Monday, December 17, 2012

Dec. 17,2012 Lisa called last night to talk with Ben

Dearest Family!!!

Hello to ALL!!!! I can't believe how good it was to talk to you all
last night!! Oh my goodness, that 30 minutes went WAY too fast!! :) :)
I loved it though!!! SO, SO MUCH!!! I think that the thing I loved the
most was the fact that we didn't really "say" anything! :) All of the
little stories we shared was all that we needed! I loved how Mom said
for your little family Christmas party that the BEST thing was being
together and spending that time as a family! That really is the
GREATEST!!! Oh man! I love you guys SO, SO much!!! (I told S Evans the
story about Tim in Sunday School and we giggled the rest of the night!
Ha ha!!! :)) I'm sending this e-mail to Ben's missionary address too,
so hopefully it makes it and I guessed right . . . if not, you'll have
to let me know what it is for real. :)

So, here I am in Northville!! S Mecham is GREAT!!! I can't wait for
you guys to see pictures, we really could be twin sisters! :) We are
both the same height, blonde and blue eyes. . . just talking to her
for the little while we've been together, I can tell we are going to
get a long just great! We are SO much alike! :) Ha ha, it's gonna be
good! Northville is a family ward, it's not rural, but it's definitely
not the city either. It's actually a pretty ritzy area. . . so, it's
gonna be great!! :)

I was really sad to leave Ann Arbor, but it actually worked out really
well this way! I feel like instead of just being transferred from Hill
St, they kind of winged me off of it! :) I still got to see people
once in a while and get used to a family ward and get to know and love
the people there, so it really was the BEST of both worlds! I think
one of the hardest things was actually saying goodbye to S Evans! :)
We have got to be such good friends over the last 6 weeks and before
me, she really struggled with her companions, so it was super hard to
say good bye! :) It's so amazing to see how God works! We both needed
that 6 weeks together, I learned so much from her and it was really
incredible!!! I sure do love that girl! :)

So, with all of that good stuff out of the way, we did do some
missionary work this week! :) It was really awesome!! We did exchanges
at the beginning of the week. I stayed in AA and S Butterfield came
there, so S Evans was in Fenton with S Farnsworth. Exchanges are such
a powerful experience to learn from another sister! They are the
BOMB!! So, Tuesday morning S Butterfield and I meet with Jeanette, we
had only taught her like 2 times and we weren't sure if she was really
interested. She had been taught a lot by missionaries before, and
seemed to have a pretty good understanding of the things that we had
shared. We decided to start at the beginning and just do a very
powerful, spirit led lesson according to her needs. As we studied and
practiced, it was amazing to feel the spirit and see how it all came
together so easily! As we taught the lesson it all just flowed, and
even though I had NEVER taught with S Butterfield, we were so
unified!! Man!!! It was such an amazing feeling! At the end of the
lesson, Jeanette told us, "WOW!!! You girls are SO good at this, it
all makes so much sense!!! This is so amazing!!" We invited her to
pray about being baptized and she promised that she would! (It was
really awesome too, cuase we took Tara with us!! She is so awesome!!!!
She was able to just jump right in and help us teach and testify! She
actually spent the morning with us and absolutely LOVED it!! She's
gonna be the best little missionary!!)

We have been working with a Less Active named Rebecca Thornton, she
has been LA for a very long time and has a lot of questions and
different views about the church and our doctrines, etc. But we had
dinner with her and the Bednar's last Sunday. After dinner we read the
"I Feel My Saviors Love" story book to the little girls and talked
about ways that we feel Christ's love for us. We targeted it to the
girls, but Rebecca listened intently the entire time. She even seemed
to get a little emotional. So, yesterday when we went to say good
bye, I brought it up again and shared my testimony of the Savior and
His love for all of us. A sweet spirit filled the room and we all got
a little teary eyed as we were able to partake for that brief moment
of His love! It was really neat! I know she still has a bunch of
questions and doubts, but as long as she remembers that HE really does
love her, I know she will be able to overcome them! :)

Our other miracle was that. . .. WE GOT SEMONE BACK!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :)
We had tried calling her several times during the week, but she never
answered or called us back. We were super bummed, but didn't feel good
about just stopping by. When I found out I was being transferred, I
tried calling her again, but still she didn't answer. She didn't have
a voice mail, so I just decided to try texting her. A few hours later
she called and apologized for "putting us off" and asked us to come by
Sunday night. We were still a little nervous, but felt really good
about it, so we stopped by last night and had the most amazing
experience!!! OUR SEMONE IS BACK!!! :) We walked in and she gave us
both a great big hug!!! She again apologized, but explained that she
had had a really crazy week. We chatted for a few minutes and then she
asked us, "Well Sisters, I haven't had a chance to read my Book of
Mormon yet, can we read together??" We of course, obliged! :) We
turned to 3 Nephi and read the account of Christ in the Americas. She
got SO excited as we were taking turns that she just kept reading and
reading. . . as she read her eyes started to water and the spirit
poured into the room. We talked for a few minutes about what it would
be like to have been there and seen/heard all the things that those
people saw and heard. :) Aww!! It was SO good!! She told us that she
wants to continue to meet with us, but she wants to take it slow so
she can really feel it out and pray about it to make sure that this is
really what God wants for her. :)

It was kind of a crazy emotional week with exchanges, being
transferred and calling you guys!!! It's been a good one, but I'm SO
glad it's preparation day and we can take it easy and get everything
organized and settled in. :) I'm really excited to see the miracles
that God has in store for me and S Mecham here in Northville!! I'm
sure it's gonna be great!! :) I hope that you all have a most
wonderful week!! I love you all SO much!!! Choose the right and all of
the important things and REMEMBER WHO LOVES YOU!!!!

Love you the BESTEST!!

Sister Bishop

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dec. 10, 2012

Hello Family!!

Thanks for the packages this week! I got my vitamins and my shampoo
and all the other goodies! Thank you!!! You guys are the BEST!! I'm so
spoiled! :) So, really fast before I forget . . . This week S Evans
got her Christmas package. When she got it it has already been opened,
so I opened it all the way to make sure that everything was still
there. It looked like it was all still there, but because she is a
foreign missionary, it is super expensive for her family to send her
stuff. Anyways, so I know you guys are always really good, but I was
wondering if you could throw in a couple of extra things for her in my
Christmas package?? :) All she got was a "You are special book",
jewelry, a scarf and some chocolate. It doesn't need to be much, or
anything expensive. . . just a little something, so she has a few
things to open on Christmas! :) I'm pretty sure that you guys would
be sending her something anyways, cause you are just the BEST!!!
Thanks !!! :) (P.S. If anybody in Michigan is reading this on the

YAY!! So, this week we have continued to be blessed with so many
miracles!!! :) First I'll tell you about Semone. SEMONE IS AMAZING!!!!
Everybody we teach has a little bit of a bumpy road with some trials
and struggles, especially someone that is as elect as Semone! So, this
week has been no excuse but it's okay because we have really seen
God's hand in it! This week we had an appointment with Semone in
Tuesday. At church on Sunday we had Sister Jibson come up and tell us,
"Sisters! If you need anyone to go teaching with you this week, please
call my daughter Tara. She is almost missionary age, she just broke up
with her boy friend and she has been seriously considering going on a
mission!" Of course we wanted to take this girl out with us and have
an awesome experience so she can see what missionary work is all
about! So, we decided that Semone would be the perfect appointment! :)
We got it all set up and showed up with Tara at Semone's door on
. As always, she was SO excited to see us, she gave us all a
great big hug, welcomed us in and eagerly got out her Book of Mormon.
We had an AWESOME lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and actually
put her on baptism date for December 29th!!!!! The spirit was SO
strong, Semone was in tears and the 3 of us just couldn't stop
smiling!!!! Tara got to help teach and share her testimony and the
whole experience was just amazing!!!! After our lesson Tara agreed to
come tracting with us! We had been praying really REALLY hard all
morning that we would be able to have miracles while Tara was with us
and God blessed us so much!!! After Semone, we prayed and tried to
feel out which building we needed to tract. We let Tara be a big part
of the whole process and we all felt REALLY good about this one
building! So, we grabbed our little Books of Mormon, mustered up some
courage, kept a prayer in our hearts for a miracle and started
knocking!!! The THIRD door we knocked on, there was a couple home who
invited us in! :) :) They are a humble, sweet little couple named
Jessica and Tighrees. We ended up teaching them most of the
Restoration and inviting them to be baptized! They both agreed to pray
about it and admitted that Jessica had never been baptized and
Tighrees didn't really count his baptism as something special like he
knew it should be! They are incredible!!!! :) Again, Tara got to be
really involved with the teaching and testifying, by the end of the
appointment she couldn't stop smiling!! The smile on her face was so
big I thought that her face was gonna split in half!! :) Ha ha! I
guess she went home and told her Mom what a great time she had and
that, "We actually got in the door!! I didn't know that EVER
happened!!" They even shared this experience in Relief Society in our
little missionary moment! :) It was so amazing!!!! I was so incredibly
grateful that she was able to witness and be a part of those miracles
and taste of the joy of missionary work! :) What an awesome
experience! :)

So, back to Semone. . . here is the rest of the story with the bumpy
road and trials part of it. . . Semone called us on Friday and left us
a voice mail that said something like, "Hey Sisters! This is Semone, I
just have been so stressed and anxious this week that I need some time
to cool off and see where I'm at." We were both heart broken . . we
didn't know what to do. We had a crazy day, but were finally able to
stop by and visit her on Saturday. When we knocked on the door she
immediately answered and got a HUGE smile on her face. She wouldn't
let us come in or teach her at all, or even set up an appointment, but
she said that we could call her in a few days. . . but before we left
she gave us both a big hug and told us that she loved us. I really,
really feel like she will be okay! I think she talked to her family
and they just weren't very supportive and thought that she was rushing
into things. So, we will try to call and stop by in the next few days.
But she isn't going to get away from us that easily!! :) Just keep
Semone and her family in your prayers!! They need it! :)

So, with all of this going on, Heavenly Father thought we needed
another miracle. . . His name is Kun. Kun met with missionaries at
Purdue University 10 years ago. Since then he has been very involved
with a Baptist and Presbyterian church. He has grown in faith and
learned about Jesus Christ, but never really felt right about being
baptized. Through all of these experiences his friends have told him,
"You can check out any Christian church, EXCEPT the Mormons! They are
not Christian so stay far away from them!!" He recognized that the
persecutions we have faced were similar to persecutions that Christ
suffered when he was on the earth. He also noticed that people treated
the Book of Mormon similar to how the treated the New Testament in the
early days of the church. . . with all of this evidence he decided to
investigate the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a little
more thoroughly. He searched on-line and over the past 10 years and
done a lot of research. He finally decided that this MUST be God's
church. So, this Thursday he walked into the Institute and "Turned
Himself in!" Ha ha!!!! I think that it is any missionaries dream to
have someone like Kun walk up and say, "Hey! I've been researching
your church, I believe that it is true and I want to be baptized!!!"
:) Someone at the institute got in contact with the Hill St Sisters
and they taught him the Restoration. They found out that he was
married and in our area, so they called and referred him to us! We met
with him Saturday night and this man is SO ELECT!!! Just shaking his
hand and looking into his eyes I could see that he had been searching
for the truth and had found it!!! The spirit was so strong in his
presence!!! We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and put him on
baptism date for December 29th!!! :) When we asked him what he would
like to study from the Book of Mormon he told us, "Just give me
everything that I need to know to be baptized! Give me the crash
course and put me on the fast track to baptism! I have been waiting SO
long and I really, really need this in my life!" MIRACLES!!!! This is
TOTALLY God's work! :) He came to church yesterday and already has a
TON of friends in the ward! We are teaching him at a members home and
he is just starving for the doctrines of the gospel! :) His family is
kind of struggling with his decisions though . . His wife is also
from China and doesn't really believe in God. She is NOT supportive at
all of him coming to church or meeting with us, which is a big
concern. But when we talked to Kun about it he just said, "I HAVE to
do this. I will pray for my wife! Will you also pray for her??" He
has such great faith!!! He is so prepared!!! Please keep them all in
your prayers! There is so much going on, we are truly seeing the
window's of heaven being opened and the blessings and miracles POURED

The Christmas season is the BEST time of the year! It is amazing to be
able to be a missionary now! Oh man, I LOVE this work so much!!! We
have been so blessed and we truly have our Heavenly Father to thank
for all of these blessings!! I love all of you so much!! And hope that
you are doing well! Remember all of the important things!!! Have a
wonderful week!!! (Talk to you on FRIDAY!!!!) :) :) :) :)

Sister Bishop

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dec 3, 2012

Hello to my very favorite people!!! HAPPY DECEMBER!!! :)

Happy Birthday to my Little Goose! I hope you had a very wonderful
birthday! :) :)

This week has been SO incredible!!! It's been a really good reminder
to me of WHY I'm a missionary! :) So, here is the thing. Being with S
Evans has been GREAT!! She is cute, she's funny, we laugh and talk and
work and have a great time together! But this last week we were
feeling a little stuck in a rut. We have both been missionaries for
several months, we know how to work, how to follow the spirit, and
honestly, we both know HOW to be great missionaries! But for one
reason or another, nothing was working. . . we had seen some progress
with people that we were working with, but still something was
missing. We had a mini- companion inventory one night right before we
went to the Bishop's house for dinner and were really open with each
other. We both admitted that we hadn't been pushing as hard as we
could and admitted that we could do better. We were just being "good"
missionaries when we both knew there were "better" and "Best"
missionaries inside of us! So, we decided that was the end of that! We
promised ourselves and each other not to settle, not to be mediocre
but to push and strive to be the very best that we could!! This week
has been AMAZING!! We have seen so many miracles because of it!

Our first miracle was Semone! We had planned to stop by and visit a
couple of less actives that we have been working with. We tried both
of them and they either wouldn't answer the door or didn't let us in.
So, with that we decided that we should tract around their apartments.
We sat in the car for a few minutes, prayed and really tried to feel
out where Heavenly Father wanted us to be. We both felt really
strongly about this one building, so with that we grabbed our little
Books of Mormon and went to work. We only had like half an hour, but
we knew that we would be blessed. So, we knocked the first few doors
with no real success. . . nobody wanted to talk to us. But then we
walked around the back and knocked on another door. This lady came out
on her balcony and asked who we were and what we were doing. :) We
told her exactly WHO we were and WHY we were there, she smiled and
said, "Well ladies, come right on up!!" :) We went up and there she
was with her boyfriend, daughter and granddaughter! We sat down and
started getting to know her a little and did some of the "How to Begin
Teaching" and she just ate it up! :) :) After that she looked us in
the eye and told us, "Well girls, let me tell you exactly why you are
here! You see, this morning I was in the shower and I was really
praying! I told God that I needed some guidance in my life, that I
needed more truth and direction and asked him to send me a sign. . .
Well, HERE YOU ARE!! What do you have to tell me!???!" We were blown
away! We were so excited, we quickly added our testimony to hers of
how God is aware of her and does hear and answer prayers, then started
teaching her the Restoration. The ENTIRE time we were there she was
just glowing, she agreed with everything we said, she was so happy!!!
At the end we invited her to be baptized and she told us, "Well I have
already been baptized, but it is something I will have to pray about!
I need to know through the Holy Spirit that this is what God wants for
me!" Again we were ecstatic!! We encouraged her to pray about it, to
read the Book of Mormon and set up an appointment to come back. But
that's not the end!!! :) We stopped by Saturday and Semone was really
overwhelmed because her daughter, daughters boyfriend and baby were
all moving in unexpectedly and they were trying to clean and organize
the house and get everything all ready for them. She only had a few
minutes but we shared some of our favorite verses from the Book of
Mormon with her and said a prayer. After the prayer and said, "You
know how there are those times when the spirit just hits you and you
feel it SO strongly!!?!? THIS is one of those times!!! I'm SO GLAD
that you girls are coming by! I really, really need this in my life
right now!" She didn't let us stay long, but when we offered our help
to clean and organize she quickly asked us to come back the next day!
So, Sunday rolled around and we showed up. When we knocked on her door
she just yelled, "Come in!" We opened the door announced who we were
and went up. We found her laying on the couch, looking a little sick.
She said she wasn't feeling well, and after a few minutes of
persuasion she said we could help her clean anyways! We got the living
room, hallway and playroom all whipped into shape and by the time we
were done she seemed to be feeling much better! We finished and she
asked us, "Okay, now are we going to read??" :) We smiled and said,
"You betcha!!!" We opened up the Book of Mormon to 3 Nephi 11 and
started to read about when Christ comes to visit the people in the
Americas. We didn't get very far, because we got talking about the
spirit and how it talks to us. It's neat because the people hear the
voice 3 times before they actually understand what it is saying! She
told us of some experiences that she has had in the past of the spirit
guiding her in her life. The most amazing thing for me though was to
see how the spirit taught her through us. . . we didn't say a whole
lot, but she was FEELING it! :) By the end of the night, she told us,
"WOW!!! This is so amazing! It's so neat how in OUR church the spirit
works so strongly! I HAVE to come to church this Sunday! Can you guys
get me a ride! I won't miss it, I HAVE to be there!!!" :) There are
people who are ready for the gospel!!! They need it so desperately!!!
Each time we stopped by we have been bracing ourselves telling each
other that this was just too good to be true, but then each time we
have a powerful, spirit-filled lesson and the she feels the truth SO
strongly!!! :) It's been such a wonderful reminder and motivation to
go find more people like her!! :)

Our other little tender mercy is a sweet little man named H.B. Deyo.
He is 87 years old and lives in a retirement community. He had just
been a name on our ward directory as a less-active member, but
yesterday we went to visit him. He doesn't hear very well, but as we
visited with him he understood that we were from a church in the area.
He finally asked us what church it was and we told him that we were
Mormons. His eyes lit up a little and he said, "SO AM I!!" "Is there a
Mormon church around here?? I had some Mormon boys coming to visit me
for a while, but then the maintenance man got annoyed with them and
told them I didn't want them to come visit me any more. . . but I DO
want them to come visit!!" It was so touching!!! This sweet little old
man was so lonely and didn't know where to turn. I was so grateful
that we followed the prompting to go visit him yesterday! :) We have
lots of big plans for him!! We are going to get the ward involved and
get him home teachers, but I think we will take him the little
Christmas tree that we found at the Salvation Army, with some lights
and Christmas music! We want him to know that He is not alone and that
there are people who love and care about him!!! :) It was a really
sweet reminder of God's love for ALL of his children, he is aware of
every SINGLE one of them!!

We have some really exciting plans for the coming weeks, going
caroling with families from the ward, visiting less active and part
member families to share a Christmas message and invite them to come
back to church and seeing miracles happen as we work hard and do our
very best! :) We are putting our faith and trust in God that he will
lead us to a bunch more of "Semone's" in this area!!! It really is
going to be a WHITE Christmas!!! :)

I know this is kind of short, but just know that I love you all SO
very much!!! I pray for you each every day and hope that you are all
doing as wonderful as you sound! :) Have a wonderful week, choose the
right and remember all of the important things!!! But most
importantly, REMEMBER WHO LOVES YOU!!!! :)

Love you guys the BESTEST!!!

Sister Bishop!

P.S. I forgot to tell you!!! The Bishop here in the Ann Arbor 2nd ward
has family in Manti!!! Small world right!?!? His Mom is Josie
Soderborg in the 4th ward. . . I think! And he has an aunt. . . and
possibly more! Ha ha, I can't remember right now!! Cool though,
right!?!? :) The Mormon world is very small and connected in so many
ways! I love it!! :)