December 17, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016

What a busy few years these have been for our family! This is our first blog update since August 2014 and our first Christmas Blog-card since 2013. We are so thankful that in all circumstances we've been in, Jesus Christ has been our greatest help and strength. We love His gospel and it guides and directs our lives each day. At this special time of year where we celebrate His magnificent birth and condescension, we pray for God's choicest blessings to be upon you and we wish you a wonderful Christmas and the happiest of New Years.

Below is a brief update on the Shearers if you're completely bored and have nothing better to do.

Joey, 19, is serving as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Raleigh, North Carolina, speaking Spanish. He has had a wonderful experience so far and loves the people. Not only has he learned Spanish but he is also now learning Swahili. He is serving as a Zone Leader in Wilmington and has about nine months left of his two years before he comes home. Click here to read his weekly updates and see pictures on his mission blog. He will attend BYU when he returns and plans to study Mechanical Engineering. Though still our "Joekster" he has grown up into a very kind, compassionate, service-oriented, wonderful man.

Maddy, 21, attended the University of Utah for her Freshman year of college, studying Vocal Performance. She had the privilege of touring Paris and Spain as a member of the Chamber Choir. Click here to read about their first place award in a prestigous International Competition in Tours, France. She is now finishing her Associates Degree at Utah Valley University and plans to head back to the University of Utah next year to finish the music degree. Click here to see Maddy performing at one of her vocal recitals. Maddy has continued to mature beyond her years in her understanding of people. She is a champion for the underdog and loves to serve and help others in need. She has developed a talent for crafts and decorating that we have all enjoyed. She also went to the Temple this year to receive her endowment and had a wonderful experience. Lastly, she added a new companion, a 3 pound Schnorkie named Otis.

Jeni continues to be the cornerstone in our home. Though her health is still up and down, she somehow finds ways to serve and bless the lives of those who come to see her. She is always quick to deflect praise or compliments to others and has enormous compassion for those who are suffering. Jeni serves in the Church in the Relief Society helping oversee Visiting Teaching. Jeni and Ro celebrated their 22 year wedding anniversary this month and are so grateful for each other. Jeni lost her mom, Kaye, nearly three years ago to Breast Cancer. They were best friends and Kaye was regularly at our home caring for Jeni and spending time with her, especially on the difficult days. We all miss her terribly but are grateful for her legacy of service, her testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and her love for Christmas, all of which now Jeni carries on.

After a 15 year career with Wendy's, Ro has switched from burgers to pizza, having spent the last 3 years working for Sbarro, a global restaurant company, as their Chief Administrative Officer. Almost all of Ro's jobs since college have been food related. No surprise there. Ro dabbled in gourmet cooking several years ago but has not updated his cooking blog since 2013. Click here to see his favorite recipes. He now spends any spare time he has running. After several full and half marathons this year, it's an understatement that Ro has caught the bug. He still plays the piano, publishing a new hymn arrangement this year (click here to listen), and continues to serve as the bishop of our local congregation, finding great joy serving the individuals and families there.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from us all!

Ro, Jeni, Maddy and Joey Shearer