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 mormon.org 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.