Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Week 2

Week 2:

Thank you to those who sent me letters! Seriously. Y'all are the best! It's been a crazy week here, but another great one! This P-Day has been the fastest day EVER though. Let me tell you about the week!
Wednesday! Elder Valentine came to the MTC! I ran into him Wednesday night and we got a few pictures together, with my companion OF COURSE ;) It was so amazing to see him! We also taught our "investigator Lucas" that night again in Portuguese.
Thursday! Sister Marchant auditioned for a musical number in one of the many programs, firesides, etc and SHE MADE IT. I am so proud of her :) We're still waiting to figure out when she will be performing. I might add that I was a pretty good page turner for her. We also taught Lucas for the last time. We asked him to be baptized and HE SAID YES. It was the most incredible feeling. All we could do was get to the end of the hall and kneel down to pray. We were so grateful and just had to express it. It's amazing how much you pray here. I should start counting how many times we pray each day. You really need to though. Being a missionary is hard. It's so easy to feel inadequate with the language and teaching skills (especially when you are teaching in a new language). Sister Marchant and I are always praying for the spirit and help and thanking Heavenly Father for our progress with the language and the opportunity to be here. Thursday was also the day I got cookies from my wonderful mother. Thanks mom! They were so great! I finally finished them last night. My roommates loved them as well. So here's a funny story that happened to 2 Elders in my district... they were teaching Lucas and asked if he had any questions. He asked why Nephi cut Laban's head off in the Book of Mormon. They frantically searched for the verse that says that it was better for one man to perish than a nation dwindle in unbelief in their Portuguese O Livro de Mormon. They guessed which verse it might be and asked Lucas to read it. They then said that that was why Nephi killed him and moved on. They found out later that they had him read the very verse where Nephi cut off his head instead of the intended verse. Oh, man. Good times. Yesterday Sister V and I were roleplaying and she accidentally said that Jesus Christ was the investigator's son rather than brother. It is fun learning a new language! You just have to learn to laugh.
Friday! We got our second teacher and guess what... IT'S LUCAS. Well, that's not really his name. We were SO excited and he is such a great teacher. His name is Irmao Taylor. He explained to us that sometimes the Gift of Tongues isn't the ability to speak or for the investigator to understand the words you are saying, sometimes it's that the investigator can feel the Spirit of what you are saying in their hearts. I thought that was the coolest thing. I know I'm going to need all the help I can get when it comes to actually teaching the people in Brazil. I have a goal to be able to teach all the lessons in Portuguese by the time I leave here. I'm working hard at it!
Saturday! So It's a little hard having Elder Valentine here and not knowing where he is or how he's doing since we cannot write each other while we're both here. So Saturday at the beginning of personal study, I said a prayer and included asking that I could see him soon just to see how he was doing. I looked up from scriptures a few minutes later and there he was! With his companion! Walking towards me! The church is true, y'all. It's the little things. My district played a "guess which missionary" game. The sisters drew stick figures on the board and we had to guess which missionary in our district it was. I am known as a stick figure girl balancing 10 packages on my hand. HA. People were so good at sending me things, especially the first week. Thanks again! I love to hear from y'all and see how you're doing! I almost fell asleep during the additional study times that day. It was so hard to stay awake. I taught a 15 min surprise lesson on the Restoration in class! It was such a confidence booster to see how much I could say and use the words I know to convey the message.
Sunday! Sundays are so great here. I became the Senior companion, and Relief Society was with the Primary General President, Sister Wixom. It was so great! We then had a New Sister's meeting where we learned stuff like "if you don't wear lipstick, the first thing someone looks at is your eyes and the second is your nose," how to sit and not "plop," that we should glide when we walk (Miss Congeniality much?), and that every time someone slams the door in our face we should see "Thanks for the nice breeze!" Good stuff. The essentials, you know? I saw Elder Valentine quite a bit Sunday. It's the only day we have the same schedule. It was good to see him and see how he's doing. Don't worry, we keep our distance. Sacrament meeting is largely in Portuguese and it's awesome! They call on 2 random missionaries to get up and talk for 3-5 minutes though so I have to prepare a little talk each week. One of the members of the Branch Presidency had a couple visiting from Brazil that talked to us for a little bit. The woman was actually one of his converts when he served his mission! It was so inspiring to see. Because she joined the church, there are 1000 more members. There are people waiting for me in Brazil. I cannot wait! I had my weekly interview with my Branch President. The first thing he asked was, "So how's Elder Valentine?" My heart like stopped for a second. Word gets around fast. Those darn District Leaders ;) He totally just wanted to make sure that I was doing okay with the fact we are both here. He's so sweet!
Yesterday was a little hard. We taught a "new investigator," Manuel, who is really our teacher role playing. Our lesson went totally in a different direction than planned though. We were a little bummed by how it went. I guess we just realized that there are a lot of things we still need to learn and apply to our lessons. It gets a little frustrating sometimes. Today has been the perfect follow up though. We went to the temple this morning. After, Sister Marchant and I have been so happy! Even through doing laundry (which is probably the worst thing about the MTC by the way).
The Lord will bless you. After that hard lesson with Manuel, I was reading in 1 Nephi 17 where he says that the Lord will provide a way for you to accomplish what He commands. He has called me to be a missionary and to speak Portuguese which means there's a way, and I CAN DO IT WITH HIS HELP. It's the greatest feeling ever and so important to remember. I love this church and all that it teaches. I love the MTC. I love my district. We pretty much have every personality possible in my district of 6 elders and 6 sisters. It's incredible to see how inspired the companionships are as well. I love my fellow district sisters. I love my companion. I love Portuguese and one day I will master it. I love this opportunity to share something I love so much with others. I am so blessed. I cannot express it. I hope all is well with all of you! Write me a letter and let me know how you're doing! I pray for the people at home all the time. Heavenly Father is watching out for you!

Sister Shipp

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