Monday, October 21, 2013


Alright, another week, another email. This transfer I`ve just felt like time has been going by SO FAST. In a week, I`ll have been out here 17 months. how crazy is that? Everyone keeps telling me "Oh, you`re already out the door Elder." haha, it`s so funny... but kinda scary at the same time.
This week, I`ve been thinking a ton about leaving the past behind. an Elder in my district and I were talking on the phone one night about how we can fix the problems in our areas, and we came to the same conclusion: We have to help them stop living in the past. As members of the church, and even outside of the church, we make the fatal mistake of judging a WHOLE group based on 2 or three people who are associated with it, then we live with that bitterness, judging an entire group for the rest of our lives based on a mistake that one or two people made. Then, we end up sacrificing our progress just to "Get back at" that person by not going to church, or not keeping the same friends because they`re friends with him/her. I`ve come to realize that we, as human beings, walk through life a lot of the time thinking that everyone`s just thinking about us. whether it be about attacking us, or waiting to cater to our every whim. but the world isn`t like that. there`s a quote that I`ve really come to appreciate this week:

"Be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a battle." and another one:
"The past is to be learned from, not lived in."

I just wanna invite everyone, the next time they get offended by someone else, to just think about, first of all, If the person even REALIZES they`ve offended you, and second, think about if the offense really even matters in the grand scheme of your existence. that`ll change things for ya.
Well, I`m outie. Be happy, Be Mormon.

Elder Stormy Sheppard

Monday, October 14, 2013

James Sheppard
3:23 PM (3 hours ago)
to meNatalieNatalie

Hey, sorry I didn´t write last week, the truth is... I completely forgot, haha :p but it´s cool, cause I´m writing now.
So, did anyone else catch the General Conference messages? did anyone realize the fact that we live in the times fortold by Paul as being "perilous"?
Everything that´s been profesied (or however you spell it in English :p) since Adam about the second coming of Christ is all coming true. the first talk in conference talked about how we´re headed toward the same amount of persecution as the early church members, and soon, we´ll all need our testimonies of Jesus Christ. I feel like here in Mexico, God´s already "Shaking the tree" so to speak, to see which of his children will stay loyal no matter what temptations beset them. I read a verse in Helaman that says not everyone will be saved. it,s the sad truth, but We´re even seeing the proof here in the mission.
Our mission president has had to go dictator on us. 3 elders went home this past week for some type of grave sin. our president´s words to us after this incident were, "You guys didn´t wanna carry the yoke of Christ, now you´ll tremble under the yoke of Caesar." which was a really cool quote, even though it scared me. then he proceeded to tell us that these new rules are to "DESTROY the traitors." yeah. the mission just got real. those are the only updates for this week, but I hope everyone´s well, and I´ll see you all in 7 months.

Elder Stormy Sheppard :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

September 23, 2013:


Alright, this is just getting ridiculous. right when I think the mission can`t get any more difficult, Heavenly Father throws me another curveball, and I have no choice but to look up and say, "touché...".
This week has been probably my hardest one yet. you all remember how they recently made me district leader? well, that`s still going about the same amount of difficult. And now, they just put some more on my plate, A BRAND NEW ELDER. He`s straight out of Bolivia, and he literally NEVER talks. not even in the lessons. sometimes, I stop talking in a lesson and wait for him the folllow my lead, and he just looks at me and says, "Can we leave now?" and I just sit there feeling awkward because after 2 seconds in a house, he`s already wanting to leave without having said anything... it`s bad, but I`m not complaining. If he was put with me, it`s obviously a trial I can`t handle. I`ve tried the stern trainer approach, and he just rebelled more and told me he hated me and stormed off into the room. I literally live with a 6 year old trapped in a 19 year old body. but it`s cool, I don`t dislike him or anything, it`s just always been hard for me to teach people with a learning disability THIS STRONG. But all of you there are probably saying, "that`s exactly why he`s with you, Stormy, that`s what you have to change about yourself in this companionship", But if ANYONE has ANY advice, PLEASE let me know, because I`m all out of ideas and nothing`s changed. I`ve tried to explain rules to him, and he says "I`m not gonna follow that rule, cause in my house I didn`t have to do that", And I just wanna say, "Well, have President transfer you to your house so you can sleep all day then..." but I dont, haha.

ANYWAY, on a completely seperate note, I heard a lesson that really impacted me in church yesterday:
Inactivating yourself from the church is like freezing to death. at first, you feel the spirit leave just like one feels the cold setting in. but with more time outside, the numbness sets in, and we stop feeling anything at all. we don`t feel the spirit, but we come accustomed to it, just like the freezing cold turns to numbness, and even an eerie sense of warmth, right before we close our eyes and die. 
So, being inactive, and feeling okay with it, is really just another symptom of spiritual death, not God`s approval of your absence from the church or anything similar. but someone with hypothermia or frostbite, stops realizing they`re dying until someone comes from the outside to save them.

We`re those people. so let`s remember that.

Elder Sheppard

September 30, 2013:

Hola Familia!!!!!

Okay, so this week I´ve seen a LITTLE bit of improvement in the unity between my companion and I. I feel like he talks a LITTLE more, but there´s still the problem of his refusal to learn and my own pride. I never realized until the mission how hard it is to lose an argument on purpose. But then I just think of how hard it was for Jesus to do it and I realize that my own difficulty is really nothing in comparison. I´ve decided to make a conscious effort to not complain about others and, instead, take responsibility for the situation.

So, anyway, updates this week. first of all, I got KISSED BY A GUY. it was probably one of the most traumatizing (however you spell that) experiences in my life. we were just walking down the street and a guy came up and was like, "I´m a member of your church and I need you to lend me $20". so my comp was just like, alright, and gave it to him. and the guy was like, "thank you so much!" and came over and kissed ME. he didn´t even kiss my companion, who was the one that gave him the money, he kissed ME. I´m pretty sure he just wanted an excuse to kiss a black guy.... Anyway, in other news, my favorite tie in the world disappeared, so I´m about to go "TAKEN" on all of Mexico until I find it >:(.

We haven´t had baptisms yet. or even really prospects for baptism, so we{ve been focusing on the less active members and getting them to come back to the church. because how can we expect to get new people up in here when we can´t even retain the members we do have? exactly. so we´re on OPERATION: MENOS ACTIVO now.

Today, we went with two other missionaries in my district (since there are only 4 of us anyway), and we went to climb a mountain. I´ll put some pictures in here cuz we found some pretty awesome stuff :) haha some weird ruins that I guess have been there since the foundation of the world or something. there´s a little town at the bottom of the mountain with a population of like, 20, and everyone started going into their houses and closing the doors when they saw us coming, then they would just stare at us from the windows... creepy... and there was just ONE little pink church. I´ll send that picture too. and we contacted a guy and asked if he had ever heard of the mormons. he said he´d never heard of any church other than that little pink one.... even weirder... but it´s cool, no one killed us or anything. but those are my stories for the week. hopefully there are more next week! maybe we´ll find out what´s up with that creepy town...

One more thought before I part:
If we´re not making sacrifices in our lives, we´re not following Christ.

Stay in school! don´t lick frozen poles!

Elder (Stormy) Sheppard