Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Week 2: I Believe In A Thing Called Love

This week has been stellar!! I only have 5 minutes left so I only have time to share a couple things that happened this week.

First, we had our last lesson with Enrique at the end of last week and I decided that I was tired of just reading off a piece of paper my lesson, so I was praying sooooo hard that I would be able to speak to him, feel the Spirit, know what to say, and say my memorized scripture to him without struggling too much.
I taught about the Atonement. It was awwwwesome. I said my scripture, John 3:16-17 (in Spanish) the best I ever had and felt prompted to testify rather than continue to teach the kingdoms of glory at the end of the lesson. It was such a spiritual experience and I was so grateful for that answer to my prayers. I know this church is true. The gospel is perfect. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. The atonement is real. It is such a strength to me. I hardly used my notes too!! It was great. The Lord blesses His missionaries.

On Sunday, we had a devotional with Elder Scott. It was awwwwwesome. The theme for this week is love because I have felt the love of God and my Savior in EVERYTHING. That devotional, Elder Scott hit that so hard. I know God loves me. He wants me to succeed. He did not send me on a mission, call me to Kansas, to fail. I am here to succeed GLORIOUSLY. Being on a mission is hard, hard, work, but it's so rewarding.

Interesting things about the CCM:

-They have fruit tamales for breakfast.

-The fish is really good.

-Mom, my bug bites aren't gone yet.

-I saw a bumblebee for the first time and thought it was the cutest thing ever. I even had a dream about it.

-It rains allllll the time.

-I see tons of kids from school and EFY.

-They have really good chips here.

-I make my bed every morning.

-They have lots of bread - complete with a nutella and peanut butter bar.

-Really weird breakfast foods, let me tell you.

-Really good desserts though - mexicans know how to do it.

Good luck Elder White!! You'll love it!

I love you all so much. Thank-you for your prayers and your support. I love you, I love you, I LOVVVE YOU!!!!

I think about you so much.

Hermana Shumway

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Week 1 in the MTC

*We found out Audrey's departure date from Mexico to Kansas will be on July 22nd!

Marly is the best. And yes, love my cut-out head. I'm guessing that was Annette's gift! Please tell her thank-you :) Good for you and Cara not to worry about a full-body cardboard cut-out.

How is the youth doing? Fabulous, I'm sure. I miss them and love them so much. I thought about texting Saydi on Saturday to see how EFY went......that thought didn't go very far, as I'm sure you can imagine....haha.

We went to bed a little late one night because we were bonding with each other and a district which we really needed as companionship - there were lots of tears as we opened our hearts up to each other - but, I was SOOOO afraid for the lesson the next day because since we weren't obedient about getting to bed on time, I was worried that we wouldn't have the spirit....but I think it went okay.

Okay. Mexico is beautiful. The CCM is gorgeous with green grass and green tress and green parrots!!! The CCM is on like 90 acres so we have TONS of space for only like 300 missionaries. It's kinda crazy. Wednesday after I e-mailed you, we unpacked and I felt a little homesick, but I found comfort in the Savior and have been great ever since then! :)

Thurs: time flies but goes SOOOO slowly here. Haha it's weird. I know a little bit more Spanish than my comps do so they ask me all the time how to say things. I taught them my simple testimony that Cara helped me with - thanks! I remember a lot from high school surprisingly - it's doing me well! I just am praying a lot for humility and the gift of tongues so I can continue to learn more in a quick amount of time. Please pray for me! 
On this day we had a few meetings with the new missionaries (there are about 60 of us - so crazy compared to how it would be in Provo) - some with President Pratt. We had a tour of the CCM complete with big green circles for earthquake gathering places...? haha. We had our first meeting with our teacher where the Spanish started so that was fun. A lot of the elders and sisters in my district were overwhelmed, but I'm just so excited to learn more!! 

The best thing happened today. We taught an investigator named Carla (we being my district and another district). We observed the teaching of some other missionaries then made suggestions then got to continue the lesson by ourselves and it was awesome. She was struggling to know God loved her so I bore my testimony to her that she can see God's love through the blessings He has already given her like her family, her home, the air she breathes makes her body work somehow....and I felt the Spirit so strongly.
Another Hermana taught her how to pray so at the end of the lesson I invited her to pray for us. She was nervous and unsure but she did it anyway! And she felt so OVERJOYED. It was the best thing ever. I am so happy to be a missionary.

Friday: Since we 3 girls are the only sisters in our district, we got called as Sister Training Leaders! The biggest thing that happened today was that we taught our "Investigator" (he's not legit) for the first time. His name is Enrique. I was seriously super disappointed in myself after this lesson. We didn't introduce ourselves as missionaries, didn't start the lesson with a prayer, didn't even get to know was just not good. I definitely felt I put my years of mission prep and splits to shame...I offered to pray at the end then realized I didn't know how to pray in Spanish. 
We taught Carla in English and that was a breeze! Spanish is a whole nother story...So my spirits were a little down after the lesson...but Hermana Ballard was SO happy. It was such a change in her mood - I think it made her realize the fun in missionary work and helped her realize why she is here. It was cool to see how something that I was down about and saw as a trial could make someone else so happy! She was a good example. This lesson definitely motivated me to work harder to learn the language and develop my teaching techniques.

Saturday: Hermana Ballard didn't get breakfast. Hermana Adams and I loaded up on food and as I was blessing mine.....I got the feeling to fast with Hermana Ballard. I stared at my yummy looking food for a long time before I finally decided to tell my comps my decision. Now this was a hard decision because almost everyday at the CCM they tell us not to waste food....awkward. Hahaha so we went and threw away our trays full of food so we could fast with Hermana Ballard as a companionship. What a blessing that was in our day.
We had another lesson with Enrique about prayer and the spirit. At the end, this was unplanned, I got the thought to invite him to be baptized...I didn't know how to say it, but I just went with it. hahaha I asked him if he would get baptized when he had prayed and knew that the Book of Mormon and LDS church was true and he said YES!!!! Biggest smiled EVERRRRRRRR. Hahaha my comp said that she was kinda getting distracted, then she heard the word for baptism and was like WHAT?! Haha it was pretty funny, but we were so stoked!!

Sun: Sundays are awesome!!! We had lots of meetings. I didn't get to speak in Sacrament and I was bummed...that was weird. But! I did play the piano for us!! That was fun. Presidente and Hermana Pratt were there in our meeting with us. That was cool. We had a devotional with Elder Holland (just a video) that really buoyed me up and made me want to be the best missionary ever! We watched a couple vids about the stonecutter and faith in Christ and afterward had a discussion with the Elders in our district. It was AMAZING. We really bonded as a district at that time. We opened our hearts and it was really hard not to hug the Elders afterwards. We were all just bawling. We all just feel so blessed to be here through the Atonement of Christ. It is truly such a blessing to know that we can be cleansed of all our misdeeds then come out here and represent Him and share His message - so powerful.

I'm gonna end on that note! Please keep your prayers coming. I love you all so much. Thank-you for all the support. You are in my prayers always.

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Audrey's First Letter

My most wonderful parents!

Well I made it!!! Thank you for your beautiful email - it made me cry! I loved reading it. You are so sweet.
You guys are silly!! We parked on the 4th floor like RIGHT outside the entrance to the airport! 
Hey mom.. before you change the service on my phone to dad´s, will you just email those sweet texts everyone sent to me so we have them? Just hold down on the message and click copy then put it right into an email or word doc or whatever. I would love that. If you don´t get around to it, don´t stress though :)

Now for your questions.

We found we had a couple more stragglers join us in the gate and on the plane so there were a pretty big group of us...maybe like high teens. Lots of the missionaries are going to New York, New York North and Los Angelos! Another boy is going to Wichita and then a couple are going to Nicaragua! The flight was great. I read a little bit of scriptures and a little in the Ensign, but tried to sleep - and I did get some rest surprisingly! I had a little chat with the lady sitting next to me (in Spanish of course!!) just telling her that I´m going to Mexico to learn Spanish to go on a mission for my church. She asked where in Mexico and where I´m serving. I did okay communicating. She asked me if I knew a lot of Spanish and I said only very little then she told me that it´s all about practicing. I look forward to taking her advice and was proud of myself for speaking to her. 

Elder Hironaka sat behind me to the right and there was a Elder who came on the flight later who sat right behind me, going to Nicaragua just like Elder Hironaka. I did get pesos. I got them right before I headed down to my gate. They were right where Aunt Cheryl said they were - grateful for her!! Getting through customs...really long line, but it was fine! They gave us the paperwork for customs on the flight - I´m sure the people around me thought I was crazy cuz I checked that thing SO many times to make sure I had all the write info in the right places - haha so me, I know. 

After customs, we couldn´t find our bags for a few minutes, but of course we did then we found the MTC people and we walked a ways (yes, I took care of my own bags, mom!) and got to the CCM (MTC in Spanish) bus! Mexico City is A LOT different than I thought it would be! The buildings are SUUUUPER close together with little roads between them and everyone parks along the curb. The driving lanes are really really close together, we got kinda scared a couple times, but of course all was well :) Ciudad de Mexico is really really colorful too!! I couldn´t help but picture Elder White being here in a couple months...he will love it!!! Lots of interesting paint jobs on the buildings...haha and the logo for Quaker State or something like that is EVERYWHERE. I have no idea what it means or what it is, just thought you would like to know that that company or whatever it is is all over the place. 

Getting to the Mexico MTC has been a lot different than I think getting to the Provo MTC. We didn´t have a huge group meeting or anything. We had a little welcome by one of the Brothers here then they sent us off to eat where EVERYONE knew that we were the newbies. haha it was funny - we all were like HOW DO THEY KNOW!!?! There aren´t very many people here so I guess they memorize faces - I was impressed! Lots of sisters came up to us (the girls I was traveling with and me) and said hello, everyone of course is super nice and I´ve seen a couple buddies from BYU already which is super awesome! After dinner (PS I was suuuper hungry so I was grateful they let us eat so quickly) we got a little bit more orientation stuff (very casual - not like a meeting or anything, just a small group of us who got here at the same time), then we met with the doctor for a bit, now I´m emailing!!

 My P day is on Tuesdays! So expect to hear from me again then :) 

I have 2 companions! Hermana Ballard and Hermana Adams! I haven´t talked to them much yet, but they are so cute! It´s interesting- they just told us ´´go find your companions! if you don´t find them, stick with someone else!´´ haha we were like uhhhh okay!! It´s awesome :) I can´t wait to start doing stuff!! I love it already and just can´t wait to get used to everything just to leave again! 

Thank for for the love and support. I love you ohhhh soooo muuuuuch. Talk to you soon!!

Con todo mi amor y mi corazon,

Hermana Shumway

PS I don´t think there´s wifi around here soooo I don´t know if I´ll be able to send pics but I got some cute ones! I love you!

Annnnnd She's Off!

Sister Audrey Shumway began her mission to Wichita Kansas, leaving this morning for Mexico City to study Spanish and the culture at the Missionary Training Center there. At the airport she connected with other missionaries going to the same MTC but serving in other parts of the world. She shed a few tears, but mostly was very excited!! She thanks everyone for their friendship and love!

Farewell, Sister Shumway

Some of our good-byes.....

Audrey with all of her siblings at her farewell. 5/25/2014