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" (:

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