Monday, July 27, 2015


Area:  Kearney, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Anderton

Hello family!  It's about 5:30 am here in the beautiful state of Missouri with partly clouded sky's and about a 110 heat index.  Over there is some road kill on the side of the road, don't mind it, you will be seeing that every day of your life out here!  Over there you will see a guy with only one tooth walking his dog.  Oh!  There he is right on schedule!  The guy with the 12' lift on his pickup truck!  

Can you tell that it's 5:30 AM?  I'm in a fantastic mood right now!  Why wouldn't I be?  I'M A MISSIONARY!!

Sounds like y'all are having some fun experiences with the cabin.  I hope the guests will be more respectful about others property.

Well, great news for this part of town!  We had an amazing lesson with Dillon and Daylin yesterday at the Historic Liberty Jail.  Dillon is solid for this Saturday!  We talked to him about receiving the Priesthood and that there is a possibility of him baptizing Daylin in a week or two and they both liked that idea.  Daylin is coming right along and progressing very quickly.  This whole situation has been a little stressful with the time crunch of Dillon leaving for college and same with Daylin, but the Lord has a bigger plan for them.  It has been amazing to see the Lord's hand in Dillon's life.  When we first met him he had didn't know how to pray and he had no idea what repentance was.  He was 20 years old and had not repented before.  He always told us about all this guilt he had and that ever since he started praying it was leaving him.  Elder Anderton and I know that we didn't make this change in him at all.  We were just the vessels for the Lord to bring this message forth.  At this lesson we learned that Daylin was praying for Dillon to be in contact with Godly men and her prayer was answered the next day with Elder Anderton and I coming across him working on his Jeep.  There are about 10 others in the ward as well who have become good friends with Dillon.

Kristin is moving to California for sure and might drive through Utah.  We will find out for sure probably tomorrow so I'll giver her your number Mom and maybe you guys can meet up for lunch somewhere!

We had a fantastic ward party on Friday!  That is where those pictures of the four of us missionaries with the hats on came from (by text).  We led the groups of pioneers around the field.  That was really fun and we also had one of our investigators show up to it!

This week I was studying in John 6:5-14 about Jesus Christ feeding the 5,000 and had a completely different outlook on what it means to me.  We read in there about how they only had 5 loves of bread and 2 fish but there was 5,000 to feed.  Rather than telling them to go and buy more, Jesus takes what is there, blesses it, then gives it to the people.  The moral that I learned was Andrew gave 100% of what he had, which he know wasn't enough to feed the whole multitude, but he gave it all to Christ and through Christ it was magnified to feed 5,000 people.

Here is a story that our mission president sent us today.  As a mission we have been studying the Atonement in depth in the Book of Mormon.  

From President Vest: 
While studying and pondering our atonement initiative, I came across the following simple story that was shared by President Hinckley. It is something of a parable. I hope it will be a reminder for us all.

“Years ago there was a little one-room schoolhouse in the mountains of Virginia where the boys were so rough that no teacher had been able to handle them.

“A young, inexperienced teacher applied, and the old director scanned him and asked: ‘Young fellow, do you know that you are asking for an awful beating? Every teacher that we have had here for years has had to take one.’

“‘I will risk it,’ he replied.

“The first day of school came, and the teacher appeared for duty. One big fellow named Tom whispered: ‘I won’t need any help with this one. I can lick him myself.’

“The teacher said, ‘Good morning, boys, we have come to conduct school.’ They yelled and made fun at the top of their voices. ‘Now, I want a good school, but I confess that I do not know how unless you help me. Suppose we have a few rules. You tell me, and I will write them on the blackboard.’

“One fellow yelled, ‘No stealing!’ Another yelled, ‘On time.’ Finally, ten rules appeared on the blackboard.

“‘Now,’ said the teacher, ‘a law is not good unless there is a penalty attached. What shall we do with one who breaks the rules?’

“‘Beat him across the back ten times without his coat on,’ came the response from the class.

“‘That is pretty severe, boys. Are you sure that you are ready to stand by it?’ Another yelled, ‘I second the motion,’ and the teacher said, ‘All right, we will live by them! Class, come to order!’

“In a day or so, ‘Big Tom’ found that his lunch had been stolen. The thief was located—a little hungry fellow, about ten years old. ‘We have found the thief and he must be punished according to your rule—ten stripes across the back. Jim, come up here!’ the teacher said.
“The little fellow, trembling, came up slowly with a big coat fastened up to his neck and pleaded, ‘Teacher, you can lick me as hard as you like, but please, don’t take my coat off!’
“‘Take your coat off,’ the teacher said. ‘You helped make the rules!’

“‘Oh, teacher, don’t make me!’ He began to unbutton, and what did the teacher see? The boy had no shirt on, and revealed a bony little crippled body.

“‘How can I whip this child?’ he thought. ‘But I must, I must do something if I am to keep this school.’ Everything was quiet as death.

“‘How come you aren’t wearing a shirt, Jim?’

“He replied, ‘My father died and my mother is very poor. I have only one shirt and she is washing it today, and I wore my brother’s big coat to keep me warm.’

“The teacher, with rod in hand, hesitated. Just then ‘Big Tom’ jumped to his feet and said, ‘Teacher, if you don’t object, I will take Jim’s licking for him.’

“‘Very well, there is a certain law that one can become a substitute for another. Are you all agreed?’

“Off came Tom’s coat, and after five strokes the rod broke! The teacher bowed his head in his hands and thought, ‘How can I finish this awful task?’ Then he heard the class sobbing, and what did he see? Little Jim had reached up and caught Tom with both arms around his neck. ‘Tom, I’m sorry that I stole your lunch, but I was awful hungry. Tom, I will love you till I die for taking my licking for me! Yes, I will love you forever!’”

To lift a phrase from this simple story, Jesus, my Redeemer, has taken “my licking for me” and yours for you.

Welp, gotta go cut my hair! 

Love you all my wonderful family and friends!

Elder Shoemaker 

Ward  Pioneer Day Party 
{nice pony...elder}

 We also painted this house this past week.  The far right are the Johnson's, one of my favorite family I have met out here!
(AwEsOmE shirt Elder Shoe!!) 

Elder Anderton ,Dillon, Daylin behind him, Bro Job, Sister Job behind him, me at the Liberty Jail!  The Jobs are Dillons Cousins and have been a huge help in Dillons conversion.  

Monday, July 20, 2015

11 month mark!!

Area:  Kearney, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Anderton 

Hello hello from Lawson, Missouri! 

We had a fantastic week!  Full of service, rain, and humidity!  It is getting hot over here and it is not fun with the humidity.  Blegh!

Today is also my 11 month mark!  Crazy! 

Man, those chigger will get ya!  I have quite a few chigger bites and they are itchy and last forever.  Nasty little buggers.

We had the opportunity to go on exchanges with the Elders that are serving in Far West, Missouri.  I love being able to go on exchanges as a leader.  It gives you the opportunity to set an example and to rely more on the Lord.  I would have to say that is one of my favorite things about serving as a Zone Leader.  After the exchange we stopped by the temple sight and also a place called Eminence. I have some pictures to send you, that place was amazing!  The spirit was strong there and you knew it was sacred ground.  Fan fact for ya...  The grounds where the Far West temple sight is located used to be a farmers field.  The farmer never ripped out the stones.  He would just lift up his blades and continue right on over them.

We also got to go with Kristin to the temple this week!  That was fantastic.  It was the first time I have been able to go with a recent convert.  She loved it!  We have a member who is hopefully going to go with her again before she leaves.  

Our investigator Dillon is on date to be baptized on August 1st!  We are so excited for him.  He has changed so much through the atonement.  It has been so cool to see the man he is becoming.  We continue to work out with him in the mornings and he is progressing faster than ever.  He leaves for college on August 10th so he wants to do it before then.  

I wanted to share something cool with you that I read this week.  Haggai 1:6-7. 

6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.

7 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways."

Are we filling our time with meaningful activities that will benefit our life's for the eternities?  Or are we just putting our wedges into a bag of holes to be lost and forgotten?  I love the last phrase, "consider your ways."  Something that is thought provoking.  

Love you,
Elder Shoemaker

ps.  Will you send me pictures of the treehouse?  I have people wanting to see pictures of it all the time. 

Good 'ole bearded dragon!

Tree Frog friend...........

Here is where Joseph Smith surrendered to the guards

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Area:  Kearney, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Anderton

This has been one fantastic week!  Kristin was baptized!  She is a perfect example of how the church can make good people better.  It has been so cool to watch her transition from when I first met her to now.  I had the wonderful opportunity to baptize her this past Saturday and what an amazing experience that was.  That was the first time I have been able to perform the ordinance and the spirit was so strong.  Memories of my own baptism flooded my mind as I was in the font.  Elder Anderton was able to confirm her in church the following day.  We got news that Kristin will be moving to California in about 3 weeks, which stinks, but it is on the Lords timing.  She is moving to be with her kids so it is for a good reason.  We went to the temple with her Monday and Bishop Walker is hoping to get her in for her Patriarchal blessing before she leaves!  Kristin has been such a miracle and there is a tangible light difference and counts once about her!

That is why this email is coming in on Tuesday, because we went to the temple Monday to do a session and then do baptisms with her that night so we had to swap our p-day.  

We had such a once in a life time opportunity to give a blessing to a non member Catholic boy this week.  There is a huge long story behind this....that there isn't enough time to type it or tell it.  This is a story I would rather share in person anyway.  It was so long that I typed it up on the computer and then glued the 3 page story into my journal rather than writing it.  This is one of those stories you will have to ask me about when I get home.  The biggest faith building experience for me and a huge testimony builder in the power of the Priesthood! 

Funny story...  We were doing service for a member who was having us tear up his deck around his pool because it was all rotted and he was selling his pool so they needed it gone.  We had torn up all the deck so we were working on all the side railing.  This is a 20 year old deck that has been in Missouri humidity so it is pretty rotten!  Elder Anderton was holding onto a 4x4 about 4 feet off the ground rocking back and forth trying to get it to come loose.  I look over at him and I hear a big crack!  The 4x4 snaps in half and he goes flying backwards.  His legs shot straight up and he fell flat on his back with the 4x4 smacking his chest right after he landed!  I was laughing so hard that I couldn't stay standing up!  He ended up being just fine so no worries there. 

We really only have about 3 solid people we are currently teaching and two of them are Dillon and Daylin.  They are boyfriend and girlfriend and they both are 20.  Really cool how we are getting in to teach with Dillon lately!  Bishop Walker is so inspired and such a hard worker.  We go and work out with him in the morning and Dillon is a foot ball player for a college here in Missouri.  Bishop invited him to come work out with us in the morning and he comes!  We have taught him almost every day this past week in Bishops gym after a hard work out.  We also were able to teach Dillon and Daylin together yesterday which was great.  You know that you are following the spirit when you go into a lesson planning on teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ (through Christ we can be cleared from sin, faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end) and the lesson ends up on being how faith leads us to follow the word of wisdom.  The lesson went great!  :-) 

Here is one of my favorite quotes, 
"Being humble isn't thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less."

Here is another one to really think about as well.
"We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see."
-  President Boyd K. Packer

I'm so very grateful for this amazing opportunity I have had to be here in the Missouri, Independence Mission!  I am learning so much about the Lord and have grown to love and appreciate him more.  I invite you all to take some time every day this week to really study the Saviors atonement and write down what you learn.  It has helped me everyday as I have been able to look back and see what I have learned.  



Love you all!

Elder Shoemaker
Here are some pictures of Kristin and her baptism.  You can notice a tangible light difference in her countenance!  She is such an amazing woman.  :-)


Here are her children
Lauren, Livi, and Will 
Will is just like Jackson! (Elder Shoemaker's cousin)  He is a hilarious kid.

After her baptism

After confirmation on Sunday


Monday, July 6, 2015

Success breeds success

Area:  Kearney, Missouri
Companion:  Elder Anderton

Heya family!  

This one won't be as long because I don't have to much time today, sorry! 

I wanted to share a principle that our bishop has instilled in us every day since I've been here.  He always says the, "success breeds success."  I love how true this is!  If you succeed, those around you will gradually be driven to succeed as well.  

We have had some solid meetings with Kristin this week!  We had one lesson with her where we were able to bring 3 members to it.  We also had one at the Johnson's home (a member).  Her baptism is this Saturday!!  She asked me to baptize her and Elder Anderton will be confirming her on Sunday.  We are so excited!  She has progressed so much!  She already has a calling as a personal fitness specialist and they are working on a visiting teaching route for her.  The sisters in our ward have dinner with her on Tuesday.  She is such an amazing woman and has changed for the better so quickly.  She will be an amazing member and one who will change the lives of many forever!  

We had a great MLC (mission leadership counsel) this past week.  The mission has taken a big down turn on all the key indicators and baptisms this year.  The whole mission fasted for the MLC to be able to find a solution to this problem.  We came up with a new initiative to study the atonement in the BOM everyday and write down what the scripture means to us and what we are going to change because because of that scripture.  We are also really trying to work with the members a lot more so that when we leave the missionary work doesn't stop, but continues.  

I love you all so much! 
Elder Shoemaker

Ps. Thank you for the pictures and videos you sent!  Looks like you having a great summer. :-)
Here is a picture of the Liberty North Zone!

Timothy, a kid we are teaching and our Ward mission leader.