Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Week 24: Garden City / Garden of Eden Bound

HEY-LO!!!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING this week!! That is just absurd!! How is it already Thanksgiving? I dunno...but I hope you all have a wonderful holiday full of all of the things that make you happy :)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY this week to CARLY KAY!!! I love you so much, sister! I hope you have an awesome day :) Thank you for all you continue to do for me.

Yup. This little missionary is headed OUT of Topeka and out WEST into Garden City!! Say, what? I never thought this day would come, but I have been here in Topeka for 4 months...crazy stuff. I'm super excited to see more of the heartland and have some more super awesome experiences with Hermana Guillen, a native!!! We will be teaching in Spanish and English, but I'm so stoked to learn a ton from Hermana Guillen :) AND I will be in the same district as one of the Elders who was in my district at the MTC: Elder Cole! He is my new district leader!! AND I will be in the same Zone as Hermana Adams, who was my companion in the MTC!!! I am sooooo excited to see them :) But. I am very sad to be leaving Topeka and all of the people I love so so much. This email won't be terribly long because I have to go home and pack because they want us to be in Wichita TONIGHT rather than tomorrow morning. OH! Sister Seigfried is training a new missionary!!! She is really excited and I am too. She is going to do a great job :)

So before Sister Seigfried and I went to our appointment with Elvia, the investigator we found at church last week, I said "She's going to have read all of the Book of Mormon and she's just gonna ask us what she has to do to be baptized." Then when we got there she told us that she had had a Book of Mormon for 2 years over in Mexico but had left it there when she came to the United States and that she was really close to finishing it when she left Mexico. She told us a few things about the struggles she is going through and she was crying and all of this and out of nowhere Sister Seigfried threw out the baptismal invitation!!!! Then she said "You tell me. What do I have to do to prepare myself?" I was blown away. haha so I just threw down the Law of Chastity and the Word of Wisdom right there and she accepted them right away and we put her on date!!! Like, wow? Faith works. It is a principle of POWER and ACTION!!!

A couple of weeks ago, all the missionaries in the mission were issued a challenge to read the WHOLE Book of Mormon by Christmas. Yes. Just over a month to read it all. How awesome, right?! Yeah. It is. And let me just tell you. Never in my life have I been SO excited to read the Book of Mormon and get everything done early so I have time to read it. And I LOVE it. As I have tried to use it in every single teaching appointment I have felt my testimony of it grow stronger and stronger. I know the Book of Mormon is true. Like we always tell those we teach, by their fruits you shall know them. The fruits of the Book of Mormon are countless. One of the greatest of its fruits is the undeniable Spirit when you read it with the intent to know truth. One of Sister Seigfried's and my favorite verses that we've read a lot is 2 Nephi 33:10. If you believe in Christ, you WILL believe the Book of Mormon. It has become so precious to me and I feel so blessed that I will have the Book of Mormon for the rest of my life to feast on and learn from.

I love you all so very much, I hope you know that :) You are wonderful. Please let me know if there is anything a little missionary in Kansas can do for any of you. I would love to do it :)

Have a wonderful week and make sure you "delight in fatness" on Thanksgiving!!!

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

Pictures of the good-byes:

Ladies at Doorstep - secondhand clothing store where we
went every week!

Some members of the branch who I absolutely ADORE.

Bye Retanas!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Week 23: Inactive Members make for some Proactive Miracles


So I realized in my last email home I didn't end with "Con todo mi corazon y mi amor" and it made me really sad! But I promise I wrote it with all of both of those things :) haha

It's starting to get a little chilly out here in the heartland of America...on Sunday morning when we were driving to remind some people about church, a sign said 18.1 degrees. 18.1!!! I wish there was a way to capitalize numbers, because I totally would have done it just then. "!*>! degrees!!" <--- that's what it would have looked like... anyway, it was pretty brisk. We also got some snow this that was pretty ridiculous. Had to scrape the car off and everything!!

BUT! On Sunday we had 53 people at church!!! 53!!!! Again. Want to capitalize the numbers. I have NEVER seen that many people in our branch! Such a miracle! So many less actives came and a couple investigators too! Actually one of our "investigators" that came became a new investigator AT CHURCH!!! She came with her son who is a member - miracles all over the place!! Just when I was feeling so unworthy to receive Heavenly Father's blessings - He rains down a TON.
One of the less-actives that came was one that we visited this week. I have only visited her twice and this time when Sister Seigfried and I went (unplanned visit), she just broke down and cried, saying she's so lonely and stuff and it was one of those moments when you know that Heavenly Father needed you there in order to lift her up. We were so happy she actually did come to church. It was a miraculous Sunday :)

With all of this talk going on about the Phoenix Temple dedication and all, I have been thinking a lot about temples and the wonderful things that happen there. This week, we went and visited Sonia and Jose and Sonia told us (in Spanish, obviously) "my dream is to get married for eternity in the temple, it's my dream!" So the whole time we were there we talked about how wonderful temples are and what we need to do to be prepared to go and make those sacred covenants with the Lord (and our spouse). I am so thrilled that she has already set her eyes and her heart on entering the temple and she is already taking the necessary steps to prepare. We have been talking to Jose a lot about the Priesthood and going to the temple for baptisms for the dead and they are both just so excited to go :) I love it. I love temples. :) It made me a little sad that I don't get to go super often anymore, it's like I'm having withdrawals. haha I pray I get to go sometime as a set-apart full-time servant of the Lord. I just think that would be the coolest experience :)

I am learning a lot about being humble. I have realized that I am a lot more prideful than I thought, in different ways than I thought. I am learning how to really use the Atonement of Jesus Christ to strengthen and uplift me when times are good and when times are tough. I know that this restored gospel of Jesus Christ is real and it's true. I know that Heavenly Father gives us trials, shows us our weaknesses, so that He can make us stronger if we allow Him to. I am so grateful for Him and His love for all of His children. I pray I will be able to develop His pure love in order to serve the people of Kansas as the Savior would. :)

I love you all so very much!! Thank you so much for all of your support, you just don't know how much I appreciate it!


Hermana Shumway :)

We went bowling with a member of our branch, Omar!!
I got over 100 in two of the three games we played
and I even did really silly shots! I won two of the three
games too! It was a lot of fun :)

ICE. :(


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Week 22: "We be Preachin' Jesus"

Hello my glorious family and friends!!

Elder Landroche (my District Leader and co-missionary in the Spanish Branch) wrote a song called "We Be Preachin' Jesus" and he, Sister Seigfried, another Elder, Elder Chlarson, and I sang it! We love it! I attached it to the email! It'll be on the next Kansas Wichita Mission CD!!! 

How in the world is the world goin?! I hope fantastic! We saw a bit of the world this week! There was a Veteran's Day parade going on, but before we saw the parade, we saw protesters of the parade! From the Westborough Baptist Church! Who knew their origin...headquarters....? or whatever! is in Topeka, Kansas! Yeah. It was pretty crazy the stuff their posters said... Makes me so sad. Sister Seigfried and I wonder what their Sunday services are like... I can't imagine they're uplifting. haha

I forgot to say thank you's last week for cards and letters and things! I'm sorry! Thank you to Sister Hymas for the super sweet card she sent to me - I love her so much! Shout-out to Sister Berry who reported for her mission last week! So exciting. :) Thank you to Mom for the card and the letter! I loved reading both of them! AND thank you to Nathan Edwards for the thoughtful letter! I appreciate all of you OH SO MUCH!! Thank you, thank you :)

A few stories from this week...
We knocked a referral's door this week...she threatened to call the cops on us. That was a first! I'm convinced if she woulda opened the door the Spirit woulda hit her in the face and she would be getting baptized this week. haha we walked away laughing!
The Branch President told us not to tell everyone to bring a refreshment to our missionary activity because everyone would stay home from church in order to prepare their piece. These are my kind of people, they don't mess around when it comes to food :D For the missionary activity we had, we asked the Branch Pres to bring some cookies and a member of the branch to bring arroz con leche and we ended up with an ARRAY of refreshments. EVERYONE brought something. haha it was awesome. I love these people. :)
TONS OF ONE-WAY STREETS IN KANSAS. It kills me sometimes. haha
We raked tons of leaves!!! Pictures are included!

Some really cool stuff is happening in Topeka.
We visited 2 investigators who weren't going anywhere in the past (when Sister Hymas was here) and we have return appointments with both of them and one of them was even reading in the Book of Mormon!! We are really excited about it!!

The work is changing and progressing and we are really learning how to work SMART. Meaning helping the MEMBERS with the things they are doing to be missionaries and building them up which will then lead us to teach the people they love and care about. We taught Relief Society on Sunday and the topic was missionary work!!! It was awesome. We testified that we are here to help them. That we need their help to do this work. They know their culture, they know their language, they know their people. They have been blessed with the gospel in order to be a light to their own nation and guide their own people to the church. It was so powerful and we are SO excited to see the work just EXPLODE!!! 
The missionary activity was wonderful! We had a fun part where they did a relay race sort of deal which included tying ties, ironing shirts, finding a golden investigator and leading them to baptism through an obstacle course while they were blindfolded. It was very fun :) We invited some of the Spanish speaking RMs in the area to come to "investigators" with concerns. We split the members into companionships and gave them 15 minutes to prepare a lesson according to the concern their investigator had - they had all the tools a missionary has. Then they taught them for about 20 minutes. Then we had a testimony meeting. It. Was. AWESOME. Everyone loved it and the Spirit was so strong. Again, so stoked to see this area take off. The Lord is totally changing how we are doing missionary work and I'm excited to just keep stepping into the darkness, following the will of the Lord until He lights the way :) 

We have a ton of meetings this week - one of them with a general authority! So excited for some MAD revelation!!!! :D

I love being a missionary! It's the best!!!
I love you all so much, thank you for all of your support and love! 

Have such an amazing week, all!

Hermana Shumway

Cleanin' up the ojas (leaves). Straight cheesin'!

I wanted orange juice....."NO JUICE"...well. That's awkward.
Halloween!! We dressed up as elders!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Week 21: "Get a life Satan!!!....oh wait. You can't."

The quote from this week is from Sister Seigfried! She said this a while ago, but it made me laugh really hard soooo I thought I would share it this week :) bahaha so funny.

So. Last week was a pretty good week. We saw a lot of miracles just with being in the right place at the right time. There were a couple times in the week when we really knew we were being instruments in the Lord's hands. Such a cool feeling :) One lady we tracted into and ended up having like an hour+ conversation about how Heavenly Father knows us all personally and is aware of everything we do. We testified of the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the restored church of Jesus Christ. She was so excited to read the Book of Mormon and go to church. We referred her to some English sisters and are so excited to hear about her progression :)
The other woman we met on the street as well. Her name is Christina. She walked past us, we said hi, and we walked opposite directions. Until she turned around and called to us again. She said she felt like she needed to talk to us because we were carrying a Bible (I had my Spanish scriptures in my hand). We ended up talking to her as well for about an hour about truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ and it was just amazing! I love being a missionary and having experiences like that.

We are going to have a missionary activity in the branch this week called "Un Dia en la Vida Misional" or "A Day in the Mission Life". We are trying to help the members understand exactly what we do as missionaries and help them have a spiritual experience in a mock teaching situation so they will be motivated to share the gospel with others. It should be a pretty fun activity so we're excited about that :)

This week I am going to start what is called the 40-Day Missionary Fast. It's a process of sanctification. It's where you fast from the things the Spirit tells you to for 40 days. Let me tell you, this is going to be TOUGH. And I'm scared and totally nervous out of my mind, but I know that leaping into the dark is what Heavenly Father needs me to do. I am excited but so...just. I don't know what's gonna happen! And I think that's the scariest part. We'll see where the Lord takes me in these 40 days. Probably down to the lowest low so my faith can be raised to the highest high. Please pray for me!

We worked in the bike shop this week and I learned how to seat a tire! That was fun. We are going to start going every week and I am super excited to learn all about bikes! It's awesome service and all of us missionaries in Topeka love doing it!

Well, I hope you all had a great Halloween! I love you all so much and I'm so grateful for such a wonderful family and great friends. Really. You all mean a ton to me. Thank you for all of the love, support and prayers you're sendin out to a little missionary in Topeka, Kansas. She appreciates it so much :)

Have such an amazing week all!!

Hermana Shumway

Some fall colors!! I love going down this street because
 there are so many leaves and colorful trees!

Dinner at Cici's!

Bike shop!