Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Settling in...

Sorry I didn't write yesterday, the library was closed and we couldn't email so we got permission to email today.  The girl I told you about in our Christmas call (let's call her "M") when we visited with her before she was really anxious.  She's calmed down a lot.  We got some members over there to fellowship and that really helped her.  We taught her the restoration and extended the baptismal invitation and she accepted!  Hopefully everything goes well.  We still have a lot to teach her but we have high hopes.  The Senior Couple in our area got a new investigator who they are trying to transfer over to us who is golden, so we will see what happens there.  Things have been going well!

One thing that I have been starting to study about is the relationship between power, faith and knowledge.  I haven't been able to delve too deeply into it, but what I have learned is that the most important of them, and the way you receive the other two, is faith.  I will keep looking into it and I will keep you posted on what I learn.  

PS  One of our less actives told me to tell you guys that you did a good job raising me.

I love you!

Elder Shields

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Phone Call…

Merry Christmas from our favorite missionary!

Our family Christmas photo!
Cheers went up as soon as we saw Elder Shields on the screen.  After many attempts at a three-way Skype, Lauren and Tyler ended up face timing the call.  Not ideal, but the whole family was together in one room for a time.

Jake shared some experiences he had at the MTC, including an intense verbal fight, where he and his district left the scene and had a devotional so as not to be negatively affected.  He also told of his favorite song "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" being sung and comforting him.

Jake looks and sounds great.  He is very happy with his companion who we found out is serving as the District Leader right now.  They have a lot in common and like to share random facts that they each know.  Jake says Elder Dudley is a hard worker and respects his knowledge of the Gospel.  The work is slow; he says that the people respect what they are doing, but are not that interested in what they have  to say.  He did share one sweet experience of contacting a girl who is interested in their message.  They tracted out her dad, who then referred them to his daughter.  Jake was teary as he shared that she has anxiety and is fearful when it comes to going to church.  He can relate to her in a way that others can't and feels grateful to be able to work with her.

When asked what he is looking forward to doing or seeing on PDay, he said they would probably go check out all the alligators!  He is literally in Jake heaven with all the reptile animal life he is surrounded by.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Made it to… Southport, North Carolina!

Me and my trainer Elder Richard Dudley, from Calgary Canada

Me with my Mission President Dennis R. James and his wife Jan James

I'm in heaven, Greg is an alligator who lives nearby.  North Carolina has been great, there are so many animals all over the place, including frogs and snapping turtles!

Monday, December 14, 2015

And he's off…

Pic snapped in the Atlanta airport by a family friend (Russ Ence) who was on his flight.
We waited patiently in bed this morning for our airport phone call from Elder Shields.  At 6:17 a.m. we were eager to answer the phone.  Jake was at first emotional upon hearing the sounds of home, but quickly recovered and was happy, excited and eager to get to North Carolina.  We were able to patch in Sarah and Maddie, while Paul, Matt and I piled on our bed to chat with Jake.  All were able to send their love and best wishes.  Jake was sweet to let the other missionaries use the phone first so our call was short with the hope of more time during his Atlanta connection.  Because of a crazy snow storm and a delayed departure there was no Atlanta phone call.  But…we did have a text exchange with our friend Russ Ence who was on the flight with Jake.  Here is our exchange:

Russ:  So- I'm on a flight to Atlanta this morning.  Sitting in my seat awaiting take-off.  When suddenly, a procession of about 25  missionaries comes down the aisle.  A good looking "Elder Shields" among them!  We chatted for about a minute while he was stalled in the aisle.  He looks great.  Happy.  Ready to go!  Just thought you might like to know.  Tell "Mom" all is well.  I'll try to catch him for moment in ATL.

Sandi:  This is Sandi, I happened to have Paul's phone.  I am so jealous.  Thank you so much for the text!

Russ:   Jacob has a great smile!

Sandi:  It is my favorite, he lights up, with his missionary spirit, I can only imagine.

Russ:  I'm going to go ahead and wire the Atlanta airport to get the font ready.  No doubt there will be  someone from the back of the plane ready for baptism by the time we land (ha, ha)!

Sandi:  Ha, ha, a pic is coming soon, right?!

Russ:  Maybe a pic in Atlanta- deicing now.

Russ:  I snapped this picture.  He may not have time to call he said.  They're off to catch a connection.

Look out North Carolina, Elder Shields is on his way!  Can't wait to talk to him on Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2015

The District...

My MTC District
Elders Kloepfer, Schmidt, Jensen, Shields, Garrick, Bush, and Sorenson
One of the main highlights of the MTC has been teaching investigators.  Some are actors and our teachers role playing, and some are real.  We are not suppose to know which is which, but it is pretty easy to guess.  One of ours is an agnostic pacifist guy, he has been difficult to teach but he has been receptive.  He asks such hard questions.  One was about how Nephi killed Laban, and if God was all powerful, why did Nephi have to kill Laban; why couldn't he be delivered in another way?

Teaching the investigators has been awesome when there is a good lesson, but when it doesn't go very well, that's when it's hard.  I will keep working at it, and Heavenly Father has been helping me not to worry so much and have more confidence in myself.  I still have a lot to learn but I will be OK.  I've felt my angels and your prayers.  Don't stress about me guys, I am OK and my district has my back 100%.  I can confide in them and they are there for me just as I am there for them.  We all are going to help each other through.

I love you and will write you next week from North Carolina!


Friday, December 4, 2015

First Letter Home

Me and my comp Elder Garrick.  We have been working hard together and learning a lot from each other!

 Hey Family!

The MTC has been absolutely amazing, I love it here! My comp is Elder Garrick and he is a great guy, he's from Arizona. Anyway, the first day was a really humbling experience, I realized how much I need to learn, but as I have humbled myself and received the spirit I have been enhanced in ways I have never thought were possible, my mind has literally been opened and the spirit has helped me learn so much. I was called to be a district leader and and it was scary, but I also know that it will be good for me, I have been able to grow and learn to love my district more than ever. I am confidant we have an amazing district. I love the guys I'm with and I have learned so much from them.

I love you family,

Elder Shields