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