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

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Change for the Better

Dear family and friends and all around ward family,
         Apologies if my letters have been short or impersonal, I will make sure to answer all questions and be more informative about the past week.
        I will start with this last week. It honestly started off very hard.  We started the week off with high expectations (which in the end it worked out) but they got shot down with two very ineffective days. We analyzed the beginning of the week and decide to just get out and work. We parked the car for a day and went out and WOW! - found so many people and flipped the week back over. We had Zone Conference this week on Thursday.  It was an all day thing from 9-4. There was a story shared about two fishermen. One who took all day for his fishing trip however he only fished for 2 hours because he took his time getting there and preparing to go. The other fisherman took all day too but was on the water with his line in the water as much as he could.  It felt like a slap to my face - not that I ever wasted time but I realized I could have my line in the water longer. I payed attention to what I was doing and focused on having my line in the water longer. One amazing example was the day after Zone Conference. We went to stop by some people's house but they were not home. There was a street close by called Brenda Lane. I had remembered seeing the name before and knew we needed to tract that street. Funny thing though - that street name was not on any records I looked at, but it was where we needed to be. We knocked three houses and at the third house was a lady that was outside that said "not interested" right away. However, we were persistent and talked to her more. We ended up teaching the Restoration to her and it was an amazing spiritual lesson. As we were finishing, her boy friend drove up hopped out and said right away, "okay you guys need to get out of here" I thought he was serious at first, then he laughed and said just kidding.  We then taught him the Restoration and at the end of the lesson he said there was something different about Mormons eyes and they both said they are excited to read the Book of Mormon. Anyway, we also found more people that were so ready to learn this past week. Me and Elder Fa'onelua were also able to teach the Sunday school class on Sunday and we also were invited to a Seminary Fireside to speak. I used part of what i have in my letter that i am writing to dad for the youth (by the way sorry I have been pretty slow on that dad.  I have been learning to manage my time and have been super busy as the District Leader and it has taken a while to get things strait with Elder Fa'onelua but now we seriously are getting along way better than I have with anyone.  It is so great and I will be very sad when he goes home) We currently have 8 baptismal dates set for the month of August.   It is so awesome. We have to make up for the last to months. Overall we had an amazing and trying week. If I could do one thing it would be to slow down time because things are going by way too fast.
       I will be sending pictures this week with my letter that is written to the youth.  I just printed them off today. I lost my computer cord for my camera so I will have to use snail mail.  Surprisingly, the temperature here has been great  - actually cooler than it is at home, but the humidity makes it feel just as hot. It sounds like the ward camp out was fun but short at the same time.  There should be a better turn out with the breakfast idea. It is crazy to hear about all of the young women moving up going to college and Brianna and Cheyenne entering YW.   I will definitely have to make sure to wish Chelsey Happy Birthday and also I cannot believe they have almost been married a year. It feels like it was yesterday.
        Here in Temple we only cover the temple Second Ward. The members here are amazing we went on exchanges every day this past week besides Monday. We have also been super booked on dinners and I have been having to watch myself. We are luck though.  We have a work out room that we get up at 5:50 every morning to go and use to stay fit an healthy.
       I have had to do an evaluation of my mission lately.  I felt like I started off super strong,  then when I got here I was not growing as much as I wanted to.  I know it cannot be blamed on companions but last transfer was very difficult. Also the beginning of this transfer, but now this past week has really changed a lot of things. Me and my companion are getting along great and doing awesome. Thank you for the letters today.  It is great to here about missionaries lives being changed by their missions and mine truly has made me so different in an amazing way. I have to admit I have been slacking on my journal but that is going to change especially now that I have confessed.  Haha. Anyway, I am sure you noticed my progression slow for a little but all is well and I truly am getting lost out here and I love it.

Love your missionary,
Elder Shoemaker

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