Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Grandma, I love you.

Dad called me to let me know that Grandma just passed away.
Sweet, dear Grandma Burton. And the aches that came to my heart started pulling me apart. The heaving sobs and lots of tears.
I wasn’t really even crying for Grandma, though. I’m crying for those she’s left behind. Grandma is in a better place, and that I know. She is finally healthy. She must feel light and free.
But on hearing of her passing, it makes me think more of my dear Grandpa. Grandpa Burton, who has been taking such careful care of Grandma for years. I’m crying as I think of his love and devotion to her. How he tenderly made homemade broth from veggies, so that Grandma could have something to eat and keep down. Of the pain he’s felt seeing her get older, and struggle more and more. I recently had an interview with Grandpa for a class. He told me about meeting Grandma, and about all the times they’d go dancing at church and school dances. The live band playing classy music, and he dancing with the girl he loved. It must be crazy looking back on time. In the moment you are young and in love. You know the path of life, but you have no idea of what is to come. You struggle as you barely scrape by. Working 2 or 3 jobs each while juggling three young children too. And then you get a little older, getting better financially, but wishing you’d done a bit more while you could. More trips with the kids, more time with the family. It takes them growing up to realize what you wish you had done.
But I hope Grandpa has no regrets when he thinks of his love for Grandma. When I think of her, I can’t help but think of him always caring for her at her side. As Grandma has struggled these last years, they have both taught me about love. They have taught me the ripe beauty of love as it ages. That it doesn’t spoil after a few years, but how deep it can become. That while beautiful when it blooms, it only gets sweeter and more tender as it ripens.
And so I’m so grateful for my grandparents. I’m grateful that Grandpa has cared for Grandma every day, and I know that he made her passage into heaven all the more beautiful. I know that she is waiting for him there.
I can feel that more than anything else. That she loves him. That it is now her turn to care for, love, and tenderly comfort him in struggling times. Even if he’ll no longer see her, I have no doubt that Grandma will never cease to care for him.

I have to admit, though, that the crying did turn into a selfish cry as well. It did turn into pain and pity, as I realized all the conversations we haven’t had. It takes her passing to realize the moments I’ve missed out on, and I cry realizing that I missed so many chances. I think of all the wisdom she has, of all she’s lived and experienced past my short 20 years. I think of all she would teach me if I had asked a few more questions.
In a thirty-minute interview with Grandpa, I was taught things I needed to know. Thirty minutes of questions I may have never otherwise asked. It’s amazing how fast my generation wants to go. How quickly we can fly by without stopping to learn from those who have lived through it all. We go about thinking we know everything. Obsessed with our expert knowledge of electronics and “modern society”.
But what do we know? What do we know of life? Of People? Of the future? If anyone knows of the future, it’s probably those who have lived their own. I’m turned around full circle to realize how much time I wish I had spent talking with Grandma. How much time I want to spend with Grandpa. How many wonderful people I can learn such valuable lessons from.
Grandma, I love you. Thank you for helping me improve my perspective today. Thank you for teaching me one more thing on the day of your passing today.
Tell the others I love them. Give them all hugs for me.  Tell your parents, your family. Tell my Grandma and Grandpa Shelley. Please send my love to Heaven, and most especially to the one who’s been waiting for you to come home. Send my love to our Savior, to Heavenly Father, and to Mother.

I know that you’re with them. I can feel that spirit now. That while you’re with them, you’re with us just as strongly as before. Maybe more now, because your love can come directly into our hearts.

Friday, March 30, 2018

For those afraid to go.

Today marks one year of being home from my mission. It’s a mixture of emotions. I love my mission. I am so grateful for the miracles and blessings I experienced during those 18 months. And it’s also interesting to see where things go a year later. It definitely allows for some introspection and reevaluation… makes me think how we can always move forward and progress, even without scheduled goal-planning and personal evaluation. We can always move forward :) But in honor of the occasion, I thought I’d share just a bit about my mission. And try to help those out who may be fearing their decision to go.
Once there was a shy, quiet girl. She loved the Lord and wanted to be a missionary but was unsure of herself. She felt inadequate. She was too reserved to go and talk with hundreds of people. She was afraid to leave. But the prompting came, the circumstances were right, and I am so grateful that she decided to go. I will never regret that decision, but will look back EVERY DAY, so grateful that my Heavenly Father knew what was right for me, and that he led me on that path.

Words cannot begin to describe my love for my mission. I cannot begin to say or even understand the profound impact those 18 months have had on my life. But I know that there must be tons of would-be missionaries out there who are struggling with the same doubts and worries as I did. For whatever reason it may be, God has asked some to go who are now standing back in fear, discouragement, inadequacy… but here’s my little call to those who have felt the prompting to go and are now brushing it away. Or maybe to those who don’t want to ask- who want to stay in that comfortable place of not going, so don’t even ask him if it’s right.  But here’s the thing about missions.
I won’t downplay the fact that it is the hardest thing I have ever done. Missionaries will tell you that it’s hard. Blistering heat, bone-freezing cold, giant bugs, biting dogs, yelling, threats, you name it. Every missionary has their horror stories to tell. On her first day in Canada, my poor companion and I got told off by a nasty Quebecois woman, threatening she’d call the police if we ever came back to her doorstep (after I had gone on and on about the sweet friend of ours who lived there).  I have fond memories of walking in the sub-zero climate of Quebec, while our nostrils froze shut and our toes went numb. Braving the tempête while the wind howled around us, and the snow fell so quickly that we could hardly see the road in front of us. But the hardest part of it all was also what made everything the most meaningful.
The people. I have a funny relationship with the people of Quebec. I can say I’ve seen their quirks, and they have their weaknesses as sure as I have mine. But I have never felt such an overwhelming love for any other people than I do for those people of Quebec. With their strong sense of nationalism for their province and their accent, they are also home to such a variety of people. You have your traditional “Quebecois”, but you also have your Hispanic friends, the Africans, the Middle Easterns, the French. I love that Quebec is not made up of purely “Quebecois”, but of people from everywhere. And there is something to learn from every single one of them.

My best friends came from those 18 months in Quebec. Some of them Canadian- some from way up North in Gaspésie, while others were from the south shore of Montreal or Quebec City, others from different provinces. Some from Cameroon, others from Bosnia. Wherever we came from, I know that God knew that we needed to cross paths. That while I we could hardly communicate, I needed to become best friends with the sad man from Bosnia. I needed to learn from the sweet old man who’d been smoking since twelve. The energetic family who needed the healing of Christ’s gospel. The affectionate woman who’d been abused and broken all her life.

Seeing the life of the people I loved so much, seeing them make the decisions that would only bring them more sadness, these were the hardest moments of my mission. That moment when he said he wouldn’t make the change. The moment we found out she’d been smoking again. The day he was in the hospital for another overdose. These moments tore out my heart. Moments with people whom I’d have never met if I hadn’t decided to come. Our lives would have never crossed paths if it weren’t for the divine design of our Heavenly Father. I didn’t know that stopping the sweaty man on his bike would lead to an answer to his and our prayers. I didn’t know that swallowing fear to talk to the uninterested couple would lead to one of the sweetest relationships I’d ever had. I didn’t know how much my Heavenly Father had in store.
Yes it was painful. It was painful when we’d drive home after a day of “no’s”. Painful when we’d learn that our friend whom we loved so much was struggling again. That pain would tear your heart out. Make you ache inside.

But it wasn’t pain from anything physically done to you. It was pain because you loved them so much. It gave me just the smallest glimpse of the pain our Father feels when he sees us do wrong. It gave me just the smallest glimpse of his love for all of his children.
If I learned anything on my mission, it was of my Father’s love. I learned to work hard. I learned to push myself. To overcome my shyness. To speak out. To talk with everyone. To keep singing and smiling. To be myself. But feeling and understanding and knowing that his love is REAL was the most important. For me, that was something I believed before I left. But it was something that I didn’t really know until I had served as one of his missionaries. It wasn’t something I had felt until I served by his side.
I have felt my Father’s love more than anything else. I feel so blessed to have piece of that love for his children in Quebec.
So anyways. There’s just one piece of what he can give you if you follow that prompting. I know there’s a right for everyone, and you have to do what’s right for you. But I don’t think those 18 months of learning could have been made up any other way. I am eternally grateful that my Heavenly Father loves me enough to tell me what’s right for me.
So of course, ask him and do what the spirit prompts. But if you’re on the fence. If you’re starting to doubt if you can really do it, or if God would really prompt you… know that it will be hard, but so full of love that you just might get so overwhelmed you never want to return home. God prompted YOU to come. So he wants you. No less than the seemingly perfect pre-missionaries you see on Instagram. He knows who you are, and he knows were his children are. He knows who he needs you to befriend, who needs your experiences, who you need to become. And only he can send you in the place and people catered perfectly to your needs.
I am so grateful that God allowed me, young, immature and unqualified as I am, to serve as one of his servants. I am grateful that he calls all of us to be his servants, to be instruments in his hands… regardless of whether we wear the badge or not, we can all keep his name on our hearts.

Paint it on and never let it fade! And if you get the chance, give the name tag a try. Those 18 months/2 years will fly by faster than you’d ever dream and all you’ll have to look back with is GRATITUDE. :)
There are some amazing people in the world. People all over who are waiting to be your best friend. Whether or not you decide to serve as a full-time missionary. Serve as a DISCIPLE. Find those friends your Heavenly Father has waiting for you. It doesn't matter where we come from or what language we speak. I think we'll find that we have a lot more in common than we think. :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


While driving home from Bountiful last week, Carter and I got on a lovely debate between science and art. Why have art when you can have hard, concrete science? Why have something so loose, something you can interpret in so many different ways, when science can give you concrete, resolute evidence? When looking at a society, Carter says, look at their scientific achievement. That reflects who they are and who they have become across time. (Carter is concrete, scientific, mathematical. I come from a family of artists... so we don’t always see eye to eye when it comes to art 😉). But here’s my little argument for art.
Art may not be concrete. Two people depict the same city, story, or person in entirely different ways.  One may be nearly a perfect likeness, fooling the viewer to think it could be a photograph, while others are so stylized that the abstracted image is hardly recognizable. Why have such an imprecise art? Why not do science, where we can repeat experiments over and over to get the same results?
Because when we’re looking at people and cultures, there isn’t consistency of results. Yes, we have scientific laws. You through a ball up and it will come back down at a specific speed and velocity. We have mathematical laws where 2+2 will always equal 4. But if you ask two people to paint the experience, you will get two different perspectives.
One person may paint New York City as a flourishing spot of creativity, a place of excitement and adventure. Another may see it as filthy, loud, and polluted. Neither of these is wrong or inconsistent with reality. And that is what is so beautiful about art… it allows us to see into another’s reality. It gives a world of different perspectives.
Textbook information is no doubt useful. Reading about the history, seeing a map and pictures of the city may give us a decent understanding. But reality is much deeper than what the text book can tell us. Science can tell us how the forest grows, how energy is produced in photosynthesis, how the animals and the plant life work together. But it can’t tell the feeling as you stand in the middle of the forest- the curious way the light reflects through the trees, the spectacular shivering of the trees and the singing of the birds. But art makes an attempt to reflect this feeling. This is why I love the Impressionist movement. This movement began the road towards art that CAPTURED something. Something that a photograph alone couldn’t capture. They captured the light, the movement, the feeling around them at a specific and fleeting moment.

And no two renditions will be the same. Even if done at the same moment. No two people will see the subject in the exact same way.
A few years back, I realized how powerful art is in communicating across languages and cultures. There are many forms of art, some of them requiring words, others not. I love writing and literature, I love music. But sometimes words can be limiting. Not all can understand what is being communicated. But when words are left out, art speaks through what we see- something that is consistent across all cultures. I can study paintings by Albrecht Durer, and while I don’t speak any German, I can learn about who he was and the world he lived in. Art speaks a powerful language that is communicated across cultures and languages. It gives us the opportunity to understand just a bit more, to see the tiniest view from their perspective. It may not give us a perfect understanding of the times, culture, and experiences of the artist, but it gives something more than reading about it. What can give a more accurate portrayal of his view than his own rendition of that view?

Art expands our understanding of humanity, allowing us to realize that no one sees things quite the same way we do. No one sees it quite like I do.
Art reflects the history of man, both his beliefs and discoveries blended into a representation of who he and his society has become. While scientific discovery, and the history of that discovery may reflect his intellectual advancement, and the evolution of his society, art can reflect the EFFECTS and the POWER of that evolution. How it affects real people and their view on the world. How they view each other differently because of these circumstances.
Learning about history through art has increased my understanding and appreciation for history. It has helped me to understand who people are. Last semester I took a Northern Renaissance art history class. I realized how devoted to God and Christ these people were. I was enormously touched by their desire to become like Christ and pursue a likeness to him. I was profoundly struck by the powerful ways they demonstrated this devotion, and how they taught of Christ through their art. In history classes and such, I have always felt religious devotion during the time was purely political, and maybe much of it was. But seeing the devoted portrayals of some of these artists helped me to realize the religious devotion of many people during the time. They held some profound religious thought that even affected my perspective of Christ. Art helps us to better understand and LEARN from the people around us, but also those who lived centuries before us. It connects us all as a people trying to make sense of the world around us.

Friday, February 23, 2018

So the adventure begins.

Happy two months of marriage! Here are a bunch of wedding photos in honor of the occasion.
The other day a memory came up on my Facebook. It was a link to this post I had written three years ago. Dreaming about a temple marriage and the blessings to come, I really had no idea what was to come. I was anxious that Carter was soon leaving on his mission, and I would be submitting my own papers soon.
It's crazy that here we are three years later, and the deal has been sealed!
Honestly, Jonny did an amazing job with photos. Carter's aunt Raelynne put together the most BEAUTIFUL flower arrangements.  Our mothers and others were so helpful at making everything work out for the big day. But ultimately, these fancy things were not what mattered!
I loved our wedding day because we decided to forego the reception and save it for a few weeks later. The day of our wedding, the temple was most important. Carter, me, and our Heavenly Father. And we weren't distracted by a million other things going on at the same time.
I am SO grateful we decided on this.

We weren't exhausted from talking to a million people we'd never met. We weren't starving. We got to celebrate our wedding day and make it truly special for us.
I can't say how grateful I am to everyone who helped out, for the support and patience. I am so so grateful. But most of all, I'm grateful to my Heavenly Father for helping me to find my Carter. And every day since I've been filled with even greater gratitude and love. What a man! ;)
But anyways, here are lovely pictures. Thanks again to Summit Photography for taking not only wedding, but also engagement photos :)

Here's to two months down, and eternity to go! :)

Monday, February 19, 2018

LONGUEUIL August 8, 2016

August 8, 2016

Hello everyone and happy August. Does anyone else feel like it was just last August? How has this year flown by? My goodness....

We've had some wonderful experiences this week. Robert is preparing to receive the Aaronic priesthood this week. He was absolutely beaming when they had him stand up to announce... just radiating. He really is amazing. Such a powerful example of faith. He showed us pictures from when he was in the newspaper for being arrested and going to prison. He's got tattoos on his arms and smoked from the time he was 12 years old. yet at 73 he is so deeply converted. He's so sincere.. every lesson with him I'm absolutely AMAZED by his faith and example. Every prayer brings him to prayers as he begins with "Bonjour, pere Celeste.". Every time, he feels that warmth in his chest. He's amazing.
Fabien came to church yesterday and LOVED it. We taught about the apostasy and restoration on Saturday, and invited him to pray. He said he didn't need to because it just made sense and he already believed our message was from God. We encouraged him to pray and receive that spiritual witness any way ;) We invited him again to read the book of mormon, and he apologized that he wouldn't be able to read the whole thing this week, maybe just a 10th of the book. My goodness he's amazing... he also asked about tithing, and wondered if he needed to pay the following day. He asked about smoking and drinking, and said "well, I just stopped 3 days ago, so that won't be a problem". Holy miracles. all from talking to someone just before he crossed the street and we got out of our car. There is so much power, and so many miracles that come as we really put the Lord's demands and promises to the test. He's commanded us missionaries to talk to everyone, and there is such great power in doing so :) So many wonderful people who the Lord prepares and places in our path. So please pray for Fabien and that all will go wel for him :) Now we just need to get our wonderful members involved in teaching him too :) Pray that he'll be prepared for his date on September 24 :) :) :) :) Can I just say I love missioanry work?

I also want to talk about hte Book of Mormon. I love this book. My love for it has grown so much on my mission, and especially the last few weeks. We're really striving to study it more personally and in our companionship. We're talking together about the things we learn, and sharing the Book of Mormon with EVERYONE we meet. It really is amazing. I feel Heavenly Father and our Savior's love so strongly when I read. I really do know that this book is true and inspired of God. No man could make these things up. No bad man could make up so many profoundly simple truths that lead to so much joy. It just doesn't make sense. I KNOW that these things are true, and they really do bring me such great joy. I love the Book of Mormon. I'm so grateful for the restoration of the Lord's gospel. I'm so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ, for his love, grace, and mercy. For his perfect understanding of each and every one of us. I know he knows us personally and he's here to support and sustain us. He loves you all :)

I love you all and wish you a week full of miracles and blessings. Look for hte tender mercies the Lord sends your way. Look for his hand in every moment of your life. 

Take the time to appreciate the wonderful things he's given you. Family. Friends. The beautiful world around us. The beautiful summer sunshine. And make the most of these things! (a great time to help dad in the back yard ;). Do things as a family. Cherish those relationships. Go to the temple often. Study your scriptures. Pray together and on your own, keep a prayer in your heart. These things really do bring a fullness of joy :)
Love you lots and wish you the best.
Sister Shelley :)

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Longueuil- August transfer :)

Longueuil- August 15
This week was a little crazy. We had lots of things to do, but none of our plans worked exactly as we'd hoped. We had so many people we wanted to see, but so many said they'd rather see us next week, or weren't home when we stopped by, so we just didn't get to see too many people. We went for exchanges down in mt saint hilaire, and did lots of contacting with the sisters there. Wonderful because I haven't yet served in an area where we really just did contacting all day. So that was a good experience.
And then Saturday we went to the wedding of a couple from Mascouche. I sent lots of pictures from it... Julie was a less active we were trying to work with when I was there. We barely had started getting our foot in the door, doing her dishes and seeing he less active daughter, Jeremie. But after I left Julie's boyfriend Michel became interested in the church. Sister B and her companion started teaching him. He was baptised in April, and Julie and Jeremy have been coming back to church. So Saturday Julie and Michel were married... in a medieval restaurant. Quite interesting! But so cool to see how much she's changed. absolutely a diferent person. And as they said their words to eachother, it was cool to hear her telling him that she wanted to be together in the celestial kingdom, that their goal was the temple. Amazing how she changed since December. The Atonement of Christ really can transform us as we turn to him in faith and with that desire to change. Absolutely amazing :)
Fabien is doing well. We had a great lesson about the plan of salvation. He told us he's stopping smoking and drinking, and has started limiting his coffee... we haven't even taught the word of wisdom yet! Sadly, he didn't make it to church because of the rain. But we're still working hard with him! Keep praying, please :)
lvoe you lots! Sorry there's not more time. I love you all :)
Sister shelley

Longueuil- August 22
Wow what a week. We've had so many wonderful things happen this past week…. 
We had Christine, one of our bishop's daughters come for a mini mission for a few days this week… which was so fun! She's so good.. and we definitely took advantage of hanging out with a real francophone and had her correct us on everything we didn't say quite right. She also got to help us with our Quebecois and give us some tips for our accents :) So that was great.
We also had zone conference. Which is always wonderful. I especially loved hearing from President Phillips… He is amazing! He'd had a training on finding that he'd given for all the other zones, but when he stood up in the chapel, he said he just had a lot of other thoughts and was going to see where the spirit let for the training. It ended up being such a powerful training, and really what each of us need to hear. I think I appreciated it even more as a sister training leader… because we talk with all the teams every week, and after some stressful situations with different teams of sisters we've been really stumped on what we could do to help each of them… but his training was exactly what was needed. It was definitely a powerful experience for me, strengthening my testimony of the power of revelation. The Lord really does know what's in our hearts and exactly what we need.
Sister Beaumont and I were able to give a training on teaching simply… which is something we've been really trying to work on lately, too. We did some great role-plays… which I'm really starting to appreciate as a missionary. To everyone who's serving or preparing to serve a mission, please… do role plays! It's probably some of the best advice I could give :) It really has been wonderful with Sister Beaumont to realize how we can continue to improve our teaching and finding. We are so blessed to get along so well, and work really well together. So rather than simply being comfortable where we are, we've really been trying to push ourselves even further, to really become the best missionaries we can be. This last transfer has been the most exhausting, but also the most rewarding, as we really are growing and learning so much :)
We also had exchanges with a team of sisters Saturday. I love exchanges… there are so many good things. I love exchanges, because I always learn so much from the other sisters… their ideas for lessons, contacting approaches, all sorts of good things. These sisters are so good.. :) It also increases even more my love for sister B… I get along really well with the other sisters. But Sister B and I have just become best friends! It's just so easy to work together! So it's making me a little nervous for the coming transfer calls this weekend. But I'm trying to just trust in the Lord :)
This weekend I ended up getting sick… so sadly had to take things a little slower. But we got the greatest call ever on Sunday afternoon. Fabien had come to church, going to the last 2 hours alone because we'd been home sick. So he called us, and told us about the good experience he'd had. That everyone knew his name and he just felt so welcomed. He'd also had a really great experience at the baptism on Saturday, and said he'd really "felt something when she went into the water". So we're talking on the phone Sunday afternoon, and he says, "I think the 24th of September should be good for my baptism". Wooohhoooohhh!!!! :) Up until this point, we've talked about baptism, but he hasn't been super set on it. He was a little iffy, and unsure if he'd be ready. But after a wonderful weekend, he suddenly had this strong desire to be baptized next month :) So we're so excited! Please keep him in your prayers :) We're so excited, though… just hoping we'll stay here another transfer together to keep working with him:) There really are just so many good things here in Longueuil.
The Lord really does direct his work. every day I get a stronger testimony of the fact that he does lead us along as we put our trust in him. He will lead us along. As we show our diligence and desire to talk with everyone and to teach and work by the spirit, the Lord leads us to those who are ready to be taught. As we show that he can trust in us, he trusts us with his work. How blessed are we to be his missionaries and share this wonderful gospel message. 
So wonderful things are happening and continue to happen as we seek those the LOrd has prepared :)
I love this work and I know it's the Lord's work. I know he guides us and allows us to be instruments in his hands as we trust in him. It's true with missionary work, and every other aspect of life as well. As we submit our will to the Lord's, he will lead us along :)
Alma 37:36-37. Trust in the Lord. Counsel with him in all you do. He will direct you for good :)
I love you all and wish you the best of weeks :)
Sister Heather Shelley :)

Longueuil- August 29
What a wonderful day and week. The work continues to move forward. My beloved Sister Beaumont will be leaving me again. She's heading to Sherbrooke to train another missionary with her last two transfers. How has her mission flown by? How does time fly so fast? It seems only yesterday her and I were both new missionaries, with really no idea how to contact or teach lessons. It really has been fun these last two transfers to see how far we've come. To see what the Lord can make of us on our missions. We have definitely had great miracles, and experienced TONS of growth. These two transfers together have been so good. Sister Beaumont and I have been one of those dream teams you never want to end. Just so wonderful. We've just stretched. Really tackled our contacting, teaching simply, unity, working with the ward. So many good things. I'm sad to see her leave. so sad because she's wonderful. I may have to move up to Vancouver after my mission ;) 
But it's been a good week. We were able to see lots of wonderful people. We were sick the first half of the week. but were able to have some amazing lessons. We have a new investigator Allain. We had our first lesson with him. Invited him to baptism, gave him a date, and he said "I've always wanted this but never felt ready. Just never felt like it was my time. But I feel like I'll really be ready by October." Awesome! And he already read in the BofM and came to church on Sunday! Soooo good :) We met him a few weeks ago on the street, hurrying to a lesson, and talked to him. He said just the day before he'd prayed to know how he could regain his relationship with God. And then he met us. Miracles. I definitely see the Lord's hand in this work.
Fabien is so excited for his baptism.. already invited all his friends, and his son. He's so so excited.
Also. What a wonderful afternoon. We went to lunch with Jackeline Rivas (from Mascouche that got baptized in March), and Sister Carpenter (who is visiting this week with her mom!). What a wonderful time. both of them were just shining. It was so cool to hear Jack talk... to hear about her experiences the last few months since becoming a member. She's teaching relief society and a ward missionary right now. She shared her experience of gaining her testimony of temple work. AMAZING. How before she struggled to really believe in the need for temple work, but decided to go and study it to understand better. She loves the bible. So went to work studying the new testament. And found in Peter where it talks of Christ teaching to those in the spirit world after his death. She realized the need for temple work. so now she's just anxiously preparing to go. And she was talking of how excited her and victor are to be sealed next March. I just hope I can go. One year after their baptism is March 24. I just hope I can go, and all will work out to go right before my mission ends. It was just so special and powerful to hear her testify of her experiences, though :)
And then to see sister Carp too. She's wonderful. And I learned so much from her in our time together. I can't believe it was only 5 weeks. But reminds me of how much we have to make the most of our time as missionaries. This work really is wonderful. :)
But wonderful things are in store. I'll be with Sister Burris. We're going to do some good work together here in Longueuil. I love this work and love these people. :)
love you lots and lots. I know this is the Lord's work and that he loves his children. Love you all!

Sister Shelley :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

LONGUEUIL August 1, 2016

August 1, 2016

What a week. I feel that our theme scripture needs to be Alma 26... So many miracles being wrought in the land of Longueuil as we're doing more and more to put our trust in the Lord. We're working to improve our ablities to teach and to find and to love and serve. Our capabilities our expanding, but we need the Lord's help even more as we do so. We could be the best teachers in the world, but without the help of the spirit, people won't be converted. We could be great at talking to everyone. But without the Lord we might never find those who are actually willing to talk to us. But we're seeing those miracles as the Lord is placing people in our path.

This past week and in the coming week we're planning to teach more first lessons than I have during the rest of my entire mission. And what's exciting is that we're realizing now how much room we have to improve with our teaching skills. Definitely some humbling moments. The mission is full of those- when you feel like you're doing so well, then you're humbled and realize how much you really lack. We're working to humble ourselves and keep ourselves humble. But this week was wonderful. We had mission leadership council, and had some wonderful trainings and discussed how we can help the other missionaries get this direction, vision, and fire for the work. We had an awesome restoration role-play with the Phillips' son, who recently returned from his mission, and talked about how we can focus on the teaching simple and clear doctrines. It was a good reminder of how easy it is to complicate the things we teach. Then I studied alma 18 later in the week, and was even more inspired by Ammon's way of teaching king Lamoni... with his simple, direct questions, and bold way of teaching the doctrine of who our Heavenly Father is. So we've set some more goals of how to improve our teaching. Lots of good role plays, which I'm so excited for. I'm just starting to gain a love for role-plays finally :)

But I think the Lord is preparing us for those he has in store. Because last week several of our lessons fell through, and were instead taught this week. But because we'd been able to refocus on this need for simplicity the lessons went so much better and we were really able to teach the people in a much more meaningful way. So I'm excited to keep pressing forward and improving our ability to teach together. :)

We also focused a lot on the importance of using the Book of Mormon in teaching. So have been trying even more to use the book of Mormonn in every teaching opportunity, and testify with power about its truthfulness. As we do this, my testimony of hte Book of Mormon is increasing too. We've been reading the Book of Mormon with our zone, and it's amazing all we can learn from it. I don't know how many times I've read the Book of Mormon. But every time I read it I learn new things. I find things I never read before, and feel such a powerful spirit that confirms its truthfullness. I love the Book of Mormon :)

So just a couple new investigators... I don't have time to go into too much detail. But at least I can ask you to keep them in your prayers. Fabien, Pierre, Kathy, Ulrich, Genevieve, Megan, Emily, Allain. It's amazing to see all the people the Lord prepares, and humbling to see that he allows us to have a hand in helping them. I love this work and I love these people. I'm so excited to see the miracles the Lord has in store. And excited to see what happens with these wonderful people we have to teach :)
love you all! HAPPY WEEK!

Sister Shelley

                                                   Just a fun little pic from leadership council :)