Monday, December 22, 2014

Sisters, Sisters, There Were Never Such Devoted Sisters

Week 42  Dec. 22, 2014  6:05 EST   Sisters, Sisters, There Were Never Such Devoted Sisters

Merry Christmas y'all -

Though that's a reference to the best Christmas movie ever (move over, Miracle on 34th Street). Sister Diener and I have been up to all sorts of Christmas-y things lately. So it is doubly fitting.

Somehow, everyone in the real world seems to not have time for missionary stuff this time of year. Crazy. Most all of our investigators want to meet after all the holidays, which puts us in a kind of tight spot until 2015 (which Sister Diener finds hilarious). So hopefully things will pick up and get rolling again soon. The Christmas season has provided more opportunities for service in the community though, so we've been busier at food banks and such.

Other than that, things have been good here. Saturday we had a lesson with Mauriella about faith and opposition, and her little brother Lincoln (who is almost eight) pulled me aside and told me, "When things get tough, we try harder"
That little guy is a stud. 

We had interviews this past week which makes me very grateful to have such awesome mission "parents". President and Sister Blatter do such a good job at knowing and loving each of us individually.

As Christmas rolls around, remember to take time to be grateful, to remember our spiritual gifts as well as the seasonal ones, and to ponder on how Christ is the gift. 
And what Christmas morning would be complete without a little scriptural inspiration: Proverbs 4:7 "in all thy getting, get understanding"

Love,
Elizabeth

P.S. excuse the lack of pictures, I still need to round up a usb jump one of these days

Lessons Learned



Week 41  December 15, 2014  5:00 pm EST      Lessons Learned

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a missionary named Elder Wolf. He served in the D.C. South mission and spent many hours in the Bishop residence during his time in the Ashburn ward. That missionary had a sister, who married a man, and moved to Washington, and built a house in the Belfair ward, and had the sister missionaries over for dinner, and came to realize that the missionary in front of her randomly knew her brother.

Lesson learned: the world is already small, but it becomes much smaller in the church.

Sometimes you get your sd card from your camera taken at the library. Sometimes you no longer have pictures from your mission.
Sometimes this makes you very sad.
Sometimes you just get over it and get another sd card and start over.


Lesson learned: have an extra sd card.
Additional lesson learned: write in your dang journal so pictures aren't the only record of what you've been up to and what matters to you.

Street contacting can often lead to new investigators...or the patrons of the park will scatter at the arrival of the missionaries...regardless, there are plenty of opportunities out there to teach and plenty of kodak moments. (You gotta make up for all those lost photos somehow, right?)

Lesson learned: go ahead and ride the orca.


Our most solid investigator, Elizabeth, had to go out of the state to take care of her sick mom. Which is unfortunate, but she her commitment is to the gospel, not the Belfair missionaries, so she found the church down in California and attended there this past Sunday. She loves it all. (but misses her ward family here already) 
Lesson learned: People will exceed your expectations if you let them.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It's in a song, so it's true. (don't quote me.)
Christmas time means you get to go to ward Christmas parties, people are a bit more apt to want to talk about Jesus Christ and it's easier to find houses when you're knocking in the middle of nowhere because some of them have lots of Christmas lights - like a beacon to potential investigators.
Christmas time also means that if you have a really sweet mom, she'll send you a miniature tree to decorate.
And in case you were wondering, I have one such mother.

Lesson learned: it's not the size of your tree that matters, it's who you think of when you see it.



shameless product placement, folks. #HeIsTheGift)

'Tis the season to be jolly.

Love,

Elizabeth

Intensity

Week 40  December 8, 2014  4:11 pm EST     Intensity

in╦łtens/
adjective
of extreme force, degree, or strength.
highly concentrated.
having or showing strong feelings or opinions; extremely earnest or serious.

It has been an intense week.
Extreme highs and lows each day, such as:
- the longest day ever/super productive MLC/exchange
- culture shock on my exchange with Sister Brewster back in Tacoma (oh how I've missed the city - I know, it's only been a few weeks)
- Hundreds of nativities crowded into the Tacoma stake center
(including this gnome rendition - this one's for you, Dad!)

- The slowest drivers.
- A stressful intervention for one of our investigators who is struggling with addictions, depression and opposition trying to get baptized
- The most prepared woman, Elizabeth, finally making it to church and loving it
- Attempting to wrangle the most rambunctious two year old boy out from under a pew during sacrament meeting discretely
- Having some of the best sisters in the mission as good friends.
- The worst day ever.   I won't go there.
- Getting attacked by a pack of chihuahuas during a lesson
- All the serendipitous moments on both sides of the exchange
- A very bright happy-light during studies (ha.)
- Luke defending the Restoration to his mother and glowing from the light of the gospel
- The prettiest weather on the canal after a few days of mucky rain and fog


So all in all, it's been quite the week. And the next one is looking just as good.

Do good, be good.

Elizabeth


Monday, December 1, 2014

#ShareTheGift

Week 39  December 1, 2014  3:54 pm  EST     #ShareTheGift


Major Holiday Season:
one down, two to go, folks.

Transfers was bittersweet, seeing some of my best friends and hearing their final testimonies. It's a good thing there's life after death and all, because goodbyes aren't really my thing.





So life in Belfair is pretty awesome. We have the largest geographical area in the mission (other than Forks which includes the whole Olympic National Forest and is an Elders area anyways) and I never realized how much time/how many miles we would spend getting to and fro each day. The Belfair area comprises a lot of very small and remote towns in the mountains and near the water so it's really pretty up here. Way different from downtown Tacoma - but still good. The church is still true up here too.

Thanksgiving we spent with a few families in the ward, writing thank you notes, weekly planning and generally trying to recover from a lot of pie. Our first dinner (at 11am....dinner??) was with the Bautistas and their little girls:

Sister Diener and I have tons of people to teach here, five people came to church on Sunday (plus little ones) and it is going to be a really good transfer - it's also going to be Christmas, so naturally it's going to be a really good transfer (:



(in case you were wondering, it is hecka cold knocking doors. and yes, it really is that dark.)

Speaking of Christmas...we are sharing a super cool new video with every living thing we can possibly come in contact with. You can find it at christmas.mormon.org - does really helps draw the connection between the Savior's birth and his Atonement, and how everything draws back to God's love for us. 



Watch it, love it, share it, you know the drill.

Until next time,
Elizabeth

P.S. and yes, Sister Diener is indeed from Utah. Six for six comps. I'm starting to get a complex

Re: Thanks and Giving.

Week 38  November 25, 2014  3:38 pm  EST.   Re: Thanks and Giving 

Heya!

I'm so glad she is home. she looks so good and so happy in the pictures (:

So newsflash: I'm getting transferred - to Belfair in the Gig Harbor zone (!)

it's the boonies for sure haha.
I'll be an stl, so that will mean for lots of exchanges, though I don't know what areas I'm over yet. There are a lot of sisters areas closing/shifting because of the lack of sisters coming in and so many are going home today (Cassell is headed home - I told her to be becky's friend haha)

I kinda thought I'd stick around Lincoln for all the holidays, but I guess the other side of the bridge is where I need to be

I got your awesome package! and I am wearing the bracelet! I loved hearing from Boo (:

Peace Out, T-Town. Hello Boonies

Week 38  November 25, 2014  4:43 pm EST.   Peace Out, T-Town. Hello Boonies


Welp. I'm headed across the bridge folks!

It looks like I'll be spending the holidays on the peninsula in Belfair, WA.

And here a some nice population statistics regarding my areas thus far (just for fun):
Parkland - 35,803
Tacoma - 198,397
Belfair - 6,221

Sister Lomu will keep rockin' it in this ward with Goldstrohm and Andersen.



And since I'm leaving the land of Lincoln after a mere six weeks, this picture seems fitting:

In case you've been living under a rock, it's almost Thanksgiving and the gratitude in the air is almost tangible. I won't burden you with long soapbox on being grateful, but a scripture will do (:

Alma 26:35-27
Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.
Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land.
Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.

Us missionaries are indeed wanderers in the strange land of Tacoma, but we certainly have every reason to rejoice in the goodness of God.

Love, Elizabeth



P.S. Welcome Home Boo! Here's your official shout out (:
P.P.S.



Baby It's Cold Outside

Week 37   November 18, 2014  5:57 pm EST.    Baby Its Cold Outside


Most nights when Sister Lomu and I come in we have to spend a little while defrosting. And on occasion I find her in front of the heater in our little room cocooned up. 
As a reminder to all: skirts are drafty.

But I'll take all this cold over the rain any day. We have been super blessed to have had some really clear skies this past week and more than an expected amount of sun (:

Our week has been fairly low key, just working away here in Lincoln. We met a man on the street on Wednesday who would only speak to us in animal sounds...so that was fun.

Knocking near the Tacoma Dome


And a memorable dinner with an investigator and one of the most interesting families in the ward

We had our ward's Primary Program on Sunday and our tiny little investigator Amaura participated (and did an awesome job, even if she didn't know all the words to the songs yet). Her and Makai and his little sister Sakaia just loved church/primary. Now if only we could get the rest of their families to feel the same way...

We also had an awesome little miracle with a woman we have been working with for months now, Sue. We have dinner with her and Sister Whitney each Friday; she comes prepared with gospel questions for us to answer and we come with a little lesson to share. Sue has slowly progressed from reluctant participant to looking for questions to stump us to genuinely wanting to know more and feel what we feel. On Friday she was the happiest we have ever seen her and she told us this story about how she has come to know that the principle of paying tithing is true and that it brings blessings. As our conversation wore on, she told us that she will get baptized exactly one week after she quits smoking (neither of which things we have committed her to do yet).
She knows this is true. She knows she wants to be baptized. She knows God will help her get there.

So all in all, life is good. Crazy and strange and oh so good.

In light of facing hard things, we here in the WaTac hold on to Hebrews 11:40 (JST)
"God having provided some better things for them through their sufferings, for without sufferings they could not be made perfect."
Ofa lahi atu (did I mention Lomu's teaching me Tongan? haha)

- Elizabeth

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sister Sister! Talk about a two way twister

Week 36  November 12, 2014 5:20 EST    Sister Sister!  Talk about a two way twister


Okay, so here's a rundown of the past week:

- "Clay date" with Patricia (who works with a whole lotta clay and who we are working with) and our creations


​(and yes...Sister Lomu bleeds red. We've managed to settle our differences somehow haha)

- Our investigator Emily rocking it at Young Women in Excellence

- Quotable quote from Goldy: "with the Holy Ghost with you, you never have to roll up solo."

- Miraculously having seven people at church on Sunday (plus all of Smitty and Kelly's little tykes)

- "He is There: A Convert's Story" - a musical fireside by Orson Scott Card that we were able to take Emily and Amaura to (which they loved, despite a very unfortunate sound system)

 Meeting with Laundromat Jim (who lets us wash our clothes for freeeee)

- various P Day shenanigans


- Hunting down Cub Scout apparel for an investigator

- Mission Tour with Elder Snow of the Seventy - which was a great learning experience despite the power outages (clear and sunny skies make for very windy days up here. And windy days make for downed power lines)

- Having the Silverdale and Tacoma zones together at last



- The Tacoma and Lakewood Recent Convert Fireside

- Lessons on lessons on lessons

- The best weather we've seen in weeks

- and a short 7 days until Sister Bishop (that Philippino one) gets home (!)

Missionaries are busy people; and this week was no exception to the rule.
We are stoked for Emily, Makai and Amaura to get baptized in the coming weeks and have been going nonstop to get them (read: their parents) ready.

With Becky finishing up her service, a quote from Marjorie Hinkley concerning missionary work has been on my mind: "It is a wonderful thing you are doing, but it is the least you could do."

The opportunity to serve is short. And given the blessings we've been granted, it isn't much of a sacrifice. We talk about giving up things to go on a mission, but it's more of trading up. The blessings are innumerable and unequivocal. 

All my lovin'

- Elizabeth

T Minus 2 Weeks to 1 Sister Bishop

Week 35  Nov. 4  4:05 pm  EDT.    T Minus 2 Weeks to 1 Sister Bishop


Soon the missionary one-two punch of having two Sisters Bishop out and about will come to an end. It's a bummer to not be there for Becky's homecoming, but I trust my mom and dad will do a pretttttty good job of making her feel loved and well-adjusted.

The field is white in Lincoln - some of the youth we are working with include Amaura, Emily, Makai and Andrew. All of them want to be baptized, so we are doing our best to get them fully integrated into the Lincoln Ward and helping each of their parents want to learn more about the gospel too. These kids are like sponges - they just want to to everything and love everyone and have no reservations. They just want to be like Jesus. They are direct, honest and simple. They also have a five-second attention span, but I digress.

For Halloween, we had our Zone meeting (which required a pit stop to pick up dinner to go from the nicest Vietnamese family ever)


And if anyone was worried about missionaries not getting candy because we don't Trick or Treat...don't be. The Tacoma East Zone was abundantly blessed with goodies from family, friends and ward members.

After we had some training and prepped for our upcoming Mission Tour with Elder Snow next week, we ate/talked/goofed off and watched a thrilling movie..."The Best Two Years" (which made all of us grateful to not have to speak Dutch.)

Since we can't proselyte in costume, we saved some simple ones for our meeting - hence the Cambodians came as asian women, Allenmore and Lincoln elders were some low-key ninja turtles and I was a Hogwarts student.
(Don't mind the 'staches.)


All in all, it was a memorable Halloween for us Lincoln missionaries


Pop Quiz!

Daylight Savings Time:
a) makes Washington darker even earlier
b) makes knocking doors in the rain even more fun
c) is the only way missionaries get an extra hour of sleep
d) all of the above.

(if you were still wondering, the correct answer is d)

It's getting darker/wetter/colder which isn't super fun, but makes having lessons indoors even nicer.

Sister Lomu and I even found a "Little Library" in our area - so we're experimenting with how long our Book of Mormon will stay inside.

Other silliness involved going bowling with the zone on p-day. 


Elder Kearns being Elder Kearns:
  (he even knocked down 9 pins)


Sister Lomu and I have had a great time here in Lincoln. We are teaching some awesome people and have way too many weird things happen each day. Some of the more quotable quotes from three of our investigators lately include:

"I wanna take a break. Maybe for a week...for a month...maybe forever?"
"So, my court date is the day before my baptism. Can I get baptized in jail?"
"Hold up, the word of wizards says I can't do meth?"

Missionary work: it's a joy in Tacoma.
With all of these fun things happening lately, us missionaries have been asked to really focus on faith as a mission; to prepare for the Mission Tour and for life. 

I have been thinking about faith, and how faith alone is not enough. Usually this is meant to imply faith without action, but sometimes our faith alone isn't adequate. Some miracles require collective faith. 

In Alma 19, the Lord restates his promise to a dedicated and faithful father: "Now we see that Ammon could not be slain, for the Lord had said unto Mosiah, his father: I will spare him, and it shall be unto him according to thy faith—therefore, Mosiah trusted him unto the Lord."
Ammon's safety and success depended on Mosiah's faith too.

Elder Wong addressed this in General Conference with Christ healing the man with palsy - "when Jesus saw their faith" (Mark 2:5) the man was able to be healed physically and spiritually.

The faith of others, be it parents, friends, ward members or companions is the key to miracles. Our mission has been praying daily together for increased faith and for each other - which has only opened the door for greater miracles to be wrought in our areas and our individual lives.

Ain't this the best thing ever?

Signing off,

Elizabeth


P.S. Lincoln just got a new greenie - welcome Elder Goldstrohm (:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Soggy Leaves, Soaked Missionaries

Week 34   Oct 28, 2014   5:19 pm EDT     Soggy Leaves, Soaked Missionaries

So we have lots of autumn leaves falling, but they don't make for very fun piles to jump in because true to the Northwest standard - they are all very much wet.

Exhibit A:

​(also, Sister Lomu is wearing the WaTac fashion statement of choice, the notorious safety belt.)

We have lots of rain lately, which will continue according to everyone here who loves talking about how dreary it gets; they all have some strange fascination with making this place sound worse than it is.

Walking all day in lots of said rain makes for quite wet and cold missionaries, which means we warm up on occasion in the International District and score some top notch Vietnamese food.


Life in Lincoln is good, we are teaching quite a few kids these days, which is fun and totally out of my usual element. Parkland didn't have many children/youth for us to teach, so we are loving it here. It is also so great to have ward activities for them to go to and make all sorts of great friends (hellllllo, Trunk or Treat!)

Speaking of Halloween, our Friday will be spent cooped up inside the church building in an extended Zone meeting - apparently us missionaries knocking on doors for hours is only acceptable every other day of the year. We might even get to see some of the Trunk or Treat-ers parade around the church building. 
I've been doing some thinking about what it truly means to be someone's friend. And like I tell those that I teach, scriptures (and modern day prophets and apostles) have the answers.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up."

And from Elder Marvin J. Ashton:
"We are something less than a real friend if we leave a person the same way we find him...Acts of a friend should result in self-improvement, better attitudes, self-reliance, comfort, consolation, self-respect, and better welfare. Certainly the word friend is misused if it is identified with a person who contributes to our delinquency, misery, and heartaches. When we make a man feel he is wanted, his whole attitude changes...It takes courage to be a real friend. Some of us endanger the valued classification of friend because of our unwillingness to be one under all circumstances. Fear can deprive us of friendship...A friend is a person who will suggest and render the best for us regardless of the immediate consequences."

 A true friend is not someone who keeps you from falling down or experiencing pain or difficult things, but is willing to experience those rough things with you if that is what will make you better. "For if they fall" the two of them will learn and grow together. Real friendship and real relationships always cost something of ourselves.
Our best Friend is able to help us through and out of all our challenges. He knows what will truly make us better, because He has fallen in those same places before us. If we are His friends, He will not leave us the same way He found us.

Just some food for thought, as always.

Happy Halloween, friends!
(send me pictures of the costumes, eh?)

Love,
Elizabeth

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Lincoln Life


Week 33   Oct 21, 2014  5:11 EDT       The Lincoln Life 



Well world, transfer day was a blur trying to double out and take care of last minute appointments and get two sets of luggage (which by the way, does not fit in a Corolla) to two different areas and switch our car to a new sisters' area and get the elders' luggage coming into Parkland to our apartment sans vehicle and hand off keys and area books and all sorts of fun things. In short, I am now in Lincoln and loving it.



Sister Lomu and I are having tons of fun walking/biking the streets of Tacoma and finding lots of people to teach. We also both rock the bike helmet look.


She is from West Jordan (which makes 5 for 5 of my comps to be Utahns. I'm sensing a pattern.) and is a perfect balance of hardworking and easygoing. We share the Lincoln ward itself with Elders Durgin and Andersen - and the ward is so organized and structured when it comes to missionary work. The members are very involved with our lessons and who we are teaching, which is awesome. 

This past Sunday we had the Tacoma Stake Conference. The stake itself has two zones in our mission, Tacoma East and West and when they had all of the missionaries stand at the Saturday evening session, we had more than 50 missionaries there (including a few senior couples). This place is certainly prepared.


My district itself has 14 missionaries in it (up from 6 in Lakewood) which makes for slightly rowdy but great district meetings. I'm in the same district as the Cambodian sisters - just some of my best friends out here.


We even celebrated President Blatter's birthday this morning (:
There's nothing like a card signed by half the WaTac and some chocolate chip cookies to make a mission birthday better.


The WaTac has been reading through The Book of Mormon together to finish it before the end of the year, and so far it has been great to be on the same page (literally) as everyone else.
In 1 Nephi 8, Lehi has a vision of the tree of life; verses 5-11 read:

"And it came to pass that I saw a man, and he was dressed in a white robe; and he came and stood before me. And it came to pass that he spake unto me, and bade me follow him. And it came to pass that as I followed him I beheld myself that I was in a dark and dreary waste. And after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies. And it came to pass after I had prayed unto the Lord I beheld a large and spacious field. And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy. And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen."

Just prior to him tasting that fruit which is most sweet and most desirable, Lehi faces some opposition that we can sometimes overlook. The Lord asks him to follow, and he does. But sometimes when we follow the Lord, we have to go through a whole lot of darkness. Sometimes, that time spent struggling in the dark feels like we are alone and at the end of our rope, but it can be a way for us to become fully dependent upon the Lord. Sometimes what is most precious in our lives comes only after some long hours spent in the darkness; but when we have the Savior by our side we are filled with His light and His hope.

Because if I have ever learned anything, it's that even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.

I love you all - now I'm gonna go kick it with my main man, Abe.


Till next week,

Elizabeth

P.S. now we can play "I Spy" with the Sound - I'm slowly but surely getting closer to the water!




Monday, October 20, 2014

Watch out Lincoln - Sister Bishop arrived

Week 32   Oct. 15, 2014

Thank you Bishop Shumate for letting us know Sister Bishop made it to Lincoln.




Leaving Parkland? Say it isn't so!

Week 32   Oct. 13, 2014  4:49 pm        Leaving Parkland?  Say it isn't so!  


Alright, y'all. Transfers are up, and guess who is really leaving Parkland? Both of us! 
I'm trying to sound excited, but doubling out isn't stresless. Parkland is becoming an elders area again, and my reign as the longest missionary here has ended. Sister Kramer is moving on to greener pastures (literally) in Olympia and I am moving on to greener pastures (metaphorically) in Lincoln - aka downtown Tacoma. Apparently the Lord knows I work well in sketchy areas, or that I also carry mace. 

I'll be comps with Sister Lomu - which should be awesome. I'm sure we'll rock it in Lincoln ward, which we also share with elders.

So remember that tidal wave of sister missionaries that flooded the mission field after the age change? Yep. Us too, and now they're all going home, so the WaTac has had to do some rearranging - thus Parkland becoming an elders area. It's a huge bummer having to leave behind my family here in Parkland and it's a trial of faith trusting that the missionaries coming in will carry on loving the ward and the people here and not let anyone fall through the cracks. It's a good thing that this is the Lord's work and not ours - or all these things like transfers would just never work out (:

Also, a fun surprise for my last Sunday from the Philippines! Elder Messegee just got home from Becky's mission in Manila - he sent a handshake from my sister, the other Sister Bishop.


My last Sunday in Parkland we were able to have six people come to church, which is a miracle in and of itself. We also had the best fast and testimony meeting ever. Needless to say, we all had a wonderful time. It is just amazing how much this ward and I have changed over the past few months.

Peace out Lakewood - I'm going headed deeper into T-Town.


Now at times throughout this transfer I have doubted why on earth I was training, or why we were both needed here in Parkland together, but I'm gonna miss this sweet child o' mine. Despite the fact that Sister Kramer has never read Harry Potter, seen Lord of the Rings, dislikes Thai food or gets half of my pop culture references, I have compiled a list of reasons why we are, in fact, relate (because we all know I love lists). 

Proof that Sister Kramer really is my daughter:
- we both have squinty smiles
- she writes it like this: (:    (the correct way.)
- she played lacrosse once
- ...still working on the rest of this list.


And as I head to the  it seems fitting that I quote everyone's favorite 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln:
“When I do good I feel good. When I don’t do good I don’t feel good”

Which counsel goes hand in hand with what our other favorite 16th President, Thomas S. Monson, stated in General Conference:
"Walking where Jesus walked is less important than walking as He walked."

So wherever we are, whatever we are, we can walk as the Savior - looking to serve, lift and love others. We can do good, be good and feel good. It's really quite simple.

Love,

That missionary who still likes getting letters (*wink wink*)



New Address:
Sister Elizabeth Bishop
3720 S. Thompson Ave #120
Tacoma, WA 98418

Last pictures from Parkland

Week 32   Last pictures from Parkland




Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"Come and See"

Week 31    October 6, 2014  3:23 pm EDT      "Come and See"

Ahhhh. General Conference. It's just the best thing.

The reality of modern revelation and a living prophet in the restored church wasreally driven home. For some of our investigators that watched it, that was a bit abrupt - but we are not apologetic about our message or the reality of the blessings we have received from this gospel.

I have seen many questions answered about how I need to grow, where my priorities must lie and what expectations the Lord has for me now and in the future. There are too many wonderful things to possibly fit into one email, but let me give a rundown of just a few things that really stood out to me:

- Elder Christofferson: A god who makes no demands is the functional equivalent of a God who does not exist. The reason for the Atonement of Jesus Christ is not to save indiscriminately, but to allow repentance; it is the only way we are able to change and grow and leave behind that which keeps us from God.

- Elder Wong: Awesome analogy of how we must be united in bringing others to Christ. (and of course the RS President would be the one to "provide encouragement". ha.)

- Elder Robbins: Scorn is really just guilt trying to reassure itself. And courage is the form or every virtue at the testing point. (Bonus points for a C.S. Lewis quote)

- President Uchtdorf: The process of gathering spiritual light is the quest of a lifetime. (and sounds awfully adventurous)

- Elder Callister: Successful people read. Prayer and faith cannot be handed down to others, we must come to know for ourselves how to arm ourselves for spiritual battle. "If we do not do this, who will?"

- Elder Klebingat: The decision to change is yours and yours alone.

- Elder Bednar: Devoted disciples of Jesus Christ always have been and always will be missionaries. Come and see if the restored gospel enlarges and enriches al that you already know to be true.

- Elder Packer: Embrace a change in your priorities.

- Elder Godoy: The journey is much easier when you journey together.

- President Monson: Decisions determine destiny. (so make good ones.)


It seems very surreal that another transfer is drawing to a close, but it's been a good run. I feel like the metaphor fits because I'm always tired after I run...and letsbehonest, this is a wonderfully tiring responsibility.

Sister Kramer has grown a ton in the past weeks. Good greenies make for proud mamas.


Love,
Elizabeth

This is your friendly reminder to make good choices, errybody.


Monday, September 29, 2014

A little ditty 'bout *John and Diane

Week 30    Sept. 29, 2014  3:35 pm EDT.   A little ditty 'bout *John and Diane


So President and Sister Blatter pulled a surprise on the WaTac and told us that we would be going to Zion's Camp this past week. Zion's Camp is a church-owned recreation property up in Belfair, WA and is a girls camp, ropes course kinda place. The mission didn't think that we would be able to get up there this year, but Sister Blatter pulled through and got all the arrangements made for us to go. Lakewood zone went up the first day with the Elma, Centralia, Olympia, Lacey and Tacoma East zones.

There were opportunities all day to build unity with our companion and fellow missionaries, and build faith in ourselves, each other and in the Savior. 



Pretty much, Zion's Camp was the coolest thing ever. Remind me to tell you about The Wall when I have more time to reminisce.

And all that adventuring makes for some sleepy sisters.


(one hour bliss for these girls - it's the only nap they'll get.)

And another surprise from the Blatters: at the end of our time at Zion's Camp we then got to watch a screening copy of "Meet the Mormons" - which was way awesome (both to see it because we've heard so much about it, and to watch a real movie actually being shown in theaters.) 
To learn more, go check out www.MeetTheMormons.com 

This week we were also blessed to have Andrea come knocking with us.
(Lessons with, please and thank you.)
 Our faces are not a reflection of our true feelings...


Other super exciting things happening in the near future - sessions of General Conference! If the General Women's Meeting was any indicator of the awesome spiritual feast to come, it is going to be stellar. I love that in the women's meeting they focused on covenants, temples and our divine identity; all powerful sources of strength. Eternal blessings transcend any short-term sacrifice.

And in the words of my main man, Dieter*: Your best self is your real self.

So I'm going to go find my real self by being my best self. Feel free to do likewise. 

*all respect and reverence due to an Apostle of Jesus Christ, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. 

Most sincerely, and with a tiny froggy friend,
Elizabeth 


P.S. after months of anticipation, I finally spotted the nuns of Parkland - my fellow Sisters!

I am also very grateful for whatever dress standard church headquarters gives, those habits look none too breezy.