Date

August 10, 2017

Area

Damascus, Maryland

Companion

Elder Tucker

Go to Him first!

Hey everyone, had a good one this week! We picked up a few new investigators, and almost had all of them at church, but we ran into some adversity… no worries though there has to be an opposition in all things, right!
We picked up a lady named Misty at the beginning of the week. At first, she seemed super nice, haha, then we shared the restoration and got to Joseph Smith and she blew up on us about how the Bible is all we need. Started to read 2 Nephi chapter 29 (I encourage all of you to read it if you aren't sure what its about ;). The whole lesson took a really good shift, talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon and what it can do for our lives. I can echo Elder Hollands words when he said "there is power in the book." Felt the spirit Super strong, another moment of clarity to add to a greater portion of my testimony.
We were also able to pick up Andrew, it was at the end of the night on Thursday. We had Victor Medina out with us and he loves to knock doors, which is super funny, but sweet! We were knocking on some doors and this lady comes outside on her porch in this huge fluffy robe, haha! She sees us and runs back in her house and slams the door. So of course we go and knock on the door, and as we do we hear from inside "no body is home." (Never heard that one before;) As we are walking away a young man about 17 walks out and says "did you guys hear me in there? That was so funny I made you start to walk away." We all started laughing and we start talking to him. Turns out no one in his family is religious and he really wants to start going to a church. We taught him the restoration and gave him the Book of Mormon to read. He takes it and after we leave and drive by he's out on his porch reading it, it was sweet! We'll have another appointment tomorrow with him.
Jerry Perry was able to come to church again on Sunday, that makes it a month straight!!! We had a sweet lesson on Friday and asked him to pray about a date of baptism, we will meet with him today to follow up with that! Hopefully we"ll have him on date very soon! Devin Ray is still progressing super well! He had some type of flu this last week which prevented him from coming to church on Sunday. But he's still reading and praying and we extended a date of baptism to him and when we meet with him this week we'll see what he says! Really looking forward to that one! I'll update everyone next week to see how it goes.

While in Helaman this week, I came across this scripture.
Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments. (Helaman 10:4)
Then, if we turn to mosiah, the importance of his faithfulness can be clarified.
And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it. (Mosiah 2:41)
Then turning to 2 Nephi will give us the final piece to the puzzle.
Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy. (2 Nephi 2:25)

It is our “purpose” in this life that we are often concerned with. We all have pondered a great deal upon what Heavenly Father has in store for us. Focusing on the good IS and ALWAYS has been how we feel the joy our Father in Heaven desires us to have. The time we have here on the earth is so short. I imagine it was because our loving father couldn't bare us being away from Him for too long. With the short years we have here, so much can be accomplished and so much joy can be felt as we look to the Beloved Son of our Father. I testify that the commandments keep us in a safe place, they will provide us with temporal and spiritual blessings. The gospel is true. Christ is our Savior, who suffered, died, and was resurrected on the third day; providing us with that same opportunity, to again live after we leave our mortal frames. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, as we put faith in Christ we can each have this perspective. We can fully enjoy this wonderful life we've been given. In the name of our Savior even Jesus Christ, Amen.


This weeks letter :


HELLO!!! How's everyone doing?! Life could not be better. I got two new companions this last week Elder Vu and Elder Stone!!! As in Cameron Stone the super stud! This week so far has been awesome, a lot of things have happened already. We put Jerry Perry on date for the 2nd of September. Then we were able to pick up 6 new investigators. The Trio is kill'n it!
On Thursday night we went on splits with Victor Medina. Elder Stone went with Victor and Elder Vu and I went together, all four of us went tracking. Elder Vu and I knocked on a few doors and a guy named Miles let us in and we were able to share the restoration with him. When we left, it started to down pour! It was crazy it was raining so hard!! Elder Stone and Victor didn't have a phone so they were suppose to meet us back at the car at 8. But they weren't there. So we drive around this neighborhood for about 20 min trying to find them, to no avail. We finally get this call from an unknown number and its Elder Stone "hey we just got finished with a lesson can you come pick us up?" haha he gave us an address and we drive on over. Turns out Victor and him had had two lessons and at the end of the lesson this lady Peggy let them use her phone to call us. It was pretty cool that was the first day of us all together and the week only got better. We had awesome lessons with Jerry Perry and Devin Ray. We also picked up three other guys just being in the right place at the right time! Also had a lesson last night with one of our investigator s, Richard. He put down a bunch of barriers which we couldn't be happier about!
We were able to wake up this morning and go fishing which was super fun! I caught four fish, two of them were pretty big and the other two were little guppies, everyone else caught only one or two (not to brag or nothin’)haha!
Something that I have been pondering this week was confirmed while at a missionary meeting the other day. All mission president's across the World are now advised by the first presidency to interview each missionary once every six weeks. This seems like it might be easy to do but with a mission as big as ours, some areas being hours away, it can be difficult to fit into President Christiansen's schedule. Each interview on average lasts about an hour and sometimes president doesn't get home until 10, 11, and 12 at night. Amongst all the other things he as to do, this leaves him little time to sleep. It was apparent to everyone at this meeting that the interviews needed to be shorter so president is better able to attend to all his responsibilities. In my own personal thought these interviews are so long because this time is so precious to each missionary, each prepares to ask president some type of question. Whether that is something pertaining to a specific investigator or something random, the range of questions he gets is very big. With this in mind the topic of personal revelation was brought up, and the pattern of prayer. (This was my study topic for the week) It is very real in our own lives, especially in the day we live in that when we need answers to questions, we believe in a default pattern of revelation which is to ask someone (keep in mind that someone not being God) The missionary handbook tells us this "your first source of guidance is your Father in Heaven, then your companion..District Leaders..Zone Leaders..and then Mission President." Too often it has been apparent to me that the first source is anyone but our Father in Heaven. When it is only He who can give us the greatest answer and the one that is correct. Going back to the interviews, the conclusion we came to in this meeting was that this principal of the gospel, the pattern of prayer/ pattern of revelation must be utilized to a greater degree in our missionary work. This can also be applied to any situation in life. Never should we under estimate the power of revelation, when we do this ask others first before our Father it is a lack of faith. We are each the sum of our experiences. So why not give our Father every opportunity to build that faith. Kneel down right when the question comes, and God will answer in his timing. I know this to be true. I know that as I have gone to Him in prayer, I have been able to receive exactly what I’ve needed to in my personal moment of need because I asked. I say this in the name of our Lord, even Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love you all,
Elder Shouse




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