Date

June 27, 2017

Area

Damascus, Maryland

Companion

Elder Tucker

What are your distractions?

Hey another super good week we are now teaching three families and several individuals. This is awesome! There is so much work here and so many people are so close. All the people we are teaching are super smart, and really like to reason things out before putting forth their faith we have been working with a lot of these people like Jerry Perry, Devon Ray, and Dave. Each has their special personality, all searching for the truth. Victor Medina is still doing really well he comes out with us to teach on a daily basis and actually has been getting really good at helping us teach the restoration, it's amazing to see what the Spirit of the Lord can do for those who desire to have his companionship. We also were able to go to the temple with him on Saturday and he got baptized for his grandpa’s cousin and he had his aunts name also. Really cool experience for him! This last week I was able to have a special experience with Devon Ray this man is prepared to quit his job and leave everything behind if he finds out if what we have told him is true. We taught the Plan of Salvation Thursday night, it was a two-hour lesson. He asks a lot of questions but once his questions were asked and he had finished bearing our testimonies that these things were true. He sat there and pondered for a couple moments, the spirit was strong. He told us that if these things were true he would have to change everything about his life. It was a special spirit and a man's heart is changing.
Elder Larsen is unfortunately leaving, we got the call last night and both of us are pretty sad to see each other leave one another. I've learned a lot from him and his willingness to serve the Lord. He has helped me understand that desire will never be enough but it is the action upon that desire that helps us achieve our goals. Our hopes and dreams become a reality as we are an agent unto ourselves.
For my spiritual thought today I wanted to focus on a question I have been asking myself in my nightly prayers lately. "Was I an agent today or an object?" An agent is one who acts for him or herself. An object is something or someone who is acted upon. For example, a piece of paper was once a tree, someone went and cut down the tree and processed it into the paper. Did that tree ask to be cut down and made into paper? No, because it was an object to be acted upon. Many times throughout our day do we find ourselves becoming objects being acted upon. Something that is so prevalent in our day is our cell phones and televisions turning us into objects how many times have we found ourselves checking our phone and after 45 min it has been something that has filled our time distracting us and wasting that which is so precious. We also find ourselves becoming objects as we become addicted or dependent on certain things. I will venture to say that our cell phones and television have become an addiction. I know this because I went through withdrawals at the beginning of my mission haha. But on a serious note, I believe that the greatest tool of Satan in our day is that of distracting us. Will we be agents or object to be acted upon. Our loving Father in Heaven gave us our agency, our free will to make righteous decisions to agents, and not to be acted upon. I have an awful thought that one day we will look back at our mortal existence and feel remorse as we realize the immense amount of time we wasted here. This is our time to prepare to meet our Father in heaven. I pray that each of us will gain a greater love for the time we have been given, therefore wasting less, and being agents to act. I know this to be true in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Loe you all ,
Elder Shouse



Another good week on the Bayou!! Just kidding it feels humid enough here to be though! haha! This week has been good has been filled with a lot of spirit filled decisions. I will say that, I’m learning the area a lot quicker with Elder Larsen being gone, he literally knew everything like the back of his hand, which was great! I was the passenger in the car so I don't think I have taken in directions as well as I could have if i was driving! ;) But all is well. We picked up three new investigators this week: Jesse, Jim, and Scott! All three are great guys and will hopefully be at church soon. So Jerry Perry who we are teaching right now is super awesome. We came across a pretty cool discovery in his book that he gave us (we asked our mission president if we could read it to know him better its an auto biography he said that would be "sweet" haha he's awesome). We were reading it and turns out he had met with Mormon missionaries before and had an awesome experience with them, but he, in the book basically tells us his concern. So I'm not sure if he wanted us to find this or not but either way we are hoping this will help him move forward!!

Brother Perry's (Jerry Perry) Book is entitled "All the Boys and Girls Are Going Home." He ends each chapter with this phrase, and each time it hit to "home" as one that is not of this world. The greatest experience we can have in this life is to help someone else receive joy through the light of the gospel. Truly all the boys and girls will go home, our existence is short, and our choices have eternal weight. If we want to have eternal happiness in the life to come, this demands the focus of our vision upon "Home." Helping others along with us is not a "key on the piano but its is a major chord we must play throughout our lives." (said by an apostle) I'm not really sure what brought about the topic of missionary work or talking about our heavenly home, but I feel each of us will soon see the reality of both. The Journey home is a long one and has many roadblock's but it is the journey that will qualify us for the heavenly home each of us so desire. The path we walk, although hard, it is the greatest path we will walk. I love the gospel, it is true. The truth has been restored and the restoration with continue onward until the coming of Christ! I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Love you all,
Elder Shouse




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