Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 25, 2012

Hello Family!!!

Well, it's been kind of a crazy first week in our new area. . . . I'm
loving it but it is SO different than any of the other wards that i
have served in. Good news though: WE SURVIVED!! Ha ha! SO, first
things first: My new companion's name is Sister Thompson. She is from
Garland Utah. (Up right by Brigham City.) She is a great missionary,
very enthusiastic and excited to be here! She is different than all of
my other companions, of course, but I am really learning to love her!
:) It's so funny, some days I feel like we are totally on the same
page and other times i wonder what in the world she is thinking!! Ha
ha, that's okay though, I'm sure she wonders the same things about me!
:) It has been really good for me to be the senior companion; i have
really have to step up my game! :) It's totally up to me to train her
well so that she can be a successful missionary for the next 18
months. . . she watches EVERYTHING i do! It's really funny when we go
contacting to hear my approaches come out of her mouth! (The funny
thing is that I totally did the exact same thing to Sister Burnham!)
When you hear someone else say it though, you realize how to say it
better! So, lots of improvement and learning experiences for me this
week! I don't know if any of this is making sense, but one of the many
things that i have learned this week, is humility and love! I can't do
this on my own and everything turns out way better when i leave it up
to the lord anyways! You would think that i would have learned that by
now. . . . maybe i have only learned part of it; AHHH!!!! There is SO
much to learn, so much to do and so much to become! Thank goodness i
don't have to do this on my own!! :)

I love the faith that a new missionary brings to an area, it's so
incredible! The elders left us with about 7 investigators that they
informed us were totally golden!! We were super excited! So far in the
last week we have only been able to meet with 3 of those golden
investigators! Ha ha, all of the ones who they told us the most about
won't call or text us back! LAME!!! But we aren't giving up! We have
been hard at work trying to get to know the ward a little, meeting
with the investigators that we can get in contact with and finding
LOTS of new people! I think that after talking to each one Sister
Thompson was like, "She was TOTALLY interested and totally golden! We
are SO going to baptize her!" I just smiled and agreed! How can you
argue with faith like that??

We have a really cool ward and most of the members are willing to
come to lessons with us when their schedules allow. We are trying to
find ways to get them more involved with missionary work and see if we
can get some referrals from them. I know we have to love people into
the work so that is something i am really trying to focus on. I took
lots of notes yesterday and I think i'm getting much better at
remembering names! We are going to try to meet with members this week
and do a little missionary motivation lesson to get them excited and
let them know we are here to work! Hopefully that will go over well. .
. any ideas would be great though! :)

So, with all of our investigators bailing on us this week, we have had
lots of time to go contacting on campus. Let's just say, WE LEARNED SO
MUCH!!! There is no better classroom than the real world and no better
teacher than experience. :) We learned that we have to just start
talking to people, not to act awkward cause then it will be, talk to
EVERYONE, relate to them as a person and let them know that we are
NORMAL ;), don't ask them if we can walk with them (They always so no!
Just start walking and talking! Ha ha.) Testifying is one of our most
powerful tools, and when we see someone that we want to talk walking
towards us, we turn around and walk with them! P.S. People that are
already sitting down are awesome!! AND they can't usually run away!!!
;) The elders are going to come contacting with us on Tuesday and we
are really excited to see what we can learn from them. We will take
any help that we can get! :)

We did have a really cool experience this week with one of our
investigators. Her name is Domonique. She is a student at EMU,
studying nursing. The elders had been teaching her for a few weeks and
then one of her friends died. Of course she had a really hard time
with that, but kept in contact with them through it all. She is one of
our investigators that we did meet with this week! So, we taught her a
review on the plan of salvation. It was so COOL! That morning as i
was studying i felt really prompted to testify of Christ's role in
every part of the plan and of his immense love for all of his
children. As we taught and testified a sweet spirit filled the room,
and we all were able to feel of his love in a very real and personal
way. Sister Thompson invited her to be baptized on the 14 of April and
she accepted!!! (For the new missionary training, the trainee gets to
invite everyone to be baptized! I love the training program, it is
truly inspired!) She was able to come to church yesterday and thanks
to the ward members was very welcomed and accepted! :) I think after
sacrament she had been introduced to more people than i had been!! HA
ha! They all took their time to be sure she felt welcomed and
comfortable and when they asked her if she would be there next week
she said, "Yes! I think so!" :) We are trying really hard to find her
friends and fellow shippers in the ward so that when she is baptized
in a few weeks she has a place to belong. It made me so grateful for
a world wide church family! It's so incredible to me that no matter
where we go in the whole world we can have the same organization, the
same unity and the same gospel! I love this gospel SO much!! :)

We are teaching a few Chinese investigators which has been another
huge learning process for me! We have a translator (Thank goodness!)
but they are so different! :) I feel like the Chinese people don;t
express themselves the same way that we do. They are more quiet and
observant. I feel like when we teach them we can use a lot of material
and won't overload them. They are super smart, but they really think
things through. Which is a good thing too! :)

Well family! It's been a crazy week, full of surprises, miracles and
lots and lots of tender mercies from a loving Heavenly Father! I KNOW
that this is truly his work! It has to be! There is NO way that a
bunch of 19 year old boys and 21 year old girls could do this on their
own. I am so grateful that God compensates for all of my weaknesses! I
am learning now more than ever to trust in him and know that he will
put me in the right place and help me to find the people that he has
prepared to accept his gospel! What a great and marvelous work to be a
part of!

I love you all SO much!! Thanks for all you do! :)

Lots and LOTS of love from Ann Arbor, Michigan! :)

Sister Bishop!

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19, 2012

Dearest Family!!

Hello! It's Monday and once again i have to say i don't know where the
last week went. . . or the last 6 WEEKS!! I think that time just goes
faster and faster with each transfer! So, here is the big news for the
week: We got the call about transfers late Saturday night like always
and of course we were all nervous and full of anticipation. The funny
thing is that we thought we had it all figured out. For the last week
or two I felt like i was staying in walled lake and that Sister Hoopes
was leaving. Sister Hoopes thought the same thing. SIster Klingler
wouldn't tell us forever what she thought but finally Saturday night
she admitted that she thought Sister Hoopes would be leaving too. We
had everyone convinced, even our neighbor Kim. So when the call came
it was not a surprise, that . . . . (Drum roll please!) I"M
LEAVING!!!! Ha ha, it wasn't a surprise it was like complete shock!!!
We all just sat there and looked at each other for a few minutes, then
started laughing hysterically and screaming. . . none of us could
believe it! Ha ha, it was so funny! So, yes sad but true I am once
again leaving a wonderful area and an awesome ward. I am super nervous
of course, but I just know that this is EXACTLY how it is supposed to
be. It was really neat, President Holmes came to Gabe's baptism Sunday
evening and after he pulled me and Sister Hoopes aside. He told us
that he WAS calling each of us as trainers. He also said, "This is not
normal, but I'm going to step out of character here for a minute and
tell Sister Bishop where she is going! The reason will be obvious, but
PLEASE don't tell any other missionaries! I never tell you where you
are going until transfer meeting, so if they knew i told you, i would
be in big trouble!" So, I will let you guys in on the secret too as
long as the word doesn't get back to the missionaries here! lol. ;)
I'm going to be training a new missionary in Ann Arbor!!! More
specifically on Hill Street!!! SWEET!!! This means that i will be on
campus at MSU and serving in the singles ward!! I think the only
reason he told me was because Sister Hoopes and Sister Klingler both
have served on Hill Street and so they could tell me all of the trade
secrets. It was so funny cause President told us that they were
planning on sending Sister Hoopes back to hill street, but the lord
had different plans. I love that!!! I can totally see how she will be
SO good for this area, and that Hill street will be perfect for me! I
think the next few months will be so awesome!!! They will probably be
a little trying cause Hill Street is a little different than i have
been trained and i will be training, but i can see that i will have a
lot of growth and this is really what the lord wants! Although I am
not perfect and I have so many weaknesses he has a plan for me and
that plan right now is to go to Hill Street!! I'm so SO Super
excited!!! (Didn't you say that Bishop Olsen has relatives in Ann
Arbor? That would be so sweet to look them up while I'm there!)

Whew, so that is the most dramatic, exciting part of our week! :) But
other exciting things: We saw Megan again this week! She is doing so
good! I'm really sad to be leaving her especially with so much
potential and she is so eager to learn, but she is in good hands! And
i think that it will be really good for the new missionary to have
that experience her first transfer. It just amazes me though, how much
you can really come to know and love someone so much in such a short
amount of time! We have met with Megan maybe like 4 times for like an
hour each time. But i feel like I've known her forever! I can honestly
say that I love her SO much!! I'm so happy to be a missionary and to
have these experiences. Nobody else gets to and they are missing out
on one of the greatest experiences of a lifetime! (Seriously! A
mission is the best thing ever! Nobody else gets to get to know, serve
and love people as much as a missionary does! I think that as a
representative of Jesus Christ and doing this 24/7 you can't help but
love the people! I'm so glad that i was blessed enough to grow up with
that knowledge, to have wonderful parents and a great family who have
taught me the gospel and helped me to be the person that i am today so
that i can be HERE, RIGHT NOW, teaching THESE people about how much
God loves THEM! I feel like Nephi, "Having been born of goodly
parents!" (But good parents to the extreme!! I'm so lucky!! Thanks Mom
and Dad! You are the BEST!!!)

Last night we went on splits so that Sister Hoopes could contact a
referral from the Gladys Knight fireside and Sister Klingler and I
went tracting. It's so neat how guided we were!! We prayed and felt
really drawn to a specific building. (This was going to be Sister
Klinger's last time to go tracting so we had to make it good! ;)) We
started knocking doors, talked to one lady that said we could come
back, another lady that wasn't interested and then the miracle
happened! It was the 3rd door we knocked on and the girl opened the
door and said, "I'm so glad you are here!!! (That NEVER happens!) I
was just crying and praying and hoping that someone would come!! (THAT
NEVER happens!!) And I was just talking to my Mom on the phone when i
heard you talk to my neighbor. My mom said that maybe it was a sign
from God and that i should listen to what you have to say cause it
might be something that would really uplift me! (Okay so that never
happens either!! And she said ALL of those things!! Ha ha! We hadn't
even hardly introduced ourselves yet!!!!) We talked to her for a few
minutes, told her a little bit about the Restoration, but mostly we
testified of God's love for her! How He knows her personally, he LOVES
her and he will always be there to help her, no matter what! :) It was
so neat! The spirit was so strong and she was totally golden! Here is
the sad news though: she is moving!! :( But we told her we would get
her address and send her some other missionaries to teach her some
more and she agreed! I'm so glad that we listened and followed the
prompting to tract in that building. The timing was SO perfect, I just
love how God knows all of his children and he puts us right where he
wants us! It's so amazing!!

So, I'm quickly running out of time, but i don't think i will be able
to get a snail mail letter out this week. I will send you my new
address tomorrow though, after i find out what it is! :) One more
quick story: We have been contacting our Gladys Knight referrals this
week. We have practiced and practiced and practiced so we thought that
we were ready for anything!! Ha ha, well the Lord has his own ways of
keeping us humble and showing us that he is in charge! ;) We got about
8 referrals and our goal was to at least contact them by Sunday. We
got in contact and set up some appointments (Which was slightly more
difficult than that sounded, but that's another whole story!) One of
our appointments was an Indian man who didn't let us watch the
Restoration DVD with him, but said he would call us with questions.
(We are still praying for him and trying to get in contact with the
member that invited him.) Another appointment was one we just stopped
by. We didn't recognize the name so we thought it was a potential
investigator. When we knocked a young man answered the door and said
he already knew Sister Klingler! (We were a little shocked and super
confused!) Come to find out, they are members of our ward!!! Oops!!
That's so embarrassing, we totally treated him like an investigator
until Sister Klingler finally caught on! Ha ha, Sister Hoopes and i
were totally clueless! I actually didn't turn out too bad though, I
don't think he really understood what we were saying! (They are a
Korean family that doesn't speak the best English! What a tender
mercy! :) )

Well family!! I love you all SO MUCH!!! Di- I'm glad you got the tape!
Ha ha, i thought i might sound like a chipmunk! Ha ha, good luck with
that one! ;) Thanks for the stories and prayer! You are all the
greatest!! I love you! Have a great week!!!

Sister Bishop

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gladys Knight Mar 12,2012

Hello Family!!!

It's been such a crazy week this week, WOW!!! As you know we had the
Gladys Knight firesides this weekend and we got to be assisting
missionaries it was basically the BEST thing ever!! :) We went to the
show Friday night in Palmer park (in Detroit.) and it was so SWEET!
They had told us before that it was going to be something that we had
never heard or seen in a chapel before and they were so right! Of
course this was targeted to the African American population so we had
a ton of black people there, I LOVE BLACK PEOPLE!!! Ha ha, they were
singing along, clapping, dancing and of course there was a lot of
"Hallelujah's" and "AMEN'S!!" in there! It was so cool! So then
Saturday and Sunday we spent like the whole day doing fireside stuff.
We had to be there at like 1:00 on Saturday for orientation and then
people started lining up by 3:00 so we got to go talk to them. This
was the best thing ever! I feel like this was my "pageant" season for
the year! Heavenly Father knew how much i would miss the pageant so he
let me have this experience instead! I spent the whole night talking
to tons of people and helping them to fill out the request card so
they could receive the free gift bag. It really felt just like
Pageant! :):) Totally made my day!!! We even stayed out until 1:00
A.M.!!! (On top of all this we had day lights savings too!! Let's
just say we ALL looked slightly Zombie-ish! LOL)Whew! Then we had to
get up at 6:00 for meetings and of course we didn't get home last
night until midnight. . . . thankfully we got to sleep in today, clear
until 8:00!! What a blessing! This fireside was so perfect for the
people in this area! Each one was a little different, but they were
all so great! Gladys and her Husband both shared their testimonies of
the gospel and their stories of how they joined the church. Let me
tell you, these people are so stinking funny!! But i think they had to
keep the mood light cause then they were super bold in telling people
that now they have the information and they are accountable to have
to find out the truth for themselves. IT WAS SO SWEET!!! I wish i had
a better word to describe it, AWESOME, BRILLIANT, SO SO SO SO SO
GOOD!! :) I didn't really think that i was that big of a fan of
gospel music but after that experience, I'm totally hooked. (Bonus:
Gladys Knight gave me a high give!!!!! ha ha, we did a "missionary
tunnel" before each performance that she walked through, she is SO
AWESOME!!!) Basically i can't even tell you how much i loved this
experience!!! At least not in this one little short letter! But, I;m
trying to finish the tape that I'm working on and since Di is home
maybe i will make it for all of you and try to send it today so you
can all listen to it together!! Hopefully if i got it out today or
tomorrow it would make it before the weekend is over. . . i will have
to see! We are all at the office today helping to put all the
referrals in the computer so we can distribute and track everything
easier, so that's why we are earlier than usual. I'm not sure how long
we will be here or when i will get a chance to write next, it might be
next Monday. We will just have to see how it goes!

So, I have to apologize, this week has been so crazy i can't remember
all of the things we did! But we did have a really cool experience
with one of our investigators. Her name is Megan, she is someone that
we tracted into and she is totally golden! This Tuesday we went to
visit her and when we walked up the stairs the door was already open
and she was waiting for us, but she looked like a completely different
person! She was SO happy and seemed to have a light turned on inside
her, as we were talking and asking her how the reading and praying was
going she couldn't stop smiling!!! She finally just looked at us and
said, "I love this!! I love everything you guys have taught me, this
is SO great!!! I think that i want to do it. . . . . . i think that i
want to be a Mormon!!!!" Ha ha, at that point we ALL had huge smiles!!
Of course we invited her to be baptized and SHE ACCEPTED!! :) :) :)
She is now officially on date for April 14! She is so cool!!! She
hasn't been to church yet but she is working on transferring to
another work location and said that hopefully she will be able to get
Sunday's off as soon as the transfer goes through!

One more quick story, we were at the Gladys Knight fireside Friday
night and about half way through this older black lady came and sat by
us, she was so cool; totally into in singing and clapping even
standing when she was really excited, so after it was over S Klingler
was talking to her, and told her her story. She said she had been
having a really hard time, but was out walking around when she saw
lights on at the church. She asked the usher's if there was a service
going on and when they told her it was Gladys knight she was so
shocked!! She said, "The lord guided me here tonight, this is just
what i needed and I know that it is true!! I'm going to be here every
Sunday!!!" SO COOL!!!! She got tickets and came Saturday night so she
could hear the whole thing AND she brought a friend!! Ha ha,
MIRACLES!!! I love it!!

Just kidding, one more funny story!! Ha ha, so we were getting ready
for the first fireside Saturday helping get everything set up and
everything. they had curtain up in some of the hall ways for privacy
so one of the elders was standing right in front of it. He turned
around to sneeze really fast and totally pulled the whole curtain down
on top of him!! Ha ha, he was super embarrassed, it was SO funny!!! Ha

Well family! It;s to good to hear from you all!! Prom sounds like a
blast!!  I will try to get that tape sent off today or tomorrow. Hope
everything goes well with the Job in cedar, I love you all SO much
and think of you all the time!! :) I LOVE YOU


Sister Bishop!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March 6,2012

Dearest Family!!

HELLO!! Today has been a super crazy day! We went to the city today
and got back late, so we are rushing to write e-mails and go shopping
before we have an appointment tonight at 6. Time goes SO FAST!!! But
it goes even faster on preparation days!! So crazy!! I will be sure to
send you all some pictures of the city and all of our adventures. I
can't believe what a different world it is out here! I really miss my
mountains. . . but that's okay! It's so random, but as we were driving
through the city today there were SO many abandoned houses! People
randomly live in them or decide to burn them down. It's so crazy!
There were burned houses everywhere and half of the ones that weren't
burnt were falling apart and so dilapidated. It's sad. But what an
adventure! You'll see by my pictures! :)
It's good to hear that you are all doing well. I'm glad that Jake is
home and you are all still working on him! I loved that he had to give
the FHE lesson, I bet it was awesome!! ;) I'm glad that chubs is okay!
That sounds like it was kind of a scary night, no fun!
This weekend is the Gladys Knight fireside!!! We were asked to be
assisting missionaries so that means that we get to go Friday night to
watch it, then to both performances on Saturday and Sunday! (This has
been a coveted position since they announced they would need extra
help so we were all super excited when they called and asked us to do
it!! Ha ha, we were screaming and jumping around in our car! I'm sure
it would have been super funny to watch!) :) :)
We had a really neat experience this week. We are teaching a couple
that we tracted into. Their names are Megan and Devin. They are so
awesome! We taught them once, set up a time to come back and nobody
was home. Well, we stopped by later and caught them. We had a really
neat lesson and they invited us back next week to teach them about the
plan of salvation. They had a lot of questions and so they were really
excited! We went back this week and taught them the plan, they LOVED
IT!! Megan is more into it than Devin is, but they both agreed to try
the "experiment" and pray and read the Book of Mormon. It's so neat to
see someone that you found accept what you are teaching them, learn,
and come closer to Christ! I just hope and pray that they will
continue! What a great couple! We are hoping to get them to Gladys
Knight. I think they would really enjoy it! It just goes to show that
this is the lords work and he is in charge! I've seen so many little
things in the last week that prove that he is guiding us, and i am so
thankful for that!!

Sorry this is so short, but i'm so out of time!! This is going to be a
crazy week, lots of miracles in store. I love you all SO much!!!! :)
Keep up the good work! :)

Love you all the BESTEST!!
Sister Bishop

Monday, March 5, 2012

Feb. 27 2012

Dearest Family!!

Hello!! Sorry I led you all astray thinking that i would e-amil you on
thrusday. . .  as you can see I'm still trying to get the missionary
mode down! ;) Life is good! This last week was kind of a long one
cause it was cloudy and cold and stormy so nobody wanted to let us in
or keep their appointments. And everybody was sick!! Seriously I think
that we had atleast 10 people cancel their appointments this week. . .
. but we had a pretty good time tracting this week! Ha ha, i guess
that is one thing that i can be thankful for. . . when all else fails
there are about a million and a half doors to knock on and you never
know what is waiting behind the next door! We have been going around
the ward, meeting with all the members and sharing a missionary
motivation lesson. We are trying to get everybody really excited about
Gladys Knight so they can invite their friends. So one of the things
we always share with the members is the worst case vs. best case
scenario. Think about it . . .When you invite someone to church or to
learn more about the Book of Mormon; Worst case scenario: They say no
and think you are crazy so they don't want to be your friend anymore.
(Which is VERY unlikely! AND if they are that way, then maybe they
weren't really a true friend.) But then BEST case: They accept your
invitation, come, feel the spirit, LOVE IT!!, meet with the
missionaries, get baptized, their family gets baptized they are all
sealed in the temple, their children have children who go on missions
and all the people that they teach. . . . the effects of missionary
work are endless!!! When you compare the two scenarios, there is
really no comparison! Of course when you look at it that way, it makes
it much easier to extend the invitation in the first place! :) Wow-
sorry that was kind of a tangent. . . . But that attitude has helped
me a lot the last week as we have had ample time to be out knocking on
doors!  The other thing that is so great about this is the fact that
as long as you invite then you are sucessful! I'm sure you have heard
the statistic that it takes 7 times of coming in contact with the
church before  they will seriously investigate it. So, even those
doors that aren't interested  or the invitation that is rejected gets
them one step closer to accepting the gospel! :)

Whew! Now i will step down off my soap box. . . ha ha SORRY! :)
Tomorrow is zone conference and i'm super excited!! We have been
studying a case study and a talk by Elder Bednar called "Becoming a
Preach My Gospel Missionary." (SUPER SUPER GOOD!! You should all read
it for FHE or something!) But one thing that i really noticed as i was
studying it this morning is that it talked about how we MUST teach by
the spirit. Of course i knew that! But as i looked and studied a
little more it referenced 1 Corinthians 2 where Paul is telling the
people how the spirit is essential. Elder Bednar went on to explain
that if we are just teaching a lesson and spewing information then we
AREN'T teaching that person and we AREN'T teaching a lesson, we are
merely talking in front of an investigator! WOW!! That hit me so hard.
He laid out a pattern for how to follow the spirit and really focus on
teaching people, the funny thing is that it focuses more on listening!
First we listen, then we discern THEN we teach! I think i still get
way to nervous thinking about what to say next instead of really
listening and trying to follow the spirit. It was really cool cause we
discussed this as a companionship too and we decided that we HAD to
listen more in lessons. I never realized that the biggest, most
important thing about teaching is listening!! Listening to your
investigator, listening to the spirit and listening to your companion,
it's all so important!! :)

So funny story. . . . (Hopefully you guys think these stories are
funny and it isn't just the "Missionary Humor Syndrome!") We found a
guy last week as we were tracting and he sounded interested and said
we could come back. So we set the appointment but when we stopped by
he wasn't home. We all felt like he was really golden so we thought we
would try again later in the day. So of course we did. . . this time
when we knocked on the door it was slightly open. It looked kind of
sketchy cause there were no lights on and the door was kind of hanging
funny, there was no answer so we left it the way we found it. We
decided to pray and see where we felt God needed us and possibly try
again later. Sister Klingler and I both joked about just opening the
door and seeing if he really was there but Sister Hoopes wouldn't let
us!! Ha ha, She insisted that if there was something wrong, we would
get the blame. We tried to reason that all they would have was our
knuckle prints from knocking on the door, but she wouldn't even
listen!! Ha ha! Lol, We did stop by later because we all felt really
good about it, and i think that he pulled up in a truck right behind
us, saw us and drove off! Yeah, we still haven't caught him at home
yet, but atleast we know that he is okay! :)

We had stake conference this week, it was really good! The theme this
year is strengthening our families. Saturday night they talked a lot
about how to strengthen our families by: reading the scriptures,
praying personally and as a family, attending the temple and
attending church. As i reflected i realized how blessed I am for
having a family that has done all of those things! You guys are so
great!!! :)  I felt so blessed because i have personally seen how all
of those things really do bless and strengthen our family.  The temple
president's wife talked about her family and some of the traditions
they had started and how those traditions had blessed their family. It
wasn't anything big, but i could totally relate! I thought of you guys
all night. I really am SO blessed!!! :)

Once again there isn't much here about the people we have taught, but
that's cause they all cancelled on us this week!! Ha ha. But,
yesterday and today the sun has been out and i feel like it's going to
be a great week! :) We have decided to make this our BEST week yet, to
work as hard as we possibly can and be "DO-ERS!" I am so excited,
there are lots of people waiting to hear the gospel and we are going
to find them!! :)

I love you all super-mucho!!! With lots of diamonds and hearts!!! :)
Keep being awesome!

Sister Bishop