Monday, September 30, 2013

I'M BACK Monday Sept 30, 2013 5:47 am

Hey guys!

So I know that it has been a long time since I have been able to email.  First things first... I got really sick last week starting the 18th with what we later found out was dengue fever.  It lasted for around 12 days and I had a wide array of different symptoms that came and went at different times.  The worst was really the first 3 days and then it was just dizziness, headaches, and some body aches.  I am really okay now.  We actually only thought it was the flu until I got some tests done.  It is okay and I feel great now.  

Now we are getting back into the swing of things.  That is honestly one of the hardest parts about being sick for so long because I have not seen anyone for such a long time.  

But anywho.  I have a new companion!!!!! Her name is Sister Montera.  She is from the Philippines and she has been out 1 transfer.  (6 weeks)  It is so much fun getting to know her, but it is quite difficult making the transition to trainer.... I know that it will all be okay and that this is where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing, but dang it is kinda hard.  and it is also hard because the first 2 days I was still sick.  

Sister Montera is great and she was actually first trained with one of the Sister Training Leaders.  So that is cool and it is nice having someone who already knows the "ropes" of missionary work.  We are getting into a grove more with our work these few days.  It is so different (in a good way) working with another companion.  I know that this is what the Lord wants us to be doing here in the Philippines Manila Mission.  

So Ada is feeling better so all of you know.  I told her that you all had been praying for her and she was very grateful.  

Also, Admix got baptized on the 21st.  Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to the baptism as I was sick.  But Sister Moreno was able to arrange for splits so she was able to go to both the baptism and conformation.  She said that it was a great baptism and that despite some rocky beginnings to everything, it turned out to be a great baptism.  I saw her yesterday at church and she just seems so happy and she is doing great.  

At church we reconfirmed Michelle to her baptism, which will now be on October 26!!! She is so happy and we will also be having our investigator Jet be baptized on that same day too!

Jet, like Michelle and Admix, is dating a member.  His girlfriend originally asked him to go to church and it took him a while to finally go.  She is not here, but it is so great seeing him now grow more in the gospel.  When we first met him, he was very very shy, and yesterday in Gospel Principles class he said the pray for the first time in public.  He was evidently very nervous and you could see it on his face.  

Michelle is just so excited! She just could not wait until November so she choose to move up her date! I am so proud of her and can see how happy the truth of the gospel is making her!!  She told us that almost every night she has a dream about being baptized or about the church.  She knows so well that this is the one and only true Church of God on the earth.

It is fun and difficult getting back into the swing of things, but I am glad to be getting back to work.  Because of my sickness I actually did not know that there was such bad weather outside.  We were safe and we stayed inside throughout it all.  I guess you could call that a blessing in disguise.... haha.  

But I love hearing from all of you this week!! It sounds like all of you are doing some really great things.  I love seeing the pictures from all of the trips that you guys have been on!!  Some of them are just so pretty (aka mom and dad). Thank you for all of your emails this week.  It is so amazing knowing that I have such great family and support back home :)

You are all so amazing! I hope all of you know that I know that this gospel is the most true thing of anything on this earth.  God Lives.  He Love Us.  Each and everyone of us, He knows and cares for.  What a blessing it is to know this and that he wants to hear from us.  He will tell us and give us answers to our prayers if we will ask him.  When we are at the end of the rope and we have no where else to turn to, He is there.  We can pray to him for help.  We can pray to him for answers.

I love this Gospel and am so glad to be a missionary right now.  Yes sometimes life gets hard, and that's what it is supposed to be but that is all right.  I am so blessed by this Gospel that nothing can stop this work.  I love the Lord and all that He has done for me.  

Like always, I love all of you so much and miss you dearly.  You are all in my prayers.  

Sister Bishop

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Magandang Gabi po!!!! Tuesday Sept 17, 2013 8:37 am

Hey everyone. So right now I am trying to compose my thoughts right now and it is sort of difficult. So I will just start anywhere right now. It is so good to hear from all of you! I love hearing everything that you guys are up to!!!!!!!! You are all up to some really crazy things: trips, school, work. That sounds so fun. So this week was really good. We were able to contact a lot of referrals and even get some less active lessons. We have been trying so hard to get L.A. lessons but it was really hard. So I am really glad we got to get some this week. Then the other good news is that we have a baptism this week end! This is Sister Admix (cool name). She is so excited and so ready for the gospel!! Sister Moreno and I are so excited for her. September 21 was actually the original date that we extended to her and so that is very rare that it happens on the first extended date. On to the really cool stuff :) Today we had our temple day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was such an amazing experience and it made me appreciate the temples and the plan of salvation so much more. I am so amazed and grateful that I have been blessed to know about them all of my life. I am so lucky that I have been raised in this gospel, and that I am now sharing it with others!! My time in the temple was so amazing. I just want to go back everyday!! I was also able to have questions that I have had answered while in the temple. It is so great to know that the Lord loves us and wants us to know FOR OURSELVES the truth and knowledge that he has!!! Finally the last part of my email will be about something that literally just happened as I was starting my letter to you all...... i am training.... President Stucki called us up and asked to speak to me. He told me that I would be training a sister who has been out for one transfer (there are a the sister training leaders all have 2 anaks aka babies/trainies). I do not know who it is most likely a Philipina. But Yeah.... I am very excited and very very nervous!!! We have a training on Thursday for a little while. He said that I would be staying in my area so I am not shotgunning. So I am training.. crazy though. I am not looking forward to leaving Sister Moreno. She was told that she will be training/shotgunning for her 4th time. We hope that she is opening the sisters area in the other ward in our building. So who knows what is happening with everything... So I will be needing a lot of prayers these next coming weeks. I am really excited to see how much the Lord is hastening his work. I know this call comes from the Lord. "The Lord does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called." I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know this with all of my heart. I have seen so many blessings in my own life and in the lives of so many people. So when things get difficult, and they will, "Count Your Blessings" I love this gospel so much!!!!! Hurrah for Israel! :) Love Always, Sister Bishop P.S. Sister Ada (our recent convert from the 8th) has Dengue and is in the hospital. So if you could just keep her in your prayers!!! P.S.S. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hey Everyone Monday Sept 9 6:30 am

(Rebecca had a brown out in the middle of writing her letter this week - so here is her second attempt)

So guess who got a baptism this week?! this girl!!!!

So my baptism was of an amazing girl named Ada.  She was able to have her uncle, who is a member, baptize her, and the rest of his family was able to come down to be there.  It was the most amazing experience watching her be baptized.  She is seriously one of those golden investigators who is so ready for the gospel.  She bore her testimony after and said how she knows that this is truly the one and only true church of God.  It has been one of the most amazing conversions because as soon as we started teaching her it seemed as though she was already a member!  We always would joke, Sister Moreno and I, that we were going to get to the baptism and she would tell us that she has been a member all her life... but it truly was one of the best moments ever.    

I have been blessed so much by her testimony and the change that she has made in her life.  I kept having the thought that this is what true conversion looks like and this is why I am on a mission and serving the Lord.   

This month we fasted and prayed that we would be able to get more referrals from members and our investigators.  And this week we got a ton!! We were able to contact a bunch of them and get them to become new investigators.  It is so great to see the blessing of the Lord in our lives as we follow his commandments.  As we follow the Lord, we have his promise that he will bless us and that he will help us with our challenges.  

The language is still coming along, I am still no where near being fluent or even somewhat close but it is a good thing that we are blessed with the Spirit and by God (also people understand taglish...)

Work is coming along really well, and I am having a lot of fun while doing it. I am in love with this ward and the people in it.  I am even getting more used to the city (even though I don't really like living in the city).  But everything is going really great and stuff.

Oh and I am going to the temple on the 17th, and the new video has made it to Manila!! We are so excited! we have a count down until we go to the temple haha.  

We are doing really well and the area here is so amazing.  Supposedly we are supposed to get a set of elders in our ward at some point so that will be... interesting.  We don't know how everything is going to work as we are in charge of the YSAs for the entire stake.  So that will be fun.  and I am really so excited to see the area really start to take off.  Who knows, this may just be the first of many YSA wards here in the Philippines.  Oh, have I mentioned that we are the only YSA ward in the whole Philippines.  Yeah, that is pretty cool :)

Well I love you and I love this work so much!

I hope that you are all doing well and I pray for all of you eveyday!

Mahal ko kayo!!

Sister Bishop

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hey Guys Monday Sept. 2, 2013 5:11 am

Hello everyone!!

It is crazy how time is already starting to fly by! It is already September!  What?! That just does not seem possible!  But the work here is good as always.  We are working hard and the days just seem to go by so quick! This is now my tenth week in the field and it feels like just yesterday that I arrived in the Philippines.  That is so crazy and I am doing really well.  Guess what? Still healthy too. :)

So on to some of the cool things that we have done this week.

We had our Zone Conference on Thursday so we woke up and quickly got ready and took the train to Buendia which is where the church and mission headquarters are.  in all that took around 1 hour to get there but the train was really quite cheap! haha.  But the Conference was so amazing and I loved every second of it.  Sister Moreno and I sung "Help Me Teach With Inspiration" from the Hymn Book (281) and it was really good! it was a lot of fun :)  But the whole theme of this conference was "Teaching By the Spirit"  We learned a ton and it was such a great experience to meet with our zone to get revelation from Pres. Stucki.  The Conference Scripture came from the end of Enos 1:12.  I cannot remember it word for word but it is such a powerful scripture!  

On our way back to Sampaloc we were getting on the train when we began starting to talk to a woman when another joined in the conversation.  That woman was a Jehovah's Witness.  She began telling us that only 144000 people will be saved by God, and you can only pray that you are one of them.  That made me so sad when she said that because we have such a different view of God, that he is our loving Father who wants us to return home with him.  I am so grateful for my knowledge that I have in this gospel and that I know that Heavenly Father loves me despite all the mistakes that I make, he still wants me to be happy with him for eternity.  I have been so blessed by knowing this.  

Also, Yesterday, we had our investigator, Ada, interviewed for her baptism next Sunday.  She is so prepared and has such a great testimony of the gospel and has already seen the blessings come into her life.  We joke that someone is going to tell us that this has just been a big prank and that she is already a member... she asks us about getting a Patriarchal Blessing! Hhaha.  But we are so excited for it and she will be my first Baptism!  This is such a marvelous work bring back our fellow brothers and sisters into the gospel.  When we talked with her to go over the baptismal interview questions.  We got to a question about tithing and we had not finished talking to her about it and she said that's okay I already know all about it!  Wow she has the most amazing testimony.  She bore it on Sunday in Fast and Testimony meeting and the Spirit was so strong.  She said that she has been on a search to find the truth and that she has now found it!  It was a blessing to me to hear that she knows the Book of Mormon is true.  She is already almost done with 2 Nephi. but she is truly so prepared!

During our interview I was taking to a sister who asked about one of our investigators who we have been working with (guess what she is American!) but she is a 7th day advenist and studying here in Manila.  So I really don't know what she really believes in... but I can communicate at least!  The sister asked if I think that she has the potential to be baptized.  I responded with what I thought was a standard missionary answer that everyone on earth has the potential to be baptized into this church because this is truly the one and only true church of God on the earth.  And that we have all already picked the plan of God and now it is our task to do it again.  She was really surprised by my answer because she said that she has asked many missionaries that same question and none of them have ever said that... they either say yes or no.  I know that this is the true church of God.  

Finally, I finished the Book of Mormon on Wednesday!! I am so happy and I have such a firm knowledge that the Book of Mormon is true.  If anyone has a question about this church, all they need to know is if the Book of Mormon is true.  After that, everything falls into place.  I followed the council found in Moroni 10:4-5 and prayed about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and I received another witness that it is the word of God.  I felt peace and comfort as I prayed and the thoughts came into my mind although not in my own voice, that of course it is true.  I love the Book of Mormon and that is how I know that this church is true, and why I am serving a mission. 

I love you all and I am so excited about our work!  I love hearing from each of you and hearing how all of your lives are going. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.  I miss all of you so much and love you with all my heart.  Keep bringing those souls to Christ, including your own!  

I love you
Mahal ko po kayo!

Sister Bishop