northridge YSA ward!!! I absolutely love being in the young single adult ward (: We cover the Granada Hills and Canoga Park stakes--which is 12 wards!! It is a huge area, to say the least. It's about half of our mission! We spend most of our time driving around visiting referrals from other missionaries. We have a bunch of very solid investigators, and the members are super involved! We teach many lessons, majority of the time with members. The work is just soaring in this area. I am truly humbled!!

My companion is Sister Goettsche! Pronounced "getchy" (: She is from Alpine, Utah and has been out 2 transfers more than me. I have a deep love and respect for her already! She is so fun and has a powerful testimony and drive to share the gospel. We are working super hard and loving every second.

We had Mission Leadership Council this week, it was sooo good to be back! Then Zone Training Meeting on Friday. I got thrown right back into being a sister training leader! I was nervous but it has all gone very well. It's the biggest blessing being able to receive such inspired trainings from President Hall, and then share it with the missionaries in our Zone. I'm super happy, humbled, and blessed.

We also had a baptism on Sunday!! So great!! His name is Leo, he met missionaries 5 weeks ago and was super prepared to hear the gospel. I am still in awe about how God truly led him along to the point where he met missionaries on the street at the exact moment he was searching for truth. Leo has just grasped the gospel and has been flying! His life has changed and he has the most powerful testimony already. God has such a perfect plan!

I could go on and on about all the tender mercies I've seen this week and evidences of the spirit, but I want to highlight one recent change. The first change in the history of Preach My Gospel was made! It is now a requirement to teach "lesson 5" before baptism, instead of just after. Lesson five is all about Laws and Ordinances, such as the Priesthood, eternal marriage, service, temples, etc. The whole point is that the focus is more than just baptism! "Missionary work should begin and end with our minds focused on the blessings of the temple." --Elder Russell M. Nelson. Teaching lesson five helps investigators gain that eternal perspective and gear their thoughts towards the temple! We had the chance to teach Leo about the Priesthood (a little more in depth than before). The spirit was overwhelmingly strong when we committed him to prepare to receive the Priesthood. I can't even begin to describe it. It's so important to help people endure to the end! These "laws and ordinances" are what helps them. If we don't endure, then our baptism or other covenants don't mean anything. 3 Nephi 27:6 "And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day." I'm so happy about these changes! I love helping people have a more eternal perspective, and see what the steps are after baptism to prepare them to return to God.

Anyway, I am super happy and grateful to God, and to my Savior. I've dedicated July to really study about Jesus Christ, and it's been the most rewarding experience. I'm coming to love and understand Christ deeper and deeper. We are so blessed, it blows my mind. I can't begin to express the feelings in my heart!

Thank you for the support, I love you all.

--Sister Bishop

4th of July! All the sisters in the zone

Little dog and cat (: So cute.

Leo's baptism!! Best day ever!!

best balloon!! "You got dunked" (:

LETTER 46: The one where Tessa feels grateful

JUNE 30, 2014

Hello hello!

Another lovely week here in Studio City...and my last, sadly! That's right, I'm getting transferred tomorrow. I'm so surprised! I'm always wrong about transfer calls haha. I thought for sure I would stay and train but nope--I'm leaving, and I got called to be a Sister Training Leader again! Surprise! That's a shock. I guess I had to take a little break to train Sister Turley, and what a tremendous blessing that's been! God knows me and has a perfect plan for me--I take great comfort in that.

We have been knocking probably more than I ever have on my mission. Doors seem to shut quicker than normal, and there are fewer and fewer people who give us the time of day--let alone are interested in learning more. But I'm super grateful that God trusts me enough to test my faith. We keep working and doing everything we can to improve ourselves, and leave the rest to Him. This is His work and He is more invested in it than I could ever be. So I'm happy knowing that I'm doing my part.

A huge answer to my prayers this week has been gratitude. In His loving way, God has clearly shown me on multiple occasions that I need to focus my efforts on gratitude! It has truly changed everything, and I have such a testimony already of the blessings of a grateful heart. I read the talk from this last conference, "Grateful in Any Circumstances" by President Uchdorf--and wow, it is amazing. I encourage you all to read it again. Some favorite quotes:
·  It might sound contrary to the wisdom of the world to suggest that one who is burdened with sorrow should give thanks to God. But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding.
·  Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances—whatever they may be
·  This type of gratitude transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair. It blooms just as beautifully in the icy landscape of winter as it does in the pleasant warmth of summer.
·  When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ’s Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven’s embrace.
In somewhat less eloquence, I wish to echo President Uchdorf. Gratitude makes life happier. A grateful heart helps us achieve our potential. It's a simple choice that makes the world of a difference. I'm working to develop this 'attitude of gratitude' in my own life, and the little steps of progression I've made have helped me more than I can express!

I love the Lord. I love this work. There's absolutely nothing I would rather be doing. Have a good week, I'll let you know next week where I end up!

Sister Bishop

Just one of the crazy houses in the hills of Hollywood--intimidating to knock on haha

last day of Sister Turley's 12 week training program

Me and Aaron, our investigator, at FHE

Best district. (:

Mission temple trip! See the people by the door--puts it in perspective how huuuuge the temple is