Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 16: Revelatory Comp Studies and Linguistic Break-Downs

Hello my dearest family!!!!!!!

I hope you all had a fabulous week! 
Start off with an apology, Aaron and Alicia, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY last week!!! I love you both oh so very much and am so grateful for your examples to me!

Thank you to everyone who continues to email me, I really appreciate the love, support, testimonies, and advice I receive each and every week - you are such a strength to me! Thank you to Eric Wade Schofield for the letter this week :) So great to hear from best buds from home!

We had a pretty great week this week! I don't know if I have too much to report, but we are still working really hard with Sonia and Jose and their family, please continue to send prayers their way!
We have started to teach a few families and we hope we get the opportunity to meet with them all again! 

Linguistic break-downs. haha so many times I try to say things in Spanish that I would say in English and they just don't translate well..hahah it's pretty funny. Like "nunca mente" for never mind. Yeah. Doesn't work. haha and yesterday at church I was asking a young single adult about this girl and I asked if he "liked-liked" a girl and he was like "whoaaaa...we are having a linguistic break-down" and it was just really funny :)

This week Hermana Hymas and I have had some AWESOME comp studies. One was when we were reading in the Book of Mormon in Alma 32. I just got so much more out of that chapter than I ever had before. I realized so powerfully that when someone hears of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and does what is necessary to nurture their faith (pray, read the scriptures, go to church), their faith grows and is strengthened and they are able to gain a testimony of it's truthfulness. But, when they receive the gospel and DON'T do those things with a true desire to act on their faith in Jesus Christ and experiment/learn more about His gospel, they throw it aside and decide that it isn't truth. But this isn't so. The seed (our faith) didn't grow because it isn't true, but because our ground is barren! It was just really really cool! 

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is in reality the true church of Jesus Christ with all of His organization and HIS teachings. He is at the head. Our loving Father in Heaven has made that so apparent to me. This is real! This weekend, we have the amazing opportunity to hear from His servants on the earth, even the Prophet and the 12 Apostles who are all called of God to lead and guide His children. I am stoked out of my MIND to listen and receive revelation directly from Heavenly Father. I invite you all to think of a question or 2 to take to General Conference and EXPECT an answer. I know they will come as we listen with our spiritual ears and hearts. :) I love you all so very much. Thank you for all of your continued love and support that strengthens me every day!

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

At the Woman's Conference with some other sisters
in my zone.

This is for Mom: TONS of carne asada for dinner last


1. Anything interesting or quirky about where you're living?
Hmmm. We are about right across the street from our church meetinghouse, right by the freeway. Haha my apartment's AC doesn't shut off when it gets to a certain temperature, so when we turn it on for the night it stays on ALL NIGHT. When we wake up, we are FREEZING. haha there have been a couple times when I've worn sweats under my skirt. Yeah. That's quite the look. ;)

2. Have you eaten anything interesting? Did you like it?
I think the one that takes the cake is that chicken feet stew I had the 2nd week I was here. And with that comes pig skin tacos....and my favorite, corn with mayo and cheese and tajin :)

3. What are you supposed to do if there's a tornado?
We made a plan for where to go if there is a tornado, we have 3 different places to go! Scary stuff!

4.  What kinds of things do you do for P-day?
Pday activities. Clean the apartment, clean the car, go to the store, laundry, write letters, email, hang out with the district, go to historical sites... and sometimes just sit. hahah :)

5. Any treats or items you need or want?
Well NEED, never. :) There's always items I WANT, but I think I am alright! Thank you :)

6. When are your next transfers?
Transfers are October 15. My training will be over...weird.

7. What do you get to do for general conference? (I was meaning where she got to watch it, so I guess I should have been more specific:)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Week 15: "Just another day in the mission..."


How's that for some Spanglish. Gotta love it :) haha sometimes I'll be teaching someone - speakin Spanish and all - then just randomly say a word in English in the mix of it all even though I know the word in Spanish...weird. haha it always makes me laugh.

Thank you for ALL of the letters this week!!! Thank you to my loving mommy and big sister Cara and my wonderful friend Elder Trey Branham in Costa Rica, and my fabulous CCM companion Hermana Ricci Adams for the letters you sent me! And also, thank you to my wonderful parents for the package!

The subject of this email is from a young man in our branch named Omar. He drove past us the other day at a stop light and I guess our faces looked not super excited or happy. hahaha so he demonstrated what we looked like and then said this. We. Were. DYING. I was laughing really really really hard. Maybe it was just cuz we were really tired - who knows? But I thought I would share - hope it made you laugh :)

Another funny story. I almost got eaten by a German Shepherd. Just trying to share the gospel! We walked inside the gate to the house, the dog immediately stood up on the porch. Sis Hymas decided it was time to go. The house looked so friendly though - not something you see on every street in Topeka! We closed the gate and started to walk away, but the dog started walking towards the gate, head down. I walked back towards it saying "Well, Sister Hymas what if it's a nice doggy!" I bent down and started talking to it through the gate, it growled and jumped up on the fence and I quickly jumped back and said "Whoa! Not nice, NOT NICE." hahaha Sister Hymas was laughing SOOOOO hard. It was funny. But I really did want to knock that door!!! We'll have to go back...haha :)

Awesome spiritual, Heavenly Father-is-totally-guiding-us story for this week! So we received a referral a couple of weeks ago from some Elders in our zone for a girl named Wendy! We went and met her and taught her the first lesson. Sister Hymas and I both felt like the lesson didn't go as well as it should have so we were kind of bummed about that, but Wendy ended up going to church last week with her boyfriend so that was super awesome! At church they called them "investigators" (please don't call anyone that), and we talked about some not-super-deep-but-still-not-quite-surface-doctrine and some other things happened so we were really concerned with what she thought of it....

We went and saw her and asked her what she thought of it. SHE LOVED IT. Can you say miracle? I can. ;) anyway, she loved it. And as we were talking her mom and step dad show up at her house. She tells us she's moving to California with them in like 2 days - wait, what? And her step dad told us that he is a LESS ACTIVE MEMBER. Wendy didn't tell us ANYTHING about that!!! What?!!? Then he said that he hadn't been active for 20 years and that seeing us made him feel like he really needs to go back again, but he felt bad because he and Wendy's mom aren't married and there are some legal issues going on, but we told him that he just needs to GO! And Wendy got all excited about them all going to church together in California :) It was a lot cooler, but I am running out of time so that's all I can share about it. Oh! Then Wendy's mom gave us super cute watches from Charming Charlie's just completely out of the blue!! They are so nice!!! I love them so much and the missionaries in California are getting some awesome people :)

Anyway, love you all so much! Know Heavenly Father is guiding me! I love this work, so grateful to be His servant and His missionary!

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

Thanks for the package!!

Mustache binky!! (Carly I knew you would love this!!)

Thanks for the CTR rings!! I love them, and Sonia, Jose,
and their little brother, Kevin, do too. I will give them
to everyone I help come unto Christ through baptism!!

Tons of personalized license plates here.......

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 14: El Espiritu Santo: "Mi amigo fiel!"

Well HELLLOOOO there!!
I hope you all had such a wonderful week just full of blessings from our loving Heavenly Father!
Thank you so much to Samuel Alger and Mackenzie Berry for the letters! Really loved and appreciated them! Sam has been called to Michigan Detroit and Mackenzie is going to Brazil!!!! :D WOOT! Just adding to God's Army!!

Most exciting thing this week was *drum roll* THE BAPTISMS OF SONIA AND JOSE!!!!!! :D this quote in my subject was said by the dear Sonia on Sunday after she received the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was so cute :)

But first. Lemme tell ya a cool miracle! Besides the cool baptism miracle!
So. Sister Hymas were going to visit a less active, but when we got there we decided that we shouldn't visit them right then so we were like "okay. who should we go see?" and both of us thought of the same investigator at the same time - always a sign that it's inspired sooooo we went! 

Outside of the apartments was a lady changing her tire, so we of course asked if we could help her which was very amusing to her because we were in skirts (haha). So we just started chattin with her, the usual missionary small talk about believing in God and Jesus Christ and she told us lots of stuff about the Baptist church that she goes to and just loves for lots of good reasons. We were agreein with her and jokin and having a good time and then she found out what church we were from..... :) haha it was great. She was like "OH! you're the Mormons?! See, I don't agree!" and we were like "wait, what?! What don't you agree with?" and she went on to tell us about John Smith and about how we worship him and stuff like that...we of course explained to her that that's a misconception, we worship Jesus Christ, and Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God just like the prophets in the Bible. We went on to talk about the Book of Mormon and she was just blown away. She couldn't believe that everything she had known wasn't true! She accepted the Book of Mormon, said she'd read it and pray about it - she has such great faith in Jesus Christ. It was one of those moments when you just know Heavenly Father is guiding you :)

Okay. Now for the baptism! Please forgive me for maybe not being able to express everything very well. I don't even know where to start! It was just such a beautiful baptism. There were so many people there to support them - people from the branch of course, but also people from the English ward who have really fellowshipped them. The room was full - which has never been the case for any baptism I have been to yet. It was so awesome. Jose was nervous, and Sonia was excited :)  We stood on the steps waiting for her as she got baptized, when she came back to us, the only thing she could say was: "WOW." Then Jose was baptized; he is just so sweet :) We went into the bathroom with Sonia again and she got emotional, started crying, and kept saying how incredible and beautiful it was, we all hugged and were crying together. How powerful it was. Sonia and Jose bore their testimonies when they got all changed. This was the most powerful, Spirit-packed anything I have ever experienced on my mission - maybe even ever except for in the temple or something. Jose shared his feelings first. He started by saying how beautiful and marvelous the day was. Then he said "Gracias a Dios" that he could be there. And then, you could just see the Spirit overwhelm him and he started to cry. Everyone in that room could feel the power of his small but firm testimony. It was incredible. Sonia shared her feelings too, thanked everyone for being there on this special day for her and her brother, the first step in entering the kingdom of God. 

The feelings I had while they were sharing their testimonies were on Jesus Christ. How all of this truly is possible because of Him. I was humbled in my feelings: did I even do anything? The answer is yes, but I played a very small role. Sonia and Jose got baptized and made that crucial promise with God because they were converted by the Spirit. I have seen the change in these two young children of God - a change that is only possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. This change in others is my purpose. How grateful I am that I could be just a small little instrument in the hands of the Lord to bring 2 of His beloved children back to His fold.

I love this gospel. I love Jesus Christ. I strive every day to get to know Him more by emulating Him and thinking of Him.

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!! Thank you for all of your love and prayers :)
I hope you all have an amazing week!
Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,
Hermana Shumway

AZ license plate!! I got so excited!!

Me, Sonia, Elder Inzunza, Jose, and Hermana Hymas
on Sonia and Jose's baptism day!! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 13: "What is consecration?" ".....Kinda sounds like constipation."

Happy Monday!
Happy birthday this week to Stephen and Sarah! I love you!! Have a happy day!

Hope that subject gave y'all a good little laugh :) This is an Hermana Hymas and Hermana Shumway original! Doesn't have much to do with what I'm gonna talk about buuuut anyway! It was funny! haha

Okay. Let's get down to the nitty gritty.
So I have a really long story to tell you all this week.
But it is incredible. 
So I hope you bear it with patience and get to the very end. 
I promise you won't regret it. :)

It all started in our weekly planning session on Wednesday. We were talking about Sonia and Jose and making plans for the lessons we were going to teach them. Then we were gettin stoked for their baptism (still on for this Saturday) and what this would mean for their family and how we could possibly get Maria and Jose (their parents - Maria was originally a referral, but she hasn't shown much interest) at the baptism. And then. It happened. It was like Hermana Hymas and I saw a vision. Of their whole family. Dressed in white. In the temple. Getting sealed as a family for time and all eternity. in a year. We were just shock. Gettin' teary-eyed and all. We couldn't believe what had just happened! I couldn't at least! It was so clear! Then we started to plan. How in the world are we going to help this family? What do we need to pray for and do to receive the help of the Lord (we knew of course that this would not and could not be possible if we didn't have His help and guidance)? We decided that we needed to pray for Sonia and Jose to be baptized as planned and that their parents' hearts would be softened and they would be baptized in October and be sealed in the temple next October. Hermana Hymas flipped open her scriptures to Alma 31:34-37 (read it). Alma gives some "missionaries" a blessing (clapping hands on them) and then the missionaries fasted (took no thought what they should eat or drink) and they were strengthened. We decided that we needed to follow this pattern. We needed to get some blessings and we needed to fast. Soooo that is precisely what we set out to do!

Elders in our district had a baptism on Saturday so we went to that and guess who else was there? PRESIDENT AND SISTER BELL!! Yeah. That was cool. So we explained the situation to Pres Bell and asked if he would give us both blessings. He of course agreed and we got some super powerful blessings that said some really really inspired things. He blessed both of us that this family WILL be baptized and, this is a cool part, the hearts of the parents will be softened by the change they see in their kids through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Whoa. Cool. Thanks Pres Bell! So. Hna Hymas and I were pretty much stoked out of our MINDS and decided we needed to go see Sonia and Jose RIGHT THEN. So we did. Starting our fast in our prayer before going to see them.

We taught an awesome lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a few commandments. Jose had to leave early but Sonia was there for it all and loved it all and just is loving everything about this stuff. Her testimony is just growing every single day as she is praying and reading the Book of Mormon. It is so wonderful to see.

But wait. A REALLY cool thing is comin up.

A few visits ago Sonia told us about one of her friends who she would like to introduce to us. I remembered this so I asked Sonia about it. Her eyes got really big and she started to tell us what happened with this friend the other day. She asked Sonia why she wasn't going to the Catholic Church anymore and Sonia told her that she goes to a Christian Church (LDS Church) now and she just feels better there, she feels more complete and she just really likes it - so that was the end of that convo. BUT. A couple days after THAT the friend came up to her and said "Sonia, you were in my dream last night!" of course Sonia was like whaaaaat? why? and her friend went on to tell her: "You came to my house and knocked on my door and held out a book to me and said: 'You need to read this book. It's not the Bible, it's a different book, but it's the word of God.' " Um. Like what? haha and Sonia hadn't ever said anything to her about the Book of Mormon. Sis Hymas and I were like :O Literally. Speechless. *Is this real life?!* And Sonia was like WHAT?! How did you know?! (In her mind). Then she went on to tell her about the Book of Mormon and INVITED HER TO GO TO CHURCH WITH HER. Missionary? Yes. And I guess her friend said "I feel the NEED to go to church with you." Wow. Huge miracles happening all over the place. I wanted to cry. 

AND THEN. We got to talk to Maria, her mom, for a minute. And guess what she told us. She wants to go to church (she has some health issues right now that are prohibiting her from doing so) because she has seen a CHANGE IN HER KIDS since they've been talking to us and she likes it. :O We are stoked beyond all belief and just can see the Lord in His work.

Okay. That is the condensed version and I hope you can just feel the power behind what happened in this story. I have seen just so many miracles on my mission that there is NO WAY I can possibly EVER deny the existence of a loving Father in Heaven who LOVES and KNOWS His children personally. There is no way I could deny that this Gospel, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as found in the Bible and the Book of Mormon together, is so so so true. I am just grateful. Grateful for this opportunity the Lord has given me to be His servant.Thank you for all the prayers you have given for me and my investigators. Can't wait for Sonia's and Jose's baptism this Saturday!!!

I love all of you SOOOO MUCH IT'S INSANE!!!!!!
Keep being my strength :)

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

Brown vs. Topeka School Board of Education!
FINALLY went and LOVED IT!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Week 12: Raindrops are Fallin' on my Head!

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!
First off, Happy First Day of School to all you BYU students out there!! It's so crazy that I'm not there! Just know that I'm sending you lots of love and luck! Make it a great semester! Go to the devotionals every week!!

Next, letter thank yous! Way more happy this week! haha not that I'm only happy when I get letters buuuut hopefully you know what I mean! Thank you to Alicia and family, Brenton and family, and Eric Schofield for the letters you sent to me, AND thank you to Eric for the package!!! I loved reading the letters, getting the pictures, and getting all the wonderful things in the package! Oh!! And to the Hymas family: THANK YOU so much for the shirt and thoughtful note you sent to me in Hermana Hymas's one-year package! It was the sweetest thing and definitely made my day :)

Wow. What an awesome week!! Last week was just wonderful. Complete with lots of storms here in Topeka! Sometimes they get a little scary! Good thing I have lots of experience with crazy storms from the ridiculous monsoons AZ gets in the summers! Buuuuut here the fear of a tornado is always in the equation so that makes haha :) Heavenly Father heard lots of prayers from Hermana Hymas y Hermana Shumway asking for safety! Along with rain falling on my head, BLESSINGS in abundance fell on my/our heads last week.

Without our car, so many wonderful members helped us out. There were times when we didn't know how we were going to get from one place to another and Heavenly Father always took care of us and we were able to get everything done that we needed to and get to all of our appointments WITH a member! It was so wonderful. And we got our car back so unfortunately we won't be riding bikes very much anymore...I really enjoyed that!

I mentioned Sonia and Jose in my last email. They are progressing like CRAZY! They both went to mutual on Wednesday, a branch activity on Thursday and church on Sunday - and loved all of it!! We have a lot of fun with them and are really able to be ourselves. That is really a key in missionary work. Being yourself and being real. We got a family in the branch involved in teaching them/giving them rides to activities so everything is working out really well!! We taught them the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity this week and they already were living it, so no hurdle there. Sonia especially has tons of questions and you can totally see her just soaking in everything we say. She is reading, she is praying, and you can see her growth everytime we meet with her. Jose is coming along...hopefully we can get him reading and praying too. We are excited to meet with them this week and continue helping them come closer to Christ and prepare for their baptism on the 13th. We are so excited!! Keep them in your prayers please!

Transfers are this week! Our district leader Elder Oakey is getting transferred...that makes me pretty sad. Hermana Hymas and I are both staying here in Topeka, thank goodness! It makes me so sad to think that I won't spend my whole mission here - I can't even imagine leaving the people in this little Spanish branch! I just love them so much!

Thank you so much for all of you and your love and prayers. I can definitely feel them :) I was reading in a talk this morning that talked about having the gospel of Jesus Christ etched in our hearts. I love that word - etched. I hope that as we all strive every day to be more and more like Christ we really will have Him and His teachings become a part of who we are :)

Have a wonderful week, all!!

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

My first district.

Finally got our car back! Yay!

Thanks for the package, Eric!!! :D!!

Thank-you Hymas family!!

Dinner roll clouds anyone? Bring on the
tornado! (Just kidding mom) :P