Date

October 19, 2016

Area

Antietam, Maryland

Companion

Elder Stafford

Prayers ~ Closer to Heavenly Father

Hey everyone! Hope everyone's Monday is going well. We had a pretty fun day today. We got to go visit the Antietam Battlefield, which was the most gruesome battle of the whole civil war. Over 23,000 men died in one day, pretty crazy! We got to go around to all the different scene's of the battle and where it took place. This place is full of history, love it! I have to say, that this last week has been awesome! #1 I love Elder Fisher my new comp., he's awesome! He's also going to go to UVU when he gets home from his mission, so we'll be able to see each other at home too! Anyways back to this week, I've been talking a lot about this family over the last couple weeks, the Stull family. Well they came to stake conference on Sunday and loved it, and one of the girls even brought along her boyfriend, so now we are gonna start teaching him to! So awesome! Total there was 8 people. They invited us over on Friday this next week so we can share the next lesson with them and also so I can burn one of my shirts! This is basically a thing missionaries do when they hit their year mark, they burn a white shirt! At my year and a half mark, I'll burn slacks, and then at the end of my mission, I'll burn a full suit... (No worries mom I'll buy one from goodwill and burn that one ;)

So, we also had Andre (he's 12, one of the smartest 12 year old's I have ever met!) come to church which was great! We had to move his baptism date back a few weeks but it was okay cause his sister wants to start taking the lesson's also, so now they can get baptized on the same day!

Then there was Nancy, I think I have talked about Nancy a couple of weeks ago, maybe not. We have been teaching her for a couple of weeks now. We had a pretty awesome experience when we first met Nancy. When we first talked to her, we were talking for about an hour just going back and forth about the Book of Mormon and few other topics. There were several times when I just really wanted to leave cause I felt like the conversation wasn't going anywhere. But each time I said that, something said just wait, just a little bit longer. And so we did and we talked for about an hour and eventually we bore our testimonies and asked if we could come back, she said yes! Each time we have gone over it has been a similar situation where at the beginning it was a little rough and then towards the end, things work themselves out. A few days ago when we visited her I had Elder Fisher with me for the first time, and I'll tell ya, this kid has had to go through a lot of rough things in his life. But he bore the sweetest, most uplifting, simple, and edifying testimony I have ever heard and after that her whole demeanor changed, it was amazing. She was receptive and open to everything else we had to say and said she couldn't wait until we came back. I loved it! It made me realize and understand that Heavenly Father puts people in our lives that can help us make the necessary changes that we need.

My spiritual thought this week is short, but the scripture I want to share has made me ponder a lot this week on my personal prayers: "Pray always, and I will pour my spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing yea, even more, than if you should obtain treasures of earth to the extent thereof." (D&C 19:38)

I have been thinking a lot about prayer and what I have come to understand as many of you I'm sure have also, is that prayer is the key to everything. As we pray we can have a relationship with our loving Heavenly Father. We can receive answers to questions, and knowledge of treasures "even hidden treasures," and most importantly we invite the gift that we have been so graciously given, even the Holy Ghost. We have the greatest therapist in the universe just one prayer away, but we also have the one who should receive all of our gratitude for giving us this wonderful life to live. As we each come to understand that the car cannot run without the keys, we will understand the reality and importance that prayer is essential and necessary to return to our Father in Heaven. I love that as we keep a prayer in our heart we can speak to our father at all times, and as the scripture promises he will bless us. I challenge each of your to evaluate your personal prayers this next week and see where you can improve, I promise that as you do this you will feel of God's love and that his hand will be more prevalent in your lives. I know these things to be true. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Love you all,
Elder Shouse





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