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 :)

Monday, August 29, 2016


July 25, 2016

Holy cow this email time is flying by today... lots of fun pictures and fun emails to read. I'll try to share as much as I can :)

It's been a great week. Loving life. We're definitely learning the magic of constantly finding people. Making that extra effort to make opportunities to contact more, and really just talking to everyone around us. Regardless of how scary they look or how late we are to an appointment. And we're finding so many people. Lots of potentials, and setting up lots of lessons. Too bad we don't have more sisters in our zone to do blitz exchanges with in our area, because we need two more of us to actually see everyone. Craziness. But oh so fun.

We had some awesome first lessons this week. And got to set some baptismal dates, too. What miracles :)

One was with a 20 year old from Africa, Ulrich. Sister Prince and I actually met him back in may I think, and we've been setting and resetting appointments again. Due to weird circumstances with the Greenfield park car getting hit in a police chase (crazy), we had a little emergency split. So I got to go teach with Sister Prince again! So it was just meant to be that the two of us went and taught Ulrich. Kind of crazy lesson, involving walking 20 minutes with him to go to the library for the lesson, in which I was the only one who actually talked with him (so kind of weird). But the lesson worked out. Invited him to be baptized and he accepted. Then invited him with a date, and he accepted. Looks like we'll be working to help him be one of our transfer miracles :)

We also had this interesting first lesson with our new friends .. so crazy! I had met them on splits with Hermana Mayora a few weeks ago, and honestly did not think they were actually interested. It definitely took some pushing and pulling to get them to open up and be willing to give us their number. But to my surprise the number was correct and he arranged for a lesson yesterday. We showed up with our member, and found the address was a tanning salon. I hoped we'd gotten the wrong address, but also thought he'd just made a joke of us. But then his wife inside waved us in. So we ended up having a lesson in the basement of a tanning salon in his office. She  at first said she was too busy to stay. Then she started to open up. Actually she started to talk pretty loudly and quickly and get pretty worked up. Talking about how if God really did love her, why would he let so many hardships come into her life. Why had he allowed both her parents to pass away from cancer? Why were her in-laws battling with the same issues. She just opened up and poured everything out. With some tears as well. And we really couldn't say a whole lot. But we were able to say just enough to testify of how the restored gospel will be able to bless her, to open up the Book of Mormon, and invite them both to read about the resurrection, and the atonement of Jesus Christ. The member with us was able to testify gently and powerfully. We were able to say just enough so that she gained that trust in us. Enough that she opened up and said, "now you girls are going to come back and see me, right". (Yes, after talking in French for an hour she let us know that she was American from New Hampshire... good Quebecois practice, though :)).  So she has her Book of Mormon, and we have a return visit set up where we'll hopefully teach more. Pretty cool, though.
We're working to make contacting a more powerful teaching experience.. To get the people talking and see what's important to them. As Sister B puts it, "dangle the carrot", give them something to bite onto. It doesn't have to be anything too fancy, but really just start from that first contact to teach the people, rather than just saying the same approach every time. Absolutely wonderful :)
So there's this week. Lots of good things, lots more good to come as we press forward to work on our goals :)
love you all!
Sister Shelley