Piedras Negras 5th Ward Missionaries!
The Ibarra Family the last night before transfers.
The Chavez Gamez boys!
The Gonzalez family, Brandom was a convert of Jeff's.
Jeff found goats on the streets instead of horses!
The Buentello Family
Jeff saying good-bye to his favorite "green house"
Elder Shipley and Elder Holmes at the bus station before the 9 hour ride to Saltillo.
This last week was wonderful in Piedras Negras, I now know that I will be leaving my home for 6 months and will be heading to Saltillo on Monday so I can pick up my hijo!! Hijo means son in Spanish! In the mission, when you train a new missionary, all of the missionaries refer to the trainee as a son of the trainer! I am so excited!!
I will dearly miss Piedras Negras, I cannot believe that I started my mission here as a trainee/hijo, and now I will leave 6 months later as a trainer/papa. I have learned countless things from each of my companions and I want to highlight one thing I learned from each of my 4 comps that I had.
My first companion, trainer, and someone I will always look up to. His ability to create examples and adapt them to the people we are teaching is something I still am trying to emulate. He was also incredibly wise, and I benefited greatly from his wisdom. When I met him, I was 19 and had finished one year of college. Elder Suarez was 25 and had already finished 5 years and graduated from college. I will never forget his conversion story and how difficult his upbringing was, truly an inspiring story.
Elder Alcala completed my training and showed me what it means to be a consecrated missionary. We talked to so many people and taught a ton of lessons. I learned that you have to be both effective AND efficient to be a great missionary. He was always exactly obedient and worked super hard.
When I finished my training, Elder Vielma came and taught me a lot about patience. He used to make fun of me and joke around a lot. It always was in good fun but I was and still am a fairly prideful person. I learned a lot about humbling myself because we are truly in the service of the Lord. I also learned a TON of Spanish from Elder Vielma because he spoke English and Spanish perfectly.
I am never going to forget my 6 weeks with Elder Holmes. For 6 weeks, I lived with an American, in Mexico, and we spoke almost no English. I loved spending time with him and always joking around. He is seriously one of the funniest guys I know! We spent the holidays together, so he is basically a brother to me. Also, he demonstrated sincere concern for every person that he met. Whether it was a person that just rejected us or a faithful member or awesome investigator, he always showed charity, or the pure of love of Christ.
I hope that my hijo/trainee and I get along well and that we can work super hard this transfer!! I ready for a new challenge!
All the best,