Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 33

 On their way to help move rocks and Carne Asada!
 The reward for moving rocks!
 Trains anyone?
Their chapel in Saltillo

Dear Family and Friends,
Another Monday! It´s crazy how fast time flies here!  Every minute is precious here on the mission because I know that this is the Lord´s time not my own so we are working really hard! 

Since I am training an American right now, sometimes we have some really funny moments when speaking Spanish! This week, my young trainee, Elder Smith from Idaho, had a few English words slip out of his mouth while talking to people on the street. For example, he asked if this one man had ever seen ¨two gringos¨ instead of saying ¨dos gringos¨ in Spanish. The man just looked at us and didn´t say a word and I was dying from laughter. I always remember the importance of smiling and laughing! I just think it´s pretty cool that two Americans are living in Mexico and all day long are sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ! 

This week, I felt like Superman in church! Let me explain why.  I currently share a ward with one American, one Mexican, and one Brazilian. My Mexican companion this week had to have gall bladder surgery, so he and his Brazilian companion couldn´t come to church. In their absence, considering that my companion just arrived in the mission field, I ended up playing piano during sacrament meeting, leading the music in another meeting, teaching a class for an hour by myself, and played a large role in creating our ward mission plan! It´s very gratifying to see how far I have come after 7.5 months in Mexico. 

I think the most wonderful experience I had this week was with a less active member and my companion. It was like 8:45 pm and I was planning on teaching about the importance of the Sacrament. The less active member that we were teaching is a returned missionary and truly is a wonderful member of the church. But for one reason or another, he doesn´t go to church on Sunday even though he knows a ton about the Gospel. He started to share his life story with me and after close to 20 minutes listening to this Brother´s story, I didn´t know what I was going to share... I was trying to feel the spirit, and think about what he needs to hear, but I truly didn´t know. 

Then, my companion, my brand new son here in the mission field, caught my eye, pulled out a couple of scriptures that related perfectly to the story that the less active member was sharing and beautifully explained the blessings of the Sacrament . I then added a few things of my own and this member told us that he was going to attend church and that he was going to invite his sons, who aren´t members to listen to us. The best part was that the Spanish of my companion was close to perfect. When we left the house, he began to speak again as if he only had 3 weeks here in the field, but for 20 minutes, his Spanish was wonderful and I was so proud. 

I know my testimony of the gift of tongues and the importance of the Sacrament were greatly strengthened. I know that we are doing the work of the Lord here in Mexico and I truly do love the mission. I hope you are all having a great week! 

All the best, 
Elder Shipley 

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