Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 62

Hello Friends and Family!
We had so many hilarious experiences this week and we accomplished a lot of work.

I went on two exchanges this week. My first one was with Elder Free who is a spanish missionary. I love going on spanish exchange because it forces me to listen to the spirit in order to teach a lesson. I wouldn't say I have the gift of tongues and can understand everything, but somehow I do understand the context of the conversation. As we were tracting a new trailer park we ran into a family that converts about every 3 years to a different church. They were very warm and friendly. As we (or rather Elder Free) talked to them on their door step they invited us inside to look at a picture they had up on their wall. Hanging on the wall next to the front door was a beautiful yet bizarre picture. There was a floating island full of people surrounded by a river of lava. This island was a melting pot full of different races, cultures, and political views. Among the people were angels of God standing as ushers. After browsing the people I noticed the last angel standing on the edge of the island throwing people off into the lava river. Every day when these people leave their home they are reminded of the awful damnation that awaits the wicked. How quaint... We did have a really good lesson with a less active family!

The second exchange was with Elder Horton. The engine light to the car turned on so we spent the first half of the day in the dealership. To pass the time Elder Horton and I went out to tracked a nearby neighborhood. Rarely will I skip a house while tracting; However, as we started to move to our next house we noticed the open side door and a rather old lady in her birthday suit.... Needless to say we skipped that house.  

We picked up a new investigator who lives a stones throw away from our recent convert. He is an older man who has lived in the area for well over a decade. I love when people understand the message of the Restoration and recognize how necessary it was. As we taught you could see the message click inside his head.

We pulled out our bikes on Thursday! I cannot tell ya'll how much I missed biking. It is so easy to talk to people because you can stop anywhere. We drove 15 miles to Grifton and spent the whole day up their talking to as many people as we could. We were able to find a couple potentials. Plus, we visited a less active family and set up a return appointment for them. 

With all the fun we had this week. My highlight was having our progressing investigator come to church and having the ward open their arms to her. I am so grateful for the charity the members have here. This is the perfect ward to come to for the first time!

I love ya'll,
-Elder Shill
Sharing the gospel is literally what brings me the most happiness in life. Out of all the things I have done in my life I feel the most accomplished sharing the gospel.

District Conference

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Week 61

Dear Family,

With the start of the new year, President Weed was instructed by his leaders to hold interviews and zone conferences every transfer. Unfortunately for President Weed that tripled his load, but I am grateful for the extra instruction I get to receive. This transfer the conference was supposed to be held here in Kinston, but a man in the ward passed away and his funeral was the same day. After some minor stress on the Relief Society President, President Weed contacted the Greenville Wards and moved the whole conference there. 

The conference was nice, I learned a lot about working with members of the church. One of the trainings was about using social media. We all thought we were going to be authorized to use Facebook, instead we were taught how to conduct "The List" activity from PMG with Facebook. We learned to have members pull out their phones and have them prayerfully identify a friend they could share a video with. Then we have them share that video while we are there.

We also studied the Susan Fulture Case Study, which is about a missionary and what she did to work with the members. 

As far as funny stories go, we received a call from a Sister.  She is an incredibly sweet, loving, Sistser.  During her call, she informed us that her cousin, an elderly member of the ward with some slight dementia, had thrown away his TV because he thought it was broken. However, he usually manages to unplug it and forgets to plug it back in. She asked us if we could quickly run over and dumpster dive for his TV. After some decent searching, we concluded that garbage truck had already come and his TV was gone. 

This week we also went on exchanges with the zone leaders. Elder Talbot, who came out with me, joined me in my area while Elder Vranes went to Greenville YSA. It was fun to see how much we had progressed since entering the field. It was also amazing to see how powerfully we taught. We met one man.  As we began to talk to him we each noticed how the Holy Ghost was guiding our words. He did not believe in Jesus Christ, but he did believe in a God; something of higher power. He grew up reading the Bible but had lost his faith. Through the conversation it became evident to us that we needed to teach him about why a faith in Christ is so important. We used the Plan of Salvation to convey our testimonies. We saw him feel the spirit. I know he felt it because of how much he understood exactly what we were trying to teach. He would try to state his beliefs, but he would recognize his own confusion. We just need to meet with him again.

I Love yall,
-Elder Shill


Monday, January 9, 2017

Week 60

Hello Friends and Family!

This has been a pretty great week! I think it is absolutely crazy that a 1/4 inch of snow pretty much shut down all of Kinston. Even church was canceled. We were going to see Elder Cook on Saturday, but the weather turned bad so we weren't able to drive up there. I hope that he comes back to visit our mission. Anyways, because of the weather we were not allowed to drive for the past 2 days, which is really frustrating. There are only so many hours you can put into your areabook without going insane. We were able to find a member to take us out yesterday and we had a surprisingly productive day despite not having a car.  
So there is a man we visit who is mentally handicapped. He LOVES the missionaries. Every time we come over he cleans his room and asks us for another pamphlet (He has a stack of pamphlets about 8in high). He also keeps the pass along cards we give him in his pocket. When we park in front of his house, if he doesn't appear within 10 sec we know that he is not home. Usually we stop by and share a really quick message, but the last 2 times we had him teach us the lessons. Last time he taught me the Restoration as Elder Vranes pretended to be his companion and helped him teach. This time is was our turn to teach Elder Vranes. As we began teaching we heard a little bit of snickering behind us. Several of the caretakers in the home quietly walked into the room and were watching us teach. When they noticed that we noticed them the promptly hid outside the door but stayed close enough they could hear. It was kind of neat having him teach an audience, even though he didn't know he was. 

I love y'all,
-Elder Shill

Fun Pics

Week 59

Happy New Years!
Another year has come and gone, and I can honestly say that this has been the best year of my life. I have never experienced so much continuous joy.  I literally can not think of a bad thing that happened the entire year. I am grateful for everything that I have learned and experienced this past mission. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to help a couple people enter the waters of baptism and become active in the church. I am grateful for the increase of the spirit I have felt. I am grateful for the friendships I have been able to start. 

This past week has been incredible. You know that moment when you are certain you are feeling the spirit confirming your testimony. Yup, that is the greatest feeling in the world. I love teaching the gospel. I love watching it "click" in people's heads. A couple days ago, we were teaching a lady who happened to be a former investigator from about 16 years ago. The lesson was going abnormally well (which is a great thing). Throughout the lesson, we could feel the spirit and we knew that she was one of the elect. As I was teaching, Elder Vranes heeded the spirit's prompting to invite her to be baptized. She responded with an optimistic tone, "I might :)" Instantly the spirit ran into our hearts. We each felt the burning in our bosom. Recognizing the perfect opportunity to teach her about the spirit, we asked her, "Did you feel that?" She quietly said,"Feel what?.. When I said maybe?" She had felt the witness from the Holy Ghost that our message was true. We have not been able to see her yet, but we have a return appointment for tomorrow. 

New Years Eve was pretty fun as well. We started the night by going to the Fireman museum and eating dinner with Bro. Basden. He was a former Fire Chief so he told us some neat stories. My favorite thing in the museum is a historic fire-extinguisher that you would hang from the ceiling. It used a chemical called Carbon Tetra-chloride, which was later used in chemical warfare. Since we weren't allowed to proselyte we went to Spanish's apartment and played board games. At 9 we went to our apartment, planned for the next day and then went to sleep. I think I was in bed by 10. 
Happy New Years!!!!
-Elder Shill