Friday, December 30, 2016

Week 78-The last post of 2016

 Christmas Eve  Dinner!
 Opening presents in the office!
 Elder Lopez in his new Washington Shirt and our families favorite book "The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.
Skipping with family on Christmas Day!

Happy New Year!!  This will be the last email you receive from me in 2016!  This has been my year in Mexico!  This past week we celebrated Christmas Eve with two wonderful older ladies in our ward that treated us like we were their grandchildren!  We opened presents in the office on Christmas morning under the big tree, skyped with our families and prepared Mara and her son Oscar to be baptized tomorrow!

I really enjoyed this past December. It was filled with letters that Elder Lopez and I read every night that talked about the events that led to the birth of Jesus Christ. We went ice skating, bowling, played some great basketball games and enjoyed the gifts my family sent! Thanks! 

Elder Lopez and I have found several wonderful families that are all excited about getting baptized in the next few months. We have faith that many people will be able to make the sacred promise with our Heavenly Father to be able to be clean of sins. We are SO EXCITED to attend the baptism of Mara and Oscar tomorrow! Mara is an awesome mother of 4 kids and wants all of her kids to follow her on the path that leads to eternal life.

My favorite moment of the past week was when Elder Lopez and I invited 9 year old Oscar to be baptized with his mom this past Tuesday. He kinda looked at us for a few seconds and thought about it. He then said, ''well, I want to follow Christ and do what He did, so yes. Also, my mom is getting baptized, and I don't want her to be alone so I will be right by her side.'' The two members we invited to the lesson, his mother Mara, and even I got a little emotional when we heard this angel of a little guy express the love he has for his mom. Tomorrow is the last day of 2016 and will surely be one of the sweetest days I have had all year. 

Also, I don't have my personal 2017 goals ready to share yet.  I encourage each of you to think about a few goals that you can strive to achieve this year to improve and become more like our Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. I love a quote from President Uchtdorf:  

“An old proverb says, ‘The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.  There is something wonderful and hopeful about the word now. There is something empowering about the fact that if we choose to decide now, we can move forward at this very moment."
“Now is the best time to start becoming the person we eventually want to be—not only 20 years from now but also for all eternity.”
—President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, The Best Time to Plant a Tree

I love this proverb and quote from President Uchtorf because it is so true! If you want to change or improve in anything, let this year be the year! For with God all things are possible.I know that God loves us and wants us to have happy lives. I know that Jesus Christ died for each of us so that we can be clean from sins and overcome the trials and struggles we have in this life. Don't be afraid to shoot for the moon this upcoming year, because if you miss, you will land in the stars. 

All love, 
Elder Shipley 

Sorry, I can't get the quoted parts to read in white!  Stephanie

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