Monday, May 23, 2016

Good couple of weeks

Letter from 5/16/16
Debbie is getting Baptized this week! 

Debbie is an investigator over here in Kalamazoo. Her daughter Melissa and Melissa's two sons 
are all members of the church and live with Debbie. So she has been learning about the gospel 
for quite a while now! But just recently she started having a desire to learn more and now comes 
to church every Sunday and has quit smoking, and drinking! We are super excited for her baptism 
and the spirit she will add to this ward. 

1. Tell about one or two missionary experiences where you saw someone feel the spirit.

This week we have been working a lot with helping those we teach to recognize the spirit. Because we can do all we want to help them feel the spirit but if they can't recognize when the spirit is testifying to them it making everything a little harder. We had a really great lesson with this lady named Ramona a few days ago and the room was just chalk full of the Holy Ghost! Ramona felt it and asked why she felt so good and we were able to have a really great lesson with her about the role of the Holy ghost in our lives. 

3. What is your favorite thing about Kalamazoo?
Kalamazoo is AWESOME! My favorite part is probably... that there's a TARGET. Sounds weird I know, but it is so nice to have somewhere to shop! 

4. How is teaching the missionary class going?
It's going well! We have a ton of fun teaching and love getting to hear everyone's insights as well. 
I love you all and  have a great week!
Sister Sheppard

Letter from 5/23/16
Hi  Mom!
This week has been a ton of fun! We went on Trade off's at the beginning of the week and I was able to go and talk to people all over Western Michigan campus for the day which was fantastic! 

 This weekend I get to go to Bay City. Sister Viehweg and I will be going back together for Donna and Breanna's baptism on Saturday. I am so excited, I can't wait! 

To answer you question, Melissa, Gage (14) and Morgan(12) that I talked about last week are all converts to the church. They have been members for about 5 years now, but stopped coming to church for a majority of that time. So it has been so exciting to see the progress that the entire family has been making all at once. Debbie her mom is doing great as well. She was baptized this past Saturday and when it came time in the program for her to be baptized she hurried right out of the room towards the font. After she was baptized she came up out of the water with the biggest smile on her face that I have EVER seen! 

The weather here is getting warmer and I am so happy to say that we have finally hit the 80"s. Whoo hoo! Here come the worst tan lines ever! 

Sister Burk and I get along so well that we make everything we need to do throughout the day a ton of fun. The one thing that we just started doing is while door knocking we only talk about the gospel. Usually it will be about a question one of us has about something we studied during personal study. But I've noticed such a change in our attitude towards door knocking. Sometimes it is so hard to want to go out and door knock for 7 hours straight, but now we have such a fun time helping each other answer the questions of our souls that the time goes way too fast!

You asked about our dinner appointments and they have increased. Now instead of getting a meal or two a week, we eat with a different family in the ward every night. It has been quite the change and so much better. 

The packages have all made it here safely:) Thank you so much for everything! Getting anything in the mail is super exciting but packages are seriously the BEST EVER. 

It has taken quite a while but we are so happy to finally be able to say that we have gotten to know the members better. Now that we have had a stronger connection with the ward, they are trusting us more and more with referrals of loved ones and close friends. Since almost everyone here is a convert to the church it is so easy for them to remember the important role that they play in helping the people of Kalamazoo come closer to Christ. 

 Sister Burk and I are serving in one of the few areas that have 7 sets of missionaries serving around us within a 30 minute drive so, usually every P-day we all get together and do something fun. It's nice too because we see the STL's and Zone Leaders all the time:) Usually for P-Day we just go to the church and play basketball and volleyball but we've gone to the beach and bowling as well so far this transfer. Both were a ton of fun. When we went to the beach as a zone and it was so fun to see all of the sisters in the zone. 

You asked if Sister Burk served in Kalamazoo before me or if we got here at the same time...
she was here before me. Sister Burk's trainer went home early when she was only 4 weeks into her mission. So at that point she was sent to Kalamazoo where she finished being trained by a sister who's trainee had also gone home. So Sister Burk has been in the area for almost 2 transfers and 2 weeks!

Sister Sheppard

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Where does the time go?

I LOVED being able to talk to everyone on Sunday! It is such a rejuvenation to be able to see everyone and know that you are all doing well. And thanks Dad, for sending that scripture, I'll be adding it into my notes on the subject of Humility. It's crazy the amount of things you can find pertaining to a subject when just using the scriptures. I've learned over and over again on my mission that we don't need technology in order to succeed!

It was so fun being able to talk with you all yesterday! Who knew time could fly by so fast? I don't think an hour and a half has ever been so short, but I am so grateful for the time that we had to talk and catch up on everything that has been going on.

Not much happened this week though, We had some really great lessons with Less Active families that we have been working with.

The Poveda Family is so much fun! We have been visiting them every Saturday since I have gotten here and they have warmed up so much to us, it's been fun to see. They have 4 kids, Wyatt (7), Olivia (6), Owen (4), and Emmy (2). They're kids LOVE the missionaries. Every time we go over they ask if we can stay for Dinner:) We went over this past Saturday and "helped " in the yard. Really we just played in the dirt with the kids and semi helped/ hindered Brother and Sister Poveda's work! Wyatt is super excited to be baptized though and so we have been really focusing on the importance of baptism and how important this ordinance really is.

We also saw an AMAZING miracle this week. Last Sunday, we went out to contact a few families and we were able to meet with 3 women in the ward that haven't ever let anyone in previously! Such a blessing! We were able to get to know these women better and really help them understand how they are so loved in this ward and by us as well.

I love being a missionary! There are always so many blessings that we see each and every day. God truly does touch our lives each and every day.

I love you! I hope your week is amazing and full of miracles!
Sister Sheppard

(The scripture Sydney mentioned was : Helaman 3:35 "Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.")

Monday, May 2, 2016

First week in K-Zoo!

Thanks for giving me questions! It's a lot easier than trying to remember what happened this week. Although this week may be the exception since I was transferred to Kalamazion! Also known as the K-Zoo:) 
1. How did the transfer go?
This new transfer is going to be full of fun and success! I can just tell. Lately this area has been struggling a little bit and so Sister Burk and I are excited to start implementing changes that we are hoping will help this area start picking up! Lately we have been focusing a ton on Less-Active members of the church. In the Kalamazoo ward right now, we are almost a branch and our goal is to make sure that doesn't happen! With more less active families than active, we have full faith that with the help of the ward we can bring many of these families back to church and help them get to the temple:) 

2. How is your new companion?
Sister Burk is so much fun! We get along really well. We have had a blast this past week getting to know each other as we figure out the area:)  is actually her third area although it's only her 3rd transfer! She's had quite a tough mission so far but is such a trooper. Also, She went to beauty school before coming out so she can cut my hair for free! Best thing ever!

3. How was tracking this week? Any uplifting experiences?
Door knocking here is very different from Bay City. We have houses that are HUGE and super nice, as well as Houses in the deep Ghetto. But we don't go there often so don't worry:)

4. Are you in a ward or branch?
The Kalamazoo 2-2  is a ward. Barely. But we are going to change that!

5. Any other experiences you want to share? 
Since we have been focusing a lot on meeting and getting to know the Less-Active families in the ward, we have had a lot of success this past week. We were able to meet people who normally don't open their doors to the missionaries and two of the families even invited us over for dinner. HUGE MIRACLE. 
Our Investigators in Bay City, Donna and Breanna Drouin along with Robin and Jake are all going to be baptized on MAY 28th. SO EXCITED!!! I got permission to go back and be there for the baptism!!! 

6. How did Sunday go? 
Sunday was great. It's always fun to get to know new people and to see the differences and strengths of each ward. This ward is so missionary minded! Already we have had such a support from the members helping us in any way that we can. As missionaries, we also get to teach Gospel Principles in this ward. So I will be teaching about the law of tithing on Sunday.

I love the quote Dad sent. I wrote it down and will add it to our quote wall tonight. It is such a small world that we live in! We were at a service project on Saturday and one of the members there, Brother Deiz, he knows the Bassett's! He served in their mission when Mark Bassett was a mission president. Crazy! 
Sorry My email isn't super long, some stories just take forever to write out when I know I can tell you in person on Sunday! 

Love you and talk to you soon! 

Sister Sheppard

Here is the quote Sydney is referring to:
"My invitation to all of us is to evaluate our lives, repent, and keep on trying. If we don’t try, we’re just latter-day sinners; if we don’t persevere, we’re latter-day quitters; and if we don’t allow others to try, we’re just latter-day hypocrites. As we try, persevere, and help others to do the same, we are true Latter-day Saints. As we change, we will find that God indeed cares a lot more about who we are and about who we are becoming than about who we once were." -Elder Renlund

Monday, April 25, 2016


Hi Mom! 
This week has been so crazy busy! Since we've known for a while that I was going to get transferred we spent most of the week saying goodbyes while also trying to make the week our most productive and effective yet. Very busy to say the least. 

I have been feeling better this week. The doctors are getting closer to figuring out what the problem is which is really good. I'm not sure what they're going to do since I am being transferred but I'm sure we'll figure everything out when I get there:) 

 Going to Kalamazoo is going to be SO MUCH FUN and I'm so excited! Of course I am super sad to leave everyone that I've gotten to know these past 5 months but it is going to be a lot of fun starting fresh as well. Sister Burk is the sweetest and I can already tell that we're going to have a ton of fun together this next transfer.                                               

     Promo Video for  Kalamazoo Michigan 
Sister Bates and Sister Wilcox will be staying together here in Bay City and Sister Bates will finish training on her own. However, I will be coming back to Bay city at least twice for baptisms of investigators that I helped find. SUPER EXCITING!

Jessica is one of our investigators here in Bay City. Sister Viehweg and Chatman met her in September and she's been meeting with the missionaries ever since. She's so awesome! She actually committed to a date to be baptized on Friday and we are really excited to see her progress even more in these upcoming weeks. Jessica has a 2 year old (Isaac) and a 9 year old (Dominic). We are at her house a lot and her kids love the missionaries! It's been fun to see them grow in the gospel and find their new family in the ward. 

I'm really going to miss the Drouins. Hands down. I LOVE THAT FAMILY. Donna and Breanna are both on date to be baptized on May 28th and we are hoping to push that date to the 14th this week. Donna sent me the sweetest message right after we said goodbye. Oh my goodness I love this family so much. It has been such a wonderful experience watching their family come closer to Christ together. I can't wait to come back in a few weeks for her baptism.

This week we were also going to put two of our other investigators on date as well. Josh White, and Robin. 
Josh is currently dating a less active member of the church and has been taking the lessons on and off for about 2 years. This is the first time that any missionaries have ever gotten him to commit to baptism though so we are super excited. Before dating Sarita (his girlfriend) Josh didn't believe in God at all. But he has changed so much over the course of these past few weeks and I know that by June 11th he will be so ready for baptism:) The coolest thing has been watching his love for the Book of Mormon grow. He has reached the point where when he needs to choose what to read, the Book of Mormon is always the book he chooses. 

Robin has also been being taught for quite a while. She has been given all of the lessons a few times but has been living with her boyfriend up until a month ago and so she hasn't been able to get baptized even though she really wanted to. But now she can. We are so excited for her and that she can finally take this huge step!

Lately I have begun reading the Old Testament. Wow, is it confusing, but I have been learning so much, especially about how important Family history is.. Trying to make a family tree of the people in genesis is hard, but genealogy is so so so important! How else are we going to know where we came from?? 

Kalamazoo is on fire right now, with the missionary work being done. Sister Bates's last companion had actually served in the exact are I am going to and so she keeps telling me of all of these wonderful people that I need to go visit.  Hopefully she wrote them all down since there were SO MANY!!!  Everything that I have heard about the area has been really good though and I can't wait to begin!

OH MY GOODNESS Sunday was hard since I knew am leaving,  but I'll see them all really soon.

I don't have my new address yet, but hopefully I'll get it in time to send it out to you:)

I love you! Have a wonderful week and I'll Skype you in 13 days! 


Sister Sheppard

Monday, April 18, 2016's been a while..sorry!

These past few weeks have been so crazy and full of fun! The weather is finally acting normal for once and it's AWESOME. Yesterday we even reached 85 degrees. Considering last week, since we were in the 30's, 85 is really good. Although, we are supposed to get another snowstorm next week so we are enjoying the good weather as much as possible while we can.

Our investigator Donna and her daughter Breanna just committed to be baptized on May 28th. We are so excited! Donna's husband Zach is a member who just recently started coming to church again about 6 months ago. Originally before we started to meet with Donna, she would leave the room any time someone began to pray. Now, she prays openly and is going to come to church on Sunday. We are so excited for their family and the amount of progress that we have seen inside their family unit is astounding. All we have done is show her the tools that she can use to know that The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints is true for herself, she has done the rest! On our second meeting with her we walked in and she said, "I am so sorry! I didn't get to read too much of the Book of Mormon this week. I'll be better next week I promise. It's so good!" -(She had read to 1 Nephi 13 in four days:) 

We were also able to go to a Zone conference this week and it was SO GOOD. We learned so much from President and Sister Jacobsen that we are really excited to begin implementing in our area. 

Also, TRANSFER CALLS are this week! This transfer was a little different than normal since we have 7 weeks instead of 6 due to matching back up with the MTC. So this transfer seems extra long. It's good though, we definitely need the extra week to prepare for whoever is leaving.

Dad was released?! Oh man I'm sure that was so bitter sweet! Bishop Womeldorf will do so good though, and I'm sure that it will be so nice to have Dad home on Sunday's now:) 

That's so exciting that Nathan Coleman got his mission call! He is going to LOVE being on a mission. Best. Decision. Ever. But I'm not at all biased:)

I hope you all have an amazing week! 
Love ya! 

Sister Sheppard

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sorry for the no email last week! Sister Bates, Sister Wilcox and I all got the flu, so we were trying to email home really fast and then run home again. But other than staying inside for the first few days this week, we've been having a TON of fun! Being in a trio is definitely different but we are all figuring it out slowly but surely!

I LOVE SISTER BATES. She is my missionary twin! This week we have had so many instances where one of us will think about doing or saying something and the other will be doing that thing in the moment! It's so fun. 

So this week we have had quite a few crazy experiences! First off, our investigator Jessica and her step daughter Leah asked for blessing since they weren't feeling well, and then afterwards she said, "wow. God is here." so we are so excited to see what this next week unfolds as we teach her more about the gospel! She is also super excited for general conference just like us!!

We also, had a crazy miracle occur. One of the less active members that we have been trying to get in contact with these past couple of weeks, texted us out of the blue and asked if the Elders could give their family all blessings! Afterwards the KIDS asked if we could come back and teach them the Bible and Book Of Mormon stories! So we can't wait to see how the kids in this family help their parents come back to church and begin to come closer to Christ as a family. What better time than the Easter season right? 

Okay, super cool story though! So, in Michigan around Easter time, the Lamb of God performance is done here in Kalamazoo. It's a play all about Christ's ministry, death, and resurrection. <SO GOOD> But with this past Sunday being Easter and next Sunday being General Conference, It's is a really great tool for us to use on people's doorstep. I would encourage you all to listen to the music though! It WILL change your life!
      Anyways... One of the families that we are really close with, has this really cool music room. So today, the sister's in the Midland Zone are all going to go over and are going to listen to Lamb of God! We are so excited! Best P-day EVER!

Anyways... That's what's happening in Michigan! I hope you all have as much fun watching Conference as we will here!

Love ya! 

Sister Sheppard

Monday, March 21, 2016

Busy couple of weeks...

YAY!! i'VE ALWAYS WANTED SOMEONE TO SEND ME A FLAT STANLEY!! Haha My Comp.s and I are all super pumped to take lots of fun pictures with him! Abby and her St. Patrick's Day outfit is the best! LOVE IT!!! She is just the cutest.

This week has been so fun! As even crazier than usual! Sister Bates came to Bay City on Monday and we went to Lansing to get Sister Wilcox on Thursday! Both are wonderful missionaries and I am so excited to learn from them both!

Also, On Thursday while we were in Lansing Sister Rogers and I were able to be companions for the day! We had so much fun together! It was wonderful to be able to catch up and be together for the day. 

So for this transfer Sister Bates and I decided to make a goal for how we are going to become more fit. 3,000 pushup's by the end of the transfer! It's going great and we're at 80 so far!

Still trying to figure out the balance with three people teaching! But I'm definitely slowly realizing why I am still a part of this area. One of our investigators, Donna, is having us over for dinner this week! Her husband is a member and her daughter wants to get baptized! She just wants to learn more before she says ok. I have no doubt that they will be baptized together though!

Really exciting stuff is happening here right now! So glad I get to be a prmissionary and be a part of it all!

Monday, March 7, 2016


Transfer calls came on Friday and Sister Viehweg is going to Kalamazoo to be a Sister Training Leader! and Sister Bates will be coming here and will also be training a new sister from the MTC as well! Trio again! I'm currently holding the record for most Companions in one area:)

Sister Viehweg needs to be in Mount Pleasant by 1:15 so everything was moved up for the day:) She is going to Kalamazoo to serve to Western Michigan University Campus as an STL(Sister Training Leader)! She is going to do so great! We are all extremely excited for her and she will be there for Lamb of God. Every year the churches in that area put on the play Lamb of God. (We listen to the music every Sunday:)) All of the missionaries in that zone get to go see it. She is so lucky! But totally deserves it. Ahhh! So exciting! 

In other news, Sister Bates will be coming here from Holland and will be training a new sister from the MTC. It should be a ton of fun though and I am super excited to meet both of my new companions. Best of all, Sister Rogers (my MTC companion) Is in the same situation in Lansing and will also be there on Thursday to meet the new sisters. Since we are both "helpers" we'll be companions while everyone is in training:)! SO SO SO SO EXCITED!!!

Not much happened this week though. We met with basically everyone in the ward, and I've taken so many pictures that I've probably reached the status of a professional. Since Sister Viehweg has been here for so long everyone knows and loves her as family. So of course that requires pictures! 

Other than that, we had our apartment purge last Monday.... We thought our apartment was so clean before we started. 3 hours and 6 trash bags later we realized how much junk missionaries leave behind! We found food in the freezer from 2013! CRAZYY gross! But now it's so clean in our apartment that we don't ever want to leave. It's seriously the best problem to have:)

Sorry my email the week is so short! Next week I'll have lots more exciting things to tell you all about!

Monday, February 29, 2016


It's still so crazy to me that time can fly by so fast and at the same time every Monday have no idea what we did during the week.... Haha someday it'll all make sense right?

The snow though.. INSANE. On Wednesday we got hit with this HUGE snow storm turned white out. We were driving and sliding all over the place! President Jacobsen actually told us that the snow was so bad that we all needed to park our cars and do the best we could from our apartments. . He didn't do that once last winter I guess. But being the crazy sisters we are, sister Viehweg and I decided to go door knocking while everyone else sat inside like normal people. We walked and ran and walked and made snow angels. It was so much fun! Once we actually made it to an area where we could door knock, we were able to see the blessings of our efforts right away as we started to meet people who were interested to learning why on earth we were out in the storm. So totally worth it. 

What else... Oh! On Thursday we door knocked into an entire family that has been looking for a church and they want to learn more! We are so excited to start teaching them, and the coolest thing is he is coworkers with our other investigator Lupita and said that he had heard her talking about us in the store! Missionary work is just the coolest thing ever. 

We've also just started teaching Sarita and Josh. She is a member and he is not. Neither go to church though. They have actually taken the lessons from the missionaries a couple of times and when we went over to teach the first lesson, he was getting really frustrated because he felt like it knew it already from previous times. As we kept teaching it was so cool to see how as we listened to the spirit, we taught the lesson to him using some information that we hadn't ever brought up in lessons before that we had learned about just earlier in the week. As we started to talk about those things he became really interested and would participate. It was SO AWESOME!!!

Anyways, I hope you all have a fantastic week, I love you!
Sister Sheppard

Monday, February 22, 2016

Katie's Baptism

Alrighty, what happened this week? SO MUCH!!! okay, but I don't necessarily remember since everything was centered around the baptism:)

Katie was Baptized on Saturday! Funniest thing though. We showed up a couple hours early to fill the font and it wasn't filling up! It got to like 30 minutes before the baptism and still wasn't even half way. We thought we would have to postpone the baptism at least an hour in order to fill the font all the way. Luckily though, by 6:45 by some miracle, the font was completely full! Hallelujah! Then when She was being baptized Brother Saymn (her Boyfriend) held her under the water for so long! Oh my goodness it was so funny and scary at the same time. In the end all that matters it that she was able to be baptized and confirmed and is SO SO SO happy!  

Also, When she came out of the water, the first thing she did was clap her hands and say"Wow!" Katie is amazing and will do wonderful things for the work here in Michigan.

Anyways... I'm not exactly sure what else we did this week. Everyone in Michigan seems to be sick so we've been doing our best to stay healthy and so far it's working:)

I hope you all have another Fantastic week in the warm CA weather! Haha Love ya!
Sister Sheppard

Monday, February 15, 2016

So... Remember how I said it was warming up?

So... Remember how I said last week that the weather was really warm for the beginning of February? Not anymore! That Monday night after we fell asleep it started snowing and didn't stop until Tuesday Morning! It literally just kept snowing and every time we went outside it would start snowing a little harder. Anyways, now we're back into the negatives and it's great. We knew it was coming since whenever we're on foot it's always super cold! Good thing we're tough! And people take more pity on girls standing outside in the cold than boys. So it's great. 

On Tuesday though, we had lunch with members and after we finished eating they asked if we could help them shovel the driveway. I've never shoveled snow before so of course I said, Yeah, we would love to! Fifteen minutes in I was seriously debating whether or not I still thought this was a good idea. Ha ha, their driveway is over a fourth of a mile long and it took the four of us 2 hours to finish. Wow were we tired! We got back in the car, sat there for a minute and the first thing either one of us said was, "I think I'm gonna need a few days to recuperate" HAHAHA so now we know first hand why no one ever seems to ask the sisters for help shoveling their driveway.

Also, here in Michigan they have this thing called Fat Tuesday since Ash Wednesday is the next day. Basically it's just justification to eat these HUGE donuts called Paczci's. They are each between 500-1000 calories. You eat one and you're full for the entire day! (we didn't actually eat them though, too many calories for us!)

And as for the last couple of weeks, we are still working on Pita's house. And She let us start teaching her two boys Carlito(8) and Javier(10)! Her two little girls Lupita(6) and Aalayia(6) both love to come and listen in as well. If the girls aren't there during the lessons then the boys will go and teach the girls everything after we leave. It's the cutest thing! Love love love their family! 

I did speak on Sunday as well. Not nearly as scary when you're constantly meeting new people through knocking on their doors. But it went really well, everyone loved the kids input. Here's a short little quote from my talk:)

"What the restored gospel brings to the discussion on marriage and family is so large and so relevant that it cannot be overstated: we make the subject eternal! We take the commitment and the sanctity of marriage to a greater level because of our belief and understanding that families go back to before this earth was and that they can go forward into eternity." - L. Tom Perry

Families are so important! We not only want to be a part of a family, We NEED to be. There are things that we learn within our families that we cannot learn anywhere else. I have become a million times more grateful for my own family and the things they have each taught me, as I have been away from them for these short two (almost 3) months. I am so glad to have this knowledge that Families can be together forever, so how can I not share this wonderful message with everyone that I can? I love you all, and miss you all so much. Yet, I know this is where I need be! Have a fantastic week!

Love you all! 
Sister Sheppard

Missionaries helped paint this store 15 years ago!

                                    Cute little Suckers the owner of the tummy ache gave us

Monday, February 8, 2016

It's warming up a little...

So first off, Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Neilsons, and Brashers for the packages. I absolutely loved them both! The homemade caramels and pictures from Christmas were amazing! And BABY ELLIE. Holy cuteness! Basically everyone in Bay City has heard and seen how cute a baby she is!  Christmas at Grandma's looked like so much fun!

Anyways.. This week the weather got so warm. Instead of wearing 4 pairs of tights and 3 jackets, we walk around with a light jacket and no tights now, it's fantastic. 

Last Monday, we went to this cute little town called Frankenmuth with our district. They have the biggest Christmas store in the US, I guess. Super fun. We went through this mirror maze while there and got stuck inside for what seemed like hours! When we finally made it out, the worker was in tears he was laughing so hard while watching us through the monitors try and figure it out.

Also, Trade Off's were this past week, so I went to Midland for the day with Sister Watts and door knocked all day. This was a first, but super funny! One guy opened his door and said Come in!! and when we went and sat down.  His wife heard who we were and immediately said, GET OUT! and then turned to her husband and said, WHY DID YOU LET THEM IN?!?! HAha we laughed so hard when he finally shut the door.

We were also able to finally start on Pita's house. We're in the process of painting her kitchen while the Elders helped finish the other rooms.  When we had a lesson with her afterwards she said that she really wanted us to start teaching her kids, and we were able to put her on date to be baptized on June 11! We are so so so excited for her and her family and the progress they are making. 

So yeah this week has been really great! We have been able to start making real progress with a few of our investigators and I can't wait to see how things progress in this coming week.

Love you all! 

Sister Sheppard

Monday, February 1, 2016

Can you believe it's almost been 2 months?! I can't! Time flies while on a mission that's for sure, and hello, it's amazing how much can really happen in just 7 days.

One of our Investigators, Pita, is living in this huge house that hasn't been finished yet. They've been living there for 5 years out of the kitchen and their bedrooms. How crazy is that? So we (the elders and us) Got a group of people together to help finish her house. When we asked if it would be okay, she broke down into tears, she was so surprised and grateful. We are so excited! She hasn't really been progressing as of late, but we've noticed that as we've been cleaning and organizing her house in preparation, she has really opened up and let us in so that we can really help her see the good the gospel will do for her and her kids lives. We plan to start painting and all that fun stuff at the end of this next week. 

Also, We hold a Book of Mormon study on Wednesday every week and this past week I taught for the first time!! Super scary but really fun as well. 

Sorry This isn't long! The time is just flying by too fast!

Love ya!
Sister Sheppard

Monday, January 25, 2016

Transfers week

AMAZING NEWS!!! Katie is on date! For both Baptism and for the Temple! As a mission our goal is to try and get all new members to the Temple within the first 30 days after they were baptized and Katie is going within a week! She is so great. We love her so much and she is just soaking up everything that we teach her. This past week we taught her all about temples. Just as usual with every lesson we teach, there is so much to learn! The bible dictionary has the best definition of temples ever. 

Also, Sister Viehweg and I will be together for another transfer!! We're both super excited but I think that Sister Viehweg is ready for a change. She's been here for almost 8 months and by the time this transfer is up, she'll have spent half of her mission in Bay City. How crazy is that?! However, We do have a lot of really amazing things happening soon so it's a good thing she's staying. Katie's baptism, Paul and Katie are going to the Temple for the first time... and we have some really great potentials. We have a lot of hope for this next transfer and a lot of goals as well. Hopefully they can all be accomplished in these next six weeks. 

Alajuwan.. is doing really good! We have been trying to better integrate him into the ward and make sure that he makes a lot of friends, but, wow that kid has a lot of energy! On Wednesday we were at the church for Book of Mormon study and he was running up and down the halls like a mad man! Haha He was at cub scouts for the first time and just didn't get that he would need to listen to those in charge. But he'll get it. Everything just takes time and patience right?

This past week has been really great and we've seen a lot of blessings. I am so grateful that I an on a mission. I have learned so much about myself and who I want to become, as well as learning even more about this gospel and how to really live it. I am so thankful for this opportunity that I have to serve and especially here in Bay City! The people are amazing and the work is growing more than ever before! I love you all, know that you are in my prayers!

Sister Sheppard

Monday, January 18, 2016


Wow. so much has happened this week that I can't even remember what did happen this week and what was last weeks news!

But I'll start off with the best news of all. ALAJUWAN GOT BAPTIZED!!! It was so so special. Although for a while there we weren't sure if it was going to happen. His baptism was at 6 pm on Saturday and we got a call, at 5:30 from his mother saying that she didn't know where he was. We were freaking out! We sent the elders, one of the ward missionaries and a couple of other people out to look for him and no one could find him. Luckily though, he remembered that he was supposed to be baptized that night and ran home. They all made it just in time and he was able to be baptized. We were so relieved!! 

We were also able to go to the Temple with the Campbell's and brother Campbell was called as our new ward missionary leader! We are super excited to start working with him and see how we can help the work progress during this next transfer.

Also, we had Zone Conference on Thursday and were able to hear from both President Jacobsen and his Wife! We learned so much and I am so excited to start implementing the things that we learned from them in our lives! Sister Jackson, and Sister Palmer were both there as well and it was so fun to see them and get to know how their area's and how they are doing. I also ran into Elder Thompson (Related to the Thompson's in our ward) and Elder Valentine (Tauni's really good friend)! They both say hello!

Other super exciting news.... JESSICA is officially a non smoker!!! She stopped cold turkey last Saturday and hasn't smoked since! The stop smoking program that the church provides in so good! We've used it with a few investigators now and have seen it work time and time again.

Love you all!

Sister Sheppard

Monday, January 11, 2016

Left to right--- Bay City/ Saginaw District
Elder Fairbanks (District Leader), Elder Hartley (Bay City), Elder Warton (Bay City), Sister Viehweg, Me, Elder Hoover, Elder Laaksonen (came out with me!), Elder Caldwell (going home the same day)

Well, we finally hit the NEGATIVES!

This week has been quite the adventure! We had trade-off's on Wednesday and Thursday which was really fun. It was so weird being away from my companion but it was really nice at the same time. Just to be able to get to know another missionary and see how she teaches and what her approaches to certain situations are. I learned a lot from Sister Watts! She's so great. While she was here we met this lady named Laurie door knocking. She has Thyroid Cancer and has seen a lot of tragedy in the past year in her family specifically. But although she has been going through all of these things, the one thing that she kept with her was her strong belief in God. And she doesn't blame God for what she has been going through either. Which is so amazing! As we were talking to her at the door she said, "You know I really have to go but I really want to know more about your church as well. Can I get your number and can we set up a time for you girls to come back and teach me more??" How cool is that?!? It took us a second to register what she said and then we got all excited and a little flustered trying to figure out how to say Yes!  It was pretty funny for her to watch I'm sure. Coolest experience ever though! Also, Alajuwan had his Baptismal Interview as well! When we were going over the questions with him the night before his responses were so hilarious. They were the typical 9 year old responses, so as you can imagine, they were great:) And then when he saw Elder Fairbanks for the first time (That's who gave the interview) he just looked up slowly and said really quietly, "wow." Elder Fairbanks is 6'9 so to this cute little 9 year old he was a giant! 

Alajuwan's baptism is going to be this Saturday the 16th at 6pm and so we have a lot of work to do in order to have everything ready by that date. But we are so excited for him and their family and the blessings that this special day will bring into their lives. 

Also Sister Viehweg and I get to go to the Detroit Temple on Friday!! We are going with the Campbell Family. They are going for the first time in 7 years and we are so so honored to be able to go with them! I have missed being able to go to the Temple every week and so this will be so fun and special to be able to go this week.

I hope you all have a Wonderfully Fantastic week! 
I love you!

Sister Sheppard
P.S. Did you know that Saginaw is the 4th highest crime rate city in the U.S.?!

P.S.S. We got 7 inches of snow Saturday night and Church was cancelled for the next day. First time that's ever happened for me! It was the weirdest thing!

Monday, January 4, 2016

One Month!

It's already been a month. Wow. I can't even believe how fast the time flew by. Only 17 months left:( It is really weird to talk about with the Elders since Elder Hartley and I will go home the same transfer and he's been out 7 or 8 months and Elder Warton will go home 3 Months after me and he's been out 4 months!                                                                                                                                   Wow This week was so short though. Partly because we had so much happen! On Monday, right after I sent out that last email, we were walking down the stairs and all of the sudden heard this huge POP! And down to the ground I went. After what seemed like days in Urgent care we got the verdict. Sprained Ankle. Ironically enough it had just started snowing really hard outside right around that same time! Needless to say, this past week has been so interesting. From being let into houses out of pity for the crazy girl on crutches to, being given cookies from some random people walking by on the street!(we didn't eat them don't worry) 
But that's beside the point. Alajuwan is getting baptized on Sunday!!! Oh My Goodness we are SO EXCITED!!! So this past week we've spent a lot of time helping prepare him for that special day. It's so cute though, he's really scared that he's going to break his back in the water. Luckily the Elders have been helping prepare him so that he won't be scared any longer.
In other news, we followed up on a referral that we were given from a friend that actually lives in Midland now and when she opened the door and saw that we were missionaries she immediately let us in and we were able to teach her on the spot! How cool is that?! That never happens. Obviously she was being majorly prepared by the Lord and we were able to be there in that instant. We are super excited to go and teach her and her family on Tuesday.
 Also Sister Chatman left last Tuesday. And although it was really sad that she left, it's been really nice at the same time because it's given the ward a chance to get to know me and I've really had to step it up in the lessons. I been learning so much! There are days when I wish personal study was 2 hours instead of 1 because there just isn't enough time to study everything!! 
This next week we have a lot of exciting stuff planned so keep your fingers crossed that neither of us get hurt! Jk we'll be careful:)
I hope that you all have an amazing week and enjoy the warm weather! (This morning it was 9 degrees when we walked outside!!)

Love ya!

Sister Sheppard
One day of snow!!! How crazy is that?!?!?