Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Life at the MTC is great! (pictures included)

Hola Everyone!

Wow this week really flew by! First off before I forget, I was seen in the broadcast, you just need to know where to look! If you go on to and go onto the broadcast, I'm in the first number, exactly 2:57 into the broadcast. Now it’s kind of like "where's waldo". I'm kind of in the back, next to the forehead of a red headed kid wearing glasses. It’s hard to see, but it’s me! So there's proof that I was actually in the choir. Funny story about that. I know that I have not been given vocal talent, its fine, I've accepted it, but during one of the times we sang for devotional, I was sitting behind this companionship of Elders. The whole time during the practice before the devotional, they looked like they were in pain. They kept on looking back as if to say, do you really sound that bad? Lets just say after the practice and before the devotional started, they decided to quietly move away from where I was sitting. Haha, oh well, I like singing anyway.

Life at the MTC is great! I'm really starting to get into a groove. It’s funny because this whole week seemed to fly by faster than the very first day here, but its great! It was awesome being there at the broadcast! It was like witnessing and All Star game, just with men of God. Elder Holland, Perry, Nelson, Oaks, all of them except for Packer and the First Presidency were there. It was such a pump up and it really kind of helped me establish what my purpose was, and will be for the rest of my life. I thought they made it pretty clear what they wanted us to do. I hope members take it to heart, that way my job will be made easier!

8 of the Elders in our zone left for Mexico on Monday and it was really sad to see them go. They really were great leaders, and they really introduced us to the MTC. They will go out and do great things. We also got a bunch of new Elders and they are great! As long as they play soccer with us, it’s all good. We had to rearrange the teams a little bit because such a big group left, but we have found a good balance in the teams, and continue to play that almost everyday!

I also had a chance to meet my mission president this week! They are having the Mission President Seminar, and they arranged a time for us to go and meet them. President Thurgood seems to be a really nice and loving man. His wife is equally nice and loving, and it seems like the mission is a hard thing for them to do. But to see them go and do it anyway, it really means a lot. Apparently our mission home has a swimming pool too! But that really doesn't matter unless there is a very last minute baptism, since we can't swim anyway.

Every week I learn so much. Not only do I learn how much my Savior cares, knows, and loves me, I learn that he cares, knows, and loves everyone beyond comprehension. I also learned that I need to be more grateful for what I have. I've always appreciated what the Lord has blessed me with, but I'm beginning to really, truly see all that he has given me. Even just being born in the United States to a great, loving family who loves me is a miracle. Then you add to the fact that I was born into this church! There are so many blessing that I don't even know where to begin.

I also was reading the War chapters in the Book of Mormon this week, and I've come to the conclusion that if any Mormon boy doesn't say that Captain Moroni is his scriptural hero, he is lying.... Chisté. But seriously you read about him and I just marvel at his faith, and strength, and courage. And if you think the Book of Mormon is boring, you obviously haven't read Alma. There are so many stories of miracles, battles, heroes, and villains. It’s like reading a spiritual comic book! I love it! I also love the feeling I get from reading it. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, because there is a definite difference in the way I feel when I read the Book of Mormon, and the Bible, than any other book on this earth. My dad always used to quote Shrek when talking about the book of Mormon, "Its like an Onion, it has Layers," It’s so true. I look at a verse once and it doesn't stand out to me, but the next time I come back to it, there is something so powerful said, that I wonder "How did I not see that before.” I'm starting to truly fall in love with this book.

And now for a result of Sundays devotional. I'm going to sound really preachy, but hey, it’s my job now. I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ and that the authority of God is back on the earth. I now that we have prophets and apostles back on the earth to help guide us through our lives. I know that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are words from God, written for our day. The people who wrote them wrote them for us, and it is our privilege to read from it. My job is to invite all to come unto Christ. I love all of you guys, friends, family, teachers, whoever. I love you, and I know that I would be failing all of you if I didn't let you know that the only way to true, everlasting happiness is through Jesus Christ and his atonement. If you want to learn more, call my dad, David Chipman, he can help you! Forgive me if I come off to strong, but its out of Love, and Duty.

Soon I will be able to let you all know about my adventures, but that's in three weeks! Sooooooooo soon! I love you all, and know that I am where I want to be!

Elder Chipman

Lyric of the week: Puede, Alguien! Me encontra, Alguien Amar!
Rough I know, but I want to see if you can get it!
Me just goofing around :)

Me with David and Andrew (lifetime friends from Highlands Ranch)

Me and my MTC District

Me and my MTC Zone

Goofing off again :)
Me and the Elders in my Zone

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The MTC is geting a whole lot better!

Hola Everyone!

The MTC is getting a whole lot better! My district is really starting to love each other, I'm starting to get to know my zone, and time is starting to fly by!

My favorite part of the day is gym, time when our whole zone, which is about 20 Elders, goes outside and plays soccer. We have a competition between the veterans and the new guys, and right now we are tied at two wins a piece! Last game we played it was tied 1-1 when I passed up to Elder Cullimore, who knocked it in for the goal right as gym time ended. A perfect buzzer beater! We're technically not supposed to keep track of score, but when the score is 2-1, it’s impossible not too. The majority of our zone leaves next Monday to go out into the field which is weird because when they leave, it means I'm about half way done with the MTC. We also get 8 new missionaries today, all of which are going to go to Argentina, none to Buenos Aires though.

Now for the things that I learned this week: Last week was dedicated to my learning about how my savior loves me, and also each and every person on the Earth. This week, was dedicated to how much I love him. I never really thought about it before. I just went to church and did what I was supposed to. But this week, the Zone Leaders handed us a talk by Elder Jeffery R. Holland about feeding his Sheep. It talked about how after Christ's ministry, Peter and the rest of the apostles went back to fishing. After a skimpy day, they began to turn back when a man shouted to them from the shore. He said "Children have you caught anything?" They replied with a NO. To make the story shorter, the man on the beach was the lord, and after casting their nets where he told them, their nets were so full the ships began to sink. When the apostles returned to the shore, they greeted Jesus, happy to see him. Then Jesus asked Peter, the chief apostle, "Do ye love me?" Peter answered "Ye Lord, Thou knowest I love thee," Elder Holland added this to the conversation. "Then why are you here. Why are you back to your nets? Isn't it obvious that if I needed fish, I could get fish? I need you to go, and teach my Gospel to the Children of men. I need you to feed my sheep.”

This story stood out to me because it caused me to ponder on the thought if I really loved my Savior. I really searched deep in myself to find the answer. In the end, I began to feel a love for my Savior that I have never realized before. I understood that he has done so much for me in my life, that it would be selfish and rude not to return the favor and feed his sheep. "Because I have been given much I too must give." I love that hymn and it reminds me that I can give myself up for a little bit in order to have other's lives changed forever.
I also learned about the healing power of my Savior's atonement. Yes, through his power we can be forgiven of every sin that we have ever committed, but it also heals us when our hearts are broken, comforts us when there is no light, and strengthens us when we are weak. The Savior suffered for our sins, our sorrows, and our pains so that he can be there for us when we need him the most. I wish I could give each of you a portion of the Love of our God and our Savior, but I can't. I can only tell you that if you pray to feel his love, you're heart will feel like a shaken up can of coke with a hundred mentos stuffed inside. (Don't ask how the mentos get there, I just wanted to use an analogy of an explosion).

The longer I stay here the less the MTC seems like a prison, which is good. I can't wait to go into the field because it sounds like so much fun! I do know that I have a lot to learn, because everyday I learn something new. I know that when I get out there, I won't know any Spanish, but that's ok, because I know that I can say what I need to say, and my Savior will help me with everything else, as long as I try my very best! I love you guys and miss you.

Oh, and I tried to translate Taylor Swifts "22" last week.

But I'm getting better, here's another one!

"Con o Sin tu, Con o Sin tu, no vivo, Con o Sin tu"
(With or without you, With or Without you, I do not live, With or Without you)
Hopefully its better!

Elder Stephen Chipman

PS: I have pictures.  I just need to figure out how to send them. They are kinda strict on how I can send them.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

First Letter from the MTC

Hola Familia!                                                                                                  6/12/13

This week has been one of the hardest yet most fulfilling weeks of my entire life. I was in a pretty good mood Wednesday which I think was the spirit, because once I sat down for the first fireside it really began to hit me that I was a missionary, and that I won't be able to see my loved ones for another two years! I was terrified. I then go into my first Spanish class and the teacher doesn't say a word of English, not a single word... So I'm pretty much freaking out, but I can tell you this, I have never felt my Savior's love for me more strongly than I did that day. It was a miracle. I felt peace, and comfort. And I know that he feels that way for me everyday.

So now what everyone cares about! My district is fantastic! We all get along very well and we are all of the elders are roommates, and we are all going to the Buenos Aires South Mission, so now I know that I am not the only one! My Companion is Elder Evans from Springfield Utah. He is a sports lover and actually throws for the SUU track team! The other elders in my district are Elder White and Elder Crowther! We all get along so well! We also have cuatro hermanas en our district. They are Hermana  Holmes, Atoa, Olson, and Durrant, and no she isn't related to Kevin Durant, bummer I know. We all have a fun time but work hard.

I see the Elder Burys a lot and I actually have a picture of them but I can't seem to get the pictures on the computer, I'm working on it! I am also sleeping on the same floor as Elder Staheli and see Elder Fitszpatrick (Russell), Elder Peery (Aaron), Elder Palmer (McKay), Elder Jenkins (Preston), Elder Merrill (Hayden), and Elder Marsh (Jordan) a lot. My district makes fun of me because I seem to know a lot of people!

Spanish is actually going extremely well! I will be eternally grateful for my mom making me take Spanish in High School, because I am sitting there thinking about what to say, and then it seems like random pieces of vocab and grammar pop into my head! Its Fantastic! We have already taught a fake investigator three times only using Spanish, the first time was a struggle, hard core, the other two actually weren't that bad! I feel like I can say what I need to, but not exactly all that I want to, but I am learning so much everyday!

Also, Everyday we are given Gym time! this is great, we can play basketball, soccer, volleyball, or just run! The only problem is that they don't allow dunking... dang it. But our zone usually plays something everyday and its like going to recess all over again.

Now to the spiritual side of things. Honestly speaking this has been one of the hardest weeks of my life, but I know that I have grown so much. On Sunday we listened to a talk by Elder Bednar that talked about how we needed to forget ourselves and get to work. It really hit me that this really isn't about me, but about the people I am serving. Sure, I will learn and grow immensely but I know that the most important part of the mission is to forget about yourself and be more like Christ.

I have received so much revelation about my life just here this first week. I think my Savior knows that when I have a clouded mind I don't focus so well. I received a letter from a great friend saying how miracles happen everyday, I just need to look for them. After reading that, I really do see miracles in my life. It is a true blessing. I now know that there really aren't any coincidences. I know that's hard to believe, but I promise you, that everything happens for a reason!

The work must go on, and I'm probably boring all of you to death. I really could write a novel of things that I have learned this week, but I only have an hour for emails! I will figure out a way to upload pictures soon! its hard because the MTC is kinda like a nice prison. No joke. But I'm sure I can find a way to get them up!

You can check this on google translate and check to see how I do!

Yo se que la iglesia de jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias es verdad, y yo se que Jose Smith es un profeta de dios, y jesucristo es mi Salvador. En el nombre de jesucristo Amen!

(I know that the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints is true, and I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and Jesus Christ is my Savior. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen!)

Until next week!

Elder Stephen Chipman

Also let me know what song this is!
No se' de tu', Estoy sentiendo veintidos, todas las cosas esta' bien cuando estoy con tu'
(no idea! hee hee :)
Rough I know, but I'm trying :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Pictures of the departure

This morning Steve headed to the airport for a flight to Utah and the Missionary Training Center to learn the Spanish language.  I'll post a letter as soon as we get one.  It should probably be in a week to 10 days.