Monday, November 30, 2015

Semana 40

Hey everyone!

I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving! Mine went pretty well despite all the food! We had a super fun turkey bowl flag football tournament with two of the zones here in the McAllen area early in the morning and later that day I actually got off easy with my companion with only three meal appointments. A big tender mercy for me as my stomach was not feeling well at all. It was still too much for me to handle as the generous Mexican ladies down here expect you to eat a ton (rule of thumb is two+ plates) or some of them get offended. It was super different compared to home as the food was very Tex-Mex.  They had the traditional Turkey and potatoes, but also a Mexican pasta salad and tacos. All very good, but strange for me haha.

Things have been super crazy busy here as usual since we are always running around to help out the zone leaders because one of them is gone half of the time as he also is an assistant to the president. It's been crazy but a lot of fun to get to know our zone leader Elder Ivey better. We actually had some fun with him on Thanksgiving going around singing for the members while he played the guitar. He is really good.  The Lord has definitely been blessing us with all the hard work as we have seen a lot of miracle people wanting to be baptized that missionaries in the past had worked super hard with and had no luck. 

So craziest thing that happened this week is one of our members passed out right behind us in the middle of sacrament meeting and hit his head on the back of the pews we were sitting on. It was pretty scary and the members were pretty shaken up. Someone hurried and called an ambulance and took him to a hospital. Luckily he is doing well, but we found out later that he has previously had three minor heart attacks which is kind of scary. It was super crazy to have paramedics come into the middle of sacrament though haha. This story pretty much topped off and explains how crazy the rest of the week went. Sorry I don't have more to write it was honestly just a blur of running around.

I hope that all is going well for everyone and that you all know how extremely thankful for you I am. It was honestly kind of tough being away from everyone I love so much during Thanksgiving, but I am here with the new people that I love. I hope that I can make it up to you all more when I return home and that we will be able to continue to make great memories.

Love y'all and stay classy,

Elder Sheehy


Monday, November 23, 2015

Semana 39?

Hey Everyone!

Well I apologize that I wasn't able to get a mass email out last week. This new area has been super crazy busy with things to do. Have been helping out a bunch of other missionaries being right here in the heart of the mission and we had three day leadership conference so I went and worked in another area while Elder Montgomery was there since he is a district leader.

Oh by the way, Thank you so much Grandma Jeri for the Thanksgiving packages and letters. I really really appreciate your love and kindness. I have been enjoying all the great treats and new white shirts. Laredo summer time hammered a couple of mine.

So I was serving in the city of Mercedes for three days with Elder Moser (Logan, Utah) and Elder Christensen (Washington). They are great Elders and I had some fun riding around in their bike area. They actually cover an English speaking ward so all the teaching was in English. It was super strange because I'm so used to the majority being in Spanish. I felt like I was back in Utah a few times there. The area that they cover is actually where Elder Walk and Elder Strong were hit and killed on their bikes by a hit and run driver in 2011. It was kind of eerie since we were riding down the same road they were hit on a few times. I know those two Elders are working hard in the spirit world for sure. There was also cool a little memorial someone had made for them in the apartment that I stayed in.

While working in Elder Christensen and Elder Moser's area we did some service for a family who had their house flooded from the bad tropical storm that came out of the hurricane that hit Mexico. Luckily they are well off and only have to get some sheet rock replaced in their home. Something really cool about them though is I found out when I questioned the mom about her cool accent is that she is from Haiti. So I thought of Aj Halling. They were a super cool family and I got the Elders that work there a meal appointment set up so they can try some Creole food. Unfortunately I won't be there, haha. It was a fun three days and I wouldn't mind working there in the future.

Other than that it's just been running around like crazy trying to get things back to normal since no one was working in our area for three days. Oh! Something I forgot to mention is that we had a baptism last week of our investigator Celso. He is a super cool 18 year old kid that is a boyfriend of one of our members. He was so stoked after his baptism. Something really cool too is that a recent convert that was baptized the week before I got here was confirmed that same day and gave a talk about the Holy Ghost at the baptism. That has to be some kind of record or something for a recent convert giving a talk that soon after baptism. She (Raquel) is so cool and is already going out with us to lessons all the time and bringing non member friends to church. It's very cool to see how converted she has become to the gospel so quickly. She is always asking us for things to study so she can help us teach better at lessons.

Yesterday I gave another talk in church about enduring to the end. Boy is it scary still to give talks in Spanish, but man does it make teaching and speaking in English a breeze. I could talk for days in English now when before I would get nervous too haha. It went very well and I have to give credit to the Holy Ghost and the gift of tongues on that talk. I struggled for the first little bit of speaking, but out of nowhere everything just started flowing naturally like I knew what I was doing and I just set down my notes and just spoke the rest of the time by the spirit. Crazy cool experience.

That's it for now, I hope that everyone has a terrific week and a Happy Thankgiving! I am so very thankful for all the great friends and family that I have grown up with and been around. I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for all of you.

Love you guys so much!

Stay classy,

Elder Sheehy

P.S. In my letter I asked him if they had been invited to eat Thanksgiving dinner with anyone, and he answered..."Thanksgiving is going to be just a gorge myself, food fest. We already have five meal appointments I believe and I am sure we will be getting more. I hope that I can survive that okay." :)
"Sounds like your Thanksgiving is going to be much more fun and relaxing than mine, haha. Tell the family Hi for me and that I love them."

An old pic. from Rio Bravo. Brother Deleon, one of my favorite member families.

Elder Moser and Elder Christensen are super cool guys

Super cool spanish/western style home in our area

We're not in Rio Bravo or La Joya anymore...nice neighborhoods have been a strange transition

I've forgotten what snow is.

I love how these are growing everywhere down here.

Do you think these people have enough dogs? haha, these are only like half in the picture.

Haha, only in South Texas. Could you just not pull up so close to the curb? I guess props for creativity in the use of an old mattress.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Semana 38

No general email this week, so here's my personal letter...

Hey Mom!

Yeah Texas here in the McAllen area is very nice this time of year. It rains a lot and the temperatures are just right. I do miss snow though. It will be strange not having any in December. Glad to hear that Dad made it home safe and sound.(from a hunting trip to Iowa) It was very cool to hear that they had so much success out there.

Good to hear that you were able to do some fun things for Grandma L for her anniversary. That's scary that all that craziness happened with her heart, but glad to hear that everything is alright. I am glad that you were there to help her with all that. (My mom ended up in the hospital for a few days after having an episode in which her heart rate was beating way too fast...still trying to figure out what exactly caused that)

So I haven't been to a ward or branch yet that has had a primary program yet. No worries on all the questions. Sunday is 10:00 to 1:00 just covering one spanish ward in Pharr, Texas. The new area is great. There are a ton of great members and a lot of pretty orange orchards and palm trees. It is much greener and cooler than Rio Bravo. My apartment is super nice and huge. It used to be a four person apartment, but the Alamo South area covers both of those areas so there is just Elder Montgomery and I in there. Elder Montgomery is great. We have bunch in common (hunting, surfing, business aspirations, stuff like that). He is a great guy that is extremely easy to get along with. Again I have been blessed with a great companion. My Spanish is not very good to be honest and is probably my number one struggle. It's crazy being a companion with the district leader for this long because we are constantly running around trying to work in our area and help all the other companionship's too. So it's been very hard to find a good amount of time to study Spanish.

Yeah Em was telling me that they built a new gym by our house and that she loves going there. You should definitely try out the Firehouse subs. Those are the best sub sandwiches I have ever had.

That's way cool that Em gets to give a talk too. I hope she does well and doesn't get too nervous. Giving talks in English is a breeze after struggling through a couple in Spanish, haha.

Love you so much and I hope you have a great week!


Elder Sheehy

P.S Sorry, but I probably won't be sending out a mass email this week because I don't really know what to write about. It's just been a crazy busy week with nothing really standing out.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Semana 37

Buenas tardes todos!

Well I got some news, I got transferred! I am definitely going to miss the awesome people that were in Laredo and Elder Chacin (who will be finishing his mission there in Rio Bravo), but I love this new area a lot already. So I am serving in what is called the Alamo South area which is a super huge area that covers a lot of the city of Pharr, San juan, Alamo, and a bit of Edinburgh. So basically all of the little suburb cities east of McAllen. The area is 100% Spanish. If we find anyone that speaks English we have to pass them off to the English missionaries. This will be a great opportunity to practice my Spanish! It is such a huge difference to what I am used to serving in. It's all nice homes and a lot of people compared to the little, very poor condition border towns I am used to. In fact there are some really, really nice homes in our area that I have felt so out of place walking into. Serving in the poor areas has truly made me appreciate things so much more. I really like it here a lot though and the weather is much cooler here. There are also a bunch of members that love to feed us. I have been eating three dinners every night and going back to the apartment not wanting to see another piece of food for a week, haha. But, I love blessing these peoples lives by going and visiting them and eating the meals they prepare for us. I really love the members here already.

My new companion is Elder Montgomery from Eden, Utah. He is a way cool guy and we get a long great. It's super strange how much we have in common. I am so grateful to be with another super great companion.

I don't have a lot of other details to share, just because how new I am to this area still, so I will have to let you all know more next week.

This Sunday was the McAllen stake conference with a broadcast from Salt Lake with Dallin H. Oaks and Lynn G. Robins of the Seventy speaking. It was super good with messages about making sure that we are prioritizing to do the best things in life and limiting all the distractions of the world to ensure that Christ stays central to our lives.

That's about it for now, so I hope everyone has a great week and remember to do the most important things in this life!

Stay Classy,

Elder Sheehy

P.S. My new address is:

1803 S. Juniper #1
Pharr, Texas 78577

The mail is safe here just in case anybody wants to send me something :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Semana 36

Hope everyone had an awesome Halloween and week! Mine was just spent at a little carne cook out at one of our members homes (the Banda family) that was super good, and then more food and candy that Elder Chacin and I enjoyed in the apartment after six. Different, but Halloween was still fun.

As always, thank you so much Fam for the package with more clothes and some treats. You guys are the best. I really appreciate it. Also thanks to the Hermansens for the letter! I was super glad to hear that you are all doing well and see some pictures of what you have been up to. Thanks also to Grandma Jeri for the letter too. I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. Birthday shout out to Grandma Jeri, Wes Brown, Jeff Hermansen, and Elder Cuff! I hope you all had/have wonderful birthdays! I wish I was there to celebrate with you all, but we will do something fun when I get back.

So this past week was super awesome as always down by the Rio. The highlights were throwing plates filled with shaving cream at each other for a district meeting training (sorry no pictures), Carnes (bbq) at our favorite members homes, a super cool Christmas themed Zone meeting, a miracle, and Halloween! My favorite holiday.

To talk more about the Christmas themed zone meeting. One of our zone leaders (Elder Breck, such a great guy and super funny) is heading home on Wednesday and wanted to spend one last Christmas in the mission. So we decided to throw a little party for zone meeting before he heads home so we drank hot chocolate, practiced teaching lessons that included comparing Santa to faith and Rudolph the red nosed reindeer to Christ's life, and a white elephant. It was a lot of fun. Strange for me being so into Halloween and wishing we had had a party for that, but super fun still the same.

So the miracle story is actually really long so I will have to condense it. If you want the full story you will have to ask me about it after the mission. So basically Elder Chacin and I had stopped to get some gas at the 7/11 in Rio Bravo and were talking to a less active that was there selling candy apples. After that when we went to go into the store to pick up our gas receipt a guy stopped us and started questioning us about the church. He seemed innocent enough so we started to try teaching him. Well we came to find out that this guy was probably a preacher for the Pentecostal church and knew a lot about our church and has a very negative view on us. So he starts getting heated and trying to bash our doctrine and was just overall very rude here in the middle of the parking lot for about ten minutes. We kept our cool and didn't stoop to his level, but whenever he let us get a word in we testified of truth and defended ourselves. He just wouldn't have any of it and when we realized just how hard hearted he was and wasn't willing to listen I just felt prompted to tell him boldly in Spanish. Okay, I will see you at judgement day in front of the Savior and we will see who is right. Said a respectful goodbye and headed out of there. After that Elder Chacin and I felt very bummed out. Not because of what was said, but because we just felt sad that he was so hard hearted against the truth and seemed so unhappy. We stopped and said a prayer for him and his future posterity that they would be able to find the truth and I really hope he does, After that I just looked over at Elder Chacin and said " Alright obviously the devil is trying to stop us today with all the things he has been throwing at us. So we are going to go out find a very prepared, humble person to teach right now." So we changed our view to the positive side and went right to a referral. We were met with a super friendly guy that invited us in immediately, no questions asked. Like he was just waiting for us. We had probably the most spiritual lesson of the three transfers I've been with Elder Chacin and he (Juan) easily accepted a baptismal invitation. Such a crazy cool testimony building day. The story of how we were referred to Juan is a crazy story too, but for sake of time I will have to stop here.

I know that this church is true and that truly this is Christ's work. Everything just points to that every single day out here. I am so grateful to be a part of it.

Hope everyone has a great week! We have transfers tomorrow so I will let everyone know how that goes. I think Elder Chacin and I's time together is done unfortunately, but I am excited to see where the next chapter of the mission takes me.

Love y'all and stay classy,

Elder Sheehy

Our Halloween feast of junk food, haha. Thanks to everyone for the awesome packages!

Halloween yard in Rio Bravo

Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico in the background

Bye bye Elder Breck

Merry Christmas? From Laredo

P.S. Steve is heading to Corpus Christi tomorrow for work, which is in Austin's mission, and could very possibly be where Austin could get transferred. ;)