Friday, February 24, 2017

Week 86


Hello family and friends!!! How are you all doing!? I hope all is well back in beautiful Seattle! Today I hit 20 months on the mission! I am getting so old!

I don’t have a lot of time to write because we have a baptismal service today for Karen and her mom Rocio! We are very excited that they are going to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized! It should be an awesome baptism. I will send the pictures next Friday! 

This past week was very busy in the office. The accounting cycle for this month ends today so I have been scrambling trying to get business invoices from gas stations and restaurants all over Coahuila. Unfortunately, for the first time in my 6 months as financial secretary, I had to ask missionaries that are living in other cities if they would go to a grocery store and restaurant to get the business invoices emailed to me because the restaurant wouldn’t answer their phone and I couldn’t fix the invoice of the grocery store by phone. We had a few stressful days in the office but everything turned out well in the end. 

The best part of this past week was stake conference last weekend! This past stake conference here in Valle de las Flores was my favorite stake conference I have seen on my mission. The speakers were awesome! Our mission president, President Cahoon and his wife spoke about our Saviour and his infinite Atonement. The temple president in Monterrey and his wife also gave great talks about the importance of regular temple attendance. The stake counselors and stake president talked about enduring to the end and finding joy in this life through the gospel. However, my favorite speaker was a member of the quorum of the 70 that is from Venezuela but lives and works here in Mexico.

I absolutely loved his talks on Saturday night and Sunday. He talked to the adults on Saturday night about several principles that are very applicable to marriages. Now, I am several years away from getting married but you could say I am married (or worse haha) in the sense that I am with my companion Elder Lopez, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He taught us that we need to learn to choose the correct moments to teach and correct. He explained a great example about teaching someone how to swim and related it to a very common occurrence between husbands and wives. 

I am going to try to explain the example like he explained it. Imagine that you were teaching someone how to swim but that this person didn’t know how. Naturally, someone who doesn’t know how to swim would start to flail, freak out, and drown in the water. Now if you were the teacher, swimming near the drowning pupil, would you start to teach the student to move your arms in circular motions and your feet up and down to propel you forward, hoping that he or she somehow learns to swim even though they are floundering and struggling for air?

After the congregation laughed for a few moments he said that the answer is, of course, no! If you were the instructor, what do you need to do to effectively teach the pupil how to swim? You need to rescue the pupil, calm him or her down, and then after they feel safe, teach the art of swimming. 

He then related this example to everyday life and said that often husbands and wives (or college roommates, mission companions, siblings, etc.) look to teach correct behavior in inopportune moments. For example, instead of trying to teach a spouse how to calm down and not get stressed out when the kids are running around the house, fighting, not doing their homework, making messes, the companion should ‘’rescue’’ his or her spouse by calming down the kids and eliminating the problem. Later, in the correct, calm moment, he or she can teach the spouse not to get mad when all of the kids are going crazy but rather to stay calm and help them one by one.
Also, I loved the part of his talk when he talked about the importance of women in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. He said that all women are daughters of our Heavenly Father and that they are very special in his eyes. He explained to us that many times, we as men, do 5 things. Of those 5 things, we do 4 things poorly, and 1 thing well. He also explained that if women do 10 things, they do 9 things well, and 1 thing wrong. However, men often focus in the 1 thing we did well and we ignore the 4 things we did poorly. Women on the other hand, often focus on the one bad thing. He told all of the sisters of the congregation that our Heavenly Father is content and happy with every righteous action and desire that they have, even if they only do 9 out of 10 things right J  and that they are never alone. He told us to be grateful for all the women in our lives and to be more willing to serve and love as they do. 

Have a great week! We are off to the baptisms! 

All love!
Elder Shipley 

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