Monday, December 28, 2015

12/28/15 - Clinton, North Carolina

Well, in case you weren't aware, this past week was Christmas week!! It was amazing. We had our Family Home Evening get cancelled last Monday, but we are doing it tonight instead! For our District Meeting on Wednesday, we did a White Elephant and I got a Christmas mug and some candy!! We also did the "Human Table" with all of the Elders and that was crazy exciting! It was a very fun time. :) So. We got stuck in the mud. Twice! On two different days! In the same spot! Haha I have no idea how we were dumb enough to do it a second time, but here we are. Thankfully we had a member right there to tow us out!! Christmas Eve went very well! We had two dinners and I don't know if I have ever been more stuffed! They were both Spanish dinners and they feed you SO MUCH!! One of our members told me that I look like a young version of Tom Cruise! Haha, yes!! I also saw a Dementor on the side of the road that night! It was crazy. Christmas was amazing. I started the day off with some of my Grandpa's famous donuts that he sent me and it was splendid. I then opened all of my gifts and I just want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone that sent me Christmas gifts!!! I absolutely loved them all!! Although, I think the best of the bunch was getting the chance to Skype my family!! Holy cow, my family is so great! It was so amazing to see everyone again. I can't believe I've already been out for three months! I gave a talk in church yesterday and I think it went pretty well! My topic was why we need Jesus Christ, so it was pretty easy. ;) All in all, it was an incredible week! I hope y'all had a truly great Christmas and that you each have an even better New Year! Next time you hear from me, it will be 2016!!! I love you all.

Gaining unimaginable amounts of weight daily,
Elder Shearer

Monday, December 21, 2015

12/21/15 - Clinton, North Carolina

Wow! This has been our busiest week yet! We found 7 new investigators, which brings us to 15 investigators!! We had 19 lessons this past week and it was just insanity. Everyday was already full by the time we got around to planning! With so many good things going on though, Satan is definitely working even harder on us and on our investigators. On of our super solid investigators has been going through some rough things and we're trying to keep him strong and happy! But man! Satan is really working hard!! Last Preparation day we went to Scotty Hill and played a whole bunch of games with the other missionaries! It was a blast! Sadly, I didn't get any pictures though.. We had to get our oil changed this week so that was fun! I can't remember which night it was, but one of our members took us out to a place called "Salem Pizza" and it is amazing!!! I told him how much I liked the rolls so he bought half a dozen for me to take home! Haha it was an incredible night. I have to give a talk in church next Sunday so that is really exciting for me! :) Last night we were in our church building and the bell rung so we went outside to see who it was and the Jehovah's Witnesses had left some papers on our car and had driven off! Honestly, just looking at those papers gave me such a gross feeling and I realized how sensitive the spirit is! And not only that, but also how true our church is! The Church of Jesus Christ! Oh, amazing story! Last Saturday we got a media referral from Church Headquarters for someone named Greg that had requested a Bible. We stopped by, gave him the bible, and started talking about the Book of Mormon. He said that he is a very religious person, had lost his bible, and was wanting a new one so he prayed about it and next thing he new, he was on the church's website! He said he knew that there was a reason he had been led to that site, so we testified of the power of the Book of Mormon! He told us that he believes we are angels sent to him from Heavenly Father. It was an amazing contact! Haha he started calling me "smiley" because I just couldn't stop grinning! I have found such a joy in the work of the Lord that is beyond comparison. It was a very powerful night. I gave myself a haircut today! Well, I am very excited for the Christmas season and absolutely cannot wait to talk to my family in 4 days!! Merry Christmas to everyone, I hope y'all have a delightful week!!! I love you all!

Smiling and happy,
Elder Shearer

Monday, December 14, 2015

12/14/15 - Clinton, North Carolina

Holy frijoles! So many things to say every week!! Last Monday we had the FHE at the members home again and Elder Rogers and I decided to do a presentation including us teaching the first lessons and ending with a baptismal invitation all in 3 minutes!! We did it in 2 minutes and 14 seconds. We taught the members the importance of the Book of Mormon and how each lesson is essential for the investigator. To finish off the night, we did a coke and mentos presentation using the mento to represent the Book of Mormon, the cap of the soda bottle to represent the investigator, and the soda to represent the gospel of Jesus Christ. We taught them that with only the gospel of Jesus Christ, the investigator can't get anywhere. No matter how much we try to shake up the bottle and get all the fizz out of the gospel, we cannot truly progress without a testimony of the Book of Mormon. And simply by adding that testimony, the investigator (the cap) skyrockets in the progression of their conversion process (quite literally)! It was a great night and we think we really got the members excited for missionary work! Last Tuesday was deep cleaning day and we SCOURED our apartment. It feels amazing to be in a clean place. :) We also had Zone Training this week and our Christmas Zone Conference as well! Both went very well and our district sang "O come, O come, Emmanuel" in the Zone Conference! Elder Rogers also played in a trombone trio with President James! Hahaha it was amazing. Our branch Christmas party was last Saturday and holy cow!! The branch went all out and decorated like crazy! Santa Claus even came in at the end and it was definitely a night to remember. Last night we had a Christmas Cookies and Cantata event with two stakes and it was incredible! Haha the amount of people that were there with two stakes was about the same size of my home ward! It was actually really neat to see that many people in a chapel again. I felt right at home! So our golden investigator, CJ, is progressing marvelously! He already knows all about the Word of Wisdom, the Law of Chastity and Tithing and we haven't taught him any of them yet! He said he hasn't had coffee in a month because he knows he's not supposed to! And yesterday he payed his tithing without us even talking to him about it! He is amazing. His baptism is January 9th and he is already planning out details for it! He also is already making plans to go to the temple in January for baptisms! Oh yeah! He somehow heard about my album, has been listening to it nonstop, and asked me to give a special musical number at his baptism! So that's kind of scary. But mostly exciting! :) We tracted into a couple of black ministers this week and they very willingly accepted us into their home. Once inside, we started sharing our message of the Restoration and how important the Gospel of Jesus Christ is. They just sat there and let us give most of the lesson until they felt ready to start unleashing at us and once they did, it was the worst. I don't know if I have ever felt so threatened in my life! We literally just had to stand there while they yelled in our faces about how we don't know anything and how we can't convince them and that we are just young boys and no matter how much we say we can't do anything, etc. We politely waited for them to finish, and I told them we know we are called of God and that we know our message is true. We asked if there was anything we could do to serve them and then politely left. It was a crazy experience! But through all of the crazy things of this past week, I really have learned the joy of this work. As I have lost myself in the work, I have felt so much more love for those I teach, and have gained such a greater testimony of the power of this gospel. I know this church is true with all of my heart! I love you all and I hope you have a delightfully magnificent week!!

Standing firm in the faith,
Elder Shearer