Monday, July 9, 2012

July 2, 2012

Dearest Family, HELLO!!!!!

Oh man! You guys are the greatest!! I feel like every exclamation
point I use in my letters represents a big hug that I'm sending your
Ha ha, I have been so blessed with such an amazing family! :)

This week has been so incredible, I feel like I've learned a lot of
valuable lessons. First of all we did exchanges a week ago. I went to
Saline with S Jones and that left S Thompson here with S Evans. I was
so excited and it turned out to be SO GOOD! It amazes me every time
how little coincidences work out and we are able to learn so much from
those little things- it's truly a testimony to me that this is God's
work! S Jones is training S Evans, but because of some complications
they have to do a 12 week training program in 6 weeks. She had just
barely finished her own training so i think she was a little stressed
out. Of course there were other factors, but I really felt that I
needed to be in Saline to just build her up a little, to reassure her
that she's doing what she needs to be doing and give her a little
boost in her confidence. Her trainer HATED tracting and so they NEVER
did it! :) So now SHE is training and trying to teach a new missionary
how to do all these things without any practice or experience for
herself. Yeah, we went tracting!! I can't even tell you how much fun
it was!!! I never thought that I would say it, but I've missed
tracting- I LOVED IT SO MUCH!!! It was neat to see S Jones catch on so
quickly too. . . she kind of stepped back and I took the lead as we
were tracting but she didn't slack off or back down at all. It was so
great! After that she was much more excited and really felt like she
could do it too! I was so glad that I was able to help her out, just
in those little ways! :) Being with S Jones for the day helped me to
remember what it feels like to be the junior comp. I found myself
sitting back in the lessons and not trying as hard to receive
revelation or guidance for the people we were teaching- it was a rude
awakening- a call to repentance! What I learned is the importance of
team teaching! I have to allow and expect my comp to jump in and help
me teach, I think I just kind of take over because I'm the trainer and
the Senior comp, but after that experience I've REALLY done my best to
help S Thompson be more involved. We've had some really great,
powerful lessons this week as a result! I really love exchanges-- it's
amazing how quickly you can come to know and LOVE others! I feel like
S Jones and I are now friends for life! She knows she can trust me and
ask me any questions and that I will do my best to help/answer those
questions. What a blessing it is for be a missionary!! <3

In our District Meeting this week we went over the highlights from the
mission tour. It was a great reminder- I feel like sometimes I forget
so quickly, but Elder Karinen (Our district leader) was really
prepared. As he gave his instruction he shared more about how we
should be "ALWAYS" missionaries. We always invite people to be
baptized in the first lesson, we always invite the head of the
household to offer a kneeling prayer at the end of the lesson, etc.
There are a lot of things that we should ALWAYS be doing as
missionaries but for one reason or another it doesn't happen. Weather
it is lack of faith or desire or just running out of time he
challenged us to ALWAYS be ALWAYS missionaries. He promised that we
would see success. I loved his little saying:
Acknowledge the

See- ALWAYS!! So this week have been striving to be always
missionaries. So- here are some examples of the miracles we have seen:

It had been like 3 weeks since we had met with Mackenzie and as we
prepared to see her this week the thought of inviting her to be
baptized kept coming to my mind. (I'm not gonna lie, I was super
nervous!) The last time we talked about baptism she flat out told us
"No!" We have a really good relationship and we didn't want her to
feel pressured to make that decision. As I was studying and preparing
to see her that morning I thought of being an always missionary and
really putting my trust in the Lord and letting him take care of it. I
was led to find some really great quotes and scriptures that just
jumped out to me! Our lesson was AMAZING!!!! We started out testifying
of God's love for his children and how we are all His Daughters- the
gospel it not about being "Catholic" or "Mormon" but it is about
coming home to our Heavenly Father. There is a quote in PMG that talks
about how we preach and teach to open the doors of the Celestial
kingdom to the sons and daughters of God because we are the ONLY ones
that have the authority to do that! Just saying that really softened
her heart and helped her to really be able to LISTEN to the spirit,
learn and feel of God's love for her. We simply and boldly laid out
all the steps in the gospel teaching and testifying and at the end
invited her to pray about it. We also extended and "As You, Will You,"
she promised to pray about it!! I think that her biggest concern is
that she is afraid of change- it is hard to change, but she already
has such a testimony of these things as long as she continues to read,
pray and come to church Heavenly Father will help her to overcome
those fears! :) So, keep Mackenzie in your prayers!! Pray that she
will recognize the answers that she is receiving and have the faith to
conquer her fears! <3

This week we had 4 investigators at church!!! Then we also had a few
members bring family/ friends that were nonmembers. Our gospel
principles class was the biggest we've EVER seen!! I really know that
is a direct result of being ALWAYS missionaries. We focused on the
basic commitments and invited people and they kept the commitments! It
was SO busy, it was great!! It was also a really great thing for the
ward to see that we are serious about doing missionary work, that we
ARE finding people and teaching them, but that we need their help! The
most miraculous things happened because of that too, we just got a new
EQP and yesterday after church he asked to talk to us for a few
minutes. He told us how they are really trying to focus on missionary
work with their new presidency and asked for ways that they could
help. We talked it over and came up with some really great things to
implement and try. He even asked for a list of our progressing
investigators so that they could try and assign home teachers!!!! I
could have jumped and shouted for joy!!! This is what we have been
trying for, this is going to be SO great for our ward and for our
area!!!! We also are working on rewriting the ward mission plan and
are really focusing on helping each person to write and follow a
personal mission plan. We have permission to do a lesson the 5th
Sunday to help people DO it and be more excited and involved in
missionary work. The ward is really stepping it up, it is an answer to
prayers and I'm SO grateful!!!

We are still working with Hunaid and trying to help him be prepared
for his baptism on July 15. We had a great lesson with him last night,
he has been fighting us about Tea being agianst the WOW. We've
explained it to him several times and last night we told him it's all
about obedience and faith. This isn't about our diet, it's a test of
our faith in a prophet of God and our commitment to follow that
prophet and be obedient to the commandments of God. (We had our member
there to back us up too which of course ALWAYS makes the difference!)
After that discussion Hunaid just kind of looked at us and asked,
"Can't you just leave God out of it!??!?! I can't even argue with you
when you bring him into this!!" Ha ha! We just smiled- that's exactly
why we ask him to pray about it! :) ;) :) He committed to try it for a
week, we are going to try and stay in contact daily to help him keep
that commitment and I think this will be the real test to see if he is
willing to be committed and make his date. I know he can, and I know
that God will help him- I just hope and pray that HE will honestly
give it a try! :)

This week has been so miraculous and faith building. We are excited to
continue to work hard and be ALWAYS missionaries, so that we can
continue to see the blessings and miracles that God has promised us!
:) Happy 4th of July!!!! Hope you all have a wonderful holiday! I love
you all SO much!!! :)


Sister Bishop (The Fav!) ;)

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