Monday, August 15, 2016

08/15/16 - Raleigh, North Carolina

This week has definitely been a fast one! We had a very relaxed preparation day as we worked on cleaning our house, catching up on a little bit of much needed sleep, and doing some shopping. I found a pair of nice loafer shoes for 10 dollars! Expecting to gain some Hispanic trust with those real soon.. I also found two very nice ties for 3 dollars each! Tuesday we were able to teach some great lessons as well as plan for our zone training the following day. It went very well! An Elder from another area really needed a haircut so he came over to our house and I gave him one at like 6 in the morning! We left to our meeting afterwards and it was incredible. Our zone leaders gave an instruction on obedience and related it to burying our weapons of war. They asked us each what our "weapons of war" were and as we thought of them, we wrote them on a large arrow with our signatures beneath. We are going to bury the arrow! Super neat idea. I was privileged to be able to give an instruction as well! I instructed on "Catching the Fire". To start the instruction, I lit a fireball about the size of my fist on fire in a frying pan in the parking lot outside. I expressed the need for us to catch this same kind of fire in our missionary labors. It was a very humbling experience as I could literally feel the Spirit working through me. I could feel the power of the work of the Lord and hopefully was able to share some insights to help the other missionaries with whom I serve. I instructed on sacrifice and related it to the biblical sacrifices that were often made: the sin offerings, the burnt offerings, and the peace offerings. They respectively represent the Atonement, sanctification, and fellowship with the Lord. Leviticus 6:12-13 teach us that we need the fire of our altars continually burning. I found it interesting that true fellowship with the Lord comes after and only after true sanctification. We went on exchanges following the meeting and I went with an Elder that is still in his first transfer to his area. We had a GREAT night!! Their area has been struggling a little as they have only been able to teach one lesson a week. And sometimes not even that much.. But we hit the ground running and within the first hour, we got a member referral! We then spent the day tracting and did so for about 3 hours. We had a few interesting door contacts. Upon asking one man if he knew any of his neighbors that could use a spiritual boost, he replied " A spiritual boost? From you? Yeah, I don't think so." He then proceeded to slam the door in our faces. But it was good! I walked away with a smile on my face grateful for the chance to represent this church. We also had another man tell us he wasn't interested unless we could give him money. I told him we could give him Jesus, but he didn't really like that too much and also slammed the door.. After having received much rejection, I had a strong feeling that someone needed to talk to us. However I didn't feel that we were in the right area. I got a prompting to "get in the car and drive." Not knowing the area but full of faith nonetheless, we got in the car and began to drive away. Elder Baker asked me where we were going and I told him I had no idea. As we started driving, an image came into my head of an apartment complex. Unknown to me its location, I prayed with all of my soul that the Lord would direct my paths. It was the neatest experience! While driving, I received strong feelings to turn right here or a left there. After about seven or eight turns, we arrived. It was exactly how I had seen it! I began to look for the right building and felt as though we needed to park immediately. We parked, said a prayer, and left the car. The moment I turned around, I saw it. The building. We approached. Finding three floors we took a moment to pause and reflect on which was the correct one. I was told we needed to stay on the first. So we looked at the doors next. There were three. This decision took a little big longer, but eventually we knew which door we had been led to. We checked our watches to see that it was 8:55, the eleventh hour. We knocked. Immediately a woman came out from around the corner and walked up to the door! We engaged her and began to introduce ourselves. Her name is Sierra. We told her that we were there to help her learn how she can come closer to Jesus Christ. She told us that she is a very religious person, but at the moment does not attend a church. We learned that she has been looking for quite some time. We were able to give her a Restoration pamphlet, share our testimonies, and set up a return appointment. It was the neatest experience ever! I know that if we will simply tune into that Holy Spirit, it will guide us in all aspects of life. It truly will help us find what we are looking for. The following day we had a lesson with our recent convert, Josefina! She shared a missionary story she had had with us! Her neighbor is a very strong Catholic, but Josefina has been wanting to share the Book of Mormon with her for a little while. She actually had been praying for three days to know how to bring it up with her! Well on the third day, her neighbor came to her! Josie was able to share her testimony and even invite her to church! It turns out that her neighbor isn't even Catholic anymore! Plus, she accepted the invitation to come! It is the greatest feeling in the world listening to someone you helped bring into the church bring someone else in as well!! This week I have been trying to be more diligent with using the Lord's time effectively. President James has been cracking down on something called "my time". It doesn't exist! This is entirely the Lord's time. I have been doing my best to study Preach my Gospel or the scriptures throughout the lunch hour instead of napping or doing something else. It has really blessed me! Friday we were able to go out to Knightdale and give the Hermanas' investigator a blessing. He is three years old and has cancer. It was a very humbling experience and I was very honored to give it. Saturday was a busy day! I bought Elder Summers his first boberry biscuit from Bojangles, we were able to catch up with many of our investigators, we had a gay guy hit on us as he told us the door we were looking for was upstairs just so he could, quote on quote "watch us go up the stairs", and we found a very promising new investigator! His name is Ricardo. He has been taught many times, but moves and always loses contact with the missionaries. He was very excited to see us again! Probably the funniest part of the week was when Elder Niko started screaming in the middle of the night. He was screaming "Somebody help! Help me!! Can you see this?? Someone help!!" We all woke up in a fright and asked how we could help when he told us that the top bunk was falling on him! Yeah... it wasn't. But we had a good laugh about it later... Yesterday we had a delicious breakfast in a members home and went to church! Guess who I saw when I was there? That's right, the formerly known Elder Chandler! TC! That was fun to talk to him and catch up. It was a great day at church. This has been a wonderful week! The Lord is truly blessing us with miracles. And guess what?? As of this past Saturday, I only have 13 months left!! Oh how fast the time is flying... I am truly loving and adoring this mission. Thank you all for your support and love. It is much acknowledged and appreciated. Have a miraculous week!!!

Letting the Spirit be my GPS,
Elder Shearer

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