Monday, December 19, 2016

December 19, 2016

5 degrees?! Wow that is soooooo cold! Its soo hot here. i guess it’s my first time being hot on a Christmas. I don’t know if i like it yet. Our 2 investigators are awesome and we got another really good one this week who has really good potential.

Thats crazy to think how everyone of the year is coming home! Its so exciting to see how they look when they get home. Wow Shannon’s letter was amazing pretty sure i cried a little looking at the picture of you and her and the one of her at the temple she looks soooo happy and a "light to the world" makes me more motivated for missionary work so i can change like her. Tell her i say hi and that i love her and i wanna hear from her.

I haven’t received a package yet or have gotten a notice yet that im getting one. When did you send it? i hope no one stole it ha cause the postal service her in South Africa is awful

ok my suit doesn’t really fit me but dont worry about it cause i only wear it 3 hours a week and that is at church. i can live with that i hope.  i attached a pic of me and one is one with a senior couple named the Tatros. They are amazing! it makes me appreciate they’re service. i love senior couples sooo much! but in the pic i look super chubby and i swear im not that bad. the other picture is of when we had to drive an hour to the mission office to pick up a car cause the other broke so we had to squish so many people into one car and because im the skinniest of the district i sat in the worst spot. hahah but it was soooo funny!

This week there were so ups and down. On the good side, the days are going by so much faster and its awesome. We had an appointment yesterday to go see this family but they were outside having a braii with a lot of family soo it dropped so we decided to go down the street and knock on this one door and found this lady who is awesome. When she opened the door at first she was like ugh its the missionaries and so i was not excited to teach cause its not fun to teach someone that doesnt want to listen but as we taught you could tell her countenance changed and by the end she was crying. She went on to tell us that she was going through a rough time and that she felt prompted not to go to her church today and just take a nap. Apparently we woke her up and was kinda an answer to her prayers. she wants to learn more and agreed to be baptized. I have really good feeling about her and i hope she continues to let us come back. On the downside wow my comp has been a struggling. each week when he doesnt have to do something he just says "i dont know i have 4 weeks left" and its so annoying he doesnt do anything anymore and i have had to have a lot of patience with him. he still works hardish but when it come to other things its really annoying but whatever hes still such a good guy and i just hope he works hard so when he looks back he doesnt regret it.

One question that i have asked myself is why did i get sent to summerset west cause here in summerset, its like the pit of the SACTM mission, no Greenies get sent here. only dying missionaries get sent here and i am the first one in like 7 years i think. But an apostle said you get sent to an area for 3 reasons: your there to meet someone, your there to learn from your companion, or learn from the culture. I cant figure out which one it is or if its all 3 but it just make me curious on why i am the first greenie here in 7 years.

One realization i have had this week is when i bored back home and didnt know what to do, i would turn to my phone, social media, watch tv and the worldly things but here on a mission you turn to the gospel, your scriptures, and conference talks. Not we are bored, just in our free time. It made me realize how much time i have wasted in my life on stuff thats not going to benefit my life and because i turn to the gospel i learn something and it makes me so much happier. We were listening to a talk in the car by John Bytheway, about turning off the tv and doing something useful.  He tell of a personal experience on how when he was young he told himself that he would turn off the tv an hour earlier each night and wake up and hour earlier and read. because of this, he start to write and wrote  his own book and made money and actually learned something. 

Im super excited to skype with you guys i told dad about the details and everything, if anything changes i will try to let you know.

Love you 

Elder Shaw

Monday, December 12, 2016

December 12, 2016

As far as ward council and our bishopric this is how it goes, "alright lets get this over with so we can get ice cream after", right then i knew it was going to be rough. we just redid the ward mission plan so hopefully that will get the ward excited about missionary work.

When it comes to Christmas need, I’ve gained 25ish lbs so i might need a new suit haha sorry but i guess i can just suffer through it. the pants are kinda OK but the jacket i can barely drive cause ive gained so much muscle in my shoulders like actually haha. But i wanna buy a new watch and maybe a new pair of pants but ill figure it out. Give the missionaries presents! if i were to receive a present from the member i would cry of happiness! Present that idea to the ward council of getting gifts for the missionaries and not just candy or food although that is good to but they always get fed so not to important to them. Like stuff they would actually use, just an idea. 

The Dunns are home? that is so weird to think about cause it has gone by so fast!! send them my condolences haha. the month of October we had 72 baptisms but this month we had like 32 i think. our mission goal each month is 50 which is around every companionship should get around one a month. Ya summerset ward has gotten 2 this year soo its really slow here but i think we are going to have 2 this transfer if not i know we will have one cause of a crazy story i will tell later. 

I wish i had more time to study the scriptures but im training and i always have to study for the investigator but i think when i am done training i can sit down and read the scriptures which im excited about. There is so much good in each chapter!

This week went by so fast! first transfer done and i am now not the youngest in the mission which is nice ha. We went to this stake Christmas party and we were able to meet other missionaries and the new ones as well and they look so stiff haha i hope i didn’t look like that but i probably did!. This Sunday we had this crazy experience. So this week we had this investigator show up at church the other day so we taught the gospel principles class and we decided to just teach the first lesson to him and when we were explaining the Joseph Smith part he just pulls out james 1;5 before we even talk about it and my comp and I look at each other and were like WOW hahaha. Anyways after the lesson he told us he was taught all the lessons but then moved so i think we might have a baptism sometime soon with him which will be great! Also another cool experience is we had this woman who has cancer and she was actually a referral from a less active couple. Anyways we taught her in the less actives home and you could feel the spirit so strong and she was so humble and willing to do anything we said cause she knew we were men from God. It was so cool and then the less active couple came to church on Sunday!  Im excited to see where it goes.

 It coming close to Christmas time and the Christmas initiative is awesome to focus on the real meaning of Christmas and i love the service cause all day your think of people to serve or go see. Kinda sad i couldn’t call home on day 2 haha but im really excited to see everyone at Christmas.

Last night coming back from the Christmas party the other elders car overheated and shut off so we pulled of to the side of the road in a very sketchy area like i was kinda scared, not really but i was haha. Anyways we called the car elder and told him, anyways he continued to tell us that the area we were in was super dangerous and people get robbed all the time on the side of the road.  So he told us to call the police to protect us so we pretty much had a police escort.

Elder Shaw

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 4, 2016

We teach on a good week like 20 lessons, on a rough week 10

Preparation day: we have gone to table mountain, waterfalls, or hikes, and in extreme cases we can go to game reserves to see cool animals but i haven’t done that yet. The last 2 weeks we just played sports though.

We have like 95 missionaries in our mission i think
We have to be out of the township/shanty town at like 7:30 and we”re usually home by like 8:30 cause people dont let you in after 8 or schedule times with you.
My town covers like all of boise valley so theres many towns, but mainly; summerset west, strand, gordons bay, and stellenbosch

Drew lane is in eastern cape which is like 4 hours away from me on a flight. .

Are you doing anything with the 25 days 25 ways? we visit member and emphasize a lot on that initiative! it’s a cool idea but its hard for missionaries to do since we”re limited. I can already tell Christmas is going to be different. ive learned to love serving other people. Every time we get a service opportunity its the best!!!!

I miss mcdonalds sooooo much. i wish we could eat out but we never have enough money. I don’t understand, because some elders get fed so much and we’re starving over here. Tell Elder Brown im sorry i didnt go on splits with them. now seeing how crucial it is to have people to fellowship. our ward here does do much with missionary work. we don’t get referrals from them and there’s so much missionary work to do here. We only go to ward council when we are invited so like once a month maybe im not sure. When you receive a referral study shows in the SACTM mission 50% of them get baptized so they are really useful! but sadly. hopefully the Christmas 25 days 25 ways thing will get some referrals and good investigators!

Man we visited a member family where the dad died because of cancer and the mom is left with 4 kids who are treturous. Like the oldest who is 15 just plays video games allllll day and does nothing. the next is 12 and is a piano genius like truman. the next is 7 and is a girl who hates being a mormon cause she can never hang with her friends on sunday and the youngest has ADHD an ADD and Dyslexia, i dont really know if he does but man i woudnt be suprized cause he is a challenge. Anyways it just made me realize how blessed i was to grow up in such a good home and environment, thank you soooo much. I can’t even fathom.

Tell dad to look up those pictures that we saw of devision between white and black homes and how they live so close but such a difference. if you look at that it is just like that here. Like tin shacks with kids toys and tires on the roof to hold it down so it doesnt blow away and then in the nice white areas you have in 2 Rivers area with REALLY nice houses. its crazy

Love you lots

Elder Shaw

Sorry i tried to load picture but it takes forever to load so ill try next week cause they didnt load in time.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving 11-28-2016

Ahhhhhht the food looks soooooo good. im way jealous but my comp and i figured a way out to make stuffing and it tasted soo good haha.

Hope all is well.

It is soooo hot here!! i dont know how hot exactly but oh my lanta we were in a lesson the other day and it was in a tin shack so the heat was absolutely radiating. i look over to my companion and he is dripping sweat i kid you not. like every 5 seconds another drop falls and i just start laughing.

This week in district meeting we learned about how important goals are. When we write down our goals we are covenanting with God of what we want and how we are going to work our hardest to test the promises. Its way cool to see how everything works out in the end.

Ok ill will try to take pictures of the township but im scared to cause if people see me they might get suspicious but ill be sneaky. The ward here is not very helpful with referrals. its hard to get the ward involved. but we are revising the ward mission plan so hopefully it will kick start them to get going on missionary work. We find some people tracting  but usually we get referrals from the church. Yesterday we went tracting for 2 hours and didnt get a single lesson which was rough but we got dinner after so i was happy. transfers are next week so i am almost done with my first transfer!

If you look at how the Lord teaches its really cool cause he always reverts a question back to the person and they end up teaching themselves by answering there own question basically. This emphasizes the importance on asking inspired questions. Also when he heals someone he either says something along the lines of you are healed or your faith has made thee whole or something like that. i cant remember but thy faith has made thee whole if you look into it, in D and C 93 versus 33-34 it talks about how you receive complete joy and so having faith in Christ will lead to complete joy and there is a way cool chain that goes along with it.

Elder Shaw

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Its crazy to see how little kids grow so fast cause i dont even recognize them. Olivia looks super cute i wish i could hold her. People here dont celebrate thanksgiving so i had no idea it was here till someone told us yesterday. We have 3 Das (dinner appointments) this week and i couldnt be happier. man you look forward to those soooo much. Oh and i definitely dont have enough money to have one every meal HAHAHAA maybe one a day if im lucky but i dont really remember when the last time i had a vegetable. . I saw the picture of the cabinets and i thought it was tiffanys house it totally looks different but good.

This week went by so fast but im pretty sure i say that every week. we had a  ton of lessons but like always they dropped of they forgot of whatever the excuse was. One of my favorite excuses so far while tracking was, sorry i cant, my dogsisacting up. you look in and its dead asleep hahaha, there goes their salvation. I had a really funny story to tell but i seriously cant think of it anymore. I dont know why but i feel like it happens to every missionary but you just loose your memory haha like you dont remember anything from back home and everything is just a blur. Like i couldnt think of the artist of my favorite song to tell my companion. Its so frustrating.

One thing i learned this week was to trust in the Lord. I gave a few blessings this week and my companion always turns to me and tells me to teach a lesson that we didnt plan for and all i do is say a small prayer and i always come up with something it is sooo cool. You just have to trust in the Lord and He will direct thy path. its totally true but sometimes its hard to. cause your thinking about what your going to say or do but all i did was put all my faith in Him and it always turns out,

Ya my area i learned is the hardest in the mission. they have had 2 baptisms in a year but yes we do have progressing investigator but only 2.  they have potential so we will see. My area is pretty dangerous. All of SA is dangerous. the other elders we live next to got robbed twice last week and the other set got robbed once so they will probably get pulled out next transfer. Its kinda way scary but i dont really realize it. The whole are gets dunk at like 8 so we have to be in early and the place the other elders serve which is Mandaly they have to be out by 7 soooo everywhere is dangerous.

This whole week especially yesterday i have thought about how blessed i have been especially all the many things i took for granted back home. so definitely thinking of how blessed i have been

. The senior couple that’s in my area the Tatro's are amazing. i am calling you to repentance right now cause going on a mission is the best thing especially for senior couples. they have such an impart in the mission especially for the missionaries so you guys need to go on a mission haha well when you can. Ive loved getting to know the people in the ward because some of them really love the missionaries and its awesome because they kinda fee like my parents.

Elder Shaw

Here’s a picture of my comp which is the one taking the pic and some other elders in my Zone. The other picture is my whole Zone. my comp is bottom left and its weird to think but only my comp, the senior couple, and one other elder are from america in this pic. all the rest are from SA, Australia, New Zeland, South america and some other places. (80 countries are represented in his mission.)

Monday, November 14, 2016

November 14, 2016

South Africa is amazing! I miss playing with little kids cause the black babies here are sooooo cute!! here its like 90s i think.  i don’t really know but its so hot. we did a service project Saturday and i got soooo burnt holy cow it hurt to shower but hopefully i wont peel. I finally found a cord for my camera.  in the pictures, the Tongan g guy is my comp. i dont really remember which ones i attached hahaha but there are some pictures hopefully you like them.

This week is such a blur i honestly don’t even know what to say so it might be short. It started off with a lesson with a less active and we didnt have anything prepared. we just went in there to see how its going and get to know him but then my comp told me i had the lesson and i was like whaaaaat. ok so i just opened my scriptures randomly to 2 nephi 31 or something like that where its feasting on the word of Christ and gave a 5 min lesson on it and i have no idea where that came from but it was perfect cause he wasn’t reading his book of Mormon. it was so cool!! now my comp does that to me all the time. 
Pretty sure im a pro a teaching the first lesson now cause thats all we teach i have the pamphlet all memorized! we taught lesson 3 the other day and i came out laughing so hard cause it was sooooo bad hahaha my comp was laughing at me during the lesson cause he knew it was bad so i definitely have some work to do.

Funny story of the week and sorry if it doesn’t make sense in advance but ill try. sooo we left our phone in the other Elders flat and they already left and it was locked and we needed to get inside before we left. Where we live is a huge apartment complex. so anyways we see if any of they’re windows are unlocked and we find one but it only opens so my head barely fits through, like it hurt trying to get through with my head. but this was our only way in sooo i shimmy my way through the window till i get to my belt and im not getting through without taking it off. sooo while my companion is holding me sideways holding me up hes taking off my belt to get through the window and im dying laughing cause what if you walk up on someone holding another persons stuck in a window taking off there belt hahaha. he finally gets it off and i get through barely and we get our phone but oh my goodness i was crying laughing for like 30 min cause that how long it took hahhahahahaha it was soo funny. Hope all is well back home and you like the pictures.

Elder Shaw

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

October 31, 2016

Sorry for not answering questions but i didnt have time, but my MTC president was awesome. very strict on obedience but hes awesome and Sister ashton was so blunt. to the large funny kid she said that the gym was going to be his best friend for the next 2 years in front of everyone we all died laughing but he got a little offended. the kitchen looks amazing and it makes our house actually look new. so cool I love the halloween costume hahahaha and tell jamo not to ruin that truck!! so many good memories in that baby, i bet dad is jealous. (Jameson bought Jake Stephenson’s truck)

So sad you sold my car but thats good it was for that family. i miss home so much but i dont like to think about it cause it makes me tired when i think about it.

These past 2 weeks were crazy! so many changes and to start i got sick in the MTC. it was not fun at all and i missed a lot of important stuff but i got all informed of everything and all worked out. said goodbye to the best MTC group every. i got to know all 30 kids super well and i miss them already. i cut my own hair and i should send a picture home but im not going to tell you how well it went hahaha. it looks pretty good just soooooo short . 
I got to the mission home and President and Sister Merrill are amazing! they act as parents and its was so nice having a civilized conversation to someone older cause i was in the MTC forever but they’re awesome! I stayed the night and got informed of a lot of stuff. In the MTC i lost probably 20 pounds cause i was sick and ive turned a lot of muscle into fat. its rough and i always feel weak but im starting to work out every morning.
The mission field is awesome!!!! its so nice to finally teach real people and experience the culture. the segregation between the Whites and Blacks is crazy here. One town you have a township and the other its condos on the beach. oh btw im in Summerset West which is right next to the ocean and its gorgeous!! soooo pretty. The weather is just like California with humidity. Some days cans be so hot but others can be freezing. So glad i can be in a first world and third world country at the same time. First day i was here i ate a chicken leg and they’re actually good!!! now i have them like every other day cause they sell them in the township for like 5 cents. Look op pictures of summerset west cape town south africa it is awesome and you get a little taste of what its like. 
I miss having food made for me when i get home! so much like its a pain to cook and i go hungry all the time cause they dont give us enough MSF but we get by. Not a lot of people feed us which is a bummer cause dinner appointments are awesome. FEED THE MISSIONARIES it so nice and make lots of food hahahaha we get fed lunch every sunday and maybe once a week. I miss fruit and surprisingly i dont really miss my phone. i just miss being able to communicate with someone right away.
I drive because my comp didnt ever get his licenses and i dont know why. Here in cape town, they drive on the left side and its was hard to adjust to but ive got it now.

My companion is Elder Fonua and hes awesome. He trains me then heads home so hes a little lazy but i think ive whipped him into shape. Hes from Hereman Utah and he is so funny. we get along great
After getting out here, ive realized there is so much i dont know hahaha but i study for like 3 hours a day to try to catch up. i teach gospel doctrine which is good for me too.The scriptures are awesome and i love reading them. I could read them for hours. but i still dont know as much as I should. This week has been awesome and such a culture shock, still getting use to it but i love it so much

Elder Shaw
An all green meal for Caleb's first day in the mission field. (A Greeny) He is eating at June Holmes home.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October 25, 2016

We didn't get a letter from Caleb, but his mission president emailed us and said that he made it safely to the mission home in CapeTown. He will write next week.

Pres. Steven Merrill

Signal Hill

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

October 18th, 2016

This week has been crazy!! So many emotional up and downs but the spirit in the MTC is incredible. I forgot to tell you a lot of things last week like my flight. So we got delayed like 2 hours because the plane was missing some piece. Like seriously we were going to die, how does a plane miss a peace but anyways on the 16 hour flight there I leaned how to do a rubix cube and I can do one in one minute and 52 seconds now, pretty impressive if you ask me. The first night we were in our room the room flooded. So we all just grabbed and empty bed and some slept on the floor so that was fun. Oh and I also had a potato for like the first time here and I’m pretty sure I cried it tasted so good! We have a lot of po’p which is like this doughy sticky rice that looks like mushed oatmeal.  It has no taste but you dip it in whatever sauce you can find here. We had transfers halfway through the MTC and so i got a new companion. His name is elder Monoalibe and you pronounce the L as a D but its crazy. He teaches me Xhosa which ill be learning in the field and it took me just about 3 days to figure out how to pronounce one word. try making a clicking sound like you would make to call a horse while saying the letter K, nearly impossible. but I got it now and I can say how are you and I’m good.  its going to be so hard learning cause i cant pronounce them!! But when Elder Peyton Jeppson talked about going through a whole lesson with out know what they said (Elder Jeppson is in Ghana) then when got out of the lesson he asked his companion what native language the were speaking and he said English i laughed so hard but now i know what he means!!! wow sometimes when my companion talks to me i don’t know if he’s yelling at me in Xhosa of talking to me in English.  They have such a strong accent. I am getting the hang of it pretty well. My comp and i get along great and teach with really good unity but we still got roasted by an investigator one time and we walked out of the lesson in aw cause we had no idea what happened. We pretty much bible bashed the whole time and the spirit was not with. Its so important to teach with spirit or else you are going to go nowhere!! i wish i could tell you more but i don’t have much time but it sounds like all is well back home. I wont write next week cause ill be transferring to the field.  Maybe they will give me time to write

Elder Shaw

PS sorry for the grammar but don’t have time to correct

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October 11, 2016

Oh my lanta its only been a week and i swear it has been a year. This week seriously feels like the longest day of my life. So the flight there was 16 hours due to setbacks cause they were missing some piece to the plane, like how in the world do they miss a piece?! hahaha oh well we made it safely. In Atlanta i met all the missionaries going to the same MTC as me and there was like 21 of us. I now know why they say everybody is mormon in UTAH. i was one of 2 people not from utah. But they are soooo cool we all get along great and have so much fun, maybe a little to much. trying to tone it down but its hard to study ALL DAY like if you kids in seminary think an hour is hard, try 9 hours. But honestly i love it so much! i dont ever get bored studying about the gospel. there is so much to learn. Ive come to a realization of how much i dont know. But throughtout the week ive learnded more than i have in my life. I taught a legit investigator my 3 day here and i was so nervous, but when you get into the lesson its not hard. But the door aproach and getting to know them is rough.  i have so many funny stories about it but i dont have time to tell them. One story is Elder mortezezadeh (who is someone in my district that i really like) goes up to the door with his comp and start to carry on a conversation (At this time the whole district is watching cause were practicing with our teacher) anyways he trys to carry on a conversation and asks where he lives even though hes at his door. OH MY GOODNESS i dont think ive laughed that hard in such a long time. Seriously we laugh about the silliest things. My comp is Elder Horlacher and hes is awesome, we get along great but hes kinda shy though so i feel like i overwhelm him. oh well he can deal with it. The MTC here only holds 35 people and so you get to know everyone. There are about 6 native Elders from all around africa and they're so funny. they try to mess with us cause we dont know anything but we mess with them back cause they dont know english that well hahahaha. Over the past week we practice teaching investigators and its awesome, like the real deal. Yesterday i gave away my first BoM after reciting the First Vision from memory. it was so cool and you could feel the Spirit so strongly! sorry i dont have a lot of time and they wont let me upload pictures but things ive learned this week

1) You look forward to that hour of physical activity everyday of the week
2) The gift of tongues is real, even though im not learning a longuage the Holy Ghost seriously puts words into your mouth that i never thought i knew
3) the food here wow its different so lets just say it doesnt digest well HAHA
4) im actually good a futbol, who knew HA

Love Elder Shaw

Airport Goodbyes

Friends and family at Caleb's farewell