A day in the life of a Fort Worth missionary. . . as posted by his parents

Monday, December 26, 2011

Week Two MTC

Hi yall,
Just checking to see if you got my email on tuesday i will see if i can send it again just in case you did not get it they are letting us send emails today because of Christmas i am taking plenty of pictures and i will definently send some as soon as possible.
Thank you so much for the presents and packages the chex mix was amazing again dad and the ear muffs were much needed i had forgot i was going to get them so thank you and the bike pump will be very usefull. this week has gone by so so fast it is crazy it feels like we were just having the first sacrament two days ago. the computer i am using is being really slow and not catching my typing so again i will not be able to write as muvh and no i am not trying to avoid emails there is just alot of elders sending letters right now.
This week has been pretty hard  with alot of elders feeling homesick and making some things depressing but that is okay i just want to be able to help tham out i have not really gotten homesick and i am doing great i just want to help the elders realize that they should be here at this time and that a honorable mission will really strengthen their lives. Also i got the mtc mini flu but it should go away soon. we have been busy all week going to classes and studying, lots of role playing, and working with volunteer investigators. christmas has been awsome so far we got to listen to David A Bednar and have a great Christmas lunch. Elder bednars talk was amazing i was so excited to find out he was speeking he is my favorite. oh my goodness yesterday of the day before i really do not remember which day it was but i saw brother peck (THIS IS NATE'S OLD SEMINARY TEACHER WHO IS NOW TEACHING AT BYI IDAHO)he was here to do some missionary training stuff so he could us it at byu idaho. I was so excited to see him mainly because i did not expect to i just herd my name and turned around i just freaked out and got really excited. I am sorry i have not been able to write much. I miss you all and love you even more. Merry Christmas.
Elder Shoemaker

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Elder Shoemaker's First Letter

(Okay at first, I was going to fix this letter, then decided it is way too funny this way.  The first sentence will tell you why.  Should have payed more attention to Computer Apps. class Nate - tsk! tsk! :) 
Dear Family,
I only have 25 minutes to talk and the letterson the keyboard areworn off so i may mess up and not be able to write verry much i guess i will learn to type better.
The mtc has been amazing i will leave the mtc on the third of january for texas, the food here is great i have learned to control myself so i do not eat too much i eat all of my veggies and am learning to just eat whatevver i get including tomatoes on my salads. there is kind of a subway counter and they make custom wraps they are amazing and i usually get those. i have two companions elder Brummitt and elder Jackson we get along great and are learning to love eachother and love the people we teach. i would send you pictures but there is no sd card slot. so really the only thang that i need would be a sd card converter for a usb port dad will know what that is.
The mtc has been hard because we are on such a tight schedule and it does not feel like i have time for anything isent a quick letter a few days ago to let you know i got here. The teaches that we have for our class are awsome there is brother snyder he has been off his mission for two years now. the other teacher is brother Lemperle (limp early) as he says it. It is really cool because he served in the washinton kennewick mission so i could really relate to him he never came to tricities on his mission but he trained elder collier.
I have not really gotten homesick compared to other missionaries but i miss all yalls but i know this is where i am supposed to at this time in my life. i have alrady had allot of spiritual expieriences. I have really learned to love hymns we were in a building before a fireside and sang three opening song the first two some elders were goofing off and made in hard to enjoy the song. The third song however the hymn was announced and the whole crowd was in awe of the sonng we would sing we started to sing and it just started i was freezing from shivvering so much during the song and easily more than half of the elders were crying. Also yesterday we got to teach our first investigator George Cepull he is a volunteer investigator for the mtc so it was real. He told use his amazing story of how loosing his right leg above his knee brought him closer to God. We were only supposed to teach him for 15 minutes but we were thaer for 40 and he did not want us to leave and we as alders did not want to leave. He said when he was in the hospital a family came and sang to him every day and throughout the lesson i felt like we should sing i am a child of god i kept battling it but i felt so strong that we sould i brought it up at the end and all of us did not want to sing but the spirit prompted us to. we butched the song were off key the whole time and were crying the whole time along with george at the end he us that was the song that the familly sang to him.He told us on his way home he was going to stop by there house on his way home and share the expirience. I officially love utah and the mtc i cannot wait to see george again.
I love yall i have to go,
Love elder shoemaker

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Up Up and Away

Elder Shoemaker is in the air.  He left aboard a direct flight to Salt Lake City at 6:45 a.m.  He's one of two missionaries headed to the MTC on this flight.  Elder Christensen will be serving in the Brussels mission. You can see part of his face in the last picture.

Paul and I were allowed to have passes to escort Elder Shoemaker through security.  We didn't have long to wait before they began boarding.  Mom kept saying wait a little bit, but Nate was anxious to get on board.  After a final hug and a rub on the back, he made his way through the doors to his awaiting plane.

We drove out of the airport and parked a few miles away to watch the plane take off in the early dawn of the morning.  He disappeared through the clouds and was on his way.  

Until We Meet Again

Being Set Apart as a Missionary

President Pulsipher, our Stake President, and the one authorized to set-apart Nathaniel to serve as a Missionary, arrived at our house last night at 9:00.  Bishop Sintay and Bishop Ewell were also here with us.

After a small discussion on the work about to come forth, President Pulsipher asked each one of us to share a last "bit of advice" to our new Missionary.

I think the theme of that discussion focused on Elder Shoemaker's knowledge of the gospel and his strong, yet quiet strengths that will help to serve him well over the next two years.  One that I will share here is from his brother Justin:  "Don't do any thing you wouldn't do if Mom were there".  We all got a good chuckle out of that one, but we all agreed it was sage advice.  

Afterwards, Nate shared his testimony with us and and expressed appreciation for everyone who helped to prepare him for this great opportunity to serve his fellowmen.  It was a very special time for our family.  Sniff!

He will be an awesome missionary!

Monday, December 12, 2011

What does a Missionary take with them?...

Well, for starters, there is probably a longer list of what they CAN'T take with them, but for the sake of space we'll give you the shorter list of what they should.

- Immunizations record
- Driver's License - Passport
- Temple recommend
- Scriptures
- Four-generation pedigree chart
- Hymnbook
- Pens, paper, pencils (for writing letter and taking notes)
- Backpack

- Hair kept relatively short
- Suits in dark conservative colors
- White shirts (8-10)
- Sweaters - v-neck dark solid
- Ties (5-6) Yeah, right!
- Slacks (3-5)
- Belts (1-2)
- Shoes (2)
- Water resistant boots
- Socks (10-12)
- Undergarments (8-10)
- Exercise clothing
- Preparation Day clothing (day to wash clothes and write letters)
- Coat
- Umbrella
- Handkerchiefs
- Bedding
- Towels
- First-Aid kit
- Medicine
- Miscellaneous

Okay, this list is pretty long too, and it isn't even the entire list. This is just a sampling of the preparation that goes into getting a missionary ready to travel for two years without his mother there to pack for him. I think he's all set to go!

Preparing for the Temple

Nathaniel and Mom and Dad helped prepare for Nate going to the Temple to receive his Endowment in the Temple, by attending the Temple Preparation class with Craig and Nancy Brown. Brother and Sister Brown have been our Home Teachers for several years and we always enjoy the new insights we gain from their love and study of the scriptures. Thank you for your service to our family and for all those who shared this special day with us.

In the Church, we build buildings of many kinds. In them we worship, we teach, we find recreation, we organize. To organize families according to the order that the Lord has revealed, we organize them in temples.

In the temples members of the Church who make themselves eligible can participate in the most exalted of the redeeming ordinances that have been revealed to mankind.

The ordinances and ceremonies of the temple are simple. They are beautiful. They are sacred. They are kept confidential lest they be given to those who are unprepared. Curiosity is not a preparation. Deep interest itself is not a preparation. Preparation for the ordinances includes preliminary steps: faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation, worthiness, a maturity and dignity worthy of one who comes invited as a guest into the house of the Lord.

There are many reasons who one should want to come to the temple. Even its external appearance seems to hint of it deeply spiritual purposes. Much more is this evident within its walls. Over the door to the temple appears the tribute "Holiness to the Lord." When you enter any dedicated temple, you are in the house of the Lord.
(excerpt from: "Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple)