Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 31 It's training time in Saltillo

 The 14 trainers and 14 trainees with the mission president and his wife.
 Elder Shipley and Elder Smith
 The match!
 On the streets of Saltillo!
 The new 2016 Puppy Calendar. When this calendar is done, Jeff has 5.5 month's left!
Studying in their new house!

Dear Family and Friends,

I am now in Saltillo!!!!! I cannot believe it! I am not going to lie, it was strange to come back to the offices here in Saltillo 6 months after I arrived. I arrived the first time as a trainee and now I arrived the second time a week ago to train another missionary! Crazy how time flies! I hit 7 months on the mission yesterday! 

Monday I took a 9 hour bus ride so that was a drag. Tuesday was great because I received my hijo/son/trainee! Here is a little short story to explain how Tuesday was one of the craziest days and surprises of my life. 

When the trainers "receive" their new trainees, what happens is the mission president, lines up all of the trainers on one side of the room and all of the trainees on the other. There were 14 trainers and 14 trainees so there were a lot of people. The President then reads of your zone, area, who the trainer is, and then says the name of the trainee that will accompany him or her. Basically, I had no idea who was going to be my trainee! There were 7 Latino trainees and 3 American trainees and 4 sister missionaries. After all of the sister missionaries had received their trainees, the President started reading off all of Elders. After 5 minutes, there were two trainers left, me and an Elder from Mexico. There were also 2 trainees left, one from Mexico and an American. I was 95% certain that the American was going to be trained by my buddy from Mexico and that I was going to train the Mexican. And then the President announced my name and area and I found out that I was going to train an AMERICAN! Elder Smith from Idaho! I was so excited!!! WOW! Perhaps the biggest surprise of my life and I am so grateful for this opportunity. 

This week has been filled with trials. Our area was not in the best condition when we arrived. There were and still are various problems, including, a cell phone not working for 2 days, the keys to my house ended up in Monclova a city 4 hours north, luckily the owner of the house had an extra, the other missionaries left a map of Monclova and not my area, and very few investigators.  

However, little bit little, we have fixed the phone, cleaned the house, gotten a map, found investigators, and got the keys to my house. My trainee/hijo is doing a great job and has a strong desire to serve the Lord. He has a great heart and works hard. On Sunday, he grew up a little bit. We had 6 teaching appointments for the afternoon on Sunday and nobody was home. It was rather frustrating and we were tired after a long week of getting to know the area and solving the problems. My companion contacted someone and had a rough time with his Spanish, (after all he just started). He had kinda a rough moment but after a few minutes I shared some advice and helped with his Spanish and then he finished the night with 2 wonderful street contacts. I was SO PROUD! He overcame a really rough moment during his first week in the mission field and demonstrated great resilience and determination. 

I imagine this is how our Heavenly Father feels when we chose the right and overcome the temptations that we face everyday. Our Heavenly father and His son Jesus Christ love us SO much! Always remember that they are always there and willing to listen to us! Have a great week and much love from Saltillo! 

It's also not to cold outside, kinda like the spring back home and my house is like a dark, cold cave. :) 

Elder Shipley 

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