Monday, February 13, 2017

02/13/17 - Wilmington, North Carolina

This is the greatest time in my life. :) God is so good! We witnessed many miracles this week and had many great experiences. Last Monday we toured a really nice apartment complex just for the fun of it and while we were there, a man came up to us and asked to take a picture with us! It was hilarious. But wow, the apartments were so nice. We toured the USS North Carolina afterwards for a zone activity and it was amazing!! Such a big battleship. I was absolutely fascinated by everything and I was almost convinced to join the military someday! Almost.. Tuesday, we took Elder Nadauld to the dentist to try to figure out what has been happening with one of his teeth, but they said that nothing was wrong with it!! Super strange.. We ate dinner with our Branch President for the YSA that night and brought him out on exchanges afterwards. We had a great night teaching in Spanish and setting baptismal dates! He later told the Elders Quorum on Sunday how much he loves going out with us and how great it is to teach the gospel. He told them that even if they don't speak Spanish, I will translate for them and set them up perfectly for opportunities to testify. He is a great man. We had a zone training on Wednesday and the Monsen's (a senior couple) drove all the way down from Raleigh to take pictures for us! Haha Elder Monsen told me after the meeting that I have a million dollar smile on camera. He said "I don't know who paid for it, but is sure is nice." I told him that I was pretty sure it was only because I was standing next to Elder Nadauld in the pictures! Great instructions were given in the meeting and Elder Nadauld and I had the opportunity to instruct on becoming consecrated missionaries. We were pretty bold and pretty much lit everything on fire. One of the things we said was "Our pride will not stop the work of the Lord, but it will stop us from being a part of it!" The Spirit filled the room and we earnestly tried to express our love for these missionaries as we tried to help them realize the importance of this concept. We will not benefit personally from or even change from the mission, unless we first consecrate ourselves. Later that night we were asked to be witnessed for a wedding! A 68 year old couple that dedicates all of their time to driving around the country in an RV stopped through last week and asked the bishop if they could be married. So he set it up! We attended the wedding right there in the bishop's office. As I shook the groom's hand afterwards and congratulated him, he replied with "hot diggity!!!" I half expected him to jump up and do a heel click too! Oh, and speaking of Wednesday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY UNCLE STEVEN!!! I love that guy. Thursday was a full day. I got a package from my family and it was awesome. My Dad sent me a little Spanish bible that I can carry around with me!! We also went on exchanges with the Assistants and it was grand. I was with Elder Brezenski and we started off the day by going tracting. While we were tracting, a man we ran into told us that he was a prophet! He explained that ever since he was 12, there were signs of him being a seer. It was an interesting conversation to say the least haha! We did meet a girl by the name of Drina though and she is very elect! She has such a deep desire to know if the Restoration is true and fell in love with the message on her doorstep! Excited to go back this week. After dinner at the house, we went to a really nice neighborhood and covenanted that we would find new investigators. We knocked literally the entire neighborhood and door after door was slammed in our faces. They weren't just uninterested, they hated seeing us at their door. The greatest part was that even though we were screamed at and insulted, we were so happy to be in the work of the Lord! We were still smiling with every step and our faith didn't decrease in the slightest! The very last door we met a man that invited us back the next day! As we went back he was very interested and was smiling from ear to ear to have us in his home! I know that covenanting works and I know that faith brings miracles! We finished our exchange by teaching the Congolese. When we got there, they had a whole bunch of food laid out for us! It was the most authentic African food they've ever given us! We rinsed our hands in a bowl of water and then grabbed a ball of rice. We then reached into a bowl of spinach and ate it all with our hands. It was yummy!! We had a great lesson after teaching the plan of salvation. Elder Brezenski fell in love with the family. We did some P-90X abs when we got back to the apartment and Elder Brezenski told me that our exchange took the cake for his favorite exchange ever! It was pretty great. So two other tracting stories really fast! One night Elder Nadauld and I were tracting and a naked man opened the door! He quickly hid behind the door and then told us that last time missionaries knocked on his door, they robbed him! We said "Who robbed you??" And he replied with "YOU DID! Now you're trying to do it again..." He began to slowly close the door while staring us down and then slammed it shut. So weird! Another story is that while we were tracting, a garbage man stopped us and asked if we were doing the same thing that Jehovah's Witnesses do. I "apparently" (I don't remember this part, but Elder Nadauld tells me it happened) told him that we do pretty much the same stuff, except we share the truth. Haha he then told us he was a Jehovah's Witness... awkward.. yeah anyways.. Friday was a great day! We had interviews and they went very well! I love President and Sister James. Sister James asked how I was doing and when I told her I was extremely happy and loving everything, she told me that she wouldn't expect anything else from me. President gave me a lot of great counsel. That man has really changed my life. They took us and our Congolese family out to dinner that night and it was so much fun! They just fell in love with the family. At the close of dinner, President said, "Now I want to hear some Swahili come out of Elder Shearer's mouth!" He pulled out his phone and first recorded me having a conversation with them. He then put the phone right in front of my face and told me to bear my testimony in Swahili!! It was so nerve wracking.. But that night was a great memory! Saturday was great too. We found a very elect Hispanic. She recognizes how precious the Book of Mormon is! We also found a possum and tried to catch it! It ran away though.. We got transfer news that night and found out that Elder Nadauld and I are staying together for another transfer!! WHOOO!! I am sooo excited. :) It is going to be the best transfer yet! Sunday was a special day as Johnny received the Priesthood! We were able to stand in the circle and he was in tears by the end of it! Such a powerful moment. After church we were talking to the other Elders and they told us that their bishop's daughter apparently talks about me.. A little strange.. A random man walked into church and told us that he was an ex-marine. When he asked me what kind of a church it was, I smiled and told him that it was a Christian church. A Mormon church! He yelled at me and told me that it wasn't a laughing matter and that he wasn't laughing! He then turned to Elder Nadauld and asked him the same question and Elder Nadauld gave him the same answer!! He said "Thank you! That's what I wanted to know!" I guess he didn't like my smile very much.. We knocked into a girl that afternoon and she tried bashing us! She asked us why we believe the Sabbath day is Sunday. She explained that in Genesis God rested on the seventh day and that on any calendar you can clearly see that Saturday is the last day of the week. We didn't know what to say! We came to the church and did some research. Now we know!! "In Old Testament times, God's covenant people observed the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week because God rested on the seventh day when He had created the earth (see Genesis 2:2). After the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which occurred on the first day of the week (see Mark 16:2), the Lord's disciples began observing the Sabbath on the first day of the week, Sunday (see Acts 20:7)." ( I loved that answer! We believe in a living Christ and what a better day to worship than the day he rose from the grave and made our salvation possible! We taught the Congolese again last night and I just love them so much. We again went over the Gospel of Jesus Christ and talked about how faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end aren't a list of steps but rather a way of life! It is truly a lifestyle. Every part works together and it is all one! It is all about following Christ! We told the Congolese that we are staying one more transfer and they were so happy! Johnny bowed his head and started shouting "Thank you thank you thank you!!!" It was truly a great week.

Full of happiness and peace,
Elder Shearer

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