Monday, November 28, 2016

11/28/16 - Wilmington, North Carolina

What a week, what a week! So so full. I will just get right into it! Last Monday we had a district activity to say goodbye right before transfers and we had blast playing games at the church. We played 4 square again and it actually got pretty intense! Thankfully Elder Summers was there to say "Wow wow wow! We don't need all this animosity up in here!" We ate dinner with our ward mission leader and his family one last time together and took many pictures. It was so sad! To end our visit, we all knelt in prayer and I offered it. It was one of the most difficult times I've ever had to pray. I was absolutely overwhelmed with emotions and i'm pretty sure each person in that room was in tears. I am so thankful for everything that family has done for me. We said goodbye to a few more people and then stopped by a place called Goodberry's to grab my last treat in Raleigh. I got a frozen custard and it was incredible! When we got back to the house, Elder Summers gave me a present. He gave me his best tie. It is a blue polka dot and everyone loves it. He said that if anyone deserved it, it was me. I was absolutely without words. We stayed up super late packing and then had transfers the next day. They came and went! As we got to the church, we found my new companion Elder Nadauld, and drove down here to Wilmington! I'm not going to lie, it was very difficult leaving Raleigh and saying goodbye to all of the friends I made there, Elder Summers at the top of the list. But in faith, I left! I met an investigator by the name of Esmi the first night and she is very elect. The lesson was in Spanish so that was neat to be able to use it so quickly! Wednesday, we went to the district meeting here in Wilmington and it went really well! One of the Sisters in the district was really having a hard time so we gave her a blessing after the meeting. I met the ward mission leader that night and we had a lesson with his neighbor afterwards! It's been pretty different being here in Wilmington! I am currently in a zebra companionship for those that don't know, meaning that my companion speaks English and I speak Spanish. It is good though, there is a decent amount of Hispanic work! We are currently trying to start a group. We actually are also learning Swahili because there is a tribe from the Kongo that comes to church every Sunday! Thursday was an incredible day!! Thanksgiving!!! We had four meals!!! I was sooo sick afterwards. Haha but it was loads of fun to be able to meet many new people! We started off with a breakfast with some members, and then went to a lunch with some members, and followed that by eating with an investigator and her family. It was a southern meal to say the least. We'll just say that we were the only white people there out of about 30. There were paintings and art pieces promoting anti-slavery all over the walls. A tad-bit uncomfortable.. But delicious! We finished our feast by eating with a part member family. At each place we went to, the food was so good! I got a massive serving at each house and finished them all. Thank you Spanish-work for teaching me how to eat! We drove up to Raleigh that night to spend the night with the assistants. We were having a meeting the following morning and thought it better to spend the night in town. But before we got there, we visited the old apartment to pick up my jump-rope I had forgotten! While there, I made a phone call to Elder Summers and had a quick funny conversation with him. We started our meetings at 8 the next morning and they went until 5. Haha let's just say, it was a long day. But they were actually quite enjoyable! We first had a training meeting for all of the leadership in the mission and then had a zone council where we discuss the needs of our zone. The last meeting was just with the zone leaders, the sister training leaders, the assistants, and President James. We discussed some specific needs of the mission and counseled with one another on new regimens/programs to put into practice to better help the mission. It was very interesting! Elder Nadauld and I got a tablet from the assistants after the meeting to help us learn the Swahili and now we are one of the only three companionships in the mission to have a tablet! It is a Samsung Galaxy something.. On our way back from Raleigh, we stopped by a refferal and talked to a man named Mike. We taught him the Restoration and he invited us to be on the Radio with him and his company so we can talk more about it. That should be happening sometime soon.. Pretty neat opportunity! Saturday was a busy day. Wow, I never knew about the mounds of things you do administratively as a zone leader! But we were able to start the day off with some service! Whoo, service! :) We helped a returning less-active put in some flooring in his trailer. It was exciting! We studied a lot of Swahili as we drove to and from different places and we are learning very quickly! We planned for a zone training meeting we will have tomorrow and then ate dinner with a member at a Mexican restaurant (tender mercy). We went back to teach the part member family we had visited on Thanksgiving and upon asking if we could share a message, they told us not to ever expect them to come back to church. They said it is simply not something they want in their lives! It was devastating to see this good family reject the gospel, especially with the father having been a temple worker in years past. But we expressed our love anyways and went on our way. We then taught a really funny Honduran by the name of Alfredo about the Book of Mormon and he is excited to read it! Sunday was a beautifully glorious day! We came to church early and set up our two translating stations, one for Spanish, and the other for Swahili. The Swahili tribe walked in right before the meeting started and Elder Nadauld, leaning over to me, dared me to go talk to them! So I did. I walked over and said "Hujambo! Wewe unaitwa nani? Mimi ninaitwa Elder Shearer! Mimi ninatoka hali ya Utah ya nchi ya Marekani. Nyinyi mnatoka nchi gani?" Their faces instantly lit up and they replied to me. The crazy thing was that I understood it! It was an incredible blessing from God to be able to communicate with His children. We cover both a family ward here and a YSA ward so we went to the YSA sacrament meeting afterwards and Elder Nadauld gave a talk on the new Christmas initiative: LIGHT THE WORLD! The church has come out with a 25 day program of different ways you can spread the light of Christ! I invite all of you to look it up and be a part of it! I promise you will feel of the Spirit of the Lord and of the spirit of Christmas more abundantly as you serve your fellow men through this program! We had to do some more zone stuff after church and up until dinner. But we wanted to get out and work! We had only taught 7 lessons at this point for the week and had previously made a goal to always be in the double digits. So with a prayer offered to the Lord and with faith rooted deep inside, we went out to work. It was a miracle. In less than two hours, we had taught 4 lessons! With all of them being new investigators. God truly blessed us! It has been a spectacular week here in Wilmington. I am striving to be grateful for EVERYTHING!!! Especially my TRIALS!!! The Lord loves us enough to cut us down at times, and we should trust in that love-inspired correction! I love it here in Wilmington. This is the beach zone and our area covers all of it! Elder Nadauld is a great missionary and very hard working!! We are finding, teaching, and about to baptize!!!

Mimi ninasema Kiswahili,
Elder Shearer

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