Monday, July 18, 2016

07/18/16 - Raleigh, North Carolina

So many changes, it's going to get crazy here in Raleigh!!! But first, the week's update. It's been a beautiful one. Last Monday we had a multi-zone activity at Adventure Landing and I played a few games of mini golf with the assistants. I didn't do too well. But we also played laser tag and I did a little better there! We have been teaching so many people lately. We have almost 40 investigators. Hard to believe it! Here are a few highlights of our lessons this week. We stopped by a man named Helario that we gave a blessing to. He is the one we found a few weeks ago with the cancer. Well like I said, we gave him a Priesthood blessing and he is doing much better! He tells us every time that he feels loads better and he even told us that our visits are improving his health! Such great faith. We also have been teaching an investigator by the name of Ina and she is elect beyond the bees knees!! She told us that the day we found her she had been praying extra hard that God would send someone to her to help her be happier and stronger. And then we knocked on her door! It was even in the eleventh hour and the last door for us. It's always the last door! She has been just incredible. We have taught her about the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation. She understands it all so well and even agrees with it! She has had many questions about many things that we are able to answer! It is all just clicking in her head and it is so precious to be able to watch it happen. She has even been sharing some of the things we have been teaching her with her friends! We taught Jesus and Josefina this week about temples. The have set it as a family goal to go and be sealed there. Josefina loves to remind us of how she felt when we gave her a blessing a few weeks ago. It is so good that she never forgets! She also let us know that her health has miraculously improved. She used to have much pain in her neck and wasn't able to sleep, but as we gave her the blessing in the moment that we took our hands off of her head, she says that she felt the pain and tension releasing too. She hasn't had any problems since! I love the power of the Priesthood! We had a great district meeting this week. I instructed on the process of conversion and related it to the analogy given by Elder Bednar in one of his conference addresses. He taught us that we must first prepare and clean ourselves. This is done through the atonement of Jesus Christ. We then must submerse and saturate ourselves in the His gospel and love. This cannot be done by simply sprinkling ourselves with His teachings and His word. We must fully let Him change us as we give our all and become fully encompassed. The third step is that we must then become purified and sealed up to our Father in Heaven. This part is done through the boiling process. Through trial, heat, and pressure. We must not back out when it gets difficult, but rather we must stay faithful to the end and become the pickle! One of our members has these virtual reality goggles (I guess that's a thing now??) and we put them on! We didn't play any games or anything, we just looked at the interface. I was outside in the galaxy and everywhere I turned my head, I could see around me! It was incredible. It literally changed the way my brain functions.. So cool. We had deep cleaning this week and we scoured everything! Our apartment looks so good. And we rearranged our desks so it looks really nice. Excited to keep it organized. Alright, time for the crazy experience of the week. Friday night. It all started when Elder Rolph and had one of our appointments fall through. We said a prayer that we would be able to know where the Lord wanted us to go and I got a strong feeling that there was someone waiting for us. A recent convert came into mind fairly quickly so we biked over to him. Sad to report, he was not there! So we said another prayer. After the prayer however, everything had changed. We didn't have the feeling anymore that there was someone we needed to see and it was raining very heavily. We only had 15 more minutes left until 9 so we decided to head back to the apartment. That's when it all went down. As I was riding through the heavy rain down a long stretch of road, a man appeared out of nowhere. He was dressed in all black and had a bright red umbrella leaning on his shoulder. As I got closer I asked him how he was doing and all I got in reply was a menacing smile with a creepy deep, evil laugh. He had very dark skin. So dark in fact that I couldn't even see his face. Immediately after passing him, I had a dark, heavy spirit come over me. I'm pretty sure I had seen Satan. I felt very unsafe. I kept riding until the next stoplight and as we stood there waiting for the green, I asked Elder Rolph if he felt that something was off too. He informed me that he too had felt something was wrong. The feeling got stronger and stronger and I almost ran the busy red light in an attempt to get away! Eventually we were clear to pass and Elder Rolph and I decided to say another prayer on a back road behind our house to make sure there wasn't someone that needed our help. As Elder Rolph prayed, the worst feeling I have ever had in my life came over me and I instantly knew that someone was watching us. My head bolted up, and in the darkness I tried looking around to find them. I couldn't see anyone so I closed my eyes again. These words then came into my mind. "Something very bad is happening right now and unless you get out, you will be a part of it." I debated ending Elder Rolph's prayer to tell him we needed to get home, but for some reason didn't. As soon as he ended I quickly let him know that we needed to get home instantly and that we needed to sing a hymn until we got there. As I said this, his heart dropped and he too received a confirmation that we needed to leave. He turned around and saw the same man as before, dressed in all black, walking towards us!!! We sped off and thankfully made it home safely. We said a prayer of gratitude and tried planning for the next day, but for some reason, I still had the terrible feeling! We were both very shaken and in a state we've never been in before. He suggested we call the other Elders and immediately Elder Sheely and Elder Manu came into my mind. I grabbed the phone and called them as quick as I could. It was about 9:15 by this time and they were in the car on their way home. We asked if they were safe and let them know that something very bad was going on. In the background I heard Elder Sheely say "We probably shouldn't pull over and help this man on the side of the road then." It hit us really strongly and we told them to get home. They called us and let us know they were safe and we finally felt peaceful. Turns out they had had the same feeling before we even called them! We asked the Hermanas if they were home safe and they told us they had had a bad feeling too! Super crazy night. I'm still not sure what could have happened had we not listened to the Spirit, but I know that those feelings were a warning from God. I have never had such strong feelings of danger in my life and I pray I never have them again. But we are all safe now, so it's a happy ending! The next morning we rode our bikes 12 miles to the church to give the Hermanas blessings for some things they have been going through lately and they were very strong. The Lord truly speaks through us as we give Priesthood blessings, because many things I said I have never even thought of before! I could tell that I was promising specific blessings for specific needs. Such a special experience. As we rode back home, we stopped to get some lunch and a member paid for us! Very nice of them. And then yesterday we found out transfer news! I was in the shower when I got a feeling that President had texted us. After getting out, I walked over to my bed and saw the phone. As I grabbed it I saw that it read "1 new message". I opened it and saw that President had indeed texted. All it said was "Elder Shearer, please give me a call when you can." I returned his call and he asked me if I would train a new missionary. There are 26 new missionaries coming in and only 1 of them is Spanish speaking. I guess I will be training him! I gladly accepted and he expressed his love for me. After getting to church I found out that the other Elders area will be closing and that I will be absorbed it with my trainee! It actually turns out that 5 Elders are leaving our Ward and I am the only one staying. So now I will be district leader, training, and whitewashing this area! Oh my oh my what pressure!! But Elder Niko is coming to be the new zone leader so I will be in the four man with him! I'm super excited. But I will miss Elder Quarcoo, my uncle in the mission, and one of my best friends. He goes home this transfer. But he will start a great life. So that is it! My week! Sorry it's such a long one. If you stayed in tune this far, thanks for reading! I hope you all have a great week. You're in my prayers!!

Pregnant with my first child,
Elder Shearer

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