Monday, September 5, 2016

09/05/16 - Raleigh, North Carolina

Weeks are flying by like days!! Last Monday we played tennis and basketball as a district and had a grand ole time. We visited a few people that night that we were losing due to transfers. We said our goodbyes and are now back in my original area of Raleigh 3C! I was very sad to be leaving so many people dear to my heart, but I know they are in great hands with the new Elders. Tuesday morning before our transfer meeting, we went and had breakfast with our Bishop and his family. It was amazing!!! His wife is from Spain and she cooks sooo well. She always gives us some kind of goodie that she bought from Spain. We were able to coordinate many things with him as far as the progress of the work and the ward go. We went to transfers afterwards and saw many missionaries I hadn't seen in a while! Our new missionaries to the district are Elder Garvin and Elder Hunsaker. Elder Garvin is training Elder Hunsaker and they are both doing very well. Well, other than the fact that both of their bikes broke in the first 24 hours!! It was a nightmare for a bit.. But we're good now! Wednesday we had our district meeting and I instructed on quality vs. quantity. Instead of discussing the quality and quantity of our teaching however, I touched on the quality and quantity of missionaries here in the field. We want to be quality missionaries that the Lord can count on! The power of one consecrated missionary is so much greater than 100 mediocre missionaries. We want to become that one! We talked about the significance of Jesus Christ in our work. We talked about receiving our daily bread! We learn from Exodus that this bread helps us walk in the path of the Lord instead of our own. This bread is truly our Savior, Jesus Christ. We receive him and his word through diligent study. Daily study. We also learn about the feeding of the 5,000 in the New Testament. If we give thanks for the daily bread we have received through our study and desire to share it, the Lord will magnify our labors and will help us touch the hearts of many. We went to teach our recent convert Rony after our meeting and he is doing so well! We shared Lehi's vision with him and I tried drawing it for him. It didn't work too well.. But he got the idea! We taught his father Jesus later that night and we made some great progress with him! We felt we needed to teach him the message of the Restoration even though he has heard it many times before. It turns out, he didn't know that the Apostasy was a thing! But now he does and now the message of the Restoration has true relevance for him. He also said he hasn't put in an honest effort to read the Book of Mormon so we are going to work with him on that. We invited him to pray at the end of it and he got very uncomfortable. After a few minutes of waiting, he did it. And it was amazing. He was so proud of it too! It was a great moment. Later that night, Elder Summers was feeling pretty sick and actually threw up quite a bit in the bathroom. I went in to help him out as I patted his back and I just felt so bad for him! I told him to go lay down and I cleaned it all up for him. I was super worried for him! He was thankfully feeling much better by the next day. Thursday, we went to teach an investigator about the importance of prayer and made a promise to ourselves that we weren't going to leave until he offered a prayer. He always avoids it! The time finally came to end the lesson and we extended the invitation once again. She awkwardly tried to push it off and make one of us say it, but we just kept looking at him with smiles on our faces. We re-passed the steps of prayer and bore fervent testimonies of his need to pray. He finally did it! It was amazing. First time we've heard him pray. As you can tell, we have really been focusing on having the investigator pray at the end of the lesson. It really needs to happen in the first lesson otherwise they gain a sense of comfortableness and it is harder to have them do it later on in the teaching process. That night we witnessed a miracle. We had felt prompted in our planning the night before to branch out into our area more and try to go to a town called Wake Forest. Well, with faith and after having said a prayer, we started driving. We passed a turnoff and it caught my attention. The name of the road was "Height Lane". We kept driving when I noticed another turnoff that connected back to height lane! Prompted to turn, I didn't. I don't know why! I suppose I was unsure if it was the Spirit or not. Well we kept driving and after a few more minutes, I saw a second turnoff also connecting back to height lane! Again prompted to take the turn, I hesitated. We kept driving and eventually began to take some turns here and there. We drove around lost for about 15 minutes until we finally ended up on a road I felt good about. I said to Elder Summers, "This is it. This road is taking us to where we need to be." I looked at the GPS to see where we were heading and sure enough, we were going right towards height lane. Not wanting to deny a third prompting from the Holy Ghost, we went. Parked the car, said a prayer, and began to tract. The first door we knocked, a woman opened. She let us in without any hesitation. Her husband and two daughters came out of the backroom and there we sat all of us gathered together. We shared the message of the Restoration and it was powerful. They were all watching us very intently and the Spirit came in strongly as we shared the first vision. They accepted the invitation to read the Book of Mormon as a family and to pray about the truthfulness of it. We were even able to have a kneeling prayer with them right there as the mother offered it. She let us know that the only nights we can catch them home are Thursdays! A true miracle indeed. A very strong testimony builder to me of the power of the Spirit in the work. Friday we had a leadership training meeting and it was a unique one as President invited all of the leadership from the entire mission to come together. He adressed us on the need to be obedient and hard working. He said so lovingly bold, "You can either go home or you can go to work. So let's get to work, Elders and Sisters." It built such a fire in me and I am trying even harder to improve my language and the quality of the music I listen to. Instead of looking for ways to go around the mission rules, we are looking for ways to be obedient. I know obedience brings blessings! We taught another investigator afterwards about the need to come to church and it was a great lesson. She is making an effort to come! Saturday we went to a baptism in Apex for one of my investigators from Siler City!! It was AMAZING to see all of the members again! I was even invited to stand in the circle as she received the gift of the Holy Ghost and was confirmed a member of the church. The rest of the day was a trial of faith as all of our lessons fell through.. But we stayed positive and continued to work hard! Even in the pouring rain! That night we found a sheet of ice on our air conditioning and spent a little while shaving it all off and melting it off. We finally got it all, but then the system started leaking everywhere! It was a mess... We definitely didn't go to bed on time that night.. But Sunday was glorious. Josie, our recent convert, made us knit ties! They are beautiful. We also got a new ward mission leader and his name is Brother Madrid! Literally my favorite member here. It is going to be awesome. After church we went tracting for a bit and as we did so, we saw a man fixing his car. We offered to help him, but he said he was fine so we asked if he knew anyone that could use a message. He said he didn't, so we left. After driving for minute on our way to our next potential, we both turned to each other and felt that we needed to go back. We felt terrible for not teaching him! So we drove back and praying very sincerely that we would find him, we did! We approached him again and gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet. An incredible contact. It turns out, he was very in need of the gospel! We saw a recent convert that has began to go a little less-active afterwards and taught the Restoration. I was in tears during the first vision! It was miraculous and he absolutely felt of the Spirit of that lesson. He agreed to read the Book of Mormon daily and pray again and again about it. And to end off our week, we saw Hilberto and his wife Esmeralda last night. We taught them the Plan of Salvation and they had great questions. They asked what the right way to get baptized was! We taught them of the need to have the Priesthood power of God, and extended the baptismal invitation. They both accepted without any delay and we even set a date with him! There were many times in that lesson when I felt that I was not even speaking! I could tell the Spirit of God was working through me and what a celestial feeling that was. I am in love! With this mission. It has taught me so much and I continue to grow. Daily. I love you all and again apologize for the length of this email. There are simply so many miracles happening here in North Carolina and I desire to share them all with you! Have a great week, lovelies!

Learning to listen to the Spirit the first time around,
Elder Shearer

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