Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! 

This past week I have been able to ponder and think about the many things that I am grateful for. Here is a list that I have compiled that rang for very basic things to eternal  things.

I am Grateful for:

-A warm bed to sleep in
-More than enough food to eat
-A healthy and happy body
-A car that keeps me out of the rain and the cold
-P-day naps
-A country full of freedoms
-People of Oregon...learned to love recycling, Organically grown physical sustenance, and not having to pump my own gas! 
-Abnormal and awkward many...
-Meeting and talking with people whom I don't know
-The good times and the bad
-Lots of noise=people in my life
-Laughter...lots of Laughter
-Optimism=helps us enjoy the good and live with pure joy
-Friendships near and far
-My sisters...whom I love forever and ever...they are my pride and joy
-My Father who honor's his priesthood and is the best example of service
-My Dear Mother...who radiates with the pure love of Christ...all that I am and all that I will ever be is because of my grateful for her and can't wait till I can give her the biggest hug
-Power of Prayer and the ability to talk with my father in heaven
-Scriptures, conference talks, and a living prophet so that I can progress and live with my heavenly father again.
-Temples-where families can become eternal families
-My Savior and Redeemer who knows ME and LOVES ME perfectly
-The Atonement which helps me get back up when I have fallen and which gives me the strength to keep moving forward
-The many tender mercies of the Lord and the many miracles that are always present in each of our lives
-The sweet opportunity that I have to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and represent him and help my dear friends and loved ones back on their way to live with their families forever...what an experience!
-So grateful for the gospel and for this "season" of my life to share it full-time, 24/7, with everyone I meet.

I am so richly blessed with so many things and have so many things to be grateful for. 
Glory be to God in the highest!

I am grateful for each of you and your impact that you have in my life! I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and has the opportunity and time to reflect on the many things that we blessed with!

Much love,
Elder Shaw

Alma 26:37 

"Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen."

Quick Update:

The Talley's baptism was AMAZING! So proud of my boys! They did such a great job! On Sunday we took the family to the temple and had a lesson on eternal has been an incredible weekend...Drew is sooo close! He agreed to have us go over the lessons with him and he told us that he is willing to be baptized. He shared with us a couple of his concerns and opened up to was incredible. Hopefully he will be baptized within the next couple of weeks! He is ready!

We have been super busy with finding and teaching. We found 2 new investigators and will be meeting with them within the next week or so. We even had one come to church this past Sunday and stayed for 2 of the 3 hrs! Fabian! He recently moved to Canby from Woodburn and has a young son and daughter. He has been in the military and is now looking for religion in his life. He is another one of those "true seekers." The Lord has blessed us with sooo many solid people to teach! Now in the Lords timing we will get them baptized! ;)
More exciting news: we had 6 investigators at church and we taught close 16 lessons, 10 of which were member presents!! I have never taught that many member presents ever! It has been a lot of work with preparations and planning to get everything set so we can have members with us and it has been so nice to see some of the blessings that have come from it. Now we need to set some baptismal dates!!! ;)

People have been asking what we have been doing to have so much success in our area and zone and Elder Smith and I don't know what to tell them... We can only think of the power and influence prayer has. All of those we have been teaching and all of our successes have been blessings from God. When Elder Smith and I were put together, one of the 1st things we did was pray for new investigators to teach and to fellowship in the ward and we promised to do whatever it would take to bring and find those who are prepared back into the fold...PRAYER WORKS!!! I know that our father in heaven listens to EVERY single prayer that we say. He loves and cares so much for us. As we pray and do all that we can to reach our goals, our heavenly father takes care of the rest. I am so grateful and blessed! 

Sorry for the very quick update. I promise that next week will be better! Just have time to hit the highlights! 


Saturday, November 21, 2015


I can't believe it...Elder Smith and I are staying together!!! We are soooo excited!!!! I will be "killing off" Elder Smith.  This will be his last transfer. Weird thing is that he is my only companion left in the mission field... We will be together for the Talley's baptisms (more in the near future ;), Thanksgiving, Christmas, and for both of our Birthday's!!! PARTY!!!

It was pretty nice...out of our 24 missionary's only 4 of them got transferred out of the zone! Crazy! President Ballard called us the day of transfer calls and told us that we are doing fantastic as a companionship and as a zone. He is very pleased and decided to keep most of us together for another transfer. We have A LOT of good things coming in the zone!! :) I LOVE OUR MISSIONARY'S!

So a quick update with the work: Josh and Aaron's baptism is this Saturday at 10 am at the Oregon City Stake Center. Aaron asked me if I would baptize him! He is my first one that I actually get to baptize...I am probably going to cry!!! :/ Afterwords, the Talley's are going to take us out for lunch and then on Sunday we will be taking the entire family to the visitors center and the temple. We hope that Drew will be moved to be baptized with his son's baptism, the temple and VC, and with the many fantastic things going on with his family...HE IS SOOOO CLOSE!! Dominique was telling us that every day he is getting closer and closer with his comments and the things that he has shared with her! We are just being patient and letting the Lord
work on him! ;)

Something real cool: All of our progressing investigators are being taught in members homes!!! Talley's, Darrell, Paul, Tracy, and Casey. This transfer Elder Smith and I are going to work hard to focus on setting dates with Drew Talley, Darrell, Tracy, and Casey! We have been so blessed...all of them are honest true seekers and really want to know if the church is true!!! We couldn't be happier! Also, this transfer we will be working of finding more investigators through the less actives and part member families! We are going to roll up our sleeves and find those who are ready to receive the gospel!

Canby 1st Ward is incredible! We are working very closely with the members and have seen so much success! Many are coming up to us and asking what they can do to help us...crazy! I LOVE THEM and I am so happy that I will be able to stay in Canby for at least 2 more transfers!!!! Pumped!!! #soblessed

So I have to share a funny for the we were over at the Talley's for dinner this week and we were all sitting around the table with Paige in her high chair right by Elder Smith. We had mashed potato's...there is a history with the kids and those darn tatters. Josh and Paige are very sensitive to different textures and one that they have trouble with are mashed potato' could probably see where this is going...Paige was eating mashed potatoes and threw up all over her hands and plate...that wasn't the funny part. The funny part was when she was shaking vomit from her hands all over the dinner table...she got Elder Smith bad...HAHA! I DIED!!! I was like, "Congrats Elder Smith. You got front row tickets in the splash zone!!!" We all roared with laughter!!! Love those moments...never a dull moment with us...that’s for sure!!! Always something funny, awkward, and crazy going on! ;)

Today for P-Day we will be going to Target in Willsonville to buy "Bean Boozled," for one of our family home evenings with the Talley's. I told them about it and they all want to play! It is going to be incredible! Then we are just going to relax and then head over to Lake Oswego around 2 to say "see you later," to 3 of my former companions...going to miss them lots!

This week I had some time to reflect on the many things that I have learned on my mission and to see how much I have grown...I am so grateful to be a full-time missionary of the Lord. It has been one of the best experiences of my life. Sure it has been hard at times, but I wouldn't trade any of my experiences for anything! Those hard times that we all go through help us to more fully enjoy the good. I love the people that I have met so much...I am so grateful to be serving in the Oregon Portland Mission. I know that I was meant to come here. I have been able to reach out to people and love them...I always try to remember that I represent the Savior in all things and although they are enormous shoes that I could never fill, I have been trying to do my very best. It has been so rewarding. I have been able to feel his
love not only for me, but for others around me. When we serve others with all of our hearts we can feel of that love! These are the best two years!

Short and Sweet this week! :)

I would like to share with you some lyrics to one of my favorite hymns, Hymn # 219 "Because I have Been Given Much." It has been stuck in my head all this week!

"Because I have been blessed by thy great love, dear Lord,
I'll share thy love again, according to thy word.
I shall give love to those in need,
I'll show that love by word and deed.
Thus shall my thanks be thanks in-deed."

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Know that you are loved!

Elder Shaw

Monday, November 9, 2015

Where did the 1st week of November go?

Happy Monday everyone!!! Already the beginning of another exciting week! ;)

So I am going to keep this e mail rather on the short end this week because of the lack of time today (going to Washington Square Mall with Elder Smith in the morning so he can get a new suit for when he goes home, also going to Tigard to have my last P-Day with some of my bros . . .Yes Elder Kaiser, Erickson, and Petersen will be leaving this
coming week...crazy how fast transfers fly by!).

This past week came and went soooo fast! I can't believe that it is already P-day . . . We have been super busy. The Lord has blessed us in so many ways! We have been finding those who have been prepared by the Lord to teach and baptize. We have had our hands full with Zone meeting on Weds, along with interviews, MLC all day Friday, 20 hrs of service, teaching 18 lessons: 9 member presents, 2 other lessons, and 7 RCLA's , and receiving 2 new investigators!! :) It has been go, go, go . . . Just the way I like it!

The Talley's are doing incredible! The boy's are excited for their date on Nov. 21st! Also, Drew is coming around . . . he said some awesome things on Sunday while we were teaching gospel principles . . . he is considering baptism!!!  Keep you informed when we set a date!!!

We also have been teaching Casey over at a members home for family home evening . . . it was so cool . . . so Sister Poe called us and invited us over again for FHE with Casey (Reminder: Casey is the single mother of 2 boys, working full time, and going to school on the side; she is also next door neighbors to the Morehouse's and the Poe's). Sister Poe told us that Casey specifically asked if we could share with her the missionary discussions!!!  We are pumped!! We have already taught her parts of the Restoration, but will finish tomorrow night and hopefully set a soft baptismal commitment with her. She already told Sister Poe that she wants to take the boys to church this following Sunday to check things out! (I was so excited . . . . I was pretty much screaming on the phone . . . the ward probably thinks I am crazy . . . oh well!) We have been sooo blessed with some fantastic, "Honest Seekers" recently. The Canby 1st Ward is incredible . . . such an awesome ward family that is so supportive of us and helps us find those who are ready to be taught! They have been giving us referrals left and right!!!

We also will be teaching one of our new investigators, Daryl at the Ganir's (Ward missionaries :) home this Tues. We found Daryl while teaching a less active. He has come to church with the Ganir's the past 2 weeks and has loved it. He is this sweet old man of 86! We gave him a Book of Mormon and asked if he would read some of it by Tues . . . he said, "You mean I have to read it all by then?" haha! It was so great! We let him know that if he could at least read the introduction before we meet that that would be just fine! ;) Brother Ganir was so funny . . . he said with a stern face, "You will read all of it . . . every day!" haha! I am sure Daryl, living so close to the brother Ganir, will be able to at least read the introduction! ;)

Also . . . some more exciting news . . . Paul, the excommunicated member we have been teaching, talked with the bishop and said that he will be able to get baptized sometime in March if all things go as planned! Yay!! Also, Bro and Sis Morehouse will be receiving their patriarchal blessings soon and will be able to go through the temple at the beginning of April!!! We are so proud of all of them!

So I hit most of the highlights . . . OH I ALMOST FORGOT!! So we had our MLC this past Friday and we received some amazing news . . . . drum roll . . . OUR ZONE IS LEADING THE MISSION!!! YAY!!!!  Our missionary's have been working their tails off! We are so proud of all of them!!! The Lord has blessed the work here in so many ways . . . We will continue pushing forward, being obedient and diligent, to keep this Zone ON FIRE!!!  Obedience brings forth blessings from heaven!

Sorry for the short email :/ Hopefully it makes sense!

I would like to leave with you a short scripture to think about throughout this week. I absolutely love it!!! I love you all and hope you have an incredible week!

Proverbs 4:26: "...Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established..."

All my love and more,
Elder Shaw

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy November Everyone! Can't believe it is here . . .

This past week flew by. It was weird thinking how it was my last Halloween on my mission...WIERD!!! I am not ready for this!!!!!!! :/TIME PLEASE SLOW DOWN!!!!!
This last week was full of laughs, down pour of rain (thank goodness
we have a car!), hard work, and fun! We had the usual: District
meetings, exchanges, DLC on Sunday nights (district leadership
counsel: where we meet will all the district leaders and talk about
the individual needs and concerns in the districts), service at the
Canby Center and the local food bank, and our usual lessons with our
investigators and less actives. Quick update with those that we have
been teaching: The Talley's finally where able to move in to their new
place yesterday. With the move being on a Sunday we had a great turn
out and had the job completed 2 hrs tops! It has been so nice to watch
the ward reach out and embrace that family! Such a blessing...Josh and
Aaron are super excited for Nov. 21st! They are like sponges! They
remember EVERYTHING we teach and apply it to their lives. They each
have their OWN book of mormon that they read from every night after
family prayer and scripture study...mind you they are only 11 and 8!!
Drew is softening up too! He will be next! He is so proud of his boys
and is looking forward to their baptism on the 21st. Now that they
have their new place we will be able to finish the lessons and might
have a chance to start teaching Drew and maybe...just maybe...get him
towards baptism. The ward as well as Elder Smith and I are convinced
that he will be a member one of these days....time will tell! ;) We
were able to see the Smith's and do some service for them and have a
lesson....sweet ladies. Working on getting the daughter to church;
Cathy! Hopefully she will come around. We also met with the
Morehouse's and learned that their daughter, Tracy will be moving in
with them on Nov. 17th. It is a tender mercy in a way...Tracy will now
be able to focus on herself spiritual and will be able to go with her
parents to church and will have them by her side every step of the way
as she continues to learn more and works towards baptism...its only a
matter of time! ;) Hopefully when things slow down and the timing is
right we can set a date with her!! We were also able to see Loren and
his daughter Tenzen. Not sure if I told you this, but Loren has
Leukemia, so his health hasn't been that great. He was able to make it
to church this sunday which we were thrilled! He is a great guy we
keeps enduring and doing his very best. It has been so nice to meet
with him. We have several others that we are working with that are in
the wood work and hopefully will see some progress with them. We have
been working on finding more new investigators that will progress
towards baptism!

On weds we went on an exchange with Canyon Creek Elders. I stayed in
Canby with Elder Vincent and we had several miracles!! 1st miracle...I
didn't get lost...ok maybe once or twice ;) thank goodness for a GPS!
Makes life a little easier especially being in a new area for only 3
and 1/2 weeks! It was fun!  2nd miracle: while contacting several
potentials we knocked on a answer...we knocked again and a
lady opened a window nearby and asked what she could do for us. At
first I was uneasy because it is kinda strange that someone would
answer the door through a window (I guess it is an Oregon thing ;) and
when someone usually does that they yell or scream at us to go away,
but she was the sweetest lady! Her name was Dezelee and she was
babysitting her young grandkids. She told us to call her "Granny," and
we had a great conversation and hit things off well. She had several
family members that were members and she was very religious herself.
She loves what we do and was the sweetest thing. We gave her a book of
mormon and then shared about how the gospel blesses our families. We
tied how the gospel blesses families with some of the stories from the
book of mormon with Lehi and his family while leaving Jerusalem and
the great love that he had for his family and the Lord. We then shared
the many blessings and good things that came to his family as he kept
the commandments and followed our heavenly father. We also explained
how the book of mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. She was
thrilled to read it. She already believed it was true before she even
opened it up!!! She told us that she sets time out of her day to read
from the bible and said that she would LOVE to read the book of mormon
as well. She is a "seeker," and there is so much potential there. We
exchanged numbers and will be following up with her this week to set
up a time to meet with her! We were super excited!!! I know that we
are not alone in this work, that the Lord is with us every step of the
way and that as we listen to the spirit and open our mouths that they
will be filled and that we will be able to share the gospel to
EVERYONE that we meet. I absolutely LOVE sharing this wonderful
gospel. Although it might take me a hundred doors to knock or a
hundred names to contact, IT IS WORTH IT! "The worth of souls is great
in the sight of God." I know that our joy can be great as we embark in
the service of our God.
Another excited thing that happened this 
week was on Halloween. I was able to go back to Hillsboro for Siana's baptism!!!!!! It was fantastic!!! So happy that I could go! Best way to celebrate a holiday is to have a baptism!!!! ;) It was so nice to see and congratulate her as well as see so many of the members in the Cornell ward that I love and miss!! The baptism was great...the spirit was so strong. I am so proud of Siana! She is a honest seeker and has been solid throughout the entire experience. She had a desire to learn more and it has been a real treat to watch her as she has grown. What an example she is to me. So proud of her!!!

So you are all probably wondering what I did for 
Halloween...well I pretty much celebrated it the entire week: scaring missionaries, members, and attempted to scare my companion (failed every time ;(...), going around trick or treating (no trick, just the treat of the gospel ;)...) and partying it up every day! We had a ward "Harvest Festival," on Friday where we had a chili cook off, and passed out candy to the kids. Had a great turnout of members and non-members! Later that night after planning, Elder Smith and I made our "Haunted House," ....we did a pretty good job if I do say so myself ;) (pictures included) Then on Saturday after the baptism I was able to stay in Hillsboro and go to a Halloween party at the Dewey's with other missionary's from my previous zone. It was so good to see them!!! I love and miss them loads!!!! We enjoyed plenty of food, games, and laughs. We played catch phrase and several other games....sorry I forgot the names! :) ha It was crazy though because it was pouring down so much this year that we hardly had any Trick-or-Treaters show up there...we had so much candy left over! It was an eventful Halloween that I will remember for years to come!!
'Tis almost The Season!
That was my week in a nutshell! I can't tell you how much I love being a full-time missionary...what is nice is that I can keep this love going even after my mission...I don't need a name tag to be a missionary! ;) Now for a short thought for the week: So I have started to read all of the talks from this past conference and their was one that really stood out to me. It is titled, "The Joy of Living a Christ-Centered Life," by Elder Maynes. It compares life to a potters spinning wheel and how we are the clay and Christ is the potter. In order for Christ to mold us in the person we were meant to be we need to be center upon him (center upon the wheel). Here is a short bit from his talk: "...The world in which we live is similar to the potter’s spinning wheel, and the speed of that wheel is increasing. Like the clay on the potter’s wheel, we must be centered as well. Our core, the center of our lives, must be Jesus Christ and His gospel. Living a Christ-centered life means we learn about Jesus Christ and His gospel and then we follow His example and keep His commandments. If our lives are centered in Jesus Christ, He can successfully mold us into who we need to be in order to return to His and Heavenly Father’s presence in the celestial kingdom. The joy we experience in this life will be in direct proportion to how well our lives are centered on the teachings, example, and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ..." As we center our lives around Christ he can sculpt us into the celestial beings we were meant to become. We need to put our trust in him, in our struggles, and trials and believe that good things will come as we do our very best (they will;). I know that as I have placed Christ in the center of my life that I have been able to feel so much joy and happiness. That joy and happiness is available to each of us. I love my savior. I know that he lives and loves us. I know that we can do all things as we trust in him and in his atonement. Fear diminishes and hope increases as we center our lives on Jesus Christ. I hope that everyone had a wonderful Halloween! Keep on keeping on! Have an amazing week! Own it! ;) I LOVE YOU! Elder Shaw