Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hey all! What a crazy week it has been! 

Very full of mixed emotions...

First off...I am doing loads better! Thanks for your love and prayers! I have felt them greatly this past week. I have been off the pain medication for several days know, just being taking Ibuprofen for the pain. Each day I have been having more motion in my arm which is great. Since the accident, I have had some headaches here and there and sometimes I have a hard time remembering the "little things", but besides me and my crazy brain, I am doing FANTASTIC! I know that the Lord has helped me in so many ways! His love, comfort, and protection is great! He loves each of his children so very much!

On a sad note, my companion transferred yesterday which was tough...It stinks that I only had 6 weeks with him. I don't know the area as well as I would like to, but I know that the Lord will qualify me for his work and that he will help me. The Moreland ward also lost a very special senior couple, Elder and Sister Thomas. I loved serving with them these past 6 weeks! They will be greatly missed. Also, for the time being, we won't be having another senior couple take their place which is a bummer...I love serving with senior couples! On a brighter note, our ward finally has a ward mission leader! Yay! A lot of changes! My new companion is Elder Skinner. It was funny! When I first got to Portland he was actually in my 1st zone! It was nice to already know somewhat of my companion...makes things a bit easier. Also, I already know EVERYONE in my district! Sister Porter, who was also in my first zone is now in Milwaukee! Super cool, to already know everyone that I will be serving with.

The work in Moreland is being kicked up a notch! The Lord has blessed us with 3 new referrals who are super excited for us to teach them!!! All three of them referred themselves on mormon.org! One of them already wants to be baptized on Feb 28th!!! Carol, a sweet lady that also referred herself to us, is progressing so much! She is recently widowed and has great faith! She has been investigating the church for three weeks now and hasn't missed a Sunday of coming to church!!! We have been having the lessons with her and we followed up and asked her where she was at with reading the Book of Mormon and she said that she was already on Mosiah 18!!! Wow! We just gave her the Book of Mormon a week ago and she is almost a 1/4 of the way done! We had an awesome gospel principles class where Elder Stone and I talked about covenants, or promises we make with our heavenly father. Carol was there and she was rockin! We talked about baptism, our first covenants that we make with our father in heaven and I heard her whisper that she wanted to be baptized! We will be setting a date this Friday when we meet with her!! :) The Lord prepares the hearts of his people to receive the gospel! We are just instruments in his hands! We just have to extend the effort and he WILL take care of us! Also, the POWER OF PRAYER is sooo powerful! ;)

Another AMAZING thing that has happened over the weekend is that I had the honor and privilege to attend the temple for one of our less actives we have been teaching! He has grown and has come such a long way! I loved spending the time at the temple on Saturday...such a sweet spirit there! Also, tonight I get to go AGAIN and support another less active member that we have been working with as she takes out her own endowments. The entire family has come from inactivity back to the church! Another daughter will also go to the temple later this month so I get to go back AGAIN!!! I love temples so much, I guess, that the bishop asked me yesterday to talk in sacrament meeting on the temple and the influence it has had in my life...not my favorite thing to talk in sacrament meeting, but I LOVE the topic! Hopefully I won't get too emotional! ha! The Spirit can do that to ya sometimes! So I will be speaking on the 8th of Feb. It has been such a sweet experience watching the people that you have grown to love progress and come closer to our savior and redeemer, Jesus Christ. That is MY purpose as a missionary! I love the work so much!

This past week has been very emotional recovering from my injury, transfer, and insecurities. I had a lot of rest which was hard for me! You know when there are soo many things you can do, but don't have the energy, or capability to do them. Satan kept putting thoughts in my head that I was a terrible missionary and that I wasn't good enough. It was the worst feeling ever. Nothing was getting done and I could feel of all of the people that I needed to help and I couldn't do a thing! It was awful! I realized that in order for myself to help others, I had to first help myself. In Doctrine Convents section 4 verse 2: "Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day." I had all my heart, might, and my mind (some of it haha), but I didn't have my physical strength. I couldn't serve God or others to my best ability because my body needed to rest.

With transfers, I remember when I first got to Moreland and I just felt through the spirit that I was going to be with Elder Stone for just 1 transfer so I knew that I had to go to work. I had 6 weeks to try to get the area down. I did my best to remember names, people, places, and the ward. I remember when transfer calls came that I felt a peace with myself and my situation. The Lord will NEVER leave us! If we listen with a prayerful heart to the promptings of the spirit we will be guided and directed in ALL that we do. We can receive comfort and peace through our Savior Jesus Christ.

This past week I have been relying more in our savior Jesus Christ. It can be hard to trust him at times, especially when we don't know all the reasons behind our situations. I promise you that as we keep fighting and endure that we will climb up the mountain of our trials. I am grateful for the trials that we face in our lives because we can more fully experience the good. We have the opportunity to rely more on the Lord and come nearer to him! This past week has been one of the hardest so far on my mission with recovering from the bicycle accident, BUT my testimony of the savior's love/atonement and the power of prayer have increased in so many ways. A mission is hard, but boy is it worth it. You learn the things you need to grow up and strengthen your testimony in the gospel.

Thank YOU for all of YOUR love and prayers. Keep doing what is right. Try harder and harder each day and NEVER quit! Blessings are waiting right around the corner for you I KNOW it! ;)

I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love each and every one of you so much!

Much love,
Elder Shaw

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