Monday, August 18, 2014

Hey all,

Beautiful Oregon Country
What a crazy week I had last week. At first it was hard to adjust, but then I tried to look at things in a brighter light and tried to stay optimistic. It really helps! Your attitude is everything in anything you do! I LOVE my area!!!!! Being in the country I am not as stressed! I love it! The way of life is slow out here...I love the change! My trainer, Elder Olsen is such a great guy! We get along great and have plenty of laughs...(ha well at least I do! :) I have met several members of the ward out here and they are fantastic! They are very driven to missionary work! There are over 400 members out here, but only 190 members show up for sacrament meeting. There is a lot of less active work out here, so I have had the privilege to visit with a lot of inactives. I met with several sweet, less active sisters in the ward. They are the sweetest ladies! Out here there are so many people that have experienced hard trials that I would never dream of. It is such a humbling experience. Sometimes it is very hard to address their needs and sometimes I wonder how on earth can I help them, but I know that God knows each and everyone of us by name and that he is in the details of our lives. The Spirit knows all and if we rely on it I know that the spirit will guide. I have felt so much love for others out here because I have been able to see what Heavenly Father sees in them. What a wonderful experience! Since I have been here it has only rained twice. Ha, I guess Mesa has been getting all of the rain! The weather has been warm, but the breeze helps a bit. The trees, flowers, gardens, and mountains are so gorgeous out here. Sometimes I wish I can stay here forever! 

We have been working with one investigator, Mary. She is a busy mother with 3 kids and doesn't have a husband. She is so great and I can see her being such an amazing member! We are trying to help her with the trials she is going through and it makes me sad because she is so hardworking and kind. The bishop in the Estacada ward is Bishop Hawkins (he lived in Mesa before). He is such a hardworking man who devotes himself to the Lord 24-7. There is so many needs of the ward and he always does his best to address them. I love working with him! 

The Estacada Group, they're awsome!
In the Estacada ward we have 6 missionaries!!!! We have a senior couple (Elder and Sister Peterson from Utah), 2 Spanish missionaries (Elder Smith from Gilbert and  Elder Cooper...forgot where he is from), and myself and Elder Olsen (he is from St. George, Utah). We work very closely with Elder and Sister Peterson. They are so AMAZING! They can open doors that we can't!! In my district we have a set of sister missionaries, 2 sets of senior couples, and another set of Elders. On Saturday, we went over to the Reynolds farm and split wood and put it into stacks! I loved it! Ha I have truly found myself!! It reminded me of when I would sell wood with my grandpa around Christmas time! Great memories! Anyway, at the farm I touched a 50 lb. turkey!!! He was huge! There was also a peacock, a lot of chickens, and 3 friendly ducks! Most of the food out here is grown in gardens. Also, there are black berries on the road that you can just eat! They were super good!! (The jam is almost as good as my mom's ;) 

My mission has facebook! We use it to proselyte and to keep in touch with the members here and non-members back at home. I am not able to message family and friends (I can add them though), but I can post some spiritual experiences so tag your friends!! I am able to go onto facebook Tues-Sat for an hour a day. Spread the word! ;)

Christmas Tree Capital!
I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity to serve the Lord for 2 years! I already don't want it to end!! The people here are very kind and very interesting! ha I love them! I am so grateful for the scriptures and for the Book of Mormon. When we read it everyday we are strengthened and we receive so much comfort! When you are a missionary, prayer becomes second nature to you! I am so grateful for the power of prayer and the guidance it give me! When you care about other people, your stresses and worries disappear and surprisingly you are able to deal with your challenges easier. Having an attitude of charity can transform us. The way we see ourselves, others, and the world will change for the better if we continue to be charitable. I am so grateful for the Savior! He knows me and cares about me! I know that his atonement is real and that all of our weakness can become our strengths if we rely on him! All of our feelings of doubt, inadequacy...etc and be changed to pure joy when we let the Savior into our lives. I know that he lives and loves each and everyone of us and has a purpose for us. Trust him and watch miracles happen! 

I love you all and hope all is well!


Elder Shaw

My MTC Companion

Provo Temple

MTC District

Called to Serve!
These are all of the new missionaries arriving from the MTC!
We are at the Portland Temple Visitors Center.

President and Sister Ballard
(New to the Mission in July 2014)


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  2. Such a well written letter Elder Shaw. Thank you for sharing your love and the beauties of Oregon. I especially liked your challenge to "Trust Him and watch miracles happen." Keep up the good work. Love, Sister Washburn