Monday, December 12, 2016

12/12/16 - Wilmington, North Carolina

Wow, this week went by so fast I couldn't even think about it! Last Monday we went bowling up in Jacksonville with one of the districts up there. I lost every time. But it was okay! Later that night one of our missionaries had to run to the ER for a bad migraine that had been lasting a few days so we went to see him. He was pretty loopy after he got the medicine and seems to be doing a little better. Tuesday morning we accounted with the district leaders and it took out our brains! Haha it was such a long process! But we got to teach an investigator by the name of Brandy after so that got us back up and running. She is so elect! She said she wants to focus her reading on the Book of Mormon because she already kind of knows the Bible. She was in tears during the lesson, so powerful! We taught Alfredo and the rest of the Ramirez family that night and had a great plan of salvation lesson! We were able to teach it quickly and they all understand and accept it! Incredible family. We went to two district meetings this week! The first one was here in Wilmington, but the second one was way down in Shallotte! We had gone on a blitz with the Tabor City elders the day before to help them out in their area. In that one day of our blitz, we tripled the amount of lessons they had taught in the entirety of their previous week so it was pretty successful! I got an incredible package in the mail from Yvette, one of my coworkers from Deseret Book, and it warmed me up so much! It came in the perfect time. Right when I needed it! Thank you, Yvette!! The second district meeting was a little worrisome as the district leader got up and told us he had no idea what we were going to do for the meeting. I guess he hadn't planned anything! So he told us to just role play the Restoration for the whole meeting! Very interesting haha.. We taught the Congolese once we got back into town and we taught them about the gospel of Jesus Christ. They loved it! Johnny, the one that speaks English, lights up every time we teach something new. Like something inside is finally clicking! We had a great dinner with the Stainback family that evening and Brother Stainback showed me his recording studio! He loves to make music down there and we had a fun time discussing the process. The following day, we had another incredible dinner with the Curtis family. They both served in Venezuela on their missions and actually met there! He is a cancer surgeon and showed us some pretty tasteful pictures of some of his procedures. We saw into a man's skull with his eye taken out! Yuck! We taught an investigator named Richard that night and he is very open to the message. He's not very religious, but is excited to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it! We taught a man named Jimmy on Saturday and he told me I remind him of a deacon in his church when he grew up! We went to talk to our Congolese family to make sure they were coming to our ward party that night and while we were there, we met a woman from the agency that brought them over from the Congo. No one spoke English so I carried out a broken conversation with them making sure every thing was set for the party. The agency later called our member connection in the ward and was quite angry we had come over. We were told to stop all proselyting and that we weren't able to come over to the house ever again. They did still come to our ward party though!! And two Hispanic families came! We had a total of about 25 investigators there! All of our members' eyes just lit up when they saw how many non-members were there. We gave a little church tour after the party and they loved the building. And to end the party, my drink of lemonade spilled all over my lap! Just delightful. Sunday was a very challenging day. Possibly the most challenging day of my life, but I chose to make it my best day! The Lord blessed me with some very sacred personal experiences that testified to me that He loves His children. I also had my testimony grow that prayers work. A member from Raleigh came down and I translated for her for the meeting! It was so good to see her again, such a pleasant surprise! I gave a talk in the YSA ward about why I decided to serve a mission, and it actually went better than I had expected! When we told Johnny about what the agency had told us, he got pretty upset. He said "I don't care! You are still going to teach me and I am still going to be baptized. I am a big boy, I can make my own choices. They cannot control me!" It was so inspiring to see his faith. We taught him, Elias, and Gaston last night here at the church. We discussed the baptismal questions, and they are so elect! We gave Elias a blessing at the end to help him have the strength to overcome some addictions he is going through and he was in tears by the end. He had insisted on being on his knees as we gave the blessing. Very powerful Spirit in that room last night. We are excited to watch them keep progressing and growing in this gospel!

Choosing to be positive,
Elder Shearer

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