Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 48 --Time for a Change...ready or not!

The Saltillo Sign!
Good Bye Saltillo!
Jeffrey's Zone
Jeffrey's Zone Leaders
Elder Smith and Jeffrey!
Elder Smith, Jeffery and Elder Norman
Relaxing on a wall
Francisco's baptism!

The favorite Kellogg's cereals!  Jeffrey eats Frosted Flakes every day!

Dear Family and Friends,

This has been a crazy week! This was the last of 18 weeks of the adventure of Elder Shipley and Elder Smith. Today we are going to spend our last day together eating Dominos Pizza and ice cream and saying goodbye to our converts. At least I will be saying goodbye, because I am being transferred! I will leave Corona in the Rupublic Zone here in Saltillo, get on a bus tomorrow at 8AM and make my way north to Nueva Rosita! My new companion will be Elder Nay!  I am so excited to learn from him since I am going to have more responsibilities this upcoming transfer!  Elder Nay has only 4 more months on his mission so he will help me a lot as I learn about how to guide the 6 Elders and 6 Sister Missionaries in my zone. 

The funniest thing that happened this week was when we celebrated the 19th birthday of Elder Smith yesterday. The Mexicans have a tradition of chanting ¨Mordita, Mordita, Mordita¨ when someone starts to cut the birthday cake. When they start chanting, they want the person that is having the birthday to put their face near the cake and take a little bite or a ¨mordita¨. However, just like March when I had my birthday, other people push your face into the cake. It was super funny when Elder Smith got his face really close to the cake because he was expecting a little push so that he got a little cake on his nose but he wasn´t ready for me! I pushed his face in the cake and then didn´t let him lift up his face at first! He got cake up his nostrils, in his eyelashes, and all over his hair. There was so much cake in his nose while he was laughing that he actually couldn´t breathe for a second. It was a great mordita that my son, Elder Smith is never going to forget. 

The best part of this week was the baptism of Francisco! Francisco is such a super special guy! He came to church 5 weeks ago and after attending almost every week to church, got baptized! He shared a super special testimony after his baptism about the peace he has felt in his house and with us since we have been visiting him. He said that he knows that the church is true and loves to feel the spirit! He is going to work hard to look for the names and dates of his family members and take the names to the temple in a couple of weeks to do baptisms. He will also be able to do the work for his son who died a few years ago and is very excited to keep growing and learning about the gospel. 

Well, this is the last day I will be spending with Elder Smith as my companion. It has been an incredible 18 weeks teaching him and learning from him. I have learned many things from him, however, I think the most powerful and lasting lesson he has taught me is the importance of always showing love for the people that we are teaching. There was a time during March and April when I honestly wasn´t sharing a lot of love with the people we were teaching. I was being very impatient and very rarely expressed my love and concern for the people. However, Elder Smith helped me start showing love again, like I had done when we started in January and Febuary. He helped me remember the very principles that I had taught him in January that if we don´t show love and concern for the people we teach, and if we do not apply the gospel in their lives, they are never going to be able to grow, change, and progress in the gospel.  

I will be eternally grateful for Elder Smith.  We are only servants or tools in the Lord´s hand. We are truly here to serve and love the people of Mexico. He has been a great little hijo and I will miss him immensely. 

Hope all is well, I´ll let you all know how hot Nueva Rosita is next week!

All the best,
Elder Shipley 

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