Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Morning Video 2016

Shill Family Christmas Photo 2016

Week 58 Merry Christmas!

Hello Friends and Family!

This has been a fantastic week. I am so grateful for all of the members that have taken us under their wing this Christmas season. This has probably been one of my favorite Christmas's. We started Christmas off by going to the Howard's to open presents and eat breakfast. Afterward we went to Church to enjoy our Christmas service. There were some fantastic musical numbers and talks. I loved how strong the spirit was at church. Afterward we went to the Killingers to Skype our families. It was so much fun seeing them again! It is crazy to think that was my 3rd Skype session and I only have one more left. Time has flown by. It is kind of scary to think about how short 2 years really is. 
This week we had an investigator come to bible class and she really enjoyed it. Right afterwards we taught her the Plan of Salvation and she seemed a bit skeptical. At the end we asked her if she had any questions. She said, "Nope, our beliefs are pretty similar. The only difference is you believe in 3 heavens and I believe in 2." Instantly we pulled out 1 Corinthians 15 and showed her where the Bible teaches of different kingdoms of glory. She also said she would continue to come to the bible classes. 

With all of the great things that happened this week I am disappointed how quickly the world has forgotten the season. Today we went shopping and almost instantly everyone lost their Christmas joy, the stores had removed their Christmas items, and the radio was no longer playing Christmas music. Within 12 hours, society has expelled Christmas. I was mildly impress by how quickly people had moved onto other things searching for happiness. I hope we each take the Brethren's challenge and keep the spirit of Christmas with us throughout the year.  

I love y'all,
-Elder Shill


Week 57

Hello Friends and Family!
This has been another great week. We picked up a couple new investigators which was awesome. We also got a couple more potential investigators. One of them is a lady who helps take care of our investigators. She has been listening in for a while. To help our investigator out, we are having her read the Book of Mormon to him. She seems to like it so far. 

Acting in faith is almost becoming a game to me. Right before a lesson I start looking for ways I can act in faith and therefore more completely qualify for the Gift of the Holy Ghost. For example, if there is someone standing out side, I talk to them before we knock on our appointment's door. I have seen a huge difference in the power of the spirit during the lessons. Also, to help "pray always lest [I] fall into temptations" I set a goal to say a quick prayer every time I look at my watch. I am now praying many times an hour and I feel a clear connection with Heavenly Father. 

One time this week, I was driving when I randomly thought about an investigator who lived near by. Without even second guessing, I drove strait to her house without the aid of the GPS. She is a truck driver and is out of town most of the time. She was home, but was asleep; however her son was home and we taught him a quick lesson. 

On exchanges this week we introduced the Book of Mormon to one of our investigators. We did not have a ton of time. So we did a 5 min introduction. We essentially walked in, left a spiritual bomb, and then left. It was incredible to feel the spirit confirm our witness on the validity of the Book of Mormon. 

Another time we talked to this lady we work with at a thrift shop. We showed her the Christmas video, the spirit came, and she almost started crying. She told us that her grandpa was Mormon and she wanted to go find his old copy of the Book of Mormon. 

Bothers and Sisters, I know that this church is the only true and living church. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. I know that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know these things because the spirit of God has born witness to me that they are true. I am apart of to many miracles to say otherwise. I invite each of you to find a way to act in faith and strengthen your relationship with God. Prayers, when coupled with faith, are always answered.

-Elder Shill

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Week 56

Hello Friends and Family!

This week has been absolutely amazing! I am so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost. I absolutely love being a missionary and I know that this church is true.
I don't have any time to right this week because I wrote a personal letter to my family.
I love y'all
-Elder Shill


Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 55 Baptsim of Rudolf

Hello Friends and Family!
Rudolf was baptized this week which was absolutely incredible. There were so many small tender mercies that helped Rudolf have a spiritual experience this week. One of my favorite parts was teaching him about the quorum of the Seventy. We showed him a picture out of the ensign and he just looked a little confused. Luckily I had my Topical Guide so I went through all the verses in the Bible that mentioned the Seventy. He was absolutely speechless. He had studied the Bible his entire life and never new Christ had a quorum of the Seventy. I love being able to expound the scriptures to people. If people ask us sincere humble questions, we can almost always immediately give an answer. If we can't, give us one week and we will have it. 
I love the Christmas devotional from yesterday. I thought it was a beautiful tribute to both God, our Heavenly Father, and his Son Jesus Christ, and His beautiful Gift of the Holy Ghost. I was inspired, as I hope each of you were, by the Apostles words. I love this time of year. With the new Christmas Initiative I have started finding new courage to talk to everyone. The more people I talk to the better my days and weeks go.
I hope that each of you are Lighting The World with the Savior's love. I love Jesus Christ and I love this church. I know that this is all true and every question we have can be explained through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because I cant, please share the LightTheWorld video on your social media accounts.

I love ya'll
-Elder Shill

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 54

Hello Friends and Family!
This has been an incredible week. So much has been accomplished and there is so little time to write. There is so much work to be done in Kinston! We have a baptism coming up which is super exciting. Every one we are working with is doing well. All of our solid investigators have been baptized so we are back to the drawing boards trying to find new people.  We are going to try and be more creative in our finding and injecting God even more into our work. I am grateful for prayer and revelation. I honestly don't know what I would do without it. 
Thanksgiving was so much fun. We ate dinner with the Killingers, who are phenomenal cooks. I am so grateful for the support the members show us.  I loved this time of year because families were all together. I am learning that if you put in a little effort, God can guide you quite a bit. 
If you haven't seen it yet, the church came out with a new initiative called #LightTheWorld. This is the season to celebrate the Savior's birth. I invite each of you to go to to learn how to learn how to light the world the with goodness of Christ. 
I know this church is true. 

I love ya'll
-Elder Shill

Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 53 Baptism

Hello Friends and Family!
This has truly been a great week! My trainee is Elder Vranes from Herriman UT. Once again I get a companion that is polar opposite than I am, yet we get along super well. He pretty much came pre-trained so that is a neat tender mercy. We have been running ever since transfers. I don't know why everything decided to happen this weekend, but it did. There were several days we both passed out well before 10:30. I like being busy, its refreshing. 

Jackie was Baptized on Saturday! It was such a neat event for us all to be a part of. I have absolutely loved teaching her. Once the Restoration clicks for someone and the Holy Ghost bears witness of its validity, people become so converted Christ. I love how strong their testimonies become in such a short period of time. I think one reason their testimonies grow so fast is because they are pondering the gospel more than the average person/member. These concepts are new and exciting and are not taken for granted. Their testimony is a burning flame and not a smoldering ember. 

This week we had stake conference. In the Priesthood Leadership meeting the missionaries sang, "Ye Elders of Israel", which went pretty well. We weren't allowed to go to the Saturday general session, but I heard it was fantastic. The Sunday session was all about the Doctrine of Christ. President and Sister Weed (Mission President) did a great job outlining what it is and how we use it. Then President Walker (Stake President) gave a fantastic talk on Repentance. He shared two parables. The first was about him using his wife's phone without permission, and the second he called the parable of the toilet bowl. It was about a man who, to complete repentance, was asked to clean the church toilets for a period of time. Both of stories taught that repentance does not negate all consequences; however, it does provide complete forgiveness. 

The Doctrine of Christ: 2 Nephi 31:13-14, 20

13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.

 14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.

 20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
Faith --> Repentance --> Baptism --> Gift of the Holy Ghost --> Endure to the End

I love yall,
-Elder Shill



Hello Friends and Family!

This has been another amazing week. We got our transfer calls on Saturday. Unfortunately Elder Davis is going to go to Albemarle. I have absolutely loved being his companion and learning from his example. My new companion will be fresh out of the MTC so I will be training him. That means that I will probably be in Kinston for 3 more months. I am super excited to train. I have a feeling that this is going to be a grand 12 weeks! 
- I don't know exactly what has changed the past week, but missionary work exploded in this district. Almost every companionship hit the standard of excellence in lessons and the only one that didn't beat the rest of the district in getting  investigators to sacrament meeting. The work is blossoming and I hope that it continues to grow. 
- This week I went to the Woodington area for exchanges and we had some neat experiences. One of my favorite parts about being a missionary is watching people feel the spirit. One time, after Elder Horton and I had born our testimonies of Jesus Christ, this man with some surprise on his face commented that "we work really well together". Because I felt the Spirit, I know that he felt it too. He then quickly ran out of the room to grab us some deer meat. 
- If you didn't know, missionaries always pray before they plan out their day. That being said we wrote down a bunch of names that we just wanted to stop by. As we were going about our plans we weren't having much success. Right before lunch we stopped by this house and a lady immediately answered the door. Without us saying a word she inquired if her mother sent us or God. It brought joy to my heart to tell her that God sent us because we had had no contact with her mother. She then started spewing the decades of research and questions she had about religion onto us. After taking a breath she then started validating the Book of Mormon just from biblical prophecies (and she's not a member). 
I love yall,
-Elder Shill

Answers to my questions of:
1) What are the top 5 most important lessons you've learned this year?
2) What are your goals for this next year?
3) What advice do you have for us?

Elder Shill's Responses:

5 Most important things:
1) Jesus Christ really is the Savior of the world and his gospel is the only way to have peace in this life and joy in the life to come. 
2) One of my most important jobs is to help people feel the spirit. 
3) Obedience brings blessings.
4) You have to Love the people
5) Make sure you know how to cook. 

Goals for this year:
1) Fearlessly talk to everyone. 

Learn to love the scriptures. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Week 51 Visit from Elder and Sister Bennett

Hello Friends and Family!
This week has been another incredible week! Randall K. Bennett of the Seventy came and toured our mission. It was such a blessing to have him come and teach us how to become better missionaries. I learned so much and I realized how much work I still needed to do. The meeting with him started at 9:45 when he stood up and ended at 5:00 when he sat down. There were no notes and no breaks. He just preached by the spirit for 7 hours straight. My mind was absolutely blown away. I hope that someday I will be able to give sermons like that. 
There are two main things I learned from the meeting. First, our purpose as missionaries is to "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel..." Most of the time missionaries - and members- focus on the invite part. Missionaries have the invite part down. We understand that everything starts with the invitation. What we don't understand is the "help" part. In the meeting we were asked to help the investigators keep their commitments in any way shape or form we could. Now that I include the help aspect more fully I have noticed more commitments are being kept! Just after a couple of days our ward had an entire Less Active family come to church and another less active man decided to make some positive changes in his life! I cannot describe how miraculous that was. This was the training we needed to raise our mission to the next level. I am so excited for where this mission is going. 

I love ya'll,
-Elder Shill


Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 50 (Birthday Dinner Part 2)

Hello Friends and Family!

Thank you all for the Birthday wishes and packages! I really appreciate it! This week has been an amazing week! Here is a cool miracle:

This week I went on exchanges with Elder Hess, who is a spanish elder. After visiting a couple of people we went out exploring for mobile home parks they could track. In the process, we turned down a little road that had about 4 mobile homes at the end; none of which appeared to have spanish speakers. Reaching the end of the road, we began to turn around when our car sunk into the grass. Quickly we became stuck. After trying a couple minutes to push the car out we heard a voice call from behind us," Hello Elders". We turned around to find an older lady standing on her porch with a smile on her face. As we began talking with her we discovered that she is not a member but her son is. She called her son and he helped us get unstuck. As of right now, nothing has resulted from it, but I know that that was the lord starting something.

So apparently Facebook has this new feature called Facebook live. Frequently as we do service someone is walking around with their phone recording us and giving us a quick shout out.

I love y'all,
-Elder Shill


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Elder Shill week 49 Happy **20th** Birthday! :)

Hello Friends and Family!!

Thank you all for the birthday wishes and packages y'all sent. I really appreciate it!:) I honestly cant believe I am 20 years old now

Holy cow a ton happened this week! 

1) We had interviews with the President and President Weed came to district meeting which was awesome. I love being able to hear his words of wisdom. Afterwards he stayed for a lesson with a new investigator. I love how the Spirit feels when we teach someone who is sincerely seeking the gospel. 

2) We had an entire family come to the family history center to do Family History! They aren't investigators yet, but I don't think it will be long until they do investigate the church. BTW the family history center lesson is my favorite lesson to teach. 

3) We took our recent convert out to visit some people. He is an absolutely incredible teacher. 

4) We have put in another 40 hours of service.

Things I learned:
1) There is nothing better than the companionship of the Holy Ghost
2) Eye of Faith ==> Eternal Perspective

I love ya'll,
-Elder Shill


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Week 48

Hello Friends and Family

This week has been one crazy week. We have done an incredible amount of service. I have also learned that the blessings from the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood and the Word of Wisdom are real. Prior to my mission I was a nerdy software developer. I sat in a chair for hours on end getting little to no exercise. When I wasn't programming I was watching Netfilx or eating ice cream. How I was not obese is beyond my comprehension. This week I helped stores and families evacuate, clean up limbs and trees, and bag/transport/place well over 7000 sand bags throughout the city. Some how, task after task I had just enough energy to continue on. Some how, I was able to continue lifting hundreds of sand bags in and out trucks. Some how, I did not drop the plethora of furniture we moved on myself or my companion. Some how, I could keep going when I know back home my body would have given out in 30 min. Even more amazing I was able to maintain a smile on my face the whole time. Needless to say, my mind is blown. I am grateful for the covenants and commandments that bless us.
Hiott Walker got Baptized!!! It was so fun teaching him the past 6 weeks and watching him progress in the Gospel. I was able to confirm him a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and give him the Holy Ghost. That was such a neat experience. 

I Love yall,
-Elder Shill

P.S. 7000 bags x 40lb per bag + 6,000lbs of furniture = 286,000lbs of stuff. (I promise this is not an exaggeration!)


Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 47 Hurricane Matthew

Hello Family!

This has been quite an amazing week. Our investigator, passed his baptismal interview so we will be holding his baptismal service on Saturday!.. Assuming there isn't any flooding to prevent it. We are just grateful that we were able to get him interviewed before all of the major flooding. 

Hurricane Mathew has made quite an impact here in Kinston.  We stayed the night with a ward family.   The entire time I felt like I was in the canyons of Lake Powell waiting out a storm. Only this time I wasn't helping Dad man the ropes and boats and the ground wasn't rocking. I just quietly waited inside for something to happen and for someone to direct me to fix something, but nothing could be done. There was nothing to stress my mind, nothing to watch over.
Yesterday morning we did service trackting to help people in the neighborhood. It was amazing to see how many trees had fallen and how many power-lines were strung out all over the road. There was one man we helped, who initially said he didn't need any help, carry out about a 5ft pile of limbs and sticks from his yard. 

We have been rendering service All day yesterday and will continue doing primarily service throughout the week. We are doing our best to manage all the requests for help. We helped a local store move ALL of its furniture to its second story. Needless to say, we are exhausted. There are a couple members who were flooded out that we will be visiting today to see if we can render any service there. I know that there are many other members in need of help. Our apartments are fine. The Kinston Spanish Apartments still do not have power so they are staying with us (Kinston English) because we live a stones through away and we have power.

Every time we visit a place we can see an increase in the water level. I have heard that the water is supposed to be about 4 ft higher than hurricane Floyd. That is almost literally going to turn Kinston into an island. All of the roads will be closing. We loaded up at Walmart today so between members and our mini food storage, we will have plenty of food.

I love yall,
-Elder Shill

Week 46 General Conference

Hello Friends and Family!!

This week has been an absolutely incredible week! We had one of the most spiritual lessons I have had to this point on my mission. Our Investigator with a baptismal date came to general conference. I testify that if you come to general conference truly seeking the Lord's will or an answer to a question you will receive it. I received answers to my questions and our investigator received a powerful witness from the Holy Ghost that this church is the only true church of Jesus Christ. After conference we had an impromptu lesson to go over conference. We all, being the men we are, fought every tear that came to our eyes. I am so humbled to be a servant of Jesus Christ. I am so blessed to be able to dedicate my life to serving him. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet today. I know that there are Apostles on the earth. I know that Joseph Smith really did see Jesus Christ, who is the only begotten Son of God. I know that true disciples of Jesus Christ are empowered to experience joy in even the most dismal of circumstances. I invite all to read the Book of Mormon, Ponder the hopeful doctrine that is taught, and Pray to the Father to ask if this is His church with the intent of joining if it is.
I love Jesus Christ. 
-Elder Shill
P.S. Those pictures of the Rainbow are unedited and the real rainbow was 1000x better. 


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Week 45

Hello Friends and Family
This has been a pretty great week! We are working so hard here in Kinston. We set a baptismal date with one of our really solid investigators. I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch, but right now I can see him getting baptized! I am so grateful for the support this ward shows the missionaries. We just got a new ward mission leader who has some great ideas for helping us work with members. I am so excited for the coming weeks!

What I learned:
This week most of my studies have been revolving around prayer and faith. Most of my life, prayer has been a means by which to receive blessings (and it is) but there is so much more to humble prayer. Prayer is how we align our wills' with God's. It becomes a conduit that invites positive change into our lives. The more we humbly pray, the more frequently our will's are aligned and the more the spirit of the Lord can touch our hearts.

I love y'all,
- Elder Shill

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Week 44 w/pics! :)

Hello Friends and Family!

This week has been such a fun week! I was able to go on 2 exchanges which was really fun. I love being able to learn from all of the missionaries and find ways in which I can improve myself. The ward here is amazing. We have so much support and the members feed us every day.  I also had zone conference. The theme was Time and using it wisely. Time is such a precious tool we have been given. We learned a lot about planning and how to keep a detailed planner.

My Mom asked me a question about what advice could I give about social media now that I don't use it? I honestly love not being attached to a phone. I notice how much time people spend on their cell phones alienating themselves from the people they are around. I am building so many more memories talking to people. I honestly believe the lack of technology has helped me rapidly learn people skills.  I invite all to set their social media accounts aside. Designate only a couple minutes to "catch up" on the world. I know that if you do you will find yourself talking to more people and living life more fully. 

I love you all,
- Elder Shill