Friday, August 29, 2014

LETTER 52: The one where Tessa puts her area on the map


Just shooting off pictures from this last week, I'll send details tomorrow. Today's has been the craziest in, we don't even have one haha we've got a bunch of lessons! It's a blessing though, definitely can't complain. We're seeing the biggest miracles!!

Tomorrow brings transfers, and Sister Goettsche is leaving me!! ): I'm super sad about it. Anxious to see what God has in store for me next, who my companion will be, and what new ways I can continue to learn and grow! The good news about me not having time today is that we will make up some P-day time tomorrow, and you don't have to wait a full week to hear who my comp is! (I can almost picture how happy my mom is at hearing that (; )

Love you all. More tomorrow.

--Sister Bishop

Old picture from our flour fight! The best. Notice how a full bag of flour is getting dumped on me, and how Sister Goettsche is about to get hit in the face haha. We took the brunt of everything that day...

Carpooling with the Northridge sisters (:

My new favorite study spot (; 

Went to the Food Trucks for dinner--got a grilled cheese sandwich that has Mac n' Cheese in the middle...changed my life.

The goat that scared me to death. Had to be funny.

Church Sunday with Yoon (: She's the cutest little korean.

Relief Society!

Dinner with my favorite members!! The Marlows (: Flashback to my first transfer in Granada Hills!

 Taking the new sisters out contacting this morning!

What a great week (: 

We had a fantastic Sister Training Leader meeting this week. Something we talked a lot about was really developing unconditional love like the Savior. None of us deserve the Savior's love, yet He freely took our sins knowing it would be immensely difficult for Him. It's so important that we learn to represent Christ through our own 'Gardens of Gethsemane.' As we put on the altar of sacrifice our pride and pain, we can love people unconditionally. We can truly love people for who they are, not what they did--looking past their actions.

We've been teaching a bunch. Also working on creating some maps to organize our area better! We realized that the spirit has a really difficult time guiding us when we have no idea where we are or who's in the area haha so now we are really cracking down on organizing! It'll help lots to be able to be guided more where we need to be.

We went on exchanges this week and had a super revelatory experience. Learned tons! It's amazing how God has placed experiences in my life and taught me the things I need to know, so that on exchanges He can draw from them to guide me in helping the sisters. I really feel the greatest blessing is being an instrument in God's hands. There's nothing like walking away from a lesson, exchange, contact, etc. knowing that God was purely speaking through me. Not even remembering what I said, but knowing that it was what the person needed and the spirit was doing the talking.

There's much I could say, but it is harder than I thought to write out everything I'm experiencing and learning on my mission! God is way too good to me--and to each of us. He is always running to our aid. We don't have to cross the finish line to receive blessings from God. All He wants is for us to reach out to Him. I love this work with my whole heart! This gospel has made me happier than I ever imagined.

Thank you for all you do!

--Sister bishop

My new companion! Sister Lewis (:

Got Bishop?

We've started volunteering twice a week at a Paraplegic home. This is Vicky! We painted with her this week (:

With Siddhi at church!

Bowling zone activity!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

LETTER 51: The one where Tessa tracks down Jake...1 year later



What a great week (: We have been seeing miracles and miracles. We started teaching 4 new people this week! I can't even begin to express how much I love teaching people my age (: it's great. We have also had multiple less-active members of the church call us to have us come over. There seems to be an unending amount of people for us to teach, which is a foreign concept to me! It's the biggest blessing. 

One way great story!

Rewind to last year--me and my sweet trainer, Sister Rhoades, were out knocking and met two guys--Jake and Rico. They were interested and we left them with a Book of Mormon and pamphlets. We could never get in touch with them though! They kinda fell through the cracks.
Fast forward to two weeks ago--I was on exchanges with Sister Young in Granada Hills, and randomly Jake walks down the street on the ONE day I'm in the area! He remembered me, and was still interested in learning! And he's YSA age!! 
I'm happy to report that this week, me and Sister Goettsche were able to start teaching him! He is the best. 
Hands down there are no coincidences. God is the greatest planner, and what a tender mercy and miracle it is to be able to teach Jake, one year later.

I want to be a missionary forever.

We had a great Zone Conference this week with President Hall. He talked a lot about becoming more consecrated missionaries. He said that 
“The capacity of missionaries to call upon the powers of heaven—which is the single most important thing any missionary can desire to possess–will depend directly on their level of personal consecration (see D&C 121).” wow!

It's been super hot lately...we met a guy on the street-- 
us: "hi sir! How are you?" 
him--"Hot, tired, and lazy." 
haha that about sums it up! Amen. 

As a mission, we've been focusing a lot more on doing community service. Me and Sister Goettsche have been able to be part of 3 different community service activities just this past week, and look forward to many more! It's really great being able to just simply serve. I'm amazed at how natural and easy the conversations flow--people feel comfortable asking us about our missions and they are the ones who facilitate having gospel conversations with us during the service! Way cool. 

Revelation from church this week:
"We are not humans having spiritual experiences. We are spirits having human experiences."

I've also been trying to focus more on HOW we talk to people. Less important is the numbers, more important is focusing on the PROCESS.

Sorry for the choppy random letter. 

Please continue praying for Andrew Satterfield's health, and his family.

I'm the happiest I've ever been and I know without a shadow of a doubt that God's way provides the best life. This IS the true gospel. I love it and I can't get enough of it. 

Until next week,

Sister Bishop

We won the "cleanest car" award at zone conference. That in and of itself was a miracle. (;

Korean BBQ with Jess! You cook it right at your table

With our Sisters at the ER! Sis Finau got her appendix out. All is well. (:

Community service project #1--cleaning up a street.

LETTER 50: The one where Tessa sees the ocean


This week was miracle filled! We are still incredibly busy. Probably the biggest miracle was Aurora! So:
We met her on Tuesday, and set up an appointment. Thursday we met with her at the park with a ward member, and taught the Restoration. It was one of the best lessons I've had on my mission. She just gets it--it still amazes me how people are truly prepared to receive the gospel. But it gets better! (:
Later that day, she texted and asked us to go to the temple! So we eagerly agreed! :D (Benefit of being in the singles ward...they make a temple trip each Thursday). We hitched a ride and had another lesson with her at the Visitor's Center. It was the most spiritual and sacred experience for all of us. It was her first time really feeling the spirit that strong--we were all in tears, and she just knows it's true without a doubt! She wants to be baptized!!!!
She's moving. On Thursday. To go to college. Luckily, it's God's work and she will continue to progress in the gospel with different missionaries. I'm so blessed to have been able to be part of her conversion! Best experience ever!

We have also been teaching Chris, who is coming right along. It's incredible to see the Atonement working in other peoples' lives. God is literally taking away his desires to do harmful things...he told us he was with his friends and they passed him some substances, and he just put them down and went home. Didn't even want to do it any more. Way cool! He knows he's going to get baptized. It's just a matter of when (:

Leo is rock solid still in the gospel. He is preparing for his mission already! He is confronted daily by friends and family who disprove of his decisions and present him with negative mis-information about the church. But throughout it all, he just knows it's true and stands by it. He testifies with them and teaches everyone about the gospel. He can hardly wait to share it with everyone! 

I've been learning a lot about how important it is to be guided by God. The most important thing we can accomplish and work towards is being under the complete influence of the Spirit. Often, it doesn't make sense what we're being prompted to do. But as we act in faith, God will lead us a long and will never lead us astray. At the slightest promptings, we should be ready and willing to act. 

As a special favor, I'm asking for prayers for Andrew Satterfield! He is a close family friend who has been in a motorcycle accident and is fighting to pull out of a coma and heal. Prayers are much much appreciated! <3

God is real. 

--Sister Bishop


You can see the ocean!!! The only spot in our mission that you can (: so cool. But it being 100 degrees outside...very tempting...

LETTER 49: The one where Tessa is saved from a ticket by the Book of Mormon


It has been such a great past week! We have been working to get all updated and up to speed in our area (: We went on 3 exchanges, twice with the Mission Hills sisters and one with the Northridge sisters. We have been teaching Leo his "new member lesson" and he just blows us away with his rock solid testimony! On Saturday--less than 3 weeks into his membership in the church--he told us he's decided to serve a mission. Oh my heart!! I'm soo happy. He's going to be the best missionary. He is an inspiration.

We also got pulled over by LAPD going home one night!! haha so funny. There were two cops, and they walk up on both sides of the car and shine their flashlights in all our windows looking around. All they saw were pictures of Jesus and Books of Mormon haha. The cop kind of chuckled when he saw we were two sister missionaries! He took our registration and Sis Goettsche's license, then came back 5 seconds later and said, "I can't do it! God's on your side. Drive home safe." Haha it was great. (by the way--we were innocent! He thought we ran a red light, but really someone was turning left and almost hit us, so we stopped to avoid the crash, and the light was red. He caught the tail end of the incident.) 

Here's my learnings for the week (:

--Something that's stood out a lot to me is that first and foremost, we are spirit children of God. We can't neglect to feed our spirit. We should spend as much time focusing on our spirits as we do our physical bodies. 

--The knowledge of Christ helps lift us above our present circumstances. He is the divine pattern after whom we should fashion our lives. He is light and life. He brings purpose and depth and love into our lives. He is my friend, my Savior, my Lord, my God. I can't express my gratitude and love for Him. 

--Being filled with love is critical! What we do doesn't matter if we aren't filled with love. When I truly see each individual as the child of God they are, the rest comes easier. All this work is about is being God's instrument to express His love to His children.

My mission has been and is the most rewarding thing in my life! It's pointed me in the right direction and helped me work to have God as #1 priority. And when God is #1, everything else follows. I have such a testimony of that. Thank you for your love and support. Until next week!

Sister Bishop

My year mark! Re-enacting leaving with my suitcases (;

Sister Training Leaders of the CA San Fernando Mission (:

Got a fortune that said "today is a good day for being with a companion" haha (: true that!

Just in someone's front yard...I swear nothing surprises me anymore. People have the strangest/coolest things.

End of exchanges. (:

Granada Hills Stake talent show! All the sisters in the zone.