Monday, June 20, 2016

06/20/16 - Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh 3C is on fire!! Elder Rolph and I had such a great week. We started it off with a little trip to the Raleigh Science Museum last Monday. Sadly we didn't have much time, so we are going back today! We got a new car on Tuesday and it is a 2016 White Corolla, so nice!! It only had 22 miles on it when I pulled it out of the parking lot haha! We found a new investigator last Monday night by the name of Jose and he already believes that there is one true church, he's just trying to find it! We taught him about the Restoration and then invited him to church. He told us he would come to ours if we went to his. So we asked him which church he was going to and of course it had to be a Pentecostal holiness church! So we went. Tuesday night we decided to stop in and it was weird! We happened to be there for their prayer night so everyone was running around with their hands in the air screaming at the top of their lungs. They were all repeating menial phrases about how God is the only one that can save them and how they live and breath for him. And of course it was all in Spanish which made it even more strange.. One woman was going around putting her hands on peoples heads and from what it seemed to me, was trying to give them a blessing! Very strange.. Elder Rolph and I were just sitting down watching all of this go down. Definitely not a spiritual experience. On Wednesday I gave my first instruction as a District Leader! I instructed on the importance of the area book and to do so, I related it to the sacred records of the Temple. I explained that as missionaries, we too are called to be "recorders" for the work of the Lord. It is a great privilege and honor to be able to keep record of the progress of God's children in His gospel. I later had many missionaries tell me that they had taken the time to organize, update, and review their area books! Woohoo! I then had my first exchange as a District Leader with Elder Manu. It was wonderful. He didn't have any appointments set up, so we spent the majority of the day tracting (most of which was in the pouring rain haha)! But we found a very elect new investigator as a result. Upon my return from the exchange, I found that we had received another bunk bed for our apartment! Now we have two! We also got a hammock. It's the best. We have been really diligent in extending baptismal dates no later than the second lesson. In fact, we have been extending baptismal invitations on the doorstep! We currently have 3 very solid investigators with dates. One day while tracting, I felt inspired to go over to a park where a few women were seated. We started up a conversation with them and one of the women asked us to visit her son later that night. So after dinner, we went! His name is Ramon and he is incredible. I started us off with a kneeling prayer and afterwards, we all just sat there on our knees for a minute, enjoying the Spirit that had entered the home. We boldly and simply taught the message of the Restoration. I was in tears as I shared the first vision with this family. Upon giving Ramon the Book of Mormon, he began to cry and expressed just how grateful he was for us. He told us he has had many missionaries from different churches invite him to church over the years and he has never gone. He told us that he knew God sent us to him and that this church was true. He accepted a baptismal date without any hesitation and the Spirit came in even stronger. He even came to church on Sunday, bringing his family of 10! We took up two benches haha. Upon leaving that lesson, I felt we needed to visit a recent convert by the name of Carlos. We raced over there on our bikes and found his mother not doing well. He asked us if we could give her a blessing and we gladly complied. That blessing was possibly the most powerful blessing I have ever had the opportunity to give. I was a sobbing mess. And underneath our hands I could feel her too crying as the Lord spoke directly to her heart through our Priesthood power. I felt my Spanish increase as I spoke and almost felt it was not mine. As we closed the blessing, her son gave her one of the most endearing hugs I have ever seen. She thanked us for the blessing and informed us that if we had come any earlier or later, we would have missed her. She was only home for those 10 minutes we were there. I later found out that she is not a member and that she at one point was not supportive of her son's decision to be baptized. That night was a huge step for her and I am so blessed to have been a part of it. We taught an investigator by the name of Bevan a few days later and set a baptismal date with him too. His father is not supportive and does not know he is learning about the church. Every commitment that we leave with him he is very hesitant about accepting. But when we extended the baptismal invitation, he readily exclaimed "Yes!" The smile on his face as we promised him blessings was a sight I hope I never forget. The true joy of this gospel... This week has been bike week, and I have actually really loved it! It feels so good to be out exercising. And the Lord has blessed me with good health! For Father's Day we went to the Bishop's home and ate breakfast with their family. Delicious food! Actually speaking of delicious food, I ate a habanero pepper last night at dinner! It was sooo spicy!! But yes, this week has been an incredible one. The Lord is blessing us. Many people on track to baptism and massive families coming to church! What more could I ask for. Happy Belated Father's Day to my Father! He is truly the prime example of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He has taught me the most cherished things I know. If I could someday become even half the man he is, I would consider myself very favored of the Lord. I love you Dad!!

Bringing souls unto Christ, one at a time,
Elder Shearer

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