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

Monday, July 30, 2012

New companion on his way. He's got an accent!

Dear Mom,
(First letter said he couldn't get on a computer, but one opened up with a little time left to write, so this one is short and sweet)
I am so excited to hear you got your late birthday present. It sounds like that was a crazy week. I am glad the Hanks are okay.  (car accident)  And it is exciting that you were able to give a talk on Sunday. It is so amazing what the Lord has planned for us even when it is hard or painful.  There is always something that we can learn and grow from. It also sounds like this week will be crazy too with cleaning and an acceleration on scripture study. I was excited to hear how your scripture study was going. This week is transfer week and Elder Blair in leaving to the north of the mission and I am getting a companion from New Zealand. I am so excited for the accent. Did I ever tell y'all I love accents? haha.

This week and transfers have gone by very fast. The Temple 2nd area is doing great. We were able to teach a lot of people and also find quality investigators this week. However this is the 4th week that some investigators have not come to church. We had four super solid commitments from people but they struggled to keep their commitment. Hopefully from our focus this month of "We invite" - "They commit"  and our follow up, will help us to help others keep their commitments and make the steps of repentance in their lives. 
Elder Blair is nervous for transfer week but I am excited that he will be able to get out into the mission. I have learned so much from him and I hope he has been able to learn from me. 
One of my spiritual experiences from this past week was from studying. I had felt like my personal study was very bland. I prayed that I would be able to get more form my studies and be able to also apply what I learned not only to myself, but the people we were teaching that day. As I studied the scripture, it started applying to me very well. I then looked at what I learned and found ways to apply the scriptures to investigators. Then throughout the rest of the week, with that mind set, I found so many things and was able to apply things from the scriptures, preach my gospel, church, and other missionaries.
Sorry I had to be quick and I totally forgot  to write what dad requested but I will send it asap.
Love Elder Shoemaker

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sincere Listening...a Great Thing

Dear friends and family,
To start off with happy birthday Mom! and also Grandma!
         That is so awesome how Justin was able to take the sacrament to bro Dabling. It sounds like he is already starting to fulfill his calling. It sounds like Sunday was pretty crazy. I am glad to here Spence and Chelsey got to Iowa safe.  It is so weird to think about them moving. I did get my shirts and they are perfect and they look so white compared to my other shirts haha. I bet the camping and vacationing trips will be amazing and Priest Lake sounds like so much fun. It is actually my all time favorite vacation spot. Make sure you send some pictures. It is sad to here about everyone moving and going away. I hope Spencer and Chelsey make sure and call along with grandpa and grandma.
          I don't know how much the gps is used at home but I was wondering if it is not used it would be very helpful especially with finding directions to get around in some of the confusing areas here.

          Well this past week has gone pretty well. Elder Blair is doing a great job. He feels like he is leaving the area soon and I feel like I just met him. However he will go where the Lord sends him. Elder Blair has been helping me out this week as I am working to continue to be more sincere. I feel like I have just been rushed, as, time flys and we have to work hard to fit everything into our schedule. The area here in Belton is amazing.  We have so many ward members that are willing to help in so many ways -from exchanges, to providing service to investigators, and especially feeding the missionaries, which can be a bad thing, but I will enjoy it while it lasts. Haha. An impactful spiritual experience this week I had was as I went on exchanges. I was with Elder Hatch from the district. I feel like I learned a lot from him. He has done a great job as a missionary and helped me open my eyes and helped me understand what I can do to improve. It has been to work on listening. I applied it this week and I realized that I talk too much. It helped me to connect with investigators, members, and gave elder Blair opportunities to teach. It worked out so well and has been helping me to work on my goals in a round about way. Especially sincerity.
             Anyways I hope your shoulder is alright mom, and that is a calender worthy picture dad! Have fun camping and I will know why if I do not get any emails when y'all are vacationing haha.
Elder Shoemaker

p.s. I am working on that letter you asked me to write dad.  I thought I could get it done this week some time but I will make sure I send it of by tomorrow.

p.p.s. check out and type in shoemaker

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ready to Receive

 Dear friends and family,
         What a great week.  There was another baptism in the district this past week. I love seeing the growth that is coming along here in Temple and Belton. I love being able to work with Elders Hatch, Moses, Smith, Long, and especially Elder Blair. The area here seems to be thriving.  I have seen so much potential here and me and Elder Blair are taking advantage of that. We are finding so many people who are ready to listen and accept the gospel. Elder Blair is a great example to me he always learns so much from studying in the scriptures and is doing great on the Book of Mormon challenge we are doing. It has helped me to get a lot more out of the other things I study. My goal this week is working on being more sincere. Elder Blair is a great example of that and I have learned a lot on how I can show Christlike love. An amazing experience happened this past week which has helped me to see how the holy ghost works in my life. We were riding down the street on our bike to an appointment and passed by a house with people on the front porch. We had passed the house and I felt prompted that we should go back and talk to them. I pushed it off because we were in a hurry but then realized I was ignoring a spiritual prompting. We went back and started talking.  It was akward at first but then found out that someone the missionaries had taught in the past lived there. He had moved and lost contact and wanted to meet again. It was so amazing and I am working harder to pay attention to spiritual promptings.
      Wow!  It sounds like there are some major changes in callings in the ward. Bro Christensen seems like he will be an amazing person to help with the youth. Also Bro Harris will do a great job. I rember when he was my sunday school teacher. The activities sound fun that are planned for the youth and will give them places to go where they can uphold their standards.
    Chels and Spence got to see Mt. Rushmore? That sounds so cool. I bet their trip is pretty long. It is so exciting that they are moving forward and making some major steps.  haha - I cannot wait to be an uncle.
     Congrats Justin on turning sixteen and happy birthday!!!! That is so exciting to be a Priest and have the opportunity to bless the sacrament. It sounds like your Preach my Gospel reading is going great.  I know it will really help to strengthen your testimony. So, do you think you will get your license soon?  It is the perfect time especially with all the eagle projects going on.
     Mom, it sounds like you are getting back into the swing of scripture study. That is sometimes my favorite part of the day- having time set apart to be able to delve into the scriptures. I know I will need to take advantage of my time studying out here and make goals to keep doing so throughout my life. It is so exciting to hear about Grant and Jackson.  It seems like they left yesterday. Dad, I would love to write about the importance, impact and preparation involved in my mission. I will send a letter containing that so you can share it with all the youth. I love all of you and am excited to here about all the positive changes at home.
Elder Shoemaker

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Meetings Galore

Dear Friends and Family, This week was super packed and rushed -going to meetings, exchanges, and appointments. Temple is doing great and we keep finding more and more people to teach. We are teaching people and they are sharing with their families and introducing them to us. It is so great! I love seeing the testimonies grow of those we teach and it is amazing when they share it with others. Elder Blair is doing great we have been working on serving each other whether it is in the apartment or when we are teaching. I think I am getting used to the heat and enjoy getting out and still finding those who are ready to accept the gospel. I had a great experience this morning actually as I was studying. I was following up on a commitment from our district meeting based on how to use the Book of Mormon more effectively in my mission. I continued to study and when we were sharing what we learned with each other almost everything that I said was about that. It amazed me and I am learning new ways to use the Book of Mormon more effectively. One way is to keep the same context of the scriptures and make it so investigators can apply scriptures in their lives. I cannot wait to get out and apply it in my missionary efforts. It sounds like the Silverwood trip was super fun. I am not surprised at dad for getting everyone wet and hooray for mom too! I have actually fixed my bike problem. I have been updating my bike since I got here with stuff from past missionaries bikes. I actually have a carbon fiber specialized hard rock frame now with shocks, front disk brakes and paddle shifters so I am definitely doing good on my bike stuff now ha ha. I bet it is getting blazing hot there. The humidity just slaps you in the face down here but it get us to find people that we can teach so we can get out of the heat and teach investigators. We are told for the heat to just drink a lot of water in the morning and stay hydrated during the day and that keeps the problems away. I actually have not seen the package with shirts yet but I am sure it will be on the way. HA HA I finally got some boots. We helped a member move some stuff for an estate sale and I saw some sweet boots with the soles coming off, but I can fix that. I got them for 5 bucks. What a bargain. I will make sure to send some pics of them, along with some other pictures. That is exciting to hear about Justin and drivers ed. Anyways, info on Elder Blair. He is from Rexburg Idaho, he is 6'3" and can dunk ha ha. He is also really good at connecting with people we teach. I am glad to hear about Kade's project and I am expecting news on Justin's. Good idea with getting addresses of the converts I taught. I will have to get permission to write them but I will be able too. Anyways Dad, I love the story of swimming and applying that to people in their lives. It is so true. I do see those people who swam in the swift water and had to make up for it. I think it will be a great story to use in lessons and talks. It sounded like something I would hear at General Conference. I might have to use that story and apply it to the people I get to teach. Okay, well I am going to get some pictures loaded up and finally get them to y'all. Anyways here are some pictures. Truck line up at a missionary meeting, sunrise on an early morning missionary trip, sweet boots, Fort Worth skyline, apartment pic, and Elder Blair and Shoemaker. Love, Elder Shoemaker

Thursday, July 5, 2012

100 degrees and counting...

Dear Friends and Family, This past week went so great. Elder Blair was able to perform his first baptism (personally). Maverick was baptized on Saturday. One of his friends came to the baptism and we were able to set a baptismal date with the friend too. His name is Andrew and is a teenager along with Maverick. I have been doing a lot better. I got over my cold and Elder Blair and I just got out and worked this past week. We were able to find 7 new investigators this week and set baptismal dates with 3 others. Temple 2nd area is doing so great. We were able to go out on exchanges with the members a lot this past week which really made a difference in the lessons that we taught. One really great spiritual experience I was able to have this past week was in a finding situation. We were trying to contact former investigators. we got lost trying to find a certain street. As we were sitting at an intersection a lady pulled up in her car in the middle of her turn and started talking to us. She immediately accepted and even took us to her sisters house who also readily accepted along with her daughter and hopefully we will be able to work with the son too. We were lost on purpose and found the elect people that were just waiting for us! I am so glad that Ii am able to see the spirit guiding us even when we are lost - it is so great. Okay, here goes the question answering spree. Tanks for sending questions. Temple is being treated very well. We have been working a lot on finding new people to teach. This last week was very successful. We had a baptism on Saturday for a young man named Maverick. The new apartment is really nice. Our air conditioning was not working the fist week but now it is super cool. We have a one-bedroom but it is really big. We actually have a couch. haha. This past week we had about 3 days in a row over 100 degrees. It was pretty brutal but also fun too. I will probably freeze when I get back. Temple and Stephenville are pretty similar. There is not as many cowboys and I have only been in the "country" once instead of every day like in s-ville. As district leader one thing that I did not mention last week was that I have the opportunity to interview the people the elders in my district teach for baptism. I will be doing my first one this week on Wednesday. I am super excited and cannot wait. Thank you so much for all of the sweet ties. I just opened the package before I wrote and I am snacking on the cookies haha. I totally forgot my camera today but I did take pictures. I will send some next week. It sounds like y'all are going on a Silverwood trip that sound super exciting. The river sounds super cold haha. It reminds me of when we would go and hop in the river at night. It sounds like you are working on your racquetball dad haha. Thank you Justin for writing me. I am excited you are studying Preach my Gospel. I love it. I am going to write you snail mail bud. Good job on pole vault and BOM reading challenge. I hope you all have a great week and thank you again for the package. Love, Elder shoemaker