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