Monday, January 19, 2015
**DO NOT SEND ANYTHING TO MY ROUND ROCK ADDRESS**
I'm getting transferred, again. My last day in this apartment will be Wednesday, so if you send anything after today I probably won't get it. I'll give y'all my new address next week :)
I'm getting "doubled-in" again haha which means that my new companion and I will be go the the area at the same time, neither of us will know anything about the area or the people haha that's the same thing that happened when I went to Hill Country Zone. So, that will be fun!!
This will already by my 3rd zone as a Zone Leader, that's crazy to think about! I love it though.
I will definitely miss the Round Rock zone and Elder Loveridge. Elder Loveridge and I were only companions for 6 weeks, which is a bummer because we got along so great and are really good friends. He is such a fantastic missionary though,and he will do great in Round Rock and with all the investigators who we have right now. He has only been on his mission for about the same time as me, so we will be able to hang out a lot when we go home. He just lives in Ogden area. It's going to be sad to leave him.
This area has been a really important area to me. I have grown an incredible amount in the 3 months that I spent here. I will always remember the miracle, and faith building experiences I had with Malik Abdul, and the great friendship that we have formed. He was such a miraculous story. I will always thank the Lord that I was able to be a part of it.
Hunter Henson's was another incredible story from this area. His family has been through a lot, and he has wanted to be baptized for a while now. The divorce just happened to be finalized while I was here. So, we were able to teach him and baptize him. I confirmed Hunter a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and gave him the Gift of the Holy Ghost. His family is incredible, and his future it so promising. I love the Henson family, and plan on keeping in contact with them for the rest of my life.
The Walsh Ranch ward has been filled with exemplary, faithful, covenant-keeping members of the Lord's Church. I have learned a lot from serving them and loving them. I am always amazed at how the Lord can send me to any seemingly random place, and there I will meet people who will have such an impact on me that it will change the rest of my life.
The Chisholm Trail ward has some of the most Christ-like people I have ever met. The faith of the the young single adults has absolutely strengthened mine. I have listened to them, and learned from them. I have made friendships that will last for years, and experiences that will last forever.
I have sad to leave Round Rock behind, but genuinely STOKED for what awaits!!
As I read and re-read the Book of Mormon, my faith becomes unshaken. Intellectually, there is no way that book came from man. Spiritually, it has changed my very nature and all my desires.
I love the Lord, and all of you!
Posted by Amanda Shaw at 7:54 PM
Sunday, January 18, 2015
Family and Kinfolk,
The Book of Mormon was truly written by God's children who lived in the ancient America's. God loved them, and they knew who He was. They had the gospel of Christ, and prophets to show them the correct path. When Jesus Christ had fulfilled His Father's will, and successfully accomplished the Atonement, he visited these people. "And it came the pass that the Lord spake unto them saying: Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet...and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of surety...that it was he..." (3 Nephi 11:13-15)
The Book of Mormon is evidence that Jesus truly is the Christ and the Savior of the whole earth.
I thought I would start off with my testimony today, switch it up a little bit.
Now, this is important, 100% of the time we don't understand all that God does. It may appear to some that he doesn't always "protect His children", but that is because we are "children" and don't understand. If one remains faithful throughout their life, no matter what comes their way, they will look back and see the hand of God protecting, leading, and carrying them to protection.
Conference and Exchange:
This past Tuesday, we had a conference with the Round Rock, Round Rock East, and Austin Zones. President Slaughter talked to us a lot about faith, and having faith in the Lord promises. I love how President teaches, because it is never things that only apply to the mission, it always applies to life after the mission as well. I always feel so inspired after speaking with him, he's such a great Mission President!
After the Conference, I went on another Exchange with Elder Thorn. I went on an exchange with Elder Thorn a few months ago, and we were so excited to be able to go on another one. He came out with Elder Loveridge and I both, so we were in a trio for the day.
It was a very inspiring exchange, we talked to many people and it was great to see how natural Elder Thorn was with talking and teaching others. Elder Loveridge and I both learned a lot.
I spent my first night in Texas with Elder Thorn, and now he goes home next week. Sure going to miss him
We had a great lesson with Hunter Henson this week. It was incredible to go over and see how much he was glowing. We were talking about the Holy Ghost with him, and he told us how he has felt a difference since he got baptized. He said that he hears the small voice a lot more now, and he always wants to do nice things. It was very great to hear him say that. It's amazing to be able to see the change that happens in people's lives when they get baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Hunter Henson is so great!
Elder Loveridge and I had many opportunities to teach some very great people this week.
At one lesson we had, there were two college kids there named Michael and Callie , who we were not expecting. As we started teaching about prayer and the Holy Ghost, you could see Callie's eyes light up. At a few different times, it appeared that she was holding back tears. So I turned to her and asked her what's been sticking out to her. She explained how through prayer we can know truth, and that she really wants to have more truth in her life. She started crying and the Spirit just filled the room instantly. It was so powerful. Everyone there could feel it.
It's amazing to be able to be a part of the Holy Ghost teaching someone.
We also had a great first lesson with a YSA named Richard. He reached out to us saying that he really wants a Church with people his own age, who still worship. Well... he found us. We had a lesson with him at the Church on Saturday night. We taught him the Restoration in the Chapel, everything was making sense to him and he was really interested in more. He came to Church the next day and seemed to really enjoy it! We are teaching him again this Wednesday!
Please pray for Malik, Richard, and Ozzy
I love y'all so much!
Love, Elder Giles
Posted by Amanda Shaw at 9:09 AM
I hope y'all had a great New Year's Eve!
Y'all went on a snow covered trail in 12 degree weather? That's nuts. I can't even imagine that. It's probably like 55 degrees today and I amfreezing! That does sound like a lot of fun though. We are so lucky to live right next to the mountains, and we can just go hiking whenever we would like. That's really nice.
Remember those long road trips I take frequently to San Antonio. WELL, this past Friday we had to meet at the Temple at 7:30 am.... it's over a 2 hour drive.....
We woke up dangerously early to shower, and get prepared, and then we made it to the Temple on time. All the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders were able to do a session together with President Slaughter and his wife.
It was so amazing. The peace and Spirit that we feel in the Temple is so unparalleled to anything else on this earth. It was amazing to look around and see all my best friends, these amazing missionaries, all there with me. It felt so good!
Usually, missionaries only go through with President right before they go home. It was very rare that we are able to go as well. I realized that the next time I was in there with President would be in 8 months, my last day in the mission.
I saw how much I have grown, and how much more I want to become in the next 8 months.
We then met at a Stake Center to have a huge lunch, and then have our Mission Leadership Council. It was a great meeting, and a lot was accomplished.
Unfortunately, that is also where I said goodbye to Elder Nichols. He was flying home the next day, and was going to spend the night in San Antonio. It was so much fun to be his companion, I learned a lot from him. He's going to continue to be such a good example to others in Utah.
Hunter Henson's Baptism:
Hunter Henson is such a fantastic kid! He was finally baptized this Saturday at 2pm.
SOO many people showed up to support him and his family! It was insane!! Everyone kept talking about how they have never seen so many people at a baptism before hahaha it was so good! The baptismal service was very powerful. Afterwards, there was a big get-together and a lot of people brought snack foods. So much of it was eaten, and whatever wasn't eaten was given to us ahahah (that's the other picture I sent)
Hunter also asked for me to confirm him and give him the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I was very humbled and grateful that he asked me to do that. It is always so powerful and such a spiritual experience every time I give someone a blessing. I always feel so much joy afterwards, and that is so much more true when giving someone the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a great experience, and I'm glad that I was abel to do that for him.
Hunter Henson is now officially a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!!!
I love you all so much! I am so proud of each of you and the testimonies that you have. You are very inspiring to me!
**Please keep in your prayers this week Malik Abdul, and Ozzy Gastineau**
Posted by Amanda Shaw at 9:07 AM