Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy November Everyone! Can't believe it is here . . .

This past week flew by. It was weird thinking how it was my last Halloween on my mission...WIERD!!! I am not ready for this!!!!!!! :/TIME PLEASE SLOW DOWN!!!!!
This last week was full of laughs, down pour of rain (thank goodness
we have a car!), hard work, and fun! We had the usual: District
meetings, exchanges, DLC on Sunday nights (district leadership
counsel: where we meet will all the district leaders and talk about
the individual needs and concerns in the districts), service at the
Canby Center and the local food bank, and our usual lessons with our
investigators and less actives. Quick update with those that we have
been teaching: The Talley's finally where able to move in to their new
place yesterday. With the move being on a Sunday we had a great turn
out and had the job completed 2 hrs tops! It has been so nice to watch
the ward reach out and embrace that family! Such a blessing...Josh and
Aaron are super excited for Nov. 21st! They are like sponges! They
remember EVERYTHING we teach and apply it to their lives. They each
have their OWN book of mormon that they read from every night after
family prayer and scripture study...mind you they are only 11 and 8!!
Drew is softening up too! He will be next! He is so proud of his boys
and is looking forward to their baptism on the 21st. Now that they
have their new place we will be able to finish the lessons and might
have a chance to start teaching Drew and maybe...just maybe...get him
towards baptism. The ward as well as Elder Smith and I are convinced
that he will be a member one of these days....time will tell! ;) We
were able to see the Smith's and do some service for them and have a
lesson....sweet ladies. Working on getting the daughter to church;
Cathy! Hopefully she will come around. We also met with the
Morehouse's and learned that their daughter, Tracy will be moving in
with them on Nov. 17th. It is a tender mercy in a way...Tracy will now
be able to focus on herself spiritual and will be able to go with her
parents to church and will have them by her side every step of the way
as she continues to learn more and works towards baptism...its only a
matter of time! ;) Hopefully when things slow down and the timing is
right we can set a date with her!! We were also able to see Loren and
his daughter Tenzen. Not sure if I told you this, but Loren has
Leukemia, so his health hasn't been that great. He was able to make it
to church this sunday which we were thrilled! He is a great guy we
keeps enduring and doing his very best. It has been so nice to meet
with him. We have several others that we are working with that are in
the wood work and hopefully will see some progress with them. We have
been working on finding more new investigators that will progress
towards baptism!

On weds we went on an exchange with Canyon Creek Elders. I stayed in
Canby with Elder Vincent and we had several miracles!! 1st miracle...I
didn't get lost...ok maybe once or twice ;) thank goodness for a GPS!
Makes life a little easier especially being in a new area for only 3
and 1/2 weeks! It was fun!  2nd miracle: while contacting several
potentials we knocked on a answer...we knocked again and a
lady opened a window nearby and asked what she could do for us. At
first I was uneasy because it is kinda strange that someone would
answer the door through a window (I guess it is an Oregon thing ;) and
when someone usually does that they yell or scream at us to go away,
but she was the sweetest lady! Her name was Dezelee and she was
babysitting her young grandkids. She told us to call her "Granny," and
we had a great conversation and hit things off well. She had several
family members that were members and she was very religious herself.
She loves what we do and was the sweetest thing. We gave her a book of
mormon and then shared about how the gospel blesses our families. We
tied how the gospel blesses families with some of the stories from the
book of mormon with Lehi and his family while leaving Jerusalem and
the great love that he had for his family and the Lord. We then shared
the many blessings and good things that came to his family as he kept
the commandments and followed our heavenly father. We also explained
how the book of mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. She was
thrilled to read it. She already believed it was true before she even
opened it up!!! She told us that she sets time out of her day to read
from the bible and said that she would LOVE to read the book of mormon
as well. She is a "seeker," and there is so much potential there. We
exchanged numbers and will be following up with her this week to set
up a time to meet with her! We were super excited!!! I know that we
are not alone in this work, that the Lord is with us every step of the
way and that as we listen to the spirit and open our mouths that they
will be filled and that we will be able to share the gospel to
EVERYONE that we meet. I absolutely LOVE sharing this wonderful
gospel. Although it might take me a hundred doors to knock or a
hundred names to contact, IT IS WORTH IT! "The worth of souls is great
in the sight of God." I know that our joy can be great as we embark in
the service of our God.
Another excited thing that happened this 
week was on Halloween. I was able to go back to Hillsboro for Siana's baptism!!!!!! It was fantastic!!! So happy that I could go! Best way to celebrate a holiday is to have a baptism!!!! ;) It was so nice to see and congratulate her as well as see so many of the members in the Cornell ward that I love and miss!! The baptism was great...the spirit was so strong. I am so proud of Siana! She is a honest seeker and has been solid throughout the entire experience. She had a desire to learn more and it has been a real treat to watch her as she has grown. What an example she is to me. So proud of her!!!

So you are all probably wondering what I did for 
Halloween...well I pretty much celebrated it the entire week: scaring missionaries, members, and attempted to scare my companion (failed every time ;(...), going around trick or treating (no trick, just the treat of the gospel ;)...) and partying it up every day! We had a ward "Harvest Festival," on Friday where we had a chili cook off, and passed out candy to the kids. Had a great turnout of members and non-members! Later that night after planning, Elder Smith and I made our "Haunted House," ....we did a pretty good job if I do say so myself ;) (pictures included) Then on Saturday after the baptism I was able to stay in Hillsboro and go to a Halloween party at the Dewey's with other missionary's from my previous zone. It was so good to see them!!! I love and miss them loads!!!! We enjoyed plenty of food, games, and laughs. We played catch phrase and several other games....sorry I forgot the names! :) ha It was crazy though because it was pouring down so much this year that we hardly had any Trick-or-Treaters show up there...we had so much candy left over! It was an eventful Halloween that I will remember for years to come!!
'Tis almost The Season!
That was my week in a nutshell! I can't tell you how much I love being a full-time missionary...what is nice is that I can keep this love going even after my mission...I don't need a name tag to be a missionary! ;) Now for a short thought for the week: So I have started to read all of the talks from this past conference and their was one that really stood out to me. It is titled, "The Joy of Living a Christ-Centered Life," by Elder Maynes. It compares life to a potters spinning wheel and how we are the clay and Christ is the potter. In order for Christ to mold us in the person we were meant to be we need to be center upon him (center upon the wheel). Here is a short bit from his talk: "...The world in which we live is similar to the potter’s spinning wheel, and the speed of that wheel is increasing. Like the clay on the potter’s wheel, we must be centered as well. Our core, the center of our lives, must be Jesus Christ and His gospel. Living a Christ-centered life means we learn about Jesus Christ and His gospel and then we follow His example and keep His commandments. If our lives are centered in Jesus Christ, He can successfully mold us into who we need to be in order to return to His and Heavenly Father’s presence in the celestial kingdom. The joy we experience in this life will be in direct proportion to how well our lives are centered on the teachings, example, and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ..." As we center our lives around Christ he can sculpt us into the celestial beings we were meant to become. We need to put our trust in him, in our struggles, and trials and believe that good things will come as we do our very best (they will;). I know that as I have placed Christ in the center of my life that I have been able to feel so much joy and happiness. That joy and happiness is available to each of us. I love my savior. I know that he lives and loves us. I know that we can do all things as we trust in him and in his atonement. Fear diminishes and hope increases as we center our lives on Jesus Christ. I hope that everyone had a wonderful Halloween! Keep on keeping on! Have an amazing week! Own it! ;) I LOVE YOU! Elder Shaw

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