Tuesday, April 12, 2016

WOW!! I feel like I am going to die...dang this week was hectic.

We have been able to see a lot of miracles! We have
been talking and have been trying to share the gospel with everyone,
trying to meet with all of the ward members to help boost up their
morale with missionary work, and have been able to enjoy another visit
from Elder Ballard, a member of the quorum of the twelve apostles.
Since I have served here he has been able to come 3 times and I was
able to shake his hand again. Boy oh boy, the spirit that you feel
when you are in the same room as an apostle of the lord...I will never
forget these experiences. I am so lucky!!! It was, yet another,
amazing experience.

These past two weeks we have been able to try to get in contact with
all of the less actives and part member families in the ward. We have
been working with the sisters and were able to put a huge dent into
it. We should be finishing up with it by this week.  We have been able
to meet with most of the ward council and was able to push the
Covenant Path with them by presenting it to them at ward council on
Sunday. We are getting ourselves organized for many miracles to
happen! We have been working closely with the Sisters, Bishop, and our
Ward Mission Leader to help kick things off in the ward and to get
everyone excited about missionary work! The sisters and us have been
able to set up a Book of Mormon class every tues for everyone and
anyone to come and read the scriptures with us and to invite their
non-member friends, we officially set up morning sports every Saturday
so the youth could invite their friends to play volleyball and to meet
the missionary's, and we are meeting with all the youth on Tues for
mutual to present and kick off missionary work. We will be asking them
some of the questions they run into from their non-member friends,
teach them how to bring up the gospel in a day to day situation, and
will help them and give them the tools to more effectively share the
gospel.  Tracting is not at all affective here so we have been trying
to get creative by working more with our ward council and with the
youth. We are hoping and praying that things work out.

It was so cool!  So this past Sunday was Elder Valentine's first
Sunday in the field, and both of ours here in the ward. With it being
fast and testimony meeting, we planned, as the sisters and elders, to
share our testimonies with the ward. We tied in missionary work with
our testimonies. I shared an experience that I had before my mission
with participating in missionary work. I talked about how we can act
on the promptings of the spirit, open our mouths and invite, and pray
for missionary opportunities. I shared how I felt prompted to invite a
lot of my non member friends to my missionary farewell. Several came
to my farewell. I then shared with them how 6 months later I received
word that three of my best friends were baptized. How the lord can
bless us with miracles as we act on the promptings we receive! WOW!!!
It was awesome! The rest of the meeting was centered upon missionary
work! It was so cool to watch and see more hope entering in the eyes
of the members here. It was such a difference from our first week
here. It was super sad...our first week we had members telling us left
and right that we don't baptize here, but plant a lot of seeds, and
that people just aren't interested. It was sad to see their lack of
hope. After yesterday everyone seems to be more optimistic and
hopeful. Bishop Wilson and our Ward Mission Leader Brother Jamison
have more of a spring in their step and are pumped!! We are sooo
excited to see what will await us as we continue to press forward and
build the ward up here. I have already fell in love with the members.
I know why I am here and what I need to do. I am so grateful to be
serving and learning and growing. These past 2 weeks have been
difficult, but they have been some of the most joyous weeks in my
mission. I can't wait to see what is yet to come.

I want to wrap up this email with something that I learn from the
meeting that we had with Elder Ballard and our ward leaders.

I loved when Elder Ballard told us that It doesn't matter about our
accomplishes in this life, what matters is how many souls we are able
to touch and bring closer to Christ. I have been pondering  on this
ever since. When all is said and done, when we die and move onto the
next life, it isn't going to matter what kind of house, car, job,
money, or things we had. What will matter will be our inner commitment
to brings souls unto Christ.  Did we make the effort to share the
gospel with everyone we met? We need to pray for missionary
opportunities EVERYDAY!!!! Call and pray for those blessings THEN act
on the promptings of the spirit. Keep things simple. Excersize faith
and then relax and do the will of the lord. The Lord is cheering for
us to open our mouths and to share with others the blessings that come
from living the gospel. Because we have been given much we too must
give. What helps motivate me to share the gospel is to think and
imagine my life without it. Where would I be? How would I feel? This
gospel makes all of the difference. We know where we came from, why we
are here, and were we are going after this life. We know that families
are forever. We have found purpose. It is our duty as members of the
church to help others, to lift each other's burdens, serve and love
each other, and to share the gospel with them. We don't have to be
perfect at it we just need to try because after all "a saint is a
sinner that keeps trying." There are so many blessings that come from
missionary work. "How great shall be your joy..." (D&C 18} Your
testimony will increase and Heavenly Father will open up the windows
of heaven and pour out so many blessings! BEING A MISSIONARY IS THE

I hope that everyone has the best week ever and that we all take the
time to reflect and ponder how much this gospel blesses or can bless
our lives. Take things a day at a time and rely on Christ who is a
sure foundation set for us. "We can do all things through Christ who
strengthens us!" I love you all so very much. Hope everyone is healthy
and happy. Always remember who you are and your worth...and as always

Elder Shaw

Typical Elder Shaw!

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