We were blessed to speak with Shad on FaceTime (Apple's version of Skype). We talked with him for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. It was awesome! He looked great and seemed to be doing well! On Monday, the day after Mother's Day, we received a letter and a story in the mail. It was such a great letter! I will share the story and part of his letter to us.
Some time ago, a few ladies met to study the scriptures. While reading the third chapter of Malachi, they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse: "And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." (Malachi 3:3)
One lady decided to visit a silversmith, and report to the others on what he said about the subject. She went accordingly, and without telling him the reason for her visit, begged the silversmith to tell her about the process of refining silver. After he had fully described it to her, she asked, "Sir, do you sit while the work of refining is going on?" "Oh, yes ma'am, replied the silversmith; "I must sit and watch the furnace constantly, for, if the time necessary for refining is exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured."
The lady at once saw the beauty and comfort of the expression, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." God sees it necessary to put his children into the furnace; but His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for us. Our trials do not come at random, and He will not let us be tested beyond what we can endure. Before she left, the lady asked one final question, "How do you know when the process is complete?" "That's quite simple," replied the silversmith. "WhenI can see my own image in the silver, the refining process is finished."
If we are willing, the Lord will refine us until we become refined and perfect, "even as he is."
Stay strong, even though it may seem tough, the Lord will strengthen us and refine us to make us better and we don't know who we really are until we are put through trials to see what we will actually do when times are tough. Always trust in the Lord, and turn to him and He will help you and show you the way. I hope this helps during difficult times!
This is part of his letter:
Hope all is well. Today I went fishing and didn't catch anything, even though there were people catching them right next to us, but it was still fun! Everything is going good here. I'm excited to see you guys or talk to you Sunday! (Mother's Day) Here is a story that I think is awesome and I wanted you to have since times might be stressful or tough right now. Hopefully, it will help! I'm learning so much out here, but I still have a lot I need to learn. I am so grateful for this gospel and Christ's atonement. The more I learn and understand, the more it means to me. I know that through Christ, we can be clean and return to him. I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet who restored this wonderful church. How lucky I am to have such wonderful parents who raised us in the gospel and I'm so thankful for that! I know I wasn't the best person to be around in the family and wasn't always enjoyable, and so I'm sorry. I am so grateful that our family can be together not only here in this life, but in the next. I love being a missionary in the San Jose mission and all the great experiences I have had already. Even though I didn't express love to you guys, I want you guys to know that I love you and I'm so grateful to have you in my life! Thank you!
|Shad's Zone at Lexington Reservoir|
|Shad's Zone in a member's backyard.|
|Making fresh lemonade!|
|An Aston Martin car|
|Elder Whaley, Elder Vance, Sister Allen|
|Elder Whaley, The Maiavas, Elder Vance|
|Amatos-The Philly Cheese Sandwich Place-delicious!|
|Elder Whaley, Elder Vance, and The Gates|
|Elder Whaley, Sister Drova, Caytlin, Elder Vance|