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

Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29th, 2013 Goals Being Met

Dear Mom and Dad, Justin and Spencer,  family and friends,
It definitely sounds like the stress of moving is coming in with the remorse of our family leaving the ward and not living in a convenient place for friends. I know, however, that this move is very inspired and there is so much good coming from it. I am sure the ward that we will move to is a place that can use the strength of your and dads skills and leadership, but most of all testimony. I know that this move is what Our Father in Heaven wants for us. You can know that I will keep this event in my prayers.
I am very excited for all the news that I get to hear from home. I am so very excited that Patrick has his mission call. I was actually just thinking of the Robinson family and how they are doing. It is also so exciting to see the members of the ward growing their families and doing what is best to support their families too. I am very excited for the Trek.  It will be a great opportunity for the youth to build their testimonies. One thing that would be great to include is to have morning devotionals with your family and take time to preach the gospel to them. I personally loved the trek. Make sure to keep the kids motivated and hydrated. The (ward 100 days of Feasting) Book of Mormon reading activities sound like they will be great for helping the members to share the gospel and strengthen their testimonies.
Anyway, this past week has been wonderful.  We put forth the effort to talk with a lot of people. We were actually able to break our goal on Saturday of talking to 30 people and actually talked to 40 new people. It was amazing. It has made it really hard now NOT to talk with others and share what brings joy to my life.
I would like to end with a scripture that I read this week in 3 Nephi 26:9
9 And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the agreater things be made manifest unto them.
This scripture talks about receiving something. It is Jesus Christ speaking of the Book of Mormon. First, we must introduce the gospel whether it is to non-members or people we teach in the church. If these people take the trial of their faith and then believe, the Lord has so much in store for us. That is one thing that I have really learned out here and it's the greater things. There is so much the gospel brings into my life and I know that there is continually greater things that I will discover as I remain on the path that leads to eternal life. Thank you Mom and Dad for all you have done and do for me.
Love Elder Shoemaker 
Also a couple more pictures of the beauty in Texas and a great quote that hangs in our apartment.

April 22, 2013 Out in the Community

Dear Mom and Dad,
This past week again flew by.We were able to teach more this week and we were able to meet a lot of great people. There was a lady who we met on her neighborhood pathway who had just moved there from an apartment complex. She has never even heard anything about the LDS church or the Book of Mormon. She was very excited to have us back sometime this week to teach more about the restoration. The was also a guy who was outside as we were passing by his home who was very kind and was excited to see us. He too has a great family and we should be working with  them soon. Elder Hansen and I have been praying for opportunities to find families that will be able to progress in the gospel. We will be working hard to teach them and will definitely make sure to have well prepared lessons when we teach.

This weekend in Highland Village there was a community garage sale so there were quite a few people outside in the main neighborhood. We went around talking with people on the street and basically window shopped and surprisingly we had multiple doctrinal conversations with the home owners who out of all of them they approached us and asked questions. One guy even invited us over for a dinner he was putting on for his company Sunday evening. It however did not turn out as expected and was actually was a party for amazingly wealthy people who worked for him. We ended up leaving quickly, reviewed our plans for the evening and went out. It was a sad thing to see that this guy and his workers had all the joy the world could bring them, but we could tell they all lacked something. There were actually  3 people there from around the U.S. that really made it easy to leave. Anyway, it was a great thing that we were able to learn from and it felt so good to choose the right.
That is very exciting about your classes dad. I will make sure to keep you and our family in my prayers. The Book of Mormon reading sounds like a wonderful thing and will really bless the ward and the members spiritual health. I have definitely seen the positive effects of daily scripture study.  It really helps me to stay motivated during the day and really helps me to have the armor of God to protect me. I have not heard anything about the explosions yet. I heard from Amy that Uncle Matt is alright though.
This Sunday we had a member from the high council speak. He shared an great drawing analogy that really helped explain that everyone make mistakes and that those mistakes can be overcome. I wrote it in my study journal and took a picture so you could see it.(sorry i cannot get the picture to attach i will send it next week) Also as I was reading the scriptures this week 3 Nephi ch 20: 1 was the scripture that stood out to me that I wanted to share with y'all this week. It reads:

 1 And it came to pass that he commanded the multitude that they should acease to bpray, and also his disciples. And he commanded them that they should not cease to pray in their hearts.
After i read this i pondered on what would need to be done to always have a prayer in my heart. It lead me to many different things i could do but ultimately it helped me to make sure i was always great full through the day and it really helped me to look at things different and do things the way the lord would have me do it.
I Love y'all so much and I will make sure to keep you in my prayers
Love Elder Shoemaker
P.S. We helped a part member family move some stuff in their home around so workers could come in and paint. The member had a HD GoPro camera that the were trying to get rid of.  I asked how much for it and they gave it to me! Wow. It is pretty cool.  

Springtime in Texas April 15, 2013

Dear Mom and Dad,
This last week was great. We were not able to teach and find as much as we have in past weeks. However, I may have mentioned that we are focusing on successful weeks. It focuses on more on is what we are doing throughout our day successful, which will lead to teaching and finding more. So, this week, we overall had a very successful week and were able to do a lot of good. We also were able to attend a baptism of a family this weekend in our zone. Elder Hansen was actually able to baptize one of the family members because he used to serve in the ward the family is in. It was so exciting to see the happiness that it brought and I am grateful I was able to be there too. This last week we reported to our Stake President the work that is going on in his stake. His name is President Cannon and he does an amazing job. I have loved being able to work closely with him. He has even given me a nick name. He calls me elder eschumAe! ker (that is the best way to help you understand how he pronounces it). Anyways he says it that way because it is how the people where he served his mission would pronounce it.
Congratulations Justin on the Track meet and the weight loss. State Camp all the way!
Thank you for sending the house plans - you know I love to look at them. It looks like a home a Shoemaker family lives in, with a dining room in the back, no laundry room next to the garage, and a place for food storage! If you can, you should send me a map shot of where the house will be. I am not sure how those map shots are done but I am sure you know how dad. It sounds like things are going pretty well with getting the house projects done. It is an exciting but nerve racking thing but I know it will go well.
I would like to end wth a scripture we used yesterday as we left a spiritual teaching at a members home after dinner. Doctrine and Covenants 130:22-23
 22 The aFather has a bbody of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of cSpirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not ddwell in us.
23 A man may receive the aHoly Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not btarry with him.
This scripture first of all is used a lot in missionary work to help investigators understand the true nature of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. It also helps us to understand how the Holy Ghost can be with us always however it can sometime leave us and I know without a doubt that we cannot do anything with out the companionship of the Holy Ghost. "We have been entilted to the gift but we have to recieve it" (paraphrase of a talk I read this week)

Oh and here's a cool pictures of springtime

Love Elder Shoemaker

April 8, 2013

Dear Moma and Dad, (almost every time I type mom and dad I accidentally hit an "a" after mom so I am just going to leave it)
First of all, I am excited for the big step that is being taken in making a new home for our family. Just so you know I am going to be okay.  I was actually looking on the other day after you had mentioned the possibility of moving. As I was on there I was looking at the ward and got the impression that I would not be in the Columbia ward when I returned home from my mission. So it is a big surprise, but the Lord has prepared me for the change and has let me know that it is alright. Also, as I was in conference, I received the prompting and a second confirmation as to where I will continue my education. Mom, if you will, can you start my application process for BYU Utah?  As Henry B Eyring spoke, I felt that now is the time to start on that so I can return home running. My goal is to be accepted to BYU so I can start in the spring. I will be writing a written letter home today so you can have access to my email to get passwords for the required info for application. 
Anyway, I loved conference so much and got so much from it.  I will include the things that stood out in my letter.
As for the email process for missionaries the rules have been changed instead of relaxed. It is actually a churchwide change to the missionary handbook. It will allow missionaries to communicate and uplift friends and family along with recent converts. I personally will not do to much outside of family, because I already feel short on time. Anyway, I promised pictures for y'all and grandma and grandpa also expect a letter soon.
I love you,
Elder Shoemaker.
Blue Bonnets

Indian Paintbrush 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Happy Easter 4-1-13

Dear Mom and Dad,
It sure is starting to get warmer here. Although, when we went out to exercise this morning it was pretty chilly, but by 10 it warmed up a bit. We currently do not have an air conditioner but it has not been too hot yet, either way I am sure there are missionaries in another country that will never have air conditioning and sleep in hot conditions their whole mission. I am not going to lie though, the heat is not as bad as I expected. I actually got cold this year as the heat thinned my blood.  Ha ha. Also, the Texas blue bonnets are starting to sprout and are about to flower so you should expect a picture of them next week. Interesting thing is you can get in trouble for picking them as they are the state flower and people here take pride in the blue bonnets.
Enough about the weather, we found out this week that we will be having an Apostle come on May 4th and he will be visiting in the Lewisville Stake so we as a mission will be able to hear him speak and since Elder Hansen and I will be staying together this next transfer, we will be here for the stake Conference that the Apostle will be a part of too! I am excited. Not sure who it will be yet but I will let you know.
This past week using a successful week chart that President Sagers gave us (I may have mentioned it last week) has been great. The chart gives us things that we can do to measure and see how successful we are making our weeks. This morning I personalized a Book of Mormon as part of what I can do to make the week more successful. I am excited to see who it will be for. This week there were two more baptisms in our zone, so it was exciting to see how the missionaries who had taught these people made changes in there work and received the blessings from doing so.
Congratulations on the Badger Mountain Challenge.  The plants look so green in the picture. It sounds like all y'all have some good projects ahead for this week. Hope you enjoy the wonderful spring break and good luck in track Justin
Elder Shoemaker
p.s. This Sunday we had a wonderful lesson on redemption in coordination with Easter. The Sunday School teacher taught about the two parts of redemption. One, the resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ -that it's so widely celebrated and is very important, and two, the Atonement and suffering in the Garden of Gesthemane that is not as widely celebrated. The Savior was resurrected, allowing us to overcome physical death 2 nephi 9:22  and he atoned in the garden allowing us to overcome spiritual death 2 Nephi 9:23.