Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Week 9

Hello Family and Friends!

First and foremost I want to apologize to those who were anticipating an email yesterday. It was Martin Luther King day and the library was closed so I wasn't able to email.

As for my week, It has been pretty exciting! I have officially been out 2 months and it feels like last week I was on my way to the MTC. Time is flying by quicker than I would like it to. I have successfully survived my first 6 weeks and we got our transfer calls on Saturday. I will be staying in the hood with Elder Allred, and Elder Davis will be transferring down to North Carolina. My new companion is going to be Elder Talbot, who has only been out six months. I don't know him yet, but I'm excited to get to know him.

The weather finally figured out it was winter. It was weird biking around in a short sleeved shirt in the middle of January. On Sunday, we had a pretty good snow storm that ended church early and prohibited us from biking (It was a pathetic snow storm by Utah standards :) ). It was weird being stuck in an apartment with nothing to do, so Elder Davis and I pulled out a 1000 piece puzzle we found and started solving it.

Early this week, Elder Allred thought he saw something run across his foot and we all sarcastically said it was probably a mouse. Elder Davis, who has a serious phobia of mice, decided to set up traps... just incase... Lo and behold, when we came home from proselyting there was a dead mouse. Both of my companions shuddered in disgust and quickly left the room. Both of them looked like they were about to throw up. I did what any good scout would do and picked it up. Holding it by the trap, I started roaming the house. Every where I walked, my companions would plaster themselves against the opposite wall, or under their covers. Our poor neighbors probably thought there was an axe murderer in our apartment because of the blood curdling screams this little creature was causing. I, being the bravest of all, was given the responsibility of disposing the vermin. The next morning, a mouse ran over my foot. Once again the traps went out and we killed another mouse. There is still at least one more mouse in the apartment, but they are smart. They have eaten all of the bait on the traps and not a single one has gone off.

Our investigator is still set for baptism!!! Every time we meet with her she is brighter and happier. Every time she comes to church, we find tears in her eyes because she feels the spirit. She is completely ready to be baptized and enter the Lords kingdom. I can just tell that she is going to be a strong member.

Lessons I learned: 
  • People take Missionaries seriously as representatives of Jesus Christ. People look to missionaries as a source of light that helps them overcome their problems.  It shocks me how much people are willing to tell me about their life. I know so many random tidbits about so many people's lives that, in reality, there is no reason I should know. Yet, because they are willing to share and open up to us, we are able to help the gospel come into their life. It really is amazing watching people learn and grow. Watching people countenance change is such a special blessing.
  • Reach out to recent converts and less-actives as well as non-members. There are so many people here that get baptized and then disappear for one reason or another. About 75% of the branch is less-active. The Church is so good at building strong community between active members but often times less-actives get left out. They are the people who really need to be part of the community. They are the ones who need the extra support and fellowshipping. They need constant out reach. Joining the church is a complete life change and people need help enduring to the end. We have started visiting less-actives and they all love meeting with members and being part of the community. Rarely will people invite themselves to an event. If someone's name just popped into your head, please reach out to them! Invite them over for dinner, come to church, go to mutual, or just hang out. I can promise that is the spirit prompting you to act, and if you act, you will see miracles.
  • You get out, what you put in. This saying is true no matter what the activity is. If you put a lot into school, you get a lot out of school. If you put a lot into studying, you get a lot from studying. If you put a lot into sacrament meeting, you get a lot out of sacrament meeting. The past several weeks I have started taking notes during sacrament meetings. Every time I sit down I fully believe that I will receive revelation to help me through the week. As the meeting progresses I find my self writing thoughts and impressions as well as notes on what the speaker is talking about. I am proud to say that since coming on my mission I have not experienced a single boring sacrament meeting. Meetings that every one complains about being a waste of time I find my self edified and closer to Christ. One thing I like to do is walk into a meeting with a question on paper. During the meeting I ask my self how this applies to my question. Every time I get an answer.
I love and miss y'all so much,
- Elder Shill

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