Monday, October 29, 2012

Oct 29,2012

Hello Family!!! :) Hope all is well in little ol' Utah!! :) Things in
Michigan are going pretty great!!! This week has been an interesting
one! :) I feel like the life of a missionary is like a roller coaster,
up and down and up and down and then some more ups and downs, but at
the end of the day (or the roller coaster) everything slows down for a
few minutes and you jump up and yell, "YEAH!!!! That was awesome!!
Let's do it AGAIN!!" :) Ha ha! This week that roller coaster has been
super crazy, but like always Heavenly Father has blessed me with the
faith and desire to jump up and and yell, "Alright!!! That was FUN!!
Let's do it again!" :) So, here is our week, so that you can

We had a pretty great start, lots of contacting and finding new
people, teaching lessons. . . it was great! Everything was going good!
Well, then on Thursday night we went to the mission fireside and
actually found out that one of the sisters was going home early. She
was assigned to the Ann Arbor 2nd ward and we have seen quite a bit of
her and her comp at the institute, etc. We were super shocked and a
little sad at the news. The next day as we were talking about it, we
realized what this would mean for us. . . you see, we have another
sister who is leaving on Monday. (She is scheduled to go home.) So
with Sister Rogers leaving early we have an odd amount of sisters
until Sister Vanisi leaves. Since we are so close to AA 2nd, we were
guessing that we would be in a trio with S Evans until S Vanisi goes
home! Well, we didn't have to wait long until our guesses were
confirmed!!!! So, we are now in a trio!!! :) Me, S Decker and S Evans!
At first we were a little bit nervous, especially because we will be
covering 2 wards for a week and with all of our different
personalities we knew it would stretch us a little! But you know us,
we are always up for a challenge! So, the sisters talked to us Friday
afternoon and then president called and confirmed the plans that we
had already made. All within about 3 days we got the news, dropped off
S Rogers and moved S Evans in with us. It was some pretty crazy days!
;) These days were especially "roller-coaster-ey." Saturday morning we
dropped S Rogers off at the mission home, moved S Evans in and
immediately headed out to our appointments. We were so blessed! Those
lessons were truly a tender mercy! Without much preparation, the three
of us were able to be amazingly unified and be able to teach and
testify!! What a miracle!! Yet another evidence that this is God's
work! :) We had three lessons right in a row, the first 2 went good
and we made progress with those 2 individuals, but the 3rd one was
AMAZING!!! :) It was with Yang, our Chinese investigator that we have
taught for a long time!! We have tried to give him a baptism date
several times without any success. He always tells us that he "Just
can't!" Last week he came to a baptism service with us and was really
touched. This week as we met with him and talked about how he felt, we
talked a lot about how baptism is like signing a contract with God, so
then God can help you to continue to live the gospel. Yang told us, "I
know that that is what it is, I understand the importance of it too,
but with my situation, I just cannot sign the contract right now. I
am going to live my life and do my best, but just do all that I can on
my own." As we continued to talk to him, we felt impressed to ask what
his situation was (we have tried before but he has never opened up.)
This time however, he finally did!!! :) He brought up some very valid
concerns about his family and that he is a member of the communist
party in China and as a member of the party, cannot have any religious
affiliations. He told us, "Right now I have to stay in the Party
because that is where i want to work when I finish getting my
education. So, right now that is very important to me! Maybe in a few
years, it won't be as important and then I WILL be baptized! I just
cannot do it right now." It was so good that he finally opened up to
us, now that we know what his concerns are we will be able to focus on
those! I'm not really sure what we can do. . . but that's okay because
God does! :) After all of that, we invited Yang to fast and pray with
us about this decision this coming weekend. He agreed to give it a
try!! :) I love this guy so much!! He has such incredible faith, I
know that he will get there someday, and when he does finally take
that step it's going to be the most incredible thing!!! We are hoping
and praying that as he fasts this week, his heart will be softened.

So, after those 3 lessons we were all feeling pretty great! Even
though we had kind of a rough morning, we were having a great day!
Here is the next plunge on that roller coaster though. . . one of our
members, his name is Efren, told us that he had a secret that he
needed to tell us. Efren is one of our fellow shippers/translators for
Bonifacio. He always does really great. But we have been a little
concerned because he hasn't been to church in a few weeks and when we
ask him about it he always makes up some lame excuse. After our 3
lessons we agreed to meet up with him so that he could tell us this
secret. As we headed to his lesson, I felt a little nervous about the
things I thought he might say. As we sat down with him, my fears were
confirmed. "Sisters, I am NOT going to church anymore, I just don't
believe any of this anymore!" Efren is a returned missionary (and he
was a GOOD missionary!) He was a branch president, he taught
institute, he has so much knowledge. . . we were so shocked! As we
talked with him, he told us that he has always had his doubts and that
recently he had come to the decision that the things he had learned
all of his life were "maybe true and maybe not." He told us that he
doesn't even know if there is a God anymore. We were all heart broken,
we talked with him for a while and did everything that we could to
help him feel the spirit to rekindle that faith but when we left he
was still very doubtful and sad. We are the only ones that he has
told. .. the Bishop doesn't know or the Elders quorum president, his
family probably doesn't even know yet. It was so sad, the pain in his
eyes was so obvious. It's so awful that he would let doubt or
questions and cloud out his faith. He agreed to meet with us again and
you can bet that we will do everything that we can to help him!! He is
all that I've thought about for the last 3 days, wondering how/why he
let this happen. I guess the one comforting thing about all of this is
that he hasn't completely given up. He is asking us questions, he
still prays. . . it's not enough, but at least it is a start.

After that, Heavenly Father knew that we all needed a pick me up, so
off we headed to the Ann Arbor Halloween party!! :) It was so fun! We
didn't get to stay long, but we saw all the cute little families
dressed up in their costumes and had some dinner. It was a good break
and a wonderful reminder of how living the gospel brings us peace, joy
and happiness. We finished off our roller coaster day with a quick
lesson with Mike and Hunaid (both are recent converts who are doing so
good!! For right now at least! ;) )

Sunday was also a tender mercy, we went to church and after went with
S Evans to visit a few families from the AA ward. The Bean family was
absolutely adorable!! They have a 2 year old little girl named Lizzy.
We ate dinner and the whole time Lizzy showed me her books and toys. .
. by the end of the night, we were BFF's! :) It was so cute though, as
we got our our scriptures so share a message, Lizzy insisted on
getting her Book of Mormon too. Then she had to show us all of the
pictures. When she opened the Book of Mormon and saw Jesus she
squealed and yelled, "LOOK!!!! IT"S MY JESUS!!! I SURE DO LOVE MY
JESUS!!!!!" :) She then named ALL of the people in the pictures. . . .
we were all very impressed!! :) It made me so excited to have a family
of my own someday, to teach my little kids all about Jesus, how he
loves them and help them to love him too! :) It makes so so thankful
for the opportunities I've had as a missionary to teach and share the
gospel, so that when I'm a Mom, I've already learned the BEST way to
teach it! :)

Of course, our lives were still a roller coaster, and the next family
we visited was a part member family. They are an older couple with 3
grown children. The wife is a member and the husband is not. She has
been praying for a long time and finally asked if he would meet with
us, he agreed and she invited us over. We knew from ward members that
he was kind of a hard nut to crack but didn't understand until we
actually met him. It was tough!!! That morning we had practiced and
felt prepared, but it didn't go like we had planned at all. When we
asked him a question, he would never give us a straight answer, he
never said more than 5 words at a time and didn't volunteer any
information. I don't think I've ever prayed so hard in my life!!! We
asked questions, we testified, we shared scriptures, but still nothing
worked. It was really, really hard!!! At the end of the night, we knew
we had done our best, we had tried to listen to the spirit and
everything that we knew but he still didn't budge. Yuck!!! He agreed
to talk to his wife a little more and to call us if he wanted to
pursue it anymore. The hardest thing was that his wife wanted it SO
bad, and he was only meeting with us because she wanted him too. So,
we'll keep praying for him and hope that his heart also softens!!!

Ha ha, looking back over this letter it looks a little glum. But it
really was a great week! I can honestly say, "I rode that roller
coaster, I laughed, I cried, I screamed and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE of
it!!!" I have been so blessed! I have wonderful companions, I have God
on my side, I have the Savior's Atonement, I have the BEST family
backing me up, so bring it on!!! The roller coaster might just get
bigger and scarier, but that's okay too! All the more fun! :) :) I'll
just keep smiling, working hard and doing my best and every day at the
end of the day, I can get up off that roller coaster and say, "That
was Fun!! I enjoyed it, let's do it again tomorrow!!!" :)

We are going to switch the rest of our preparation day to Thursday so
that we can go to the temple this week, so I probably won't have time
to write! Hopefully you got the tapes I sent last week! If not, they
should be there soon! :) Well family!! I love you dearly!!! Please
choose the right and remember all of the important things!! Don't EVER
EVER forget who loves you!!! :)

Love you bunches and bunches!!

Sister Bishop

Oh!!! I did meet Pres. Holmes Mom!!! :) Ha ha, She found me at the
fireside and when she saw my name tag, her eyes lit up and she said,
"Sister Bishop! I've been watching for you!!! I met your Aunt and your
Grandma and they BOTH sent you a GREAT BIG HUG, so come here!!!" ha
he, she then wrapped me up in the biggest bear hug that she could
manage! :) It was so cute!! She's adorable!! :) Glad that Ben and Di
had fun sky diving!! Have a great week! Love you!!


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