Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 37

Jeff and Elder Brigg's who just went home. 
 "Guer" is what they yell to all the "white" boys on the street!
Jeff and a sweet member in his ward. 
 "Cool statue" in the historic part of Saltillo
The hills of Saltillo!

Dear Family and Friends, 

This was a rather average, perhaps, slightly disappointing week here in Saltillo, but Elder Smith and I are still happy and smiling! We were having a really great week until yesterday. We had lots of good lessons, found some new promising investigators, and had dreams of 5 investigators in church. 

We also started to a fast with an investigator that was going to be baptized a couple of weeks ago but decided to wait for a while so she can get a stronger confirmation that she should get baptized. Elder Smith and I had a super awesome lesson with her on Friday and started out fast on Saturday! 

Yesterday, before church started, I called the 5 people that told us that they will come to church and I started to recieve the bad news. I still hoped that we were going to have 2 of the 5 but at the end of the day, only 1 investigator came to church. It was a very regular occurence in the mission, but for some reason I felt pretty sad. 

Also, the investigator that was pondering her baptism really threw me for a loop. She got up and shared her testimony during sacrament meeting and did a wonderful job! I was really hoping that we would be able to pass by in the afternoon with her and help her recognize an answer from the Holy Spirit that she should get baptized soon. However, I was disappointed when she called me after church and said she was heading to her brother's house and would not be home for a visit. 

I began to reflect last night why I was sad and a little disappointed. I came to a few interesting conclusions. First, why is it that we don't recieve all of the blessings that we think we deserve? I felt like Elder Smith and I did our part with lots of great lessons with members present, fasting, and calling all of the investigators to remind them to come to church. I know that we are obeying the commandents and the mission rules, so thus, we are entitled to the blessings. Or in other words, why didn't we have the success that we wanted? We did everything we could! 

This last question I think is the key, I asked myself why we didn't have the success or recieve the blessings that we wanted. As missionaries, members of the church, and human beings, we have to remember that the blessings that we recieve arrive on the Lord's time. 

Perhaps, you have asked yourself the same question. If I am doing all that I can, obeying the commandments, reading in the scriptures, praying, serving others, going to church, trying to be like our Savior, why don't the blessings or success come? 

A verse in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 58, verse 3, helped me understand why the blessings come on the Lord's time and not when we want. 

It reads, "Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come herafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation"

A few key things to understand is that we view the world and the blessings we recieve with our "natural eyes" we don't understand how God works or the things that are truly best for us. The Lord will always know what is best for us, even if we don't like it or don't want it. We need to be patient, and try to understand life as God sees it. He hopes that we can grow and develop as human beings and as his children. This means that we have to encounter trials and challenges. If there never were problems or trials in life we would never progress. 

This applies in the mission field, in work, concerning the health of a person, in school, with friends, and with family members. After the trials and the tough times, the blessings will come. Thus, I am very motivated to get 5 or more investigators in church this week! I am confident that if I work harder, study more, and am more obedient, the blessings will come, but I have to remember it is on the Lord's time. 

All the best, I TURN 20 ON FRIDAY! My last week as a teenager! That's crazy. Feel free to send an update on March Madness, I'd love to fill out a bracket in Mexico!

Much love, 
Elder Shipley

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