Monday, 29 February 2016

Yet Again

Hi everyone! This is going to be a quick email because I have lots to do today!
My beloved companion, Sister Schuerch, is going home this week! Her mission is at an end! Since she extended though it's a little weird because this is not a normal transfer week. Which means it's an emergency transfer! So, as anticipated, she'll be leaving Kirkland. What WASN'T anticipated is that so will I. I will still be a sister training leader for the Mount Royal zone, but I'll be serving in the Montreal Ward with Sister Clement! It's a bus/metro area, so it'll be exciting! Also, Sister Clement has served in two of the same areas as me and has had two of the same companions, so we already have lots in common! Kirkland is closing for sisters just for the next two weeks until real transfers, when we get a fresh group of missionaries. In the meantime, the elders in our ward get to cover our people. It's a little bit insane, actually. I kind of feel like throwing up when I think about it too hard.... Well, not quite. Anyway, we normally get transfer calls on Saturdays, but since this is an abnormal circumstance, we just found out last night. Soooo we're still adjusting to the idea. And I haven't told anyone in our ward yet...or said any goodbyes.... but hopefully things will run pretty smoothly.

So anyway, that's the big news this week. Area #6, here I come! And I'll hit my year mark this Friday! The only other thing I felt like mentioning is that we went on exchanges a couple days ago, and I was with this 4-week-old greenie who REALLY impressed me. She was JUST baptized in November 2014!! And she's here on a mission!!! And not only that, she's here for all the right reasons and is super strong! Miracles do happen, folks. I'm inspired by her example.

I hope you all have a week that isn't as crazy as my week will be! Love you all!

Sister Shaver

My last day in Victoria with Sister Rivas, Sister Shelley, Sister Dexter, and Sister Carpenter.

A picture of my and Sister Schuerch, 

and a picture of us with Jye, a recent convert, at the temple last week!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Bucket list and bumper

Hi everyone!

I don't have a ton of news this week. We went on another exchange that was super good. We didn't know either of the sisters very well before (they're both new to the zone) but we LOVED spending that time with them. They're awesome. Other than that, it's been business as usual. We teach, we find, we attend meetings, we study, we eat, we sleep. I feel bad for my companion because I feel like every person we talk to reminds her that she's going home in a week and a half. We've made a "bucket list" for her - things we want to do together before she leaves. Unfortunately, many things on the list involve food that isn't super healthy............. Belgium doesn't have a lot of things we have here. I guess one exciting thing that happened this week was that someone crashed into our car! We were driving along when a light turned yellow, so we stopped, but the car behind us wasn't leaving enough distance, so they bumped into us. But no one was hurt and, miraculously, there isn't even a scratch on either of our cars! Miracle! :) We also FINALLY found a new investigator, and he is GOLDEN. More miracles!

Anyway, I'm really grateful to be a missionary. The Lord protects us and helps us in more ways than we recognize. It has been a huge strength to my testimony just to see how often God makes miracles happen for us missionaries. These things wouldn't happen if it wasn't His work. But they do, because it is. Jesus Christ really does lead His church.

I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Sister Shaver

Monday, 15 February 2016

Tuba players need to repent.

I don't have too much to say about this week. It was a good week. We had a zone training meeting (my first as a sister training leader), went on an exchange with two sisters who used to live in the same apartment as me (so it was really really good), taught the lesson in Relief Society about adversity (which went very well), had our quarterly individual interviews with our mission president, and otherwise went about regular missionary activities. There were a lot of really funny moments; running away from a house we just heart-attacked and setting off the automatic light (we're not sneaky), making my companion a cookie (just one...), and... well, actually, I forgot most of them! Oh, but we heard some really good excuses for why people couldn't talk to us this week. My favourite was an elderly woman who came to the door and said, "Oh, I can't talk to you. I'm busy - my husband's in the shower. I have to go see him." ....

There were also a lot of really spiritual moments. To explain the title of this email, President Patrick was using an analogy to help us understand the sacrament. He asked an elder, "If I told you to take upon you the name of Beethoven, what would that mean to you?" Then we all brainstormed ideas like, Well, I'd have to learn his music. I'd study him. I'd have to start composing. I'd probably lose my ears because he was deaf. etc. Then President Patrick said, "Okay, well what if you don't play the harpsichord or the piano? What if you play, like, the tuba?" and without missing a beat, an elder in the back called, "You need to repent!" 

But the concept is there. When we are baptized, we covenant to take Christ's name upon us. That means we need to study Him. We need to learn His ways of doing things. We need to be like Him . We need to love Him. Think about that next time you take the sacrament. 

I love you all! Happy late Valentine's Day! Have a great week! :)

Sister Shaver

Monday, 8 February 2016


Hey hey!

Every time you think you're starting to get comfortable, the Lord goes BAM! new area, or senior companion, or new language, or training, or sister training leader. Transfers are fun.

This week was a little crazy! The last couple of days in el barrio de Victoria were busy, then a member drove me to my new area where I met my new companion, Sister Schuerch, and that was that! Being a sister training leader is exciting. There's no designated driver between the two of us, so I DROVE A CAR for the first time in almost a year this week, and on freeways in a big city, no less. And we're still alive! Together with the zone leaders, as sister training leaders we get to attend monthly meetings with the stake president and mission president, Mission Leadership Council, go on exchanges with all the sisters in our zone(not with the zone leaders), and have weekly phone calls with each district leader AND weekly phone calls with our mission president and the elders serving as his assistants. There's also a higher expectation for strict obedience and consecration to the work. So far I really like it!

One thing that has really impressed me this week is how much Heavenly Father helps us fulfill our callings and do the work He needs us to do. It's hard to describe the love I already feel for so many of the people in my new area. Sometimes even within the first few minutes of meeting them, I'm blessed with the gift of charity - the ability to see these children of God through their Father's eyes, the pure love of Christ. Nothing would get done in missionary work without charity. If we don't love the Lord, we don't serve Him. If we don't love the people, we're far less likely to be able to help them progress towards making covenants with God and reach their potential. So I'm just really grateful that Heavenly Father is helping me out so much in my new assignment.

I love you all! I hope you have a great week!

Sister Shaver

Added by Michelle's mom:
Michelle's brother got married this week in the Seattle temple. Here she is trying on one of the  bridesmaid dresses for fun!

 She made these heart decorations for the reception.

Monday, 1 February 2016

The feels.


In all honesty, this was one of those weeks where so much happened, and it was so crazy, that I don't know what to write, so I will probably leave most things out. But the most important thing is that our investigator got baptized and confirmed this weekend. He passed his interview on Wednesday after zone conference, we got organized and put everything together for the baptismal service on Saturday, and he was confirmed yesterday in sacrament meeting. It. was. the. BEST. He is the most prepared person I've ever met in my life! He was so happy! WE are so happy!

BAPTISM! Rafael, baptized by Obispo (bishop) David Nielsen. 
We have the best bishop. 
He speaks 4 languages and has a heavy lisp in all 4, and he's super driven and dedicated to the Lord's work. 

The other big, but less-important, news of the week is we received our transfer calls. We truly thought nothing would change in our ward except that we would get new elders. Well, the elders in our ward are flushing out, and their area is closing. The sisters will be taking over the whole South Shore, and Hermana Rivas will be in a trio with Hermana Dorado and Hermana Meldrum - both of which are sisters that I've been in the same district with before. Which means, you guessed it, I'm getting transferred! 7 weeks in Victoria just wasn't long enough, but I'm glad I'm at least leaving this ward one convert stronger. I'm going to back to English in Kirtland, in the Mount Royal zone in Montreal, where I will be a sister training leader. My new companion is from Belgium, and she goes home in like 4 weeks, so I'm not sure what's going to happen to me for the last part of the transfer, but we'll see! Needless to say, we're still wrapping our minds around it!!!
More missionary force en el barrio de Victoria!!
Missionaries with the ward mission leader.

Yesterday's sacrament meeting was probably the most stressful event of my life to date. I was asked to give a talk a week and a half ago, but my topic was, "What were we doing one month ago to achieve our ward goals by the end of 2016?" and no one could adequately explain it to me until like 3 days before, and then we were rushing to plan a baptism, so I didn't have a lot of preparation time. But on top of that, I was told I was going last, so I tailored my talk to go after the themes of the other talks, but then I went first. Also, the elders have an investigator who's really sick but they told her if she came to church yesterday they would baptize her immediately after the meetings, so we waited in suspense for her to come but she didn't. (Devastating.) Also, one of our elders is going home this week, so we planned to play "God be with you till we meet again" to make him cry, but it totally backfired because THREE of us were actually leaving, and as I played the organ and listened to the congregation and tried not to look at the elders, all I could think was how it was the saddest thing I think I've ever heard. Everyone cried at some point at church yesterday. 

Sorry for the novel! Talk to you next week!

Hermana Shower

Sister Patrick (mission president's wife) told me how to make her famous brownie bombs while we were at zone conference this week. So naturally I had to try it! And bring it to the baptism! It's cookie dough wrapped in brownie, covered in chocolate. SO good! Rafael, who was baptized, Is vegetarian and doesn't eat sugar, but when I told him I made them he was like, "Oh, then I HAVE to try!" and loved it. Mwahaha. His face in the congregation when they announced I was leaving yesterday was heartbreaking... :(

 And frescolita. Venezuelan drink. I have the best Venezuelan companion.