Thursday, February 18, 2016

Happy Post Valentines Day/Happy President's Day

Hope everyone had a wonderful love day yesterday and was able to
express love and appreciation to those whom you love. ❤️

Things just keep moving along over hear. I am so happy that I am
staying here in Canby for another transfer. I love the members and I
just feel at home (like I do wherever I serve here in Oregon). ;) I am
just trying to take in every moment...time is going by too fast if you
know what I mean.

The Trio life is very different and I have had to adjust and stretch
my "rubber band" more. We are all so very different, but somehow it
all works out. I love working with them and I am excited for these
next 6 weeks to continue to be stretched and to learn even more. It
has been fun...laughs for dayz! :)

Casey, Tracy, and Jessie are doing great! We are working on helping
them answer their concerns so that we can set some more dates. Drew is
set on Feb 27th! We went through the questions and he will be having
his interview this week. So proud of him and his family. The Talley's
are near and dear to my heart. So blessed to have been able to work
with this family. Super cool that I was able to help their son's be
baptized and help Drew on his way to be baptized from beginning to
end. I am spoiled what can I say!

This past week has been very busy as usual for the first week of the
transfer. We have had to run all over and make sure that everyone is
getting settled in. We were also able to have MLC this past Friday,
SPC (Stake Presidency Council) on Sat, and a Regional Conference
yesterday which were all incredible. You think that you have a basic
knowledge of some principles and then you learn things that completely
blows your mind! That's the beauty of the gospel. We learn more and
more each day. We are always progressing and gaining more knowledge as
we study the principles of the gospel.

I would like to share a couple of things that I have learned this past week:

In MLC we were discussing the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It
was neat to discuss these habits and I am going to work on applying
each of these. These habits can help us organize our lives and help us
accomplish our purpose in life: prepare to meet God.

  1.    be a proactive person-make something happen
  2.    1st things 1st
  3.    begin with the end in mind
  4.    think win win...OPTIMISM ;)
  5.    seek to understand, then seek to be understood
  6.    synergy: be open to different ideas
  7.    "sharpen the saw": take care of yourself physically, mentally,
emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

During my personal studies I came across this talk that I love so
much. I can't keep it out of my mind because IT IS SOOOO TRUE! It is
"Missionary Work and the Atonement." By Elder Jeffery R. Holland.

"...Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to
ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our
success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the
Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles.
Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in
missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and
all night in the baptismal font? (My own side note...getting pneumonia
from being soaking wet in Oregon! ;)

You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about
this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced
that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap
experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus
Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could
we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for
Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to
spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission
leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of

Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything
anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and
sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to
come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this
price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.

For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy,
nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued
faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort,
something from the depths of our soul.

If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face,
bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can
pass, let it pass,” then little wonder that salvation is not a
whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier
way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that.
Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there
wasn’t an easier way.

The Atonement will carry the missionaries perhaps even more
importantly than it will carry the investigators. When you struggle,
when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a
hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has
ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason
to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God
knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to
salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to
eternity is through Him--the Way, the Truth, and the Life..."

I have felt the atonement carry myself throughout my mission. At times
I have gone to Gethsemane and have felt the pain that comes
physically, emotionally, and from those who chose not to accept this
gospel...but what makes my heart ache even more is that when I get
rejected, spit upon, yelled at, people aren't doing those things to
me, but to our savior Jesus Christ. I have felt so much love for the
people that I serve and for my savior Jesus Christ. I don't understand
why several people reject the gospel, reject Christ, but I do know
that things will work out in the end. As we give our best effort and
put our heart into his work we find joy in that WE can come unto
Christ and draw closer to him. I have learned that missionary work
refines us and helps us become the beings our Heavenly Father wants us
to become. It is a selfless service. I am so grateful to be serving
him. My testimony has grown in so many ways...I have been changed
through the atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that he lives and loves
us and I want others to know of that love.

I love each of you! I hope that we all can express love and gratitude
to our Savior for all that he has done for us. I hope you all have an
incredible week!

All my love,
Elder Shaw

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