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

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Renewal - The Atonement of Christ

Dear Mom and Dad,
That is so touching to first of all see the pictures of all the scouts getting their eagle scout and it was wonderful to see the love scouts have for theirs parents and I am grateful that I was able to be someone Jacob could look up to. Tell him he is a stud-muffin and that he has done a great job. He will understand the stud-muffin part.  Ha ha.
It is also exciting to hear that Spencer was able to come and spend time with everyone and also be able to catch up with Korwin. (Spencer's best friend) I tell the M&M almond story to quite a few of my companions. Also, I met someone from Des Moines, Iowa this week and he sold me on the fact that I should go there and visit when I get the chance.
Stake Conference sounded like it was great and I love that the topic of the Atonement is so widespread. It is actually the main topic in the Lewisville Stake and has noticeably touched the hearts of the youth and all in the ward. 

There will be a new addition to the Highland Village ward this Sunday as Sherry will be confirmed. Sherry's baptism was great.   She was so excited and it was very touching to see her son Armando give an amazing invocation at the baptism. The baptism was at 7:00 last night and there ended up being over 90 people! That also included non-members that missionaries have been teaching in the zone. It was such a wonderful experience for Sherry, the ward, and the non-members who were there.
This past week was great with a good rain storm and some chilly temperatures. The ward here is great and has continually supported the work that is going on here. I took some more pictures this week and am including a picture of Sherry and her kids. I am so grateful for the chance to work with them and help to strengthen their faith.
I would like to end with an Easter experience from this week. We went into a part-member household and shared an Easter lesson. Elder Hansen proceeded to ask what does Easter remind you of? The response from the non-member husband was amazing as he responded with the word "RENEWAL". It was so great to have this reminder of the renewal that comes from the Atonement of Christ. I am grateful for the resurrection and the forgiveness that it allows us to partake of.
42 Behold, he who has arepented of his bsins, the same is cforgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. 43 By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will aconfess them and bforsake them.

Love Elder Shoemaker

Monday, March 18, 2013

Fruits of our Labors

Dear Mom and Dad,
This least week was made up of so much.  On Tuesday, I went on an exchange with the Spanish District Leader in our zone, Thursday, President Sager's came and taught with us which was great being able to learn from his amazing teaching skills.  He was an Institute teacher so he has a lot of experience with allowing the spirit to do the teaching.  And then on Friday, we went on exchanges with the assistants. I got to go to Euless overnight and teach some Tongan people. I am also getting over a season change cold and am excited for the new week that is ahead.
This last week we were able to provide a bit of service and were also able to see the fruits of the service that we have provide recently. The was an older lady who we had helped out a couple weeks ago and we recently started teaching her she was very excited to read the Book of Mormon. She had even suggested that she could go buy one,  not knowing that we gave them out for free. It was so exciting to see the excitement in her eyes.
This Sunday we have a baptism for an investigator. Her name is Sherry and she has been coming to church for about a year. She is super amazing. She has experienced almost all that could go wrong in her life but still pushes through and has amazing faith. The ward here loves her so much and she has helped so many people with her example. Our ward is a very well-off ward but there is one trailer park in the ward and she lives there in the most humble of conditions, however on Sunday she fits in so well and loves being there. I am very excited for her and have really learned to love her and her children the way that Christ would. This has also helped me to understand the love that He has for me too.
Summer is definitely on its way with hotter temperatures and humidity. Surprisingly though, Texas is very close to how Richland acts, minus the wind and plus the humidity. I have a couple pictures of the spring changes - even a popcorn tree. Ha ha.
 I hope Justin's fall did not affect him too much and I am sure he will do a great job in track.
I would like to end with an insight from my studies this week and also make sure to attach some pictures. 
I was reading in thrid nephi chapter 3 about Gidgiddoni and his leadership skills. Verse 19 states,
 19 Now it was the custom among all the Nephites to appoint for their chief captains, (save it were in their times of wickedness) some one that had the aspirit of revelation and also prophecy; therefore, this Gidgiddoni was a great prophet among them, as also was the chief judge.
This scripture talks about how they appointed those who received revelation and prophecy. This made me think how we need to make sure that we seek the Lord's guidance as we direct others, whether as a missionary leader, a parent in a home or a priesthood holder or even a member of the church that leads and sets an example. I know that as we seek the Lords advice in all we do, we will be guided and be able to help others along the straight and narrow path.
Pictures of Spring including a popcorn tree also Tyler Weiss and me. He is leaving tomorrow for his mission in Brazil. He would come out with us pretty often. I am super excited for him going on his mission.
Love Elder Shoemaker

Signs and Wonders of Belief - March 11th, 2013

Dear Mom and dad,
This week has been pretty exciting. We had lots of opportunities to get out and meet a lot of people. There was a cool experience as we were about to contact some potential investigators when we knocked on this door. The person who answered looked super familiar as if I had had a face to face conversation with her before, but the thing is, I did not. I had never met her but I knew her. Anyways she has a Book of Mormon and said to call her in the next week to set a time to meet. There was something about this person that said she will join the church and go very far with it. I am excited to share more about what I believe so the spirit can work on the hearts of the people in this area.
The time change was definitely very weird and I have to agree that the time between the last daylight savings time was very short. It sounds like Justin is very excited for track and is really getting into his  passions and exploring and finding great activities that will involve him with people that can help him to progress spiritually in his life too.
I will try to make sure to get some pictures of the surroundings and the beautiful spring changes. Dad or mom you may have gotten a friend request on facebook from Sister Gershenfeld please make sure it is more of a friendship rather than a check up on Natey chat. I did not really think about that until after she requested y'all as friends.
Ha ha speaking of y'alls (Dad) that would very hilarious if that WAS in the scriptures. That is also exciting about the (house) updates. I have thought a lot about getting a new set of scriptures and I am glad I waited.
I would like to end with an insight from my studies.
I was reading in heleman chapter 14 of the signs of Christs birth and death. I was thinking about what was the purpose of those signs as i read these verses...

 28 And the angel said unto me that many shall see greater things than these, to the intent that they might believe thatathese signs and these wonders should come to pass upon all the face of this land, to the intent that there should be no cause for unbelief among the children of men—
 29 And this to the intent that whosoever will believe might be saved, and that whosoever will not believe, a arighteous judgment might come upon them; and also if they are condemned they bring upon themselves their own condemnation.
I am greatful for the signs that my Heavenly Father gives me so there is no cause for unbelief in my life.
Elder Shoemaker

March 4, 2013

Dear Mom and Dad
Jury Duty! Ha ha that would have been kind of interesting. I will be looking out for what happened. Also, it looks like the beach-themed daddy daughter thing was a hit. Wow bro. Hanks daughter looks so much older along with the Scott's youngest daughter. Also, congratulations on shedding the weight and good job Justin on healthy eating. That is one thing that I have really learned out here to have enough energy to get through the day but there is just more than temporal means that gets me through the demanding schedule of missionary work. This past week at zone conference (which went great, and I was also asked to conduct the conference) President Sagers talked about grace. After reading the following definition I commented on how I have felt the Saviors grace, in this way, allowing me to meet the demands of the missionary schedule. I know that without His grace I would not be able to accomplish missionary work by my own means.

"It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means" (Bible Dictionary Grace)
There is a recent convert who husband that we are teaching that is a master gardener too. Every time you talk about master gardener stuff I think about her and vise versa. I might tell her to Facebook you. She seems like the kind of person you would be best friends with. We have a lesson there on Tuesday so keep an eye out.
Thanks dad for sharing about that restoration teaching. We were able to have an amazing restoration lesson this week with a new investigator. As we finished reciting the first vision I asked her how she felt. She said as we recited the experience she felt as if someone was pushing down on her shoulders but as we finished and it instantly went away. We told her that is an example of how God speaks to us through the spirit. She became very excited and cannot wait to learn more.
To answer questions. Elder Hansen is awesome. It is great being able to serve with him. In the pictures below he is the one with blond hair and elder Davis in the one darker hair. We will play basketball in the morning on the court behind the house and sometime jog. The bishop is so cool and he does so much to help us out. We try to play volleyball or basketball on preparation day, and if we sight see it has to be on preparation day so it is a little hard to do. No pranks yet besides post-it noting another missionary's car.
I hope y'all have a great week
Love Elder Shoemaker
P.S. dad are you able convert the scotch video tape i took a picture of?