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!