Sunday, December 6, 2015

letter from Alyssa - Nov. 30, 2015

I'm so glad you all had such a fun Thanksgiving! Sounds like you have EVERYTHING going on this season with Christmas and everything else too. Here's a few updates:

ponderizing scripture is 2 Nephi 32:3 (I really really liked yours too, mom) "Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." I don't remember if I already ponderized this one or not, but I obviously needed to again if so. It's one of my favorites, partially because of how familiar it is to me and the meaning it's had in my life over the years.

So, we picked up 3 new investigators since the last time I emailed you.
Carrie is Christian, we taught her the Restoration on Monday and she said she wanted to talk to her husband about it and see his thoughts. She has 3 kids ages 13, 10, and 4, they are so sweet and their family is very close. Carrie told us the reason she let us in is because she was kind of curious why her aunt converted to the Mormon faith in the last years of her life, and also because she knows we get a lot of rejection so she let us in for us to share our message. Which I thought was nice, never heard that before, and it's not the motivation we want of course but it's not a bad start.
 Inci (not sure how much I said about her, but you pronounce her name Angie) is from Turkey, living here with her son Cevik to help him find work and get into school, he's 18. Inci's husband and daughter are still in Turkey, and she'll return to live with them there in about 10 months. She's interested in the Christian religion though she's traditionally Muslim. She also speaks German, English, and Turkish so she's the one that we gave the Book of Mormon in English in Turkish. We started the Restoration with her and her son, but left off at Joseph Smith so we will pick up there this week. She found it interesting and started answering some of her own questions as she was talking about it with us!

Dante is a potential, he contacted us and wanted to set up a gospel discussion with him and 3 of his friends/roommates. That's about all I know so far, trying to work out a time.
Brother Shields (AWESOME member missionary) came over to see Allie with us (less-active). She was unavailable, but her husband, Akio, was outside putting up lights. He's Japanese and Brother Shields served his mission in Japan, so they spoke in Japanese. It was fascinating! They told me if I was a missionary in Japan I'd be called Shumway Shemai (idk if that's how you spell it, pronounced she-my). We invited him to the ward Christmas party, it was a great conversation and I really hope they come.

Leslie is still really sick. She and her husband Doug are going to Hawaii for a week to go through her mother's home, who passed away this last July. Her kids are doing ok, but the oldest, Matthew, is struggling. Not sure what with, but that's all I've been told. We keep them in our prayers and look for ways to serve.

We taught Lori! We shared a scripture from the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 4:15, and I gave her the context of the story before reading it to her. She loved it! We had planned to commit her to start the Book of Mormon from the beginning, but before we could she said, "I need to pick that up again and read it myself," I asked her what her experience was with reading the Book of Mormon. She said the Elders would come and read a chapter with her brother, Dennis, and she would just listen in, but they jumped around a lot and she doesn't remember really anything from it except that she kind of enjoyed it at the time. I told her the prophet that wrote that verse was the one who writes in the Book of Mormon at the beginning in 1 Nephi, and before I could ask her to read that she said, "Oh, that sounds like the perfect place to start! I'll do that. Could I text you if I have questions?" I wanted to hug her. As missionaries, our ultimate goal is to lead people to baptism, but one of my favorite things to do is to help or encourage anyone to read from the Book of Mormon. I feel the warm approval from the Spirit every time I see someone open that book, and even when I read it myself. Jaxson (the baby) is doing much better, he had his medicine switched so he's not throwing up nearly as much and so we still have plans to take Lori to the temple grounds tomorrow.

Liz's baptism date is obviously canceled, we've had minimal contact as much as we've tried. But we will still reach out to her of course and see what we can do.

Thanksgiving was awesome. We went to the Bishop's house first, his family has 2 marines over each year and it was neat to talk with them and the Bishop. We shared experiences and they pointed out that it's neat that we are also their age, out here away from home and family, wearing a uniform, serving others that may not even know who we are. We really enjoyed that. Then we went to Racquel Batimana's place, they have a big family and they are all so much fun! One of her brothers just turned in his mission papers last week and has his availability date for December 1st so literally any moment we should hear from her about that! He's also a really good singer and sang for us "I Stand All Amazed." We had normal thanksgiving food with Saviche, a sweet/spicy dish with tomato, cucumber, some sort of sauce, shrimp, crab, and these really thin noodles. She said Chicken Adobo is really good though and that she should make it for us sometime. Their family is so fun. Her dad is American and her mom is Filipino, we talked with them and Racquel most of the time. Then we gave her daughter, who is in her teenage years, a Book of Mormon, and she wants to read it. We have plans to go back and talk about it with her.

Saturday I got to go on an exchange with my trainer Sister Hall! She's my sister training leader this transfer and it was so awesome to show her the progress of this area and the work we're doing. I was also so grateful for the opportunity to show her that, though I didn't do so well my first 3 months and I probably made her feel at times she was failing as a trainer, especially now that I've tried so hard to improve, her work and efforts and love was not in vain. In fact, a whole lot of the blessings that people in this area are experiencing are due to her faith in me during and after my training. That was such a neat experience with her. I love Sister Ward, but I miss Sister Hall a lot too. I joked with Sister Ward since I'm training her that I'm running from my child to my mother for a day (mission language stuff).

If I think of more stuff I'll let you know! Keep up the AWESOME work and know that you are each in my prayers all the time!! (we pray, a lot... like all the time. we probably pray more than we teach.)

- Sista Shumway

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