Monday, June 29, 2015

I'm Melting..............

Area:  Kearney, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Anderton

Heya family!!  

Yes, I am melting if you were asking... qnd while I'm melting, I'm sweating like a pig!  Haha. It has been in the upper 90's a couple times this week with I don't know how much humidity on top of that.  I was boiling water the other day and I held my hand over the steam and I was thinking out loud and told Elder Anderton that that is what it feels like outside in Missouri.  That it what your skin feels like all over all day everyday!  I just l..o..v..e the humidity...

Thank you so much for the wonderful package!  It was a pleasant surprise with everything in it.  I appreciate it so much.  Nothing beats a good ole package from the family.

Transfers were this past week.  Elder Anderton and I stayed together and one other companionship stayed together, but all other 7 companion ships got changed around and we also now have 3 new companionship's in this zone.  

We got a new truck this week!  We are now the proud drivers of a 2015 Chevy Colorado!  I'll send some pictures.  This thing is amazing!  It is about time we swapped for a truck because the Corolla didn't like the dirt roads all that much... And with Tiwi (our backseat driver) we had to be extra careful.  I have been converted to a truck and won't go back if I can help it!  :-)

So, good news!  Kristin is on baptismal date for the 11th of July!!  We have been trying to figure out what we could do to help her progress and Elder Anderton and I just decided to be straight up and bold with her.  We had a wonderful lesson with her and at the end we plopped a calendar down and had her write down her date.  She met with Bishop Walker on Sunday after church and he helped her put things into perspective and she is so solid for the 11th! 

Dillon and now his girlfriend as well Daylin, both came to church this past Sunday!  We had a great lesson with them in the bishops barn and Daylin was crying the whole time.  The spirit was so strong.  At the end Dillon gave the most sincere prayer and it was also the first time his girlfriend of over a year had heard him pray.  Miracles are happening all around over here in the Kearney 3rd Ward! 

That is about it for the week!  Thank you everyone for all that you do for me and for the support in which I get as well!  :-). You all are amazing!  


Elder Shoemaker 
Kearney 3rd missionaries!  
Bishop Walker, Elder Monroe, me, Elder Anderton, Elder Lacock, Brother Southworth (ward mission leader) and Sisters Richens and Bott

Monday, June 22, 2015

Missionary life adventures....

Area:  Kearney, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Anderton

Howdy family!  This week has been full of ups and downs.  Also, some pretty interesting events happened out here.  

On Tuesday, we were at the church with the other set of Elders and Sisters that are in this ward doing some service for a member and helping them set up a church function.  We were going on exchanges and the other Elder had the keys to the car I was going to be driving.  He tossed them over to me and it came up short and I didn't want them to hit the ground because they are the nice electronic keys with all the gadgets and what not.  So I squatted down to catch them and frrrrriiiip!  The seam that runs right below my crotch split wide open!  Luckily there is a member in the ward who is really good at tailoring and sewing so he is fixing them for me.  Haha!  Everyone was laughing pretty hard after that happened!  I have a picture of that to send, but it is on my camera so I need a computer to send that to you.  I'll send it later today.  

While on exchanges we met a guy named Mason.  He is an old guy who is scraggly, but very nice.  We started talking to him and it turns out he lost his son not to long ago.  He had no hope in life whatsoever.  He didn't really want to talk to us, but we bore testimony of Gods plan and the love that he has for us.  We also bore testimony that he would see his family again.  He wouldn't take a Book of Mormon from us but we felt that we should leave one.  We got in the car...... made some scriptures that applied to him, wrote a little note and left in on his porch.  It is hard to see people who don't have the knowledge that we WILL see our family and friends again after this earthy life.  I know we are together forever! 

This week on Wednesday, I also had the opportunity to sing with another Elder and two Sisters.  That was a little nerve racking because I don't like singing in front of people, but it actually went very well!  The other Elder sang so quietly because he was worried of people hearing him that it was almost like I was singing by myself!  Anywhoo, my singing talent is improving! 

On Thursday we were driving with a member home when a car came zooming past us on the suicide lane on a hill. (Dumbo!) before we know it we see him swerving and then bam! The car was rolling and smacked a telephone pole.  The guy came jumping out of his overturned car and plopped onto the ground.  I ran over and helped the guy out and Elder Anderton called 911.  He ended up being fine with just a minor concussion and a hurt back.  He got off pretty easy with a wreck like that!  The lifeguard training came in handy! 

Elder Anderton fell asleep on the couch one night and I couldn't go to bed without him in the same room.  So I thought I would have some fun with waking him up.  He has some lemongrass oil on the table so I grabbed it and kept flicking it at him until I got it on his lips.  This stuff burns like crazy when it gets into your mouth (from prior experience).  He wakes up and just starts freaking out how bad his mouth was burning and ran his mouth under the faucet for awhile.  That was pretty funny! 

Our Bishop has this crazy cool ward party that is specifically for investigators.  There was about 75 people there and about 20 of them were non members!  Our Bishop is so missionary minded, it's amazing!  Before we left he said that if there is something that our investigators enjoy doing, that we would change the whole party to help them feel included.  

We had the best lesson with Kristin this week!  We felt like we were just throwing things at her like crazy and she wasn't progressing very much.  We went into the lesson with no lesson plan, but we just wanted to listen the whole time.  She poured out her heart to us and we found out things we would have never known!  She told us exactly her concerns and worries.  It was amazing!  I truly learned the power of listening in that lesson and the miracles that listening to someone can bring.  By listening we now know how to help her come closer to Jesus Christ and to our Heavenly Father.  

There was a pretty nice tender mercy that happened last night.  We were at dinner with a member and they invited over a family who is investigating the church.  This family just lost their father.  They started the tradition in their home to go around the table and say what was hard that day and what the best part of the day was and what they felt like.  That reminded me of home and sitting around the table with our own family.  Heavenly Father is aware of us and who we are.  He knows us better than we ever will and that is because he created us.  He loves each and every one of you!  

I testify that God is our loving Father in Heaven and that He is our creator.  Pray to him in times of success, struggle, hardship, pain, worry, want, need, whatever you are feeling.  Just like our earthy father loves to hear from us, our Heavenly Father loves talking with us.  

"If you want to talk with Heavenly Father, pray to him, if you want Him to talk to you! Read the scriptures!"

I love you my wonderful eternal family!  May you be happy and full of peace and joy!
Stay safe,
Elder Shoemaker

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Power of Everyday Miracles

Area:  Kearney, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Anderton

Hey Mom, family and friends!  

Thank you for keeping me updated and informed on Cousins Kamp!  That looked like a really fun week with all the family.  Were you able to see Bandito at Pickleville Playhouse?   I hope you got my last weeks email.  It was super long...

I was wondering if you haven't already sent out that package with the BOM and oils if you could also send out my two pair of running shorts?  One pair is teal and the other is black.  Also, could you possibly send me pictures of my ceramic work?  There is a member out here to see what I have done.  Especially the one in your office and the big two that I made.  Also, if you wanted to throw in two pair of headphone and two extra styluses as well I wouldn't be mad. :).  You guys are the best! :). 

This has been a really great week!  

We had presidents interviews this past Wednesday which are always so great!  President Vest is truly more than just a mission president.  He cares about each one of these missionaries out here.  He wants to help everyone now and prepaid them for the future.  Being in leadership and being able to see president more often than usual, you truly get to see the love he has for everyone. 

We went and had a fantastic lesson with Kristin at the Independence visitors center.  It went so well.  We went through the Gods plan presentation and then sat at the big Christus at the end and she was crying all the way through!  That is always a good sign.  Haha.  She is so close to baptism!  She has been on date several times and she could be baptized right now if she wanted.  With her situation it has been tough to try and help her see that this is what is best for her family at this time.  We will keep working with her and hopefully have a couple baptisms here soon!  

Do we build our lives around the gospel or do we build the gospel around our lives?  This has been a big question of mine as I have thought about how I was and my priorities I used to have before entering the mission field.  Is it, "I can't go to church on Sunday because I have to work."  Or " I can't go to work on Sunday because I have church." ???  Where do our priorities lie?  This is a question that was presented at the all mission conference given by Elder Clarke.  

One of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon is 2 Nephi 22:2.  It reads, "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation."

We have seen miracles beyond miracles here.  They happen everyday to everyone.  The sooner we try and look for them the sooner we will find them.  I want to leave you with my testimony on the power of everyday miracles.  They bring about many great things.  Pray to you Father in Heaven for miracles and he will bestow them upon you.  Look to Him for strength and He will give you strength.  I love my Savior and Redeemer.  This I leave with you my loving and beautiful family and friends in the name of Jesus Christ, my rock, Amen.  
Love to you all at home,
Elder Shoemaker

Monday, June 8, 2015

iPads blessing Missionary Work

Area:  Kearney, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Anderton

Wowee!   What a great week it has been.  A stress filled one, but when there is stress that means someone is moving along in the gospel! 

Thank you so much for the box you sent me!  It was filled with a bunch of good stuff!  Thanks Tanner for the military set of scriptures too, it's like you read my mind when I asked for a set.  I was pretty excited to see those when I opened it up.  Also thanks Mom for the completed William Holmes Walker journal!  That thing is so sweet!  I'm going to have to make some time to read it all.  Also thanks Grandma and Grandpa Walker and Shoemaker for getting those oils and BOM for me!  I really appreciate it!  I think I'll have to think about what I'm going to have engraved on the front of the BOM.  Remind me next week.  I may just have them engraved when I get back too. :) 

So, we finally got iPads!  They have been a huge blessing to us for studies, teaching, and learning.  They really don't make missionary work all that different, but this is just another tool to use to help our investigators progress along.  With the iPads we can now read emails every day!!!  I can still only send them on Monday, but I can read them every day.   

With being a Zone Leader comes more responsibility.  At the beginning of every month we have what is called MLC (mission leadership conference) where we receive trainings from the AP's, mission president, and his wife and a few others.  It is then our job to relay that message back to our zone in zone training.  So this week we had our first zone training!  Usually Elder Anderton and I would do it together, but they wanted us to go into districts so people would be more open with their comments.  This training was on iPads, but not in the way that you would think.  I thought it was going to be on how to use them and what not but it wasn't.  That was probably about 20 minutes of the 5 hours!  They talked about how this is a tool to use and if used correctly will bring about great miracles.  They also mentioned how our testimony of Jesus Christ will decide on how we use them and if we use them properly.  Based on our commitment to His work would determine how well we use the iPads.  It was great!  

There has been some crazy flooding up here this week!  I have some pictures I'll have to send you when I get to a computer.  We have been doing a lot of basement "clean out" over here.  The water table is so high it doesn't take much to flood.  One day it took us almost 2 hours to get to one of the towns because all the bridges were washed over.

Lindsey Stirling had a fireside over here on Wednesday.  We going to go but decided not to.  A member in our ward knows her really well so she has an "in".  Josh, she is still available! (Haha!). 

I sent you a birthday card Mom so I hope you get it before you leave for Cuzins Kamp!  I sent it last Thursday. :). 

You will have to keep me update on Cuzins Kamp this week since I can read emails every day! :). 

We had a "mini missionary" this week for 3 days which was cool.  His name was Brother Evanson.  We had him from Friday to Sunday.  It was a cool experience to see him progress throughout the days we had him and the encouragement we could give him.  I wish I would have been able to do that!  It would have been cool to see what missionary life/work is like.  

I have some funny pictures on some critter we found this week to send to you! 

Alrighty, we had the craziest miracle happened this week!  We went over to Kristin's house to talk to her about fasting and she was excited to try!  We came back 3 days later and she told us she tried the "fasting thing" and that it worked!  We didn't even ask her to.  She is the most prepared lady I've ever met.  She came to church and paid her fast offerings and also fasted again.  She's amazing!  We are going to go to the visitors center with her tomorrow and confirm her baptismal date.  It will be either this Saturday or next Saturday.  

Dillon is doing alright.  He is a super busy guy with school and work so it is hard to catch him.  But he is progressing along and we will probably bump his baptismal date back a couple weeks. It is pretty cool, Dillon has 3 family members in our ward which is crazy.  So he has some good fellowship already.

Timothy is doing well.  Not sure on his baptismal date either.  He is super prepared as well.  He has some of the most sincere question.  He has a very good scripture base too which is nice!  

At fast and testimony meeting we had two members testify of lessons that we had taught them and the impact we had on their life.  That was really cool to not only see some of the fruit of our labors (which we don't get to see too much) and also to get the ward pumped about missionary work!  

Elder Clarke of the 70 all mission conference notes (from last week):

- Are you going through the mission, or is the mission going through you?
- In everything we do we need to act, commit, and then change.  Don't ever leave church without something you are going to Change that week
- if you can master goal setting, you will be 3x more successful in all aspects of life
- "statistics show that 100% of you elder sitting in this room have looked at pornography and 30% of you sisters have.  The average Age that someone looks at pornography is 8.  Are you going to protect your kids?"
- no time for good or better, only time for the best!
- the person who cares about other people than themselves is a happy person
- "if you don't like missionary work you won't like the spirit world!  If you don't like the 3 hour block of church, you won't like the millennium! 
- God doesn't create dummies, we are as capable as we want to be! (Favorite! Reminds me of something grandpa Walker would say)
- no one likes a complainer
- marrying a complainer is pergitory 
- always under promise and over deliver
- God just spent two years getting you "weird" so don't go home and become "normal" 
- if you want to feel like you do on a mission go and care for the orphans, widows, lambs, sheep, and poor! 

Thank you family!

Love you all so much

Elder Shoemaker 

Cute bunny at the Johnson's house found on their herb farm

Found this snapping turtle on one of the country roads in our area.  There are turtles everywhere! {his face is the BEST!}

Gotcha little Froggy!  The lady in the house behind us yelled at us saying she was going to call the cops right after this photo.  Crazy old people!  

Two of the coolest kids in the ward!  The Johnson's kids

Our "Mini Missionary!"

Pictures of the flooding......

Monday, June 1, 2015

Psyched out of their do Missionary Work!

Area:  Kearney, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Anderton

Hello family!  

What a crazy miracle filled week.  When I got here the Elders were teaching a lady named Kristen. She actually ended up going to California for 11 days right when I got here so I met her for the first time yesterday.  She is the most prepared person I have ever met!  She asks all the right questions and is everything you would want to find in an investigator.  She is a wonderful single mother of two and is probably in her early 30's.  On Tuesday we were fired up with finding some new people because President Vest on our weekly Monday night conference call told us how much of an example we are to the rest of the zone and that our area needs to be an example for everyone else.  Tuesday we end up finding two new investigators!  We found a young 17 year old kid named Timothy who is loving the youth program already.  We also found a cowboy named Dillon who is 19 and super cool.  They both are so prepared.  Dillon and Kristin are on date to be baptized this month!  We have been so blessed.  
On Thursday, Elder Clarke of the 70 came to our mission for an all mission conference.  There was some of the most life changing things shared in that meeting.  I forgot my study journal so remind me to share with you next week some of the highlights.  On that note.... I remember that was one of my favorite quotes he said reminded me of something Grandpa Dave would say.  "God doesn't create dummies, it is up to us to live according."  Or something like that...  I'll get the exact quote next week. 
While here in this ward I have come to see the power of fasting.  There is a 40 day fast going on right now here.  There is a member of the ward fasting every day for 40 days straight.  There is about 10-15 members who have some solid investigators we are just about to start working with.  The members out here are psyched out of their minds to do missionary work.  It is so awesome!  The missionaries are here to help the ward with missionary work, not the other way around.  This ward is doing so.  :)

I have a few favors to ask... :)
I was wondering if it would be possible for you to order a few things and send them out to me.  I know you just sent a box and I don't mean to be needy...  Love you!  :)
One of the things Elder Clarke said he wished he would have done when he was on his mission was get a nice triple combination BOM and ask all the parents of the families that we like and ask them why they are a successful family.  Then he said to record them in the front of the BOM and use it as a guide to study out of when we have a family of our own.  So I was wondering if you could send me out a brown leather copy of the BOM, the regular size so I can do that.  I was also wondering if you could send me out a set of military scriptures.  You can find them on  I want to try and read all the standard works while out here and those will be easy to carry around in my pocket everywhere I go.  All the books are in a separate book.  Also, just a single military size BOM added onto that.  One last thing, I was wondering if you could send me out a little essential oils.  There is a small pouch with a whole bunch of varieties I know you can get.  The bottles are really small if that helps at all.  Maybe you can get a deal through Kim or something. :)  
Thank you so much for everything and I hope that isn't to much to ask for.  
Love you all so much!
Elder Shoemaker

PS:  do you have the website or a link to the guy who made my scripture case?  Maybe a company name?  Elder Anderton, my companion, wants to get one for his set of scriptures.   

These are pictures of us on our bishops property on his front gate.
  We went and worked out this morning with him.  The guy on the left is his personal trainer, Bishop Walker, Me, Elder Anderton.