Friday, April 28, 2017

Week 95 - A great week!

 Elder Olvera, Roberto and Jeffrey
 Laio, Elder Olvera, Roberto and Jeffrey
 Chilling outside the mission office
Elder Lara and Elder Antonio before they head home

Happy Friday!! This week has been awesome and super busy!  This past week we had transfers in the mission, new missionaries that arrived, old missionaries that went home, training for my replacement as financial secretary, and amazing miracles in Roberto's baptism!

On Monday morning, we saw the transfers on the mission website and saw that a new area was opened up in our ward! We were super surprised! For the last 8 months here in the Flower Valley ward, we have been just 4 missionaries. Now we are six missionaries living in the ward and the other 2 elders live in our house! I was also super shocked that a new missionary was not coming to be in a trio with Elder Olvera and me. Instead of training a missionary from outside the office to be the next secretary, I am going to train the current materials secretary Elder Crow to be the financial secretary. I am super happy because Elder Crow is a great missionary and super smart! He will be a better secretary than I am for sure. The best part is that he is going to study in BYU in January of 2018 so I will see him again! 

The highlight of the past week was of course the baptism of Roberto! Roberto is Lalo's co-worker who has been listening to us and attending church for the past month! Roberto has truly had an awesome conversion story. A couple of months ago, he was struggling with drinking, smoking, and problems with his wife. He had noticed several changes in the character and behavior of Lalo since he has started going to church and following the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Lalo told us that back in March, he received a call from Roberto asking Lalo to help him come closer to Christ and clean up his life. Lalo, being the fabulous member missionary that he is, invited Roberto to church and he came! 

Elder Olvera and I started sharing messages about faith, repentance, baptism, the plan of salvation, and the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Roberto and he was super excited to start to keep the commandments, make changes in his life, and get baptized to follow our Savior. This past Wednesday, Elder Olvera and I were planning to have Roberto's baptismal interview on Thursday, so we called him to set it up. He said that Thursday afternoon would be perfect and assured us that he would be there. On Thursday morning, I called him to confirm his interview time and he didn't answer. In fact, he didn't answer any of our texts or calls Thursday or Friday! We honestly had no idea what happened to him and were worried that he wouldn't be able to be baptized on Saturday. 

Our worry soon turned to relief late on Friday night. We were back in our house around 9:20pm, after a good day of work, when my companion received a phone call from missionaries in a city several hours away asking for him to buy them bus tickets so they could go to an interview in another city. The missionaries wanted us to go to the office right away to buy them because they were going to travel very early in the morning. My companion, aware that it was already 9:30pm, didn't want to leave our house and told them that we would go to the office super early on Saturday morning to buy them. 

I was in the room with my companion and overheard the conversation. I remember in that moment, that I felt an overwhelming need to tell my companion that we had to go to the office to buy the tickets. It was strange to me because really, I didn't care when we bought the tickets, waking up early the next day would have been fine, and better so we weren't outside after 9:30pm, but I felt the strong need that we had to go the office right in that moment! I remember telling Elder Olvera that we needed to go right then to the office and that we were going to see Roberto and see a miracle!

You might call it chance, fate, or just dumb luck, but I know what happened next was a result of us listening to the promptings of the spirit and acting with faith. We left our house and started walking through the park that leads to the office and then we both jumped out of surprise when we saw Roberto, the same guy who hadn't answered his phone or seen us for 2 days, sitting on a park bench, all alone, waiting for us. We taught him that evening, then confirmed his baptism for the next day, and had a wonderful baptismal service on Saturday evening. 

I know that miracles exist and happen all the time. Perhaps, we don't always recognize or perceive them, but if we listen to the Holy Spirit and His promptings, and act with faith, miracles occur. I know that God lives, that He loves us, and that there are a few more miracles waiting for me in these few last weeks here in Saltillo

Have an awesome week!
Elder Shipley 

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