Wednesday, July 7, 2010

O' How Lovely Was The Morning!

Hey everyone! Yesterday the library was closed for independence day, so I am writing this morning instead. I am so happy to read about everyone, especially Erin and how her pregnancy is going! I hope the Sears family is having fun in Utah! The temples are amazing, and I am going to miss them. Though, at the end of our mission we get to go to Palmyra with the mission president to both the temple and the grove.

It also sounds like Dad, Renae, and Katie are having a blast half-way around the world, and Melinda and Brian are enjoying the extra leg room around the house (thanks for the letter). :)

I LOVE IT HERE! I LOVE THE PEOPLE! A MISSION IS THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD! This week we have committed 4 people to baptism, which is absolutely amazing. They are so wonderful:

Ryan (July 24th)- Is so excited, and can't stop talking about it. He is really smart, and will progress tremendously as long as he keeps with it.

Cris (Aug 28th) - He is 17 and can be a little immature at times, but it is so amazing to see what the Lord has done in his life and how the things that he has gone through has lead him to this moment in his life. I love watching his countenance change as he silently learns for himself what we are sharing with him is true. He has changed so much since we started meeting with him. He is now living with one of our Syracuse Mothers (Sister Vest), and she is so great for him.

Ruth (July 24th) - Ruth is the type of woman who did all the research before even getting in contact with the church. She basically called the bishop up and said she wants to be baptized. She loves to talk, which sometimes make it hard to teach her what she has to know before baptism, but following God is her life. I am always strengthened by meeting with her; she always says stuff that she learned for herself, which is unique to the church and truth. It just goes to show that the spirit does testify of truth if we will just listen.

Mike (Sep 4th) - Really wonderful. He wants to change his life around and realises this is possible through Jesus Christ and his Gospel. He has been meeting with the missionaries for a little over a year now, and a little at a time, his is learning about his true identity and a Child of Heavenly Father, a prince of the Most High God. I am excited to continue working with him and to see the continual growth that can only come through Jesus Christ, His atonement, and His Gospel.

My eye is fine. something must of got in it, and it swelled. It is basically back to normal now.

Elder Call has been teaching me how to make bread! Yesterday, we made 5 loaves (cooked two, and left the three in the freezer to bake latter) It is fun, and really good! One of the pictures will be a loaf of bread I made (it did not rise as well, but it is nice and dense) We also played basketball with Aaron (Sister Vest's oldest son - 23ish), Cris, and a progressing investigator, Andre. It was exactly what I needed. The weather is ridicules. yesterday, today, and basically the next week will be in the humid 90's. You learn to have no shame as a missionary to be completely drenched in sweat talking to people. I am beginning to feel more comfortable about it as a keep deepening my love for God's children.

Last Monday (P-day) we took the bus back to our place. We shouldn't of made the bus, because we where about 5 minutes late for it, but the Lord needed us on that bus, and so the bus was late in leaving. We found two great people: one was a girl named Tiffany who met with missionaries in the past, stopped, but still had some interest and wanted us to stop by again to learn more.

The other lady, had a friend who is Mormon and had interest in learning more so we will speak with her again also. Last Tuesday we starting out in the morning on our bikes (like always), and then older gentleman, stopped us, because he wanted a picture of us. So he had us crouch down on our nees with our bikes, and then had me hold a plate which then he released a top which spun ed on the plate as he took our picture on this ancient camera that pops out the picture right away. As he took our picture instead of saying 'say cheese, ' he yelled ' yAHHAAHAHHHAHAAAAAHAA!' It made my day! You meet the coolest people out here.

Saturday night as we were tracking, a police officer stopped us to answer a suspicious persons complaint. He thought we were solicitors (which we are legally not), and did not have a soliciting permit. We showed him our Monastical Certificates, but he did not quite understand we were not selling anything and that we are basically ministers or missionaries from our church. But, God works in mysterious ways. We left at his request (after writing down our information) and visited Kendra, someone we met the day before who said was interested in learning more. We where able to come in teach both her and her cousin, Wayne, about how God and Jesus Christ has restored his Church on the earth again. I hope they continue to learn more, they are such wonderful people.

Well, I hope everyone has another wonderful week! Remember the Lord in all things. I love the verses in Isiah: "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." (Isaiah 49:15-16) Everything we know points towards Christ and the Atonement.

Something that I am tryring to do and will extend the commitment to you, is to see this in your own life and to also read the parables in the scriptures and relate it to Christ and his atonement. Have a great week! I love you all!


Elder Shurtz

PS - please send me my bed comforter. It will be better I realize. Thank you so much!