Monday, February 4, 2013

Lisa's letter Feb 4,2013 winter wonderland

Hello Family!!! :)

How is everyone!?!? :) Life here in Michigan is just grand! The
weather has been so crazy the last few days. . first it warmed up to
like 50 and rained like crazy!! (So much rain that we finally broke
down and bought rain boots) then it decided to be FREEZING cold again,
and today it looks like it'll be snowing all day! But, you know
what?!? I'm loving it because miracles always happen, but they seem to
happen even more often in inclement weather! ;)

In Relief Society yesterday we were talking about some of the ways
that we can improve our gospel study and recognize promptings of the
spirit. One sister mentioned the importance of being grateful for the
small steps that we take. That thought hit me so strongly!! I am
really grateful for the progress that I've seen in myself and honestly
the progress of all of the people that we are working with. Sometimes
it's easy to wonder why things aren't happening the way that I want
them to, but then I have to take a step back and remember who's work
this really is! :) I would LOVE it if everybody we met and started
teaching was baptized in 3 weeks, it would be fantastic if every ward
member was as excited and enthusiastic about missionary work as the
missionaries themselves are! But all of that is a work in progress. .
. it takes time, faith and work!! I guess what I'm really saying is
that this week I've really learned the value of patience and waiting
on the Lord's timing. But also the blessing of noticing the progress
(even if it is just a baby step) that each of these people are making.
:) Here are some of the things that I noticed:

-David Howie, our scuba diver investigator is still afraid to come to
church and now he has cut our meetings back to once every other week
instead of weekly. BUT Bro Mangum from the ward called him and asked
him to come and help teach the boy scouts about one of his many
talents. (He scuba dives, is a professional rifleman, professional
sailor and is doing cross fit.) Any ways, David was SO excited about
helping with the scouts that HE called Bro Mangum and they chatted
forever about ways that David can help! :) He's not ready for church,
but we'll get him there one way or another! :)

-We are teaching a couple, Martin and Sharon Brooks. Martin has been
less active for a vary long time and Sharon of course, is not a
member. Her father recently died and her she has no religious
background. Their home teacher, Bro Youngs has been trying to get into
their home for the last 5 years and had no luck. BUT We got Sharon's
cell phone number and they have been letting us (and Bro Youngs) come
into their home weekly to teach them the gospel. Sharon is trying to
figure out how the spirit talks with her, is reading the Book of
Mormon and praying and is one of the happiest persons I've ever seen!
:) As she is making these changes, the spirit is also working on
Martin. During our last lesson he admitted that he has a long way to
go, but knows that God has NOT given up on him! As he talked, the
impression that I got was he knows what he needs to be doing and his
heart is being softened so that he can make those changes! :) The
other miracle was saw was after these couple lessons with the Brooks,
Bro Youngs has been SO excited!!! He is the HP group leader and in WC
yesterday he animatedly told everyone about the progress he's seen and
was very excited to continue to come with us and teach the Brooks'!

-Our English class is starting tomorrow and the ward is SO excited!!
The relief society sisters have volunteered to make cookies and we
have sisters signed up to bring cookies clear until April! :) :) 5 or
6 people came up to us at church yesterday and offered their help and
lots of great advice and everybody was amazed at what a wonderful idea
it was! Ha ha! The ward is so great! I really, really love these
people! :)

-Matt and Sarah dropped us last Saturday and we had some feelings that
it was because of family pressure. We met with the Harvey's this week
(The Harvey's have been fellow-shipping them.) and they confirmed that
Matt's family was really against the church. BUT they keep in frequent
contact and promised to keep track of Matt and Sarah and let us know
if there was anything that we could do! AND several other families
noticed that Matt and Sarah weren't there yesterday and after we
explained the situation, they promised to make plans with Matt and
Sarah too. I love this ward so much! They are great at
fellow-shipping!!! And Matt and Sarah will know that we are always
here for them and that we love and support them no matter what! I
really feel like they will come around, but it needs to be the right
time and right decision for them. :) We'll just keep praying for them
and know that Heavenly Father will work it all out! :)

- Nate and Vanessa were at church yesterday and blessed their baby,
Isla! :) Nate's heart is really being softened and he is doing so well
at coming to church and working on his prayers! (We are still working
on the book of Mormon, but one step at a time!) The baby blessing was
so neat and then they even stayed for Sunday School for the first
time!! :) AND Nate even answered a question! AND him and our WML, Bro
Bingham really hit it off. :) :)

- We were tracting this week and found a man named Pat. Sister Mecham
and I are working on being bold and that day it had been raining ALL
day and nobody had answered their doors. We knocked on his and started
talking. . . honestly I don't even remember what we said but he
ensured us that he was NOT interested. BUT we just kept on talking and
testifying and pretty soon he had a change of heart! Ha ha! He
wouldn't let us leave! We stood on his porch for almost an hour
answering his questions and teaching him. We tried like 4 times to
leave and then he would have "just one more question!" We finally left
and were a tad late to our next appointment, but it was the BEST
feeling!! I loved it!!

Isn't life amazing!?!? Good things are happening!!! :) We are still
searching and praying for our family! We haven't found them yet, but
know that they have GOT to be close!! :) :) I love being a missionary,
it's the greatest thing ever!!! :) Plus, S Mecham is the best!! I love
her a lot and missionary work is even better when you have an amazing
companion like I do! :)

So, other news: I got that book that you sent me and I LOVED IT SO
MUCH!!!! Thank you!!! It made my day!!!!! I opened it and started
looking at all of the pictures, and just about started crying. . . I
just love you guys so much!!! Family is everything and with the gospel
we have the promise of forever!!! I'm so grateful for all of you!!! :)

I do know Elder Buchmiller!! He's a great elder! He got transferred
into the Hill St district right after I got transferred out, but we've
been in the same zone for a while and he's fantastic! :) He's one of
those elders who loves the work and isn't afraid to work hard. :)

I did get Ben's letter this time! Hopefully we got that all
straightened out. Mom sent me all of the letters I missed before, so I
think I'm all caught up! :) Life is so good!! I'm just living it and
loving it because each day seems to go by faster and faster! :) I love
you all so much!!! Keep up the good work! :) Keep reading your
scriptures, praying, going to church, praying your tithing, going to
the temple and following the spirit! :) Thanks for all of your
prayers, your examples, your letters and your love! You are the
greatest!!! :) Love you all bunches and bunches!!


Sister Bishop

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