Monday, July 25, 2011

Green Peppers, Cross-eyed Cat, and "[I'm] too cute to be Mormon"

Dear Everyone,

Time goes by so fast!  It has also been SOOOOO hot here.  It broke 100

some days (seems to be the days when we are outside almost all day
too).  We have wicked tan lines (especially our necks), and my face is
always red.  Often just stand at doors with sweat dripping down the
face (grooosss)!

We did not get to sit down with many of the people we are working

with.  Rebecca still has not come to church!  Carin, is doing awesome,
though she is gone this week on vacation.  We had an amazing lesson
with her on Thursday at the church with Brother O'Neil.  Members are
the key to missionary work!  It makes a HUGE differences when members
are involved.

We have been going out a lot into the neighborhood inviting people to

a blood drive this Thursday we are having at our church.  Last time
they only had 6 people.  We hope this works out better.

Today we made stuffed green peppers for lunch.  YUMMM!  It was good stuff.

As we were trying to contact a less-active, we both look up from the

door, and there was a cat looking at us cross-eyed!  It was the most
talented cat I have ever met!  I just give myself headaches whenever I
try to cross my eyes.

We went tracting on Tuesday a little bit on the outskirts of

Plattsburgh.  Came to this one house, with 3-4 high school/college
girls.  They were a little crazy, and when we told them we were
Mormons, one of the girls (blond coincidentally) seemed so surprised
and said "But, you're too cute to be Mormons!"  We couldn't help but laugh!

We are also regenerating the branch mission plan.  We hope it gets

rolling!  As part of it, we are going to be teaching a 3 week Sunday
school class talking about how to do missionary work.  We hope to have
the first class at the beginning of the month..

Zone Conference is this Thursday!  It is going to be intense!  I hear

President is going to 'lay it down' with the spirit.  I think Zone
Conferences are one of the best meeting we have in the church.

It sounds like a great rest of the summer is planned for everyone!  I

am a little envious of swimming, water, and jet-skis right now, so
please forgive me.  :)

Hope you all have a spiritually uplifting week!

-Elder Shurtz

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sweat for Jesus

It has been a way better week!  It has been soooo warm.  The humidity
was unbearable on Tuesday, bugs just attack us all day.  We generally
find a bug or two crawling on us at night when we sit down and plan.
Elder Rammell is still not quite use to it yet.

Thursday at district meeting, the Zone Leaders introduced us to a new

way of study.  All the companionships are getting portable DVD
players to study Preach My Gospel DVD for personal/companion study.
The church has found it improves our teaching, and is helpful for new
missionaries coming in.  In August the MTC is changing it's curriculum
to focus more on teaching skills (Called the 8 Fundamentals of
Teaching).  It was introduced to us a year ago in the mission field,
so that we could get up to speed on it when the new missionaries came

Funny experience this week:  A young couple on bikes came up to us and

started talking to us.  They used to be body trainers for Hollywood actors and others.  They quit that and went to Hawaii where they filmed a work-out video centered on Jesus.  They have been traveling the world, and are now in Plattsburgh.  They call
themselves Apostles for 'Sweat for Jesus.'  Very interesting couple.
On one side of their business card they have a phrase: 'Are you Fit For God?'

We taught Rebecca on Monday, and took her on a church tour on Friday

night with Brother and Sister Judd.  She has had a lot of fear about
Churches so this was good for her.  She was going to come to church,
but she got sick that morning.  So hopefully next week.

Mary has been in Canada this past week so no real update there.

We also started teaching a Mrs. Edmund.  We will see her again this Wednesday.

Jamie and Leona still have not come to church.  I know it must be hard

with 5 kids, but I sure hope they will come!

Met with Carin on Thursday and had a great lesson on the Plan of

Salvation.  She also came to church with her two kids!  She was a
little tired with trying to keep them calm, but she keeps coming

We also started teaching Nate and Marky the lessons again, which seems

like the right move.

Love you all, and hope you have a great week!

Elder Shurtz

Monday, July 11, 2011

Words of Mormon 1:7

Hello, Hello, Hello!

4th of July was great.  The picnic was fun; spent most of the time

playing volleyball.  The picture is with Diane and Eve who was
baptized my first week here.  We also started teaching this sweet 40
year-old lady.  Her name is Rebecca.  She is a little dyslexic but
loves reading from the Book of Mormon.  We hope to get her to church
this weekend.  She grew up being told by her family that Jesus did not
love her because of her handicap, and is scared to go to church.
(Luckily, our church buildings don't look like Catholic church
buildings, so hopefully that will help her)

The rest of the week was full of appointments falling through and tracting:

Nate - we couldn't meet for some reason or another.
Jamie and Leona - we saw Saturday.  Read a little from the Book of
Mormon with them, and said they would come to church.  (they did not
show up, but hopefully this Sunday).
Carin - we had to cancel because our ride fell through at the last
minute, so we wont see her till Thursday again.  But she came to
church!  We talked about Fasting in gospel principles, and apparently
she fasted last Fast Sunday.
Mary - had to cancel on us on Thursday because of some family things,
and she got strep throat Sunday morning.

Elder Rammell came out last September.  He was here for two transfers,

then went back home.  But he spent a couple of months with the
missionaries in California, near where he is from.  This transfer is
him coming back out.  He is a good missionary.  Give me another week
before I am comfortable with him; he has a little bit of pride to work
though. :)

Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Shurtz

-Elder Rammell on his bike
-The lake we wanted to jump into as we were riding along side it.
-Diane and Eve Seals.  They were baptized my first week here.
-Elder Bradley (senior missionary) playing horse shoes at the picnic.
-Amanda.  Member of the branch we visit.
-Mary is the girl to the right.  Karin is her friend, and daughter of
the mission leader.  Elder Perkins.  Sammee, another friend.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The 4th!

Happy 4th of July!
This will have to be a short one.  We have a branch picnic we need to run to.
This has been an awesome week!  We picked up two new solid investigators!  Mary is 17, and a friend of a recent senior graduate.  We met her at the graduation party, and had an awesome lesson at the church on Friday.  She came to church too!
Carin, has already been coming to church for the past 3 months, and is a, wheel-chair bound, member's aid.  She loves church, and even started bringing her kids with her.  We started teaching her on Thursday.
We also met with a lot of our other investigators.  Jamie and Leona, we met with twice.  They said Saturday night they were coming to church, but they did not come.  So we will be going over there tonight to see what's up.
Taught Nate the Word of Wisdom.  That went well.  He also came to church!
We met a woman this week who is a member that just moved from Connecticut.  She is less-active, but moved here to be with her son before she dies.  She is 44 years-old, has have 25 surgeries since 2007, and looking at a few more major surgeries.  She keeps having Heart-attacks and strokes.  No one in her family has lived into their 50's.  Sad situation.  We go and teach about the plan of salvation.
Transfer Calls!  Elder Perkins is going home on Wednesday, and I am going to be working with Elder Rammel (not sure on spelling).  He came out last September, but went home after a few transfers (not sure why yet), and this is his first transfer coming back.
This area has not been worked effectively in the past 6-8 months, so there is a lot to do!  We also have to rebuild the trust of the members.  But our branch president is thinking of some ways to invite the public on a large town scale to learn more; which will be amazing.  Plattsburgh does not have positive feelings towards the church, so that will be an awesome goal to help him try and achieve.
Well, I love you all and hope you have a great week.
Elder Shurtz