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?)


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,


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.


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.


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