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

Monday, March 26, 2012

Becoming a Trainer -


Dear Family,
 Elder Ericson and Elder Shoemaker are doing great in Stephenville. I am super excited for general Conference. We actually talked with a part member couple about how she can know the prophets are really prophets. We invited her and her husband to conference so she can find out for her self and focused on the Book of Mormon too to help her know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. This past week we only had 17 lessons which was discouraging. We are working to to meet the standards of excellence set for us to have at least 20 lessons or more. I personally am beginning to study the doctrine of Christ and how I can continually live it in my life so I can better help the investigators in the Stephenville area. With recent converts we are having them go on exchanges with us so they can see how much their testimony can help others grow. It is really amazing to hear their sincere testimony and how powerfully simple testimony can be.
     This past week has been pretty tough with lessons and we have been on bikes a lot. I am super excited though. We are teaching an investigator and his name is Mario. He is a super awesome guy.  He is so ready for baptism and is ready to accept what the Lord has for him.  He committed to live the law of chastity, and understood why he should be married and the lesson just turned out great.
     HAHAHA!  I found out on Saturday that I get to TRAIN A NEW MISSIONARY! The Lord and Mission President have entrusted me to train. It is so weird, I have been out only three months and am going to train. Oh my goodness!   It so crazy I have been out more than three months.  Now it feels like it has gone by so fast already but I still feel new! Anyways that means that Elder Ericson will transfer out and I will train in Stephenville. Elder Ericson is going to Arlington and will be the District Leader there and will actually be companions with another Elder Erickson (one of the missionaries that came out with me) I have been laughing at Elder Ericson all day about having a companion with the same name. So... that's the news for this week.  I will sends some pics.  I hope y'all enjoy them.
Your favorite Shoemaker Missionary  in Texas 
Elder Shoemaker.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Baptism

Howdy familia,
Those track pics look awesome.  You're going to State Justin. That sounds awesome to get into Preach my Gospel for your morning family devotionals.  I know it will help in y'alls life and really help to prepare Justin for his mission. 
This past week was awesome and also pretty hard.  We had a lot of punched appointments.  We are setting more solid appointments to help keep that from happening. We had two baptisms on Saturday it was so awesome. I had the opportunity to perform the baptisms - my first ever.  It was a great spiritual experience and I am so happy to see the changes they have made in their lives. 
The first was Daniel.  He had been being visited by the missionaries for 3 years and just never really progressed.  We promised him when he came to church he would get his answer.  So about a month ago he finally came for the first time since the missionaries began teaching him, and  two lessons later,  he held up the BOM and said "IT'S TRUE!" It was so awesome.  He was baptized on Saturday along with Jules.  He was a street contact that just met with us and read the BOM and knew it was true. He has totally turned his life around and is doing awesome. It was a great spiritual experience and I was so happy to perform the baptism. 
Elder Ericson and I are wrapping up the 12 week program and getting me ready to either train or get out and continue working. I really love the 12 week program it has really helped me to work better as a missionary and I know it is inspired of our Heavenly Father. 
In preparation for baptisms, we are working to have support for  investigators from the ward, family or both. We know it will make the conversion process better and help converts stay active! 
Studies are going awesome.  I am getting in the Book of Mormon so much - I love it and sometimes do not want to stop reading. I am super excited for this week and am wanting to finish strong with Elder Ericson (he might be leaving this transfer?) 
We had a Zone Preparation day activity yesterday and got back late.  I will try to write more next week and I will definitely send pics!
Love Elder Nathan Shoemaker
p.s. Mom you will have to knock those missionaries into shape and tell them to have manners -ha ha.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Love Conference - March12, 2012

Dear everyone,
Today will be kind of short as I also have to write to President and the library is closing soon because of spring break.
Anyways,  it seems like eveyone is doing awsome and feeling a lot better.  The flu is going around down here but as missionaries we are immune.   haha! Just kidding. This week has been super awesome but also really hard.  We have tried to relax a little and relieve stress, so we went and played basketball with some kids from the ward since they are on spring break. We also had Stake Conference this weekend it was awsome and I am super excited for General Conference.  It is like Christmas for missionaries for some because they can sleep,  but I am excited and have learned that I really love Conference.   At Stake Conference,  we got to hear from Elder Lynn G. Robbins.  He is a great speaker and spoke amazingly.  The spirit was super strong there and I learned quite a bit.  It was also really cool to hear Grandma's and Grandpa's conversion story. We have been pretty busy and have a pretty big week ahead of us. Ii love all of you and hope that Justin is not sick.
Love Elder Shoemaker

Monday, March 5, 2012

Let me shine those shoes for you...

Dear Familia,
       Another great week in Stephenville. This past week we worked a lot on finding new people and working to have new investigators. With those that we have begun teaching we are helping them to progress towards baptism by helping them understand the importance that they can only get their answer from God. With investigators with baptismal dates we are helping them get more from reading and helping them apply themselves in it. Daniel, one of the investigators we are teaching this past week, told us he wanted to finish the BOM by his baptism on the 17th.  He is reading so much each day and learning so much. Oh my goodness!  The other day we taught the plan of salvation to the most interesting guy ever and it will probably be one of the best lessons ever. He is this college aged kid and is a super proper guy.  He basically came to our appointment wanting to be baptized. We taught him  and he loved the plan of salvation. He described the fall perfectly. He told us how without the fall there would be no reason for Christ.  That is something that not a lot of people understand and was so awesome to see how much he knows that the Savior is important. The lesson we had with him I cannot describe in writing but it was an amazing lesson and I will probably never have a lesson like it again. In working with our recent converts we actually met at the church with Zach today for a little today and practiced singing hymns so he could sing them at church.  We are also going to meet with him this week to show him how to pass the sacrament. My studies this week were so amazing 
Elder Ericson has really helped me to dig deep and rely on the spirit. I had a great opportunity this week when Elder Ericson told me to come up with our commitment for and investigator. I hated it so much at first but I studied and prayed and prayed and knew exactly what i should commit that investigator to. I have also had the great opportunity to work on clarification in teaching (which Elder Ericson told me to work on). I studied the definitions at the back of the lessons which really helped me to teach clearer and define those words that are so common to me that others may not understand.
      Elder Ericson and I are still working on becoming  a Zion companionship. We have started to make each others meals and we are not allowed to iron our own shirts, shine our own shoes, wash our own dishes, or fold our own laundry. It helps us to love each other more. We also are not opening mail until P day so we can focus more on missionary work. It makes P-day kind of like Christmas - ha, ha. Lastly,  we do not say anything is MINE because it is all the Lord's, and sharing allows us to be more like a Zion people. These things have payed off so well and we can notice a difference. 
    That hike sounds awesome dad we will definitely have to go hike there when I get home and mess around on the sand dunes and we will make sure Justin is there too. I loved the package.  It was really like Christmas opening it. I am wearing the tie now I love ties so much it gives such a variety.  I think I am at 25 ties now and still counting. Y'all can inform  people to not send me candy because I gave it up to help support an investigator in giving up smoking. The women's retreat business card is a great idea Mom. Hey and shout out to Justin   - I want you to take the opportunity to go out with the missionaries as much as you can and don't let things get in the way of doing that,  like girls or other things. It will prepare you so much and you could surprise the missionaries by memorizing the first vision. I am just recommending this, but Preach My Gospel is not just for missionaries, but is for members - especially ch 6.  I would recommend Mom, Dad and Justin to start doing FHE with Preach my Gospel. I love all of you and yes that includes you too Justin. I hope y'all have a great productive week.
Love Elder Shoemaker.