Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas to One and All!

Wow! Can't believe that it is already here! This past year has gone by like a blur. Can't believe that I'll be hitting my 5 month mark this week! Time has flown by for sure.

It has been an interesting and "out of this world" experience being just outside of Portland. It
My New District
is weird seeing so many lights and sooo many people. The Moreland ward is cozy. . . just over 70 members showed up for church yesterday. I was able to have the opportunity to pass the sacrament, which brought back a lot of memories. This past week I pretty much met the entire ward...that was weird. I just have to remember their names! Haha! There is a lot of work to be done here, but it has been hard to see all the people that we would like too because of the time it takes us to travel on our bikes...for Christmas I hope to look outside of the window to see a car with a bow on it! Haha! The ward boundary isn't as big as Estacada, but it is a pretty good size ward. I am excited to become more familiar with the ward and area!

I had a neat experience yesterday when we went to the hospital to give one of the sisters in the ward the sacrament. She has been there for over 6 years. Her health isn't really good, but that doesn't stop her from her beautiful smile. We literally had a mini sacrament meeting with songs, a lesson and of course the most important part...the
sacrament. There was such a sweet spirit there! When we finished the closing song, she sang the first verse over by herself. It was so beautiful. The spirit touched my heart. She made my Christmas! What an example to me of someone who is so faithful till the end.

I love this wonderful season! I am so grateful for the love that my Heavenly Father has for me by giving me his son so that I might have everlasting life. (John 3:16) Before the presents are unwrapped, and the eggnog is gone, read Luke 2: 1-21 and 1 Nephi 11:13-20 and compare the two. It has a powerful message of the birth of the Savior. It is
awesome to see how the Book of Mormon IS another testament of Jesus Christ! I promise that as you do this that you will be able to feel the true meaning of Christmas which is the Savior, even Jesus Christ.

The Savior makes all of the difference for me in my life. I am going to admit that serving the lord 24/7 isn't always easy. There are some days that I feel like I can't push anymore, but right when I feel weak, tired or lonely I feel the Savior all over me. "I CAN do ALL things through CHRIST which STRENGTHENETH me!" (Philippians 4:13)  I know this scripture to be true. Christ can strengthen us! I know this because he has strengthened me! I am so grateful for a Savior that knows me and is so sweet and understanding.

Couple of stockings from home
 for my Companion and I!
It has been such an amazing experience to feel the love that God has for ALL of his children. I am reminded of it every day...I feel it and I know it to be true . . . God loves every single one of his children intimately! No matter what mistakes we have made in the past, Christ’s mercy is always extended to us! It has been a neat experience lately. I meet people I don't even know, and can't help but love them, even if they don't love me back. I am so grateful to be on my mission! It has taught me how to love. Such a blessing; to give the Lord all that I've got, and to share his message to the world.

This season comes with a lot of gifts given and received, but what gift can we give the Savior this year? For this upcoming year, my goal is to give myself to the Savior and to serve other people the way he would. What gift(s) are you going to give the Savior?

Let us remember the reason for the season!

I love you all so much and hope that you have a Very Merry Christmas!.

All my love,
Elder Shaw

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