Monday, April 25, 2016

04/25/16 - Siler City, North Carolina

Adventure Landing!! Last week we got special permission from the assistants to have a district activity at a place called adventure landing in Raleigh. It is unlimited mini golf and laser tag for only 12 dollars!! It was a blast. I got a hole in one on mini golf! And then we found out a few days ago that we are having a zone activity today. And guess where it's at? You guessed it! Adventure Landing!! Haha round 2 here we come! We had deep cleaning this week as it is a new transfer tomorrow and our car and our house are looking fly!! We have been helping a less active with family history and this week we were able to help her print out ordinance cards for her parents! She was soo happy and it was very neat to see the spirit of Elijah working in her! So every since I have arrived here in North Carolina, I have been searching for an Einstein's bagels and I haven't found any! But this week we ate at a place called Bruegger's bagels and it's pretty much the exact same! So that was really cool. Elder Niko and I saw my dream car driving by this week too: a BMW i8! It was the first one I've seen in person and it is gorgeous! I did a little cooking this week! I made Fried Rice (Polynesian style) and more pizza from scratch! We went back to Habitat for Humanity this past Saturday and did more painting! The house is almost finished and it's really exciting to watch it get built! Elder Niko and I played Sting Pong this week and let's just say, he won. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's pretty much where every point that you make, you get to smack the ping pong ball into your opponents back! Well I lost and it was terrible. But super fun at the same time! Last Saturday the 23rd, we made a crazy realization! I had been out for exactly 7 months on that day and Elder Niko has exactly 7 months left from that day! Crazy coincidence. We have been doing a lot of teaching and have really been trying to use members in the teaching process. We were actually able to set 6 baptismal dates this week with different investigators because of our using members! It just goes to show you the difference it can make when a member bears testimony and goes on exchanges with the missionaries! We had out court date this past Wednesday and what a crazy day it was. We arrived at the court house at about 9:00 in the morning and didn't leave until 1:00! When we arrived we went inside and let the District Attorney know that we were present and ready and she asked us for what case we were there for. We told her that it was for the case of Marvin McCrimmon and her reply was a simple "I'm so sorry." She took us to the court room and we got to sit through tons and tons of different cases while we waited. It was very interesting to watch how the whole system works! We were pulled out every once in a while and were interviewed by various people such as attorneys and sergeants. Well we eventually got to our case (It was the last one of the day) and Marvin came out in handcuffs and in a jumpsuit. I actually got a little nervous seeing him again! We thought that because we had given so many different statements we wouldn't have to speak, but the first thing the judge said was "Can I speak with the victims please?" So we got up and stood in front of the court room and testified to the judge of everything that had happened. She thanked us for handling the situation so respectfully and for not hitting the man as he was harassing us. She noted on the fact that we were very mature for our age and handled the situation just perfectly. Marvin was sentenced to 120 days in jail. After the case his girlfriend came up to us and with tears in her eyes thanked us for not hitting him. She thanked us for "looking at him with the love of Jesus". We later related the story to President James and he told us that he was very proud of us for being respectful during the whole matter. So that is that! It's finally over and settled. I had an amazing personal study this week. Well, I have amazing studies every morning, but one in particular stood out to me this week. I was sitting there pondering one morning not too long ago and I had an overwhelming feeling come over me that I don't need to worry about any of my trials, that if I live righteously and follow Christ, God will take care of them for me. Well as I was thinking about it, I got a prompting to read a talk. So I opened my binder of talks and started flipping through them. None of them seemed to appeal to me. I kept flipping and I finally got to one that caught my attention. It actually turned out to be the only talk I hadn't read yet!  And I am not even sure where I got it.. But it is entitled "Fear Not, I am With Thee" by Elder Ucthdorf. I began to read it and it talks about how we need not fear anything. He is specifically addressed missionaries too which was a little bonus tender mercy. Towards the end of the talk he begins to promise blessings and he states that if we put our trust in God, He will take care of our worries for us! It was almost the exact prompting I had earlier received! It was very special to me as I was reminded that God is mindful of us. I realized that as a missionary all I need to focus on doing are ultimately three things. I need to 1) Live righteously and like Christ so that I may 2) Have His Spirit to be with me always. Which will enable me to 3) Find, teach, and baptize His children. This week we also found out transfer news. The zone leaders usually call us Saturday night, but Saturday night we were waiting and waiting for a call and 10:30 came and went! We figured that we were both staying! Well the next morning as soon as we woke up, President James called us! He informed us that Elder Niko will be opening a new area: Lumberton Spanish! AND he will be training! I'm so excited for him. President then spoke with me and thanked me for my dedicated service and let me know that I would be having "many challenges ahead" and asked if I was up to the challenge. He reminded me that a mission is here to help me grow. Well I was terrified! I told him I am ready to accept God's will whatever it may be, but I was a little nervous at first! Well as I prayed to Heavenly Father about my new experiences that lie ahead, I remembered my personal study from a few days ago and had peace! I don't need to worry about anything! God is there for us and He will not fail us. He can not fail us! He is our Father and He will be with us to the end. Well sorry for the long email, but it was a very eventful week! I love you each and continue to pray for you by name. Always remember the support of our loving Heavenly Father. Have a wonderful week!!

About to take Adventure Landing by storm. Again.
Elder Shearer

Monday, April 18, 2016

04/18/16 - Siler City, North Carolina

This week we had the Temple trip!! It was amazing. So uplifting and edifying. The temple is the place to be. I wish I could go more as a missionary instead of just once every six months.. So take advantage of the chance to go whenever you want peeps! I'm jealous of you. We also had Zone Conference this past week and it was amazing. We had it out in Durham and we had some really great speakers. President Epps of our mission presidency spoke about the power and the need of the Holy Ghost in the work of the Lord and it really hit me! I was crying like nobody's business as he talked about having to "pay the price" to know the Spirit. Feeling the Holy Ghost is not a right that we have, it is a privilege. We must live worthy and really feast after it. We must sweat over it! It was a great talk. After the meeting, all of the northern kingdom of the Raleigh Mission went to Duke Gardens and it was gorgeous! We got to see Duke Chapel and even got to go inside of it! Amazing architecture. Elder Niko and I had another marvelous tracting experience this week! We had covenanted with the Lord that we would be able to find one new investigator as we took an hour to tract. Upon reaching the close of that hour, we came up to a house and knocked the door. A woman came out and began to speak with us. She told us that she had just decided that morning that she wanted to change her life around and began heading her bible again! She began to cry and told us that she believes that God sent us to her to help build her faith once again. We were able to turn it into a great teaching experience as we shared our purpose as missionaries. We have set a baptismal date with her and are excited to watch her progress in the gospel of the Lord! Very special tender mercy from Heavenly Father! Last Saturday our ward helped participate in something called Habitat for Humanity. It is an organization that builds homes for people that can't afford one! We spent most of the day building houses with them and it was a great experience! I got to paint the siding up next to the roof, lay the insulation down underneath the house, and do a few other miscellaneous projects! I love serving other people! It always feels so good. Haha so a few days ago Elder Niko told me something funny that I had done in the middle of the night before. Apparently around 2 o clock I sat up in my bed and started screaming! Elder Niko flicked the lights on asked me if I was alright. I stopped screaming, turned to look at him, and said "Godzilla". I then laid down again and went back to sleep! Haha I'm so weird.. But anyways, it was a great week! Definitely less life threatening than last one, but we'll see what happens with the court date this Wednesday. Oh yeah, one more thing! This morning in the shower, I found a tick!! I didn't know what it was so I ripped it off, but thankfully the head came with it. Sketchy! There are ticks and things all over the place here. Well on that note, talk to you next week! Love you all, byyyyeee!!

Dreaming about dinosaurs taking over Asia,
Elder Shearer

Monday, April 11, 2016

04/11/16 - Siler City, North Carolina

Alright alright alright, listen up y'all. I have some crazy encounters to share this week. First! Last Monday my district went and had a Frisbee Golf tournament in Apex at an 18 hole course. It was a blast. Elder Niko and I tied for first! We also gave an instruction at Zone Training on Wednesday. Our instruction was titled, "Creating Conversion on the Door". We talked about the importance of Teaching the Restoration, Testifying that we know, and Inviting people to act. It was a powerful instruction and I'm so grateful for the Holy Ghost!! Later that night, we went on exchanges with our Zone Leaders and we found a new investigator! She was sitting outside of her house on her porch and was very friendly. We started talking to her and quickly realized that she was going through a pretty rough time in her life. We reminded her that Jesus Christ is always there for her and shared a few scriptures to help her out and she started crying! We asked what was up and she didn't know exactly but just knew that God sent us to help her out. It was an awesome contact and we are hoping to teach her again soon. She even texted us later and thanked us again for helping her. So cool! Elder Niko and I made a great accomplishment this week. We updated all of our area book!! Every bit of it. It took a while, but we are on track to keeping it perfect. We got a media referral this week from a man that had requested a free bible online and when we gave it to him, we began to talk about the Book of Mormon, naturally! Welp, it turns out that he has read most of it and "doesn't like it". WHAT?? Who doesn't like the Book of Mormon?! Oh well, I guess I'm just glad that he is still getting some bit of truth from the bible. I started my garden this week! I have a cucumber plant that is looking just exquisite. We got a call last night ago from a member whose wife is passing away. He asked if we could give her a blessing and we were over there in five minutes. I guess they just found a tumor in her lungs and she doesn't have much longer. We were able to exercise our Priesthood and calm some troubled hearts. I don't know for sure what is going to happen, but I just had an overwhelming feeling as I was there that God knows us! And He loves us. Wow, it was incredible. Okay, this is where the email gets crazy. Thursday. Elder Niko and I had a meeting in Raleigh and so did the Sisters in our ward. To save miles, we carpooled there and back. Everything was completely normal the whole day until 7 o clock decided to come around and change our lives. We were taking the Sisters home and just as we were about to turn into their apartment complex, a man standing in the middle of the road with a bicycle, stopped us. He was just standing there staring at his bike as if something were broken. He motioned for us to get out of the car and help him so Elder Niko jumped out. He went over to him and asked him what was the matter. The man began to cuss at his bike and told Elder Niko that it was broken and it wasn't even his bike. He then pulled out a big bottle of Bud Light from his backpack and started drinking it. However, he was already beyond drunk at this point. As soon as he pulled it out, Elder Niko headed back towards the car and was just about to get in when the man yells "What? Are you scared of a little drink or something?" Well. Elder Niko isn't afraid of anything. So. He instantly turned around and told him that! The man bolted to Elder Niko, got all up in his face and started screaming. That's when I decided to get out. I began to walk over to them when he started screaming at me and told me not to move! Well obviously I wasn't about to let anything happen to my companion, so I kept walking and asked the man what the problem was. He got right up in my face probably about an inch away and just unleashed at me. He was dropping F-bombs every other word! He told me that I looked like the guy that killed Kennedy, Superman, and the men in black. He then turned around and started urinating right there in the middle of the road! With the Sisters in the back seat. It was terrible. And then halfway in the middle of it, he turned back around and started yelling at us again. Thankfully after a few minutes, he got the sense to zip his pants back up. He began to cry and told us that his mom just died 35 days ago and that he was going to kill everyone in town. He lifted up his heavy, metal, chain, bike lock and kept screaming that he was going to kill us! He actually raised his beer bottle at us and almost started swinging! Elder Niko's hand shot out to stop him and I stepped forward to grab it too! He was very distressed and could not stop swearing at us. We tried teaching him the Plan of Salvation, but it didn't seem to go too well haha.. He just freaked out even worse and went on about how he knows Jesus. Well, we were eventually able to calm him down, get back in the car, and leave. The Sisters hadn't called the police yet, so I decided to. I told them all that went down and they said they'd handle it. Well, this man is actually one of the Sisters' investigators and their neighbor as well. He in fact knows the exact house in which they live. So because we couldn't take them home, we went to a gas station and started contacting some people! We actually found some really good potentials! But anyways, back to the story. After about an hour or so, we drive back to their apartments and couldn't find him but found his smashed bottle on the side of the road. We called our Mission President and he said to call the police back and follow up with what went down. So we did and they said that they couldn't find him! They wanted us to go to the detention center and file out witness reports immediately so they could figure out the situation. We were already back to Siler City by this point which is about a 30 minute drive from Pittsboro which is where it all went down. Oh yeah, and it was 10:30, our bedtime. But we turned around, went to the detention center and filled out the reports. He met with the Magistrate and were interviewed individually by her. Because the Sisters weren't threatened directly, they couldn't file a claim against him. But Elder Niko and I could. So we did and it turns out that now we have to go to court on April 20th to testify against this man.. Very crazy.. So as far as that night went, we didn't get out until midnight. The sisters went to stay with some members because their house is no longer safe and we drove home another 30 minutes home. And guess what happened once we got home?? We realized we had lost our house key! So we ended up driving another hour back down to Apex to stay with the Elders there. We didn't get to sleep until 2. But the next day we found our keys at our Zone Leaders apartment in Cary. Elder Niko and I then decided to go and get some sushi because of how traumatically scarred we were.. Yes. One of the craziest weeks ever.. I guess that the police arrested the man with a $10,000 bail. And guess what?? Some one paid it. So he's on the streets once again. Well, I hope that none of you have situations like that in your upcoming week! I love you all. Stay safe!!

Going to court,
Elder Shearer

Monday, April 4, 2016

04/04/16 - Siler City, North Carolina

Hola mis hermanos y hermanas! Como estan? Que dicen?? Wow, a full week. Last Tuesday I went on exchanges here in Apex and it went well! We found a new investigator for them and a few really solid potentials. Haha it always seems that I do better work outside of my area than inside.. Oh well, as long as it is getting done somewhere I'm a happy camper! Elder Niko and I gave another instruction in District Meeting this past Wednesday on the importance of asking bold, simple, and direct questions. It went very well and it was very spiritually powerful! We are giving another instruction this week, but this time it's for Zone Training. The whole zone! Scary! I made a new numbers board this week for our apartment and it looks gooood if I do say so myself.. Wednesday was just a blessed day. We were on our bikes and for some reason random strangers were waving too us as we rode by! And we caught all green lights too! Our member dinner that we had loaded us up with like three bags of bagels, strawberries, and grapes! Then on the way home, we ran into a potential investigator that we met like a week ago but forgot to ask for his number or address! He was outside his house with his dog and he stopped us on our bikes and started to talk with us and told us that he really wants us to come by sometime. So we got his number that time (not really, we actually forgot again) and rode home! And if that wasn't enough, we got a random phone call from a hispanic that asked for the address of our church and said he wanted to come! Craziness!! We are helping a recent convert through a smoking problem and it is my first time on the mission helping someone through an addiction. To go through it with them, we promised that we would stop snacking on anything other than fruit and healthy things. It's been rough. But it's good for all of us! Our teaching pool has been a little difficult lately as many of our investigators do not seem to understand our message or really have a desire to change and act, but we are staying faithful in our finding efforts and are really trying to teach more simply! We rode in a completely gutted out Mustang this week! There is a member who is restoring it and he has taken out all of the seats and everything, but he took us for a drive in it! It was a little scetchy, but thankfully we're still alive. Sad story time! It was April Fools on Friday, and I didn't even pull a single April Fool's joke!! Seriously bummed about that. Awesome story time! I finished the Book of Mormon for the first time in my life. That's what's up. I grew up reading it with my family plenty of times and have read it on my own too, but have only ever made it through Alma. But this time, I read all of it! I started it in the CCM and finished it the morning before conference. I have developed such a strong testimony of it's validity and power! It truly is more correct than any other book on Earth as stated by the Prophet Joseph Smith. General Conference. Oh my goodness. So wonderful!! I am saddened by how quickly it went by!! But it was awesome while it lasted. And we can continue to read and study the words given! Something that I really got out of it is that we are literal sons and daughters of God! I have always known that principle, but have never really thought about it too much. It is so powerful! God loves us. Oh, one more story! So there is an investigator here that will go unnamed, but he has been meeting with missionaries for about a year. His whole purpose is to prove us wrong with random Bible doctrine that is against our church like having a Christmas tree or having women cover their faces when they pray. He pretty much just likes to intimidate the missionaries and gets a kick out of watching them squirm. Well I met him last Monday whilst frolfing and he told me that if I don't have my Bible scriptures down and the Holy Ghost with me, he will run me out of this town. The next night we had a lesson with him and just hardcore set expectations. I told him that I wasn't there to play games, but to teach Repentance and baptize converts. We were pretty bold with him and told him that he isn't going to intimidate us and just bore testimony of the truthfulness of this church. We think he could feel of the power of the Holy Ghost that we had with us and he didn't know what to say and threw some little insults at us, but it was good because we set expectations! Well later that night he texted us and told us that he is done learning from us and that he wishes us luck on our missions. That's what's up! Boom! Look who ran who out of town! But yeah, it's actually pretty sad how long it was going on for, but thankfully not anymore! Anyways, it was a great week! Thanks for tuning in! I love you all, have a good week!!

Smacking down doctrine,
Elder Shearer