Friday, November 11, 2016

Week 71 -Testimonies

The "secretaries" in a serious pose
The "secretaries" in a smiling pose
 Well loved and worn soles!
The secretaries and Lalo 
 Lalo, Gai, Jeff and Elder Lopez
The Elders going home...and Jeff

Dear Family and Friends,

This week went by super fast with the new missionaries that arrived on Monday, changes on Tuesday, and the departure of the old missionaries on Wednesday. I slept very little with all of the Elders in our house on Monday and Tuesday night! It's a blast being able to chat with them and catch up with them. Things got a little interesting on Tuesday night when we had a few wild Elders that had finished their missions in the house that started burning things, including a suit, and making a mess but it turned out fine. 

The big news of the week was of course Donald Trump being elected as the next President of the United States. I honestly thought that there would be a larger social impact here in Saltillo, since we are so close to Texas (about 6 hours in car) but I really haven't had any problems. Aside from a few uncomfortable questions and some drugged up teenagers shouting at me that I should go back to my country with Trump, everything has been calm. 

It has gotten a lot colder here in Saltillo. It is almost always 60 degrees or colder in my house. I'm fine though because I sleep with three blankets, sweats, a sweatshirt, and a heater on! We are staying nice and warm!
The best part of the week was church this past Sunday! We had a great fast and testimony meeting during the first hour. It's always a treat to be able to hear the testimonies of the members here in Valle de las Flores because it is such a spiritual ward! I love the people!

My favorite testimonies were shared by our investigators, Lalo and Gabi, two of my favorite people in the world! I am going to share some of my favorite quotes from their testimonies. 

Lalo mentioned that he used to belong to several groups of people that weren't always the best influence on him. He said, ''I used to be in the army, police, and even neighborhood gangs and always thought that I needed to be bigger or stronger than the rest to be able to defend myself and do my job. I always thought that having weapons or knowing martial arts were important. Now I don't need weapons to be safe because I know that the most powerful weapons that exist are prayer, patience, and love. Love and charity are really the reason why I love the gospel and I love this church. I am now part of this group, my brothers and sisters, and I have never felt so blessed or happy in my entire life''. 

While discussing the changes that Gabi has had in her life, she mentioned, ''before I started going to church, praying, or learning from the missionaries, I avoided my problems and ran away from them by doing things God doesn't want us to do. Now, I want to obey the commandments, even though I have problems, because I know that obeying the commandments brings blessings and happiness. I am now so happy and content that I could die and it would be fine, because I know that I will return to be with God. It is truly a blessing to have the knowledge that a family can be sealed together forever. Even though we aren't baptized yet, the most important thing in my life is that our family can be sealed in the temple''.

The spirit was strong as these two super investigators shared their testimonies this past Sunday. We are hoping and praying that they can be baptized this month. I cannot wait to see this wonderful family enter into the waters of baptism and receive the blessings that our Heavenly Father has in store for them. 

I love being a missionary and being able to play a small part in this great work of serving others and helping others come unto Christ!

Have a great week!
Elder Shipley 

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