Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 52 - Emergency Preparedness and Sleepovers

 Out teaching with members.
Happy Birthday Elder Nay!

The traditional in cake in your face or Mordita!
 So hot...It was time for shorts??
 Elder Shipley, Elder Nay and Elder Rose!
 The Central Plaza in Musquiz.  The greenest area in the mission.
Elder Nay and Elder Shipley with Viviana.

Dear family and friends, 

This week, I experienced 2 things completely new here on the mission! It's kind of strange to think about that considering I have been doing the same things every week for a year now but it was truly one of the most unique weeks I have had here in Mexico. 

I want to start off with a little follow up to the email I sent home last week. So, last week I was a little sick of eating fish 3 times in one week.  Well, right after I finished writing the letter home in the cyber cafe, we headed to a house of a member to eat lunch. Well, I wasn't sure if I started laughing or crying when the sister brought out...wait for it...FISH once again. I think I have learned my lesson not to complain because the Lord has a funny way of teaching us lessons. In fact, the fish was actually pretty good :) 

This week, we had 2 surprise sleepovers! The first was surprise because the mission office didn't tell us anyone was coming until the day before, but we had one of the assistants come up from Saltillo and he slept in our house on Tuesday and Wednesday night! We had splits and I learned a lot from Elder Rose. I enjoyed asking him questions and advice since he goes home in 2 weeks. I think the best part of the day was the way he described the heat here in Nueva Rosita. He said, ¨wow, it´s so hot, I feel like somebody is just holding up a blow dryer to my face the whole day¨. So yea, that's how it feels. I encourage all of you to hold up a blow dryer to your face for about 5 minutes straight and then you will understand how we feel here around 3 or 4 pm. With Elder Rose here last Tuesday we reached 115 degrees Fahrenheit. :) 

On Friday, we had our second surprise sleepover! We went to an area in the zone that is about an hour away by bus called Musquiz to do a baptismal interview. Well after some confusion, lost cell coverage, and bad planning, Elder Nay and I made it to Muzquiz around almost 8pm. We had to interview this person on Friday night so she could get baptized on Saturday night. After a rather lengthy interview, we left the church running to grab the bus back to Nueva Rosita and we showed up to the bus station at 9:30. We were very sad when we realized that the bus left at 9:20 and that the next bus would not leave until 10:30, which meant we would not have been home until 11:30 almost midnight. After talking with the assistants, we were sent back to the elders house in Muzquiz to sleep there for the night, with plans to return to Rosita on Saturday morning. 

This past Friday night was truly unforgettable. There were 4 Elders and only 2 beds. I ended up laying on a few blankets on the ground in my dirty clothes and all. My favorite part of the night was killing a few cockroaches and pushing away the pet rabbit of the elders away from my bed (blanket on the ground). I wasn't very happy to discover the pet rabbit in the house, because we can't have pets, but they promised to give it away today. I will never forget this sleepover! 

On Saturday morning, we made our way back to Rosita and realized that the house didn't have water. We turned on the shower, the sink, the water faucet outside... we had no idea what was going on. After talking with a few neighbors and calling a few members, we realized that the whole town of Nueva Rosita, with several tens of thousands of inhabitants just doesn't have water! Turns out that a very large pipe broke and so we haven't bathed since Friday morning. Today is now Monday! There weren't many people in church yesterday because nobody could bathe. We have a lot of hope and faith that the water will be repaired and come back today! 

I really learned the importance of being ready for anything this week. Who knows when we might have surprise sleepovers, a few hours on the ground with some cockroaches and a rabbit or a city wide ¨drought¨. I am grateful that Elder Nay and I had bought 15 gallons of drinking water a week ago because right now there are big trucks of water that are going around the city to give people water, and it's not exactly clean! 

I can personally testify to the importance of having a storage of clean water and food in house and being prepared for emergencies. The words of the prophets are true because the members here are able to help out there neighbors who have no water! Something I have thought about recently is, what would I do if no water came out of the faucets in the sink, outside, or from the shower? 

However, I have a lot of confidence that the water is going to return very quickly and life will be back to normal. I love learning new things here on the mission and I really appreciate your love and support! I know that Savior lives and that He loves us. Be sure to give the dad's in your life thanks and even more important our Heavenly Father that loves us more than we can imagine. 

All the best, 
Elder Shipley 

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