Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 26

 Fake Pyramid in the plaza.  Look closely and Feliz Navidad is there behind him in silver.
 The Bishop and his wife in Jeff's ward.
 Elder Holmes and Elder Shipley on the streets in Piedras Negras.
At home with their Christmas tree. 
The Giant Tree in the Plaza. 

Dear Family and Friends, 

We had another good week here in Piedras Negras and found some new people to teach that are really interested! It's crazy to think that it is Christmas this Friday! I hit 6 months on the mission this Thursday! Elder Holmes and I are having a good time and are still speaking only Spanish! 

I want to thank all of the families and friends that sent me letters this holiday season! I loved them all and it made my day, every day, when I could come home and read a letter! 

I wanted to share a short part of the message that President Thomas S. Monson sent out in the December Liahona magazine. I really enjoyed his message and want to share a couple of paragraphs with you all. Keep in mind that what I am going to share is a translation from Spanish to English, because I don't have the Liahonia in English so I hope there aren't mistakes! 

The title of this message is called, "Make Time for the Savior."  I really enjoyed what he said. He started out by saying,  "In our crazy busy lives, with so many things that require our attention, it is essential that we make a constant and committed effort to make Jesus Christ a part of our lives and our homes¨. 

He then followed by saying that since the times of the New Testament, when Christ walked the streets of Jerusalem, performed miracles, and taught His Gospel, He has always encouraged us to follow him. The invitation is always the same, follow Him. One of the best ways to follow Him is to show your love for others through acts of service. 

By following his steps and emulating his example we will have opportunities to bless the lives of others. Our Savior Jesus Christ invites us to give a part of ourselves to others, as He did for us.

The Prophet then asks us, "is there someone that you can serve this Christmas season to better emulate the example of the Savior?"  There is still time during this Holiday season to extend a loving hand, a willing heart, and willing spirit, or in other words, to follow the example of our Savior and serve others like he hopes we will. 

During this Christmas season, my family back home in Issaquah always does a food drive for our neighborhood and the neighborhood next to us. It is always a wonderful experience when we take time to go door to door asking our neighbors for donations, knowing that the time we are spending is for the benefit of those in need. 

This Christmas season, I was not able to help with the Family Food drive, however, I have had the opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people here in Piedras Negras, Mexico. Nothing I have ever done brings me such joy, despite it's difficulties. I hope that we can all remember that during this Christmas season, Jesus Christ is the true gift. And the best way we can honor this gift is to give to others. 

I hope and pray that this Holiday Season, each one of us can find a new way to serve our neighbors and family members. And that we will always remember the true meaning of Christmas, as Luke wrote so eloquently hundreds of years ago, 

¨For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a SAVIOR, which is CHRIST the LORD. 

Remember that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that when we remember him and follow his Gospel, we can find peace on Earth and hope for an eternal reward, even Eternal Life. 

Have a wonderful week and a Merry Christmas, and I hope you all find peace this Christmas just as the Angelic Host declared,´´Glory to God in the Highest,and on Earth, peace, good will toward men¨. 

All the best, 
Elder Shipley 

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