Monday, May 15, 2017

Final mission thoughts

One week from today I will finish my mission.  This has been an experience that I will never forget.  Thank you to all those who have supported me during my time here.

I just want to share a small testimony of the reality of the gospel of Jesus Christ.   I know we have a father in heaven who loves us and cares what happens to us on a day to day basis.  He listens and answers our prayers no matter how small and simple they are.  I have felt his guidance daily in so many ways.  I know that we have a divine purpose here on this earth and we are here to learn and grow so one day we will have the opportunity to become like our heavenly father.

I know that Jesus was the only person that could atone for the sins of the world that by him and through him and of him we can be saved.  We can use his atonement in our lives and feel the load taken from our shoulders.  I know that the father talks to us through his prophets, and that Thomas S Monson is a prophet of god that is on the earth today, and he holds the keys to lead the church in these last days. 

As challenging as some of the days of  my mission have been I have really loved every minute of the time I have spent teaching and serving the people of the Dominican Republic.  I am so grateful for a wonderful Mission President and his wife.  They are truly called of god.  I feel like the lord has brought me here to the perfect place at the perfect time for me.  I have met so many people in my mission that will be my friends for eternity and I give thanks to my Heavenly Father.  Leaving will be bittersweet, but I feel like I accomplished what I came here to do.

See you all soon,
Love,
Hermana Shepherd

Monday, May 8, 2017

Special Transfers

We had special transfers this week. I am leaving soon and my companion is getting moved to the mission office at that time so in order for our area to not be doubled out (two new missionaries)  I am getting Hermana Rojas from Mexico as my companion. So for the next two weeks it is my job to introduce her to the area and all the people we have been working with.  Our area is huge. It is four areas put together, so it will be a challenge, but we can do it!

Other than that not much happened this week. We have been in the mission office quite alot  this week getting ready for this change and doing a few other errands.   It has been really nice working with Pres. Corbitt.  He is such a wonderful man and he and Sister Corbitt will be truly missed in this mission.  They will be released at the end of June.

Last but not least, we are working to get a couple people baptized before I go home.  

Its been an awesome week :)   It's going to be hard to leave the wonderful people of the Dominican Republic.  I will truly miss this place and the work!

Love you all, 
Hermana Shepherd

Just one of the many sisters I will miss.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Wonderful week!

This week was awesome. Leah got baptized! She is from the A Family. Her dad  Nefi is a less active, and her step mom Alicia is also investigating the church.   Alicia is the one who had a dream that the church was true. We are working right now to get them married so that she can get baptized and complete the family. So exciting!!

The opposition has been so hard this week. It poured rain every day and everyone sleeps when it rains so nobody wanted to see us.  We got soaked every day, but it was an adventure. We have been meeting with Alba. She is super cute. We know that the Lord loves us so much and during all the hardships we always see the miracles.

My comp Hermana Ferrer is super cute, and she speaks English perfectly. She is from Chile. 

Also something pretty sweet. Our district leader is from Nicaragua and he can't tell the difference between me and my Latina comp because my Spanish and accent are getting so good.  That was a pretty nice compliment for me!

Here are some pictures from Leah's baptism this past week.

Sorry this is short, I didn't have a lot of time.
Have a great week, Love you all!

Hermana Shepherd




Monday, April 10, 2017

Transfers!!

Wow!  So... this last transfer went by so fast. 
I am now on the final transfer of my mission, which means I will be leaving in 6 weeks!  Wow!!!  I am staying put for this last transfer but will get a new companion... Hermana Ferrer. I have never met her but I'm sure she is awesome!  She will join me as a Hermana leader in Nuevo Amanecer! 
I am doing awesome!  We we had the leaders meeting and I said goodbye to hermana Pancake.   She is super great and I hope to stay in touch with her. She goes home tomorrow.  We had the leaders meeting. The mission has changed so much since I have gotten here. It's been weird to start reflecting over my mission as a whole. I have changed so much
We had a tema with president the other day. We talked about how you can find Jesus everywhere in the scriptures. How the story about Joseph has a lot of symbols of Jesus and his life. Very cool. Read D&C 45 the very last 10 verses. So good. It has a lot in common with what is said in the story of Joseph.
Everything is great! Love you all!
Hermana Shepherd


Me, Hermana Pancake and Hermana Stewart


Nuevo Amanecer zone!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Conference was amazing!!


General Conference was amazing!  My favorite was the Sunday afternoon session, but really they were all so good!

I really liked the talk by Gary B. Sabin.   It was quite funny and had a good message. I don't have my notes with me so I invite you all to watch all of the conference talks. I am really excited to print some off next week when the become available. I hope you all enjoyed conference as much as I did and came away with some answers to your questions.

At the end of this conference I think we can all come away with three important concepts.
1. Who is our Heavenly Father?
2. How can I strengthen my testimony?
3. How can we help with the work?

I know that every word said in General Conference is the word of God and by living these principles taught, we can be made clean and worthy to live in the presence of our heavenly father again. I especially like the last question a lot.  How can we help with the work?  I have one way.  I would like to invite you all to make a goal to go to the temple at least one time every month.

Also, I have a super exciting invitation. This Easter the church has a really good video about Jesus. 
Here is the link

Share this with everyone with a testimony about our savior, Jesus Christ. You will be blessed and our lost bretheren around us will be blessed as well. Who knows, maybe through you they will be able to find the truth and happiness of God. 

l LOVE YOU ALL!
Hermana Shepherd

Monday, March 27, 2017

BANQUETE ESPIRITUAL

This week was awesome!!  We had 10 investagators in church yesterday and 8 less active people. We did a spiritual feast. We found the idea in the Liahona. We invited everyone to church.  Everything went perfectly, we had really good talks and the primary children sang.   It was adorable.

We are having so much success in our ward.  We had a baptism on Saturday!  Stiven.  He is 16 we finally got permission from his parents to baptize him. He has been going to church every week for 6 months. We are finding so many prepared people, I am so excited.

We had a really good zone conference this week also.  We talked about how repentance is a life long process and everytime we repent with sincerity, we become more like Christ.  I think I will write a little paper on it to explain. It has changed the way that we teach completely.  We don't want people to only stop sinning, but to reallly have a change of heart and feel the need to plead with the father for their sins to be forgiven. Oh man, I love it so much!

Overall, super great week. Thank you for all of the support, and a special shoutout to my mom.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

Love,
Hermana Shepherd





Monday, March 20, 2017

I met an apostle!!!

This week was super good!!

Monday: Hermana Birch got her ears pierced (I talked her into it) AND we had a lesson with the A family. The dad, Nefi, is less active and his wife Alicia and daughter Leah are not members but they have so much potential. We taught them on Monday.  There always  seems to be so much oposition when we teach them but we always end up seeing miracles, I will talk more about them on Thursday.

Tuesday: WE MET ELDER NEIL L ANDERSON!!!!!! I got to shake his hand and everything. He gave us a lot to think about. It was incredible to be in the same room as an apostle. He talked about how there are two things that every convert needs.
1. To have a love for the savior and experiences with repentance. He taught that the people we teach should love the savior so much that even when we aren't there they still get on their knees and pray. 
2.  To gain a love for the Book of Mormon. That they read it and are putting time in to receiving it's knowledge. Then he talked about how we need to apply these two things into all of our lives so that we become converts forever. 

Wednesday: We had exchanges. I went with hermana Pelico to her area. She is the one that I lived with for almost four transfers. She is so cute. Everything went well!

Thursday: We had a training meeting instead of the regular district meeting. Hermana Birch and I had to talk. We talked about how we can work better with recent converts and less actives. Then in the nightime we had an amazing lesson with the A Family. Nefi wasn't there but Alicia recieved her answer!  She had a dream that she was standing with us next to church and there was a few other people.  She said that one of us told her that this was the true church and then she felt a huge peace come over her!!!  YAY!!!  She is going to get baptized but first they have to get married legally. Also Leah has a baptism date for the 15 of April :)

Friday: was a struggle.... I felt so sick all day long. We were having trouble finding people to teach, so we said a prayer.  Then we began to walk and I thought "hey we should go see Frank." and Hermana Birch said "I dont remember how to get to his house" so we walked a couple steps and the spirit said, turn right. so we did.  Then we walked a few more steps and Hermana Birch said "thats it!!" So we knocked on their door.  The whole time I was thinking how great it would be if I had some ginger to help my stomach.  We said a prayer with them and right after the prayer the wife looks at me and says "do you want some hot chocolate?" and our jaws dropped. "OF COURSE OH MY GOSH THANK YOU SO MUCH" so Frank went to go make us hot cocoa and when he came back he said here you go, I also put a little bit of ginger in there for you" MY PRAYEER WAS ANSWERED SO SPECIFICALLY, MY FATHER IN HEAVEN LOVES ME:)  Such a great day. The lesson went really well as well :)

Saturday: We did a service project with the Relief Society. We went to a monestary and sang to some really old nuns. It was a good time.  

Sunday: MIGALINA CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!! YAAAAAAS!   We had a cosecha, where all the elders in our zone came and contacted in our area with members to help us find more people :)

Super good week!   I realized this week that I can't understand Hermana Birch when she talks in English now, only Spanish. She has to repeat herself like ten times in English and only one time in Spanish for me to understand. Haha!

Have a good week!
Love you all,
Hermana Shepherd


Monday, March 13, 2017

A super great week!

So this week was awesome. We had a couple miracles
First, we found Jessica. She is the sister of a recent convert who just left on her mission to Mexico. So now Jessica is opening up her heart to the teachings!   She came to church on Sunday and we asked her if she wanted to be baptized and she said YES!!  Her baptismal date is set for the 25th.
We also have a family that we are teaching, Family Baez. They are a couple who have three kids and one on the way. Their oldest is a special needs and he is so cute. He is fourteen and while we are teaching he goes up to his mom and says "te quiero" which is I love you, and then kisses her on the cheek. So cute! We have had to push back their date a few times because we are trying to get them married.  There are some problems with their papers. Hopefully we will have it by next Monday so they can be married and baptized on the 25th.
We also have a reference for a little boy who just turned 8.  He is the neighbor of a member. He went to the baptism of the members kid and now he wants to be baptized.   We will go look for him this week and see if we can put a baptism date with him. 
This week we also had a leaders meeting. Of course, they called me to do a little talk thing. So my companion and I talked about the question: How can reactivating and retaining members help us to have more and better baptisms? We, as a mission are working really hard to be able to reactivate and retain and baptize all at once. So this talk was very helpful for me too. We talked about the talk that Elder Utchdorf gave in the conference about Alma and Amulek. It talks about how they were less active but then became great missionaries. We did pretty well I guess!
I learned a lot.
The most exciting announcement I have is that ELDER NEIL L ANDERSON, THE APOSTLE, IS COMING HERE ON TUESDAY AND I AM GOING TO MEET HIM. I am very excited and I will take pictures.

Have a great week!  Love you all!
Hermana Shepherd


Monday, March 6, 2017

Templeee!!

This week was so great we went to the temple! Also I am in the same zone as sister Pelico. I lived with her for three and a half transfers so we are pretty close and now we are together again. She is from Guatemala. She is training a newbie from Brazil!  It's going to be such a fun transfer

We also went to the temple this week which was amazing. I recieved a lot of revelation. I love the temple so much. There is such a peace that you can feel there.

We have gotten a ton of references this week also. More than I ever have in my entire misiĆ³n. We are wokring so hard with the members!

George got confirmed yesterday! He even got up and shared his testimony about missionary work and how everyone should do it. We have a feeling he is going to help us a lot with the work. I am very surprised that he shared his testimony in front of more than 100 people. We are so proud of the progress that he is making

I love you all and miss you all so much! Have a wonderful week!

Hermana Shepherd







Monday, February 27, 2017

Hammocks and miracles

George was baptized! His story is truly a miracle. He received the missionary lessons through skype with his girlfriend from Texas. The elders taught them the lessons, we just placed the baptismal date. His baptism was the easiest I have ever had, the service was the most organized. He was literally a gift. He has a stutter and doesn't like to read or speak in public, so we had him share his testimony. A cool little miracle happened, as he shared his testimony his stutter disappeared! His girlfriend and six elders watched the service through skype. It was a pretty great moment. After the service, the elders, through George, sent us a message thanking us for our team work and for pushing them to baptism. I was super impressed with their humility, it's amazing how the Lord is doing His work all over the world.

Transfers!!! duh duh duh... Surprise! I'm staying here with Hna Birch. We were surprised that we aren't receiving other sisters, our area now includes three areas, Nuevo Amanecer a, b, and Amalia. Wahoo! With the thousands of people here, that means hundreds have to be prepared to hear the gospel. We are going to have a blast. Our ward switched stakes so we are no longer in Las Americas, now we belong to Almirante. We are still the Hna Leaders, just serving a bigger area now.

To top off the week, last Monday Hna Birch and I went to the Conde and bought... HAMMOCKS. We strung them up in our bedroom. They're great but really cold because we tied them to the bars of our windows. (Here in the DR every window and door is barred, instead of prisons to keep bad people in, everywhere looks like a prison to keep bad people out.)

Our theme of the week has been Ester 4:14-16. I love this scripture. Each of us has divine potential to be the change in the lives of others. Who knows if we have been called at this time? The Lord knows! and He is the one who calls us. He places us in the lives of others in the moments when they most need us, because we have what they are searching for. The truth. The gospel. So share it! Share your testimony this fast Sunday. Share a mormon message online, invite a friend to church. Look for small ways to make a big difference and share the gospel this week. I love you all so much! Thanks for all the prayers! Have a great week!

Love you all,
Hna Shepherd







Monday, February 6, 2017

Playing catch up

We have been so busy that I am behind on posting for a couple of weeks so I am trying to catch up :)

Jan 23-27 Letter

This week was great.  On Saturday we had two baptisms.  The first was Giovanni.  I have been working with him since I got to this area 5 months ago, and finally on Saturday he was baptized.   He was sooo happy and I was surprised because his mom even came to the baptism.  He doesn't have very good circumstances in his home.  His mom works all the time and always seemed very uninterested and his step dad is not nice to him.  Giovanni has wanted to be baptized since the first time we talked to him and his mom finally gave him permission.  She was very happy at the baptism, I know the spirit touched her while she was there.  After the baptism Giovanni, his mom and his little brother were playing basketball together when we walked by.  It was the cutest thing ever!

The other baptism was for Roberta.  She is great, and her mom also is working toward baptism so I am excited for that. 

We received transfers on Saturday night though.  So I will be leaving this area, but not to far.  I will be in an area that borders this one called Nuevo Amanacer.  I will be comps with Hermana Birch.  She is also a sister training leader so it will be nice to be comps with her and not have to make phone calls to each other to get our work done.  I am super excited about this new area.  I have already done intercombios in this area and I love it!

Jan 30 - Feb 6 Letter

My first week in Nuevo Amanacer was awesome.  Things are going well.  We have alot of people to teach here.  We have a goal to find and baptize three families this month.  We found one family already, well the other sisters did before I got here.   The story of how they found them is very cool.  They were looking for an old investigator in an apartment building but he wasn't there, so they decided to contact the entire building.   Nobody wanted to let them in until they got to the fourth floor last door (just like in Elder Uchtdorfs talk)  and they found the S. family.  They are a wonderful young couple.  They have a baptismal date for the 25th and we are working on their papers to get them married before then.  They are so ready and already have such big testimonies of this gospel.  

We have also found a few other families who have potential.  Things are going good. I am so happy to be in the service of my heavenly father!
Have a wonderful week everyone.

Love Hermana Shepherd







Monday, January 16, 2017

Miracles great and small

This week was so good!  We have been working really hard.  We received our transfers and my companion and I are staying together until February 1st, and then we will have some sort of emergency transfer for the sisters.  President received a revelation that we should all stay put until February.   I am not sure why, but I am good with this because I have some baptisms that I don't want to miss.

Two really cool things happened this week:

Miracle #1 - 
We went to teach Sylvia.  She is a less active due to her health.  She has some sort of disease in her lungs which make it hard for her to get alot of oxygen.  She is very strong though.  We visit her once or twice a week.  We went this past Saturday and I told her that we were having transfers and it was very likely that I would be leaving the area.  She got really sad and said "they always take them when we get really close."  Then she thanked me for everything and reminded me of a time when she was really sick and hooked up to her oxygen tank and we showed up.  She said she hadn't slept for days due to coughing and pain, but that night we showed up and shared a scripture with her.  Lucas 22, when Christ was atoning for our sins.  In that scripture in says that an angel appeared to strengthen him. Then we told her that she had angels around her and she looked hard enough she could see them. She explained that we were her angels who had appeared to strengthen her in her time of need.  She said that after we left she was able to sleep peacefully for the first time in days. I left her house crying.  I was the answer to her prayer.  I am so glad I was able to be a tender mercy in someones life.

Miracle #2 of this week -
I went to the doctor and got an ultrasound to see if the nodule on my thyroid had grown.  At the end of the ultrasound the tech asked me why I was there and I told her that I needed to know if the nodule on my thyroid had grown and she said she could not find a nodule!!  So, in the course of time my nodule has reabsorbed into my thyroid and it's gone!!!  YAASSS!!  On top of that I have been feeling great.

On Wednesday I will complete 14 months in the mission.  Can you believe it!!

Love you all, 
Hermana Shepherd

This is Tammi, I just wanted to share a special email that Brittin received from her mission president.

Dear Hermana Shepherd,

I just have to tell you what a wonderful, bright light I see and feel shining from you these days! Congratulations! You are so positive and powerful and confident and full of faith, and it is amazing to see. Hermana Corbitt told me how you exercised faith to be healed through a priesthood blessing and you were! Of course you were! You have tapped into (and are tapping into) that exceptional, exceedingly great faith you also possessed in the premortal world and you are bringing it to bear here and now - for your own health and happiness, for your investigators.

Thank you, thank you. I'm so glad you are in that zone where there are so many sisters who can benefit from your goodness and your faith. Keep up the good work.

The Lord continue to keep you and bless you, dear friend!

Pte Corbitt




Monday, January 9, 2017

Amazing week

Holy cow this week was amazing. On Tuesday I had exchanges with Hermana Jovel.  She is so cute and sweet.  In our mission they made a rule that we cannot wear backpacks now so I decided to wear my hip bag to be obedient.  I couldn't walk that night because my hips hurt so bad and they still hurt the next day.  The struggles!

Anyway, we had a meeting with the Stake President and President Corbitt.  It was a great meeting.  After the meeting President Corbitt gave us a ride home.  On the way home I asked for his permission to let us baptize Fany even though she had only attended church 2 times and they are supposed to attend 3 before baptism.  He was thrilled that she was wanting to be baptized and gave his blessing.  He had met her the week before when we took her to the temple and he knew she was ready.  So on Saturday we baptized Fany, her daughter Shantel and her son Emmanuel.  I have never in my life felt the spirit more strongly than at that baptism.  Everything went perfectly.  Hermana Castillo (my old companion) even got to come.  Fany was so prepared and has such a strong testimony already it is amazing.
They were confirmed on Sunday.  In Shantals blessing she was told that she would help many people come into the gospel, and Emmanuals said that he will prepare to go on a mission.  I feel so grateful to be part of this chain, and for the knowledge that just from my mission  generations can come unto the knowledge of the truth.  We have already received  a few references from people who have baptism dates.   I am so happy, my joy is full!   When we met with them after church on Sunday Shantal was already talking about how excited she is to go to seminary.  This family is so converted to the gospel and so ready. 
I am so blessed to see the miracles and the changes that these people go through to be an instrument in the hands of the lord.  I love this work and the happiness it brings to me.  I recommend to everyone to serve a mission.  There are things that I have learned here that I never could at home.  I would not trade this experience for anything.

D&C 88:77 - "and I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom."

Fany and her children