Thursday, July 28, 2016

Week 36

Hello Friends and Family!

This week has been a pretty good week. This week was ward conference and it was absolutely incredible. After church I felt re-invigorated to go out and serve. I love this gospel and I am grateful for the time that I get to spend as a full time missionary. Ward conference was all about protecting the family. It was incredible to see everybody's concern with the dreadful state of the world. The family is such an important part of God's plan for us and Satan is doing everything he can to attack it. I find it amazing that so many people, my self included, forget the importance of daily scripture study and meaningful prayer. These are some of the most basic principles of the gospel and yet they are often so easy to overlook. Scripture study should be just as high, if not higher, as studying for a finals test. 

Things I learned this week:
- Exact obedience points your entire soul towards Christ.
- Memorizing scriptures helps your memory
- Prayer and keeping the Sabbath day holy helps change behavior. 

Sorry for the short email,
-Elder Shill

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Week 35

Hello Friends and Family!!!

This has been an incredible week. So much has happened the past couple of days. Elder Tebbs has officially finished his mission and now I am serving with Elder Hansen. On Tuesday I was able to serve with Elder Hyman, who is a phenomenal missionary, because his companion went home too. Elder Hansen is ridiculously smart. He is constantly reading something doctrinally heavy. We also seem to teach pretty well together. On top of that, we are surprisingly similar in our interest. I have a feeling that this is going to be a great transfer. 

As LeGrand Richards said, "If you present our story right... and keep the lead... there is no need to argue about anything." This is completely true. With complete confidence I can talk to anyone about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The claim that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ is absolutely incredible! All principles and doctrines in this church were given to us by direct revelation from God and then we use scriptures like the Bible and Book of Mormon to back it up. This is truly a marvelous work and a wonder and I know that it is absolutely true. We are so blessed to have additional scripture, modern apostles, prophets and other ecclesiastical leaders. Temples that once blessed the earth in Biblical times are back on the earth with all the associated priesthood keys for preforming saving ordinances for the living and the dead. Family relationships perpetuate beyond the grave. I testify that this is the Church of Jesus Christ that has been restored as it was prophesied it would be. 

Things I learned this week:
- The temple is literally the House of the Lord. In it the spirit is stronger than any other place on earth. The only place that can compare to the sacredness of the temple is the home. I have noticed this as I walk into members homes, especially the ones that do daily family prayer, scripture study and strive their hardest to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ into their family. The spirit hits me like a wave when I walk in. 

- Righteous Leaders: While reading the Book of Mormon I have learned about how important it is to follow leaders that stand for truth and righteousness.  A strong leader is really what the world needs right now and I am grateful for a living prophet that I can follow in all circumstances.

I love yall,
-Elder Shill


Week 34

Hello Friends and Family!

This week has been pretty great! Elder Tebbs is officially on his way home, which is crazy. It feels like yesterday I walked off the plane and now I am a third of the way done with my mission. My new companion is going to be Elder Hansen and I will be staying in Greenville NC. I am super excited to get to know him this next transfer and continue working with the ward here. 

The 4th of July was pretty fun. We went to a members pool party (we didnt get in the pool though) and had lunch with them. Afterwards we had a district p-day where we played sports for hours. That night we parked just in time to watch the finally for the firework display.

Lessons Learned this week:
- The Lord teaches us line upon line and precept upon precept. I absolutely love re-reading my study journal and finding the hidden treasures of knowledge that the Lord has given me. I refer to my study journal almost as often as I refer to Preach My Gospel. 

- Revelations is real. It is how we develop an everlasting conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that God speaks to all of his children and he wants the best for them. We should all regularly be reading and praying about the Book of Mormon to strengthen our testimony. 

- Keeping the Sabbath Day holy and partaking of the sacrament is how we help ourselves accomplish the goal we set in the pre-mortal world to master ourselves and become like God. 

I love yall. Sorry for the short letter,
-Elder Shill

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Week 33

Hello Friends and Family!

This week has been another amazing week. This is the last week of the transfer so this week is going to be incredibly hectic. Elder Tebbs is dying (completing his mission and going home) and I will figure out who my next companion will be on Saturday. President Weed is officially in charge and holds the keys for the gathering of Israel in the Virginia Chesapeake Mission. We were able to meet him on Friday and I have complete trust in his capabilities to run this mission. 

Miracles that happened this week:
  • Right place at the right time: Tuesday we had an incredible day where we ran into soo many people that we felt like God was preparing to receive the gospel. My favorite was when we knocked on a door and 1/2 a second latter it opens. The guy inside goes, " Man! We were just talking about y'all!" We had a nice discussion with them about the gospel and what we believe. We also ran into people who had many Mormon friends and had us give them a shout-out. This week we could really see the lord planting us in places to help bless His children
  • About 3 months ago we ran into the woman (there is a cool story here) and taught her a lesson, but then we never saw her after that. This week we twice we were trying to stop by her neighbor, who wasn't home, and she was out with a friend. The first time we saw them, we had an amazing lesson and each wanted to learn more so we exchanged numbers. The second time we stopped by she said, "We were just about to call yall. This must be God that brought you here." 
  • On exchanges, (There is always a miracle on exchange) accidentally tracked into an inactive member who is about to have is first child. Apparently a couple of members have been randomly reaching out to him and when we showed up he said that this must be his sign from God. 
  • Two of our investigators that came to church last week came this week AND they brought their entire family! They all really enjoyed church!
Things I learned:
  • Prophecy is sweet. Recently I have been going through a bunch of Isaiah's and other prophets prophecies trying to find the ones that have already been fulfilled and there is a lot. One of my favorite chapters is Ezekiel 37 because it references the Book of Mormon, Utah, World Wide Missionary Work, and Temples. It blows my mind.
  • I was reading several parables the savior gave and the one that stood out to me was the parable to the Talents. I realized that each talent could be a piece of testimony. He who acts on faith and uses his talent will receive an increased return. In other words, he who tries to build his testimony will gain a stronger testimony. But for those who bury there talents end up loosing them in the end. 
  • I have been listening to Elder Eyring's opening talk from General Conference. In it he quotes D&C 88:62-63 which says “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you”. I know this is a true principle and as you seek Christ when you know he is near you will feel the Spirit more strongly. 
I know that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world. I know that He lives and that He loves us all. I know that in 1820 he appeared to Joseph Smith and called him to be a prophet. Through Joseph Smith the original church of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and if you read it and ask God with real intent if it is true, He will manifest the truth of it unto you. 

Hope y'all have a great rest of the week,
-Elder Shill

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Week 32

Hello Friends and Family!!!

This has been an incredible week. We had the amazing opportunity to have Brother Westover spend the week with us as a mini-missionary. In other words, this week was loaded with miracles. We taught so many lessons and had 5 people at sacrament meeting! That is more than we have had in this area in a very long time. Everyone was shocked. We are working with some great people right now. I learned so many new things this week.

Also, President and Sister Baker have finished there missions. They are now released from the stressful mantel and that mantel has been confirmed upon President Weed. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to serve under President Baker. I have learned so many lessons from him by both what he said and the example he set. I am thankful for the opportunity I have to serve under President Weed. I anticipate learning a lot from him as well. 

Things I learned: 
  • There is nothing better than pure humble testimony to bring the spirit. If you truly believe, then no matter how weak your words may sound, through the help of the spirit they can become exceedingly powerful. Bro. Westover was a perfect example of bearing simple powerful testimonies. His inexperience in the mission field was definitely a strength that blessed many peoples lives. D&C 4:3
  • Revelation is real. I finished my first study journal and for the past week I have been reviewing all of my notes. I am honestly amazed by some of the things I have written down. There are little tiny pieces of treasure.
  • Along with the last one, keep a study journal and write the thoughts and impressions you receive as you study the scriptures. It is amazing looking back to see what you learn from the spirit. 
I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and I know that Jesus Christ is the savior and redeemer of the world. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to share this knowledge with others. I know that I am called of God to share what I know. 

I love yall,
-Elder Shill


Week 31

Hello Friends and Family!

It has been another amazing week! The highlight this week was my mission presidents last zone conference with us. To say it was amazing would be an understatement. The theme for the conference was about becoming a consecrated missionary. There are two great talks President Baker had us read before had called "The 4th missionary" and "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary". I thought I was pretty consecrated before, and then afterwards I realized how much more improvement I still needed to do. I am working hard to literally give my soul to God. I am quickly realizing how quick missions go by. It feels like it was yesterday I was back home. 
This week we are going to have a Mini-Missionary with us! I am so excited to serve around him. I expect lots of miracles to occur this week!

Things I learned this week:

- Family History is an amazing finding tool! If you are ever wondering about how to bring up religion in a non intrusive way, talk about family history. It is incredible how much people know about their ancestors and how much they love to talk about it. It also perfectly leads into the Gospel.

Have a wonderful week,
-Elder Shill