Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Week 42: "There's no place like - homa....?" - Noheli

elllll ohhhhh ellllll (LOL) at the subject line - Noheli is so silly :)

So, big news for today is....I am going to OKLAHOMA. Transfers are Wednesday and I will be heading out to Guymon, Oklahoma. I will be follow-up training Sister Rosell!! Follow-up training means that she was trained by another sister for 6 weeks and I will be finishing her training! It will be interesting because I know I won't be the same as her other trainer and I'll also be teaching her how to speak Spanish! It will definitely be super different than training Sister Mendoza! But it will be so fun and Guymon is like the farthest area from the mission home so I'm stoked for all the adventures that await me there!!! :D Sister Mendoza is staying here in el Jardin de Eden and Sister Wilks (another sister Sister Hymas trained!) will be her companion. They will get along so great and will continue to work miracles here :)

I realized the other day that I feel like I haven't told you very much about Garden City. So let me break it down for you, now that I'm leaving it :( PS I'm super sad about that. haha 

Tyson has a meat packing plant here so TONS of people from all over the world come here to work there. There are tons of people from Somalia, Burma, and lots of other Asian countries! Its interesting because whenever I hear people talk with any kind of accent my mind automatically kicks into Spanish mode and I have to like consciously keep speaking in English, even though they don't even really speak that language! It's weird. haha 
PS it also really smells like poo sometimes, especially when it rains, because of all the vacas!! cows. There are TONS of cows. And a lot of people are truck drivers - they drive the cows from the feed lots to the plant....to, ya know....

Garden City has 4 water towers. Which I don't really get. They pump the water UP. Just so it can go back DOWN....? Someone enlighten me on how that works. :) I mean, I get it because there's no water flow cuz it's suuuuper flat, but I still don't really understand. There really is only one hill in Garden City. And of course it is RIGHT by the church so that makes for an awesome bike ride :) in skirts. when it's windy. haha I love it :)
I know the Savior walks these streets and dusty roads of Kansas - this truly is holy ground :)

Now for the insane miracle of this week. :D

Update on Elizabeth: her mom would not give her permission to be baptized or for us to even continue teaching her so :(( is all I have to say to that. 

BUT the Lord provided 2 other precious souls who were so prepared. A family in the ward, the Macias family, have 2 foster girls in their home, Kiki and Starry. The Macias family is a powerhouse family. A few weeks ago, Elder Walton, one of our Zone Leaders came up to us and said "hey, have you ever talked to the Macias' foster girls about baptism?" and we were like "NO!! What are we doing!?!" haha and when we told Sister Macias about it she said "Sisters, I just was thinking about that this morning. I think they are ready." The Spirit, man. :) They have been coming to church for a couple months now. Anyway, so we had dinner with them just this last Tuesday - like 6 days ago - and we talked to them about how they liked church, how they felt in the Macias's home, how they enjoyed reading the Book of Mormon, and Sister Mendoza invited them to be baptized for THAT SUNDAY - 5 days from this invitation. They accepted excitedly!! Sister Macias was quick to remind us about the legal complexities, telling us that permission from their mother and also their social worker was required. So we went ahead with the baptismal plans, with the faith that the permission would come before Sunday. Saturday night, we still hadn't heard back from the social worker. The girls were interviewed anyway :) the Elders (our District Leader and Zone Leaders) wanted to make sure we did EVERYTHING in our power to make sure these baptisms happened so the Lord could see our faith and make a miracle. Saturday night, we started a fast with the girls (their first time learning of it AND doing it) which continued into Sunday. The baptism was scheduled at 1:00...the font needs 3 hours to fill....we had to confirm the baptismal program with the members....still no permission for it to actually happen. Can you say 4th quarter? haha we were praying SO SO SO hard. The Zone Leaders went ahead and filled the font - they have such great faith. I am so grateful for their examples when I waver!! And finally....at 12:15....the social worker called Sister Macias and the baptism was on :D I don't think I can describe the JOY I felt when I heard that news. I almost just fell to my knees in gratitude. So many steps into the dark, so many leaps of faith....and the Lord made a miracle happen :) Kiki and Starry were baptized and so many members of the ward were there to support them. It was such a special experience.

The Lord does come through. We must trust Him. This is His work, we must do it His way. With unwavering faith in Him. Miracles happen. Christ lives :) That experience yesterday taught me that He is here, laboring among us, WITH us, every single day. 

How grateful I am for the miracles I've witnessed here in Garden City. There are so many more that the Lord has in store for me in Guymon. :) 

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

HUGE mason jar with a member of the ward - can some
pomegranate jelly in that, Daddy!

Sister's Conference in Dodge City with Sister Mendoza,
Sister Murphy, Sister Murphy, ME!, and Sister Deppe!

Baptism pic's with the Macias family and all the faithful
missionaries who made it happen :))

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Week 41: "Delicious to Me!"


I hope you all had such a fabulous week last week!!! Happy birthday TODAY to little Beau!! I love you! Sarah and Brent, give him lots of hugs and kisses from me!! Thank you to Rizek for the letter!! For anyone who desires to send me anything, please send it to the mission address in Wichita because next week is transfers and, dare I say it, I might not be here in Garden City. (waaaah :(( )

7011 E. 13th St. N.
Wichita, KS 67206

Reason for the subject line: the Gospel is just delicious to me :) Quote from Alma 32 in the Book of Mormon - check it out :)

Yesterday at church, I translated for Relief Society (the class for the women)!!!!! :D Usually we split up for Relief Society - the Spanish-speaking sisters going to one room and the English-speaking sisters going to another to have the class. But yesterday, the sister who was supposed to give the lesson in English didn't come to church so the sister who was assigned to give the class in Spanish taught the class to everyone and I was asked to translate to English! It was awesome!! I was grateful I didn't just push it off to Sister Mendoza, cuz it was super fun!! I am going to translate next week for testimony meeting - from English into Spanish. I am very excited for the challenge! I love Spanish!

This week we had specialized training and all the mission cars got outfitted with the glorious tiwis!!! (teewees) These little nifty things (I'll attach a picture) are driving coaches! When you accelerate too fast, push on the breaks too hard, go over a bump too fast, or drive without wearing your seatbelt, it tells you and a violation automatically goes to the mission president and to Salt Lake, I think...Everyone who can drive (so not me) got a little card to log in and log out of the device, so everyone has their own little mission driving record. Pretty fancy, eh? :) Glad I don't have to worry about that!!

I have been praying a lot for charity and to know how to show more charity to those we are teaching. Specialized training was a HUGE answer to that prayer as we learned about MBCs - Mutual Binding Commitments. When we covenant with the Lord through baptism or in the temple, He sets the terms of the covenant, we accept to live it and keep it, and He promises to bless us in return. It is ALWAYS 2 ways. But when we give a commitment to an investigator, less active, member...what do we do as the missionaries? Sometimes nothing. SO. With these MBCs we are changing that. Every time we extend a commitment, we are to commit ourselves to do something as well, something that will help the other person keep their commitment. It's AWESOME. As the Assistants to the President role played or showed us how to do this, I felt the Spirit so so strongly. I am excited to learn how to do it effectively so those we serve can feel of our Christlike love for them. President Bell is so inspired.

Okay, this email is really long, but here's some miracles for this week.

The greatest miracle is to see the Atonement of Jesus Christ change the hearts and lives of others. On Saturday, a friend of a recent convert/returning less active couple got baptized. All of heir lives are completely different. It brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. How grateful I am to have a front row seat to see those changes and to see those I truly love embrace the Gospel so fully. They are such examples to me because they still struggle keeping some important commandments, but they are working on them and not letting that hold them back from being active. They are incredible.

We met Elizabeth on Sunday, March 15. So that means we have known her for about a week. The first day we met her, we were with her recent convert aunt who is preparing to go to the temple. Her family had been taught by missionaries in the past but never got baptized. Last Sunday we invited her again to be baptized and she accepted for the 4th of April. We were stoked!! Always a miracle :) Throughout the week she read the Book of Mormon everyday and prayed to know if it was true and if Joseph Smith truly was a prophet of God. She feels it is true. So yesterday after church, we gave her a little tour - sitting in the chapel with her and showing her the baptismal font and invited her to be baptized on the 28th of March (THIS WEEKEND) instead. We knelt and she prayed about it and feels that she is ready and wants to do it. What great faith!!!!! This week we have a LOT of work to do to help her prepare for that day. What a miracle :)

I love this work, I love Jesus Christ.

I love all of you! Have the best week ever!

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

SELFIE - Such nice weather this week!

Elder Cole (our district leader) drawing Lehi's dream!
1 Nephi 8 - check it out :)


A Burmese man showing us his Burmese
Bible!! SO so cool. Did you know the
Book of Mormon isn't printed in Burmese?
Someone should really work on that cuz he
REALLY wanted one - he asked us for
it!! And there's lots of people who live
here from Burma who would really love

Monday, March 16, 2015

Week 40: "No PUNK'D cameras here!!"

Hahahaha my subject line is another glorious quote from the dear Sister Mendoza :))

This story first, I suppose! So yesterday, we had an appointment fall through. I have never been so happy an appointment fell through in my life!! Because of the miracle that happened as a result. A recent convert was with us so we decided to go see Raquel and her two young sons. She is one of our investigators who is having a really tough time financially. We have been teaching her for only a few weeks. She has a desire to be baptized, but because of her financial stresses, she has had trouble making that big, important decision - she wants to make sure she is 100% committed to it. So we went over, just to uplift her and talk about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how there is so much hope to be found in Him. The recent convert, Sister Medrano, got to asking her questions about what is going on and turns out they have had very similar lives!! Sister Medrano asked her a very inspired question about her past work experience and was able to suggest a job opportunity with her sister's trucking business!!! I won't explain all of the details because it's a little personal, but we all had goosebumps and were just like "whoa...is this real life?!?" and Sister Mendoza said "No PUNK'D cameras here!!!" and I just DIED laughing...hahahaha it was so funny. I love her :)

The Basilio family told us they don't want to switch religions right now, but we went to our appointment with them anyway and found out the real story. The mom and one of the daughters are really interested and still want to be baptized, but the dad and the rest of the family say they want to look around at other churches more before they make a decision. They agree with that to an extent but the mom knows that she's not going to really find anything that she will be as interested in as what we are teaching her about the Church of Jesus Christ. I know there is only one truth :) And how grateful I am to know that.

Man, so many miracles I don't know what to say!! Time just keeps flying by and I wish it wouldn't. Sister Mendoza is almost done with training....wow. Now that's insane.

I look back at the last 9 months and see that I could have done better, could have done more for the Lord. But I know in every one of those moments in the last 9 months, I did my best. And I am so grateful that the Lord is patient with me in my growth and my progression. It is truly line upon line, precept upon precept. You know what they say, hindsight is 20/20 :) I am looking SO forward to the next 9 months. I know they will be miraculous. I have been studying a lot of testimonies of the Savior by prophets, ancient and modern. I KNOW He lives. I have felt His strength. It is tangible. I love Him and am so grateful I have full access to His redeeming grace because I have made sacred covenants with Him. I love Him :)
President Bell always says that we don't need to be stressed or overwhelmed, the Savior is here. He is doing His work! I am so blessed to have the privilege of working alongside of Him in this labor of love among God's children here in Garden City, Kansas! I love this place!!
I love all of you! Have such an amazing week! Hold nothing back!

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

Exchanges with Sister Valdivia! She was also trained by
Sister Hymas!

9 month pregnancy pic!!! :D I don't have a
tie to burn soooo..... :)

Garden City Buffalo's!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Week 39: "Where are we - Utah??"


Happy birthday this week to AARON!!!! Hope you have an awesome day, big bro!
Shout out thank you to Jake Jacobus, my BYU astronomy buddy, for sending me a letter this week!!! I loved it! Thanks!

So at a dinner appointment with a member we were telling him about our week and we told him that one night we felt like we needed to knock some doors on a specific street so we did! We knocked one door...and found a less active! We knocked another door...and found a sorta recent convert from Dodge there at her parent's house! So the subject line is what he said in response to that...haha we were all laughing pretty hard :)

BIG NEWS FOR THE WEEK!!!!!! Well. Second biggest.
WE ARE GETTING IPADS. Yep. So that's cool. :)

The first biggest news is that we had a MIRACULOUS WEEK!! It was awesome. I testify that we "receive NO witness until AFTER the trial of our faith" [emphasis added for dramatic effect]. All the trials of the last couple weeks were just building to us meeting a super prepared family, the Basilio family, on Saturday (talking to them through their car - hey, gotta talk to everyone, right? even in the super awkward situations), having a return appointment with them on Sunday, and setting the mom and 2 of the kids on a baptismal date for March 29th. They are SO prepared. They all accepted to live the Word of Wisdom NOW and the mom prayed, asking God to help them reach this goal of baptism. Heavenly Father never ceases to amaze me with how prepared these people are for the Gospel. I pray Sister Mendoza and I do all in our power to help them battle the trials that will come as they follow Jesus Christ. We are hoping the dad and the other 2 kids will join in on our lessons and accept to be baptized with the rest of their family. :) The Lord makes miracles happen!!!

Okay. FUNNY thing that happened this week. Remember when I was in training, I always introduced myself as Sister Hymas??? Welllllllll..... :D We knocked a door, Sister Mendoza was taking the lead and she said: "Hi, I'm Sister Shumway..." and I just BUSTED up laughing. hahaha I loved it!! And I stepped in and said: "Hi I'M Sister Shumway, this is Sister Mendoza :)))" haha they of course were super confused but it was awesome :) I was so proud. hahaha

Well, I think that's all for the news this week! I love you all so so much and I know the Atonement is real. I had the opportunity this week to share some of my tender growing experiences on my mission with Sister Mendoza and the tears just flowed. It was awesome to remember them and see the growth I have experienced in these past 9 months. Can't wait for 9 more!!!! I am SO grateful for the trials I have had and the miracles the Lord has allowed me to be a part of. External and internal. :) The Church is true. I know it. I feel it. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, called of God to do a very important work for the salvation of the human race. The adversary works SO hard against these truths. If they weren't truths, the world would have destroyed them and buried them years and years ago and the true Church of Jesus Christ would not be throughout the whole world as it is today. I love being a missionary, I love Kansas :)

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

Yep.....it happened. haha

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Week 38: "Do you love Christ?"

Before I forget!!!!
Happy birthday on Saturday to baby Rigdon!! I love you so much, Rig! And happy birthday to Landon on Sunday, the 8th!! I remember the day Landon was born, I was heading off to France!! So crazy how time flies!

Thank you for all of the pictures from the wedding - Cara and Kendon of course looked STUNNING. I am so grateful so many people were there to support them on that day.
Thank you to Mom and Dad for the scarf and sweet note. Thank you to Melissa for the Valentine's Card and thank you to Eric for the "letter" ;) I love you all!!

So. The quote in the subject is that of Sister Mendoza :) We got a referral from Church headquarters this week - someone had gone on to Mormon.org and had requested a Bible! So we went to go contact this referral. Knocked the wrong door unknowingly. An old man answered. We told him who we were looking for and explained that she had requested a Bible! He invited us in and proceeded to show us HIS collection of Bibles and tons of other religious books and was like "here! take whatever you like!" and we were like "uhh no.." and explained everything again and was like "oh! well she doesn't live here!" and all this stuff. But we looked through his books and I was like "hmmm it looks like you're missing a pretty important one!" (talking about the Book of Mormon) and then he did have one!! It was a super old copy that he had bought from a yard sale! It was pretty cool. So we started to teach him a bit and he wasn't really responding...then Sister Mendoza said "Do you love Christ?" like soooo sincerely. And he said "well, look here, I didn't invite you in to hear a sermon...." and went on and Sister Mendoza was like "oh no! that's not what I meant!" haha Noheli and I were laughin and it's been a joke ever since :) No worries, Sister Mendoza laughs too :)

This week was a tough one, I will admit. BUT! I am so grateful for the Atonement and the Sacrament which has helped me stay happy and hopeful in Jesus Christ :) District meeting was AMAZING this week. Totally a testimony to me how Heavenly Father truly knows us and knows what we need and answers our prayers. I think I was kinda going through a "mid-mission-crisis" haha just thinking about the past 9 months and all that I've learned and all that's happened...then District Meeting was all about fulfilling our purpose as missionaries and I just loved it. Always such a cool reminder of the special calling we have :) Totally pumped me up for the week!

So. I officially have NO luck with cars. One of the sisters in the ward had her baby shower on Saturday and we were going to go and support her. We had just loaded up the car with all of our stuff and Sister Mendoza was getting all the snow off the car. She asked me if I would start the car so it would warm up. I did it of course, I pressed a button on the opener thing in the process and didn't think much of it. *Meanwhile, we are on a phone call with the district discussing how we can be more unified so I'm obviously distracted* Then I closed the door. Wait a second. I tried to open it and....it was locked. The car was on, our keys to the apartment were inside along with all of our stuff - except our phone. hahaha I was just laughing so hard. It was just quite the morning. haha then a member called the locksmith and paid for it to get unlocked. Such a tender mercy. I love the people here :) they are incredible!!

I love you all so much! Happy Eternity, Cara and Kendon!!

I think of you often, I am so blessed to be a missionary carrying this perfect message to the people of Kansas!!

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway