Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 46

The "Famous" Sister Zamora.  Love the Hat!  She could have gone to the Kentucky Derby!
 Emptying the baptism font by hand.  That was fun!
 The streets of Saltillo

 Mexican Corn on the Cob with Sister Ruiz!
 The train tunnel Jeff walks under every day to go home!
Mother's Day Skype!
From the Issaquah side!

Dear family and friends, 

This was a wonderful week here in Saltillo! Elder Smith and I just finished week number 16 together! This week was calm as we focused on getting a few people that we are teaching ready for baptism.

This week was really highlighted by two wonderful experiences. On Thursday, we were with a 24 year old man named Antonio. We have been teaching him for several weeks and we are very excited for his wedding and baptism this Saturday! He, together with his girlfriend, are going to get married at 2pm, baptized at 6, and enjoy a dinner put on by the sisters in the ward at 7! It has been incredibly difficult to navigate the marriage process here in Mexico! The worst part is that all the paperwork was in Spanish :) Imagine that!

However, the chat that we had on Thursday afternoon was one of the most special experiences I have had here in Corona. Antonio told us that when we first started teaching him, he really wasn´t that interested in what we were teaching and didn´t want anything to do with the Book of Mormon of Joseph Smith or modern day revelation. However, he told us that the thing that was really interesting about our message wasn´t the actual message itself, but rather the change that his 4 year old daughter, (her name is pronounced Yammi, I don´t know how to spell it) has had over the past weeks. He said that since his daughter has been listening to us, attending church, and spending time with a wonderful sister from our ward named Sister Ruiz (that comes with us when we visit them), his daughter has changed and improved immensely. 

He said that he noticed this changed, that his daughter was calmer, more obedient, and caused less problems. Over time, he then said that his daughter started to pray for the family ever night before they went to bed. She also reminded the family to pray over the food at meal times. Antonio said that the change his daughter had and the faith that she has shown has been the major reason why he is wanting to get baptized. Of course, he has also prayed and knows for himself that the church is true and that through Joseph Smith, God restored his true church to the earth, however, he has noticed how much the gospel has blessed the life of his family. 

He said that he wants his daughters to grow up in the church, living the gospel so that they don´t make the same mistakes that he did. He wants them to be happier than he has been in his life. His pure testimony, which lasted for over a half an hour, was one of the strongest spiritual experiences I have had the pleasure of having. 

This wonderful experience was followed by a wonderful Mother´s Day yesterday It didn´t feel like Mother´s day here, because in Mexico they celebrate Mother´s Day on May 10th, every year. However, everything changed when I was able to talk with my family for an hour in the evening. I felt incredibly blessed to be able to have a family that shows me an abundance of love and support. It was a wonderful hour of laughs, a few tears, and a lot of love. I have really realize the importance of families during my mission. There is a reason that our Heavenly Father put us in families. It is because he wants us to be able to learn, grow, progress, and someday live with them forever. 

I love my family and I love working so that other families can receive the wonderful blessings that God has in store for us. 

Have a great week!
Elder Shipley

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