Monday, June 30, 2014

A Brief Report

Week 17   June 30, 2014  3:11 pm EDT   A Brief Report

Another week:

The rain is back.
The Weavers are really gone.
The Blatters are officially here.
The work is moving along (slowly).
The month of July is already upon us.
The puppies are getting all grown up (but still snuggly, so don't worry)

Cassell and I were able to go to a reception for one of Cassell's recent converts; Toni and Aaron were sealed in the Seattle temple on Saturday - almost exactly one year after Aaron got baptized. The whole point of us doing missionary work is not just have people know Jesus or join the church or get baptized. It really comes down to giving others access to the blessings of the temple.

Besides not being able to distinguish between gunshots and fireworks (because they are currently being sold everywhere), life is pretty normal in Parkland. Not too many eventful things have happened this past week other than the Mission President switcheroo.
President John and Diane Blatter have taken over the WATAC and things have moved on smoothly. Cassell and I will officially meet them tomorrow which is awesome. I have high hopes for them (apparently President Blatter already knows all of the missionaries, companionships, areas and background information...they've been memorizing us for quite a while). 

(ain't they cute?)

We missed hearing President Weaver's voice over conference call last night, but as my little sister Becky (the other Sister Bishop) said last week:

"Life is good. Change is fun. God is great. 

I think she's pretty wise.
Stay safe this Independence Day, y'all. (As a missionary, I am no longer allowed to have Harry Potter duels with roman someone do it for me!)

- elizabeth

Monday, June 23, 2014

WaTac Weekly

June 23, 2014   3:07 pm EDT.  Week 16   WaTac Weekly

Cassell and I had exchanges this week (our favorite...?) which kind of throws everything off - so this week has been very long. Lacey was awesome to visit though; SO different from Parkland (but when you're comparing Parkland, everything is different).
Knocking in the sticks was interesting but a bit fruitless. But the people in Lacey certainly know good television.

Exhibit A:

Corey + Topanga forever:

We also had Park Day this week, which contrary to popular belief, doesn't mean that we get to contact at the park (which for the record, Parkland has no parks...). It's really just a walk-and-save-miles day, so no car.
- We get to street contact so much more because we're actually on the street (side note: pulling up alongside people walking down the street and asking if they'd like to be baptized isn't usually an effective tactic).
- It was actually sunny! No rain = good park day
- Talking to all the homeless people!
- We don't live in our walking in takes a good chunk of time on a surprisingly pedestrian-less road.
- Not being allowed to ride bikes...long story, but in short, Sisters are no longer given permission to bike on park days.
- Blisters/bugbites/etc.
- Talking to all the homeless people!

Updates on the progs:

Joe and his boys are doing great - Sister Weaver is an amazing missionary! She was such an asset to have at our lesson. Joe's little family has been coming to church and loving the Book of Mormon. He knows that it is the word of God and actually asked other churches why they weren't using it too.
It certainly gave Cassell and I a little chuckle, and an idea that we need to reiterate that this is Jesus Christ's church with him; he's not quite picking up on the cause and effect of the promise of the Book of Mormon quite yet...but I'm sure he will in time. 

We are also working with Ana, we've been on and off with her for the past few months but she has really had a push to truly rely on the Lord. The rest of her family joined the church last year and they are all going to the temple to be sealed this summer - coming to understand the importance of the temple and the impact of eternity has been a big motivating factor for her to really seek God's help in her life.

We're following up on some of the lessons we had with those without permanent housing, i.e. Collin from the tree at the corner of Pacific and Jack in the Box. (...our poor Area Book.) and Monica who walked into the Ward barbecue we had on Saturday and is looking for ways to get closer to God and further from her past addictions.

Sunday we had a Fireside in Olympia - President and Sister Weaver's last one. It was awesome. Everyone was touched by the music and the Spirit shared. It was a happy, weepy kind of experience for all involved.
It is very strange to think how real it is that they are leaving. They will be so missed!

It is always so good to see friends who have moved zones though!
Sister Langi with the photobomb, as per usual)


A big thank you to President and Sister Weaver for all the service they have rendered to this mission and to the Lord. I wish I could serve with them longer, but it's their time to bless more lives outside of the WaTac boundaries. It's only been a few months, but they've been miraculous ones, and they have already changed me.
If the Weavers do anything, they love. They love us, they love the people here, they love the Lord.

And don't worry, I will love and welcome the President and Sister Blatter with an open heart and open arms - but loved, and was loved by, the Weavers first.

- The Unlikely Parklandian

Monday, June 16, 2014

Good Dads Make Good Missionaries

Monday June 16, 2014  3:50 pm EDT   Good Dads Make Good Missionaries

Another week in Parkland!

Bishop Thompson's daughter Nicolle got married this week. We have high hopes of teaching Pierre since he's not a member (he's been coming to church with Nicolle and Allen - so prospects are good!)
We helped with the set up in the cultural hall and thanks to good planning and a lot of help from the ward, things went smoothly that evening.

Our teaching pool is (slowly) filling!
Joe is an awesome referral from none other than our Mission President's Wife. No biggie.

He had been to the doctor's office next door to our mission office a few times and had talked with Sister Weaver about the gospel and such. We met him ourselves this week and are super excited that he is so excited about The Book of Mormon. He said that he would love to come to church with us and wanted to learn more.
Sunday morning came, SWeavs called to let us know that her and President were coming to our ward to see Joe (!), and because this is Parkland, nobody owns a car or phone...and we couldn't get a hold of Joe.

Church started, PWeavs and SWeavs arrived, we sent our WML out on a bit of a wild goose chase to find Joe. Brother Larson finally comes back with Joe and his adorable two sons, Abraham and Moses. The family sat with us, the Primary kids sang, a great talk was given, "O My Father" was not sang. (Miracle of miracles.)

They all loved church, the Father's Day activities and the ward members (and the Weavers, naturally).

It was so awesome to have all of them at church with us! Sister Weaver even snapped a picture for us with our interim "father" here in the mission.

Cassell and I have been missing our old district (read: change is hard, but necessary). So in honor of Jonesy and the Dream Team:

I've certainly grown to love this area. Parkland is strange and difficult to love at times, but if I have learned anything about love in my life, it's that it is always worth it. 

Love others freely, love as the Savior would.
And of all the examples of love in my life, I look up to my Dad. For loving, protecting, serving, trusting, empowering, forgiving, embracing, believing and teaching.

I know that I am becoming the person my Heavenly Father needs me to be, and the person my earthly father has always helped me become.

Apostles have stated:
"The title father is sacred and eternal. It is significant that of all the titles of respect and honor and admiration that are given to Deity, He has asked us to address Him asFather."

Forever a Bishop's Daughter,


Monday, June 9, 2014

Transfers up

June 9, 2014  3:17 EDT   Week 14 Transfers up

What a week.

First things first - Cassell and I got our transfer calls...and we are both staying in Parkland!
This is crazy and unheard of and awesome all at the same time. We are two peas in a pod and we aren't finished with Parkland yet (:

On Saturday was Mira's baptism! Elder Teuscher and Elder Genereux (who are compsagain) up in Port Angeles were able to come all the way down for her baptism. She had all her missionaries there (:  All of us also sang "When I am Baptized" which was sweet and quite a Primary throwback.

Mira is just the sweetest girl. She is so in tune with the Holy Ghost and is such an example of Christlike charity. She is already fast friends with our investigators and recent converts. 

Our second baptism this weekend was Wayne, the cutest 84 year old man in the state of Washington. His family came in from all over the country, non-members included, and were all so supportive. His two grandsons and son-in-law all helped him in the font since he isn't as spry as he used to be (:

His grandchildren and great grandchildren were all there to support him too (:

​At the baptism, I was able to share about the Holy Ghost, the Restored gospel and that families are meant to be together for eternity. Our Bishop shared how Wayne is such an example of faith to his family; that it is never too late for us to start over, begin again and become who God wants us to b
We're going to miss our awesome district/zone because though we are staying, some of our best friends are moving on to new areas.
Take 1:
Take 2:

​Not much of an improvement...we're all a bit on the goofy side. But it works.

Things that make missions better:
1. Good companion
2. Good area
3. Good missionary work
Cassell and I were talking about how rarely do you get all three; we are beyond blessed to have a bit of a trifecta here in Parkland. This is the Lord's work and we are more than lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

We have to remember that being in the right place at the right time takes faith and action. One of my favorite poems by Christopher Logue (in honor of Guillaume Apollinaire) goes like this:

Come to the edge. 
We might fall. 
Come to the edge. 
It’s too high! 
And they came, 
and he pushed, 
and they flew.

When the Lord calls us, trust him enough to go to that edge; the edge of our comfort zone; the edge of our experience; the edge of our capability. Allow Him to be the force that lifts you beyond what you could ever do on your own.
Leaps of faith are sometimes closer to nudges (or pushes) that feel beyond our control, but how else would we ever learn to soar?

All my(our) love,

Buggy & Squintz

Monday, June 2, 2014

This is Wa -Tac. We baptize on and on.

June 2, 2014  4:00 EDT.  This is Wa-Tac.  We baptize on and on.

This week began with a twin day - mostly to annoy our DL, but also because Cassell and I randomly have the same clothes. We are slowly morphing into the same person.

Sometimes service activities mean we get to walk the most rambunctious dog in Parkland. World, meet Legend:

And more exciting than that, is sometimes we find random things while knocking

(and yes. I have squinty eyes. I am well aware.)

​But other than those adventures, life is grand. Two of our investigators are getting baptized this weekend right before the transfer ends. Our miracles haven't ceased! Wayne and Mira are both healthy (miracle in and of itself) and their families are supportive (almost a bigger miracle.)

At our ward's testimony meeting, our recent convert Chloe bore her beautiful testimony on strength, pain and peace we encounter in life; she is an amazing missionary and cannot wait to see part of the impact she will have on those around her. Chloe and Mindy are both speaking at Mira's baptism and our all our new members are becoming fast friends. They build each other up and are single-handedly transforming the Parkland ward with their love and encouragement.

We also had the Silverdale Fireside last night and it always amazes me how easily the spirit can bear witness of truth through testimony and music. 

I've been doing a lot of thinking about agency and the choices we face in this life as of late. Agency is the power to become. By choosing to follow the Savior, we are choosing to eternal life; choosing to fulfill our potential; choosing to use this time to grow in strength, in love and in faith. We will leave our legacy by our choices. 
God trusts us enough to let us choose - so we should trust Him, His guidance, and ourselves to become what He knows we can be. If what you are choosing to become isn't what God has in store for you, perhaps recognizing that the one with perfect and unlimited knowledge, power and love for His children probably (read: always) has something better in mind.

"The perfect place to begin is exactly where you are right now."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Love love love,

The Other Sister Bishop

Love from Massachutes

Mom sending her love from Massachutes - one coast to the other