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!! :)

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