Monday, July 29, 2013

The secret stash of Oreos

Hi everyone!                                                                                       July 29, 2013

First off, Thanks Mom for the Package and letter, I got them on Saturday! I can't wait to paint that magnet, and I haven't told anybody about the Oreos, I think that might just be my little secret. I'm in an apartment with 3 other Elders, I know a package of Golden Oreos won't stand a chance! 

Also thanks for you emails! That was an amazing picture from home. I don't get scenes like that in Georgia--that's for sure!

Anyway, this week has been great! I kinda understand what people are talking about, and I think they kinda understand what I'm saying, maybe. But I'm learning! I gave a talk yesterday during Sacrament meeting and I didn't see too many confused faces which is good! I also got to play the organ yesterday! I don't know if they will ever ask me to do it again, but hey, it was fun!

We've seen a lot of miracles this week. The first one happened while we were at lunch during P-day. We were just waiting in line, and a woman walks in. My companion says Hi to her, and she just straight up asked, "Can I get a pamphlet or something?" Luckily the English missionaries were with us, because we only had Spanish ones in our backpacks. But they gave her one, and they are actually teaching her!

Another cool story: The very first door we knocked on here in the area was this Hispanic woman and her kids and we left her a blessing and set up an appointment to meet with her. The first appointment fell through, and we scheduled another for Saturday. Well Saturday came, and it seemed like everything was trying to make us late. We had to pick up a member who lived pretty far away, drive to the other side of the area to drop the other Elders off at a dinner appointment, then go to Maria's house. We ended up being 30 minutes late. When we knocked on the door, one of her sons answered and said that his mom wasn't home. Just then a car drove up and she got out of the car! We taught her a lesson, and set up another appointment with her. We have a really good feeling about this family, and it just kinda proves even more that the Lord is in charge of this work, and if he needs us to be late, he'll make sure we're late.

We're still really confused but we're finally making a lot of progress. Our numbers aren't great, but we're really working hard and trying our best with the people we are teaching. 

Thanks for everything! Hope all is well!

Until next week,
Elder Chipman


apartment wildlife


Monday, July 22, 2013

Georgia is beautiful, hot, humid, green, buggy, but nice :)

Wow, it’s been a long week. Good, but long.
My new address is:
Georgia Atlanta Mission
112 Governors Square Ste A
Fayetteville, GA 30215
So I don't really know where to begin. This whole week my companion has been saying "I have never been so confused in my life." On Wednesday I was called to serve the Cunningham Spanish Branch in Marietta Georgia with Elder Bakes, from Pocatello, Idaho. He's been serving for 21 months and is almost done. We were called to Whitewash an area, which means that my companion and I don't know the area at all. We are sharing the Area with Elder Nay, and Elder Crowther. We get there and honestly, have no idea what’s going on. The records are good, but not very detailed, so the past week we've just been spending most of our time trying to find people. The Branch here is great, but there are a lot of inactive members. The members who are active are extremely strong though. The President, President Gonzalez, is very faithful, and into the mission effort. It’s really awesome. We're starting to get some momentum and start getting the work going again, but honestly it’s a little embarrassing to report numbers because a lot of our time has been getting organized so we know what we are doing. It’s all good though. We're working hard. I know that there is a reason I was sent here, and I know that I will figure it out soon, because honestly, I might not be here for much longer.
Georgia is beautiful, hot, humid, green, buggy, but nice. Marietta has a very diverse community with lots of Hispanics and African Americans. Our branch covers both the town of Marietta and Smyrna which is right to the south. The apartment is nice! We share it with Elder Nay and Elder Crowther, which is fun! There aren't a lot of lights though so it has kind of a grim feel to it.
President Harding, the mission president, is awesome. He's really nice and seems to know the reason why we're here, and that is to baptize. He mentioned that the first thing the Savior did while visiting the Nephites was show that he was the savior, then immediately after, gave the authority to Nephi to baptize. So that is the goal down here, and they seem to be having a lot of success.
Something that they do that is really cool, is that instead of tracting, we travel and give blessings. We go door to door, but instead of try to share a message, we ask if they would like us to bless their home. There are so many churches and Christians down here that we usually don't get rejected. We go in and bless their home specifically using people they want to bless and troubles that they are having. Afterwards you know that they felt the Holy Ghost tell them that what just happened was significant. They are then open for us to give them a pamphlet and tell them more. We gave a blessing to a woman a few days ago named Angela. She was really touched and was even crying afterwards. We were then able to set up a return appointment for tomorrow! So I'm super excited for that!
Well life is good! Christ is my Savior, and his church is true! In English and in Spanish! Hope all is well!
Elder Chipman

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Happy to be in Georgia!

Elder Chipman with President and Sister Harding

Stephen's first assignment is in Marietta, Georgia which is located approximately 20 miles NW of Atlanta.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Temporary mission assignment!

Just got re-assigned to the Atlanta Georgia Mission! I leave Tuesday the 16th at 6:00 to go to Dallas, We arrive at 9:40, then I have a 2 hour layover there. The next flight leaves at 11:30 to Atlanta! It doesn't say anything about the mission Language, just an Itinerary and where I am going.
Note from Mom: Stephen's Visa is delayed so he will be serving in Atlanta temporarily until his paperwork goes through for Argentina.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I'm really starting to like the MTC a lot--too bad I leave next week!

Hola Familia                                                    July 10, 13


Este Semana fue muy fantastico! This week was really fantastic! Did anything change? Not really but I learned a lot!

We added 14 new Elders to our zone, and four new sisters. All of a sudden there is a line for the showers in the morning! All of them graduated from High School recently, and so I'm starting to see the 19 year old missionary go extinct. But that's ok. With the new Elders, gym time has been a blast. We usually split down the middle between basketball and soccer. I usually pick soccer because lets be honest, what's the point of basketball if you can't dunk? Chiste. (Joke)  None of the games are as exciting as they were the first few weeks, but they are still a lot of fun! All of the Elders are really fun to be around!

We had an amazing devotional last night about prayer and personal revelation, and I learned a lot. It’s funny, because I'm really starting to like the MTC, a lot! Too bad I leave next week, or at least I hope so! We still haven't received any information on when, or even where we might be going. As far as we know, none of the 16 Elders and Hermanas in our zone have received their visas to Argentina yet. So we hope that they are just waiting to surprise us, but I have a feeling that we are going to be serving in the United States for a little bit before we head down south!

I finished reading the Book of Mormon again this week, and it amazes me how amazing that book is. Our second week, a member of the seventy came to talk to us, and when he spoke about the Book of Mormon, he began to cry. He boldly held the book to his heart and said with tears in his eyes, “I Love this book,". At the time, it really stuck with me. I mean I knew the Book of Mormon was important and everything, but why did this man cry over it? I know why now. I too have grown to love the Book of Mormon, and the scriptures in general. They are the words of God, and I have received so many answers to my prayers through them. I Love that book. Not to the point that tears come to my eyes, but that's just who I am. Here's a great scripture that I read this week. Ether 12: 6 "...I would show unto the World that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because y see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." This has always been one of my favorites. We need to act before our faith is strengthened. The Brother of Jared made the stones before the Lord could cause them to light up. The Army of Helamen had to go to war with faith, before they realized every single one of them was spared. Moses had to thrust his staff in the sea, before the water's would part, and Elijah had to drown the alter with water, before the heavenly fire would come down.

This is just one of the scriptures that touched me this week, there are so many found in the scriptures, they are countless in number! Its Amazing!

I saw Megan's picture of the Hot Dog car and couldn't help but laugh. Last night we had Hot Dogs, and I had a lot of them, and Elder Crowther looks at my plate and says, "Elder Chipman, I don't think I've ever met anyone who loves hotdogs as much as you do," Which is probably true!


The fourth of July was awesome. They let us out of class early, and we watched the movie 17 Miracles! Its a great, but sad movie. It also reminded me that our Father in Heaven is a God of Miracles, and I'm sure I will see many of them before these two years are up. Afterwards they gave us ice cream bars and let us stay up late and watch the fireworks from the Stadium of Fire. There was a tree in the way, but we could still see the majority of them!

I've never felt so strong in my life. My faith is growing every day, and I still know it has a long way to go. I have so much to learn, but I still continue to learn so much. I wish I could let all of you feel the way I do right now. It is amazing how happy we are when we know that Christ and our Father in Heaven love us, are there for us, and are helping us every single second, of every single day. Don't ask me how, because I don't know, but I feel it buried in the marrow of my bones, that my Redeemer lives. That Joseph Smith was a prophet, President Monson is a prophet, and the Book of Mormon is true. And its amazing to feel this in my heart, because it brings me so much peace, and joy. I feel like a water balloon about to pop!

Anyway, I'll let you know when I'm out of here! hopefully next week!

Yo sé que la iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días es verdadero. Yo sé que el Libro de Mormon fue translucido por el poder de Dios, mediante el profeta José Smith. Yo testifico que si ustedes leerán el libro de mormon, ustedes saberán Dios es real, y él es sus Padre Celestial, y él ama ustedes mucho. Soy agradacido por la oportunidad servir mi Salvador, y Espero que ustedes aprenden para su mismos, porque yo siento más gozo porque yo sé la verdad. Preguntan su Padre, y él Contestará. En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amén

Google translate : I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. I know that the Book of Mormon was translucent by the power of God through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I testify that if you read the book of mormon, you saberán God is real, and it is their Heavenly Father, and he loves you very much. I agradacido for the opportunity to serve my Savior, and I hope you learn for themselves, because I feel more joy because I know the truth. They ask the Father, and he will answer. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Love you all, hopefully you can understand that last part, but hey, that's six weeks of Spanish right there!


Elder Chipman


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The ability to change is a valuable gift. (pictures)

Hi Everybody!

It has been another great week! Nothing out of the ordinary though. We sent off 6 more missionaries, all heading to Houston except for one going to Tulsa. That means that my district is the Veteran district! It’s funny, because when people are only here for 6 weeks, you go through the ranks quickly. So I guess we're now the chiefs of the Greenies, which honestly means nothing. We get 12 new elders today, which should be fun! Everybody has been talking about how hot is has been, but since I barely see the sun, it don't seem to notice that much.

I guess something different that has happened is that I was made District Leader for the last 3 weeks of the MTC stay. My responsibilities are minimal, and honestly, by the time I will know what I'm supposed to do, I'll be on my way out of here. I honestly can't wait. Its not that sitting in a classroom for the majority of the day isn't exciting and all, its just that I know that when I get down to Buenos Aires, the dogs will speak better Spanish than I will, but I know that I will be in the right place. I still don't know if I have my visa, but I think I receive my travel plans either tomorrow or Freda, because it is the 4th of July. We might even get our re-assignments then, if none of us have our visas! It’s all speculation though.

Spanish is going really well, and I think that I will at least be able to say a couple of points in the lessons when I get down there. We had TRC yesterday, which is when we teach volunteer members of the church lessons or answer questions they have. I felt like I was able to say what I needed to say. Also, my favorite experience of the MTC was yesterday! We were teaching a woman in TRC who's grandson didn't want to go on a mission, and it really bugged her a lot. At first I didn't know what to say, so I sat there and prayed, and tried really hard to open my heart so I could help this woman. Then I started to speak, and it was like someone else took over my mouth. The spirit said things to her through me, and it really helped her out a lot. The spirit was so strong, and it humbled me even more, because I know that I don't have to do anything but open my mouth, and literally, the Lord will tell me what to say.

I continue to learn and grow everyday. It’s amazing how loving and forgiving our heavenly father is. My branch president gave an amazing lesson on the Atonement of Jesus Christ during priesthood meeting on Sunday. He explained how Christ suffered these things for all man. When he said that, I couldn't help but notice the word ALL. last time I checked, that included everything. So all of us have an opportunity to start again, be born again, and change. For me change is a scary topic. I like it when things stay the same, that's why going on a mission has been a major adjustment. But I 'm learning that through change, we learn so much more. The ability to change is a very valuable gift from our father in heaven, and we can access it through Christ's Atonement. I know that I change everyday, and its for the better.

I also learned more about the Book of Mormon. It truly is the word of God. The strength and guidance I recieve from that book is more than any other book. If you haven't read it, read it. I know that when you do, you will feel different, because its a different book. If you have read it, read it again, and pay attention to how you feel. The stories are great, but the messages are even better.

I guess I better go, but I love you all, and its only 2 more weeks till I'm in the field, at least, I hope so...


Love Elder Chipman

P.S Answer to last week: Somebody to Love- Queen (yes Megan, you got it!)
This week:  En el Nombre, de amor. Uno más en el nombre de amor!

Steve with his companion
Steve with Karyn