Monday, December 8, 2014

Hey Everyone!

Exchanges with Elder Snow from Gilbert, AZ
I hope that everyone is enjoying this busy, yet so wonderful, Christmas season. With many things to do, sights to see, and people to serve, I hope everyone is able to spend some time to reflect on the importance of this holiday season; the Savior, even Jesus Christ. I have been thinking of what gift I should give the Savior this year, and I have decided that the best gift I could give him is, myself: my time, effort, hopes, desires, dreams and talents; total surrender. Although some of the sacrifices we make this season may cause us to not sleep as much, or do the things that we want to do, I know that as we serve other people, we serve God, and by serving God he makes all things possible. We can receive the things we need to become successful. I love this scripture in the Bible in Matthew 11: 28-30: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Through the hustle and bustle of this holiday season we can receive peace of mind and gain help in all that we do! 

Now on the subject of the hustle and bustle of this holiday season. . . . First off, we have zone conference on Friday for most of the day, secondly we have Mat and Tori's wedding on Saturday, and transfers on Monday (I hope I stay!). Last week we managed to squeeze 21 lessons in and this week we have set 28 lessons! I was looking at the calendar and wondering if we will be able to do it all. As I pondered, I could feel the peace that my Savior gave me telling me that it will all be alright. We will be able to have time to accomplish all the things HE wants us to do. I just have to remember to take things day by day and not bite off more than I can chew. :) 

"It's REAL!"
This past Sunday we had a Christmas Miracle . . . seriously! ALL of our investigators were at church! Mat, Tori, Nina, and Nikki! I was shocked to see Nina and Nikki walk in. Right when I saw them I got a little emotional and ran up to Nina and gave her a hug. Nina said that when she started to come to church was when she wanted to start working toward her baptismal date! I was so overjoyed! We also had several of our less actives come. Enola, a sweet, spunky, little old lady (86 yrs), walked into church! I ran up to her and gave her the biggest hug! She is such a sweetheart. We then had a new couple with their grandkids walk into the chapel. It was one of our referrals that had come to church! Kirt and Marian! I was literally leaping for joy! We just got two new investigators that had already come to church by themselves. Talk about how the Lord prepares his people!! It was one of the best Sunday's I had ever had! I finally felt like all of the hard work had paid off! All of us nearly took up an entire middle bench! It felt like my home away from home! I was with some of the people I love dearly! I love the opportunity I have to serve these people. I am so blessed in every way! The members and people who live here don't have a lot, but they will bend over backwards to help others. We are all family here! ;) What an example they are to me of Christ-like love and service! I am the luckiest missionary!

"Pass A-long card decorations!"

This week I have gained a great testimony of the power of prayer and fasting. The Lord hears and answers our prayers! We just need to do all that we can in our power to serve the Lord and he will pour down all the blessings we desire and need! Although fasting for two consecutive meals may be hard, it is worth it in every ways. I promise all of you that as you fast with a purpose and with a prayer in your heart the Lord will bless you with the things you need. So use the power of fasting!!! It works!!!

It has been such an amazing experience, the past 4 ½ months, to watch the work in Estacada grow so much. I have learned that as we are obedient and always do our best, that the Lord will pour out his miracles to us! I love this quote by Ezra Taft Benson "When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power." Always strive to be obedient! When we do our best and are obedient to the Lord and his commandments blessings and happiness comes . . . ALWAYS!

I hope all of you have a wonderful week! Never quit! Keep doing what is right and always do your very best and what miracles happen! You all are AMAZING! Don't let other people tell you otherwise!  

Love and miss you all!

Elder Shaw

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