Date

December 11, 2016

Area

Antietam, Maryland

Companion

Elder Stafford

Spiritual gifts

Hey guys! Super excited to email and tell you about a new family this week! This week was really good! We found three new investigators and one of them is an older gentleman and we've been trying to get in with him for a long time, and this week we finally did!! The funny part about that visit was that he has a crazy pit bull that is full of way too much energy and was running all over the house right when we got there. Elder Fisher started petting it and holding it while we were sharing the first vision, and the dog straight up turned around and tried to nip at his face...he was super scared, haha, I was too. He didn't pet the dog for the rest of the visit...But Michael (that's the guy's name) is super awesome! We had the other wards (not our ward) Christmas party and all the missionaries were invited to sing at it, had lots of food!!! It was super fun! Went caroling in the Hagerstown park, they had a huge tree lighting, we got to hand out a bunch of cards and talk to a lot of people!
So we had a super awesome miracle happen on Friday! I had talked to a lady like three months ago about coming by and sharing a message with her and her family, and Elder Stafford and I left her with our phone number. Well on Friday we get a call from her! She asked if she can come to church on Sunday with her three children!! WHAT!! "Of course you can!!!" We had a member come pick them up on Sunday! and they came to all three hours of church and loved it! The mom (Vena) has a 14(Fiona), 12(Brandon), and 6(Navea) year old. We have an appointment with them this week on Wednesday, and the two older kids are going to come to mutual on Thursday. They also said they would come to the Christmas Party on Saturday! We are so excited this family is super awesome, and to put a cherry on top, they all speak English and French Creel! I don't even know what that is but it sounds awesome!! Ohh and we got a new senior missionary couple in our ward which is great because he can go on splits with us anytime of the day!
Ohh and to keep you updated on Nancy and Robert they are both going to be baptized on the 17th of December we thought it would be good to put them together and it works good for Robert because he has been getting over a smoking addiction, he's two weeks clean right now!!!!

For my spiritual though this week, I wanted to talk about spiritual gifts. Elder fisher and I were focusing on this week and it was the lesson given in Sunday school at church. But when I was pondering our spiritual gifts, what came to mind was the parable of the ten talents. Whether we were given 1, 2, or even 5 talents (spiritual gifts) it is what we do with them that matters most. The Lord knows each one of us, and knows our strengths and weaknesses and has given us gifts specifically for our needs here on earth. He loves loves us, which is why some of those gifts we have been given are very special and unique to our temporal situations. But what we do with those gifts is what matters most. The Lord expects us to develop and cultivate the spiritual gifts that we have been given, and in the process strengthen others. I challenge each of you this week to ponder the special gifts you have been given, and think about ways that you can help further develop them! I know that as we spend time to seek, ponder, and pray about these gifts, we will be able to receive divine revelation. I have been able to receive that revelation for myself and it adds to my testimony that God does love his children and continually speaks to them, if they are willing to listen! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I love you all!
Elder Shouse





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