Monday, August 1, 2016

08/01/16 - Raleigh, North Carolina

Wow! Miracles upon miracles this week!! The first of which being that last preparation day, we had a tennis tournament as a district. The assistants came and joined us as well, and I was undefeated! Definitely some divine intervention in that regard. We also had a great covenanting story. For those of you who aren't familiar with the missionary definition of covenanting, it is when we prayerfully listen to the will of the Lord and then covenant to do our part. For instance, we could feel that the Lord wants us to find 3 new investigators so we covenant through a prayer that we are going to accomplish His will. It is a great opportunity to strengthen our individual relationships with Him and to build our faith! Well on Tuesday, Elder Summers and I had about 10 minutes before dinner was to start. I decided we needed to use the Lord's time effectively and go tracting. We felt that the Lord wanted us to find one new investigator, so we covenanted with Him. Literally the moment we got out of the car, we find a woman named Leticia! She is very confused why there are so many different churches. We were able to share testimonies and bear witness of the reality of a true church as we answered a few of her questions. A great contact! We then did a little exchange with our zone leaders for the night so that they could give baptismal interviews to our 3 investigators. We had a great time! I got to drive a truck for the first time in my life! It is a Chevy Silverado 2015 and it is HUGE! A little intimidating at first, but by the end of the night I had it down nicely. All of our investigators passed with flying colors! They have such strong testimonies. We had district meeting on Wednesday and another miracle happened! I was instructing on how to give good active member lessons and I was really worried that no one would pay any attention, and that they would all be very bored. But after much prayer, it was one of the most lively district meetings ever! I have the best missionaries in the NCRM (North Carolina Raleigh Mission) in my district. Later that night we had a wedding here at the church for our investigator, Luis! He has been wanting to get baptized for a long time, but was not married yet. So they got married on Wednesday by our Bishop and he was baptized on Saturday! A senior companionship went home this week and they will be missed! They names are the Scotts. They were loved by so many missionaries! As a four-man we made a special breakfast for them to say goodbye and it was really fun. Afterwards, Elder Summers and I had interviews with President and Sister James, and they both went very well. President told me that I lift and inspire him. He shared a few of my insights with my companion in his interview and let me know that he is worried we are doing too good together! He said that Elder Summers isn't supposed to be this happy having been out only 2 weeks! Sister James told me in my interview that the missionaries in my district look up to me as their example. That I am their light, joy, and motivation. She said those things are what the gospel is all about and that I am a great example of them to the missionaries here in this mission. The truth of the matter is that I only am who I am thanks to the examples of my wonderful parents, sister, and Savior Jesus Christ! We were not able to teach as much as we would have liked to this week due to the baptism we had to plan for, but of the lessons we did have, they were very powerful! The Lord has His hand in this work and is blessing us greatly. One of our investigators asked me if my father is Hispanic and told me that I speak fluent Spanish, but I let him know they he is not.... so... yeah. We gave Josefina and her son Rony a church tour this week to introduce it all to them a little more and they loved it! We told them all about what was going to happen for their baptism and they were very excited. Saturday finally came around and Elder Summers and I finished the program, set everything up, and filled the font just in time! It was a beautiful night. Being able to see 3 of our investigators in white was a touching sight. Elder Summers and I sang "Senor, Te Necesito" (I Need Thee Every Hour), and the Spirit was there very strong. We had the baptisms immediately after and I had the sacred privilege of baptizing Josefina and Rony. There was such a powerful feeling there! Being able to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord and perform an ordinance was a special treasure I will never forget! After I baptized Josefina, she came out of the water and gave me the biggest hug ever. It was so sweet! She went up the stairs to the dressing room and as the door closed, I heard her begin to weep! She let us know after the baptism that she hadn't slept in 2 days! It also turns out that she has been taught for well over 3 years!! And somehow we were blessed enough to be able to reap the harvest and bring her and her son to the waters of baptism. It was a beautiful service! The following morning Elder Summers confirmed them members of the church and gave them the gift of the Holy Ghost. He did super well, especially considering it was in Spanish! They are very happy and we hope the rest of their family will feel of their testimonies and be baptized too! After the baptism the assistants came up to us and jokingly told us that they are going to split us up. They said that we are doing too good together! They said they are just going to make a clone of me and spread me all around the mission. What a disaster that would be! It was truly a great week. There is nothing quite like the satisfaction of helping someone take the step to be baptized. Thanks for tuning in and for all of the support you each give to me. I am praying for y'all and love you greatly. Have a blessed week!

On fire and ready for some more!
Elder Shearer

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