Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mount Hood in the background
So I forgot to mention an out of this world experience I had several weeks ago. (WARNING do not read while you eat) We were invited to eat lunch with a less active. He had a Scottish background and was very passionate about it. He fed us a delicious meal and right before we left, he made us fried haggis (a Scottish delicacy) . Haggis is grounded up cow heart, lung, brain, liver, and intestines.. I wanted to have something very memorable and brave to write down in my journal so I ate it!!  It wasn't very good...I could eat it if I had too, but it wasn't one of my favorite foods. Haha so my mission is foreign! Estacada is very foreign to the rest of the areas, but I absolutely love it! I have awesome stories to tell and interesting experiences like giving several blessings in the back of someone's car...Anyway back on track with this week.

Being goofy with Elder Olsen

Today is possibly the last P-day that elder Olsen and I will be together so we are going to go to Mt. hood. 

At the Portland Temple
I was able to go to the Portland temple to attend a session on Saturday. It was such a great experience. (I kinda got a little emotional, but I held it together! ;)  There was a recent convert there from Portland who took out her endowments that very session. I had to congratulate her! It bought back a lot of tender memories. It is crazy how I have changed in so many ways...hopefully for good haha! I have more courage to talk to random strangers then I did before that's for sure especially talking about the gospel! After the temple we went as a district to Applebee's and ate lunch. Then the Peterson's took us to Costco while we were still in Lake Oswego (the city haha) and I was able to get a great rain coat for only $30! It works fantastic! It is light, warm, keeps out the rain, water repellent, and stylish haha! I love Costco!  I love the Peterson's!

My new raincoat

It has been rain, rain, rain, and more rain! I love it! (probably because I am not in it as much thanks to the car!) tomorrow is suppose to be cloudy. Every now and then the sun peaks out of the clouds and you get a couple of moments of sunshine which I love! Reminds me that there is always hope in any dreary situation! :) Perfect timing with the winter package Mom!  spot on! The sweaters keep me warm and toasty!
Storm was a bit windy!

This Friday we have our Ward Halloween party! There will be a chilli contest, costume parade, and a trunk of treat! Super excited! Getting a little bit nervous with upcoming transfers...anyway we are in for an exciting week this week!

I hope you all have a great week full of joy, love, and happiness! I love you all so much!


Elder Shaw

Monday, October 20, 2014

Trusting the Lord and Following the Spirit

Hey everyone!

I hope your week has been full of sunshine! Ha!  We are just getting started with the rain here! Part of me likes the cloudy dreary days, but mostly I miss the sunshine! I love the coolness of the rain though! It is completely different from AZ is more like a mist or sneeze. (I know it sounds gross, but it is really how the rain is here...viewer discretion is advised! :) Anyway I am just getting used to the weather here. Ugh, it has given me the worst of headaches!  (Mom I can tell that rain is coming because I get a headache  #insidejoke!) I am loving it up here though! Change is always good!

This week as a companionship we have had several miracles. We gained 5 new investigators this week!!! Fasting works! Also, this week we taught over 12 lessons! It was fantastic! The Lord hears and answers  our prayers! This week has defiantly been a busy week. I was able to  go on an exchange again, but this time I stayed in Estacada with Elder Adamson. I had everything planned out and was super excited...lets just say that things didn't go according to my plan... The Lord had a different plan and it made the day one of the best days in my mission! The Lord kept me on my toes and made me feel a bit uncomfortable. I relied on the Lord so much that day as I had to decide who we should visit. We were able to visit with a less active and shared a powerful message about the restoration. We didn't have much time to plan for the lesson, but we went into it with an open heart and relied on the spirit. The lesson went PERFECTLY! There were some questions that he had that were able to be answered by the power of the Holy Ghost. He decided that he wanted to come back to church! Also, after the lesson he sang for us! He has a great voice so we invited him to join the choir. We also showed him around the church building so he could feel the wonderful spirit that is there. l know that the spirit IS the perfect teacher and as we rely on the spirit as we teach others, we will be able to meet their needs!  

Oh I forgot to tell you...I am in the ward choir! We sang one of my favorite songs on Sunday "Abide, with Me Tis-Eventide". It was great! Although we can't make the practices on Thurs night we are going to be in the choir! (Super excited for the Christmas program where all of the church's here come together and sing! It is going to be a neat experience.) 

I am so grateful for the power that comes from prayer, scripture study, and fasting. I am grateful for the Holy Ghost and for the things that it tells and shows me so I can teach to meet the needs of those who I am teaching. I know that a great teacher is someone who teaches by the spirit! I have been consistently learning to be more flexible with my plans. I know that the Lord knows what he is doing and that he will never leave us comfortless. He knows what is best for each and every one of us. We just have to trust him! ;)

I hope each and every one of you has a great week this week and to always remember that things are on the Lords timetable and that as you trust him and his power, things will turn out better than you could have imagined! I love and miss you all!

Have an AMAZING week! Always keep your head up!

Lots of love,
Elder Shaw

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone is doing well! Glad to here that the weather is finally cooling off! So I leave AZ for a little bit and the rain comes?!? Wow! It has only rained a couple of times here...I am cursed with heat! No, I love the sunshine, but I am starting to fall in love with Oregon and the weather...good luck dragging me home mom! haha!

This past week has been fantastic! We had zone conference on Friday and had training on planning and "teaching where we find and finding where we teach." After our training we had the privilege of watching "Meet the Mormons," before it got to theaters (thanks to our mission pres).  It was a great movie! I loved the many experiences and stories! I hope everyone will have to opportunity to watch it. Your testimony of this gospel will be strengthened!

We had several miracles happen this past week. We have been meeting with a less active family that hasn't been to church in over 20 years. Two weeks ago we taught them the power of fasting and studying the scriptures. We invited them to watch Conference last week and to bring with them questions about the gospel. Before they watched Conference, the couple exercised their faith by participating in a fast to help them find answers to their questions. As they watched Conference, their hearts were softened and they knew without a shadow of a doubt that the church is true. They called us and told us that their "Recess" was over and that it was time to come back to the Lord and to prepare to go to the temple together. We visited with them and I could tell that there was a different spirit in the home. They were more united. The arguing ceased and I could truly feel the spirit and the love that our Heavenly Father had for them. It was an emotional experience for them as well as for me! I was so proud of them and love them even more! They exercised their faith and had trust in Christ. On Sunday the wife went up and bore her testimony! Wow! It was...(there are no words to describe it! :) Her testimony strengthened mine! I learned of the love that God has for EACH of his children. It is never too late to come back to Christ!

This event showed me the importance of having faith in Christ, not in just the hard times, but the easier times as well. In Ether 12:12 it reads, "For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith." Our faith in Christ can produce miracles. We have to take a leap of faith and trust God that he will provide for us after all that we can do. We can put our faith in Christ by: 1) Praying 2) Scripture Study 3) giving Service to others 4) Obeying the commandments 5) Fasting with Prayer 6) Following the Prophet. If we exercise our faith in Christ we will be anchored to him (see Ether 12:4). No matter what may happen, if we center our lives on the savior when life gets tough, when we need strength, when disasters happen in our lives we WILL not fall! Helaman 5:12 "...remember that it is the rock of our redeemer, who is Christ, the son of god, that ye must build your foundation...a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." 

REMEMBER: It is never too late to come back! The Lord loves us infinitely! I know that as we have faith we will receive a feeling of peace and comfort in our lives. For in this lifetime we "...walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Cor. 5:7) Have your faith set on Christ and I know that if we have our eyes and ears open, we will see and hear of miracles that happen in our lives!

I am so grateful for all of you and for your continuous love and support. It really helps me become the best missionary I can be! You are all in my thoughts and prayers! I love and miss you all so much, but I know that the Lord needs me here. I hope you all have a wonderful week and always remember who you truly are, Magnificent!!!!!

Keep the faith!
With barrels of love,
Elder Shaw

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hey everyone!

What a great week it was last week! First off, the leaves on the trees are actually changing color before the fall off! Red, orange, and yellow-It is so beautiful! The Lord is being kind to me and has blessed me with sunshine here, but I have a feeling that it isn't going to last long! :/ We had rain on Monday, but it wasn't like the rain in AZ it was like a refreshing mist! It was wonderful! Then the weather started to heat up. It was crazy! It was only 85 degrees and I was dying from the heat! It's going to be hard to adjust to the heat when I get back to AZ! Thank goodness that isn't anytime soon! ha Anyway, I love it up here! Hopefully it is starting to cool off for you guys in AZ!

The work has started to slow out here concerning our investigators. We have been able to find some less active families to teach and prepare to go to the temple so that within itself is a blessing. The Lord has opened some of the less actives doors and we have been so blessed to help them on their journey back to Christ. Less active members of the Christ are just as important as new converts or investigators. "The worth of souls is great in the sight of God!" I feel so blessed to be a missionary! I absolutely LOVE having the time and opportunity to give the Lord my entire heart and soul. It is such a rewarding experience to serve god, although at times it may be overwhelming and difficult.

This weekend felt like Christmas. This week we were anxiously waiting to watch conference and then it finally came, but went way to fast! (just like Christmas!) General Conference!!!! We were planning on watching conference with our investigators, but they bailed! :( Elder Olsen and I were able to go to the stake center and watch it there with the other missionaries in our zone! It was so much fun!  Conference was simply AMAZING!  I loved the messages shared in conference! I wanted to share with you all one of my favorite talks by Jorg Klenbingat who talked about self-doubt. As human beings we all have doubts. Whether it be within ourselves or, in the world around us. Doubt is part of our human experience. Brother Klenbingat said, "There will always be self-doubt. We can get rid of these feelings by:  1) Applying the atonement and take responsibility for your spiritual self   2) Take responsibility for your physical body (exercise, eat good etc).  3) Embrace and obey the commandments   4) Repent daily   5) Be forgiving   6) Accept trials as experience under all circumstances and acknowledge your weaknesses, but don't let them control you..."

There were things in Conference for everybody!  I can't wait to watch the talks over again!

Satan likes to make us feel like we are worthless and that because of our previous mistakes we aren't able to achieve all that our Heavenly Father has for us, but this is a LIE! If we weren't worth something, then why would Christ go through the pain, sufferings, and afflictions for us and for our mistakes? Why would someone sacrifice themselves for something that wasn't of great worth? We all matter to God! He loves and cares for us deeply. We all make mistakes. We all can feel guilty at times. It is part of being human, but we can't let our mistakes take over our lives. There is hope for us! Jesus Christ and his atonement. Christ atonement can make bad men good, good men better and can change our human nature! I know that through Christ we can be strengthened, uplifted, encouraged, and edified. Whenever we have doubts don't let it over affect your testimony! Apply what President Uchtdorf said last conference, "Doubt your doubts, before you doubt your faith." There have been several instances on my mission where people have yelled at us, cursed us, and said that what we are saying isn't true. I know without a doubt that this church is true! Don't let anything or anyone keep you from the gospel! We all are on a journey back to our heavenly father! Don't let what others think, say, or do affect your salvation!

So a little bit on what happened last week on P-Day. We went to the amazing food carts! There is 2 blocks full of food carts! It was awesome to see all of the different foods! We then went to Powell books and looked around! We then took the street car over to Salt and Straw, an amazingly weird ice cream shop that has flavors like lavender, and blue cheese...yuck! I stayed original and got Rocky Road! There were so many people downtown! I felt a little bit overwhelmed! In Estacada you hardly see people, but downtown Portland reminds me of New York. It was weird having people stare at you. Anyway it was so much fun! We went with the Tickle Creek elders, Sandy sisters, and the Damascus sisters in our zone! I love meeting new people!

There have been a couple of changes in the mission. There are no longer senior and junior companions, companions can take turns driving the cars (yep that means me so look out!), and now we have 3 districts in our zone. Before we had only 2 so now our districts are even smaller. We lost the Sandy sisters, but we are still with Tickle Creek, the Peterson's, the Kimball's (another senior couple in Gresham), and us! I am so excited for Zone conference this week! We get to watch "Meet the Mormons!" I am soooo excited! Oh and I completely forgot to tell you that 2 weeks ago we had a mission tour (it’s when a member from the 70 talks to us) with Elder Johnson! It was great!

I know that our savior lives and loves us! I know that this church is true and that as we follow and obey the commandments we will find joy!  I know that as we do the right things with the right reasons that we can receive so many blessings for our Heavenly Father!

I love and miss you all! I hope that each and every one of you had the chance to watch conference! There are great messages shared for each of us personally! Have an awesome week and remember who you are and how much potential you have!

Lots of Love,
Elder Shaw

 P.S I saw this on facebook and loved it! 
 Let us sort out our priorities!