Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi guys!

Wow! Can't believe that it is already the holidays! I love that special feeling in the air every year around this time. I enjoy the time that I have to reflect on what I am grateful for. 

This week has been extremely fun, yet very busy! I have been trying to keep up! HaHa! We were able to have 20 lessons with our less actives and investigators!!! I love teaching people about the gospel! Also I was very happy that we reached our goals! :) It just goes to show that if we plan and set goals and ask the Lord to help us, he will help us see things through! When we call upon the Lord in prayer, he will guide us in our lives and help us reach our goals. It is crazy how my testimony of prayer and scripture study have been strengthened since I have been out. I have found that by doing the basics: prayer, scripture study, going to church, and serving others, we are able to find joy, peace, happiness, and enjoy the presence of the Spirit in our lives.

I love serving the people in Estacada. It is such a humbling experience. Not a lot of the people here have a lot, some come from broken families, some have overcome obstacles that I could never have dreamed of overcoming, and a lot of people don't have the support and love that comes from a family. I can't help but to love them! They are my brothers and sisters and we are all part of one big family. I love sharing the gospel with them specifically the strength and joy that comes from our Savior, Jesus Christ. I may not know how I can help them, but he does! He knows us! He has suffered for us! He loves us each and every one of us. As we rely on the promptings of the Spirit, we will know what to say, do, and will be guided in our lives. 

I am so grateful for the gift of the Spirit and its influence in my life. The Spirit talks to us and as we listen intently without fear, we can do the will of our Heavenly Father. Fear is the absence of Faith. We all can triumph over our fears and insecurities as we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He can strengthen us . . . . . he has strengthen me! 

I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father and for my brother Jesus Christ. I am grateful for this opportunity I have to be on a mission and give the Lord my heart. "I, Nephi, (Elder Shaw), having been born of goodly parents..." I am so blessed to have the parents, family, and friends that I have! I can feel your love every day! You all keep me going! I am so grateful for your examples and love that you have given me. I am so grateful for a mother who sacrifices her time, efforts, and will for her children and for the Lord. Her testimony has saved me in my life! She is one of my rocks that I lean on in my life! I am so grateful for a father who worthily holds the priesthood and has taught me the importance of serving others. Every time there is an opportunity to cut the grass, boy do I take it! ;) 

I miss my sisters so very much! They have influenced my life in so many ways, and I have confidence that they will be great instruments in the Lords hands. They have always been such a great example to me! I am so grateful for the many blessings that come from the gospel of Jesus Christ.   

This scripture sums up my feelings perfectly: "Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen." (See Alma 26:37)

I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have that the Lord is mindful of his children. There are never coincidences. The people that we met and talk with are put in our path for a reason, and that reason is to share the gospel with them. In the bible dictionary the word "gospel," means "good news!" Let us share the glad tidings of joy this holiday season!  

 Love you all! You all are AMAZING!!!!

Lots of Love,

Elder Shaw

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