Monday, November 17, 2014

Baptisms, Weddings...Oh my!!!

Hey everyone! 

I hope you are all enjoying the beginning of the holiday season as I am! It has been a whole truck load of craziness! First off the weather has been ridiculous! Thank goodness for scarves, jackets, and for the heater in the car!!! It was in the mid to low 30s and even some days in the 20s! My thin blood from AZ has had to do a lot of adjusting! Ha-ha! I am beginning to like the cold...weird right!?! We had freezing rain on Thursday! It was crazy! Nothing like I have ever experienced! These past 3 days have been cold, but the sunshine has been great! 

The work in Estacada is going crazy! We have been so busy this past week! We have been go, go, go! We had over 15 lessons! We had to eat in the car a ton last week because of all of the driving to and from appointments. On Wednesday, we had an appointment with 3 of our investigators: Mat, Tori, and Kody and we were able to teach them the plan of salvation. During our study before hand, we felt like it was time to extend the invitation to be baptized. We prayed for a date and the spirit told the both of us that Jan. 24th will be the day they will be baptized. We met at the church and had a very good lesson! The spirit prompted us to extend the we go! I first asked Mat if he will be baptized he said yes! Then I asked Tori if she would be baptized! She also said yes! Then finally I asked Kody if he would be baptized and he said . . . . . . YES!!! We now have 3 baptisms on Jan. 24th 2015!!! Words couldn't explain all of the feelings of happiness that I was experiencing. All of the bad days made this moment worth it in my mission! It was one of the greatest moments of my life! Mat, Tori, and Kody remind me so much of my friends. They are always there for each other no matter what! I knew that I was sent to Estacada to find them and to give them the opportunity to come closer to Christ. They are so great! Mat is 20, Tori, is 19, and Kody is 22. Mat and Tori are engaged, and Kody is one of their best friends. Since Mat and Tori are engaged and have been living with each other, before the baptism they need to be married. They wanted to be married in August, but financially it didn't work out. We said how we could arrange a wedding at the church where Bishop Hawkins could marry them, and have a potluck afterward.

They were thrilled!! So I guess I am planning a wedding!!! We had a couple of dates in mind, and they decided that since the baptism and the wedding would be a new start for them in their life, they decided to have their wedding on Dec. 31st, 2014! New Years Eve!!! Mat said that he might want me to be his best man! :) I have a lot to look forward too! After we would teach Mat, Tori, and Kody the lessons, Mat would then teach me how to play the piano. Who knows I might come back and be able to play like Beethoven?!?  It has been such a great experience full of fun! They are a great group of young adults! This past week has been crazy but boy has it been worth it! I love being a missionary!

Another one of our investigators Nina is super close to being baptized. We are going to extend the commitment this week! Who knows we might be able to have five baptisms in January!!! The only thing that worries me is that transfers are already three weeks away...I don't want to leave Estacada! Hopefully president will see all of our hard work and will let me stay for one my transfer so that I'll be able to go to the wedding and the baptisms and not have to go to a different area before Christmas! That would be extremely hard! Anyways I just have to hold tight and enjoy the ride! 

This week I have been thinking of one of my most favorite quotes by Elder Jeffrey R Holland: "Don't you quit. You keep walking, you keep trying, there is hope and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon. Some come late. Some don't come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come. "We all have rough days. But don't you quit. The good days that we receive, far outweigh the bad days. Always be optimistic and focus on the good and always have a grateful heart, and you will find that life will be a lot easier. When things go wrong as they sometimes will, if you have an optimistic mindset you will be able to focus on what is most important and will be able to enjoy life more freely! Always focus on the good.

We all have insecurities. We may wonder why we experience the trials that we do. We may wonder why we have received the callings which we have, but I know that the Lord will qualify us for his work. "Who the Lord calls, the Lord will qualify. When you're on the Lords errand, you're entitled to the Lords blessings. “– Thomas S Monson   Heavenly father sees our full potential. We have to continually trust him and his power and I understand that he knows what's best for everyone of us. We need to remember to be patient not with just other people, but also with ourselves. Never forget who you truly are, a son or daughter of a heavenly father who loves you. We all have so much potential! 

Never quit! Focus on the good! Keep going! Good things will always come from your good works! Keep being AMAZING! Always look for ways to do good! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love and miss you all! 

Lots of love,

Elder Shaw 

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