Monday, June 27, 2016

06/27/16 - Raleigh, North Carolina

Gooooood morning, my fellows brothers and sisters! Another beautiful week here in the glorious town of Raleigh, North Carolina. Last Monday we went to the science museum again but this time we also took a trip to the history museum. It was outstanding. So many artifacts from the civil war! I took many many pictures. I bought a North Carolina flag from the gift store and I love it! Elder Rolph and I have been finding up the wazoo in this area. We are also setting expectations right away and were even able to set a baptismal date on the doorstep with someone last week. We are trying to work with our members here but it has been a little bit of a struggle. None of the members seem to have any time to come out with us on exchanges! It's alright, we just need to build their faith and trust in us as missionaries and then they will be out every night! I'm actually giving an instruction on member work this week for District Meeting so that should help us out. We went to a restaurant by the name of "Chipotle" this past week and it was incredible! It was like Cafe Rio but so much better!! Later that night while riding our bikes, I tried to wave to some kids on the side of the road, and out of nowhere I went over a pothole which caused my hand on the bike to jerk inward and before I knew it my back tire was in front of me! I ended up pulling a complete 360 degree spin and was still moving! It was such a blessing that I didn't fall, but I sadly twisted my wrist and cut up my shoe pretty badly.. :/ But oh well, I am still living to tell the tale! Haha it was such a weird experience. We went to visit the family that came to church last Sunday to ask them how they liked it, and they LOVED it! Ramon told us that at every church he has been to, he has never felt anything special about it. But the moment he entered our church, he felt so much peace and love. He said "it was so strong, the whole world could feel it." He expressed his gratitude to the Lord for sending us to him and told us he is here to stay. It was incredible! I was beaming ear to ear and raced my bike home as fast as I could. I was jumping up and down the rest of the night. The next day we had Zone Conference and President James gave much great counsel. He expressed the need for us to be one with the scriptures and to help us do so, he released a big packet with 185 scriptures that we need to memorize. He said that after we pass them all off to our corresponding leader, we will get a very nice letter from him and stars on our picture cards in his office! I am going to memorize all of mine in Spanish. I have passed off about 5 so far, one of them being Joseph Smith History verses 11-19. So fun! He also suggested that as Hispanic missionaries we should consider taking an hour every few days during prime proselyting time (6-9) and get in jogging clothes and go to the park. There are many Hispanics there and it is a great place to go contacting. We tried it the following day and it was kind of a flop.. But we are going to try again! We just need to think of good tactics to gather people in. The next day Elder Rolph and I were having a little bit of a hard time knowing where we needed to be, so we said a prayer. We got an idea that we needed to flip a coin and every time we got a heads, we would turn left, and every time we got a tails, we would turn right. So we started driving! We flipped, got a right, and together decided when that right turn needed to take place according to the Spirit's counsel. We continued in this manner until we ended up at an apartment complex, we never even knew existed! We began tracting and came to learn that there are many Hispanics there. So very neat! I know the Lord is guiding and directing us to where he needs us. We have gone back a few times and one of them we tracted into a young couple that immediately let us in. We felt a little off about the whole thing and both felt as though they were going to bash us. Aaand, they did. Well, they tried at least. They are students at a Baptist Seminary. They began to pull out many scriptures about the beginning of Christ's existence and I wasn't going to stand for it. I informed them of our purpose as missionaries to invite people to come unto Christ. I let them know that we were not there to argue or convince them of our message. We bore fervent testimonies and told them our time was sacred and best spent with those earnestly seeking for truth. They were very shaken and we thanked them for their time. We had a prayer and left. I felt so good coming out of it knowing that we did what the Lord needed us to do! On Saturday we had an incredible lunch with a former investigator. She is the woman that we gave a blessing to about a week ago. She told us that she has plans to get baptized and really wants an eternal family. Delicious food too haha! Saturday night we started something I am very excited for as a district. We are going to have a weekly district conference call. Each companionship shared a miracle story from their week and a prayer request for the rest of the district to pray for. It hopefully will build our unity and I already feel it doing so! On Sunday I got a tie from a member that he made himself! He asked me last week what my three favorite colors were and he made it so quickly! It is beautiful. He makes one for each missionary that serves here. But I guess from what the other Elders told me, mine is a skinny version! Haha so awesome! Sadly Ramon wasn't able to make it to church because he was working, but we were able to visit him last night. He was really sick so he didn't participate much, but his father got pretty excited as he began to scream at one point telling us about the various visions he has had. Very... interesting. But I guess I can't expect anything less from Hispanics! Such a great week. I am excited to have another one! Thanks for reading, stay beautiful! I love you all!!

Beaming from ear to ear here in the legendary city of Raleigh,
Elder Shearer