Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hey everyone!

Wow! A ton of things have been happening lately! First off, the weather is in the 40s, lower 50s. The leaves on the trees continue to change their color so the drop in temperature is well worth it. Thank goodness for jackets, sweaters etc. ha! They keep me warm! I heard the weather is finally getting nice down in AZ! :)

Me and Elder O'Sullivan

We had transfers yesterday so I had to say "see you later" (never goodbye) to my trainer Elder Olsen. It was way tough parting ways with people that you have grown to love. (Ha! I thought that was tough can't wait to see what emotional state I will be when I leave my mission. :/ ) It wasn't a coincidence that we were put together. We had our tough times, but mostly good! He became one of my best friends! I have learned so much from him and I look forward and I am excited for the opportunity I have to learn from my new companion Elder O'Sullivan (Sully).

I love the people that I am serving! It is going to be extremely hard to say "see you later" to them. When I was done with my training it was interesting to see how much I have changed. The mission has already changed my life is so many ways for the better! We come to know Christ when we serve Christ and by serving other people, we are serving Christ! I love this great opportunity I have to learn and to grow and to adapt to change. There will be a lot of changes with the mission, but I know that I will become stronger from it. I never thought I would say this, but I love opportunities to change, although it isn't always very comfortable.

We had a ward "trunk or treat" and a chili cook off last week for Halloween. We got so many less actives and investigators there! It was an AMAZING experience and I had a lot of fun! (People loved my devil eyes! Ha I hope I didn't scare to many children!) We were able to give some of our investigators a tour of the church building. It was fantastic! We then decorated our trunk and passed out candy to the young ones. It was a great night!

A couple of months ago, when I first came to Estacada, we ran into some homeless couple (Mat and Tori) and gave them our number to see if we could do anything to help them. Long story short, they both got on their feet, both are working at Sparky's Pizza, and both of them are doing pretty well. Mat is 21 and Tori is 19. One day we found out where they were living and made a visit to them. After a series of short lessons, last week we finished teaching them about the restoration. We then invited and got them a ride to church and they came on Sunday as well as 2 of our other other investigators. We received a new bishopric and they were able to bear their testimonies and then they turned the time over to us. Mat walked up to the microphone...my heart raced! Then he gave a beautiful testimony and said "I know without a doubt that this church is true!" Tears streamed down my face. The spirt was so strong! I tasted how sweet a mission can truly be! I have realized my true purpose as a missionary, invited others to come to Christ! I know that the Lord prepares his people! There aren't any coincidences. The people we meet are put in our way for a reason. Later, Mat and Tori committed to baptism! We are working on preparing them and helping them the best we can (they have to get married first so I might be able to go to a wedding on my mission!). What a blessing I have to be a missionary in this day and age. The Lord is hastening his work so we all better hold on tight!

This week I have been under a lot of stress, (taking over the area! Look out! ) but I have turned to the lord and to the scriptures and found much needed peace and guidance. I know that the Lord qualifies us for his work. We may feel inadequate with the calling we are asked to do, but I know that whatever we are called for is for a reason! We may not know why or how, but if we rely on the lord, prayer, and the scriptures we will receive peace, guidance, and certainty that the callings we were chosen to perform is just for us and it is exactly what we need. The lord knows us perfectly!

I have been humbled to work with many people that don't have very much. It breaks my heart to see children and families that don't know what they will have for their next meal. It has shown me that I always need to be more charitable and giving. I don't need to think of myself, but I need to think of others. I have found that when you go out serving others your struggles and challenges fade away and you receive much need strength to pull through your trials. I know that we all can do the same.  Our burdens will be made light as we serve other people.

I love you all and I hope that you are all doing great! You are all in my prayers nightly! Thanks for your awesome examples, love, support, and optimism! Can't believe that the holidays are coming! :/ wow! Time flys when you are having fun! Have a fantastic week everybody!

Lots of Love,
Elder Shaw

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