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


Week 43

Hello Friends and Family!

This week has been pretty great! So for the past couple weeks we have been searching for a new Investigator. For what ever reason we weren't having the best luck. Then all of a sudden right after district meeting we get a call from a member asking us to meet him at his work he could introduce us to his friend. His friend had been searching for a church for quite some time and wasn't having any luck, so he invited him to church. Throughout church he kept commenting on how much he loved our church and how he was going to come back next week! Following church we had an impromptu lesson to explain the restoration because he had multitudes of questions. He then invited us over to meet his family and have lunch! Unfortunately we had appointments so we couldn't go. I am so grateful for members who are willing and searching for opportunities to share the gospel. 

Things I Learned:
  • Part of Jesus Christ's mission was to "live among men as their Exemplar and Teacher, observing the sanctity of man’s agency but teaching men to use aright that divine heritage" (Jesus the Christ, Throughout the struggles of mortality we can take comfort in the fact that in each of us hold divine heritage as sons and daughters of God. Continually remembering His divine heritage is how Christ overcame all temptations and is a pattern he established for us to overcome sin. I know that as we remember who we are and what our potential is we can receive extra strength that enables us to overcome the world. 
  • Mission life is the MTC for real life. 
I love yall,
-Elder Shill

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Week 42 Kinston, NC

Hello Friends and Family!

I am absolutely loving it here in Kinston. Kinston can be divided into two major parts. East Kinston, which is extremely ghetto, and West Kinston which has some fairly nice neighborhoods. Some how all of our investigators are in East Kinston. This area has a relatively high density of Mormons for North Carolina. There is at least one member in every neighborhood. We also do a ton of service here. Several times a week we help the city, or a thrift shop, or a member. The members here are absolutely incredible. We are fed almost every single night. 

We had zone meeting this last Friday and it was all about setting goals and how to reach a vision. I don't know why, but I really enjoyed it. In it we used Amalickiah as a great example of effective planning. As you read Alma 46 you can clearly see how Amalickiah's vision was to over-through the Lamanite king and take control of the kingdom. You also see some of his actionable items such as kill the king, gain favor of armies, and get the queen. It was pretty funny taking a generally bad example to teach a principle. 

Things I learned this week:
  • All acts of faith are expressions of repentance to one degree or another.
  • As I meet with someone for the first time, I soon come to an understanding of what aspect of the gospel they need to work on. It is neat being able to view others testimonies and help them strengthen it. 
  • God has given us talents so we can help better the lives of others: I figured out how to productively program! There are almost 400 households in this ward and that would take at least 6 hours to type into the GPS. So instead of wasting 6 hours, I sat down for 1 hour and deconstructed the GPS Point of Interest code to see if I could recreate it. Then, I browsed the church website to see If I could get all of the members addresses. Turns out that there is no easy way to do this so I had to use the developer console to extract some JSON data from the server. Then I created a JSON to GPX converter that I could run in the developer console. Now if I am ever transferred again I can run my code and within 10 min download the entire ward roster onto the GPS instead of spending 4-6 hours! Not to shabby considering I never used Google or any unapproved website 😀
I love y'all
-Elder Shill


Friday, September 2, 2016

Week 41

Hello Friends and Family!

This has been a crazy week! I got transferred to the Kinston North Carolina Ward, which is such a fantastic place. The members here are absolutely incredible and the work is going really well. My new companion is Elder Davis and he is from Vernal UT. He is an absolutely incredible missionary and there is so much I can learn from him. I honestly cant describe how excited I am to be down here. 
I feel pretty bad for the missionary I replaced because I walked into his Baptism. Jack was baptized on Saturday and then on Sunday he was confirmed a member of the church. He is incredible smart and already knows quite a bit about the gospel. We watched Elder Holland testimony of the Book of Mormon and Christ's baptism and there was a special spirit in the room. I know that Jack made the correct decision to be baptized. There is nothing that makes me happier than seeing someone gain a testimony of the Gospel.

Things I learned:
- A little practice goes a long way: On Sunday I was randomly assigned to be the teacher in gospel principles in a completely new area and having no clue what the lesson was even on. However, since I had been teaching every day for the past 9 month I felt completely prepared. The lesson, which was on missionary work, turned out pretty well :)

- As soon as you think you have figured everything out, the Lord puts you into a foreign environment so you can keep learning. 

I know that this church is true. I know that Joseph Smith really did see God and Jesus Christ. I know that each principle in the gospel brings numerous blessings if we live them.

I love yall
-Elder Shill

Week 40! Transfer to Kinston, NC

Hello Friends and Family!!!

After 6 months of service in Greenville NC I am being transferred about 40 min away to Kinston. I am so excited to serve there and to get to know the people.  I absolutely loved Greenville and I am going to miss it a lot. 

This week has been an incredible week. We had a lot of little tender mercies this week. One of my favorites was during a lesson with an investigator. In the middle of the lessons he jumps off topic and says, "So... if I wanted to get baptized, how would I do that?" It is amazing how quickly my mood changed, and enthusiasm rushed into my soul. So, we set him with a baptismal date on the 10th of September. Unfortunately I wont be able to be there, but at least he is getting baptized.

We also went to the General Stake Priesthood session, which was absolutely incredible. It was about strengthening the family, in particular the Fathers.

Things I learned this week:
- I love learning a way the Holy Ghost has influenced me in the past: On the way the to the Priesthood session I had the opportunity to ride with the stake Patriarch. During the ride we started talking about how the Holy Ghost works and he gave me some good insight about how it prepares people for things. As soon as I understood the principle, about 20 experiences I have had flashed before my eyes allowing me to see how the Holy Ghost had worked with me. It was really neat building that connection. 

I am so grateful to be apart of this church. I know with out a doubt, that it is the only true church on the face of the earth. 

I love y'all
-Elder Shill