Monday, March 21, 2011

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

The weather has been wonderful the last few days. In the 40's mainly, and even got up to the 60's on Friday. Most of the snow melted. But it is now snowing again, and are suppose to get 2-4 inches today. I was so ready to put away my coat. But I guess not quite yet. March is diffidently the transitional month.

The highlight for the week are the two new investigators we found. Tim McKay was found through tracting. He has had some questions about life, and we talked a bit at the door (missed the bus), and he accepted an appointment. He is a little hesitant talking about Religion, but we can tell the spirit is whispering to him.

Nadine Howe, a 15-year-old convert (only one in her family), loves talking to her friends about the gospel. She found a senior in her high school on facebook. Under his inspirational people list he had people like Nephi, Captain Moroni, Joseph Smith, etc. Under his favorite music he had the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. So naturally she asked him if he was Mormon. He said: 'No, I am just a huge wanna-be.' Apparently this guy named Kevin McHell, a 18 year-old young man, grew up in a Roman Catholic faith. He found a KJB which was a gift from our church. He did not recognize the name of the church, so decided to look into it. A member from Idaho sent him a copy of the Book of Mormon. He read it from front to back. Prayed about it, and knows it it true. He has continued doing research about the church, and knows a lot and understand a lot, especially about Joseph Smith and Book of Mormon. He has the desire to be baptized. The only hold up for him is his parents who has some misconceptions and are unsure about all of it. But, hopefully we will meet with them. They said they are good with him going to church this next Sunday, so we are excited.
The Lord truly prepares his people. I am excited to keep teaching him.
That's about my life right now.

Happy Second Day of Spring!

Love you all,

Elder Shurtz

Monday, March 14, 2011

Saratoga Springs in the Mud

Hello Family!

Things are going well.
 It has been raining and snowing all week, so it is super muddy and wet.

We met with Jonathan Swetish who is a husband of a member and he is planning on getting baptized on April 2nd (in-between conference) in Colorado Springs. They are in the navy and are moving to South Carolina, but have a month to see family in Colorado. He is an awesome person, who has a solid testimony of the restored gospel. We are excited for him and his family.

A lot of people here are in the Navy, so people are always moving in and out.

My Birthday was good. I enjoyed opening the packages and letters I received [yes Renae, I did get your packages in time ] (thank you all!). Elder Stratton made me a pancake breakfast and we went out and worked. I enjoyed it.

Tuesday we had our district meeting. The zone leaders (Elder Potter and Christensen) talked about finding, which is exactly where we are at in Saratoga right now. We don't have too many people in our teaching pool, so we are spending a lot of time finding. It becomes difficult to get anywhere when you have to work with the bus and walk. We do have wonderful members whom we go out with 4 nights a week, and others who are willing to give ride when we need them.

Elder McCleve is in the district! We talked about Syracuse. One part-member family got baptized who I tracted into with Elder McCleve. Also, Carlos and Star (boyfriend and girlfriend who we found as they were waiting for the bus) are being taught by the sisters in Syracuse and are getting married and planning on getting baptized! Exciting stuff!

We get fed sooo much. This week we have a dinner every night, except Friday I believe. I am going to get fat here, despite the many miles we walk a day.

We also had interview with President this week. He had us teach him the third lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ with his wife. I love President and Sister Bulloch. They are so amazing.

Despite the hour of sleep lost, I was so happy yesterday when it was 7pm and it was light out! Spring will be amazing here in Saratoga.

We get a lot people talking to us about BYU Basketball, Jimmer (who grew up near here), and Honor Code. But, I have not seen it open any doors for us in the moment, though I'm sure it has for some.

I was reading a little Isaiah in 1 Nephi 20:10 > 'For behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.' That is was this life on earth is about; the refining process. It is not 'will we go through trials?', but 'when we go through them, what will we gain, what residue will we remove from the pure gold of which we are?'

I love you. Thank you for your love and words which help me and support me through out the week.


Elder Shurtz

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Hello Family,

It has been a fast week for me.  It is always quick when you are trying to get to know a new area.  Tuesday, after visiting with Jaymie, she sent us a text message sharing how we knows Joseph Smith was a prophet and this is his true church.  It truly made my mission so far!

Wednesday I went to Utica.  I had no idea how I was getting to Saratoga, but someone told me to jump into a van (almost had me driving) so I did.  Met up with Elder Potter (served with him in Oneida) and he took me to Saratoga from Schenectady.  It was fun to talk with him. He and Elder Christensen (MTC companion) are now my Zone Leaders.  So it will be fun to work with them.

Elder Stratton is an amazing missionary!  It is fun to work with him.  He knows how to talk to people and teach.  Saturday we had a baptism.  His name is Phil.  He is a big guy who has gone through a lot of big changes and have been touched by the spirit.  It will be exciting to continue watching his progress in the gospel.  It is interesting being the senior companion.  He knows how to work.  He has asked for a lot of advise, which I wish I could give, but I don't know the area that well yet.  Our teaching pool is about the turn over, and we will be looking to fill it up.

We live on the top floor of an apartment complex.  It is real nice.  I have been blessed with nice apartments.  But I am going to miss the washer and dryer we had in Oneida. 

The ward is huge!  I went from 25 people in Oneida to 150 people here.  They even have pews!  Lots of people here are from or lived in at one point the Seattle area.  One one so far knew about little Wenatchee Valley.  The people are supper awesome.  We get fed almost every night.  We rely heavy upon the members for rides.  I am so glad they are willing.  It makes it so much easier.  We cover a larger area than Syracuse, and the bus can not get us everywhere.  We are not on bikes, mainly because of the snow.

The weather is starting to get nicer.  But we got dumped on today by snow.

Thanks so much for the birthday wishes and letters!

Love you all,

Elder Shurtz

Me, Chris and Jaymie

Jaymie and Bella

PS ---> I will get pictures of the baptism next week.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tis the Week!

Hope and I
I got a lot to cover in a few minutes!
So Saturday night I found out I am getting transferred.  I am heading to Saratoga Springs (North of Albany).  My Companion is Elder Stratton.  He has been out 2 transfers and was trained by my MTC companion, Elder Christensen.  I hear it is a great place.  I might even be back on the bikes (pray for me)!
I am sad to leave though.  Although I might have tracted almost all the streets in Oneida, I love working here.  I am sad I wont be able to work with Jaymie and her family, and Hope anymore!  but o' well, I guess that is the life as a missionary (Mission and church trip, Summer 2012???).  Off to meet new people!
I have not been able to talk to Hope's husband yet!  I am trying before I leave.  Things will work out for the best.
We had an amazing lesson with Jaymie's husband (Chris).  He thought it was so cool to see how God has always called prophets, which makes sense to him that there would be today.  Near the end of the lesson, he bowed his head, and said he needs more of God in his life.  The spirit was strong.  Jaymie was crying and telling how much this meant to her.  It was so beautiful.  He did not come to church on Sunday, but we (I guess Elder Robinson and Elder Gambler) have another appointment with him on Friday before a branch dinner.
Jaymie, Alicia and Hope came to church. (YAY!)
I got to get going, but hope everyone has a great week!
Elder Shurtz