Monday, July 27, 2015

Wow...I can't believe that I have been on my mission for a year . . . 

I am full of mixed feelings. Most of it is shock...shocked that the time has gone by sooo fast, but I also have a part of me that is freaking out . . . I only have a year left to give it all to the Lord. I only have a year to wear this wonderful name tag, to give all of my time, attention, and energy to the is a weird feeling that is hard to describe. Anyways, I am super excited for the upcoming year to continually work hard and give more of myself.

This week has been a busy one and it will only get busier. This week we were able to go through our entire area book and do some "spring cleaning." We contacted ALL of the investigators and invited them to take the missionary discussions. We were able to get some new families to teach. We LOVE part member families! We can get the family active AND get some possible baptisms out of it! We set up lessons to teach the Smith family: father is less active and the rest of the family aren't members, the Horvath family: mother is less active father and daughter aren't members, and the Mitchell family: all non-members.  Super excited! Miracles for dayz! If there is a will there is a way.  ;)

We were able to teach 25 lessons this week in between of several district meetings and stake meetings. We were able to help out the stake with our Stake Fair this past Saturday. Our zone helped set up, serve food, and clean up after the event. It was a lot of fun and we had a huge turnout! Soooo many people! We had several of our investigators that we invited come which was awesome! :)

This week we will be having an exchange with the AP's on Tues, District meetings Tues and Weds, MLC all day Friday, and DLC on Saturday. In between all of that we will be busy contacting potential investigators and teaching! Going to be another busy week! Love keeping myself busy and running.

Today for P-Day we will be celebrating my year mark!!! Where??? You guessed it! Mt Hood! We will be going up there around 11 to have lunch at Calamity Jane’s and then we will either be going on a hike or going to the alpine slides on Mt Hood. We will be meeting the Milwaukie Zone Leaders, Elders Petersen and Erickson, in Milwaukie to conserve our miles and then going with them up to Mt Hood. Super excited! It will give us all time to take a break and to enjoy.

Quick Thought for the week:

During my personal study I was reading several conference talks. I loved "Stay by the Tree," by Elder Kevin W. Pearson. He mentions 6 important principles that will help us endure to the end. The first one is "Don't forget to pray," pray for the strength to endure. Ask Heavenly Father for the things that you stand in need of and have the faith that you will receive them. The second thing is to "Come unto Christ and be perfected in him." I love this scripture in Moroni chapter 10 verse 32: "Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God." We can come unto Christ by denying ourselves of all that isn't godly: sin, judging, pride etc., and then love God by obeying the commandments and by doing our very best by becoming more Christ-like. Heavenly Father requires OUR best effort, not your friends or your families, your very own best self; THEN Christ grace is sufficient for you, and from that grace over time we can eventually become like how God is-perfect in Christ. Number three: press forward in Christ. This leads to one of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon found in 2 Nephi 31:20-Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. We can press forward in Christ as we continually receive constant nourishment from God by studying the scriptures daily. Christ can help us have more hope and a love of God and for all men as we apply the atonement to our lives. The fourth step is the Book of Mormon. Read from it daily!! I promise you that as you do so that you will receive so much strength and peace. The Book of Mormon has blessed my life in so many ways as I learn from the many different experiences contained in it. Number five, don't be distracted or deceived! Satan will work so hard on us to forget the many things that we have learned in the gospel and will try his hardest to keep us from doing the basics: prayer, scripture study, and church attendance. Do everything that you can to not be deceived or distracted always remember the basics! Finally, we need to stay by the tree. For me personally that means to endure, keep going and to never ever quit.  Living the gospel is tough, but we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. I am so grateful for that knowledge! I am so grateful for the savior and his infinite atonement. Christ helps me to keep moving forward, although at times it is extremely difficult . . . we are never alone as we face the many difficulties in life. Trust the lord and keep doing your very best each day and he will carry us.

Sorry for the short e mail this week! I hope everyone has a wonderful week! I love you all so much and pray for you daily. Thank you so much for your continuous love and support. It helps me keep going!

All my love and much more,
Elder Shaw

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