Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Few Pictures


"This is a little drawing I've been working on recently."

"Our zone after zone training meeting on Friday."

"Elder Van Woerkom, (new member at her baptism), President Stout (mission presidency) and me."

1 Corinthians 15:10


Good Morning! 
I chose that scripture for my subject because it's a good scripture. I just like it. I feel like everything I have learned and grown in on my mission is because of the grace of God. I haven't done anything on my own. He has sculpted and molded me by His grace. And by his grace have I been made stronger. That’s what grace is about. Classic OTM experience happened to me literally five minutes ago here in the library. This guy standing next to me at the counter leans over and whispers to me, "it's a free gift, it cannot be earned, you do it because you love him not because you are earning anything." I turned to him, smiled, and with a calm dignity said to him, "That's true". Do I believe we have to earn our salvation. No. Do I believe that we even have the ability to earn our salvation. Absolutely not. But I do believe God is making us in to something much bigger than we understand. And that process begins here in this life with the decisions we make and what we become. His grace is a free gift, the most wonderful gift ever given. And what a terrible thing it is to waste. 

This week was a fantastic week! I have been so excited to tell you about this family that we found. We received a media referral a couple weeks ago for a lady. We tried contacting her several times by stopping by her house.  But no answer. The phone number we had also didn’t work. We went back on Tuesday with low expectations (probably not a lot of faith either :/ shame on me) to try to contact her one last time. So we knock on the door and this lady answers, super excited to see us. She quickly invites us in but we tell her we can't because there was no other male in the home. So we talk with her for a while on her doorstep. It turns out that she had contact with the church 20 years ago in California. She said that she would read the Book of Mormon every night. She loved it! She said it changed her life, brought her so much peace and happiness. She talked about feeling the Spirit when she read it. Then she moved to Arkansas. And lost all contact with The Church. Lost her Book of Mormon. Then recently our church started building a new chapel right up the street from her house! She felt the Spirit prompting her back to the church for a long time. Until she finally requested a visit from us on We talked with her on the doorstep for 30 minutes. Set up a return appointment for that same evening. Came back, taught her and her husband, and set a baptismal date with them both for the 23rd of August. Its amazing to see the passion that she has for this message. She LOVES it! She believes that the Book of Mormon is true. I believe with all my heart that it is true. I believe that because of the amazing things that it causes. It changes people from bad to good. It makes true disciples of Jesus Christ. I don't know how it couldn't be true! 

Anyways, The work here in Bella Vista is going so good. Miracles happen all the time. To all of us! If we will just open our eyes we can see them everywhere. I love this work! I love all of you! :)

Elder Sherwood

Moroni 10:32


Good Morning! How are you all today?  I'm so glad y’all got to meet Elder Van Woerkom I gave him a hug for you so I'm glad he passed it on :) He was a great missionary. And he is missed greatly by many. 

This week was great though! Elder McReynolds got here on Tuesday and we got to work right away. Really good things are happening in this area. We have XXXXX who is progressing really well. He and his fiancee just need to get married before he is baptized. So they are looking at sometime in September for their marriage. It would be nice if it was closer but that’s okay. These things are important to people haha. 

XXXXX is another one of our investigators who is progressing really well. She’s so awesome. In Sunday school class she was making comments about things that I don't even know much about. She has read the all three Old Testament, New Testament, and Book of Mormon Stories picture books and she is working on reading the Bible and the Book of Mormon as well. She’s the one who grew up  Buddhist but is now discovering Christianity and she is loving it. Its awesome to see someone learning how to grasp the Atonement of Christ. 

Something I have been thinking about lately is how tricky Satan is. He knows our weaknesses and he exploits them so much! That is something I've seen a lot of on my mission. Satan using the small things to distract people from the important things. One beer here, one cigarette there, what harm could it do? I can't tell you how many times I've heard that. This life just isn't about how close we can get to the edge. It's about putting off the natural man. Sacrificing every thing that separates us from God. That’s what I love about the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. It gives us power to improve ourselves and to resist temptation. Strength to over come the natural man. I love this gospel. I love having the opportunity to do my best to help people understand what Jesus Christ can do for them. And I love all of you!

Elder Sherwood

1 Timothy 1:19


This week was a crazy week! Awesome week! Just super busy. We had MLC on Tuesday. Which was awesome. President had a list of 15 "housekeeping" items to talk with us about. "Housekeeping" items are just things that need adjusting in the mission, they're usually just little things that the mission as a whole needs to work on getting better at. So that was a little discouraging, but much needed. It's always good to get some new things to work on. That’s’ what makes you better! 

So we got transfer calls Saturday night! Elder Van Woerkom is going home obviously. And I'm staying here in Bella Vista and i'm getting Elder McReynolds! He's awesome. I was his zone leader when I was in Springdale and he was in Huntsville. He's a great missionary and I'm excited to work with him. 

Sacrament meeting on Sunday was awesome. It was a little different than most sacrament meetings in the church. Instead of having a few people give talks, the bishop opened the pulpit to anyone, kind of like a testimony meeting, to come up and share an experience they've had in their life with a particular hymn in the hymnbook. After they shared that experience and their testimony the whole congregation sang the first verse of that hymn together. It was awesome! I would recommend that to any ward. There was a special Spirit in the room. I loved it. 

Yesterday was the baptism of XXXXX! It was so awesome. I'll attach a picture. It was a great service. Long time coming for XXXXX. She's been investigating the church for over 3 years. So it was awesome getting to be a part of her baptism. There was a great spirit there. I love baptisms. Those are really special experiences. Witnessing someone make that commitment. Jesus Christ gave us the perfect example of how a life should be lived. I love baptism because of what it symbolizes. It is an outward manifestation on someone’s inner commitment to live like the Savior. To be like him at all times and in all places. That’s a special thing! 

Anyways that was our week!

Love you all! 

Elder Sherwood

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ephesians 1:7

July 9, 2014

This week was a great week. 4th of July is a big deal down here in Northwest Arkansas. On the third we saw a fireworks show with some members at a lake in Bella Vista called Loc Lomend. And then we spent the 4th kind of just like any other day out here. Visiting people. We had a lot of appointments with members. Too much food haha. Holidays out here really just mean so much food. Any excuse to eat a lot of food, they take it. 

One of our investigators, XXXXX, is getting baptized this weekend! It will be awesome. She's been investigating the church for almost 3 years. Another investigator XXXXX wants to be baptized as well. He is really excited about everything he's learned. He says that his whole life he knew that there was more than just the bible. It doesn't make sense to him that God could be contained in one volume of scripture. Which we happen to agree with. So we will be setting a baptismal date with him on Tuesday night. I'll let you know how it goes! :) Good things are happening here in Bella Vista Arkansas. 

So the stake presidency issued a challenge to all the leadership in the Rogers Arkansas Stake this past week. The challenge is for every Auxiliary Presidency member (president, 1st and 2nd counselors, secretary etc.) to have a referral for the missionaries by September 1st. That comes out to over 700 referrals for the 34 missionaries in the stake right now. It’s epic. Now of course that is a lofty goal. But that's okay. The members here will rise to the occasion. This challenge will really help the members here come out of their shells and open their mouths. They will be exercising a lot of faith in sharing their testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel. After all that is our greatest responsibility. To share the gospel. The good news ya know! People won't be offended when you invite them to learn about the very thing that has brought you the most happiness in life. Sharing the gospel isn't about converting people, it's about offering them something that has brought you peace and joy. 

I love being a missionary. I love serving the Lord. And I love all of you! :) 


Elder Sherwood

John 14:27

Us in the car is just us cruis'n in our Grand Caravan. Coolest mission car ever.

                Just a typical scene on a Sunday night for zone leaders.   We were just collecting indicators (numbers) from the district leaders.

June 30, 2014

Good Morning! How are y’all doing?! 

This week was a good week. Nothing to crazy or exciting happened. I was on exchange in the Little Flock area in Rogers. It was a long rainy day of walking. That area doesn't have a car so we were on foot most of the day. I loved it though. This week was just a week of normal missionary work. It's crazy what normal is to me now. Normal for me is teaching people out here in Northwest Arkansas about Jesus Christ. Normal for me is always doing something, never stopping. Normal for me is always thinking about other people and how to help them develop a relationship with God and with Jesus Christ and with the Holy Ghost. It's not normal for all of that stuff to be normal. And I love it! 

Elder Van Woerkom and I have been thinking and discussing a lot lately about the principle of getting along with other people. Something I've noticed on my mission is how much people like to talk about themselves. It's kind of a sad reality, but it's true! People love to talk about themselves! The best way to get along with other people, to make real friends is to be genuinely interested in others. If we would all just forget ourselves and start being interested in other people the world would be much happier. It's really a Christlike attribute if you think about it. How would Jesus Christ carry on a conversation with you. I can't picture him talking your ear off, spilling all of His problems on to you. I think he would be genuinely interested in YOU. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's the best way to live your life. There is literally no other way to find the greatest happiness in this life. I love the gospel because it's principles are true principles that can be applied to every day life. We exercise faith in every thing we do, every step we take is an act of faith. Repentance, changing, becoming better, improving day by day, forgiving, being forgiven. These aren't just ideas that only work in a spiritual realm. These are real, matter of fact, fundamental principles of a happy life. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to learn about it and to teach it to others. I love Jesus Christ. And I love all of you! :) 

Hope you liked my sermon haha. 


Elder Sherwood

Jacob 1:7-8

June 24, 2014

Hi! I chose those scriptures for the subject because they explain our purpose as missionaries perfectly. So if anyone is confused about what missionaries do, there ya go. 

This week was great! I'm a little bit upset right now because I forgot my planner at home and I had written a ton of stuff in there to tell y’all about. But I’ll do my best to remember. This week was a good week, we had three exchanges. On Tuesday I was in Bentonville with Elder Ingledue. On Wednesday I was in Bella Vista with Elder Hardman a brand new missionary. And on Friday we blitzed the area with the assistants. So it was a very hectic week but it was awesome. We did a lot of good work. We have a new investigator named XXXX. She is a member referral from a family here in the ward. I didn't get to teach her because I was in Bentonville that night. But she sounds awesome. Really interested, really sincere. 

It's getting harder for me to know what to write in these emails. I mean we pretty much do the same thing every week. Pretty much. Maybe another questionnaire is in order haha. 

Something I have been thinking a lot about recently (hopefully I didn't already tell y’all about this thought) actually comes from that scripture I put in the subject line. The phrase "bear the shame of the world" means a lot to me. After observing the way we choose to live our lives as Latter-day Saints or followers of Jesus Christ, it's easy to see that we are not normal. In many ways we are rebels in society today. We do not conform to social norms. We don't follow the crowd. Our standards remain on a higher level. That’s the way it has to be for a disciple of Jesus Christ. And it's not easy! We cannot be like those in Lehi's dream that taste the love of God and then turn away in shame because they can't handle the mocking or insults from the great and spacious building. We have to stand tall for what we know is right. We have to endure to the end. That's where real joy is found. Real happiness is found in living the gospel. I Love this work so much! And I love all of you! :)


Elder Sherwood

Mosiah 3:19

June 16, 2014

This week was a crazy week. We had MLC in Tulsa on Monday and Tuesday, an exchange with the Cassville Elders on Wednesday and Thursday, and a Zone training meeting Friday with a road trip to Fort Smith! It was a crazy busy week but it was awesome as usual. MLC was great. Elder Van and I instructed on Listening. Our mission is focusing a lot on becoming better teachers. And part of teaching is listening to people. Preach My Gospel has a section on listening that we instructed from. But to demonstrate our points we began the instruction with a discussion on why it's important to be good listeners. We asked a question to the group called on people to answer and then proceeded to be the worst listeners imaginable. We would ignore the person talking, talk to each other, flip through pages of notes, call on other people while someone was still talking etc. It was funny, and it got the point across. We don't ignore each other here, why would we ignore our investigators while they are talking. If you're not a missionary it might be hard to imagine that scene, but I think most missionaries understand what it takes to be a good listener. It's hard! So that was fun. 
I went on an exchange in Cassville on Wednesday.  Isn't that funny? Y’all had no idea that on Wednesday I was in Cassville Missouri doing missionary work. And then on Friday we drove an hour and a half to Fort Smith Arkansas. It's just funny to think about all of this objectively. We're two 20 year old guys traveling around Northwest Arkansas preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's so AWESOME! 
Anyways, zone training meeting on Friday was awesome. I won't bore you with details about the instruction. It was just a good meeting. There was an emergency transfer in our zone, so we had to transfer one of the elders here down to Fort Smith, that’s why we drove down there. I got to see Elder Koetting down there though! That was awesome. I miss that kid. He's so funny. I can't wait to see him after we are both home from our missions. 
Anyways, I'm really grateful for this opportunity. I love serving a mission. I love being a missionary. I love preaching the gospel. God lives, and he loves us. I love all of you too! :) 

Elder Sherwood