Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 11: How do you solve a problem like Maria?

Wasn't this past week just great?! 

I can't believe BYU starts next week!! So weird! Weird that summer is truly over! Crazy stuff.

Letter "Thank you's!": .......... moving on!

So. Title of this email came from the dear Sister Hymas. We were talking about all of our investigators today and there are quite a few named Maria. Sister Hymas started singing this song from the Sound of Music and I just started laughing really hard! So I had to put it as the title today. 

Funny story. So ya know how our family says "and then I found 20 dollars." when our story-telling didn't go as well as planned? Yeah. Well I told a story yesterday while we were on a team-up with a member and it didn't go so well so I ended it with "and then I found 20 dollars..." and she said "really?! That was the best part of your story!" and she didn't even know the purpose of saying that! It was pretty funny :) I hope you understand what I'm saying and this isn't one of those stories that you should end with "...and then I found 20 dollars..." but just to cover my bases "....and then I found 20 dollars." haha ;)

Let me tell you a little bit about Topeka! I love Topeka! We spend most of our time in a little area that is fondly referred to as "Little Mexico". We were on bikes/the bus/walking this week and it was pretty warm, but it's all good! A lot of the members pulled through for us and helped us out a lot :)

About riding bikes. The Elders in our Spanish Branch let us borrow theirs (so nice!) and told us "pics or it didn't happen"...and guess what. We didn't take a picture. :( But I promise it happened! It was really funny though. Let's just say Sis Hymas and I need to buy some biking shorts.... We will make sure to get some next week.
This week I have loved reading conference addresses from this April. I will tell you about a spiritual experience I had while reading them. Wait. Let me back up. One day this week in my personal study I decided to read El Cristo Viviente (The Living Christ). This was Tuesday, so I'll be honest I had a little bit of P day hangover and was thinking about friends at home so I wasn't as focused on it as I should have been. I consciously realized what was happening so I said a quick silent prayer for Heavenly Father to help me focus on this important document about our Savior. 
After I did that, the next paragraph I read was the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith which says something like: "of all the testimonies that have been given of Him, this is the one we give last of all: He lives!" 
When I read those two words, in Spanish "Que Vive!" the Spirit just washed over me and I just felt so strongly the truth of that statement - and of course, I cried. I am a cry-baby out here! (In a good way.) Our Savior Jesus Christ is REAL. Heavenly Father knew that I wouldn't receive that witness from the Spirit if I was focused on other things, such as those people at home. I am so grateful for my Savior. I know He lives. He suffered for us, to strengthen us, and know how to help us. I am so grateful for him and His infinite sacrifice. Everyday I try to rely more and more on His strength to enlarge my capabilities and do better, be a better servant.

As far as investigators go...we have one named Sonya on date for the 6th and a few others (Vivian, Isabel, and Maria) on date for the 13th. We are really excited about the work here in Topeka :) I love being an instrument for the Lord :) These are His children who He loves so deeply. I am grateful for this opportunity to work in this labor of love among them :)

I pray I will be able to do His work, in His time, and in His way.

Thank you for all of your love :)

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

Week 10: "Somebody call IXII!!!!"

HOLA FAMILIA!!!! y amigos :)

Como estan?! La vida en buena in la KWM! Esta semana pasada fue super bien! haha yeah it was pretty good :

I have some apologies to make. First and most importantly, DAD. I am SO sorry I forgot to tell you HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! in my email last week. :( Please know I was thinking about you on Thursday and I hope you had such a wonderful birthday :) And Linsey and Stephen and Carly and John, if I am remembering correctly - HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! (last week). AND thank you to everyone who sent me a letter last week: Mom - and Mom and Dad, the package was wonderful, thank you :), Ramsay Hatch, Rizek Housari, and Eric Schofield. Thank you! I love letters! And this just past week, thank you Cara Shumway and Sam Alger for the letters! Sam has been called to the Michigan Detroit Mission, Spanish speaking!! Congrats Sam! :)

So. I know this subject isn't a title to a song, but I think quotes are funnier than song titles...soooo we may just have to go with that instead of song titles. Maybe I'll do both. I dunno. haha this quote is from Hercules!! I said it this week and Sister Hymas DIED laughing because she never realized what it was actually saying!! It was pretty funny.

BUT it also really fits this week!
We did some car crash contacting this week. We thought it would be pretty successful ;) And it was!!! Yes, we got in a car crash. No worries, we're fine :) AND we got a referral for the English Elders through it! Miracles are everywhere! The coolest part of it was that the first thing he said was "Oh I'm so glad I ran into Christians!" we kinda laughed it off and didn't really try to teach him anything, but then he said it again and we decided to give him a card! And GUESS WHAT?! He went to and LDS church a couple times when he was a teenager and really enjoyed it. "Coincidence...? I think NOT!" haha it was pretty cool :) We hope we can see him progress from a distance :) haha I'll attach some pictures of that.

I want to share a little experience I had with the Spirit this week that was SO cool so I'm super excited to tell you about it!! Okay. So. We have been talking a lot as a companionship and as a zone and probably as a whole mission about following every prompting we receive from the Spirit. I have personally been working on recognizing those promptings, first of all, and then immediately heeding them. So. We were trying to contact one of our investigators who has been kind of MIA lately, she wasn't home, so we decided to knock a random door. We started talking to this young man named Chad. We got to talkin a little bit and we shared a few truths of the Gospel as they related, but there was a point in time when he just was talking and explaining something for a really long time. It was the MOST interesting thing. I couldn't understand him. I couldn't connect any of his ideas in my mind. I even asked myself at one point if he was speaking Spanish and if that's why I couldn't really get anything from what he was saying - but, he was definitely speaking English. It was the oddest thing. And I remember in the moment thinking that I didn't have the Spirit BECAUSE I couldn't understand what he was talking about and figure out how to teach him. Sister Hymas wasn't feeling good about the situation either. So we gave him a card and scurried back to the car. I just could NOT figure out what had just happened! As I was talking to Sister Hymas about it in the car, something told me "You couldn't understand because I was protecting you from things that weren't true." When I got that thought I was shocked. It was the coolest thing. And I know that that thought was from the Spirit. I DID have the Spirit, and it was working FULL time during our conversation with Chad. 

I have always known that the Spirit testifies of truth, but I had never experienced the opposite! It was such an amazing experience. I am just so grateful for the Spirit. It can protect us from danger and from all the attacks that Satan throws at us. What a wonderful gift our loving Heavenly Father has given us. I pray that I can continually live my life during and after my mission to be worthy of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. How badly we need his guidance and protection.
Another great thought from the conference talk i read this morning: "The Gospel isn't weight, it's wings."
Oh I love this gospel of Jesus Christ. How blessed I am to be able to talk to people about the greatest blessing in my life all day every single day.

It's a good day to be a missionary :)

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

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway


You said you will be in Topeka for 10 weeks, will you change companions? I will most likely be with Sister Hymas for the next 10 weeks or so, BUT it is also possible for me to have 2 different trainers - I have even heard of people having 3!! different trainers! Soooo I dunno! I guess we shall see :)

When do you meet with other missionaries? We have had 2 big zone meetings - one with Pres. Bell and the Assistants and the other one with just our zone leaders. We have district meetings every Tuesday and we all go to church in the same building so we see people in our district all the time! It's very fun :) We have only gone on "splits" when we have gone on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders (the girl version of Zone Leaders).

Do you have iPads? - not yet. We were going to get them as a mission at the end of the summer, but now I think the word is the end of the year...sooo we'll see if it actually happens :)

Do you have a car or walk, bike? We are full-time car, but this week our car has to go into the shop for some repairs sooo that will be interesting because we don't have bikes sooo hopefully we can get some members from other wards to help us out so we can get things done that we need to.

Eat anything new?...hmmm I don't think so. BUT we are going to have menudo on Saturday and I'm pretty nervous about that.

I heard the skies are gray.  Skies gray...uhhh I don't think so...? Just when it's cloudy? hahaha obviously :)

What do you do on P-days? - wash the car, email, write letters, clean our apartment, clean our car, hang out with our district....OH!!! This week we're going to Brown vs. Board of Education Historical Site!!!! I am SOOOO excited!!!! :D I will send pics of that next week!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 9: Nothing

Okay, I know this is kind of a depressing and not super positive title, but it's the only one that I could think of to sum up the week! 
This week was very humbling. We had a specialized training on Thursday where I learned a TON, but also felt a lot of godly sorrow and divine discontent. I have a lot of work to do in order to be the missionary Heavenly Father needs me to be. We went on exchanges both last week AND the week before so that was kind of crazy and weird but I was talking to one of our Sister Training Leaders about how much I need to work on stuff and she asked me "how long have you been out?" and I just looked at her with a little smirk and said "2 months." haha she giggled and said "you aren't going to be perfect!" and I agreed. I just feel like Nephi sometimes: "Oh wretched [wo]man that I am!" haha nah, but really though! I will get it though! :) Heavenly Father will strengthen me and extend my capabilities :)

Very humbling week also in the sense that this work SERIOUSLY is not possible without the Spirit. We can't know how to help people, what someone needs, where to go, what to say, who to visit, what to teach, without the Spirit. A missionary and his/her companion are nothing without that third companion.

We are finding the elect among English speakers, but are having some trouble finding them in Spanish....please pray we will be able to find them!

Funny things:

Hispanic people pronounce my name funny. They think its chumoy...which is a candy. haha

Also, a lady in our ward always wants to call me Hermana Chumlee, like the guy off of Pawn Stars. haha that cracks me up every time and makes me think of dad :)

Keep the prayers coming!

I love you all so much! 
I love being a missionary!
The church is true!

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

Monday, August 4, 2014

Week 8: I Believe in Miracles!


Thank you for your prayers this week! I definitely felt them and loved the time I had to serve the Lord as His missionary last week :) Can't wait for this coming week!!

Thank you for everyone who is emailing me. Really. I feel the love :) But for real, thank you so much. I love reading all about how my friends at home are doing so keep them coming please!

Thank you Cara for your letter!!!! And mom, thank you for your letter of updates! Such a good idea :)

I ATE CHICKEN FEET. Yeah. Hermana Hymas and I were a little freaked. haha yeah...don't really know what else to say about it except it's just yeah....chicken feet.

We have 2 investigators on date for the 23rd of August! Their names are Xaira and Maria. Please keep them in their prayers! We are very excited for them!! We are going to put 2 or 3 more investigators on date this week!! The work is progressing here in Topeka :)

Okay. The title of my email is kind of self-explanatory but it's so true. Hermana Hymas and I see miracles SO many times throughout the day. In the Bible Dictionary (a great study resource in the LDS Gospel Library) it defines miracles as "the natural result of the Messiah's presence among men." Whoa. So cool, right?! We see physical miracles: Spanish copies of the Book of Mormon in the back seat of our car when we KNEW we had NO MORE in our car - that was a cool one. 
We see miracles in timing so many times throughout the day. I will tell you about one of them. Her name is Megan. She speaks English and only a little bit of Spanish so we technically aren't allowed to teach her because she wouldn't attend our Spanish branch, but anyway. We street contacted her when we went to visit a less active - we literally got out of the car RIGHT when she was getting out of hers and we met on the sidewalk at the SAME time - and she was going through a really hard time in her life. We testified that our message is about Jesus Christ and can bless everyone in every aspect of their lives. We testified that Christ knows her. He knows her struggles, He loves her. She started crying and told us that that was exactly what she needed at that moment. We gave her a Book of Mormon and asked her to read a few scriptures on the Atonement which she said she would do. The other day, we saw her AGAIN while trying to visit this less active - another miracle in timing - and we were able to follow up on her reading. She said she read and cried (felt the Spirit) and continued reading!!!!!! AHHH!!! We have an appointment with her this week.

Other miracles we see are when Hermana Hymas and I both receive the same revelation through the Holy Ghost. It is the COOLEST thing. Oh man, I love being a missionary. The Lord's hand is totally in this work. It is HIS work.

Let me tell you about another spiritual experience I had this week :) I think I may have mentioned last week that it's super cool when I feel a witness from the Holy Ghost that what I am testifying of is truly what I believe. Hopefully that makes sense to you. haha Anyway. It happened again this week :) A man we met on the street asked what I have learned from the Book of Mormon. I felt impressed to talk about my divine nature. So I talked about how the Book of Mormon has taught me that I'm a daughter of God. I know that He loves me. He wants me to be happy. I don't remember everything I said, but I got emotional in that moment because I felt the Holy Ghost testify that I really do know that! And believe that! It was so cool. I love having those experiences.

I love being a missionary. I love it I love it I love it.

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

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

Pictures for the week:

"I know it's against the law to put stuff in
others' mailboxes....but it's ok if it's the
words of salvation, right....? Haha, jkjkjk
I didn't do it, I promise :)"


"Um...Yes. I ate NACHO LIBRE CORN!!!!
It is DELICIOUS!!!! Life made."

"My first letter in the field!!! Thank you Cara! I love you!!!"