Monday, March 27, 2017

03/27/17 - Wilmington, North Carolina

A spiritually-filling week! We were privileged to have Elder and Sister Hamula visit our mission this week! It was absolutely amazing!! Last Monday we had a zone activity at Wrightsville beach and we had a lot of fun! We played mostly soccer and we had a little picnic together too! We visited one of our investigators that night and she desperately needed the visit. She had been going through a rough time and we shared Matthew 11:28-30. We testified of the reality of Christ's invitation to come unto Him. She was very grateful for the lesson and the Spirit was strong. The following day, we had zone conference with the Hamula's and it was incredible! It was hands down one of the best days in my mission! I was spiritually fed so well. I testify that Elder Hamula is called of God. He is truly a man of God. It was the best zone conference I have ever been to! We woke up at 4 in the morning and it was about a two and a half hour drive each way. We didn't even get home until 9 at night! We got there about a half an hour early and quietly studied. Once the Hamula's came in, we all lined up and shook their hands one by one! When I got to them, Elder Hamula gave me a huge hug and told me it was from my parents. Sister Hamula really really wanted to give me one too, but she knew she wasn't allowed to haha.. We all spiritually feasted like kings! I received soooo much revelation. Elder Hamula as he started promised us that if we came to the meeting prepared, we would hear the Lord's voice. He advised us not to disregard its promptings once we heard them. He spoke much of soberness and it being pre-requisite to receiving the gift of discernment. We as young missionaries struggle with being sober, I am determined to improve. He also taught us how to increase in faith and the cycle required. We as well learned that in order to have spiritual power, we must combine prayer with obedience! We learned of the importance of teaching and testifying to a specific concern and learned how to do it! We spoke of my favorite gospel subject, consecration, quite a bit and I learned tremendously! We spoke of using time wisely and of more things consecration. In Sister Hamula's talk, she asked to hear experiences of things missionaries have treasured up in Preach My Gospel. Each time something was shared, they were given a little chocolate coin to represent a "treasure". At one of the breaks, she came to me and gave me the rest of her coins and told me that I was a special treasure to her. She told me that Elder Hamula wouldn't let her talk about me over the pulpit because she would've gone on forever and never come back to her topic haha! She also told me that she was trying not to look at me during the meeting because she would have started crying! She told me that I reminded her a lot of my dad when he was on his mission! She said I looked exactly liked him! After the conference ended, 7 of us were chosen to be interviewed by Elder Hamula. That was a special experience. He told me that it was not a coincidence that they were called to tour my mission. He believes it was a tender mercy from God, that both of our lives would be blessed from it. I know that to be true. That day blessed my life so deeply, richly, and abundantly. We took a picture and said goodbye until Thursday. I love that man and his wife so much. Haha Sister James took our picture and when she did, she said "Oh! There is the Elder Shearer smile!" It is good to be known as the happy missionary, because I am! Wednesday was incredible as we tried to put into practice everything that the Hamula's had taught us the day previous. Sister Hamula while talking about obedience told us that one of the few things we have control over are our mornings. She told us that no matter what is going on in our lives, we can choose to have perfect mornings. I was so inspired that I decided to rename my cereal from good mornings to perfect mornings! I showed the Hamula's the picture I took of it and they both got a kick out of it. While tracting on Wednesday we made a point to ask inspired questions and we found one girl by the name of Maddie! Because we were able to ask these questions, we were able to identify her concern and then teach according to them! We had a fun time eating dinner with a member and then we drove up to Raleigh to spend the night. We had an MLC meeting the following day and it was just as good if not better than the zone conference! Elder Hamula lit the leadership on fire and we have a deeper determination to be obedient and serve the Lord! He told us that if we ever want to change what our missionaries are doing, we have to first change ourselves!! He is truly inspired of God, he said many things that gave me a greater understanding of gospel principles. We drove home from Raleigh and had dinner with the same members that we've been visiting every week to share missionary lessons with. They had set a goal to have someone for us to teach by the end of the transfer. Well as we went over for dinner, they had someone! Their neighbor Cindy was there and following dinner, we had a great lesson as we shared the Restoration! She had many questions and we did our best to address all of her concerns. The Spirit was strong and we hope she reads and prays about the Book of Mormon! Friday we had another great day as we started it off by making a map of where all of our less-active Hispanics live. We are determined this next transfer to actually start the Spanish group! We then visited our investigator Jerry and had a bold lesson with him. We talked about the Book of Mormon and he said he's read it and prayed about it and he already knows it's true. The struggle is that he doesn't feel he needs to be baptized! We know and feel there is a deeper concern there and we are determined to find it. We drove up to Jacksonville after the lesson to conduct a baptismal interview and it was incredible! It was with a marine on base and it was one of the best interviews I've ever conducted! He is so prepared and ready for the gospel. We were both in tears as we shared our testimonies with each other. I don't even know the man, but I love him and am so proud of him for his decision to follow the Savior! We did some service on Saturday for a member in our ward! She asked us to walk around the college campus with buckets and little grabber-things and we picked up trash for a few hours! Haha it was a blast!! I've always wanted to pick up trash with those things! We then visited a referral from the English Sisters and it was such an elect family! They are from Honduras and are a family of 6! We taught the whole family about the Restoration and they are so prepared. We tried to ask inspired questions and at one point we felt prompted to ask them if they've ever wondered which of all the churches is true. Right as we asked that question, the father told us that that was the exact question he was just about to ask us! He explained that he felt there needed to be a restoration. That many churches had parts of the truth, but that the original church needed to be restored! It was amazing to then teach and testify of the story of Joseph Smith. The Spirit was abundant in that lesson and we pray that they will do their homework so they can come to know that this is the true church upon the Earth!! The exact same church that Jesus Christ established! We later visited an investigator by the name of Pamela. We had stopped visiting her for a while because she wasn't keeping her commitments, but we decided it was time to go back. As we returned she told us that she had felt something missing in her life. She thought about us often and she was ready to recommit to the Lord. We boldly invited her to come to church the following day and she did!! As we left the lesson we looked at our phone and saw that President James had texted us requesting that we call him. As we spoke with him he first released Elder Nadauld as zone leader and called him to be district leader in Raleigh South. He thanked him for his great service here and told him he has a great work to do there. He then spoke with me and told me to "keep disturbing the waters of baptism". He let me know who my new companion will be and I am excited to have a great transfer!! The following day was amazing. It was a great Sabbath Day. Johnny was too sick to come and translate, but I was so grateful for the gift of tongues as we were able to speak with our Congolese and actually communicate back and forth!! We taught the lesson during the second hour and it was a miracle to say the least. We visited them after church and had a little party to say goodbye to our member that is moving to Germany this week! She has been the main fellowshipper for them and she has done so much! She is the one that introduced us to them in the beginning!! We ate pizza, they sang us the most beautiful songs, and we enjoyed each others company. Before we left, they each paid tribute to Sister Karp and Elder Nadauld and thanked them for all that they did. It was such a tender moment. Wow, I can't believe that transfers are tomorrow! I am really going to miss Elder Naduald, he was such a great companion!! He taught me many things and I know he is going to change lives over in Lake Wheeler. I am continuously happy to do the Lord's will and I know that as I forget myself, I will truly find myself! What a sacred honor it is to serve God.

Choosing to have perfect mornings,
Elder Shearer

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