Monday, July 29, 2013

Hello - Monday July 29 8:48 am

July 29, 2013 8:48 am                                             
Hey guys!

I am writing this week almost done with my first month in the field.  It is crazy how much time flies out here.  It seems like just the other day that I was leaving the mtc and brought to the field.

Lets think,  This week has been fun.  I was able to go to the temple last week with the zone and so that was a fun day.  we got caught in the rain of course but that is pretty much everyday now that we are in the rainy season.  It will down pour at least once a day. But that is okay because it is not so dreadfully hot all the time.  Sundayactually I was cold in the chapel!! I had goosebumps!

The work her is really beginning to progress and we now have 3 people who have baptismal dates for August!  It is cool to see how our message can change their lives. The work is difficult but it is coming along.  The YSA are a lot of fun and I really like working with them.  A sister in our ward just left this evening to go serve in the Dominican Republic!. I was able to talk with her and it was fun being reminded of how I felt right before I left.  

Overall my favorite thing to do is to testify.  I am still not so great with the actually teaching in tagalog yet.  but most all know english really well and understand when I say something or everything... in english (we have one investigator who does not know any english but I am seeing my tagalog get better when we work with him).

It is cool how I am able to use my experiences to help others.  From different situations, I am able to teach to meet the needs of my investigators and help them.  That even though the situation is the same, I can use it to benefit others differently.

So we have a recent convert named Mart. He is just barely 18 and was baptized in February of this year by some elders and he did not have his parents consent....  He has been abused by his brother for his conversion and is not allowed by his father to attend church.  It is so hard for him because he has a strong desire to come back but he cannot do it with his father.  We are trying to get him to read the Book of Mormon on his phone because the Book of Mormon is not allowed in his house.  He is always in our prayers as we continue to teach him so that his family will be receptive of the gospel.

So far I have been able to stay very healthy in the field.  I have not gotten sick, but am hearing of batch mates who are.... The other week I was having a very difficult time at night with sleeping but it is better now.  I guess getting not much sleep in HS with seminary was actually a mini preparation for the mission.  But I am still feeling good and am getting a better hang of the work. Granted I am tired all the time, but that is true of every missionary.

Here in the city there are absolutely no white people..... Sister Moreno is half spanish so she has darker skin, but there is no one here!!! It is absolutely crazy here because I get called out to because I am white... That I still have not adjusted to....  It is so different here because in America everyone is trying to get tanner while people here do everything they can to be white.  they use umbrellas all the time.  whitening soap which bleaches the skin....  all to become more whiter....  So I guess I can sort of embrace my whiteness here.............

I have loved hearing about all of your great missionary experiences back home!! Keep up the amazing work.  This work is so important!  Our salvation depends on it!! In preach my gospel pages 12-13 i believe it has quotes from the prophets.  It is President George Albert Smith who says that in order to receive salvation we need to share the gospel!

I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!!!

You are in my prayers and I miss you guys so much!!

Love Always 
Sister Bishop

Friday, July 26, 2013

Tuesday July 23, 2013 12:25 am Almost One Month In The Field

Hello po everyone!!!!

So this has been a really good week in my opinion.  Sister Moreno and I are beginning to see some really good success in the area. 
We now have a couple investigators who have baptismal dates and who we are working on getting towards baptism.  A few of them have come to church.  We are seeing how much the ward really needs to be of help to missionaries for the work to truly progress.  Our best investigators are the ones who are referred by a member of the ward.  

Our ward has been a huge help here and it is such a huge benefit.  Our ward mission leader, John, is a 18 year old student who is planning on serving soon.  He goes 150% all the time when it comes to missionary work.  He is always going above and beyond our expectations.  Also, the sisters in the ward are amazing. We pretty much never have a lesson where a member is not present.  Sister May is one of the biggest help.  She pretty much works with us everyday from when we finish our studies to when we go home.  She is a Ward missionary and is absolutely amazing!!!

It is so important for people to really want to be learning and willing to accept the gospel, because if they are not ready personally, it really does not matter how many times that you say it is true until they are ready to accept that.  That is the difference that we are seeing with our investigators who are truly progressing.

I am getting better in Tagalog.  I am understanding more of what people are saying in lessons.  Outside of lessons it is much more difficult to communicate because they speak so much faster..... I am able to teach more of the lessons so that is fun.  But it is such a help that I am in the city and mostly with students because even if they respond and talk in Tagalog, I am able to teach in part english and tagalog.  Because they all know it.  

A cool experience we had in a lesson came when we we teaching a group of students who are younger around 16.  We call them the Batas because bata means kid in tagalog.  We were confused by how much they were wanting to be there and in the lesson we were focusing on the Book of Mormon when they were all sort of joking and laughing through parts of it.  All the sudden I felt this though come it to my head saying you need to get them to understand.  It kept repeating and getting louder.  So finally Sister Moreno finished what she was testifying about and  I was able to say what the Spirit had been prompting me to say.  It was so cool. I told them how this is not just a pretty message, but it is truth.  That Joseph Smith was only 14 when he prayed and he found out the truth FROM GOD.  They were amazed when I told them that I was only 19 and that I know with a surety that it is true.  It is so cool to be able to teach by the Spirit and teach what the investigator needs to hear.  I love being able to teach the youth of the church here in the Philippines as they are being so prepared to hear the word of God.  

All in all this week is really good.  We are about to be going to the Temple as a Zone so that will be really great.  I love the temple and I love this work.

My spiritual insight comes from this morning's readings.
Alma 48:11-3;17 
that if we would develop the qualities of Moroni, that the Devil will have NO power over us.  I just really like that.  I am beginning to see why we have the "war" chapters in the Book of Mormon as they apply to our days so much.

I love all of you so much.  You are all in my prayers!!!!

"Look unto me in every thought.  Doubt Not. Fear Not."
D&C 3:36

Love you 
Mahal Kita!!!

~Sister Bishop

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mahal Kita!

Monday July 15, 2013  7:51 am

Hey everyone!!!

It is so good to hear from you!
This will be a shorter email but it just remember how much I love you!!!

We have had some amazing help this week from members of our ward.  There are a bunch of people who are giving us referrals and/or helping us visiting/teaching.  It has been such a blessing and a lot of the sisters in our ward are wanting to serve missions themselves.

A lot of people here speak english and they understand when I talk in english.  But most respond or naturally communicate in tagalog.  That has been fun.... It is hard with the language barrier and keeping perspective that I will actually learn tagalog!  But that is something that will come with time I guess.  
That is where my spiritual note comes in.  I am amazed by how aware our Heavenly Father is in our lives as we study the scriptures. The chapter 26 and 27 of Alma came at the exact moment when I needed them and I am taking so much comfort from my studies.

Sister Moreno and I have been able to get a lot of new investigators and referrals so that is exciting.  It is cool to see how well some people are being prepared by the Lord.  Some people are a bit more difficult to teach but there are a few who are so receptive of our message and keeping commitments.  I love some of the people here!!!

I am doing well.  I can't think of any thing I need currently.  It will be fun to get some of your DearElders soon so I look forward to that! (keep sending them! I love hearing from you guys).  

The food here is really good.  I am getting more used to it and like it a lot!!

As I teach i has been such a blessing have a deeply rooted testimony in the gospel and then being able to testify of that.  It is very powerful to say that I KNOW that this church is the one and only true church of God.  I am able to see the change in people's expression as I say that.  The Holy Ghost then is able to testify of my words.  Baring testimony is in my opinion one of the best and most effective ways to teach in a lesson.  Just sharing that you know that something is true is so powerful.  

So on to a really cool story.  My mtc companion Sister Atata is a convert to the church for a little over a year (May 10 2012).  She is from a small island in the Pacific called Kirabati (pronouncd Kirabis).  Her family is cathoic and very against the church when when she began taking the lessons.  They even kicked her out.  She has been hoping that they will change their minds, but it seemed to no avail.  She has had the hope that one day they will receive the message of the gospel from the missionaries so that they can be together for eternity.  THAT DAY IS HERE!!!  She just emailed me saying the missionaries in her ward are now beginning teach her family for the first time.  She is so excited.  She told me "MY DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE!!"  I am so excited to see that and the blessing of her service is what is making that change.  

I love hearing all of your amazing missionary experiences as well!! Keep it up!! It is so worth it! 

I love you and I love this gospel so much!!  You are in my prayers!!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Monday July 8 - 5:50 am

Hey everyone!!!
So this is really crazy, but in less than one week I will be out in my mission!!!! I can barely believe it!!!
First off I am feeling much better.  I was really sick all thursday and friday last week with the flu, so I was able to stay in bed all day.  That was kinda nice.  But the funny part was on Saturday when I was feeling good, my companion wakes up very sick with more stomach pains like before.  So she stayed in bed all day.  Luckily one of the other girls in our room (there is 5 of us- one companionship of 3) has been really sick with a massive migraine for the past 3 weeks... So after lunch, I was able to go with the other 2 sisters on splits so we could all get to the rest of our classes.  So that was weird because I was not with my companion.  But she is feeling better now too.
Sunday was really good. We had a really good day of church.  One thing that our district has been doing in SundaySchool together is to each bare a short testimony and/or something we learned this week.  It was really powerful and great.  Our district is becoming really close and that makes everything much more awesome. And that night we watched the january mtc devotional from Provo with Holland.  It you every get the chance to find it, WATCH it!! it was so good :)
Monday was kinda average... classes... studying... more classes... more studying... you can get the picture.  But the people here are great and I am beginning to get to know some of the new batch.  There is proably 15 people in their class... 4 americans all from Utah. but they are really nice.
Tuesday we had a lesson with one of our investigators (and when I say investigators I mean one of our teachers) who is named Abigail.  she is a very tough investigator and does not use any english.  But we taught her and we were planning on teaching on the restoration, but after Sister Atata shared a scripture about baptism it was 2 Nephi 31:5-7 i believe.  They began talking about why we need to be baptized and at the end I was able to ask her to be baptized and she said yesss! it was a great feeling because the spirit was so strong in the room and leading the lesson so much.  Oh and we had a devotional with Elder and Sister Ardern who are in the 70 and it was such a good devotional!! We sang How Firm a Foundation which brought the spirit so much.  It was a really fantastic night
Wednesday came the really interesting day... WE WENT PROSELYTING AGAIN!! it was so much fun!  This week we went to the Quezon City mission which is were some of the people in my district are going.  But it was so much fun.  We took a lot of jimpney's that are these crazy bus/taxi/i dont know what you want to call them but they are insane.  Just look it up because it is really difficult to try to explain...  But our missionary who we  did splits with is a native and when we went to a less active man's home she basically only did the greetings/getting to know yous and answering any of his questions.  She told us we are going to teach the entire lesson which was probably a good 40 minutes.  It was really difficult and a lot of times we were stuck for a loss of words. But overall it was a really great experience.  It was fun to see how more of the Philippines. 
Other than that Thursday was kinda average again.  Not amazing by any means, but still really good.  I mean how bad can it be when I am on a mission.  The sad part of the day came when Sister Owens (who is in our district and one of my roommates) came to us saying that she will be going home on Friday.  She is the one who has been really sick with the dibilitating headache and it is getting worse.  So she left and that was a really hard part of the day.
So far today we have gone to the temple for the last time in the MTC.  I just love the temple sooo much and I have loved being able to go every week while here.  
Also, it is so much fun hearing from all of you.  It seems everyone is doing pretty well.  All of you are in my prayers and I miss you guys a ton!! I loved seeing all the pictures of what has been happening back where you guys are. it is so fun to see how everyone is and some of the things that you all are doing.
For the scripture, I was able to read Alma 7:23-24  all about Christ-like attributes.   I love this work and am so glad that I am able to serve the Lord for 18 months.  It is such a cool time to be a missionary.  I am seeing so many scriptures that say "the time of the Lord/the Kingdom is at hand."  it is cool to see it all in action. 
Well I love you alll and the next time I will write you all is in Manila!!!!
~Sister Rebecca Bishop~