Monday, August 25, 2014

A big "Hello!" From Sister Whipple!

Hi everyone :)
This has been a TERRIBLE WEEK!!! Just kidding it was good but kinda hard :) We said goodbye to Sister Kimball (she has finished her mission and is going home) and also Sister Helena (shes being transferred to Cuiaba) so now its just Sister Tomaz and I in the house and its super lonely but I'm so grateful that I have Sister Tomaz! She is so great and I love her so much! For the last two weeks of this transfer we will be covering our own area and the area of the other sisters, keeping up with all of our investigators and members along with theirs, it will be crazy but it will go by fast :) At the end of this transfer Two more sisters will come here. The assistants told us that I would be made senior companion.... Which means ill ether be training a new missionary or will be put with a missionary who has less time than I  do. I'm super nervous but it should be fun. but the good news is ill be staying in LUCAS!!! I love this town and this branch, the people here are amazing! When the branch found out that we would be covering the two areas you could kind of tell they were a little nervous but they told us that they have faith in us! and that they are here to help if we need anything! They also offered to go on divisions with us and to show us where certain people live and what they need. How amazing! I love my mission :) 
Sister Tomaz and i had a really cool experience the other day :) yesterday when we said goodbye to the other sisters and they left, we were left alone in the house and it super sad and lonely. We got ready to go out and work knowing that when we would come back that night we would be coming home to an empty house. So feeling discouraged, and sad we said a prayer together asking for comfort and guidance in our work. When we opened our eyes I white dove flew down and landed about 5 feet away from us. Remembering the symbolism of the white dove we felt the love of god and the presence of the spirit in our lives. It was a moment of true peace and comfort :) I love this work and I love this gospel. I know its true :) I know god loves me and wants me to be happy :) Well that's all for this week :) Love you all and thank you for everything! Love Shelby

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hello family!

Well hello everyone,
Its been a great week :) Sister Tomaz and I are having a great time together and working hard! we have seen so many miracles already and i am ever grateful to Heavenly Father and his love for all of us :) This week I went on my last division with Sister Kimball and it was super great. It was our last because shes going home on Sunday! Wow! Time goes by so fast! She is having a hard time with it but shes super excited to see her family! :) Were going to miss her so much and I know that many tears will be shed this week, but such is life, people come and go but we know that well all see each other in heaven! yay :) Isn't Heavenly Fathers Plan perfect?
Anyway my division with sister Kimball was fantastic. We contacted a lady and taught her the restoration. When we finished we asked her to pray and she started crying and told us everything that she is going through in her life. It made me take a step back and look at my life and how good I really have it. My life is a cake walk compared to hers. I'm always amazed at the people I get to meet and talk to and the strength that they have. Its even more amazing to see the gospel and atonement of Jesus Christ work in their lives. As a missionary I have seen people in their darkest hours I have seen the sadness and I'm so grateful to have a front row seat when the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ descends on them and lifts them up. I know this church is true. I know God loves each and every one of us. I know he has a plan for us. I'm so grateful to be doing his work. To be working right along side God is such a humbling experience because you realize that you really are nothing compared to him and that he really doesn't need you at all. but he uses me because he knows how much I need it and how much I'm going to grow and learn. Heavenly Fathers plan really is perfect. There is a quote that I really like and it goes like this, Compare to God we are nothing, But to God we are everything.
Sister Tomaz and I also had another really cool experience. Last Monday a lady came to our house to make sure everything was up to health code and stuff like that and we got to talking to her. she is a really cool lady and when we asked about her religious background she said she is very active in the catholic church. I had the feeling that we should invite her to hear the lessons but I felt uncomfortable because of her religious background and didn't follow the prompting. Yesterday Sister tomaz and I were knocking doors trying to find a guy that we had contacted a couple of days earlier and we knocked a house and who came out to greet us? the same lady! I knew we needed to teach her because what are the chances of meeting her again? So we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The spirit was so strong and she cried all the way through the lesson. We have an appointment to go back next week. Wow. Heavenly Father knows his Children and he knows what they need and when they need it. Also another thing that was super cool, this lady has a parrot and it talked to us!!! wow! haha :) Well everyone, thank you so much for the prayers and the emails and letters! I love you! love Shelby

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hello Everyone!

Well Hello everyone :)
Another week has flown by... I cant believe how fast its going by! Its so true... the secret to being happy on your mission is hard work! When you give everything to the lord, he gives back so much more. This week has been great :) We had a zone conference in Sorriso and got to ride on a charter bus for six hours and didn't get home until one in the morning. But it was worth it! I love zone meeting because you get to talk to other missionaries and get advise and training from your zone leader! Woohoo! :) Sister Tomaz and I are doing great :) She is still amazing and we add to our collection of inside jokes everyday :) Most of them consist of my failed attempts to speak Portuguese :) But don't worry everyone I understand people and I have the vocabulary of a three year old so its all good :) If were talking about the gospel I can keep up a pretty good conversation :) haha The lord has continued to bless me everyday, in the language and in the work as well :) I'm loving my mission more and more each day. One experience that was kind of cool was yesterday we went to pick up one of our investigators for church and her house was dark and all the windows were shut, but we knocked anyway and nobody answered so we knocked again and still nothing. So Sister Tomaz gestured for us to leave (because neither one of us like breaking down the door) but I got the feeling that we needed to try harder so I knocked again... still nothing. So we knocked again and Sister Tomaz yelled her name... still nothing, by this time Sister Tomaz and I were feeling a little bit embarrassed but I still had the feeling that we needed to keep trying so we knocked again and yelled her name... and guess what She came to the door! and what's even more cool is she didn't yell at us for waking her up but instead she thanked us for being diligent because she was really excited to go to church! (whoohoo!) We were able to take her and her daughter to church with us and they loved it! I know when we follow the promptings of the spirit and try our very hardest the lord will bless us :) We have been so blessed this transfer and have been able to teach so many people :) Another cool thing that happened this week... A member in our branch gave us a referral to visit her friend who lives in our area but she didn't know the address, so she gave us her phone number but at the moment we don't have a phone... so the past week we have been trying to figure out a way to contact her but haven't been able to but then on Sunday the member came up to us and thanked us for visiting her friend and told us that she loves our visits....we were a little confused and told her that we hadn't contacted her friend yet but she insisted that we had... we contained to talk and we figured out her friend is already one of our investigators and we didn't even know it! We figured out that a week earlier sister Tomaz had the feeling to knock on a door and we did, when the woman answered the door she invited us right in and we taught the first lesson and she loved it, it turns out that that woman was the contact that the member gave us. It was so cool to see that the lord helped us with what we needed and even more Sister Tomaz followed the prompting that she had to knock on the door :) Well everyone :) Thank you and I love you all! Love Shelby

I am alive!

Alrighty everyone calm down, no need to be alarmed :)
The good news is I'm alive, the bad news...... haha just kidding ;) Yesterday the Internet cafe place where we always go to email our families lost its Internet connection and had to close so that's why only three of you received an email from me, but its ok you can dry your eyes because... SURPRISE you get one on Tuesday! whoohoo! Well its been another fantastic week in Lucas. I have my new companion and she is FANTASTIC!! She is so patient and loving, she loves to joke around and have fun but she is also a hard worker, what a great combination :) Her name is Sister Tomaz and she is also from the northern part of Brazil, and she has a pretty thick accent and talks about a million miles per hour but its ok because its helping me to learn even more Portuguese! She was baptised into the church when she was 17 in 2010 so she only has about 5 years in the church. (those of you who know Aunt Haley, Sister Tomaz is the Brazilian form of Aunt Haley! I'M SO LUCKY!!!:) :) :) ) We are pretty much opening a new area because the new elders in Lucas took over my old area and now Sister Tomaz and I are taking over a part of the other sisters area. Our area has a lot of rich people in it so we have been searching out the people who will listen to us. We have spent a good part of the week contacting and teaching new people to find new investigators its been hectic but rewarding:) Also this week was the birthday of Lucas do Rio Verde so they have been having a giant fiesta for the past five days two streets down from our house. Its great because we go to sleep to the sound of fireworks, really loud music and screaming people and wake up to a deserted city with trash, shoes and blood littering the streets. (Brazilians tend to party hard ) and so its kind of hard to find people to teach but this week it should settle down a little bit. Tomorrow we are taking a three hour bus ride for Sorriso for zone meeting so that should be fun. The branch here in Lucas is incredible and has best member missionaries Ive ever seen, I want to spend my whole mission here! However what ever situation I'm put in, I know it will be whats best for me. Ive already learned so much and have become even stronger. I know Heavenly Father loves me and loves this people, he helps me everyday. I know this gospel changes lives and brings peace and happiness. I love my mission! Well That's all for this week :) I love you all and I'm so thankful for your emails thoughts and prayers! Love Shelby

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Sister missionary's!

Shelby with other sister missionary's and sister Reber.