Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!

Austin didn't write at all last week. He said their car was getting worked on and they didn't have a ride to the library. Then this week it was a day late because of Memorial Day, and he ran out of time and didn't write a mass email. :(  
(We are definitely spoiled by getting to hear from missionaries every single week these days. My mom continually reminds me that when my brother, Steve, went on his mission to Chile a million years ago, ;) they had to wait for snail mail for weeks or months between letters) 
He did write me a short response to some of the things I had asked him about, but not any details about what's been going on. I guess I should be thankful that he is keeping so busy. He did write this in response to me talking about the 29th being Tyler's birthday and going to decorate his, Tara's and Grandpa Don's graves...

I think about them a lot out here on the mission and I know I have felt them close by me many days here. My testimony of the plan of salvation has been made super strong here from those little experiences. I miss them too, but I feel very comfortable and positive that they are doing great and are busy at work in the spirit world helping others and helping us in more ways than we ever notice.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Miracles are here and a comin'

Hey everybody!

  I hope that everyone had a terrific week! Elder Rosaschi and I had a very eventful week and we were blessed with some wonderful rain the last couple of days (it's the little things that excite me as a missionary haha)!

  Before I get too far into this letter, I want to first thank Grandma Jeri so much for the letter and package! Elder Rosaschi loves the cake bites a lot. So he told me to thank you too. Your continual love and charity shown to me is truly inspiring. Love you grandma.

  So this week was a very hardworking week. Elder Rosaschi and I just go, go, go. We even super deep cleaned our apartment today and it is completely spotless (So glad I have had clean companions for the most part). So it feels great to go home to such a nice, clean place. I will have to take some pictures of the inside for my next email. We are super spoiled.

  Something quick and fun was that we were able to do last week is go down to the border to see the Rio. Elder Rosaschi and our member George hadn't seen it yet and we were nearby. I will attach a couple of pictures.

  We also were blessed with a few, very cool miracles this week. One was going back to a former investigator that was ecstatic that we came back because she thought that we had forgotten about her. What makes this a miracle is that when we were there a month ago, she was very disinterested and was making a lot of excuses to not go to church. So the Lord and the lack of the spirit around her really humbled her and prepared her more. When we mentioned baptism she exclaimed "Finally! I have been wanting to be baptized for a long time!" So that was a fantastic thing to hear as a missionary. It doesn't happen too often. So we will be praying that she keeps the fire and continues to come to church, so she can have that essential covenant in her life.

  The next miracle was similar from a part-member, less-active family. The father has been less active for over four years and had actually asked the missionaries to not come by anymore. So to our surprise while eating dinner one night, we get a phone call from him pleading with us to come over. So we hurry over as quick as possible and we meet a very humble, different person than that whom was described in our area book. Crazy how the Lord softens people's hearts. When we sat down to have a conversation with him he confessed to us that he had had the wrong focus for the last years and was chasing the dollar instead of what is most important in life. He knows that our church is the only true one and explained that even though they tried other churches, ours is the only one that ever answered his questions. So we are helping him get back to church and to recenter his life on Christ. Something cool though is that he has three kids that are all baptism age and all of which have expressed desires to come to church as well. So they are looking very promising. I love seeing families all come together and unite stronger in the gospel. Through that, I really hope to see them go the the temple and be sealed some day.

  Probably to coolest miracle this week came from visiting a less active in a trailer park nearby our apartment. The less active is a very cool, funny guy and has desires to return to church (the trouble here is finding transportation, so we are currently searching for ways to get him there). What was cool was that as we were turning around to leave his porch a young man about our age is standing there and had been listening to us teach the less active a little bit. Elder Rosaschi and I were both a little startled, but had seen him before and he appearted to be a rather harmless, nice guy. The first thing that comes out of his mouth as we go to shake his hand is "I want to go to your church". Woah! That does not happen very often at all and especially when you haven't even spoken to them before as random contacts. Only once previously have I ever had someone walk up to me wanting to come to our church. So Joe is a very cool investigator we have now that I see progressing very well. He is a very humble, quiet guy that has a big heart.

  The last, but not least of the miracles was finding out that the husband of a couple that feeds us every week was excommunicated a long time ago. It was surprising to us because he seemed to be very strong in the church and is helping a lot of people around him. I suppose he has made a lot of great changes in his life. He and his wife expressed to us at dinner that he wants to be re-baptized into the church. Pretty sweet, so we are naturally very excited about that. I hope that he has been in he repentance process long enough that he can do that soon. He is a terrific guy.

  To close this email I wanted to focus on a super great family friend and give her a shout out for getting her mission call! Congrats Brooklyn Hermansen! I was so happy to hear that you had received your call today and can tell you without a doubt you will love where you are going. Minnesota is an extremely beautiful state and you get to jump right in the thick of the work with English. I hope you weren't shocked or disappointed where you were called. If so, just know that I was shocked when I was called here to McAllen, Texas. I had a feeling that I was going to stay within the United States, but I remember thinking "Just anything, but Texas" hahaha. So when I read that at the opening party it was definitely a bit of a shock. I can tell you however that after feeling the calming reassurance of the spirit telling me it was right and the following prayers and experiences here, I know without a doubt that my call was inspired and I wouldn't trade missions for the world. I know without a doubt as well that your call is the very same and comes directly from your Father in Heaven. You are going to the perfect mission president and his wife, whom are specifically for you and who the Lord wants you to gain attributes from. You are also going to an extremely beautiful state that has more lakes than I have ever seen in my life combined. Sure it will be cold in the winter, but never doubt that where you are going is perfect for you (p.s. I would trade cold for the summer heat down here any day haha). What it all comes down to is that the location doesn't matter whatsoever. Sure, some rain forests or castles would be sweet to explore on p-day, but that isn't why you go on a mission at all. It is cliche, but it is NOT about you. Nor will it ever be. Yes, you will have life changing experiences and come from it a much stronger, better person, but that is not your focus. Don't go into the mission thinking that. You have been called to serve people that have been prepared to hear the gospel directly from you and your testimony from the formation of the earth. That is something pretty amazing to think about. You will effect generations and generations of people with your actions (and they will be in an extremely positive way. Of that I have no worries). You have the makings of a terrific missionary and you haven't even stepped into the MTC yet. How extremely blessed and fortunate is the state of Minnesota and the missionaries you will work with. You have my full support and confidence. Enjoy every minute of it. Don't waste a second. And above all, just keep a great attitude snow or shine. You will have numberless concourses of angels supporting you, you will have support and prayers from people on both sides of the veil, and you have the humbling privilege of being a witness of our Savior and redeemer Jesus Christ. Could you be a luckier person in the universe? You are going to do amazing things out there. Get to work and enjoy the ride. I can't wait to see the way you change the world in your own specific way.

I hope everyone has a terrific week and knows how much I love and care about each and every one of you and how uncomprehendingly greater is the love of your Savior and Father in Heaven that dwarfs my best mortal attempt. My hope and prayer is that I will continue to grow and demonstrate that love to you all.

Stay Classy,

Elder Sheehy

The great wall of "Murica (not without a passport, Rosaschi)

Another Rio Grande picture. I've seen it at just about it's smallest and largest now. since I keep sliding down the border.

My P-day happy place :)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Servicio es el mejor!

Hey everyone!

I hope that everyone enjoyed their Mothers Day! I love having the opportunity to honor the heart and love of our families. It's especially wonderful as a missionary to brighten their lives with a Skype call. I will miss these opportunities after the mission is over.

..Beyond that, not a whole lot to talk about. It's been a lot of fun just running around trying to get to know the place better. I really like whitewashing and hope to do it again.

I just hope that everyone knows how much I appreciate all the love that I have felt from being part of your family or one of your friends. It has become more and more apparent how truly blessed I am. I hope that I will be able to repay the debt of gratitude that I feel toward each and every one of you. Just know that I will do all that I can to help you on your journey back to our Father in Heaven and I look forward to spending time with you, reminiscing in the eternities. This church is the only way to achieve that. It is through that authority and priesthood that was returned to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. I have no doubt that that indeed took place and Joseph literally saw God the father and His beloved son Jesus Christ. It has been such an honor to be able to be a witness of that and He who overcame all that we may overcome the trials and pains of a fallen mortal life. That unbroken line of priesthood continues on today through President Thomas S. Monson and through the apostles and other general authorities of the church. You cannot deny this if you ever have the great privilege of meeting one of these blessed servants of our Father in Heaven. Of this I testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Now onto some pictures of the Duke family's farm:

 I will be chasing these guys in less than a year :)                      

Love you all so much,

Stay classy,

Elder Sheehy

Big Momma Salsa and Mr. Pickles

Salsa Party

We had a great Skype call with him on Mothers Day!♥

Meeting Reilly

Monday, May 2, 2016

Life in La Feria

What's up everyone?!

So this week has just been a lot of running around and getting to know the members here, since we are white washing. A family I have already grown to love a lot is the Peavlers. Brother Peavler is from Wyoming and loves to hunt and fish all over. He has cooked us up some delicious trout and given us some of the most delicious jerky I have ever had that he smokes himself. It is from wild boar of all things! I definitely will have to come back down here to hunt some pigs someday. I've been very impressed with the members here so far. They have all overcome a lot in their lives and all are converts to the church. This area, though not far from Harlingen, has a very good country feel to it and the members are all very humble, down to earth to fit the vibe. It's been a great time so far.

Elder Rosaschi continues to impress me with how knowledgeable and how hardworking he is for being so new in the mission. I feel like I've been blessed with the most pre-trained missionary I've ever heard of. It's been enjoyable to learn more about mechanics, as he is very knowledgeable and love to work on diesel trucks. We also have loved sharing stories of hunts and some crazy bear and mountain lion stories since he is living right near the sierra Nevada mountains.

Last week we had the fun opportunity to serve a member up in Rio Hondo on her farm as a zone. It reminded me a lot of Grandma and Grandpa Anderton's back in the day when they had all their animals. These members had ducks, chickens, goats, peacocks, turkeys, guinea fowl, donkeys, a potbelly pig, and a huge pig named Salsa that looked like a giant log out wallowing in her mud pit. The giant pig was super friendly and would let us all go up and pet her. The little potbelly pig cracked me up because it seemed to think it was a donkey and would follow them around wherever they went. I had a fun time out in their wooded section behind the house chopping down dead limbs and moving brush into a pile to be burned later. Reminded me a lot of the work out on the Missouri farm. Unfortunately I forgot my camera for pictures that day, but we are planning on going back sometime so I will get some pictures then.

It's been such an honor and privilege to be out here serving the Lord every day. I have witnessed so many miracles and seen so much growth in others and within myself. Stay strong in the gospel and center Christ in your lives. I can't even begin to explain how much your lives will benefit as you strive to do this more and more. He loves you more than you will ever be able to fathom in this life.

Have a great week everyone! I appreciate all the support and prayers back home. I can definitely feel them.

If any of you would like to write to me my new address is:

201 Lions Villa Ave. Apartment #6
La Feria, Texas 78559

The mail is quite safe here and we have a lockbox so feel free to send letters directly here.

Love ya!

Stay classy,

Elder Sheehy

He also sent me this in his personal letter today...

Hola mama! Como lo fue su semana!?

I am glad that you enjoyed the letters and pics. I am trying to do better with those. It was such a cool experience with Elder Holland. I absolutely will never forget it. Here is an excerpt from his talk that the A.P's just sent us about how he never wants us to turn away after the mission. It's pretty strong, but very cool:

I can just hear Elder Hollands voice in my head when I read this... :) 

"I’m really quite easy to get along with and I’m especially partial to missionaries but there is one thing I cannot live with. I’m warning you now. There is one thing I can’t live with. And that is a missionary I find who has forgotten, or dismissed, or walked away or was failing devotion, and belief, or commitment. I can’t live somehow, emotionally, with a return missionary who doesn’t keep the faith, I would rather find somebody who never knew it. I would rather find somebody who never had it. As sad as I am about anybody who wouldn’t go on a mission, I would rather find somebody who didn’t serve a mission and was struggling or disbelieving, or unfaithful, but for a missionary to come and do what you do, and to say what you say, and feel what you feel, And it’s all true. The gospel is true, and they’re true, and you’re true, and the lessons are true, and the scriptures are true, for you to come and have that, and say that, and do that, and believe it, and then to walk away, I can’t live with that. So look I’m warning you now, if you’re gonna go home and crash and burn, don’t meet me. If you’re walking down the street somebody better cross over. Because I go ballistic at that. I’ve gone ballistic in a missionary meeting where I thought the missionaries weren’t getting anything out of the meeting.

We don’t make any u turns in this church this isn’t something that you do for a couple years and somehow you just check it of your list and then you’re gonna go back to real life.. listen right now, listen, this is real life. This is closer to real life that you are ever going to come. Capital R capital L. This is the way the truth and the life. We are not the church that believes that you go out and have this moment this divine confrontation with the spirit of the Lord and power from heaven and then walk away from it. We do not move from the celestial kingdom to the telestial, this is the church that believes in eternal progression. And were on this angle and this route and this progression and you do different things you are gonna go home and you’re gonna get married and you’re going to have children and you’re going to have great experiences, yes. But those will seem to be progressive steps in your exaltation and you cannot walk away and turn aside and forget and disregard and demean what got you there, what gave you the opportunity to even talk progression to even talk about the celestial kingdom a celestial experience. "

He then continued to talk about how important his mission was for him and that how it shaped who he is today.

I'm really enjoying my companion more and more and the people here. They are all very down to earth, loving people in this area. One of my favorite missionaries here and who is currently one of our AP's is Elder Ivey. When I was called here he told me how it was probably his favorite area to serve in the mission and that I would love training here. He is absolutely right so far. I do miss the people in Weslaco at times though. Especially Bishop Jess and his wife.

I found my new home every p-day :D

 A couple of the members in his area posted these pictures on Facebook...

I love that they are holding supplies to teach a primary class!

That is one huge pig!! :)