Monday, February 25, 2013

Feb 25,2013 Another grand week ofmissionary service

Dearest Family,

HELLO FRIENDS!!!! So, first things first!!! Ben- I MET ELDER
JOHNSON!!!! Awww, it was so tender!!! He is this super sweet, short,
little Elder and when we got to the mission home I told S Holmes I had
to find him. She tracked him down for me and said, "Elder Johnson,
this is Sister Bishop!" Immediately his eyes lit up and he got this
huge grin on his face!! "I met your little brother and he sent you
this. . . (He holds out his hand and gives me a BIG hand hug)!!!" ha
ha!! It was so adorable!!! I loved it so much!!! Awww!! Yay for
missionaries!!!! We got to take S Sirstins out last Monday and when we
walked into the mission home to pick her up she gave all of us sisters
a big hug, but when I told her who I was she gave me another great big
hug, her eyes got a little watery and she squealed, "Wait!! YOU are my
companion!!" I immediately loved her!!! :) We had a great night and
got off to a wonderful start the next morning when our alarm didn't go
off until 7:00 and we were supposed to meet S Holmes at the mission
home at 7:20!! ha ha! I've never showered and got ready so fast in my
whole life!!! But it was great!! I miss S Mecham a lot, but I think
that is just kind of how it goes! :)

We had dinner last night with the Hill's and they are the ones who
sent you the pictures of us! They are the greatest, I love them so
much!!! Sister Hill called though and passed on the message from Dad
and this has been my thoughts! :) I had NEVER wanted to serve a
mission. But I had been blessed with parents who BOTH served missions
and would tell stories and experiences about how much they loved their
missions. I think though the biggest thing was growing up in a home
where the doctrines and principles were taught and gaining my own
testimony of them was the biggest thing that impacted me. Instead of
just hearing or reading about faith in Christ, or covenants I
experienced it first hand. I loved how you (Mom and Dad) were always
so good at teaching by example, you helped us learn the importance of
tithing by letting us pay our own tithing each week. (One of my
favorite memories was racing to get the change out of Dad's pants
pockets every Sunday morning so I could pay my tithing!) It was like
that with every thing and I experienced the blessings of the gospel
first hand by living them myself. I learned how to pray and
communicate with my Heavenly Father and we learned together how to
recognize the spirit talking to us and guiding us in our lives. Then
when the time came and I knew that I needed to pray about going on a
mission, I knew I could trust my Heavenly Father and knew how to
recognize that voice telling me "YES!!! YOU NEED TO SERVE A
MISSION!!!!" It hasn't always been easy, in fact it has probably been
one of the hardest things that I've ever done in my life!!! But I
think that's one reason that I love it so much!! Now I KNOW for a fact
that Sister Bishop can do ANYTHING with the Lord's help!!! Even come
all the way to Detroit, Michigan for a year and a half and go way out
of her comfort zone and see more miracles that she ever thought
possible!! Seriously, missions are the BEST!!

Any ways, this week has been SO great!! I LOVE training, mostly
because you have the wonderful advantage of a new missionary full of
faith and enthusiasm for the work. Sister Sirstins is amazing!!! I
feel more like she is training me than I am training her- there have
been so many things that she's taught me this week! :) She's taught me
patience (that's always a big one with a new companion) and love and
faith to expect miracles! I think one of the best things about
training is how hard it is! Just because you have to be completely
selfless, focusing more than ever on your companion and the people
that you are working with. I've really appreciated the promptings this
week from the spirit that reminded me if I was tired or a little
discouraged or hungry, how much my new missionary would be feeling
those exact same feelings, even stronger! As I've made it a bigger
focus to look out ward I've seen already how it has strengthened our
companionship. The other thing about training is that is forces you to
evaluate where you are at-- it leaves no room for half hearted goals
or justification. (This probably sounds awful, but it has really
opened my eyes and helped me to recognize my weaknesses and set goals
to improve.) I'm going back to the basics, I'm really treasuring up
the word (one hour of personal study just never feels like enough!)
and I'm really trying to be a more consecrated, diligent servant of
the Lord. I think honestly the biggest thing that has changed this
week is my attitude. I really do love this work and with all of the
faith and enthusiasm of my new missionary I'm really feeling the fire
again! Northville of course has it's unique challenges, but I know
that with the help of the Lord, we can do all things! I feel a bit
like Nephi building a boat, I've NEVER built a boat before and I
really have no idea what I'm doing, but he's given me the tools and
I'm just going to go for it! :) Elder Law and Elder Jones (the new
Elders in our ward) seem to be doing pretty well also.I was so proud
of them this last week! They were hard at work and at our coordination
meeting, the ward council was so impressed. They can tell the Elders
are here to work hard and are determined to succeed. They are really
great!! I love our little Elders! :) Good things are happening-- we
ARE going to baptize this coming month. .. we don't know who yet, but
Heavenly Father does and He will help us to find them!!! :)

We had a really neat experience this week with finding. We had planned
to go tracting and felt really, really good about this street. We were
excited and ready to see miracles! We knocked and knocked and door
after door, nobody would talk to us. We kept thinking, "the next door,
our family has GOT to be behind this next door." Dinner time rolled
around and we were getting close to the end of the street. I was just
praying so hard, "PLEASE, PLEASE, Heavenly Father! Please let this be
our family." We kept going and still nobody was interested. A little
disheartened we got in the car and headed home for dinner. Sister
Sirstins asked if we could say a prayer of gratitude. I of course
repented quickly and agreed that that was a wonderful idea!! :) She
prayed and I felt the spirit whisper, "it'll be okay, Sister Bishop!"
All day I had been thinking that we should go and meet our neighbors,
but I just kind of shook it off thinking, "They are not interested!
The last missionaries have tried and tried to teach them, and plus we
have to find our family!! We just don't have the time!" Well, we
walked in for dinner and our down stairs neighbor was outside talking
with her son and his friend. I figured we'd just say hello quickly and
introduce S Sirstins. Well, we got talking and the 2 boys started
asking questions. Before I even really knew what was happening we were
handing them both a Book of Mormon and teaching them the
Restoration!!! Ha ha!!! We taught them, set up an appointment and
committed them to church on Sunday!!! They asked the best questions
and one even said, "Man! This makes so much sense!! That's why I don't
like your church mom, cause I feel like it's missing pieces, but these
two girls, they sound like they have all of the answers!" We walked
upstairs to grab some dinner and I couldn't even believe what had just
happened!!! Ha ha!! It was SO great!!! Even though we hadn't found our
family on the street that we had felt so good about, we had done our
best and Heavenly Father blessed us with 2 new investigators!!! BUT
the best is yet to come!!! The one boy ran into us on Saturday and
asked to make sure we were still coming on Monday, we assured him that
we would be there and he said, "Oh good!! Because I invited my cousin
and her 2 best friends too, they are all curious and we all wanted to
learn more!" :) :) What a tender mercy!!!

There were so many good things that happened this week, I really
appreciate how Sister Sirstins just jumps right in at every
opportunity. (Training new missionaries is such a unique experience
each time because of course, they are unique! It makes it challenging
and fun!) In all of our lessons with our investigators she was ready!!
We had practiced and prepared that morning in comp study and she just
went for it!! Our last appointment of the night on Sunday night fell
through and our back up was to go tract an apartment building. I could
tell that she didn't really want to, it was a little cold and she
wasn't as well prepared as she would have liked to be with her big
warm coat and gloves, but we improvised and made it happen. :) We
pulled up at the complex, prayed and set a goal to make this 45
minutes the BEST!! We got each other all pumped up and excited and
went to work!!! It was SO amazing!!! We found 2 potentials, taught a
lesson and found a family of like 5 that asked us to come back later
this week!!! Heavenly Father recognized our desires and faith and the
blessings were poured out on us!! :)

Wow, there are so many good things happening that I feel like I could
go on for days and days in this letter! But, I think these miracles
really sums up our week. Sister Sirstins is really amazing and I'm
grateful to have this time to work with her and to see all of the
wonderful miracles that Heavenly Father has in store for us and for
this area!!! Northville is going to be SOAKING wet this coming month!!

Family!! I love you all SO much!!! Thanks for all that you do, thanks
for your prayers and love!!! It really means so much!! Ben- I hope
Portugal is treating you well!!! I'm hoping that you have the most
amazing trainer ever and just know that you'll be the BEST missionary
that Portugal has ever seen!! Keep up the hard work, pray lots and
just have fun- love every minute!!!

Have a wonderful week!! RWLY!!!!

Sister Bishop

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