Monday, June 29, 2015

Happy Fourth of July!!

This past week has gone by sooo fast . . . I can't believe that it is already Monday! We have been able to get a lot of things done, yet it seems that we have a lot of things yet to do. Anyway it is crazy!

Boy . . . I am so happy that we have a car . . . this past week has reminded me of summers in Arizona. It has been rather toasty and the humidity in the area make outside very sticky and moist. Some days it has been in the 100s. This week we should be having warmer weather again. Oregon is expecting a drought this year! :/ Yikes!! #prayingforrain I have seen that AZ has been getting some rain! I have been sending it down to you all! haha! ;)

This past week we had a lot of lessons cancel or reschedule due to the summer season. We have to be very flexible, but it was quite funny. When a lesson would cancel, something would come up instead whether it was zone things or meeting up with others that we teach. The Lord provides a way! We were able to give several blessings to our investigators, less actives, and even to missionary's in our zone. I have been learning to balance a lot of things which I am sure will come in handy after my mission in my family and in my schooling.
Missions are so great!

This past week I was able to have an interview with my mission president. We talked a lot about missionary's in the zone and in the mission who are struggling. I was able to give him some feedback and we ended up having a great discussion. He also talked about something
that I have been trying to develop . . . being bold. He said that I have developed a "very meek and submissive spirit, but now it is time to blend it with boldness." I know that he knows exactly what I need to become the man that my heavenly father wants me to be. I know that
being bold won't just benefit me in my missionary work, but also in my life back home. Being lovingly bold will help me develop the qualities I need to be a father and a teacher. Super excited to work and grow and to continue to learn as I serve as a leader in the mission. :)

Not a lot of things to report on, just keeping busy and working hard. It was my half birthday this past weekend! :) I was able to celebrate it in several ways! With my half birthday being on Saturday and Elder Petersen's birthday on Sunday, members from our ward took us out for
lunch at the cheese cake factory . . . oh my gosh . . . it was soo good! I got a fried mac n cheese burger!!! Soooo gooooood! I also got some cheese cake of course! ;) Petey got some awesome gifts from his family . . . I will send some pictures and some videos of the best gift ever!! #horse

I absolutely LOVE several of the members in the Cornell ward! The Thomas's who are a part member family who takes us out for racket ball every Monday morning and who we have family home evenings with (also with the Morris's, part member family that we live with). The Burke family who are loads of fun. Brother Burke is our ward mission leader and who's children are musical prodigies! They are sooo good! Also, many other families in the ward are simply amazing!   They are so great to us and we have been able to have loads of fun! I have been able to get out of my shell since the beginning of the mission and have found that by being myself is the way to go. I have soooo much more fun that way! ;) "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those that matter, don't mind!" -Dr. Seuss

We have several things to look forward to this week. We have zone conference on Wednesday where Elder Petersen and I will be giving one of the trainings. We have the 4th of July parade where we will be marching in, passing out candy and pass a long cards. Exciting stuff! :)

Since we have the 4th of July coming up, I hope that everyone can reflect on the many sacrifices that were made for us to live in the country that we do. All of the rights, privileges etc came from several sacrifices. I am so lucky to live in this beautiful country that I do with the many rights that I have been blessed with! So grateful! #proudtobeanamerican

May we make the necessary sacrifices to live the gospel to its fullest and share the truths and knowledge we have with others. Give others the tools that they need to be free from the world and to draw closer to our savior Jesus Christ. So grateful that we are all instruments in the Lord’s hands.

Have the best 4th of July ever!!! Do something good in this world today! Love you all so much!!

Elder Shaw

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father’s day and was able to spend some time reflecting on their fathers. I can't believe that we are almost done with June already . . . Time continues to fly by!

This week was full of exchanges. We were able to go on exchanges with the district leaders in the zone. On Tues I was able to go to the Beavercreek ward and spend a day with Elder Freshour. It was funny . . . he was the first elder that I went on an exchange with in Mt. Hood. Crazy! Then on Friday I was able to stay here in Cornell and Elder Stone, serving in the Glenco, and once my companion, came over here. Usually I would have gone over there since I have only been in the area for 2 weeks, but I guess since I have gotten use to getting areas down fast I was able to have Elder Stone come here and we were able to work the area. It went well. We were able to have several lessons with our investigators and were able to find some new ones! :)

Great Missionaries!
It has been a tough week. I haven't been feeling very well. I have been getting really bad stomach cramps and haven't been able to keep a lot of food down. On Saturday night it got bad so on Sunday we were able to get the rest we needed. Don't worry! Been drinking lots of water, taking pepto-bismol, eating bananas, and eating oatmeal. It was actually really funny. We woke up on Sunday with a text telling us that all of our meetings have been cancelled so that was a tender mercy that we had time to rest for a bit! I was also craving chicken noodle soup really bad and guess what??? When we made it to dinner guess what we had??? CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP! God answers our prayers! Haha! :) He knows what we need. It has been go, go, go. There are so many things you have to juggle: your area, the missionary's in the zone, their areas etc. It can be exhausting at times, but it is so worth it. :) On a sad note, one of our investigators decided to take a break from the lessons so she could reflect and see if this is something that she really wants. I know that one day she will call up the missionary's and ask them to baptize her. She is so special. It was funny . . . when I first met her I thought she was a member! Crazy how the Lord is preparing those who are ready, to make promises with him, to enter into the waters of baptism. She will eventually be baptized I just know it! :)

Elder Petersen
On the bright side, on Sunday we had 5 investigators at sacrament meeting which was great! We were also able to have wonderful district meetings! I love the missionary's that I get to serve! They are wonderful, each very different, but all the same in a way. They all have powerful testimony's of our Savior, Jesus Christ! Each have different personalities and qualities. I love serving them!

Nothing to exciting to report . . . It has been another crazy week. We have just been working hard and enjoying the time that we have to serve the Lord. I love working with my companion! We make the work exciting...not a single moment goes by without a little bit of laughter! :)

This week I hope everyone was able to enjoy time with their fathers and also to reflect on their relationship with their heavenly father and wish him a happy Father’s Day! I am so grateful for my father who honors his priesthood, who is a friend, and who serves everyone that best that he can. He always works so hard to provide for his family and to serve those that are in need. He shows his love by serving. I am also so very grateful for my heavenly father who loves us perfectly, who gave us his son, Jesus Christ, to atone for the world so that we can live with our families and with our father in heaven again.

In my studies this week I came across a powerful scripture about the atonement of Jesus Christ. It is in 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10:

          9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my
          strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I
          rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon

          10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in
          necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for
          when I am weak, then am I strong.

I am grateful for trials in my life because it allows me to reflect more on the Savior and rely him for power and strength. If we rely on the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can become strong. May we reflect more on our heavenly fathers love for us and also rely more on the
atonement of our Savior for power and strength. Life is meant to be happy for us, as we seek to find the good and remember who we truly are we can find joy. Immerse yourself in the scriptures, in prayer, and in service and watch your life change. You will find great joy in
your life and in those that you serve. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ! It makes all of the difference. Open your mouths and share it with others who desperately need it. Share that love! :)

I hope everyone has an AMAZING week! Love you all so very much!

Elder Shaw

Monday, June 15, 2015

Soaking up the Sun!!

It is sunny here in Portland! :) We have been having sun for the past week! It has been great! Also, I have to admit that I have never laughed so much in my entire life! Elder Petersen and I have been able to witness some of the most craziest and weirdest things in my entire life . . . so we would be driving to an appointment, talking, having a great time and then we would come to a 4 way stop on the corner of sunrise and 17th and we would stop dead sentence and die laughing! We find the weirdest people in Portland, (me being one of them), that just make everyday an adventure and keeps you on your toes. I love the weird people of Oregon!

This past week we have been able to see several miracles! We began this week with 0 progressing investigators and ended it with 6! Yay! We have two dates set for the 20th, but will be pushing it back to later in the month and hopefully we will set some more. :) I love the people that we are teaching! Jai and Stephanie Eller were able to come to church this past week for the very first time which was great! Rolando and Adelene, a young Hispanic couple that were tracted into. They both come from catholic backgrounds and weren't open to change at first, but now they are reading the Book of Mormon together and are seeking an answer to find out if this church is true which is awesome. :) I love them! Then we have Terrie who was tracted into that lives next door to the Ellers. She has an interest in the Mormon religion and we had an awesome lesson with her! We taught the restoration and the spirit was so strong . . . I absolutely LOVE teaching!!! Well at least get to participate because we all know that the real teacher is the spirit :) Then we have this sweet, spunky, lady JoDee! When we first met with her I swore that she was a member! The lesson went awesome and we asked what where some of the things that were keeping her from getting baptized and she expressed some concerns with Joseph smith and the apostasy which we will be covering well next week so we can get her to the font! All of our investigators we are trying to set up two lessons a week with them, one for teaching a lesson and the other reading the Book of Mormon with them . . . we shall see how it goes.

Just been busy with teaching, and helping the missionary's in the zone. :) We had several meetings this past week with the stake presidency regarding the work in the stake. It was pretty good. We learned that all the missionary's in the zone will participate in the 4th of July parade in Hillsboro. It is one of the biggest parades in the state of Portland! We get to walk, throw candy, and say hi to all of the kiddos. Hopefully it will help the area with interactions with the missionary's to show them that we aren't aliens . . . well most of us aren't . . . haha!

Also we get to go to the Nike employee store where everything is 50% on the 29th to celebrate my half birthday and Petey's birthday! I am stoked! I get to finally buy Nike shorts, shirts, and the best part....Nike slacks to wear when I proselyte! :)  #hotstuff

This past weekend has been rough...allergies really bad and I got a cold....ugh just taking things one day at a time! :)

I hope this finds everyone happy, healthy, and full of joy! Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Share you light and testimony of the savior with everyone in the way you live, act, and do! The worth of every soul is great in the sight of God!

One of my favorite missionary scriptures:

Alma 29: 9-10

          9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I
          do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath
          commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an
          instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and
          this is my joy.

          10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and
          coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do
          I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard
          my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended
          towards me.

Remember you all are sooooo AMAZING! You are all loved! Thanks for your love and support that you give me and those that you meet!

Love you all!
Elder Shaw

Monday, June 8, 2015

Hola family!!!

Greeting from what Oregonians call "Hillsburrito." Wow! We have been crazy busy this week! With dropping off elders everywhere, and picking them up, (sometimes it feels like we are a taxi service because we are the only elders with a car in the zone), several district meetings, MLC, giving service to members of the zone, and trying to get to know everyone, and to stay busy teaching, really is exhausting. Every night we have gone to bed after 12 without fail, and then getting up at 5:30. I love serving as a zone leader . . . just trying to get acclimated to the work load. It will be good though. We have an exchange with the AP's tomorrow and then another exchange with some elders in our zone. Another busy week!

The ward is cool. It isn't the size of Moreland or Hazeldale . . . it was a good size ward, not too big and not too small. Our ward boundary is actually the smallest area that I have served in, but with driving all over the zone it makes it feel bigger. I love the members that we live
with, Mama Morris and Brian. Brian has been investigating the church for over 7 years and we were able to have a couple of powerful lessons with him this week. I think he is getting there; just waiting for the Lord’s timing to be right. We also have several other investigators that we have been working with. Jai and Stephanie have a date set for June 20th. Jai has come a long way. He use to smoke 2 packs a day and now he is down to only smoking 3 cigarettes; a work in progress. Stephanie is ready, but doesn't want to get baptized without her husband. We meet with them twice a week on Tues and Sat. They are great. We have recently been working with some new investigators and are setting up times when we can meet with them and hopefully SET MORE BAPTISMAL DATES! :) Super exciting!!

So a funny experience for the week. We were tracting between Ward Counsel and Ward Missionary Correlation meeting and were knocking on some apartments in a complex, and a hispanic fellow answered the door. I said, "Hi we are your missionary's in the area and we are
just sharing a message about the Book of Mormon. What do you know about the Book of Mormon?" He then said in perfect english, "Me speak no english." So without a moment’s hesitation I said, "That's ok we have spanish speaking missionary's that we could have stop by here and teach you." His face was priceless!! His eyes were wide and then all he could say was a quiet, "no." It was hilarious!!! I chuckled a bit! ;)

Sorry it is short, but we are going to a BBQ before our next appointment at 5! I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOOOO MUCH! I promise that next week’s email will be better! I love you to the moon and back!

All my love,
Elder Shaw

Following is a note sent to family from one of my prior companions:

Hey! I just wanted to let you know that Elder Shaw was a fantastic companion when I was with him, he works hard, and has an obvious love for the work, which others notice. Even when he was in a bike accident when I was with him, the hardest thing that seemed to be going on for him was the restricted opportunity to serve.

He's great and I love him, hope y'all have a fantastic time at college! I remember that Elder Shaw made it obvious how much he loves y'all when we were companions (especially his sisters). I'm sure you are all fantastic!

- Elder Stone

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hey all!

I got transferred! I left the Hazeldale ward to come to the Cornell ward in Hillsboro.

This past week was another bitter-sweet one. Having to say a lot of see-you-laters! The baptism went great though! Tasha was baptized and as for Logan he wasn't quite ready yet so we postponed his baptism. (Ugh agency kinda sucks sometimes)....

Mama "G"!
I have only been here for a day and . . . . I LOVE IT!!!! We live with members, the Morris family! Sister Morris is the relief society president and Brian is one of our investigators that we teach weekly. I absolutely LOVE them. It is really cool to be able to come "home" after a day of work and talk with them and interact with them. They are super chill and cool. We even have family home evening with them and a recent covert each week. Last night we were able to play dominoes!!! Loads of fun! :)

I am on my 8th companion (I promise that I am easy to get along with . . . well at least I think haha ;)  My new companion is Elder Petersen from Utah. He is a great guy!  We will be Zone Leaders.  I am super excited to be serving with him and to have the privilege to work with some AMAZING missionary's. So blessed!

Being a zone leader is loads of fun. You have to have that balance between administrating and ministering. It will teach me a ton of useful tools and habits that could help me with life. I LOVE being able to get to an area with loads of work and where the ward is on board with missionary work. We already have 2 baptismal dates for June 20th. We shall see them through. We also have a lot of potential baptisms with our other investigators. The bishop here really gets missionary work. He is very supportive and loving. I was able to meet with Bishop Melanson last night where he shared with me his expectations and goals for the missionary work in the Cornell Ward. The members here are tight! Very nice and open. They absolutely love the missionary's! Change is good! :)

We have MLC on Friday at the Ballard's . . . I am weirdly excited about it. MLC is a Missionary Leadership Conference that lasts most of the day, usual 8 hrs. We shall see how it will be.

Anyways . . . nothing much has been happening, just a lot of adjusting and change. Change is always good though. ;)

Today for P-day I just finished unpacking, got groceries, e mailing, and then we will be going to Sky High with a lot of missionaries.  Super exciting!

Tasha's baptism last week went very well. Very proud of her. It isn't common to be able to begin and finish working with someone in an area. That was a great blessing. Tammi, Logan, and Tasha moved to the Aloha 1st ward when I moved to Cornell Ward. I will definitely keep in touch with them! They are the best! Love them so much!

I LOVE being a full time missionary! I know I say this a lot but it is the BEST calling in the mission! I am loving it!

Sorry this e mail is short! :/ I love you guys and I hope things are well in AZ! Have a wonderful week and always remember to NEVER quit!  ;)

Love you!
Elder Shaw