Monday, September 22, 2014

Hey everyone!

Sorry I wasn't able to write you all last week. It was a crazy week, but one of the best since I have been out on my mission. I'll start from the beginning...

On Monday, my companion had a birthday! The senior couple in Estacada (Elder and Sister Peterson) had us come over to their apartment and made breakfast for us. Then they took us to the Zoo. It was loads of fun! Elder and Sister Peterson are hilarious! They have so many funny stories to tell. I am so lucky that I have had the chance to work with them! They are like my grandparents in the mission! Then that night for Elder Olsen's b-day dinner, we went over to the Anderson's, (a young couple in the ward) with the Spanish elders and the YSA elders and had a b-day bash! That day was a blast!

Mary's baptism!
This week is my first transfer...don't worry I'll still be in Estacada with Elder Olsen, but we are the only companionship that is staying together in our entire zone. We are getting another Spanish missionary in Estacada. He will be with the Spanish elders training while he waits for his visa. That means 7 full time missionaries in the Estacada Ward! Yessss! 15 missionaries are leaving the mission, but 24 are arriving! Wow! The rest of the week was busy with preparing Mary for baptism and making other visits to our other investigators and RCLA's. The baptism for Mary was simply amazing! The spirit was so strong.  I was so blessed to have been a part of it. I know that the lord prepares his people. He loves us infinitely!  He has prepared Mary for baptism. I am going to remember that day forever! Now just like President Gordon B. Hinkley said, "A new member of the church needs three things: a friend, a responsibility, and constant nourishment from the gospel." We are trying to build relationships with the ward so that when we leave Mary, she will stay active. It has been a blessing to watch someone's testimony grow in the gospel and to feel the love that God has for his children.

Concerning our investigators, we had a lesson with Mina and taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The lesson went so good! We might have another baptism coming up?!? :) We have taught her the restoration and the plan of salvation. She has a daughter and is a single mom. The biggest thing with Mina is to make sure that she has good fellowship with the ward members so that when she is baptized she has the support she needs to stay active. It is crazy how the biggest part of missionary work, re-activation and new converts, relies on the ward members. As full time missionaries, our job is to invite, help, and teach. Members invite, fellowship, and find. You all have done the bulk of the work!  We all have important roles as members of the church with missionary work. We all can be missionary's now! You are all so amazing and very inspirational. Think of all of the souls that you influence every day and pray to see what you can do to help them. :) Temple work is an easy way to do missionary work. You can do baptisms for so many people without having to find them! It's awesome! We are so blessed to have a temple so close by. I know that it can be hard to find time to do so, but I know that as you make an effort to go the lord will bless you I know it! The lord is just waiting to drench you with blessings (Haha with the rain;)

I know that this church is true! I know that as we serve other people we will be strengthened in our difficulties and insecurities because you come to know God as you serve. I am grateful for all of your love and support! It doesn't go unnoticed! I know that as we do our best we have nothing to fear. I know that the Atonement is real and that it covers more than our mistakes. It gives us a fresh view of ourselves, and the world. Our insecurities will fade away and we can have greater confidence in ourselves and most importantly in the Lord. I know that the lord loves all of his children infinitely! Come unto Christ and what your life change for the better!

Moroni 10:32

          32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves
          of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and
          love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient
          for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace
          of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

The leaves are starting to change color is so beautiful out here in the country! Today it is in the low 60s and I am not even cold! Bring on the snow! Haha Hopefully not too soon. The fire has burned over 5,400 acres, but is over half contained. It is staying away from the city so no problem here. The smoke and ash is clearing up a little bit depending on the wind. I haven't been able to run in a while because of the quality of air, but hopefully I can start back up again! My knee is doing very well. Sometimes I forget which knee it is!

I love you all and I hope that everyone is doing great!

"You are a miracle and you can do anything!" -Michael Baser

Lots of love,
Elder Shaw

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