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

Monday, April 21, 2014

Adventures in Brazil!

The first trip to the doctor of the mission!
I've kind of been sick the whole week, but it really started Friday night/Saturday morning... midnight to be exact. I woke up with the worst headache of my life. Took Ibuprofen, didn't do anything... tossed and turned... my body really ached so I figured I had a fever too. I finally got back to sleep around 3:30 or 4. We went to the doctor/hospital (like an urgent care place I guess) in the morning. They took some blood and then we waited. They sent us back to the reception area to wait. I felt really weak. Sitting up has never been so hard. Sister Soares let me put my head on her bag in her lap. One of the nurses finally noticed and took us to a room with a couple beds. I slept for 2 hours there while we waited for the results. So I have something called Dengue, which is nowhere to be found in my dictionary. From what I can tell, its something that is carried by mosquitoes (I guess this is my wakeup call to be more dilligent with the bug spray). It's really common here. They gave me this really gross medicine for the pain and sent me off. I wasn't allowed to attend church yesterday because I'm really weak and not supposed to walk much. I totally forgot it was Easter until halfway through yesterday when I looked at my calendar. Happy Easter, y'all. We got some ice cream, chocolate, and juice that I have absolutely no apetite for whatsoever. Don't worry, I'm fine. I should be back to normal in a few days. One of the members brought some soup by that I can eat and my companion and the other Sisters in our house are taking care of me, making sure I eat, and doing lots more for me too.
What an adventure!
We have interviews with our mission president this week in Ribeirão Preto Wednesday and then Choir practice Thursday so I'll get to spend a chunk of the week chilling outside of our area. 
That's pretty much all that's happening here. Sorry for the short, pretty dry email. It's been quite the week. I'm just ready to crawl back into bed.
We really did have some fun at the doctor. People here love Americans. The doctor got to try out some english and the nurses too. There were asking lots of questions about how to say things.
Hope you all have a wonderful week!
Wish my mom a Happy Birthday this coming Sunday ;) I know she would appreciate that!

Much Love,
Sister Shipp

Monday, April 14, 2014

Peace that comes from God

The confirmation of Jose Luis was yesterday. It was so special! He is so great.

We got caught in the rain for the first time on Friday or Saturday. It started raining right when we got off the bus. Then it was pretty much pouring. I have an umbrella, but I don't carry it with me everyday because its just extra weight on my back! So we got really really wet. Like dripping. The other Sisters were home planning when we arrived. They got a pretty good laugh in.

We stopped to get some pastry things for dinner one night on the way home. We tried talking to the person selling us the food, but he didnt speak Portuguese... or English... only Chinese. It was pretty much impossible. Where's Elder Valentine when you need him? ;)

Otherwise, nothing way eventful happened this week. I am just really grateful for the gospel in my life. I am grateful for the peace it gives to me and others. We met a woman who has been through some really terrible things. At the beginning of the lesson, she was crying telling us God didn't love her. By the end, after talking about God's plan for us and what that really means, she was smiling and really recognizing the blessings she has in our lives. I know only the gospel has the power to really bring us peace in this life. Its not always going to take away our hard times, but it will give us the strength to endure. I read this morning in Mosiah 24 in The Book of Mormon (I think especially 9-15ish) about the Lord strengthening the people in their afflictions and then eventually taking the afflictions and freeing them. I love that. That's the pattern for our lives. Whatever trial we have, God will help us through it and we can feel peace in the midst of hard times. I know these things are true; I've definitely seen this pattern in my life and am so grateful for the help of the Lord.

Love yall :) I hope you have a blessed week!

Sister Shipp

Monday, April 7, 2014

My First Baptism



So the baptism of Jose Luis was Saturday. Can you say opposition? He got baptized in the middle of the 2 sessions of conference. We arranged with a member to bring their laptop so that I and Sister Jacoboski could connect to the wifi and watch conference in English. The member dropped off the laptop, we turned it on and... bam. We didn't have the password. We tried calling him for the first 30 min of conference without an answer. Finally we got the password and then we couldn't connect to the wifi. We tried for about an hour to get it going. Finally we gave up and I watched the last 30 minutes in Portuguese, not really retaining anything. I wanted to cry. I have never felt before in my life that I had needed conference as much as I felt coming up on this weekend. Then it was time to prepare for the baptism of Jose Luis. In our frenzy of trying to get conference working and the first baptism for my companion and I of our missions, someone forgot to start filling the font...............

So with buckets in hand, we frantically filled them in sinks and the hose outside to speed up the long process of filling the font. But it worked! And Jose Luis was baptized. During this time, someone came and fixed the satellite and hooked up a tv so I could watch conference in English. The Saturday afternoon conference was for me. I know it was. I am so grateful for the opportunity we had to listen to the words of the Prophet and Apostles. I'm looking forward to the Ensign so I can read the session I missed. I learned so much from conference. Elder Scott's talk was the one that hit me the hardest, but as well President Uchtdorf's address Sunday morning. He said that there really are no endings, only temporary interruptions. I know that's the case with Chelsea and I. Not an ending, but a temporary interruption and I will see her again soon. If you missed conference, go watch it. I know the Lord has words meant just for you. I know He had words for me, and I am so so so grateful for them:

I'm starting my 6th transfer! I'm staying in Bebedouro with Sister Soares. I know that I learned so much from serving in California, but I needed to learn a lot from Brazil as well. I think that one of the biggest things I am learning here is truly giving my time to the Lord. A lot more is required of me here and at first it was a struggle to give all that was required, but now I am learning to find joy in it. I know that when we truly give our will to the Lord, we find the most joy in our lives. It may be a struggle at first, but I know it is worth all the effort.

On a less serious note, I finally can kind of roll my r's. I literally screamed when it happened. My companion and Sister Jales just laughed at me. I still have a long way to go, but it is amazing how much I have learned.



Sister Shipp