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

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Share the Gospel - May 27th, 2013

Dear Mom and Dad,
Wow it is really happening! I am excited and it is so great that you have been able to already do some service at the rental home. One thing that has been on my mind it what a wonderful opportunity it would be to share the gospel with the owner of the home. You can let her know that y'all want to share something wonderful with her since she has been sharing something with us. I know it is a very busy time but I know that the gospel is the greatest gift that we can share with anyone.
Elder Russell and I have had a great week. We have made some major goals that have really helped us to stretch and stretch. It has been so great to see our enthusiasm for the work to grow bigger and bigger through our trials and blessings. 
I love you all so much and i will definitely keep my family in my prayers. Good luck in getting the final touches of the move done and also with the trampoline ha ha.
Moroni 7:11 I know that as we are devoted servants of Christ we can put of all ways that benefit satans purposes.
Love, Elder Nathaniel Shoemaker

Safe and Sound in Arlington, TX - May 20, 2013

Dear Mom and Dad,

Elder Russell and I are doing well. We did not experience the tornadoes in
Arlington.  Although we did have sirens go off, there were no problems here.
We were actually in the middle of a lesson when the sirens went off and the
lightning actually knocked out the power in the home as we were teaching.
There was some heavy rain and wind coming down around us but all those in
Arlington were safe. There were parts of the mission that were hit so the
missionaries will have the opportunity to help out with clean up projects.

Arlington is wonderful! It is very different from Highland Village but I
love it. It is very diversified here and there are so many people here. We
have talked to so many people already and have also met some very good
people too. It has been great serving with Elder Russell.  He is from Spanish
Fork, Utah and has been out 6 weeks less than me. I have already learned
a lot as his companion. One thing that I have learned is that we just need
to stop worrying about ourselves and just go out and serve others. Loose
ourselves in the work of the Lord.

I have not received the garments yet but I am sure they will be here soon.
I did get your letter mom. Thank you for sending it out to me. I have
actually been wanting to get that picture of my crazy suit. Ha ha. I
remember when I got that. It was the best 10 dollars ever spent.

This past week has been wonderful. I was reminded this week how gratefull I
am for the plan of salvation. As we were teaching a lady this week about the plan
of salvation, she received a call in the middle of the lesson and found out
that her father had just passed away. It was great to see how the gospel
brought her peace and how she knew he was okay.

I think of this scripture in 1 Peter 4:6 and how the gospel will be
preached to her father. I also think about this scripture as I think about
family history. I am grateful to know that our ancestors have the chance to
learn about the gospel in the spirit world and that we can still help them
to come closer to our Father in heaven even after this life.

 For for this cause was the gospel preached  also to them that are dead , that
they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

I love y'all so much. Good luck with all the moving stuff and your classes


Elder Nathaniel Shoemaker

Here is a picture of Elder Russell and me and also the cowboy stadium.  This
building is air conditioned!?!

Post Mother's Day Letter - May 13, 2013

Dear Dad and Mom family and friends,
It was so great being able to talk yesterday. I am very excited for the Smith family and the amazing opportunity that Logan was able to have to baptize his father. That and other news about families having children, youth going on missions and new callings always bring so much spiritual joy into my life.
President Sagers asked me in my interview to write down what I want to accomplish between now and the end of my mission. I will make sure to send y'all that list when I have it completed. I know that setting goals like that will help me to remained focused and endure to the end. Thanks dad. Also thank you for the scriptures every week and I am truly grateful for my mother and how she has blessed my life so much.
Good luck with the moving stuff and I will make sure to keep you all in my prayers.
Elder Shoemaker

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 6th, 2013 Elder Cook Visits Mission

Dear Mom and Dad and family,
This past week was amazing.  We started teaching a recent convert's son and his fiance who are getting married in June. He is very ready and I am looking forward to him getting baptized in June, hopefully with his wife! It was really cool and we have really been seeing the blessings from our diligent efforts. 

This Saturday we met Elder Cook and it was so great.  He spoke about so many things that needed to be heard. He talked about being "warm" as we are talking with members before church begins. We applied it right away and have really been developing a strong relationship with the ward. 

I bore my testimony on Sunday about the blessings of serving a mission. As I sat down I heard the spirit whisper to me that what I had said inspired someone to serve a mission. I was overwhelmed to know how much that person, whoever it may be, will be blessed as they serve.
I am always super excited to hear how well Justin is doing with pole vaulting. I will make sure to keep y'all in my prayers, especially you Dad with your new load of things. Well, today we are not able to email as long but I am very excited to call home on Sunday.
Love Elder Shoemaker,
PS I did not have time to read the story you sent Dad but I will make sure to next week.

Letter from the Mission President May 7, 2013

Dear parents of missionaries in the Texas Fort Worth Mission,

I know you are excited to be able to visit with you missionary on Mother’s Day on the phone. The Missionary Handbook states:

            “You may telephone your parents on Christmas and one other time
during the year (usually Mother’s Day), according to the guidelines from
 your mission president. Take care that these calls do not pull your thoughts
 away from your service…Keep them short (preferably no longer than 30
 to 40 minutes). Other than these calls, do not telephone family members
 or friends unless you have permission from your mission president.”

I would like to emphasize who the missionaries are to phone—parents. Sometimes everyone (brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends etc.) want to talk on the phone as well. Parents of course want to visit last and often they will only have a few minutes left. After some rationalizing and justifying, the missionary standard of 30 to 40 minutes is exceeded which causes the missionary to be disobedient.  Please help your missionary be obedient. Receiving the Lord’s help in this work is so very important. As the scriptures say “And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” (D&C 130:21)

I would also ask that you erase and not write down their phone number after they call. You may be tempted just to keep the number for some reason or another. I assure you it will not be necessary and in fact may be detrimental to the success of the missionary. I am aware that some parents have kept this phone number and later phoned or texted their missionary with some news they just felt was needed immediately. I assure you that this is a major distraction to missionary work and indeed does much more harm than good. If there is an urgent need to get information to your missionary, please contact your stake president and he will contact me. I will do likewise if there is urgent information we need to get to parents. Sister Sagers and I certainly understand your excitement as we too will receive a call from our missionary son on Mother’s Day. We have committed to follow the same guidelines we have given you.

We do all we can to see missionaries are successful. Please know of our love and appreciation for the sacrifice you make to keep your missionary on a mission. Helping them be obedient will be a great blessing for all. Your missionary should let you know in their email on May 6th  of the time they will be calling. It is not necessary to call the mission office and correlate this. If you have a preference of time or if you are not going to be home, you can let them know in your email. Please be mindful of their need to attend to their meetings and other missionary work on Sunday. Also, if parents are in a foreign country, the Missionary Department has asked us to not use mission cell phones for the calls to parents. Missionaries have been asked to coordinate the use of other phones to call you if such is the case.

Thank you,

 Joseph M. Sagers
Texas Fort Worth Mission President