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)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Landon, forget yourself and get to work!

Area:  Independence, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Tu'akalau

Howdy Howdy!

So, some more housekeeping stuff. :)

I bought a winter coat so that's what that purchase is so I don't know what you wanted me to do so I just bought it.  Its starting to get cold here so I would love my winter stuff and some gloves and a beanie too.  Also I bought a Ukulele so that's what that other purchase is as well.  Elder Tu'akalau is teaching me some stuff so me and Tanner will have to jam when we get home! 

Thank you so much for the package!  Everything made it ok and I love the Walker book!  I would love to have the rest of it as well when you have time to make it.  I know it probably takes some time so don't stress about it to much.  Thank you for the puppy videos too!  They are so cute!  Oh, and I could use a pair of headphones too. :)  I will also be buying a bike soon so you will see that pop up.

OK, first of all I just want to say thank you to Mom and Dad for everything that you did to keep us active in the church.  Out here I realized what a blessing it was to be active my whole life and how that made it a much easier decision to be here on a mission.  As we are out here and have met a lot of less actives I realized how blessed I really am, so thank you. :)  {Aww Mom tears!}

An amazing experience I had this week built my testimony of prayer so much.  I was feeling like we weren't working hard enough and that we were slacking off in some places so I was trying to figure out how we could improve as a companionship and also personally.  I remember a devotional given to us in the MTC that talked about unpacking mentally, physically, and spiritually when you serve a mission and how much of an effect that can have.  I knew that there were some things that was still stuck in my brain and I was missing from home, and it's not a bad thing to miss home, but it doesn't help me when I think about it and then your mind is away from what is really important right now.  So I got on my knees and prayed that I would know how to help myself improve and be a better missionary.  Almost immediately I got an answer, "Landon, forget yourself and get to work."  I have heard that so many times you know, but I guess it didn't ring true to me until this time.  So that was a great experience I had this week.

So this area is pretty much like opening a new area.  When I got here we had 1 real investigator.  So we have been working super hard in trying to find new people who are open to hear the gospel.  As of right now we now have 7 investigators and 4 more referrals we need to go see.  Progress.  Finding through members and less active families has really helped a ton!  We had to reorganize the whole area book in order to even be able to use it because it was so trashed.  On the back of our planners there is an indented stamp that says, "Preparation proceeds Power."  We have found that so true and we have spent the time prayerfully planning, scheduling, and organizing.  It makes a big difference!

Two of our investigators are members of the Church of Christ.  It is pretty hard to teach them because they believe almost everything that we believe.  They took out a couple sections of Doctrine and Covenants and the book is layed out a bit differently but other than that they have the same words.  They believe that prophets should only descend from the lineage of Joseph Smith, but its not about lineage, it's about what God wants. Not us!

Well, that's about everything that has happened this week!  Other than having air horns honked at us, trucks blowing their black exhaust, people yelling and cussing, and doors slammed in our face.  But having the right attitude make a big difference and we just let it roll of our shoulder as we say our memorization's and sing along the road!  

Love you everyone!

Elder Shoemaker

PS:  It is easier if you send packages priority mail because they can forward it to my apartment.  But if you can't that's fine, it will just be at the mission office until I can pick it up. Also, send all letters and packages to the mission office in case of transfers and stuff.  They know where I'll be so they can forward it to me.  517 W. Walnut St.  Independence MO, 64050

Me and Elder Tu'akalau 

 This guy walks by our apartment every day swinging a golf club... Kinda weird!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Arrival to Independence

Area:  Independence, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Tu'akalau

Hey Family and Friends!
Sounds like the Stake Presidency is going to be amazing!!  Bishop Walker is going to be a great Stake President!  This first week has been a little stressful but ultimately so great.  We have a bunch of stuff from Preach My Gospel to memorize so that will take me awhile.  I'm in the 12 week missionary training program and Elder Tu'akalau is my companion and trainer.  He's so awesome! He is from New Zealand and has a really sweet accent.
I'm in the Independence Missouri South area in the 4th ward.  Everyone says I'm really lucky to start out here because of how nice the people are in this area.  I met a lot of the ward members yesterday and everyone is so nice!  There are a lot of Poly's here and it seems like everyone here has a tie to Utah so that interesting. 
Right now we don't have any progressing investigators so we have been working with the members in finding new ones.  We have mostly been going around trying to find the less actives and working on reactivation.  We run into a lot of people who are members of the Church of Christ here so that's kind of a struggle.  We have only had a couple doors slammed in our faces but it hasn't been too bad yet.  We have a car but we have it for 1 week then we give it to the other elders for the next week and we just switch back and forth.
The flight out here was great.  Everything went really smoothly.  We stayed in the Mission Home the first night and then went out to our areas.  The humidity isn't that bad right now.  Everyone said I missed the bad heat by about a week so I'm no too disappointed.  The weather right now is a lot like Utah actually.
Thanks for having everything here and ready for me Mom!  Everything is working great.  Did you get my package of tie's?  Yeah I kept some of my skinny ties for P-Day ha.ha.  I just couldn't send them all home, it was too hard to separate.  
I'm excited for the William Holmes Walker book!  It sounds great!  Oh and Mom, thanks for all the little notes in my clothing.  They brightened up my day whenever I found one. :)
My apartment address is 12403 East 40th Street, Crysler Gardens Apt., Apt. E. Ind., MO, 24050.  You can mail letters to my apartment and packages to the mission office.  It is in my area so it isn't to hard to stop by and grab the mail when we need to. 
Love everyone!!
Elder Shoemaker
ps:   Oh mom,  Will you send me my ray ban's sunglasses?  The ones that fold :)  Thanks! 

Elder Shoemaker and Elder Geddes (neighborhood friend) at the MTC

Walking on the Moon!

Flight to Independence

Kansas City Temple


Community of Christ Temple

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Finding comfort in the scriptures

Area:  Provo MTC
Companion:  Elder Wells

Geesh Mom and Dad!  Was my convincing not good enough to get a puppy before I left?  Well at least she will be there when I get home.  I love the name and she is so stinking cute!  Dad, I know that one was all on you. ;-)
Meet Petunia aka "Tuna" -- The latest addition to the Shoemaker family.
 I'm writing you today because I won't have time to do it before I leave.  Well I forgot my notebook with what I had written in it to write you so I will do my best to remember.

I think it was Thursday night that the homesickness really hit me.  I had some pictures of the family in my scriptures and they fell out while I was studying and then it hit me that I was really gone!  That night during personal time I decided to pull out the picture book you gave me before I left and look at some of the pictures.  That was a bad idea!  I cried for like 20 minutes, which I never do, but after flipping through those pictures and praying to Heavenly Father for strength, I was reminded of a scripture that was in Doctrine and Covenants 100:1.  
"Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my friends Sidney and Joseph, your families are well; they are in mine hands, and I will do with them as seemeth me good; for in me there is all power."
This scripture was talking about Joseph Smith and David Whitmer I believe while on one of their journeys.  They were very concerned about their families since they were away from them for awhile.  But what really stood out to me was how it said that with God on their side, their families would be safe.  I read that scripture several times and I was just fine after that.

I'm so anxious to get out to Missouri!  Here in the MTC it's awesome but I don't know if I could be in here for more than two weeks.  Maybe that's why I was called state side. haha! I have learned so much here with regards to teaching, listening, learning, and how to recognize the Holy Ghost and I am just ready to go and apply it now.  

We had another devotional on Sunday on keeping a study journal and how important that is in being able to recognize how the spirit speaks to use and how we can recognize that.   
That about all I have to say!

Love everyone!   Elder Shoemaker

PS: I might be able to send some pictures today sometime depending on if I can find someone with a card reader! 
Elder Wells and I with our Branch President, President and Sister Gerke

The Picture off the whole district (Left to right)
Elder Wells, Me, Elder Hansen, Elder Anderton, Elder Michaelson, Elder Tippets, Sister Daly, Sister Toutai, Sister Pulley