Monday, April 10, 2017

04/10/17 - Wilmington, North Carolina

What an incredible week!! Hands down the best week of my entire mission!! :) Last Monday we had another district activity and it was so much fun! We played sports here in the gym as always and we got a good workout! We went to the family home evening with the YSA branch because we had some investigators come and it was pretty funny... Haha we were making music videos and it definitely got us out of our comfort zone! We had to leave early however to go to a lesson with a Hispanic family! We knocked on their door and they let us right in. We sat down and the whole family gathered around ready to listen. We got to know the family a little better and really tried to discern their needs. We shared a powerful message of the Restoration and all was going fantastically well. The mother and father told us that it was a miracle that God had called prophets again on the Earth and that they desperately wanted to know for themselves if the message was true. We introduced the Book of Mormon and explained that they would have to read it and then pray to God to receive an answer. That's when it all went downhill.. Something switched in the father's countenance and he asked us what day we observe the Sabbath. We told him we worship it on Sunday and explained that after the resurrection of Christ, the apostles began to worship on the first day of the week such as in Acts 20. He told us we were wrong because the Bible clearly teaches otherwise and then opened up the book of Revelations and started reading many off-the-wall scriptures. They had nothing to do with what we were talking about! I stopped him and told him that we were not there to argue. We were simply there to invite others unto our Savior Jesus Christ. I asked if he would be willing to act on our message to receive the answer he so desired. He ignored my question and continued with his lecture on the mark of the beasts. I again stopped him in a calm but powerful voice and told him that as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ we needed to know if he was willing to know these things for himself. I felt prompted to testify of God's love for Him and asked him if God told him to change his life if he would. He sadly was not willing to change so we offered a prayer for his family and went on our way. Our time here on the mission is very limited and very sacred. We must use every moment effectively. We love these people with all of our hearts, but if they are not willing to act on the message and seek the voice of the Lord, we have no purpose in their homes. Tuesday was another great day! We accounted with our zone in the morning and then we went tracting for a few hours! We got kicked out of the first apartment complex we tried so we moved onto the next one! Later that afternoon we visited a man by the name of Jonathan. He is amazing and very prepared! We taught him the Restoration and he is willing to read and pray to receive and answer! He is very involved in the YSA branch already and comes to institute and volleyball on Thursdays and FHE on Mondays! We then taught one of our Hispanic investigators that has a baptismal date and she is so funny! Her name is Karen and we went over a lot of the commandments with her. She has such a good heart, she is willing to follow the Lord no matter what it takes! We then had our one dinner of the week down in Carolina Beach so we drove down and ate with our YSA branch President and his wife. We came back up to Wilmington after and taught an investigator by the name of Uniqua! We began to share the Restoration with her and she began to bring up seventh-day adventist questions! We were so worried it was going to be a repeat of the previous night. Thankfully we were able to nip it in the bud and convince her to read the Book of Mormon and give it a try. She is awesome, it was a great lesson! Wednesday we started off the day with another two hours of tracting! I love doing so. We then went on an exchange with the Elders in Hampstead and I was with Elder Wihongi! He is the only Elder in the mission that it being trained and we are blessed to have him in our zone! It was a fantastic exchange. He is so positive and happy! He's going to do great things out here. I learned many things from him on the exchange and we had a great time! We took a member of the YSA out with us to tract and although we didn't find anyone, it was successful because we tried our best! We went to Cook Out for dinner because he had never tried it before and it was a lot of fun. We went tracting again after dinner and then visited an investigator to show her the new Easter video about Christ being the Prince of Peace! The Assistants then called us and asked if we could go to the church and set up 16 tables with 130 chairs for zone conference the following day. We set it all up and then came home to find them there! They spent the night with us and it was super fun haha! Thursday we had zone conference and wow, it was amazing!! My favorite instruction was from Sister James on looking up. She shared the story of President Monson teaching that it is better to look up! Such a profound truth. When we look up we are looking Heavenward and are thus ever-mindful of the power, love, and grace of our God. Elder Brezenski and I shared a little part of an instruction and it all went well! The Spirit was strong in that meeting and I definitely walked away with even more of a determination to serve God and His children!! We went to the Airlie gardens after lunch and they were beautiful! We took a lot of pictures there and then went out to work! We taught Alex and Jacob and they are so ready for the gospel!! They were soaking in everything that we were saying and are excited to read, pray, and come to church! We then taught our recent convert Congolese family and Johnny was not there to translate for us! Elder Brezenski and I taught the whole lesson in Swahili! We read a chapter of the Book of Mormon with them and even discussed it afterwards! It was amazing, the gift of tongues is real!! We went tracting to end the night and even though we again didn't find anyone, we loved every second of it! We started Friday with more tracting and then did some weekly planning. We taught Karen again and showed her some videos of President Monson! That afternoon we taught Jerry, the man with the coma experience and he is amazing. His knowledge of the gospel is incredible and he has such desires to be baptized and follow Christ! We did some more tracting after dinner and we had a Presbyterian minister scream at our faces and ridicule us for our beliefs. We simply smiled at him and prayed for him in our hearts. We then finished the day by teaching our first trilingual lesson! We taught an African family the Restoration! We taught in English which Johnny then translated to Swahili which Elias then translated to Kinyarwanda!! It was a great lesson, but sadly the family was not open to acting on the message. It was so sad to see after we had gone through such great efforts to get them the gospel in their language! But I suppose not everyone is ready to hear the message. And that's okay because there are many who are prepared!! Saturday was amazing! We went tracting in the morning and we met a woman who believes that her church is the restored church of Christ! She believes it was lost from the Earth for a time but that it is on the Earth again! She said that a man named AJ Thompson founded the church after having a spiritual experience on the top of Burger Mountain. They church is all over the world and even has a college! It is called The Church of God and is honestly the most similar sounding church to ours that I have ever heard of! Very weird.. We did some more planning in the afternoon and got our area book completely up to date! We have kept it up to date every day since and fill it out in the car after every single lesson. It feels so good to have it up to date! At the close of our day, we had an amazing experience as we felt prompted to visit an investigator at 8. We didn't have any appointments and decided we could go remind her of church. As we knocked on her door, she opened it with tears streaming down her face and quickly invited us in. She told us she had recently lost a family member in a tragic accident and the funeral was earlier that day. She had been weeping and pleading to God that He would send her some peace. We arrived moments later. We quickly opened the Book of Mormon with her and began to read of Christ. It calmed her troubled heart. In the closing prayer she thanked God for answering her prayer by sending us to her. She was grateful for the peace she had received and acknowledged that God does hear her cries. I testify that God places us where we need to be. I know that Jesus Christ truly is the Prince of Peace. What an honor to be His servant. Sunday was a great day regardless of us not seeing the fruits of our labors!! We had 10 people tell us that they were going to come to church and not a single one came! We went tracting to find some more people to teach with every minute we had and although we tracting 4 hours yesterday, we didn't find a single person! We did teach our Congolese family again and had a message on the importance of paying tithing! It was a spirit-filled lesson, especially because they are struggling to make it. God blesses us when we put Him first! We even ended the day by tracting on a street we felt lead to and no one was interested! I love it. Because this is an opportunity to show God that we can be trusted. We are here to serve Him and even if we tracted over 15 hours this week without finding anyone, we will continue to do His work!! Service is the choicest of blessings. And that is funny because it is a choice! I pray that we all daily make that choice and in so doing, find ourselves about our Father's work. It brings miracles.

Choosing to look up,
Elder Shearer

No comments:

Post a Comment