Thursday, December 10, 2015

Week 79: "I'll be home for Christmas"

Happy Monday!!

Thanks Mom for the package!!

So this week should be a busy one with packing and meetings and
interviews and invitations to baptism and miracles and lots and lots
of hugs...

Last week, I'm super sorry about the email! I accidentally hit send
too early then I guess the other email I sent afterwards to complete
the email didn't send :( I'm really sorry about that. I will try to
find it again and send it out.

I hope everyone got to watch the Christmas devotional! Those are
always very special. If you didn't get to watch, go to! We
watched it at the Johanson's house with one of the less actives we are
teaching, Sister West! Jessica and her family were supposed to come
too but they decided just to watch it at home - they really enjoyed it
though! Jessica brought her 5 kids to church all by herself; she is
such an example to me. Oh how I love her and will miss her. She wants
so badly to be baptized and is willing to do everything in her power -
whatever it takes. Last Monday we got to do a little FHE with them and
while Sister Palmer taught Jessica about the Baptismal Interview
Questions, I got to teach the kids "I Am A Child of God". It was just
great. What wonderful simple truths that little song teaches us! They
loved it. We then performed it to Jessica and she loved it. The gospel
is sure for families. :)

iPads are a great teaching tool!!

Also on Monday! (Monday was very miraculous) we got in contact with Brittany!! Finally!! She was upset she missed her baptism, but she had been reading in the Book of Mormon and praying and still wants to be baptized. She came to church yesterday so this week will be full of us helping her prepare for THIS WEEKEND!!! We have lots to do, but we'll make it happen with the Lord's help. 

Tuesday and Wednesday were full of meetings....those are always good! 

Friday we had zone training and for my last one the zone leaders asked me to give a training on loving the Savior, loving our missions, and increasing faith. I was grateful to be able to share that passion with the other missionaries. I will miss being surrounded by missionaries constantly. There is just a special spirit that comes with that mantle and that calling. We truly are set apart to be representatives of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I think the spirit is just so strong in that company because we repent and use the Atonement every day. Always happy, never content :) I will miss them so dearly!!

Friday we also went on exchanges!! Sister Tafua came with me to Bel Aire and oh the miracles!!! We found 2 new families to teach!! We are excited to help them progress towards baptism :)

Last week we also started to teach a new family that hasn't been to church in a long time. They have let their doubts and uncertainties take them away from the living water of Jesus Christ and His restored Gospel. It broke my heart to see them struggle so much with their concerns. They have a desire to live the Gospel and teach their children, but they are held back by their doubts and they feel they just can't move on. It made me really ponder on the purpose of life. The purpose of existence in to progress. God's plan for us is eternal progression. Damnation isn't necessarily hell fire and brimstone, but an inability to progress. I felt so strongly that this family is experiencing that: damnation in a sense that they aren't progressing. They're stuck. I just wanted to throw out every one liner from every conference talk ever: Choose to Believe! Doubt your Doubts before you Doubt your Faith! Don't chase shadows! Stay on the Old Ship Zion! Haha there's no where else to go. The truth is in Christ and His restored Church. 

Sunday was a day of tears and love and pictures with the members. I sure feel so blessed to have dear family in Kansas. 

I guess now is the time for sappiness, the reason for my lack of sleep in the past week... I don't have much to say. Well, no, I have a lot to say, just not the words to say it. I guess I can only express my deep and eternal gratitude to my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, for seeing fit in their love and mercy to call me on a mission. Every spiritual experience and every trial has been the greatest of miracles. I have come to love the doctrine of Christ: faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. I have felt the reality of the Son of God and His infinite Atonement and also the reality of the adversary and his temptations. 

This is His truth. I will forever be grateful for the permanent conversion that has taken place within my heart. I will serve Christ always. "My discipleship is settled!"

Well, I love you all :) thank you for joining me on this trip down the yellow brick road!! 

Many hugs and kisses! See you soon!

Con todo mi corazón y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

The kids and I :) Jay'Lah, Justice, Justin, and Jamie
- not pictured: Josiah

Santa and the missionaries at the Ward Christmas Party.

Thanksgiving Skip-bo with the Johanson family!!
(Sorry for the throw-back-hehe)


Week 77: ".....I only design thy dross to consume and they gold to refine."

Happy Thanksgiving from the heartland of Kansas!!!! 

Happy birthday to my dear sister, Carly!! Have an awesome day!

Thank you to mom and Sister Jarvis from Hugoton for the letters this week! I sure love ya :)

We had interviews with President Bell this week! My interview was great - those few moments with him have been such pivot points for me in my mission and therefore in my life. Since our last interview, because of his remarks and questions, i have analyzed my relationship with the Savior and my knowledge and love for Him have grown so much as I have sought Him out. This interview was very special to me as well because I expressed to President some of my confusion. At the beginning of my mission, I was definitely not humble, I had no idea what faith is, much less how to exercise it, and I didn't understand at all how to us the Atonement every day. But I saw success!! And then, when I finally feel like I understand all of those things, the results just aren't there. He helped me see that it requires way more faith to be diligent and obedient and live the gospel even when the blessings aren't there than it is to live the Gospel when they are. I am grateful for the life lessons the Lord is teaching me on my mission :) I get to choose to be happy and grateful regardless of the outcome! What a wonderful way to learn how to use the Atonement!! It was great :) 

The girls are not getting baptized this week :( they didn't come to church. They are very excited to be baptized so we are sure they will be on the 5th!

We saw a great miracle this week with one of our newer investigators, Anita! We were going along teaching her the restoration, it was difficult - she loves the Lord and she is quite the talker haha - when we were testifying of living prophets and apostles on the earth today I felt prompted to show her the picture of President Monson and the 12 apostles, something I don't usually do. she then told us about this program she watched on television of old white men. She said she felt the Spirit as they were talking and knew they were men called of God - she actually used the title "apostles"!!! We asked how long ago this was and she said a couple months ago and she's looked for the program since and hasn't found it!!! She totally watched general conference!!!!! It was amazing!! Right after that clicky moment I invited her to be baptized and after some more testifying, she accepted!! It was awesome :) so grateful for the Holy Ghost!! We met her husband a few days later and he totally reminds me of my dad so that made me love him a ton. He will be a great Ward Mission Leader once he's a member!!!

We got to practice teaching the restoration to member families this week. Wow, my testimony of the priesthood has sure been strengthened by their testimonies. I love these members so much!!! :D

Bronté returns home to California this week!!! Isn't that super crazy. She included this scripture in her email and it is just to perfect not to share again!!

Alma 26:37 "Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen"

Have a wonderful and grateful Thanksgiving!

I love you all so much! 

Con todo mi corazón y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

Sent from the ❤️land

Week 76: "Dean likes beautiful things." :)

Hello Everyone!! Oh dear, another week has come and gone, can you
believe that?! I can't.

Kinda sad that my picture of the departures didn't get a reaction from
you, Mom. I was waiting for it! Haha

This past week was goooood. Got to do lots of work! And a few girls we
are teaching: Brittany, Ajaiah, and Contessia, came to church! That's
always a huge blessing. They are preparing to be baptized on the 28th.
We pray the mom gives them permission!!

This week Sister Palmer and I focused a lot on making commitments to
the Lord each morning, expecting specific blessings. Definitely
stretched us to increase our faith :) I have been pondering a lot on
God's will. I truly desire to be aligned with Him always. But I have
to know His will before I do it! Haha so that was definitely a cause
for much reflection this week!

A couple miracles: one of our investigators, Jessica, progressed so
much this week! We set up a time to give her a church tour and she
invited her mom and aunt! They all came and expressed desires to
change their lives and come closer to Christ. The Spirit was truly the
teacher and they all accepted to be baptized on December 5!! Since,
they have kind of lost focus, so this week we will be workin hard to
help them be solidly committed to Christ to be baptized! They'll get
there :) the trial of faith has to come before the witness!!

Another miracle!! A family moved out of our ward, and when we were
saying bye to them we told them, acting in faith, that the family that
was moving into their house in their place was going to accept the
gospel. So we went by after they left to meet this new family and they
are interested!!! If people will just read the Book of Mormon...they
will know!! Everything goes downhill, even for members, when we stop
reading that book every day as we have been counseled and commanded to

I love my calling! We got to help a lot of the Sisters in our zone
this week. I love being able to care for them and help them lose
themselves in the Lord's service - even though it can be so hard, it
is so worth it!

Well, I better sign off! I love you all so much and hope you have a
wonderful week!!

Con todo mi amor y mi corazón,

Hermana Shumway

This is Dean - whom the subject is referring to :)
haha when we were having dinner with his family,
his mom told us he's a thing I
 know he is climbing all over me trying to  sit
himself down in my lap! Hahaha it was soooo funny.
His mom came and took him away then a few minutes
 later he tried the same thing with Sister Palmer
and his brother just said matter-of-factly:
"Dean likes beautiful things." Oh it was so cute!!

The young women in the ward asked us to be a part of
their mutual activity! While the leaders were interviewing each
of them individually for personal progress, they asked us
questions about being a Sister Missionary! It was very fun :)
we were grateful to be able to share our testimonies
of the Gospel and love for the work with them!