Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!!! 

Crazy that we are already at the tail end of May?! Where does the time go??

Everything has been peachy over here this past week! Same old same old. We had a lot of cancellations due to a lot of people going out of town for the week end. We were able to provide a lot of service though this past week helping Joan, a non-member with her blueberry farm, did some yard work with Jeff again this past weds, food bank on Fridays, and we were able to make it over to Beaverton to help out at the faith cafe on Sunday. It is crazy how many people I run into that I know! It was I met Dan at the food bank several weeks again ago and usually see him every time we go. He is such a nice guy. He does a lot in the community. Well when we went to faith cafe guess who was there?? Dan and his wife! It was so cool! I walked in and saw Dan and I started to wave and laugh a little since we seem to always run into people we know all the time and I knew it wasn't a coincidence. Anyways I was able to meet his wife Jessica, such great people. They both are very active in Catholicism, they go to the huge Catholic Church just behind where we live. It turns out the Jessica use to live in phoenix so we were able to chat a bit about the good old AZ which was fun.

It is so much fun to just talk with people. I have found that I really enjoy talking with people I don't know...its WIERD. Whether it be on the street or behind a door (that's fun because you never know what you are going to get) I like to ask them questions and get to know the people here better. It always feels good to help others feel like they are important and are loved. We are all brothers and sisters here! :)

Some miracles that we had this week: we were able to make contact with a potential that we tracted in on sat. His name is Mostafa! He is an older man who is from Iran who is very sweet and loves to talk. It was the perfect timing. So we knocked on the door and Shadi, his daughter answered and we asked if Mostafa was there and she told that he was and let us in. She then told us that he just had back surgery and is in a lot of pain, but said that he could use a visit. He was so sweet! We were able to talk to him for a bit, he gave us some yummy assorted chocolates and talked about his time as an army general in Iran. We then asked him if he would like a blessing and was able to explain to him that we could give him a blessing of healing and comfort. He said that he would like that. We gave him a blessing and told him that we will stop by in a couple of weeks to see how he is doing. It was a neat experience.

We were also able to get in contact with a couple other potential investigators which was great! While tracting we were able to get a new investigator, Annie who we will start teaching which we are super excited about that!

So this week I felt like I was going to die! Oregon allergies are the WORST!! Usually my allergies here start at the end of May to the end of June. They were so bad this has been so exhausting! Sinus headaches, always itchy, sneezing has been no fun. It takes a lot out of you....its been an exhausting week! Allergy meds for dayz here! Pushing the vitamin C and the fluids.

I couldn't remember if I talked about this yet, but we have been planning a Car Wash for members to invite their non-member friends to the church for free food and a free car wash. It has taken a lot of planning and work, but we are excited. We hope to see several miracles from this activity. It will be held at the church and we will have the food inside so that people could go inside while their car is being washed and enjoy some food and, if they would like, go on a church tour. It will be a great way for non-members to come inside the building and see what we are all about. It will be on June 11th from 11 to 2 pm. We will be involving the youth specifically, but have announced it to the entire ward going into primary, Sunday school, relief society, YM and YW, elders, and high priests. We are hoping for a huge turn out from our ward! Super exciting!!

Here is a short thought for this week! I love this scripture!

John 14: 26-27

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

This gospel brings us peace that we can't find anywhere else in this world. I know that as we follow in the savior's footsteps that we can find peace and safety in a troubled world. So grateful to share this "good news" with everyone. We have a message of safety and peace.

Have an awesome week and a fantastic Memorial Day! Thanks for all of those who have sacrificed their time and lives for this beautiful country. We are so blessed!

Love you all!

Elder Shaw
May 23, 2016

Hey Howdy HEY!!

Nothing too crazy has happened this week. Same old same old! We have been working hard and had a great week this past week! We were able to teach quite a few lessons, had several great lessons with members, and found a new family to teach!!!! MIRACLES!!

We have been tracting sooo much! One day we tracted for 6 hrs straight! It's not my favorite thing to do, but there are some times that I enjoy it. I love getting to know new people! This week we were able to take TJ Kennedy, who is getting ready to go to Lithuania in June, out with us tracting and to some of our lessons we had set up. It was so cool so we were about to finish a street when we knocked on one more door. Kyle, a young 6 year old boy answered it shortly followed by Hennilee, his mom. They just moved from South Africa 3 years ago and so we introduced ourselves and told her why we do what we do. She told us that her kids have been asking life questions and she doesn't know where to turn to to answer them. We told her that we could help with that! ;) It was so neat! We will be stopping by this weds to share the restoration with their family. ;)

We have still been teaching Nels, our atheist, and it has been so cool to see his heart changing. We finished teaching the plan of salvation and shared with him the Mormon message, "The Hope of God's Light." He said how he now believes that there is evidence that their is a god?? We shall see! ;) We invited him to church and he said that he would like to come!! Crazy miracles!! We are super excited!

We have still be meeting with Rob Collins, Terry Newsom, and the Meiners family as well as Jeff Harris a less active who we have been helping every week with the yard work. We are doing our best to increase our teaching pool and getting the members involved. Our district has planned a free car wash to give the members more opportunities to invite their neighbors and non member friends to the church for a free car wash and some free food. We have it planned for June 11th from 11-2pm and hope that it is a success. We have kept the Book of Mormon class going every Thursday night as well as youth sports every sat at 10. We have been doing all that we can!!! Hopefully we will see some of the fruits of our efforts soon!

So Elder Valentine and I got the opportunity to speak on Sunday, but the worst part was that we were told last minute and had to choose our topic to speak on. I prayed and fasted to know what I should talk on and I decided to talk on Charity and specifically center my talk on a talk by Pres Monson, "Love-the Essence of the Gospel." (such a great talk, a must read) It went well, but I am so happy it is over. I would like to share with you a short poem that I shared that tied Charity with missionary work! ;)

I'll Find You My Friend

In heaven we were the best of friends.
We did everything together.
One day, a grand council was called in heaven.
We knew it was an important event.
Everyone was there-Moses, Noah, and Jesus Christ.
Father presented a plan, and we voted Christ to be our Savior.
After the council, we ran to get in line to receive our life package.
In the bustle, we were separated.
I received my package and ran to you.
You were sitting under a tree.
We opened our packages.
Mine said I would be born at a time
When the gospel was restored to the earth.
It said I would have good parents,
And the fullness of the gospel in my home.
I jumped for joy and we hugged each other.
You were so happy for me. Then you read yours.
I saw the tears in your eyes and I asked what was wrong.
You said that you also would be born when the gospel was restored.
But you would be born in a different place,
And the gospel would not be in your home,
You looked me strait in the eye and said:
Friend, Find me!
No matter what it takes or the trails you have to endure,
Find me!
And bring me the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We are surrounded by our brothers and sisters! They need something that we have, the gospel of Jesus Christ. May we find our friends and bring them home. I love this gospel and I am grateful to be able to be a full-time missionary and be able to be an instrument in the lord hands and bring my brothers and sisters to Christ.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week! Stay Awesome! Have a wonderful Memorial Day week end!

Love you!

Elder Shaw

Thursday, May 19, 2016

So this week's email will be short...we have a lot going on and I am
having one of the days where I don't have the energy to write out my
usual long know one of those days!

Also some amazing news!! Ashley and Justin Thelin in the ward are
moving to Gilbert in July and they offered to take one of my suit
cases home!!! :) :) yay!! I won't have to ship things home know! :)
super awesome! I love them!!!

So we had stake conference this week and got a new stake presidency.
It was super cool. We had Elder Nielson of the seventy there and he
gave such an awesome talk about serving others and lifting each
other's burdens. He talked about how the way geese fly and compared it
to the change in the stake presidency. They fly in a triangle to fly
easier through the wind. The 3 in front have to flap their wings so
hard and carry the flock to make it easier for the others to follow.
The others just follow and glide behind. When the 3 front geese get
tired the others honk for encouragement to help them keep going.
Eventually the 3 in front tired from flapping so hard go to the back
and 3 new replace them. It works the same in any presidency! Kinda
cool! He also shared this story:

"...Imagine for a moment that you are the last one to leave church
with your family. As you are getting ready to leave, you see that one
of the tires on your car is flat. So you go to the back of your car
and realize that you don't have a jack for the car, so there is no way
to change the tire. Then brother Jones, your home teacher pulls up in
his pickup to the church. You can see a jack in the back of the car
and become excited as he exits, and you run over to him, explaining
your dilemma. He stops and thinks about it for a moment, then nods
before looking at you and putting his hand on your shoulder.
"Alright," he says as he begins to lead you to the church, "Let's go
to the chapel." Puzzled, you follow after him and go into the chapel
while your family waits outside. Once inside the chapel, you and
Brother Jones kneel down and he offers a prayer to Heavenly Father,
asking that someone with a jack will soon appear to assist you and
your family. Then, once the prayer concludes, Brother Jones get up off
of his knees and calls the Bishop, telling him that you need someone
with a jack to come by and help you get home. Once the call is
complete, Brother Jones walks you outside with his hand still on your
shoulder and stops at the drivers side of his truck, looks at you and
says, "Do not despair. Help will come to you soon. Just have faith."
He then opens the door to his truck, gets in, and drives away, leaving
you and your family still at the church with the jack still tucked
away in the back of his truck.  -Elder Brent H. Neilson of the Seventy

I love that story because it encourages us to help others when we are
capable to help and have the means. He then shared the story of the
great Samaritan which I love. His talk was incredible and really
captured the need to helps others around us and that when we do the
lord blesses us with much more. Just gotta have the faith and charity
to lift where we stand. I know that the lord will always provide for
us! We just got to keep going and trust in the lord.

Hope you have a great week! I love you sooo much!!!

Also I can't forget.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!!!!!!! Turning 30
right?? Hehehe! I love you!!!!!


Elder Shaw

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Well another transfer has come to a close...ugh it's the worst! Can't believe that I only have two left. IT'S GO TIME!!! The goal is to have a baptism this transfer! We have been working really hard. Our goal is to set at least 1 date this week...we don't know who it will be, but we have the faith to achieve our goal! 

We had a great week! We tracted for 18hrs this week! It was still a great week though. With member referral lessons included we were able to teach 18 lessons!! Yay! We taught 7 MRL's, 1 Mem present, 2 RCLA's, and 8 other lessons (a lot of tracting and teaching at the door). We found another 3 new investigators, 2 of which seem solid. #miracles! #tractedforever #worthit

During weekly planning we have prayed about what specific streets to tract on and have seen several miracles. Here are a few: So we were tracting on Gargany St and after several hrs we found little success. We came to the last door and a woman named Magdelinah answered the door. She was born in Argentina and talked to us about how she always saw the elders walking down her street, but never ever talked to them. She also said that she lived right around the corner from a temple and was very curious about it and loved it's beauty. We felt prompted to share with her the message of the restoration. After we did she paused and said that she knows that there is a reason why we knocked on her door and shared the message with her. She wants to learn more, but said that she has to talk to her husband first. :/ We hope and pray that they allow us to come back and share with them the plan of salvation and will come to the temple visitors center with us. Keeping our fingers crossed! 

Similar thing happened when we were tracting Meadowridge Dr. The last door that we knocked before we had to leave we were able to find success. We were able to talk to this man named Jeff. He has rubbed shoulders with a lot of members and said that there has been a big presence of the LDS community here and is very curious about what we believe. We shared a short version of the restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon to read. He accepted the invitation to read it and we will be following up with him this week. :) We hope to be able to teach both Magdelinah and Jeff with their families. We have been praying and fasting for families to teach and we hope that they are the answers to our prayers. 

Some exciting news, Jeff Harris a less active that we have been teaching is getting married in June. We go up to his house every Weds morning to help out with his yard. I got to use a riding lawn mower!!! It was soooo much fun!!! 

We had exchanges with the zone leaders (was with Elder Argyle! He is so awesome!) this week on Thurs and I got to finally experience what it is like to serve in a YSA ward. It was so....weird. I guess I am just not use to YSA. It was kinda cool to be able to go to institute and to teach people my age, but it was still super weird! The Tanasborne YSA Ward covers 3 stakes: Hillsboro, Beaverton West, and Cedar Mill; all of which I have been able to serve in. I was able to run into several of the members that I love while on the exchange. I got to see my mama morris and wish her a happy Mother's Day! :) It was so great! It was one of my favorite exchanges.  

Well that is all I have to report on this week. It was a great week full of fun, laughs, and miracles! I hope that everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day and was able to share their love for their mommies. ♥️ I want to thank all of the wonderful women in my life who have been such a blessing to me. I love you all from the bottom of my heart. While I skyped home I was able to share a thought from elder holland from 2 conferences ago when he talked about mothers! "Behold thy Mother." 

He said, "To all of our mothers everywhere, past, present, or future, I say, “Thank you. Thank you for giving birth, for shaping souls, for forming character, and for demonstrating the pure love of Christ.” To Mother Eve, to Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel, to Mary of Nazareth, and to a Mother in Heaven, I say, “Thank you for your crucial role in fulfilling the purposes of eternity.” To all mothers in every circumstance, including those who struggle--and all will--I say, “Be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better than you think you are. In fact, you are saviors on Mount Zion, and like the Master you follow, your love ‘never faileth.’ ” I can pay no higher tribute to anyone. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

I want to express my gratitude to all mothers everywhere I KNOW that you are saviors on Mount Zion and that you are doing WAY better than you think you are! I love you all so much and I am grateful for your love and examples! "Your love never faileth." 

I want my sisters, grandmothers and my dear mother to know that I love them so much! They are my pride and joy! ;) 

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and always remembers how much they are loved and needed. 

Elder Shaw 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Happy Cinco De Mayo!!!

Well May is here whether we like it or not. I love how when you want
things to slow down they go even faster. Well I guess we can't always
get what we want.

District Lunch!
This week was rough, but we made the best of it. We had all of our
appointments cancel, so we went tracting for days. It was a lot of fun
though. So many laughs! We had a couple of miracles this week. While
tracting we OYM'd a guy named Scott who we learned had a son who was
really good friends with a Mormon. He asked us what we do and we felt
prompted to tell him that we help answer life's tough questions: Where
did we come from? Why we are here? And Where are we going? It sparked
some interest and he invited us back to teach him and his family. We
shall see how it goes! Also we knocked on Nels Dolman's door who lead
us in immediately. It caught me completely off guard. Normally people
let us in when they just want to bash with us...oh no he was going to
try to bash with us. So Nels is an atheist and doesn't have a believe
in God. He grew up Christian, but over time in his scientific research
believed that there isn't a god. We sat down with him and talked some
things through with him. He was actually very nice and we made sure
that our words of choice weren't bash like in any way. He has read the
Book of Mormon before, but HASN'T PRAYED ABOUT IT!! We left him with
Alma 22 to read (it answers if there is a god) and encouraged him to
pray about it. He said that he will read it, but isn't comfortable to
pray. We are hoping that over time his heart will soften and he will
pray and ask god if it is true. You can't have a witness until after
the trial of your faith. We will see how things go. We are praying for
a miracle. We have return appointments with both Nels and Scott this
Friday with our ward mission leader and will be teaching the plan of
salvation. We are crossing our fingers that all will go well.

So some said news this week. I went on exchanges with the office
elders and one of their investigators who was going to be baptized had
liver and kidney disease. He only had a couple of weeks to live. When
Elder Kirk and I went to the hospital to drop off some cookies and
share our love, we learned that he just recently passed was
so sad. My heart ached for Reno's family, for his children, and for
his wife, but then I thought of the plan of salvation and how Reno
will be helping his family on the other side and it brought so much
peace to my heart. We are so lucky to know that death is never the end
it is only the beginning. I am so grateful for all of the blessings
that are found at the temple; how we can be sealed for our families
forever and never be separated. Our time on earth is so short, every
day we are working towards eternal life, to live with our loved ones
and our Heavenly Father again. Losing loved ones is never easy, but we
aren't losing them forever. They are waiting for us, cheering us on,
blessing us. Because of our savior, Jesus Christ the grave has no
victory. Because he lives we will live again. So grateful for my
savior Jesus Christ who lifts me up when I am weak, sad, or lonely. I
know that he loves us all so much and wants us to be happy. We can't
choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we react to trials.
May we trust in the atonement and believe in good things to come. I
promise you that there are sooo many good things to come I know it!
May we trust to keep an eternal perspective of things and recognize
what matters most. "Just as our lives did not begin at birth, they
will not end at death."

I want to wish all of the mothers out there a very special Happy
Mother's Day this Sunday!!! Know that you are loved and appreciated
for ALL the many things you do!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week! Let's make the first week of May stellar!

With Love,
Elder Shaw