Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Hey mom dad and my beautiful sisters! Things have been crazy over
here....opening up a new area is sooooo much work! Wow! We have been
going non stop and aren't even close of getting settled in. We have
been spending our p day running errands and trying to get things set
up. It has been hectic, BUT oh how amazing it has been!!

My son is from Houston Texas, Elder Jacob Valentine!!! I LOVE HIM!!!!
It is so weird how I don't really know him well, but I just love him
and would do anything for him. We had little time yesterday to drive
to our area to tract and he seems very solid. He is neat, clean, a
hard worker, obedient, and diligent. I am so lucky!! We have been
running around like chickens with their heads cut off, but we have
been having so much fun! Hopefully we will be able to get more settled
in by the end of this week. Right now we are living with the sunset
hill elders: elders Prestgard and Anderson (I have been their zone
leader ever since they were babies in the mission! So cool to continue
to serve with them!!).

We have nobody to teach, yep starting new. Please pray with us that we
will find families to teach! It is a little different here. The area
is tough with a lot of money etc. WE CAN DO HARD THINGS! Just taking
things day by day. :) No sweat! 😉

I love you all!!!
Happy Monday to one and all!

I am getting transferred! I have loved Canby sooo much and have grown
in several ways. I will now have a greater opportunity to grow even

I AM TRAINING A BRAND NEW MISSIONARY!!!  I will be opening up a new
area, yep starting from ground zero! Blank areabook yikes! :/
#knowNobody I will be sharing a ward with the skyline sisters and will
be a district leader over Oak Hills Elders and Sisters, Skyline
Sisters, and Sunset Hills Elders. I am super excited and boy or boy do
I feel a bit overwhelmed...BUT THE LORD WILL QUALIFY ME! I am so
grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow...I AM SOOO EXCITED!

My Greenie and I will have our P-Day on Tues so I will be able to
update you more! I love you all and hope that you had a great Easter!

All my love and more!!!!!!!! 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy (Almost) Easter!

I will try to keep it short this week! ;) 

Things have been going well. It is crazy...the days go by fast, the weeks go by faster, and the months go by within a blink of an eye!!! I am trying to keep up and doing my best to give these last 4 months EVERYTHING I got!! I can't believe how fast time has gone...all the experiences I have learned though, have made my mission feel like my entire life. It is crazy how much you grow if you lose yourself in is work. It isn't easy, but it is always worth it. 

The work in our zone has been picking up. The missionary's are buckling down and are working hard on finding more people to teach and working with the members more. So many wonderful and faithful members here. I have LOVED rubbing  shoulders with them and have learned a lot from their example and love. They are family to me and I have loved serving them. It's going to be very hard to say "see you later."

We had several cancellations with our investigators this past week due to illness. Tis the season...:( We were able to have several successful lessons with our less actives and some of our other investigators though. Here are some of the teaching highlights for the week:

We were able to meet with Hari, our Indian dude. He is so smart and very funny. I love the way he talks haha. We had a great lesson with him. We made sure that he understood very clearly why Jesus Christ came to the earth and why he performed the atonement. We also read the living Christ with him and talked about baptism. He agreed to be baptized, but first he wants to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know. :) He is doing great!

We were also able to meet with Jeana Dahle and with Kelly, her boyfriend who isn't a member. He said that he loves it when we come over because of the "good energy" he feels. He asked us some questions and then out of nowhere, Jeana asked him if he would like to take the missionary discussions! It was so awesome! We will be teaching them the discussions together. We are all super excited. :)

We are still working with Jessie with setting a date...SHE IS SOOOO CLOSE!! She is still praying for a date and is doing incredible. We were also able to see Fabian and Lucy Sifuentez. It has been a while....oh how I miss them. Lucy, for now, isn't interested in learning, but Fabian is and loves our discussions. We will be keeping tabs with them and will be there especially for Lucy when her heart is softened to teach and help her the best we can. Such a wonderful family...I love them lots! The Lords timing is perfect though! 

This week we were also able to provide lots of service. Since the housing market is skyrocketing here in Canby, prices have been going up like crazy. Due to higher prices, several people have had to move. We have had to help a lot of members move this past week. Sad to see them go. We were also able to help out with the monthly "Ivy Pull," this past Saturday. Let's just say that spring has sprung here in Oregon! Oh my gosh has it been beautiful! The air is sooo delicious and crisp. Everything is green and there are so many flowers...dang I am spoiled rotten! So thankful to be serving here in the beautiful Portland Oregon Mission. 

It has been a wonderful week! 

Crazy how Easter is already here! I have been able to prepare and ponder this Easter Season and really focus on the atonement of Jesus Christ, specifically the resurrection. In my personal studies I came across a conference talk titled, "The Resurrection of Jesus Christ," in the April 2014 General Conference by Elder D. Todd Christofferson. I LOVED IT! It illustrates how our savior Jesus Christ IS the Only Begotten Son of the Father and all of the truths that are possible because he was resurrected.   

"...If Jesus was in fact literally resurrected, it necessarily follows that He is a divine being. No mere mortal has the power in himself to come to life again after dying. Because He was resurrected, Jesus cannot have been only a carpenter, a teacher, a rabbi, or a prophet. Because He was resurrected, Jesus had to have been a God, even the Only Begotten Son of the Father. Therefore, what He taught is true; God cannot lie. Therefore, He was the Creator of the earth, as He said. Therefore, heaven and hell are real, as He taught. Therefore, there is a world of spirits, which He visited after His death. Therefore, He will come again, as the angels said, and “reign personally upon the earth." Therefore, there is a resurrection and a final judgment for all..."

I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and for this wonderful opportunity to be reminded of one of his gifts to us: Resurrection. I know that we will all be resurrected one day and we will be able to see our loved ones and families again. I know that my redeemer lives! May we follow him today and find new life. 

I love you all so very much. I hope that you have a marvelous Easter! Always remember that you are loved...someone is there who took upon himself your sins, someone who laid his life down for you, and someone who knows you perfectly. He was resurrected and in doing so made it possible for all of us to be resurrected. Hallelujah! 

With Love,
Elder Shaw

Monday, March 14, 2016

Happy St. Pats!

So I wanted to start off by telling you a funny and highlight of my morning. We were helping the Ganirs move (moving to Idaho before they go on another mission to the Philipines...they will be missed), and while doing so we had to drop off their washer and dryer to Sister Salway (a member in our ward) this morning at 7:15. We went with brother Radford and brother Ganir and were able to drop off the washer and dryer and then move Sister Salway's old washer and dryer over to the DI pod at the church. While doing so there were 4 cop cars outside of the house. I didn't know this. Brother Ganir and I were cleaning the floor where the laundry appliances use to be in preparation to place the newer one, and Elder Hintz and Elder Katieli were outside loading the old washer and dryer in the truck. So I guess that Sister Salway's next door neighbor called the cops telling them that Elder Hintz and Elder Katieli were theifs stealing things from her next door neighbor. :/ We heard a knock on the door so I answered it thinking it was my companions and a cop walked in....What the heck is going on???? Then we talked to him and the whole thing was settled. Afterwords, Elders Katieli and Hintz told me that they had to put their hands up and show their ID's to the officers, and were almost arrested...:/ We had a good laugh this morning. :) 

While we were moving, I received a phone call from one of my investigators in Aloha when I served in the Hazeldale Ward. Logan was going to be baptized, but something happened and we had to postpone his date. After I left we had little contact. The last thing I knew was that he was having a hard time and was refusing to meet with the missionary's. He called me this morning and told me that he was going to be baptized on April 9th 2016 and that he wanted me to baptize him...WOW. I was doing my best to hold back tears...crazy how much the Lord blesses us...NO effort is ever wasted in the service of the Lord. So many tender mercies. So many blessings...my heart is full. 
Helping the Ganirs
This week was another great week! Trio life has been a lot easier and I am finally getting more comfortable with it (that's when you know a transfer is coming). We were able to meet with several part member families. After FHE with the Talley's on Monday (btw Drew is doing AMAZING), we had FHE with the Smith family: Craig, Carol, Hannah, and Haley; and FHE with the Whelchel family. We were able to set up a time on Sat to help the Smith's paint their baseboards in prep for them selling the house. We were able to get in with the Whelchel family which, in itself, is a miracle we were told (the Whelchel family has been super anti with the church in the past). Both are amazing families and we look forward to working with them. 

This week we were able to a few more investigators. We have been meeting with an Indian dude, Hari. He is soooo funny! We had a lesson with him on Weds and he had all three of us rolling on the floor laughing. He is very nice and has a lot of knowledge about the church. It is hard for him to come to church each week, but we will keep working with him. We have also been able to work with Connie Owens. I love her, but she is way crazy. She drills us with crazy questions and has some strange comments, but I can feel her sweet spirit and her sincerity. We will be bringing our very own Sassie O'Sullivan, one of our ward missionarys, to meet with her. Sassie has a big religious background and is around Connie's age. They should hit it off well! :)

An quick update with Jessie: she is still praying for a date. She is soooo solid and every lesson we have with her has been incredible. It is only a matter of time! :)  Tracy has been doing well. She was able to stay for 2/3 hrs of church instead of the 1/3. Baby steps, but she is coming along. We had Jessie, Tracy, Paul, and AJ at ward conference this past Sunday. Paul is getting close with setting a date. He meets with the Stake presidency this week! 

We have had a lot of success with some of our less actives we have been teaching. Loren Shepard is doing great. We had a lesson with him and his daughter Tenzin (non-member) on Thurs. His grandmother passed away recently so we had planned to teach about the Resurrection. We were on exchanges that day. I was with Elder Carl and it was crazy. Right after we said the opening prayer I felt the prompting to teach the Plan of Salvation. I didn't feel prepared at all, but we followed the prompting and opened our mouths. The lesson was incredible. Tenzin really enjoyed it and it kept her focus and answered a lot of her questions. Even Loren loved it! Super lesson. We were also able to take Cathy and Eva Smith (daughter and mother) to the Visitor Center for a lesson and gave them a tour of the temple. They LOVED IT! It was beautiful! The flowers were in bloom and their were cherry blossom trees everywhere. It makes all of the rain worth it here!! At the end of our lesson Cathy promised us to come to church on Easter which we very big for her because she hasn't gone to church in several years! We are excited!

On Sunday we were able to present the "Covenant Path," to our ward counsel. We showed that it is a way that we can help them fulfill their callings. THEY LOVED IT! It was so funny they were all like, "When can we start? Could we start this week?" It was sooo cool to watch the ward really support us. It has been a treat to watch as the ward has had more trust in us. Super exciting!

Soooo everyone in the ward thinks that I am going home in 2 weeks...I don't know why or if it is a good thing? After thinking about why I was able to figure out a possible conclusion: We are in a trio, which rarely happens unless someone is going home or leaving early, and the past 4 elders ended their missions in the Canby 1st ward. I have no idea. I love the members here so much! It is going to be sooo hard to leave this ward. They are in my heart. Brother Reed went up to me during priesthood on Sunday and made me get all emotional. He was talking to me how he knows that I have given my mission everything I have and that I will be able to look back on these 2 years with no regrets....ughhhhhhh it is soooooo hard I hate this. My mission is coming to a close soo fast and I don't like it! So much joy is found in serving others. I am going to leave everything I have here and finish my last 4 and 1/2 months stronger than I have ever been. It is the best and worst thing ever. So many mixed feelings....hard to sort through them all. Easy solution: full-time missionary's for life! :)

Oh I almost forgot! Our zone was able to perform in an Easter concert in the stake on Sunday. It was an amazing experience. I enjoyed singing and feeling of the beautiful spirit. Music can heal our souls! 

Well that was the highlights for the week. I hadn't realized how much I write until I am about to send it...SORRY! #MyEmailAreNovels ;/ You know me, just sooo many things to say. Ahaha

I would like to end off with a scripture in 1 Nephi 13:37 

"And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be."

I love each of you and I am so grateful for your love, prayers, and support. We are accomplishing this mission together.

Have a great week!

With love,
Elder Shaw 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Happy March!

Well Oregon is Green! :)

This past week was pretty exciting! On Tues we had our zone meeting.
It went very well. We had our training and practice on working with
members and did some training on member referral lessons. I LOVE
working with members! It's one of my favorite ways to find new
investigators. We were able to help the zone by giving them the tools
they need to gain the members trust and to receive referrals from the
members. We shall see how things go this week. Hopefully the
companionships in the zone are applying what they have been taught. It
has been nice to be in a trio because  one of us are able to "shadow"
different companionships in the zone to help train them in their
areas. It helps the water meet at the end of the row. Our zone has
been struggling recently. With new missionary's moved around in the
zone we have had to set the standard again and lay down the hammer.
Hopefully we will see more progress and help the zone start baptizing

On weds we were able to meet with Bishop Leder to discuss the
"Covenant Path." In a nut shell the Covenant Path consists of 5 steps:

        1. Once every other month each member of the Ward Council hosts the
full- time     missionaries on a Sunday and accompanies them on visits
sometime during that week.
        2. The Bishop, or a member of the bishopric visits the investigator
within 48 Hours of setting a Baptismal Date. The Bishop immediately
assigns visiting teachers and home teachers as fellowshippers.
        3. Ward Council Members and Ward Missionaries visit less-active
members within their stewardship as part of their visits with the
full-time missionaries.
        4. Missionaries introduce the investigator to the Family History
Consultant to begin genealogy work no later than the third lesson.
Within a week of baptism, the Family History Consultant works with the
Investigator to prepare family names for the temple.
        5. Ward missionaries plan visits to accompany the full-time
missionaries three times each month for a two-hour block that agrees
with the schedule of the Ward missionary. They will visit less-active
members, nonmember families, active member families and others whom
the Ward Missionary has been preparing to receive the gospel.

The "Covenant Path," helps missionary's work closely with members of
the ward counsel to find people to teach. Not only does it help new
converts stay active, but It helps missionary's and members unite in
missionary work!! It is amazing! This coming Sunday in ward counsel,
Bishop Leder asked us to do a little presentation to help the tires
meet the road so we can help increase the missionary efforts in the
Canby 1st ward. So many great things are headed underway! Super

We had an incredible lesson with Jessie Floyd this past week at Corey
and Nancy Crum's house. We were able to met up with sister Crum before
the lesson to help prepare her for the lesson. We felt very strongly
that sister Crum needed to extend the commitment to be baptized to
Jessie so we were able to "role play" with her to help build her
confidence. The lesson was incredible! The spirit was so strong. There
wasn't a dry eye in the room. Sister Crum extended the commitment for
her to be baptized on April 16th. Jessie said that she wants to pray
about it first and that she will get back to us at our next lesson on
Tues. It was an amazing experience! She was able to come to church
this past Sunday (along with Tracy :) and really enjoyed it! She is
what you call a "dry Mormon." ;) Hopefully we will set a date with her
this week!

Thursday we had our wonderful Temple Trip and GUESS WHAT!?! I saw so
many members from the Hazeldale ward!! It is so cool how every single
time I go to the temple I ALWAYS run into people I know. I was able to
see Brother and Sister Orr, Brother Fisher, and Sister Lemmons from
the Hazeldale ward! So nice to talk with them and to catch up! Brother
and Sister Orr asked me where I was currently serving and they told me
that they have someone that they want me to visit in Canby!! YAY
REFERRALS!!! :) It was an incredible experience! I love to go to the
temple! There is always such a special spirit there and I always leave
more uplifted and edified! It truly is "heaven on earth."

Thursday afternoon we were able to have a lesson with Tracy which went
very well. She was able to come to church this past Sunday and it was
so awesome. Brother Morehouse bore his testimony. It was so sweet and
tender and it was so cool to have one of his daughters there with him
to feel of the spirit. We were able to talk to her afterwords and she
said that she absolutely LOVED church! She is doing so well. She is
being a missionary herself! Her ex-husband is having a tough time
right now. Tracy invited her ex over for us to share a message about
the atonement with him and give him (Erik) a blessing. It was an
amazing experience. So many miracles! Some time in the near future the
missionary will be able to teach him if he is still interested. The
church is true!

Friday we were able to do a double exchange with our district leaders.
Elder Hill and Elder Mugleston came over to Canby 1st with Elder
Hintz, Elder Katieli went to OC and I went over to Canby 2nd with
Elder Garfield. So the Canby 2nd Elders car was in the shop so Elder
Garfield and I walk EVERYWHERE! We walked 15 miles on Friday! We hit
up so many potentials, former's, and knocked on a lot of doors. No one
was interested, BUT we had such a fun time! Elder Garfield is so fun!
We had so many funny moments! While we were walking to dinner we
stopped by a family outside doing yard work and asked if we could help
and the lady pretended to act like we weren't there. It was so
sad....so while she was acting very rude to us, her ladder that she
was carrying hit a hanging bird bath and water went all over her.
Without hesitation I yelled "oh no! Are you ok?" The funny part was
that she was acting like nothing happened, yet she was sooo
embarrassed because she was sooo soaked. I couldn't help but chuckle a
little bit. :/

GUESS WHO I SAW IN CANBY?? While Elder Garfield and I were street
contacting and was talking to a lady who ended up not being
interested, there was a lady who ran over to us and yelled, "ELDERS!"
We flipped around and saw Linda LaPlant from the Moreland ward waving
and yelling at us. She saw me and yelled, "OH MY GOSH ITS ELDER
SHAW!!" and ran up to me and gave me a hug.  I was so shocked! It
turned out that she was visiting one of her clients in "hope village"
(assistive living) and saw us on the street and had to stop by and say
hi. So cool! So nice to see some old faces from previous areas. So
blessed to have a small mission where we can see each other often. It
was another highlight this week! :)

On Saturday we were able to do a lot of yard work for some of the
Elderly members in the Canby 2nd ward. It was a lot of fun and it was
sooo nice to be out in the sun providing some service.

It was a great week! Was able to get a lot done and had a lot of fun.
Again...I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!! It is going to be so hard to take
f this badge, BUT I will always have one on my heart! This work is

These past couple of weeks have been hard. It is crazy how you can
have so many people you love around you, yet feel so alone. I couldn't
imagine how the savior felt in the garden when Heavenly Father left
him alone to take on the sins and pains of the world. I could only
imagine...I am so happy for the knowledge that I have that I will
never have to be alone. Prayer has gained more meaning to me. It is
such a comfort to me. I am able to feel more at peace inside even when
I feel like everything is falling apart around me. I was able to read
a talk by President Thomas S. Monson titled, "You Never Walk Alone."
It was an answer to my prayers. I loved the poem that he shared:

 "I know not by what methods rare,
But this I know, God answers prayer.
I know that He has given His Word,
Which tells me prayer is always heard,
And will be answered, soon or late.
And so I pray and calmly wait.
I know not if the blessing sought
Will come in just the way I thought;
But leave my prayers with Him alone,
Whose will is wiser than my own,
Assured that He will grant my quest,
Or send some answer far more blest."

I know that God answers our prayers. It may not be when we would like
him to or by what way we would prefer them too, BUT he answers EVERY
prayer! I have learned to be more long suffering and more patient
amongst my trials and tribulations. I know that it is always darkest
before the dawn and that is what keeps me going. Hope in my savior
Jesus Christ keeps me moving forward. I can't give up or quit as long
as I have faith and hope in my savior and trust in him. I love this
gospel. I love having the amazing opportunity to teach others these
truths that God is still here and that he loves us. I am so grateful
for the ability that I have to pray and to strengthen my relationship
with my Heavenly Father and savior Jesus Christ. God is great!

I hope that everyone is able to kick off this month right! Thank you
for your love, prayers, and support. Have a wonderful week!

With Love,
Elder Shaw

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Happy Leap Day! 

Cool fact that I just figured out today...the summer Olympics are every leap year as well as the elections every 4 years. CRAZY!! 

This past week was same old same old except.....DREW GOT BAPTIZED!! It was a very special day that day. I was super stressed out at first. We were running all over the place making sure everything was ready and prepared. I was able to see one of my previous companions Mitchell Smith which was great! He is doing great. Super busy with school and such. Two of his brothers are leaving for their missions next week which is crazy. It was nice to catch up with him though. 

The program was amazing! The spirit was so strong. I made sure that I got a lot of pictures. Drew did amazing. He was a little nervous, but did a great job. We had a to of non-members there at the baptism! Drew's parents travel from Idaho to be there as well as some of Drew's brothers and sisters. His grandma was even there and she swore to us that she would never enter in a "mormon church!" I was able to chat with her after and thanked her for coming and then very quietly she told me thank you and that she enjoyed herself! Hearts were softened! With several non members in attendance we took the initiative to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and was able to talk about Drew's conversion while Drew was changing. Elder Katieli and Elder Hintz taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and I was able to have the privilege of sharing with everyone Drew's conversion story. I was tough...I only choked up a couple of times, but I held it together! That wasn't even the worst of it. Dom asked me to sing at the baptism and I was soooo nervous because I have never sung in front of others (besides my sisters in the car and my shower head ;) and I didn't feel like I could ever sing. I convinced Elder Katieli to sing with me. We sang one of my favorite songs, "I Stand All Amazed." Wow...I was so nervous and I was doing my best to hold back tears. I couldn't look at Dom or Drew because I knew that I would start crying. It was tough. Afterwords a lot of members went up to me and said that I have a beautiful voice and were surprised that I have never performed before. Then the ward executive secretary came up to me and said that we should perform in sacrament meeting...uhhhh I will have to work up to that. :/ It is crazy all of the talents that I have found, grown, and develop while on my mission. Share your talents with others and make sure to point out other people's talents because a lot of people don't realize or understand some of their talents until we point them out to them. 

That was the highlight for the week. We are still working hard to find, teach, and baptize! We had a surprise MLC meeting this past Friday in preparation to zone meeting tomorrow. We also have our temple trip this Thursday which I am sooo excited for! Can't wait!! 

I hope you all have a fantastic week! I am so grateful for each of you and the many ways that you love and support me! 

Here a a short thought for this week! I found it and ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!

“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of the people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. … Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature” -President Ezra Taft Benson 

Elder Shaw