Monday, August 25, 2014

Pleasant Surprises

Week 25  August 25, 2014  3:42 pm EDT   Pleasant Surprises

Well folks, we had a baptism this past weekend!

Ana (who we've been teaching since last year) was planning on being baptized next weekend, but when her work schedule wasn't cooperating she decided to move her date up to this past Saturday. We were more than happy to oblige.

And one of the best parts about baptisms is having past missionaries come back - Cassell finally made it back home to Parkland!

Reunited and it feels so good:

Ana is so sweet and the gospel has completely turned her life around.
The rumors are true: the gospel of Jesus Christ makes us happy.

We also had our last district meeting before Rasmussen goes home, so we celebrated with Martinelli's, Baja, The Testaments and goofy pictures. We party hard in Parkland

Chipman and I also took a little bit of time this week to paint the town (figuratively.)
We chalked up a little street downtown and let people know how to learn more about Jesus Christ and be happier (:

Although we sometimes misspell "Christ"..

Jeremiah 18:2-4, 6
Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it...Cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand"

The Lord is shaping us as a potter shapes clay; making us into something beautiful, resilient and capable of carrying the responsibility and power he gives us. Sometimes that means squishing us down. Starting from scratch. Beginning again. Having a clean slate. Building us up again and again until we are worked into what he sees us becoming.
Once we are shaped, we still must face the furnace - trusting that we are given that trial to be made strong, not to be destroyed. The kiln is where we are reinforced. Even after His shaping and direction we can still choose to crumble, crack or fall. But if we make it through the furnace, nothing will be able to stop us. We will be filled with his love.
Trust that we are in the Master's hand. Take a look at 1 Nephi 20:10 for a nice illustration (:

(Another picture didn't come thru - add it next week)

Monday, August 18, 2014

A (Little) Fall Of Rain

Week 24   August 18, 2014  3:33 EDT     A (Little) Fall Of Rain

We had a bit of a wet spell this past week - but thankfully Tacoma wasn't quite ready to go fully into the rainy season so the sun is out again. (Though for the record, having to wear sweaters and turn on the heat in the middle of August is practically obscene.)

But regardless of what the weather is up to, we have been busy as ever in Parkland. 
We had Zone Conference this week! We discussed the reality of miracles that come when we go out of our way to invite everyone we meet to learn more about the gospel. We must be bold, prepared and most importantly ourselves. We have no need to be afraid of helping people feel more of God's love. Really, when we are viewing people the way God sees each of us, it isn't difficult to share what we have.Perfect love casteth out fear.
It just isn't hard if you love them. 

We've been teaching all sorts of people lately, and our zone has a tidal wave of baptisms scheduled for the last few weeks of August. The hunt for enough baptism suits is already in full swing. We have Jake, Ana and Erica on date, and John, Catherine, Mariah, Darlene, and David are soon to follow!

Trying to expand our teaching pool (but really just separating the sheep from the goats.)

And since it's August, it means back to school (even for missionaries.) so buh bye, Burton! #transferredtoProvo

We've been so blessed to have wonderful recent converts like Mira, Chloe and Mindy who are positive to be our best friends regardless of where we all end up. 

Mindy and Chloe even channeled their Hawaiian side and made a sushi feast for us this week (:#bringonthespam

We are so excited to accompany these amazing women to the temple soon - they have been hard at work prepping family names to take. #SpiritofElijah

So this month is the 100th anniversary of WWI - I have a tiny pot of poppies growing in our window as a reminder. This gospel is one of happiness and peace. Seeing the gospel bring literal peace to the people around us is one of our favorite things. It changes everything to see people overcome loss, addiction and depressions through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

This week's spiritual nugget actually comes from our investigator John. We have been giving the people we teach some scripture passages about Christ and he read 2 Nephi 4. When he got to verse 24 ("And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.") he told Chipman and I that he is just like Nephi and we are the angels that led him to God again. We have the unique opportunity and responsibility to minister to God's children here, and we love it.

It is just so amazing when the people you teach end up teaching themselves, and in turn, you.

Now, we're gonna hit up some sand volleyball by the sound - gotta soak up the sun while it's shining!

Forever from the 703,


Monday, August 11, 2014

The Week That Everyone Went On Vacation

Week 23  August 11, 2014   3:37 pm EDT   The Week That Everyone Went On Vacation 

(except for us, of course)

This week has been good, despite the fact that it seems every person we could possibly teach is out of town - though it isn't nearly as bad as my dad's summers in Spain. (His mission stories are just now starting to really sink in.)

"Open Your Mouth" is an initiative that President Blatter has been starting - really it's just an invitation to do just that, open your mouth, to everyone conceivable. Share the gospel at all times, in every situation. Just do it. We've been marking the miracles that happen because of it.

People talk about how a mission will teach them all sorts of things about the gospel, Jesus Christ, habits, people and life. so I've made a list of the past week for your enjoyment.

Some things I learned this week:

Spanish Sign Language is not the same as American Sign Language. We couldn't communicate super well with Luis, but hey, he still wanted to pray with us! Feeling rusty? Sí.

I've forgotten everything. People's names. Pin numbers. All the words to songs I used to know backwards and forwards. Somebody send help; my brain is quite likely turning to mush. 

Camp chairs actually are quite handy to have. We were able to have a lesson at the beginning of the week with John and Brother Dodge was able to accompany us. Yay for fellowship! Meh for still not going inside. So we decided to hit up Brookdale for their camp chairs and had an awesome lesson with the two older gentlemen on the chairs and us on John's porch. 

A big shoutout to Pedersen and Rasmussen for always having the most random of items for us to borrow at a moments notice.
Exchanges are a lot more fun when you have people to teach. Or at least, when the people you're teaching are in the state. But who doesn't like knocking doors for a couple extra hours?

Why Cassell and I were mysteriously ill? Yes, friends. Scripture studying does in fact give you the answers to life's important questions. Please see: (1 Nephi 19:20and 17:47) "For behold, I have workings in the spirit, which doth weary me even that all my joints are weak" and " Behold, I am full of the Spirit of God, insomuch that my frame has no strength". (:

It's weird to see your companions in real life. Davis was back up in the WaTac visiting with her mom (I know, two weeks later. She is nothing if not on top of things.) and swung by church!

- I knocked into the only french speaker in Tacoma. C'était magnifique, mais j'ai tout oublié. I even think Chipman was more excited about it than I was. Sylvette was awesome but decidedly not interested in learning more about the happiest message in the world. 

God's timing isn't our timing. Ana is finally on date for August 30th. (11 missionaries later...) but is so excited; she even called her mom right then and there. She is one step closer to being sealed with her family (:

Brother Childs likes to take selfies. Exhibit A:

The gospel of Jesus Christ really is what changes us. Makes us happy. Determines purpose and direction. It's worth it. Because we are worth it.
It's the best.


Sister Bishop number 2

Monday, August 4, 2014

From P-land, With Love

Week 22  August 4, 2014  3:35 pm EDT.   From P-land, With Love 

Hello family and friends,

This week we have seen more lessons in one week than Parkland has had in many, many months. Sister Chipman and I are working hard to find new people to teach (with varying success) but effort is always rewarded somehow. Sometimes that means that everything planned falls through and we suddenly have a whole lotta time to sift through potentials or follow up with people who have fallen off the map for a long time or just knock all the day long.

Home sweet home sweet home.

It's been a hot summer for Tacoma (which, everyone we talk to mentions that we are crazy for walking around knocking on doors in this weather) but I love it. I will take this hot and humid and hazy weather over drizzly rain, and I plan to enjoy every minute of it. 

Sometimes we are blessed with packages from friends and family (shout out to Eric sending the Nutella (: it is delicious.) which makes for the best day ever. Consider this just a friendly reminder that every missionary loves mail...... (:

Long, hot days require good decomp (read: decompression time after planning at night, for all those not familiar with the lingo). Sometimes we get the best of ourselves and things get a little strange, but who doesn't love shaving cream mustaches and trying to rap the Restoration?

When things get difficult/boring/unrelenting, I remember that the Lord requires us to be tried in all things, good and bad. But this isn't so we are just earning a heavenly reward, but that we are prepared to receive it. (D&C 136:31) We are learning how God wants us learn by serving the way He would. Glorious, ain't it? 

Much love, as always,

​aka: Hulk Hogan and Monopoly Man