Monday, June 9, 2014

Fun Little Moments with Elder Shipley

This week's been a blast.  There's lots of little things that happened this week, spiritual experiences or funny moments, that I'll probably remember for the rest of my mission.  What I want to do today is just give you a brief outline of how our week has gone with these moments. 

Wednesday night, we had a really good appointment with Jose lined up and ready to go and about half an hour before we were supposed to be there... he canceled.  He had to work.  Suddenly that last hour of the night was open and we decided to go find people to teach.  It was Elder Shipley's turn to decide where to go.  He chose the park.  Little to my knowledge, but very well known to him, a group of people get together and play basketball there everynight and he wanted to play sooooooo bad.  So he called up the 2nd ward Elders to come play as well and we had missionaries vs. the 4 Black guys that were playing in the park.    We played hard, but whether it be because we were in Proselyting clothes or because I'm only 5'9 or 5'10" and super white and skinny(ish).... we lost.  BARELY Final Score: 21-19.  We're trying to go do that every week now and we'll hopefully be able to find people to teach out of it.  

Thursday was an AWESOME lesson with Brenda.  Just to make sure we wouldn't get rained-out again, we took to of the Young Men from the area who are both leaving on their missions this month and we went to visit her.  Two things impressed me about this lesson.  First off, I'm amazed at how prepared these two young men are.  They taught only a little less than half of the lesson.  They were pulling out scriptures and teaching so that she could understand.  When I was getting ready for my mission, I don't feel like I was half as prepared as they are.  They'll be amazing in Las Vegas, Spanish Speaking and Sweden.  
The Second thing that impressed me was Brenda.  She's so prepared for the Gospel its amazing.  We taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, The Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End) and she loved it.  She agreed to everything we taught and really wants to learn more.  I can't wait to see her again. 
Tornado Warning

Later that day our phone started going off like crazy.  It was raining out side and the winds were blowing and Iowa was doing its stupid Iowan weather thing and we didn't think much of it until our phone started going off like crazy sending us Tornado Warnings.... I bet you haven't had one of those in a while.   When you get a text in the middle of an awesome lesson that says "Tornado Warning in this area.  Take shelter now."  It kind of throws you off a little.  It took a lot of concentration to get back on track with the lesson but the Spirit was still there and the Investigator, Norberto is progressing faster than ever.  

Saturday the other missionaries in our branch had a baptism.  A brother, taught by the Elders, and his sister, taught by the Hermanas, were both baptized on the same day.  I so badly wish I could've gotten a picture of the 2 Elders and the brother and sister all in white.  It was a beautiful baptism service.  I hope I never forget the feelings of love and joy that I felt as the two of them entered into the true church together.  
My favorite part was that Norberto was there to see it all.  He wants to be baptized.  You can see it on his face.  You can tell by the way he is at church and the way he is changing for the better.  The progress I've seen in him is incredible.   PLUS The whole branch loves him!  He came to the Baptism Saturday afternoon, the branch activity Saturday evening, and church the next day!  PLUS He's reading from the Book of Mormon everyday.  Sooner than later, he too will be baptized.  I hope I'm around for that.  

So that pretty much sums up my great week!  I love you.  I hope you have a great week!

Lots of Love,
Elder Zachary Paddock

Here's some pictures for your enjoyment :)

Elder Shipley's Personal Study of Lehi's Dream Yesterday

Happy Missionaries with a full meal calendar for the week

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