Friday, September 30, 2016

Week 66 - New Adventures

 The Baeza Family in the Aurora Ward
 Edith in the Aurora Ward who helps a ton with the missionaries.
Jeffrey's new companion, Elder Lopez. 
Elder Marin (last companion) and the Lugo's.

Dear Family and Friends,

It's really strange to have your P-day on Friday!  It hasn't felt like P-day all day. Well, it's not a true day to relax because there are always things to do in the offices!  It's nice to share a p-day with the other 2 secretaries and with the assistants. We had a great basketball game this morning and then breakfast together! It has now been almost 2 weeks without writing home because I lost my P-day this past week during the transition but I will try to relate many of my recent experiences! 

I have spent the last week welcoming and orienting new missionaries and saying goodbye to of some of my very best friends on the mission who went home this past week. This Monday we had 10 new missionaries arrive to the mission and on Wednesday morning, I had the privilege to drop off 11 elders in the airport!  This week brought cool experiences when I went out teaching with a new American Elder on Monday, his first day outside of the MTC, and then to say goodbye to veteran elders on Wednesday morning. It is incredible to see how much a mission can positively impact the lives of not only the people we serve but also the missionaries themselves. It was tough to say bye to 2 ex-companions, Elder Johnson, Elder Nay, my first zone and district leaders Elder Briones, Elder Zapatero.  Along with Elder Daines, who was in my first district and was my leader for a long time, Elder Munoz who shared a ward with me for 4 months, Sister Mis, the mission nurse, and many other fabulous missionaries. The good part is I'll be able to see many of them after the mission but I will sure miss them! 

Also, my time with Elder Marin in the Aurora ward is now over, I am now with Elder Lopez in the ward, Valle de las Flores. Elder Lopez is from Puebla, Mexico, it's a large city south of Mexico City and is a really an awesome companion. Elder Lopez is the executive secretary to President Cahoon, and thus is always working in the offices with me. He speaks almost perfect English and is super funny. He has 11 months on the mission and will be 20 years old on Monday. He also speaks Japanese fairly well and used to live in Provo, Utah so that's pretty cool. 

Sadly, we don't get as much time to talk to people in the street or teach lessons as we used to have, but I know that my work in the offices is important too.  We sure do spend a lot of time in the offices. There was one day last week when I was in the offices from 9 AM to 9 PM and didn't leave the whole day! We just ordered pizza to the offices and kept on working. It was also the day that an official representative from the church came to audit our mission and we passed! I wasn't sure what was going on most of the time because Sister Lugo did most of it but it was a super long day. 

I am super excited for general conference tomorrow and Sunday. It's truly an incredible opportunity to listen to the counsels of the living prophets. It's super important that we listen to their words because what they say is truly the will of God and if we follow their counsel, it is as if we were listening to our Heavenly Father speak to all of us how we can be happy. I plan on having a list of questions written down and pay attention to the inspired words that they share with us. 

The sweetest moment from the past week was talking with my friend and ex-companion Elder Johnson about all of the people in Nueva Rosita that I knew that were baptized. On Tuesday evening, the day before Elder Johnson went home, we got to talk about a bunch of different people that we had found or helped attend church for the first time that have been baptized during the last few weeks. It was truly a special moment sharing with him the update that Gloria and her daughter, Irma and her husband, William, and others have been able to receive blessings in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I truly love the mission and all of the great moments I experience here. There are crazy fun nights when 10 Elders go home and leave behind 2 years of clothes and stories in my house to clean up and also difficult moments where I don't know what do, but I know that if I trust in the Lord and follow the Spirit and what He wants me to do, everything turns out well and I can always feel the Lord's love in my life. 

I hope you are all well and enjoying football season! Go Issy/UW/Seahawks! 

All the best, 
Elder Shipley 

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