Monday, April 25, 2011

What a Great Easter!

This week has been an interesting one.  Rain one day, and sun the next.
We found a new investigator!  His name is Bill.  We found him, as we were checking on a member we did not know.  He has a open heart and has been looking for a church, so we are excited.  We also found a sweet potential in the middle of no-where, who we will be seeing on Wednesday.
I found out that one of the members here (Brother Snelson) was an EFY councilor when I was at Tacoma.
The Nimmo family is amazing!  Brother Nimmo was the bishop, but was released because his hearing declined.  He is now deaf.  I often wonder how that would be, knowing that you would be loosing your hearing; or any other of the 5 senses.  But, he and his wife learned sign-language and he is a good lip-reader.  We had dinner with them last Wednesday.  They also own two Motorcycle (Harley) and go out riding together in their 'gang.'  Yesterday, they took one of the bikes to church.  They said they got the bikes when they became empty-nesters.  So, I though it would be a good fun suggestion for Dad and Renae :-)
As we were on the bus the other day, a lady asked me if I keep my dentures in at night.  She was so amazing, when I told her they were my original teeth.  I was amazed because I think I forgot to bush my teeth that morning.
Easter Sunday we went over to the Springs for breakfast.  We had eggs and then we had an egg fight!  I almost won, but alas, I was defeated by sister Nicosi... We had an amazing meeting with the bishop (about 1.5 hours talking about Less-actives and how we could help).  Then went over to their house for dinner.  It was so good.
It is slow, but things will hopefully start picking up!
Love you all!
Elder Shurtz

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bikes = pain, work, expensive, and a waste of time!

Me and my boy, Elder Hall
This has been an interesting past few days! We dropped Elder Stratton off in Utica on Wednesday, and picked up my new companion, Elder Hall. He is from Texas, did a summer term at BYU, and is big into sports and working out.
On Wednesday, we got back and ran to an appointment with Kevin. He is now on a Cruise, and wont be back till after Easter. So I am happy that we could have met with him.

So the pedal coming off the bike last week, turned into a bigger problem. To get it fixed well, it would take about 100 bucks, which is not worth it. We tried tightening, getting a new parts, having members take a look at it, but we all concluded: not good. Luckily we were able to get another bike running. Unluckily, that bike was stolen on Saturday (we also got a flat tire earlier that morning, luckily next to walmart).

So in conclusion, bikes are not fun.

Elder Hall is a good missionary. Though he does not seem to have too much fire, he is willing to work hard. We just need to find some people this week!

Training is hard, but I see a lot of growth ahead. It is interesting how I look forward to such growth opportunities.

I love you all. Keep in mind this week, as it was the last week of our Savior. Try to imagine what he would be going through today and every hour of this week. I love Him. He is my example of life, and I am so glad to serve Him.

Elder Shurtz

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's a Boy!

The weather here has been beautiful! Yesterday it was high 70's. Spring is here! We have been putting a lot of work on the bikes and with the generosity of the members here, we have two semi-working bikes. (Sunday night and Monday, my pedal came off. So I was pedaling with one pedal while Elder Stratton was behind pushing me).

It was Elder Stratton's six months this week. So, like tradition calls for, we burnt a tie (pictures next week).

So we had an awesome service project this week. So it all started when we decided to stop by a former investigator. She moved, but the one living there instead said we could come back and share a message with her. We went, and she was not there. A week latter, we decided to stop by because we were in the area. Outside of her place was the landlord. She abandoned the place, and it was trashed (and gross)! The landlord was from Russia and came over here for "freedom." We talked for a bit, and he said: 'This does not happen in Russia. If you do this you get killed. $50. It is very easy. Maybe if you find her first you can save her.' He went on saying he was going to find a Private Investigator... We asked if he would like some help cleaning up the place. He accepted, and we went over the next morning.

He was a little surprised to see that we actually came, but we helped throw away all the stuff. He was using a snow shovel and we were moving the heavy (sticky, gross, disgusting, etc) furniture and bedding. We talked for a bit, and he told us how he was a the hitman from Russia taking the $50 who probably would have been dead if he did not come over to the states. He is a big guy, but has a huge smile. He is now an Elder at a Russian church in Albany, and how converting to a christen changed his life. He was not too interested in our message, but we left on good terms. That's my most awesome service story yet!

Kevin is leaving for Spring Break this week, and Tom is wanting to give it a little more time before we see him again. So we are needing to find!

Transfer Calls was Saturday. President called me that morning and he wants me to train. So tomorrow I will go to Utica to drop Elder Stratton off, and pick up my new companion. Exciting times are ahead!

We got to run to catch the bus!

Sounds like everyone had fun for vacation. Thank you for the pictures!
I love you all, and I will have pictures next time!

Elder Shurtz

Monday, April 4, 2011


General Conference was amazing! I loved listening and receiving
promptings for what I can do to improve. Is there any doubt that
Jesus Christ runs his church like he has in the past? With Apostles,
and Prophets, and Evangelists, and so forth!

Elder Oaks: “desires dictate our priorities; priorities shape our
choices; and choices determine our actions… and our actions and our
desires cause us to become something.” It goes along with Elder
Robbins, 'to be' and not just 'to do.' There is so much we can do.

So many little aspects of our lives we can improve. Sometimes we view
this as daunting. Satan will even tell us that we cant. But how
thankful I am for every new day that the Lord gives us in his mercy.

As we grow in desires to follow the Savior, we will set our priorities
to do such, which then leads us to choose to act as he would have us

It has been a little slow here in Saratoga. Kevin and Tom did not
come to conference, both with family plans/problems. It snowed on the
first day of April, but we will be taking a closer look at our bikes
to get them up and running. It will allow us to talk to more people,
which we really need to be doing. A lot of time is spent waiting for
a ride (bus or member) and coordinating a ride.

I don't have too much else to write about. Hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Shurtz

Saturday, April 2, 2011

General Conference is almost here!

It sounds like everyone had lots of fun this last week. Thank you for sharing with me the family memories.

Kevin came to church! We met with him on Wednesday on the High School Soccer field bleachers (It was soooo freezing cold!). He is a great young man. We are excited to work with him. He asked his parents if he could come to church, and they allowed him to come all three hours. We will see him again this week, and we hope his parents will let him come to at least some of general conference!

We also met with Tom (not Tim; typo on the last email). We went over the beginning half of the plan of salvation. He has lots of questions. I am amazed at the trust he has placed in us. He is generally more held back, but with us he is willing to talk about life he would normally keep to himself. It has been a wonderful spiritual experience for me personally. I have gained a greater love for him as we have shared our personal experiences of losing parents, and the comfort I have found in our Heavenly Father's plan.

As predicted, I am getting fed like no other, and the scale can not lie, no matter how much you might want it to. (though we still bought home made cookie-dough from the young women's fundraiser). Hopefully as I find a bike (winter destroyed the ones used last year), we can pound it. Besides, I am getting tired of hanging around the bus route and schedule. Yesterday we missed the last bus, so we had to call one of the ward members to help us out. The members are so awesome here.

I am so excited for conference! Who better to listen to than Prophets and Apostles called of God? My favorite part is at the beginning when the choir starts singing and the guy is announcing conference. Last conference I had Hope come to one on Sunday. Hopefully we will be able to get Kevin and Tom there this weekend. It is still strange to me that priesthood session does not start till 8 and ends at 10.

I love you all and your example. Every day I come to realize to a greater degree the necessity for guidance from our Father in Heaven. Your stories of sharing the gospel, and looking to God in directing your families have inspired me. I am so thankful for His love. It has become a strong source of comfort and direction in the mission field.
Have a great week!


Elder Shurtz