Friday, December 9, 2016

Week 75

Christmas Conference for the 3 Zones in Saltillo

 Special letter from William (a convert of Jeffrey's) 
 Dinner is served!
 Elder Smith and Jeffrey
 The Zone with their Mission T-shirts on
The back of the mission t-shirts!
 Elder Lopez, Elder Ray and Jeffrey with Santa Hats in the office!
Jeffrey's Christmas tree, gifts and Christmas pillowcases!  

Dear Family and Friends,

This past week was super exciting and filled with many Christmas events!!!!! We listened to the Church's Christmas devotional from Salt Lake on Sunday and on Tuesday we had the mission Christmas Conference. The three zones here in Saltillo got together and we had a blast! 

Big shout out to Sister Cahoon for making a Christmas ham that was super tasty! I felt like I was eating Christmas ham back home! We had a wonderful Christmas devotional and listened to a trio of Elders sing Christmas songs. The trio is made up of Elders from the northern 5 zones so they have spent the whole week touring the mission and singing! My son, Elder Smith, was a part of the trio and they were awesome. It was super cool that he was a part of the trio because they all slept in my house for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday night! We love sleepovers!!!

My most joyful moment of the past week was also in the Christmas concert when Elder Smith and I received letters from one of our friends who was baptized back in February of this year, William Rivas! He wrote both of us a letter to tell us that he is going to early morning seminary, went to the temple, and regularly goes out with the missionaries to visit others to prepare for his mission! I was so happy when I read that he was doing so well and is continuing to progress in the gospel! I love that kid! 

The funniest thing that has happened recently was when we had the day of service as part of the church's Christmas campaign called, ''Light the world''. We helped the mother of a Bishop from a nearby Stake move out of the house of her son and into an apartment in my area. She moved into a apartment on the third floor of the building! It was super funny because two other elders and I carried an old heavy refrigerator up three flights of narrow stairs which resulted in lots of smashed hands and strained back muscles but it was totally worth it to help out this elderly lady. Someday I'll show you guys the video of us trying to smash this fridge up the stairs and you will enjoy the groans of us sacrificing our bodies so this lady could have her fridge.

The service that we gave is part of the church's worldwide campaign to share the light and love of our Savior Jesus Christ! I encourage all of you to participate in the ''25 Ways in 25 Days'' by following this link: 
It's really cool and helps us remember the birth of our Savior! After all, if it wasn't for the Atonement of our Redeemer, the birth of the babe of Bethlehem wouldn't have matter in the first place. I close quoting a great talk from President Gordon B. Hinckley:

''There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter. The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection.
I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal, Living God. None so great has ever walked the earth. None other has made a comparable sacrifice or granted a comparable blessing. He is the Savior and the Redeemer of the world. I believe in Him. I declare His divinity without equivocation or compromise. I love Him. I speak His name in reverence and wonder. I worship Him as I worship His Father, in spirit and in truth. I thank Him and kneel before His Beloved Son who reached out long ago and said to each of us, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
For each of you may this be a merry Christmas. But more importantly, I wish for each of you a time, perhaps only an hour, spent in silent meditation and quiet reflection on the wonder and the majesty of this, the Son of God. Our joy at this season is because He came into the world. The peace that comes from Him, His infinite love which each of us may feel, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude for that which He freely gave us at so great a cost to Himself—these are of the true essence of Christmas.''
Have a great week! 
Elder Shipley

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