Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 30 -Good Bye Piedras Negras!

 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!
 His chapel!
 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.

Dear Family and Friends,

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. 

Elder Suarez 
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 
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. 

Elder Vielma
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. 

Elder Holmes
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, 
Elder Shipley  

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