Monday, July 11, 2016

07/11/16 - Raleigh, North Carolina

I love the Lord and His love inspired correction! Last Monday we had a very fun preparation day. We went to a mall here in Raleigh that is very very big! We stopped by all of my favorite stores: Aldo, Brooks Brothers, and H&M! It was fun, but I have forgotten how worldly the mall is haha! I will say I wasn't able to enjoy it as much as I thought I would.. We played tennis as a district afterwards and then finished the day with another show of the Ahuna Ohana! We were able to have two big investigating families come and enjoy it together! Upon returning to the apartment, we found a moth in one of our cupboards! Turns out that the Assistants put it in there.. It was scary at first but rest assured, we got it out without any injuries! On our part that is. Tuesday was a day full of opposition and tribulation! Also a day full of smiles and laughs. We biked 23 miles in a heat of over 103 degrees! We biked up and down a highway for a good number of miles trying to find a referral, and ended up going way too far! We took a break and went into a gas station to buy some drinks, and the guy in front of us paid for them! Such a neat tender mercy. Just a humble, older Hispanic man. We gladly thanked him and set back out. We finally found the referral but sadly, they weren't home. So we sped back home to catch an appointment and then went to dinner. Our dinner didn't have a man in the home so we ate outside. In the rain! Haha it was awesome. While biking back from dinner, the rain came down even harder to the point where I couldn't see anything within a foot of me! That's when the lightning came. It got closer and closer, louder and louder. We began counting seconds and we barely made it to one before it flashed behind us! We started thinking about all of the safe things to do while in a lightning storm and realized we were doing them all wrong! Don't be by metal. We were sitting on it! Don't be by trees. Hello! This is North Carolina! Don't be in water. That was inevitable. Don't be near your friends. We're missionaries! A little nervous and sopping wet, we took a deep breath and began to sing "Come, Come, Ye Saints". We happily smiled at all the cars passing by and sang as loud as possible to the tune of this comforting song. The Spirit hit me so strong and I felt completely calm as I remembered that the Lord will take care of me. If I only do His will, He will do the rest. In that moment it didn't matter to me anymore what the outcome was. I was reassured that I would be fine. And so it is with all of us! No matter what storms might be raging in your life, hold on, smile, and trust in the Lord, your God. I promise you He will be there. He will comfort you as He did with me. I loved that day in the rain, I will never forget it! And the next one too. Wednesday! We had a zone training meeting and I was blessed to be able to instruct on the topic of Consecration. We read Doctrine and Covenants 4:2 and talked about what is required of us to give. In Spanish we are instructed that we must give all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength to the Lord. I shared a few conclusions on how to do exactly that. To give him our heart, we must first sanctify it. (Helaman 3:35) We need to become pure hearted and willing to do His will. To give him our soul, we must develop a level of spirituality and let him guide us. (Alma 5:14) We must hunger and thirst after the Spirit to be blessed with it. We must even sweat over it! In order to give him our mind, we must study the doctrine of the kingdom. (D&C 11:21) We can do this by memorizing scriptures and really pondering what it is that we read. And finally to give him our strength, we must ever increase in faith. Faith is the power to do all things. (Moroni 7:33) As we show our faith, the Lord will give us strength. We then knelt as a zone and I bore my testimony of the power of a consecrated missionary. We must ever be on our knees. We must give Him our all. Consecration is a greater path than sacrifice alone. Sacrifice may bring blessings, but consecration brings joy. We were all in tears by the end of it. I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for guiding my utterances in that instruction. Later that day we covenanted with the Lord to find another investigator and we found Ina, a Dominican that is very excited to learn about the church. We have only been able to meet with her once, but she has already read two pages of the Book of Mormon! We had a motorcyclist race us after dinner at a light and.... he won. He pulled a wheelie! He was also wearing a Go Pro so if you see some missionaries on YouTube, it's probably us. ;) We finished the night by finding another investigator by the name of Lalo. He is about 58 years old and is such a humble man. He is earnestly seeking for peace in his life. I was overpowered with love for him as he shared with us that he doesn't have any real friends. I put my arm around him and told him that Jesus Christ is his real friend. And that as representatives of Him, we are too. That brought a smile to his face and he said that he knew. We went on exchanges with our zone leaders this week and my favorite part was our tracting experience! Elder Canlas and I had been tracting for about 45 minutes with no luck. It finally came to the point where I asked him if we could offer up a prayer. We covenanted with the Lord to help us find two new investigators, and immediately after the prayer we found two men standing outside. We confidently walked over to them and began to befriend them. They opened up and shared their needs with us. We taught, testified, and invited and had a great lesson. God works mighty miracles when we simply ask for them in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ. We were able to meet up with Josefina and her family again a few days ago! They are doing well and she is really excited to get baptized. She has such a light in her eyes when she talks about the church! We are working with them to get the father on board as well. I have been told three more times this week that I look and sound like I'm from Spain! So I've decided that I am going to talk my Spanish to the next level. I want to become fluent! I am learning phrases from Spain and am determined to keep improving in the language of my call. One more covenanting story from this week! Last night while tracting we covenanted for one new investigator and we found a 16 year old by the name of Jose that is having family issues. We explained how the message of the Book of Mormon can improve family relationships and he was very excited to read it. He was grinning as we gave it to him and seems to have a new sense of hope! I love it when the Lord guides us to those in need! We are finding many investigators and are teaching so many lessons. But we need more baptisms. I am going to strive even harder to baptize God's children so they can progress in their journey back to Him! I know the Lord will help me on the way. I want you each to know how much I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. They are real. Their love is real. I am so happy to be on this mission. It has changed me so greatly. I do not feel that I am the same person I was when I left. I hope I am not. I strive each and every day, to become. There is always something more we can change. May we each hunger and thirst after this mighty change made possible through our Lord and Savior. This is my hope and prayer for us all. I pray you each have a fantastic week full of miracles! I know they exist. I testify that if we simply ask with humble hearts, we may experience them. This is the testimony that is in me, and I share it in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Called to Raleigh (CTR),
Elder Shearer

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