Thursday, July 31, 2014

Topeka Pictures

"Pictures of Topeka, and a strange mailbox."

Hermana Hymas

Week 7: Party in the USA....Spanish Mistakes and All!!

HOLA family and friends!!
I am in Topeka, Kansas in a little Spanish Branch. Do not overestimate when I say little. Cuz it is LITTLE. We had about 15ish people at church yesterday. Super small!
I am speaking lots of Spanish which is very awesome and I'm super stoked about it! Thankfully, I don't feel nervous about speaking Spanish which is SUCH a blessing - thanks Heavenly Father!
My companion is Hermana Hymas from Lindon, Utah. She has been out for about a year and speaks about as much Spanish as I do so we are learning together. She is very sweet and patient.
Thank you to ELDER HOUSARI for the letter! I got it right when I got to Kansas!
When I got to Kansas, we had no investigators so we did a lot of finding and contacting this week. We have 5 new investigators who we are meeting with this week!! WOOT!! I'm so excited to start teaching them and help them change their lives. In Spanish or English :) Good thing the Gospel is true in all languages and the Spirit speaks all languages!
Funny Spanish story during a street contact: "yo se que el Evangelio de Jesucristo bendice todas las personas en el MENUDO"-hahahah oh man. Bad stuff. So awful. haha I quickly corrected myself, but still. I was sooo embarrassed. haha
This week, I decided to study the Book of Mormon (one of those blue little ones so I can mark it all up) with a specific question in mind and let me tell you. I have never been SO excited and SO into reading the Book of Mormon. I haven't even read that far into it yet cuz I just started today, but I've already learned so much as I have tried to study like one of my investigators would - really REALLY trying to find my answer. It is such a cool perspective and it have brought so much joy to reading the Book of Mormon. I can't wait to learn more. 
July 27 was the Spanish Father's Day so Happy Father's Day Daddy!! I love you!
Happy Birthday, Linsey Lou (on Sunday)!!!! That's so fun :)
Well I love you all so much...
Please keep the prayers coming! Missions are tough so please send up all the prayers you can. I love you I love you I LOVE YOU!!
I love this Gospel, I know it's true. I know Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, not menudo. I know God loves us and wants us to be happy. TRUE and lasting happiness only comes from living this gospel. I love it. 
Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,
Hermana Shumway


How was your first day?  First day. hmmmm well. on Wednesday, the first FULL day in KS, we had meetings and trainings in the morning, then we met our trainers, had lunch, and had a little devo and testimony meeting. Then we left for our areas! Topeka is about 2 hours from Wichita. Then we went grocery shopping then went to our apartment and I unpacked and got settled in and such. 

First impression of Kansas: HOLY HOT. haha Tuesday - the day I got to Kansas - was the hottest day of the year so far. and let me tell you. it was HOT. AND we went out tracting that day - like 2 hours after we got there! haha it was really hot, and I was really sweaty, but I loved it! We placed some copies of the Book of Mormon and invited people to be baptized AND got some referrals for that area! It was goooood.

Who's your companion: her name is Hermana Hymas. She is from Lindon, Utah. She will be out a year in August! She is very sweet and patient. 

Food-Do the members feed you?: ummmm. I have been to a members house once to eat. :/ we are in a SUUUPER small Spanish Branch. Super super small - 15ish people were at church yesterday. The branch is assigned days to feed us and then one of the English wards is assigned days too. but yeah!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Week 6: I'm Off to See the Wizard! Annnnnnnd 7 Things

Welllll here we are! Last day at the CCM!! The subject of this email is pretty self-explanatory...I´m off to Kansas tomorrow!!! Holy cow that´s weird. I am so stoked to actually start the real missionary work. I mean...the MTC IS real missionary work..but I´m excited to do it with real people :) haha it´s going to be very humbling, but I am pretty darn excited to be in Kansas! I am nervous about where I´m going to be and who my trainer is going to be and all that, but I know the Lord will take care of me!

Thank you Courtney and Sister Jones for your letters! You are so sweet!

In this email today, I wanted to share just 7 Things (that´s a Miley Cyrus song - kickin it back to when that was my favorite song in like 8th grade....) that I learned in the CCM. I learned WAY more than only 7 things, but these are what stuck out to me when I thought about writing this email.

Here we go!
#1 Missionary works is INSPIRED
I cannot tell you how true that is. Well, I´ll try. haha while being in the CCM, I have felt how much the Lord´s hand is TRULY in missionary work. It amazes me how this Gospel of Jesus Christ that missionaries teach every day can be applied to everyone, anytime, no matter what is happening in their lives. Missionary work is the work of the Lord. To bring others unto Him. The Lord definitely loves His missionaries :)

#2 Missionaries should never have a "bad day"
Let's be real. I have had my bad days at the CCM. There are days where I am just down and I don´t really have a reason. But let me tell you what. One of my teachers said to me the other day: "Hermana Shumway, never stop smiling. Your smile is contagious." and ya know. That really hit me. I get to teach the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ every single day of my life as a missionary. I get to see the greatest miracle - people changing their hearts. This gospel brings me so much joy. I know that there will be tough days. I know that there will be days I will be discouraged that I can´t adequately say what I want to say because I have to say it in Spanish. The days may be tough, but I am making the decision know to smile anyway :) I am so blessed. I always need to show that :)

#3 Repentance and the Atonement are SO REAL.
Okay, I know in the CCM we only have fake investigators, but one of our investigators was really struggling with repentance and feeling like the Lord had forgiven him so we taught him how to repent a couple different times. Then, in our next lesson, he was SO happy and I just got this feeling telling me that I need to ask him why he is so happy. And he said that it was because he didn´t have his bad feelings anymore and he was just so so joyful. That was probably one of the happiest moments ever. I am not perfect, no one is. We need the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is such a blessing that we can feel such deep sorrow, but it can be transformed into JOY through the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I can´t wait to help others let the Atonement work in their lives :)

#4 Spanish is hard but I LOVE it.
Yup, I love this language. I feel so blessed to be called to teach in it :) Life is good. Spanish is beautiful. The end!

#5 Missionary work should NOT be taken lightly.
Missionary work is tough stuff. This calling, this assignment (I guess) is not for the faint hearted. It really is WORK. BUT it is the most rewarding work anyone could every do. As Jeffrey R. Holland has said (paraphrased) "All too often we are just too casual about all of this. This is ETERNAL LIFE. Eternity hangs in the balance." I know that to be true. I am trying my hardest to be a missionary that fits this perfect message. That´s what this work deserves. That´s what the Gospel of Jesus Christ deserves. That´s what the Lord deserves.

#6 The Lord LOVES and takes care of His missionaries
I saw a quote the other day that says "Do you not know that you are in the hands of God?" Coolest quote ever. The Lord is mindful of all of us. He knows what we need. A counselor in our branch presidency said "besides the prophet of the Lord, missionaries are the CLOSEST to our Father in Heaven." 

#7 I am so blessed to be a missionary.
I am so grateful for my call to serve in Wichita Kansas. I know that this is where I need to be and I know that the Lord is preparing people for me to teach. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to learn more about the teachings of the Savior and learn how to share that with others.

I really really really do love being a missionary.
I know this church is true.
I can´t wait to get to Wichita and share it with God´s children.

I love you all - thank you for your love and prayers :)

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

"I love Kansas!"

Her district with their branch president and counselor.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Week 5: What is Time?

Title of this week´s email is what it is cuz it´s RIDICULOUS that I only have ONE MORE WEEK here. Wait, what? 

Yeah. Weird. So weird. AND I hit my month mark last week! Psch. Where the heck did the time go - I just don´t know.

Thank you for the letters MOM and ELDER HOUSARI!!! So awesome to hear from you guys! To receive news from home and from the Ohio Columbus Mission! He gets home next month! Shout out to him and his loving family :) Thank you to ERIC SCHOFIELD for the package of chocolate chip cookies! You guys are so thoughtful - thank you for all the love :))

Okay. Lots of cool and random stuff for this week but I only have 5 minutes to write it all!!!

Now 4.. 
Okay, first of all. There is an Elder in my district who is pretty sick- please pray for him! His name is Elder Reynolds!

I feel like this is the most important thing to share so that´s what I´m going to.
So this week I met an hermana who just got baptized a year and a month ago. She gave me permission to share this story because I think it applies to a lot of people I know. Here´s the run down.
She decided to join the church after the first meeting with the missionaries. She was baptized 2 weeks later. Then a month later her parents (strong Catholics) kicked her out of the house and took all her privileges (car, insurance, money for school - everything). She moved in with a family in her ward and worked up enough money to buy her own car and pioneer to Provo, Utah. There she had many cool experiences all pointing to her serving a mission. She decided to use the money she had saved for college to fund her mission. Then she was blessed to be placed in the path of an elderly couple who paid for half of her mission. And now here she is. I could not believe it. I don´t know if I could do it without being FULLY supported by my family.

I felt impressed to share this because I know there are people who will read this who need to hear it. Her faith was such a testimony to me of the truthfulness of this gospel and the promised blessings we will receive if we remain obedient to it. I asked her how in the world she got through it. She told me that it was hard at the time because she couldn´t go into the future and see all the blessings she was going to receive, but she told me that for every one bad thing that happened, she received 20 blessings.

I was just amazed. I love her story. She had to trust in the Lord so much to endure those hard trials with her family and I´m sure tons more trials. I know the Lord will provide. Trials are tough - but we will be SO blessed for following the promptings of the Spirit and making decisions that we KNOW are what we are supposed to do, even when in the moment a way doesn´t seem possible. She knew and knows that this church is true and she was willing to give it all up in order to be a member of it and receive it in its fulness. She is such a great example to me.

I know when we trust in the Lord and we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, the Lord cannot withhold ANY blessings from us. Trust in Him. It can be scary and it will bring us out of our comfort zones. But our gains will outweigh the losses 100000000 fold. 

Follow up time. I challenged you all last week to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. Please email me WHEN you do this!!! Notice how I didn´t say if?  haha I want to hear about all these witnesses of the Spirit. Just please read and pray with an open heart. The Lord will give you an answer. I promise you that. :)

Random stuff:

-Tons of mosquitos here. They fly super slowly and don´t bite. Weird.

-I sing in the choir here! and last week they didn´t have it and I was actually super bummed...there ya go Daddy! haha

-I had a dream that we had oatmeal one morning (never happens) and we got oatmeal! I´m a visionary.

-I had a dream in SPANISH!!! I think I was teaching. A counselor in our branch presidency said that that means I'm actually HERE. I loved that :) Hope it happens more!!

-A teacher here in the CCM (not my teacher, but our district´s teacher friend guy thing...? anyway) he brought us Krispie Kreme donuts one night and it was the best thing ever. People are so so nice.

-I LOVE reading the scriptures in Spanish. It´s getting easier and easier everyday if I pray before I read. There are just words that have different connotations in Spanish than in English and it´s really really awesome to read. Anyway, it´s hard to express, but I love the Book of Mormon!!! and the Bible!!! I know they are the words of God.

-I love being the Lord´s missionary and working everyday to better myself for Him and to be better qualified to do His work in His way with His children.
I am so blessed to have this opportunity.
I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The church that Christ established while he was on the Earth has been restored IN IT´S FULNESS by the prophet Joseph Smith - TODAY!!! It´s the most fantastic, joyful thing ever. I know that obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way to have true joy in this life and eternal life (living with God) in the life to come. The blessings it brings into my life are innumerable and I cherish them always. Read the Book of Mormon. It will bring you closer to Christ. Oh how I love it :)

And oh how I love and appreciate you. Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you for all of your love and support and your prayers. Missionary work is the best :)

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


FINALLY got some pictures from Audrey!

"I was so happy, you don't even know! Thank you Hancocks
and Eric!"

Mexico City Temple

"Cool statue thing at the CCM (MTC), with
the B representing the old school in the

Her mission scriptures.

Their District at the CCM.

Her companions. Hermana Adams in the middle, Hermana
Ballard on the right.

Fellow missionaries going to Wichita. Audrey, Hermana
Adams, Elder Downs (from AZ), and Elder Cole.

She got her tags!

Week 4: Do You Love Me?

¡Hola Familia y Amigos!

¿Como fue su semana? How was your week?

This week´s email is titled Do You Love Me? because our devo on Sunday night was from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland - one of the Lord´s twelve apostles in these the latter days - and he related the story of Jesus asking Peter 3 times if he loved Him after His resurrection and of course Peter says yes. Then the Lord tells Peter to feed His sheep.

THANK YOU ERIC FOR YOUR DEARELDER!!!! Seriously. Mail makes my life. Thank yoooou!!!!

This week....had it´s ups and downs that´s for sure. Wednesday was tough - as Wednesday´s always are...because it was like a P day hangover. haha but the days get better and better!

First of all, it looks like you guys had SO much fun in Taylor this weekend!! That´s so awesome that our family got to participate so much! Like blow the anvil and such! I missed that a lot! Thank you for the pictures - my family is just the best!!!

Here for the 4th of July of course everyone was dressed in red, white and blue. They made French toast for us for breakfast and we had a picnic type meal for lunch. They even decorated the cafeteria with red white and blue table cloths! It was so so so soooo sweet. They really did their best to make us feel like home on that very special special day for the United States. We got to sing the Star Spangled Banner too!! It made me miss singing that at every home game.

For a couple days this week, I went on a fast from English - oh my is it fun! I LOVE speaking Spanish!! Sometimes it´s hard to get across what I want to say, but I LOVED trying to speak my mission language the whole day. I will definitely be doing that more and more before I leave the CCM and when I´m in the field. Everything seems to be so much funnier in Spanish...I´m not sure why. hahaha and me and my comps always talk in voz alto (loud voices) when we speak Spanish...not sure why that is either. haha but my English and speaking and spelling is getting more and more difficult soooo I guess that´s good? :)

I feel impressed to share my feelings of the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith. For Sunday Night Movie Night we watched Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration and I really feel like I should share some of my feelings.

I will be honest, this week, I doubted my faith before I doubted my doubts. I went through a little rough patch where I doubted my testimony of these things a little bit. I prayed so fervently to know. 
But I want you all to know....that I DO know. I was reading back in my study journal and I found a little entry. Right before I started reading scriptures about the Book of Mormon I prayed like I always do to have a confirmation of its truthfulness through the Spirit as I read. And the first verse I was led to was Doctrine and Covenants 17:6. The last 3 words are "it is true". I quickly went on to the next scripture on my list when all of a sudden I got the thought (from the Spirit, I´m sure of it) "hold just asked for that....". I´m getting emotional now just thinking about it, but I KNOW. I KNOW. and I continue to seek further knowledge that the Book of Mormon..the book we invite everyone to read so that they can draw nearer to our Savior Jesus Christ is ohhhh sooo true. I love it. I love this gospel. I am so grateful for the patience of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I am grateful that he was worthy to restore the true church of Jesus Christ again on this Earth under direction of our Heavenly Father and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I know Jesus Christ lives. I know Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and successful.

I invite all who read this to read the Book of Mormon. Pray about it. You WILL RECEIVE the answers your heart desires. I don´t know when and I don´t know how. But you will. I promise you. The Lord has promised you. 

I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers and all your support. 

So much love, hugs, and smiles from Mexico City,

Hermana Shumway

PS I went to the Mexico City Temple today and we watched a video about families. A quote on it was: Heavenly Father shows His love for us by giving us families. HOW TRUE THAT IS. Oh my goodness I cried throughout the whole thing. Heavenly Father has blessed me so so soooo much with the family I have - that is just so perfect for me. I love you so much. I really just can´t express. Thank you for everything. I am so proud to be your caboose :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Conversation With Audge

Valarie happened to be e-mailing Audrey while Audrey was doing her e-mails and was able to ask her a few questions on the spot.

Here is their little Q&A session :)

How are you?

I'm doing really well. My comps and I are working really well together and getting work DONE for our investigators. I am teaching without any notes, hopefully that will continue. I'm working on speaking Spanish as much as I can. I'm learning a lot, but I fear I'm not retaining anything....

How do you get to teach people who are not members??

Um. Right now we have two "investigators" who are also our teachers. But we have a thing called "TRC" where we teach non members. It's just scary. But good practice. THEY JUST SPEAK SO FAST! It's hard to go off of stuff you don't understand. But we do our best, and it forces us to use what we know. I enjoy it. I love Spanish!

Who are your companions?

Hermana Adams and Hermana Ballard. Hermana Adams is from Layton, Utah - going to Wichita same day as me. Hermana Ballard is from Rexburg - not related to the apostle - going to LA the day before us.

Week 3: Let The Storm Rage On

Hola from the CCM!!! How fun is that?! This place is soooo great.
Reason for title: 
Every Sunday we watch a video with ALL the missionaries in the CCM. Last Sunday we watched The Testaments (watch it if you haven´t seen it) and in it one of the girls says (talking about the knowledge of Christ and His true teachings): ´´in all your years of believing have you never felt this storm in your heart?´´´
This quote hit me SOOOOO hard. I have felt this storm of the truth of the gospel in my heart. I am grateful for the Spirit to witness these truths to me when I am sincerely seeking them. Oh how I love this gospel!
I got to speak in Sacrament last week - all in Spanish - about the Atonement. It went really well, but I feel like I repeated myself a lot, but whatevs it was from the heart :)

I saw Elder Branham and Sister Hopkins (Bronté my roommate) during our live devotional!!! They were singing in the choir!!! It was so awesome - reminded me of the joy Alma felt when he was reunited with the Sons of Mosiah. I was bawling - just so happy we are doing this together!

Random thing about the CCM: the lights turn off in the cafeteria at 8:05 EVERY morning. no one knows why.

I GOT 2 PACKAGES LAST WEEEK!!!!! It made my life. Thank you so much Hancock family and Eric Wade Schofield!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!
We ate some pancakes with the MTC President´s wife today - in their home!!!! It was pretty legit, I guess... ;) we played bball with their granddaughter so that´s how we got an in. it was so fun.

Okay, another reason for the title, it has been raining like CRAAAAAAAY!!!!! Oh my word. We run in the pouring rain every single day. it is so fun!!!! But really, when it rains it pours. 

We eat a lot here. Read Proverbs 28:25. It´s so true. 

Dad, cool application of Alma 32. You have to nourish and attend to trees all the year long...but only reap the benefits in their season. We have to nourish our faith always, but sometimes we feel like we are reaping the benefits more than other times. We still have to keep the tree healthy all year round though in order to receive those blessings. Made me think of you and your trees :) Miss you! 

The CCM´s FIRST year anniversary was the 24th of June.

OH! I can do the cool finger snapping thing! Yeah. I feel pretty legit.

I just want to bear my testimony that I know the Atonement is so so real. I can apply it to every aspect of my life. I am so grateful for my Savior and Redeemer and the wonderful enabling power of grace. I know He lives. One of my favorite songs in the Spanish hymnbook is Yo Se Que Vive Mi Señor. Let me tell you. It is SOOO cool in Spanish. I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that He wants me to be here and I love having this opportunity to represent Him. His grace, His strength is sufficient for all - in every aspect of our lives. This is not about me, this is about HIM. The storm, this truth of my Savior and His gospel has raged in my heart more than ever before. I love Him. I know that as we follow His commandments, we will be blessed. As we seek Him and seek to develop His attributes, we will be strengthened beyond our furthest capacity. He will fit the task to our capabilities. He loves us. He LOVES us.

I love you all, so so much. Thank you for your prayers and your love.

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway