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

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lasting Conversions May 29th 2012

Dear friends and family, This past week was so amazing with having a baptism on Wednesday and then the next day having Zone Conference. I am so excited about what I learned at Zone Confrence and how I will apply it to my missionary service. Stepenville was kind of slow this week. We managed to have a lot of members come on exchanges with us but we had alot of appointments punch on us. However, we have some people that we are teaching that are coming along very well. It has been exciting working with the kind of people that are so well prepared. Elder Payne is doing very well. He has been taking the role as senior companion more days a week now than me and he will be on an exchange this week in Stephenville with the district leader. I know it will be a great learning experience for him. We are helping those that we teach prepare for baptism by really making sure they understand the major inportance of it. I have seen where people do get baptized and go inactive right away. We are also making sure that they are truly living the commandments and making the steps in the right order. Faith, repentance and then baptism and recieving the gift of the holy ghost. We then help them as recent converts to continually live rightously by helping them reach lasting conversion so that they may be that memeber that adds to building the Lords kindom here on earth. I am excited for this week to prove to satan that even though we had a slow week this past week, I can still go out and work hard by bringing others closer to Jesus Christ. It sounds like the family room food/storage and excersize room project turned out well. I am trying to picture what it is like. I am sure that Day Camp is going to be amazing. I know that the scouts will have fun with the things that you have planned Mom. That is a crazy bike ride Dad. I remeber when we went on the 50 mile bike ride and I went the whole way and Spencer and the other kid that went held onto the car to get up the long big hill in Prosser. (haha) It sounds like Justin is taking some initiative in getting his spanish down. I decided that I want to learn Spanish when i get home. I have already learned more out here than in Spanish for two years. I actually understand the spanish members pretty well and I am going on an exchange on friday with a spanish missionary to his area so we will see how my Spanish bodes. I hope things go well this week and yes, I am doing very well on using my journal to write in. I actually have a study journal and also a regular journal. Oh, and before I go there was something pretty cool I learned at Zone Confrence. One of the missionarys that gave a training compared the holy ghost to the Liahona. If we do not have faith, diligence and give heed to the holy ghost, it will not work. The same thing went for Nephi's family and using the Liahona. Anyways, I hope this next week goes well with school wrapping up, Day Camp and bike rides. Love, Elder Shoemaker

Monday, May 21, 2012

May 21, 2012

Dear friends and family, This past week was a really hard a rough week. We had been teaching a lot of people the past couple of weeks and did not teach as much. We dropped a couple of investigators that have been hanging by threads this week. I am not going to say it feels good but we needed to do it so we can truly focus on those that are progressing and also working on finding new investigators. There is another new member this week in stephenville and we are super excited for him he was able to receive the priesthood right away because we have been working with him so much through the ward and the Bishop. We are also excited for the baptism of a 16 year old this Wednesday right after mutual as well. He has been fellowshipped amazingly and it will be a great turnout for the baptism with all of the youth and also the leaders that he will be associating with him as a member. We have been really pushing the ward to work with the investigators that we teach because it helps the transition better and also helps them to really stay active and feel welcome even when they may fall or relapse. That is one thing that I really love about this area -the members are so good at helping and especially the Bishop. It allows us to teach more member present lessons and really helps the work to progress in this area. We are helping the recent converts to understand the importance of the holy ghost and if they do not continue to be faithfull members they will not have that companionship to help lead and guide them throughout their lives. Just recently me and elder payne have revamped our studies and they are proving to be way more effective. We have already noticed how well it is helping us to teach in unity and also is contributing to us being able to be more obedient. It sounds like Sunday was amazing. I love the cookie story. I think gossip is on of the main tools that satan uses to work againts good. It tears wards apart. The Stephenville ward has problems with gossip too. A lot of members get offended to the point of not even returning. It is sad to see how it effects the church. We just need to do what President Uctdorf said to do. "STOP IT" haha it is really the only thing that is going to work. One awesome scripture is D&C 64: 9-11 that may helps those who have been offended. It is also cool to look at the numbers in there it was givin on september 11 and it is on page 119 and also verses 9-11. It just screams 9-1-1. I hope that makes sense. That is awesome to hear about bro Yearselys story and also I love the fact of the topic of journals. They are not used enough. I wish I would have understood that sooner. I hope you can get on a bike ride today dad. Me and elder payne might try a mile run today and see how fast we can do it. Haha I am not gonna lie, I am getting pretty good at requetball and might give you a challenge dad. Haha. The temple trip sounds like it was awesome the 16 year old that is getting baptized his name is Jeremy. He might be able to go to the ssephenville wards youth baptism trip on the 9th of june. I am so excited for him he is so awesome and has an amazing testimony. I love seeing how the gospel can change lives and it really helps my testimony to grow. I hope you all have an amazing day. Love, Elder Shoemaker

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mother's Day Was the Best - May 13th

Dear Family and Everyone, This was yet another awesome week with a new transfer and just getting out and working. Oh, and also it was so great being able to call home. It is so weird to think that Justin is taller than dad. That is crazy! You should take a picture. I have redetermined myself to striving to be as obedient as I wanted to be when I first got here. Now that I know more, I have more work to do but it will definitely pay off. We have really been helping those we teach prepare for baptism this week by building our faith. This helps us to prepare them because we are having more confidence in what we are doing and in turn helps those we teach in Stepenville be more comfortable. We are striving to work with the ward to help recent converts and less active members along. We are working to give them someone they can look to as an example and also to help answer questions. I have had so many great opportunities to learn from my studies. I am taking longer to get through things I study, because I am applying it to myself and also those we will teach. I am super excited to get out this week and continually reach new goals. About socks -black is the best color and CTR Clothing makes some really good Drimax socks. Thank you for all you do. It was so awesome hearing everyone's voices. I am glad to here Apence and Chelsey are doing great and working a lot. I am so glad to hear about Brother Smith - that is so awesome and is really going to bless their family especially being able to hold the priesthood. Keep up the good work with Bro Sullivan Justin. That sounds awesome. Love, Elder Shoemaker

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dear Family and everyone, This past week was so amazing. Elder Payne and I have been focusing on teaching lessons more by the spirit and being more in tune with it to help both of us know what to say. We have also been focusing on planning our week and appointments in advance so we can better prepare. I started right from the beginning of preach my gospel again this week and have been using things I am learning to help us throughout the week. It had talked about how you can recognize that you really are set apart as a missionary by what results from the choices we make. One example specifically is being in the right place at the right time. It has happened this whole week we seem to see those we need to teach and be in the right places to find those ready to accept the gospel. I know that the lord is preparing people that are ready to accept the fullness of the gospel and we are making sure to be righteous so we can continually receive inspiration. We have really focused heavily on Moroni's promise and knowing the truth through the holy ghost to help prepare people for baptism. This focus has really helped the people we teach gain not only logical evidence that what we teach is true but a spiritual witness. It is so awesome to see how much that and working by the spirit has changed the progress of those we teach. I know that the message we share and teach is true and heavenly father is preparing the people that are put in our path to hear it. This past week has been filled with a lot of lessons taught in a members home. It not only is a way to help the investigators progress but to really strengthen the members testimonies and also help member's to see how much the gospel and the church they belong to can changes lives. Jacob 1:19 is an amazing scripture. we as missionaries focus on doing this in how we teach not only investigators but as we teach members. It is important that we do testify of what we teach and also know. One main thing that we do with everyone is commitments we leave people with specific challenges that will help them grow if the are member's or investigators. We always wait for them to answer us with a yes. One thing that I really know will help the ward is strong commitments because it is hard to break a promise when you say yes. A maybe gives people a way out and is often not effective. So, Shoemaker family will you invite someone in our home to have dinner with the missionaries and have the missionaries teach them? I know it may be really weird but one easy way would be to tell someone how you have a son on a mission and that you would like them to see what he is doing. I am already thinking of some names... Really, I know and can promise you that our Heavenly Father is preparing people all around us to learn and accept the gospel. Haha and guess what? I can check up on how that is going for all of you on Sunday and maybe give you some ideas. I am pretty sure that you got an email from President Sagers about details of how it will work out. I only have a max of 40 minutes. Please help me to stick to this because I do not want to disobedient time wise. Anyways I will be calling about 7:40 Texas time which I think will be 4:40 p.m. there. I am super excited to talk to everyone and make sure you have some questions for me haha. Lastly, I want to share a scripture with everyone. This is in 3rd Nephi chapter 27:13-22. This has really meant a lot to me on my mission. These are Christs words and it is labeled as the doctrine of Christ in my scriptures. This passage really is that what we teach as missionaries and why we do what we do. It is also like the missionary purpose "Our purpose is to invite other to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end." As you read through this, try and find these things in it and apply them in your lives. I have been focusing on doing this as a missionary and will the rest of my life because I have seen the influence it has had on my life and others. Thank you everyone for all of your prayers. Elder Payne and I have really seen their influence this past transfer. I will talk to everyone on Sunday. Here are some pictures of a thunder storm sunset, hay field behind our apartment, a mommas boy, and what happens when you freeze a open can of pop haha. Love Elder Nathaniel Shoemaker