June 2, 2016


Aberdeen, Maryland


Elder Parkinson

Re-commit our Lives to Him!

Hey everyone! Can't believe it's been seven months already! Dang! Hope the week has been well for everyone! Next week is transfers for us. Not really sure what to expect, so we will see what happens soon! Every other month we have zone conference, which is where our president comes and instructs us. The meeting was from 7am-4pm... it was super long, (haha), but i was able to get some awesome insight. *:) happy
We were also blessed with a few more investigators this past week, two of which we were able to have some very special experiences. First, I want to talk a little about Gus. We contacted him a couple weeks ago. He's an older man, in his late 60's. We have taught him two lessons, but at both lesson he didn't seem to be interested in what we had to say, but still he kept inviting us over! The last time we went over, we went with the intent to find a deeper concern as to why he keeps inviting us over even though he's not acting on anything we give him. We asked him how his Book of Mormon reading was going, he said he had read a lot and knew it was true! We were ecstatic! We asked him if he wanted to come to church with us this week and he came! We pulled him aside at the end of the meetings he said he loved church and he is now on date for the 25th of June! Awesome! We picked up another investigator this week her name is Kelly. She is about 20 and has a 18 month daughter. When we first met Kelly, she was very hesitant to letting us come back and talk with her. She gave us a day, and we stopped by. As we got out of our car, Kelly was about to get into hers with a couple friends. I ran over and asked if she had some time for us to talk with her...Even though I knew she was she was about to leave, haha! I promised her friends would still be there after our lesson, (I thought she would laugh after I said that, but she didn't, so it wasn't very funny...haha) She decided to stay and we talked about her relationship with Jesus Christ. After a few minutes of talking to her, it was very apparent that she had been through some rough things in her life. As Elder Parkinson and I began to testify of the truth of our message, she began to cry, we asked if she would come to church on Sunday and she agreed. Now we are super excited to see Kelly at church this Sunday!
It's really cool to see all these tender mercies from the Lord as a missionary, but it's even more special when we see our investigators realize and see those too.

But all together awesome week! I just would like to end with a little thought from my Zone conference this week. We were having a discussion on what a consecrated missionary was. The definition that was given was this:
"We tend to think of consecration only as yielding up, when divinely directed, our material possessions. But ultimate consecration is the yielding up of oneself to God... Heart, soul, and mind were the encompassing words of Christ in describing the first commandment, which is constantly, not periodically, operative. If kept, then our performances will, in turn, be fully consecrated for the lasting welfare of our souls."
Sometimes we mix up sacrifice with consecration. So let's break down the two, what is sacrifice? The thing that I came up with what sacrifice is... to surrender or to give something up so in return we could get something else. An example of that would be, I serve a mission for two years, so I would sacrifice two years of my time to receive blessing from Heavenly Father in my own life and the lives of my family. For my whole life, I've had that type of definition of sacrifice in my head. I give something, and later I will receive something. Another example could be tithing...we pay our tithing and in return receive blessings. But what does it mean to consecrate? Like it says in the quote above, we can mix up consecration for sacrifice, "We tend to think of consecration only as yielding up, when divinely directed, our material possessions. But ultimate consecration is the yielding up of oneself to God...heart, soul, and mind." So the difference between the two, I believe are two things: number one... we are not giving up material things but we are giving ourselves completely to Heavenly Father, and also it's an attitude change rather than it being a sacrifice or something that is hard to do. Hopefully we can see it as our commitment to the Lord, showing our love for Him, and wholly giving everything we have to Him because He has given everything to us!
Hopefully this next week we can each re-commit and re-focus, to more consecrate ourselves to the Lord! I love this gospel, I love how through the atonement of Jesus Christ we can consecrate ourselves each day! And fully commit to Him daily! "I promise you that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make." (Gordon B Hinckley) Let us each show our love in our obedience to Him, and consecrate our lives here on earth. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love you each hope you have a great week!
Love, Elder Shouse


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