Monday, April 27, 2015

Semana 9!?... I think, haha (I am losing track of time)‏

Sup everybody!

Well I can't believe that another month has passed on the mission. How is everyone doing?

So, unfortunately I forgot to bring my journal with me today, so I am probably forgetting a bunch of things that happened this week. It is a weird anomaly here, but if I don't write it down or it was a super crazy experience, or something really funny, I will forget it almost immediately the next day. So I have been trying my best to record things in my journal so I can remember them after the Mish. If I forgot anything of note I will include it in the next letter.

Well first off, the baptism of Tim and Javier fell through, but it is for the best. The situation is that we are serving in an all Spanish ward and they speak and understand very little Spanish. So the bishop here wants them to go to an English ward outside of our area (which I agree will be the best thing for them so they can understand and build their testimony after baptism). So they will be baptized in a couple of weeks hopefully, but I am hoping and praying that the extra time Satan has to stop them from being baptized they will be able to overcome. They have grown and progressed so much since we first started visiting them that I am confident that they will be able to overcome the trials if they are clinging to the faith that they have in God and Jesus Christ. Hopefully we will be able to attend the baptism over at the new ward. So it will be all good.

Let's see... 

We got a new investigator named Juan that is the most prepared guy I have met here yet. We met him just mowing his lawn in his yard and invited us in to talk to him for a minute (another English speaker, no idea why we always teach them, when it is like 90% Spanish speakers around here, but I think he can speak Spanish as well). Well we taught him the restoration and the whole time the spirit was just so strong and he completely agreed with everything we taught him and his responses to the questions we asked showed just how much incredible faith he has in Christ and Heavenly father. He just doesn't have the whole truth yet, and that is what we are here for :) haha. But it was almost like teaching a member his knowledge was so good already. We found out that he has been having difficulty with his wife getting pregnant, and has been for a very long time, and so badly wants a family. Elder Berger was impressed to tell him that if he is baptized that God will give him that opportunity to be a father, and I absolutely believe it with my whole heart that God will provide this miracle if he does his part as the spirit testified to all of us. He committed to baptism whole heartedly before Elder Berger said this to him. His faith is so strong. After the lesson he gave one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard in my life. I was literally tearing up from the love I could feel that he has for the Savior and our Father in Heaven. He was bearing his whole soul and I really wish that I can learn to pray like that. It was like a spiritual overload up in there haha. So I am praying hard that he keeps this faith and determination and that Satan doesn't throw him off this path to eternal happiness. He has so much incredible potential.

Well I can't thing of anything major besides that other than I got to feed some members goats some bananas, and I saw my first roadkill armadillo, and a sister missionary in our district caught a wild cottontail rabbit with her bare hands that got trapped in a members greenhouse (unfortunately didn't have my camera on me in this instance :(  haha. 

It was kind of an off week to be honest with all the stress we were having trying to figure out the situation with Tim and Javier. But I am quite content now and know that they are now on the path God has for them. 

Love y'all and really appreciate all that you have done and continue to do for me! It's so great to have such a wonderful support system for me back at home. Have a wonderful week!

Elder Sheehy

Y'all stay classy

And here is a letter he wrote to me separately, talking about how bad he feels about not having time to write to each of us individually, I told him not to stress about it, he has much more important things to focus on. :) 

Hey Mom,
Sorry I don't have a lot of time to respond to stuff and that I missed replying to you last week. When I get to the library here to write, I get so stressed out trying to get to everything because I really do want to reply to everyone, but they time doesn't always allow.
I am doing well, just would kill for an hour more every day where I could settle and write in my journal more and write some hand written letters to those who have written (wrote a letter to Brooklyn, and am currently working on sending one to the Grandmas since I got some from them as well).
I'm glad Emilee's ankle is doing well. I was praying for her and have seen the power of prayer already here in the mission.
I'm glad your talk went well in Sacrament meeting, I'm sure you did a great job!
It's super cool to hear about all these kids from our ward going on missions (I guess they are adults now, but they still seem like kids to me) I can remember them all just being little when they first moved into the neighborhood.
You will have a great time at Women's conference and will learn some great things. Be sure to go with a question in your mind that you want answered, and I promise you will receive an answer.
Say "Hola" to Boo and Molly for me as well!

Love ya Madre, have a great week!


Monday, April 20, 2015

Semana 8! Of Ice Cream Trucks and Lightning Bolts

What is up y'all?!

This has been a great week!

First off I want to thank Brooklyn and Grandma Jeri for sending those letters! I really appreciate it. I will do my best to write back with time permitting. Unfortunately there isn't much time around here, but I will see what I can do.

So last Monday we got to play some soccer with the district. Well it was fun, but with it being like ninety eight degrees with extremely high humidity from the previous monsoon rain evaporation, we absolutely melted. It seriously looked like I had jumped in a pool. It was super gross, haha. Well at the end I said "Oh my goodness Texas why do you have to be so hot?!!" and Sister Thompson who we did not expect at all responds "How many times do I have to tell you, my name is not Texas!" It was super funny we were all laughing really hard. It caught me so off guard. That night there was some amazing lightning storms. Like seriously the biggest bolts I have ever seen! I wish I could have gotten some video or pictures of those things.

So something really exciting that has been going on is that Elder Berger and I have been teaching two brothers a little younger than us named Tim and Javier. They speak English and don't speak Spanish really well so that has been a relief that I have been able to teach in English. Anyways, they have been progressing really well and we have had some amazing lessons with them. They are set to be baptized this Saturday!! So we are praying super hard right now and will be visiting them everyday this week so nothing bad happens since Satan will be working hard on them not to be. They are great guys though and I am so excited to see them make this next step and the happiness that it will bring them. It's amazing the love you feel that God has for all his children when you are a missionary. Like I love these people down here so much and want to help them any way that I can. I have seen miracles with these guys and I know how badly our father in heaven wants them to return to his presence. Last night since Javier is under the age of 18 has to get a signature from a parent to be baptized. So we talked with his mom for a long time trying to dissuade any doubts or issues she had with it. It was a spiritual battle and at first you could tell the adversary was working really hard on her. As she felt the spirit though she eventually softened and agreed with it! I absolutely know without the Holy Ghost present that absolutely wouldn't have happened. It was super funny too as at first she was shutting down what we had to say but at the end Javier had some doubts come up as Satan was totally working on them like "Would it be bad if I went to another church? Like my moms?" and we were about to answer and his mom cut in "Oh you wouldn't want to go anyways, it's all in Spanish." and he was like ""Oh yeah I guess you are right, never mind" haha so she totally became our ally. That is the power of the Holy Ghost right there for sure. So hopefully I will have some good news next week!

Another crazy cool experience that happened this week is we were out contacting and absolutely no one wanted to hear what we had to say and just a ton of people weren't home or not answering their doors and we were badly in need of a new investigator. So we stopped and said a prayer that we would be led to someone that was prepared to receive the gospel. After that we felt like we should go down a street that the other Elders had contacted on and we weren't planning on going to that night. We stopped at the first house and Elder Berger says "how do you feel about that one?' and I responded "pretty good". So we try that house and meanwhile I hear someone talking from a yard across the street and it kind of catches my attention. A lady answers that door and doesn't want to hear our message. So we cross the street and try the house next to the one I heard the person talking from. As we are sitting on the doorstep I look over at the house where the noise was coming from and the spirit just hits me "that's totally the one" So the house we are at doesn't answer, but we go over to the house that I was feeling prompted about. As we are sitting on the doorstep no one is answering there. So I was thinking "that's strange, I totally thought it was this house." Then we hear from behind us "Can I help you?" It's the guy who lives there who was just out back. So that just goes to show you that God will try our faith sometimes before he gives us miracles. So we found out that his name is Miguel and he is super prepared. It tells us that he wants to be closer to God and make some changes in his life so he can be more clean. He has an amazing testimony already of God and Jesus Christ, we just need to help him get over some word of wisdom issues. So we sat there in his front yard in the dark and had a very spiritual lesson with him. I feel like he has some amazing potential and that he is absolutely ready to accept the gospel according to his agency. Funny story during that though. So Elder Berger had told me about the infamous icecream/Elotes trucks (de Satanas haha) that are everywhere in South Texas and how without fail they will drive by with their loud music and megaphones during really spiritual lessons and I have seen it three times now. So here comes one by while we are testifying about Christ and baptism and Elder Berger just gives me this look like "of course..." haha well we got the last laugh because as it was in front of us driving by we heard a pop and a hiss as he got a hole in his tire haha, Take that Satan! Honestly though i'm sure those people mean well and I feel bad he got a flat, but the work will not be frustrated bro, so take your truck elsewhere.

Well hope everyone has a wonderful week! I love it so much down here. I will be super sad when I eventually get transferred because the members and people here in general are so great! It's totally like little Mexico down here and sometimes I forget I am in the U.S. Greatest mission location ever if you got called to the states, but want a foreign experience. Oh man I still can't get over how amazing the food is here. I wish I could let you all taste just how amazing it is. I am going to keep going hard on my bike or i'm afraid I will be coming back forty pounds heavier! It's delicious but boy do they pack the food here with lard, haha.

Love you all!
-Elder Sheehy

( Oh p.s Elder Berger and I saw a cat on a roof just chilling there sitting like a person and it totally looked like some kind of monkey. We were like "What in the world?" haha the animals are nuts down here)

My trainer (mission dad) in front of our apartment

Bored in the car with Elder Olsen

My really cool scripture cases I got in Mexico

Thursday, April 16, 2015

I forgot to put these pictures on from Austin's first day in the McAllen Mission home with President and Sister Maluenda, and the other new missionaries.
The Maluenda's are originally from Chile, but have most recently lived in Sandy, UT.  I have heard wonderful things about them.  I actually sat by a lady on an airplane recently who had met Pres. Maluenda right before he was assigned to McAllen, and she said he was an amazing man.  

Monday, April 13, 2015

Semana 7

Hola y'all!

Well it has been a crazy busy week. i apologize if I my writing doesn't make sense, but i am way tired, haha.

Well first off the food here is sooooo good! Elder Berger and I had a dinner appointment with an awesome member family the Nevarros (such an amazingly converted family) and wow is the mother a good cook. The best fajita style steak tacos I have ever had in my life. I've had some incredible tamales as well. The only problem is that you really have to exercise hard here because people expect you to eat at least two heaping plates of food or they think that you don't like their food. That's great and all but the food here is extremely corn and flour carbohydrate loaded and greasy and you fill up really quickly. I have struggled some nights to get the second plate down. There is worse things you could to do to please people though I guess haha because it is very delicious food. Hopefully I don't come home 30 pounds heavier haha. I am really learning to love and appreciate salads and vegetables!

I love my companion and the other companionship in our apartment. They are super funny guys and easy to get along with. Elder Berger has an extremely strong testimony, and is constantly building me up so I don't get overwhelmed out here. So I am so grateful for that.

The people here are wonderful. Super friendly, humble, and charitable. I feel like I have been out here for a year with all the friendships I have developed. I especially am amazed at how great the priests and teachers are here in our ward at being member missionaries. They constantly want to go out with Elder Berger and I to lessons and they are so much fun to be around. Especially a kid named Alexis. He totally reminds me of like a mexican AJ Halling, haha. He is so great.

 I am actually amazed at how many people here speak good English. It's gets really confusing when you are contacting. We will go up to someone and be like, "Como esta hermano? and they will respond "What?" and we get surprised and are like "Oh sorry, how's it going?" haha, it goes the other way as well so it's kind of a gamble as to what language to speak to people. I was actually hoping that there would be more Spanish speaking opportunities here so it may be a challenge learning Spanish at this rate.

So there is border patrol everywhere all the time. We actually one day saw one of their helicopters hovering low in a circle shouting at someone below on a megaphone and when we got closer there was a van surrounded by border patrol cars, haha, never a dull moment. The other crazy thing I found out is that many members down here are actually involved with cartels. It's actually a really bad and sad situation as once you are in, you can never get out so they have no choice really. Don't be nervous about me though, as the cartels have to respect missionaries and in fact stories I have heard from Laredo they actually have protected them as well. I would just not ever want to be a border patrolman though. The certain members talk about their enemigos all the time when you hear a border patrol copter going over haha.

So it has been raining like crazy down here! Storms are gnarly here. We have standing water all over the place at the moment and poor Elder Eskelson and Olsen who are bike missionaries got absolutely drenched during one of the storms and basically had to swim through a river on their bikes in a low spot.

Dogs are super scary here too. I haven't had one try to bite me yet on my bike, but Elder Olsen and Eskelson just about have to kick a dog every day haha. It's sad the shape that animals are in around here. It's just people are very poor here and live in very impoverished conditions (we actually had to help remove some debris that washed into some members little houses from the flooding and it was super sad to see what little they get by with) so I can understand why they don't do more for their pets. I just wish they would spay and neuter them so there wasn't so many feral dogs running around.

Well Spanish is tough, but the people here are very forgiving when I struggle with it. The spirit is so amazingly strong during the lessons we get to teach and one that particularly stands out is sister Cobalrubia I testified of eternal families in Spanish and I absolutely felt the spirit testify through me and help me speak the Spanish better. 

Well pray for cool weather down here! I absolutely melt when the sun is out and almost no one has air conditioning around here. The humidity consistently feels like when you are in a creek in August in Missouri (Dad will know what I am talking about) and the temperature is hotter than many days in Missouri summers. So needless to say, it is basically the hottest, stickiest conditions I have ever been in haha and I don't do very well when it's just a little bit hot, so hopefully I can adapt.

I can feel my testimony growing every day and I feel great love for every person down here. You really get a taste of the love God has for every one of his children on a mission. Even though the days are long, you are often very exhausted, and the work load can be very large, that is what makes it all worth it. When you can see peoples burdens being lessened by the Savior.

Have a wonderful week everyone! Adios!

-Elder Sheehy
 Oh p.s. if anyone is bored and  wants to send me a letter, the post office we get our mail from is:

P.O. Box 987
PeƱitas, Texas

I would appreciate it :)

Thanks everyone for all your support! Thank you to everyone who has been writing me! Sorry if I haven't replied, as i really wish I could if time alloted. I do read everyone's though! Have a wonderful week!

This is a picture Elder Berger's parents sent me (Stacie) when they first met each other.
He keeps getting companions that make him look tiny! :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Semana 6, ¡Hola! from McAllen!

I was pleasantly surprised to get an email  today, after getting a great phone call from him yesterday while he was in the Houston Airport on a layover. Now we just have to wait for Mother's Day for another phone call!  If only they would allow calls home every month, this would be a piece of cake! :)

Hola todo!

Well hello from a little town called La Joya! I just got partnered with my trainer Elder Berger (Don't know him very well yet, but he seems like an awesome guy.) Today has been a little crazy. I haven't really been able to unpack anything yet because my companion and the other companionship in our casa wanted to go email so here I am! It is sooo hot here and humid. Really green which is different than what I was expecting. Holy cow though, is it flat! Like Iowa and Missouri look like mountain ranges compared to this place, haha, but I will surely adjust. So La Joya is right on the border and I don't know much about it other than that. All I have heard is that you will see border patrol every day and often picking people up in their vans, the cartel are cool with the missionaries so you will be protected, and this place is super Hispanic, hahaha. I have also heard that this is a great place that has great members, so I am excited to find out. After this I am going shopping and then we have a couple of visits. So hopefully I will do alright, haha. Lucky for me this area is apparently very Spanglish so I should get by okay. President Maluenda and his family are so awesome! They made a delicious dinner for us upon arrival and he gave us all great advice. He is a spiritual giant. You can just tell that he is constantly listening for inspiration to give to the missionaries. He also has a great sense of humor and really helped build my confidence with his warm and energetic approach on missionary work. I am so blessed to have him as my President. They also have an amazingly beautiful home so that was cool to see.

So the trip here was tiring. I had got to bed the night before at around one thirty (they didn't give us time to pack earlier in the day like they usually would, because of conference) and then I couldn't really sleep and our alarm went off at three thirty. Then on to the crazy airport that mixed up my tickets and couldn't get my passport to scan. Luckily it all worked out, but for a moment there I didn't think I was going to be able to escape from Mexico :) After that in the Houston layover I had the awesome opportunity to call home and that was so great to be able to talk to you guys. After that it was lunch time and having missed Murican things, we of course chose to go eat something at the McDonalds, haha. I seriously was way too happy to be able to drink some Dr. Pepper again and eat a quarter pounder. That's about the highlights of the trip.

Well it was hard to say goodbye to Elder Stone, but I know he will do great over in Brownsville. I really hope we will be companions again as he is such an awesome guy. He also got a great missionary opportunity on the plane with a younger guy that was coming out to McAllen to move in with family. He was able to really get to know him well and you could feel the spirit testify of his message and he commited him to look at and learn more about our church as well as have him email him what he thought about it. I really am excited to find out what becomes of that. *sniff* *sniff* little Elder Stone grew up so fast :')

Well I am nervous but excited to finally be out here. I absolutely know that I am supposed to be here as the spirit was really strong as I started to fly over my mission area. I guess we will see what becomes of the next few weeks!

You stay classy familia!

-Elder Sheehy

p.s. Sorry no pictures this week as I haven't yet dug out my camera. I also haven't been able to open the packages yet, but thank Grandma for me. Thanks for all you guys do and the love you send my way.

p.p.s Sorry for the structure and flow of this email, I am a bit strapped for time so that's why it is rushed.

Oh p.p.s! Conference was so amazing! I hope you all had the opportunity to watch it. If not, definitely read some of them in the upcoming Ensign. Those new temples are in crazy cool locations! Here is hoping that Corpus Christi or McAllen get announced next!

Here's the last two pictures of his District that someone at the MTC sent to me.
He really loved this group of people....definitely an answer to prayers that he had such a great start to his mission!