April 20, 2016


Aberdeen, Maryland


Elder Bartholomew and Elder Parkinson

The Importance of the Family Unit

Hello everyone! Another great week! I can truly feel your love and prayers each time I leave my apartment every morning. This is truly the Lord's work and I appreciate all your support.

Well only one more week in this transfer, and it looks like the three amigos are going to get split up, of course we don't know for sure yet but it doesn't look like Elder Bartholomew with be with us much longer since he's been here for so long, but you never know...

This last week has been great! We have an investigator on date for baptism (May 7th). I think I talked a little bit about her last week, her name is Stacey. She is awesome, so prepared to receive the gospel, just a great spirit. I love that we have been able to see her grow in such a short period of time. Her love for the Book of Mormon and the gospel stems from her desire to diligently search for truth. What an example she is to my companions and I. She has been searching for this all her life and once she found it she is so grateful!

We started teaching a family this week, I'm not sure their last name (probably should find that out haha) but the dad's name is Liam and mom is Candice. They just moved to this area and we actually helped them move in on Tuesday. We saw a moving truck so we thought we would stop in! We asked if we could help them with anything else once we were done with the move and so they asked us to come help them paint the next day haha. We did under the condition that we could share a message with them;). We painted and shared a message, and were able to commit them both to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. We have another appointment tonight that we are very excited about.

So in my personal study this week I wanted to figure out how we could really connect with this family. I pondered, and prayed and of course I went on a little bit of a tangent, kind of. I looked at all the families in the book of Mormon that I could think of: Lehi and his family, Alma the Elder and his son, Alma the younger and his three sons, the Brother of Jared, ect. What I came up with is that when these families were completely obedient to the Lord, they were blessed. The same applies to us today. At times we have those few in our families that struggle (Laman and Lemuel), making our family Liahona spin in all directions, but as we learn to completely trust in the Lord, our families will be blessed.

At stake conference a lady in my ward spoke on the essentials of a strong family unit, and she gave ten examples:
1) Family Prayer
2) Family scripture reading
3) Church
4) Having a spirit of service
5) Work, "working hard is essential, we must work hard to have a family unit."
6) Hymns "hymns teach the gospel, lessons may be forgotten but hymns will stick."
7) Bare your testimony
8) One on one talks (inerviews)
9) Listen to the Spirit
10) Obedience

I had a eye opening experience last night to be in a wonderful family's home where I could see the hard work and effort that they put into their family unit. They love and cherish the relationships they have with one another, I loved the spirit that was felt in their home. It reminded me of my own home. I love seeing this, "a family that pray's together stays together." This was across their door, and yes we can substitute this for other things but notice that number 1 on the list above is family prayer. I truly believe that to be number 1 for a reason!

I love you all hope each of you have a great week!

Love, Elder Shouse


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