Tuesday, October 7, 2014

LETTER 55: The one where Tessa sits with people at the bus stop


Not much to report on, seeing as it's only been 4 days since I last emailed! But a great 4 days, of course (:

We went on exchanges, I was with Sister Johnson. I love exchanges! So fun getting to learn and experience different things, and have a different perspective. Exchanges always prove to be revelatory. I'm super blessed to have had my mission full of exchanges! It's accelerated my learning for sure.

On Friday, we were able to meet a referral named Ben and have started teaching him! Funny story though--we knocked on his neighbor's door first, and a guy came and talked with us. He was pretty persistent and just wanted to argue. He said, "Listen. I've been drinking. And when I drink, I tell the truth. So listen to me. I'll teach you about Jesus." haha it was funny. We ducked out as soon as we could. You just can't teach the gospel to a drunk person, I learned that early on my mission. (: 

Saturday as well, we met another referral, taught him, and he came to church! His name's Hector. He was having a hard time with addiction withdrawals one day, and ran outside of his house. The Elders were right there (fancy that!) and were able to pray with him. Pretty cool story!

We found a super awesome place to contact. There's a bus stop over by the Northridge mall, and there are always YSA people just sitting there waiting to hear the gospel--practically asking to hear it (; I can't even begin to tell all the miracles we've seen there! It is my favorite thing in the world just sitting down with people and talking about their lives. Hearing their experiences and backgrounds, what they're learning or struggling with. When we listen with love, it really brings the spirit and the conversation easily transitions to the gospel. There have been quite a few people who we hope to start teaching this week! I'm in love with it. I decided I'm going to keep doing that at home--just sit with people and ask them about their lives (: Try it out--it's fun!

Due to some last minute schedule changes, we found out Saturday we'd be speaking in Sacrament meeting. Haha with no time to sit and write a talk, we just pulled some quotes from other talks and went with it! I talked about love--a lot of my talk was based of the BYU speech, "What if Love Were Our Only Motive?" by Russell Osguthorpe. It is such a good talk! Read it (:

I've been learning and studying a lot about commitment this week. First, some some quotes from a talk ("The Word is Commitment."):
·  We cannot become something without commitment
·  The direction in which we are moving is more important than where we are at the moment
·  Total commitment to correct gospel principles brings joy, satisfaction, and the abundant life
·  Commitment must be daily progression toward established purposes
·  To reap the full benefits of life, we must fill our days with commitment to worthy goals and principles. There is no other way. As these commitments lead us to action, we will find added growth and dimension which will guide us toward a productive life here on earth and open the door for eternal life with our Father in heaven. 
Now my own insights. We know that all things will be consecrated for our good (2 Nephi 2:2 "thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain."). We can allow experiences to change and shape us and bring us closer to God, or take us further from Him. God's plan is one of progression and growth. He wants us to use our experiences as building blocks to reach our potential. When we are committed to Him and living His gosepl--no matter what--we will reclaim all the blessings. All the experiences we have can teach us to trust in the Lord, and our ability to return to God through the Savior. Commitment is what brings the blessings. 

That's all for this week, I encourage each of you to deepen your commitment to God. Follow the first and great commandment--love God, serve Him, and have Him as #1 in your life. The rest will follow.

--Sister Bishop

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