Monday, May 30, 2016

Finding, Service and Tornado's

Area:  Lenexa, Kansas      
Companion:  Elder Bradley

Hello Everyone!!

This has been a really great week!  We were able to find several new investigators and actually teach some lessons this week which is always nice!  Their names are Lexi, Mahogany, Wolfred, Edgar, and Larry.  We have been taking out the priest age young men in the ward here with us for a couple hours during the week so they can experience a little bit of all missionary work and they seemed to really enjoy it and because of that we were blessed with a lot of finding and teaching opportunities.

We have been trying to find new ways to talk to people in this area and one of the ways we are trying is to go and walk around at the parks that are in our area.  There are always a lot of people fishing and it is really easy to talk to someone about fishing and the conversation usually quickly leads to why we are dressed in a white shirt and tie and out walking around at a park, works pretty well! There are some really cool structures around this part of town, I'll send some pictures and videos.  We also saw a herring catching some fish which was pretty sweet!  Then we got down poured on out of nowhere which tends to happen out here quite a bit because the weather is so unpredictable.

There was a pretty sweet funnel cloud that formed right above where we were driving.  We got out safe, but it was pretty sweet to see the clouds spinning so fast and how dark it got.  The closest tornado that has touched down was about 20 miles away.

We had a fun couple service opportunities this week.  One was singing in a nursing home with several other missionaries.  During the opening prayer an old lady snuck up behind me and started hugging me from the back and I didn't know what to do...  I just had to pry her off of me because even as I walked away she latched onto me!  Then after I got her off of me she started to go for another missionary but the lady in charge was able to get her before that happened. Haha!  I also got kissed on the hand by a lady that wouldn't let go of my hand...  But other than that the singing went really well!

The other service opportunity We had was helping a guy clean up his duped so that he could sell it this week.  We painted, cleaned, and did a little demo to get some old stuff out of there.  It was a nice break and also nice to be able to get my hands dirty.  Not to many people in this area have us help with anything because they are all pretty self reliant and don't want to ask for help, or they just pay someone else to come do it for them.

That's about all that happened this week!   Transfers are this Thursday and we find out on Tuesday if we are leaving or not!  I may or may not leave, who knows?!

Love you all!

Elder Shoemaker

Monday, May 23, 2016

Missionary work requires patience....

Area:  Lenexa, Kansas      
Companion:  Elder Bradley

Well, yet another week in Kansas and the work continues to move forward.  Sometimes slower than at other times, but it moves forward.

These past couple of weeks have presented a challenge while here in this area.  The ward is great, the weather in nice, the people are nice, but no one seems to want to listen to what we have to say...  We haven't been able to find new investigators for the past two weeks and the ones that we do have are really busy with graduation right now or being sick that they haven't been able to meet.  We have spent a lot of time trying to contact unknown people on our ward roster, walking around parks in the area, and talking to everyone we see.

We did have a really cool experience on Saturday night as we were driving back to our apartment, we saw Mauricio with one of his friends out and about playing basketball at a park next to our apartment.  We went over and had a good time with them and played some basketball. It was a really good opportunity to build our relationship with him and to also put a good taste in his friends mouth about us missionaries.  We have an appointment with him this evening so we will see how that one goes!

We had an awesome ward counsel on Sunday!  The bishop is really gung ho about missionary work land is trying to get the rest of the ward counsel on board with it all.  We don't really get to see him much at all, but he is helping us out a lot in that regards.  The bishop has a lot of faith that if the ward is doing all that they can, then the Lord will bless the ward one way or another with someone to start being taught.  This ward hasn't seen a convert baptism in just about 2 years so their hopes are a little down right now.  We have been trying really hard to raise everyone's vision and to instill some hope and faith in the ward members.  We have some good things in the works and also a ward party on Memorial Day so hopefully some things will get rolling there.

That's about all I have for you this week!!

Love you all!

Elder Shoemaker

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Mission is Wonderful!

Area:  Lenexa, Kansas      
Companion:  Elder Bradley

Hello Everyone!

This has been a pretty great week!

We were able to teach our new investigating couple that we found a couple weeks ago.  We taught them on Sunday and it went really well. We were able to have a young couple come with us to be a fellowship for them.  The couples names are Lucas and Kelsey and they are in their late 20's.  We are hoping to get them to our ward party on Memorial Day so that they can get some more fellowship and some integration into the ward which will eventually lead them to come to church is the hope.  :).

We had a good lesson with Patty this week as well!  She is the 80 year old investigator that we have been teaching for awhile.  It was a really good breakthrough lesson where we found some really good
concerns that she had.  It was a good eye opener for us to know how to help her.  We are hoping to be able to get her to the independence visitors center in the next coming week or so to help her feel the
spirit and to address her concerns.

We had a wonderful stake correlation this week that went nice and smooth.  :).

We came across some pretty drunk guys this week!  They were a hoot. They had some very interesting things to say... :D

Elder Bradley and I are doing great!  Loving it in Lenexa and enjoying who we are with and where we are at.  I also just had a temple recommend interview from president that went well.  It was really cool to see how much my testimony has grown and those topics of the questions that are asked.  The mission is wonderful!

That is about all I have for ya'll this week.

Love you!

Elder Shoemaker

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Power of Imaging!

Area:  Lenexa, Kansas      
Companion:  Elder Bradley

Hello Everyone!

This has been a wonderful week.  I had a lot of fun, interesting, and great things happen to me this week.

This week we also had a big funnel cloud that was forming right over our apartment!  It was pretty sweet!!  We are entering into tornado season and I have yet to see one while out here; I wouldn't mind seeing one!  :O.

We had an amazing lesson with Mauricio this past Monday.  He has so many questions that he wants to ask so it gives us a good opportunity to answer his questions with a gospel principle and teach him that way.  We invited him to be baptized but he still has some questions about that and isn't quite ready to commit to that next step.  We have another appointment with him on Monday that we are very excited for!

I was able to go on exchanges this week with Elder Anderton again.  It is always a great experience and a great time reflecting back on the times that we had while we served in Kearney.  We also were able to find a new investigator named George!  He is in his 60's and had so many good questions about the temple, families, missionaries, baptism, and many many more things.  He has met with missionaries before about 7 years ago and knows some members of the church.  We are excited to see where he goes from here.

This Saturday was a great day of service!  Elder Bradley and I have really been trying to get some good service opportunities here in this area.  It can be pretty hard because most of the people here are well off and very self sufficient.  This Friday we received two texts from different people asking us to help them move on SaturdayOn Friday we also made contact with a less active family who needed help setting up for a garage sale on Saturday!  All three of those service projects lined up just right.  We literally didn't take off our service clothes all day because we were going from place to place, it was great!  We were able to build a lot of member trust and some great relationships with those individuals that we helped.

Sunday we had an amazing ward counsel that was completely centered around missionary work and the efforts within the ward.  This ward has not had a convert baptism over the age of 9 for about a year and a half.  We have really been trying hard here to just get someone to church, but the struggle is real.  Things are starting to spark with the members and we feel that converts will began coming to thins ward and the ward counsel sets this example.  We are really excited to see what happens!

I have been thinking a lot about the power of imaging this week.  As I was learning how to play on the drum line as a snare, we were told to imagine ourselves playing in perfect unison with perfect form in our brains before we started practicing and rehearsal.  We also watched videos of those we really looked up to and wanted to be like and tried to imitate them.  This week, every night after my prayers and before I fall asleep, I have been imagining each one of the people I am teaching entering into the baptismal font dressed in all white walking into the water towards me.  I then recite the baptismal prayer in my mind with their name and imagine them being baptized.  I also imagine the lessons that we teach them and how they will go.  While doing this I have felt a greater love for those I am teaching and also a greater desire to want to help them.  The spirit is entering into my life more fully as well.  It is amazing!  Imagining who we are and where we want to be will create a pattern of success in our brains that in turn, turns into the way our brain begins to think and the way we see individuals and ourselves.  Having this eternal perspective will help us be successful in life in anything that we do, spiritual, physical, work, academics, social, political, and anything else you can think of!  The power of the mind is real!!

I love and appreciate you all and the support/love that you give to me.  Keep going strong!

Elder Shoemaker

PS.  Mom,  6:30pm Utah time for Mother's Day Facetime!  I'm excited!

Hairless Kitty Cat

Funnel Cloud

The New District!