Monday, October 31, 2016

10/31/16 - Raleigh, North Carolina

Wow, our world here in Raleigh 3C has been turned upside down!! Unexpected news from President last Saturday night, but we'll talk about that a little later in this letter. Last Monday we went to Adventure Landing as a district!! It was a blast. Each of us got at least one hole-in-one and a few of us got two or even three! We had a lot of fun becoming unified as a district. I am truly blessed to be serving around so many outstanding missionaries! Tuesday morning I had an incredible realization as we did some studies on the computers at the church. I was watching the church's new video series entitled "Unity in Diversity" and I had a very spiritually enlightening experience. I learned in short that we MUST love EVERYONE. We are all in different routines. We all live in different ways. We all go through different obstacles and challenges in life. We are simply different. We should not and cannot compare ourselves. As we do, it only brings us pride or discouragement. Neither of which are good things! We must simply love. We are put where we are in our lives to love and lift those around us. Quite often, God needs us to be the answer to someone else's prayer. One of the only things we can always do no matter the situation or time of day, is love. Let us buckle down and decide today to love all men everywhere, no matter the cost, shoulder to shoulder with the greatest exemplar, our Savior Jesus Christ. So anyways, back to the week! That same day we had a great lunch.The copperhead snake we found and gutted a few weeks ago! Delicious!! One of my most cherished moments of the week came about as we taught an investigator about hope later that afternoon. She was very discouraged at the moment with many problems happening within the family. A scripture came to my mind as we listened to her. The moment we shared it, she broke down in tears. She looked up at us through newly hope-filled eyes and said quietly "That is me." The Spirit expanded the scene to my mind as I was reminded that it is of utmost importance that we listen to our investigators. Every time. And if we do, the Spirit will bring all things to our remembrance! But first we must study and thus enable him to guide us. He cannot pull from a dry well! The next day I woke up at 4:00 with a mind-pounding headache, took some medicine, and sat there until I could sleep again. I finally dozed off around 6:15 and was quickly awakened by our alarm at 6:30. But we got up, exercised, and went to district meeting! It was incredible!! We spoke again of the Plan of Salvation but practiced teaching it in 4 minutes. A very fun time as a district doing many role-plays! We went on exchanges afterwards with the other elders and had a splendid day! I went with Elder Hunsaker (in his second transfer) in his area. Haha it is probably the most intense area of the whole mission to bike in. We biked 22 miles that day with probably 21.99 of them going uphill. Haha okay maybe that's not quite the ratio, but it was insane!! We got such a good workout. And on top of that, we were able to teach about baptism very boldly and very powerfully. We invited many people and even set their first baptismal date! It was nice to be able to meet again with some people I used to teach when we were in charge of that area! Thursday we helped a senior couple move into their new apartment and had some people tell me they thought I was from Spain. Again! I made an official decision that I am now changing my accent to a Spaniard accent. I have met with a few of the Espanoles in our ward and they are all helping me so much!! Learning new phrases and getting new advice everyday! A few of them told me that I already seem like I could be from there and that with a little more practice, they would never know the difference! They're probably just being kind, but still, there's hope! That night, I gave myself a haircut and while doing so, Elder Summers ran in the bathroom telling me President had texted. He asked us to call him as soon as possible. So we did. He called me to be a trainer! Again!! He told us that we will be a trio for the next little while. So now I will be in a trio with both of my sons!! SO CRAZY!!! This new missionary is actually my dead brother. He came out about a year ago, but went home after 3 weeks. Elder Rogers (my trainer) was training him so that makes him my brother. And now I am his father! Which makes me my own father!!! Missionary family tree officially broken... This has to be a first in history. We will now have 5 missionaries in one apartment, and 9 missionaries in one ward!! Definitely both records. He will be here tonight so we have been moving stuff around at the apartment to make some room. Very excited!! Saturday morning, we went to a festival in downtown Raleigh for the Dia de los Muertos expecting to find many hispanics! Well, we didn't. Haha but we did get to place a few cards anyways! So it all worked out. Planting seeds! We also went to our ward party Saturday night and they did a trunk or treat. We all dressed up in costumes and handed out pass-along cards from our truck. It was a hit!! Church was a little empty on Sunday because all of the men were in South Carolina helping with disaster relief, but we still had a great time with the people that did come! Our Bishop's wife is from Spain and she is very excited to be my teacher in the language of the Castellanos. We had dinner with our ward mission leader and he invited a friend! We taught a great Restoration lesson and his friend, Francisco, is very open to learning more! He has already come to church twice too!! I am excited to see where that goes! We ended our week by once again teaching Jesus and Bryan, our part member family. Let's just say, it went a little different than we had planned. We are trying our best to help them be ready for baptism, but there are a few things they need to let go of first. It is a little difficult teaching someone that you love so dearly not make the choices they need to make!! But we both felt much peace as we took a step back and realized that we are doing all we can do for them. The Lord will take care of the rest. We are simply here to do his will, love all, and hacer un bien sin mirar a quien!!!

Soon to be father of two,
Elder Shearer

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