Monday, December 29, 2014


Feliz Ano Novo!
I hope Christmas was great for everyone! It was really amazing here. We had lunch with a family in the ward and then went to the church to skype our families. It was so amazing to talk to my family. Everyone said that my eyes were gleaming afterward. Talking to them made me more excited to be home with them soon! These 3 weeks will fly by.
We saw miracles this week, as usual. It is incredible all that happens here and how people´s lives change. I´ve really reflected this week on the people who have made a big difference in my mission. I have been so blessed to meet so many different, amazing people who have been such great examples to me. I am so grateful for all of the people that God puts into our lives.
I can´t believe 2015 is already here. Time to start off the year right :) We will be going on exchanges with 2 companionships with Americans in their first transfers. That´ll be an adventure ;) I´ll let you know how it all goes next week!
Love and miss y'all!!

Síster Shipp

Monday, December 22, 2014


This week was awesome! We had our Christmas Conference. It was so great to see so many of the missionaries that I love here.  I am so grateful for this last transfer and for everything it is turning out to be. It is literally incredible.
Saturday was a little funny. We talked to a lot of people and knocked some doors trying to find more people to teach. The whole day was pretty awkward. We got rejected by a lot of people, but with each rejection, we just got a good laugh. With all of our work the day before, God blessed us a lot yesterday. We had an amazing lesson with Henrique and at night, we found a new man to teach that is really excited to change. I know that God blesses us because of our efforts, even if it takes a little while to happen.
I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas this week! FELIZ NATAL! I am so grateful for this time of year and for all that we get to celebrate and remember.
Here is a Christmas video that I love that helps us remember why we celebrate Christmas:
Love you all!

Sister Shipp

Monday, December 15, 2014

Almost Christmas?

We got to visit Bebedouro (my first area) and go on exchanges with the Sisters there this week. It was so amazing! I got to see 2 of my recent converts there. It was a miracle. I am so grateful for how everything always works out so perfectly.
Between everything that is going on and everything that I need to do, time is going by faster than I can even keep track of. I feel like Christmas is still weeks away, but it´s almost here. And then New Years, and then..... CASA (home). In 5 weeks. I can´t believe it. It is going to be so hard... but I am looking forward to seeing everyone. Miss y'all.

Today is December 15. Today is Chelsea Larsen´s 21st birthday. I miss her so much. I had the opportunity to show my pictures of my friends and me to my companions and a few other sisters this week. I got to tell them all about the story of Chels, Chelsea, Hayley and I. It always makes me so happy to remember our friendship and everything that we did and accomplished together. I am so grateful for all the opportunities that God gives us all the time. He is always giving us good memories, friendships to treasure, and love and smiles that will go on forever. Happy Birthday, Chels.

Much Love,
Sister Shipp

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Best 6 Weeks

So my last 6 weeks will be in............. Campos Eliseos in Ribeirão Preto! I got to stay in my area and I gained 2 companions, so we´ll be in a trio. Sister Auna from Washington that will finish her mission with me, and Sister Palomino from Peru. I am super excited!
Sister Soto left for Chile this morning and Sister Kunkel (My MTC-São Paulo companion) is staying with me until she heads home here in a couple hours. It has been one CRAZY week with Sister Soto´s final preparations and THE BAPTISM OF UALAS which was yesterday! It was so so so great. He is amazing. And one of the other people we are teaching, Henrique, came to church and stayed for the baptism. It was the best :)
I guess the only other news from the transfer is that my friend from BYU, Elder Josh Menden will be serving close this transfer for the first time. That´ll be fun!
That´s about all the news I have. I am getting ready for a crazy transfer. I know it´ll pass by sooooo fast.
Love you!
See y'all in 6 weeks!

Sister Shipp

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1.... Wait... What?

I cannot believe it´s December. I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! I mainly just forgot about Thanksgiving since it´s not a holiday here and we didn´t have much time to do anything. It´s all good though! I just kind of forget that it was November and now it´s December because it´s hot here! It rained all week though, which was a blessing!! It was a little cooler this week :)
We had a pretty great miracle this week! We have been visiting Ualas this whole transfer. Last week, he got an answer that he needed to be baptized, but was having trouble feeling good about a date. Saturday we had a lesson with him and invited him to be baptized Sunday December 7. He thought about it for a while and then said he would answer the next day at church. Yesterday at church, Sister Soto and I went over to talk to him after the meetings and we asked about the baptism. He said that he will be baptized this next Sunday. We are so happy! So his baptism will be Sunday after church and early Monday morning, Sister Soto will catch her plane to Chile and I will be getting a new companion to start my last transfer. It is absolutely incredible how fast time is going.
Happy December First! Hope it´s a great week full of miracles :)
Com Amor,
Síster Shipp

Monday, November 24, 2014


This week was incredible! I wish I had more time to tell everyone about it.
We had an amazing zone meeting Tuesday talking about how we could all have miracles. We fasted as a zone to receive these miracles. They happened.

Thursday we fasted again, this time with our investigator who has had some doubts about being baptized. After the fast, he didn´t have anymore doubts and is feeling really good. He knows he needs to be baptized because God answered his prayer.

Sunday, Henrique (another investigator) finally went to church. He worked Saturday night. The whole night. He got home 6 am Sunday morning, took a cold shower and waited for us to come. We walked him to church. He loved it. We had been praying so hard that he would be able to go and that he would feel good there. It all happened.

God is incredible and miracles really do happen. Don´t ever doubt that.

I don´t have words to express all that I felt this week.

That´s all the time I have. Time is passing by so fast.

We visited a park with waterfalls in the middle of the city today!

I hope everyone has a great week!

Lots of love,

Síster Shipp

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


This week was so great :) I feel like I´m finally getting the hang of this area.
I think the best thing you can possibly do that makes you feel so good is serving other people. My goodness. This transfer is so neat because we get to serve 2 companionships of Sisters and go on exchanges with them. I learn so much from each one of them and I feel so happy whenever I´m with them because I am thinking about them and how I can do more to help them. It is seriously the best feeling. I love it :)
We found 3 really awesome investigators this week! They found a Book of Mormon in the trash one day and brought it home. Months later, we visited them, they saw the Book that we had and realized it was the book that they found in the trash. They started to read it before they met us and knew it was special, but were having a hard time understanding it. God is amazing.
Also, Sister Ashworth (my last companion in CA) sent me an email saying that one of the people we started teaching got baptized! How incredible it is to see things happening from the amazing opportunity we had to start teaching someone :)
I am so happy! The mission is the best!
Until next week!

Com Amor,
Sister Shipp

Monday, November 10, 2014

Boa Semana :)

It was a great week! We had some really great miracles :)
We met a man named Henrique and he is awesome! We had 2 incredible lessons with him this week. We also had Stake Conference and I went on my first exchange! We traveled to Franca which is about an hour and a half by bus to go on exchanges with Sister Palomino and Sister Araújo. I went with Sister Araújo who is starting her second transfer. It was a lot of fun, especially with the rain that fell all day long. We walked and walked with our umbrellas :) Having Sister Soto as a companion is really great. We´re learning a ton together. I´m grateful for this time with her :)
I´ve been reflecting a lot on my mission lately. That seems to happen when you come to the end of something. I have learned so much that I don´t think I could have learned anywhere else. I am so grateful for this time and wouldn´t have traded it for anything else. What a priviledge it has been to serve here and in the California Venture Mission as well.
God is so good.

Hope you all have a great week! Til next time.

Sister Shipp

Monday, November 3, 2014

Birthday on a Mission

I had a good birthday! We had our meeting with our district and they surprised me with 2 chocolate cakes :) It was really sweet. Sister Jales gave me this amazing present with things to open throughout the day. A birthday on the mission is interesting.. It really doesn´t feel like your birthday, but that´s okay. Overall, it was a good day.
I am loving my new area and my new companion. I am teaching an English class every week, which is fun :) The members here are really nice and make a lot of really good food. Since it´s Sister Soto´s last transfer, we have a lot of goals for the next 5 weeks of what we want to do before we go home. It´s neat to have a companion with about the same time on the mission as you do.
I´ll send pictures next week because time is up.
Miss you and love you!

Com Amor,
Sister Shipp

Monday, October 27, 2014

Birthday Wishes! :)

First of all, thank you SO MUCH for all the birthday wishes! My inbox was flooded today with all of them. I am printing them out so I will be able to read them on Wednesday. (21 years.... Can´t believe it!) Unfortunately I don´t have a lot of time left today to reply to all of them, but please know that I appreciate them so much! It´s amazing to know how many people care. Y'all are literally the best.

I´m kind of headed into the final stretch here! I´m down to my last 2 transfers... which means just 12 more weeks left! So here´s the news from transfers...

I was transferred! I´m still in Ribeirão Preto, just in another area called Campos Eliseos. I have only heard the best things about this area, so I am way excited to serve here for at least the next 6 weeks! My companion is Sister Soto from Santiago, Chile! The last bit of news is that I became a Sister Training Leader this transfer, which means I will be going on exchanges with a few companionships of Sisters and get to take care of them! It´ll be so great! I am way excited and grateful for this opportunity to serve more and help some of the Sisters in this mission. It´s going to be a great transfer.

I am continually seeing miracles here and it is so rewarding. One of the miracles is the change that you see in yourself, which is huge on the mission. The other is the change that you can see in the lives of others and God´s hand guiding you and this people each and every day. There is no way I can question if He´s there. I know He is and He is helping each and every one of us.

Thank you again for all the birthday wishes! I really feel a ton of love!

Lots of Love,

Sister Maryann Shipp

Monday, October 20, 2014

It is HOT in Ribeirao Preto!

Sorry I didn´t get an email out to everyone last week! Sometimes emailing time is a little short.
Well, we had a really good week this week! We taught the most lessons this week than I have any other week of my mission. It was really satisfying to sit back with my companion and think about all we accomplished. The only bad thing here is how HOT it is. It is so hot and the people are saying it´s only going to get worse these next 3 months. We have 4 fans in our house and 4 Sisters so luckily I have my own fan. My companion and I started getting ourselves wet before going to bed, which is helping us stay cool and get some sleep. I now thoroughly appreciate air conditioning and will never take it for granted again. I run into air conditioning sometimes in stores, in sacrament meeting, and the mission office, so that´s nice every once in a while. I will be coming home really really tan. There´s already a big difference. Even with the heat, I really love it here. This is the last week of this transfer. It has gone by SO fast. We´ll find out about transfers this Friday... where I´ll spend the next 6 weeks and with who. I´m anxious to know!
So much happens during the week... it´s really hard to know what to write about... Everyone will get a better update in just a few months in person. That´ll be way better.
Hope you all have a great week!

Sister Shipp

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Oh my goodness. General conference was SO GOOD! I got to watch it in English with a few other American Missionaries (pic attached). We switched it over to Portuguese when Elder Godoy spoke, which was way cool. After watching conference this weekend, I feel like I have so much more strength to do all that I need to do and finish my mission strong! I really got some answers that I was needing as I listened to the words of the Prophet and the Apostles. If you missed it, go watch it! It is definitely worth your time. I really loved Elder Bednar´s talk at the end of the conference. He explained why we share the gospel. It explained perfectly why I am so far from home for a year and a half, adjusting to a new culture and learning a new language. All the talks are on the website :) I am so excited for this week. I´ve got new goals that I am excited to accomplish.
The gospel really is true. I´ve never had so much joy from anything else.

Love Y'all!
Sister Shipp

Monday, September 29, 2014

Another Week

Man, when it comes to writing emails, I never know what to say...
This week was so good! We had a conference with my mission president and a few other zones. All of my Brazilian companions were there, as well as my 2 American MTC companions, so that was neat :) I am really enjoying serving with Sister de Oliveira! She is so sweet and so prepared to be a missionary. I am sending a couple pictures with her so you can see what she looks like!
I think the highlight was seeing the Woman´s Conference. I am so grateful for the opportunity to listen to living a Prophet and Apostles! I´m so excited for the chance that we have to hear them this weekend. I know they will tell us the things that we need to know, the things that God wants us to know. (
I hope you all have a good week! Get ready for conference! I´m already making a list of questions I have to listen for as I watch conference.
Love y'all!

Sister Shipp

Monday, September 22, 2014

First Week in Ribeirao!

Well, it´s been a good first week in my new area! Ribeirão is sooooooooooooooooooo different than Bebedouro. Everything is a lot closer and we walk a lot less which is awesome because my legs have to last for 4 more months and they definitely hurt sometimes. It´s a lot different serving in a ward again after serving in a branch for so long! My companion is from the Southern part of Brasil this time so I´m getting used to a new accent and new words that she uses that my other companions from the North never used. It´s been fun so far :) We had some rain this week so things were a bit cooler, but I´m getting myself ready for a hot next few months and a really really hot Christmas. That´ll be weird. Christmas in the summer....
Everything is good here! Training seems to be a lot easier this time around and my companion is literally awesome. She is already teaching so well and leading the lessons lots of times. I have to remind myself sometimes that she is only in her 2nd transfer!
I hope y'all have an awesome week!

Sister Shipp

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


So after 5 transfers (6 months) in Bebedouro, I have finally made my way to another area! I am now in Ribeirão Preto! I´ll be serving in Ala 1 with Sister De Oliveira from Southern Brasil! She only has 6 weeks (1 transfer) here in the mission, so I´ll be finishing her 12 week training. It should be good! I am excited!
I had a good last week with Sister Vaneza, although the goodbyes were really hard. It was especially hard to say bye to José Luiz, Franciele, Leonildo, and Jeniffer. They are some really special people. I am really going to miss them!
I´ve been thinking a lot about change this week. Change is hard, but from time to time, it´s exactly what we need. We can learn so much as our circumstances change. As I´ve reflected back on my mission, I´ve realized how much I´ve learned from each companion and area. I´m so excited I Have this new opportunity to learn more! I just hope I don´t get too lost here in Ribeirão. Oh, and I´m a lot closer to the mission office where letters are so I´ll get letters faster ;) That´ll be nice.
Oh how I love to be a missionary <3
It really is the best.

Com Amor,
Sister Shipp

Monday, September 8, 2014

My Heart is So Full

My heart is SO full right now. This week was hard. We definitely had some challenges and I was feeling pretty down when I got here and opened my email... and now? I feel like I´m on top of the world. Thank you for all the emails you all sent this week! Even though I may not always be seeing exactly what I want happen each week, I know that this is where I need to be. Sometimes I´m here in Bebedouro not for our investigators, but for my companion, or the other Sister missionaries here, or to learn something I need to learn, or maybe to bless my family. I was especially grateful for the emails I got from my family today. It is incredible to see all the many ways that they are being blessed while I am so far from them. I know that the best thing that I can be doing for them right now is to be here for a little while longer serving God´s children in another country. I know God is taking care of them! I am so grateful for all the growth I am seeing in each one and the successes they are having as well. I have one pretty incredible family! :)
I guess that´s what I really want to say this week. I know that each time we make a decision to serve God, He will bless those that we love more than we can imagine. Even if the decision takes you to another country miles and miles away, it´s. worth. it.
I love y'all so much!
Com Muito Amor,
Sister Shipp

Monday, September 1, 2014

13 Months

This has been a crazy week with lots of challenges, but we also had some big successes yesterday. I think the best thing right now is following up with Jeniffer and Leonildo that were baptized a little over a week ago. We had a Family Home Evening yesterday with a few other families in our branch. It is amazing to see how the gospel changes people and families. I was reflecting back on how Leonildo was when I first met him a few months ago. He is a completely different person now and their family is so much happier. I have talked to so many people during my mission who feel like they are missing something. They can try and do any number of things and yet this empty feeling still exists. Then I look back on the ones who decided to start reading the Book of Mormon and the Bible, talking with us (the missionaries), going to church, and praying. These are the people who now feel like they have what they were searching for. I know that the gospel is the only thing that can give us that complete feeling and also the joy we are searching for. I am so grateful that I have this in my life. All I want is for everyone to have this, especially the people I love. I am so grateful for this time to be here in Brasil bringing this joy that I have to anyone that will listen.
Sister Shipp

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Exciting Week!!!

What a week in Bebedouro!
Just found out too that my trainer is getting married in a few months. Congrats Kelsey! I´m way excited for you!
Wednesday was Jeniffer and Leonildo´s wedding. It was so great! It was a special day and they were so happy :)
Thursday, I got to be companions with Sister Marchant (my MTC companion) for a day! It was so amazing to see how much we have grown since we were companions a year ago in the MTC. We were remembering the struggling to teach in Portuguese in the MTC (how scared we were, how we had no idea what was going on in lessons, how we prayed SO HARD before each lesson) to now when we can say pretty much anything we want. I´m so grateful for all the amazing companions I´ve had! I´ve learned so much from each of them while on my mission.
Friday was Jeniffer and Leonildo´s baptism! It was simple, but it was really sweet. They were confirmed Sunday. It was so amazing to see their smiling faces this week as they took some important steps in their lives that will bless them and their family forever.
My heart is so full that I get to be here and experience all these amazing things. I am so grateful for my mission. <3
Much Love,
Sister Shipp

Busy! (August 18, 2014)

We are getting ready for one crazy week here in Bebedouro! We have 3 baptismal interviews scheduled tomorrow, a wedding and party Wednesday, Exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders (one of them being Sis Marchant, my companion from the Provo MTC, yay!!!) Thursday, and 3 baptisms Friday. We are SO excited! Ruan, Jeniffer, and Leonildo are so awesome and it´s amazing to see the faith that they have; it makes my faith grow, that´s for sure. I love Bebedouro so much! I could just stay here the rest of my mission. I´m so grateful for all the experiences I´ve had on my mission, in California and now here. I could not have done anything better with this past year of my life.
Have a great week! :)
Sister Shipp

Monday, August 11, 2014

Another Week

Okay. I just need to talk for a second about how amazing Bebedouro is. It´s really changed a ton since I arrived here 5 months ago. The members are a lot more excited and there´s something special that´s happening here now. The Franciele´s baptism was last Sunday and she was confirmed yesterday. Jeniffer and Leonildo are getting married this next Wednesday and baptized the Friday after. We have some other wonderful investigators and finding some others with some awesome member referrals. I could not have asked for more! I am honestly treasuring every minute here in this area now with my 3 Brazilian sisters. Maybe I´ll get to stay a little longer? But for now, I at least have 5 more weeks.
It´s amazing to think about how a mission changes you. It really is the perfect time in your life for a lot of things. You learn SO much and really are changed into more of the person that God wants you to be; you get closer to your potential. I cannot explain the amazing joy that comes from each small victory on the mission, seeing OTHERS change and better themselves and their lives. It´s indescribable.
I´m so happy to be a missionary :)
Hopefully this was a better update! Y'all can send me questions that you have that I can respond to in these updates too.
Love y'all!
Sister Shipp

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Hello everyone! This week was awesome! There are definitely miracles happening here.

We had a baptism here yesterday. After lots of opposition, Franciele was finally baptized. It was so great! Her parents were there to support her and really liked the church meetings, baptism, and a lunch we had after. Fran is already part of the Young Woman´s program. Everyone loves her. She definitely has gained lots of good friends in the church already.

During the church meeting yesterday, our investigator Jeniffer stood up and gave her testimony. It was beautiful. She really loves the gospel already. Her, her husband, and their 2 young children are changing and receiving so many blessings! It´s incredible. They are both looking forward to their wedding on Aug 20 and their baptisms on the 22nd.

And we are too because WE GET ANOTHER TRANSFER HERE IN BEBEDOURO! We literally screamed when we heard the news. All 4 of us are staying here. So today is the start of transfer #5 here and I´ll finish training Sister Vaneza.

I guess the only other thing is I completed a year on the mission this past Thursday. I had a cake and some presents waiting for me from Sisters Jales, Sousa and Vaneza that night. It was wonderful.

We are all looking forward to another transfer of miracles here!


Sister Shipp

Monday, July 28, 2014


It was another great and challenging week in Bebedouro! Transfers are in a week and I hope I get to stay! We are seeing miracles here.
Thursday is 1 year on the mission for me! My farewell was 1 year ago today. Time really is flying. The only thing I want right now is to make the best of the last 6 months here. How grateful I am for my mission and everything I´ve learned. It hasn´t been easy, but I wouldn´t give this time and my experiences away for anything.
Love y'all!
Sister Shipp

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


I don´t have much time, but I want to just say that there are definitely miracles happening here. I went on exchanges with a Sister from Chile this week. After some of our appointments fell through, we decided to try to visit Franciele, a 16 year old girl who attends church from time to time with her step-dad. I have been trying to teach her during my 4 months here. We have never been able to find her at home. We said a prayer before ringing the bell and she answered! Not only that, we had a good lesson with her and set her baptism for this Sunday. I was in the clouds after that lesson. Yesterday, we learned that there are a few other problems that we need to handle before her baptism. We decided to fast and pray together to resolve everything. Half an hour ago, I got a call from her and all of the problems that came up over the weekend have been resolved. 
I know that Heavenly Father hears each of our prayers and I know that fasting really is powerful. I know that miracles will happen in our lives. All we need to do is trust in God, do our best, and things really will fall into place.
Have a great week!
Sister Shipp

Monday, July 7, 2014

JULY. Wait, what?

I cannot believe it´s July! Oh my goodness!
This week was so great! I am definitely learning so much with my companion, Sister Vaneza. She is wonderful! It´s really great going back and remembering the basics as I teach them to her. It´s also been fun trying to remember back to September-November when I was a new missionary doing the 12 week training program with Sister Anderson and Sister Xayadeth. What good times!
So the 4th of July here in Brasil. It was also the day of another world cup game when Brasil played Columbia, so there were firecrackers and cheering, but my companions informed me that it was for the game and not for the USA. I still think it was for the US ;) I wore red and blue and sang the national anthem for my 3 Brazilian Sisters here. Sister Jales sang with me (of course wearing her Brasil stuff with a Brasil flag) and we took a video. It´s too big to send, but you´ll see it soon.
We´re having good times here in Bebedouro and seeing miracles everyday!
Hope yall have a great week!!
Sister Shipp

Monday, June 30, 2014

Training: Week 1

This week was great! I got my "novinha" Tuesday afternoon. So right now we have living here in our house in Bebedouro Sister Jales from Fortaleza training Sister Sousa from Fortaleza and Sister Shipp from Katy, TX training...
Sister Vanessa Ferreira from ...
Go figure.
It´s a small world afterall, right dad? :)
She is so great! She is so prepared and she is learning so fast! We´ve only had 1 week together, but I love her so much and I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve her. I have learned so much this week. I´m doing things I didn´t think I was capable of. Truly God qualifies those that He calls. I really can feel His help. At times, it´s still a little overwhelming, but I know I won´t encounter anything I´m not capable of. I am so excited for the rest of this transfer learning and working together.
That´s about all this week. Still enjoying hearing all the cheering from the World Cup as we stay in our house studying ;) Don´t worry, my family and the members here are keeping me updated.
Have a great week!
Sister Shipp

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 23rd - TRANSFERS and...................

I´M TRAINING! My goodness. Talk about nerve-racking. I should be getting her tomorrow! I have no idea what country she´s from or nothing. I hope she´s Brazilian so I don´t have to teach her Portuguese as well. We will see. All I can say is that I am nervous and excited! I know how important trainers are, so I´m way excited for this opportunity. Prayers would be much appreciated.
This week was amazing. One of the things I´m really learning on my mission is trusting Heavenly Father. We saw so many amazing miracles this week, and I know it will only continue this transfer. This transfer we are looking forward to some baptisms and a wedding. Woohoo! It´s an exciting time to be a missionary in Bebedouro!
Love you!

Sister Shipp

June 16th - The Gospel is incredible

Sorry this is going to be the shortest weekly email ever! Just know that I´m doing so good! I´m really realizing how little the time here is in the mission. Wow. I will be home in just a few minutes it feels like!

The most exciting thing of the week is Jose Luis baptized a man Sisters Jales and Sousa have been teaching. I feel like a proud mom watching him grow. In the time I´ve been here, he´s gotten the Aaronic Priesthood, Melchizedek Priesthood, blessed and passed the sacrament, recieved a few callings, and now baptized someone else. He´s also changed in so many ways that I can´t explain right now. The Gospel is incredible.

Know that I´m well, loving Brazil, enjoying studying the scriptures during Brazil´s games in the world cup (don´t worry, I know every time there is a goal by the screams and the fireworks we can hear from our house).

Love you all! have a great week!


Sister Shipp

Monday, June 9, 2014

An Example of the Believers

Hello All!
I am really out of time, but just wanted to say all is well here :) Except for the fact that my sister graduated from High school yesterday. Where is the time going? Congrats, Ash! I´m so proud of you :) Wish I could have been there.
If there´s anything I´ve been thinking about this week, it´s the example we set for others around us. Our example is SO important and literally changes lives for the better. I´ve definitely seen this here. We are teaching a woman who´s sister is a member. She saw all the changes that took place in her sister as she learned about the gospel and is now seeing those changes in herself. She is so excited to be baptized  as soon as we can work out a few things.
So be an example. You never know who is watching.
Sister Shipp

Monday, June 2, 2014

Can you feel so now?

Just a little thought for today because time is short again...
I know each of us have times in our lives when we are closer to God than other times. I think each of us need to ask ourselves this question in Alma 5:26 from time to time:
"And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?"
I know the times in my life when I´m closer to God, I really feel more peace and joy in my life. When I´m farther, I definitely feel the difference. So what changes? God doesn´t move; He is constant, always there, reaching out for us. But we, through our actions each and every day move closer to Him or farther from Him. It´s truly the things we choose to do each day that determine where we are in relation to Him. Are we listening to His words through reading the scriptures everyday? Are we talking with Him through pray each day? How can we be close to someone when we don´t talk the opportunity to talk with and listen to them?
I know it´s worth it to strive to be close to Him. I´ve had times in my life when I have been close to Him and other times when I´ve been farther. It´s worth it to take a look at your life and set some goals today. We can and should regularly ask ourselves how we can draw closer to Him, then set some goals to do it. Just do it. Do it today. If you wait, you´ll look back later and wished you´d made the decision today.
Lots of Love,
Sister Maryann Shipp

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Lord's Hands

I don´t have a ton of time, but this week was awesome :) Sister Soares and I really have a new vision for our area and are working even harder to meet our goals. If there´s anything I´ve really been reflecting on this week, it´s how the gospel truly brings us joy and happiness we can´t find anywhere else. I cannot express in words how grateful I am for the knowledge I have of this gospel and for all the ways I can see the hand of the Lord in my life. I´m grateful for this time to try to be the Lord´s hands here in Bebedouro. We met a man who was sitting on the sidewalk outside of his house. I felt like we needed to talk to him, so we started talking and found out that his wife died a month ago. We sat down on the sidewalk next to him, I cried with him, and we taught him about God´s plan for us; that we will see our loved ones again and that we can rely on Jesus Christ to help us through this time.
I really know that Jesus Christ suffered everything that we will feel. We truly can rely on Him always, but especially during our hard times and He will give us the strength that we need to continue on.
Sister Shipp

Monday, May 19, 2014

Another Great Week!

Has it really been another week already? It´s almost June! I´ll be hitting a year here before we know it!
This week was great :) We got a new Sister that is just starting her mission! Her name is Sister Sousa and she is from Fortaleza. My district is all from the Northeastern part of Brazil..... and then there´s me. It´s fun and I´m really getting the hang of Portuguese. My companion turned to me after I said a prayer last night and said, "Wow! When did you start speaking Portuguese so well? Who´s teaching you?" Life is good.
I´ve had a lot of thoughts go through my head this week. I was reminded of one of the emails Elder Valentine sent out a while ago about his mission; the mission really points out your weaknesses. This is so true and I´ve felt that a lot more this week. But I also know that the mission is the best place for me right now to perfect these weaknesses. I have so much more to learn on my mission and I´m determined to learn it all. The mission is so short and is passing by quickly, but the experiences I´m having here will help me for the rest of my life. Hard things really are necessary for us to grow, and WORK. The things that mean the most take effort. The work that we choose to do today will have long-lasting consequences. Maybe looking back, we can already see things we neglected in the past that if continued, would have made a big difference in our lives today. I found this article a month ago that I love. Here´s the link:
It´s directed towards the youth. It talks about gifts we can give to our future children that will mean more than things bought in a store, but they are things we need to start working on today. I know that the decisions we make each day to get up and better ourselves will not only be good for us, but will influence the lives of many, many others as well.
Sister Maryann Shipp

Monday, May 12, 2014

What a Wonderful Week :)

The beginning of my 7th transfer in the field and 3rd in Brazil. I just graduated from the 12 week program, again, but this time in Portuguese. The news? I get to stay in Bebedouro with Sister Soares! And Sister Jales is going to train. I'm praying for an American, but we´ll see today or tomorrow what we get.
Yesterday was so special. I showed up to church and found Jose Luis (the man who was baptized a month ago) in a suit for the first time. He went from regular clothes, to jeans, a white shirt and tie, to a full suit. He also blessed the sacrament for the first time. I almost cried. This is what this is all about; seeing people grow in the gospel. Seeing them progress. Seeing how Christ really changes people. Sister Jales and Sister Soares were asked to speak yesterday and we needed someone to give the Sunday School lesson, so guess who was the lucky one....... that´s right. Me. I had almost no time to prepare and I was so nervous. I had never given a long lesson by myself in Portuguese before. I prayed really hard. It went really well. I only struggled a few times and found a way to say what I wanted to.
And finally, talking with my family. We got to skype! It was so special. We were in Barbara and Ruthor´s house (Ruthor is Jose Luis´s son). I talked to my family for a while, slipped up and said some Portuguese words, and then each person got to talk a little with my family. Barbara spoke and I translated. She expressed grattitude to my family for letting me go on a mission and said how grateful she was to me for helping her father-in-law. Ruthor spoke in English saying thanks as well. And my companions said a few things as well. It was fun to translate. It was really special. This is what a mission is about. I'm so glad my family got to meet some of the people who are special to me right now.
That´s all I have time for. Looking forward to another transfer of miracles!
Love yall!

Sister Shipp

Monday, May 5, 2014

9 Months on a Mission :)

Hello, Everyone!
It was a really amazing week :) We had an unexpected transfer and so now Sister Soares and I have another companion, Sister Jales from Fortaleza! We´ve been living together for the past 2 trasfers and now we get to be companions for at least one more week until the end of the transfer. She is amazing and I´m so glad we get to work with her! She has the same amount of time as me in the mission, so we´ll be going home together in January. To celebrate, we took this 9 month picture with all the weight we´ve gained, hope you enjoy ;)
I am looking forward to talking to my family this week! I can´t believe it´s Mother´s Day already! Time is going so fast. My companions are practicing some English so they´ll be able to talk to my family too. :)
I have really been reflecting on studying the scriptures this week. How blessed we are to have The Book of Mormon and the Bible. I know that they are God´s word for us so we need to study them! I know something that has been helping me to study is asking myself "What can I learn from what I´m reading? How can I change as a result?" I know that the scriptures are a way that Heavenly Father will answer our prayers and also a source of strength for us. When we are regularly studying the scriptures, we will have more patience, we will be better and want to be better, and our faith and trust in God will increase.
I love yáll! I hope you have an amazing week.
Happy Mother´s Day!
Sister Shipp

Monday, April 28, 2014

9 Months on a Mission!

9 Months on a Mission!
I'm well! And over Dengue. Thank Goodness. From what I heard this week from people, it could have been a lot worse. I was only sick and out for 5 days. I know it's because of lots of prayers and a Priesthood blessing. I found out yesterday, that Jose Luis (our convert that was baptized almost a month ago) fasted for me last Monday. His first fast. He is the sweetest. I am so grateful for him! He has been helping me and is also helping our branch here in Bebedouro.
Okay, here I want to talk about Easter! and some things I've thought a lot about this week.
First. Please go watch this video. It is amazing. I didn't see it until Wednesday, but this is why we celebrated Easter. Do we really understand how amazing this is?
Because Jesus Christ was resurrected, each of us will be as well. I'd like to share a scripture for The Book of Mormon:

Alma 40:11-12,23
11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. 
12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into state of happiness, which is called paradise, state of rest, state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow. 
23 The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body;
yea, even hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.
I know each of us will be able to overcome death. And I know we will be able to see our loved ones again. How incredible. 2  Other Scriptures Id like to share! Isaiah 55:8-9 
For my athoughts are not byour thoughts, neither are yourcways my dwayssaith the Lord. 
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are myaways bhigher than your ways, and 
mcthoughts than your thoughts. Sometimes things don't happen the way we want them to. They even leave us questioning our faith and our understanding of things. But I know Heavenly Father can see the whole picture, and He will only do what is best for us. We just need to trust Him. And when we trust in Him, we have this promise.
Ether 12:4 
Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with asurety bhope for better world, yea, even
place at the right hand of God, whichchope cometh of dfaithmaketh an eanchor to the souls
of men,which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding infgood worksbeing led
to gglorify God.
When we have faith in God, we trust in Him. We trust that He has a better plan for us than we have for ourselves that extends beyond this life. We can wait for and expect a better world, peace and rest from our labors and worries.
I love you all! Have a wonderful week!
Sister Shipp