Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Happy April!

Boy oh boy. This past week has been the shortest, yet felt long with all of the things that we were able to accomplish. My brain is still scrambled. Opening a new area is difficult, yet this past week has been on of my favorites on my mission. General Conference was the bomb! 

I really hope that this email will make sense. My mind has been going a mile a minute and it has been difficult to sort things through. Just feeling very unorganized, which isn't my favorite feeling. 

Right now we are living with the Sunset Hill Elders. It has been so much fun! I love Elders Anderson and Prestgard. It has been so cool because I have been able to serve around them so far since they started their missions. Actually for my entire district I have been able to see when they started their missions...feels super weird. It has been really cool to watch them grow and see their confidence increase. OUR DISTRICT IS INCREDIBLE. I LOVE all of our missionary's. 

So a quick run down for the week. On Tues evening we were able to have dinner with Bishop Wilson. He is awesome. We were able to introduce ourselves and build the trust in the ward. We talked to him about the covenant path and we will be presenting it in our ward council this Sunday! Very exciting. 

Missionary work in the Skyline Ward has been in an all time low. There hasn't been a whole lot of member missionary work. The sisters here have been struggling to find people to teach. We are focusing on working more with members and build their trust in the missionary's so they can trust us with people to teach. :) The ward is awesome though. They really want to help us, but don't know how. Hopefully we will be able to find families to teach! :)

On Weds we were able to tract...A LOT! At the end of the day we were able to find 2 new investigators!!! We are starting to teach a part member family: Collins/Thomas family. Rob Collins, the father is a non-member. We will be having family home evening with them every week and go through the missionary discussions (good practice for my son too!;) We also were able to get a return appointment with Lakshmi! So this was a miracle. We were tracting off of Stonebridge Pl and with no luck we felt prompted to knock on this door. Lakshmi answered and we were able to talk about how the gospel blesses families and gave her a Book of Mormon and set up a return appointment. It turns out that she works for Intel and was home for the day because she was sick. She seemed very interested and was very nice. She has a husband and a daughter and son. We will see them this Sat! 

On Thurs we had our new missionary meeting. It went well...I completely forgot how mine went....it feels like ages ago and so many things have changed. We then were able to do some weekly planning before dinner with the Elders Quorum President, Brother Marostica! Soooo funny story about that...Brother Marostica is my dentist here!!! I met him a year ago and the last time I went to the dentist it was really funny. He told me that he was in the Skyline ward and that it would be awesome if I was able to serve here. Low and behold here I am!!! :) I LOVE the Marostica family! They are great and are so sweet and good to us. Very excited to work with them! After dinner we were able to meet with him and discuss some people that we could visit. It has helped a lot. Hopefully they will pan out though...so far no luck....none are interested ;(. 

On Friday we had our district meeting. I will say it again...I LOVE MY DISTRICT!! It was a lot of fun and we have so many great ideas to find more people to teach. We are starting a Book of Mormon class every Tues night at 8, we will be starting up morning sports with the youth on Sat so they can invite their non-member friends, and we have started "Chalk in the Park," where we draw out the plan of salvation on the sidewalk in different parks in our areas and leave our number and the plan of salvation pamphlets. We were able to kick it off on Friday and it was awesome. We handed out a lot of pamphlets and we got calls from excited members who absolutely loved the idea! We will get things rolling here!! 

Saturday and Sunday we went out tracting between conferences. Wasn't conference AMAZING!!! I can't wait to sit down and read and mark them all up! 

I loved President Uchtdorf's talk: "He Will Place You on His Shoulders and Carry You Home." Here are some of the highlights from the talk: 

"There is no life so shattered that it cannot be restored...Our Savior, the Good Shepherd, knows and loves us—he knows and loves you. He knows when you are lost, and He knows where you are. He knows your grief. Your silent pleadings. Your fears. Your tears. It matters not how you became lost—whether because of your own poor choices or because of circumstances beyond your control. What matters is that you are His child. And He loves you. He loves His children. Because He loves you, He will find you...So what must we do?
His invitation is simple:
 “Turn … to me” [Joel 2:12].
 “Come unto me” [Matthew 11:28].
 “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you” [D&C 88:63].
This is how we show Him that we want to be rescued...If you cannot say you know God is there, you can hope that He is. You can desire to believe. That is enough to start.
Then, acting on that hope, reach out to Heavenly Father. God will extend His love toward you, and His work of rescue and transformation will begin."

I know that Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father loves us so much. He wants us to come closer to them. They have given us so much! Our families, the earth, the gospel and most of all the atonement. May we turn to them, come unto them, and draw near to them. In doing so they will draw even so nearer to us. The handle is on our side and we have to choose whether we want to let them in. 

Well we are super excited for the upcoming adventures that we will have this week. I love it here! Elder Valentine is incredible! He came pre-trained! Hopefully we will get settled in to our new place this week (sounds like weds) and find more people to teach! 


Elder Shaw

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