Monday, May 25, 2015

Hey all!

Happy Memorial Day!! Can't believe that this week I will be hitting my 10th month mark!! It has already gone by too fast!! #pleaseslowdown :/  What is even weirder, is that this past Friday marked a year since I feels like an eternity ago!

As far as the work goes, we have been keeping ourselves busy, by not wasting any moment to share the makes time fly because we are always go, go, go! It makes me excited for p-days because I need that time to sit back, relax and rest from my labors! (Shows how important Sunday's are! Remember to keep it holy ;) We have been busy teaching over 20 lessons a week, going on exchanges to help other missionary's in
their areas the best that I can, and . . . . . WE GOT A NEW CAR!!!! 

A 2015 Subaru Legacy!!! And guess what??? I GET TO DRIVE IT!!!! It is literally a dream! I love that new car smell!  #iamsospoiled! :/  #lookout!  #thecarissooofast  #thankgoodnessfortiwi! (For those of you who don't know what a “tiwi” is, it is a small annoying box that monitors our speed and writes us up if we go above the speed limit or if we drive aggressively. Don't worry! I still drive like a granny! ;)

This past week had to be one of my favorites in the mission! I was able to participate in ANOTHER wedding on my mission! I got to be one of the witnesses for Tammi and Logan's wedding this past Friday at the church. I got to sign an actual marriage license! Pretty cool! Bishop Rawlins performed the marriage and said some pretty amazing things. The next thing for them is to be sealed as a couple in the temple!! AND GUESS WHAT???? I will still be on my mission so I will be able to go and support them! Super exciting! I left my family to help bring families together for eternity! I have grown so close to that family and I am super excited for Logan AND Tasha's baptism taking place this Saturday at 5! Don't worry, I will make sure that I will send pictures! ;)

Logan & Tammi's Wedding
After the wedding, they took us out to a fancy Italian restaurant for dinner! Boy was it yummy! Then they took us downtown for the "Star Light Parade," an amazing firework show down by the waterfront in downtown Portland in celebration for Memorial Day weekend. I was super excited to go!! I only have 2 opportunities on my mission to go and I was able to go on my first year!!! Wow does Portland come alive at night! Super crazy, yet super exciting! So sooo many people of different cultures and backgrounds...smelt more alcohol and drugs then I wanted to :/, but overall it was a fantastic experience. I got a picture with the Oregon sign and got to get several videos of the fireworks!  :) Such a neat experience on my mission! My mission has taught me to not just endure life, but to also to enjoy myself every now and then. It is ok to enjoy yourself every now and then. I guess Portland has taught me not to stress the small stuff and to live in the moment! It is weird...I thought my mission would teach me to be more obedient and to work hard, when in fact it has taught me to relax and enjoy life! Such a blessing.

We finished the week by being amazed by all of the fruits of our labors! 5 Investigators at sacrament meeting! :)

This past week has been great and busy as always...I have been working REALLY hard!
Sometimes it is hard to stay motivated when people around you don't have that same fire as I feel I have sometimes . . . ugh, it is hard to motivate others when sometimes I have to work on motivating myself! Satan is really good with making us think that what we do is good enough and that we don't need to continue to push ourselves . . . but I know that there is no growth in the “comfort zone” . . . we just gotta keep pushing and doing our best everyday, 110%. Something that I have learned on my mission about the atonement is that it helps us keep moving forward when it feels like we can't. We are all given willpower and sometimes the willpower isn't enough, sometimes we don't have enough for the entire day.
Team Shawsome!
For example, you could be working on losing weight, so you create a weight loss plan by eating right and working out a lot. In the morning, you wake up with loads of energy and willpower! You will work out and eat so well during the day. Hours pass, and you find yourself letting small things slip, so you take a bite of a small cookie, which leads to eating a small bowl of ice cream etc. After eating those things you don't feel well enough to work out . . . so you won't. This is a silly example, but do you see how Satan tries to make you slip over the small stuff??? When we center our lives on the Atonement we understand that by grace we are saved after ALL we can do. When we give things all that we got, usually it ends up being enough to satisfy the demands so we begin to trust the Savior. We pray, we read the scriptures, and let his light come into our lives. He helps cover the rest! I have felt this very thing when I was experiencing migraines everyday for those 3 long months. I worked and tried my hardest, but it wasn't enough, I had to trust the Savior and do MY very best! At night I would pray to my father in heaven and ask him to bless the work that I have done, although it wasn't perfect, there are many things I need to improve on. I would then feel him accept my very best and then would feel the Spirit testify to me that what I had done was enough for my Heavenly Father. In this life, we will NEVER be perfect, what matters is that we keep trying and NEVER quit!! Do your very best! That is all that our father in heaven asks of us. He requires our very best effort, so give it to him . . . don't you ever hold back! If you do then you are keeping yourself from ALL of the blessings Heavenly Father wants to pour down on you. I am so grateful for the atonement that strengthens me to do my best every day!

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Remember how much I love you and how much you mean to me, but most importantly remember how much your father in heaven loves YOU!!

Have the best week ever! Happy Memorial Day! Don't sweat the small stuff . . . because after all, it is all small stuff!!!! :)

All my love and more,
Elder Shaw

Monday, May 18, 2015

Hey all!

Glad to hear that the AZ is getting treated to rain and good weather! Ha I am trying to send as much as I can down there!! ;) Here has been mostly sunny and nice! It makes me want to live up here . . . I just have to remember that it hasn't been a normal year for Portland . . . keeping it weird! :)

This past week has been full of miracles! First off we have another baptism for May 30th! LOGAN!!! So proud of him!! Tasha is also waiting to be baptized on that very date! I will be able to perform my first baptism!!! Super excited! It just goes to show that hard work ALWAYS gets paid off. So, a little about Tasha and Logan.

So, we have a recent convert of about a year, Tammi, who is Tasha's mother. Logan is Tammi's soon to be husband (yes! another wedding! It is this Friday at 4:30 at the church and they asked me to be one of the witnesses! Super excited!) Tasha and Logan have both been introduced to the church before they committed to be baptized! Tasha has had to go through a lot of hard things . . . BUT we have helped her through them the best we can and she was able to make the choice to pursue her investigating of the church. Logan met with the missionary's at the age of 16, but wasn't ready to receive the fullness of the gospel. The missionary's that he met weren't very loving and offended him so he dropped the investigation. I met Logan when I first came to Hazeldale and it has been such the experience to see how the Lord softens hearts. I remember when I asked him for the 1st time to see if he would take the missionary discussions and he said, "Absolutely not! I will never be a Mormon!" Time passed . . . and he had an AMAZING spiritual awakening. While he was driving on the freeway he saw a cross on the side of the road where someone recently pass away. He felt a powerful wave of emotion and the spirit really touched his
heart. He has had a hard time accepting the fact that God cares and loves him, but that day he felt something. The emotions were sooo strong that he pushed them away for the time being. Then, he met with our bishop to discuss how he, a non-member could support and encourage an LDS wife (Tammi). He had an awakening with Bishop! The spirit testified to him that God is still there and loves him. Bishop then asked if he would meet with the missionary's and he said, "Only if Shaw teaches me!" We then began to teach diligently. Right when we began to teach him he gave up coffee, smoking, and drinking; cold turkey!  He has been clean since! One morning he sent me a text and said, "Converted anyone yet?" and I said, "You . . . will you be baptized on May 30th?" When he say the text at work the spirit overcame him so much that he had to leave work early! We then felt prompted to meet with him that night and we just began to have a casual conversation with him. He had some questions about baptism and also other things. We taught and bore testimony of the savior and the love that he has for him and also our love for him as he has followed in the saviors footsteps. The spirit was sooo strong. There wasn't a dry eye. The next day we went over and shared with him the 3rd discussion, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The spirit again was sooo strong. He told us that he was having a hard time with his doubts and that they were keeping him from being baptized. I told him, "Doubt your doubts, before you doubt your faith!" and talked about how Satan will put those doubts in his head to make him stumble and cause him to not progress in the gospel. We encouraged him to talk to the bishop with his concerns. Then at church, before the 3rd hour block, I was grabbed by Tammi and she told me that Logan set the date for May 30th!! If I weren't in a church, I would have screamed louder! I ran up to Logan and gave him a huge hug and told him how proud I was of him and that I knew that heavenly father was proud of his decision to be baptized. We met with both Tasha and Logan tonight and made plans for the baptism!!!! I am super excited!!! Prayers have been answered!!!!!!

Another miracle is that we had 5 investigators at church!!!!! Super Exciting!  Also the ward is exploding with people for us to teach!!! We have already made several appointments to meet with more investigators at the members homes! Miracle! The Elders have been able to get the trust back from the ward!!!!! :) Finally seeing some of the fruits of hard work!

These past weeks we have just been trying to stay busy. Knocking on doors, asking for referrals like crazy, teaching where we find, finding where we teach....IT IS THE BEST!

I also want to thank you all for the positive thoughts, prayers, and support. My headaches have gone down immensely. I only get 1 or 2 mild headaches a week! It has been nice because I have been able to hit the ground running. Nothing has been holding me back except for the need to rest and eat. It’s super exciting!!! Thank you all from the bottom
of my heart!

Now for a spiritual thought for the week. I was able to attend an MLC meeting where President Ballard talked about Joseph Smith's experience in Liberty Jail. Record of it is in Doctrine Covenants Section 121.  I love it! I will share a couple of things that I enjoyed from it.

Joseph had to endure several trials while at the jail, poor conditions etc. I loved how Heavenly Father didn't remove his trails all at once. He let Joseph struggle with them for some time, but gave him an amazing promise in verses 7-9:

7. My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine
afflictions shall be but a small moment;

8. And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou
shalt triumph over all thy foes.

9. Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with
warm hearts and friendly hands.

I am so grateful for the peace that heavenly father gives me as I experience trials and learn and grow. I am also grateful for wonderful friends and family that have been such an inspiration and support for me! Our Heavenly Father does give us the things we need to endure!

I also love verse 26 that shows that treasures of knowledge are available to us as we follow the spirit and learn from its promptings:

26. God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now.

I am so grateful for the Spirit, because it truly is the teacher. It guides and helps me every day. Without it I wouldn't be able to receive inspiration and revelation for our investigators nor for other missionary's. Without it I wouldn't be able to teach or touch the hearts of the investigators that are searching for answers to the questions of their soul. I am so blest and grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a full-time missionary. It truly is my FAVORITE calling. As we give our entire selves to the Lord, he WILL bless us mightily. Give of yourself. Serve those around you and watch miracles happen!

We are in for another exciting week here! I hope you all have a wonderful week full of laughs, smiles, and happiness!

Love you all very much!

All my love and more,
Elder Shaw

P.S I was able to go one an exchange with the Zone Leaders so I was over in Farmington Ward for a day...boy did it make me trunky for Estacada!!! I love the beautiful country of Oregon!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Great to see you this weekend!!
Mother's Day via Skype!

It was such a treat to be able to see you on Sunday via Skype ... not a lot has happened since then ... :)

We had our zone meeting yesterday where Elder Alatini and I did the training and practice. President was there! It was a lot of fun and it went great!! It was on "How to become master teachers, as we teach with our personalities." haha! We nailed it! :)

Today for p-day we went ice skating!!! 

Ice Skating for P-Day!
Not a lot of things out of the usual that we will be doing this week ... just staying busy! We pushed Tasha's baptismal date to May 23rd to make sure that she is ready to make the commitment with our Father in Heaven. I am super excited!! I get to baptize her!!! MY FIRST ONE!! :) We also have many more appointments with less-actives, recent converts, and our wonderful investigators this week.

Also I might be going on several exchanges this week and then with the Zone leaders and members of the district. Super exciting!

Anyways ... sorry not a lot to report ... I LOVE YOU!!!!!

Oh and shout out to Uncle Brian and Brooke who have birthday's this week! Happy Birthday!!!

I love you guys! Think about you guys lots. Wish you could be here with me! haha!

I love being a missionary!!!! It’s my favorite calling!!!!! AND it is full time! :-)

Love you guys!

All my love and more,
Elder Shaw

Monday, May 4, 2015

WOW! What an awesome week we had last week!

Tasha and Elder Alatini
I have been working really hard. We finally got a baptismal date with our investigator Tasha! I have been pushing for one! :) Her baptismal date is May 16th and she wants me to baptize her!!!!! :) It will be my first time!! I am so proud of her and how she completely changed her life for the better.

Some more good news...our recent convert, Tammi is getting married to Logan on May 22 and she asked me to be one of the witnesses! Yay! :) Tasha is Tammi's daughter so that wonderful family has soooo many good things coming up. Tammi and Logan met with the bishop on Sunday, and Logan had an amazing spiritual experience. Bishop asked Logan if he would like to receive the missionary discussions, and he said, "ONLY if Elder Shaw will teach them to me." Bishop then shortly called me and told me the exciting news...I nearly died. Miracles happen every day!!!! It was an awesome experience to see someone who wanted nothing to do with the church, but then had the spirit touch them and soften their hearts to hear more of the gospel. I am so grateful to have been able to have the opportunity to see how the gospel can transform lives!! Such a blessing.

l am super excited for mother’s day!!! Every time I think about it my eyes start to water! Ugh its bad!! These past few months have been difficult for me. I have see myself grow in places I never thought I would...a mission is such an amazing experience. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done, but boy is it worth it! It feels good though to look back with no regrets...I just have to continue to work hard and leave it all on the line.
Another fun P-Day
This week I have learned that none of our efforts get wasted. Sometimes it may seem that what we do won't have any affect or that it may be a waste to work hard when nothing seems to get done. DON'T YOU EVER GIVE UP! Keep trying, keep enduring!! Blessings will come I can promise you that! I love this scripture:

2 Nephi 31:20

Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

In order for us to receive eternal life we need to press forward with a steadfastness in Christ (follow the gospel of Jesus Christ: faith, repentance, baptism etc.) read the scriptures (feast on words of Christ), and endure to the end.
Everyone is an acrobat!
I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and for the amazing opportunity that I have to share it with those that I love. Keep exercising faith, Keep repenting, Keep going to church to renew your baptismal covenants, and most importantly ENDURE TO THE END! I know that as we follow these basic principles of the gospel that we will receive all that our father in heaven has. The Lord requires OUR best effort and then our savior atonement takes care of the rest. Keep trying, keep doing the good! Always remember to NEVER QUIT! ;)

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

All my love and more!!!!
Elder Shaw