Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 6.5

Dear Family and Friends, 

This week has been the craziest and coolest week of my life! 
Last Monday the 3rd at 2 AM, I left the MTC way early. I traveled with my 6 "brothers" to Saltillo on a plane from 6 to 7. I got to sleep a little and eat and then we were interviewed filled out paperwork and then we went out to "work" which just means teach and contact and talk to everyone in Saltillo.
Tuesday: I woke up, recieved a lot of training, ALL of it Spanish, listening and trying to pay attention to spanish all day is so mentally taxing. I am literally dead by the time I finish. I also recieved my trainier.  I am currently serving with Elder Suarez!  He is 25, graduated from college, converted to the church at age 21, will finish his mission on September 17. He only has 5 weeks left. I am his last Comp.  He also knows the scriptures forward and backward. It's crazy, he is SUPER CLEAN like more than me. We don't have many shared interests but he is a fantastic trainer and I thank God every day for him. 

We arrived in my first area, Piedras Negras after taking an 8 hour red eye bus ride.  We arrived at 5:00 am in the morning. My companion and I reopened the area of Piedras Negras we are currently in.  It's a is a pretty big town, situated right at the Texas-Mexico border. Piedras is very diverse. Part is very nice. Gated communities, Audis, BMWs, flat screen tvs, AC, everything. I don't work or live there. Then there is your average middle class Mexican 3 room dwelling with your basic stuff like tables and chairs and TV. Then there is the DIRT DIRT POOR. That's is where I live. Everyday, it is about 105-110 degrees which means when I come home every day I am dripping wet, covered with dirt, and super happy because I have the chance to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ every day. 

I wish I had time to tell you everything I experience on a daily basis. The field is so incredible and I am learning so much!  My Spanish is pretty good so far. Of course, real Spanish outside of the MTC is way faster and way more slang but I know in a couple months I will be totally fine! I am really happy despite the daily hardships of 105 degrees, not knowing Spanish, and the fact that a city as large as Piedras Negras, often, doesn't have street signs. We manage somehow and are beginning to teach people and it's great! 

Thank you so much for writing me! I will have more time to respond to you all next week! 

The Gospel is so wonderful and great and make sure you thank God every day for your blessings!

Elder Shipley 

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