Monday, April 4, 2016

Good ole' General Conference

Area:  Lenexa, Kansas      
Companion:  Elder Torrico

Hello everyone!

I am still absolutely loving it here in Lenexa!  I have determined that Kansas is a lot better to serve in than Missouri, haha!  I love it here!

I have been able to meet some of the ward members this week and they are all really wonderful.  We are working right now on getting our ward roster updated and figuring out some target families that we want to start working with.  We are going to be doing the same thing that I started doing while in Fleming Park and that is to go and visit every person on the ward roster that we don't know anything about.  We have already seen success in finding investigators through this as we found a new investigator named Kirsten on Wednesday while trying someone on the list who ended up not living there.  Kristen answered the door instead!  She is in her mid to late 20's and is a Catholic school
teacher at an elementary school.  We started talking to her about her beliefs and we shared a little bit of the plan of salvation with her. She said that she has always wanted to meet with missionaries before and that she has had a ton of questions because she said that she wants to be able to stand up for Mormons because we get such a bad wrap sometimes.  Anyway, the conversation leads to us talked to her about what we do as missionaries and that we would love to come back to teach her more.  She agreed and was excited to get started on reading the Book of Mormon, she even asked us what she can do to be prepared for the next meeting that we have set up!  She is so prepared and ready to hear the message that we share, she truly is a blessing from the Lord!

We had a return appointment with her and she happened to have a friend in town from Columbia who wanted to join us as well on Saturday.  She didn't feel comfortable with us bringing someone from our congregation, so we just met them at Pandora Bread and had breakfast and a lesson.  Well, her friend is a philosophy major and with that she also thinks she knows everything about everything when it comes to religion.  We had several opportunities to put her in her place during the discussion as she was just trying to catch us in our words.  She wasn't very sincere and was just asking questions that her philosophy professor had given her so she didn't actually care about the answer, she just wanted to see if we knew the answer.  Kirsten on the other had was all eyes and ears for the conversation!  In the hour and a half we were there we taught her all of lesson two and then all of
lesson one back to back!  She was very interested and very committed to pray and read the specific chapter we had given her to read before our next visit.  She also said that she may watch a session of General Conference!

I also met one of our other investigators this week, Patty!  She is in her 80's and was previously RLDS growing up, but recognizing that they are quickly falling apart.  We had a wonderful lesson about prophets and apostles and she said she would watch all of the sessions of conference to seek for her answer of whether she should be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I am confident, since she did watch all of those sessions, that she did receive an answer just for her.  There were many marvelous talks regarding that, I am so excited to go back for our return appointment to see what she thought about the whole thing.

This past week I had an interview with my mission president, President Vest.  I love the insights that he always gives to me, he always know what the right things to say are.  It's almost like he is inspired or something! :P.  We started talking about how my experiences as a Zone Leader have helped me learn and grow and he talked about a few things that really lifted my spirits and gave me encouragement to keep pushing forth and working hard to the end.  I expressed some things to
him as far as feeling a little "trunky" with the end of my mission drawing near.  He said that he needed me to keep working hard to the end because there are a lot of missionaries that look up to me and he than thanked me for being a quiet and spiritually tall leader.  That really helped me out and helped me want to push forward to the end. It really is hard to stay 100% focused when you can see the shore on the other side so close!

Even with all these thoughts of home coming into my brain, I know deep within me I want to finish strong.  I was raised that way by my parents and grandparents!!  We don't give up when we are almost to the end, that would be to easy and we wouldn't grow nearly as much as we could if we finished strong!  It can be easy to get lax on the rules and a few of the things we are asked to do, but I am determined to push to the end with all my energy and try my best to use this prime time of my mission to the fullest, this is where the most growth and strength will come to me.  Thank you everyone for all the support and love that you have shown me!

Elder Shoemaker

The sweetest lady in our ward!  :)

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