Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy Spring everybody!

Can't believe it is already here!?! We are almost already done with’s crazy! Time flies when you are having fun I guess.

Spring showers for days over here. Gotta love the Oregon rain!

Today we have exciting things planned for p-day! I AM GOING BACK HOME! TO THE HOOD!

We are going with a lot of other missionary's on a hike over at Mt. hood. I'll make sure that I take photos. ;) We will then also hit Calamity Jane’s (best restaurant out in the hood) and Joe's doughnuts (best doughnuts in Oregon!). We are in for an amazing day!

This week has been a whirlwind of emotions for me! Life has its ups and downs...where to begin...

So the meds that I am on for my headaches have helped my headaches be less painful, BUT it makes me zombie-like. I get pale in the face, looks like I don't sleep, feel exhausted all the time, and it makes me depressed. (never, ever, take Cymbalta!) Since I hate what the meds do to me, I didn't take them on Saturday or Sunday and have already felt the difference, but it came with a price...the headaches feel worse. My migraine was so bad, that on Sunday I only went to sacrament meeting and then went back to the apartment and slept for the entire day. The wonderful ward and sister missionary's that are in my district treated me with some Dr. Pepper to help with the headaches. Although soda makes me feel terrible inside, it does help take the edge of the pain off. It is crazy! Motions, lights, sounds...everything sets off my was miserable, BUT I don't have to go through the pain alone. I have felt Christ lift me up and help me in so many ways! He NEVER leaves us!

Also on the downside of this week was when one of our investigators was rushed into the hospital because she went into labor 4 months early. Early Friday morning we went to the hospital and gave her a blessing. After I gave the blessing I got this feeling that she was going to lose her baby . . . In a matter of hours she gave birth to a baby boy who only lived for 3 hrs. She named the baby Rhett Lynn Alstott. I was able to see the baby. It was an emotional experience for me, but I knew that the baby was in God’s hands. It lived, received his body and then peacefully passed. He was needed on the other side. I felt bad for Tasha...she has been having a hard time with it. She wanted us to come back to the hospital later that night and we got permission from our president to go there to visit and comfort her in her time of need. We didn't leave the hospital until 1 in the morning. It was great though...we were able to cheer her up a bit. So grateful for the knowledge that we have that families are forever and that we will be able to live with our loved ones again through the atonement of Jesus Christ. 

On the upside, I was able to go BACK to the temple on Saturday for an endowment!!! I have been so lucky! In the past month I was able to go to the temple for someone’s endowment 5 times! The work is so great! Anyways, I was able to go back for a special lady that is close to my heart. Marilyn! I taught her when I was in my first area, Estacada! She has come a long way and I was sooo proud of her.  It has been such the experience to watch someone learn and grow in the gospel. I had an emotional moment at the temple. I love the beautiful spirit that is in the temple! 

Elder Olsen and I are united AGAIN! Haha! I love this guy! We both worked together along with the Petersons and other missionary's to help Marilyn accomplish her goal...that is the Temple!

Still trying to get to know ALL of the members here...there is soooo many!! It is so exciting! 

Also, a tender mercy from the Lord, we were able to get a car! It helps a ton to get around especially when I don't feel that great. I can just lean back and shut my eyes when we are traveling to an appointment whenever I get a headache. Nothing will stop me now!!!! ;) Just trying to build up the area. The work is slow, so we are trying to find more people to teach. Just doing my best everyday...that’s all I can do sometimes. 

This past week I was also able to meet with President Ballard. He was worried about me and my health. He is such an awesome guy. I told him how I was feeling and got emotional a bit. He told me that he prayed and received confirmation that if I wasn't wearing a helmet when I had my bicycle accident that I wouldn't be here today . . . it really hit me hard. Life is so precious. You could be living and doing great one day and the next you could be gone. It really showed me how delicate life is and how we never know when we will pass on, so we need to be ready to meet our master. It gives me the motivation to do my best every day . . . we just never know when we will leave this earth so we need to make sure that we are doing our best everyday and serve others that are around us. This trial has been extremely difficult for me because as a missionary I just want to give of myself so much. I don't want to have to think of myself, but I have learned that I need to take care of myself first, before I can help others. D&C 4: "Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind, and strength..." It has been hard to take a couple of breathers when I just want to do so much good...I didn't come out here to rest. I came out here to work! Anyways, I have learned that it is ok, even good, to take a break sometimes and to not be so hard on myself. I am so grateful for my Savior! The atonement doesn't just cover our sins, but it strengthens us through our times of pain and heartache. I know that our Savior, Jesus Christ Lives and love each one of us so much. Discover him and embrace him!

I hope all of you have had a wonderful week and I wish you all the best for this coming week! Always remember who you are! Never quit...although you may need to take a breather at times never give up! The Savior is on your side! :)

Love you all!

All my love,
Elder Shaw

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Hey all!

I hope everyone had a great week last week! Happy springtime! :) The weather here in Oregon has been fantastic! Sunny Days!!!

I love the Hazeldale ward! The members are so AMAZING! There are over 300 members that are active! I had to do a little adjusting coming from a ward that at first had only 76 members! I loved it! I went around and tried to meet with everyone and remember their names! It feels like I have known the people forever. It was like reuniting with old friends. They are so friendly and welcoming. It has been cool because they would ask me where I am from and then they would name off several people that I know that live in mesa, Arizona. What a small world. The area is the best. It has some city and country! The best of both worlds! The apartment that we live in has a washer and dryer!!! :) Also it has 2 bathrooms!!! It’s the greatest!

My District
 This week was pretty chill. I got to know some of the members and those that we are teaching. My companion, Elder Clark only has 5 weeks left so he has pretty much checked out. In fact in my district there are 3 missionaries that will be leaving in 5 weeks. In the district there are the Reedville Elders and Sisters and then us. We have Elder Peterson, Jacobson, Clark and I and then we have the sisters: Torrie and Kilgrow. Peterson, Clark and Kilgrow will be dying this transfer (missionary term for going home). We had our first district meeting of the transfer last friday. I have been trying to get the district motivated to do more missionary work and to never quit! ;) I felt prompted to center the training and practice on our purpose as missionary's! I shared a couple of things from PMG chapter 1 and shared why I decided to serve a mission. The spirit was so strong. I talked about the savior and his atonement and my desire to share that message with everyone I meet. I then asked the entire district to share why they decided to serve a full time mission. There wasn't a dry eye in the meeting. It was so powerful! It just goes to show that we all can receive revelation for the people that we serve. We just have to put our spiritual ears and eyes on, and turn to the Lord through prayer and scripture study to touch others lives.

Tupou Family!
Oh and I also forgot! I got to go to the Temple on Tues to attend an endowment session for Rose Tupou. I loved working with their family! They have all come a long way. Although we didn't have any baptisms in Moreland, I was able to go to 3 endowment sessions. Sometimes we never know how much good we do, so keep fighting and never give up! There are so many people that are waiting for you to open your mouth and to share the gospel with them. Always remember who you are!

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to represent the lord while serving a mission. I never want to take my tag off!


I love you all and pray for you all daily!

Have a wonderful week!

All my love,
Elder Shaw

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I was transferred!

As you know, I got transferred. Our area was actually "white washed". The Zone Leaders were originally in the YSA ward, but they got distracted (yikes) and so President put the new Zone Leaders in Moreland because the work was going good. He also made me a District Leader!! I am nervous!  He also put me with a comp that is going home next transfer, so I will be at the next transfer meeting! I already will have had 6 companions. It's going to be tough, but I am sure it will be rewarding! I just can't QUIT! :)  Never give up...I know He will give me the strength I need!

My new home!
I am now in Hazeldale/Beaverton and am beginning to settle in.  Right now we don't have a car...hoping and praying that we will get one! The apartment is very nice though! I get my own bathroom and we have a washer and dryer!!! :) Very spoiled compared to my previous area! 

It is completely different! The ward members here treat me so much like family! I love it! I am in Sister Brownell’s home stake! We have so many members here! They could make two wards here. I haven't been updated yet on the work here...just still trying to settle in. Hazeldale has big boundaries, but in the bright side, we share the ward with sisters.

I have been taking things by day. It's amazing how much I have changed. I may be stressed at times, but I have been able to contain the stress and take things one step at a time. I have no idea what to do; being the district leader...I don't know what I am doing. Thank goodness that most of my job is taking numbers! My district is full of older missionary's! We have the Reedville Elders and Sisters and us. Sister Kilgrow, elder Clark, and elder Peterson are going home after this transfer. More changes!

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Love you all so much! I am so lucky to have you all in my life! Thanks for the updates, advice, love, and support!

All my love and more, 
Elder Shaw

That is crazy that Rachel is coming! I had a weird feeling that she would be coming here! Crazy! If she has any questions she can fill feel to email me! So excited for her!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Guess who is coming to Portland Oregon?

Rachel Anderson
PORTLAND OREGON!! I report to the Mexico MTC on July 15th, 2015.
I'm going to be speaking espaƱol!

I facebooked Rachel:
 "I get to see you soon! 
This is crazy!!! 
Oh my gosh!!!!  :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Happy March Everyone!!!

Wow...I can't believe that it is already here!  We have been blessed with beautiful weather here, Mid 60s with days full of sunshine! It feels fantastic! I have also heard that this year the weather in Oregon will be dryer and sunnier than usual...LOVE IT!

This past week has gone by so fast! We have been having a lot of meetings, appointments, and things to do which has been awesome! Being busy and productive is something that I love to do! My headaches have been better this week!! On Friday and Saturday, I hardly even felt like they were there, which has been a miracle in itself. I am eternally grateful for all of your prayers, love, and support that you give me! I feel your love and prayers is such a humbling experience.

Our hard work and diligence is being paid off. This week alone we received more people that are interested in the gospel. We have begun to teach former investigators of the church, new investigators, and part member families. The work here is starting to pick up faster which is great! I know that God hears and answers every prayer! I am so grateful for ALL of the many things which I am blessed with. The gospel is an amazing thing. It can truly transform us!

During my personal study, I began to read the March 2015 Ensign, what powerful messages are in there! (read it with your families, it is soooo good!) I loved the message titled, "The Attributes of Jesus Christ: Long-Suffering and Patient." The talk really spoke to me and I feel impressed to share it with each and everyone of you.

Patience is often thought of as a quiet, passive trait, but as President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said, “Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something … even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!”

President Uchtdorf continued, “Patience means accepting that which cannot be changed and facing it with courage, grace, and faith. It means being ‘willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as a child doth submit to his father’ [Mosiah 3:19]. Ultimately, patience means being ‘firm and steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord’ [1 Nephi 2:10] every hour of every day, even when it is hard to do so.”

Patience is one of the hardest (in my opinion) attribute of Christ that we need to develop. The things which I have been experiencing recently have taught me to be more patient and long-suffering. It has also helped me rely upon the Savior more and more each day, for I am weak. I have learned that the Lord gives us trails in our lives because he loves us and wants us to learn, to love, and to grow. My headaches have been a real hard trial for me...but as I have learned to rely upon the Savior I have been strengthened and comforted in many ways. I have learned to be more patient with myself and to just take things on, one step at a time. I love this quote by Henry B. Eyring in the Mormon Message, "Mountains to Climb." He says, "You and I have faith that the way to rise through and above trials is to believe and remember that the Lord has promised, "I will not forsake thee." Curing doesn't come automatically through the passage of time, but it does take time, getting older doesn't do it alone, it is serving God and others persistently with full heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into unbreakable Spiritual strength. If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times could be a blessing..." The trials that we are given in this life are to transform us into the being that we were meant to be. Relying upon the Lord gives us the strength to endure and to continue to keep doing our best.

I am so grateful for my Savior. I am so excited for this upcoming season that we have to reflect upon the Savior and the joy that comes from his resurrection. Death isn't the end because of him. Trials can be endured because of him. I know that our Savior loves us and that he never leaves us comfortless. There have been nights that I have had where my head has hurt so bad and I cried to the Lord to take the pain away from me. My mind then reflects to when the Savior was suffering in the garden, and how he said to heavenly father, "...if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done..." (Luke 22:42) The Savior knew that there wasn't another way so he endured. He was given angels to give him comfort as he did so. (Luke 22:43) There are some trials that we have or will face that we require us to just endure and believe that good things will come. How lucky we are to never face our trials alone. There Savior is with us as is the angles around us to bear us up. You all are my angles! I am so lucky to have each of you in my life. Always remember the Savior!

I am super excited for this wonderful Easter season coming up to remember Christ. I am also excited for general conference coming up and for the inspired messages that our prophet and his apostles will share with us.

I hope you all have a wonderful week full of joy and happiness. I love each and everyone of you and pray daily for your success and safety.

With Love, 
Elder Shaw