Monday, February 16, 2015

Hey everyone!

I hope everyone is doing well! Things have been crazy. I appreciate everyone's patience, love, prayers, and support. It really means a lot to me.

This past week has been a whirlwind of emotions for me. This past Monday I went to a headache doctor in West Linn and was put on more medication for my migraines. They have helped take the edge off of them. I have never experienced so much pain (those of you who have had migraines would understand), but I have received so much strength, not from myself, but from the Savior who helps take the pain away for a while. I know that the Savior is there waiting for everyone to come into his tender loving hands to receive peace of mind from him. Whatever pain we may feel in this life, the Savior feels the same pain too. When we cry, he cries with us. When we mourn, he mourns with us. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ who loves us so much that he will NEVER leave us comfortless! 

The work in Moreland has been difficult, but recently we have been able to see some of the results of our works. Two of our golden investigators we learned this past week, have to find a new place to stay because their roommates evictions. It was so hard. I was crushed! Satan is doing all he can to stop the Lords work, but we all know that the work will never be stopped. "No cause, no force in the entire world, can stop the work of God." -President Thomas S. Monson. We are hoping and praying that they stay in the area so that we can continue to teach them, but we also know that the Lord is aware of his people and that whatever happens is meant to be. We just have to keep the faith. 

On a brighter note we have had more people coming to church! :) When I first came to the area there was only 76 members at church that showed up regularly. This past Sunday there was over 110 members. Such a blessing! You never know the effect that you have on others around you. NEVER give up! When you feel like you can't push anymore, that is when you begin to see some of the results of your works. You begin to notice so many miracles that the Lord blesses us with. I am so blessed to be a full-time missionary. There is nothing that I would rather be doing. It has helped me grow out of my comfort zone and to push myself in ways I never knew possible. I know that change comes through our Savior, Jesus Christ. If we let him in, we will see the changes in our lives and the lives around us. Please let him in your lives. Pray to our loving Heavenly Father, study the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and do all that you can to serve others around you. The Lord WILL bless you, I promise. 

I had an amazing opportunity to go back to Estacada for several baptisms on Saturday. A couple of weeks before I was transferred, we had a family come to church. Nobody knew this wonderful family. We learned after sacrament meeting that they come to investigate the church...we were thrilled! We began to teach, Kirt, Marian, and their daughter Megan that following week. They were golden in every form of the word. They WERE prepared by the Lord to accept his gospel. It was such a sweet experience to watch them grow and develop in the gospel and to be baptized. I am so blessed to be a missionary; to watch people grow, change, and come closer to Jesus Christ. I am so grateful.

I was able to be a part of a miracle this past week. During our district meeting that was rescheduled for Thursday instead of Tuesday (coincidence...I think not!) there was a man who knocked on the door and asked us for some help. We let him in and talked with him. He was going around to the different churches asking for some donations so that he, his wife and children could have enough money to head back to Delaware. They would be traveling by bus there and could only carry a little suit case with them each. He was $40 short, and I felt prompted to give him some of the money. We did and tears fell from his eyes. He was so grateful. I then grabbed a book of Mormon from my bag with a couple of pass along cards and gave it to him and testified that whenever I have a desire for peace in my life that I turn to the book. He accepted it willingly and we said that if they run into missionary's over in Delaware to meet with them, and that as they do, they will be guided and directed in their lives and that they will be able to finally find the truth that they have been looking for.  It was a tender mercy to feel of the tender Spirit that was in the room. So grateful for that experience. The Lord does prepare his children and as we do our very best to serve others that blessing will come not only in our lives, but in the lives we serve. 

The miracle allowed me to reflect on the Savior and the life that he lived on earth. I know that our small acts of service CAN and WILL lift up those around us. Charity is the pure love of Christ. As we serve others, we serve God and we will be able to experience so much happiness and peace as we give of ourselves. We all are beggars. We all have things that we need. May we share the truth that we know and follow the example of Jesus Christ and give of ourselves. I promise you that our needs that we stand in need of will be accounted for as we lift others up. I have found that our challenges seem to diminish as we serve and give of ourselves to others. The pain and trials that we go through seem to disappear as we serve others. Always remember that everyone has needs and that as we help others we in turn help ourselves. :)

I love each and every one of you and I always pray for your safety and well being. Have a wonderful week and always remember who you are and ALWAYS turn to the Savior, not just at a time of need, but always turn to him. 

Always remember to NEVER quit! ;)

All my love and more,
Elder Shaw 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Don't have a lot of time this week...

I have a doctor’s appointment at 11 and then right after the district wants to go downtown in Portland.

This week has been a rough one. We learned that two of our golden investigators will be moving...we hope and pray that they stay in the Moreland ward boundary. I woke up to do laundry this morning to find that our storage unit was broken into. The person who broke into it was beginning to take apart Elder Stone's bike (he left it for me just in case). I came in at the perfect time (when he wasn't around...thank goodness) and was able to take the bike into our apartment and lock the door behind (as always). Crazy stuff...The amount of theft in this area astounds me! Also while Elder Skinner was coming home from a baptism on Saturday a cop pulled him over and gave him a ticket...great...

On a brighter note my migraines weren't as bad as last weeks, Excedrin Migraine really helps. I just feel very drained. If I am not doing anything, nothing gets done! I am the motivator, I guess. Makes things a bit difficult, especially with my health. Oh well! Just keep pushing! There is no growth in the comfort zone! :) Thank goodness that when we do our best that the lord will pick up the slack!

Mexican food in Oregon is NOT the same!
I spoke yesterday...I was told it went great. I was really nervous which was strange. My talk was mainly points and then I used it as an outline and really spoke by the spirit. I have no idea what I said, but hopefully it was good. I didn't realize that I spoke for 20 minutes!!! I felt so bad! Anyway, I am relieved that it is over. :)

A miracle that we had this week was having a lot of our investigators at church this Sunday! It was a miracle, a tender mercy. It gave me the energy to keep going! :)

Thanks for the valentine package! I loved it! It really brightened my spirits! It was awesome! I loved the sweets, tie, quarters (thank you!) and the cards! Brittney, your card was my favorite! The lips! haha! When I opened it and the hearts came out, I started to dance, shake, and laugh really hard at myself!...I didn't notice that Elder Skinner was right there staring at me laughing! It was great! I loved the tie! One of my favs. Chelsey, wow you are the real deal! I think you need to come up here...I am due for a cleaning! Haha! It was awesome to hear that my sisters’ valentine was me! Ha! Keep it that way till I get back!!! ;)

I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love my family so much! You mean the world to me! I am so grateful to have such awesome support and love that comes from my family. I am so blessed to have you all in my life! You are my motivation!

All my love and more,
Elder Shaw

Portland got cancelled because of the rain (sisters weren't up to it). So now I have time to e mail and get some things done. Right now I am at the stake center watching people play basketball. I am just trying real hard to take things day by day...

Sister Ballard called me this morning and wondered if she could come to my appointment. I was so happy that she could because she knows a lot about headaches and it was nice not to go alone, plus I didn't understand a lot of what they were saying. The doctor gave me more prescriptions and told me that it will take some time to recover...I about cried. It is so frustrating, because I am trying really hard to do the right things, and with the pain of it all and with the area I am serving is draining. I am happy that good things are happening in the area, but it is so hard to be on top of it all. Anyway, we are looking at time...another lesson of patience. I am just feeling a bit overwhelmed. I just need to remember that I am not fighting this battle alone :) the Savior is right there with me thank goodness! 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

This week has been a tough one. 

On Monday I felt great, but starting Tues on, I have had really bad headaches. It hasn't stopped. So today I am going to try to rest. I feel so wiped out. I talked with Sister Ballard about it, who has had really bad migraines in the past. I am now keeping a headache diary and hopefully will start seeing a chiropractor and a headache doctor here real soon.

The work has been great. We will hopefully have a baptism here at the end of February or beginning of March. The ward hasn't seen a convert baptism in over 2 years! I am so excited for the ward. Hopefully that will drive them to work more in unity with the missionary's and to have more converts in the church.

I am just hanging in there, taking things day by day, trying real hard not to stress. I know that we can receive so much peace and comfort from our savior. I love being a missionary and working with so many of God’s children. Although the work is tough, I know that the Lord will qualify us for his work. He can help us. He knows and feels of the pain that we are going through and knows the way out of our struggles.  Do all that you can, your very best, and leave the rest into the Lord’s hands. Trust him and believe in good things to come.

Keep doing your very best and watch for all of the blessings that the Lord will pour on you. Although it may be hard to continue to "put your shoulder to the wheel, push along..." Never quit!  :) Keep moving forward. We will all go through trials in our lives. We just need to be brave by trusting god and pushing forward. When we do this, is when God transforms us into the glorious beings we were destined to be.

I love you all so much and I am so grateful for all of your love and prayers in my behalf. I am so blessed to know such wonderful people like you. I hope everyone has a wonderful week full of laughter and fun!

Love you!
Elder Shaw

P.S. Maybe I just need to stay here for a while longer so Arizona can get out if it's drought. :) Oregon has had a very mild winter and not a lot of rain! Haha! Weird!?!