Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Week 5

The weeks are going by so fast! I LEAVE THIS WEEK. So here's the deal. I do not have a visa so far, so I will be getting a reassignment on either Thursday or Friday! AH! I had a dream it was Georgia a few days ago... We'll see. I will have a P-Day the day before I leave (which could be anywhere from Saturday-Wednesday) SO that is when I will be able to tell you! So I will be getting a new mailing address as well! Keep that in mind. Mom will post the new address as soon as she gets it. I would hate for any letters to get lost... :( I am so incredibly excited! But a little nervous as well. Life in the field will be so much different here! I just can't wait to find out where I will be.
So this week...

Tuesday: Elder Andersen came! How cool! He talked about love and sacrifice. The main take away I had was that you will not know in this life all the lives that you touch. This is encouraging but it also pushes me to be better! I want to live in a way that I am always reaching out to others in little ways no matter what I am doing. His main quote was "We sacrifice for the things we love and we love the things we sacrifice for." I know this is true. Think of when you serve someone consistently; you grow to love them. Automatically. And think about this: How much, then, does Jesus Christ love you? He suffered all for you. He lived a perfect life for you. He suffered for your sins. He suffered all afflictions, loneliness, and any negative feeling that you have had, are having, and will have. He died for you. He sacrificed so much for you. He sacrificed that because He loves you and He loves you even more because He sacrificed for you. Think about that this week. I know it's true.

After the devotional, they told us to stick around in the Marriott Center and sing some hymns since there was a thunder storm going on outside. We stayed for a little while, but then they told us to head back. The thunder and lightning had stopped, but it was still raining and it was a little chilly. It was a neat experience. No one was complaining. We were having fun in the rain even though we were not in good clothing or shoes to be trudging through. It's the little things, y'all. I love the attitude of the people here.

Wednesday: I saw Sister Jessica Bagley (my BYU visiting teaching companion)! It was nice to see her :) She is going to be such a great missionary. I also got a surprise package from home! Brownies! Thanks mom! My roommates/district Sisters say that you are magic. They loved it. Some people want the recipe from the coconut bread as well.

Thursday: We Skyped with a man in Brazil! He is a member and we gave him a 30 minute lesson on prayer and the Holy Ghost. It was scary. He could see us, but he didn't have a camera so we couldn't see him. It was awesome though! He was so nice. He said that we spoke well for speaking Portuguese for a month now. He shared a couple experiences and we thought we had some idea of what he was talking about. After hanging up with him, our teacher told us what he had said... totally different than what we thought. Oh well. It will come. The Sisters and I in our district had a funny moment. They have been calling me bonitinha everyday like 50 times a day for the past few weeks. We thought it meant cute, which it does in the dictionary and apparently it does when you are talking about objects as well, but not people. Our substitute teacher heard Sister Baker use it and immediately corrected us. Apparently when you use it to describe a person, it means that normally the person is not cute or ugly but because of some temporary circumstance (like clothing, make up, etc.), that person is cute in the moment. It's really rude. One of them found that out the hard way. Apparently it depends on who you talk to as well. We laughed so hard. Now they call me bonita instead.
Friday we learned more about prayer. I know I've talked about it quite a bit, but it is so important and so fundamental. The big take away for me was that when we pray, we should have the intent to act on whatever answer we receive. When we pray in this manner, Heavenly Father will be more ready and anxious to give us direction because He knows we will listen and obey. Another amazing thing about prayers is that you can bring the influences and guidance that your family/friends/loved ones need! How cool is that?

A revelation I had this week: We can pray for people all the time. Maybe we want them to choose a different path than they are now. When we pray for them, we can bring influences and opportunities into their lives they would not have otherwise. Maybe it won't change their mind because each person has the ability to choose, but they will have more opportunities to be guided in the right direction when we pray in their behalf. I testify that some of my most rewarding prayers have been pouring out my heart to the Lord in behalf of others.

Saturday we taught our investigators Landon, Maryann, and Bridgette. One of the lessons went completely off plan, but looking back, I realized how much the experiences I have had have shaped me and have been for the benefit of me as well as others. I was sitting in those lessons, and when they would ask a question, an experience I had would pop into my head. These experiences helped them understand what we were teaching about, but also help them to know that these things we are teaching are real! I know they are real because of the experiences I have had in my life.

Sunday was Fast Sunday! We had Mission Conference. We learned the importance of obedience. There was a quote that said something like: at the moment obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes a quest, at that moment we will be endowed with power. I also learned how much being the Young Adult Sunday school teacher for those short couple months blessed my life! I have looked back at those lesson plans several times when preparing lessons. It helped me understand and love a few principles of the gospel that much more.

Monday. We played Volleyball as a district for gym. My district is getting better :) I am so proud. It was so fun. That's one thing I'm definitely going to miss about the MTC. I learned all the Preterite Irregular Verb Conjugations later in the day when my district was practicing "Come Thou Fount" which we are singing this Sunday to say bye to our branch. All those verb conjugations are a bit of a nightmare right now. It'll get better though, I know! Since BYU started today, they switched teachers around so yesterday was our last day with Irmão Chamberlain and also our investigator Vander. Vander said he has prayed about what we have taught and believes! Such a sweet experience.
And Today... We went to the temple this morning. I ran into Elder Pate Cribbs from home :) He's headed to Las Vegas tomorrow! We got a picture together.
There are lots of things to look forward to this week! We get to be hosts for the new missionaries that will be coming in tomorrow! I will be looking for Sister Allison Yost! I cannot wait to see her! Thursday we have In-Field orientation most of the day. Thursday or Friday is reassignment day. And who knows after that! Things are crazy.

Thanks for the letters this week. I love hearing from y'all. I will try to get letters back to you! P-Day is way too short.
I love it here and I love being a missionary. I can see God guiding my life and I am so thankful for this opportunity. Take the time to thank Heavenly Father in prayer for all of your many blessings! Also think about Jesus Christ and His Atonement. I love you all! Lots of prayers for you! Have an amazing week!

Síster Maryann Shipp

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