Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas Everyone! 

Christmas is practically here! still feels like it should still be the 1st of Dec. It is bitter-sweet to see how fast time is flying...better hold on tight. 

So...It's a Christmas Miracle! Drew Talley is getting baptized!!! We are so excited for him and for his family! He wants to be baptized in Feb. and is choosing a date right now! Hopefully I will be able to stay in Canby for a while longer so I can see everything come together. Also, Dominique Talley received her first calling yesterday. She will be teaching the Sunbeams in Primary! She is so excited! So many great things are happening in their family...we are so blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of it!

This past week has flown by. We had a couple cancelations due to the Holiday's, but it still ended up being a memorable week!

On Tues, we had Oregon City's District Meeting. It was great as always! I love the missionary's that I have the pleasure of serving with! I am so lucky! We then had to send off some reports to the mission office and then we went to the church so Elder Smith could work on his "My Plan," an online coarse that helps missionary's adjust back to life at home and allows them to set goals for the future. It took a while...extra study time for me! :) After dinner we tried to contact people before it got too late. It was a chill day.

Wednesday, Elder Smith had his departing temple trip. He had to be at the temple in Lake Oswego at 9:30 am so we left canby around 8ish due to traffic. I was then in a trio with Canby 2nd for most of the day which was a lot of fun. Canyon Creek elders had to have their car taken in so they dropped their car in Lake Oswego and we picked them up by the temple and took them back to Canby for our district meeting. Our district wanted to do a secret was so funny...on the way back from the temple the Canyon Creek elders wanted to stop by the pet store to pick up the sister's gold fish for their gifts. One of the Elders decided to get one of the sisters a mouse! It was so funny to watch the sisters open up their gifts after district meeting! I was roaring with laughter!! Don't worry! We made sure that we found nice homes for them since we aren't allowed to have pets. ;) After lunch we had to drive all the way to Molalla to drop canyon creek off and then off towards Mulino for their service with the Molalla River Elders. Felt like a taxi driver all day...I felt how my mom must have felt when she had to drive us everywhere...its not that fun. We then traveled back to Canby and then did some weekly planning with Canby 2nd. It was great! We were able to help each other out as we counseled and came up with some ideas to help them in their area. We then raced off for our lesson with Darrell! He is so excited to be baptized on Feb 6th! He can hardly wait. He is remembering more and more what we teach him! He is well on his way. So proud of him. After our lesson we raced back to Lake Oswego to pick up Elder Smith. It was like a wild goose chase since the zone leaders over there picked him up and weren't communicating where we were going to meet. The worst part was that it was 5 and traffic was terrible! We finally met up in Wilsonville at 6:30. We then raced back to Canby for our lesson with Drew at 7. It was a long day with a lot of driving around. 

Thursday was incredible! Vern, an older man in the ward invited us over for breakfast. We had waffles and he played the Organ for us. He is such a neat man and is so sweet and good to us. After breakfast, we headed over to the Canby Center to do our regular Thursday service. We then went over to the Talley's and helped them with some things around the house in preparation for Christmas. While cleaning up the boy's room. Drew came in and started talking to me. He started to open up to me , one on one, and shared with me his biggest concern with being baptized. The spirit was so strong. We were both in tears. We talked about forgiveness and how we need to forgive others and most importantly ourselves. It was so powerful. We both left feeling great and I just knew that he was going to be baptized soon! We then had some Mexican food with them, El Chilitos!!!! Elder Smith and I shared a super nacho...boy was it good!!! :) We then raced over to Loren's and the Morehouse's for our weekly lessons with them; all of which went great!

Party Friday!!! We had our Mission Christmas party from 11-4:30. It was so great to see so many that I love. I was all over the place talking with everyone! I had to make sure that I got myself to eat something haha! We then had some performances by several other missionary's. It was funny...Sister Ballard then said that I was on deck with a skit...I was shocked!! Who signed me up??? Anyways it worked out. Our Oregon City district and I sang, "Joy to the World." We were crazy! We brought the house down. Everyone was singing and clapping with us! It was so funny and we had so much fun! We then went inside the chapel and had a wonderful Christmas program with great speakers and testimonies. It was fantastic! We then travelled home (traffic was terrible as always) and then we went to a less actives birthday party to end the night. Party Friday it was!

Saturday we had our last district meeting of the transfer and the Oregon City 5th's Ward mission leader wanted to take us all out for lunch. It was hilarious! He showed us a video of a catfish eating another fish of its was disgusting...another reason why I don't like fish! haha! Later in the evening we went back over to Oregon City and had several baptismal interviews that we took care of. The Shoup family! I interviewed the dad and the mom! What an amazing story! So they have been searching to know what church they should join. They have been investigating for years. When the missionary's knocked on their door they instantly knew that this was the church they should join! A month later and they are getting baptized! Super cool! After the interviews we then went over the the talley's and committed him to be baptized. It was a wonderful day! 

On Sunday we had 4 of our investigators at church which was amazing because we had an incredible Christmas program! The spirit was so strong. We had wonderful music and Sister Poe's talk was the cherry on top! Such a neat experience that helped me get into the holiday season even more! 

I hope that you all have an amazing Christmas this year! I love you all and I am so thankful for your love and support! 

A short thought for this week!

Here is one of my favorite poem's! It is the Symbol of the Innkeeper's Key.

"A Prayer for December"

Dearest God,
Please never let me
Crowd my life
Full to the brim.
So like the keeper
of Bethlehem's Inn,
I find I have no room for Him.
Instead, let my heart's door
Be ever open,
Ready to welcome
The newborn King
Let me offer the best I have
To Him
Who gives me everything.

-author unknown

"Each of us is an Innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus."

-Neal A. Maxwell

May we make sure that we make room in our lives for the Savior and keep him placed in the center of our lives. I know that as we do so that we will have a fullness of joy! 

Have a very Merry Christmas! 

With Love,
Elder Shaw 

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