Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 20

 Elder Shipley might have to move to Montana when he comes home to be with horses!
A view of Piedras Negras

Dear Family and Friends, 

This week was filled with ups and downs here in Piedras Negras but overall Elder Vielma and I are doing very well! It got cold here, very rapidly. On Monday it was 85 and gorgeous! By Wednesday, it was 40 and raining and I was covered with mud and soaking wet. I also felt sick for most of the week, however, I never let my headache and desire to vomit get in the way of the work. Oh well, that is how the mission is right! No one said it would be easy, they only said it would be worth it. 

This week, most of our teaching appointments fell through. It was actually pretty discouraging by Thursday when we planned for the week. However, we found an inactive member who hasn’t gone to church in 6 years and had a lesson with him and his family. 

The lesson went okay and I was nervous for his answer when we asked him when we can return and teach them again. His response was an absolute miracle! He told us that he wanted us to return the next day and also that he wants his wife and son to be baptized! Elder Vielma and I are so excited to teach this family and hope they can be ready to be baptized in November or December! 

This Saturday, we had an absolutely incredible Family Home Evening with a couple of families in the ward. There were 15 people there, including my companion and me. I was able to share my thoughts about what it means to have a Broken Heart and Contrite Spirit. 

This topic comes up frequently while we attend church and read in the scriptures, but I think many times we don’t understand what it really means to have a Broken Heart and Contrite Spirit. I was able to do my research and came up with 3 essential aspects that every one needs to have and develop, in order to have a broken heart and contrite spirit. 

First, we have to be willing, and consistently make the effort to develop Christ like attributes, such as, humility, hope, faith, charity, love, virtue, knowledge, diligence, patience, and obedience. 
Second, we need to feel a deep sorrow for sin and a sincere desire to repent when we commit errors. 
Third, we have to be humble and receptive to the will of God and to the counsel of those He has called to lead His Church. 

I shared these 3 aspects of a person with broken heart and contrite spirit, and then shared Luke , chapter 22, verse 42, which talks about our Saviors suffering for our sins, pains, afflictions, sorrows, and difficulties, in the Garden of Gethsemane. 

In this verse Christ is speaking, and says, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me, nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done. 

This verse has always really hit home deep into my heart. Our Savior is the ultimate example of a Broken Heart and Contrite Spirit. Concerning the three aspects, He of course, had developed all of the attributes mentioned above, perfectly and without lacking. We know that he lived a life free of sin; yet, he still was willing to feel the incomprehensible sorrow of our sins and sorrows. 

Yet, I think the third aspect, the fact that even our Savior was willing to accept the will of God, is what most impresses me. The Atonement of Jesus Christ was incredible, something that even the Son of God did not want to have to endure. He asked, remove this cup from me. He could have stopped and not atoned for us, yet he endured, and later rose from the grave 3 days later. For this, I am grateful, for this I am in Mexico serving the Lord. 

I encourage you all to strive to develop the 3 aspects mentioned above and become more like our Savior! Because he loves us!

All the best,
Elder Shipley 

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