Monday, September 12, 2016

09/12/16 - Raleigh, North Carolina

Hello all of you beautiful people! This weeks email will be a nice short one for you! It has been a full week. Not of lessons, or of teaching, but of opposition and chances to grow! This has probably been one of the most opposition-filled weeks of the mission. It feels like a month went by! Many little things were thrown at us to test our patience this week. Many many lessons, dinners, and members fell through on us. But! Through all of it, we have kept a smile on our face and kept on in the work of the Lord. Last Monday night we read 3 Nephi 11 with one of our investigators and he seemed to enjoy it! A few days later before our appointment with him, his wife texted us and cancelled telling us he would like some time to "study". We hope he really is!! From the Book of Mormon! Tuesday we had zone council, which I love! Discussed the needs of our zone and made some great plans for this coming month. Going to take things back to the basics and use Preach my Gospel more! Speaking of which, I have been studying it diligently for a while and it has been great. Every day I have little things I read earlier come into my mind of things to do or ways to teach! Later that day we were attempting to contact a less active, but couldn't find the house. I had just finished telling Elder Summers that "we might not know where he lives. But the Lord knows! And He will tell us if we listen." when I turned to my left and saw across the street, through some trees, the number of his house! It was amazing! He wasn't home however.. So we tracted for the rest of the night and seemed to only find Black people. They all tried referring us to where they thought the Hispanics lived, but it was only a wild goose chase! We finally found some women outside who gave us a specific door to knock and with 2 minutes left, we did! We found a solid new investigator who even downloaded gospel library right there on his phone and promised to read it. He is a stylist and a little feminine, probably the first Hispanic like that I have met on the mission. But all people need the gospel of Jesus Christ, right? Wednesday we had a great district meeting entirely focused on the Restoration and it went well! I made cookies for our district and we had fun eating them after. Coming home from district meeting, Elder Summers and I came to learn that we had lost our keys! We ended up having to wait about 45 minutes in the heat until the other Elders came home to let us in.. And later that day while riding my bike, I got hit by a car! They were turning out onto a busy street we were riding down and must not have seen that I was coming. I was just about to pass by in front of the car when they floored it and smacked into me! They ran right into my leg and the back tire of my bike. It actually lifted my bike off of the ground and swung me around! I somehow caught my balance and pulled to a stop. They had sped off as I looked down to examine the condition of my bike, obviously dented or possibly even broken. To my amazement, it didn't even have a scratch! And my leg as well didn't even bruise! A true miracle and blessing from the Lord. Although I imagine that the car is quite scratched up. I feel super bad about that.. The next day we had a belated birthday lunch for me at Cheesecake Factory. It was amazing!! Orange Chicken and the 30th anniversary cheesecake. Incredible. We weekly planned afterwards and made some great goals! Our dinner was with a less active and they kept calling to move it forward by half an hour after we had waited the half hour! We finally ate with them and by the time we got out, we had about 15 minutes. We decided to go be obedient and knock some doors. Well after knocking for a few minutes, a man pulled up to us in a car and let us know that there was a man with a machete walking around the next street over. We quickly went home. Friday morning I accidentally got into the wrong car which just so happened to be unlocked. I didn't notice until Elder Niko yelled at me telling me it was the wrong one.. A little while later, while checking Facebook, we got a reply from a promising investigator we haven't seen in a while. we had asked him if he would still be interested in us coming by again and his answer was a simple "No." It broke my heart! We went to dinner afterwards and we put our bikes in the back of the truck. I guess I forgot to close the truck bed because after we began to drive for a minute, Elder Summer screamed "Oh no!! Your bike is falling out!!" I looked back just in time to see Shivani, my bike, take a dive out of our 35 MPH truck. We quickly pulled over and found that the seat had been torn up pretty badly and that my water bottle had flown off and was completely busted. But other than that, it was fine! Another blessing from the Lord. That night we were also blessed to find a few new investigators and teach our new ward mission leader a little more about his calling. Saturday was a long day. I woke up with a fever and felt just terrible. But we quickly got out of the house anyways to do the work of the Lord! We biked around in the heat for about 7 hours with no success. We attempted visiting investigators, potentials, recent converts, less active members, and even tracted for quite some time. No one wanted to answer the door! We did get to talk to one Hispanic woman and she told us that she remembers two young missionaries like us that once upon a time visited her! She said that she still had their book too! Surprised, we asked to see it. She then proceeded to pull out a Jehovah's Witness bible. Haha so close... We also found a woman that had her records removed from the church a few years ago and she looked so dead! In her eyes I saw such a void and need for the gospel. We left her a plan of salvation pamphlet and our number as well. I hope she calls us. It was a long day and a testing day, but as we stayed diligent and kept working with smiles on our faces, we saw a miracle. In the eleventh hour we received a referral that lived on a street I had noticed for the first time earlier that day! We raced over to this house at 8:15 and began to teach the family. They became new investigators and my testimony grew of the need to be obedient and hardworking at all times. Right up until the last door. It might have been a week full of struggles and faith-testers, but I know we were on the Lords' errand.

Expecting the imminent destruction of his bike,
Elder Shearer

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