Monday, November 7, 2016

11/07/16 - Raleigh, North Carolina

Whoo, what a packed full week! I'm just going to get right to it! Last Monday for preparation day, we played laser tag as a zone and because it was Halloween, we all wore our costumes! It was a blast. Later that night, we went and picked up Elder Garner from the mission office and started to help him get settled in. He is an incredible missionary! He is so intelligent and is ready to work hard! I am very excited to learn a lot from him throughout these next few weeks. Tuesday morning we went to breakfast with our Bishop again, but this time, I learned a lot of Spain Spanish from his wife! She is one of the few Spaniards in our ward, and I was learning so many new words! We had zone council afterwards and planned for a few of our zone meetings for this next month. I love that meeting!! For dinner that night, one of the Elders in our district had a birthday! So he got his face smashed into a cake. But the cake was frozen and it didn't stick!! Haha it was super funny. We got a text from President after dinner letting us know that he wants us to finish the 12-week training program for Elder Garner by the end of this transfer. Which means we will be cramming 12 weeks worth of material into 2 weeks!!! I have NEVER heard of this happening before.. So we're a little nervous for it, but we will make it through. :) We taught an investigator by the name of Odis afterwards and Elder Garner extended the baptismal invitation! She accepted too! We are just working with her to set a date. A great first day in the field for him. Wednesday, we had our district meeting and of course we packed it full of role plays! We got pupusas for lunch afterwards and they were amaaaaazing!! Came home, did a lot of 12 week studying and went out to work for the rest of the night! While we were tracting, something pretty funny happened. We were knocking some doors in a complex where they had recently painted the walls. I didn't take notice that the doorbell was covered in paint and as I tried to ring it, I took out a perfect circle of paint. Panicking and not knowing what to do, I tried spreading the paint around in an effort to fix the whole! Well... it actually got significantly worse and now the whole doorbell doesn't have paint on it... So that was awkward. Thursday we had some neat experiences! We taught Elder Garner how to "covenant" in tracting. We were able to find a new investigator!! We taught Jesus and Bryan afterwards and they are progressing so well! They have stopped drinking coffee and are progressing wonderfully towards baptism. We have been sending so many prayers in their direction. We did our weekly planning the next day and had a great companionship inventory! We taught Francisco again in our ward mission leader's home and talked about the Plan of Salvation. It was a beautiful lesson. He understood it all so well and his questions are amazing! Saturday we had the great opportunity of going down to Lumberton to help with some service projects down there. When Hurricane Matthews went through here, it caused quite a bit of damage down there. We woke up at 4:30 and drove down. We were given many different jobs and some of them were easier and quicker than others. A few of them were tree removal, one of them consisted of us crawling underneath a house in a crawlspace of about 2 feet tall to remove sopping wet insulation, one of them consisted of removing all the wood flooring and completely pulling out the floorboards, and our last project consisted of us crawling underneath a trailer to remove more insulation. The insulation came back to bite us later as we found many pieces of Fiberglas in our arms and eyes! Haha it was an amazing day though. We stayed out until sunset and then drove home. It was an experience I will never forget. Driving through the streets to see the destruction was unbelievable. Houses, neighborhoods, evacuated. Lives changed forever! It was remarkable to have been able to carry the love of our Savior to the people down in Lumberton. We woke up pretty sore and sick Sunday morning, but with hearts still full of gratitude for what we had down the day before. As we got to the church, Hermana Salas gave me a big quiche made Spain-style! It was the best dinner ever! A less active that we have been working with for a long time came to church too!!! It was a beautiful sight to see. We finished our week by visiting some other less actives we haven't seen in a while. The member told us that he had been thinking about us an hour before we came over and he was hoping we would come visit him! We had a great lesson talking about the comfort the gospel brings to our lives. The truly firm foundation we have through Christ is simply breathtaking. I am grateful for all the experiences I  had this past week and I look forward with hope to another great week!! I love this mission!!! :)

Reunited with his machete once again,
Elder Shearer

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