Monday, June 29, 2015

Semana 18! Elder Sheehy is getting transferred!

Well guys not much time to talk this time. Elder Berger and I are both getting transferred. Elder Berger is heading to La Homa and I am heading to Rio Bravo. La Homa is in the Mission area and I am south of Laredo. Super crazy change! So I will give more details next week. It's been super hard to say goodbye to people here because I have loved serving them so much, but I know that God has a great job for me to do up there. Have a wonderful week! Love you all so much!

Stay Classy,

Elder Sheehy

Monday, June 22, 2015

Semana 17

Hello everyone!

This has been an excellent week and I have truly seen so many great little miracles.

First, our recent convert Javier was very unhappy because he slept through two alarms on a test day for his summer classes and was told previously from the teacher that there would be no way to make up the test and that if you don't take a test you basically fail the class immediately. So we had a lesson with him about having confidence in the lord and that he will provide miracles for us if we demonstrate our faith, after all we can do. We gave him a promise that if he read the scriptures that we assigned him and right before going to talk to the teacher to say a prayer with full purpose of heart that God would help him. So we got a call later in the week, after praying a lot for him, from Javier thanking us because it worked! He told us that he had done all that we said and that when he talked to the teacher, he said that they had issues with the scan-tron test and that a bunch of students were having to do an alternate assignment and that he wouldn't normally allow it, but he decided to let Javier do the alternate assignment. He was so happy over the phone and told us he walked outside and didn't even care that there were people all over, he sat down on a bench and said a prayer thanking God. It was so awesome to hear how much confidence he gained from that experience. I told him not to thank us, that it was all our Father in Heaven, as well that he should always look back and reflect on this experience when he is having doubt or feeling discouraged. He is truly becoming a valiant servant of God and wants only to serve. I truly believe that he will be on a mission in a couple of years. It has been so humbling to have a front row seat on seeing someone grow their testimony and see the gospel working in their life. I can testify that miracles do not cease to exist and that they happen every day. God wants to bless us and he always will if we do all that we can and show our faith. These are not coincidences. We have a loving Heavenly Father that is involved in the smallest details of our lives.

We also had a great zone conference with President Maluenda this past week that was much needed. His words are so wise and really helped me regain that drive and fire that I need to be the best that I can. I wish that it would have lasted for three days because I came out of that feeling so good. I am so blessed to have such an incredible mission president. Wouldn't be surprised to see him become an apostle some day.

I am going to have to cut this letter a bit short this week so I apologize. Luckily I have been doing very well at keeping a journal so I can go into more detail of my experiences when I get home of all that is going on. I have been struggling to find time to write letters so I apologize once again for that. I appreciate all that has been done for me thus far and wish I could do more to repay all of you. Hope you all have a wonderful week as always. This church is without a doubt in my mind God's only true church on the earth today. Keep the gospel the center of your lives and you will see the details and happiness of your lives magnify in ways you would never expect.

Love you all so much,

Elder Sheehy

And here is the letter he wrote separately to me:

 Hey Mom,

Yeah, I guess it really will be four months this week. Crazy how time flies on a mission. Hope all is going well with y'all. Sounds like you had a good Fathers day. I miss Grandpa too sometimes, but I always look at that magnet that Grandma sent me (a magnet that Austin had picked out for Grandpa Don on a trip to Iowa a few years ago that had John Wayne on it and said "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway") and I just smile and know that he is working hard helping others hear the gospel on the other side. I absolutely feel him and Tyler and Tara helping me out on the tougher days.

Wow, sounds like Uncle Steve is going to be in fantastic shape when I get back. That would be awesome to run in Hawaii! (I had told him about Uncle Steve's recent run in the Ragnar Relay and other races he is preparing to run in.)

Hope you have a good "Birthday week"  haha, with Em. Yeah it will be nuts that she will be driving around when I get back. Things are going really well here. I was pretty bummed out about Boo last week, but I feel really good now, though I will miss seeing her lounging around the house when I get back. That dog did so much for me during the hardest times so I am so grateful for what time I was able to have with her. I have really seen some great miracles this last week, so hopefully I will have some time to write a bit about them in the mass email. It's probably going to be short because of time,
so sorry ahead of time.

Have a wonderful week! love you so much!

Elder Sheehy

Doing some service with the ward on a members roof

The three Destuirs, the guy on the far left is Eber, he is an investigator of the sister missionaries in our district from Guatemala

Yes, we are cutting the grass with shovels. That's how we do it on the border. hahaha

Burn pile of the old roof scraps, Takes me back to Missouri

We were having a meal appointment outside, and then the rain came

Monday, June 15, 2015

Semana 16

Hello everyone! Hope that everyone had a great week this past one. Mine was very good overall. First off, thanks so much for the letters Grandmas. You spoil me! I am so grateful for all that you do.

So last Monday after writing y'all we had a fun zone P-day activity of playing soccer at a place in pueblo de palmas called "the conch". So basically it is an unfinished building that someone converted into a semi indoor soccer field. It was a blast to play with so many other missionaries, but boy was it hot! I am glad we had brought a lot of water or it would have been pretty dangerous as warm as it was. We also borrowed a grill from a member and grilled up some carne asada and had some tacos. It was a great P-day. Later that evening we were told that Elder Berger and I would be hosting a mini missionary for the week who we would take out and show what mission life is all about. It's something really cool that the stakes down here do occasionally for the young adults who are just about to be old enough to go on a mission. We were assigned Adrian Navarro who is the son of the amazing cook, Sister Navarro, in our area. I love their family to death and I was so glad that we got him. Right away he got to witness us give another member a blessing who was in the hospital, and a very spiritual lesson with a less active, so I think we started the week out great.

On Tuesday Adrian and the sisters's mini missionaries decided to take us all out to lunch which was really cool and it was fun to talk to them about going on their missions soon. It's crazy because I feel like I was in their shoes just a week ago. We also got to go over to Alexis's house to help his family build some things in his backyard. His mom is like an extreme decorator/home designer so I think it will turn out really cool when they get everything finished that she wants to do. They also made us some delicious fresh made pineapple juice to cool off. Our members are great here.

Wednesday we did a lot of less active work with Adrian up in Sullivan City. The highlight for sure was driving past Brother Lopez's little farm to see him out there in the middle of the heat of the day picking giant watermelons that he had planted. We of course stopped immediately and gave that little old guy a hand! He is definitely my favorite member here. I can't believe how hard that man works at his old age and how incredible his testimony is. He tells us his conversion story almost every time we are with him, and I could never get tired of it. He is a boss. Despite our protests he gave us his largest watermelon for helping him out and this thing was huge. We had to of course take it, and I was very glad we did by how happy it made him. He lives to serve and give to others. Later that evening after helping teach the English class at the church, we helped the young women make some plates for all the men in the ward for fathers day that had words in Spanish and pictures that described them. I was honored to have the opportunity to make Brother Lopez's plate with Adrian. It turned out great and I of course had to put a design of corn around the border and a big watermelon in the middle because of his little farm.

On Thursday Adrian made all of us elders in the apartment some delicious chicken alfredo for lunch. The Navarro family is so giving and their son is no different. He did so much for us including some french toast the following morning.

Friday afternoon the Mini mission ended and it was sad to have Adrian not with us anymore. He has a natural teaching ability and love for the people. He is going to be an amazing missionary and I feel that he had a really good time with us. Especially by his testimony and experiences he shared at the closing fireside. I hope I get this opportunity again sometime in the mission because it was a blast. Friday night we had a big carne BBQ at one of the members in the Elders area. Had some fun playing catch with a softball there and picking and tossing limes from their tree over to the grill to be squeezed onto the cooking chicken. They also had the cutest little puppies that I played with for a bit.

Well that's about it for now. I've truly felt my testimony grow little by little every day out here and I absolutely know without a doubt that this is our father in heaven's work. There are just way too many prayers answered and miracles happening every day. I am so grateful that he would trust a bunch of us dumb twenty year olds with the most important thing here on this earth. It's truly humbling to be a part of that and see people's lives change through the influence of the holy ghost. I hope you all continue to build your testimony every day and think back about some of the great experiences in your lives in the gospel that built you to who you are today. Have a wonderful week.

Stay classy
Elder Sheehy

We had to tell him today that his beloved dog, Boo, had passed away last week. I had been so worried about that, because he adored her, and I didn't want to distract him from his work, Here is part of what he wrote to me in response:

"Hey mom thanks for telling me about Boo. It was a bit of a shock at first, but I feel very calm and peaceful about it now. I know as well that she is in a better place. I know that Tara and Tyler will take great care of her. ♥
So don't worry about me."

The Conch

The boys are grillin'

A grill we found out contacting. That's grillin 'Murica style.

You can't handle the cute.

Adrian and I with the plate we made for Brother Lopez.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Semana 15

How is everyone doing? Hope that dad had a great birthday. There is a card in the mail, so hopefully it made it, or will arrive soon. First off as always, thanks so much mom for the letter and the list of birthdays. I apologize that I haven't been able to get any letters out. I've been very strapped for time these past two weeks. I will get to them as soon as I can. I hope to get at least two written today.

Well I'll be honest here from the start, this email is going to be probably very lackluster. It's been in all honesty a pretty tough and uneventful week around here. The work has really stagnated and things just kept falling through.

So what few things happened this week:

First off, the day after having a really enjoyable exchange with Elder Olsen in his area of Pueblo de Palmas. They were getting some creepy texts from a potential we found in their area. It was super funny because this 25 year old woman was crushing on Elder Olsen so we had to think of creative ways to blow her off. Really funny how much it was creeping him out. It's very interesting to say the least when this stuff happens as a missionary. Super glad I haven't had to deal with that yet.

We also found a really great less active family clear down a dirt road surrounded by texas brush. It's always interesting going down those in our little Chevy Cruze especially with all the rain we have been having. Luckily we haven't gotten stuck yet. This family was super friendly and we came to find out they are huge weapon collectors so we had fun spending a little time looking at their Katana swords and antique guns. I look forward to spending more time with them because they have great testimonies, just life has gotten in the way a bit right now.

Well, unfortunately that is pretty much it. This week has been a real grind and we just haven't been seeing success. That and Elder Berger hasn't been feeling well most of the week. I am doing my very best to keep a good attitude about everything though, because I know that things will turn around and when they do, it will be worth it. I have been focusing a lot of my personal studies on the Atonement and the plan of happiness these past few days and I invite others to look into those topics as well. It has been such a huge help for me and I can promise everyone that the Savior is truly aware of our current circumstances and will do everything in his power to help us through the rough times, if we have but faith and ask our Father in Heaven. The power of prayer is real. I see it every day out here. It's amazing what miracles I get to see and how much I have been helped through the rough times. As crazy as it may sound I am truly grateful for the hard times. They are when we learn and grow the most and begin to appreciate all the good that we have been given more.

Anyways, I hope that everyone has a great week. I'm always praying for y'all back at home. I hope that you continue to strive to learn more about who you are and what your purpose here is on the earth, and what amazing potential we all have through the scriptures and words of the prophets.


Elder Sheehy

Weapon fun at the backwoods house

Elder Sessions with a big frog we found outside our apartment

The old Los Ebanos ferry on the Rio

Monday, June 1, 2015

Semana 14, La Joya Stuff

Hello everyone! Hope everyone had a great week and a great Memorial day. It's crazy that I have been out here this long already. It feels like I have been here in La Joya forever, but barely left home yesterday. Kind of strange to explain.

First off, thank you so much to all of you who emailed me! Shout out to Grandma Jeri, Debbie Hermansen, Ali Peterson, and Grandma Lorraine for writing me! You are the best!! I know you all say to not worry about writing back, but I really do want to write as many of you back as I can. So it may take a bit just because of lack of time, but I will try my best to get back to you.

Overall this week has been a bit tough. Up and downs a lot for sure. They are just growing pains really of still getting used to mission life. I will say though that I have noticed from my short time out here that when things get the hardest, that usually means some amazing blessings or miracles are about to happen. So I am doing my best to keep up good spirits and maintain my focus on the big picture.

So last P-day I went on my first tie dig! It was great and we got quite a few really nice Italian ties for a dollar each! We are planning on going again later today so I will let you know how it goes. I will have to get some pictures one of these times to show what it's all about (left the camera back at the apartment today so I apologize for the lack of pictures again this week).

When up in Sullivan City (sketchiest place of our area), we heard some gun shots during a meal appointment outside of one of our members houses. Later that week we saw a truck with a bullet hole in it's windshield so that has been exciting, haha. Don't worry though Elder Berger and I are perfectly safe. Some of the thugs running around though... not so sure.

Thursday things started getting a bit better. We actually had the opportunity to teach a members boyfriend at a dinner appointment kind of unexpectedly. He is a very cool guy named Chris and we came to find out that he lived in Vernal, Utah for quite some time growing up. We got talking and learned that he had done a lot of bear hunting there in the book cliffs and played hockey in town (not sure if he was on Uintah's team or not, but I am fairly positive that I played against him at some point in the past). So small world right? Unfortunately, he has a bit of a bad view of the church from some punk member kids back in Vernal (so important that we are good examples of our faith at all times or it is extremely damaging to people's viewpoints of our church and their potential conversion in the future), but I am confident that he can overcome that as he is very open to the spirit.

We got poured on this week and actually got rained out one of the days because it was coming down so bad. Wow is the lightning amazing down here. I need to take some video on my camera because words don't describe how incredibly colorful and giant the bolts are here for whatever reason. We have seen many that strike across the entire sky and fill the sky with a purple ethereal glow. It's insanely cool.

We had the great opportunity to have a District lunch this week at one of the little taquerias here by the apartment. It's so great to just take a minute and get to know everyone a little better. It's strange, but sometimes I forget that the others had real lives before coming here, as the mission is really the only reality I know currently. Man, were those Barbacoa street tacos good. I wish I could send some of this food back home for everyone to try. It's heavy stuff that you wouldn't want to eat all the time, but some of it is so divine.

On Sunday Tim and Javier got confirmed! They are on their way to greatness if they use their agency wisely. I absolutely know it. I am so impressed at how far they have truly come along. I can truly see Javier serving a mission in a few years. He has such a powerful desire to do good and help others. Again, they were just beaming with happiness and you could see the holy ghost just testifying through them how wonderful a decision they made to follow Jesus Christ.

I would say something I have learned this week is to never fear men. I felt this was the week I found my voice and learned to have the faith that if i teach of truth to the best of my abilities (not perfect) the spirit will carry that into the hardest of hearts. Though they may not choose to except it, they will remember for a moment who they truly are and where they came from. I saw that last night as I testified with conviction and with all of my soul of things I know to be true to an investigator that is having a lot of doubts. Do not fear men and those who are wise to the understanding of the world. Satan would have us believe that we are incapable and incompetent. Though our words may whisper against the tide of opposition, the spirit will carry the truth and our voices will roar as lions. Never be afraid to open your mouth to stand for truth. You do not stand alone. There is no barrier too tall or heart to hardened that love of our brethren and the spirit cannot pierce.

I  heard about L. Tom Perry's death. It was sad to hear, as I always loved his enthusiasm and constant warm and smiling countenance. He is going to have such a wonderful place in the kingdom of God though. He will be missed, but I know he is in an incredibly happy state right now and working hard with the other church greats who have passed on.

Hope all have a wonderful week. You will be in my thoughts and prayers as always. I hope that you are all continuing in your pursuits to attain more gospel knowledge. It is truly invaluable and you will never regret learning more of spiritual truth.

Love y'all so much!

-Elder Sheehy

("There is more to life than being really, really, excruciatingly good looking" Name the movie haha)