Monday, September 26, 2016

09/26/16 - Raleigh, North Carolina

What a week! What a week.. Well, it started off on a little bit of a bittersweet note. Mostly bitter. Last Monday night on our way to our dinner appointment with a member and the other Elders, I crashed the car... We were driving in the straight lane as we approached a stoplight. Well on this certain road the straight lane becomes the left hand turn lane! Which I didn't know. So I thought we were still in the straight lane! The light was red so we stopped and waited and after a few moments, it turned green! Everyone began to move forward and assuming we were in the straight lane, I pressed on the gas. I turned to Elder Summers to tell him something and literally a second later he started screaming out! I jerked my head forward just in time to find that the truck in front of us had stopped completely! I guess because we were in the turn lane, he was moving at first but simply inching forward. I slammed on the brakes but to no avail.. We rear ended the commercial truck. We got out of the vehicle and spoke to the man from the other car for a moment. After wiping the paint of our car off of his, he stated the painfully obvious truth by saying "Well, I think my car is fine. But look at yours!" We then pulled the cars off into a side parking lot. He explained that because it was a company vehicle, it was their policy to call the police. So he called them and we waited. For a good two hours. But as we waited we were able to answer many questions about the church and our missions. The man's name is Thomas and he was a very kind man! We got to know him pretty well and were even able to teach him the message of the Restoration! We happened to find one copy of the Book of Mormon in English in the back of our car. We don't really know where it came from, but it was perfect to give to him! After teaching and testifying of many restored truths, he looked at us and said, being a salesman himself, "Wow, that's a pretty convincing argument you have there!" He agreed to read the Book and pray about it. The police finally came and evaluated the situation. He went to his car, printed off a little form that he gave to both of us and went on his way! I didn't even receive a citation! A definite tender mercy.. Thomas also told us as we were leaving that there was a gas shortage in North Carolina and that by the end of the night, all of the gas would be gone. Our gas light conveniently went on as we drove away. We went to the dinner very very late, but had a great time with the family. They had already fed the other Elders earlier, but were so kind to us and brought the food back out! They really opened up and shared some things they are going through. We searched for gas afterwards, but did not find a drop. All of the gas stations were completely shut down. It was a pretty devastating day, but looking back on it, there were many tender mercies! We were able to teach Thomas about the restored gospel, I didn't get a citation, we were informed about the gas situation and as a result were able to inform our zone leaders who told the zone, and we were also able to hear about some concerns the members are having that they didn't share in the earlier dinner with the other Elders! So I have learned that there are always things to be grateful for! And also that God has the ultimate plan. I didn't do anything to deserve that crash, it was simply something that happened. I guess that's why they call it an "accident"! God sees the bigger picture and it is our task to have faith in Him and let Him cut us down so that He can build us back up. Tuesday morning we took the car to the shop and got an estimate.. It looks like the damage will cost $4,600 to repair... I feel absolutely terrible. It has been haunting me all week... I am pretty sure I am going to get my driving privileges taken away, but the mission isn't sure yet. Either way, Elder Summers is now driving in my place. Wednesday we had our district meeting and talked about the Book of Mormon. We talked about how to introduce it and how to best use it in our teaching process. Super good meeting! We had a lesson afterwards with our investigator that has cancer, diabetes, and a blood disease. Upon arriving and finding him in a less than desirable condition, we changed our lesson plans. We shared the will of God video and talked about the purpose of our trials. It was the most spiritual lesson we have ever had with him. We sat in complete silence for a few minutes at one point and just enjoyed the peace of the room. An incredible testimony builder of the power of the Spirit when we are humble enough to change plans and heed its promptings. We came home, ate dinner, and went back out to work for the rest of the night! While studying that day, I learned a very profound truth. It does not matter the condition of the circumstance we may find ourselves in, if we are still able to bear testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, all is well. I am grateful than through thick and thin, I have been able to open my mouth and testify of His divinity. I am a happy camper through it all because of that ability. That is why I smile continuously day and night!! Because He lives!!!  Thursday we went to teach a less active about the Atonement and we had another great lesson with him. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he is excited to read it and turn his life around. Following the lesson, we had one of the best dinners ever! Chorizo-filled empanadas!! Whoo! I ate way too many.. We then went to teach Jesus, the husband of our recent convert. Another breakthrough lesson with him! As we talked about baptism again, he finally said that he is going to be baptized. He kept repeating it over and over again! "I'm going to be baptized. I'm going to be baptized!" It was thrilling to watch him fill with excitement. Friday morning I did a tie trade with another Elder from the zone and got some beautiful ties! We taught the nonmember daughter of our ward mission leader in the afternoon and she is making progress. She has been invited to baptism many many times by many different missionaries, but has never prayed about it! We are working with her on that. She recently had a baby so we think that is softening her heart. We came home, I ate tuna and celery for dinner, and we went to teach Rony, our other recent convert!! He is so strong! We talked about Nephi going to get the plates from Laban and he had many great questions. I love teaching him! He is going to be the best missionary ever. Saturday was a little bit of a strange day as I woke up sicker than I have ever been on the mission before. My head felt like I had just been hit with a sledge-hammer and my throat was on fire! On top of that, I was having a hard time breathing I was so congested. I slept for a little bit, and then took a really hot, really long shower in the pitch black. By 3 o clock, I couldn't stand staying inside any longer so we left. I don't really remember anything that happened up until dinner, but Elder Summers said I was pretty out of it. I guess at one point he lost me, but quickly found me over at an ice cream truck getting some ice cream! Super weird.. we ate a really spicy soup for dinner at a members home, but Elder Summers had to do all of the talking because I couldn't understand nor speak any part of Spanish I was so tired. But the soup set my body on fire and helped wake me up. We went to contact a referral after dinner and boy was it amazing!! His name is Carlos and he is soo elect! He has gone to many churches and just wants to know which is true. He let us in his home immediately and we had a very long lesson with him. He asked all of the perfect questions, and was thrilled to have the chance to read the Book of Mormon! We had a kneeling prayer at the end of the lesson, and he offered it! Excited to see where his conversion process goes. Sunday was amazing as always! We had a little correlation meeting with our ward mission leader and a few of our ward missionaries and they are starting to get really involved in the work. It is amazing to see what our new ward mission leader has already done in his few short weeks of having this calling! A very quick week, but one full of learning and growth! Still a bit under the weather, but staying diligent in the work of the Lord!

Being humbled by the Lord on the daily,
Elder Shearer

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