Monday, January 25, 2016

His Timing is Perfect!

Area:  Kansas City, Missouri (Fleming Park Ward)    
Companion:  Elder Monroe

Howdy Howdy!

I can't believe another week has gone by already, they just come and go so quickly and I just can't seem to keep track very well.  With the new transfer I am still here in Fleming Park with Elder Monroe!  The zone didn't really change all that much either, only three missionaries left and three new ones came in.  There were a lot of companionship's that just flopped around with each other, which will make it a little interesting.  I am excited to see what this transfer brings.

Elder Monroe and I have really been thinking and praying on what we can do to help out this zone and the missionaries.  We really have been thinking about how we can help further than just these six weeks....we want to help for the rest of their lives!  This transfer we have created a little program that involves doctrine each week and an action associated and it all is revolving around the Book of Mormon.   We have been working through the district leaders and they have been helping a lot.  We also showed our idea to the mission president while we were at stake correlation this past Sunday and he loved it, so we will see where this one goes!

This past week we had a really cool opportunity that was brought to us by the church.  There was all all missionary broadcast.  All missionaries around the whole world were watching it at the same time.  It has been about 10 years they said since the last one.  There were several of the apostles that gave some amazing training's on working with members, how to use/receive the Holy Ghost in our lives, and most importantly, teaching repentance and baptizing converts!  I was a really good spiritual pump up.

We laid some hardwood flooring this week, that was pretty fun.

With the new mission in Logan, do you see to much of the missionaries in the ward?

Yesterday we had a really cool miracle that really strengthened my testimony of how the Lord works and that His timing is perfect.  We pulled into an apartment complex that a few of our investigators live at and it turned out to be the wrong entrance, so I flipped around and went back into the other entrance.  We pulled into a parking stall and there were some people in a couple stalls down unloading groceries.  One of the guys asks us if we are Mormons and my first thought was, oh boy he's going to want to bash with us (because that is typically what happens).  But, he didn't do that!  He was a very kind and loving guy named Josh who had met with the missionaries before in Joplin, MO and wanted us to come over and he also wanted to come to church with us soon!  It was a huge miracle that the Lord placed right into our hands.

This week at church we had the less active kid that is our age, Kevin, come!  That was a huge miracle!  It was really good to see that family all at church together.

So I have thought a little already about what I want to do as far as schooling goes.  Yes, that is still my plan to go to Utah State!  I am really excited to get going.  The mission has really helped me develop some good study habits and also has helped me know how to study, something that I hardly ever did in high school...

I think I will start in the Spring 2017 so I can get a little money under my belt and not be to stressed with money, time, coming home a transfer early (:O that one sent a shock through my system), etc. That way I will have time to find a job and work a little bit.  I will promise you that I will not be in the basement all the time, I can hardly handle that anyway.  I love being outside too much!

So with me starting in the Spring I don't know if I need to differ any longer or what all needs to take place...  Do I need to do anything? If I do, I can get permission from the mission president to get online and do school related things, just let me know.  I kind of have forgotten anything that has to do with what I did as far as schooling before my mission so it might be easier to do it over there...  Haha!

Some of my favorite set of scripture in the Book of Mormon is found in Alma 7: 11-14.  It is an amazing set of scripture that focus's on the Savior and a need for the Savior.  He truly did suffer for each one of us, for our sins, sicknesses, trials, troubles, and tribulations.  All of those things are plural because Heavenly Father knew that it wouldn't be just a one time thing.  We all mess up, goof up, get beat up and thrown down in our lives.  But with the Savior, it makes those things easier to bear and we know that we have someone we can turn to who will never let us down.  The Savior takes away the statement that "no one knows what I am going through!"  He does, because He loves us!

That is about all I have for you this week!

Love you all so much!

Elder Shoemaker

Monday, January 18, 2016

What do you treasure?

Area:  Kansas City, Missouri (Fleming Park Ward)    
Companion:  Elder Monroe

Hi, how are ya?!

I was SUPER stoked when I saw that you had bought that ATV!  It looks pretty sweet and like it will create a lot of memories and fun and of course do a little work around the property. ;P.   You will have to send some videos when you take it out.

This week we have been so blessed!  Our ward right now is doing a 30 day fast for missionary work.  We have seen the results and the blessings from the Lord and He has poured them upon us.  We were able to find 4 new investigators just this past week who all have potential to listen and be solid.  We had a fantastic evening return appointment with one of them yesterday.  He is so prepared to listen and willing to act upon what we ask of him.  His name is William and he is from Nigeria.  The lesson was kinda hard to teach because the wife was watching the Broncos game and screaming at the TV at some points... But nevertheless the spirit testified to William of the truthfulness of the message that we shared with him!  

We have another return appointment with a lady named Vanessa this morning.  She requested that a Bible be sent to her and we were able to talk to her a little more and set a return appointment.  Hopefully that goes well.

Transfers are this week!  They will be on Thursday, but we will figure out the transfer info on Tuesday.  We are pretty excited to see what happens to our zone.  I don't think that either me or my companion will leave, but there is going to be a lot of much needed changes within our zone.  As much as we try to love and help some of these missionaries, it is still their responsibility to reach out and change what they do.  That is the wonderful gift of agency.  Some transfers will serve some of the missionaries well and help them move on in their progression.

We did a ton of service this week for Amey, our recent convert.  We hauled, moved, split, and then moved again about 6-7 chords of white oak wood for her...all by hand.  It was a lot of fun and some good hard work that we haven't been able to do for awhile.  When we woke up the next morning it seemed as if you could feel each and every knuckle, joint, and muscle in your hands!  We were also able to help her husband, who is a non member, with fixing her car.  I learned some new things about suspension, so that is always good!

This week I hit my 17 month mark!  The time is just flying by so quickly and it seems to be going faster and faster as the days grow closer and closer.  I honestly don't feel like I have been out for that long.  It is always fun to go back in my journal and see what I was doing a year ago from today and all how I have progressed.  I hope and pray to continue to progress in life and become someone better.

As I was listening in church yesterday I came across a scripture that I have always loved so much!

Matthew 6:21 - "For where your treasure it, there will your heart be also."

What do we treasure in life?  What are we doing that will help our heart grow closer to Christ and our desire to live with God again continue to flourish?

The gospel is true!  My testimony is real and the power of the atonement never ceases to be.  I love and appreciate you all so very much!


Elder Shoemaker

Monday, January 11, 2016

Zone Training and "Breakout KC"

Area:  Kansas City, Missouri (Fleming Park Ward)    
Companion:  Elder Monroe

Mom Note:  {Elder Shoemaker spoke this email into his iPad and then sent it.  I needed the Urim and Thummin to dictate some parts of this weeks letter.  Hope it all makes sense!!!}

Hello family,

I had an email all typed up but I accidentally deleted it so this will be shorter.  My bad!

Can I get Treavor's email address?

This week we had MLC, which is a mission leadership council that we received training's to take back to our zone for zone training. They really focused a lot on loving everyone and uplifting everyone which we are happy to see. Since Elder Monroe and I have been together we have really been focusing on getting to know each missionary individually and what we can do to help them progress in the Gospel.

Zone training went really well!  We did not have Sister training leaders because they were in a different zone this time so we had to give all the training by ourselves!  Zone really received the training well and seems to be doing a lot better this week. We are happy to see their progression and their desire to work increase.

We found a new couple this week, their names are Doug and Sue. The lesson we had with them went really well. The spirit was very strong and we were able to testify of the power of the atonement and our ability to become better.  They had questions about how to have peace in their life and how to deal with the struggles of every day living.  We were able to testify of the power of the atonement and of the Book of Mormon is well.  During the lesson the spirit was so strong, one of the strongest I've ever felt in a lesson, and they seem to be sincerely interested in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We invited them to be baptized and they excepted!  We are working on a specific date.  We also had a newly ordained Elder from the ward with us who is preparing for a mission, so that was really good for him to experience.

We had another lesson that same day with Connie, our investigator, and we were able to have a less active youth with us too.  Throughout the lesson Elder Monroe and myself both felt that we should focus the lesson towards Kevin (less active) with hopes that it would affect Kevin and help him come back to church.

We had a pretty funny experience with a guy name Sam. When we approached him he was hunched over in his black puffy coat.  I approached him and he had a very quiet voice. As we were talking with him he started to laugh and told us that he couldn't lie. He showed us his left hand and there was a bong completely full of that good Kush (weed)!  We had a good time talking with him and set a return appointment in hopes to help him go somewhere in life. At the return appointment he said he would come to church but didn't show up. We will see where this guy goes.

How are you able to see that video of myself and Elder Monroe talking to our zone?  Yes that was just a one time thing.  We have a member of our ward who used to be the news guy at a Missouri station.  He has a recording studio at one of the high schools here where he teaches and we were able to film the video there and he edited it as well.

Today for P-day we are hanging out here in Blue Springs visiting some stores. We got invited by some of the coolest members in our ward, the Ostrom family, to go to downtown Kansas City to a place called "Breakout KC". They stick you in a room that is full of puzzles and you try getting out within an hour, we are excited to go!

Sorry for the somewhat short email, I was too lazy to type out everything so I just spoke it into my iPad.

Love you all!

Elder Shoemaker

Here is our bro zone!  We have one set of sisters but they were at a
different zone training this time.

A foggy day at the Community of Christ Temple....

Made it out!!

The room that we were in was the hardest room they had, it was only a
19% escape rate.  You have an hour to get out.  Here is the family we
went with.  Check it out online, it would be a fun time if you have
the chance to go to one.

Monday, January 4, 2016

I am the Light and Life of the World......

Area:  Kansas City, Missouri (Fleming Park Ward)  
Companion:  Elder Monroe

We have a member of the ward who is a news broadcaster for channel 9 in
Missouri and we were able to use his studio to make a broadcast for
the Kansas City Zone!  The missionaries will love it.  We had such a
fun time making it.  I'll send you a little snippet.

(Hummmm....maybe Elder Monroe and Elder Shoemaker have found their profession?

Hello Mom and Family!

Yes, I did get Tanners gift!  We have been having an on going competition with free throws and I was winning, but now Elder Monroe is up by two wins.  I also have not had cold feet this week to the help of some wool socks!  I really appreciate it Tanner, your awesome!

Thank you for the videos and picture updates!  Looks like ya'll had some fun this Christmas break.  The cabin looks like such a blast, I can't wait to have some fun for myself up there.  The snowmobiles are always a fun toy to have.  The upstairs room to the barn looks completely different!  I am excited to see what it slowly becomes.

This past week we had some good adventures and also some amazing teaching opportunities.  On one of the nights this week, I can't remember which one because they all mash together, we got a call for the sisters in our zone.  They said that someone had slashed their tire and now they had a flat and didn't know how to change it.  They are in the most ghetto area of the mission so it wouldn't have surprised me if  their tire actually did get slashed but we I was wondering why they only slashed one tire?  Who does that?  Se we drive the half hour down there at 8pm and changed their tire in the 20 degree weather.  Turns out they they were exaggerating a little and they had just ran over a screw so they had a slow leak in their tire. On the bright side those sisters now know how to change a tire! (Shout out to my Papa for teaching me that one!)

We had a really cool opportunity this week with Darcio and Angela the part member family.  Darcio is the non member.  When I first got here and was teaching they Darcio had a little interest but not really to much.  He would dilly dally the house as we taught and wouldn't answer questions and what not.  This past week the atonement played a huge role in his life!  We just stopped by their house one night and they just out of the blue said they had been talking and they want to start the lesson from the beginning again and that Darcio really wanted to learn!  So we were able to teach them 3 times this past week and we also got them to fast on Sunday!  We invited Darcio to be baptized and he said he would but there are some legal family issues they are waiting on so it may be a month or two before that happens, but we are so excited to see this change in him!  He was so involved in the lessons and answering and asking questions, it was so fun to teach someone who wants it so badly in their life.

On Sunday evening we were able to take Spencer and Angela, another part member couple, to the visitors center to what is called the Presidents Devotional.  All the recent converts that want to come and bear their testimonies and at the end President and Sister Vest give some great remarks.  We were able to get Amey to come and bear her testimony ad she did such a great job!  She is going to be such a solid asset to the church, we are excited to see where she goes from here.  Angela and Spencer really enjoyed it as well.  It was really good for Angela to hear the testimonies of people from so many different walks of life and who all were searching for the same thing. The Book of Mormon was hit on so hard while we were there which is what we are trying to help Angela overcome right now, so that was an answer to prayers.  We are excited to see where they go from here. Also, while I was there I ran into one of my favorite families from my first area in Independence that I served in, the Hawkins family!  It was great to see them.

3 Nephi 11:11
"And behold, I am the light and life of the world..."

The Savior is literally the light of the world!  He is who puts sunshine in our souls today.  When he was born on the earth there was even a day of complete darkness before he came which helped everyone realize how much they needed the light in their everyday life.  When we don't have even just a little bit of the Savior's teachings in our life day to day our spiritual light goes a little more and a little more dim.  As we feed that light we can become a light to the world!

Here is an excerpt from President Monsons talk this past conference: "May I say to all of you, and particularly to you young people, that as the world moves further and further away from the principles and guidelines given to us by a loving Heavenly Father, we will stand out from the crowd because we are different. We will stand out because we dress modestly. We will be different because we do not use profanity and because we do not partake of substances which are harmful to our bodies. We will be different because we avoid off-color humor and degrading remarks. We will be different as we decide not to fill our minds with media choices that are base and demeaning and that will remove the Spirit from our homes and our lives. We will certainly stand out as we make choices regarding morality--choices which adhere to gospel principles and standards. Those things which make us different from most of the world also provide us with that light and that spirit which will shine in an increasingly dark world."

I love you all!  The gospel is true.  Learn it. Live it. Love it. Teach it!

Elder Shoemaker

Ps:  will you send me Justin Braeggers email?  :)

I graduated high school with her!  Sister Wilkey.  Kinda weird to be out at the same time.  There are actually 3 missionaries from Sky View High School out here right now.