Monday, July 28, 2014

Chipman, meet Parkland

Week 21 July 28, 2014  3:28 pm EDT   Chipman, meet Parkland

Ahhh transfers. This transfer meeting was a big shock to the WaTac system. There were SO MANY missionaries going home. (remember that huge wave of sisters after the age change? yep. that wave is now crashing on the shores of returned-missionary-life)

Transfers = new companions = new friends

So without further ado, Welcome to the Land of Miracles, Sister Chipman!

We are a happy bunch and setting out to baptize all of Parkland! (...jokes. kind of.)

Fun Facts about Sister Chipman:
Hometown - Alpine, UT
Favorite movie - The Sandlot    ("The kid is an L7 weenie.)
Favorite food - potatoes. any and all kinds.    ("Po-ta-toes! boil em', mash em', stick em' in a stew")
Obsessions - mints, softball, her family, smiling    ("I just like to smile. Smiling's my favorite.")

We have seen so many miracles this week with people left and right knowing that baptism is what they need to prepare for in their life to draw closer to the Savior. People we have been working with for months, weeks and minutes are all coming to know for themselves the truths we are teaching.

We knocked into Catherine and she immediately recognized us and welcomed us in (note: this is not usual. whatsoever.). She thought we were here for her daughter who had run into missionaries a few days prior (not us, sadly) but told us she was planning on being baptized while she was living in Florida a while back. She was living with her boyfriend and their kids at the time and couldn't make the marriage/living situation work. She has since graduated law school, moved here to Washington (without the lame boyfriend) and told us she wants a priesthood blessing and to be baptized.
Sweet. We pray to know where to knock, and it's awesome to see some immediate blessings from it.

John's son Matt was baptized in North Dakota after a long battle with drugs/bad friends - kind of an Alma the Younger experience. (Fun fact: Matt was taught for a long time by a missionary in my district Elder Rasmussen until Matt moved and lost contact. A missionary in ND emailed Elder Rasmussen and told him Matt had been baptized and completely turned his life around. Small world eh?) John has met with us on and off for months, but has been coming to church because he knows it's the right place to be and he can feel the Spirit there. We met with him to have a bit of a DTR and figure out if we can really help him. He knows that he wants the light that we have and wants a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He wants to feel the Spirit all the time. He want his son Matt to baptize him. He knows this is what God wants for him. 

​Jake and his girlfriend are having a baby in the coming week. BUT Jake knows that he wants to be baptized and has set a goal for August 29th. He knows that goals + faith = opportunities (aka miracles.) and that things will work out, despite not having any support from his friends or family to get baptized. He is reading about Nephi in the Book of Mormon and really starting to understand faith and trust in the Lord.

David and Carissa just moved into our ward from the WaFed (lame.) and just showed up at church. We didn't know that David isn't actually a member of the church, until yesterday. Apparently he is on date for baptism on August 29th and wants us to help. We said yes (:

At transfer meeting, my trainer Sister Davis quoted spoke about our service making this place sacred ground. Sacred because of the love we give and feel, just as the Savior would.
President Eyring said: "As we continue to serve Him, we will come to love Him. To be called to serve is a call to come to love the Master we serve. It is a call to have our natures changed."
As with all things, it really comes down to love. Why we choose to do what we do. What we are willing to experience because of it. Who we are willing to become through it. Love is the motive, the means, the way and the reward. 

Signing off,


P.S. we have a new mission blog - check it out here:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Feeling 22

Week 20    Feeling 22     July 21, 2014  3:30 pm EDT 
(Happy Birthday Elizabeth!) 

All good things come to an end (...except for the gospel of Jesus Christ and eternal marriages and cool stuff like that.)

So big news first, the transfer calls came in and what would you know? I'm staying in Parkland (woot woot for six months in one areaaaa) and getting Sister Chipman; Cassell is going to Silverdale with Sister K and going STL (cue the dramatic music - jk they'll be phenomenal. and normal haha).

Cassell and I have had a good run. Full of chasing dogs, stalking investigators (joking?), Panera comp dates, the utter strangeness of Parklandians, too much laughing, and some baptisms to boot. All in all, we've been beyond blessed. We have also morphed into one person over the past few months, so this whole transferring thing just isn't going to work logistically. Amputation might be necessary. Pray for a swift recovery, folks.

I'm gonna miss this nugget.

So in other missionary news, Joe and his eight year old son Moses got baptized this Saturday!
They are SUPER excited. Can't you tell?

Moses is this quiet thing, but knows more about the restoration of the gospel than his dad. He is a stud.

His little brother Abraham is way jealous that he can't get baptized yet (dang, age of accountability.) but is a sweetheart too. But he is physically incapable of smiling in a photo.

On a more somber note, our recent convert Wayne, the 84 year old man with the sweetest heart finally joined his sweetheart Joan. He passed away Saturday morning, but Sister Cassell and I were able to see him a few days before and visit with him for a while. He just held our hands and wouldn't let go.
He wished that we had met him years ago, so we could know each other better. Wayne is truly an example of love above all else.
How grateful I am that we are able to see the ones we hold so dear again. How wonderful it is to know that this life is not the end, nor the beginning.

The gospel truly is a message of hope and happiness. There is so much joy to be found in it. I don't know everything, but I know that I could never be this happy without it.

And lastly, it may or may not be my birthday, so Cassell and I have festivities to attend to (:

Now, excuse me while I go party it up White Handbook style.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Another week in WATAC

Week 19  July 14, 2014  4:32 pm EDT    Another week in WATAC    
Things that were awesome:
- the SUN!
- recent converts who have become rockstar fellowship
- people who actually let us do service for them
- playing baseball with Cassell (by ourselves...)
- interviews with the Blatters
- getting dirty planting and pruning
- finding surprises in the mailbox
- taking care of the (growing) puppies while the Bishop is out of town
- district meetings 
- when investigators come to baptisms (AND want to be baptized)
- having a breakthrough with a downtrodden investigator
- being a missionary. it's pretty cool
- sharing the message of the restoration literally everywhere

Hardcore baseball time:
(in case you were wondering, two man baseball works great.)

Love notes in the car:


No meeting is complete without a Testaments movie clip from DISTRICT LEADER PEDERSEN:


Things that were lame:
- no investigators at our ward (though some went to other wards inexplicably.)
- having to push back baptism dates
- no air conditioning in the state of Washington (...possibly an exaggeration)
- when members try to sneakily set you up with their sons... (#awkwardforeverybody)
- getting dropped. yep.
- or outright set up a betrothal (#STAHP.)
- spending half of p day at the doctor's office
- realizing that Cassell and I won't be companions in a week (not really up to us, but almost certain.)
No doctor appointment is complete without the requisite selfie:


Sister Bishop's Spiritual Snippet of the Week:
Don't do dumb things. Just don't.
Mosiah 4:29

Lovin' from the Oven (aka Parkland in a heatwave),

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sweet Freedom!

Week 18  July 7, 2014  3:35 pm EDT    Sweet Freedom!

Hello Big World

First things first, HAPPY BIRTHDAY FATHER OF MINE! - all of you, go tell my dad "Happy Birthday" and give him a hug for me. 

This week has been chock full o' fun. (It's also been really long/hard/lame, but we're focusing on the fun right now) So naturally I have compiled a list:

First Impressions
This week we were able to meet our new mission president and wife at a Zone Conference. The Blatters are very different from the Weavers, but are great in a new way. They already care so much about each of us and know our names and are doing their best to be exactly what the WaTac needs. Also, Sister Blatter made treats for the conference, so her baking skills and President's humor are a big plus.

Fourth of July
Ah. The best holiday for the best country. Independence Day is just the best. For the fourth, we were asked to spend time with the community and with members and having an appropriate amount of fun. That always starts with matching outfits...

Favorite Sister-In-Law
Happy Birthday Vanessa! Even though I only have one sister by marriage, you'd still get the number one spot (:

Furry Friends
It's been the biggest, cuddliest blessing to be able to watch the puppies at the Bishop's house grow up. They are all ready to be sold and so we needed to say goodbye. For the record, almost nothing is happier than seeing a herd of puppies lope excitedly towards you and try to tackle you.
The chunky one Garfield is still our favorite. And it's a good thing we are explicitly prohibited from having pets or Cassell and I would've given a those puppies a very loving home.

Meet Garfield.

Friends (the human kind)
Sister Cassell and I are probably the coolest homo sapiens we know. And our inside jokes are getting out of control.

Our high councilor (literally) hunted down the mission president to ask permission for us to join his family for a fireworks show. Cassell and I were positive that his efforts were in vain, but no no no. Brother Childs is a force to be reckoned with, apparently. President Blatter gladly let us join in whatever festivities the Childs family had planned. We joined them and the Prices for a late show in Puyallup.

#FederalWayFridays (jussssst kidding.)

Fish Farms (of the Koi variety)
Apparently they make for great private fireworks shows. Why not?

Big fishies

 Big Mountains

"Falling asleep to the sound of freedom!"

As stated by a friend of ours, Joseph. The fireworks set off in the streets here rival a lot of community fireworks shows.

Fast Sunday
Few things are cooler than hearing your converts bear testimony. Seeing people grow and change and progress is such a blessing. It is also a huge blessing to have investigators at church to hear those testimonies and feel that spirit. Life is good. Life is better on fast Sunday (i.e. Fasting = Rejoicing  ...D&C 59:14)

Did I mention it's his birthday? (:

We've talked a lot about faith this week - with Jake (an awesome young dad who is set to be baptized on the 19th), with members and with each other.
Faith is highlighted so well in Alma 32, and who am I to say it better than prophets? My favorite verse, 27: 

"But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words."

I love that the Lord gives us a fool-proof way to know for ourselves. We can and should experiment on the words He gives us. He asks us to prove for ourselves what is true (1 Thessalonians 5:21). He will help us fill the faith we lack if we are willing to act on that particle we do have (Mark 9:23-24).

The biggest miracles of faith happen over time - through time that seed will grow into a towering forest; that relationship with the Savior will grow undeniable, unchangeable and unforsakeable. 

Until next week,

- Elizabeth

Happy 4th of July!

July 4, 2014

Brother and Sister Child sent these photos to me (Sandy) - it is wonderful to have such caring, kind and generous members loving our daughter.