Monday, July 25, 2016

Week 57 -Another Week in Rosita

 The Gutierrez Family visiting from Piedras!
 An area called Muzquiz
 Welcome to the Jungle!
 Splits with Elder Faramio
Elder Shipley, Elder Johnson and Zahory

Dear Family and Friends,
Yesterday marked 13 months here in Mexico! Time seems to just be going faster and faster. Elder Johnson and I had a good week here in Rosita! We worked really hard this week and did our best to invite members to our lessons to help our investigators feel confortable when they went to church. As always, the hearts of the people we taught last week opened up and the members were able to answer all of the questions and doubts and we were very happy to see many people come to church yesterday. I have a super strong testimony of member missionary work! If you have the chance to go with the missionaries to a lesson or a visit, be sure to go with them because the Lord gives us so many blessings when we help others come unto Christ. 

I think the theme of this week was service. Service is so important. It is a vital part of being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and is also a trait of a ¨true Christian¨. During Sacrament meeting on Sunday, all three speakers gave talks about service. Being a full time missionary, my life for two years is just serving others! One of my favorite verses in the Bible teaches me a lot about why service is so important. In James 1:27 it says, 

¨Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world¨. 

I know that the words of James are true! We have to be clean from the world, or in other words, repent for the mistakes that we make and commit to be better every single day! However, something that really stood out to me is that ¨pure religion¨ or the most pure and essential worship of Our Heavenly Father isn't locking yourself up in your house to read the scriptures and pray, (both of which are extremely important), but rather helping those that are in need and may not be able to fulfill their needs and desires on their own. 

For example, yesterday after church, my companion and I were given a chance to serve. Our next door neighbor, who is a single mom while also studying in college, was washing her dirty clothes and the clothes of her young daughter in her kitchen sink. My companion and I passed by and noticed that she was absolutely drenched with sweat. We said hi and then she asked us for a glass of water, because she didn't have any more drinking water. We gave her a glass of ice cold water (which I was super excited to drink after a hot morning at church but was happy to share) and then we offered to go buy her water. Where I am living right now, you have to buy drinking water in giant 5 gallon jugs in gas stations. 

My companion and I happily went in the 110 degree sun to buy this thirsty mother and daughter some water. Our neighbor was incredibly grateful that we did this small act of service for her so she didn't have to take her young daughter out in the sun and carry the very heavy 20 liter jug of water. 

I truly learned the importance of the small, simple acts of service that we can perform every single day. I know that if we look a little harder, offer a few more times, and are more like Our Savior Jesus Christ everyday, we can make a difference in the world around us and help others come unto the love of Jesus Christ and Our Father in heaven. 

Thank you for your love and support, I love the mission! 
All the best, 
Elder Shipley 

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