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

Monday, July 22, 2013

Loving the Joy the Gospel Brings July 22, 2013

Dear Mom and Dad,
It's exciting to hear the progress on the new home.  It looks great and I am sure y'all go out pretty often to check out the progress. I am glad to hear that you are already getting to meet the neighbors. It sounds like and looks like a very peaceful place that is kind of out of the way but still close enough to not be a burden. I hope the house projects at Miki's go well. She must have been thrilled to see the changes on her home to make it look more like a home. Thank you for the pictures and also making me a part of the home. Ha ha. I see the Nathan thing is still catching on. I mainly chose that because when I hear that name it will draw me back to the memories of the mission. But that does not matter now. I am here now and need to do as much as I can with the time I have left.
As we had interviews this last week, President Ames asked me what brings me the most joy. I told him seeing others spiritual progression. He asked why would that bring joy to someone. I responded by saying I feel joy because they get to feel the same love that I have for the gospel. It has really helped me to see the way the Savior looks at others. I love being able to see that and I hope I can continue to be a tool in the Lords hands to help them return to the gospel they knew before they came to this life.
Elder Russell and I had a wonderful week. We have been very blessed to be working with so many good people. There will be a baptism on August third so we are very excited and cannot wait to watch more souls come unto Christ.
I would like to end with a quote I read this morning that helped me to see how great of importance the Book Of Mormon is.

The Book of Mormon contains that portion of the Lord’s word which he has given to the world to prepare the way for an understanding of the Bible and the other revelations now had among us.

Open letter, about 1980, Historical Department Archives, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Elder Shoemaker

Monday, July 15, 2013

Letter from July 8th

Dear Mom and Dad,
Here is last weeks email apparently it had errors when it was sent.
It has been so great here in Texas!! Elder Russell and I have been to busy to even have the time to worry how hot it is. We make sure to drink plenty of water and carry our handkerchiefs so we stay hydrated and look presentable. Our Independence day was wonderful. We took our bake day that day and were able to see so many different people. We were able to still teach and I was able to see 1 firework around 7 in the evening. We certainly heard them but made sure to be in on time.

That is great that the house projects are going well and that it will look great for Miki when she returns home. I bet the girls camp this week will turn out great. The ward here had theirs 2 weeks ago and it was such a great experience for building the testimonies of the youth. There was a girl that bore her testimony yesterday about her new knowledge of direct communication with our Heavenly Father. One thing that really strengthens my testimony is watching the spiritual growth of others. It sounds like Justin has been doing just that and it makes me so excited and thrilled for him and his growth.

Please tell Christine congratulations for me. It sounds like the wedding was very exciting and unique.

I am excited for pictures of the progress of our new home and i am sure it will come along great. I never realized all the work that goes into a home but i am sure it is very exciting to be able add you own touch and make it haw it is wanted. Have you picked out a color?

Thank you dad for the scripture you shared about service. it is something that I have really learned to love and it is amazing to see how it truly softens the hearts of those who are served. The scripture that I was planning on sharing today goes along perfectly with the scripture you shared. I read in Matthew 25 about how when we provide service to others we are serving our God. Verse 40 really explains it so well along with Mosiah 2:17. "When we are in the service of our fellow beings we are only in the service of our God" Mosiah 2:17

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Thank you Mom and Dad for you devoted service to the Lords church and thank you for setting a wonderful example of obedience and expecting it of me. It has really helped me to know that I can only receive blessings as I live how the Lord expects me to.

Love Elder Shoemaker.

p.s.  thank you working on getting the Flonase.  I could really use an extra short sleeve shirt 14.5 neck and a pair of slacks 32X30. Please also keep the Rongeys in you prayers. They are dong great.  Sis. Rongey has a great testimony and Bro. Rongey is praying to get an answer and gain a testimony too!

So Many Investigators - It's Wonderful!! July 15th, 2013

Dear Mom and Dad,
This last week was great! There were 13 investigators at church this week. The Rongeys where there and are still soaking it up. They are going on vacation so we will not meet with them this week. There was also and friend of a member we are teaching along with her son. And another couple that we have been able to do a couple service projects for. And a less active brother who brought his non-member children. His kids just got in town this week and we were at his home that night to teach them. They are very smart and committed to baptism on the 3rd of August. It has been such a blessing to work with so many great people here and it is very exciting to see so many people at church. There was also another guy at church who has been wanting to return for a while and he made the step yesterday to finally come back to church. It is so exciting and Elder Russell and I just light up when we see people progressing in the gospel.
It has been surprisingly cool the last 24 hours. It has actually been non stop rain since yesterday morning. It is so wonderful and has put people in such a good mood! We were blessed with many opportunities to teach this last week and we will start off this week great. The assistants will actually be coming to our area and Elder Russell will be with one and I the other and we will blitz our area. There are interviews for our zone tomorrow so they will come and teach in our area and stay the night in preparation for interviews.
I am very excited for the things that have been done so far on the home. It look like it will be a great neighborhood and I love seeing the pictures of the green grass. Texas is actually on a water ban meaning that residents can only water their lawns twice a week. That is a really cool experience with the battery for the car and I am glad that everything was able to work out to get to Girls Camp on time.
I did get the package. How did you know I was craving beef jerky?  Ha ha. If you can, if you have not already, unpack the packages I sent so the stuff inside does not stay all folded up. Thank You =)
I will be sending a card for Justin I forgot to write in it last preparation day so I will make sure to do it today and send it asap. But Please tell him HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! for me tomorrow.
I would like to end with a scripture that stood out to me this week and also a link to my favorite video. I read in john 17:20 and it really helped me to see the love of our savior as I realized that he prays for us. It was a great realization and I remember this knowing that he has prayed for me when things are tough and is excited when I am happy.
 20 Neither apray I for these alone, but for them also which shall bbelieve on me through their word;
Thank you mom and dad for all you do to help me be a full time servant of the lord.
Elder Shoemaker

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 1, 2013

Dear Mom and Dad,
Ha ha. No I have not melted yet. It got up to 109 this week and on that day we took our no car day (as we have been asked to once a week).  We were able to get out and talk to some wonderful people. There was a lady two weeks ago who saw us out tracting and told us to come to her house up the street and grab some water. Her parents are actually members but were divorced when she turned 8 and she was not baptized. Anyway, she told us to come back anytime for water. We took her up on her offer this week and we were able to meet her whole family of 8! She asked us if we could come back sometime and teach her kids and them to help them know about different churches. We are excited to go back. This week is actually a cold front so it will be in the mid to high 80's this week.
It sound like there is a lot happening at home. It is so very exciting to here about the Roohr's and those who are coming into the church and members becoming more converted. I am always super excited to hear about the missionary work at home. I always have a big grin on my face when I get to read about people becoming more converted to the Lord. I will actually be sending a package home today. It has stuff in it that I do not need out here, also in the bottom is a hard cover Book of Mormon that I was going to try and send for Christmas. A little late though. Anyways I encourage y'all to read it as a family and it will really help you  all with you missionary work at home. If you could grab the Book of Mormon also in one of the vans shoe is an orange thumb drive with past mission pics for y'all.  And last of all, can you hang up the ties that are in there they are ones that I want to keep in good condition. Thank you.
Anyway, the work is going super duper. We actually got a call last night from our Bishop about a husband who is married to lady in our ward. His wife has been the relief Society President, and his children have grown up in the church.  He just never took interest. He, for the first time ever, came to all three hours of church last week and did it again yesterday. He talked with the bishop yesterday and said "I want to be baptized and I will do what I need to so I can".  It was such a great phone call and it is such a blessing that has only come because Elder Russell and I have been doing our best to be obedient and work hard.
The Rongey's are doing wonderfully and we are so excited for all the things that are happening here.
I hope everything goes great this week with house projects and the start of our new lovely abode. Make sure to send pictures of the progress.
Elder Shoemaker


June 24, 2013

Dear Mom and Dad,
It sounds like Trek was an amazing experience with many trials that all in all helped the trek family to learn and grow. I love the ideas that you had for different activities and to help make the experience more life like. I still remember the first day of our Trek and how we accidentaly took a long-cut adding a couple extra miles onto the journey to Zion. I remember that day when we came to the final destination there was shade, a sprinkler to cool off in, and people handed us fresh watermelon that was the most pleasurable thing I had ever tasted. It was also a great experience coming to grow close as a Trek family and have many different experiences with each other.
The conference yesterday was very exciting and I am so glad I am here as a missionary as major changes have taken place.
I wish you all good luck with this next week endeavors and will make sure to keep you in my prayers with Girls Camp, house projects, and surgery. I had a feeling that the Browns would be home soon.  I feel like it was just yesterday that I was with them at the MTC. It is also sad to hear that Bro. Christensen passed away but I am very gratetful knowing where all will go after this life. This last week a man passed away in the ward here. We knew him and his wife well and were able to be in their home this last week teaching some of their relatives who were not members. One of them was named Theresa, whom we got to know very well.  She loved us and we love her. She said many times she wants the peace that she has seen in the members she met. She also expressed that she could not deny the feelings she felt towards the church. We committed her to be baptized and will be sending the missionaries to her home in Victoria Texas.
This last week was probably the busiest week ever and was very fast and wonderful. We were able to teach a lot this last week and really connect with many people and find ways to help them. There were 11 investigators at church and it was so wonderful to see them there and enjoy the spirit that was there.
Anyways transfers are this week and Edler Russell and i are staying here together. I a very excited to continue to serve with him here. The Rongeys are doing great and should be getting baptized in the next 3 weeks.
I love y'all so much and I am so excited to be a missionary here in Arlington.
There was a quote I read this morning that I really liked from this last conference.
"We who have mortal bodies have the power over the beings who do not."
We have so much power over satan we must use it and not allow him and others to control what we do. We must be servants of the Lord.
Elder Shoemaker

June 10th, 2013

Dear Dad and Mom
This last week was very busy with a lot of stuff. Of course with missionary work, it is always busy, but we also put together a report  for the stake this week which took a while. We then reported it to the stake President on Sunday. We also had the chance to participate in some service this week. This made us very excited and anxious to use they time that we did have to go out and talk to and teach people. We recently got a list of all the new people that have moved into Arlington and have been using that list to find those who may be more receptive to the gospel as they may be starting a family or buying their first home. We actually met someone yesterday who fit that description. It has been great to see how well these lists have worked.
I am excited that it is already time for Trek. It was such a wonderful experience for me in being able to see what people went through and suffered to come to Zion. Congatulations on all the house work that has been done. From the picture it looks like y'all are putting a wonderful touch on the home.
Thank you for the hard work quote I actually read in preach my gospel this morning about diligence. Your comment of work work work reminded me of this quote I read.
“I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.”
–President Ezra Taft Benson The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (1988), 200
As I studied I though of what the Savior has done for me and what I can do to thank him and I can do that by working as hard as I can to follow his example especially his example of missionary work.
Thank you mom and dad for all you do.
Love, Elder Nathaniel Shoemaker