Monday, January 25, 2016

Aloha Aiga! (Aiga is family in Samoa)

This past week flew by again....crazy! Just a brief update:

Darrell and Drew are still set for their dates in Feb (6th and 27th).
We had to push Fabian's back due to conflicts with his wife. He really
wants to be baptized and wants her support. We are praying that her
heart will be softened. We are going to have a lesson with the
Sifuentez family at the Talley's on Weds. We are looking forward to it
since both family's have so much in common. They will hit if off
great! :)

We had several miracles this week! We were able to teach 24 lessons
We are so pumped! We are now officially teaching Tracy at the Morehouse's 
(their daughter), Jessie Floyd in Nancy and Corey Crums home, and several
others who we are super pumped to start teaching and setting lessons
up in members homes! We are working really hard to have a constant
''Escalator'' instead of an ''Elevator'' with our teaching pool.
Hopefully we will be able to set some dates with Lucy, Tracy, Casey,
and Jessie here real soon! The Lord has blessed us so much! We also
had 5 investigators at church!! :) Hard work does pay off in the long
run I just know it!!!

The Villalobos family and AJ, an investigator
 that we have been teaching in their home.
This week we were able to have a World Wide Mission Devotional over
"Repentance Unto Baptism: Baptize Converts." It was great! Learned a
lot! Whenever you have no idea what to say to others when sharing the
gospel, just testify of our Savior Jesus Christ. The following day we
had our Zone Conference and guess what the topic was?? "Repentance
Unto Baptism." Pretty cool! This whole week's theme has been
"Repentance Unto Baptism!" While teaching our investigators without
even realizing it, we have brought up repentance. Through repentance
we invite others to act so that they can qualify for the blessings of
heaven through their faith. It is the only way. Change may be a
difficult thing, but it is the only way that we can return to live
with our Heavenly Father again. We are learning our way back to

I hope that this e mail finds you all healthy and happy. I am so
grateful for your continuous love and support!

Recently I have started to re-read the Book of Mormon and have
absolutely loved it!! I have been trying to memorize some scriptures
that stand out to me and I have loved the experience. My challenge
that I would like to issue this week is to memorize the last 2
paragraphs in the introduction in the Book of Mormon:

"We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in
their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal
Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue
this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and
divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)

Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come
to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the
world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last
days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the
Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the
Second Coming of the Messiah."

This is our invitation to the entire world: To read from the Book of
Mormon and to ask God if the book is true! May we read and feast on
its pages and invite others to do the same. I know that we can come
closer to our father in heaven and our savior by reading from it
daily. I am so grateful for this wonderful gospel. It is such a
blessing in my life. I love sharing it with everyone that I meet. :)

I hope you all have a great week!

All my love and more,
Elder Shaw

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Happy MLK Day! Can't believe that we are almost done with January...

This past week flew by. We went on exchanges with our District leaders from Weds-Friday. I stayed in Canby and was with Elder Hill (from the Canby 2nd ward), and Elder Frost (from the OC 5th ward). They went great! We taught a lot of lessons, volunteered at the Food Bank, and knocked on doors and contacted some of our potentials. We found 4 new potentials and had several interesting conversations with people. It was really fun!! I love the people here! So down to earth and very polite and nice (for the most part). We were able to set up an appointment with a part member family the Gonzales and Bishop family. They are less active. Sister Bishop lives with her parents (Gonzales) with her 3 children who aren't members: Shay 16, Dallas 12, and Belle 6. We had a great lesson with them on Sunday and they are planning on coming to church. We are working with the YM and YW leaders to help the kids come to mutual and develop friendships in the ward. We hope to see success here real soon and hope to set dates with the kids some time in March, but as for now we will help the family come to church and develop friendships in the ward. Another wonderful family.

We have been getting referrals from members like crazy here!!! It's been awesome! They have been catching the fire!!! YAHOOO! We contacted another family who lives next to members. The dad, Brian, let us in (probs because it was raining cats and dogs). We had a great conversation with him and his son Wyatt about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration of the gospel and how it can answer life's tough questions. They seem solid. We will be working with their next door neighbors (Meads) to see if they would be interested in having discussions in their home. We are excited! 

Also, we are beginning to teach AJ and Sam (goes by chunky), at the Villalobos's home. AJ is one of Carlos's friends who we will pass off to the YSA Elders since he is YSA age, and Chunky is Yvette's brother who is currently living with them. They are great! We will see how things go. They will take some time though which is quite alright! :) 

I hope and pray that I stay in Canby for 1 more transfer! I feel good about it and I would love to see and help those that we are teaching and starting to teach progress and be baptized. We shall see. What ever happens will be for the best! I know that God knows exactly what we need and that his timing is perfect. I love being one of his full time servants and to share his word with everyone that I meet whether it be a smile, a compliment, service, or bearing testimony...I love it! :)

Fabian, Darrell, and Drew are still on tract for their baptismal dates! Also, we had a wonderful lesson with Casey last Monday. We committed her to a soft baptismal date!!!!! YAHOOO! We committed her to read more from the Book of Mormon and to ask our Heavenly Father if it is true...we all know the outcome!! ;) We are super excited! 

Tracy, the Morehouse's daughter, finally sold her house and is living with them now. We will resume teaching her hopefully this week and help her progress towards baptism! So many good things are happening! I know that obedience can bring miracles!!! We are so blessed!

I hope that you all had a wonderful week this past week. I hope that this week will be even better! It is all with your attitude! :) I love this gospel for it brings knowledge, hope, and understanding to our lives. I also know that as we show gratitude to our Heavenly Father for the many things that he has given us that we will be more happy and upbeat. 

I would like to share a Journal Entry from my Great Grandmother, Donna Thompson. She says, "If I were to give my best advice to my grandchildren I would say: For them to have complete Joy and Happiness. The key to happiness can be found in two tiny words, BE THANKFUL, BE GRATEFUL for what you have, be it great or small and you will be happy. Don't let weeks slip by without taking time out to count your many blessings. The way to keep your blessings is to be thankful for them. Start and end each day with prayer. Give thanks to our Heavenly Father for all of your many blessings. Be thankful for the gospel, priesthood, church, leaders, the atonement, for the good homes and family. Appreciate your ability to walk, see, think, hear, speak, smell, and feel. Don't contaminate your mind with evil thoughts, envy, strife, hate and revenge. Keep your body clean, pure, and virtuous. Let the Lord know you love him for all these blessings and live each hour of the day with realization that the Savior is standing at your side. I want my children and grandchildren to know that I have a strong and burning testimony of the gospel, that our Heavenly Father lives, that he does and answer our prayers that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, just as our prophet today. If we will listen to their counsel and inspired teachings, we will be happy. I am thankful for each of you, and the joy and happiness that you have brought into my life."

I love my great grandma and I am so grateful for her inspiring words. May we live in thanksgiving daily. I know that as I have tried to do so that I am a lot more happier and I am able to see the lords hand in my life everyday, for his hands are in our lives every day. I am able to cope with my challenges and to press forward. As we express gratitude and show our thankfulness by the way we live we will receive the strength we need to overcome all of our obstacles. We will be able to focus on the needs of others and to serve with our hearts, might, mind, and strength. We can become the beings that our Heavenly Father designed us to be. We are so blessed...

I am so grateful for each of you and for your love and support. You are a blessing in my life and in the lives of others. I hope that you all have a fantastic week!

With Mucho Love,
Elder Shaw 

Monday, January 11, 2016


Well this week came and left. I swear that time keeps going
faster and faster....I don't like it!!

We had several miracles happen this week!! Fabian Sifuentez  is
getting baptized on Jan 30th! We are so excited for him! So we have
his baptism on the 30th, Darrell Miller's baptism on Feb 6th, and Drew
Talley's baptism on Feb 27th!! We are all super excited and thrilled!!
The ward is pumped and are actively doing more missionary work!! It
has been a neat experience to watch with how different the ward treats
the missionary's feels like we are celebs! :/ Everyone has
been so nice and helpful toward us. We are so grateful!! The Lord has
blessed us with so much! I love having the opportunity to be an
instrument in the lords hands! What a blessing!

This past week we have been busy teaching, finding, and attending
several different meetings. We had interviews with President on Weds!
I love President and Sister Ballard! They are simply incredible! So
grateful to have the opportunity to work closely with them! I asked
President if I could stay in Canby for 1 more transfer with all of the
good things happening....we shall see how things go....keep your
fingers crossed! ;)

I love working and being companions with Elder Katieli! We work hard
and have so much fun!!! It has already been 2 weeks and we already
have so many inside jokes! Hahaha!

On Weds after interviews, President asked if he could come with us to
a lesson! I was super excited, but a little nervous...We taught Fabian
the gospel of Jesus Christ and committed him to be baptized on Jan 30!
The Lord prepared him!!! He told us that before we came that he was
thinking a lot about repentance and baptism. He heard a voice telling
him to let things go and to be baptized!!! What an answer to prayers!
The lesson was incredible! The spirit was so strong...there wasn't a
dry eye in the room. Afterwords, President Ballard told us that we did
a great job...he even shared the experience with our leadership
meeting on Friday (MLC). It was all the spirit! I LOVE this work!!
After MLC on Friday we then took Fabian and is nephew Steven to the Temple and the Visitors Center! They loved it! It is always so wonderful to be on the grounds of the temple! All of our investigators are doing amazing! Such an honor to work with them and watch them learn and grow! Even more of an honor to have the privileged of working with them from the very beginning of their journey! ;) Oh and some more exciting news that we learned at MLC...Not only is our zone doing amazing, but the mission is picking up!! Usually in a month we have 14 December we had 35!!!!! Just need to keep things up, progressing and moving forward, and be humble!! There is so much excitement in this mission! ;) Things are doing great! Sorry for keeping it brief this week and not going into too much detail. We have a couple of lessons today so I promise that next week I will do better! Here is a short thought from one of my favorite prophets President Gordon B. Hinckley: "If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God. … The Lord will not forsake us.” May we keep our shoulder to the wheel and press forward, putting our trust in God...I know that he loves us and will NEVER leave us comfortless. We need to come unto him and abound in his love! I love you all and I am so grateful for your love and support!! Have an incredible week! Love, Elder Shaw

Our Zone is doing great! So proud of them! We gotta keep it up! ;)

Chilling on P-Day! 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year!!! 

Hope everyone had a wonderful week and are looking forward to an 
incredible year! 

Our New Years Eve and Day were chill. We tried to keep busy by
teaching and finding some new people to teach. We were also able to go
over to the Reed's after dinner and play apples to apples. It was a
nice day...nothing too crazy. Same old, same old...just another day as
a missionary! :)

This past week has been crazy! I have loved it so much. It flew by so
fast...I can't believe that another week has come and gone. :/

I love being companions with Elder Katieli again! He is such a hard
worker and shows and gives service to everyone. He is here to
serve...I love it and love him. I haven't laughed this much in a week
in a while. We already have so many inside jokes and it has only been
a week! I am sure that there will be more to come! So grateful for the
opportunity to work with him in the Canby 1st area.

Had a great week this past week! We were able to teach Casey at the
Poe's. She agreed to come to church again this past Sunday! She is
progressing little by little. We then were able to have lessons with
Fabian, Lucy, and Steven (Fabian's nephew) on Tues and Weds! They were
so good! We taught about the plan of salvation and committed them to
go with us to the temple for a tour of the grounds and the visitors
center. They are coming along...hopefully we can set 3 more dates
soon...Fabian is so close and Lucy is following behind with Steven. I
love them so much! We will be teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ with
them this Weds and going to the temple with them on Sat. I hope and
pray that the spirit will prick their hearts so that they will have a
desire to be baptized. They also agreed to come to church this Sunday.
We are working hard with Lucy to get her comfortable with going to
church since she was raised Catholic and she feels like if she goes to
our church that she would be dis-honoring her family. She is getting
close. We will be going on a church tour soon! :) We were then also
able to teach Darrell this past week. We had in our plans to teach him
the word of wisdom which we were a bit nervous about since he drinks a
lot of coffee. It was so cool. We talked about what we should and
shouldn't do and how our bodies are temples that house our spirits and
when we came up to not drinking coffee and tea he said, "oh no! I need
to stop doing that so I can be ready to be baptized!" We were all
amazed! Then, he being a 74 year old man, grabbed his coffee and
poured it down the sink!!! Right in front of us!!! Talk about being
prepared by the Lord! What an example of faith that he showed! It was
so neat and so cool! He promised us that he would no longer drink
coffee. We are so proud of him!! He is doing incredible! Here we come
Feb 6th!! :) update with Drew Talley. We had a couple of lessons with him
this past week and he brought up to us that he would like to get
baptized on Feb 27th!!! YAY!!! We are super excited and proud of him!
We are now making sure that he is getting taught all the lessons so he
can be ready for that date! The ward, his family, and of course us,
are super excited and pumped!!! :)

So the weather here in Canby and in the Portland area has been
cold...IT SNOWED ON SUNDAY!!! I was shocked!!! After studies I looked
out the window and screamed!! I couldn't believe my eyes..was I
actually seeing snow??? Canby was shut down! Since Portland doesn't
have the tools or the capabilities to plow the roads the entire City,
and nearby cities, were closed...(no Oregonians know how to drive in
the snow:) The snow on the roads mixed with the cold and rain caused
the roads to be very slippery and icy. All of the mission cars in the
entire mission was to be "grounded" until further notice. We then
called the Stake President on Sunday to let him know and he told us
that Church has been cancelled...NOOOOOOOOOO! We were so bummed. We
had all of our investigators coming: Casey, Paul, Drew, Darrell,
Fabian and possibly Steven....we then had to call them all and tell
them that because of the snow and the danger of the roads that we had
to cancel church for this week. :( We then took the time (since we had
to stay in our apartments) to set up appointments, clean, organize,
and get things in working condition. It was great to get some extra
things done and to have some extra time for studies and
games=>monopoly deal for days! We then were able to walk over to our
dinner appointment around 5:30. While heading for dinner we ran into
this woman named Rose. She was super nice, but was trying to bible
bash us as nicely as she could...she was crazy. At first I was totally
oblivious to her attacks until my companion told me that she was try
to bash us. We didn't fight with her, but left her with our number and
bore testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and then
helped her empty things from her car. It was a good experience for me
because although she wasn't interested we were able to still be
friends and to to express our love for her.

So a funny for this week...after weekly planning we received a food
drop and with it was a Christmas cake. Elder Katieli and I have been
sugared out so what did we do with a perfectly good cake??? CAKE
WARS!! HAHA! Elder Katieli wanted me to smash it in his face! I did
and of course he got me back! It was so funny!!! I will see if I can
send the video home! It has been an awesome week!

Today our cars are still grounded until further notice so for P-day we
will be taking it easy. Hopefully get a nap in! ;)

I love you all and hope that you have an amazing week! Hopefully you
all were able to make and write down some personal new year

I was reading a talk titled, "Of Regrets and Resolutions," by
President Uchtdorf. I loved what he said:

"It is my testimony that many of the deepest regrets of tomorrow can
be prevented by following the Savior today. If we have sinned or made
mistakes--if we have made choices that we now regret--there is the
precious gift of Christ’s Atonement, through which we can be forgiven.
We cannot go back in time and change the past, but we can repent. The
Savior can wipe away our tears of regret and remove the burden of our
sins. His Atonement allows us to leave the past behind and move
forward with clean hands, a pure heart, and a determination to do
better and especially to become better."

May we set goals and work hard on achieving them. May we move forward
with a steadfastness in Christ!! I know that if there is a will that
there is always a way. Our Heavenly Father wants us to succeed and
gave us his son Jesus Christ so we will succeed. Please take the time
to write down some meaningful goals for 2016 and work hard to achieve
them! I know that we can do all things through Christ for he truly
strengthens us!

Have a wonderful week! Know that you are loved, cared, and appreciated!

Love you!
Elder Shaw