Monday, December 29, 2014

Week 29: The Gospel softens you....spiritually and physically.

HELLO EVERYONE!!! I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and have some really super great plans for New Years!! So...Happy New Year!!! :) So weird that 2015 is in like...3 days.

It was so great to talk to the fam, I love them all so much!! I just wanted to hug you all!

Spanish news: I said a couple bad words in Spanish this week. Always brings a good laugh to Sister Guillen and I :) hahaha

Yes, I have gotten more sensitive to everything so far on my mission. Not so much when someone is teasing me, but of course just more sensitive to all things spiritual, which means more tears! But...with that, the mission pounds are comin on. haha Sister Guillen is going to buy a scale today...then it will be the moment of truth. Am I a little nervous about what the scale will say? Maybe. baha don't send me any more sweets, okay? :)

We went to DiAnn's house the other day and Brad (a guy who lives with them) was on the phone while he was watching something on TV and he said "yeah, BYU is playing Gonzaga right now.... 40-41...." and I kind of lost it. hahaha we started talking about basketball and BYU and what I want to study and how I went to the BYU-Gonzaga game last year....Brad has always been kind of hard towards us, but when we were leaving and we finished our blessed BYU conversation, he shook my hand and said "love ya!" it was so sweet! Leave it to some BYU Men's Basketball to soften a heart! Thanks Tyler Haws! It was a little tender mercy from the Lord to get to talk about my beloved BYU.

Sad news: Jackie will not be getting baptized for a while. She told us she didn't want to continue learning right now because things are kind of crazy with her family. We are bummed, but we know she will keep reading the Book of Mormon and praying. We love her so much!

We saw tons of miracles this week!! The day after Christmas, we were led to 3 new people who want to learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. From those first meetings, they are now all on date to be baptized in January :) We are very excited!! We met a wonderful family - we love them so much and they already love us! The single mom, Shirley was born Catholic and then started going to a Christian church, but has always felt like something was missing so she doesn't really go super often. She loves the church and the people, but she just can't get over that feeling of being spiritually empty. We testified of the truthfulness of the Gospel and this is what she is looking for. She and her son both are excited to be baptized in January!! 

Another very sweet tender mercy from the Lord this week: we are sitting in Gospel Principles (a class about the basic beliefs of the Church) and someone's phone goes off and it sounds like a bell. The teacher then said "oh! An angel just got its wings!" very nonchalantly and continued with the class and I was just so grateful!! For those of you who don't know, that comes from the Christmas movie: "It's a Wonderful Life". My family watches that movie every single year during Christmastime. It warmed my heart to have a sweet reminder in such an unexpected place of cherished traditions with my wonderful family. :) 

I testify that Heavenly Father loves each one of His children so unconditionally. He is mindful of all of us. I am always amazed with how well He knows ME. Just being a young girl in Kansas trying to serve Him the best I can, how could He care specifically about me? But I KNOW He does. He knows our specific needs and He knows how to help us if we let Him. We are so blessed. :)

I love you all so very much! Again, Happy New Year!

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor, 

Hermana Shumway

Thanks family!

Future missionary :)

Garden City, errybody! Noheli making me feel
better on Christmas :)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Week 28: Love is Motive

Merry Christmas!!! It's SO weird that Christmas is this week. Just a normal week for a missionary! ;)

From John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son..." we learn that God's motive for sending Jesus Christ into the world was LOVE. Our loving Heavenly Father, knowing that we would not be able to return to His presence if we were spotted with the sins of the world and the weaknesses of mortality, gave us the infinite and eternal gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, who can cleanse us and strengthen us so we can live with God again. How grateful I am for Him. Just like love is God's motive for everything He does, love should also be the motive for everything we do. I love thinking about that! :) Merry Christmas, all! :)

Thank you, thank you, thank you to so many people this week!
Thank you to Uncle Tim and Aunt Stephanie and family for the Christmas card - everyone looks so grown up! Especially Tyler and David! What happened?! Thank you to Clifford Nelson for the card! Thank you to Grandma Carter and Sister McLendan for the sweet cards you sent too! Hopefully I'll get a little something sent out to all of you today! Thank you again!

We went to the zoo today! The zoo here in Garden City is FREE! It was so fun even though a lot of the animals were put away for the winter. We had a really good time :) I'll attach some fun pictures we took :) from last week.
We worked really hard this week to find new people to teach and to build up our teaching pool. The whole week we found no one. The Lord blessed us with 3 new investigators on SUNDAY. The last day of the week. And 2 of those 3 came to church on Sunday! We definitely feel so blessed.
We are still working with a super prepared 13 year old named Jackie. She is the CUTEST girl ever. So stinkin sweet and so in tune with the Spirit. She is reading the Book of Mormon every day and is so committed to doing everything we invite her to do because she knows it will help her draw closer to Jesus Christ. It is SO cool. I love her so much. So so much. She will get baptized very soon :)

I had some really cool experiences with the Spirit this week. There were a couple times when I was teaching and I would get the thought to say something and I would say it then realize I had never thought of whatever it was like that before! You always know it comes from the Spirit when you are learning new things about the Gospel as you are teaching someone else. They were some very cool experiences. :) I am so grateful that I have the blessing of having the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide and direct me on my mission. I can definitely feel his power more and more as I humble myself and am exactly obedient and know and expect that the Lord is guiding me :)

I love you all so very much! Thank you for all of your support and love!

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

April, Cesar, and their cute family.

Cool lion seat.

Sister Guillen and I at the entrance!

It's all about that Book of Mormon!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Week 27: Silent Prayers are Answered :)


What a beautiful day it is today! It's a little windy and cold here in the Garden City, but it really is such a great day today!!

I am so sorry to cute Jarrett that I have forgotten the past TWO weeks to tell him happy birthday, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY J!!! I love you!
And also happy birthday to Brenton!!!
And also happy birthday to the one and only Eric!! I hope both of you have such a wonderful memorable day today :))

Lots of thank-yous to go through today! Thank you to Mom, Dad, and Cara for the awesome Christmas package! Sister Guillen and I LOVE it!!! I will attach a video of our thanks! :) Sister Guillen is REALLY good at guessing the gifts. Really really good. She hasn't been wrong yet! Thank you to Matt, Gina, and Rena Pursel for their Christmas card - it is DARLING. Thank you to the Hancock family for the Christmas package! I love all the sweets :) AND thank you to Brother and Sister Jarnagin for the card! Congrats on the mission call!! You are going to be the best!! I love all the Senior couples we have here in the KWM!

I found out that Sister Hymas is the Sister Training Leader here so I got to go on exchanges with her this past week!!! It was so much fun, I just love her so much. I'll attach a cute pic of us :)

So the story I have for you this week is when a silent prayer of mine was answered almost immediately. It was SO cool. Let me tell ya about it! So. As a mission we have been focusing a lot on the Questions of the Soul listed in Preach My Gospel. These are questions that almost everyone has. Questions like "Is there a God?" "Is there life after death?" "How can my family be happier and more united?" All of the answers to these questions can be found in the Book of Mormon. So as a mission we have been working really hard to use these questions of the soul more in order to help people see, in a very personal way, how the Book of Mormon truly brings us closer to Jesus Christ. We were in a lesson with an investigator, just kinda following up on wasn't really going anywhere and I was just praying so hard! I thought "Heavenly Father, I really feel like we need to use the Book of Mormon to answer a question of the soul...but I have NO idea what question to ask her that would bring one up!" So I just kept praying and listening to her when all of a sudden she said "I went back to church a few times after my brother died...just looking for comfort and peace..." It came! Just like that! I was/am so grateful. Then we were able to ask her if she would like to know what happens after death. And she said yes, and we were able to open up the Book of Mormon and tell her right then and there. She got very excited, felt very at peace, and told us she was going to read the chapter (Alma 40) over again AND share it with her family. It was awesome!!! I found out later that Sister Guillen was praying for the same thing.
It was such a wonderful experience. I know that Heavenly Father hears every prayer. Silent or spoken. Although it may not be answered that quickly every single time, the answer does come every single time.

I am so grateful for all the experiences I have had on my mission. I can't wait to learn and grow so much more in the next year :)

I love you all so much! Thank you again for all of your love and support! Talk to you next week!

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

Sister Hymas and I!!! Reunited.....and yes, it does feel really
good. haha

Ugly sweater Christmas party!! I'll send a close up of Sister
Guillen's and mine next week!

Thank-you!! Coming to you live, from Sister
Shumway and Sister Guillen!!

More pictures that go with last week's post:

Walking day!


Ward Christmas party.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Week 26: "He is the Gift"

Okay. Apologies from last week:

Sorry about my awful grammar with the pictures I sent "ME and Sister Guillen"... I know Dad noticed and I was a little ashamed. haha (Lucky for you Audge, you have a sister-in-law that corrected your grammar in your blog post :) But, it's still probably good you rectified it with your dad since he saw your original caption:))

MOM! I got your package and thank you so much! I LOVE all the warm things! I have been enjoying them :) it has been pretty warm here the past few days, but they are still getting used, I promise :) thank you!

Thank you so much to the Hancock family for the sweet note and gift card! I love you!

Hmmm. I feel like this week went by SO quickly, I don't even know what happened...hmm. Well. Update about April and Cesar: They are having some Law of Chastity logistics issues and we are unsure how the Bishop and Mission President want us to move forward. We are still waiting to know what direction to take. We and them of course want them to be baptized as soon as possible, but we don't want to break up their family. I just love that little family oh so very much!! We will see what happens this week.

We saw some awesome miracles this week!!! A young woman in our ward went with us to contact one of her friends, Jackie, this week. She was really sweet and sounds like she really would like to come to the activities and things. The YW texted us this morning and told us that Jackie's dad told her how proud he is of her and that he and her mom are really excited for us to meet with them!!! We are really excited :))

AND we met a teenage boy on a doorstep who accepted the Book of Mormon and baptism for the 24th of December and seemed really excited so we are stoked to meet his family too and start teaching them! It's gonna be a goooood week!

This past week and continuing this week we have been using the new church video "He is the Gift" in order to invite people to learn more about the restored Gospel and Church of Jesus Christ. If you haven't seen it. SEE IT.  It makes me cry every single time and Sister Guillen always laughs at me :) haha it brings the Spirit SO strongly, you just can't help but cry! I have been thinking a lot about how I feel when I receive a gift at Christmas. I'm excited about it for like a week or maybe like a month at MOST and then the excitement and joy that came from the new gift is gone. Then I thought about how I would feel if that excitement and that joy never went away. The gift given by Heavenly Father, His beloved Son Jesus Christ, is a gift that will never stop bringing us joy and happiness. It is eternal. It is infinite. It can be used every day, every minute, every second. And the feelings we get when we "open the gift", or use the Atonement of Jesus Christ, will never lose their power and will never stop bringing us eternal happiness. The only way to open the gift and access His power is through baptism by the power of Jesus Christ, the priesthood, that can only be found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. HE is the gift. From a merciful Father who loves us enough to give us a Savior so we could return to live with Him again. I am so excited to be a missionary right now!!

Discover the Gift.
Embrace the Gift.
#SharetheGift with everyone you know!


Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

Reunited!! Hermana Adams and I. So awesome to see her
so often!!

We will #ShareTheGift by baptizing twelve in the
Garden City Zone this month!!

Singing in the Christmas Party talent show with
Noheli and Marisabel :) So fun!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Week 25: "English is my second language."

WOW!!! Garden City is the place to BE!!!
I love Garden City. EVERYONE looks familiar to me here. It's super cool :)

For Thanksgiving we just visited tons of members and we found a couple new people to teach so I was fed very much both temporally and spiritually :)

Sorry for the confusion, Hermana Guillen is a native SPANISH speaker. She was born in Mexico, but she is from Washington State! The subject of this email is something she always says when she makes little dumb mistakes in English. hahah she's such a punk because she's fluent in both, but that's her excuse when she gets tongue-tied in English. She is super great - we are smiling and joking all the time. I love her! I'll attach a pic!

We are teaching some kick bootay solid people who I am just SO stoked about!! I want to tell you some stories:

DiAnn. Okay. So this story TOTALLY strengthens my testimony about how living and showing your faith can change lives. So one of DiAnn's acquaintances invited her to go to Utah with him to see the mountains (haha I thought that was funny - only in Kansas..) So she went and on the way back, they got in a really really bad car accident. Both of her legs, an arm, and a hip were broken. She was sent to the LDS hospital in Utah where she met TONS of LDS people (obviously). She was in the hospital for about 4 months. One of her aids got her a Book of Mormon with her name engraved on it the first day she was there. While she was there the missionaries visited her, taught her all the lessons for baptism, took her to church and the Salt Lake temple and just were as nice as could be to her. She wanted to get baptized there but the missionaries told her she should come back and meet the missionaries and the people here and get baptized here. She got back on Wednesday and we saw her on Thanksgiving! She raved about her experience in Utah and how kind and loving everyone was to her. She told us that she told her son she was going to be Mormon soon. :D haha so I just asked her straight up "So DiAnn, when would you like to get baptized?" :) And now she's on date for baptism for the 13th of December!!!! We are so excited :) Her daughter is working towards baptism too!! :) DiAnn always says that it was divine intervention that she was in Utah, maybe in not so good circumstances, but God needed her to stay there long enough to learn the gospel. She already has such a firm testimony of the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It is just so awesome :)

Cesar and April: THEY ARE SO AWESOME!!! I just love them so much. The first time I saw them, Cesar told me I look really familiar to him too! I thought it was the kind of familiarity that I have been feeling the whole time I've been here but then he went on to say that I look like a model from a TV show and I was like "ummm nope!" haha it was funny. They are so awesome and so prepared. They are so willing and ready to do everything they have to in order to be baptized. It is so cool!! We talked about temples last night when we went over and they are so excited to be sealed as a family in the temple in a little over a year. They asked if we would be able to be there with them when they go to the temple and we of course said "YES!!!!!" Brothers and Sisters, this is the true joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. :) They are preparing to be baptized on December 20 :))

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!! The miracles TOTALLY outweigh the disappointments. OH! We found a family to teach by going to church on that was pretty cool :D haha Sister Guillen says that happens all the time in western Kansas. I guess this family had been to church many times before and had been taught by missionaries, but had lost contact with them because of transfers so they never got baptized! We are excited to meet with them this week :)

So, just to recap. I love Garden City. I love Sister Guillen. I love being a missionary. I love the Book of Mormon. I love Jesus Christ. :)

And I love all of you :)

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

Sister Guillen speaking Pig Latin, trying to teach
me "Spanish". The punk. haha I love her!

Sister Guillen and I with some members of the ward at
a birthday party!

Sister Guillen and I on a beautiful day!