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

Monday, February 25, 2013

What's in a Name? ...A personal covenant

Dear Mom and Dad,
Well this past week was the fastest I have ever seen on my mission. Elder Davis is now in Canada and I found out from a member at church yesterday that he has already gone on a date. Ha ha,  I am not surprised. He was very outgoing and was very good at talking with people. Elder Hansen is now here in Lewisville with me.  I had actually met him before and he actually served with Elder Ericson. Elder Hansen is from Aramo Idaho and he has been in the mission field six week longer than me. He kind of grew up around farm stuff and he is definitely a great missionary. I have already grown spiritually as his companion.
This past week we were able to talk to so many people and work super hard. We got out on our bikes one day last week and it went great. We talked with all the people we saw outside and it felt amazing. The morning of the bike day we took, there was actually a thunderstorm during studies. I knew that we needed to be on bikes and prayed that things would get better. By the time we needed to get out, the sun was shining and there was not a cloud in sight the rest of the day! Also something this past week also just made the week. All of the zone leaders for our meeting on Friday went to the temple. I was so thrilled since I had only ever been once for my own endowments. It was such a spiritually refining experience and there was so much spiritual revelation as we were there. Following the trip,  President Sagers shared this scripture in Doctrine and covenants 109: 22-23 and taught about why we go to the temple before our missions -so we as servants may go for armed with power. Bishop Sintay actually showed me this before my mission and is was so great to hear it again.

 22 And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy aname may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine bangels have charge over them;
 23 And from this place they may bear exceedingly great and glorious tidings, in truth, unto the aends of the earth, that they may know that this is thy work, and that thou hast put forth thy hand, to fulfill that which thou hast spoken by the mouths of the prophets, concerning the last days.

I will be sure to keep those people in my prayers this week.

It is also exciting to hear about your sisters dinner and a possibility of a family reunion. I would love to go to that. Also, I hope that Justin does great in track.

I was wondering if y'all might be able to crack into the boxes I packed up and try to find my sunglasses. They will be super useful for this summer and help my eyes out a little better. Also, if Justin comes across anything that he may be able to really have a need for and maybe one or two shirts tell him to let me know what stuff and I will most likely say he can use it until I have a use for it again. 

I hope y'all have a wonderful week and I will make sure to do the same.
Love Elder Nathan Shoemaker
P.S. I realized why I had a desire to change to Nathan. In Alma the anti- Nephi -Lehies changed their name to remember the covenant/oath they made, so when I hear the name Nathan it will remind me of my opportunity I had to serve the Lord and how much I loved it. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

An Itty Bitty Letter -Means He Must be Workin' Hard

Sorry for today as I have only about 15 minutes in the library and the computers are very slow.
Anyway, this week was amazing.  We had stake conference and it was a broadcast from Salt Lake,  Elder Eyring and Richard G. Scott spoke and it focused a lot on the topics of virtue and valuing womanhood.
I got the package and it was perfect.  I always try to make biscuits and gravy for my companions before transfers so that was perfect even though it wont be home made. Elder Davis goes home this week and my new companion is Elder Hansen.  I will be more on top of getting a picture with him soon. The work has been going super awesome and we are teaching more each week. I hope y'all have a wonderful week and I will make sure to have more time this next week.
Love Elder Shoemaker

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lots of Zone Work to do 2-11-13

Dear Mom and Dad,
This past week was awesome.  We were able to do a lot of teaching but also a lot of other things too. We were able to take one morning to help by providing service.  I also was on exchange in a bike area which was great and exhausting. Cool thing - my hip would react on and off when we would bike and walk in the past but when I was on exchange on the bike there was no pain at all and even the day after there weren't any problems. We also receive a lot of assistance from the ward with people coming out to teach with us. We were actually out with a YSA who is getting ready to go on a mission and he had a friend over named Roman.  We actually were able to teach him and he seems genuinely interested.
I will have to warn y'all this next few week will be very packed for me.  I will, however, include as much as I can in my emails about how I am doing and will of course answer the questions you give me. These next few weeks will consist of organizing transfer stuff for the Zone then transfers the next week with a meeting the Friday following transfers. The following week will be a Zone Conference which we will host and the week after will be zone training done by us as zone leaders too. I am excited to see the Lord's hand this next week in our schedule because I know He will allow us to still work hard as missionaries.
As for Trek, one strongly recommended tip would be to make sure and load all of the heavy things over the axle of the hand cart and also make sure it is balanced too. This will make is so you will only have to worry about pulling the handcart rather than pulling, balancing, and rearranging the cart all day. I love that string analogy Mom.  I will definitely take that and include it in my teaching and let you know how it goes. There is nothing I am really in need of at this time  that I can think of. I will of course make sure to let you know if I do though. Anyway,  I am doing great and I am continuing to learn so much as a missionary.  It will be sad to see Elder Davis go this next week, but I know that he has accomplished his two years here as a missionary. That is very sad to hear about Austin, I will make sure to set aside some time to write him.
Anyway, I hope y'all have a wonderful day.  Here are some pictures of our apartment and I will have a picture of me and Elder Davis next week! Sorry for being slow on getting y'all pictures.
Love Elder Shoemaker

The Power of Teaching 2-5-13

Dear Mom and dad,
It sounds like y'all are staying super busy and accomplishing great things. It is really cool to see the progress on your diets and how work and activities are going. This past week was busy for Elder Davis and I of course. We had quite a few meetings this week. As a zone leader the last week and the first week of months tend to be very busy.
I love being able to see this new teaching methods in the church and how it is applied in the home. The participation that come from the new teaching really helps to cause interactions and allow leaders and parents to see the testimonies of the youth. I think that is amazing and allows for a teacher to modify the lessons to fit the youth. These years are definitely so crucial for the youth of the church and is is so amazing being able to see them progressing. On thing that has really helped us as missionaries to get people to speak up in lessons is asking inspired questions and also direct questions. Sorry if I am rambling but I really love this new teaching method. Especially since it is so close to the teaching method we use. Page 183 in Preach My Gospel talks about asking questions and how to have inspired questions. One other thing that can be taken into consideration is that we need to teach people and not lessons. Meaning don't just teach the assigned lesson but adjust it to the needs of the hearers. Wow!  I just realized how much I love teaching. I hope there was some good feedback there to help with teaching.
I also think it is a wonderful idea to use this method in FHE and devotionals. One thing that we can think about is what we are doing is spiritually edifying. It is so good to have discussions on the scriptures because we all get something out of them. Discussion also helps us focus and really study the scriptures rather than just read them.
Dad, that is definitely a really cool experience that you were able to have with your patient. It reminds me so much about working with the investigators here and also missionaries. I try not to judge and I always try to go in with a smile on my face. Also, I get to see the progress that the investigators make just like your patient. It is so cool being able to make the correlation between the your nursing and my missionary efforts.
Sooooo. I still need to write to President Sagers. I will fill y'all in on the people we are working with next week and also send some pictures. Oh, and tell Victoria that is super exciting to hear about her opportunity to serve in Japan!
Love Elder Shoemaker