Monday, January 12, 2015

Happy Monday All!

I have never been more excited for my P-Day for two reasons. 1) We are going to downtown Portland and 2) I am in much need of a break! We have been busy, busy, busy. We had a lot of meetings and appointments this past week. I can't wait to just have a couple of hours to just relax and prepare!

So this past week has had its ups and downs. On one end of the spectrum, two of our progressing investigators are taking a "short break" from the lessons, which was hard to hear especially when they were doing so well. Satan is working really hard here. There is so much potential for growth in the Moreland Ward and he has been doing everything he can to stop the work from progressing, but we all know the end result . . .he WON'T prevail! We just have to put our faith and trust in the Lord and trust that things will work out. On the other end of the spectrum, we received two new investigators, one from church headquarters and the other one just came to church today! Talk about how the Lord prepares people! When we are doing the right things the right things happen! They are great, and we are super excited to start working with them. We have also received, through our own efforts and the ward, more people to teach. We have been biking like crazy! Go, Go, Go, Go! It’s great to be busy in the Lord’s work! I wouldn't be able to do his work without him. He has strengthened me and qualified me for his work in so many ways! I just need to stay diligent and continue to work hard and I know that the Lord will provide for my physical needs.

Also...I GOT TO MEET ELDER M. RUSSELL BALLARD!!! We had a mission wide meeting with him where we discussed the missionary work in the OPM. I remember when he walked in and spoke to us. I could feel the spirit instantly and he looked like he was glowing. I started to choke up a bit. We were able to take zone pictures with him, and then he addressed us. It was crazy. Before, I thought apostles weren't really human. I thought that they were so spiritual that they were out of this world, but meeting with him, I realized that are just like us! He is a loving, caring, and funny grandfather. It was an out of this world experience. I could feel the love of Christ when he spoke. The spirit was so strong. I left the meeting feeling super energized to do more of the Lords work, more equipped to teach effectively, and more courageous to teach boldly. I never knew someone that could be so bold, yet so loving! He was also very humorous too! It was a great experience that I will always remember . . . who knows? Maybe next time President Ballard could get the prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, to speak to us??? :)

So in the spirit of being in Portland, I am going to start by sharing some of my "weird" experiences for the week! :) So this week’s weird experience is having a returning member tell me of his relapse to his addiction to heroine. It was way weird. It was hard to give him advice, especially when I have never experienced an addiction to heroine. We just testified of the Savior’s atonement and sent him on his way to our Bishop for some guidance and counsel. It is tough when we teach people that have experienced some things that I would never have dreamed of. I am clueless on what I can do to help them, but I know that the Spirit knows all, and as I rely on it, I can be guided and directed in what I need to do and say to help these people. Also a gift (I am not sure if it is) that I have developed while I have been on my mission is to distinguish the smell of alcohol and marijuana. It was funny, we were talking to a guy and afterwards I asked my companion if I was smelling alcohol and marijuana and he said is sad...I am slowly starting to lose my innocence . . . NOOO! The lessons you learn on your mission...haha! I am so sheltered!

    I love this young man right here! He has helped and encouraged me to set a better path for myself! Elder Rhett Shaw, I can not thank you enough!!! - Nina
Every day I keep on being reminded on how the Lord truly knows us and that he has a planfor each of us. Serving here in Moreland has been one of the most challenging, craziest, weirdest, and hardest things I have ever done, yet also so rewarding. I have found so many reasons why the Lord has placed me to serve here; things that I need to learn, attributes that I need to develop, relationships that I need to grow. There is always a reason behind everything in our lives and if we pay close attention we will see that we do have a loving Heavenly Father who knows what is it that we need. We just need to trust that he knows what he is doing, which I know he does. Several of our investigators that I was working with in Estacada disappeared and recently reappeared here in Moreland. It wasn't a coincidence that I was sent here to Moreland! I know that the Lord knows each of us perfectly and that as we keep the faith and continue to work hard that we will receive the things necessary for us to be successful servants of the Lord. Remember: when you are doing the right things, the right things WILL happen! The Lord has a plan for each of us!

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your love and support. Continue to do those things that will help you come closer to the Savior, Jesus Christ. When it gets hard, don't you ever quit! Keep pushing, and I promise you good things will happen! ;)

You are all in my thoughts and prayers always! I hope you all have a WONDERFUL week!

Love you!
Elder Shaw

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