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

Monday, February 27, 2012

Bear Testimony - February 27th, 2012

Dear to everyone,

     This week was so amazing.  We had a lot of meetings but it worked out that we had more lessons this week than last. The week ended so great with Zone conference that was so spiritually uplifting and really helped me to break out of that shell haha. We also had a baptism that night too making it a great day. I had the wonderful opportunity to confirm Kellie McCormick in church. It was my first ever and I love using the priesthood to bless others lives. We also had a great spiritual lesson with an investigator with a set baptismal date and I bore my testimony at the end crying and made the spirit stronger which was already present because we were able to meet in a members home and have a spiritually guided lesson.
   This week in studying, I practiced with a personal study in preach my gospel helping me to bear my testimony stronger. It has really helped when testifying and showing the sincerity. Also,  in practicing the companion study box on pg 159,  I have realized by preparing a short one minute contact helps me when talking with people to get straight to the restoration, making the contact more effective.
   In preparing our investigators for baptism we are really helping them focus on the analogy from Alma 32 by having the seed grow within them showing them that what we teach is true. We also use action plans to help them prepare for baptismal dates. It is so awesome to see how this helps investigators and we are working on making it more effective. 

   Elder Ericson and I are working on becoming a Zion companionship like we learned in zone conference helping to contribute to a Zion district, zone, and mission. I love the BMW (best mission in the world)
   Yes Elder Ericson is still my companion. He will probably be until the end of March. There are a lot of small towns but we only work in Stephenville and Dublin. My allergies are acting up pretty bad.  I am out of Flonase but I am  doing great with the fact that the weather down here is hot one day, cold the next, rainy then humid, and then cold some more. I did get the garments.  I was so happy when I got them, it was so funny.  Thank y'all so much and they are perfect. I managed to fix my bike with some super glue, tape and part of a hanger and I would easily put a 2 year warranty on it.  haha. We had another meal this past week that I was craving from home- Enchiladas. There is nothing I can think of that I need besides Flonase. To answer the question of how I am doing. I am great!  This past week was awesome with the Zone Conference and baptism.  
   It sounds like yall are staying busy at home. The CEFY sounds like it will be great of course.  I would not be surprised based on who's in charge. Personally I don't mind Justin if you are in my room.  Which ever you would like would be cool and it would be awesome to have the BYU people over. I am sorry if I have repeated anything over the past weeks.  They just kind of blend together and when I write, I try to get as much as possible in. Sorry to hear about the Forte try-outs thing,  and it would be awesome if you could work for Brother Sullivan Justin.
    Anyways Fast Sunday is coming up and I would encourage you if y'all feel impressed to bear your testimony and when you do, like I was kind of saying about when bearing mine this past week, when you say something like "I know the Book of Mormon is true" - expound on what you mean. I willl say goodbye with a short example.
Love Elder Shoemaker
    "I know that the Book of Mormon is true because I have done what I need to say that. I have prayed sincerely with real intent and faith in Christ and the Holy Ghost  has made manifest to me of it truthfulness. I also know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's church, again established on the earth by using Moroni's promise, because the Holy Ghost can tell us the truth of all things. In the name on Jesus Christ.  Amen."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The missing letter from January 17th, 2012

I am just going to write one lettter to y'all instead of replying to two emails.
Dear family,
      I am so excited to hear about Chels and Spence.  That is awesome!   I know they will both do amazing with their studies and be great medical workers. I think we did get that storm with all of the red you were talking about.  It was windy and rainy for about two days.  It is good we have a car to stay out of it and very blessed and also blessed becaues my grip shift for my rear gears broke during shipment,  and makes it hard to ride. I will probably just work with it and build my leg muscles and fix my bike when I get to another area that has a bike shop that is inside my area.  Stephenville is kind of rural and does not have a bike shop. My ward is awesome.  It is small and I get to pass sacrament in the Spanish sacrament meeting. The bisop and the ward members are awesome.  We are trying to teach in members homes because it helps investigators to hear members testimonies. Y'all should go to the missionaries and say our home is open for helping them do that. It would really suprise them and they will appreciate it a lot. If I have anything to say to the kids that are about to get baptized it would be to find a way to remeber it because it is one of their first covenants with God and is the beginning of their eternal progression I have not done any baptisms yet but we have 6 lined up.  
     I am adapting, kind of, to living on my own.  The only thing that I really have to do is buy my own food. I do not really have time to worry about too much other stuff than missionary work. I have to get going we have to write really quick today because MLK day was yesterday for preperation day and we could not get in the library. Here is my weekly scripture. It is in Moroni 7:45-48 it talks about charity and in the end it tells us to pray for charity.  It will help you to love everyone because they are our brothers and sisters and want to share the gosple with them. Again I encourage all yalls to get into Preach my Gospel.  Ch. 4 is amazing and just studying it will help to not be afraid to share the gospel. I will send pictures on Monday.  I found my computer  camera cord!
Love yall,
Elder Shoemaker.

100% Missionary - February 20th, 2012

Dear yall,
     Elder Shoemaker and Elder Ericson are doing great in Sstephenville. We are working so hard to be 100% obedient. We do really good on all of the rules and are working to manage our time better so we can say we are 100% obedient missionaries. I have already noticed the blessings from obedience but I want 100% so I can experience all of the blessings. I have had a great spiritual experience this whole week from my studies in the Book of Mormon I have really gotten into it and applied my life to it. I see myself waiting to read more. I can say as of 3 days ago that I love the book of mormon and that it is wothout a doubt my favorite book. Specifically I read in Jacob Ch 2: 9-10 in seeing how we are obligated to to teach people the commandments of the lord. Like Jacob it is hard to enlarge wounds or even wound people by teaching commandments, but "I must do according to the strict commands of God."
     We have done alot of teaching in Dublin this past week we have two baptismal dates set with investigators there and we are focusing on helping them and other investigators by continuing to read in the Book of Mormon. With our recent converts, we are teachin them the new member lessons and working to have them come out with the missionaries to share their simple but powerful testimonies. I know it will really help our investigators to progress towards baptism when they hear recent converts testimonies.
    There are added challenges with Elder Ercison being the district leader now but i know that they are to help me grow because I have to do some on the things that Elder Ericson used to do and work a lot harder. I am greatful for these challenges to help me prepare to be a better missionary. I am also glad to be driving not because of being able to drive but it is helping me know my area better so I will be prepared for when Elder Ericson is on exchanges or if I have the oppotunity to train. Hehe but it is cool that I get to drive a truck. I really love my area and love being a missionary.
     So to anwser some of Spencers questions haha by the way thank you so much for writing me Spence. Texas is doing great.  I have seen for myself what the wet side of Washington might look like. We had a huge rain storm the other day and we were out in it.  I was completely soaked but I was laughing the whole time because of how awsome it was. There were rivers running down the streets and we had to jump through a couple to get where we were going. Elder Ericson is doing great.  He is the district leader now so I do have some more responsibilities. He has been sick the past week but we still got out. He has only been out 3 months more than me. Our Mission President and wife are awesome.   They care about all of us and know just what to say. Our apartment is pretty nice and I have not seen any roaches in ours, but the sister missionaries had some in theirs. On preparation day we get alot of stuff done for the week.  We also work out extra and  I have been working on my dream house plan. We teach a lot  and we do not tract too much. Zach our recent convert has been super busy with his play at the university in town but he is planning on coming out with us next week. ANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNND I like Nathan.  I do not know why but I just really like it now, I thought I hated it but who knows. haha. 
     Anyways this past week was just super busy and we're preparing an investigator for baptism on Friday.
Love Elder Shoemaker

Monday, February 13, 2012

Made it through first transfer - February 13th, 2012

Dear everyone
      Elder shoemaker is doing great in Stephenville.   Time has passed by so fast and I have already gone through my first transfer, meaning first 6 weeks. I had a great spiritual expirience the other day as  I was reading in the Book of Mormon. I was reading in second Nephi chapter 4 about how Nephi put all of his trust in the Lord. This chapters just really touched me and gave me inspiration. I am working to do what Nephi has and trust in the Lord to help me with everything to submit myself and refrain from sin. I have also been constanly recognizing the blessings from the Lord and have realized missionary work would be so hard without 100% obedience. I know by being obidient we will continue to see blessings. Elder Ericson is so amazing.  He gives me an example to follow and has such great respect and love for our Mission President. I want to emulate that and be a good example when I have the opportunity to train missionaries. I definantly would recomend reading 2nd Nephi chapter 4.
     AHhhhhh we had snow yeasterday it was so awsome and was so beautiful. Haha but it is acting like Washington and is already melted. Anyways this week was amazing. All weeks have been including this one. I had a couple funny things happen this week. We had a ward valentines fiesta with a pinata and evrything authentic spanish food and desserts. As we were walking home from the fiesta a spanish member in the ward offered us a ride. I got in the car and sat right into his plate of dessert and got chocolate all over my pants.  I just laughed and bro Alonzo repetedly said  "So sorry elder."  I said it was okay and Shouted it out when we got back. I did get that package and I thought I had said I did but thank you so much. Anyways the other funny thing was at church. I was standing next to Zachary from our most recent baptism. He was dressed up in his suit and the Stake President walked in and adressed me and him as elders thinking Zach was a missionary. Zach just laughed and said he was a recent convert. HAHA. I dont know if I said this but Zach is already planning on going on a mission I am so excited to see how missionary work goes forth. This week we saw the Lords hand in a lot of stuff. One example specifically was when we were in Dublin, a small town outside of Stephenville. While we were there the Sisters texted us an adress of someone we could see in Dublin where we already were. We however, did not know the street and as we drove down the block we ran into the Sisters and they told us where it was.   It worked out great that we were already in Dublin and we found the Sister's so they could tell us where to go. Then we went and met with that person and found out she had been taught before and is almost ready for baptism. It was so amazing how this worked out. We were meant to be there that day and saw our blessings. (sorry for any runons or mistakes I am trying to write as much as I can with limited time again)
    Anyways to anwser questions. One of my favorite meals was probably yesterday at the Deleeuws.  We basically had chicken rolls and potatoes like we have with the missionaries. It reminded me so much of home and was almost as good. It was interesting though, they used cream of chicken soup as the gravy for the chicken rolls and potatoes and it was actually pretty good.  Y'all should try it next time y'all have the missionaries over. I have actually done pretty good on intake and loosing that 10 pounds from the cruise.  I might need a smaller belt haha. I am eating health and I am not wasting away, just to let you know. For excercise I am playing raquetball (and I did not get the rules in the email myldsmail might have taken away links?) I also finish with a super intense core workout and am seeing results. The church is about a two minute drive away and by the way we are driving a truck (we gotta fit in in texas). The sister missionaries are about 5 minutes away. It is so awsome to hear about day camp and the snow. Justin, that is so awsome for Forte'.  I wish I would have done more musical stuff and known how to play an instrument. Keep it up on the guitar and I would recomend the piano too.  It is so useful. And  great job on beating mom on the paper route and eating healthy and getting ready for Track etc... I know if you are determined you will do a great job. You may not take this seriously, but I would recomend listening to Mom and Dad.  They know what they are talking about. I gotta run.  I will try and write more next week  and forward that email you lost Mom. The White Bluffs hike pics are amazing Dad. I love them and I love all y'alls.
Elder Shoemaker
PS here are some pics snow, district picture, LDS dry gulch haha (LDS) and worlds largest cedar rocker

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sweet in the Work - February 6, 2012

Dear loving family,
First off I love you all so much.  I am sorry for the past couple weeks of letters they have been super rushed.  And so is todays as we had a zone p-day activity and got back late. I will work to write as much as I can. Anyways, the Stepehnville area is doing great.  I have been working on reading in Doctrine and Covenants it is so great.  I have read it before but I am really working on studying it which I have found is much different than reading. Elder Ericson is doing a great job as my trainer.  He really knows when to be serious and really helps to keep the spirit with us always. We met with some investigators Casey and Tkaye, his wife, this week and read in 3rd nephi 11 and asked them if the lord would itroduce them as my beloved.  They both said "not yet" and they are working so hard to change towards that point. The spirit was so strong there and Tkaye was tearing up at the end. We ended the lesson early and bolted out leaving them in that great spritual situation so they will realize that we are Christ's representatives.  It was so great. Zach was confirmed in church yeasterday and also bore his testimony.  It was so amazing.  It was my first confirmation and his testimony sounded as if he had grown up in the church. Zach has already inspired so many people's lives by getting baptized and it is so great to see that from me working to help teach Zach, it is alreading spreading. The chuch is growing so fast and I can really see why. I helped to get someone to the point of baptism and now he is helping get less actives to church, and now his friends will be taught.  It is so amazing. I love my mission so much and know that by being a servant of the lord I can potentially affect thousands but it is really just the Lord working through me. There are challenges.  We fit so much in a day that it gets stressful, even on preperation day.  I know with the strength on the Lord I can do it and I have been set apart to be able to do it also. I know I would not be able to do it without the support of our Heavenly Father, friends, scriptures, and especially my family and all the prayers I know they say for me.
I love all of you,
Elder shoemaker

Short and Sweet - January 27th, 2012

Dear Family,
That is so awesome to hear about you giving that BOM to the lady at work and woooooow! 
That is a lot of snow and it looks so pretty.  I just love how it lights up everything.  It is kind of like at the mtc when all of the elders took off their jackets at one of the devotionals.  It just changed from black to white and made it ten times brighter. 
Yes my companion is really that tall and it makes him look a lot taller when I stand next to him. We have this investigator Zach.  He is so awesome and is getting baptized on the 4th by his friend that first introduced the church to him. He is so awesome.  He has a study journal for when he reads in the scriptures which is not a bad idea. I recommend doing it because you can write down those spiritual experiences and reflect on them later. Anyways I am so excited for Zach and it make all that knocking on doors worth it when you see they gospel have such a strong influence in someone’s life. I studied in 3rd Nephi Ch 11 today and it is amazing.  I would recommend reading the whole chapter and it is a great chapter to share with others too. It is basically the climax of the BOM and is about when Christ comes to the Americas. I also found my favorite BOM scripture it is 2nd Nephi 2: 6-8 It just helps me realize the true importance of the savior in everyone’s life and makes me want to help everyone understand that.
Wow I gotta go! Sorry.
I love you all,
Elder Shoemaker