Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Feliz Navidad!

Hello all.   Merry Christmas!!  I'm sad I won't be able to celebrate with any of y'all this year but I am sure Christmas at the CCM will be fantastic!  I heard it's been snowing quite a bit in the states. It only gets cold enough here for a light jacket in the mornings. It will be weird not having a true winter this year.

NEWS: I got my flight stuff yesterday. I leave the CCM at 6am on Monday by bus to the Mexico city airport and catch a flight at nine in the morning. From there I will fly to PANAMA CITY, PANAMA and have a two hour layover. Then straight on to the Dominican Republic!  For those of you who don't know, I am terrified of airports. not the flying but the airport and security and stuff, but it will be great. I am super excited to get there and feel like a for real missionary. I will proabably be the only missionary on my flight 

This morning we had the opportunity to go to the Mexico City temple. It was an amazing experience. I wish I had more time to explain, but I don't.  It was so great.  It was a half hour bus ride through Mexico City and wow, they are some scary drivers. Also, I am so blessed to have grown up in the US. It's amazing to see the difference between the two places in the world.

Next time I send out a mass email it should be from the DR so thats super amazing. I am so excited!! Its going to be great!

If y'all get the chance please watch the video on lds.org that is the #asaviorisborn.  It is a really, really good video.

Thank you all for the letters and packages they make my day!

Last thing, I'm going to add some photos of the past week and the temple onto dropbox so look out for those.

 LOVE YOU ALL, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Hermana Shepherd

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Almost Christmas!

Hola! 

I am doing so great!  Next week is our last week in the CCM, so thats pretty sad. I don't want to leave. These people are so fun.  I didn't think a mission could be this fun, but last night I laughed for a solid hour. I'm gonna miss all these people so much. We are already planning a road trip for when we all get home. 

This past Sunday we had the oppertunity to tune in to the dedication of the Tijuana Mexico temple. It was so amazing.  I was so tired and almost fell asleep during the prayer which was no bueno, pero when we sang "The Spirit of God" for the closing himno the curtains were going crazy because of the ''wind.  When we finished and went outside there was no wind at all. Hermana Stockwell and I were saying that it was the angels trying to come in through the window.

I hope this all makes sense and I spelled most everything right.  I'm struggling with English more and more lately. We have been working on solo Espanol for the past week, so if we can say it in Spanish we have to.  It's helping quite a bit.

We started teaching each other in our district as investagadors, and its been quite fun.
The very beginng of each lesson is us trying not to giggle beause we are teaching the people in our class. 

I was asked three times today how my first day at the CCM is going and I'm like it was great, five weeks ago. People don't recognize us because we have the last time to eat every day. 

We are going to the temple on Wednesday, so I'm not sure if pday willl be then or Thursday. We'll see. Anyway, this week has been great. I dont have much because it's mostly the same stuff over and over again everyday.

I am so excited to get out into the field!

Love,
Hermana Shepherd

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hey Y'all

This week was fantastic!

I have been trying super hard this past week to always have the spirit with me so I can talk through it, and say what I need to in lessons and real life. It's been so great.  I have had a lot of experiences with it this week.

I had tons of experiences to share that were just amazing. 

First, I was in a lesson with our investagador who is actually our teacher, Hermano Cruz.  He was talking about how he hasn't received an answer to his prayers yet and out of nowhere I remembered this scripture that I read one time last week and I knew exactly where it was. How,  you may ask?  The holy ghost brought to my remembrance the things which I had studied.  So that was amazing. After the lesson Hermano Cruz said that he could see the light come on in my face when I realized I knew a perfect scripture for him.   We both were on the verge of crying because the spirit was so strong. That scripture btw is D&C 64:31 - 33. 

Another cool experience that I had was in testimony meeting on Sunday.  While the branch president was talking I felt impressed to open my scriptures. While I was looking at them I saw my tab for Words of Mormon and I thought, I need to read this right now so I read verse 6 and 7.  7 hit me so hard and the spirit told me share it now, so I got up IN TESTIMONY MEETING  and shared this scripture IN SPANISH to the people of my zone. The scripture is Words of Mormon verse 7. 

Funny thing. Yesterday I was talking with Hermano Cruz and he asked me what my favorite book was and I yelled ENOS, but he was actually talking about like non Book of Mormon books.  So that was pretty awkward.

Also, my spirit animal is officially a Fox so that is a thing now.

The food here is getting kinda boring. I eat like two donuts a day so that I can stop losing weight. They eat real spicy food here. 

So if y'all want, you can send emails to this email letter@mtcmexicocarepackage.com and I will get it in letter form the same day. I love it when I get things. It makes my day, so send things please. I don't care if it's something super boring its just nice getting things.

days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. 

SEND ME LETTERS TO THIS EMAIL PLZZZ letter@mtcmexicocarepackage.com

Love,
Hermana Shepherd






Thursday, December 3, 2015

Week 2

This week was so great.. I am starting to get Spanish really well. I am also starting to lose my English pretty fast. Sorry if this doesn't make sense. Yesterday I had real full conversations with two seperate Latinos and I understood everything. It felt so good.

On sunday, mi companera and I were called to be the sister training leaders for our zone, so we are basically the girl version of zone leaders. We are in charge of all of the hermanas and making sure that there aren't any problems with any of them. 

I have been really sick all week which sucks, but I'm getting better now and just have a bad cough. The rest of my district is sick as well.  I went to the doctor and he gave me some meds. 

I have lost ten pounds. My skirts dont fit well. Send food. HALP. haha jk. The food is okay, It's just mostly the same things everyday and it can be really spicy so I usually just eat bread

I don't really have much to report this week,  It's great here, I love it, I never want to leave. I have the best district ever and I am going to miss them like crazy when I leave.

Sorry I dont have more pictures, we are only allowed to take them on pday and Hermana Stockwell and I took a very much needed nap this morning.

I love you all and miss you so much!

-- 
Hermana Shepherd





The selfie stick picture: The Hispanic in the back is David, our teacher. We all have a low key crush on him. To the left of him is Eder Burnthorn, his comp is the front one holding the stick, Elder Shelton. The one to the back and left of Elder Shelton is Elder Bayton. his comp is the red head to the right of Elder Shelton. 
The girls from left to right :Hermana Stockwell, (my comp).  me, Hermana Pebbles and then Hermana Amos.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

First week CCM (MTC)

HOLA, so I have been at the CCM (MTC) for one week now and everything is awesome. the spirit is amazing here. Its so pretty in the little compound thing that we are in. It is kind of like a utopia. Think of the movie The Giver and their community and its basically like that with all missionaries

I taught my first lesson to and investagador on Friday all in Spanish and it went super well and the spirit was there. His name is David and we taught him five times and then we had to move on but he is getting baptized on the 15th!! lol jk. He is an actor. He will be our teacher but we arent supposed to know that. On our last lesson we were able to teach him without any notes and he said that he understood everything so that great. The gift of tounges is a real thing and I am for sure feeling it. In our last lesson with David I bore my testimony and the words just flew out of me (in Spanish) I was using words that I used years ago in high school that I didnt even remember I knew. it was so spiritual. wow. just wow. I love this gospel so much and it is so true.

Mi compaƱera is Hermana Stockwell. She is so cute. She also went to BYUI but we never actually saw each other there. She is serving her mission in California. We live with two other hermanas in our room in our casa. Their names are Hermana Pebbles y Hermana Amos. They are also super fun. I met Hermana Pebbles just minutes before we got on the plane to Mexico City. We were both so worried that we wouldn't find any other missionaries. So it was just us.

We have cinco Elders in our district along with us four Hermanas. they are Elders Brayton ( which sounds so close to Brittin I always look when someone says it), Elder Shelton, Elder Eager, Elder Stradling,  y Elder Burnthorn. They are so fun but I think they are starting to get annoyed with us laughing so much. Esta bien. I will try to attach some pictures that 
I took today but I still have to figure out how with this computer.so we will see. 

The food here is pretty okay. I feel a bit sick today but it will all be good soon. nbd. I am learning Spanish so quickly,  I can understand about 75% of the things people say to me and I can reply probaby 20 % of the time with real Spanish words and not just huh? I am seriously already forgetting English. I say things and I am like what? How do I English this sentence? 

Anyway, this place is great and I honestly never want to leave.


Love,
Hermana Shepherd












Thursday, November 19, 2015

Made it to Mexico!

I made it. Mexico is pretty scary to drive in but we are surrounded by huge walls so we are really safe. My p-day is Thursday so I can email you again then. There was only one Hermana with me for the second flight. I think we did all the visa stuff right. The campus here is beautiful. Everyone only speaks spanish to me so thats really hard. I only have like five minutes so I have to go.
Love you!! bye

Address for the Mexico MTC

Sister Shepherd
[29/12/15] [13A]
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal
Mexico

The use of the above address on all correspondence will greatly faciliate delivery to your missionary
at the MTC. Please don't send packages.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Farewelll

This past Sunday I gave my farewell in my homeward.A bunch of my family came to support me for the weekend as I got ready to leave. Thank you to them for driving a long way to support me. For my talk I wrote down about a five page paper. Once I got up to speak, I did not really read it. I just let the words flow out. Below is my five page talk that was the basis for what I actually said.

Brother Fowler asked me earlier this week to prepare a talk on how I’ve prepared to serve my mission. For those of you who did not know, I am leaving on a mission to the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo East Mission on November 18th. I know that this call was inspired by the Lord specifically for me and I am so excited to serve him for 18 months of my life.
First I would like to share my reason for deciding to go on a mission. As a kid in primary I never expected myself to make this decision. In my mind, only boys were commanded to go on missions so why should I go if I do not have to? I think in the end that’s what made it easier for me to decide to go on a mission. I was not doing it because I felt that I had to, but because I actually felt like I wanted to go. I wanted to teach others and help them come to know the truth of the gospel and the light that it can bring into their lives.
My senior year in high school, I was on the edge of not wanting to be part of this religion. I had too many questions that I felt weren’t answered enough and my testimony had dwindled. As the end of the year was approaching, I knew that I needed to figure out my problems before I left home. I started to study my scriptures and pray again. I stayed after in seminary and asked the questions that made me doubt my testimony. I learned that most of my doubts were only doubts because I did not fully understand the reasoning behind it, once I did I wanted to share it. I wanted everyone to know the solutions to my doubts so that they wouldn’t have them. I would like to compare this to a quote that I found in preach my gospel, “As your understanding of the atonement grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase. You will feel as Lehi did, the ‘great importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth.’” When Lehi partook of the fruit in the Vision of the Tree of Life what is the first thing he wanted to do? He wanted his family to come partake of it also. Like Lehi, I also want to share what I have found in my studies so that they can feel its happiness as well. I believe that serving a mission will help me to do so.
A couple weeks ago as I was walking out of the grocery store with my dad and we saw a couple walking to their car. My dad leaned over and asked me to picture what their lives were like. What their dreams were and their nightmares were. I laughed and said, “I don’t know, they are just people” Then he looked at me and explained, “They are children of our heavenly father. All they want, just like everyone else living this mortal experience, is to be happy.” As a missionary I hope to look at everyone not just as “people” but as a children of God. They all are looking for the truth that the gospel can give them and it is my job to reach out to them and help them find it.
For a long time I prayed a lot on the subject of a mission. I really wanted to go and felt like I should but I wanted a definite answer on whether or not it was the right thing for me to do. I would like to take a few minutes to testify on personal revelation and what I have learned about it though my experiences.
There have been several people in my life that have helped me move toward my decision to go on a mission. The first being my old Bishop, Bishop Miller. I remember one time that I was at his house for a BYC meeting and afterward he was talking to me about his daughter, Jenessa, who had just put in her mission papers. He then asked me if I had thought about going on a mission. At this point I was a fifteen year old girl who did not have any life plans past that next Friday. He urged me to think and pray about going on one. We talked for a while and one thing he told me has stuck with me for years, he said, “There are people out there that are meant to be taught by you specifically.”
About a year later I was with my dad helping our family friend, with some problems she was facing. She had been married once and then divorced later and she was now living alone. She was having difficulties with the thought that we had to be married in the temple or we wouldn’t be able to go to the highest level of the celestial kingdom. She didn’t understand why Heavenly Father would not let her in because she wasn’t married. As my father was explaining to her how she would someday have a chance to be married and sealed I could not get a scripture out of my head. The spirit was telling very strongly that I needed to share it with her, so I did. The scripture was 1st Nephi 3:7 which says, “… I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” After I had read this scripture the stress seemed to leave her and she understood. I testified to her that the Lord would not command her to be sealed in the temple if she would not be able to do it. Later that same visit she asked me if I were planning on serving a mission and I told her that I was undecided. Then she said the exact same thing that Bishop Miller said to me. “There are people out there that are meant to be taught by you specifically.” She then went on to say that, “if any other sisters knocked on my door that first time, I don’t know that I would have been baptized.”
Another amazing set of people that helped me decide whether or not to go on a mission are my Grandma and Grandpa Leavitt. I am so grateful for their service that they put in at their Oklahoma mission and I know how hard it was for them to go. They have been great examples to me, especially while I was living with them during the summer. It was very inspiring to walk past my grandpa and see him studying the scriptures every night and to be a part of their family prayer.
Self revelation can be found through many different ways and it is usually different for everyone in every situation. Revelation is more commonly found when one is keeping the commandments and is asking the right questions. To get revelation through the holy ghost effectively, we must be patient and reverent. In the general conference talk by Boyd K Packer, he explains, “The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear. It is described as a “still small voice.”  And while we speak of listening to the whisperings of the Spirit, most often one describes a spiritual prompting by saying, I had a feeling.” It is so important that we stay away from the things that will lead us away from being able to feel the presence of the holy ghost. If we do get distracted and the holy ghost does leave us for a time, we may miss out on some very important guidance.
Heavenly Father will not just give us revelation, we need to do some work on our part. When you have a question the first thing you need to do is ask. In the conference talk The Gift, the Test, and the Promise by Boyd K Packer he writes, “You have your agency, and inspiration does not flow unless you ask for it, or someone asks for you.” This is where the almightily important scripture in Mathew 7:7 comes into play, it says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” There is almost no way to receive personal revelation without asking our Heavenly Father to give it to us, and he will give it to us, but in his own time.
Recently, I have found that a more effective way of getting answers to specific questions can be by answering the question yourself and then asking heavenly father if you chose correctly. He gave us a brain for a reason and we should use it. We are smart and can make our own decisions, we just need him to help us know if they are the right ones.
Once we are given our revelation, we can choose to accept it or we can deny it, we have our agency. If we do choose to deny the feeling, the holy ghost will depart from us and we will not be able to feel him until we are in a state of mind that the holy ghost can reside in. The holy ghost is meant to be our guide and we must treat it that way, there have been many instances where people choose to ignore a warning given by the holy ghost and now have to deal with the consequences.
Revelation can come in countless forms. For me they came through other people saying words that they were prompted to say. I hope that I can continue to live the gospel in a way that the Lord can use my voice to give revelation to others.
I would like to thank you all for your support and help in getting me this far in my life. I would also like to thank my family for driving a long way to say goodbye, I love you guys. In closing I would just like to express my love for this gospel and the happiness that it brings me. I know that this church has been placed on the earth today for us to learn and be guided in our lives. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and the impact that it has on my decisions and I am very excited to share it with the people of the Dominican Republic. I know that serving a mission is the right thing for me to be doing right now and I urge those that are thinking about going to pray for an answer. I know that if we live the commandments given to us by our Heavenly Father that we will be truly happy and Satan will not be able to touch us.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I will be set apart tonight at 6:30 and from there I will leave to the Seattle airport and stay the night. My flight leaves at 5:10 in the morning tomorrow. I am so excited to get started on my mission and be able to serve the Lord for the next 18 months! 
If you would like to email me while I am away my email is brittin.shepherd@myldsmail.net.

HERMANA Shepherd. 


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Endowed

On Saturday the 19th of September I was able to go through the Seattle Washington Temple with my parents and take out my endowments. Wow. Looking back, I probably should have written this right after so that all the feelings were still with me but oh well. I will just start from the beginning.

A few weeks prior to going through the temple, I had my temple recommend interviews with my homeward bishop and the stake president. Can I just say that I am so grateful for my bishop and his care for me. I could listen to his wisdom for hours. Both bishop and the stake president gave me a little walk-through of what would happen in the temple during my interview, so that I wouldn't be too overwhelmed. It did help a little but I still wish that I would have taken some temple prep classes.

So the day of my Endowment my Parents and little brother, Tayson, drove over to Seattle and spent a while in Deseret book getting all the things I needed. then we Headed to the temple. My actual session started at 2 but we needed to be there a couple hours early so that I could have time to get ready and do Inititories. So my Mother and I went in and started that and my Dad took Tayson out to lunch and then met us later during the session. After a little my mom and I parted so that I could do intitories. the next time I saw her I walked into a little room where she was sitting and another girl with her mother was there. The room was so so beautiful and the second I saw my mom I started crying. We sat in that room for a little bit and talked to a very kind lady and were able to ask any questions that we had so far. Then we moved on into the session.

The second the session started, I felt clear and peaceful. The whole thing took about two hours and then we ended it all in the celestial room. Wow I have never been in such a pristine room in my life, everything was perfect. I do not remember having any questions, I just wanted to sit and feel the power that the temple had.

Once we were ready to leave my helper showed us to the dressing rooms and my mother and I parted again. On the way to my stall I passed by a mirror and glanced over. I took a double take and just stopped. I looked so beautiful and had never felt so amazing in my whole life. I was literally glowing.

Once we were back in our street clothes we met up with Tayson who was sitting in the car for entire session. Then we went around the temple and took some pictures.




The temple was 10/10, Would recommend

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC SANTO DOMINGO EAST MISSION: SPANISH SPEAKING.

Hey guys, I've decided that I will need a blog while I am on my mission so that everyone can keep track of me. In case you didn't know, I got my mission call today and I was able to open it with all of my close family members either on skype or over a phone call. It was such a blessing to have them there to support me during this nerve-wracking day. I had been waiting and waiting for my call for what seemed like months (it was only 23 days) and was ecstatic when it finally arrived this afternoon.

If any of you guys are planning to or want to serve a mission, AWESOME! But I do have a some advice for what little I have experienced with my upcoming mission. First, for girls, FINDING MISSION CLOTHES IS HARD. Especially if you aren't looking in the Salt Lake area. I got most of the things that I have so far from Seagull Book, Mikarose, Ross, and Target. (Mikarose is my fave, its in the university mall in Provo. It does a few things online, but be aware of the price BEFORE you fall in love with anything there.) If you are able, keep 95% of your shopping till after you have your call. There are probably a few items that I bought that will be wayyy too hot for the Caribbean. 

Second, be getting to know your way around the scriptures way before you even think about going on a mission. I feel like I know next to nothing about the gospel and I am kicking myself for not paying attention in seminary. Another thing that helps immensely, study the scriptures with a buddy every once in a while. It can help you find new insights that you probably wouldn't have thought of. Its great to study the scriptures but if you haven't read the Book of Mormon like you were reading a regular book I would strongly suggest that you do it. I feel that its easier to understand the story line when read as if it were harry potter or your favorite book. As a kid, my family never read together or learned the stories of the Book of Mormon and I still don't know them all too well.

 A third piece of my seemingly obvious advice is that before you open your call, like a half an hour before, go to your room ALONE and say a prayer out loud while kneeling before Lord. Then watch the conference talk by Ronald A. Rasband called "The Divine Call of a Missionary." It is a brilliant talk explaining the process of how the apostles are guided by inspiration to call you where the Lord wants you. After this, read your favorite talks, quotes, scriptures, whatever inspires you the most. Then go write in your journal. It could be about whatever you want, how you feel, where you think you are going, how many tacos you think you can eat? Really write anything. Then go open your call.

When I opened my call, I got about five words in before I got all chocked up and sounded like a dying seal. Then my eyes glanced just one line down to see the word Dominican and I laughed. All of my guesses where the opposite of the Dominican Republic but in that moment I felt that out of everywhere, I was meant to go there. I laughed because I had that Duh feeling that of course I was going there why didn't I think of that before? After I got enough of my voice under control, I was able to say out loud that I would be spending the next 18 months of my life in the DR. if you listen close enough to the video that I will somehow attach you can hear my mom squeak as I say it.

 Okay, back to the advice part: After all the chaos and tears from your mom, go write again in your journal. Remember that one that you wrote about tacos in, write in it again. Write your feelings on where your going, your first reaction, the spirit you felt.

For those of you that would like to see it here is a link to the video of me opening my call.

This link right here

I am going to try to post fairly often with interesting things that I find in my studies or maybe just general life. Now, I am off to look up the DR on google again because I'm not sure what to do next. 

Goodnight!