Monday, February 24, 2014

About to be 19!!!

haha you have no idea how long I have been waiting to be able to say that I'm not an 18 year old missionary! Haha luckily many people don't guess I'm18 but still it will be nice to be 19:)

This week has been a good one. Nothing really that stands out but just a solid week all around. Having President interviews this week was awesome! It was really good getting to talk to him! This week has been one with many positives which has been a really good thing for me. I have been praying for some success in this area. We have finally had a member home here! Her name is "S" and she is a former who has some amazing questions. We also are having a lot of success with working with some of our ward members. A friend of a girl in our ward came to church with her this week and LOVED it apparently and now she wants to meet with us which is great!

We are still trying to find through our own efforts but no one seems to be very solid yet, but we will continue to work! I'm indeed grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary! I love my calling. A favorite quote that I have recently come across that has really helped me realize that I can always improve is "the Lord doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called!"

I am sooooo stinkin proud to be serving out here! the YSA here is small but i love it soo much. They are soo sincere and im so glad to be here! Sounds like Everyone is having great missionary opportunities! Keep up the awesome work! Love ya!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Great Week to be a Mormon Missionary!

Finding was a great success this week! Elder Reid and I truly had a miracle happen this past week! We were doing a new member lesson with a girl that was recently baptized and also teaching one of her friends at The College here and after we finished the lesson as we were about to leave but we saw a poster talking about how on the next day was this thing called "Club Rush" where any organization can come and set up a table and talk about their club with the students. We were kinda disappointed when we saw that registrations were due like two weeks earlier but we figured we would go in a talk with the head women any way. So we started talking to her and turns out our branch here has a LDS student association on the campus and all we had to do was go get a teacher (obviously Mormon) to sponsor our club so that we could get a table! But the only problem was that we had to get a LDS teacher to fill out the form within like 20 minutes because they closed at like 4:30.. So Elder Reid racked his brain and remembered the dad of one of our ward members worked at COS (College of the Sequoias) and funny enough practically right next door and was working at the exact time we needed him! So long story short he filled out the form, we got a table at the Club Rush and we got like 30 Potential Investigators that we are trying to contact now!

That is the table we set up at club rush! haha my floral arrangement skills have payed off... Just kidding but i think we did a heck of a job with the presentation!;)

It seriously was a huge blessing because like I said last week finding has been difficult and I have been praying for better finding opportunities and We have been richly blessed! Oh how great it is to be a Mormon Missionary! Hope all is well in everyones lives! Not to much happened that stands out, just a solid week all around! Been reading alot of talks this week and I loved the ones you sent Dad as well as the recent talk given by Tad R. Callister of the 70 in January entitled "What is the Blueprint of Christ's Church" I encourage EVERYONE to read it! If you read it you will know that this Church is in fact the True Church of Jesus Christ. Not to say others are bad, but Christ himself established one church when he was here thus there is only one that is indeed his Church and you can read all about it in that talk! I love you all!! Tem um Bom Semana! (Have a Good Week)!

Check out that part! Haha we have to have a part in our hair every day! It sets us A-Part!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bom Semana!

Good Week this week. Although it is practically impossible to find new investigators here the work is still super fun! Our finding efforts are starting to get pretty hard because we are limited to just a college campus and a mall to find YSA's so we have really been trying to work with the members ALOT!!!!!

The softball game going on at COS the local college.. Of course it was raining so no one wanted to talk to us!

Continue to pray for us that we can find solid investigators please! Obrigado! (thank you) Soo Some fun stuff from this past week:
Went Golfing On preparation day last week! Haha i was soooo bad but it was soooo much fun! It was like 5 Dollars and we (me and 3 other elders) played in our proselyting clothes! So crazy! Check the pics!
Can you see my ball 330 Yards down the middle?? good cause i cant either..... But hey that form is impeccable!!

GOLFING! my companion is on the left! (my right)

Haha sooo i figured the time would come when i would have to eat a sandwich loaded with mayo (Dallas can't stomach mayo, if you ever get a chance ask him about his "surprise birthday lunch" when mom showed up with a burger from a fast food place during his lunch time and a class mate ratted him out for throwing away his lunch because his sandwich had mayonnaise on it) and that time came this week when we went to a members home for dinner and she had on each plate a huge sub sandwich loaded with meat veggies and MAYO... And guess what... i choked it down without any hesitation! haha! Funny thing was was that my companion hates mayo too so we both just smiled and chomped away! 

I went on an exchange with an elder in a spanish area in a place called farmersville.... you can imagine what the city was like with a name like farmersville- pastures and spanish people everywhere. We stayed in a shack! But it was really funny cause i could understand alot of what they said but i couldnt say anything. 
THE SHACK! and yes that is a dish but dont worry it isnt connected to anything;)
So alot of the time i would say i speak portuguese and they would just smile and they would correct me on the words that werent the same in spanish haha but it was fun! 

On that exchange we met with an investigator who they had only taught like twice and when i said I was waiting to go to Brazil He was like Oh i have a soccer jersey from brazil and so long story short he gave it to me for free! It is stinkin sweet! I will send a pic next week hopefully! 

Did service literally all day saturday! Helped move two different members and it was the first day thus far that i havent put on a white shirt and tie all day! We started at like 8:30 and went to like 9:15

And cool story this week is that California has been really suffering from a drought during this winter season and hadnt seen rain in like a month and a half. So last sunday for fast sunday the entire state held a fast for rain... And it rained like three days this week! Of course one of the days being when i was on a bike in the spanish area but it rained!!!! 

Mission life is hard but sooooooo stinkin fun! Been reading this week through the gospels in Matthew and I just love reading about all the miracles christ performed!!! The priesthood truly is the power of God! 

I love you all sooooooo much!!! Keep me updated on the FBI clearance thing because it is bothering me that it hasnt come in yet..... But it is all in the Lords Timing! Keep up all of the awesome work! Any cool missionary moments this week?!
Dairy farms out here.... We probably werent supposed to touch them but we couldnt resist...

The cows out here are sketchy! haha so funny!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Fun First Week in Visalia!

So the first week in a new area is hard only for the reason I am having to meet new people from the ward and completely re-learn an area! And I am the designated driver here (insert Courtney's note: that doesn't mean he drives in case his missionary companion is just means he has been assigned to drive in their companionship...obviously, as missionaries--or members--of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, drinking alcohol is against our Word of Wisdom) so I am having to get good really fast... But so far it has been amazing! 
In a YSA (young single adult) ward, you have to strike up a friendship with the investigator and get them involved with the ward immediately. It is fun though because I'm getting a lot better at being personable. Haha driving is fun! Im driving a 2013 Toyota Corrola. so not bad. Keep up the missionary work! haha i know doing our blogs is an amazing missionary moment every week but see if you can go above and beyond!
Elder Reid and I are really trying to get more out of language study by setting aside an hour a day to focus on improving, because to be honest back in Fresno I didn't really use language study as effectively as I should have. But that is another reason I am grateful for Elder Reid! We get along really well and this first week has been a fun one. We do a lot of finding on the college here "College of the Sequoias" It is the most effective way to find here. It is a super small campus but it works. We set a baptismal date with someone we met there but later in the week when we tried texting him to set up a time to see him he texted us back saying his pastor told him we didn't have the authority to baptize. Rather frustrating because we wanted to meet with him again and explain everything and resolve his concerns but he didn't want us to talk to him anymore. We will continue to work hard and talk with everyone so that we can find those prepared people here in Visalia! I love the new ward! It is a lot smaller than Heritage which I love! It is like a small family here. Everyone knows each other and they love the missionaries from what I can tell which is great news! We cover a huge area.... 3 stakes (insert Courtney's note: Stakes are to wards in the Mormon church as school districts are to schools) to be exact. And the funny thing is our branch is only about 30 people. 
So my last name is throwing everyone off. haha yesterday considering it is a new area i got up and introduced myself in fast and testimony meeting and told them to just remember it is pronounced "shane" because if they read it they will just be thrown off. So after the meeting everyone was coming up and pronouncing it how they would have if i didn't say how to pronounce it. Rather funny. The craziest pronunciation was "Elder Shelby" courtesy of a member of our ward who forgot my name and just guessed and that's what he thought my tag said. I laughed pretty hard. Now it is an inside joke with my companion and me. 
The area here is reallllllllly slow right now but we are hoping to fix that through A LOT of finding! My companion and I are going to get along great. He loves basketball and hes chill so we are a lot alike;) So my favorite chapter this week that i have been reading through is Alma 32! If you ever need a good scripture on faith just study that entire chapter! The analogy to planting a seed is perfect. We need to understand that Faith is not knowing something perfectly, that only comes by sight. Faith is a HOPE for things which aren't seen which are TRUE! And the important thing is to not stop nourishing our faith. 
Do the small things i.e. read scriptures, pray daily, go to church, keep the commandments. If we do those things we are promised the "fruits of our labor"! I love you all sooooo much and Hope you all have a fantastic week!