Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Week 2 - Green Missionary

Sister Anderson and I have had a very busy and very interesting week as well! Sitting next to me on her own computer, she was super excited to hear about the results from the Utah vs BYU game. We don't need to talk about it. She wants to get a picture of us; me in my BYU shirt and her in her U shirt. I guess that one will probably make it to you next week.
Last Monday, we played Volleyball as a district! Got to show off a little. It was fun! Lots of dropped balls and lots of laughs. That night, we had dinner with the Huber family in our ward. They have a tradition where the make a green dinner for "green missionaries." Literally. Green soup. Green milk. Asparagus. Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. It was so fun! They are so sweet. For our dinner message, we shared the Restoration lesson and invited them to act like investigators. It was my first time teaching that lesson with Sister Anderson, and my first time teaching it in English as well! The Spirit was so strong. We challenged them to think about people in their lives that they could share the gospel with and invited them to pray about it. Sister Huber came to us yesterday and told us that she took our challenge and prayed about it and a name came to her mind. She sent him a talk by one of the Apostles and it was an answer to his prayers. We are hoping that more stories and referrals will come as we continue to share this message with members. I didn't realize how important members were in missionary work until I became a missionary!
On Tuesday, we found a man named Shane who is here in town for a rehabilitation program for mental problems. He seemed interested in how he could obtain forgiveness from his sins and move forward in life. We returned to him on Saturday and taught him about prophets, Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ. He tried reading a little from the Book of Mormon, but is convinced that he cannot understand what we are saying because of his mental problems. We invited him to pray.
Also on Tuesday, we met with Lee. We have been trying to teach Lee tithing for some time now, but something always comes up. We went to her house determined to teach it this time and we were dismayed when we saw her. She had just started a new medication and she was really out of it. We talked to her for a few minutes and then asked if she would be okay for a lesson. It was a miracle. As we began teaching about tithing, she regained her ability to focus. We explained Tithing and Fasting as simply as we could because we knew this principle was what was keeping her from being baptized. After we finished, Lee agreed and said that the principles made complete sense to her. We started talking about baptism. Lee expressed that she felt the need to study more. We explained that you don't need to know everything in order to be baptized, you just have to have faith. Sister Anderson nudged me under the table, and I extended the invitation for her to be baptized on October 12. SHE SAID YES. We met with her again on Wednesday; members of our ward gave her a blessing because of some health problems. She quit smoking that day. On Saturday, Lee had a panic attack and yesterday, she smoked a cigarette. Her family is not very accepting of her decision, which is hard on her and she still is waiting for the results of some medical tasks. We set her with a new baptismal date of October 19 and we are determined to get her there. We know she can do this.
Also Tuesday, we met a man named Billy, who is missing a lot of his teeth, but he has a really cute dog. Billy just spent 40 days in jail because he pushed his ex-wife's car off a cliff. We left him with a Restoration pamphlet.
For dinner, we ate with the Slusser family. They are like the perfect missionary family! Their daughter's friend, Stella, comes to church with them each week and wants to be baptized. We may have another baptism here soon :) Brother and Sister Slusser told us the story of how they met. They met when they were both missionaries serving in Florida! How crazy! Such a good story! After dinner, we had a lesson with Emily. It was my first drop lesson. I dropped my first investigator. I know it was a good decision though.
We dropped another investigator, Jean, this past week. We had a lesson on the Restoration and asked him a lot of questions. The intent just isn't there, so Sister Anderson and I decided that he is not ready yet.
Wednesday was my first talk in District Meeting! It went well! My district leader says he might assign me a talk every week. We'll see how that goes. Our whole day was pushed back by some unexpected delays, but because of that, we caught our investigator as he was coming home and also met Lia! Lia does not have a strong religious background and is totally open to learning more. We had a lesson with her Friday and taught the Restoration. She said she would think about what we taught and would read Moroni 10. She is very open minded and we are hoping to teach her more.
We met with Carl on Thursday. He has been investigating the church for years and years, but we found out that he has still not prayed about the Book of Mormon for some reason. We are trying to figure out what is best for him. We are planning a lesson for this week on acting because of the faith we do have. We hope this will push him to make changes in his life and to pray about the Book of Mormon. We briefly met Barbara while knocking who thinks we are Polygamists. Some people's ideas are so funny. Later in the day, we knocked a house that had a Confederate flag and all these red-neck signs. We knocked twice, then a sick feeling crept into my stomach. I felt like we shouldn't be there, so we left. I hope one day, I will know why.
Friday I got my first letter here! YAY! It was so nice. I've missed mail so much. Sister Anderson also stained part of the table with a wet pink sticky note during weekly planning. My companion. 
Saturday there was a baptism! I wish it was one of our investigators. It was a student from Cal Poly. Sister Anderson and her last companion actually found him, but referred him to the elders over the Single's ward. It was a great ceremony :)
Yesterday, I spoke in church. I talked about missionary work, trying to inspire the members to be missionaries with us. Everyone loved it. I got so many compliments. The people in this ward are so great :) So many were impressed that I am only 19. As Sister Anderson and I were walking to one of our appointments yesterday, a bird pooped in her hair. We needed the laugh. We stopped, found something to wipe her hands off on, used lots of hand sanitizer, took a picture, and kept going. We also ran into an angry old man. We were walking the same way down the street, so we decided to say hi. He refused to tell us his name and then ignored us as we walked down the street going the same direction. People.
I love being a missionary. Sometimes I think about how it would have been easier to be home or continuing my studies at BYU, but I know this is where I am needed now! I love it here and I love this opportunity I have to serve the Lord! Hope all is well. Love you!

Sister Shipp

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