Monday, December 29, 2014

Where's your Faith?

Area:  Independence, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Thompson


Why don't you send some of that snow over here!  It's cooling down quite a bit, around the 20's-30's.  But still no snow!  :(  The cabin looks amazing!  I just can't wait to be able to go up there and party in the winter snow!  The room looks so good!  That cabin is nothing like it used to be, so beautiful and Walkerized.  I just see so much good happening their not only for our family, but for every family that stays there.

Good to here that grandma is up there!  What a change from just a year ago.  I'll continue praying for the family and especially Dad.  It was so good to see you all on Christmas!  Boy, the day after I was feeling a bit trunky, but I'm fine now. :)  Hope you enjoyed the little musical number.    

It's crazy that Tanner is going to be home so soon!  It flew by so fast...

Oh, can I get the salsa recipe?  My comp loves salsa and I want to make him some good stuff!

We had a pretty same old same old week after I called.  Yesterday we ran into a guy named Rob while tracting.  Yep, we were tracting.  I would have to say we probably tract around 30% of the time, not 10% like I said.  He is an atheist...  Geesh!  All the info he got was weird!  He has some Christian friends so he understand a little bit.  He let us in, which has never happened to me while tracting and he whips out his lap top and starts looking up questions for us.  I basically just said straight up, we can sit here all day and you can ask me a million questions, but if you aren't sincere about them it is going to do no good.  So put away the computer or we are just going to leave.  Yeah, he put away the computer pretty quick!  He still wasn't very sincere but we were able to teach the restoration and little bit about the Book of Mormon and answer questions he had about some concepts he herd from faulty sources.  He just want tangible evidence.  He basically said if he can't hold God in his hand and feel him, he isn't real.  Where is your faith?!  It reminded me of the story of doubting Thomas a bit as we were sitting there.  

That's about all I gots this week.
Love you and thanks for the pictures!  

Elder Shoemaker  

Monday, December 22, 2014

Elder Shoemaker...the Dog Catcher

Area:  Independence, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Thompson

Heya Fam! 
Mom, sounds like you have some ants in your pants this week!  Haha!  I'll be calling home around 12-2ish...  That's Missouri time, so I believe it will be 11-1 in Utah time.  

Poor Tuna.....  {she's being spayed today}

Glad to hear that you received the box!  Thank you for giving Sister Griggs the letter.  It wasn't long, about 1/2 a page, but I hope it helped her at this time when I know it is probably hard for her.  That family is amazing!  Sure do love them.  :)

Our contact with that deaf man was just that one time, but still a cool experience.  We are always around where he lives so we might run into him again soon.  I have learned the alphabet, numbers, and about 10 other signs as well.  Its pretty sweet!

This past week we were on bikes and it wasn't too bad!  Actually pretty warm toward the end of the week.  It did snow for the first solid time this past week, but only stayed until the next day about noon.  I was sad to see it go...  I wanted a white Christmas but doesn't look like that is happening in Utah either! 
This past week, I have realized how much my companion is like Tanner...  It's kinda weird actually!  He has a lot of the same mannerisms and sayings!  

We finally got a new ward mission leader!  We haven't had one for about 2 1/2 months!  We have been flying solo.  He is an amazing guy too, he will be great.

Well, I got hugged this week by an old lady... :O  We were riding our bikes just down the street and this lady just starts whaling!  I thought someone was really hurt!  So we go over to her and ask whats wrong and she said her dogs were out and running around.  So we wrangled them up and got them back inside.  Then she just went for it and I didn't know what to do, so sometimes you just have to take it.  

We had a pretty sweet miracle this week as we were walking down the street.  This couple from another ward picked us up and took us out to a really nice lunch and chatted with them about their missions for awhile.  They also took us to our next two appointments!  It was pretty sweet.  

We also have been working with this guy named "T".  We ran into him and he was wasted!  Just hammered...  But we got to talking and he told us he wanted to take the discussions again because he feels like he is missing something.  He wants to stop drinking and smoking, but actually doing it is different.  As we were sitting there talking with him, I realized how happy it made me to talk with him because I could relate to him with his addiction with all the AA, NA, and LDS addiction recovery meetings I have gone to with Dad.  I think the career I want to pursue will have to do with addiction recovery.  We will see. :)  Anyway, he is doing really well now!  We are continuing to meet with him and help him through this. 

Well, that's about all!  We had a pretty sweet ward Christmas party and Sunday Christmas program this week as well!  

I have some good pictures this week too!

Love you all!
Elder Shoemaker

The ward Christmas party with Jayden, Cody, Justin, Regina, (and their kids),(Investigators) and a youth member of the ward and Elder Thompson and I 

The Breakfast Club.... 

Gas is super cheep here!  I even got down to 1.93!

The first snow!

Heres the bike I bought! :)
It's the bomb basically 

Typical Elder Shoemaker pose!  ha ha

Monday, December 15, 2014

Thanks Thomas Edison!

Area:  Independence, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Thompson 

Well, yeehaw!  Paul's home!  What in the world, he already has a girl friend?  atta boy, atta boy... 

As far as Facetiming, we will be doing it at the Kroeger's house (the one who called you my first week or so).  They told us to come over for lunch, so we will probably call around 12-1-2ish...  I'll try to find out more.  Which email am I calling?  We will be using facetime on the ipads they have. 
I did get my Christmas box!  Thanks a bunch!  Don't worry, I haven't opened it yet, its sitting nicely wrapped under the Christmas tree, like the turbo man doll in jingle all the way the movie.  haha I'm funny! 

As far as us receiving iPads, sounds like it's going to be next year.  They haven't really told us anything but there's rumors floating around. 
I want to see pictures of the cabin basement, it sounds sweet!
I gave a talk this past Sunday.  It was on goals and how we can achieve them and how to set goals we can accomplish.  It went pretty good.
Our investigators are progressing but at the same time, stuck in a rut.  It seems like we have just been doing the same things over and over and are expecting new results... it doesn't work.  (Thanks Thomas Edison!)  We are trying to figure out new ways to do missionary work.  Cody and Jayden are kinda out of the loop right now.  We don't really know where they went.  We are still trying to contact them.  

It seems like this week we have been running into members of the Church of Christ, RLDS, Restoration branch members, Community of Christ member, and many many others like it.  There are so many different break offs's crazy.  They like to talk and it is really interesting to see all the different views and beliefs and how they interpret them. Everyone says it's harder to convert someone who is a break off of our church than it is an Atheist.  They are just so set in their ways.  They all basically stem off when Brigham Young went West and some stayed in Missouri and followed Joseph Smith The Third, that's them!  They think prophets should follow blood line, yet their prophet right now isn't from the Smith bloodline...  Anyway, there's a lot of stuff to learn and we get the whole run down every time we meet one of them!  haha
We had a pretty sweet experience this week with a deaf guy.  We were trying to contact a less active and she wasn't home.  There was this guy outside and we tried to talk with him but then soon realized he was deaf.  Then I looked over at my comp to see what he wanted to do and he was over there talking to this man in sign language!  It was pretty sweet.  I'm picking up a little as well. 
My greatest accomplishment this week?    Ummmm....  I would have to say the new traits and skills I have developed since I have been out here.  Mainly the ability to talk with anyone I see and knowing what to say!  I have no fear to talk with anyone and everyone about the Gospel.  I always know that as long as I try, the Holy Ghost will fill my mouth, I just need to open it.  (D&C 84:85)
Thats about all I got this week! 
Love you all so much :-)
Elder Shoemaker

We had an all mission conference this past week!  It was really nice to see everyone from the MTC and others I have met as well.
There was a lot of missionaries! 

This picture is of my son, me, my trainer, my trainers trainer, and so forth. (called a posterity picture)

This is of my MTC district minus 1, he was sick.


Monday, December 8, 2014


Area:  Independence, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Thompson

Hello Family!!
This week has been great!  It's kind of weird that all the missionaries from our ward are starting to come home.  I thought I had so long to wait before I went out but oh how the time flies!!  Yeah, we store our bikes in the apartment, which is nice.  We have a pretty big apartment compared to most other missionaries.  We have the car for two weeks right now and then one week on bikes.  But that may change soon.   Thats pretty sweet that the cabin has wifi now.  Are you going to be having Christmas Eve up there?   Hope AFC is going great.  I always love the Christmas concert, probably my favorite one out of all of them.  :)  I'm working on a cousins gift for Autumn.  I'll see what I can find today for her.  Hows Max?

Well, training is going so great!   I'm learning so much, more than when I was being trained I think!  As I told dad in his email, when you have to train someone from the very nubs you really learn every detail.  Having to take the lead in almost every situation is kind of hard but it keeps me going, motivated, and learning!  Elder Thompson is doing great and is learning.  It is sometimes hard to keep him going because those first couple weeks you just don't know what you are doing and are basically just a tag along.  So I've been trying to include him in every situation.  It was really weird to go from one day being trained, to the next day training. 

Our area is doing so great right now.  I feel like it is starting to bloom maybe because I'm putting in more effort and really loosing myself in the work.  It has made a big difference and continues to be.  We had one of our investigators bring a neighbor kid (Cody 13 years old) to church with him two weeks ago.  Now he and his little brother (Jayden 8 years old) are on date to be baptized by the end of the month!!  We may have to push it back into the beginning of January, but either way I'm happy with their progress and their desire, it is so pure!  Now we just have to get their grandparents to say yes.  It seems like there is always one person with all the power to make or break someone progressing.  Our hopes are high for these two!

We had a pretty interesting appointment this week.  We went to a house that a potential investigator lives at.  We have been trying this house for 13 weeks and nothing has happened but this night he answered.  The guy is NUTS!  He let us in and was really nice and calm when we first got there, but about 5 minutes later he started preaching to us for about 2 hours!  We couldn't interject or anything.  I don't mean just talking, but up out of his seat basically yelling false doctrine and all the stuff that is in the book of Revelations for 2 hours!  I was just sitting their trying to pray and be in contact with the Holy Ghost to know what to do or say.  I was prompted to just stand up and leave.  So, I stood up and Elder Thompson stood up right after me and we just walked out the front door.  This guy didn't know what to say and we told him we would come back if he would read the Book of Mormon.  So we probably won't ever go back there...

Last night as I was sitting in my study chair, I was thinking about what was holding back some of our investigators.  I thought of the movie Holes.  What was the reason for them digging the hole?  "To build character!  To gain experience!" As Mr. Sir would have said.  So later on in the movie, Stanly gets into trouble because Zero was digging his holes for him and he wasn't building character.  Well, those holes are the same for everyone.  They build experience.  Those holes in life are all the hard times, decisions, and trials we all go through in life and no one can do them for us.  I know that the individual problems and struggles our investigators have they have to deal with, and as they realize what the Gospel will do to help them through that, they realize that they don't have to do it alone. 
Just my thoughts for the week!

I love you all so much! 

Elder Shoemaker

Monday, December 1, 2014

It's a Boy!

Area:  Independence, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Thompson

Hi Fam!  

Sounds like Thanksgiving and the cabin work was a success!  The kitchen looks great!  I am excited to see all the changes and updates over the next two years.  I'm excited to come back and continue to help as well. :)

Thank you so much Mom and Dad for the bike too!  It helps so much and makes riding bikes in the 20 degree weather more enjoyable!  I don't have a picture of it right now but I'll send one next week.  Its a TREK bike called the Marlin, 2015 model.  Pretty sweet bike with 29'' wheels and disk breaks.  :D  I think I have a little bit to much fun riding it around haha! 

So, updates on me.  I am still here in Independence South Zone in the 4th ward.  I am now training Elder Thompson, fresh out of the MTC!  He is from St. George, Utah and is 21.  He is an interesting guy, but we have fun together and are working our behinds off!  This area is finally starting to bloom.  Except the investigators we have right now aren't really progressing.  Which is no good, but we are working with them and trying to have them keep their commitments!  Autumn is nowhere to be found right now so her baptism date is a no go right now...  not quite sure whats going on there.  Freddie, same story.  No new legit investigators this week but we met a ton of awesome people and have some addresses but no return appointments. 
Thanksgiving was great!  I had my fair share of Polly food!  It was almost like home, except I was in a room full of Polly's!  haha!  The Tonga's always treat us like family, they made me feel at home away from home.  They put on a nice musical program and sang and played the uke for us, it was a party!
I have a couple of funny, cool, interesting, miracle teaching moments this week with Elder Thompson.  I decided to take him tracting for an hour to work on his people skills and BOM handout at the door.  Even though tracting is not very effective in finding new investigators, it sure does work your people skills!  So, we were walking into the bathroom at the library for a quick pit stop.  On our way in we started talking to this guy who asked us for a lighter to light his smoke, but instead of a lighter we gave him a BOM and got his address and number!  It was kind of ironic.  After that we walked into the bathroom  and started talking to a guy in there who knew a lot about our church but wasn't a member.  We taught him the whole restoration in the bathroom!  I didn't even realize what had happened until after we walked out of the bathroom and just started laughing.  So after that experience we walked across the street to the some of the  ghetto apartments in the area.  As we were walking down a bunch of African American kids started yelling at us saying, "can we ha yo numba?!"  "Hey Jesus people, yo listn'n?"  So we walked over to them and I just said,  Want a picture of Jesus?  They were so confused!  We ended up handing out about 15 pictures of Jesus and invited them all to learn more and found out where they all lived and stuff.  It was kinda fun and funny!  

QOTW (question of the week):  What did I do this week that I didn't want to do and was I grateful afterward I did it?
Well, something I did this week that I didn't want to do was go out last night at about 6:30pm in the 16 degree weather with a nice humid breeze.  We had an appointment with a family we never have met at the opposite end of our area  and there was no way we were going to miss it.  So we headed off, when we got there they weren't even there!  So then I was trying to figure out why we were there because I knew Heavenly Father put us there for a specific reason.  I decided to go to a less active's house we have been trying since I have been here and have never even seen him.  When we pulled up to his house he got out of his truck and started talking to us and was very happy to see us and invited us into his house!  We had a great conversation and he recognized that we were sent there at the specific time by God to help him.  It was so cool!  I am very grateful we went out!  

Well, Thats about all I got! 

Love you all!
Elder Shoemaker
PS: Can I get a pic of you guys at home now?  I want to see all yall :)
Elder Tuakalau packing.  It was hard to see him leave!  We were such great friends and always will be.  He is serving in Platte City now.

This was at the visitors center, they did a Christmas program.  That picture reminds me of what I have always imagined at the second coming, but with a lot more people!

 This is Elder Thompson my new companion!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Gobble Gobble!!

Area:  Independence, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Tu'akalau

Happy Thanksgiving week!  I loved all the cabin pictures and everything, it's so beautiful and there is nothing like getting some pictures of true snow and pine trees from home.  It never gets old!  Yeah it's beautiful here, but in a different way.  Keep up the good work and don't get cabin fever! ;)

Well, thanks everyone for all the birthday wishes and everything!  I truly do appreciate it.  I got the box actually right on my birthday!  Which is probably good because it may have been open before then if it hadn't... For my birthday I was actually in a meeting at the mission office.  The meeting was actually for missionaries who will be training next transfer!  Yep, I was kinda freaked out too when I got the news.  It was actually a potential trainers call so I may or may not be training.  Elder Tuakalau has been here for 4 transfers so he will probably be leaving this Thursday and if he does, I will probably be training a new missionary, or finishing up training a 6 week old missionary.  We will find it all out tomorrow when transfer calls come. 
My comp is the best and actually took me out for ice cream at Applebee's for my b-day.  We were hoping Freddie would be there (Trying to kill 2 birds with one stone).  Turns out, he was there!  We had a great conversation, some delicious dessert and a great birthday.  What was really cool was when we went to go pay the bill, someone else had already paid for it!  We truly are blessed as missionaries! 
We found this new girl this week.  Her name is Autumn and she lives in the same house as Woody, which makes it easier to teach them.  The first lesson we had with her the spirit was so thick in the room and we put her on date for December 13!  We invited them to a baptism that was on the 22nd but she didn't show up.  We also invited them to church and they said they would come but, surprise!  They didn't.  So that was kind of a bummer but we have another appointment with them today so we will figure things out.  Our only worry that we have is if they are truly being sincere.  I think that will show soon if they stop keeping their commitments. 
My favorite funny moment this week?  It would have to be when I went on exchanges with Elder Brinkerhoff.  After we were done working and heading home, we decided to stop by this tiny lake that is next to their apartment and check out the ice.  Well we started chucking rocks into the middle and breaking the ice into pieces and having a great time!  We made a video and as Elder Brinkerhoff was videoing, he almost stepped into the lake and was about to fall in!  We had a great time and it was nice to loosen up a bit!  

Well, that's about all I got!

Love you all and have a great Thanksgiving!!  I know I will, I'm eating at the Tonga's home, yay for Polly food!

Love, Elder Shoemaker

My Birthday campout! 
Thats what I wanted for my birthday was to go camping, so we put up our Christmas stuff that we found in the closet and brought out our mattresses and camped out!  It was a pretty fun and chill night. 

Heres the lava lava pics you wanted mom!  
{He's wearing the mission shirt I had made for him for his Birthday! -- so GREAT!}

Monday, November 17, 2014

The WEATHER slapped me in the face!

Area:  Independence, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Tu'akalau

Ahhh shoot, I forgot to get lava lava pictures..... next week!!  :D

OK, before I forget, I think I'm going to buy a new bike next Monday if that is ok.  The bike I have now just isn't working and it's a borrowed bike from another elder.  I have another one that was given to us by a member but its made for a little kid....  Not working to well.  There is a Trek bike store here and they have some nice bikes.  I just wanted to get a price range from you and make sure it's OK.  The decent bikes range from 400-500$.  Let me know if that's too much and I'll keep shopping.  I just want to get a nice one that will last and I can probably sell it to another missionary before I leave and get most of the money back at the end of my mission.  :)

Well, we got slapped in the face with the weather!  It ranges from 16-30ish degrees this week.  I honestly enjoy it a ton!  I probably am going to buy another jacket or sweater today to wear under my big coat because the cold bites ya!  Especially with the humidity, it's like when we were in Boston.
It's crazy the Elder Thomas is home!  Doesn't seem like it's been two years.  Maybe I'll gain some of the mission height too like he did! ;)

I'm feeling better now, just a small cough that pops up every now and then.  The meds have been helping a lot!  My birthday plans are going out to breakfast with the AP's because of the AP's birthday is the same as mine so we are going to celebrate together.  Then we are going to work the rest of the day!  I'll be watching for the box, those are the best! 

Cool story this week.  We were at dinner with one of the members and they took us out to eat at Applebee's.  While we were there a guy sees our name tags and says, "hey, I used to go to your church!  I want to start coming back to church!"  He then gave us his phone number and address then walked off.  We contacted him this week and he is amazing!  His name is Freddie.  He truly is prepared by the Lord and we are so grateful to have a new investigator.  We have been working so hard to find and the just plopped him into our laps! 

Woody is still keeping his commitments but hasn't come to church yet. :(  We are still working with him to get him baptized.  The last lesson we had with him.... his dad was there and he had a little bit more than his 2 cents to put in about baptism.  They were both baptized Baptist and he doesn't understand the whole Restoration and priesthood authority.  So we now have that to get around, but Woody will be baptized! 

We had a great Zone Conference this week, my first one!  Pretty cool to see some of the other elders I came out with and how they are doing. 

It's crazy, I hit my 3 month mark this week!  What the?!
What scripture really meant a lot to me this week?
Alma 48:7-10,17
I love those scriptures because they show me an great role model, along with the role models I already have in my life.  It shows and reminds me how my testimony should be if I want to stay on the straight and narrow.  It also shows me priority's that should be important in my life and what I should be protecting.
Thats about it for the week!   Love you all so much

Elder Shoemaker

Monday, November 10, 2014

Of Course We Did!

Area:  Independence, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Tu'akalau

Hiya folks back home!

Man, these weeks have just been flying by!  But the days go on forever... If that makes sense.  It hasn't helped being sick for the past two week with a cough and cold.  So I'm still trying to get under wraps and junk.  Sounds like the Ranch House is moving right along and keeping everyone busy and on their toes.  Yay for new beds!  I actually just got one out here too because my last one was a hunk-o-junk!  Makes a big difference. 

That's so sweet of Emily and Sister Orr to take you out to lunch!  It's pretty weird to think back to that time and think of what I was doing.  Her day to leave is coming up faster and faster!  If you stop by their house just tell her good luck from me and to not stop writing me haha!  I'm going to have to give her some crap, in a loving way, on her crying because she tried to with me!

Oh man, I bet the Alex Boye concert was sweet!  I remember going to his concert and how fun it was.  I'm sure it just gets better every time.  Yay for well behaved puppies!  Sounds like they are learning!  Do you still have that trainer coming and teaching them at the house?

The recipes have been great!  Thank you so much.

So this week we still haven't found any new investigators. :(  But we are working on it!  We have been pushing a lot with the less actives and trying to reactivate them.  We actually just got a new ward mission leader and he is a really good guy and a hard worker as well!  He has been pushing on working with the less active families as well so that's what we have been doing.  Woody is still progressing and keeping all his commitments!  Except it has been hard to get him to come to church because he works the weekends.  We are still working with him.

This past week it was Elder Tuakalaus birthday!  We celebrated it by going to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch and working hard!  Also, on his birthday we were riding bikes to a less actives house and we were just about to pull up and he smacks a pothole and his bike flips completely over and he jumps off and lads on his feet!  It was so funny!  We think the less active saw him through the window but we are not sure. Haha!

So we have this family in our ward, the Tongas, and they are basically like our grandparents.  They really love us and feed us all the time.  The husband is actually the Patriarch for the stake.  So while we were over there for dinner one night and they gave me a sweet lava lava!  Why don't Americans wear those things regularly?  they are the most comfortable things!  Pictures of Elder Tuakalau and I in them are soon to come! 

Your question, did we act upon the spirit this week?  Of course we did! :)  We have actually been trying to contact they less active guy ever since I have been here with no luck.  So one night we were walking home and my comp felt impressed to stop by his house and low and behold he answered and let us in!  He actually took us back to his shop and showed us all his wood projects he does.  He is a really nice guy and we were able to invite him to church and set a return appointment for this week. 
My favorite scripture for the week:  John 16:33!

Love you all and thank you for the continuous support!

Elder Shoemaker

We got to go to the Kansas City Zoo this week!

Monday, November 3, 2014

You Only Mission Once!!

Area:  Independence, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Tu'akalau

You Only Mission Once!!  A phrase my companion taught me this week.  Hes a pretty silly guy!  One thing that I learned from him since I have been his companion is to just chill out!  You all know how I am and I just like to go go go and get the job done.  Well that's what I've been working on is not being so uptight and just have fun with everything!  The Polynesian culture really emanates through Elder Tuakalau and it's awesome!  I may come back Polly...  Surprisingly we have quite a few Polly's in our ward too.

Yeah!  So I was able to get both boxes and I appreciate it so much!  I've been using my GPS watch to track my morning runs and my progress.  I have really been working on my 1 mile time and doing some sprints.  It helps with the sports aspect out here, P-day sports can get pretty crazy!  Gotta be fit and ready!  The GPS works great as well!  We can actually get around to new houses now!  Thank you!

Yeah, the Kansas City temple is pretty small, but it gets the job done!

So Carlos is gone officially and Araley is still here.  Araley is Carlo's dance student and they are good friends.  But, Araley hasn't been returning our texts or calls so I think she was just listening to us because Carlos was.  Now that she is gone she lost interest.  Too bad!  

Woody is doing great!  We put him on a soft baptismal date.  Nov. 15.  He is only on soft date because he is going to talk to his dad about getting baptized.  So we are waiting on that and praying for him too! 
I'm super excited about the cabin!  Send some pictures after you go there Thanksgiving weekend.  I would love to see it in the fall.  

Super cool how SV band did at BOA!  They are really getting up there.  Good for them!  Band was some good time!

Well that's about all I have this week!

Love you all!!

Elder Shoemaker
PS:  You asked what I want for my bday.  I Really just want my baseball glove and an extra baseball glove too so I can play catch and stuff.  I would also like my harmonicas that I have put in one of the boxes.  And that BOM too. :)  Love You!!  Thanks!

PPS: Oh, and Elder Tuakalau said Josh can just fill up the ipod with good music for when he get home.  Cool Cool.  Tell him thanks again!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It was hard to see him walk away......

Area:  Independence, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Tu'akalau

Heya Family!
Its great to get all your emails this week!  Sorry it's a day late, we went to the temple this week and we had to switch our p-day to today to be able to go.  I did get the Halloween box and all the stuff in there was great!  I really appreciate it Mom and Dad, it really makes a big difference in my week when I get a little bit of home sent out here.  :)  So grateful to have that GPS too!  It helps so much and makes us so much more efficient.  I haven't gotten the 2nd box yet but maybe today or tomorrow?  I'll let you know next week.  The new bishopric sounds amazing!  About time that all happened, what was it, 3-4 weeks??
So this week we lost Carlos, he moved to Miami until next year sometime so we are going to have the Elders down there teach him.  It kinda sucks to lose him because he was such a cool guy!  We are thinking that he wasn't baptized because of some of the dates and stuff just don't line up.  Araley is still reading we think...  We haven't been able to see her too much because she is so busy, hopefully this week we can put her on date tho!  Woody is an amazing kid.  So smart and very sharp.  His Dad is very supportive but always reminds us that school work comes first and that if it isn't done he can't meet with us.  We have another appointment with him tomorrow at the visitors center and are going to try and put him on date as well!  My teaching is really coming along, but not without studying, hard work, and just doing it! 

To answer your question, we didn't really meet anyone new this week but we did run into this old old lady on the street while walking named Fae.  She was super sweet and reminded my a lot of Fae Larsen back home.  She was out mowing her lawn and wouldn't let us mow it for her because she said it's the only thing keeping her young and she loves doing it.  Anyway, she was just super sweet and she said she has seen us walking all the time and really admires our dedication.  When she said that it was a good reminder that people are always watching us and especially while wearing the name of the Lord on my chest I need to be mindful. 

This past Saturday we had a Ward Halloween party!  It was pretty fun!  It was a chili cook off and a trunk or treat.  Of course, us missionaries were the judges of the chili cook off... 12 different types of chilis just don't sit to well at the end of the day. HAHA!  But it was super fun none the less! 

A couple of days ago we ran into this guy who came up to us asking to bum $2 for beer off of us.  We wouldn't give it to him but we tried to share a message of the gospel with him.  He wouldn't have it and wanted nothing to do with it because it was forced on him as a child.  A funny comment that Elder Tuakalau made to this man -- if he thought there was something better in life for him rather than beer?  The man answered, "Well, I don't have enough money for weed so I'll have to make do with beer!"  It was way funny, but really sad at the same time.  He said he didn't expect to live past this year.  It was hard to see him walk away knowing that what we had to share with him could have changed his life for the better.  But, everyone has their own agency.

Well, thats about all I have this week! 

Love you all!
Elder Shoemaker   

Elder Shoemaker (or Yans as we sometimes call him) enjoying some YAN YANS that his Aunt Kristi sent to him.
"Say Meow"

All the chili samples we had to judge!

 ~~Happy Halloween~~

Me and Elder's Tuakalau, Brinkerhoff, Vaniman (DL) at the temple this week!

Monday, October 20, 2014

He was asking all the right questions.....

Area:  Independence, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Tu'akalau


So, some more house keeping items!  ya ya!  Thanks for sending the GPS Mom, can't wait to get it!  It's hard to know where addresses are around here because there isn't a very good system, just street names.  It would also be sweet if you could send my running watch (you might have to dig through my boxes...), some good healthy easy recipes, and for some reason the headphones you sent don't want to work on the computer but everyone's earbuds work on them so it would be cool if you could send a pair. :)

Sounds like things are going great back home!  I'm excited to see what the computer room will look like when you get all the new flooring in.
So, I'm still chilling in the Independence South Zone with Elder Tu'akalau!  We have been working really hard this past week and really getting to work and bettering ourselves.  We get along so well now that we know each other a little better.  We are always joking around and stuff, I've got some pretty funny pictures and videos of us. 

Carlos and Araley are doing great!  We taught them the Plan of Salvation and it brought back memories to Carlos and he might have been baptized in Cuba when he was 9 so we are trying to figure that out.  We have another appointment with them on Tuesday at the Visitors Center so that will be good.  They are actually bringing along another guy for us to teach!  Pretty cool!

So my favorite teaching experience this week would have to be with a 15 year old boy named Woody.  We actually found his Dad's name in our area book and have only ran into him one time, but yesterday we knocked on his door and his son came out.  We started talking and he was so interested.  He was asking all the right questions, where did we come from?, what is repentance?, what's the Book of Mormon?, What makes you different from other churches?..... and stuff like that.  He also said that what we had talked about really hit him, but he said not like a punch, but in his heart...  Yeah this strengthened my testimony that God really does prepare people to hear our message.  We have another appointment with him this Tuesday as well!

So we have been trying to find people still, so we decided to go tracting in a trailer park near by.  We had a ton of people yelling at us that we couldn't solicit there but we would just tell them weren't selling anything, just spreading a message about Jesus Christ.  When we said that they all just drove off.  haha!  I was able to hand out my first Book of Mormon by myself out there!  It was a lot better than the last experience I had that's for sure.
Oh, and the Putman family moved because of a job she got so we aren't teaching them anymore. :(  But they may move back when she gets a car. 
I'm am really learning a lot out here and learning how to communicate with strangers a lot better.  It's pretty cool!

So that about all I got this week.

Love you all!
Elder Shoemaker

Elder Tuakalau taking a nap during personal studies :)
(Elder Shoe is sportin' the handmade crochet hat from his Aunt Kristi!)

Elder Crowton (my District leader) and all of us at his "going away" steak BBQ!

Monday, October 13, 2014

I prayed for a trial....

Area:  Independence, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Tu'akalau


Sounds like you had a great time at "Meet the Mormons," Mom!  I loved it as well and it was very interesting to see how such different people all around the world can be so similar, and that is because of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  What an amazing thing!  Looks like the cow milkin' was a good time.  I remember milkin a cow in my animal science class, I also got to do a rectal palpation.  Bet cha didn't get to do that? ;) haha!  
That's great that USU beat the Air Force Academy.  Good for them.   This city is blowing up with excitement because the KC Royals are only ONE game away from getting into the finals and that hasn't happened for 29 years!  Pretty cool and I now have my favorite football team and baseball team as well. KC PRIDE!  
Sounds like the pups are learning lots and will be nice and trained when I get home.  That's sweet that Josh got a new job.  Good for him, hopefully it will help you through school and such.  Josh, how's picking things up and putting them down?? I'm also excited to see what you are going to do to the house!  You will have to send pictures and stuff of when you start and finish. 

So most of the changes have already taken place in my mission and we will probably be getting iPads in December!  That is going to be awesome and all our numbers, emails, and stuff like that will be on them.  We are also allowed to go onto for an hour each week to learn more about the website.  One other thing that is really cool about them is that we will probably be able to have all the mormon messages and gospel library and all that good stuff on them.  So that will make teaching so much easier and involving for investigators and kids.  I will have to purchase an iPad with my own money through the church because they load the iPads with all the church stuff for us.  So I'll probably just use my bank card for that.  I also will probably buy a GPS sometime soon unless you want to send me the one you have at home.  It makes getting around so much easier.  We have just been borrowing one from one of the missionaries in my district but he will be leaving on Thursday because it is transfers!

I won't be getting transferred and neither will my trainer.  We kinda got a solid hint from president that we won't be.  So I'm excited to be here another 6 weeks.  I just heard that this missions average weight gain is like 30-40 pounds because of all the Polly's so I've really been trying to watch myself. haha! 
The Putman family is doing great.  They are pretty solid and we are hoping to baptize Mariceo toward the beginning of November.  We were also able to find two new investigators this week through a family in the ward.  Their names are Carlos and Arely.  We took them to the Visitors Center (VC) and taught the first lesson and watched the restoration video.  Yeah, we got them both to cry.  They are very open minded and very receptive to the teachings so we are really excited.  We have another appointment with them on Wednesday so hope that goes well!  It will be really cool to teach someone from the very beginning, I haven't had that chance yet so I'm excited for that.   This last week I went on exchanges with the ZL's so that was fun.  I learned a ton about planning and not just scheduling to fill time.  We have to always be prayerful about that stuff.  It helps a lot with being an effective missionary. 

So we have been in a position where we haven't really moved much in the area with teaching, spiritually, and we haven't been too effective it seems like.  So I prayed for a trial...  I know, what was I thinking?!  Well, guess what?  I got one!  My companion and I for some reason had some contention and we weren't communicating very well and we were just on each other.  I know that trials were supposed to make you grow so I asked myself how this was going to make me grow?  I now realized that it taught me that I need to be more bold, but in a loving way just as Christ was.  I would just let things that bothered me slide all the time and it all just built up.  So, lesson learned!  :)
We had a great district meeting this week and after we went to lunch.  At lunch this guys came up to us and started talking to us about the church.  Through the conversation we figured out that he was RLDS and had some really weird beliefs.  He was getting supper sweaty and fidgety which was kinda weird.  Then he started testifying to us about some weird monster that the scriptures talked about and how it was just a computer controlled by Europe...  They he started yelling at us in the restaurant that Joseph Smith only had one wife.  He they proceeded to tell us that we were the great and abominable church and that his church would rise up at the last day and we were all going to burn.  It was pretty weird but a little comical and the same time!  I had to try and not to smile while it was all going on.  I think I'm starting to get better at not being to intimidated by people because if that would have happened back at home I probably would have just left, but here I wasn't even nervous and just bared testimony.  It works so well!  I look forward to many more of those experiences because I have heard they happen often.

That's about all I got!  Love you all!

Elder Shoemaker

My District!

I found this sign...and there really was a PIG!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Meet the Mormons Movie

Area:  Independence, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Tu'akalau

Family and Friends!!!

Yep mom everything in the box fits perfectly!

Conference was so amazing!!  I was able to watch all 5 sessions at the Stake Center and what a blessing that was.  I loved all those pictures you made mom and especially the one about the 88,000 missionaries.  I would like that one in a laminate. ;)  One of my favorite talks that was given was Lynn G. Robbins of the 70 in the Saturday morning session.  Oh man that made me thing so much of a grandpa visit!  It was almost like grandpa was giving the talk to me.  It was a great reminder on "what way do we face" and how we all need to be a Moroni in the world.  Just think if every member of the church was a Moroni, we would be unstoppable! I also loved how he said that in the world today it is so easy to lower our standards.  "Lowering the Lord's standards to the worlds is apostasy."  Pretty straight forward on what we need to watch out for.  Another one of my favorites was Jorg Klebingat of the 70 in the Saturday 3:00 session.  I loved the question that he posed at the beginning, "What thoughts would come to our mind if we had an interview with the Savior one minute from now?" 

I'm so excited for all ya'lls to see the Meet the Mormons movie!  We were able to see the whole thing in Kansas at a Stake Center over there and it is so funny, uplifting, informative, and tugs at your heart strings. It has some funny clips from South Park and The Simpsons in it which I though were great!  Don't cry to much at the end Mom! 

So we got some pretty crazy news this last week during zone training!  They are changing how missionary work is going to be approached in this mission.  We were asked to keep our lessons frequent, like every day or ever other day, and about 20 minutes so our investigator would constantly be able to feel the spirit and we could see them more often.  We were also informed that we will be getting iPads in December or January!  Woot Woot!  They also got rid of any memorization that we had to do except for our purpose and the first vision.  That is a huge change as in this mission we used to have to memorize all the lessons 30-40 minute lesson plan that is at the end of every lesson.  No more memorized lessons!  Yay for the Spirit.

This week I have learned that being an effective missionary doesn't mean you work as hard as you can until you can't work anymore.  Being an effective missionary means that you serve with all you heart, mind, might, and strength equally.  There is definitely a reason that is in Doctrine and Covenants 4. 

Oh and I was going to tell you that we found a family to teach this week!  Yay, it's been hard trying to find someone to teach.  They are the Putman family and they are solid.  The mom is a single mom and a less active of about 15 years.  She has a boyfriend who isn't a member and same with her 2 kids.  Super excited to start teaching them more.

Well that about all that I have for you this week! 

Love everyone!  Elder Shoemaker

PS- I have ONE Christmas wish.  You can get these sweet first edition copies of the Book of Mormon at the distribution center.  I would love one of those. :)  It is written like a normal book and so I am hoping that it will give me a different perspective of the Book of Mormon.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tender Mercies and a Stadium Tour

Area:  Independence, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Tu'akalau

Alooooha!  Wait... wrong missionary ;)
Hey alls yalls!

Sorry to here that Josh is sick.  Tell Josh to put a vacuum up to his nose and blow and see if that works...  Geesh! How long are they going to prolong this Bishop thing?!
That's pretty cool that the puppy trainer is coming to the house.  That will be good in teaching both puppies manors around the house and hopefully no more barking!

Go Grandpa Dave Go! {regarding the Cabin purchase}

Yes, Mom I did get the winter box!  Thank you so much!  Thanks Kristi for the hat as well, I appreciate everything everyone at home does for me. :)  Cool story about the winter box.  So I have really been working on obedience to the rules that we have set for the things we do on p-day.  So last p-day we didn't have time to do laundry so I was stuck with only a couple pairs of garments left!  This may seem silly but getting that box on Friday was an answer to my prayers!  It meant that I didn't have to do laundry on Saturday and that I also could wear fresh garments!  Yay!  Gotta love those tender mercies from the Lord. 

I loved the talk you stuck in there!  It couldn't have come at a better time.  I was really thinking about how we could keep the work moving and how we could progress on finding new investigators this week because our teaching pool is about 3 people.  I just need to reach out and grab hold and the Lord will give me handholds (investigators) to grab onto as long as I keep my feet moving.  I learned a lot from that talk and everyone should read it!  "Reach out and Climb." {Elder Dallin H Oaks, August 1985 New Era}

So update on David, we had a great lesson with him about his coffee and smoking.  He committed to stop drinking coffee and he said he would be at church yesterday as well!  Well...  he didn't show up to church and not sure how the coffee thing is going either but we will keep working with him on all that.  It's hard for him to come to church because he was in the army and has severe PTSD about large crowds and hes not very socially comfortable but we keep encouraging him that through the Lord, you can overcome anything!

We had president interviews this last week.  Those went well and it was great to get to know President and Sister Vest a little bit better.  They are so great and happy and have the biggest hearts!  They love everyone of their missionaries as their own.

The Chiefs stadium was so sick!!  We got a tour by the VIP tour guide so we go to see all the nitty gritty.  We were able to see all the nice suites, locker room, clubs, the room where they give their media reports, and we were even able to go down onto the field!  We were also able to walk around the Kansas City Royals stadium!  Its right across the parking lot.  We were going to go and meet with the coach but he is really busy right now because its football season.
Well, Thats my week!!
Love everyone!
Love Elder Shoemaker

ps.  Oh!  One other thing,  are you getting the movie "Meet the Mormons" anywhere near there??  We are going to be able to watch it here and I've heard its amazing!  If you get the chance go and see it!

I'm with Elder Fillerup.  He's huge, hes a body builder

The helmet is for Treavor

Our District on Stadium Tour

I spy GINGY!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Nephi...oh Nephi

Area:  Independence, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Tu'akalau

How's alls yalls?

People here talk like that and it's starting to rub off on me.  They also say Missoura instead of Missouri, whatever!

Well, Mom it sure would be nice if you would throw in like 2-3 pair of dry lux garments into the winter box.  I could use a few more. :)

 And yes... I did get Grandma Shoemaker's package and I have already been handing out the friend magazines to families and they love them!  Thanks Grandma!

It hasn't been too cold yet but it has dropped down to about 45-50 degrees.  But 45-50 degrees here is not like it is there.  It is a lot colder and bites ya like a Piranha! 

So cool news this week, today for p-day we are going to be able to tour the Kansas City Chiefs football stadium - Arrowhead Stadium!  My district leaders dad used to be one of the BYU football coach's and has some nice connections (His last name is Crowton if that rings a bell).  I'll send pictures next week of the stadium and stuff.  

So our area has been pretty hard to find anyone right now.  We still only have 1 solid investigator and have been working ever since I have gotten here on finding new investigators.  It seems like we put in all this work into finding and we still have nothing come of it.  But I know that by having faith that something will come of it, something will happen.  Grandma Walker's words ring in my head, "Every day is a good missionary day."  So that's basically what we have been doing all week.

We also had exchanges this week.  I was with Elder Brinkerhoff in the Raytown area.  It is just right next to my area.  This is where I met Nephi... (just so everyone knows, he is an excommunicated member). So the Raytown Elders have been teaching a guy named Bruce who rents the basement of Nephi's house.  After we visited Bruce, we went up and started talking a little bit with Nephi.  Elder Brinkerhoff warned me about him and to just tune out everything that he said and pretend to listen so that's what I did.  My first thought of the house was, "What the heck is the picture of the first vision doing in this guys front window of his house?!"  It is literally a 6 ft by 6 ft picture of the first vision.  So we go into his house and this is where I was weirded out......  He invites us into his living room and we had to go through a veil to get in...  Once we got through the room was all white except the walls were painted sky blue and there were pictures of every main aspect of the gospel on his walls.  There were different worshiping alters he had set up and stuff like that.  Yeah, you are probably thinking what I was thinking. (what the?)  He talked for about 30 minutes and he had the most bizarre false doctrine and theories I have ever heard in my life.  Interesting, but very nice guy!

I also had my real first door approach where I actually talked to someone before they slammed the door in my face!  Yeah, it didn't go so well...  I tried to explain the Book of Mormon and do everything you are supposed to and then I handed it over to him and he just stared at me for like 15 seconds...  Longest 15 seconds of my life!  Yeah, he didn't take it.

Well That's my week!  Hope everyone is doing well and loving life!  I appreciate you all and love you emails and support.

Elder Shoemaker

Elder Compton (from Landon's home ward) and Elder Shoemaker
Together at the MTC

A bullet hole that is in our apartment complex window, there is also another one but I thought I would leave that one out. ;)

 Delicious food made my Polly members!  Look familiar Tanner?
(aka Elder Shoemaker's brother who is currently serving in Honolulu Hawaii Mission)