Tuesday, October 4, 2016

10/03/16 - Raleigh, North Carolina

These weeks are going by so fast I could skin a cat!! Last Monday we had a great preparation day as we played laser tag as a zone! A very fun day with many missionaries. That night we were able to teach the daughter of our ward mission leader again and we almost set a baptismal date with her! Almost! We'll get it the next lesson. Tuesday, Elder Summers had his second transfer call in where all of the new missionaries join in a conference call to discuss what they have learned in their training process. It went very well and afterwards we went to a doctors appointment for him. He got some blood tested and they are trying to figure out what is wrong with his stomach.. That night I gave a baptismal interview to one of the zone leader's investigators, Juan Carlos. I sat down with him in his house and the other missionaries left. He immediately told me that he had been thinking lately and that he couldn't get baptized anymore. We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon, some different concerns of his, but no matter what I said, something was there. I testified and testified, but he wasn't listening. He said he was going to go back to the Jehovah's Witnesses church! I got him to agree to keep meeting with the zone leaders at least, and left. Elder Niko was devastated. It was going to be his first baptism! And he was going to baptize him! So I gave Elder Niko a haircut to cheer him up and he is looking really classy! Wednesday we had our district meeting as per usual and we did so many role plays!! We formed a circle and just role played different principles of the message of the Restoration. We had a great time during the meeting and an even better time afterwards eating brownies!! I went on exchanges with another Elder after the meeting and we had an incredible day. We taught 9 lessons in one day! That definitely beat a record. We were on fire! There was however much opposition too. In 10 minutes, we had two different men drive by us and yell at us! The first one said "You can't ride your way into heaven!" The second happened as we were talking to someone on the street. He yelled "Hey! Don't talk to them! Run away!" Haha it was pretty funny.. Because the woman didn't even speak English! Only Spanish! Got 'em. I also became the poor victim of a hate crime that night. As we approached our bicycles after having tracted for a few minutes, I noticed something shiny on the grass next to my bike. As I got closer, I recognized it to be my water bottle!! Smashed and in pieces.. My bike light was also stolen!! Again!! So I bought another one for the third time and am determined to carry it with me from now on. We went tracting again a little later in the night and prayed to God that we could find 2 new investigators! We began to knock and we found them both! At the first 2 doors we knocked! One of them is named Iris. She is very elect. We were able to teach the entirety of the Restoration on her porch and her eyes were fixed on us the entire time. We invited her to read the Book of Mormon and she very willingly accepted. When we asked for a return appointment, she hesitated. We could tell that there was some kind of concern there. We asked her what she was thinking and with a look of uncertainty in her eyes she said, "Well what if I don't read enough by then?" It was amazing to feel of her real desire to learn of truth! We are going to meet with her tonight and we hope it goes well!! The next day we got our car back from the shop and the damage came out to be about $4,000. Our driving coordinator told me that I didn't fall into the category of automatic for losing my driving privileges. So there's hope! He said that he is discussing it with President James, so I guess we'll see what happens! That afternoon we taught a less active that is very heavily involved in the gang world. His word choices are pretty terrible every time we speak with him and I finally brought it up. I asked if he could watch his language when we were around him. I explained the need to have the Spirit with us at all times. He froze for a moment, got very angry looking (at this point I thought I was literally moments away from death), and apologized. We then had the best lesson yet with him! We taught him the Plan of Salvation and he LOVED it! It gave him so much hope and he really understands his purpose now in life. The power of the Spirit in conversion is absolutely essential. We have to do whatever it takes to make sure we have it with us always. Not only as missionaries, but as members of the restored church of Jesus Christ! We had dinner that night at a Hispanic birthday party for a little girl and it was a little interesting.. We were invited by a member, but no one wanted to talk to us! Haha we tried to start conversations, but ended up just eating and leaving.. This weekend was incredible. I love General Conference! We ran to the store and loaded up on snacks to start it off! President Uchtdorf started it off on an incredible note. I was in tears from the moment he started speaking and wasn't able to stop for the next 30 minutes! Wow, I was filled with so much love and appreciation for living apostles and prophets. A living church! I absolutely loved each of the sessions. We watched all of them here at the church with all of the Raleigh missionaries together. President came and joined us for the Priesthood session and we went to go get shakes afterwards at Cook-out! What a delicious tradition. Yesterday we had a waffle party at a members home for breakfast and then came back to the church for conference. In between sessions I gave a few baptismal interviews to a few little girls that the Hermanas are teaching. They are both so ready to be baptized this coming Saturday! We had a member lunch at the church with all of the Hispanic members and had a great time all being together. We again went to a members home for dinner and that made it 3 member meals in one day! I was so full.. But wow, I learned so much from conference! I feel that I learned the most about prayer and charity. I learned about how to feel more of the Spirit and with that, the love of our Heavenly Father! It all ties together and that is why I love the gospel. It is beautiful! So intricate! I testify that this church is true and that it is led by our Savior, Jesus Christ! He loves us!! As we go to Him, we can feel of that love. It just requires that we open our hearts to Him. Not an easy process, but one that is worth all costs.

Confused at the destruction of his water bottle,
Elder Shearer

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