Friday, May 27, 2016

Week 27 :)

Hello Friends and Family,

This has been a pretty good week this week. Once again we taught several great lessons and had the opportunity to  use the Priesthood. There is no way to explain the power that comes from a priesthood blessing. Giving a blessing is an unreal and sacred experience. The room is filled with love in a way I cannot explain. Complete peace is present. I am so grateful to be a bearer of His Holy Priesthood to help bless other peoples lives. After experiencing giving a priesthood blessing, there is no way I can doubt the validity of this Church. It is The Church of Jesus Christ. 
 
Today we went to Cape Lookout on Harker's Island. It was so refreshing to be near the water and ride on a boat for a little while. I didn't realize how much I missed the water. We were able to explore the island a little bit and visit the lighthouse that is the symbol for our mission. We also saw the Atlantic Ocean, which was pretty neat. We weren't able to get in the water, which was disappointing, but it was still fun to play on sand.  Not many missionaries have the opportunity to do that and I am grateful I was able to go. 

Things I learned:
- Coming to church is an act of faith and is a revelatory experience... if you let it. When ever somebody comes to church expecting help in answering a question, they get an answer. When they come willingly because they are forced to, then their heart is too hard to let the spirit into their life. I see this frequently. 

- The Book of Mormon is true. Of course I knew this before I came out on my mission, but this week I finished it for the second time. I decided to accept Moroni's Challenge and I asked to feel what an investigator might feel. I sat and waited for a while, but nothing seemed to come. Then, as I was laying in bed pondering about The Book of Mormon my heart started burning. It burned for several minutes and all I could feel was peace. The moment my thoughts slipped off of the Book of Mormon, that feeling subsided; however, the moment my thoughts returned the peace came back. Asking was a first action of faith. Pondering was a second. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and it is scripture from God.

I Love Ya'll,
Elder Shill

P.S. I apologize for not responding to everyone's email today. We are running very low on time. 
 












 
 
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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Week 26! (1/4 of the way there! :))

Hello Friends and Family!
 
For the first time in my life, bad luck occurred on Friday the 13th. On my way to the shower after breakfast I stepped into a massive puddle of water in the middle of the kitchen floor. Having no idea how the puddle appeared there and watching it rapidly grow Elder Tebbs and I started running around the apartment trying to find towels to soak up the water and protect the carpets. Once we had the carpets protected, we started pulling all of our appliances out to try to find the leak. We couldn't find anything but we could clearly hear a hissing sound behind the wall by the water heater. We decided to turn off the water from the water heater and instantly the hissing stopped. Once maintenance came to the apartment they decided to cut off some sheet-rock and check the pipes. They found a small hole, and determined that it was necessary to replace the entire pipe.
 
We also had a specialized training this week. The topic was physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness and self-reliance. I really wish that I had this training week 1 in the field. There were a couple of training presented. The first one Sis. Baker taught was about personality colors and how to build off of each others strengths. One thing I really like about missions is learning how to get along with so many different kinds of people. The second one was taught by Pres. Baker. He taught us about the importance of self-reliance. He showed us through the scriptures how it is our responsibility to take care of ourselves in all things both temporally and spiritually. Learning to becoming self-reliant is part of our purpose here on earth. He then taught us how to create a budget because many missionaries were struggling with managing their money. This was the best budget training I have ever received. The last training was about our physical well-being and it was taught by our mission nurse Sis. Steadman. She taught us extremely basic things like, how long it takes food to go bad in a fridge and what kinds of bugs will kill you. We also learned about hygienic ways of preparing food.  After the training President Baker decided to play Ompa Loompa with us. At one point president made a buzzer-beater half-court shot! All of the missionaries exploded with excitement. 

Thing I learned this week:

When I was growing up my parent forced me to take piano lessons. Longs story short, I hated the piano and I was determined to quit, but my parents wouldn't let me. So I devised a plan... Whenever I was asked to practice, I practiced for not just 30 mins but for at least an hour. I played loudly. I would hop on the piano even when I wasn't asked to. I put 110% effort into playing the piano in the hopes that I would annoy my parents enough to have them pull me out of piano lessons. While they were annoyed with my childish behavior, this crazy thing started happening. I started rapidly improving. Songs that would have taken me months of work to learn became easy to learn. This realization of improvement made me want to work harder and soon enough, I was enjoying the piano. I was no longer playing the piano out of spite, but because I loved being able to musically express myself.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is exactly the same way. You must give it your all, and if you don't it will barely profit you anything. Once you make the decision to be 110% active, live your life like the prophet or Jesus Christ would, then your life starts to rapidly change. Actively search the scriptures. Actively make prayers meaningful. Actively search for answers to questions during church. Instead of accomplishing the minimum requirements, seek for excellence. I have seen Jesus Christ change lives.

 -Elder Shill



 
 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

Mother's Day
May 8, 2016

Emma, Collin, Danae, Caleb, Elder Shill (TV), Talmage, Lila
Love my family so very much!

Week 25

Hello Family and Friends,

This week has been pretty good once again. I feel like I'm becoming a bit redundant with my writing, which isn't my fault entirely. Missionary work is consistently stressful, mundane, and absolutely rewarding. As I told my family on Mother's Day, I could easily be a missionary every day for the rest of my life. This is the most consistent happiness I have had in my life. I have changed so much, learned so many new skills, and developed a deep sense of self motivation for sharing the gospel. Having seen what I have seen, and experienced the things I have experienced, and know the things I know, there is no doubt in my mind that this is the true church of Jesus Christ. More than that, I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.
 
Elder Tebbs and I taught Sunday school in church this week. Luckily our assigned topic was the Atonement so we could talk about that all day. Right after the opening prayer, we asked the class why they decided to come to church today. Answered varied between spiritual nourishment, remembering Christ, and taking the sacrament. Each answer had an underlining tone: the Atonement. Each principle, ordinance, and commandment is a means to get to the Atonement. They help us apply it more fully in our lives. Sometimes as a missionary I forget that my first and most important responsibility is to testify of Christ. The restoration, Book of Mormon, prophets and apostles, temples and baptisms for the dead are significantly less important than Christ suffering in Gethsemane, death on the cross, and Resurrection. If we each truly understood the Atonement, we would not be able to stop talking about it. It would take center stage in our minds and our perspective on life would change.

Things I learned:
  • If you do your part, the Lord is bound to do his part. D&C 130:20-21 puts it like this," There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated. And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it was predicated. " There are so many little things that happen from day to day that prove this principle. Most of these can only be seen looking backward and watching the Lords hand guide and direct my life. 
  • If you ever want to know what its like to have a community perfectly following Christ, read the first half of 4th Nephi. If you want to see what happens when people don't, read the second half. 

I love y'all,
-Elder Shill

 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week 24

Hello Friends and Family,

We had a pretty good week this week. Like normal, we had lots of appointments fall through, but we also had lots of lessons. We found a new family to teach, and without us asking they told us about the spirit they feel as soon as we enter their home. They are incredibly curious and want to learn more. 
 
Things I learned:
  • On exchanges Elder King and I listened to a talk about the Atonement. After listening to that 30 min talk, my knowledge and respect for the Atonement and Jesus Christ exploded out of my head. All of my worries and concerns were washed away because of their insignificance, then I felt an incredible urge to go out and share the gospel. After sharing the restoration and first vision 100,000 times, I frequently forget that my first responsibility is to testify of Jesus Christ, then teach how his gospel is restored. 
  • Revelation comes from church. I don't know why, but one of the people we were working with went to church! We were shocked when we saw him there. Every testimony, and class discussion related to his needs. It amazes me how the spirit picked people out of the congregation to bear testimony. Also, when ever I come to church with a question, I get an answer. 
Also, Some cool family history to do is go to https://speeches.byu.edu/speaker/legrand-richards/
His talks will blow your mind :)

I love yall,
-Elder Shill