Monday, August 22, 2016

08/22/16 - Raleigh, North Carolina

Why hello there all of you beautiful people! I'm back! Many stories this week, I hope to keep them short.. Last Monday we had a multi-zone activity at a place called Defy Gravity, a trampoline park! We had a lot of fun and a great workout! On our way there, I got a strange feeling that Elder Summers was going to get hurt! I tried telling him to be safe, but right at the last moment he panicked on a back flip and landed on his neck!! It was terrible, he's been in pain all week.. I felt so bad, like it was my fault! I probably should have just not said anything.. But anyways, back to the stories! Tuesday morning we had possibly our best lesson of the week. We taught an investigator by the name of Bertha. She has been taught for quite a while by the missionaries and still doesn't quite understand the message. She understand the need for priesthood authority, but believes that the Catholic church has it. We went over to her home and had a lesson about the apostasy using just the Bible. After explaining it to her, she asked "So where did the church of Christ go? What happened to the truth??" We then shared the first vision and testified of its truthfulness. She has her eyes opened at last and it was the greatest feeling helping her get there. Later that night we taught a part member family we have been working with about temples! They are working on the father's divorce, Adolfo, and then going to be married so he can get baptized! And a year later they are planning and going to the temple together! Wednesday we had district meeting about obedience. It was a very powerful one. I opened it up to a discussion and everyone had great insights! We talked about needing to let go of ourselves and then give ourselves to the Lord. It is incredible that I have already seen a difference in this district and in these missionaries since that day! I am serving around so many good missionaries. The rest of our Wednesday was very full of tests. In just that one day we were confronted with quite a bit of anti material. While eating at Chick-fil-a for dinner with a member, a woman approached us trying to "save" us. We simply smiled, bore testimony, invited her to know of our church for herself, and left as soon as possible. The same day we also received some anti CD's in the mail which I quickly found a new home for in the garbage. While tracting later that day, a man opened a door dressed in a KKK outfit! It terrified me!! The whole day there was much opposition and trial! Yet we wore our smiles proudly and went about our labors with joy. We then received a referral from Salt Lake City for a man requesting a Book of Mormon! We contacted him that same night and had a great lesson with him. It was a great testimony builder for me that when we are strong in our trials and continue to brightly beam with the love of our Savior, everything works out for the best. We had another amazing lesson the next day as we again taught an investigator about the apostasy. He wasn't understanding anything the entire lesson until we took a step back and taught about it. And then he got it! Very well! He's going to read and pray to receive an answer. My testimony has really grown this week of the apostasy! I have found that from there comes all of the confusion. If we can just teach the apostasy from the bible and help people come to feel of the need of a restoration, the Spirit can do its work. Tracting later that night, we found 3 new investigators within the space of an hour and a half! Miraculous. We also had a lesson with Jesus, the husband of our recent convert. He finally opened up and shared that he knows this church is true. He even knows the Book of Mormon is true! He just lacks desire. We are working with him on that. We gave service Friday to a less active and helped him pick up a table in Garner. He rented a U-hall van but it only had 2 seats! So I sat in the back; the cargo area. It was scary! Many stickers warning me of my inevitable death. But after being thrown around for a bit, I survived! And we ate lunch! At a Chinese buffet! We got a referral for someone in Mexico later that day from a member, so that was neat. And in the middle of the night, around 11:30, we got a phone call from a potential investigator! Really confused and half-asleep, I answered it! He was very drunk as he tried to get me to pay him $500 dollars so he could help us build our church. It was pretty comical. Saturday we taught an investigator by the name of Eladio that has cancer in his kidneys. He is hanging in there as he waits for his insurance to let him go on Dialysis. But we had a great lesson as we tried to build his faith and his hope in the Lord, Jesus Christ. Following that lesson, I gave my first baptismal interview! It went very well and the candidate is ready for his baptism this Friday! I also got a few birthday packages and I can't wait to open them! We had a neat experience with goal setting too on Saturday. We had planned to find one new investigator for the day and after tracting for quite some time, we hadn't spoken to a single person! We tried driving around looking for other neighborhoods when we felt prompted to go to visit one of our investigators. Turns out, her daughter has been in the back room the whole time and is actually really interested! We had a great lesson with her and were able to find the soul we were looking for. Elder Summers and I are doing great together. We are speaking Spanish every odd hour of the day and we are both growing more and more each time! Oh! On Sunday one of our recent converts, Rony, got the Priesthood! Elder Summers was able to give it to him and it was a very special experience. Rony even passed the sacrament the same day! Josefina, his mom, was beaming the entire time and there was such pride and joy on her face! Very touching to me. This week I have been very humbled. I have really come to a sense of my nothingness and my need for the Lord. I have caught a glimpse of just how little I know and how much room I have for improvement. But I am willing! To change, to grow, to do the Lord's will. I simply hope and pray I can become even more of an instrument in His hands. I have quickly learned that that is all I ever want. And with that, possibly my favorite thing that I learned this week is that today is the day of my opportunity. And for that, I will not waste it. Each day we have no more than today to change. Today is the day to act. To make a difference. I have learned that we must use all opportunities and each day to become the best versions of ourselves we can possibly become. So let's get to work! At least for me, there's a long way to go... I love you all and hope you have the best of weeks!!

Building this church through business deals,
Elder Shearer

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