Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 60: Chastening, not Chastising

Queridos family y amigos!

How do you like that Spanglish? Pretty good, eh? :)

Thank you to Mom for the little Kansas card you sent me with Madison's and Mikayla's marriage stuff!! And thank you to Eric for the letter and little wallet :)
Congrats to Madison and Mikayla (my cousins) on your marriage stuff!! :D that's super exciting but weird at the same time! and congrats to everyone else who has gotten married! Fun stuff!

The reason for the subject is that I have been thinking about this for a while...and my District Leader always tells me the difference between how the Lord chastens us, and never chastises us. He always reminds me when I feel sorrowful and super-repentant that the Lord does not chastise, He only chastens. And the scriptures tell us that we must be able to endure chastening - the Lord wants us to become better, to become like Him through the Atonement and grace of His perfect Son, so I'm doing my best to truly use the Atonement to change and become. I understand the doctrine of the Atonement almost perfectly, but I need to make it a part of my life and a part of my heart - to be able to do everything in my power and MORE through the Atonement like President Bell always says. He talks about the Atonement constantly, I love it :)

We talk a lot with one of our investigators about the difference between knowing something in our heads through our intellect and knowing something in our hearts through the Spirit of God. This morning I was doing some reflecting and I had a "Lord, is it I?" moment as the 12 Apostles did when Christ told them one of them was going to betray Him that night of the Last Supper. I realized that's exactly how I am. I know I have felt the power of the Atonement time and time again, but I am so much more familiar with it on an intellectual level, rather than truly feeling it strengthen and redeem and cleanse and motivate me every single day. I know as it becomes more of a part of me I will be able to testify of it more powerfully and help others use Christ's power in their lives too.

The Lord continues to humble me through my experiences. We had a tough week last week when nothing seemed to be coming through for us. Then today as we were walking into the library, there was a man who was mowing the lawn walking towards us. I said hello and had the feeling to continue to talk to him so I asked how his day was going and he answered and asked us if we were missionaries. Wait. Let me rewind. We have been praying for a Cornelius experience for quite some time. Read Acts 10 to know what I'm talking about :) we of course said yes then he asked us if we knew one of his relatives who had been talking with missionaries, we said no, and he went on to tell us about how he has met with TONS of missionaries before but would never commit to anything, but he still feels like something is missing in his life and knows exactly what it is (the Gospel). He set up an appointment for us to come to his home another day this week and we left him with a chapter in the Book of Mormon to read that would help him with his concern :) He was so excited to read it and to hear our perspective as Sister Missionaries because he has only met with Elders. It was a very humbling, incredible 5 minutes. Sister Hansen and I walked away just in awe and with so much gratitude :) Miracles, Brothers and Sisters, miracles!!!

Heavenly Father knows us and He's mindful of us. He loves us. I am so grateful He is mindful of a simple Sister Missionary in Hugoton, KS who is striving to be better and become who He wants her to be :) I love Him! Have an awesome week!!

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

Week 59 (7/20/15): "It's Harvest Time!!"

Another week has come and gone here in the heartland!!

I heard about the flood in Wickenburg and I'm so relieved that everyone is okay and receiving the help they need. Sending my love!

This quote in the subject was taken from Sister Hansen's talk in sacrament meeting yesterday! It is time to harvest the precious souls who have been prepared among the tares to receive the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ :) the time is now in the timetable of the Lord! He is pruning His vineyard for the last time and we need to remember that we were the ones who begged Him to spare the vineyard a little longer as it says in Jacob 5. The Branch Mission Leader wanted us to speak yesterday to excite the members and help them feel the sense of urgency of missionary work. We were grateful for the opportunity! It was such a great experience to share my greatest passion, which is, of course, missionary work!! :D It was cool to let the Spirit guide my remarks, something I had never really done before in a talk!

The members are getting excited because they are now asking US for copies of the Book of Mormon to give to their family members and friends :) I am excited to learn how to work more closely with the members. The Lord is definitely schooling me and helping me become a better missionary. If the temple is the Lord's University, the mission field is like the Lord's Boot Camp haha! I'm learning a ton and have a long way to go and I am so grateful.

Something I super love is that in the morning, Sister Hansen always prays that we will be an answer to someone's prayer that day. How cool is that?! We had an experience yesterday where we truly felt we were someone's answer to prayer. We knocked on a door after some plans hadn't gone through and the woman let us in. We sat down and began talking with her. She expressed some fears and worries she is feeling due to a situation in her family. We were able to testify to her of God's plan for His children, specifically addressing her concern and fear. The response was miraculous :) she was overcome with the Spirit and tears came to her eyes as she felt the veracity of the simple truth we had shared with her. She said sshe had never before heard what we told her, but it entered her heart with such force and she felt such peace that she couldn't deny it. It was powerful!! :)

As you all know, I love being a missionary. It is more than I could ever thank my Heavenly Father for. I am grateful that I get to literally take the name of Jesus Christ upon me every single day. That is a cause of great reflection. Do I really represent the Savior in all I do? As I ponder on that, I know there are changes I need to make, but because of Him, I can :) I love Him so much. I know that as we strive constantly to become more like the Savior, we will feel the influence of the Spirit stronger in our lives and we will be more capable to lift and inspire others to accept His invitation, "Come, Follow Me."

Keep shining brightly :) Thank you for all of your love and prayers. I feel them!!

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

I stepped in a puddle!

Sweeeet sunsets!!!

A little girl from the branch gave us these pictures after our
talks in sacrament meeting :)

Week 58 (7/13/15: There is nothing better than being a missionary.

Heylo!!! This is a true statement! :)

Thank you mom and dad for sending me a postcard!

Okay I'm trying to use Siri to type this cuz I super don't love using
my iPad to email....but we're in Garden City for a stake Pday so I
don't have a choice!! Anyways, I hope you all had an awesome week! It
flew by for me... We had a really awesome week with finding new
families to teach and bringing a lot of less actives to church on
Sunday :) the work is progressing in Hugoton! Thank you for all of
your prayers!

We started teaching someone who doesn't have a religious background
this week and it's been awesome to help him understand who God and
Jesus Christ are and the plan they have for us. He said when we first
met him that his opportunity to learn was gone because he didn't grow
up with religion. We are so happy we can help him come to know the
Gospel and the Savior even though he's an adult. He came to church and
just has so many questions and wants to know everything. It's awesome.
:) we are learning a lot from teaching him!

I learned a lot this week about working hard and working smart with
members to help them in THEIR missionary work in order to truly make a
difference in the areas in which I'm serving. I think we're getting
there in Hugoton :) I am learning so much about how to work
effectively with members. I'm definitely not there yet, but progress
is being made!

I have been studying in the Bible and focusing on what kinds of
questions the Savior asks in His teachings. It's super interesting - I
love reading the words of the Savior and trying to emulate Him.

I know that sacrifice is all the Lord requires of us. Through
sacrificing our will and our desires for His we can become instruments
in His hands and truly change lives. Sacrifice truly brings forth the
powers of heaven. Sacrifice is required always. Especially when it
comes to living the commandments. It is the most intelligent thing we
can do. Sacrificing ourselves, our lives, our desires....and as we
give up more of ourselves, we gain more of Him. :)

I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week!

Con todo I'm amor y mi corazon,

Hermana Shumway

Week 57 (7/6/15): Just a couple accidents :)

Heeeellloooooo from Hugoton!! 

I hope you all had a wonderful week filled with family and community activities!

On Tuesday we got in a car accident. I know. You'd think one would be enough for a missionary! That was scary as all car accidents are! But everyone was safe and came out in one piece! So that was a huge blessing. The biggest bummer is we missed an appointment with a potential family! The dad of the family told us that he had promised God that he would listen to the next missionaries who showed up at his house! So that was pretty cool, but because of the accident we didn't get to go :/ we pray that their schedule opens up so we can go see them soon!

I don't have a ton of time to write today (sorry!) and there's not a ton to report. The greatest thing is the Lord is leading us to people. We find at least one person every day who is willing to open their hearts to the message of the Restoration. The week wasn't easy, but I am so grateful for the sacrament and for testimonies. I have loved hearing the testimonies of others lately. I have felt the strength that comes from hearing another person testify of the truths they know - no matter how simple it is. I was grateful for fast and testimony meeting yesterday - I love these members in Hugoton already. They are such a strength and support. As they shared their testimonies yesterday, the Lord comforted me and brought peace to my heart - we are doing good here in Hugoton and helping others come unto Christ.

How grateful I am for the Spirit :) The constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. I am grateful for this great country of America. I am grateful the Lord prepared so many individuals to lay the foundations of the USA so the restoration of the Gospel could take place under the freedom of religion. I just read 1 Nephi 13 the other day and it was perfect to read during the 4th of July time. I know that the Lord's plan is perfect. 

I love you all! Have an awesome week!!

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

Accident #2.....a kid peed on me. Happy 4th!!

Week 56 (6/29/15): Huggietown!!

Hello from Hugoton, Kansas!!! The Gas Capital of the World!! :D haha fun fact!!

Happy 4th of July this Saturday! We are excited for all of the festivities here in Hugoton - it will be a "blast"! ;) be safe and have fun!

Thank you, Mom and Dad for the package! I love the 4th of July themed things! :)

So leaving Guymon was miraculous! Sylvia was going to get baptized on Sunday thanks to a joint lesson with the Elders that was infused with inspired questions that filled us all with the Spirit that you just couldn't deny it! It was a good last lesson I had with her. She did get baptized yesterday so that was super exciting :) we couldn't go even though Hugoton is close enough to Guymon for us to go, but it was okay because we had some miracles to take care of in Hugoton! The work in Guymon is progressing rapidly and I'm so grateful I'm still in the Guymon District so I can hear all about all the people we were working with when I was there! Hugoton is only 45 minutes away from Guymon and we go there every week! I loved that place. I learned so much about myself and how to love and serve others. I will miss it buuuuut...

Now it's time for HUGOTON!!!!!! Ahhh yeah!

I am here with Sister Hansen who has been on her mission for almost 5 months and who is from Utah! She is not a Spanish speaker so I'm going to have to teach her the bit I know!

This area has been an Elders-only area for forever, but now it's a Sisters-only area! It is exciting but overwhelming to be in an almost completely new area! Any missionaries who are reading this: keep an updated area book! It's so important!! The most exciting thing is the excitement of the members :) imagine that: their excitement is exciting...hmmm haha anyway, they are so excited to invite their friends and inactive / nonmember family members (again or for the first time) to hear the message of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. We feel such an urgency. The Lord needs the work in Hugoton to hasten. We just gotta keep up with Him! We are excited to work with all the part-member families that are here especially and bring families back to the light of the Gospel!

I am so grateful to be here as a missionary. I know my testimony will strengthen and deepen as it is tried :) I love my Savior.

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

Bye Elders and Sister!

Saying goodbye....

A member who lives next door baked us a delicious cake!!
Welcome to Hugotown :)