Monday, December 9, 2013

My Heart is Full

I am so blessed to be here in Camarillo, CA! Really. We've had an incredible week.
My companion is Sister Casper! She's from West Jordan, Utah. She's studied 3 years at the U and has 1 more semester until she will begin working on her master's in Occupational Therapy (all my in-field companions.... from Salt Lake City area and have either attended or are fans of the U.....). She will be turning 22 on December 26 :) She's great. We've adjusted really quickly to each other and have really started to teach in unity.

Last Monday was a busy busy day! Since Sister X and I were both being transferred, there were tons of packing to do! We managed to find a little time for ourselves and go to Ventura Harbor to watch the sunset. It was beautiful! One day, I'm going to go back and watch the sunset standing on the sand. We also did a little shopping! I got a Ventura shirt and a small California flag (never did I think this day would come...). The rest of the night was frantically packing. We managed to fit both of our numerous things in our small car (mini miracle!) and headed to transfer meeting. It was bitter sweet leaving, but I got to see Sisters Cusick and Anderson at the meeting. I tackled them in a hug as they entered the church building. I am so grateful I was able to see them! I got to catch up a little with Sister Anderson which is such a blessing. I miss her. And now I miss Sister X, but I know I'm forming friendships that will definitely last forever :) Sister Bennett went home to Minnesota this week. She is so grately missed! I am so grateful for the wonderful example she has been to me and the influence she has had on the whole mission as a Sister Training Leader.
I met Sister Casper and we headed to Camarillo. We ate lunch with a member. As we ate, the sister randomly exclaimed, "I know why you're here! Ana!" I guess there is a lady here from Portugal who is started to come back to church. It looks like she will be able to help me with my Portuguese and all I can talk about is the gospel... so it'll be great! After settling in, we made contact with a few people, one of which was Hugo. We taught him a brief Restoration lesson and set a return appointment. We've taught him once more since then and we are excited to continue to teach him!
The highlight of Wednesday was meeting Asayo. We taught him a brief Restoration as well. When it was time to talk about Joseph Smith, my companion turned to me. Now, you have to understand, I've never recited the First Vision to an investigator in english before, my companion somehow always did that. I took a deep breath, and the words just came out. After I finished, Asayo said, "Wow. That's so cool." I thought, "Yes. It really, really is, isn't it?" We are hoping to meet with him this week!
Thursday, we had dinner with the Torgerson family. The parents grew up in Springville and actually know some of my relatives. It was so fun to figure out the relations between everyone.

The greatest miracle was Saturday. Earlier Saturday, we decided to knock a few doors. We met Maria, who is young and really open about religion. We were just finishing talking about the First Vision when her neighbor opened her door. We thought she was going to come out and leave to go somewhere. Instead, she looked straight at us and said "I'm done. Don't knock on my door, I don't want to hear it. Take it to the streets, I'm done." and slammed the door. My oh my, people's reactions... Our last stop before our ward party that night was to see Lorena, who has had a lot of interactions with the church. A family friend of hers, William, was also there. We found out Will has a lot of questions about religion! We began to answer some of them. I always get excited when people ask questions we have the answer to. We ended up having a really great talk. We are hoping to work with William and answer the rest of his questions. In the middle of all of this as well, we found out that Lorena's hold up about joining our church is her belief in the Trinity. I guess the missionaries here have been trying to figure out her concern for quite a while, and now we know :)
Church was really great yesterday. Seems like an awesome ward.
I am so incredibly grateful to be here! This may be my favorite area :)
Love y'all!
Sister Shipp

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