Monday, October 3, 2011


Well hello!

It is so cold here (30's-50's)!  We are going to get a lot of snow this winter. Weeks go by so fast. Especially when your head keeps turning, trying to get your compass straight in 'another land.'  Carthage is SO small.  We focus mainly on the army base, Fort Drumb, but we can't even tract or anything on it!  We have to first call and setup an appointment, then every time we enter they have to scan our driver licenses.  Got to walk on our tip-toes!  We have about 160 active members in our ward, but it is very transient.  We are still only in a phase II building because we don't meet some of the other requirements to expand.

My new companion, Elder Stanton, is a great missionary.  It will be an exciting transfer.  He has been here for about 8 months, so this most likely be his last transfer here (which means I need to learn a lot of names and stuff real fast!).  He has about 6 months left.  He can have a great conversation with anyone, and I find myself needing to cut in to even get a few words in!

They just had 3 baptisms this last transfer, and now we have only a few people we are teaching.  We hope to get a stronger connection with ward council and work with them more.  I also got to learn all this army lingo!  We has a great lesson with an investigator, Natalie.  We is an awesome lady, with a little past understanding about religion.  We just started teaching her.

Conference was amazing!  Natalie did not come though ;-(  I loved listening to the prophetic council, but especially the spiritual promptings that came.  The Lord answered questions that I never knew I had or knew how to form in words. It seems like some common themes in conference (that I picked up at least): power in scripture study and relevance in our lives, prayer, avoiding immorality, 'opening our mouth' and missionary work, managing our time better, and most especially, the seeking after the guidance of the spirit.

Last night we had dinner with a lady named Lorianna.  She is dating a member of the church in the army.  Awesome lady.  Had a good brief meeting about the plan of salvation.  We get fed almost every night here, so I have to get use to that again (also, I have to get use to a car again)

I now have been out for 2/3rds of my mission.  I look back and I hope I have changed!  I feel like I am still myself, but I have grown in my conviction of my Savior and His church on the Earth.  I love the scriptures and the relevance they have in our daily lives.  I am more earnestly seeking the Lord through my prayers.  My desire to follow the Savior continues to increase, and my desire to not follow him weakens.

I love you all!  Hope you have a great week.

Elder Shurtz