Monday, November 20, 2017

November 20- 2017

Wow, schools are closed this week and that means everyone goes to the rurals and no one is home! It’s a shame but we have planned some unique finding activities for the holiday season in everyone’s area and so we will get to go around and do some fun things! I have never had weeks like these past few ones. i just feel like its a blur! i cant even remember, i have to bring my journal to the email shop to remember what to say. I guess to start off we ran out of MSF, ya not fun. hahah We were just constantly praying for people to feed us cause we had no food left plus i was sick so i lost like 6 pounds hahaha but i guess you learn to be better with money. The thing is i am good about money but i don’t know what happened! We had stake conference and it was broadcasted from Salt Lake to all of Africa south east area and it was super good! Man Tad R Callister is a goofy guy let me tell ya but he gives great talks! Guess what i learned? To stop judging people. We strictly only talk to men here when contacting haha i know its bad but, anyways learned that you gotta give women a chance because they open up windows for new people to come into the church! Lol No offense but here it is different. I had another awesome lessons with August and Joline and their son Jayden! Wow they have known about the church for the longest time but missionaries never taught them, God really prepares people for you! We haven’t taught them any of the commandment but we’ve just got to get them to have a strong witness that this it it and then everything will hopefully fall into place! (Their stumbling block is they are not married) pray for them!

 So dad the accent when i first got here was intense! I’m sure the general authority’s accent was tamed because he has been places but i remember  one of my first weeks we were teaching a man and i seriously got 75% of the way through the lesson and figured out they were speaking English the whole! time, i just knew i was suppose to speak when my comp looked at me! yo it was bad hahaha but now I’m use it and can understand everyone.

Love you,

Elder Shaw

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

November 13, 2017

You know the saying "God is good", its true, not going to lie! Recently i have been writing in my journal every night (first miracle) and i write a tender mercy that i have seen for the day, and after a while I have realized how much God’s hand is in my every day life!!! Man i challenge you all to do that. You will feel Gods love and you will see the Savior’s grace in your life more abundantly!

August, Joline, and Jaden came to church!!!! They only stayed for the first part but that’s ok, at least they made an effort and came!! Yo, I’m super happy for them! This is the white father and his family that we have been teaching. God really does prepare people for us to teach them. If people are not progressing in the first 2 lessons, we usually drop them and find the ones who "will recognize us as the Lord servants" and will "hear our voice".

This transfer, I have the same comp pretty much same zone, nothing changed for us. As a mission we do about 50 baptisms a month, well that’s our goal. We usually hit it but for this zone i would say maybe 7.  It takes time to progress investigators to when they are truly converted so its hard to make goals for a months time period.

Love you!

Elder Shaw

Monday, November 6, 2017

November 6, 2017

Ummm welll, this week was filled with funny and spiritual experiences. It was awesome!! For the funny side, haha I offered to pray for the food in the lesson thinking they were going to feed us and then they got super embarrassed afterwards. They did have any food for us. Then, the sister missionaries from temple square called and my comp started flirting with them through the phone making a fool out of himself!! I was laughing so hard!!!
On the spiritual side, I had a WHITE FATHER LEAD THE FAMILY TO ACCEPT A BAPTISMAL DATE. Also we had another couple move away from each other because of the law of chastity, wanting to be baptized! Then they moved back together because they were having a hard time. We testified of Heleman 5 12 that we need to build our foundation on Christ!!! Then we had an awesome experience of going to the Butterworth cluster group for sacrament meeting on exchanges for a baptism interview and man we met in a hut!! hahaha Super cool!!!! Man it was an awesome week!

We are being really obedient which is awesome. I love it! Umm transfers are Wednesday and nothing is really changing.  I eat a protein shake and oatmeal for breakfast and something big like rice veg and meat for lunch and then random things for dinner whatever we want but usually healthy. We kinda bank on someone feeding us something for dinner. I’ve never been more healthy in my life!

Usually I talk about once a transfer in church, and teach gospel principles every week. Then we have a zone training every transfer as well. When zone conferences come around i don’t know why but we usually don’t teach. Sometimes the president will assign us to teach but usually not. This week elder Koch came from the 70 to do a mission tour.


elder shaw

Monday, October 30, 2017

October 30, 2017

You heard my companion on Facebook? Isn’t he so good at singing and playing the guitar? He’s teaching me how to put cords to hymn so i can play a lot of them once i fiugre out the cords. Then we play for members as they are thinking of referrals for us to go visit! Kinda cool thing we do. i really don’t have much to report on this week that you can send out other than I’m fine and happy! haha It was a busy week but sadly not a lot of investigators showed up for sacrament meeting! This week is a mission tour with a general authority but i forgot his name. hahah I’ll tell you bout it  next week. I’m eating healthy! I haven’t been sick in a while which is nice but i think i just cursed myself!

kinda random but i know what i want to study and do for a living i think. I’m still doing some pondering about it but i like it! i think it suites me as well.

love you!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

October 23, 2017

This week was packed and I’m tired but it still goes by so fast. Currently, I’m writing this email and just sweating. It’s not even hot here but the humidity is killer. i really don’t like it but I’m OK.

Summary of the week: It was awesome! haha We were busy with President interviews, zone training, (They were about working with members. If you want to succeed with missionary with members), taught a white father and family which is shocking because that was one of my first times teaching a white person but it was awesome!!!!! The Spirit was definitely present and the wife is really interested!

We are getting new missionaries from Madagascar because that mission was closed. Our mission will be getting many from there plus our own greenies! What else ummm, i cant really think of anything but I llove reading the Book of Mormon again. I have been writing my own summary of each chapter of how I can apply it to my life. It makes it a lot more meaningful. The only way to a happy life is living the gospel. it brings so much joy and love. Who could go without it! It’s really the only thing that keeps missionaries going.

And no we do not get or have smart phones or ipads in our mission. Elder Lane got stabbed by people thinking that he had them so no way are they are going to give us smart phones or ipads, haha.

Love you

Thursday, October 19, 2017

October 16,2017

The members here kinda feed us every Sunday and Wednesday which is nice. They have lots of people that can play the piano here so they don’t need me:(
This week i have decided to start the Book of Mormon again and at the end of each chapter write a small little chapter heading in my own words of how I’m going to apply this chapter into my life.  

Played volleyball last week for pday and oh man it was fun cause we have  5 elders that are Polynesian and are good at volleyball so it was a great! 

Cool/interesting experience this week: We have been doing service with this one in active person for the past month and finally we got a scheduled appointment with him. He said he was going to to braii for us which is like breaking the word of wisdom of eating to much meat but oh man it was sooo good. My favorite was ostrich steak, His 2nd wife is a non member and he blames all his hard times in life on God and thinks if there is a God, how could he let this happen? If God sent floods and parted seas and did all these things in the Old Testament times why did he change i thought he was the same yesterday, today, and forever? Haha good questions but we shared a Mormon message, Hope of God’s light with him and it brought the Spirit so much!! It was awesome and then we were able to answer some of his questions with the Spirit guiding us and soften his heart but the weirdest part for me was bearing my testimony to someone who doesn’t really believe in God. It’s like you have to start at rock bottom. If good choices in life bring happiness and bad choices bring sorrow and sadness then that denotes that there is a God and if there is, then why did he put us here? Where is He? How can i live with him? I just know that this gospel brings happiness and gives me lots of hope for the next life. At the end he  said he we could go through the lessons with him and his wife which is awesome!!!!! I’ve only taught like 1 white person my whole mission!! Mormon messages are the bomb and bring the spirit so much!!!!

Love you all

Monday, October 9, 2017

October 9, 2017

This week is my 1 year mark, so I’m going to write some of my thoughts. 3 most important things i have learned on mission

1 Learning to love the gospel and watching it change your life as you apply its principles into your life, especially the Book of Mormon!!!! This week made me realized some of my bad habits. My reaction to those habits now compared to before my mission just makes me laugh. My mission has really changed me for the better. Sometimes you choose not to see your faults and other times they are obvious.  i don’t know what it was when but when i hit a year it was like ahhhhh iiiiii seeeeeee.

2. I have learned that when I am frustrated, impatient, or anxious, to turn to the Book of Mormon to relax myself. You know back home i would have turned to my phone or something of no worth to calm me down or relax but truly the only thing that is good for you is to turn to the gospel because that’s where peace and love come from!!!!

3. This lesson i am still learning is about the power of prayer. Sometimes i just think that ah he knows what i need and think so i don’t really need to ask but in proverbs it says something like, trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not to thy own understanding. iI all ways acknowledge him and he will direct thy path. I have really seen answer to my prayers that i have never ever had before and it is amazing!!! God is there and He listens to you! I had a really specific question one night and right after than i always read The Book of Mormon right before i go to bed and it was answered so specifically it was amazing! Still learning to acknowledge Him in all things and to council with Him but it coming along!

Mission might take you out of the world for you two years but really when you return you will be two years ahead of the world!

Why will I be a better missionary the 2nd half of your mission?

Now that i have seen the difference and impact the atonement has made in someone’s life, i testify a lot more to people that the atonement is real and it can change you. It’s amazing to see Pauline, Pamala, and Musa who are in a family (some of them had trouble with drugs) and now they are awesome!! Their countenances just shine and the atonement has really changed them. They are schedule to be baptized on the 5 of November and i cant wait! They have been such an inspiration to me on my mission to see that much change in someone in such a short time!!!

One more quote... ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of truth...... you never come to the knowledge of truth if you don’t apply it into your life!

love you 

Elder Shaw

Monday, October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017

Wow lots of questions.

1. How many elders in a zone? ummm 10 plus a senior couple

2. Is your proselyting area in East London in the rich part or the poor part? I’m in east london east london and its in 2 ward sooo kinda both but the white are a tonnn more humble here, mainly black though

3. Yo i love elder greengrass he is awesome, i dont know why but i have been blessed with good companions or I’m just easy to get along with everyone,  go with the first option.

4. In the ward i am in its about the same as my last ward but the zone is not as good as the last zone, we are probs the best area out of the zone because of the great missionaries that have prepared the way.

5. There are 2 zones in east london.... east london and mdantsane

6. Weather is like ummm California but more rain as we are in spring right now hahah but overcast a lot cause of  the ocean that we are right next to! It is very very humid!!! I don’t really like it haha

7. There are safety concerns everywhere but we are not walking so its better. I think everyone in the mission now has cars, maybe 1 or 2 areas are walking and if you are walking at night its pretty dangerous like elder lane.

I loved conference!!!!! it was the best cause i felt like mostly every talk was speaking to me!!!!

Transfers killed me, not sure why but yo i was so tired and i felt badly for Elder Greengrass because i wasn’t really myself and didn’t contribute much in lessons. i look back and am amazed at how i made it in college with no sleep! haha But my new area is awesome!!! It’s really nice when elders leave the area a LOT better than they found it. Coming into this area was heaven because it is really prepared for some good missionary work to happen. The members have caught the vision of missionary work and love to give referrals to us!! It’s amazing!!! I’ve never had this happen before haha. Elder Greengrass is awesome as well. He’s from England and sings and plays the guitar like better than anyone i know. He’s better than Shaun Mendes haha. We are going to get along great!!!!!

Conference.... yo its was awesome! I went into conference with 3 questions and all have them have been answered! Conference here is a little different. We watch Saturday morning session at 6 pm our time and then 3 sessions on Sunday and then Sunday afternoon we don’t get to watch so we will have to download it and watch it later. I still got some really good notes. My favorite talks were Ronald A. Rasband when he said  coincidence is Divine intervention in Gods eyes. I’m going to look more for the tender mercies in my life, Then the next favorite talk was Henry B. Eyring in the last talk of Sunday morning. I think. That one wasssss soooo gooood. not going to lie i don’t remember what he talked about but i remember how i felt and it hit me like a rock. I’m going to have to look over my notes on that one!

Elder Shaw 

Monday, September 25, 2017

September 25, 2017

Yes I’m leaving Queenstown!!! I’m happy but sad because I am seriously going to miss some of the recent converts and families here!!!! I told them all i would come back and then laughed after. I hope I can some day.

Investigator lessons, ummm, its like 15 a week and then maybe another 15 with RC, LA, and members so i would say around 30ish lessons a week.

Yes, I gave my testimony in xosha in church yesterday. OH man let me tell you it was.... ok i really had to study hard to get down words but the ward loved it. i had to speak slow cause it just takes me forever to process and think what im going to say but its not that hard to speak it. i don’t really have a hard time with the clicks anymore. Everyone came up to me and was proud of me for trying haha.

I was thinking this week actually of mowing our lawn back home and missed it. i was thinking and hoping to be able to when i get home next year haha, think i could in October? Leave it really long for like 3 weeks and ill come and mow it for the last time!

Sad i have to say goodbye to Elder Lane tomorrow. i don’t think i will get to serve around him but i will see him at least one more time i know that! I forgot to say where I’m going... my new comp is Elder Greengrass from England. He has been out for about 15 months and I’m going to East London 2nd ward, which is also a good area so I’m excited!

I’m really excited for conference. I was reading a talk in the liahona (Do you know what that is? It’s just like the ensign but for all age groups lol) but it was talking about conference and how we should go prepared with a question and/or a Christlike attribute we can work on. So i got a few questions! One being, how or where in my life do i need to repent, kinda just looking for something that is rebuking me haha but hey whom the Lord loveth he chaseneth!

I had a pretty cool Spiritual Experience this week. Went on exchanges with Elder Tshwane (Elder Lanes Trainer) and he is such a great missionary. Anyways, we were going into the lesson to a lady and Elder Tshwane was telling me her situation... Roman Catholic, been investigating church for a while and really enjoys it, loves the book of mormon, always takes notes on the liahona. Yo she’s awesome! i just wondered why she hadn’t been baptized yet. Anyways when you are on exchanges you feel like you can be a little bit more blunt than normal cause your only really seeing them for one time so i was just straight up with her. I asked why she wasn’t baptized and all these things and then we decided to kneel down right there and have her pray and ask if Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Man i have never heard such a sincere pray in my life! During the prayer, I’m praying myself have her discern the Spirit!  The Spirit was definitely present!. I don’t know what it is but the hardest thing to do is to help investigators recognize the Spirit! because you can’t just tell them oh this is the Spirit you have to let them decide for themselves! but she sadly said she didn’t know. I don’t know what will happen with her but i was happy for that experience!

love you

elder shaw

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

September 18, 2017

We are in week 6 right now so transfers will be next week Wednesday.

Members go to the temple usually once a year, at least that is when the ward has a temple trip but not everyone can go of course.

Ya for Mondays we just do FHE with members and then they feed us hahah it’s nice.

Ya I’m keeping a journal but not too well, like a once a week entry. I go on and off. Sometimes I’m really good at it and others I’m awful. Kinda just depends on my companion. J

Well this week was really funny hahah had so many funny experiences and cool ones as well. First of all i got to go on exchanges will Elder Lane and that was a blast!  We were in his area when we got into missionary work we had a lot of fun teaching the people. Let me tell you he is an awesome missionary!!! The ward he is in is struggling and very rural. They have a hard time with the priesthood holders but they are teaching some really good potential priesthood holders.

Funny story this week was actually a story i heard from the senior couples. They were teaching a class in the ward and they got onto a debate about if the pioneers had toilet paper or not. Some said no and others said ya. Finally one girl said no they don’t it even says it in the hymn! Come Come ye saints no toilet paper here... hahahhaha yo i was laughing so hard. (They have a hard time understanding english)!!!

Yesterday was awesome!!!! We had 3 baptisms and they were truly converted. In a lesson to prepare them for the baptism I was just going over what samkelo read and learned. He said i have to get baptized so that i can be forgiven of my sins and make it to heaven! We said, “yup totally true, man”. And then a few months ago we baptized someone called bulelani and he had the chance to bpatize his little sister yesterday and it was really cool cause he just recently received the priesthood. I’m so happy for them!

Next week is going to be my last week playing piano for the ward and I’m going to miss it hahaha hopefully i will get to play again sometime on my mission. Oh and i was called to be a speaker next Sunday and I’m trying to study super hard to bear my testimony in xosha.  i can feel its going to be really slow and rough but ill try. i like getting out of my comfort zone... sometimes.   

Love ya, Elder Shaw

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017

Hi mom

Today we are going to east london to pick up another elder to replace the one that went home. But that is OK I always enjoying with my 2 companions. I don’t think i have laughed so much on mission then the last 2 weeks.

This week was kinda hectic. We had Zone Conference and our president came down, I didn’t have to give any training which was nice but after everything was done he came out proselyting with us for the rest of the day which was great. Funny thing happened, well to start let me give you some info to make the story funny. During MLC this last week president was kinda chewing the missionaries out for bad driving in the mission. He said we were the worst in the whole African area. Well here in queenstown we have lots of speed bumps that aren’t even marked. hahah we were just driving along when all of the sudden the president just hit this speed bump going like 60 k's hahah. I look at president Lebethoa just embarrassed and he said i didn’t even see that one, its ok. hahah We just start laughing.  It was really funny!

Safety?--Since we have cars we can be in after dark but we can’t contact after dark soo if we don’t have an appointment its hard but when we were talking, president just tells us to be wise and so we can come in like after an hour when the sun goes down

Zone conference was really good though. President Lebethoa talked about being anxiously engaged. Then he related it to learning, growing, and becoming. If we don’t apply what we learn then we will always be searching but never coming to the knowledge of truth.

love you

elder shaw

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September 4, 2017

I’ll definitely keep Baylor in my prayers. I listened to a talk this week called Unbroken by Hank Smith i think or something like that and really I enjoyed it!!! Yo it was good. It talked about prayers and how they need to PASS;
Ever since I have been really trying better with my prayers. I thought it was really good so i shared it with you all.

We have zone conference this week and it’s hectic for us due to housing and getting all the elders together. The nice thing is that we don’t have to prepare anything this time. President Lebethoa is doing the whole thing! i feel for him though because he has to care for a family first before us and they are all under the age of 16! We send him and sms to call us in his free time, ya its been 3 weeks and have not gotten a call yet but he’s coming and will get to talk to him about some things!

There are16 missionaries in our zone including a senior couple.

We have to travel 3 hours to the furthest elders. Are zone is huge.

We try to have zone conference once a transfer but not always since our mission is one of the few that fly.

Our mission has the goal of 100 baptisms every month but it is usually more like 50. 

Well I’m in a tripanionship now because an elder went home in our zone due to medical reason and oh man they are sooo fun!!! hahah its always nice to have another opinion when discussing about doctrine or investigators.

I’ve done a lot of running around this week because of our elder’s broken ankle. He couldn’t drive so we had to take him to places and then had to also cover another area so that’s like 3 now but its fun to always stay busy!

love you,

elder shaw

Monday, August 28, 2017

August 29, 2017

I’m really trying to learn xosha because the people here get offended if you don’t know it, especially the older generation. I try to use it as much as i can like in church lessons and just talking to people but i still don’t know very much!

I’m going to use my card for a little so don’t freak out I’m just using my birthday money that i didn’t use to get some thing and to make up for the past 2 months.

I exercise almost everyday for about a year now.

 The geography of our zone its like a 4 hour drive from one side to the other.... roughly.

This week was good. We had AP exchanges and that’s always fun. I went with the new ap and he didn’t know to much i could tell that he was nervous about making a good impression. haha i already know he’s awesome, his dad is a 70 lol. We taught a lot of lessons this week and are preparing for a baptism next week. I love my companion, cant get enough of him. I just think why cant i get along with all my companion like this and trying to discern what i can do differently. Love reading the Infinite Atonement. It gives a good analogy about things we learn about with the atonement.... we think that were about to open that last curtain on what we understand but just to find out that there is another curtain. You cant stop learning about the atonement. There is so much to learn and to apply in your life. I’m trying harder to apply the scriptures more into my life cause sometimes i feel that i haven’t even changed enough from what i was in high school haha but love you!!!

elder shaw

Thursday, August 24, 2017

August 21, 2017

This letter is going to be short cause i have to drive to East London in a little while. It’s a pday ruiner. This week was short cause of transfers and lots of driving. I didn’t really get to our area till Friday.  Oh let me tell you, elder lane is awesome!!!! Its’ so fun talking to him. When he came through the airport, we gave each other a big hug. It’s really weird to talk about home and stories and things, but so fun.. He even started calling me Caleb and i was weirded out! I haven’t heard that name in a long time
Speaking about my comp. He’s from Guatemala and is the humblest guy ever! We get along great. He’s about 14 months on mission so like a transfer before elder lane.

Got my card BTW!!!

We have a few people on date and 3 of them are looking very promising for the 3rd of September. Our goal is 6 for this transfer. Ah its nice being in a good area. i really don’t want to leave this place! Also I’m learning the language a lot more and kinda understand probably 60% at church but can only speak like 20%. ahha It’s fun and hard to get the clicks down.

The members don’t really feed us but they’re are like 2 families who invite us over ever week which is nice. I’m pretty sure my favorite food here is steamed breat of amaguenyas which is like Indian fried bread or sweeter. You just eat it plan or with some mince. It’s really nice. Also I kinda like amaquenya which is chicken feet. hahaha

It was very cold this week and we even got some snow in the hills surrounding the town. I wanted to go play in it this pday but we have to drive to the airport.

love you

elder shaw

Sunday, August 20, 2017

August 14, 2017

This week was pretty awesome cause we had another baptism of a family (mama tyulu and siya tyulu) who have been investigating the church for over a year. Oh man we were sooo happy for their baptism because at some points they were like less active who would kinda progress and then we would go back and see them but never really progress.  I don’t know what clicked but I am super glad we never gave up. We were still kinda scared on how they would do in the baptismal interview and Elder Reed said that was one of the best he has ever done. Yo we were sooooo happy! Now to the baptism, haha our ward mission leader wasn’t there, and the auxiliaries were having a meeting so we really didn’t have a presiding person, but all went well. Also I confirmed mihlali landa and mbasa. It is very hard to pronounce people’s names here especially last names. Oh it was a disaster cause there are a few clicks in it and I had to say it in front of the ward. I like practiced the week in advance so I could get it right but elder palavi slaughtered his and i nailed mine hahaha. It was sooooo funny but all went well. The Lord knows who they are. It was the last week with Elder Palavi and im sad he is going but my new comp is elder orosco lopez. He’s from Guatemala, lol i don’t know how to spell that but he’s super humble and way nice. Also Elder Lane is coming to our zone!!!! I’m super excited to serve around him.

This week was really good though. I’m so sad though because my comp said his goodbyes and that means next transfer i will have to say goodbye to this place. It’s going to be really hard, i have a feeling. i love this place!!!

Love ya,

Elder shaw

Monday, August 7, 2017

August 7, 2017

It sounds like a hectic summer with a lot of fun activities!

Well this is our last week together and transfers will be next week Wednesday. It will be a big one i think cause we have all been in this area for a long time!!!! Yo my comp will probably go but who knows what will happen. I had MLC with our president for the first time and wow he is so energetic and fun to be around. He motivates everyone and its awesome!!! i love it.

We had to take our car in cause it was making some weird noises hahah so we had to walk for the day and we were on exchanges.  I was with Elder Ivan oh man he’s the coolest guy.  We got to walk for the day and talk a lot..... to each other mostly cause no one wanted to listen to us but we're like the same people. He loves basketball and skiing and boating and rock climbing so we talked a bunch. Too bad nobody else wanted to talk to us. 

The highlight of the week though was our baptism yesterday!!! it was so nice! Landa and Mihlali and Mbasa got baptized and it has been a journey for them. It was amazing to see them reject us and not want us to come back to getting baptized. It was awesome! They really had a change of heart. Because of sacrificing a lot of things this transfer and trying to be exact in obedient, miracles happen and they are one of them! Ill try to send pictures but they are on my companions camera. Our ward mission leader was not there and we realized after sacrament so we had to do a last minute scramble to get everything organized and ask people to give talks. I got to conduct it, I don’t get nervous in front of people any more, so glad. The baptism was really great!

One thing i have really enjoyed this week is my studies! i love personal study so much. I love to try and find what your investigators need and study about it. Somehow it always relates back to me in something I can work on. I wish i could study for longer than an hour hahaha!

It wasn’t a super exciting week but it ended really good!

love you, i have the best family ever!!!

elder shaw