Monday, June 26, 2017

06/26/17 - Raleigh, North Carolina

Hello friends and family! It was an incredible week! It of course was the best week of my entire mission!! :) Our new companion Elder Chiu is the best missionary in this mission!! We love him!! He is from Taiwan and wow, his spirit is so strong. He has also been teaching me Mandarin! I'm loving that. :) Last Monday we had the privilege of going to pick up the new missionaries! They are a great group. They all have strong testimonies and are very excited to be out here serving. We had a great night in the mission home with them getting them broken in and ready to meet their trainers the next day. Tuesday was a crazy day! We started the meeting off by having our trainers meeting and then brought the trainees in to meet them! Following the meeting, we had transfers and most of the mission got switched out so many people were up here! We rolled out the big reveal that I was talking about last week. We have officially changed the mission from 7 zones down to 5 zones. The names are Raleigh, Durham, Tri-Lake, Fayetteville, and Wilmington of course! We closed a few areas, and reorganized all of the districts! It was a pretty legendary change in the NCRM. We handed out the new map of the mission and everyone seems to be pretty excited! After we got all of the transferring missionaries taken care of, we loaded up our car and took all of the departing missionaries to the mission home. We had a party!! We first had a wonderful dinner and a powerful testimony meeting. It is always amazing to see the difference in the testimonies on Monday night in comparison to the testimonies on Tuesday night. Once we finished the testimony meeting, we got out the ping pong table and literally played all night! We never even went to sleep! We stayed up until we had to take everyone to the airport at 4 in the morning! It was hard to say goodbye to this group, there were a lot of people that I have gotten really close to. Elder Brezenski, Elder Flake, and many more! Missionaries that have really impacted me and changed my life for the better. I wish them the best back home and hope they enjoy the real world! After dropping them all off, we drove back home and took our mandatory/authorized nap from President James. It was glorious! Once we woke up, we went back to the mission home to update the transfer board! We finished the night by teaching a new investigator by the name of Anthony. He is very strong in the gospel already! He just moved from Utah and was taking the lessons out there. He is really wanting to be baptized! We had another busy day on Thursday as we stopped by Rich to plan out his baptism! We visited the Rathavongsa family and set another baptismal date with the three boys, they will be baptized in two weeks! We had a great time teaching them and then ran over to the mission office to get some things readjusted and scheduled for the new transfer. We had a leadership meeting for most of the day on Friday, but even that was a blast! I love everything that we ever get to do! It's just a privilege to be on a mission! :) Saturday was a day full of miracles! First of all, WE BAPTIZED!!! FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER A YEAR, THE ASSISTANTS BAPTIZED!!! God is so good, he truly does work miracles according to the power of our faith! Richard Kent Blewitt the Second was baptized Saturday morning and he is the joy of my life. He knows what it means to feel the joy of the gospel! Elder Chiu sang a special musical number and President James gave the talk on baptism! Elder Barlow was picked to perform the baptism and it was beautiful to watch! After the baptism, President stayed and interviewed one of our investigators. It went very very well!! They are well on their way to baptism now! President said that without the things that happened in that meeting, the investigator never would have been able to be baptized. There were a few things holding them back from progressing that President was able to help them with. It was very touching to see the investigator walk out of the interview with tears in her eyes and a new hope burning brightly. We are excited to see that hope turn into action as she is baptized!! We worked for the rest of the day and it was amazing!! I love working and knocking doors. I love teaching the gospel! Today was another splendid day. Rich was confirmed a member of the church and received the Holy Ghost! He was grinning from ear to ear. Yuliya is really progressing in the gospel and even told everyone in Gospel Principles today that she is very close to being baptized! She finally feels she just needs to do it, she has had missionaries trying to teach her for 5 years! The Atonement is definitely the key, it is what changes lives! We met with one of our African investigators after church and he received a lot of hope from the message. We kneeled in prayer with him at the close of the visit, and as we ended the prayer he looked up at us and said "I really want to be a member of your church someday." It was only our second time teaching him! Wow, the power of the gospel is so real! When we are able to address people's concerns following the guidance of the Holy Ghost, things happen. Hope is developed and action is taken. I love God and I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love being able to share their love with everyone. I so testify that they do indeed love us, each and every one. Unconditionally and without end.

Speaking Chinese,
Elder Shearer

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