My Missionary Commission


I am Called of God. My authority is above that of the kings of the earth. By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my Master and he has chosen me to represent him. To stand in his place, to say and do what he himself would say and do if he personally were ministering to the very people to whom he has sent me. My voice is his voice, and my acts are his acts; my words are his words, and my doctrine is his doctrine. My commission is to do what he wants done. To say what he wants said. To be a living modern witness in word and deed of the divinity of his great and marvelous latter-day work.
-Elder Bruce R McConkie
If any of you have received any letters or great stories from Dylan and would like to share it, we'd love to have it and post it here. When Dylan is done we are going to make this blog into a book for him. So any contributions are welcome. Just email them to

Feel free to make comments as they are automatically emailed to Dylan. He would love to hear from you. Even if it is a small comment.

Dylan's Photo Album- check back on Mondays when he (hopefully) uploads more each week.

A letter to Sister Thurlow from Elder Maua'i (5/24/2011)

* I thought I would share this for all those who have had a hand in raising Dylan

Dear Sister Thurlow,

I know you must be thinking who is this? or why? Well I'm Elder Elliot Maua'i from Hawaii. And you son Elder Shaw has made a big influence to me as a missionary. I am thankful for his testimony and character. I am in the same district as he is. Your son has helped me in so many ways that I could not not write a letter. There was a time that I felt like the worst missionary ever...and if it wasn't for your son Elder Shaw I would've been hard on myself. He told me "missionary work is constant and you can't give up...we didn't even reach Madagascar"  That made me take a step back and look at reality. I know that I was called to Madgascar for a reason and I know that the Lord knew that I needed help and that's why your son Elder Shaw has been called to Madagascar. And I am eternally greatful for him and also his fmily. Thank you very much.

Elder Maua'i

p.s. Thank you

Elder Maua'i

E-Mail from Dylan (5/17/2011)

D: I’m on the computer! Are you?

Mom: Yup!

D: Nice! Doing laundry right now! How you been?

Mom: I have been good! Minus last night –but good.

D: Minus last night eh? And by the way, spiritual sister  Nice letter.

D: Pretty good myself- minus last Friday-but good

D: Did you ever check out It is my teachers website.

Mom: Ya I checked it out. I want to say I have seen it before in all my Madagascar research. It was cute. Pretty simple website but it was good. I like the people on the website.

D: I wrote you a letter! Should get it today or tomorrow! But I’m going to sign off the computer till later! Probably a good 30-1 hour, unless we go to the temple first!! We will see!! Tia anao aho!

Mom: Oooohhhh….I can’t wait! Love to get letters from you…I sent you one too….you can’t miss it. I mailed it on Monday. Should be there Wednesday. It has your memory stick in it.

Mom: Ya…bad times or just rough day on Friday? Wanna Share?

D: haha not exactly, it wasn't me going through bad times, it was Elder XXXX, which is who you wrote, which I wrote in my journal and give you mad props :P, I have been writing in my journal, so when I see you in two years, you will know bad things, deal? :D

Mom: long as I didn’t cause the bad day. That would be terrible..but I’d wanna know so I don’t do it again. There are lots of moms that write kids that don’t get many letters, but its hard trying to stay anonymous. So….was it my fault…yes or no.

D: haha oh no, it is rosy peachy most of the time, a lil' boring cause it is repetition, but the mission starts in the field. :P has chase got his papers back yet? I sent a big letter like I said, asking for some stuff if that is alright, I need the international call cards soon! I want to call you and dad and peeps :D I sent a good 5 pages of the little paper!! You will see when you get it!!

Moms: Are there more bad times there than what us at home know about. We all think it is rosy and peachy there….people just being in the zone. I take it that is not true than. Ya, I guess in two years it will be good to see what happens on the “inside”

I am getting excited to talk to you in three week!!!

Mom: Glad to hear it is rosy…most of the time. I haven’t heard if they have come. If he is going to do what his SP said, it will be only family and then he will tell the world. They should come sometime this weekend…if it all went according to plan.

Mom: Ya what up with that…small paper….I saw Lilly and taytum’s letter.

D:I kind of like it, makes me feel like I write a lot more than what I do :), and I had a lot to say!! She was excited? ;D

Mom: Have you heard anything about leaving? Are you going on Monday or on wed? I can’t wait to talk to you.

D: It is on a Monday, and nah, we don't find out like till the week before we leave I believe, I'll save some time all day Tuesday and tell you that day if we get it.

Mom: Are you getting excited to leave?

D: haha more than you know mother. Haven't been there yet and planning on coming back every summer with my old teacher :) I'll explain those details when I get home, in 2 years :)

Mom: That’s funny to year…in 2 years…don’t rush it…  on your blog I have days you’ve been out instead of days till you come home. I so want you to enjoy it! It is going to fly by sooooo fast. It will make you cry that you have to come home.

D: Nah, cause I'll be going back there :)

MOM: Hope you get a good job to be able to afford it.  that’s one expensive airplane ride…

D: Don't worry, I got a plan :)

That is the thing!! You get sponsors to go :D!

Mom: Always to optimist…finally something from me…

D: I'm gona find a website when I get there to put all my pictures up on and I'll send you the link instead of having to send the cards home! Much easier, at least that is what I heard so we will see :)

D: I'll mail my glasses home today if I get the chance!! Good to hear about Lilly and taytum, was happy to write them!! :D Also good to hear about xxxxx:P I haven't got my hep shot yet, they call us up when they are ready. And money wise, I'll probably just withdraw some from the bank and convert it :) SO SOSOSOSOSOSOS STOKED to go there!! and yea, p-days we eat at the temple, the food there is much much better.

MOM: Ya I love the food in the temple…it is yummy….well just make sure you don’t leave the country without it… make sure you keep enough money in the bank for your flight in case your luggage weight goes over…

D: Yea, we can weigh it before so I'm making sure I won't be overweight, but I'll be prepared :P

Mom: Did you get your snack package?

D: I haven't got any packages yet, except Knudsen sent me some!! Some bomb cinnamon rolls!! yea yea.

Mom: I sent you a dear elder candy package on Friday…you didn’t get it?

D: oh nono, I did I did!! Sorry, the days blend together, your memory lasts about 3 days :)

D: 5 minutes!!

Mom: Well I look forward to your letter. I hope you have a great week!! Glad you got the package.. Hope someone exciting comes to devotional tonight!!!

Love you very much

Girls were very excited to get your letter.

There are some drawings coming in the mail…

Love you…

letter from Dylan (5/15/2011)

Ry Mamako,  May 15th (dimy amby folo)

Manao Ahoana! Inona no vaovao? Tsy misy? Tsara be. Mipetrika amin fiangoana amizao aho. Tsy miresaka amin fiangoana androany aho, Kanefa tsy miomana aho din tsara izany.

How is everything going? Sorry for writing in pencil. I usually carry it in my shirt picket, but it just so happens, in the bathroom, I dunno how it happened, but fell out of my pocket right between my legs and went for a swim after I was done. And the other one is in my room's drawers! Miala tsiny aho. Hanome famelan-leloka amin ahy ve ianao?  (*moms note here- i don't know what he is saying either)

So done with church and district meeting. Just gonig through the day. We had Neil L Anderson come on Tuesday, which was way sweet. We had a good talk. 3 more weeks to go! If missionaries come in on wednesday, we will leave with them (*no I don't know what he is talking about either)  Oh Shoot getting so stoked! Just one day at a time. alright, since you want to know something bad, I've been searching diligently and omaly, my glasses broke. So I switched to the brown glasses! Like them a lot. It was just the nose piece so if I have to wear them, I still can.  

Think I'm gonna leave this page to answer questions. But can't write them till tonight. Bye for now! :D By the way, will you send, fruit snacks and granola bars? Some candy as well. Been Craving! and licorice. Oh and paydays. if you can.  Well about time for dinner, see ya later again. Tia anao aho.

Finally home. Question and answer time!  Please Please get Abel's email. Facebook him if you must.  Spongebob sheets go on the bed on tuesday. I see Demetrius a lot.  I'll send my MTC map home before I leave. Jameson- I don't see so much. only randomly. OH! If you could send me calling cards or money to call people from the airport. I will talk to you the most but want to call Dad and grandma and such. If you can't send cards I can ask someone else. You will have to explain how they work. No hepatitis shot yet. They will call us when we are ready. Elder Wilson is getting the same thing done to his toe- a shot for ingrown toe nail Rahimpitso! (word means tomorrow)  So I get to video it now.  I am still attending the temple every week. Where is chase going? X that out if you put this on the blog and I will pretend I don't know or tell him to wait a day, then send me a letter (*fat chance that happening. dylan didn't wait for chase to come back - we are letting dylan suffer now that chase received his call)

June 6th, Monday, we all leave. I'll post my pictures up in Mada and let you know what website  :) I'll make a video of me speaking. Don't worry! Everyone is writing in my journal so I have their names.  Tia anao aho. Sleep good. Mandra pionona!

Elder Shaw

A Song Just for you....

A song Elder Mau'ui and Elder Shaw made! Just for you mom!

There are flowers of Everykind
Know that you're always on my mind
Where ever I should find
A flower of any Kind

Happy Birthday Mamako (5-9-2011)

Dear Mother of Mine,

I wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday and Mothers day! Yes. I sent my SD card, about 100 pictures through the first four weeks! Please put all the videos and pictures in a safe folder for when I come home! How was your mothers day and birthday? Hope it was the best birthday, cause that is all you deserve! Cheesecake Factory? So how old are you? 30?  ;D Oh Sill me. Your appearance tricks me everytime! It is still going good here. Jamming out to some sweet church music! In the youth section check out strength beyond my own. So wanted to thank you for being the tonga lafatra mamako! Also wanted to apologize for being a butthead the last week or so! Please forgive me! You have brought me up well! Look where I am ! Putting in work! Tia be anao aho.

Mothers Day Letter (5-8-2011)

Ry Mamako                   May 8, 2011         Mother's Day

Well, I promised some stories. I have a few. Lets see. We were at the TRC yesterday and we had some analogies ready and some scriptures ready.  So we were somewhat prepared. We go in there, ten minutes go by and going real well. We share a scripture, was the wrong scripture(was in Malagasy) so, was not to sure what it said. I started saying an analogy, going good, the investigator looks confused, I realized it was the completely wrong analogy!!! Was crazy. Started laughing, said oh shoot! Then it went downhill from there. I was teaching the five steps of repentance in same lesso, got through the first 3 steps and completely spaced the last 2 steps. Said I forgot and just skipped it. It was way bad, But , I enjoyed it very much. It was a learning experience and I take it as one. Malagasy is still coming very well. In time, been hangin out with Demetrius more. He is my piece of real life i guess. Love that big guy! Definitely goinna see him when I get back. He could be transfered to mada as well. if they have too much missionaries in La Reunion. So it is possible!!! Way stoked to go to Mada. But a teacher is leaving on Monday to go to mada. Hoping to see him. I think that is all I was to say. Love you. Write you on tuesday. Tia anao aho.

Letter from Dylan (5/4/2011)

Ry Mamako

I did get the brownies and they were delicious. Misaotra Betsaka(thank you a lot) [miss-oh-cha beh-ts-ka]. We got to listen to a man from the second quorum of the seventy. it was a way  milay(cool) [me-lie] talk!(just learned that word today)

Now, I got my haircut, I look even better than before. Yes, it is possible! haha I only kid.I do have a songbook in Malagasy. There is alot I need at the bookstore. I am just waiting to buy stuff. no particular reson! I think as rooms become available, I hang some pictures up. Some in my book :)  Sure, just send pictures of Dayna in her dress. I just want to see her! Don't matter who she is with! There is a scale in the gym and I weighed myself this morning and I weighed 139! Ridiculous! good thing I'll be losing it all in Mada! That is way awesome what Richard is doing. Give him mad props! you too but chastise with love. You know I love you! You usually get the flight plans a week before you leave or something. I'll let you know! Vonona? Teny gasy lesona! Voonoona (ready), malagasy leson.) Malagasy does not have certain words so they combine certain words. The one I learned today was lalandava. Dava=lava which means long.  So lalan means path. So lalandava is long path or continually!
Avy amin  Elder Shaw

95% of malalgasy verbs begin with mi or ma. To make any verb into a nown, you get tid of the m and make it an f and add ra on it. example mahita=to see. Fahitana- vision! Exceptions of course.  In Malagasy these letters make these sounds a=ah, o=oo, i = ee, y=ee

Letter from Dylan (5/1/2011)

Dear Mother,

Yes, I write on sundays. I'll answer your questions at the end as I don't have a  pen nor the paper with me. Just gonna have to suffer with pencil and the moment!

Everything is going good. It is fast sunday! Waiting for Dinner! Waiting for your next package eagerly! If you happen to find the bags of candy with dots, tootsie rolls, snickers, a bunch more reeses please! and send the granola bars too please! and fruit snacks! Been craving snacks! Where is my letter from Lilly and my cookies? =( It is good. Almost to halfway mark! Then to the field. We taught the second lesson in th eTRC yesterday! Was goodstuff. All Malagasy. I get to call you at the airports while on my way to mada. The zone leaders are my three other elders in my district. so just wanted to say hi. Tuesday is pday! It is coming up! This is the end till i go back to the resident Hall. Don't you dare open that letter.

***note from mom*** that "letter" is my mothers day letter that has an SD card full of pictures.  and it came in the mail on Tuesday the 4th.

Dylan's Email Letter (5/3/2011)

We texted a bit before I received his email.

Dylan: Goodness gracious mother!! I’m reading your letter right now! You doing good? Was about to reply to this big ol’ letter

Mom: you don’t have to now, especially if you leave stuff out cause you are so pressed for time you can just send a letter.

Dylan: haha no, it is alright, I’m not pressed for time

Mom: Should I just let you respond to my email. Cause I love those emails and letters of course. The days I don’t expect any letters and let Richard get the mail is the day your letters come. I now have total control of the mailbox key. So I get to get the mail and he has to ask for the key. Bwahhhahahahah

Dylan: hahahahah oh goodness, never thought I’d see the day come ;), nah, I’m a fast typer, you know that. Tell me stuff you haven’t told me yet!

Mom: I tell you everything in my epistle letters. That’s why I repeat myself. The other stuff would make you homesick that is why they tell us not to tell you. I know you are an extremely fast typer. But what about reader……. Oooooo awwwww….

DYLAN: haha reading faster.

Mom: Sis XXXX said you showed XXXX how to get extra computer time on the computers. Did you figure that out or did someone else? You know that’s not really fair to the other thousands of missionaries there.

Dylan: Well they do it so every missionary can get a chance. And we are in a building where there are no missionaries, and in the field there is no time limit. But I won’t justify. Let me reply to your letter and I’m signing off.

MOM: Don’t sign off on my account. ……I am being selfish…..or unless it is your trick to get more time. You know I would really love to hear some stories/experiences you are having. People love the alarm clock story. Are you getting g lots of mail form other people?

DYLAN: hahahaha thought, you would like to hear,so I had to get more time to reply to your email and not be rushed, I’m writing a lot so be patient, I would love to tell more stories but it is mostly the same thing every day.


Okay, finished printing it and here we go. I've been good, mahafinatra (ma-ha-fen-ah-cha), or wonderful. Oh my goodness, make sure you send a picture of that if it is bad!! Pyper is getting jacked up lately!! I didn't recieve the called2serve thing, never seen one of, don't think so. I get mail through the myldsmail mail so it is sweet!! goodness gracious, bet taytum wasn't too happy about scout, doesn't sound pleasant, when do you go to the doctors? The bookstore, it is like a miniminiminimini walmart, has something in every catagory. has the song books for each language and stuff, it is way cool. I haven't seen garments there, but I do know the place to do it, it is right by the haircut place (which I'm getting one today). You can get shampoo, and a bunch of stuff from the bookstore. Every week you get 6$ on your blue card to buy whatever but it stacks up and I'm letting mine stack up and buying things before I leave!! Like journals and such. Nah, he sleeps in a different building. I'll make sure I draw you a map of stuff, don't worry :P I'll carry around my map I got from the mtc for when I get home or I'll jsut send it to you. I know right!! One month tomorrw, and saturday will be around our hump day so it will be way sweet!! It gets pretty boring here, but I've been learning languages all around, I know how to say hi, how are you and say I'm good in, Mongolian, Fijian, Malay, Indonesian, Malagasy, Spanish, French, Czech (don't remember that one though), Tongan, Samoan, it is way cool :P remembering things is coming a lot quicker to me, the language is helping out!! haha nah, no weightlifting, It is boring to lift, much more fun to be more active and play basketball!! we are in a room with 4 beds but there are just two of us. alarm clock is working, :)  MAKE SURE YOU SEND ME PICTURES OF DAYNAS PROM DRESS!!!! also bishops address as well please. Teaching is alright, I'm not the best but getting better. haha videos games are something of the past, except when I get home :P I'm just gona want to sleep for awhile and be good. Temples are good as well, it is a nice break from the MTC, especially PDAY  :P  Elder XXXXX is in my district, but don't let him know who you are if you write him. I've been writing all the boys, don't worry mother :P Everyone that has written me I've written back, plus extra. yea, I heard about osama, maybe he just didnt get a chance to hear about the gospel :) But he will in the tranomaizina, spirit prison. Dark house is what they call it in Malagasy, the flag is hanging up in my room :) Love you mother. I'll write you stories in my letter. See you later!! I might jump on later and see whats up for the addresses I asked for!! Tia anao aho!

Letter from Dylan (5/2/2011)

so he gave me a lesson in Malagasy. Which i think is funny. So here is what he was writing

Ohetra -    Rai       Ray   an - danitra   sounds like (ree ry ahn-dani-ee-cha)
Example - Dear   Father  in    Heaven

Rai Ray Mamako  (dear father mother)

Haha, nah, never during devotional (saying he doesnt write letters)
This devotional last sunday was way sweet. We had the MTC president and he is the exe producer of mormon messages and we saw some from 1978 (he thinks-more like 88) and it was awesome. Ya!! The layout of the MTC is way easy. The new schedule is still throwing us off. (referrering to his pday being changed) but it is all good. I know where all the spanish speakers are so i'll talk to them and see whay is up! I found Demetrius the first day and see him all over the place. He is in the same building i am in all day. I'll see what I can do about pictures! Maybe !! =D  I'll make sure i email you first so we can chat more. No, no elders have been here longer, they all left and we took their spots, just as the new ones will come whe we leave. Elder Wilson is doing much better! Last night Rahalaly(brother) O'day showed us a new way to study and it clicked for him so, evrything should come a lot easier for him! Which is awesome! Yes. I actually write our stake president every week. we all have to. The TRC is every week, and it is way hard but way cool hearing a return malagsy speak! My toe is still a little red but the nail looks way good! Just takes time! I've also started to get way bomb at basketball! 3 weeks of playing have done things! So, manana finonana(have faith) gets changed to manan-pinonana! Also, you could do one that says this " Aza ahiahy, manan-pinonana!" Midika(meaning) Don't doubt, have faith. It is preety sweet!  Tia anao aho! Avy amin,
Elder Shaw

p.s. wher is my letter from Lilly and Taytum? and Camryon and TY? I already talked to Dayna

THE MISSION....a poem (5/1/2011)


I stared out the window,

The tears still in my eyes,

I saw the friends and those I loved,

As we said our last goodbyes.

The ride was long and trying;

Two questions plagued my mind.

Do I want the life that's up ahead

Or the one I left behind?

Two years is such a long, long time,

For going door to door.

In my reflecting, I thought to myself--

There really must be more.

I dragged myself down off the plane

and stood smiling at the beach.

There a man turned to me,

Saying, "Elder, go and teach."

I sit reflecting once again

As this day is my last.

Please, Lord, this isn't fair,

The time goes way too fast!

I stared out the window,

The tears still in my eyes.

I see the elders and sisters and those I love,

As we say our last goodbyes.

The ride was long and trying;

Two questions plagued my mind.

Do I want the life that's up ahead

Or the one I left behind?

--Author Unknown