Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 36

 In "Novasports"  Jeff found a seahawks hat!
 Jeff's Zone "Republica"
 A long 4 hour day of cleaning the church!
 William's family on his baptism day.
Cleaning out the brown and yellow water that came out of the facet in the font...yuck!
 Jeff is now a District Leader.  This is his district!
William's baptism

Dear Family and Friends, 

This was a super special week here in Saltillo! I finished my first transfer here with my hijo/son/trainee Elder Smith! I am very excited to be able to stay here for another 6 weeks and finish his training! I was a little worried last night that I was going to leave when one of the Assistants to the President called me to tell me I will have more responsibility next transfer, and he asked me if I would be sad to leave... but he was just joking and I will be staying in Saltillo!  I really love my ward and am excited for the next 6 weeks here. 

The highlight of this week was of course the BAPTISM on Saturday night! I am literally so grateful and feel extremely blessed to be able to help my trainee, Elder Smith, baptize in his first transfer here in Mexico. When I arrived here in my area, Corona, on January 18th, I was honestly very nervous. I showed up in my area, without a phone, without a map, with a dirty house, without a calendar of food, without investigators or a list of people I should visit.... It was looking like it was going to be a very tough first transfer for Elder Smith in the field. But little by little, we overcome the trials and challenges. Now, I look back on the past 6 weeks and can't believe all that we have accomplished! We were able to help William Rivas enter into the waters of baptism and open the door to eternal life with Our Father in Heaven! We also have plans to help other people make the decision to be baptized in the next 6 weeks! 

Perhaps, a moment even more special than a baptism was a lesson that Elder Smith and I had with William on Friday night, the night before his baptism. We taught him about the temple and how special of a place it is. He then asked me a question that I am never going to forget. He asked, 'In a couple of years, am I going to be an Elder/missionary like you guys too or do I have a choice?" I responded, of course you have a choice William, Our Heavenly Father gives us our free agency to choose whatever we want in life! The question you have to ask yourself is what path you want to follow. I then shared one of my favorite verses from the Doctrine and Covenants with him, In section 18 it reads:

15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance until this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! 
16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought until me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

I shared that missionary work is hard, sometimes, it seems impossible, but at the end of the day, the Lord promises us wonderful and marvelous blessings.  I think that one of the greatest is the joy that I feel everyday serving the Lord and helping others come unto Christ. I told him, that perhaps someday, he will remember this conversation, and I hope he does, because a mission truly allows you to change your life and make the lives of countless others better. And a life not lived for others, is not a life worth living. 

Have a great week, 
Elder Shipley 

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